PTR: Feedback on D.Va (part 2) [concluded]

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*** UPDATE ***

Developers update had shown there will be no way back and no changes (un)done for D.Va in the oncoming 1.7 patch. The thread can be abandoned as of that (feel free to post anyways of course).

***

Up until original thread is extended (if it will be, of course), here is the second part of the discussion. To forum keepers: if original thread will be extended, please, merge posts from this one is it's possible and also save this version of the main post since it's the most up to date

Original thread: https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752559736

+ update, Jeff on D.Va in the Developers Update:
https://youtu.be/ibPLyx8QWYc?t=9m34s
*TL;DR: Blizzard think D.Va is doing too much. They consider her mobility and get in-get out mechanics as the main power of the hero (although it's not clear how to do it when MEKA melts in ~1-2 seconds now) and the absence of reload frames as a major advantage (although you never fire 100% of the time).

+ update, original thread got Geoff response:
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752559736?page=26#post-502
* TL;DR: all changes are intended and it's not possible armor will be changed back. They also consider damage changes as a good ones.

+update, Geoff on what's D.Va's role now:
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752559736?page=27#post-536
* No TL;DR here: I'm not sure how to comment, please, make your own conclusions.

+ update follow-up:
Since Blizzard has stated I won't continue PTR testing from now on. The thread has served it's purpose and now we know Blizzard wants D.Va to be in the state she is on PTR. Feel free to create "part 3" with any references when this thread is full if you feel like continuing the thread.

***

So following what Jeff said about actual testing and feedback I decided to play there more extensively and for the facts, track some numbers. I will continue to update this feedback thread when I have more results.

So far it's around ~1h of data gathering (update: ~2 hours). There are several points I want to address:

Damage change
This one feels like a big issue. For long time I couldn't realize what's wrong, but I caught it finally: the damage spread makes it unrewarding to aim to the head. As any good D.Va player, you aim to the head and not just tracking the enemy hero model. However, with number of pellets increased, less of them are hitting the crit.box. This means D.Va rewards skill way less now and often enough (RoadHog, Reinhardt) she will deal more damage when specifically non-shooting the head. EDIT: this statement needs to be clarified better - and I mean the falloff + distance conjunction when less pellets hit (it was causing lots of misunderstanding). On the screen it is easily seen by statistics:

http://imgur.com/a/SV0tQ
http://imgur.com/a/D9VjO

Second point, with the damage of pellets decreased, D.Va become very easy target to armored enemies. Before change she had relatively fair match-up with Reinhardt, but now - forget it. It messes me up completely. Since he will be prevalent and now she counters D.Va very strong, it weakens her positions and gives big questions on picking her. Other armored targets are now also a problem, but the main thing is this: in conjunction with less rewarding headshot aiming, shooting armored targets non-crit hits means you'll not win 1 v 1 unless the target is severely damaged.

Third point, with spread naturally increased with more pellets, D.Va damage becomes near useless starting ~10m, she can only possess a threat in point blank range. This means she can no longer oppose flying Pharah at all and suddenly heroes with small hitboxes are a big problem: angular rotation speed is too slow to cover it up for "carousel" tactics.

+ update: to illustrate,
Live version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUkXFloX0W4 (at 8 sec)
PTR version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JcCR0b5Cxo (at 13 sec)

- this is about - what's happening in ~10 and more meters. The circle is same, but the spread within the circle is not and the more damage individual pellet does - the better will be end result. Please, note - on close distance and on big targets it's almost not possible to see the difference, but on something small enough (like head of the bot) it's possible to see the difference.

In practice it means - to consistently deal damage you need to be very close to the target meaning it can start running around and bunny-hoping waiting until the defense ability is off CD. Suddenly I can't counter Widow since she will just run around and then hook away to her team. This also means you often can't shoot from behind Rein shield or the effectiveness is very questionable.

It also means that overall damage is decreasing quite a lot. I understand that "quite a lot" isn't a number, but it's hard to measure damage decrease because of positioning factor. I simply can not now go too close or overextend even a little without being de-suited meaning I keep safer distance and from that distance the damage is significantly lower. I get silver damage with current D.Va often (no, I don't refer to troll games and if the game is serious, I don't get gold) but with the changes it's hard to get even bronze. Again - not numbers, but at least some indication.

