Like many games of its kind, Overwatch is constantly being tweaked in an effort to find the perfect balance. While most of these changes are usually rather small in the grand scheme of things, sometimes they cause dramatic shifts in how certain characters play. One Overwatch character that has been through a couple of major changes is the tank Roadhog, who is unrecognizable after his most recent update, leaving some fans to wonder if Blizzard went too far.
About a month ago, Blizzard drastically changed the way Roadhog plays in Overwatch by cutting his damage by about a third. Essentially, this made it far more difficult if not outright impossible for Roadhog players to land one-hit kills by pulling weaker enemies in with their hook. Playing as the character was built around this hook and Scrap Gun combo, so taking that away meant Roadhog mains had to learn how to play the character much differently, and that in turn made him a far less viable option for any given team composition.
Blizzard attempted to compensate for Roadhog’s weakened Scrap Gun by increasing his fire rate and ammo capacity. However, he is still far weaker than he was before, and still plays much differently than he did for the entirety of Overwatch‘s first year. Some may argue that Roadhog was overpowered and that these changes were ultimately for the better, but others feel as though these nerfs have rendered Roadhog underpowered compared to other heroes on the roster.
In the past, Blizzard managed to make important changes to Roadhog to make him less overpowered without completely changing the way the character was played. For example, there was a time when characters couldn’t escape from Roadhog’s hook, with it bending around structures and even sometimes pulling enemies through walls. Blizzard made important changes to his hook so that it was fairer, requiring more accuracy on the part of Roadhog players while giving others more chances to avoid being dragged to their death.
That particular Roadhog nerf made sense and didn’t change the way the character was played. It forced Roadhog players to become more skilled with his hook, and was a generally well-received change by the community. His latest nerf, however, seems to be more divisive, with some feeling that Roadhog is in just the right spot, and others thinking that the character is simply not properly balanced anymore.
Despite Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan recently saying that he believes the game is balanced, there’s been talk of making additional changes to Roadhog to make up for his nerfs. Specifically, Blizzard is toying with the idea of increasing Roadhog’s defense so that he doesn’t take quite as much damage, which could potentially make him a more formidable tank like he was before these balance changes.
However, it’s unclear if even increasing Roadhog’s defense will be enough to bring him closer to how he was before the latest round of changes. If anything, increasing Roadhog’s defense could make him overpowered in a different way, as he already has a decent chunk of health and is one of the few characters in the game that can self-heal. It’s possible that by increasing his defense, Blizzard may inadvertently make Roadhog way too difficult to kill for a number of heroes on the roster.
Moving forward, Blizzard will likely test a number of possible tweaks to Roadhog as well as other characters in the game. Overwatch is the kind of game that may always be subjected to balance changes, especially with new characters like Doomfist being added to the mix on a regular basis. In the meantime, Roadhog fans should keep an eye on the PTR to see any future changes Blizzard may have in store for the character in its quest to find his perfect balance.
Overwatch is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.