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Overwatch Three Years Later: The Evolution of D.Va

by Mason Moreau 21 May 2019

Oh yeah, they nerfed this. 

We've officially come up on 3 furiously addicted years of Overwatch. The game has captured our hearts and minds with its stellar gameplay, iconic characters, and frenetic multiplayer matches. Like many multiplayer games, it's not the same as it was three years ago. 

A shining example of these changes would definitely have to be D.Va, the tank character loved the world over for her design and effectiveness during matches (also the first hero to ever inspire their very own set of performance thumbsticks). Her character has gone through so many reworks and changes that it's almost like she's entirely different.

To a new player, these changes may seem minuscule, but D.Va's nature as a DPS/Tank character amplifies her ability to shift the meta when small things about her are changed. So let's dive into just how much D.Va has changed since Overwatch's launch in 2016. 

Vanilla D.Va/Launch D.Va

Before we get started though, take a look at the first overview video featuring all of her skills: 

The Defense Matrix Rework

In the first round of changes rolled out by Blizzard's OW team, D.Va's defense matrix was the first ability to change. The devs noticed that D.Va wasn't being picked as often as other tank characters, so they went ahead and increased the usability of her fire-suppression ability to be a little more versatile. 

After initially making it too spammable, they found's defense matrix sweet spot, and thought D.Va's defense/offense balance was shifted for the better.

It wouldn't be until 2018 that D.Va's defense matrix would be changed again. In the most recent patch for D.Va, they changed the defense matrix cooldown from 1 second to 2. Presumably to help balance her with characters getting more sizable buffs and nerfs. 

Health Buff to Armor Nerf

Fixing D.Va's defenses wasn't substantial enough to allow D.Va to effectively withstand attacks and keep the pressure on enemies, so some other aspects of her character changed. 100 extra health points were added to her health bar, and they increased her movement speed while firing. 

Then a few months later, she was nerfed. Her 200 starting armor was exchanged for health because it became extremely difficult to kill her. 

So in summation, she wasn't good enough so she was buffed, then she got too good and was subsequently nerfed.  

Micro Missiles & D.Va 2.0

Many players consider this addition to be when they finally got D.Va to a point where she could kick some serious ass. Blizzard realized that D.Va players were having trouble dealing serious damage, so they had to do something drastic to change things up. So they added Micro Missiles - which dealt a whole lot of damage and allowed D.Va to close gaps. Micro missile D.Va unofficially became known as "D.Va 2.0" 

In addition, they also allowed players to use her canons while boosting to ramp up the offensive capability of D.Va as a whole. 

Later, the micro missile damage was nerfed from 6 to 4 and the booster impact damage was brought down to 10 from 25. Y'know, cuz people got too good. 

What's been your favorite version of D.Va throughout the years? Let us know in the comments below! For everything about D.Va's storied history of reworks, buffs, and nerfs, head over to the Overwatch Community Forums.  
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