Update, October 17: Blizzard's Lucio fix is now available in the live game, along with some substantial changes for Mercy.
The latest PTR update is now available in the live game, bringing along changes to both Mercy and Lucio. Of course, it’s the latter support who’s been the subject of the most controversy, with recent updates having seen serious nerfs to his wallride ability that have been met with no small measure of controversy.
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The update sees Lucio’s wallride speed boost increased by 65%, addressing complaints that he seemed sluggish following an intentional change to prevent a minor exploit. The patch also sees appear offline added to the in-game social settings. We’ve got the highlights below, but you can check out the full patch notes here.
- Players can now set their social status to Online, Away, Busy, or Appear Offline (Note: appearing offline does not prevent friends from seeing you if you are placed into the same match). This option can be found under the social menu
- Wall Ride
- The speed boost that Lúcio receives after completing a wall ride has been increased by 65%
- Guardian Angel
- Players can now glide past a targeted ally using the jump key
- Cooldown no longer resets when Resurrect is activated
- No longer resets or reduces Resurrection’s cooldown
Update October 12, 2017: the Lucio debacle continues, but it looks like a permanent solution may finally have been found.
Overwatch's 1.16 patch has been an exhausting one to cover, with lots of little tweaks cropping up that have been poorly communicated by Blizzard's usually excellent standards. The biggest victim was Lucio - in their efforts to squash an exploitable bug in his wallride ability, Blizzard seriously nerfed his mobility to the annoyance of fans everywhere. With yet another PTR patch, however, it looks like a solution may have been found.
In response to player complaints that live Lucio still feels slow and heavy, principal designer Geoff Goodman explained that Blizzard "increased the boost he gets off walls, but there was an extra vert component that wasn't increased proportionally so that's probably why he feels heavy, he isn't getting as much lift as before."
Goodman then outlined the latest version of the PTR, which went up last night. Lucio's wallride boost is now stronger to compensate for the bug fix, and initial feedback from the community seems positive, so hopefully this finally settles the whole messy affair.
One more thing, though: Mercy was also tuned in last night's PTR. She can now unlock from targets she's tracking with Guardian Angel for a speed boost, using them like a slingshot. Her ult, Valkyrie, no longer buffs Resurrect's range, but gives you one free charge of it, which is removed if not used when Valkyrie expires. This gives you the ability to 'burst res' during Valkyrie while still nerfing the overall number of rezzes you could pull off compared to its first version, which both reset and reduced Resurrect's cooldown.
Original story October 11, 2017: Lucio can run on walls. That’s his whole thing as one of Overwatch’s most mobile heroes, with a set of skates that let him slide along walls at high speeds to quickly get those support abilities deployed. Blizzard have some changes in mind for how that system works, and the resulting controversy has proven an absolute mess.
The issue first appeared on the PTR during the 1.16 patch cycle, where players noticed Lucio felt far more sluggish than before. Jeff Kaplan made a quick comment in the resulting Battle.net forum thread to say that “It’s just a bug in the PTR,” implying it wouldn’t make it into the live game.
Geoff Goodman stepped in a bit later to explain what was going on and why. “There was a bug that made it possible to input multiple jump commands very quickly while riding on a wall to trigger a super boost,” says Goodman. “This was only possible by binding mouse wheel to jump or potentially some other macro program to simulate this.” The patch's changes to Lucio were intended to target this exploit, but it appears they went too far.
Goodman says the team’s intention is to return some of this super boost back into the game without having players rely on macros or alternate keybinds, which Kaplan reiterated earlier today.
Though the 1.16 has gone live, Blizzard are still tinkering - another PTR update went up yesterday with some further Lucio changes, and lead engineer Bill Warnecke’s post about them went up at nearly midnight local time, suggesting this is one of those “sleepless night” issues for Blizzard. We’ll have more as it comes.