Overwatch patch 1.15: Junkertown, D.Va redesign, Mercy ultimate changes

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Overwatch patch 1.15 is now live. Headlines include a huge rework for Mercy and a substantial one for D.Va. The new escort map, Junkertown, is also ready to go.

We've got a special Overwatch show! It's called Overwatch This, and you can watch all the episodes here.

Overwatch Patch 1.15 Release Date

Patch 1.15 was applied to the live game on September 19.

Overwatch Patch 1.15 hero changes

Big news for D.Va and Mercy mains, along with one or two smaller tweaks elsewhere.

D.Va

D.Va balance changes

Geoff Goodman, principal designer on Overwatch, has described a pretty big rework for the mecha-tank on the official forums. You can have a play with the following changes on the PTR:

  • Defense Matrix
    • Energy drain doubled - this means her effective uptime for this ability has been reduced by 50%, to about two seconds.
    • Energy regeneration per second increased to 12.5% (formerly 10%). As Goodman explains, this lets D.Va use Defence Matrix a bit more often, but the new two-second cap on each single use is still in place.
  • Boosters
    • D.Va can now use her Fusion Cannons while flying.
  • New ability: Micro Missiles
    • D.Va launches a long salvo of small missiles that explode on impact, dealing damage in a small radius around them. This ability can be used while using her other abilities, or firing her Fusion Cannons.
    • Update, 29 August: Micro Missile damage reduced by 25%.

The overall aim is to make D.Va less reliable as a defensive tank, and more effective when she’s moving offensively, especially when using boosters to push forward. You can check out Goodman's reasoning in full here

As for those Micro Missiles, Goodman gave us their exact stats on another thread. We've adjusted those stats in accordance with the 25% damage nerf announced on August 29:

  • Number of missiles: 18
  • Shots per second: 11 
  • Explosion Damage: 6 (down from 8; has damage fall off)
  • Impact Damage: 3 (down from 4)
  • Radius: 1.5m (for comparison, Pharah's rockets are 2.5m radius)
  • Cooldown: 8s
  • Projectile Speed: 40 m/s (for comparison, Pharah's rockets are 35 m/s)

Rockets will fire individually over time - 18 rockets fired at 11 shots per second means the entire salvo fires in 1.64 seconds. They go wherever you're looking, so if your target is moving, you can compensate somewhat. In the very unlikely case that you land each missile dead on a target, getting the maximum impact and explosion damage, that's a theoretical max of 162 damage per use. Paired with fusion cannons, this gives D.Va strong burst damage against 'squishy' heroes.

Mercy

Mercy balance changes

OK, so this is probably the biggest news of the patch. We'll just let you read on, to be honest, but should you Mercy mains find yourselves shuddering in a corner afterwards, here's Matt to calm you down and explain why these changes are a good thing.

  • Resurrect (formerly Mercy’s Ultimate ability)
    • Ability now targets a single player, instead of every player within a radius
    • Radius reduced to 5 meters
    • Ability cooldown is 30 seconds
    • Mercy is no longer invulnerable while Resurrect is active
    • Don't worry, she still says "Heroes never die," with variations for her alternate skins
  • Valkyrie (New Ultimate Ability): unleashes the full power of Mercy’s Valkyrie Suit, enhancing her weapons and abilities for 20 seconds:
    • Caduceus Staff: Mercy’s healing and damage boost beams now affect all allies near the targeted teammate, and the staff’s effective range has been extended
    • Caduceus Blaster: Gets infinite ammo and increased projectile speed, but (as of an August 29 update) no longer gains an increased fire rate or damage boost
    • Guardian Angel: Increased range and movement speed
    • Resurrect: Cooldown is instantly reset when Valkyrie is activated and reduced to 10 seconds after the initial cast
    • Hover: Mercy gains the ability to fly freely with increased movement speed - flight speed was decreased to 9 (from 11) in the August 29 update
    • Regeneration (Passive): No longer interrupted when Mercy takes damage

This also comes with its own new voice line:

This was all introduced during a Developer Update, so we'll let Jeff from the Overwatch team explain this absurdity.

Reinhardt

Reinhardt balance changes

  • Barrier Field
    • Holding primary fire while your shield is active now allows you to rotate the camera
    • A new 'Movement Relative to Camera During Barrier Free Look' option can be found under Settings > Controls, enabling you to change the way Reinhardt moves when you're moving the camera while his shield is up

Overwatch Patch 1.15 New Map: Junkertown

It was confirmed at Gamescom that Junkertown will be Overwatch's newest map, and since it's not in the 1.14 patch, that means it's almost certainly coming in 1.15 - though it's not on the PTR yet.

It's an Escort map set in the Australian Outback, in the ruins of an Omnium - an automated factory for producing Omnics, the robots that tried to kill everyone in Overwatch's backstory. A local anti-Omnic group blew it up, leaving the area irradiated and uninhabited but for gangs of ruthless Mad Max-esque 'junkers', who subsist on salvage. Roadhog and Junkrat were among their number, and Junkertown will apparently feature lots of little tidbits to expand or hint at their lore.

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The Junk Queen

And on that note, you'll probably have noticed that the Junkertown walkthrough above is narrated by a new character, who introduces herself as the Queen. We've seen hints at Doomfist and Orisa through in-game art before - could the Junk Queen join the roster one day?

The question was put to production director Chacko Sonny at Gamescom 2017. As reported by RPS, Sonny says her distinctive voice is "a good foundation," but that "in many ways, that’s all she is right now. We’re not confirming anything about the next character or any characters really right now but, just as indicated by the fact that Junkertown was this place we felt we needed to go, we think that there is a lot of fertile ground for exploration. And she is a super interesting character."

