PTR D.VA Thoughts

General Discussion
My thoughts compiled here are my opinion, these should not be taken as fact, this is merely how I feel about the D.VA changes that I tried out on the PTR. With that said let us dive in. [Wall of text Incoming]

TLDR: D.VA's changes on PTR make me concerned about the future of D.VA's position in the meta, and I don't think her changes will effect the tank meta. We should wait and see how Ana's changes effect the meta and D.VA's stats.

Overall thoughts: Before getting into my matches, from the changes made to D.VA I expected to be easier to kill in my mech, but according to the bullet and damage changes, I should have expected to feel more consistent in dealing damage and getting kills at a decent mid range. Only one of these felt true after my matches. I certainly felt easier to kill, but I was really struggling to be able to lock down any elims outside of my ult (and to be honest that quad kill ult I got off were my only ult kills in the games I played). Even while being healed by Mercy and Ana, I was surviving, but it didn't feel worth the trouble of healing me. By the time I was at a good close range to try and eliminate enemies, I would just find myself ejecting out of my mech in no time at all. Overall D.VA felt weaker, as this patch included nerfs I expected this, however I also feel like these nerfs make D.VA a pointless pick.

D.Va’s armor often made her feel like she had no weaknesses, even against heroes that are often effective against bigger targets (like Reaper). The changes to her Fusion Cannons will result in a small overall decrease in damage, but they should feel more consistent now.


When reading this developer comment, I can understand some of the thought process that led to this statement. In the current live version of Overwatch, the tank meta has been pretty dominant. With how strong of burst healing Ana provides and the team wiping potential nano boost gives, teams could have three thanks and not have to worry about having the damage to team wipe or breakthrough enemy lines. D.VA's armor along with Ana's healing grenade bonus healing, essentially meant D.VA would never get to her normal hp pool, she would be healed so much she would have "infinite" armor, and under those circumstances, I can understand how she could be referred to as having no weakness. But is that so?

When you think of D.VA, you might think about her ult, defense matrix, or her flying into your face with her boosters and firing away. However, I doubt anyone would ever complain about something like, "D.VA's range is so ridiculous, I can't believe she could kill me from all the way over there." D.VA is a close range offensive tank, from my understanding or through process her kit was designed to make her play in this style, which is why I find a change which would make her more consistent in the medium range, kind of redundant. This also doesn't help her in dealing with characters that excel at fighting D.VA already, such as Mei or Zarya.
With the changes on the PTR currently, I feel like D.VA has an even harder time fighting pretty much every character in the game. In live, as a close range offensive tank, all of D.VA's armor helped her to be one of the few tanks that does well against, what I refer to as, the tank killers, Reaper and Tracer. Now though, a few stray hits from Zenyatta or Soldier 76 effectively takes out my armor, and if I encounter a reaper or a tracer, I stand no chance of being able to beat them. Not to mention the change to D.VA's primary fire does little to even help her be better at fighting any other members of the overwatch cast.

D.VA in my opinion was finally in a position to be a decent pick in the meta, with many of the buffs that have been given to other characters, and the symmetra rework, the heart of the tank meta issue was elsewhere. Ana. The main reason the tank meta works is because of how much Ana contributes to it's success. The goal of my post today, is to delay the changes being made to D.VA on the PTR, until the effects of the Ana nerfs to the tank meta are seen, or not seen. Because if these nerfs go through, the main tanks such as Rein and Zarya, which in my opinion are way too consistent in the game right now, will not be affected by nerfing D.VA. They will still hold a strong place in the meta, and other characters such as D.VA and even Roadhog (hook 2.0 issues) will be left out.

Let me know what you guys think, and have experienced in trying out these changes. :) Also TLDR posted again below just in case.

