Super teases huge Overwatch double shield nerf ahead of OWL playoffs - Dexerto

Super teases huge Overwatch double shield nerf ahead of OWL playoffs

Published: 10/Aug/2020 7:17

by Brad Norton


The double-shield meta has dominated competitive Overwatch for quite some time but it could soon be coming to an end according to new insight from San Francisco Shock’s Matthew ‘Super’ DeLisi.

Blizzard has been releasing balance updates quite frequently throughout 2020 though the biggest change yet appears to be on the horizon. While the double shield meta has remained atop the food chain for much of the year, it appears to be crashing down soon.


Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan recently confirmed that double shield nerfs are the “most immediate priority,” during a July 30 Reddit AMA. The development team has been tight-lipped on the matter since. However, these nerfs now appear to be right around the corner.

Main Tank veteran and Genji specialist, Super let slip a few key details during an August 9 Twitch stream. Supposedly, Blizzard has been in talks with top Overwatch League talent of late. Not only that, but double shield changes are confirmed to land ahead of the playoffs.


“We’re in the Overwatch League Discord and we’re talking to the devs… they basically said double shield is pretty resident sleeper,” he outlined. This comment may not have been a direct quote from those on the dev team, though more information was soon provided.

In order to address the current meta, one that many consider to be somewhat stale – including the devs, according to Super – bold new changes are on the way. “We want to make a meta that is going to be exciting and fun to watch,” he paraphrased.


There’s no telling exactly what these changes might look like but nerfing shield-heavy characters will certainly shake things up. Perhaps heroes like Orisa and Sigma will scaled back a notch, or maybe shields as a whole will be tweaked. The door is wide and Kaplan confirmed that the community will be able to test these changes through an Experimental Card.

Super revealed back in February that OWL players were now being consulted by devs. Now it looks like their feedback is being taken into consideration. Overwatch could be balanced with competitive viewership in mind moving forward. This means more explosive eliminations in OWL and less stagnant team fights.

Overwatch shield gameplay
Shields could soon be less viable in Overwatch than ever before.

“We have to see how it’s going to play out, that’s basically what was said,” Super concluded. While there’s no date locked in for this experimental nerf to come through, we do have a rough idea. OWL players were informed that the change would be released in time for the playoffs which kick off on September 3.


A number of Experimental Cards haven’t made it through to the live game recently. Given this, Blizzard should be leaving a decent amount of time to make changes ahead of the OWL postseason. Therefore, it’s safe to expect double shield nerfs to arrive within the next fortnight.


Overwatch October 1 update massively buffs Soldier 76: patch notes

Published: 1/Oct/2020 18:41

by Michael Gwilliam


A new Experimental Overwatch patch has just gone live on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch with changes to only one hero, but they’re absolutely massive. Soldier 76 is being buffed significantly.

Soldier 76 has been in a bit of a poor spot lately, with the traditional FPS hero being outmatched by the likes of McCree and Ashe at medium range and Widowmaker at long range. Now, the devs are upping his lethality.


The Experimental Mode changes make his Heavy Pulse Rifle far more threatening with its bullet spread remove and ammo capacity increased from 25 to 30.

In order to compensate for these buffs, constant recoil has been added, so players will need to adjust to that when playing as him.

Soldier 76 attacks HanamuraSoldier 76 can now fire full auto without a massive spread.

Community Manager Molly Fender elaborated on the chances in a forum post saying: “Compared to other hitscan Damage heroes, Soldier: 76 has been perceived as one of the weaker choices in heroes, so we want to test some adjustments to change this. Rather than making some numbers adjustments, we’d like to test out an overhaul to his shooting mechanics.”

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Improving the shooting mechanics of 76 may prove to be a more balanced way to make the character better as opposed to simply increasing his damage. Though, the ammo increase may already prove to have an effect.


“In this Experimental mode, we’re shifting the weapon to instead be centered around recoil and weapon control,” she added. “While the change list may be short, we’re hoping that this will breathe new life into Soldier: 76’s playstyle.”

Soldier 76 toasting to ChristmasCheers, Soldier mains. You finally get a buff.

Previously, 76 players have had to fire in short bursts to avoid the insane spread that comes with holding down the trigger and going full auto. Now, the ever-popular character may be able to output significant damage at a far faster rate – something that should really worry opponents.

It will be interesting to see how much of an effect these changes have on the hero and if his pick rate sees an increase.


Full patch notes:


The next experiment begins! This time we’re hoping to get your feedback on some changes to Solider: 76’s Heavy Pulse Rifle. We’re using the 2-2-2 Role Queue ruleset so that you can get a feel for how these balance changes might affect the live game.



Soldier: 76

Heavy Pulse Rifle

  • Bullet spread removed
  • Constant recoil added
  • Ammo increased from 25 to 30

Developer Comments: We’re testing some changes with Soldier: 76’s Heavy Pulse Rifle that make the weapon more controlled by recoil, rather than bullet spread. Overall, this will make him better when firing in full auto, rather than controlled bursts. While recoil exists with other heroes’ weapons, these changes are intended to be impactful to gameplay, rather than establishing the “feel” of the weapon.