Changes Coming To Zenyatta Soon? Hopefully So Says Jeff Kaplan.

I really love Overwatch’s characters. They are all fun, balanced and unique. Every character has this deep hidden lore about them and you just feel the hard work Blizzard put into the characters when you play them.

Changing characters to fit the role your team needs is crucial to winning in Overwatch. Playing the game this week I played every character in the game and felt they all fulfilled the role my team needed well. This really shows how balanced and diverse the game is when every character gets played.

Until I noticed that I had not seen a single ┬áperson play Zenyatta in all of my games…

This really surprised me, I then realized that I had not been playing Zenyatta much lately even though I really like him as a character. I find his lore quite interesting and his playstyle very fun. So why was I not playing him?

I began to analyze and try to figure out why I don’t pick Zenyatta over the other characters in the game when I came to this conclusion.

  • Zenyatta is the most fragile of all the supports. Yes he regenerates a shield but he is very slow and does not have good escape mechanics.

  • His healing output is unreliable and very weak compared to the other supports.

  • His Orb’s line of sight requirement feels clunky and holds him back.

  • His alternate fire on his Orb toss does not seem to contribute enough for the time it takes to cast.

  • Zenyatta is a niche pick. He really only performs optimally in double support team compositions. Which is very hard to organize in quick play.

  • His ultimate goes against his very nature! Zenyatta wants to be in the back of the group sniping his enemies from afar with his Orbs and healing his allies from a distance. His ultimate is the opposite though, you have to run in the middle of all the chaos to heal your teammates.

Trust me I am not calling Zenyatta bad. All I am saying is it feels he is under performing and it makes it hard to justify picking him over the other supports.

Zenyatta was used all the time back in the beta when his Orbs lasted permanently on his targets. Blizzard changed it near the end of beta because It was too easy to manage his Orbs it was kind of a set and forget mechanic.

The Orbs were changed to only last permanently if your target was In your Line Of Sight and the orb would return to you if you broke Line Of Sight for 3 seconds.

After the change Zenyatta kind of stopped seeing use in Pro Competitive Matches and Tournaments.

Blizzard has noticed Zenyatta being used less and less and Game Director Jeff Kaplan gave some insight on their stance on Zenyatta.

We’ve been talking about him. We wanted to see how the Widowmaker and McCree balance changes played out before making any changes. We’re exploring some options right now. Nothing more to report at this time. ~ Jeff Kaplan


The widowmaker and Mcgree changes have came and Zenyatta is still being underplayed. I believe there are two solutions to make Zenyatta on par with the other supports.

  • Change his Orb’s lifetime out of Line Of Sight to 10-15 seconds and give a 15% dmg reduction to Zenyatta and his Orb’s target when active.

This is the easiest change to make and seems to be the most logical. It keeps Zenyatta’s current playstyle but just makes babysitting of the Orb’s less of a hassle and the dmg reduction gives Zenyatta some durability.

Change number two is a bigger rework to Zenyatta and his playstyle.

  • Change Zenyatta’s alternative fire button to be either (A burst of shield to his life for 5 secs) or (Makes him and his Orb’s target invincible for 3 secs) and change his base movement speed to be faster.

This is the only change I can think of if Blizzard does not want Zenyatta’s Orbs to be easier to manage. Whatever changes Blizzard decides to do I hope it keeps to Zenyatta’s core playstyle.

Leave a comment on your thoughts to these changes and how they might affect Zenyatta or leave a comment with your own ideas and changes!


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