The Overwatch developers have headed back to the lab to cook up some new changes to the game’s most polarizing healer, Moira.
In late July, the developers tested an Experimental Card that gave Moira a new kit, including a boosted damage orb and a team-wide Fade ability. These changes didn’t go over well with the community, but the Overwatch team later said it was just a comprehensive test.
Today, the developer team released a second attempt at Moira changes on the Experimental Card. This round of changes keeps some of the alterations to Moira’s kit but has vastly reduced the overpowered nature of her abilities from the first Experimental Card. Moira’s Fade ability, as well as Reaper’s Wraith Form, will also no longer work against some enemy ultimates.
Since this is an Experimental Card, any changes listed in the patch notes aren’t guaranteed to make it to live servers in their current state or at all.
- Biotic Grasp attach angle reduced by 37 percent.
This is the only change that’s remained in full from the first Moira Experimental Card. It seems minor, but it gives enemies a better chance to escape Moira’s grasp and forces Moira players to be more accurate with their aiming.
- Biotic Damage Orb now sticks to enemies when impacting them, instead of piercing through them.
- The orb only deals damage if stuck to a target. It deals a constant 60 DPS to all enemies. It will remain on a stuck player for three seconds or until 120 damage is dealt to that player, whichever happens first.
- Damage Orb is destroyed if it hits an enemy barrier.
- Reduced max number of bounces to one.
- Increased projectile speed from 20 to 25.
In the previous Experimental Card, Moira’s Biotic Damage Orb got buffed into oblivion, causing massive amounts of damage to enemies in close proximity. In this round of changes, the Damage Orb’s focus is now on “attaching” to an enemy and inflicting damage.
On the live Overwatch servers, Moira’s Damage Orb bounces wildly in any enclosed space and inflicts damage as it passes enemies. With these Experimental changes, the orb will now stick to a target and deal a maximum of 120 damage. It’ll only bounce once but can be sent off faster. Most importantly, the Damage Orb will be destroyed if it hits a barrier, massively reducing Moira’s effectiveness against shield heroes like Reinhardt and Orisa.
- Fade now phases out all allies within six meters (and self) for one second after exiting Fade.
- Fade no longer frees Moira or allies from Zarya’s Graviton Surge or Sigma’s Gravitic Flux.
- Cooldown increased from six seconds to eight seconds.
The Overwatch community effectively lost its mind with this change to Fade in the last Experimental Card, but it seems to be sticking around in this iteration as well. Instead of only working on herself, Moira’s Fade now affects all of her nearby allies for a second after the ability ends.
This time around, Fade’s cooldown is increased and certain ultimates can’t be avoided. Many Sigma and Zarya players had issues with the previous Experimental Card because an entire team could avoid a Graviton Surge or Gravitic Flux, rendering the ability useless.
Overall, the changes to Moira’s kit reflect the developers’ goals to make her a fun hero that can make “skillful and dynamic” plays. This round of changes exists as a toned-down, refined version of the original changes proposed to Moira’s kit.
- Wraith Form no longer frees Reaper from Zarya’s Graviton Surge or Sigma’s Gravitic Flux.
Other heroes aren’t immune to changes, either. With the change to Moira’s new Fade, Reaper’s version of the ability also gets a tune-up. Currently, Reaper can use Wraith Form to escape nearly any enemy ultimate. These changes make him vulnerable to the same gravity-bending ultimates that other heroes are.
This Experimental Card is live for testing on the Overwatch servers as of Aug. 18. The card will remain in place for at least a week while the community tests these new changes.