Overwatch 2 Shouldn't Lose Character Identities in the Pursuit of Balance – GameRant

Overwatch 2 is making significant changes to certain heroes due to the new 5v5 system, but it needs to be careful with the adjustments.
Overwatch 2 has been making significant changes to its hero roster, which is understandable given the switch to 5v5 gameplay. With this new approach removing a Tank from each team, several heroes need to be adjusted. Supports need to output less healing, Tanks need to be able to carry entire teams on their own, and Damage characters need to be adjusted so that they are not too powerful with less shields in play. However, Blizzard has to make sure that these changes do not result in characters losing their identities.
While a majority of the hero reworks for Overwatch 2 have been well received, there is a bit of pushback regarding the adjustments to certain characters. Though the changes to Doomfist have been completely in-character, adjustments to two particular characters have been a cause for concern. While Orisa is more fun to play, and Mei is far more balanced, both characters have lost a bit of their identities in the eyes of some fans.
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From a gameplay standpoint, the rework for Mei was long overdue. Overwatch fans have regularly pointed out how unfun it is to play against Mei, as being frozen by her primary fire and losing the option to fight back is frustrating. While her Ultimate ability freezing enemies is one thing, the fact that she can constantly lock players in place made her too much of a nuisance in the eyes of some fans.
In response to all the complaints, Blizzard has heavily increased the damage of Mei’s primary fire, but it can no longer freeze her opponents. With Mei able to drain HP bars quickly, but losing her most annoying trait, she is undoubtedly more balanced than she has ever been before. However, though this has led to a positive response from those that dislike Mei, certain fans of the hero have pushed back against the change. These players argue that freezing enemies was integral to the hero and made her a joy to play, adding that her weapon feels far less satisfying since it can only slow enemies now.
Orisa is a very different situation, but one that is also worth discussing. Though Overwatch 2 players love the new Orisa, considering her rework to be the best of the bunch, the changes made to her kit go against some of her established lore. Orisa’s play style being more aggressive is great from a gameplay standpoint, as she was one of the most boring Tanks to control. From a story standpoint, though, it feels like a major shift.
Orisa’s shield and supercharger fit the idea of the hero being more of a protector than a fighter. Now, she ditches her shield and uses a spear to attack her enemies. While this fits Overwatch 2’s new philosophy for its Tanks, it brings a sudden shift in Orisa’s purpose as a defender. Her voice lines also reflect a more aggressive attitude, so perhaps Orisa’s creator Efi updated her personality and functions. If there is no lore reason for her changes, though, this will be another example of balancing leading to a bit of an identity loss.
Going forward, Blizzard needs to keep the concerns of the Overwatch community in mind when reworking characters. While lore explanations will help with a situation like Orisa, and gameplay being more fun for everyone is a good driving force behind the Mei changes, Overwatch’s unique heroes has always been its biggest strength. As such, it would be a shame to see them losing their identities, so future updates to the characters’ kits need to be made carefully.
Overwatch 2 launches on October 4 for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
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A lifelong gamer and comics fan who loves writing about everything in nerd culture… and has a small addiction to trophy and achievement hunting.

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