TLDR: D.VA's changes on PTR make me concerned about the future of D.VA's position in the meta, and I don't think her changes will effect the tank meta. We should wait and see how Ana's changes effect the meta and D.VA's stats.
I love Jeff Kaplan, I have a Jeff Kaplan body pillow. I keep it out for Harambe always just like he asked, but I can't back him on these changes. The changes made to D.Va are just unnecessary, a 200 armor to health change is insane. The damage "buff" is literally a nerf in almost every way other than number of projectiles. I just can't understand it, if someone could explain a situation where D.Va is actually better now I'd want to hear it and know that my Lord Jeff Kaplan hasn't done this to me. I'd rather choke on his Lijiang Tower than have this patch come through.
01/07/2017 07:50 PMPosted by CaTaStRoPhE
I love Jeff Kaplan, I have a Jeff Kaplan body pillow. I keep it out for Harambe always just like he asked, but I can't back him on these changes. The changes made to D.Va are just unnecessary, a 200 armor to health change is insane. The damage "buff" is literally a nerf in almost every way other than number of projectiles. I just can't understand it, if someone could explain a situation where D.Va is actually better now I'd want to hear it and know that my Lord Jeff Kaplan hasn't done this to me. I'd rather choke on his Lijiang Tower than have this patch come through.

The notes don't even call it a damage buff unless they got edited, its supposedly supposed to make it feel more "consistent." I've put in most of the day testing PTR on my weekend and my experience is this.
The match ups she was most likely to engage in at close range, she is doing worse in. I feel like tracer/torb/Hog etc are now wrecking D.Va's meka easily.
I applaud you for actually playing on the PTR as it seems a lot of people are just forming opinions based on no actual playtime. I say this because you can spot the people who actually played DVa on PTR and they all say the same things compared to the people who just say "She is OP the nerf is fine"

Some things I have noticedwith people who have not played her on the PTR love to bring up the math behind the nerf. However they fail to consider how often you are going to be at top health during a match. Here is a scenario to explain this.

lets say at 100 hp and you go to heal you don't get armor 1st. So if you get a small health pack you will be at 175 no armor and a big health pack will put you at 350 no armor. So unless you run to a healer it will be hard to maintain that armor uptime. Now I know other heroes have the same problem however they get abilities to offset this. Winston with his bubble and Roadhog with his self heal. So that is what I was finding during my play testing I had to make sure to always find a healer to get the armor back, camp a large health pack or use terrain to help mitigate damage and just forget the armor.

Now I still need to do more testing with DVa but those are the results I am seeing and while I can see why on paper the armor nerf makes sense in reality you aren't going to be able to maintain that armor during the course of a round. I am sure someone will say "But she has DM" which is true. However DM you can not attack or turn around to fly away. So really DM is useless to DVa as an escape mechanic as it should be. The best thing I can think of is while boosting maybe have a buff which mitigates damage by 20%.


Also on PTR the Ana changes have done little to curb her burst healing and she is still a number one must pick. Here is why.

For example lets say a Reaper goes to kill a Roadhog at 600 hp. This would take the Reaper about 3 seconds or 6 shots if doing max damage. However Ana can heal the Roadhog to full in about 4 seconds at her PTR state and that isn't even with the other healer healing the Roadhog. Now lets look at this with a different healer Mercy who heals at 60hps 2nd to Ana for highest hps. It would take a Mercy 10 seconds to heal a Roadhog to full. This is why there is an Ana in every match on both sides. If you don't have an Ana you are at a huge disadvantage.


I will say this I miss Reaper he is one of my favorite dps and it is sad that he is dead in comp but I don't see him coming back with these changes and I don't see the tank meta going away (people seem to think that DVa was the only tank). I wish they would have just buffed Reapers damage versus armor giving him unique features to fight tanks. Maybe even have Reaper apply a healing debuff when he attacks this way it is harder to heal the target he is attacking. I don't know just throwing out ideas that would make Reaper a counter pick for a heavy tank setup.
01/07/2017 08:04 PMPosted by D4G
I applaud you for actually playing on the PTR as it seems a lot of people are just forming opinions based on no actual playtime. I say this because you can spot the people who actually played DVa on PTR and they all say the same things compared to the people who just say "She is OP the nerf is fine"

Some things I have noticedwith people who have not played her on the PTR love to bring up the math behind the nerf. However they fail to consider how often you are going to be at top health during a match. Here is a scenario to explain this.

lets say at 100 hp and you go to heal you don't get armor 1st. So if you get a small health pack you will be at 175 no armor and a big health pack will put you at 350 no armor. So unless you run to a healer it will be hard to maintain that armor uptime. Now I know other heroes have the same problem however they get abilities to offset this. Winston with his bubble and Roadhog with his self heal. So that is what I was finding during my play testing I had to make sure to always find a healer to get the armor back, camp a large health pack or use terrain to help mitigate damage and just forget the armor.

