Ana’s Overwatch buffs may be making their way into Heroes of the Storm
Last week, a new Overwatch PTR build went out and it brought with it a single yet significant change to how Ana’s Biotic Rifle impacts allies. Rather than hitting full-health heroes, the Biotic Rifle will now ignore them entirely. Previously, the rifle — which can heal allies and hurt enemies — hit its first target no matter what. This worked just fine in most situations, but occasionally could result in something pretty frustrating. If you’re firing at Hero A who has 10% of their health and suddenly Hero B who has full health jumps in front of your shot, the heal would go to Hero B — thus, being entirely wasted.
This phenomenon wasn’t exclusive to Overwatch, either. Ana’s Heroes of the Storm counterpart would frequently experience the very same thing. When a Reddit user pointed out that the Overwatch version of Ana was suddenly going to be more functional and less frustrating than the Heroes version, Blizzard chimed in with some good news. “I just spoke with a couple of our tech guys and we will be testing this internally :),” wrote /u/Blizz_Daybringer, one of the game’s designers. Now, this isn’t a guaranteed update to the Support sniper, but it’s promising.
More importantly, it makes one wonder if these sorts of cross-game updates will continue as heroes are updated in their source games. This particular change is important, but it’s by no means a full-on rework. Plus, what works for one game might not work for another. Tracer is a good example of this, as her Recall ability in Heroes doesn’t restore health unless you talent into it at level 20. In Overwatch, not restoring health would make her significantly weaker. In Heroes, it would make her too strong.
The question of cross-game uniformity
But what about someone like Hanzo? His recent changes went live last week, which means he no longer has Scatter Arrow in Overwatch. “Simple geometry” has far less relevance when he’s not even bouncing arrows off walls. It’s a good change for his Overwatch hero, but would it be a good change for his Heroes counterpart? Moreover, even if it were a good change for Heroes, would it be the right decision to replace it with Storm Arrow? Or would it be better for the Heroes team to try to make Scatter Arrow more fun?
It’s an interesting topic to think about, and I ultimately think it needs to come down to a case-by-case basis. A couple years from now, if Hanzo still has Scatter Arrow in Heroes, a new player might have no idea where the ability originated from and wonder why he’s not more like Overwatch’s Hanzo. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so — as long as Hanzo’s still fun to play as. After all, Heroes characters almost always have a “new” Heroic Ability so as to fit the Heroes talent system. But Blizzard may want to keep as much uniformity across games as possible for the sake of easing in new players, and that’s okay too. But again, that’s as long as he remains fun to play.
I’ll be keeping an eye on updates to Heroes characters as they undergo reworks in their original universe, primarily because I find it fascinating. For now, Ana players can hopefully look forward to no longer wasting shots on that one guy who always managed to jump in front of you at the last second.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!
Join the Discussion
Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our commenting and community guidelines.