‘Overwatch 2’ Season 4 Patch Notes: All Hero Balance Changes, Including Brigitte Ultimate Rework, Big Competitive Updates And Much More
Blizzard has revealed the Overwatch 2 Season 4 launch patch notes a little earlier than expected. As always with these updates, they’re fairly lengthy, so I’ll keep the preamble short.
There are some big changes for Mercy (who had her Season 3 nerfs reverted) and Brigitte (who has a beefed-up ultimate). The patch notes also touch on new hero Lifeweaver’s abilities, welcome accessibility changes and major updates to competitive modes.
As ever, there are a bunch of hero balance chances and bug fixes, while the map pools of previous seasons are no more — you’ll be able to play on all currently active maps.
Without further ado, here are the Overwatch 2 Season 4 launch patch notes in full, including developer comments:
Lifeweaver has been added to the line-up.
- Hold to charge a healing burst. Release to heal a targeted ally.
- Rapidly fire a spread of projectiles.
- Throw a platform that springs upwards when stepped on.
- Dash toward your traveling direction and lightly heal yourself.
- Pull an ally to your location, protecting them as they travel.
Tree of Life
- Place a tree that instantly heals allies upon sprouting and continues healing periodically as it lives.
Parting Gift (Passive)
- On death, drop a gift that heals the first enemy or ally to pick it up.
Added a setting to select custom colors for health, armor, shields, and overhealth in health bars. Improved preview feature for custom color settings with different preview backgrounds.
Stranded Spawn System
Regrouping with your team after getting stranded in a spawn room has never been easier! Spawn rooms that shut down due to capturing or losing an objective will now remain partially active for 7 seconds. While you still can’t change heroes in these spawn rooms, other new features have been activated. In these “stranded spawns,” the doors remain locked to the opposing team, the healing field remains active, and you can now use the Interact key to instantly teleport to the new active spawn room.
Backfilling players in Unranked modes will now prioritize finding players closer to the skill level of the other players in the match. Minor optimizations for large groups improving matchmaking quality.
Top 500 Leaderboard Eligibility
Players will now be required to win 25 Competitive matches before being eligible to enter the Top 500 leaderboard for a specific role, queue, or region.
Developer comments: Previously, we only required 25 games to be completed regardless of winning prior to becoming eligible for the Top 500 leaderboards; however, this change should help make sure that players are consistently pushing toward winning matches, which should help ensure the leaderboards have the best players in each region.
Competitive Leaver Penalty Changes
Matches left in different Competitive queues are still considered separate for purposes of determining the lengths of suspensions or receiving a seasonal ban from Competitive Play.
The start of a new Competitive season also no longer fully resets the severity of these suspensions and bans. This should hopefully prevent players from leaving Competitive games at the end of a season without facing meaningful consequences at the start of the next.
Matches left in Competitive Play will also have a more negative effect on a player’s Skill Tier and Division after a 5-win Competitive Update.
Competitive Point Reward Changes
The number of Competitive Points (CP) rewarded for a win in Competitive Play has been changed from 15 to 25.
The number of Competitive Points earned from seasonal challenges based on your final seasonal rank has also been updated. Games played after your last Competitive Update during a season will still count towards your final seasonal rank. You must still compete in the season’s Competitive Play Qualification challenge to receive bonus Competitive Points.
- Ending in Bronze will now earn 300 Competitive Points (previously 65)
- Ending in Silver will now earn 450 Competitive Points (previously 125)
- Ending in Gold will now earn 600 Competitive Points (previously 250)
- Ending in Platinum will now earn 800 Competitive Points (previously 500)
- Ending in Diamond will now earn 1000 Competitive Points (previously 750)
- Ending in Masters will now earn 1200 Competitive Points (previously 1250)
- Ending in Grand Masters will now earn 1500 Competitive Points (previously 1750)
Competitive Challenge Titles
Seasonal Competitive titles earned from challenges now distinguish between whether they are earned in Open Queue or Role Queue. For example:
- Ending in Diamond rank in Open Queue will earn the “Diamond Open Challenger” Title
- Ending in Diamond rank in Role Queue will earn the “Diamond Role Challenger” Title
Developer Comments: The goal of these changes is to prevent confusion about a player’s rank from the previous season if they participate in multiple Competitive queues.
