Only half of Overwatch‘s latest Experimental Card changes will make their way to the live servers. Blizzard revealed that the Genji nerf will be patched into the game soon, but the company decided not to follow through with Moira’s improved Fade.
The latest round of experiments watered down a previous buff to the youngest Shimada and gave Moira the ability to turn allies invincible for one second after using her Fade, drawing outrage from parts of the fan base.
Community manager Molly Fender explained the intent behind the Experimental Card changes and shared that the adjustments wouldn’t make it to the live servers. Fender added that if Blizzard decided to pursue those changes, Moira’s new kit would see more fine-tuning before going live, especially in its cooldown and interactions with other ultimates.
The Experimental Card adjustments aim to rectify a previous buff to the robotic ninja. Some of the tweaks to Genji’s shurikens “pushed him a bit too far,” according to the patch notes. Blizzard is diluting the changes “specifically with a goal of reducing some of his burst potential.”
In the experiment, his shurikens dropped to 28 damage (down from 30) and the recovery on his secondary fire increased from 0.65 seconds to 0.75. Blizzard believes that the changes “are the right direction for Genji” and will patch them into the live game modes.
Genji’s buff also originated from an Experimental Card in early June. The test boosted his Shuriken damage to 30, decreased the spread of his secondary fire, and allowed players to manually cancel a Deflect. The latest round of testing reverted the damage boost and increased the recovery speed on his secondary fire, but didn’t alter the spread or his manual Deflect cancel.
The Talon scientist wasn’t so lucky. The Experimental Card turbocharged Moira’s skillset, but the changes won’t make their way to the live game.
As part of the experiment, Moira would be able to phase herself and nearby teammates for one second after using Fade, making the team immune to all damage and crowd control effects. The test also adjusted her Biotic Orb’s behavior to reward precision over spamming by decreasing the radius and making the damage proximity-based. The changes, however, won’t make it into the live game.
Fender’s post explained the rationale behind the Experimental Card. The Overwatch team has three main goals in mind for Moira: she should be “fun to play,” “have the opportunity [to] make big game-impacting plays,” and her gameplay should feel “skillful and dynamic.” The latest Experimental Card changes aimed to shift her kit more in that direction.
The latest test also hinged on feedback for Fade specifically. “We wanted it to get used and feel powerful,” Fender said. “Sometimes during earlier phases of development, it’s more helpful to test abilities at their extremes and fine-tune with balancing after.”
The team has been exploring several iterations of Moira’s kit to achieve its goals. “Sometimes during earlier phases of development it’s more helpful to test abilities at their extremes and fine-tune with balancing after,” the official forum post reads.
Discarding the changes to Moira’s kit doesn’t mean that she’s out of the woods, however. The Overwatch team has more approaches to her Damage Orb and Fade but will test them internally over the next few weeks. Fans should expect another batch of tests with changes to Moira “in the future,” Fender said.