‘Overwatch 2’ Nerfs for Sombra, Genji, Zarya, D.Va and Kiriko Revealed
Incredibly, we’re almost halfway through season 1 Overwatch 2 already. It’s been quite a launch month, for better or for worse. The game is in a more stable shape for the most part (although I’ve had some ridiculous lag on PC this week), and Team 4 has taken stock of all the heroes to see where any changes are needed.
In a post on the game’s forums, community manager Andy Belford posted some upcoming balance changes for Sombra, Genji, Zarya, D.Va, and Kiriko. These heroes are described as “standouts” and the tweaks are designed to bring them “more in line with the rest of the roster.” In other words, they all become nerves.
Let’s break down what’s changing:
- Hack ability lock duration reduced from 1.75 to 1.5 seconds
- Hacked enemies are no longer valid targets for hacking for the duration of the effect
- Hacked damage multiplier reduced from 40% to 25%
Sombra received some major damage buffs with the intention of balancing out her broader rework with the fact that hacked targets have a shorter ability block duration. Currently, they can reuse their abilities 1.75 seconds after being hacked instead of having to wait for the Hack status to end. However, Blizzard (and many players) found that it was still too easy for a Sombra to sneak into the backline and wipe out the supports. These tweaks should give hacked targets a better fighting chance.
The fact that Sombra can no longer stack hacks on the same enemy is definitely welcome, especially given the fact that she can remain in stealth mode while hacking. “This is essentially a per-target cooldown that allows Hack to retain his current four-second cooldown for potentially hacking multiple targets,” reads the developer comments.
- Maximum ammo reduced from 30 to 24
- Shuriken damage reduced from 29 to 27
Yes, it’s a nerf. Blizzard says Genji wasn’t really in the meta before the game launched, so he hasn’t been retuned for 5v5 until now. “We also saw that in early beta tests, other flanking heroes like Tracer and Reaper were also significantly more effective in OW2,“, read the developer comments. “These changes will bring Genji more in line with the other flanking damage heroes.”
- Barrier duration reduced from 2.5 to 2 seconds
- Barrier cooldown increased from 10 to 11 seconds
Zarya will soon actually become deadly in Total Mayhem. These are much needed changes because despite concerns (including from me) that changing how her bubbles work would make her weaker in Overwatch 2she has become very effective as a solo tank thanks to her barriers and high damage output.
“For opponents, feedback has indicated that this can feel like Zarya has very limited windows of vulnerability, which feels difficult to handle when combined with her rampant damage potential,” Blizzard said. “These changes will reduce the barrier’s uptime, making it a bit harder for her to gain energy and will give enemies more time to deal damage to her.”
- Fusion Cannon spread increased from 3.5 to 3.75
- Booster’s impact damage reduced from 25 to 15
These are small adjustments to balance her. Here are the developer comments for these updates: “D.va ended up feeling too lethal after the last round of changes given how resilient she can be with the improved Defense Matrix. Both our stats and feedback from high-level players considered her not effective enough before compared to other tanks, so this is a partial reversal to establish a middle ground there.”
- Swift Step’s invulnerability duration reduced from 0.4 to 0.25 seconds
The last hero that will be tweaked this time around is the brand new support. Kiriko is briefly invulnerable after she teleports through walls to stop her from dying instantly. However, the window “ended up being a bit too long and led to a bit of confusion when he was shooting at Kiriko.”
Blizzard plans to roll out these changes in a patch on November 15th. Excitingly, these balance changes will be in play for the Overwatch League playoffs, which kick off on Sunday.
Just a few weeks after these tweaks went live, there will be more balance changes kicking in at the start of Season 2. We’ll learn more details about them in the coming weeks along with, I suspect, a look at the new tank hero.
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