Blizzard has been quick to make some changes to the Sombra character in Overwatch. Players have reported several problems with the sounds of Sombra triggering some pre-existing medical conditions. These sounds effects have mostly effected those with misophonia, autism, tinnitus, and anxiety.
Overwatch Audio Director Scott Lawlor released the following statement..
“We are always really happy to hear sound feedback, even in the cases where things aren’t working so well. Please keep it coming. So there were two issues with Sombra’s sounds that you brought to our attention:
1) Hack/EMP State Effect – this is the muffling effect that happens alongside the hack sound. We were thinking a bit about this, and it occurred to us that maybe the effect wasn’t too strong, but feeling that the effect isn’t wearing off caused it to feel a bit stressful. We’ve decided to still have the muffle hit equally as hard for the first 1-2 seconds, but slowly wear off over the 6 second duration of the ability. This does a couple things, it will hopefully still give the same information to the player that they are silenced, and it will also communicate the duration of the Hack. The feeling that the effect is wearing off will hopefully alleviate any discomfort some of our players are feeling. I personally really like this solution, and I think the ability sounds better this way.
2) SMG Sound Effects – This is tricky problem for us to solve because we don’t have the same reaction to the sound as those who are affected by it. We also don’t want to alter the sound too much for those who like it as is! We have decided to make a couple subtle changes to the sound. We have lowered the volume just a touch, and also added an equalizer that reduced the frequency (4600Hz) where we saw a slight bump in an analyzer. I hope this helps!”