Overwatch 2’s Day of Reckoning

January 9th’s game breaking patch made two heroes overshine the rest.
Overwatch 2 is a 2022 first-person shooter game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment.
Overwatch 2 is a 2022 first-person shooter game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment.
Steam Games

Overwatch 2, the class-based team shooter from 2016, is notorious for having terrible balancing across its entire roster. From the early days of Mercy’s ultimate resurrecting an entire team to the recent times of Mauga’s overpowered brawn dominating the meta, Activision-Blizzard has not had the best track record when it comes to balance changes. But as of Overwatch 2’s release, nothing compares to the patch of January 9th, 2024.

At first sight, this patch seems harmless. In fact, it may have been seen as beneficial. It nerfed Mauga to be on the same tier as the other tanks and re-engineered the meta to once again require skill. Some changes were very much needed. A nerf to Ana’s biotic grenade, a slight nerfing of Road hog’s healing, and slight quality of life changes to Life weaver, Illari, and Sombra. But as you look further, some things seem off.

Sojourn – a character currently dominating the meta at higher skill levels – has been buffed so that her railgun does not decay past 25 charges, meaning she can hang onto a railgun blast for as long as she wants. Before, it would decay back to 0 if the player did not deal any damage. Although unneeded, this buff isn’t that game-changing. In regard to the real game breaking changes though, two stand out. The first is Orisa, who had her fall-off damage removed on her primary weapon.

Orisa’s primary weapon fires 10 shots per second and deals 13 damage per shot at close range. At farther range, these 13 damage decays into 1 damage per shot. But now that this decay is removed, Orisa’s primary fire deals 130 damage per second at every range and can melt anything it comes in contact with. Taking into account that headshots deal 260 damage, Orisa’s primary fire has become an impassable wall and has refined the new meta of the game. With her other abilities preventing her death in other ways, like shredding projectiles and reducing damage, Orisa is now truly a force not to be trifled with.

The second game-breaking change is the introduction of a new glitch. At the time of writing, it has subsequently been fixed. However, the fact remains that for over a week Overwatch 2 had been plagued by Illari with infinite ammo. She was removed from competitive modes following the initial one-day release period. Illari had been glitched to give her infinite ammunition, which goes without saying would cause a huge problem in game modes.

As of January 4th 2024, Orisa has become a being that rules over the game. Overwatch 2’s players have had to specifically learn to counter Orisa in different and unique ways, such as using Whole Hog on her fortified form to deal maximum damage or switching to Zenyatta to negate her damage resistance. The rebalancing of tanks and making the role more enjoyable in past updates has been a godsend, and thankfully the changes regarding Illari are nothing to worry about. But now Orisa too overpowered compared to the other tank heroes.

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