Put Down the Pitchforks, Overwatch’s Shield-Breaking Patch 1.43 Launches Next Week

Overwatch players had to wait longer for the game’s next big patch, but that wait is almost over. According to Overwatch developer Jeff Kaplan, patch 1.43 will be coming out next week.

Kaplan’s announcement came in response to a brief fit of outrage on the Overwatch forums over a rumor that the next patch would be pushed back until mid-January. The talk set off a wave of angry threads in the forums from players who expected it on Dec. 3. Within a day of the rumor spreading, Kaplan set the record straight.

“We’ve been seeing quite a bit of misinformation being spread about our December patch (1.43).

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.”

The prospect of a delay for this particular patch was especially hard to swallow. The current live version of Overwatch heavily favors shield-based tanks, such as Orisa, Reinhardt, and Sigma, thanks to the relative strength of shields, something players believe hurts the pace of the game. The new patch will reduce shield health across the board, but give shield-based heroes corresponding buffs to defense in other areas to keep them viable.

Related: Jeff Kaplan Had To Convince Blizzard To Merge Overwatch 1 And 2 PvP

The changes to shields are a significant concern in patch 1.43, but it will also bring changes to other heroes. Moira has been another favorite in the current version of the game. Her healing ability will reduce, possibly to encourage the use of other heroes. One big reason she’s a favorite lately, though, is her ability to pierce shields with her Ultimate.

Additionally, D.Va, Widowmaker, Torbjorn, Genji, and Zarya will receive changes.

Patch 1.43 also introduces the “While Your Wait” feature to competitive mode, letting players queue for other matches during the extended downtime between competitive games.

Overwatch’s Winter Wonderland seasonal event is expected to start Dec. 10. The new patch will likely launch at the same time. If that’s still too long of a wait, you can preview patch 1.43 on the public test server now.