Overwatch Nerfs 3 Heroes With Experimental Patch and Meets Criticism

Overwatch experimental mode patch
Quite experimental (Credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

What's going on there, Blizzard? With a new Overwatch patch, the developers are changing four Heroes, three of which are getting a nerf. They are asking for feedback from the fans, but the latter are not exactly thrilled. Ashe, Sigma, and Wrecking Ball are still not properly balanced, and the changes do not seem to help much.

The year isn't off to a great start for these Overwatch heroes. With a patch meant to improve hero balance, three Heroes are getting toned down. Only Hanzo gets a buff. Fan feedback is very mixed, but let's take a look at the changes first.

Overwatch Ashe
Ashe is one of the Heroes that will be toned down with the patch (Credit: Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Ashe: Since Ashe was quite capable of taking down Heroes with 200 HP with just one headshot due to her 30% damage boost with The Viper, this ability has been toned down. The damage was reduced from 80 to 75 and the recovery time was reduced from 0.7 to 0.65 seconds. This is to prevent Ashe from becoming too dominant in the game.
  • Hanzo: His Storm Arrows have been buffed and now have reduced recovery time. With the reduction from 0.3 seconds to 0.25 seconds, he can effectively shoot 5 more arrows.
  • Sigma: To create more opportunities to counter Sigma, the cooldown of his barrier has been greatly increased. The redeploy cooldown has been increased from 1 second to 2.5 seconds.
  • Wrecking Ball: This Hero also has to make sacrifices to its shield ability. The little hamster now only generates 75 shields per target with Adaptive Shield instead of the previous 100 shield points. The base shield, however, is not changed.

Feedback From the Fans

The feedback in the official forum is, as mentioned, not exactly enthusiastic. One user writes about the Sigma nerf that it's "huge" and adds a "yikes" after it. Understandable. Others think that the wrong points have been addressed. Instead of his shields, Wrecking Ball's movement speed should be adjusted, and Hanzo should get a completely different ability than his Storm Arrows. Also interesting is this suggestion:

"You know you don’t have to nerf certain heroes if you just buff heroes that can compete with those tough heroes right?" (Brutalistica)

Apparently, there is still a lot to do before Overwatch really gets its heroes balanced. That's a shame because, without balance, there's no fun to be had. Patches are a good start, but they need to address the right issues. Fortunately, these updates are part of the Experimental Mode, so they are not set in stone. There's still a lot that can be done, and feedback from fans is especially useful when trying to improve the state of the game. We remain curious about what else is coming!

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Original article by EarlyGame's Laura Pippig.