Overwatch Update Tests Nerfs for 3 Heroes

A new Overwatch update went out this week for the PC version and all consoles to test out some nerfs for a couple of different heroes. The three who stand to be nerfed are Echo, Tracer, and Zenyatta, and unlike some of the past updates where heroes get a mix of buffs and nerfs to shift power instead of just weakening them, the changes added in the latest update are straight-up nerfs across the board.

Though the update is now live, the nerfs aren’t live in the main game just yet. That’s because they’re only present in the game’s Experimental Mode where these sorts of adjustments are tested in a different playlist before going live across the rest of the modes. It’s like a test server built into the main game, and it’s got the latest changes for players to test out and see how they feel.

“The next experiment begins!” the notes for the latest update said. “This time we’re hoping to get your feedback on some balance changes. 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.”

The full details of the nerfs being tested for Echo, Tracer, and Zenyatta can be found below.

Echo

  • Tri-Shot
    • Ammo reduced from 15 to 12
  • Focusing Beam
    • Duration reduced from 2.5 seconds to 2 seconds

Tracer

  • Pulse Pistols
    • Min-Max damage falloff rescaled from 13-23 meters down to 12-20 meters
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Zenyatta

  • Orb of Harmony
    • Projectile speed reduced from 120 to 90
  • Orb of Discord
    • Projectile speed reduced from 120 to 90
    • Damage amplification reduced from 30% to 25%

Some context for the changes was shared alongside the breakdown of the nerfs. Echo, for example, is getting nerfed because the hero was benefitting from the intended effects of her kit while also boasting too-high damage against tanky heroes.

“Echo’s kit is designed around mobility and burst damage but she was performing too well against high health targets, such as tanks,” the comments from the developers regarding Echo’s nerfs read. “Reducing the maximum firing duration of her primary weapon and Focusing Beam will lower her sustained damage output without impacting her burst damage potential against squishier targets.”

Overwatch’s Experimental Mode’s nerfs for the three heroes are now live in that playlist for players to experience.