Blizzard is undoubtedly one of the best developers out there when it comes to always refining their games, and less than a week after they unveiled their new hero Orisa, they’re already making some further tweaks to help with the resultant new game balance. In a post on the official forums, Principal Designer Geoff Goodman unveiled several new tweaks to a number of heroes that will get pushed out on the game’s PTR servers (a public test realm where the devs can proof possible new changes) by “hopefully tomorrow morning”.
- Biotic Rifle
Damage decreased from 80 to 60
- Biotic Grenade
Impact damage reduced from 60 to 30
Impact healing reduced from 100 to 50
No longer hurts himself from his own explosions. (Effect added to current passive: Total Mayhem)
- Fusion Driver
Magazine size lowered from 200 to 150
Cost increased by 15%
Sound effects and VO distance for entering and exiting Stealth reduced to 15 meters.
Cooldown reduced from 6s to 4s
- Barrier Projector
Cooldown now starts when the barrier is placed, instead of when it ends
- Orb of Destruction
Alternate fire recovery reduced from 1s to 0.6s
- Orb of Discord
Can now target enemies through barriers
While many of the tweaks are direct buffs (Junkrat) or nerfs (Ana), there’s one in particular that appears to be a game changer: Zenyatta will be able to hit his Orb of Discord through enemy barriers. The obvious question here is “Why?”, seeing as Zenyatta is already one of the most effective heroes in the game. Well, in my opinion it all comes down to shields.
First we had Symmetra who was given her mobile shield, then D.Va got a buff to her Defense Matrix. Last week we got Orisa who can shoot out a shield in front of her, and now as you can see above, Winston is getting a small but very impactful tweak to his bubble shield as well (the reduced cool down will give him just enough extra survivability to get in, harass, and get out without it being a suicide run). While all these changes are actually very good at making the respective heroes more effective on a singular basis, the collective effect may just be the birth of a new shield heavy meta. Can you imagine a Reinhardt, Orisa, Symmetra, D.Va and Winston combo just sitting on payload and eating up all your damage?
But if Zenyatta can now discord those heroes through their respective barriers, a Pharah or D.Va could go over the top and do some serious damage. Heck even Symmetra’s alt-fire attack or Reinhardt’s flame strike could now do a lot more damage, as they go through shields. So basically these appear to be very clever proactive changes that could negate a potential problem before it really arises.