The "Overwatch" team over at Blizzard has decided to be a bit more transparent with regard to their internal tests surrounding "Overwatch's" resident archer.
Players have been demanding that changes be made to Hanzo's Scatter Arrow ability for quite some time now. Several people, mostly those on the receiving end of the ability, say that it is too dependent on getting lucky and it is not fun to get instantly killed without warning, especially as a tank.
When a discussion thread was made regarding this subject over on Blizzard's official forums, principle designer Geoff Goodman stepped in and offered some light into what they have tried doing with Hanzo internally that, so far, have not been successful.
The first change he talked about was removing Scatter Arrow altogether and replacing it with a new ability called Piercing Arrow which, as the name implies, would be a fast-moving shot that could pierce through enemies and barriers. However, they felt that it was frustrating to suddenly get killed behind the safety of a barrier.
Next up was a more traditional nerf to Scatter Arrow. Instead of being able to ricochet several times, Scatter Arrow would now only bounce once. To compensate for this, it would fire much faster than a normal arrow and would have a much tighter spread when it does release. They also made it that it can no longer bounce from the ground, thus removing Hanzo's ability to instantly kill most tanks with a shot to the feet. But they said that it was too inconsistent and, because of how maps are designed in "Overwatch," there were some areas where this new iteration would not work at all.
Finally, he talked about giving Hanzo a new ability that, after some delay, will instantly refresh all his cooldowns. He said it was fun in conjunction with the previously discussed Piercing Arrow but felt too powerful when combined with Hanzo's Sonic Arrow ability.
Overall, it is nice to see a company being transparent with their design decisions and how they go about thinking of these changes. A few days ago, game director Jeff Goodman said that Hanzo is in their list of heroes that are under scrutiny for major changes soon alongside the likes of Symmetra, Torbjorn, Doomfist, Mei, and Sombra. It will be interesting to see how they decide to go about balancing these heroes as they have shown that they are willing to do big changes such as removing an ultimate or, in some cases, even giving a hero two ultimate abilities.