The latest nerfs target some of the most challenging Overwatch 2 heroes to play against in Season 2.
Just like in every competitive shooter, deciding which heroes to rebalance and which to leave the same feels like a game of whack-a-mole. You have to consider how even the most subtle nerf can affect the overall gameplay. Aaron Keller, Overwatch 2's design lead, expressed the difficulties surrounding this process in a recent interview with NME.com. Given the special care that they take with every balance patch, this one feels like a step in the right direction.
Numerous hero bugs are also getting patched out of the game. Most of these are only related to cosmetic items and emotes, meaning that the gameplay of Overwatch 2 is functioning well so far into the season.
Check out the January 24, 2023 live patch notes here.
- Health bonus reduced from 125 to 75
- Impact damage reduced from 30 to 5
- The enemy final position distance from Roadhog after being pulled increased from 3 to 4 meters
- Damage per pellet reduced from 6.6 to 6
- Recovery time reduced from 0.85 to 0.8 seconds
- Reload time reduced from 2 to 1.75 seconds
- Maximum ammo increased from 5 to 6
- Energy gain is no longer based on damage done by primary fire. Each primary fire hit against an enemy player now grants 5 energy
- Primary fire damage per projectile reduced from 10 to 9
- Recovery time increased from 0.85 to 1 second
- Fixed an issue with the "Winged Sandals' weapon charm's 'How to Unlock' text
- Adjusted footstep audio mixing to make enemy footsteps more audible.
- Fixed an issue with Lucio's Hermes skin exhibiting incorrect physics
- Fixed an issue with Reinhardt's Hammer appearing deformed during the Sweethardt emote
- Fixed an issue where Sojourn's Cyber Detective Skin would fail to load
- Fixed an issue with Adaptive Shield where it could be incorrectly applied before the cooldown was complete
Right at the forefront, we're finally seeing substantial nerfs to Roadhog and Sojourn's kits. If you've followed the meta (or any message board since October 6, 2022), you'd be aware of how Railgun and Roadhog's one-shot combo have been a huge pain for most players.
They just aren't fun to play against, plain and simple. Often, players get forced to switch out of their preferred hero just to make sure a nano'd Sojourn doesn't wipe the team. Following their promise to constantly push out updates for Blizzard's shooter sequel, the devs have finally answered our prayers.
We also got a nerf to Orisa's healthpool, which is a nice addition. Ever since Blizzard announce that players would only have 1 tank per team, they've felt like raid bosses that takes an unfair amount of attention in order to eliminate. Even Orisa, being one of the most all-around and balanced heroes wasn't spared from this consequence. From first impressions, it looks like this nerf aims to move players away from self-sufficient playstyles to increase their dependence on their team for tighter macroplay.
Amidst huge power-downs, Kiriko received a relatively small one for her Healing Ofuda. The developers wanted to give players a second to dedicate to her secondary fire, and so increased the time in between heals. This feels like an obvious deviation from Kiriko's main purpose in-game, but an interesting one nonetheless.
As the fanbase has seen so far, balance work is either a swing or a miss. Players can receive changes, but they aren't guaranteed to solve the issue at hand. Similarly, game designers can even work on a completely different hero to cancel out problematic ones. Again, it's a weird, never-ending game of whack-a-mole with a huge audience full of hecklers. But you have to appreciate the effort when they put their minds towards nerfing a character so hard into the ground that even Mercy's damage buff couldn't do anything to compensate. So long, Roadhog one-shots!
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