Competitive Match Rank
The initial loading screen that shows all the participants of Competitive matches will now show an icon at the top of the screen representing the average Skill Tier and Division of all players in that match. This should provide players with a better comparison of their own rank to other players in the match.
Seasonal Rank Decay Removed
Starting with Season 4, a player’s Competitive Play rank will no longer be reduced at the beginning of a season. Furthermore, the effects of this reduction of rank from previous seasons will also be removed. Depending on how many games they played during the previous season, most players will see their skill tier and division increase. A player’s skill tier and division at the beginning of Season 4 will now closely match the matchmaker’s estimate of your current skill.
Developer Comments: The previous seasonal rank decay was causing considerable confusion for players, who would see players in their Competitive games who did not appear to be of a similar rank. Often these players were actually of similar skill, but they had not played enough games during the season to compensate for the initial decay.
Competitive Skill Update and Progression
Both the Competitive progress and Competitive update screens will now include information about a player’s losses and ties as well as their wins.
The Competitive Update screen will also now provide players with an indication of their current percentage progress within a skill division. This will hopefully make it more clear how the results of games played during the update affect a player’s Skill Tier and Division.
It is possible for players to have a positive win/loss record, but not go up a skill division because the progress occurs entirely within a single division. This new message will allow players to see that they did in fact make positive progress, just not enough to reach a new skill tier or division.
There is also a similar message with Competitive Updates for players who are Grandmaster 1, but not yet on the Top 500 leaderboard. This should provide those players with feedback about their progress towards earning a spot on the Top 500 leaderboard.
- Armor health reduced from 300 to 250
- Base health increased from 175 to 200
Developer Comment: Reinhardt has been overperforming after the recent increases to his offensive capabilities. Those changes have been playing well, so to adjust his overall power, we’re reducing his overall health through this armor reduction.
- Impact damage reduced from 60 to 40 (80 damage total with explosion)
- Knockdown duration increased from 0.8 to 1.1 seconds
Developer Comment: Like Roadhog’s Chain Hook, Sigma’s Accretion and primary fire combo can be highly lethal and can feel like a guaranteed kill against 200 health targets. We’re reducing the damage slightly to require an additional volley of primary fire but are also increasing the stun duration to provide allies with more opportunity to follow up on successful impacts.
- Base health reduced from 225 to 200
- Damage reduced from 131 to 120
Developer Comment: Magnetic Grenade only requiring one additional primary fire shot after sticking to a target was too reliable to execute on, even though it only works at close range. We’re reducing the total damage on Magnetic Grenade, evenly split between the direct target damage and explosion. The reduced falloff-damage buff his primary fire received recently enables Cassidy to play from safer engagement ranges now, so we’re reducing his health back to 200.
- EMP can now disable Blizzard
Developer Comment: We are expanding what Sombra’s EMP turns off to keep it consistent with how it affects other device-controlled ultimates.
- Maximum duration on Tank heroes reduced 30%, from 5 to 3.5 seconds
Developer Comments: We’ve been watching how effective Sleep Dart has been in 5v5 gameplay. It hasn’t been overly disruptive as a whole, but since it is significantly more reliable to land against Tank heroes due to their large hit boxes and even more valuable to do so with only one tank on the field, we’re reducing its maximum duration against those targets.
- Brigitte now gains 100 restorable armor health pool for the duration of Rally
- Brigitte no longer gradually builds temporary health like her nearby allies
- Rally now upgrades her Barrier Shield, increasing both its size and health
- Barrier health increased from 300 to 750 during the ultimate
- During Rally, Shield Bash now impacts multiple enemies and briefly stuns them
- Bonus movement speed reduced from 30 to 15%
- Range reduced from 30 to 25 meters
Developer Comments: Rally lost some of its power with the change from granting allies additional armor to temporary health, and overall took a relatively long time to build up its defensive benefits. This rework is intended to keep it as a defensive ultimate ability but with a more immediate impact due to gaining an increased armor health pool upfront and the enhanced barrier, which can be utilized to block for teammates while their temporary health builds or interrupt enemies with the stun.