Now I still need to do more testing with DVa but those are the results I am seeing and while I can see why on paper the armor nerf makes sense in reality you aren't going to be able to maintain that armor during the course of a round. I am sure someone will say "But she has DM" which is true. However DM you can not attack or turn around to fly away. So really DM is useless to DVa as an escape mechanic as it should be. The best thing I can think of is while boosting maybe have a buff which mitigates damage by 20%.


Also on PTR the Ana changes have done little to curb her burst healing and she is still a number one must pick. Here is why.

For example lets say a Reaper goes to kill a Roadhog at 600 hp. This would take the Reaper about 3 seconds or 6 shots if doing max damage. However Ana can heal the Roadhog to full in about 4 seconds at her PTR state and that isn't even with the other healer healing the Roadhog. Now lets look at this with a different healer Mercy who heals at 60hps 2nd to Ana for highest hps. It would take a Mercy 10 seconds to heal a Roadhog to full. This is why there is an Ana in every match on both sides. If you don't have an Ana you are at a huge disadvantage.


I will say this I miss Reaper he is one of my favorite dps and it is sad that he is dead in comp but I don't see him coming back with these changes and I don't see the tank meta going away (people seem to think that DVa was the only tank). I wish they would have just buffed Reapers damage versus armor giving him unique features to fight tanks. Maybe even have Reaper apply a healing debuff when he attacks this way it is harder to heal the target he is attacking. I don't know just throwing out ideas that would make Reaper a counter pick for a heavy tank setup.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post, I really enjoyed reading your thoughts as well. I guess my hope of seeing Reaper back in the meta won't be coming true any time soon. I think the real end to the triple tank meta will probably come when Sombra play is developed more, and can be used effectively to get hacks off on shields or drop godly emps. What are your thoughts on her(DVA) dps on the PTR atm? I'm kind of interested to see how you think she plays versus the rest of the cast with that change.
Edit:because I didn't transition to talking about Dva smoothly
01/07/2017 08:04 PMPosted by D4G
I will say this I miss Reaper he is one of my favorite dps and it is sad that he is dead in comp but I don't see him coming back with these changes and I don't see the tank meta going away (people seem to think that DVa was the only tank). I wish they would have just buffed Reapers damage versus armor giving him unique features to fight tanks. Maybe even have Reaper apply a healing debuff when he attacks this way it is harder to heal the target he is attacking. I don't know just throwing out ideas that would make Reaper a counter pick for a heavy tank setup.
Oh um on that note in PTR I'm not sure if you've heard or noticed, but Hog shuts down reaper so easily, he's less viable now from what I've seen
01/07/2017 08:18 PMPosted by Ceratisa
01/07/2017 08:04 PMPosted by D4G
I will say this I miss Reaper he is one of my favorite dps and it is sad that he is dead in comp but I don't see him coming back with these changes and I don't see the tank meta going away (people seem to think that DVa was the only tank). I wish they would have just buffed Reapers damage versus armor giving him unique features to fight tanks. Maybe even have Reaper apply a healing debuff when he attacks this way it is harder to heal the target he is attacking. I don't know just throwing out ideas that would make Reaper a counter pick for a heavy tank setup.
Oh um on that note in PTR I'm not sure if you've heard or noticed, but Hog shuts down reaper so easily, he's less viable now from what I've seen

This makes me sad, but on the plus side, hook isn't quite as consistent.
01/07/2017 08:20 PMPosted by Vade
01/07/2017 08:18 PMPosted by Ceratisa
...Oh um on that note in PTR I'm not sure if you've heard or noticed, but Hog shuts down reaper so easily, he's less viable now from what I've seen

This makes me sad, but on the plus side, hook isn't quite as consistent.
I mean, less consistent around corners, it far more reliably lets hog destroy mei and reaper now though.
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post, I really enjoyed reading your thoughts as well. I guess my hope of seeing Reaper back in the meta won't be coming true any time soon.


I am glad you enjoyed my response I know my post can be pretty lengthy and I often wonder if anyone really reads them. I am glad to see they do. As far as Reaper yeah I don't see him coming back in this patch and as long as they keep changing the wrong heroes it might be a while until he can shine.

