The developers of Overwatch have headed back to work after a short holiday break to bring balance to the game. By testing nerf on several of the most popular meta heroes in the Jan. 7 Experimental Card, they started the year off with a bang.
For the past month, Competitive Overwatch games have featured damage-heavy compositions, mostly led by tanks from Sigma and Wrecking Ball.
These two tanks have stood above the rest with high survivability and disruptive abilities as obvious choices for both ranked players and professional teams. For a more balanced experience, this week’s Experimental Card attempts to take both of them down several notches.
Damage dealer Ashe has also seen increased playing time along with Sigma and Wrecking Ball. Ashe can rain down damage and destroy enemies on the backline in the hands of a skilled player, particularly when damage-boosted by a Mercy player.
In this experimental run, the developers are also tackling snipers, adjusting down some of Ashe’s scoped-in hits and tuning up the efficacy of Hanzo in her place.
You can test these adjustments on the Experimental Card, which is located on the home screen of Overwatch. These changes are, as standard, purely experimental. In their present state, they are not guaranteed to go to the live servers and may be changed or discarded before implementation.
TANK in Overwatch
Cooldown for Experimental Barrier redeployment increased from one to 2.5 seconds
In ranked and professional games, players have been using Sigma’s myriad of obtrusive skills for weeks to cause chaos. This enormous experimental shift would change how Sigma players survive in a fight. Sigma players can redeploy the Experimental Barrier on the live Overwatch servers with abandon. This change would make them have to think about their placement of the shield more actively.
Adaptive Shield was reduced from 100 to 75 per target.
The main draw of Wrecking Ball is his ability to disrupt the enemy team by rolling in, causing a disturbance or getting a kill, then fleeing before the team notices. Based on how many enemies are around him, his Adaptive Shields add protection, motivating this kind of high-risk gameplay.
“On the Blizzard forums, community manager John Nash said, “The combination of [Wrecking Ball’s] high mobility and high shield abilities has made him a bit too slippery of a target. Wrecking Ball players will think more carefully about a wild trip into the enemy backline with this 25-percent reduction in shields.
Changes to Damage in Overwatch
The damage to the Viper Aim-down-sights decreased from 80 to 75. The recovery time for Aim-down-sights decreased from 0.7 to 0.65 seconds.
Ashe rose above the fray by remaining extremely dangerous in the hands of capable players, as other damage dealers obtained comprehensive nerves. According to the developers, her primary weapon, the Viper, has landed in a “slightly too powerful state when combined with damage boosts.”
Ashe users can take down a 200 health enemy with a single shot with a boost from Mercy or the use of Baptiste’s ultimate, Amplification Matrix.
Noticing this trend, when Ashe users are scoped in, referred to as “aim-down-sights” damage, the devs have reduced the single shot damage. Her recovery time will be reduced slightly to balance this, so that players can return to hip fire damage or throw Dynamite in a shorter amount of time.
The recovery time for Storm Arrow shots decreased from 0.3 to 0.25 seconds.
While he is no Ashe, over the past few months, Hanzo has also seen a slight uptick in playing time. This minor modification makes his Storm Arrow a little more dangerous, reducing the recovery time between the five shots of the ability.
This will allow Hanzo better equipped to take out a high-health target or to shred shields.
You can test these adjustments on the Experimental Card starting today. If these changes pass muster with developers, sometime next week, they will probably make it to the live servers.