Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has shed some light on Blizzard's upcoming balance changes for some of the heroes in its wildly popular team-based shooter Overwatch. In an interview with Eurogamer, Kaplan said gun-slinging vigilante McCree's devastating Fan the Hammer attack – a move that allows him to unload his entire clip against an opponent – will have reduced damage.
"Yeah, the McCree nerf - I hate using that word, but I just said it," Kaplan said. "We want McCree to be a counter to people like Tracer, Genji and Reaper. What we're not crazy about, right now, is the way in which McCree can absolutely shred tanks. It's a little too easy, so we want to bring the fan the hammer damage down, so he's still killing the squishies and the medium strength heroes, but he's less effective against the tanks. If he times everything perfectly and gets every single shot off, he's got a shot against a tank, but it's not the instant 'I win' button that it is right now."
Kaplan says the team is "still in exploration mode" regarding possible changes to former pro gamer-turned-mech-pilot D. Va.
"There's a couple of directions we could take her and it's still unclear which direction we'll go," Kaplan said. "Obviously her damage has come into question from a lot of people. You have to be really close to do effective damage with D. Va and we might look at that. We might also look at her survivability."
"A lot of time, D. Va can get herself into situations where she's a tank and it feels like she should be there, but then she gets knocked out of that mech so quickly. We probably won't do a bunch of buffs to her damage and her survivability; we'll probably pick one direction or the other, but right now, we've been exploring both."
However, Kaplan says McCree's balance changes will come sooner than those for D. Va because he has been "causing a lot of concern in the community".
"D. Va's not in a horrible place, we just feel like she could be in a slightly better place, whereas McCree is causing a lot of concern in the community and we want to make sure they know we're responsive," Kaplan said.
Kaplan did not specify when the gameplay changes will be released.
However, he did mention that the shooter's Competitive Play mode is expected to release by the end of June, featuring a more skill-based system with no safety net, longer seasons lasting about three months and a "dynamic queue system" for matchmaking.
Released to critical acclaim on 24 May, Overwatch has drawn millions of fans across the globe with more than seven million players logging 19 million hours across Xbox One, PS4 and PC since its launch on 24 May. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently took to Twitter to voice his support for the 'highly recommended' FPS.