Next to the upcoming launch of Overwatch‘s new snipey-snipey medic, Blizzard is also prepping a new update for the game that, in between a heap of other things, fixes a lot of balance issues with some of its cast. Currently available via the opt-in Public Test Region on PC, the patch makes substantial adjustments to D.Va, Mercy, and Zenyatta in response to the studio’s ongoing analysis of player selection and character performance. THEY’RE ALWAYS WATCHING. MAKING NOTES. LEARNING. And laughing at me, I bet. I’m horrible with Roadhog. Horrible. Now I can blame existential anxiety.
The extensive patch notes explain the changes:
D.Va isn’t being selected as often as our other tanks, and we feel a lot of that stems from the underperformance of her damage absorption abilities. So, we’ve reconfigured her Defensive Matrix, making it more flexible and giving players the ability to use it more often. We’ve also given Self-Destruct a little more oomph, because it felt slightly underwhelming when compared to many of Overwatch‘s other ultimate abilities.
Mercy’s ultimate is one of the most powerful abilities in the game; however, players would often fly into the fray and die while using it. With this update, Resurrect will now take a bit longer to charge, but Mercy will be a lot safer when activating the ability in the middle of combat. In addition, we always intended Mercy’s Damage Boost beam to be her primary method for dealing damage, but it often felt so weak that you were better off pulling out your blaster. To help address this, we’ve slightly increased its potency.
While Zenyatta has never had the healing abilities of Lúcio or Mercy, he made up for it by dealing more damage. However, his lack of mobility and low health has meant he’s struggled to find a place in many games. To increase his effectiveness, we’ve made several changes, the biggest of which is an increased shield pool. This will allow him to go head-to-head with more enemies. The Orb of Harmony and Discord changes are also a quality of life change, helping Zenyatta move his orbs around and apply their effects more quickly. And lastly, we’ve increased Transcendence’s healing throughput. This ultimate was designed to be the most effective against sustained, high-damage fire and least effective against short, high-damage bursts (like D.Va’s or Junkrat’s ultimates). But, due to the amount of healing it provided, there were times when it was possible for even sustained fire to overcome Transcendence’s output. We’ve made the heal powerful and also allowed Zenyatta to move around more quickly while it’s active.
The modifications to Zenyatta are particularly intriguing – he’s actually a decently competent semi-offensive character if you can hover around the corners of hot zones, but his dismal number of hit points has previously made him much too squishy for any real sustained support. It’s a shame they’ve only upped his speed while Transcendence is active, though, because I think he’s probably a bit too slow in general. Maybe next time.