D. Va slots nicely into a MOBA, but she needs a bit more polish


Some of her quality-of-life stuff is clunky

Overwatch‘s increasing presence in Heroes of the Storm has been met with jubilation and tepidness alike.

Personally I love that the series is doing well enough to warrant frequent crossovers, and the characters are interesting enough to justify their existence in multiple projects. That, and the Heroes team does a bang-up job of converting their FPS kits to a MOBA.

D.Va is yet another hero that’s been ported over to near-perfection — at least in terms of the way she works mechanically. While her abilities are on point, there’s a few things that she could use in terms of patch-centric polish.

It’s amazing how well the basic gist of D.Va (boosts, defense matrix, self-destruct, in and out of mech/pilot gameplay) translates into a point-and-click strategy game. I love how, just like a match in Overwatch, I can boost into a group of people, slam on the self-destruct key, and hear “nerf this!” as my enemies flee in terror, followed by the “Love, D.Va” voiceline and a D.Va spray. The little touches like watching her talk smack, drink soda in her little portrait in the corner (or when hearthing), and even play video games while she’s mounted in pilot mode are wonderful.

I also can’t say enough good things about one of her Heroic (Ultimate) abilities, Bunny Hop. It’s an unstoppable continuous stomping move that slows her enemies while an arcadey sound effect plays, and it’s something that would instantly translate into Overwatchproper 1:1 as a second Ultimate. The same goes for her skins, one of which is a nifty Evangelionreference. The design team really outdid themselves all around.

Yet, I can’t help but think that she needs a little more love when it comes to a few other aspects of her kit. For one she feels a bit clunky when getting from place to place in her mech (called a MEKA in the lore). You can build her so that she has better/more frequent boosts when she uses them outside of combat — and you really should, as she feels so slow otherwise. She’s especially sluggish in your own base when coming back from a hearth, something that can be remedied by giving her automatic boosts when coming out of the starting area (which was added to Sgt. Hammer and Probius’ base kit). It might be a little tricky as her boost is technically linked to Q (her first ability) instead of Z (the mount key), but I’m sure the technology is there to make it work.

Her defense matrix (which grants a 75% damage reduction for teammates in its wake) is a great idea, but is also similarly clunky. I get the restriction of not having her change directions while using it for balance purposes, but it ends up just feeling like a bother whenever you use it. The ability to cancel it helps, but since this is really the only “Warrior-centric” thing D.Va has (and she is a Warrior), it makes her feel like even more of a bruiser archetype.

Another thing — getting knocked out of the mech doesn’t technically kill her (she doesn’t die, death-timer style, unless she bites it in pilot form), but it counts as half a kill for experience purposes. You’ll pick up on this after a game or so, but the transition is jarring as there’s nothing but a quick “emergency” pop-up to let you know that it’s happened. There’s work to be done on this front, just as the team has spent years fine-tuning the death sound for The Lost Vikings and Murky.

These are small little nitpicks, and rightfully so as bringing over D.Va like this is no tall order. The closest amalgam I can think of is Kled from League of Legends, but she feels entirely different. Given how quick Blizzard is to update heroes though, I have faith that these little odds and ends will be patched up.