It didn’t take long before Blizzard buckled to the pressure: Roadhog has been nerfed back down to the ground in Overwatch following a sudden thrust back into the meta spotlight.
There was a number of key changes that came along with the introduction of a new season earlier this month. Firstly, the patch then had rather significant impact on the influence DPS had on the outcome of a match. Competitive has long been dictated by the composition of its DPS matchups, but that’s been turned on its head in Season 24.
Leading into Season 24, Overwatch players were going to have readjust their team composition. Ultimately, strong team compositions that pack a Roadhog alongside a Zarya or even a Winston going to be very tough to counter, particularly with strong heals. Zan, Baptiste and Ana were — and still are — all held in high steed this season, and if they can work well to keep the aforementioned tanks alive then there will be a lot pushed back onto DPS to do much of the damage. Therein lies the issue: Blizzard was actively working to downgrade the overall damage output of DPS heroes.
Ash, Junkrat, McCree, Pharah, Symmetra and Windowmaker — heroes that have been firmly and relatively well-placed in recent season metas — had all seen nerfs. That brought the likes of Soldier and Reaper into the fold, and they stood to be integral components of team composition with a near-invincible Roadhog.
That brought us to the current state of Roadhog prior to the most recent patch: his ammo was reduced but overall damage per projectile had been buffed from 6 to 7. So a perfectly landed hook-chain-shot combo was all the more effective.
Combined with his self-healing ability, any well-timed attacks and pushes behind a Roadhog could be incredibly hard to counter, especially if there’s an Ana nailing her heals from a distance. The prospect of a Winston causing havoc around the flanks as well makes the current meta are weird albeit well-balanced … if played right.
And with that, Roadhog pretty much started to dominate the meta and Competitive Play, but Blizzard has come to the “rescue” — or to ruin things, depending how you look at it — with the latest update.
Without a doubt, the latest patch attacks Roadhog at a rate far more than any other hero in recent memory. For example, each pellet from his Scrap Gun now does one less damage, which pretty much effectively does away with any DPS gains applied to him with the past patch.
His gun still deals a reasonable 150 damage per shot maximum, so he’s still plenty of beast to deal with, but prior to the patch he just felt far to OP and invincible given his healing ability.
There are some key changes to DPS heroes as well in the latest update that should help balance things out a bit. Take a look at the full patch notes below.
- Shotgun patterns no longer apply random rotation. This will affect the following heroes:
Developer Comments: We’re making weapons that utilize shotgun patterns more reliable by removing the random rotation applied to each shot. Individual pellets within the shot will still have a tiny amount of variance to their firing angle for the sake of the shotgun weapon feel, but this change will provide significantly more control over aiming these weapons.
- (General) Projectile damage reduced from 7 to 6 (150 total per shot)
Developer Comments: When combined with the changes to shotgun patterns, we’re looking to keep Roadhog’s Chain Hook combo reliable, but not overly powerful against heroes with higher health pools.
- (Secondary Fire) Recovery increased from 0.6 to 0.8 seconds
- (Secondary Fire) Damage increased from 10.5 to 12.5 per projectile (125 total per shot)
Developer Comments: This change to Torbjörn’s secondary fire is aimed at giving it a stronger role at close range. We’re hoping this change allows each shot to feel more impactful, since it has a larger burst. To keep this change in line, we’ve also reduced the damage-per-second.