I think the real end to the triple tank meta will probably come when Sombra play is developed more


The end will come when they get rid of Ana's burst healing. Unfortunately Sombra can't affect that.

What are your thoughts on her(DVA) dps on the PTR atm? I'm kind of interested to see how you think she plays versus the rest of the cast with that change.


I wanted to avoid the dps talk because I am actually pretty mixed about it. The reason being is a dps nerf was indeed needed. On live it is a rarity for me to not be gold in damage. However I do not like the damage nerf as it feels strange is the best way to put it. I feel like I am doing more damage at a medium distance and have now been in the range of silver and bronze for damage. However this could also be do to the fact if I even look at a 76 I am demeched. So while I don't like what they did for the damage I like the results that it has given and I imagine if they didn't touch her armor she would still be playable even with the damage change but it is hard to know for sure as the armor nerf is just so bad.

Now a thing I think about on the topic of tank damage is when it comes playing Roadhog I am pretty much gold damage with him as well except when there is a DVa. Even Zarya can be gold in the right hands and I find myself often thinking should a tank do that much damage? This is were my thinking becomes pretty odd as this game is a fps at its core but it has tried to put the rpg trinity in it and the big question is does this work in an fps. Right now I would say no it does not or at least the way they are designing it.

A tank's role should be to absorb damage from a dps, a dps job should be to kill targets and a support's job should be to keep everyone alive. However right now we have tanks who do more damage then a dps. We have healers who can out heal a dps's damage. This is why we are in the tank meta and it is not going away until dps can do what they are designed to do better then a tank. However once you think about a tanks role is to be a dps sponge it doesn't sound as fun to play them in a fps. This is why I think tanks should have utility abilities that could cause disturbances. An example would be Zarya's shielding a dps. This is a great way a tank can provide utility to a team.

Oh um on that note in PTR I'm not sure if you've heard or noticed, but Hog shuts down reaper so easily, he's less viable now from what I've seen


Ohhhhhh yeah I have heard and tested and yeah I feel hook 2.0 is more a buff in some ways. I am not a hog main but I would say he is my number two favorite tank so I have a bit of play time with him. I tested his hook on PTR and really it felt better as I was killing targets that were before on the hard scale of killing such as Zarya and Ana.

Some things to consider with the hog changes are how many times can you actually count that a roadhog hooked you through a wall and killed you. Once a game, twice a game or was it every single time. The reality is it is a low number but that doesn't make it any less frustrating which is why they spent a good amount of time on one ability. However good hogs are not going to be hooking targets through walls because even hook 1.0 could just act weird and not pull them. They are looking for targets that are out of place or when that Rein drops his shield for that Flamestrike.

It is a little early to tell what hook 2.0 will hold as the developers have already stated they are going to be putting in some changes because of that Lucio pole dance video. So once they put those changes in I will give Roadhog a bit better go as I see DVa not being played at all after the patch.
01/08/2017 04:39 AMPosted by D4G
I wanted to avoid the dps talk because I am actually pretty mixed about it. The reason being is a dps nerf was indeed needed. On live it is a rarity for me to not be gold in damage. However I do not like the damage nerf as it feels strange is the best way to put it. I feel like I am doing more damage at a medium distance and have now been in the range of silver and bronze for damage. However this could also be do to the fact if I even look at a 76 I am demeched. So while I don't like what they did for the damage I like the results that it has given and I imagine if they didn't touch her armor she would still be playable even with the damage change but it is hard to know for sure as the armor nerf is just so bad.

Now a thing I think about on the topic of tank damage is when it comes playing Roadhog I am pretty much gold damage with him as well except when there is a DVa. Even Zarya can be gold in the right hands and I find myself often thinking should a tank do that much damage? This is were my thinking becomes pretty odd as this game is a fps at its core but it has tried to put the rpg trinity in it and the big question is does this work in an fps. Right now I would say no it does not or at least the way they are designing it.

A tank's role should be to absorb damage from a dps, a dps job should be to kill targets and a support's job should be to keep everyone alive. However right now we have tanks who do more damage then a dps. We have healers who can out heal a dps's damage. This is why we are in the tank meta and it is not going away until dps can do what they are designed to do better then a tank. However once you think about a tanks role is to be a dps sponge it doesn't sound as fun to play them in a fps. This is why I think tanks should have utility abilities that could cause disturbances. An example would be Zarya's shielding a dps. This is a great way a tank can provide utility to a team.


