Lost to some degree in the excitement surrounding Doomfist’s release in Overwatch yesterday was a change to respawn timers. The patch notes mention the adjustment, but the exact phrasing left something to be desired, as players were left with no real idea of what was now different.
“Adjusted the respawn timing to limit defensive stalling strategies when the offensive team has a clear advantage and plays aggressively,” the patch notes proclaimed while offering no further insight into what this means. This prompted calls for an explanation, which Blizzard has now provided on its official forums.
“There was an existing system that slowly increased the defender respawn time in the case where there are more attackers than defenders on an objective for 30 seconds,” principal designer Scott Mercer wrote. “The defender respawn time then increased in a linear fashion up to a maximum when the attackers held an advantage for 90 seconds.”
The change in this patch causes the defender respawn times to increase after only 15 seconds of “attacker advantage.” Additionally, the maximum possible increase is now reached after 75 seconds.
Mercer added that temporarily surrendering the objective doesn’t reset this timer. The timer instead begins counting backwards to 0.
“Example: If attackers have an advantage for 10 seconds, then defenders regain it for 5 seconds, the ‘attacker advantage timer’ is now at 5 seconds,” he explained. “If the attackers then get a few kills to regain advantage then after 10 more seconds the ‘attacker advantage timer’ reaches 15 seconds and defender respawn time begins to slowly increase.
“The end result is that stalling tactics involving defenders trickling in one at a time into the waiting weaponry of an entire enemy team on the objective should be less effective than before.”
While Doomfist was the clear highlight of the patch, there were a number of notable changes and additions as well. Loot Boxes should now provide you with fewer duplicates (but the same amount of–or more–credits), and the Highlights system has been revamped. There are also character balance changes, such as an increase to Reinhardt’s swing speed and Zarya’s Ultimate now disabling enemy movement abilities.