An update to Overwatch has changed the interactions between crowd control abilities to make stuns feel more consistent for players. The changes are included as part of an in-progress patch that’s currently available for testing exclusively on PC. The PTR update also includes Hero Pools, Workshop updates, and bug fixes.
This update will impact how crowd control abilities stack in Overwatch. Crowd control abilities will only replace existing crowd control if the new effect lasts longer. For example, someone who was just slept by Ana will not be stunned by McCree’s flashbang.
This is a welcome change to the quality of life in Overwatch, as stacking crowd control abilities often led to strange interactions in the past. Most players can probably remember a time when Reinhardt stunned them with his ult, then Ana slept them, and Mei froze them. This was a frustrating experience for players, and this change should help.
There are a lot of heroes this change will impact. Heroes reliant on Crowd Control such as Mei, Reinhardt, McCree, Ana, Brigitte, and Sigma could see a minor decrease in play. It will be interesting to see if this update changes much.
Crowd control in the past
Crowd control has always been a part of Overwatch but it has become a lot more popular in recent years. Heroes like Orisa, Doomfist, Brigitte, and Sigma have all added valuable crowd control abilities to the hero roster.
Overwatch Updated the interactions between all stuns (Flashbang&Earthshatter&Freeze&Sleep&Accretion) to be more consistent.
New stuns will only replace existing stuns if their duration is longer.For example,Flashbang stun will not apply to someone who has just been Earthshatter. pic.twitter.com/AVrV5CmZr0
— Naeri X 나에리 💙 (@OverwatchNaeri) February 6, 2020
During the days of the dive meta, D.Va’s Boosters and Winston’s Primal Rage were the big crowd control abilities. After the release of Brigitte, GOATs took over and was heavily reliant on crowd control from Zarya, Reinhardt, and Brigitte to succeed.
After 2-2-2 forced GOATs out of the meta, heroes like Orisa, Sigma, Doomfist, and Mei have since become popular. As a result, crowd control has become a core part of many team compositions.
While this change seems small at first glance, the inability to stack crowd control effects could make a difference to the meta in the long run, especially once Hero Pools go live.
More PTR Patch notes
Another small update made several changes to heroes. Brigitte, Wrecking Ball, and Widowmaker were all hit with nerfs.
- Brigitte: Repair Pack overheal reduced from 75 armor to 50 armor.
- Wrecking Ball: Piledriver only causes enemies to lose control for .5 seconds down from 1 second.
- Widowmaker: Primary Fire Full charge time increased from .83 seconds to 1 second.
Symmetra also received a small buff to her Secondary Fire, seeing a damage increase from 120 to 140.
These are some big changes, as promised by Jeff Kaplan in the recent developer update. It will be interesting to see how the Overwatch team continues to handle balance from here on out.