Overwatch is currently going through a massive transition. Overwatch 2 is currently in development and is taking longer than expected. The remaining developers on Overwatch are torn between keeping attention focused on the online multiplayer FPS and experimenting with balance for the new game, and all in preparation for Overwatch to wind down and eventually close. Two recent balance changes capture the difficult position Blizzard is currently in, with the devs responding to complaints over buffs made to Moira and Reinhardt.
The two buffs in question may seem small, but in practice are dramatic power-shifting adjustments. The Moira buff adjusts her Fade so that it can reach might larger heights. The Reinhardt buff adjusts his Earthshaker ultimate ability, adding 200 extra damage if it hits within 1.75 meters of impact. For Moira, she’s now able to reach previously unreachable areas across almost every map, and quickly, too. For Reinhardt, he’s able to one-hit kill certain champions with proper positioning.
Complaints regarding these changes have come in continuously since the patch. In part, it’s frustration following a different bug tied to Hanzo that was fixed in the patch, redirected toward these new changes. Vocal Overwatch players believe they’ve made both Moira and Reinhardt too strong, dramatically shifting Overwatch‘s current meta. The fact that updates are rare and the meta shifts have been slow until now has only compounded the issue.
Blizzard remains communicative even as Overwatch‘s development winds down, though. It saw the criticism surrounding the changes and issued a statement on the official Blizzard forums. Blizzard states that it knows “some of these changes would drive a lot of conversation,” and further confirms it knew it would “shake up the meta a bit.” Blizzard says it’s monitoring the situation and is conveying feedback to the Overwatch team. There’s no explanation for the changes or confirmation of plans for any adjustments, for the time being.
If Blizzard knew that these changes would shake up the meta and be controversial, then Blizzard fans are left wondering why it chose to make these buffs. Again, the answer is likely tied to the complex state of Overwatch. The changes, however controversial, bring attention to Overwatch, while also testing the fast-paced gameplay of Overwatch 2 that Blizzard appears to be targeting.
It’s going to be exciting to see where Blizzard goes next with the remaining time it has with Overwatch. It could certainly listen to player feedback and make adjustments nerfing Moira and Reinhardt again, or it could lean into the new meta and changes, buffing other characters similarly. If Overwatch will only be around for another year or two, why not have some fun with the time remaining?
Overwatch is available now on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.