Earlier this month, we heard that Blizzard wasn’t going to be making any major balance changes to Overwatch 2 until the launch of Season 2, despite some fairly major issues following the game’s move to 5v5. Well, it seems that’s changed. Today, Blizzard announced a number of key nerfs are coming for heroes like Genji, Sombra, D.va, Zarya, and Kiriko in mid-November. You can check out the changes coming, below.
- Hack ability lockout 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- Hacked enemies are no longer valid targets for hacking for the duration of the effect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%
- Dev Comment: With Sombra’s rework, she gained a lot more damage to help account for the reduced ability lockout duration of Hack. This has proven to be too deadly for a flanker with easy access to the enemy backlines. She can also no longer channel hack on an already hacked target as feedback indicated the reduced cooldown combined with hacking from stealth proved to be too frustrating for many players.
- Maximum ammo reduced from 30 to 24
- Shuriken damage reduced from 29 to 27
- Dev Comment: Genji is a Hero that has greatly benefited from the move to 5v5. Changing to a single Tank and the reduction of crowd control has meant Genji has had less obstacles in his way, however he hasn’t received tuning updates since he wasn’t actively in the meta until launch (something also informed by our general preference to avoid preemptive adjustments when possible). We also saw that, in early beta tests, other flanking Heroes such as Tracer and Reaper were also significantly more effective in OW2. 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
- Dev Comment: Early player sentiment predicted Zarya as one of the weakest solo tanks in 5v5 though her high damage potential and barrier uptime have proven to be extremely effective. For opponents, feedback has indicated this can feel as though Zarya has very limited windows of vulnerability, which feels difficult to deal with when combined with her ramping damage potential. These changes will reduce the barrier uptime, making it slightly more difficult for her to gain energy and will provide enemies with more time to deal damage to her.
- Fusion Cannon spread increased from 3.5 to 3.75
- Boosters impact damage reduced from 25 to 15
- Dev Comment: D.va ended up feeling too deadly after the last round of changes given how resilient she can be with the improved Defense Matrix. Both our stats and high-level player feedback regarded her as not effective enough before that compared with other tanks, so this is a partial revert to establish some middle ground there.
- Swift Step invulnerability duration reduced from 0.4 to 0.25 seconds
- Dev Comment: This invulnerability window is primarily intended to help avoid instantly dying to something unseen after teleporting through walls, but it ended up being a little too long and led to some confusion when shooting at Kiriko
Some interesting choices for nerfs here. While Genji nerfs have been a common request, players have also been complaining about new hero Sojourn, and she’s going unaddressed here. Also, hey, buffs are still things characters can get sometimes, right? Right?
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Overwatch 2 multiplayer is free-to-play on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and Switch. The above balance changes are expected to go live on November 15. Season 2 kicks off on December 6.