Overwatch artwork for comic book Tracer

[Update]: The Tracer, Zenyatta and Echo nerfs have now gone live without any additional changes.

Ever since the somewhat recent shield nerfs, playing tanks in Overwatch has become noticeably more difficult. It feels like even a single mistake can result in you dying within the span of a mere second, which really shouldn't be the case for a class of characters that's supposed to be all about rushing into the thick of battle and making space for the rest of the team.

As such, I am pleased to say that a brand new Experimental update has just arrived with some rather major nerfs to Tracer, Zenyatta and Echo - three heroes that can make any tank's life a living nightmare. Here's what Blizzard is experimenting with:



- Ammo reduced from 15 to 12

 Focusing Beam

- Duration reduced from 2.5 seconds to 2 seconds

Developer Comments: Echo’s kit is designed around mobility and burst damage but she was performing too well against high health targets, such as tanks. 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.


 Pulse Pistols

- Min-Max damage falloff rescaled from 13-23 meters down to 12-20 meters

Developer Comments: This new falloff range causes the damage to scale down faster when targets are outside of Tracer’s optimal distance, making her less threatening at mid-range.


 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%

Developer Comments: Zenyatta has been a bit too effective at enabling team-wide damage output lately so we’re taking some power out of the Orb of Discord by reducing both its total damage amplification as well as the speed at which it can be applied over long distances. The new projectile speed now matches that of his primary fire, Orb of Destruction.

While I personally think it's Echo's beam damage that's the problem, not the actual duration, this is still a step in the right direction and hopefully a sign that Blizzard is looking to further tone down the overall power level. After all, if shields are going to remain fairly flimsy, it only makes sense for high burst damage heroes to lose a bit of their potency as well.

These changes will remain on the Experimental mode until Monday, January 25. So make sure to give them a try, offer Blizzard some much needed feedback, and hopefully we'll get all of this implemented into the actual game within a week or so.

Whatever the case may be, I'll make sure to let you know once the next update drops. Until then, have fun!