Heroes of the Storm

Reworked Gaz and D.Va — Thoughts?

HeroesoftheStorm 3 - Reworked Gaz and D.Va -- Thoughts?
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It’s been a few days since the newly reworked Gazlowe and D.Va came out, and I’d like to share my thoughts as well as hear yours.

Gazlowe

I’ve been rocking this build with him. It’s shields for days, especially after 20, where you can pretty much put up and breakdown turrets whenever your current shield breaks. Unless the enemy is running a lot of CC, you pretty much feel invulnerable. It’s a nice change from just kiting.

Regarding ults, I’ll take Grav Bomb if the team shows decent coordination, but usually unstoppable on short CD seals the deal on Robo Goblin.

All that said, while Gazlowe now feels like a beast to play, he doesn’t really feel like Gazlowe anymore. My turrets are little more than on-map shields that give me personal shields. I don’t expect them to do much damage, I just put them there so minions, mercs and skill shots hit them and, more importantly, I get a big shield. If I start to run out of my shield, I kill the turret just so I can put a new one down. Functionally, he feels like an improved Artanis — more shields, more damage and more waveclear, but still the old lack of mobility. He doesn’t really feel like a mech lord anymore.

I wonder if there wasn’t a way to make Gaz’s turrets the focus of his functionality without making him all about kiting. Thematically, it would have made more sense to have his turrets generate shields for both themselves and Gazlowe. Say, Gaz and the turrets get 10% HP in shields. The more turrets Gazlowe has near him, the faster his shield regenerates. This would have given him survivability, made sense for his mech-lord-ness, and made turrets a priority for enemies.

D.Va

D.Va’s rework definitely makes her more useful, but it honestly feels more like a tweaking of the old D.Va than an actual rework. She has more sustain, more mobility, more utility, and more damage, but there isn’t much of a difference in how you play her. You just get to stay in the fray a bit longer and be a bit more impactful. The only downside is her dash is less functional. To me, it just feels like power creep.

I do think they went overboard with the delay on her pilot Q. The distance nerf was sufficient. I think they also failed with the level 13 talents. Being stationary to fire three slow shots as a pilot or having a matrix that only slows and reduces armor if enemies stay in it too long doesn’t compare to a lot of survivability in pilot mode. The whole idea behind D.Va is to draw out a fight so she can self-destruct at the last second right in the middle of the enemies.

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Thematically, why does D.Va heal off basic attacks and boosters? Shouldn’t a mech be getting shields?

Instead of power creep, I would have liked to see four things:

  • First, make self-destruct her singular ult. It will automatically gain charge over time, but damaging enemies and reducing damage from enemies increase the charge rate. At 10, you can spec into it differently like with tracer: quicker charge, more damage, or disruption.

  • Second, change her trait so that it allows her to get in and out of her mech. That’s right, let her get out before it dies. If you do, it heals up kind of like DW when he goes off screen. The trade off is you have the same old necessity of waiting out the CD.

  • Third, use the extra ability slot gained by moving self-destruct and call-down mech for a new mech and pilot ability. Make bunny hop baseline, but reduce it to one bounce that stuns for 0.5 seconds. Give the pilot a channel like Zuljin’s, but instead it heals X% of her mech.

  • Fourth, give D.Va her pilot abilities baseline. Nerf them if you have to and let talents improve their functionality. But it’s hard to imagine a scenario where dash is not going to be taken.

From there, her talents need to be like DW’s in that she needs to get improvements to both pilot and mech talents simultaneously; otherwise, one talent always ends up too strong to compensate for her missing out on one side of her hero. (Currently, they have a hodgepodge of both of these options, and that’s why her present rework feels more like power creep.) I’d divide her talents into damage, survivability, and utility, and then have them improve both the pilot and mech simultaneously. For example, at a single tier, one talent makes the mech generate more shields and the pilot gets more range on dash; and other talent makes her mech attacks charge faster and her pilot get pew pew pew; and a third talent makes her matrix larger and more effective and her concussive pulse has its CD reduced based on the number of heroes hit.

Gaz and D.Va Overall

I feel a lot more useful and impactful when playing these heroes, but I also feel like it’s power creep at the cost of theme, especially for Gaz. And I think there were a lot more creative solutions available, especially for D.Va.

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