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It was the moment every Overwatch player has been waiting for, ever since the first intro cinematic mentioned the name and showed a signature, mysterious Gauntlet. It was the announcement and eventual release of Doomfist, and initial reception was better than anyone could have expected.
While their were the expected subtle balance changes that happen, Doomfist went from the Public Testing Realm (PTR) to the main servers largely unchanged, but one ability now has players in a rage not seen since the heyday of Roadhog (God rest his soul). You see, Doomfist has what has now become Overwatch‘s most-hated ability type: a one-shot – that is, being able to kill another full-health hero in one shot.
Doomfist’s right-click ability is called Rocket Punch. You hold right click to charge it up and release to launch Doomfist forward and (hopefully) into an enemy. If you hit an enemy with a full-charged Rocket Punch, it will deal 100 damage and knock that hero back. If that hero gets knocked back into a wall, it will deal a base 150 damage. Combined, a full-charge Rocket Punch can, in not-uncommon situations, one-shot a 250 health hero. And, despite the fact that Doomfist is incredibly vulnerable after doing this, and despite the fact that it takes a while to charge up the punch, which can be heard even around corners, Overwatch players are especially unhappy.
With just three examples in the past couples hours, you’ll find forum posts such as “Anti-fun Roadhog Nerfed, Introducing Anti-fun Fist,” “Why Doomfist Shouldn’t be in Competitive (Yet)” and just simply “Doomfist OP?” And, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
This unhappiness has in the past had tangible effects on heroes. Roadhog, for example, similarly had an ability to one-shot 200-250 health heroes. If he landed a hook, his scrap gun could kill a full-health hero in that health range. Players hated this so much that they took to the forums and to Reddit to complain non-stop, making hyperbolic, obviously-untrue statements like “Roadhog gets a kill every six seconds” (then the cooldown of Chain Hook), or “there’s no way to kill a Roadhog,” despite the fact that he has no armor or shields. And while the merits of these arguments varied wildly, they still resulted in near-death for Roadhog as we know it.
After forum complaints were at an all-time high, Roadhog’s scrap gun damage was reduced by 33%, and, while they increased his rate of fire, the result was still the same: Roadhog can hardly one-shot anyone at this point, even a hooked Tracer, who only has 150 health. The Overwatch community hated his one-shot ability so much that the developers got rid of it entirely, and Roadhog has suffered as a result, with his pickrate dropping down to among the lowest in the game.
Is Doomfist next on the chopping block? Well, perhaps, but it likely won’t happen very quickly. Remember with Roadhog, it took a long time before the community really got behind the idea of nerfing him into the ground, until one day it just flipped and everyone hated him. That day might be coming more quickly, though, than Roadhog’s, since we’re now in a post-Roadhog world where the phrase “one-shot” has become a dirty word.
Thus far, there hasn’t been any comments from developers about any potential Doomfist nerfs, and he was released into competitive play just yesterday with no major changes, so it doesn’t even seem like a Doomfist nerf, specifically one to his Rocket Punch, is on Blizzard’s radar. That said, if this hate continues to boil over, they won’t be able to ignore it, and Doomfist might be buried under the skyscraper he so often boasts about leveling.