Amidst calls from some players and streamers that Blizzard has effectively abandoned the game to focus on Overwatch 2, a trio of streamers have developed a new experimental patch that has breathed fresh life into Overwatch.
On Tuesday this week a new Experimental Card for Overwatch rolled out only this time, rather than Blizzard making the changes, it was a trio of the best Overwatch streamers and content creators that decided what would be tweaked in the game.
The creators, Violet, Somjuu and Flats, each took on the task of updating Support, Tank and DPS heroes. Violet took on the Support Heroes, Flats the Tank, leaving Somjuu to the DPS Heroes.
What makes the patch so exciting for players is that it features some over-the-top balance changes that have breathed fresh life into a game that had not seen a major update in some time.
That fact alone had left many wondering is Overwatch dying. Some speculated whether Blizzard may be letting their first title die a natural death in order to focus development and build expectations and preparations for the frequently delayed second game in the series.
However, another delay to Overwatch 2 was announced back in November, and with no set date for its release forthcoming from Blizzard, it seems that the company is willing to let gamers, streamers and content creators come up with some fresh new changes to breathe life into the original game.
There is no doubt that the turmoil at Activision Blizzard over the previous few months around CEO Bobby Kotick and allegations of a toxic workplace have hampered progress on the new game and contributed to these delays.
No Live Game Implementation
Given the somewhat zany updates that have been implemented on the experimental update to Overwatch this week, there are no plans for these changes to be filtered through into the live version of the game.
That should be a relief to those that enjoy esports betting on the game, where these crazy new buffs and nerfs could radically shift the odds in these markets.
However, Blizzard have announced that those that use the Experimental Card can participate in a special tournament which is set to take place on December 10 in North America, which could see a top prize of $5,000 on the line for the winner.
It should be noted that this new update does alter the game mechanics significantly with every hero in the game now being dramatically different.
Pleasingly, while some of the tweaks, such as the disappearance of Sigma’s Experimental Barrier, Hanzo’s arrows being able to bounce off walls and the fact that Lucio’s ult can now kill enemies, have changed the way these characters can be used in the game, some of the other tweaks are more tongue-in-cheek and sure to bring a smile to the face of Overwatch fans.
It is these fresh new ideas, such as Orisa wearing a Christmas hat, and some snappy, funny in-game dialogue when certain events trigger, that has seen the Experimental Patch largely welcomed by fans of the game desperate for some kind of update to prolong its appeal.
The update is available now on PS4, Xbox, PC and Nintendo Switch versions of the game and players can also register for the tournament starting on December 10 too.