Click here to read more about Junkertown and its reveal, including an animated short that's quite funny if you like Junkrat.

Gamescom 2017 Mei animated short

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Alright, yes, it's nothing to do with the patch. But it was released just before the PTR went up so it's timely. If you haven't seen it yet, enjoy - it's quite sweet.

Overwatch Patch 1.15 Miscellaneous Changes

Blizzard said a while back that they were planning to change the respawn as a random hero rule in custom games to stop players deliberately killing themselves to get their preferred hero - and now they've done it.

Arcade and Custom Games

  • Players will no longer see the 'Assemble Your Team' screen at the beginning of a game when 'Respawn as a Random Hero' (aka, Mystery Heroes) is enabled.
  • Players who purposefully kill themselves in a game where 'Respawn as a Random Hero' is enabled will no longer respawn as a new hero. However, their Ultimate ability will reset and any equipment that’s been placed (e.g. Torbjörn’s turret) will despawn.
  • In games where 'Respawn as a Random Hero' is enabled, players will no longer receive the same hero two consecutive times, unless Custom Game settings have restricted the hero pool to a single hero.

User Interface Updates

  • The skull icons that indicate where teammates were killed throughout the map have been replaced with Hero Portrait icons.
  • Third-person camera view will now frame the action automatically when spectating or waiting to respawn.
  • Added an 'Outline Opacity' option under the custom reticle settings (found under Controls > Options > Advanced), which allows players to control the opacity of the black outline surrounding the reticule

Overwatch Patch 1.15 Bug Fixes

And finally, it's not a patch unless it fixes a lot of bugs that you probably never noticed, but which ruined your day if you did.

General

  • Fixed a bug that caused Custom Reticles to appear transparent and ignore opacity settings when their thickness was set to 1
  • Fixed a bug that caused Control matches to be played in a best-of-five format when creating a custom game using the Competitive preset
  • Fixed a bug that prevented players from requesting a highlight while viewing a killcam after being killed
  • Fixed a bug that prevented voice lines from playing after players received five votes on a commendation card at the end of a match
  • Fixed an issue that prevented players from automatically joining Match Chat, even when the option was enabled
  • Fixed a bug that prevented players from receiving the Perfect Round indicator after an Elimination game if they received a temporary health boost from an ability (e.g. Lúcio’s Sound Barrier)
  • Fixed a bug that caused the “Aim Ease In” setting to affect controller input too aggressively when the thumbstick was deflected diagonally

Deathmatch

  • Fixed an issue that prevented the entire Team Deathmatch description from being displayed in the info section
  • Fixed a bug that occasionally caused the incorrect announcer VO to play in highlights captured during Deathmatch games
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Junkrat to destroy his own Steel Traps with Concussion Mines

Heroes

  • Fixed a bug that occasionally caused the heroes’ “sigh” voice line to play when respawning
  • Fixed a bug that interrupted the animation on Ana’s eye during the Beach Ball emote with her Captain Amari skin equipped
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Doomfist from being knocked back when his Rocket Punch ability was being used
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Doomfist’s Rocket Punch to hit players through the taxi on King’s Row
  • Fixed a bug that caused a pair of pink fuzzy dice to mysteriously float onto the screen when viewing D.Va’s weapon in the Hero Gallery if her Cruiser skin was equipped
  • Fixed an issue that caused the golden tint of Junkrat’s weapon to appear dull when his Firework skin was equipped
  • Fixed a bug that gave Junkrat’s RIP-Tire a speed boost when players wall jumped on ledges
  • Fixed a bug that occasionally caused Mei’s Ice Wall to launch players into the air
  • Fixed a bug that caused Mei’s Ultimate to appear friendly (it failed to change from blue to red) after being reflected by Genji
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Roadhog’s Chain Hook icon from being displayed in the kill feed when it caused an environmental kill
  • Fixed a bug that caused Symmetra’s Photon Barrier to indicate a 10-second cooldown when the red “cannot use” icon was active
  • Using D.Va's melee attack no longer cancels Micro Missile barrage
  • D.Va's Micro Missiles are now interrupted by stuns, knockbacks, and other crowd-control effects
  • Mercy’s Resurrect is no longer blocked by Steel Trap or Graviton Surge
  • Mercy is no longer able to use Valkyrie to escape Graviton Surge and Steel Traps

Maps

  • Fixed a bug on Ecopoint: Antarctica that could cause a crate to block your view of heroes during the winning team lineup
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Reaper to reach unintended locations on Castillo
  • Fixed a bug that allowed some heroes to reach unintended locations on Horizon Lunar Colony
  • Fixed a bug that prevented reflections from appearing on weapons while standing in certain areas on Ilios
  • Fixed a bug that caused jump pads to bounce players higher than intended on Oasis
  • Fixed a lighting issue that caused some items on the last point of Route 66 to take on a pinkish hue when players used low video settings
  • Fixed an issue that caused reflections to appear overly dark while players were standing in areas of the Cave Inn on Route 66
  • Fixed an issue that caused excessive camera zoom and flashing lights when players loaded into the tutorial map
  • Fixed a bug that prevented plated railings from being properly destroyed by weapons fire on Volskaya Industries
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations on Watchpoint: Gibraltar

User interface

  • Removed the “Healing Prevented” statistic from Ana’s career profile page
  • Fixed a bug that caused Doomfist’s Rocket Punch UI to occasionally remain visible when respawning
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Doomfist’s Seismic Slam from accurately targeting moving objects, causing Doomfist to land in unintended locations

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