Blizzard Entertainment has yet to finalize a balancing change for Overwatch hero Hanzo, but in the meantime, the developer is giving fans the rare treat of detailing the character’s trial-and-error design process.
In a post to the Overwatch forums, principal designer Geoff Goodman covered some of the changes the studio has tested out for Hanzo, specifically for the character’s Scatter Arrow ability, which fires one projectile that breaks into multiple ricocheting projectiles upon contact. The first trial run for the character involved replacing the Scatter Arrow with a Piercing Arrow, designed to go through multiple enemies and barriers in a line. While this change was fun for the Hanzo, it was apparently too unfair to those hiding behind the barriers.
The next attempt to balance the character focused on keeping the Scatter Arrow, but drastically changing its function. The most popular iteration of this new Scatter Arrow could no longer break off the floor and would only have each projectile ricochet once, but it featured increased projectile speed and a tighter spread. It succeeded at longer ranged engagements and when used more skillfully on walls or ceilings, but Goodman claims it wasn’t consistent enough.
The last and most ambitious idea gave the character a new function, mapped to his currently unused reload action. This function would activate a 2- to 3-second animation, during which Hanzo couldn’t fire, but would recharge both of his special arrows, cutting their recharge times down significantly. According to Goodman, this worked particularly well when paired with the Piercing Arrow above, but it apparently made his Sonic Arrow far too powerful.
Blizzard’s intent to readjust Hanzo was first announced in a recent developer update video with game director Jeff Kaplan. Other heroes discussed in the video include Mei and Symmetra, but there are no solid changes currently confirmed for any of these three heroes.
One character not discussed in the developer update was the attack hero Sombra, who recently underwent a rework on the game’s public test region. The changes are mainly in her favor—decreasing her weapon spread, decreasing her hack time, and increasing the variety of abilities she can counter—although she no longer gains Ultimate charge from healing teammates with hacked health packs.
Two heroes that recently saw changes added to the full game are Junkrat and Mercy. Their adjustments can be tried out right now while enjoying Overwatch‘s newly launched Year of the Dog event that introduces new skins, a new Capture The Flag mode, and more.
Source: Battle.net forums