After a year of telling Blizzard to nerf this, Blizzard are finally complying in some aspects... but giving D.Va a new ability in return that will dramatically change her identity as a hero. Principal Designer Geoff Goodman entered a D.Va thread on the official Blizzard forums to chime in with some changes the team has been testing internally.
This won’t be the first time a hero has entered the workshop and come out with new abilities. Symmetra received a similar scale rework in November that changed her shielding to a photon barrier, and gave her a shield generator. D.Va’s rework comes in just below that scale, and should make her more active and engaging to play.
D.Va has been a popular pick in the Dive meta due to her boosters giving her innate mobility; the rework will not touch these aspects of her character, but will hit her shielding abilities and make her more dynamic.
As always, remember that all content on the PTR is being tested and is not final.
Defense Matrix: Energy drain increased by 2x. This means her effective uptime for this ability has been reduced by 50%.
Boosters: D.Va can now use her Fusion Cannons while flying.
New ability - Micro Missiles: D.Va launches a long salvo of small missiles that explode on impact, dealing damage in a small radius around them. This ability can be used while using her other abilities or firing her Fusion Cannons.
The combination of these changes allow her to play more aggressively and deal more damage, at the cost of being able to Defense Matrix as often as before. Defense Matrix still remains an extremely powerful tool when timed correctly, but the reduced uptime means D.Va won't be able to use it nearly as often overall.
Her new Micro Missiles ability in combination with her ability to fire while flying allow for some more aggressive play, as well as opening up some new options versus heroes such as Pharah.
Overall the goal here is to reduce her reliance on Defense Matrix and make her more fun to play. As far as balancing goes, we want to nerf Defense Matrix as an ability, not D.Va as a hero.
If these changes go through, D.Va will join Pharah as one of the most vertically mobile heroes still capable of dealing out damage. Micro Missiles look promising, but every Offense main is likely breathing a sigh of relief at the idea of having to deal with Defense Matrix about 50% less of the time.
The current PTR build does not contain these changes, but does buff Junkrat, Orisa, and Widowmaker.