Overwatch as a game is incredibly well-balanced out of the gate. There are very few games that can appear so well-balanced and require very few tweaks so early into its release. Now, there have been a couple balance changes such as the nerf to McCree and Widowmaker, but after that it would appear that the game is at an almost perfect spot with its heroes. Almost. There is one hero that stands out from them all, and that is D.Va.
D.Va is at a stage in the game that, while she can certainly be effective, she is no doubt in a poor spot at the moment. As a tank, she definitely does not feel very tanky, and as a damage dealer she doesn’t feel as though she does very much damage. She is in a very niche spot, and isn’t too effective in that spot at the moment, so today I’m going to offer my opinion on D.Va’s strengths, weaknesses, and what we can do to fix them. So let’s begin!
What does D.Va do well?
D.Va has the best mobility as a tank. She has her flying boosters which allow her to traverse the map extremely easily, and with only a 5s cooldown they are up very consistently. Being a tank, she can also survive most drive-by damage, and if she finds herself in a bad spot she can just boost herself out of there.
She also has some excellent survivability in certain situations. Now, D.Va as a character dies rather fast for reasons I will discuss later, but she has a ton of tools to keep her alive, and a nuisance, for as long as possible. The boosters keep her safe, while her defense matrix will stop any incoming damage for a short time. If her mech is actually destroyed, D.Va can hop out and fight on foot, allowing her to call back another mech in due time.
Finally, D.Va does have a nice, if mildly risky, burst combo. Using her boosters and melee attack she can bump into somebody for 25 damage, melee for 30 damage, and then be right in the face of her enemy to blast them with her primary weapons. This can do deceptive damage to squishy targets and few will expect this burst combo to come at them.
What does D.Va do poorly at?
She dies far too fast. Even though she is a tank, she has a glaring weakness which is her headshot hitbox. She does have a very high amount of armor which is good for a tank, but she has no alternative way to direct fire like most other tanks do. Once her defense matrix is down, she’s open to a ton of damage, and the extremely large headshot hitbox doesn’t help either. This also couples with the fact that she moves slower when firing her weapons, making it even easier to hit her weak spot.
The next issue would be the damage she deals. Her primary weapon is, at its core, just a poor tool. The damage is 0.5-3 damage per pellet and she only fires 8 pellets a shot. This means that unless she is directly in your face she will do almost no real damage, and if she is in your face then you have an even larger opportunity to hit her headshot box.
Finally, her last major issue is her ultimate. The self-destruct is a scary ability, but only for your first few times fighting her. After a few games of Overwatch the massive, glowing, warning icon will be apparent to everybody in the game, and is no longer a threat to the enemy team. You can simply walk behind anything that blocks line of sight, and since it takes very long to explode almost everybody has that opportunity.
What can we do to help D.Va?
The number one, biggest, most obvious thing to change is her headshot hitbox. This can be done many ways. One way would be to make it so that instead of getting a headshot by shooting the cockpit at all, you only get it when shooting D.Va herself in the cockpit. Another way this could be done is by adding some form of mech power supply to the character. Blizzard did this to Bastion by removing his forward facing barrier shield in turret form, and gave him a headshot power source behind him. D.Va could use a power supply in the back of her mech, or perhaps on a specific spot in the front of her mech, to act as the headshot hitbox instead of the cockpit itself.
The second way to buff D.Va is to give her more damage on her main weapons, OR at least make it so she doesn’t slow down when she fires them. Her weapon damage is incredibly abysmal at long-range, but unfortunately doesn’t do much at close range either. You need a decent amount of consistent time firing to ever actually take an enemy player down. If you were to remove her movement restrictions when she was firing, this could help her stick to enemies easier, or dodge more incoming damage. If you were to upgrade her damage, I would imagine a buff to close-range pellet damage is in order. She is supposed to be an up-close and personal tank, and should have the damage to do so. If not upping the damage numbers specifically, a buff to rate of fire could help make her a kind of bullet hose that allows enemies to prioritize her far more often.
If I had to point out the two specific things that D.Va needs changing, it’s her weapon damage and headshot hitbox. The difficult part about figuring out which change to make is too much or too little. Weapon damage may make her overpowered, and headshot hitbox may not do enough. Doing both could make her far too overpowered or just right depending on the exact numbers they change. Regardless, while D.Va can still be used effectively like every other hero in the game, she definitely could use some tweaking. I hope you all enjoyed this insight into D.Va’s state in the game, and for more Overwatch content you can come right here to rogarena.com!