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McCree and Widowmaker hit with the nerfhammer

June 16, 2016 - News

Since the release of Overwatch, 10 million people started playing the game. One of the most often heard comments from everyone who played the game for a respectable amount of time was that McCree is too strong. The other big problem with not too much outplay opportunity, was a skilled Widowmaker. I’m happy to announce that Blizzard patched their newest IP, attempting to curb some of the overpowered features of both champions. Hopefully, they didn’t overdo it.

McCree

First let’s talk about McCree. This cowboy had a pick rate of more than 100% in most Competitive matches, meaning that pros picked not one, but two McCrees every game. With his Flashbang -> Fan of the Hammer -> Combat Roll -> Fan of the Hammer combo, he was able to 1v1 tanks with ease, provided he got one or two headshots in the process. That obviously shouldn’t happen, as McCree was better at tank killing than Reape, who’s whole kit revolves around it. When this hero is able to kill tanks without much trouble, squishies don’t really have a chance at all, which is obviously wrong. With that in mind, any attempt to balance McCree is welcome, as long as Blizzard doesn’t nerf him to oblivion, making him completely suboptimal.

According to Blizzard’s patch notes, bullet damage will be decreased from 70 to 45 damage while using McCree’s alternate attack, which empties your barrel into the enemy in fast succession. Assuming you have full ammo, you would have done 420 (blaze it) damage before, while now, it will be capped at 270, which, while enough to kill squishies, won’t shred through the health of a tank anymore.

Also, recovery time (i.e. the amount of time before McCree starts reloading) was decreased from 0.75 seconds back to 0.3, reverting a beta nerf, which was aimed at controlling McCree’s close range domination. It’s good to know that Blizzard isn’t above reverting changes that were made earlier when they don’t work and/or aren’t needed anymore, as is the case now.

After reducing the damage you deal after unloading your bullets into an enemy with Fan the Hammer, McCree should be balanced. Very strong, but balanced. It’s likely that it will still get picked in high level matches, only not in such overwhelming numbers. Also, pro players will probably try and take advantage of the precise, powerful, and instantaneous primary attack to headshot people in medium to long range instead of just spamming Fan the Hammer like candy.

Widowmaker

In CS:GO, the AWP is one of the most powerful weapons in the game, balanced only by its low rate of fire, forbidding cost, and the slower movement speed while carrying it. In Overwatch, the hero with the most similarities to an AWPer is Widowmaker. Different from the CS:GO role, Widowmaker doesn’t need to buy her weapon, while also having very good mobility due to her Grappling Hook. Also, Widowmaker’s bodyshots dealt almost fatal damage to squishy offensive characters, while killing supports, especially Zenyatta. The huge bodyshot damage almost removed the need to carefully aim for your opponents head, making it too easy to kill enemies in pro play, with the generally great aim showed by the players. If that wasn’t enough, Widowmaker’s ultimate gave her a wallhack, allowing to pre-shoot with perfect information, while making her impossible to flank. Finally, great Widowmaker players were able to abuse quick-scoping too.

To address these issues, Blizzard nerfed Widowmaker’s Scoped Shot by decreasing its base damage from 15 to 12, making it deal 120 damage to the body, while it dealt 150 before. To make up for it a little bit and encourage headshotting, Blizzard also brought up Widowmaker’s headshot damage multiplier from x2 to x2.5, making it so that a fully charged headshot would still deal 300 damage.

Also, to bring quickscoping to heel a little bit, you will now have to wait for the unscoping animation to finish before you will be able to scope again. No more enjoying both the normal field of view and increased damage and zoom of scoped view in quick succession. Hopefully. The last nerf was aimed at bringing Widowmaker’s inbuilt wallhack to heel. Now, her Ultimate cost will be increased by 10 percent to reduce the amount of time she can have it active, providing a bigger window to deal with her and her team, without your every move being seen by the enemies.