Overwatch may never achieve a perfect level of balance between its many different heroes. With 25 characters currently on the roster and promises of more on the way, there’s simply too many for the game to reach any real feeling of harmony with regards to fairness. Limiting the abilities of one over-performing hero will always open the door for others to dominate, shifting meta strategies of higher-skill players and sending everything into disarray. Even for a studio as large as Blizzard, there’s really only so much you can do.
That won’t ever stop them from trying, of course. Recent announcements from the battle.net forums have revealed that the latest in balancing measures for Overwatch is directed this time at the game’s Korean eSports star, D.Va. According to the post, these changes are intended to allow D.Va to “play more aggressively and deal more damage, at the cost of being able to Defense Matrix as often as before.”
For those out of the loop, Defense Matrix is a toggled ability in which D.Va’s mech would absorb all incoming projectiles – including the ultimate abilities of enemy heroes. In the right circumstances and with a skilled player behind her controls, D.Va’s Defense Matrix had become an invaluable asset and, as a result, Blizzard’s latest patch has addressed this situation.
Defense Matrix Energy drain increased by 2x. This means her effective uptime for this ability has been reduced by 50%.
Boosters: D.Va can now use her Fusion Cannons while flying.
New Ability – Micro Missiles: D.Va launches a long salvo of small missiles that explode on impact, dealing damage in a small radius around them. This ability can be used while using her other abilities of firing her Fusion Cannons.
These changes have already attracted a seemingly endless tide of complaints and concerns regarding D.Va’s viability as a supportive tank. Now, players worry, she will be able to fly in and immediately eliminate heroes with a smaller health pool before making a hasty retreat.
There’s no real way of knowing how powerful (or how limited) D.Va will be when the new changes have been applied, though Geoff Goodman, Overwatch’s Principal Designer, has stated that D.Va’s “been a lot of fun to play with these changes” and that hopefully she should be arriving on the PTR soon in her reworked form.