DPS heroes rule Overwatch 2 now, but Blizzard isn’t ready to nerf their controversial new ability quite yet

Play a single match of Overwatch 2’s newest season and you’ll know immediately just how powerful DPS are now. Their new role passive reduces the healing their targets receive, which has had a huge impact on how a typical Overwatch team fight plays out. Support and tanks get shredded and the game’s meta has started to bend in favor of the fastest heroes, like Lucio and Winston.

In the next patch, coming tomorrow, Blizzard won’t be nerfing the DPS role passive, which reduces healing on targets by 20% for two seconds, despite how contentious it is in the community. “I think we need more time for players to really adjust and feel it out, and understand how to play with it and how to play around it,” lead hero designer Alec Dawson said on a stream with Overwatch streamer ML7 today.

Dawson described the new passive as a way to give DPS heroes a more distinct identity than they previously had. In past seasons, supports were the most popular role, especially in Overwatch’s highest competitive ranks. But now, DPS have taken over and Dawson says the team isn’t ready to change it before tweaking the current overperformers. “[DPS] are the instigators for getting kills, getting eliminations. That’s where we want to position them, and I think that’s been really successful.”

Your ability to see whether or not you’re affected by the DPS passive is at the top of the list for upcoming changes though, Dawson says. It didn’t take long for players to realize a UI icon for the DPS passive showed up in a recent promotional video for the season but didn’t make it to release. Without it, it’s hard to know when to take cover or not, especially for tanks as they push forward in the frontline.  

Dawson says the team is going to start by looking at “subtle” ways to show it to players when they’re hit by it, but said visual indicators you can see on your teammates as a healer are a lower priority. “We tested with some things like that, with it in your [third-person perspective], and it started to feel like there was a lot of UI in play and was very cluttered.”

The hotfix tomorrow will address a few issues that Blizzard has seen so far, including:

  • Zenyatta’s health and knockback from his kick will be brought down
  • Tracer’s pellets will be made smaller
  • Lucio is overperforming and will receive some kind of nerf
  • Widowmaker’s sniper shots were too easy to hit and will be reduced a bit
  • Mercy and pilot D.Va will have their projectile sizes decreased after last week’s panic
  • Junkrat, Hanzo, and Roadhog are underperforming and will see tweaks to help with that

In my experience so far with season 9, matches feel mostly stable outside of a few heroes that can’t seem to miss with the new projectile size increases. The DPS passive, however, seems to be the source of most people’s frustrations. Healing feels inconsistent and cover is mandatory now that everyone’s accuracy has gone up. There was no way a change like this would go completely smoothly and it looks like the hotfix should start to equalize the extreme damage output. I’m not sure it’ll dethrone DPS as the best role in the game right now, but it might make the rest of our lives a lot easier.