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.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

The Overwatch 2 community has been impatiently waiting for meaningful changes to a few of the game’s 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 community’s 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 community’s most popular content creators, Flats and Emongg. Though Dawson wasn’t able to answer all of the community’s 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 community’s 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 Roadhog’s ability to instantly eliminate an enemy after hooking them. 

It’s 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 they’ll 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 weren’t able to change Roadhog in any way at that time,” Dawson explained. “There was a bug, actually, where Roadhog and about three other heroes couldn’t be hotfixed at that time and point.” The bug is apparently fixed as of today’s patch.   

Sojourn was another hero hit hard with the nerf stick in the Jan. 24 patch. She’s 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 Zenyatta’s 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.  

Overwatch 2’s 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. 

Emongg and Flats are some of the Overwatch community’s most prominent creators and they’re particularly tuned into what the populace wants to know about, so they couldn’t resist asking Dawson a few questions about season three, which launches in two weeks. 

He couldn’t 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 that’s 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 Ramattra’s ultimate was mentioned, removing the tank’s ability to continually dismantle a team with his health-draining powers.  

Season three of Overwatch 2 launches on Feb. 7.