Overwatch 2’s lead hero designer justifies Roadhog and Sojourn nerfs, teases season 3 changes

Alec Dawson gave the community some insight into current and upcoming changes.

The Overwatch 2 community has been impatiently waiting for meaningful changes to a few of the games most oppressive heroes, like Roadhog and Sojourn, since season two began on Dec. 6. Thankfully, the balance team released a patch today that tackles some of the communitys biggest gripes. 

To add behind-the-scenes context to the patch notes, Overwatch 2 lead hero designer Alec Dawson did a short interview today with two of the communitys most popular content creators, Flats and Emongg. Though Dawson wasnt able to answer all of the communitys questions, he provided some reasoning for changes from the development team and also hinted at minor changes coming in season three, which drops in two weeks.

Roadhog was the biggest focus of both the Jan. 24 patch and the communitys recent ire, considering the Chain Hook master has been one of the most-picked tanks in the competitive scene for far too long. A long-awaited minor nerf hit the tank today, vastly reducing Roadhogs ability to instantly eliminate an enemy after hooking them. 

Its a necessary change, but Dawson confirmed that this is not the slight rework to Roadhog that developers have mentioned in the past. This is a change to his one-shot potential and theyll be adding some utility in the future, he told the streamers.     

The community has been vocal about needing Roadhog changes and often ragged on the development team for taking so long to enact them. Dawson dropped the bombshell that the Overwatch 2 team was not able to change Roadhog for most of season two due to a hotfix bug.  

Unfortunately we werent able to change Roadhog in any way at that time, Dawson explained. There was a bug, actually, where Roadhog and about three other heroes couldnt be hotfixed at that time and point. The bug is apparently fixed as of todays patch.   

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Sojourn was another hero hit hard with the nerf stick in the Jan. 24 patch. Shes been a constant pick in upper-level competitive games for multiple seasons of Overwatch 2 and previous nerfs seemed to have not done enough to shake her dominance. 

This change, however, alters her energy gained to five across the board, even for shots that are damage boosted by Mercy or made more powerful by Zenyattas Orb of Discord. Emongg confirmed with Dawson that the former rate used to be approximately 10 energy for headshots and 13 for damage-boosted shots. This takes away some synergy with Mercy and Zenyatta, Dawson said.  

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Overwatch 2s newest support hero, Kiriko, also got a minor change to her primary healing fire. The recovery time for her Healing Ofuda was bumped to one second from 0.85 seconds. While this seems like a nerf, Dawson said that this change is to encourage Kiriko players to get kunai in there and do damage as well as healing. 

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Emongg and Flats are some of the Overwatch communitys most prominent creators and theyre particularly tuned into what the populace wants to know about, so they couldnt resist asking Dawson a few questions about season three, which launches in two weeks. 

He couldnt say much, but Dawson confirmed that previously-discussed Brigitte changes will not be coming in season three. He did, however, give them a tentative forecast for season four.  

Tanks will also have lower health outside of role queue, he said, to encourage more fun gameplay in modes like arcade or quick play where tanks often feel overpowered. 

Ultimate charge generation and retainment will also be hit in season three, Dawson said. Players currently retain 30 percent of ultimate charge when they switch heroes and thats a number the team will be looking at. 

As tank experts, Flats and Emongg also pressed Dawson about upcoming changes to their favorite heroes. Flats beloved Reinhardt may be getting a change to Firestrike, Dawson said, while Emongg may be able to cause less havoc on Ramattra in a few weeks. The idea of a cap to Ramattras ultimate was mentioned, removing the tanks ability to continually dismantle a team with his health-draining powers.  

Season three of Overwatch 2 launches on Feb. 7.  

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