The Overwatch developers have explained their reasoning behind a series of buffs for popular off-tank Dva and nerfs for Brigitte and Ashe in a June 23 Experimental Mode patch.
While changes in the Experimental Mode normally go live a week or two after being tested, not all of them make the cut, as we saw with some changes to Moira that were ultimately scrapped earlier in June.
The buffs to Dva see her walk quicker while firing Fusion Canons, reduce her Defense Matrix cool down and let her fire Micro Missiles sooner with the delay cut in half.
According to Community Manager Molly Fender, these changes are intended to make Dva’s gameplay feel “fluid and agile” and “should allow for quicker reactions when using her guns and Defense Matrix.”
The changes to Defense Matrix, in particular, are major as they will give skilled players more openings to deny enemy abilities and even Ultimates.
Meanwhile, the Brigitte nerfs are huge and she’s by far the biggest loser in the patch. With these changes, she will no longer be able to give allies additional armor health and Repair Pack will be exclusively a healing ability.
To compensate, Blizzard did increase her shield HP, but overall, the tweaks are widely considered to be a major net nerf to the controversial support hero.
“We’ve been hearing feedback about Brigitte that she feels too powerful overall,” Fender explained on the official forums. “We’d like to try some changes intended to bring Brigitte’s balance more in-line with other supports.”
Finally, Ashe’s Dynamite saw its cooldown increased by two seconds, meaning it will take some time before players can use it again.
“Ashe is a bit too powerful overall,” Fender said. “We’re testing a change to increase the cooldown on her Dynamite to decrease her area-of-effect damage while keeping her single-target damage intact.”
It will be very interesting to see if these nerfs and buffs go through to the live version of the game, but Brigitte’s may be the one to keep a close eye on as it’s the most controversial in this patch.