Blizzard Entertainment has released it’s newest IP, Overwatch, more than a month ago, with Competitive Play being turned on recently. While many developers don’t put much thought into listening to players’ concerns, demands, and wishes, Blizzard, with Jeff Kaplan at the helm as Game Director, seems to be headed in a different direction.
Starting with making a widely requested McRee nerf happen and a complete overhaul of the Competitive Play model from what it was in Beta, the developers of Overwatch seem to pay attention to their player base. This is proving to hold true to the present. Many Overwatch fans and pros alike expressed concerns about non-existent hero limits screwing over the game, as well as weakness of champions like D.Va and Zenyatta. Well, Blizzard listened.
While having multiples of the same hero is fun and cool in theory, this becomes cumbersome in Competitive Play, due to players taking the game more seriously, which leads to them figuring out and using the most efficient strategies. Often, This means stacking multiples of the same OP champion, turning the game into a contest between two teams playing multiples of the same champion, which isn’t very interesting to watch or participate in. Furthermore, it also goes against Blizzard’s stated goal of encouraging in-game hero switching when the situation demands it. When an overwhelmingly OP team comp exists, you can try to hard counter it, which can be difficult with only 21 heroes (soon to be 22) in the game, play it yourself, or roll over and die.
There are changes on the PTR, which will make it so that you can only play 1 of the same hero on your team, which will stop double Lucio, double Winston, and similar shenanigans. Hopefully, we will see some more interesting team comps in the future, with more heroes being played in the highest levels of Overwatch Competitive. For the hellspawn who love to stack Bastion, Torbjorn, or similar shenanigans in Quick Play, take a chill pill, these changes will only affect Competitive Play.
Also, Blizzard are putting forward some changes to a couple of the most underwhelming Overwatch heroes, D.Va and Zenyatta. Starting with the gamer girl, Blizzard felt that D.Va’s defensive ability was too weak, stemming from the long cooldown of Defense Matrix. The ability is being overworked. It will be bound to Right Mouse Button, similar to Reinhardt’s Barrier. It will have a charge, which will take 10 seconds to fill up from empty. From full, you will be able to hold Defense Matrix as long as your Mouse Button is pressed, with the maximum duration of 4 seconds. When you empty it out, it will take 10 seconds to recharge. Now, you will be able to use the ability whenever you actually need it. Also, Blizzard felt that D.Va’s Ultimate was a little bit underwhelming. To fix that, they decreased it’s cost by 15%, while also reducing the explosion delay from 4 to 3 seconds, and protecting you from its damage.
The second biggest adjustment on the PTR is to Zenyatta. It was always the case that Zenyatta would be an aggressive secondary healer, who trades off healing for more damage. The problem was that the Omnic Buddha was also quite slow and lacked any movement/survivability abilities except for its Ultimate. As a result, most heroes could kill it with a flick of their finger. To fix it, Blizzard increased the size of Zenyatta’s shield from 100 to 150, in effect giving it 200 health instead of 150, like it was before. Also, developers decided to improve Zenyatta’s quality of life by making its Orbs move four times faster. Finally, the developers saw the problem with Zenyatta’s Ultimate healing getting overwhelmed by sustained damage, even though it wasn’t supposed to happen, as it’s positioned to be a great tool to help your team survive sustained damage. To help it along, Transcendence will now heal for 300 health per second instead of 200. This doesn’t stop the whole team getting ripped apart by Rip Tire, for example. It’s intended. Zenyatta can’t heal through damage if it one shots you in one burst. Basically, the Omnic Monk with Ult up works the same as the HPS Monk in Diablo a couple of seasons ago.
While there are more changes on the PTR, the ones discussed in this article were the most exciting. To see everything that’s getting changed, head over to the official website by clicking this LINK.