Blizzard is working on refining a number of Overwatch‘s heroes, with McCree and D.Va being the subject of intense debate among the community.
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In an interview with Eurogamer, Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan said two characters — McCree and D.Va — were of particular focus as the studio looks to improve the Overwatch experience.
In McCree’s case, he’s a solid attack character with a standard single-shot low-rate of fire, however it’s his Fan The Hammer ability, which unloads an entire cylinder of bullets, that is the cause of heated debate among players. Simply put, a combination of McCree’s flashbang and fan ability makes him close to invincible in a one-on-one battle, even against Tank characters. An accurate hit of both the flashbang and all six bullets from a fan, and McCree can pretty much take down any other hero, even if they’re at full health.
“We want McCree to be a counter to people like Tracer, Genji and Reaper,” Kaplan explained. “What we’re not crazy about, right now, is the way in which McCree can absolutely shred tanks.”
Such a change to McCree’s damage output would completely change the dynamics of the character, and players would certainly need to think twice before using fan the hammer, especially with its aggressive recoil. At the moment it’s worth the risk, because even at slightly below 100% accuracy with every bullet, your chances of killing the opposing hero are pretty high.
However, I don’t think it should be a primary focus at the moment. To be honest I could probably count on one hand the amount of times I have been killed by McCree, and that’s across more than 30 hours (not including my 20+ hours in the beta). It’s a fairly important change, don’t get me wrong, but McCree is easily countered, and with a long cooldown for his Combat Role, he’s not especially mobile.
Interestingly, Blizzard is also focusing on D.Va, who is a fascinatingly inconsistent character. In my opinion she needs a a good ol’ fashioned buffing more than McCree needs a single ability nerfed, because as a tank character D.Va is a massively important part of any team’s make-up, be it on defense or attack. At the moment she’s currently one of the more frustrating heroes in Overwatch.
There are a number of issues present with D.Va that completely break down the dynamics of the hero and her worth to a team. For one, she causes arguably the most damage at close range, yet funnily enough she is at her most vulnerable — you guessed it — up close. Her smack-bang-in-the-middle cockpit is her mech’s major weakspot, and is probably the easier weakspot to hit among all heroes. Bastion, who can set up as a sentry and get kills from across the map, has a big glowing weakspot at the back of his head, but quick 360-degree movement makes it difficult to sneak up behind him unless he’s engaged in combat. D.Va has been given the short end of the stick here.
The best way to play as D.Va is to use her boost and quickly jump into the heat of battle to take down enemies or capture a point. Similar to Reinhardt, her boost can cause good damage if you aim it at an enemy, but you won’t “pin” an enemy like Reinhardt does, instead essentially moving through them like a ghost while causing a small amount of damage. This can give her the advantage if she turns around in time and is able to keep the enemy in her line of site. The only problem is that she isn’t particularly mobile when not boosting, and her movement slows down to a crawl while firing, so it’s not like you can keep the opponent in view while you’re trying to hit them. Generally what I have noticed is that enemies with low health sprint away, while others with near-full health confidentially bombard D.Va’s mech, knowing how easy it is to destroy. This makes her a terrible tank. D.Va’s range is about the same as Winston’s and Reaper’s. The only difference is that once an enemy is out of sight, D.Va has little chance of keeping up while boost is cooling down. Winston and Reaper both have more flexibility in this regard, and can keep chase if a firefight moves to a corridor.
In the early days of the beta, D.Va’s ultimate was a terrifying and highly effective way to clear out an area. However, as more players learn the fundamentals of each hero’s strengths and weaknesses, D.Va’s ultimate is fast becoming one of the least-effective in the game. It’s effectively a one-hit kill when it self-destructs, but most heroes are fast enough to run out of the radius. Further to this, D.Va herself is too slow and is all too often caught up in the radius and killed. Many times have I set off the self-destruct and killed myself, only to get zero kills and for the enemy to simply regroup and take control of the objective within a matter of seconds. It’s an ultimate that is more dangerous for D.Va herself than it is her enemies.
How To Fix Her
I’m certainly not in the damage increase crowd. She’s highly effective at close-range, and using her boost and defense matrix at the right times make her especially effective. The problem is mobility and the amount of damage she takes.
Firstly, her defense matrix should last a little long, and work better in conjunction with her primary gun.
Secondly, she needs a slight speed boost while firing. She currently moves far too slow, and in a close battle against a fast hero she’s too vulnerable for a tank character.
Thirdly, expand the radius of the ultimate, and shorten the time it takes to explode.
Fourthly, buff her armor. It’s far too easy for most characters to take her down with a single clip (apart from maybe Mei).
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