+ update, more numbers: https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752559736?page=25#post-500 (credits to Tapkomet)

Health changes

Main point would be: health changes make it so in point blank range D.Va is very fragile. Not a rocket science, but I checked that RoadHog combo leaves me with less than 200HP. Reaper does around 200HP damage per shot. This means it's incredibly difficult to duel heroes in close range. But in same time, as I've written above, in any distance longer than 10m D.Va suffers from extreme lack of damage. On top of this, any armored target means a problem since her shotguns now struggle against them.

The issue is that I noticed - any hero in practice now is a threat whereas before I knew that against some of them I can start bruising and even if the situation was a bit in their favor. I don't argue - it shouldn't be the case when one hero has an advantage against all others, but let's be honest - current D.Va doesn't have advantage against all of them. She is strong against some, weak against some. With the new changes - any hero is a big threat variable to take into equation, positioning becomes very tough and it's difficult to select a point where D.Va isn't punished.

Healing overall
With the fragility D.Va got now - here I would like to note that the only healer which can help sustain D.Va is Ana. Mercy's healing is almost unnoticed on D.Va now, because you heal 60HP and she gets 200+HP damage per second. I don't want to go further on Ana's topic, but when the hero can't be maintained by all of them but one - it's not good. We have similar hero to D.Va in terms of no-armor: RoadHog, but he has self-healing and doesn't suffer from that huge critbox. Sure, D.Va has her matrix, but it doesn't defend against beams + it doesn't defend in circular area + it lasts at most 4 seconds whereas every second without looks like time to search for a cover.

What do I think may help

- Damage. I couldn't come up with anything, but simply revert the nerf. It must be so that head shooting is rewarded. Hence number of pellets shouldn't be increased. And with the fragility she gets now - her damage mechanics shouldn't dictate point blank range that much. Therefore, damage per pellets should be restored. I can't imagine another solution here.

- The armor. To be honest, I'm in doubt that her current health model is causing troubles and is OP, but I assume testing Ana changes on them separately isn't an option. Thus I think she could have a mix of her S2 and S3 health models. There are two options: first, try out 300HP + 300 armor or second, try out 400 armor, 150HP model. Personally, I like second more, but both of them will allow her not to melt that quickly as she does with the changes. One hook from RoadHog shouldn't mean de-suiting, it doesn't feel right. Tank shouldn't suffer from receiving blows like 200+HP in one hit regularly.

Overall thoughts

You introduced several significant nerfs on D.Va at same time - this isn't a good idea. What's more important - one nerf synergizes with another. With damage nerf you made it so she has to go point blank range and with survivability nerf you made it so she melts in this range. In conjunction it hurts a lot. It's two nerfs and one fuels another - not good in my opinion.

I want to see gradual nerf/buff model. So if nerf character - go for it, but not too far. In this case - changing her health to 300/300 or 400/150 may be an option to go. What's also important - you've changed healers in this patch - and that's definitely not a great idea to coincide it with health values changes. That's my opinion.

More feedback threads for this PTR iteration:

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752570008
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752489057
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752659495
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752559736?page=4#post-74 (in this thread)
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752429654
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752529180
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752669657
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752500195
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752559736?page=21#post-403 (in this thread)
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752649942
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752669838 (from DPS-main perspective)
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752621602
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752441215

Match-up summary:
+ update, now gathered more data (in total ~2hours):
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752559736?page=5#post-81
+ update, match-ups for supports and a bit more:
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752559736?page=10#post-181

+ update, a wise man on the D.Va changes (special video on the topic):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im-Me-_MsJc
*note, this is a must watch is you want to see real footage from PTR and still have any doubts on how squishy D.Va is now

+ update, some analysis video on why armor nerf is devastating for D.Va:
https://youtu.be/Ns9asF75Snk
*comparison on how tanks are functioning and why D.Va had her armor and why she needs to have it

P.S. On a feedback in general.

