Blizzard Confirms Echo and Hanzo Nerfs Are Coming to Overwatch 2

Photo courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard continues to give fans more information about Overwatch 2 as the game comes closer to release. The game’s hero design and balancing team hosted a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) on Thursday. The AMA was hosted on the r/CompetitiveOverwatch subreddit and mainly centered around recent playtest film released by Blizzard.

During the AMA, the team gave out a lot more information than many may have expected. They discussed big damage changes coming to Echo and Hanzo alongside the switch to 5v5 gameplay.

Blizzard Confirms Echo and Hanzo Nerfs Are Coming to Overwatch 2
Echo will be receiving nerfs in Overwatch 2 to help balance out the other upcoming gameplay changes / Photo courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

One of the popular questions asked “What is your philosophy on how ‘tank-buster’ heroes (such as Reaper, Echo, Hanzo, and more) should be approached in OW2? Is the role of tankbuster obsolete when there is only one tank?”

Josh, a member of the balancing team and u/Blizz_JNoh, discussed  the specific changes. He noted that changes would need to come to “high damage output” heroes due to move to 5v5 and removal of a tank. 

Josh proceeded to discuss how Echo’s Focus Beam and Hanzo’s Storm Arrows ability will need to be made less “lethal” to balance the tank changes. These abilities, in their current design, would be too powerful against only a single tank, hence the reason for the changes. 

Though, Josh also mentions the need to keep these abilities powerful in other situations. This balance will be a difficult one to strike and something Blizzard’s development team is undoubtedly hard at work on.

He also talked on the topic more generally, saying “I think it's important to have a concept of these high damage output heroes, which each have their own limitations and tradeoffs, though not necessarily to fulfill the role of specifically taking out tanks and barriers.”

No other information about Echo’s and Hanzo’s forthcoming changes were revealed during the AMA. Players will have to wait until more information or gameplay footage is released to see how Overwatch 2 Echo and Hanzo will differ from the originals.