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Overwatch • Jan 27, 2019

Overwatch: Moira, Symmetra, Winston and Zarya are getting a balance pass

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Overwatch: Moira, Symmetra, Winston and Zarya are getting a balance pass

A new armor adjustment is causing Blizzard to go back and look at the damage numbers of certain heroes.

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Heroes with beam attacks are treated differently in Overwatch, since they do not deal damage in a traditional since with bullets that can be measured.

Geoff Goodman, the Hero Designer at Blizzard, discussed possible changes on the way for characters with those beam weapons because of how the interact with the new armor patch.

Damage from Winston's Tesla Cannon is processed differently.

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Zarya, Symmetra, Winston and Moira have weapons that fit into this category, which Goodman refers to as “channeled effects.”

“Right now all ‘channeled’ effects are reduced by a flat amount [against armor] like any other source of damage,” said Goodman. “But the size of the damage packets is purely based on how fast they tick, even though the tuning of the weapons are done via a general DPS calculation.”

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He would go on to mention Winston specifically, a character with low damage packets but a “fast tick,” as a character that might not be doing as much damage to armor as intended.

“Winston’s Tesla Cannon was initially tuned way back when to have a faster update rate because it felt a lot better to use that way. However, currently that also means he does a lot less damage to armor,” said Goodman.

Symmetra is another character with a beam weapon - a "channeled effect."

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Blizzard is not saying that these characters will be getting buffs, but they are saying Zarya, Winston, Moira and Symmetra will need additional looks in the current meta - and new technology will help balance them in the future.

“We’re getting some new tech which allows us to separate armor reduction amounts for these effects from their update rate. This doesn’t mean we’re going to just go through and buff all of these weapons necessarily but we are going to go through them all and make sure we’re happy with how much damage they are all doing to armored targets.”

The new tech should allow Blizzard to balance the channeled effect characters more effectively with the traditional hit-scan and projectile characters of Overwatch.