One dedicated Overwatch fan has gone through all of the game’s updates to count the total number of official buffs and nerfs that have ever been added.
As is the case with most recent patch weeks in Overwatch, the list of new changes has sparked a conversation about ‘power creep’ in the game since release.
Power creep refers to a situation in any game where updates introduce more powerful units or abilities, leaving the older ones underpowered.
Quite a few fans have complained about the apparent power creep making its way into the game over time, so Twitter user isoanakin decided to go through each and every update to see for themselves.
“I went through every single Overwatch patch note since launch and documented every change made to a hero, categorising it as either a buff or a nerf,” isoanakin explained in a post on Reddit. “Using this method I found that in total there have been 351 buffs given to heroes, and 199 nerfs.”
“Obviously, this is a deeply imperfect measure of considering a history of buffs/nerfs to the game,” they admitted. “The patch notes provided by Blizzard were also not intended to be used this way, and their formatting and specificity has varied somewhat over the years.”
Even though it may not be a perfect measure of the total changes Overwatch has gone through, it does, as the user points out, “add weight to the current perception of power creep” in the community.
Other users on Reddit pointed out that nerfs and buffs that happen through bug fixes or are “unrecorded” are even more difficult to include and measure.
“Moira being able to heal through barriers was a “bug” so was mercy damage boosting dragon, etc,” Reddit user Relodie pointed out.
Isoanakin’s study may not have accounted for every single change that’s ever happened in Overwatch, but it does seem to show that updates, in general, have gone in favor of making heroes more powerful, rather than nerfing them.
Overwatch just had a new PTR update on January 9 that once again, started up the debate about power creep among the game’s community.
It remains to be seen how the new patch will affect the game when it comes out, but the debate over power creep in Overwatch probably won’t be going away anytime soon.