Overwatch's Winter Wonderland 2019 patch finally goes live - Dexerto

Overwatch’s Winter Wonderland 2019 patch finally goes live

Published: 10/Dec/2019 19:20 Updated: 10/Dec/2019 20:53

by Bill Cooney


 A new Overwatch patch containing changes to Orisa, Moira and more heroes has gone live in the main game, along with its 2019 Winter Wonderland event.

Winter Wonderland is Overwatch’s annual winter holiday event, and it brings new skins for Sigma, Soldier, Reaper, Mercy and others.

Blizzard EntertainmentSigma would look right at home in World of Warcraft with his Rime skin.

There’s also a new Arcade Mode for the event called “Snowball Deathmatch,” which is an eight-person, free-for-all brawl similar to Mei’s Snowball Offensive, where players can store up to three lethal snowballs in Mei’s blaster.

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Along with new skins and a new game mode for Winter Wonderland, the December 10 patch also contains significant changes to some of its heroes.


Blizzard EntertainmentSoldier 76’s Ugly Sweater skin might be the best Overwatch holiday skin yet.

Updates aplenty for Orisa

Orisa does see a nerf to her shield health from 900 to 600 in this patch, but her base armor is increased from 200 to 250, along with a reduced cooldown to her Fortify ability.

A general change across the board increases armor damage reduction from 3 to 5 for all heroes, but it makes the changes to Orisa that much more noticeable.

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Blizzard EntertainmentAlmost all of Orisa’s kit is getting changed in the patch.

The healing power of Moira’s Biotic Grasp is brought down from 80 HP/s to 65 HP/s, which will reduce her ability to put out as much healing as she did before.

Developers said Moira’s primary heal had been “too potent, largely due to its ability to heal multiple targets,” when talking about the changes in the PTR notes.


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D.va’s Defense Matrix also got a slight buff in this update, with a reduced cooldown from two seconds to 1.5 seconds.

More Matrix uptime is very good news for D.Va players, and could make her a more viable pick on offense and defense.

There are more updates to heroes than what we covered here, including changes to Reinhardt, Sigma, and Widowmaker, as well as buffs to Torbjörn, Genji, and Zarya.

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The full Overwatch retail patch notes for December 10 can be read below:


A new patch is now live on Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read below to learn more about the latest changes.



‘Tis the season to get merry!

Overwatch is getting into the holiday spirit for the next three weeks! Expand your collection and enjoy three winter brawls: Yeti Hunter, Mei’s Snowball Offensive, and the brand-new Snowball Deathmatch! Visit Blizzard World to watch the snow fall, admire its twinkling nighttime lights, and savor the sight of confectionary-inspired décor.

Of course, we have new presents for you to unwrap from our Winter Loot Boxes! Unlock new seasonal items—including legendary skins like Rime Sigma, Jötunn Doomfist, Rat King Reaper, and more. Overcome weekly challenges with wins in Quick Play, Competitive Play, or Arcade to earn a series of festive rewards. And don’t forget to collect three special Yule Log sprays just by logging in!


Learn more about Winter Wonderland here.


New Feature: “While You Wait”

In this patch, we’re replacing our “Skirmish” mode with a brand-new feature called “While You Wait!” Now you can choose between a variety of game modes to play while you queue for a match

When in queue, players will now be prompted to pick from the following game modes:

  • Practice Range – Practice your skills—solo or in a group—against training bots
  • Skirmish – Spar with other players without keeping score
  • Deathmatch – Compete for the top place on the scoreboard
  • Custom Game – Select a custom game from the Custom Game Browser or create your own. (If you want your custom game to be available for everyone to play, make sure to choose the setting: “Allow players who are matchmaking.”)

All While You Wait game modes are optional and can be accessed by a single player or as a group. Only your group leader can select the mode for their team.

Note: You don’t have to leave your queue after a match ends to play another While You Wait mode. In order to access the While You Wait menu, click on the game mode you’re queued for and choose a While You Wait option from there.



  • 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



  • Armor damage reduction increased from 3 to 5


  • Base armor increased from 200 to 250
  • Protective Barrier health reduced from 900 to 600
  • Fortify 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%


Barrier Field

  • Health reduced from 2000 to 1600
  • Movement speed penalty reduced from 50% to 30%

Steadfast passive knockback resistance increased from 30% to 50%

Developer Comment: The above changes to armor, 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.


Biotic Grasp healing reduced from 4 to 3.25 (80 HP/s to 65 HP/s)

Developer Comment: Moira’s primary heal has proven to be too potent, largely due to its ability to heal multiple targets.


Defense Matrix cooldown decreased from 2 seconds to 1.5 seconds

Developer Comment: 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.


Grappling Hook cooldown increased from 10 to 12 seconds

Developer Comment: With barriers having less uptime, Widowmaker will be even more effective at locking down long sight lines. This change weakens her mobility so she can still be reasonably countered.


Overload cooldown decreased from 12 to 10 seconds

Developer Comment: Torbjörn has difficulty in extended team fights once his turret is eliminated and Overload has been used. This change allows Torbjörn to be able to rely on his Overload more often.


Ammo increased from 24 to 30

Developer Comment: As average hero survivability has gone up over time, Genji can sometimes have difficulty finishing off his targets. Loosening his ammunition constraints will help give him a small boost.


Particle Cannon (Secondary Fire)

  • Explosion radius increased from 2 to 2.5 meters
  • Ammo cost decreased from 25 to 20

Developer Comment: Zarya’s overall damage output is in a good spot but the secondary fire was left feeling a little too weak after the last set of changes.



  • Fixed a bug that caused players spectating teammates during killcam to be unable to rotate the camera
  • Fixed a bug that caused the “Prepare Your Defenses” text to appear for the attacking team when a game starts in Mystery Heroes
  • Fixed a bug that could cause a client crash when attempting to spectate a friend at the start of a quickplay game
  • Fixed an issue where Max Health granted by heal-over-time abilities was being calculated incorrectly with Gravitic Flux
  • 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
  • Workshop – Toggling the custom game lobby hot key while viewing lobby settings should now properly close the screen
  • 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 Turrest, 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



  • The default circle is now hidden when using advanced reticle settings
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented the sound effect of Doomfist’s Rising Uppercut from playing
  • Fixed a bug where Seismic Slam could land on an enemy’s head while playing FFA modes


  • Fixed a bug where Junkrat grenades would not explode when slowly rolling down steep inclines


  • Fixed a bug that caused the audio visualization effect on Lucio’s glasses to disappear


  • Fixed an issue where Orisa’s halt projectile could sometimes appear to go through the ground when viewed in 3rd person


  • Fixed a bug allowing a player to swap heroes while using Shadowstep


  • Fixed a bug that prevented Roadhog’s hook from damaging turrets and barriers


  • Fixed a bug that caused Sigma’s primary fire not to function if he was hacked while deploying experimental barrier


  • Turning off the toggle zoom control option for Widowmaker while zoomed in no longer remains stuck in the zoomed state