Overwatch Will Nerf Zenyatta, Buff Mei and Mercy

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Overwatch principal designer Geoff Goodman reveals a series of possible character balances that could be coming to the game, such as nerfing Zenyatta, and buffing Mei and Mercy.

After weeks of team battles, the addition of an Olympic-themed seasonal event, and getting up to speed with the introduction of a new post-launch character, we are currently at the tail end of season one of Overwatch‘s competitive play mode. As the first competitive season of the popular online shooter begins to wind down, Blizzard has started to shift its focus onto the next series of updates, and if new statements are to be believed, players can expect more character balances and tweaks in upcoming patches.

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Over at the Blizzard forums, Overwatch principal designer recently took the time to discuss what the developer is currently looking at in terms of character buffs and nerfs, and it appears that the heros that will receive the most changes are Zenyatta, Mercy, and Mei.

In a debate over whether Zenyatta should be nerfed or not following the character’s recent buff, Goodman spoke up and admitted that the hero is “definitely playing a lot better these days” and that the orb-wielding cyborg is now “a bit *too* strong at the moment“. In terms of fixing Zenyatta, Goodman revealed that it is “likely” that Blizzard will reduce some of the hero’s power and that it will “probably” be related to the character’s Discord Orb ability. As the conversation shifted from Zenyatta receiving a nerf, Goodman then revealed that the team are also looking into ways to buff Mercy and Mei.


Despite having received her own major balance change recently, the general consensus around Mercy is that she is still underpowered, and Goodman stated that Blizzard has been experimenting with a number of ways in which the character could receive a boost. While the team initially had ideas that revolved around giving Mercy more firepower or an area of effect heal ability, Goodman revealed that “there are some things [Blizzard] can do to help her out in the near future,” although he didn’t state what those changes might be.

And finally, there are a series of changes planned for the character Mei. The ice-wielding hero is currently one of the least popular heroes used in competitive play, but Goodman believes that a simple adjustment is all that the character needs. At the moment, the feeling around Mei is that her ultimate ability is “a bit unwieldy and inconsistent,” and Blizzard has been “internally testing allowing the ultimate projectile she throws to pierce barriers (such as Reinhardt’s shield), and increasing the radius a bit on it.

With season one of Overwatch scheduled to end on August 17 and season two currently scheduled for launch on September 6, there will be plenty of time for Blizzard to implement the discussed character balance changes. Given that there’s a wait of a few weeks between seasons, perhaps the mysterious Sombra might even be revealed alongside the planned changes to Zenyatta, Mercy, and Mei.

Overwatch is now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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