Overwatch 2 launched its Transformers crossover skins this week, and while those were obviously the headliner of the hero shooter’s July 9 update, they were accompanied by the game’s midseason balance patch. The buffs and nerfs were meant to address criticisms surrounding the lack of “tankiness” with the game’s tank role, bringing both overarching changes and individual buffs for each tank hero. However, much of the Overwatch 2 community thinks this latest update is a major overcorrection, with some calling it the worst balance patch the game has ever received.

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The July 9 patch notes have extensive comments for all 12 of the tank heroes that contextualize their individual adjustments, but each already benefits from sweeping changes to role passives. The damage role passive, which reduced incoming healing effectiveness when damage heroes were attacking an enemy, has been nerfed against tank heroes. The mechanic, which was added in season 9, has been a consistent thorn in tanks’ sides and was a key part of why they lost some survivability. The passive will now only reduce healing by 10 percent, rather than the original 20. Had that been the extent of the changes, the tank role might be okay after this latest patch—But the individual buffs for each tank have made the role so powerful that the community fears the entire dynamic of an Overwatch 2 match is going to shift.

Rather than go through each change individually, let’s focus on the best example of how the patch broke tanks: Mauga. The hero has been fairly dominant after his shaky introduction last year, and he’s received some of the most significant changes in the patch. His Cardiac Overdrive ability, which allows him to heal himself as long as he’s doing damage, now allows him to heal at the equivalent of his damage output during those three seconds. This means he’s capable of tanking through even the most powerful setups. Here’s an example from @KingHydron using Bastion turret form with Mercy’s damage boost and Baptiste’s Amplification Matrix, which, by all accounts should melt anything in the game almost instantly, only for Mauga to survive through it.

He can also basically ignore high-damage ultimates like Roadhog’s just by doing damage to the enemy tank while in Cardiac Overdrive.

Not every tank has changes that result in ridiculous viral videos like that one, but it’s clear that Blizzard has beefed them up across the board. Each tank is now the bulkiest version of themselves, and it feels like the natural endgame of switching to the 5v5 format of one tank, two damage, and two support heroes. On top of cutting what was once a 12-player game into a 10-player game, Overwatch 2’s pivot to a one-tank team composition has been divisive since the sequel launched in 2022, as it put a lot of responsibility on the solo tank to provide defense and take up space, and the healers to keep them upright. Overwatch 2 funnels most of its resources into its singular tank and it feels like all other roles are essentially assisting a kaiju match.

While tanks got the most attention this patch, there are a few other grievances fans have with the latest update. DPS hero Pharah, who has been frustrating fans in recent seasons, got a few changes that ultimately didn’t address problems people have with the hero. One of the most reliable counters to her, Cassidy, was nerfed, which will only make her more of a prominent pick. So while the tank changes are considered an overcorrection, other issues have gone unaddressed in some of the community’s eyes.

The Overwatch 2 community is divided on how to fix the tank problem

While the negative reaction has been immediate and very loud, It’s important to note that the Overwatch 2 community is full of contrasting opinions. Not everyone agrees that these massive buffs are a problem, and some even argue they address issues people have had with the tank role since the swap to 5v5.

“Literally everyone and their mother was saying that the tank role was the least fun and it needed significant buffs because you were too weak and expected to do too much, while also being the primary recipient of most cc and debuffs, and literally the same day they buff all the tanks the entire sub goes up in flames over it,” Reddit user Gatt__ wrote on the Overwatch subreddit. “Weren’t you guys the ones saying tanks should be like mini-bosses and shouldn’t be getting melted without a pocket healer up their ass? At least give it a week before saying this is the worst patch of all time.”

The conversation shows just how divided the Overwatch community is—. some believe giving tanks survivability will help the role, while others say Blizzard’s move to 5v5 structure is fundamentally flawed.

“The common sentiment was that tank sucked to play not that tank needed massive buffs,” Phasmamain wrote. “Tank has never been a weak role it’s just been an unfun one because you are taking the brunt of all damage and abilities and expected to take space for your team to make plays. Instead of gigabuffing tanks and causing more power creep they needed to tone down some of the things that countered tanks. Blizzard have become deathly afraid of nerfing things and it’s really hurting the game overall.”

Game director Aaron Keller posted on X, formerly Twitter on June 28 that he planned to talk about the team’s point of view on the original 6v6 format in a future Director’s Take blog or Developer Update video. Many fans have been clamoring for Blizzard to bring back a second tank since Overwatch 2 launched, while some believe Keller’s post suggests 6v6 might be returning. I fear that people are getting ahead of themselves. 6v6 may not have had the same problems as 5v5, but banking on a two-tank structure fixing all Overwatch 2’s problems is a bit myopic. Lest we forget that would no doubt bring us back to the much-maligned Double Shield Meta.

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