Before changes go live in Overwatch, they're pushed to the Public Test Realm to give players a feel for what's coming down the pipeline. The PTR also lets players provide feedback on changes they feel are not enough or nerfs that are too strong. It's the latter category that's causing a furor in the community these days.
The PTR patch notes listed these changes to Overwatch's hefty offensive tank, Roadhog:
- Bullet damage decreased by 33%
- Fire rate increased by 30%
- Clip size increased from 4 to 5
According the developers, the issue was Roadhog's Chain Hook-Scrap Gun combo, which allowed the Hog to kill most heroes in one shot. Savvy players essentially had to bait and dodge the hook, or die outright. Blizzard felt 'instant death machine' was not the spot they wanted Roadhog to occupy, hence the changes above.
Roadhog fans are not happy after playing with Roadhog on the PTR. They are unhappy with the rapid-fire feel of his Primary weapon, but many are simply unhappy that the Hook combo no longer kills in one shot.
"I think his general scrap shots felt fine. It's his hook, 1-shot combo that feels trash now and that's not cool," writes Reddit user Bubblejuiceman in this huge Roadhog thread. "I hate being hooked and insta killed as an Ana main, but that's Hog's job."
"Roadhog felt like a big slow fat dude with a big fat shotgun that fires super slowly and does a butt load of damage. On the PTR not so much. You just feel like a fat reaper/torb. It may be more balanced but it doesn't feel like the same character," added user Maleouf.
Other users have pointed out the the increased rate of fire actually makes Roadhog a stronger counter to other tanks.
"It makes Hog less effective against most squishies, but allows him to shred other tanks faster and a lot easier. His 1 additional bullet also makes it a lot harder for him to be punished for using more ammo on an enemy. It's certainly an interesting change!" said user Moldymash.
Roadhog's nerf is also a big topic on the official Overwatch forums. The major pain point is finding a spot for Roadhog that's not an instant kill, but that also doesn't tread on ground that's meant for Reaper, the supposed tank-killer.
"Roadhog on PTR is not doing his role, not being useful on denying many areas considering he can't oneshoot many heroes properly," wrote player soZehh on the official forums. "With an increased fire rate and lower damage, he is turning more like a DPS rather than a tank. If he even can't punish supports or low health heroes, he will go from 'almost balanced' to 'totally useless'."
"I'd like to point out that I am not asking to revert the changes he received, only that his hook drops the enemy closer than it does now. It drops them at 3.5 meters away, make it 3 meters. This will let hog be able to put more pellets on target and not put him in a bad position in the future," wrote Maudika, offering a potential tweak without reverting the changes.
Of course, some players are just happy that Roadhog is nerfed and the one-shot kill is less of a problem.
"If the enemy team is farming ults off [Roadhod players], you're simply being punished for having bad positioning," wrote user ShiaLaBeouf, referring a common Roadhog player reason that the one-shot kill was allowed in the first place.
"You should always be behind a Rein's shield, otherwise you deserve to be punished for bad positioning," added another poster, I assume with a hearty personal chuckle.
It remains to be seen whether the changes will go live or if Blizzard will offer further tweaks to 'Hog.