Overwatch Update To Make Major D.Va Changes, Give Her A New Ability

Defense Matrix has been targeted for a nerf in a future update.

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Word of a new map, Junkertown, has proven to not be the biggest Overwatch news of the day. Blizzard has revealed some major changes to D.Va that it's currently experimenting with ahead of a Public Test Realm release. Put simply, Blizzard wants to avoid nerfing D.Va while reducing the impact of Defense Matrix, which is widely considered an incredibly powerful ability.

In response to a forum thread calling for a rework to D.Va, principal designer Geoff Goodman outlined the "significant changes" it currently has in testing. Defense Matrix now uses up twice as much energy, meaning it can only be active for half as long compared to the current version. Additionally, she gains the ability to fire her weapons while flying around with her boosters, which at present deactivates her basic attack.

These adjustments are joined by a new ability, Micro Missiles. Goodman said this "launches a long salvo of small missiles that explode on impact, dealing damage in a small radius around them." Micro Missiles can be fired even when using her fusion cannons or another ability.

"The combination of these changes allow her to play more aggressively and deal more damage, at the cost of being able to Defense Matrix as often as before," Goodman explained. "Defense Matrix still remains an extremely powerful tool when timed correctly, but the reduced uptime means D.Va won't be able to use it nearly as often overall.

"Her new Micro Missiles ability in combination with her ability to fire while flying allow for some more aggressive play, as well as opening up some new options versus heroes such as Pharah. Overall the goal here is to reduce her reliance on Defense Matrix and make her more fun to play. As far as balancing goes, we want to nerf Defense Matrix as an ability, not D.Va as a hero."

According to Goodman, she's a "ton of fun to play with these changes." There's no word yet on when they will be released to the public, but he did state, "Hopefully we'll have a new PTR up soon!" Based on how that PTR goes, it's possible these changes could be tweaked further; Blizzard has responded to feedback in the past and adjusted updates before they are released in full to the public.

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Avatar image for jerusaelem

Defense matrix needed a good slap. It was needlessly OP if used correctly.

Avatar image for asycient

Good luck being more aggressive when doomfist is destroying you. Wish they would focus more on the teamplay aspect of the game and stop ruining heroes.

Avatar image for no_one

As long as they don't ruin her like Reaper.

Avatar image for Charliesix

i approve of micro missiles. all mechs have to be able to shoot missiles. It is known.

Avatar image for prnjsn

Just go back to season 2 d.va where d.va mains were happy and dps mains didn't think she was overpowered. She was fine in season 2 and then the devs gave her unnecessary buffs that no one asked for, everyone told the devs it was too powerful on the ptr and they didn't listen, and then they proceeded to gut her and are still making idiotic unneeded changes to this very day. This entire situation was caused by the devs at Blizzard refusing to admit they were wrong.

Avatar image for maitkarro

@prnjsn: Well, to be given it's their game, and you're only paying to play the game, you don't own the game, and never will, any ones ideas in forums are taken as suggestions, they have the money and they know them selves what they want to do with it, if it pleases the crowd or not.

Avatar image for prnjsn

@maitkarro: Yeah it's their game, and all the pros and streamers are leaving their game because their balance decisions are awful. Just because they're a big popular company doesn't mean their ideas aren't bad. They have tons of bad ideas and then they refuse to listen when people tell them. Everyone said Bastion's original ironclad buff was way too strong on the ptr, but they pushed it to live anyway only to nerf it down after people complained enough. Everyone said D.va's extra hp was unneeded on the ptr and they pushed it to live anyway only to nerf her multiple times later. If they continue to displease the crowd, there won't be any crowd left. A large portion of players already only play during the seasonal events because the game is too stale and unbalanced to care about when there's not new event items. The devs of this game would rather make ez money from people buying event lootboxes than make balance changes to literally half the roster that's been in F tier for over a year. It's sad to see a game with so much potential be mishandled like this. I will say that the new deathmatch mode and the new Junkertown map look fantastic. It just falls onto the balance team to actually pull through and make more than 7 or 8 characters playable at a time and the game would be golden.

Avatar image for brxricano

@maitkarro: Thank you for understanding how the business world works. DAMMIT YOURE REFRESHING IN A WORLD OF MORONS. Seriously no sarcasm. Thank you.

Avatar image for kweeni

Idk how to feel about this. On one hand I'm excited about her offensive buff, on the other hand that matrix nerf is huge. Hope these changes go on ptr soon so we can test them.

Avatar image for H0RSE

Although I don't play D.va (she's my least played tank and one of my least played characters overall) I hope this doesn't break the character or lead to a long line of balancing tweaks as a result, as is common with Blizzard.

Avatar image for Fartman7998

I like this. As a D.Va main I often feel like I'm just there to absorb some hits with Defense Matrix and then back away, then hopefully clean up some lower health heroes if the time is opportune. This way, I can still use Defense Matrix, but also be way more helpful. Now I can tackle enemies with the flying, AND blast them away. Gonna be a different ball game now, sonny Jim.

Avatar image for MarinoKadame

Not like D.va has a gigantic crit weak spot other characters don't have. People were already doing aggressive D.va now since Defense Matrix take more energy you are pretty much showing the crit spot even more often, I don't think the missiles and shooting while charging can really save it.

Avatar image for H0RSE

I think that was part of the point... Now players will have to play smarter, instead of charging in and using defense matrix as a crutch.

Avatar image for dreadborne

Why did i read this article? I don't even play Overwatch

Avatar image for jerusaelem

@dreadborne: "Why did you comment?" would probably be the better question.

Avatar image for Richardthe3rd

Defense matrix will still be really powerful.

Avatar image for dinb

Ridiculous changes while other heroes need an actual buff to make them viable in competitive matches.

Avatar image for Pedro

Yes, lets give Dva more features.