Overwatch

Overwatch 2 Dev Says Team is 'Keeping an Eye' on Zarya Bubble Changes

A Blizzard hero designer said the dev team is "keeping an eye" on Zarya's new shared bubble cooldown setup leading up to the launch of Overwatch 2.
A Blizzard hero designer said the dev team is "keeping an eye" on Zarya's new shared bubble cooldown setup leading up to the launch of Overwatch 2. / Photo courtesy of Blizzard

Throughout the bits and pieces of the Overwatch 2 development cycle, there has been no hero class that's received more changes perhaps than that of the tanks.

From the game moving from 6v6 to 5v5 by removing the "off-tank" and "main-tank" concepts, to the tank role being reimagined so much that Blizzard considered renaming them as "brawlers," it's clear that Blizzard wants to eliminate the double shield strategy and increase the viability of flanks.

With that being said, Zarya's new bubble rework has remained an interesting point of contention between the devs and its players recently, as while Blizzard feels like the Russian soldier is too strong, some OWL pros who've play tested the game believe that the new changes have made her "useless."

The main change with Zarya in Overwatch 2, at least for now, is that her Particle Barrier and Projected Barrier have been reworked so that she can choose to not only bubble herself and a teammate, but also bubble herself or a teammate twice in a row.

That new capability is something that the dev team believes makes her "too strong and constantly high energy," according to Blizzard hero designer Josh Noh on Reddit.

Due to this added versatility, however, this means that Zarya players' core strategy in Overwatch 1 — bubbling both herself and a teammate in quick succession — has been heavily nerfed.

With Zarya having her two bubbles now on a shared cooldown setup in Overwatch 2, bubbling herself and a teammate at around the same time takes nearly 20 seconds for her to get both of them back, rather than the mere 9-10 seconds it takes in the OG game.

Noh's response did also give some counters as to how the dev team buff Zarya's bubbles in several ways to account for the elongated cooldown, and that ultimately, "part of the interesting gameplay can be making that choice."

With Noh also mentioning that Blizzard is keeping an eye on Zarya's rework internally, it will be interesting to see if any more changes are made for her rework leading up to the launch of Overwatch 2.