Just as Orisa, the 24th hero of Overwatch, is ready to launch from the multiplayer shooter's PTR into the main game, Blizzard announced that it has released a new update for the Overwatch test server.
The PTR update contains several changes and fixes, but the highlight is the massive changes coming to the roller-skating healer hero Lucio.
Lucio Revamp Coming To 'Overwatch'
Blizzard is testing several changes to Lucio, all of which are detailed in the blog post announcing the latest Overwatch PTR.
Lucio's primary weapon, the Sonic Amplifier, will have its projectile speed increased to 50 from 40 in the test server, while its alternate fire will start to consider the vertical orientation of enemies when knocking them back. Lucio's ultimate, meanwhile, will have its radius reduced to 20 meters from 30 meters.
Lucio's Crossfade skill received the biggest change of all his skills. The radius of the skill's area of effect has been drastically reduced to 10 meters from 30 meters, with an in-game visual temporarily added so that the player using Lucio and his teammates will be able to see how far his support skill reaches. In addition, the healing rate of Lucio's Heal Song has been bumped up by 50 percent, with the increase also applying to his Amp It Up skill.
The Wall Ride ability of Lucio, on the other hand, was improved by increasing movement speed by 30 percent. Lucio will also enjoy a burst of speed whenever he leaps off a wall.
According to comments by Blizzard, Lucio "often felt like a must-pick due to his raw healing output and the versatility of providing a speed bonus to your entire team." With these changes being pushed into the Overwatch PTR, Blizzard is looking to maintain the strength of Lucio's skills despite making it more difficult to apply the bonuses to the entire team at once.
Blizzard added that most of Lucio's strength was due to his Crossfade skill, and as such, his other skills needed to be weakened to keep him balanced. With these changes, Lucio will be pushed to become more active in matches.
Lucio Changes: Good Or Bad?
With the changes to his Wall Ride ability and combined with speed boost from his Crossfade skill, Lucio has become very quick in moving through maps, which is something that he would now need considering he now needs to be very close with his teammates to be effective.
While the changes are considered by some players as a buff due to Lucio's increased speed and healing ability, a discussion on the official Overwatch forums blasts the opinion, as the reduced radius of his Crossfade skill can be considered very severe.
However, with the reduced area of effect of his skills, the changes to Lucio might encourage a return to the triple tank meta, as they encourage teammates to stick together.
Other Changes In 'Overwatch' PTR
In addition to a host of bug fixes, the latest Overwatch PTR update also introduces a tracking system in Assault and Assault/Escort maps in Competitive Play that will significantly reduce the number of draws. The tracking system monitors the progress made toward the goal of either team, and for testing purposes, the Competitive Play map rotation in the test server will be limited to Hanamura and Eichenwalde.
Speaking of Eichenwalde, the PTR update also introduced a new route that connects that spawn area of the attacking team and the capture point.
Blizzard has also added lore to the skins available to each character in the Hero Gallery, explaining the connection between the skins and the heroes.