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.