Relentlessly teased over the summer by Blizzard, Overwatch's first post-launch hero, Ana, has finally gone live in a patch on Tuesday. Her kit is a balance of offense and support abilities. Rated a highly difficult champion to play, she carries a Biotic Rifle and can snipe enemies with it for damage or target allies to heal them. Yes, grandma shoots health into you from long range while you're out there doing foolish things you ought not to be doing. Someone on the dev team has a sense of humor.
She has a host of other abilities to keep you misbehaving kids from getting out of hand. First up is a short range Sleep Dart good for a quick getaway or to interrupt an enemy ultimate. And we all know how much we hate getting our ultimates interrupted.
Next is a Biotic Grenade that can deal damage or heal in its short range area of effect. It also increases all healing for a short duration on allies it affects. It's like she's throwing bombs made of chicken soup. Unless you're the enemy. Then you're getting a rolling pin to the back of the head.
Finally, her ultimate Nano Boost, is a buff she can put on an an ally that can increase movement speed and damage output while suppressing damage taken. You just know she's saying "There, there, honey, take your medicine, and make nana happy. And don't come back until everyone's dead." That's one scary grandma.
D.Va and Zenyatta buffs
D.Va has fallen to the bottom of the tank pack behind Zarya, Winston, Roadhog, and top pick Reinhardt. Blizzard is giving her some love in this patch by allowing players to use her Defense Matrix shielding more often and making her Self-Destruct ultimate more powerful. This will likely help make her more playable, but it's going to take more than that topple Reinhardt who's the king of the hill when it comes to tanks with this movable shield and knockback hammer.
Zenyatta has trailed in the Support field since he got hit hard with nerfs in late beta and has never quite recovered especially in a field dominated with such strong contenders like Mercy and Lucio (and now Grandma Heal Sniper.) To make up for it, his personal shielding has been increased so he can survive longer when he uses his offensive abilities and his ultimate received increased healing and mobility. This still leaves him as a secondary healer in terms of healing output especially with the introduction of Ana, so we'll see how this pans out for the omnic.
Competitive Play one hero rule
The last major feature of this patch is the new one hero rule for Competitive Play. Until now, players could stack two or more of the same hero on their team in Competitive Play and it made for some unbeatable team comps (i.e. the 2/2/2 Winston/Tracer/Lucio teams.) While the devs were good with this for Quick Play, they want something more balanced for the ranked Competitive mode and are instituting a one hero rule per team for it. If you want to play crazy all-Bastion team comps where you can destroy the enemy team before they can even leave their base, you can still do that in Quick Play.
What's next for Overwatch? Game Director Jeff Kaplan talks about upcoming plans for new heroes and maps.