Blizzard is well known for their struggles to balance the heroes and skills in Overwatch. There has been enough grumble about character design that entire characters have been reworked, and returning players to the game often find themselves confused by both small and drastic changes. Everyone agrees that changes were needed, but many disagree on how drastic some are. Here are just five of the characters that have had drastic changes.
Mercy is probably one of the most reworked characters in the game. At release, her ultimate was extremely overpowered. Not only did she have the ability to revive her entire team, she also was able to grant any revived players a brief period of invulnerability. This ultimate was changed to an ability with a long cooldown, and the invulnerability was removed. She’s also had multiple changes to her healing stream, which have at times left her feeling very underpowered. Her new ultimate, Valkyrie, was embraced by healers frustrated by the lack of dps on their team.
Probably one of the sexiest men in Overwatch, Torb has faced some major changes. These make him more playable, and expanded his usefulness. He no longer collects scrap to supplement both his and his teammates armor. Instead, he can temporarily increase both his speed and his armor, giving him a better chance to escape a close encounter for heals. His turrets no longer have levels, which cuts down on the time spent hammering away. His ultimate is no longer a level 3 turret, instead he shoots lava from his arm. While these changes were much needed, a certain nostalgia for old Torb still remains.
Symmetra was one of the first characters to receive a full rework of her kit. Her teleporter was extremely frustrating to deal with, as it spawned locations at both her team’s spawn room and her current location. While the teleporter was active, killing enemy players was almost meaningless as they could return to the fight almost instantaneously. She also generated a small, passive shield for teammates and could deploy six turrets at a time. Her photon beam also targeted enemies automatically, making her the perfect pick to counter Tracers flanking behind her team. She was reworked and given better shield abilities. The passive shield she generated for her teammates was removed, and she was given a projectile barrier, similar to Sigma’s shield. Her ultimate allowed players to chose between her teleporter and a shield generator. However, these changes didn’t prevent her from falling out of favor, instead earning her the reputation of being used by griefers and trolls. She was given a bigger rework, reducing her turrets to three while taking away her primary weapon’s auto-aim. Her ultimate ability was changed to building a wall to protect both herself and her teammates, and the teleporter was changed to an ability with a longer cooldown. This allowed her to be more versatile and to be used for more offensive plays and combos.
Hanzo’s biggest issue when first released was his ability, Scatter Arrow. Scatter Arrow was a single arrow that split into 5 different arrows after the point of impact. The arrows would ricochet off of walls. A single shot did enough damage to take out an entire tank. This was switched with Storm arrows, which allow the player to shoot 6 fully powered arrows in rapid succession. This change was well received by the community, speaking to the frustration players felt with Scatter Arrow.