Overwatch update: Early patch notes news for Winter Wonderland event 2019

Today will see the launch of a new Overwatch update which will include the Winter Wonderland event for 2019.

So fans already know a fair bit about today’s patch and what will be included in the official notes.

But there will also be new changes that have been tested out by Blizzard over the past month.

Game Director Jeff Kaplan confirmed as much earlier in December, dispelling rumours that there would be no major update this month.

“We’ve been seeing quite a bit of misinformation being spread about our December patch (1.43),” Kaplan told fans on the Overwatch forums.

“The patch is scheduled to go live next week. Short of some unforeseen circumstance causing a delay, we’re expecting to go live with the patch next week.

“I’m guessing everyone is as excited as we are for the changes to go live as soon as possible along with Winter Wonderland.”

And away from the usual Winter Wonderland modes and skins being added to the game, Blizzard has been busy testing out new stuff.

The PTR is where the Overwatch devs put their latest builds for testing, and fans have been busy trying out new features.

This includes a “While You Wait” option, making it possible to choose from a number of activities before loading into a game. Instead of being dropped into a random skirmish, gamers will be able to choose from:

  • Practice Range – Now available to be entered as a group
  • Skirmish – Spar freely with other players without keeping track of score
  • Deathmatch – Compete for the top place on the scoreboard
  • Custom Game – Pick a custom game from the Custom Game Browser or create your own game mode

A number of workshop updates have also been tested, while Blizzard is also looking to rebalance gameplay. This includes removing some of the barrier grind currently dominating the game on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

A message from Blizzard explains: “The above changes to armour, Orisa, Sigma, and Reinhardt are aimed at decreasing the overall amount time players spend damaging barriers while improving the individual heroes in other areas.

“This is a significant change to the pace of the game and we’ll be monitoring these heroes closely to ensure they retain impactful gameplay in the tank role.

Adding: “With role locks in place there is some room to improve D.Va’s impact as a tank, so we’re partially reverting a previous change which increased Defense Matrix’s cooldown.”

There’s a bunch of new Hero tweaks in the latest PTR build as well but it should be noted that not all will make it into the final version.


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We won’t know exactly what has made the cut until Blizzard shares the official patch notes. This is expected to happen at around 7pm, GMT, or after the new Overwatch for the Winter Wonderland event has gone live.

Early PTR Patch Notes shared by Blizzard can be found below:


Coming with this patch, we will be removing the current “Skirmish” feature that allowed you to spar while waiting to start a game and replacing it with a brand new option called “While You Wait”.

All “While You Wait” game modes are optional and can be accessed by a single player or as a group, but only the group leader can decide which mode to pick.


  • Custom Games – Practice Range Mode
  • New Workshop Values
    • Game Mode
    • Current Game Mode
  • New Workshop setting
    • “Allow players who are matchmaking”: allows players who are matchmaking to participate in the Custom Game created



    • Color Blind Mode – Fixed an issue which caused models affected by infra-sight to appear washed out when using colors other than red
    • Workshop – Fixed an issue causing map names and dropdowns from being displayed in the incorrect case
    • Workshop – Fixed an issue preventing D.Va from being detected in Player Died events
    • Custom Games – Renamed Assault/Escort to Hybrid
    • Fixed a bug that could cause heroes with regenerating health/shields to not take full damage when damaged while at full health
    • Various hero abilities (e.g. Symmetra’s Turrets, Roadhog’s Hook, Sigma’s Accretion, Orisa’s Halt, etc) will now respect the collision boxes on vending machines and other such props
    • Fixed a bug that caused High Precision Mouse Input to cause toggle crouch to behave inconsistently


    • Black Forest (1v1) – Fixed a bug that allowed Reaper to Shadow Step through the breakable doors



    • Armor damage reduction increased from 3 to 5



    • Base armor increased from 200 to 250

    Fusion Driver

    • Movement speed penalty reduced from 30% to 20%

    Protective Barrier

    • Health reduced from 900 to 600


    • Cooldown decreased from 10 seconds to 8 seconds


    Experimental Barrier

    • Health reduced from 1500 to 900
    • Barrier health regeneration rate reduced from 150 to 120 health per second

    Kinetic Grasp

    • Cooldown reduced from 13 seconds to 10 seconds
    • Damage-to-shield gain ratio increased from 40% to 60%

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