- Healing-per-second increased from 45 to 55
- Healing is no longer increased for allies under half health
- Cooldown reduced from 2.5 to 1.5 seconds
- Jump and Crouch cancel active ability state duration increased from 1.0 to 1.5 seconds
- The Jump and Crouch cancel active ability state can no longer be manually interrupted to begin the cooldown early
- Support role passive healing is now active for the duration of Valkyrie
Developer Comment: The recent increase to Guardian Angel’s jump-cancel mobility still needs to be kept in check in some way, but while the last iteration was simple, it also had some unintended effects, such as not being ready to use GA again after flying in and using Resurrect. This revision provides more flexibility, and allows Mercy to opt into an additional 1.5 second cooldown when using the increased mobility from the jump/crouch cancel options or otherwise waiting for the base cooldown time.
The increased healing multiplier condition on Caduceus Staff was intended to help Mercy players feel more agency in trying to save critical-health allies and to add depth to the healing mechanic without changing the total time to heal to full health. However, the overall rebalance of the healing values received significant negative feedback, both from those playing as Mercy and those playing against it. There wasn’t a satisfying middle ground where we could reduce the potency of this effect while still having it feel impactful, so we’re reverting it.
- Can now be activated during Coalescence
- Bonus movement speed reduced from 50 to 40%
- Lingering heal duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds
Developer Comments: Being able to use Fade during her Coalescence ultimate gives Moira more playmaking ability by being able to reposition even more quickly and avoid potential threats with quick reactions. Due to the more spread-out playstyle of 5v5, we’re increasing the lingering heal duration from her primary fire, meaning it will heal more in total.
Map Pools have been disabled, all maps are now in rotation
New Arcade Map: Talantis
You designed it, we built it: an underwater Talon base with jump pads, pit traps, giant fish and waterfalls.
Talantis will be playable for a limited time from April 25 through May 1.
Season 4 Map Lighting
- New Queen Street – Dawn (New)
- Colosseo – Morning
- Esperança – Morning
- Blizzard World – Morning
- Eichenwalde – Morning
- Hollywood – Night (New)
- King’s Row – Evening
- Midtown – Morning
- Numbani – Morning
- Paraíso – Morning
- Dorado – Night
- Havana – Night
- Watchpoint: Gibraltar – Evening
- Junkertown – Morning
- Circuit royal – Morning
- Rialto – Morning
- Route 66 – Morning
- Shambali Monastery – Night
- Antarctic Peninsula – Night
- Busan – Morning
- Ilios – Morning
- Lijiang Tower – Night
- Nepal – Morning
- Oasis – Evening
Introducing Workshop Projectiles
There are three new Workshop actions allowing you to create either a fully functioning projectile or a cosmetic projectile effect:
- Create Projectile
- Create Homing Projectile
- Create Projectile Effect
Additionally, there is a corresponding workshop extension that enables 19 projectile visual effects.
