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Overwatch April 18 PTR Patch Buffs Hanzo, Defuses Tracer's Pulse Bomb

The Overwatch League kicked off Stage 3 in grand fashion two weeks ago when Game Director Jeff Kaplan took the stage to announce Overwatch Retribution, along with a new PvP map. He did note that the map would need some PTR testing and that time looks to have come. What he didn't mention is that several heroes would undergo some major balance tweaks.

The biggest nerf appears to go to Tracer, whose Pulse Bomb Ultimate is getting its max damage reduced by a whopping 25 percent. The developer explanation reads, "Pulse Bomb was too good at killing tanks, who can be easy to stick due to their size. This damage reduction makes it less powerful as a tank-destroyer, while keeping it lethal against most other heroes."

Overwatch's Tracer

But this update isn't all nerfs. Hanzo has received some noteworthy buffs, which include his Storm Bow getting an increase in projectile speed and Sonic Arrow getting a few tweaks. Hanzo also has a new Lunge ability that allows him leap horizontally by hitting the jump button in mid-air. Plus, he'll be armed with new Storm Arrows, which fire up to six arrows, replacing his old Scatter Bow ability.

"The goal of these Hanzo changes is to allow him to have new options and maintain his high damage output, while removing the frustration of fighting against the old Scatter Arrow," reads the developer explanation. "Hanzo is now much more mobile with his new Lunge ability, and with the combination of the bow projectile speed increase and the new Storm Arrows ability he can now deal his high damage more consistently than ever before."

Other changes involve taking Junkrat down another notch and adding a few positive changes to Lucio's Wall Ride and Soundwave.

Look for the Rialto map and these balance changes to make their way to all versions of Overwatch soon. Those looking to see how these changes will look in action can jump into the Overwatch Public Test Realm now. For more information on this PTR patch, visit the Overwatch forums.

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