Recently, Ana joined Overwatch‘s hero line-up as the first post-launch addition to the team. Along with her introduction came a handful of balancing adjustments to pre-existing heroes, and more have been announced to be coming soon. These adjustments to Overwatch‘s balance are integral for a game that is both extremely varied and highly competitive.
Some heroes, like Hanzo or Roadhog, haven’t seen any tweaks since the game’s final beta, while other heroes, namely McCree, seem to get adjusted every time the clock strikes noon. There are more than a couple heroes the community seems relatively happy with at the moment, but there is always room for improvement. Listed below are three Overwatch heroes who have not come up much in the balancing conversation?but who would definitely benefit from some fine tuning.
Indisputably the quickest of the entire Overwatch league, Tracer can be a serious nuisance. Her Blink ability can make her nearly impossible to track in the right hands, but even more dangerous is her Recall function, which rewinds her along her most recent path and returns any health she lost along the way. Having one character faster than all others is an important role to include in the game, but it also comes with a great balancing responsibility.
Tracer has the lowest health of any character, but this is hardly a problem for those who manage her position well. When a player finds the correct rhythm of Blinking, shooting, and Recalling, she can simply output too much damage compared to how hard she can be to hit. Granted, there are certainly heroes who fair better against her than others, such as Winston with his tracking Tesla Cannon, but Tracer’s capacity to retreat can usually trump these countermeasures.
Tracer should be a nuisance, but she should not be this much of a threat. Her role in the game of distracting bigger heroes by keeping their attention and chipping away at their health is accurate, but a small reduction to her damage or a slight delay between Blinks would keep her lethality from nearly matching her speed.
This charming psychopath is a fan-favorite for many players on either attack or defense, though he is officially classified as a defensive hero. His grenade launcher’s damage output is nearly unmatched, and his Steel Trap and Concussion Mine make him a prime pick for locking down areas of a map.
A lot of skill can go into effectively dropping his grenades to deal optimal damage and players that have committed some time to him have been wreaking Overwatch havoc as of late. Proficiency with specific characters is part of what drives the competitive scene of Overwatch, so while this is something that should certainly be encouraged, there is one specific element of Junkrat that could be reined in a bit.
Junkrat’s Concussion Mine, commonly used to send both enemies and Junkrat flying, is easily his most versatile offensive tool. It can be detonated immediately after being thrown to deal significant damage, which has caused many players to rely on it nearly as much as his primary weapon. Instead of allowing this ability to be an impulsive reaction with which players can take out many heroes in the game by pairing it with one measly grenade, a slight delay between the throw and the detonation could incentivize players to put more thought into its trajectory and application, making Junkrat less of a steamroller up close.
Pharah can be one of the most formidable heroes in Overwatch, but not necessarily because she’s overpowered. Like Junkrat, Pharah is becoming increasingly popular online, but like Tracer, many players can get the hang of her without too much of a commitment. Virtually every hero in the game can fall victim to her incessant barrage of rockets as she floats around the heads of her enemies and it is in this unique combat style we find her problem.
Her damage output is relatively modest, but there are no other heroes in the game that could be consider a direct counter to Pharah. Sure, there are heroes that can give her a hard time when wielded by someone with good aim, such as Bastion or Widowmaker, but the complication is that Pharah is a counter to these types of characters just as much as they are a counter to her.
Asking for a new character to be added to the game solely to counter Pharah is understandably too much to ask, but a slight reduction to the splash damage of her rockets could address the issue. Players using Pharah could then deal comparable damage to larger targets that are directly hit without melting through smaller opponents the way she does now.