Wouldn't tanks getting gold in damage be a side-effect of their nigh-invincibility provided by Ana? You don't have to be as careful about how you engage when you have such strong heals coming your way all the time. The more you're engaged with the enemy, the more your damage goes up. If Ana's heals were nerfed, tanks would have to spend more time protecting their team and/or jockeying for position instead of engaging the enemy, and their damage would go down.

I just feel like the state of the meta can mostly be traced back to Ana's insane healing capacity. I'd rather they nerf Ana instead and see how it shakes out; treat the disease, not the symptoms.

In particular, with all these nerfs to D.Va, I'm not sure how they intend for her to be played. She can't do decent damage unless she's in close, and has boosters to facilitate tactically zipping in and out, but they reduced her effective health so she gets melted at close range thanks to her huge hitbox and inconvenient crit box location, and even nerfed her Defense Matrix so it doesn't work as well in close.

Based on the notes I read, it feels like these changes were made solely with Reaper's role in mind, with no thought spared for what D.Va's supposed to be.
Wouldn't tanks getting gold in damage be a side-effect of their nigh-invincibility provided by Ana? You don't have to be as careful about how you engage when you have such strong heals coming your way all the time. The more you're engaged with the enemy, the more your damage goes up. If Ana's heals were nerfed, tanks would have to spend more time protecting their team and/or jockeying for position instead of engaging the enemy, and their damage would go down.


You are a 100% correct there is a direct correlation to staying alive and damage. However I was getting gold as DVa before Ana existed and we need to think what role "should" a tank be preforming. Which goes back to the trinity (tank/dps/heal). A tank should never have more damage then a dps even if that tank is alive longer. A tank should rely on the dps to do there job and a dps should rely on the tank to help keep them alive by controlling the surrounding opponents.

Lets look at another tank Roadhog who is classified as a tank. However does Roadhog actually perform the role of a "tank"? Not really. Sure if someone is focusing your dps he could hook them to peel a tank function but the reality he isn't really going to keep a dps alive. So this puts Roadhog as more a dps. Which means we have a tank in a dps role.

Now if I was to ask you who would win Roadhog or 76 in a 1v1 and they are 20m apart who would you pick. You might be inclined to say Roadhog as he has more health and the ability to one shot that 76. That is the reality a Roadhog has to much damage as a "tank". Imagine if we changed Roadhog's shot gun to only be able to put a hero at half health. This would mean he would need to rely on the dps to help kill the target thus fulling the role of a tank by setting up a kill but not actually being the one who does the killing.

I just feel like the state of the meta can mostly be traced back to Ana's insane healing capacity.


And this is what a lot of the posts about why there is a tank meta in the first place are saying. The problem is these posts get buried by the ones saying "Ding Dong the witch is dead" and very few care and believe that by DVa being gone so will the tank meta. However as long as Ana has insane burst heal the tank meta will probably won't change it will just shift to another tank.

Based on the notes I read, it feels like these changes were made solely with Reaper's role in mind, with no thought spared for what D.Va's supposed to be.


I have no idea what they were thinking with the nerf's which was the same thing I was thinking when they buffed her health. I have and still feel the Overwatch team has no clue how to balance this game. I know that may sound harsh but I don't feel this game is in a better state then it was a year ago.

Take a look at Heroes of the Storm. They put out Ragnaros a while ago and at first he was OP. Why do we know he was op because us as players have been given tools by the dev team to track this and we could see he had a 60% winrate. Once you played Ragnaros as players you could see what abilities that were the strongest and this could be verified by the tools given and we as players could see this. Guess what those were the abilities that got nerfed. Now were these nerfs a hammer to make the hero unplayable no they were actually more in line with what Sombra got small adjustments or tweaks to not make the hero unplayable.

Did the community of hots come in uproar and say how bad these nerfs were for poor Ragnaros. Nope because we had the tools and we could see what was needed and we agreed with the development team. Basically the development team was inline with the community and the community was inline with the development team so there was no need to bring out the pitch forks because it made sense.

When 76 was nerfed the community said to the dev team wait this isn't right. Did this listen? Nope the changes went through and nobody touched 76 in comp. When Widow got nerfed the community said hold this is a bit much. Did they listen? Nope now Widow is a troll pick. Now when we say the DVa nerfs are too much. Will they listen? The track record points to no. I can't think of a patch were a hero got nerfed that the community said hold on and it didn't affect there overall play rate of that hero.

