It sounds like Overwatch's McCree is going to get nerfed

“Please nerf McCree” probably isn't the most unique request ever made on the internet—everyone wants to nerf something, after all—but in this case it's interesting because it might actually happen. In response to a complaint about the Overwatch gunslinger's damage potential and stun-inducing flashbang grenade, Principal Designer Geoff Goodman replied that he's been keeping a close eye on the character since the game came out, and suggested that changes could be on the way. 

“I've been watching McCree carefully since we've released. McCree's flashbang plays an important role in being a strong option against very fast/agile teams (tracers/genjis/etc). It is also a nice tool to prevent close range devastating abilities and ultimates such as Reaper's Death Blossom,” Goodman wrote on the forums. “That said, its probably a bit too good at dealing damage to higher health targets such as Tanks and barriers. I don't have any concrete changes yet, but I'm going to be testing some things internally to see how he plays.”

In a follow-up, he clarified that he wasn't talking specifically about the flashbang, the focus of the message that started the thread, but the deadly combo of the flashbang and McCree's “fan the hammer” ability, which lets him empty his entire cylinder in one quick, powerful burst. “By saying 'its probably a bit too good at dealing damage to higher health targets' I mean his flash/fan combo, not the flash itself,” Goodman wrote. “Fan is more likely to see changes than flash at this point.” 

In a separate thread, Goodman hinted that changes could be coming to D.Va as well. In response to a question about her relatively low damage output, he said she and Winston were both designed that way, because “they are both very mobile and very hard to kill. Every character in the game has strengths and weaknesses, it's part of what makes the teamplay work well.” He allowed that there are probably ways she could be improved, “but these are unlikely to take the shape of increasing her damage output significantly.” 

“There was a time, when she was first implemented, where she had more damage than she does now. The way that played out is that she would fly into someone's face, destroy them, and fly away. There was little that person could do because [of] her mobility,” he wrote. “As I said I think she can use some help in other areas, but I don't have anything concrete yet. The goal is that she should be a viable aggressive initiation tank, much like Winston can be right now, rather than some sort of beefy flying assassin. So any changes will likely be helping her in that direction.” 

Tweaks and tuning are an inevitable part of life for a game like Overwatch, because it relies so heavily on very precise, rock-paper-scissors-style balance between characters, and I think the fact that Blizzard is considering subtle changes, rather than scrambling madly to make them, speaks well of its pre-release testing process. But knowing what you're doing is an important part of success too, and with that, we can help: Check out our “Counters to every Overwatch Hero” guide for some handy tips on how to do it to them before they do it to you.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.