I do believe Jeff and team reads the feedback and his latest post encouraged me to go do and write the feedback. https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752500232?page=8#post-149

I also believe in constructive feedback. Therefore I want that threads with "haha, suffer D.Va and Hog mains" and nothing more are removed from the forums. They bring nothing and only instigate flaming, rage and hatred. I noted many of them as trolling and hope it will help. Please, help me too - let's keep feedback constructive.
Thank you Angel <3
While I agree the nerfs are way too much, perhaps completely unnecessary, I should note that it does not make sense to say that PTR makes it less rewarding to aim for the head (more so than it does make shooting with D.Va less rewarding overall by decreasing the average damage per shot from 24 to 22).

The reason is simple: unless they changed the spread on PTR and/or I don't understand the mechanics of spread (in which case, please correct me with some data), the spread works like this: there's a circle in which any pellet can go, and each pellet randomly goes into the point on the circle using some kind of distribution (doesn't matter which for the purpose of this discussion). Increasing the number of pellets increases the absolute number that both hits and misses, but it should not change the percentages.

If you were to take 1000 shots in Live at someone's head and half of your pellets hit the head (so, 4000 pellets for 12000 damage), and then went on PTR and took those same shots, still half would hit the head, give or take a small number for randomness (so, 5500 pellets for 11000 damage). You'd lose the 8.33% DPS, no more, no less, if you take the same shots, no matter if you're shooting at Rein's shield at point blank or at someone's head from 30 meters away.

As a side note, maximum damage falloff of almost all heroes is 0.3, so presumably D.Va's pellets on PTR deal not 0.9 damage at over 20 meters but rather 2*0.3 = 0.6 damage per pellet (as damage and health in Ovewatch are not necessarily integers, and don't get rounded).

As another side note, she's not much (additionally) weaker vs. armor. Her pellets on Live hit for 3 each, so if you headshot an armored target you lose exactly half of your damage (6 < 10, so gets halved). Even if you were to get nanoboosted while headshotting, that's still only 9 per pellet, so still halved. If the target was Discorded though, then (assuming nanoboost and Discord interact that way, which I'm not sure of) it's now 3*2*1.5*1.3=11.7 damage per pellet on headshot, so 11.7-5 = 6.7 on headshot against an armored target for 53.6 damage. On PTR that same shot would be 2*2*1.5*1.3 = 7.8 damage, so 3.9 against an armored target per pellet for a total of 42.9 damage, or a 20% decrease in damage output.
nice work, all those efforts and pain of getting blown up on ptr as dva shall not go to waste!
Hey we capped another yay, So far I really feel like in general the ptr experiences mentioned here tend to agree. We've even seen feedback matching our own from people who haven't posted before.
01/09/2017 02:34 PMPosted by Ceratisa
Hey we capped another yay, So far I really feel like in general the ptr experiences mentioned here tend to agree. We've even seen feedback matching our own from people who haven't posted before.


what i worry about is the dva fans that is on live and is still unware of the changes and will be really upset if the change go through...
Perhaps statement about hitboxes needs to be clarified better (I added this specifically). The issue with hitbox is there only on ~10 and more meters. This does not disqualify anything which was said - it is exactly what I was experiencing (i.e. the necessity to go nose to nose), just explaining it better. And of course, slight damage fall is there in close range too (but that's expected, after all it's 24 -> 22 total reduction)
Dva absolutely needed these nerfs, so what that she wont be an unstoppable killing machine like she was before? She never should have been that in the first place AND she is still stronger in the PTR than she was before her previous BUFF. Dva is fine and the game absolutely needed this balance change. You just got use to her being able to 1v1 any character in the game which is absurd. I for one cant wait to see these changes go live.
01/09/2017 02:58 PMPosted by Jkilla
Dva absolutely needed these nerfs, so what that she wont be an unstoppable killing machine like she was before? She never should have been that in the first place AND she is still stronger in the PTR than she was before her previous BUFF. Dva is fine and the game absolutely needed this balance change. You just got use to her being able to 1v1 any character in the game which is absurd. I for one cant wait to see these changes go live.


How about you stop being an absolute idiot and test these changes out for yourself?

