Old-school Overwatch: Power Creep Reversions

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Hey guys, I recently watched SVB's The Great DPS Debate with Seagull, Samito, and Freedo. During this video (which I highly recommend you all check out here: the guys of course discuss the issue of power creep in the DPS category, specifically as a result of the GOATS meta. As a result, I've made this gamemode, dubbed "Old-school Overwatch" that attempts to revert a number of the changes to the DPS category since May 2018. Nearly every character has been changed! All the specific changes can be found at the bottom of this description.

First, I'd like to address what I mean by power creep. Now, I think we all know that power creep is a difficult and nebulous thing to discuss, but here's how I've defined it for the purposes of my reversions, and the design philosophies I've tried to follow. Ultimately, rather than simply dealing with "power creep", I tried to narrow things down to the kinds of changes that people generally consider to be "power creep."

  1. Increases to Sustain and Mobility: These increases are typically shown in the decreasing cooldowns of mobility options. In modern Overwatch, this seems to increase reliance on these defensive cooldowns, prolonging fights. By reverting them, I hope it will give more nuance to the use of these cooldowns, with timing being more important and windows to punish being increases, while also providing a focus on FPS mechanics, rather than the more MOBAesque gameplay we see today.
  2. Increases to DPS: These increases are generally shown as increases in damage, firerate, or decreases in damage-dealing cooldowns. Of course, these sorts of changes increase lethality. However, as tanks and barriers have been completely rebalanced, these changes that originally let them compete with tanks now lead to some lopsided interactions, specifically between tanks and damage heroes. As the newest changes to Orisa and Sigma are rolling out, I'm hoping that these changes can make interactions between tanks and damage characters feel more meaningful, mainting the potential for both sides to outplay each other through big brains and skillful mechanics.

Second, here's how I generally categorized the changes:

  1. Philosophy Shifts/Consistency of Design

These are generally changes that were made by Blizzard when they adjusted similar abilities universally. For example, this would include the changes that were universally made to damage falloff, or to stuns across the board. The falloff changes have been kept as they simply improved consistency in the game, in my opinion. The stun changes have also been kept because I believe that weakening stuns emphasizesplayer agency in the interactions they have by giving them more of an avenue to punish a botched ability. In summary, both of these changes seem both balanced and healthy, so they've been kept.

  1. Quality of Life

Quality of life changes are typically changes that I would consider more along the lines of bugfixes and adjustments to character "feel". Some examples would include the adjustments to enemy air control when under the effect of Doomfist's abilities, or even minor adjustments like the increase in reload speed to Ashe's Coach Gun. In summary, these changes have generally been kept because they tend to improve the feel and reliability of character's tools without having a drastic impact on their balance.

  1. Balance Changes

Balance Changes are changes that I consider to have been made in order to either increase heroes' sustain during fights with the oppressive GOATS comp, to increase the pace at which they can move in and out of combat to deal with GOATS comp, increases to DPS through firerate or straight damage increases, as well as any similar buffs that have been applied to DPS after the fact, likely to put them more in line with other DPS heroes. Some examples cold include the decrease in Doomfist's Seismic Slam and Rising Uppercut cooldowns, the increase in Mccree's primary fire recovery, or the increases to Junkrat's Frag Launcher damage and projectile speed. In summary, changes of this nature have been reverted, typically to their state before GOATs entered the meta.

  1. Reworks

Reworks are fairly self-explanatory. These are typically changes that alter one or more of a Hero's abilities in order to help them interact more healthily with the game. Typically, I believe these are made in order to push characters in the more niche roles of the DPS roster to perform more as generalist picks. While I'm not certain I entirely like these changes, the question of whether we should favor a design philosophy that favors niche picks or generalist picks is not the one I am trying to address with this gamemode.

Ultimately, I hope I'm providing a fun little experiment to see what Overwatch could be, and I appreciate any time anyone is taking to provide feedback and play my gamemode!

Balance Changes:
Hanzo, Reaper, Sombra, Symmetra, and Widowmaker are unchanged.


  1. Ammo Capacity reduced from 15 to 12
  2. Dynamite Cooldown increased from 10 seconds to 12 seconds.


  1. Self-healing reduced from 90 hps to 75 hps
  2. Self-repair rate of consumption reduced by 15%.


  1. Seismic Slam cooldown increased from 6 seconds to 7 seconds.
  2. Rising Uppercut cooldown increased from 6 seconds to 7 seconds.


  1. Shuriken Damage decreased from 30 per shuriken to 28 per shuriken.
  2. Ammo Capacity reduced from 30 to 24.
  3. Deflect Duration reduced to 1.5 seconds.
  4. No longer able to manually cancel Deflect.


  1. Projectile Speed decreased by 20%.
  2. Projectile Gravity decreased by 15%.
  3. Damage Dealt reduced by 8%.


  1. Primary Fire recovery increased from .42 seconds to .5 seconds.


  1. Primary Fire damage reduced from 2.75 to 2.25 per tick.


  1. Primary Fire recovery increased from .75 seconds to .9 seconds.
  2. Concussive Blast cooldown increased from 10 seconds to 12 seconds.

Soldier 76:

  1. Helix Rocket cooldown increased from 6 seconds to 8 seconds.


  1. Max Health reduced by 20%.
  2. Overload Armor Pool increased by 20.


  1. Damage falloff calculation now begins at 10 meters rather than 13 meters.
Categories: Hero Adjustments
Heroes:, Orisa, Reinhardt, Roadhog, Sigma, and 27 more...
Created at:
Last updated:
Current version: 1.0.0

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