- Fixed a bug in Competitive Modes that resulted in the rank-up animation playing when a player was actually ranking down
- Fixed a bug where Relative Aim Sensitivity was unable to be set to a value of 0%
- Fixed a bug where Hero Options could become unresponsive if modified during the respawn period
- Fixed an issue where some map preview images were missing from Game Reports and Replays
- Fixed Streamer Mode failing to obfuscate BattleTags in some cases
- Fixed an issue with Custom Game Browser sorting by decreasing ping by default
- Fixed an issue where the round transition screen in Competitive could break when played on 21:9
- Fixed a bug with the Round Transition screen being significantly darker if you had colorblind options enabled
- Fixed a bug that could cause the camera to become displaced if you used a Souvenir as you loaded into the map
- Fixed a bug that prevented you from navigating the Endorsement UI while on the Challenge Progress Screen
- Fixed a controller/gamepad issue that prevented players from accessing the While you Wait menu unless the middle card on screen was highlighted first
- Circuit Royale – Fixed multiple lighting issues in Circuit Royale
- Hanamura – Fixed multiple cases of lighting and geometry
- Ilios – Fixed areas in Ilios where players could become stuck
- New Queen Street – Fixed multiple cases of lighting an geometry in Toronto
- Oasis – Fixed areas in Oasis that blocked players and gameplay
- Shambali Monastery – Fixed areas in Shambali Monastery that allowed players to stand in unintended locations
- The Raijin skin has been adjusted so that Ashe’s Viper no longer takes up a large amount of screen space when scoped in
- Fixed a bug that allowed Ashe to gain Ultimate while B.O.B was active
- Fixed a bug where some abilities were able to interact with Artillery’s targeting reticle
- Fixed a bug where Bastion’s attack animations could appear sped up (though they actually weren’t) after the effects of Kitsune Rush expired
- Fixed in a previous update – Fixed a bug with Cassidy’s Deadeye not taking armor mitigation into account which resulted in a Killing Blow before the enemy was marked with a skull
- Fixed in a previous update – Fixed a bug where the damage from Deadeye could be multiplied by reacquiring the same target before Deadeye completed
- Fixed an issue with Seismic Slam not always registering when used on uneven surfaces
- Fixed an issue with Echo’s Duplicate sometimes failing when duplicating a D.Va as she casts Self-Destruct
- Fixed an issue where some abilities did not function correctly after being Deflected by Genji
- Fixed an issue where in some cases Swift Step would fail to teleport the player
- Fixed an issue with Kitsune Rush appearing orange to enemies if Kiriko had ‘Terrible Tornado’ equipped
- Fixed invisible entities within Kiriko’s ultimate Kitsune Rush being pingable for a brief duration
- Fixed a bug that allowed Mercy, when using Valkyrie to clip for extended periods into the environment and prevent critical shots
- Fixed an issue where Mercy could negate the effects of Rocket Punch in some cases
- Fixed an issue with Mercy’s footsteps being extra quiet while crouched
- Fixed an issue with Moira’s hand animations breaking during gameplay
- Fixed a bug with the art on Orisa’s Forest Spirit Spear
- Fixed an issue with the Barrage play of the game not using custom rockets from the selected skin
- Fixed an interaction with Whole Hog and Hook where the hook would clip into the camera of the hook’s target
- Fixed a bug with Gravitic Flux picking up reviving heroes just before the Revive completes
- Fixed a typo in Kinetic Grasp’s tooltip. It now correctly states it grants ‘extra health’
- Fixed a bug with Sombra’s footsteps remaining silent to players who had detected her
- Fixed a bug where Molten Core projectiles could become stuck in the air if deflected with Orisa’s spear
- Fixed a bug where in some cases Tracer would not get all her Blink charges back upon respawn
- Fixed a bug where Venom Mine would be missing a team color if Widowmaker was wearing an Away OWL Skin
- Fixed an issue where Zarya would not receive charge from Brigitte’s Shield Bash
- Fixed an issue where Zenyatta’s ability prompts on target characters being reversed when using a gamepad/controller
- Fixed an issue where Orb of Discord could appear team-colored Blue when applied to an enemy
Apple's AR/VR Headset Expected to Enter Mass Production in October Ahead of Late 2023 Launch – MacRumors
Apple’s long-rumored AR/VR headset will enter mass production in October and launch by December, according to investment firm Morgan Stanley. Apple is still expected to unveil the headset at WWDC next week, and provide developers with tools to create apps for the device, which is expected to have its own App Store.
“While we expect Apple’s AR/VR headset to be unveiled next week, our supply chain checks suggest mass production won’t start until October ’23, with general availability most likely ahead of the December holidays,” said Erik Woodring, an Apple analyst at Morgan Stanley, in a research note obtained by MacRumors.
Apple’s supply chain is preparing to assemble only 300,000 to 500,000 headsets in 2023, according to Woodring. As widely rumored, he believes the headset will have a starting price of around $3,000, and he expects gross margins to be “close to breakeven at first,” suggesting that Apple will initially make minimal profits on the device.
