Hacker hero Sombra is one of two characters getting a big rework in Overwatch 2’s new season, which kicks off Oct. 10. While other heroes on the game’s roster will be impacted by various balance changes, Sombra’s abilities are being overhauled in some pretty substantial ways. Blizzard says the changes to Sombra are designed to make her “more engaging to play with and play against.”
“Our goal is to allow Sombra to be more committed to the targets she engages with and have a more active feel to her kit, all the while maintaining her character identity and playstyle as the world’s greatest hacker,” the developer said in a blog post.
Blizzard says that Sombra’s Machine Pistol primary weapon, Hack ability, and EMP ultimate are also being “tuned,” but that’s not where the biggest changes are. Sombra is getting an all-new ability called Virus. Blizzard describes it as “a skill shot that deals damage over time to the target it hits and does double damage and at a faster rate if they are already hacked.” Here’s a peek at Virus in action:
Sombra’s bringing a Virus to the battlefield pic.twitter.com/dF0yz14hgp— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) October 4, 2023
Stealth, Sombra’s ability to turn invisible and move more quickly, is also substantially changing. Stealth is now a passive ability that “starts automatically when Sombra is not taking damage or dealing damage or abilities.” In other words, any time she’s not in combat, Sombra will basically be a ghost.
With Stealth becoming a passive ability, Sombra’s other passive, Opportunist, is being removed. Opportunist allowed Sombra to see critically injured enemies through walls and other objects, and to deal more damage to hacked enemies.
Her Translocator is also being reworked to instantly teleport her wherever it is thrown. That should help Sombra get out of sticky situations and have more maneuverability, and spend less time teleporting back to health packs.
Here’s Sombra’s rework in handy graphic form:
Sombra’s new ability kit arrives alongside Overwatch 2 season 7, Rise of Darkness, which launches Oct. 10. A separate rework for Roadhog is also expected sometime during season 7.
Blizzard added Sombra to the Overwatch roster in 2016, shortly after her debut at that year’s BlizzCon. Blizzard overhauled Sombra back in 2021, in preparation for Overwatch 2’s launch, letting her hack enemies while in Stealth mode and changing her EMP to deal damage.
While season 7 of Overwatch 2 won’t introduce a new hero, it will include a new map and balance changes to Mei and Zarya (reverting recent buffs to the characters), as well as further tuning for Orisa, Ramattra, Wrecking Ball, Cassidy, Torbjorn, Brigitte, and Illari, Blizzard says.
Update (Oct. 6): Blizzard provided more detail on Sombra’s rework in a blog post on the Overwatch website, with a full breakdown of nerfs and buffs to her Machine Pistol, and Hack, Stealth, Translocator, and EMP abilities. Those changes are listed below:
- Damage increased from 7.5 to 8.
- Minimum Spread reduced from 0.5 to 0.
- Number of shots until max spread has been increased from 3 to 6 shots.
- Reload time reduced from 1.4 seconds to 1.2 seconds.
- Cast time reduced from 0.75 seconds to 0.65 seconds.
- Now cancels Stealth when hacking an enemy hero.
- Cooldown increased from 4 to 6 seconds.
- Hack has a reduced cooldown of 3 seconds if Hack is interrupted or if a non-hero enemy is hacked.
- The “Hacked” warning text will now only appear while you are silenced and not for the remainder duration of the hack debuff.
- Ability reworked to be a passive. Sombra automatically becomes invisible after 3.5 seconds while not shooting, using a damaging ability, or receiving damage.
- Stealth movement speed bonus reduced from 60% to 45%.
- Fade Out duration into Stealth reduced from 0.375 seconds to 0.25 seconds.
- Fade In duration from Stealth reduced from 0.5 seconds to 0.375 seconds.
- Updated the UI messaging to the Sombra player when hacking Health Packs to “Revealed” instead of “Detected”. Now the message “Detected” is only used when an enemy player is in the detection radius.
- This is a new ability assigned to Ability 1 by default.
- Fire a projectile that damages an enemy over time. Damage is dealt faster on Hacked enemies.
- Impact Damage: 10 (20 on hacked target).
- Damage over time: 100 over 4 seconds (100 over 2 seconds on hacked target).
- Can no longer can be manually activated. Translocator will now automatically teleport Sombra after 0.25 seconds from being thrown or when impacting the environment.
- Reduces the Stealth passive cooldown after teleporting.
- Projectile speed increased from 25 to 72.
- Cooldown reduced from 6 seconds to 5 seconds. Cooldown now begins after Sombra teleports to the location of the Transponder.
- Projectile launch initial vertical offset removed.
- Ultimate charge cost increased by 15%.
- Health percent damage decreased from 40% to 30%