D.Va's Defense Matrix to get a small buff in next Overwatch patch

A small change could help the recently-nerfed mech pilot.

Korean pro gamer turned mech pilot D.Va was hit with the nerf bat in the latest round of Overwatch balance changes, changing 200 points of her health pool from armor to regular hit points. The change was meant to scale back her survivability, which Blizzard said had made her too powerful—though many feel she's now too weak to be viable at all. 

It'll take some more time for the meta to shake out before we really have an answer to that question. Either way, D.Va will be getting a bit of help in the next round of Overwatch balance changes. According to a post by principal designer Geoff Goodman, it will now be easier to use Defense Matrix to block shots at point-blank range.

"Currently on live, Defense Matrix wont block shots until they are a very small distance away from the muzzle of the gun that shot them," Goodman said. "Next patch the plan is to remove this minimum distance so the projectiles are killed directly out of the muzzle."

Most players won't notice the change, but it has big implications in certain situations, primarily when defending against Roadhog's hook combo. After the change, D.Va players will be able to project their Defense Matrix over players who have been caught by Roadhog's hook, protecting them from the followup point-blank scrap gun blast that one-shots most heroes. 

It also gives D.Va a bit more defense against projectile ultimates, such as Zarya's Graviton Surge and Mei's Blizzard. When covered by Defense Matrix, Zarya and Mei previously were able to shoot their ultimates directly at the ground, causing them to trigger thanks to having not traveled the required distance from the gun muzzle. Under the new changes, Goodman confirmed that ults such as those will now be properly eaten. 

Overwatch is currently running a Chinese New Year event, featuring 13 new skins, until February 13.