Given the complex gameplay of Overwatch 2 and the ever-growing list of playable heroes the title boasts, it’s no wonder that nerfs and buffs to characters are a common occurrence. Especially considering the new combat roles that all heroes now play with the more intimate smaller team play of the new title, it’s not surprising that many heroes have already received some extensive balancing changes.
Usually these are adjustments to the heroes in the Overwatch 2 fueled by a split opinion of the game’s player base, with certain heroes identified by the community as desperately demanding changes thanks to their viability in the game. With this in mind, it’s surprising that Blizzard is apparently set to nerf the tank hero Roadhog, with these planned changes undoubtedly having their fair share of benefits as well as drawbacks.
The benefits of Nerfing Overwatch 2’s Roadhog
Roadhog is a long-standing tank hero in Overwatch franchise, with the character originally announced alongside damage hero Junkrat in 2015. As a tank, Roadhog can be said to play a less traditional role, offering little in the way of protecting teammates in favor of being able to deal massive amounts of offensive damage.
This playstyle has always characterized Roadhog, with the main ethos behind the character drawing enemies in with a throwable chain hook, which then opens them up to devastating close-range damage. This offensive output is made even bolder by the fact that Roadhog can heal himself quite significantly via one of his abilities, allowing for more bombastic play and less reliance on support class healing.
Many classes Roadhog overpowered because of this, with many heroes lacking the mobility or health to escape his deadly hook combo. A nerf to Roadhog’s healing ability would be beneficial by ensuring that a Roadhog must be accompanied by a dedicated healer when playing offensive plays, opening up other members of his team for less support. On the other hand, increasing the cooldown for Roadhog’s hook ability would make the character much more legible to opponents, with a failed hook attempt leaving a Roadhog open to more melee attacks for a longer period of time.
The Cons of Nerfing Overwatch 2’s Roadhog
While Roadhog can be an overwhelmed tank when unmarked, it remains that there are several characters that can counter the hero to great effect. Support hero Ana, for example, has a perfect kit to counter Roadhog, to be able to prevent the tank from healing with her biotic grenade and to temporarily put the tank to sleep in dangerous situations with her sleep arrow ability.
In addition to this, fast moving DPS characters like Tracer and Sombra are already perfect for escaping Roadhog’s grasp, and Sombra can even prevent the tank from hooking or healing with her hack ability. Given how most heroes in Overwatch 2 requires some opposing team selection to be countered properly, Roadhog already has a selection of heroes that significantly hampers his combat effectiveness.
A nerf will only further increase the effectiveness of these counters, while making Roadhog even less viable when fighting most other heroes. Given how Roadhog already has the inherent disadvantage of not having a shield or a high defensive effect, a nerf could easily tip the hero into a very underpowered state. While a case can be made for slightly reducing Roadhog’s offensive output, a significant nerf or rework to the character can have massive implications that severely reduce the hero’s in-game viability.
Overwatch 2 is now available on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X.
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