For this week’s editorial, I’d like to dive into some of my ideas that Blizzard could use to reintroduce some abilities to some heroes already on the Overwatch roster. What mainly interests me is how few on said roster utilize the input (right on the D-Pad for console controllers, Scroll wheel for mouse and keyboard) to switch weapons. The first two that come to mind are Mercy and Torbjörn. I think Blizzard could add a few more to that list.
Blizzard is no stranger to this concept. This is made evident by the introduction of Lifeweaver, the newest support hero in Overwatch 2. In line with his plant life motif, Lifeweaver has a secondary fire called Thorn Volley. In order to use Thorn Volley players must hit right on the D-pad if playing on console or scroll once on the scroll wheel of a mouse if playing on PC (UPDATE: this has since been patched out). Mercy still has her secondary fire, Caduceus Blaster, and Torbjörn still has his Forge Hammer.
Lifeweaver, first of all, is awesome. He fits right in with the Overwatch roster and he feels great to play as. I am grateful that other players seem to feel the same way. Liveweaver has abilities that set him up to be a perfect self-sabotage troll hero in the wrong hands. Petal Platform and Life Grip all have the potential to throw games. That said, however, I have only ever encountered respectful Lifeweaver players since his release. So, shoutout to the support players who are playing him as intended.
Much like his pink translucent lotus petal adornments though, I too have adopted something translucent and pink. Ever since Lifeweaver’s release, I have been looking at the game through rose tinted glasses. I have been pining for some hero’s old abilities and I’ve even come up with an original ability for another. The second half of this article is my breakdown of four heroes that could benefit from the same amount of tender love and care that Lifeweaver has received. My friends and I have been talking about these ideas for a while. While Blizzard may have bitten off a lot with the promises of a battle pass every season, we would love to see them go back and double down on some of the heroes already on the roster.
Orisa – Barrier Reintroduction – Alternate Ultimate
Orisa strikes me as a character that has it all. As such, she should be able to utilize all of her gear that is at her disposal. Orisa could have two modes to switch between that could be toggled by the D-pad or the scroll wheel. A defense mode and an attack mode, with the attack mode centering around her new javelin and the defense mode centering around her old abilities.
The attack mode would replace the abilities Energy Javelin and Javelin Spin with Halt! and Protective Barrier. I would even be open to the idea of nerfing the Protective Barrier’s health. If it stood at 400 or even 200 health, I would still love to see it make a comeback in her kit. Her barrier was unique. It launched in an arc out of a device on her forearm and it felt immensely satisfying to deploy. It also had this bubble-like structure to it which was different than every other barrier in the game (aside from Sigma’s). It provided some much needed cover from incoming threats from above such as Pharah’s rockets or Echo’s Sticky Bombs.
Readers who are familiar with her Halt! ability know that I don’t even need to write about it. Halt! was awesome and totally earns a place back in her kit. For readers unfamiliar with Orisa’s Halt! ability, watch this.
I want to live in a world where players could pull off insane combos with Sojourn’s Overclocked ultimate and Orisa’s Halt! ability.
Longtime players might remember when Symmetra had two ultimate abilities you could choose from. I can’t think of a more perfect hero to reintroduce this concept to other than Orisa. Her new ultimate, Terra Surge is great and can land high kill counts. But her old ultimate, Supercharger was extremely versatile and was something of a rally cry for your team. It was rousing to hear Orisa say “Cease your resistance!” Nothing made me want to actively group up more than that. It made me want to do so for two reasons. One for the damage boost and two to link up with the team and join them in the push to either defend or take the objective.
In Orisa’s 2.0 redesign, there is a Supercharger strapped to her back, so a redesign wouldn’t be necessary in order to implement this change.
Cassidy – Flashbang Reintroduction
The D-Pad and/or the scroll wheel could switch Cassidy’s grenade types. The newly introduced Magnetic Grenade is fantastic and fits Cassidy’s load out well, but I’d argue that his old Flashbang served a much different purpose. Cassidy’s Flashbang stunned the enemy and gave Cassidy time to line up Fan the Hammer, his alternate mode of fire. With more and more status effects like Lifeweaver’s Life Grip being thrown into the mix, I’d say there’s plenty of room within the gameplay landscape for Cassidy to stun again.
I would be down with a nerf for the Flashbang as well. I don’t need the additional 25 damage that it used to deal. The ability to disrupt the flow of a fight and gain an opportunity to line up Fan the Hammer is valuable enough as is.
Hanzo – Scatter Arrow Reintroduction
Sigma wasn’t the only hero able to ricochet shots off of walls. There was an event in February by the name of Love of Geometry dangled the ability to use Hanzo’s Scatter Arrow in front of all of our faces. This event reminded me of why I liked Scatter Arrow so much back in the day. This is an ability that I wouldn’t mind a nerf for either. I understand that Scatter Arrow isn’t the most fun to play against, so if it were up to me to reimplement this ability I would make the maximum damage it could deal cap off at 20. On top of that, I would make it so the fragments only ricocheted once or twice, instead of three times, so it felt fair instead of spelling instant death for heroes with lower max health.
The D-Pad or the scroll wheel would enable the player to choose between The Sonic Arrow or The Scatter Arrow, as opposed to the replacement of Storm Arrow in the Love of Geometry event. The 12 second cooldown would remain the same.
All of these changes make it so Hanzo can deal with slippery low heath enemies fast and efficiently.
Zenyatta – Movement Ability Introduction
This might be me spouting from my soapbox, but Zenyatta gets left in the dust compared to all of the other support heroes when it comes to movement abilities. I propose a new double jump ability as the solution. I call it Gyroscope Jump. Gyroscope Jump would deal damage in a small radius around Zenyatta as, as the name implies, the ability would send all of Zenyatta’s Orbs of Destruction swirling around him. The amount of damage dealt could be reliant on how much ammo Zenyatta has left at the time of ability activation.
As for D-Pad or scroll wheel integration Zenyatta could switch between discord and harmony modes. An ultimate activated in discord mode could be interesting. I picture Zenyatta lobbing Orbs of Destruction in every direction in a large radius using both his hands and his feet. He would gain lots of temporary health during this dark version of his ultimate.
How did I do? Are you a fan of my proposed changes? You can find me over on the Boss Rush Discord to share your thoughts and suggestions.
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