Overwatch Patch Notes: Surprise Nerfs For Moira And Echo
Less than a week after Overwatch tested changes for several heroes in the Experimental mode, they’ve all been added to the live build. That means there are changes for Baptiste, McCree, Zarya, Moira, and Reaper. There were a couple of surprises nerfs in the patch too.
Charging up Echo’s and Moira’s ultimates will now take a little longer. The Coalescence ultimate cost has been increased by 17%, while Duplicate’s cost has been bumped up by 15%. According to Blizzard, “the Duplicate ultimate has proven to be more impactful than expected and was coming up quickly due to Echo’s high damage output.” Those are good changes. Even as someone who loves both heroes, their ultimates often charge a bit too quickly.
I covered all of the other changes that were tested in the Experimental mode in my post about that patch, along with Blizzard’s reasoning. But let’s run through all of the balance changes once more for the sake of convenience:
- Charge time increased from 0.7 to 1 second
- Ultimate cost increased by 15%
- Reload time increased from 1.2 to 1.5 seconds
- Distance reduced by 20%
- Resource regeneration is now three times higher while channeling Coalescence
- Ultimate cost increased by 17%
- Life Steal amount increased from 30% to 35%
- (Primary Fire) Beam damage now scales from 75-170 damage-per-second, down from 95-170
The patch is now live on all platforms.
Is Overwatch Dying in 2021?
Blizzard Entertainment typically doesn’t share details of its player count unless games hit specific milestones, so there’s no way of knowing how many concurrent players there are currently.
With the company releasing a report that found 10 million monthly gamers still playing the game in November 2020, Overwatch is not dying in 2021. But the hype around the game has definitely subsided.
In its first year, the game had 35 million players, which grew to 50 million players in 2018. But since then battle royale games have been all the rage and it looks like Overwatch is dying in 2021.
Overwatch’s Twitch audience has declined dramatically:
However, we can somewhat estimate a game’s popularity by comparing its Twitch audience numbers with its previous numbers. Overwatch’s Twitch audience metrics certainly don’t paint a pretty picture.
The average Twitch audience for Overwatch has dropped significantly over the months. With a peak of over 47,000 viewers on the streaming platform in August 2019 during the Overwatch League, the number of viewers was around 20,000 in January 2021. Overwatch is dying on Twitch due to a lack of content and new agents to shake things up.
When is Overwatch 2 coming out?
While Overwatch may not be as popular as it was back in 2016, fans are still enjoying the game’s updates and seasonal events. But what might be keeping loyal fans from jumping to other titles after all these years is the promise of Overwatch 2 coming out soon.
Fans are expecting the new title to come out at some point in 2021. It’s rumored that Blizzard will announce the official Overwatch 2 release date in February. Overwatch 2 will bring new heroes and maps to the mix, as well as new game modes. Story missions will give casual players some entertainment while learning more about the backstory of the Overwatch universe, while esports fans can’t wait to watch pros play the new competitive Push mode.
Developers have already noted that there will be no loot boxes in Overwatch 2. The promise of new heroes, new cosmetics, and new game modes is enough to keep fans anxious for its release.
How many people are playing Overwatch?
Activision Blizzard revealed in a November 2020 report that they still had 10 million monthly players in Overwatch. That’s not too bad considering the game was almost five years old by that point. One year after Overwatch came out, the game boasted 35 million players. It grew to 50 million the following year. Now, that number has fallen to around 10 million.
While such games as Valorant and Call of Duty: Warzone might have slowed Overwatch’s momentum, the game is still far from dead with its 10 million active players still showing up each month. Though Overwatch is now sharing its players with these newer titles, Activision Blizzard doesn’t seem too worried about the game’s success. At least, not publicly.
Will Overwatch 2 Save The Game?
One of the biggest contributors to Overwatch dying in 2021 is the lack of content. Since the announcement of Overwatch 2, the original title has been ignored. Blizzard entertainment has completely halted the release of new heroes and maps. During its initial years, players used to get three heroes and maps a year which kept the game feeling fresh.
The upcoming sequel to the game was delayed which means that players are now waiting even longer to get access to new heroes, maps, and game modes. While it is unknown if Overwatch 2 will save the franchise, fans of the franchise will likely come back to the game to give it a go as the sequel’s PVP will be free for all existing Overwatch owners.
Is overwatch still being updated?
Overwatch gets fairly regular updates, but the last major content drop came in 2020. It’s been a year since a new hero – Echo – was added into the game, and most fans attributed this dry spell to Overwatch 2’s impending release. But now that Overwatch 2 isn’t coming out anytime soon, the original game needs a new hero to keep current players interested.
Of course, Overwatch still gets a few updates in the form of seasonal events. The 2021 Lunar New Year event is going on right now, in fact. But that isn’t enough to keep players in the game, and it’s also probably not enough to incentivize new players to try it out, either.
This is why Overwatch needs some kind of content update immediately – either in the form of new maps or new heroes.
It could even be a good idea to introduce some of Overwatch 2’s heroes into the game since the sequel will transfer data from the original. That way, fans still feel like they’re getting something and it keeps the momentum building for Overwatch 2.
For now, it’s unclear when exactly Blizzard plans to release Overwatch 2, although it will be at least 2022 before the game comes out. More news regarding the game should appear at BlizzCon 2021, so fans shouldn’t have to wait too much longer to hear some kind of update.
In the meantime, the original Overwatch could really use a new content update to keep current and prospective players interested.
How many people are watching Overwatch?
Overwatch has had a similar pattern with their viewership on Twitch. The year Overwatch launched, TwitchCon 2016 announced it was Twitch’s most popular game. As the novelty wore off, Overwatch was knocked down to the 30th spot with an average of 15,600 viewers by November 2020.
TwitchTracker reported that Overwatch is the 27th most-watched game on Twitch out of the 500 they track thanks to its 2.63 million viewing hours. Overwatch has maintained some popularity on Twitch and beyond due to the Overwatch League, as many esports fans enjoy watching the pros compete in top-level matches throughout the year. About 1.55 million total viewers watched the 2020 Overwatch League Grand Finals.
Popular content creators have also helped keep Overwatch popular on Twitch. In October 2020 there were 2,500 concurrent streams of Overwatch, the year’s peak. This is a similar figure to when the game came out in 2016, showing that Overwatch remains popular with streamers.
Conclusion: Overwatch Patch Notes
Although Overwatch 2 was expected by some to release in 2021, Activision Blizzard has confirmed the game won’t be coming out this year.
That means it will be at least 2022 before the “hero shooter” sequel releases – and that creates quite a few problems for the original Overwatch, which is in desperate need of a content update.
News regarding Overwatch 2 is expected for BlizzCon in 2021, although developers stated the game wouldn’t release for some time. Now, it’s been confirmed Overwatch 2 won’t release this year, which is disappointing a lot of fans. It’s also why Overwatch needs an update now – in order to hold fans over until Overwatch 2 comes out.
For now, there’s no end in sight for Overwatch 2’s development. The game was announced at BlizzCon in 2019, but additional details have been pretty scarce. Outside of a new confirmed hero named Sojourn and cosmetic changes for existent heroes, not a whole lot has been shared.
This marks the two-year anniversary of the game’s announcement, and all indications point toward slow development and far-off release date. Because of this, the number of players in Overwatch may drastically decrease – especially if a new update doesn’t arrive anytime soon.
Overwatch Patch Notes Surprise Nerfs For Moira And Echo