Morgan Stanley also reiterated that Apple plans to announce a new MacBook Air at WWDC, but it’s unclear if this information is independently sourced or simply corroborating other rumors. Apple’s keynote begins on Monday, June 5 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.
Earlier this year, Google announced that it planned to unify its Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync apps into a single Google Drive for desktop app. The company now says the new sync client will roll out “in the coming weeks” and has released additional information about what users can expect from the transition.
To recap, there are currently two desktop sync solutions for using Google…
Motorola Says iPhone Owners Are Switching to Get Foldable Phones – CNET
From Samsung to Motorola and Google, just about every major Android phone maker has released a foldable phone. But there’s one big, non-Android outlier: Apple. And according to Motorola, that’s prompting some iPhone users to make the switch.
Specifically, Motorola has seen 20% of new Razr users coming from Apple products. That data point is from 2021 following the launch of the previous-generation Razr.
“This is definitely the family that we have the most amount of iPhone users switching to us,” Allison Yi, Motorola’s head of North America product operations, said to CNET ahead of the company’s Razr Plus launch.
Foldable phones still account for a fragment of the global smartphone market, but the category is growing quickly as tech giants search for the next major evolution of the mobile phone. Market research firm International Data Corporation estimates that worldwide shipments of foldables will increase more than 50% in 2023 compared to 2022. Motorola’s Razr line faces the most competition from Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip series, although Samsung hasn’t broken out its sales numbers to specify its percentage of iPhone converts.
This year is shaping up to be a milestone moment for foldables with the arrival of newcomers including Google and OnePlus, giving Motorola and other early entrants like Samsung more competition. Apple, however, is still noticeably absent from the foldable phone race, and that isn’t likely to change anytime too soon.
‘Diablo 4’ PS5 Players Hit With ‘Unable To Find A Valid License’ Error, Blizzard Comments – Forbes
I’ll be honest, my jaw was hanging open a bit when I logged into Diablo 4 a minute after 7 PM ET, got a 4 minute queue which was…actually over in four minutes. I got in, created my Barbarian and I’m already level 4, pausing only to write this article. No wild wait times, no errors, no disconnects (yet).
But I’m on PC. PS5 players? They’re no so lucky.
At the time of this writing, there is a widespread error that says “Unable to find a valid license for Diablo IV (Code 315306).” This is happening, obviously, to people who very much have indeed purchased the game, so something is going wrong here with an interaction between Blizzard and PlayStation it seems.
However, it may be Blizzard and console more broadly. I have heard of at least some Xbox players getting this error message as well, but overall players seem to be having more success with Microsoft. The PS5 error appears to be more widespread, for whatever reason.
Blizzard has indeed acknowledged the issue, via its community manager and a forum post here. They do say PlayStation specifically, even if a few Xbox folks are hitting it. The message just says:
“We are seeing reports regarding PlayStation users experiencing Invalid License errors. The team is looking into this right now and will update once we have more information.”
If you’ve come here for advice on a fix, I’m sorry I can’t help you yet, as there does not appear to be one. I would avoid drastic steps like reinstalling the 80 GB game or anything, as that is probably going to be unnecessary and not fix the problem anyway. But yes, there is a widespread problem, you are not alone.
Naturally, many Diablo players were concerned we could have another Error 37 issue on our hands, the old error code that endlessly crippled Diablo 3 at launch. It…doesn’t seem likely that we’re headed into something that bad. Given that this is a console-specific issues, it means that Blizzard’s servers are not totally melting down as a whole. This time around they also did a “server slam” and this is early access launch which are mitigating factors. But that’s cold comfort to PS players who can’t play yet because of the “no valid license” error.
As soon as there’s a new update on the situation I will post it here. Stay tuned, and hopefully this will be resolved soon.
Update: It seems this may be a PS-wide issue, as there are reports of many games returning the license error right now, not just Diablo 4. Bad coincidence or…sparked by a flood of Diablo logons? Not clear yet.
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