I highly doubt you'll be able to 1v1 any character with the new spread of the cannons.
Even on live "tanking" will and should better be done by Reinhardt. If enemy team doesn't have Rein - sure, you can also allow yourself to have D.Va as a "tank", but if they do have one - no way, you have to run Rein as well, it's unthinkable to believe D.Va will be a primary tank in such circumstances.

Problem is that people reference to "many functions" that D.Va can perform. That is not false, but they always forget that she can do only one at a time and that some of them are just "formal" (like - yes, she can "tank" for entire 4 seconds). She is a bruiser with the capability of picking kills and punishing over-extended DPS heroes - much like Roadhog does (but he does it more consistently with the hook).


A bruiser? I'm not against it.

But for that would like to have the means to assume this role in melee or at a distance.

In the current state of the patch it is purely impossible with a critbox of this size and damage as low.
01/09/2017 03:06 PMPosted by Prim3
How about you stop being an absolute idiot and test these changes out for yourself?

I am pretty sure he doesn't play D.Va as much as he gets killed by her, makes you wonder how they play, I am a lowly silver and I have melted D.Va.s before, she has a lot of counter play from more than 5 heroes.
Bumping for Jeff to read and response.
Played ~3 hours of ptr today and tried out the d.va changes. Though I still did alright as d.va, I found that her playstyle is much less rewarding now. Any time I tried to zone out a dps on high ground, I felt punished by how fast my mech died. This was made worse by the increased pellet spread, making it difficult to chase down kills on tanks.

I also tried zarya a lot to see how the zarya matchup is now. On live zarya vs dva seems pretty neutral to me; both of them can win 1v1s. However, on ptr I stomped every dva I ran into. Getting even one bubble worth of charge lets zarya one clip the mech, and dva doesn't do as much damage to zarya because she can no longer land as many critical pellets.

I don't really like the changes. Zarya will be much better than d.va if the ptr goes live.
01/09/2017 04:32 PMPosted by Viconia
Bumping for Jeff to read and response.

If anything they need to understand that PTR changes can't just be set in stone, there is no point on having the platform if they just do whatever they please, I still don't believe the last big PTR stuff was "widely accepted in full" by every single player.
I really want to see Jeff answer this topic since he encouraged people to play PTR and give feedback...
01/09/2017 04:43 PMPosted by DarkHades
I really want to see Jeff answer this topic since he encouraged people to play PTR and give feedback...


here is a big overwatch youtuber explaining why people dont play ptr
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_f1t60KCng&t=0s

its pretty informative
01/09/2017 04:43 PMPosted by DarkHades
I really want to see Jeff answer this topic since he encouraged people to play PTR and give feedback...


I shall also be curious to see how he justifies such illogical modifications.

The actel patch is equivalent to parachuting a soldier into a war zone with a water pistol and a tee-shirt as the only protection.
01/09/2017 05:01 PMPosted by Uriel
01/09/2017 04:43 PMPosted by DarkHades
I really want to see Jeff answer this topic since he encouraged people to play PTR and give feedback...


I shall also be curious to see how he justifies such illogical modifications.

The actel patch is equivalent to parachuting a soldier into a war zone with a water pistol and a tee-shirt as the only protection.
Just like the patch notes it may be based soley on feeling.
I played several more hours today. Only had one match where dva got picked before I could and Inwent Rh.

As Dva on PTR I've given up on being a dive tank trying ti break the front line of any defense or pushes.

And forget about more open maps for koth matches.Where before as Dva you coulf scout out edges of the hill to tank flankers. Dva just doesn't represent a threat to dps flankers solo unless you manage to catch them unaware and get a good attack in before they react (in other words the player either was disreacted in the game, in real life, or not used to the hero / bad / new player).

I've been playing as a support-tank, protecting other tanks and attacking their targets. Which if there isn't a Zarya on the team, it would be better to be Zarya in that role. Over time Zarya will end up doing more damage than Dva as dva dies mich more often and doesn't have her range.

I quite simply haven't found a play style that suits Dva that isn't out done by another Tank.
if dva goes unchanged(live dv.a remains how she is)... revert genji, widow and mcree please.

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