So while yes could could say they did this to help Reaper perform better against DVa but this doesn't feel like a way to make Reaper stronger seems like it just makes other dps preform better which means why play Reaper at all. If they want to encourage Reaper play give him tools to do his role. In another post someone said why not allow Reaper to do more damage against armor. Would this not make Reaper stronger against DVa? Wouldn't this promote counter play? And wouldn't this promote bringing another hero up while not affecting another to much?
I play D.Va a lot for the record. I thought the 100 health buff she received in November was a mistake, and said so repeatedly. I think she needs a nerf, but I don't know why that nerf isn't basically to revert her to 400 armor/100 health but to leave in the boost to movement speed while firing. Before she had that 100 extra health, she would lose fights to skilled players if she engaged poorly. She would lose nearly 100% of the time to Zarya and Mei, things meant to counter her. To me, it was those engagements they needed to correct for. Her damage has always been very spammy, so those damage totals she wracked up weren't really a good way to gauge her impact on a match.

Nothing in Overwatch happens in a vacuum. There are a couple of things I think people should consider about what happens with these changes if they go live as is:

  • 76, already the top DPS option in this Meta, is now even stronger with about the main thing keeping him in check getting nerfed.
  • Widowmaker is secretly right now the second best DPS option on Attack after Soldier in the right hands. Weakening D.Va just strengthens that position.
  • Before the last Meta, the consistently 4th-5th best Meta character for some time was Winston. With his two best counters being nerfed along with Triple Tank, expect a major Winston resurgence. He may even become the top tank again.
  • Pharah has seen a slight resurgence as of late. Part of this was because running double hitscan against a team with a D.VA wasn't viable. We could see Pharah returning to her prior F tier spot
  • I don't think Reaper either benefits or doesn't benefit terribly much from these changes. The reason he became dominant in the Meta was triple tank without D.Va, but if we're returning to 2/2/2 and Roadhog in particular will be picked less, there are fewer tanks to fight anyway.


So I wouldn't get too excited yet, Reaper and Pharah mains. I think we're about to see the birth of the Double Hitscan Meta with Soldier, McCree, and Widow running rampant. That could in turn see Mei come back in vogue, though Mei struggles against Widow. Genji and Tracer will benefit both from the return of Winston along with being good options to keep Widow in check. I don't mind as I play a lot of Winston, so I'm all too happy to go back to playing him.

Now to see how wrong I am about any/all of this lol.
01/08/2017 09:02 PMPosted by D4G
You are a 100% correct there is a direct correlation to staying alive and damage. However I was getting gold as DVa before Ana existed and we need to think what role "should" a tank be preforming. Which goes back to the trinity (tank/dps/heal). A tank should never have more damage then a dps even if that tank is alive longer. A tank should rely on the dps to do there job and a dps should rely on the tank to help keep them alive by controlling the surrounding opponents.

Lets look at another tank Roadhog who is classified as a tank. However does Roadhog actually perform the role of a "tank"? Not really. Sure if someone is focusing your dps he could hook them to peel a tank function but the reality he isn't really going to keep a dps alive. So this puts Roadhog as more a dps. Which means we have a tank in a dps role.

Now if I was to ask you who would win Roadhog or 76 in a 1v1 and they are 20m apart who would you pick. You might be inclined to say Roadhog as he has more health and the ability to one shot that 76. That is the reality a Roadhog has to much damage as a "tank". Imagine if we changed Roadhog's shot gun to only be able to put a hero at half health. This would mean he would need to rely on the dps to help kill the target thus fulling the role of a tank by setting up a kill but not actually being the one who does the killing.

Though I personally don't like pigeonholing characters based on an arbitrary classification, in this case I do see your point: characters that are hard to kill need trade-offs compared to those who are easier to kill, and you feel they currently lack them. That's a fair assessment.

I spoke about this with a friend of mine who's a D.Va main, and he didn't have much of a problem with the damage nerf on its own. If D.Va does indeed need to be tuned down, I think it would be best to start with that and see how it goes. It's like conducting a science experiment: you don't introduce a bunch of variables at once because it messes up the data.

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