Why Overwatch Players Hate Genji Now

Some relatively minor tweaks aside, Overwatch's cyborg ninja dragon blender Genji hasn't changed much since launch. Over the past few weeks, though, I've come across dozens of threads begging Blizzard to nerf Genji so hard he starts throwing rubber ducks instead of ninja stars. What happened? In hero-based games like Overwatch, there's always a "nerf so-and-so" flavour of the week. Genji is a strange case in that no particular change to his skill set prompted it. Rather, the game around him shifted slightly, and Genji became a hard-charging staple of Overwatch matches, especially at high levels of play. He's super speedy and mobile, does tremendous damage at close and mid-range, and is harder to hit than ever thanks to recent hitbox changes. Oh, and he can deflect everything from bullets to mechs to emotionally hurtful words, the most powerful weapon of all.

Here's just a small sampling of the sorts of complaints I've been seeing:

So then, why is this happening now? Basically, there were more pressing balance concerns in Overwatch's early days. Many of them were named McCree. However, McCree, with his stuns and show-stopping mid-range damage, used to be a good counter to Genji. These days, a decent Genji player can dance circles around him.

Genji, meanwhile, is a tough nut to crack, so people didn't initially see just how strong and versatile he could be. Now, though, he's everywhere in high and mid-level matches, and many strategies centre around him. Whichever team does a better job of supporting their Genji and giving an all-important Ana boost to his nigh-unstoppable ult has a good chance of taking the whole thing. May the best Genji win.

Frankly, though, Genji isn't that much of an issue for players who aren't that high on the skill rating totem poll, because he's not easy to play. You still see him around, but he's about as threatening as any other hero, as opposed to being a sword tornado that occasionally touches down and steals your whole entire family. Despite the number of players speaking up about Genji, we're still likely talking about a vocal minority.

To nerf or not to nerf, that is the question (followed shortly by 40 furiously scrawled all-caps answers). The argument for: He's too versatile, strong and acrobatic. His damage and ult should be knocked down a peg, or he should be squishier/slower.

A good video on the subject, courtesy of Overwatch Central.

The argument against: He's fine and he's always been fine, but people are having trouble countering really good Genjis right now, because this is all so new. The meta will evolve again, that line of thinking goes, and the problem will solve itself. Once upon a time, everybody was tearing their hair out over turrets. Now, though, most players are pretty adept at countering them, so the frustration factor's dropped significantly. Many figure something similar will happen with Genji, especially as he becomes a nearly ubiquitous pick.

The other problem with nerfing Genji is that he's important for countering heroes who cause low level players trouble (turrets and snipers), but he's already tough for them to play. Turning him into an even less attractive proposition could leave some new players feeling frustrated and directionless. Blizzard absolutely doesn't want to do that.

The solution, then, seems to lie in the creation of more viable counters to Genji's new/old-found strength. Why nerf Genji, who's about where he needs to be, when you can buff other characters? A big possibility is Mei, who's already in line for a buff, and who could potentially slow Genji down during his blinding-fast rampages. I've also heard some people suggest Winston, who's quite a rampager in his own right, and whose lightning gun could keep up with a certain tiny man who's fast as lightning.

While I was writing this article, the patch notes for Overwatch's next public test dropped. This is all subject to change before the patch goes live on the game's main servers, but Blizzard's attempting to take Genji down a peg. His ult now lasts six seconds instead of eight, he can't immediately dash after melee attacks, and his double-jump can no longer be used in conjunction with his dash. So basically, he's far less mobile now. Will these changes stick? Or will they leave Genji lying in a mangled pile of scrap and busted Naruto headbands? We'll find out in the next few days.


Comments

    I personally find it pretty hard to use Genji on PS4, at least as far as melee goes. I always get disoriented because enemies run around and I end up dashing past them and losing my bearings. I've seen some pretty good Genjis on PS4 but nothing I'd call OP or game-breaking. Maybe PC is where he shines the most.

      I would imagine on console he would be broken due to how hard it can be to track small targets with a controller.

        It's also harder to use Genji on console as it's not as easy to be as fast or responsive. Given his movement patterns, turning on a dime is what nails it. And getting up close and personal always feels off using a controller (imo)

        but on the other side.. its pretty hard to control genji on the controller too.. so it evens out..

        on PC however, those twitch 180 turns people can do with the mouse... he is a God.. and i agree with the nerfs.. when he ults.. most people, all they can do is run.. or bunker down and defend with lucios ult or zenyattas.

    Genji is a frustrating hero to counter purely (IMO) because of the low tick rate, sometime it feels like the hit box on genji is smaller than the character itself. I'm in the high 50s and there's normally a genji on both teams for 90% of the matches.

    I'm hoping Blizzard will release the tick rate increase soon.

    Last edited 18/08/16 12:14 pm

      Tickrate has already been increased to 60...

        when was that? - from what i can see on the internet they have yet to do so for competitive matches.

        http://www.technobuffalo.com/2016/08/15/overwatch-tickrate-update-pc-20-to-60/

        Last edited 18/08/16 1:16 pm

          Couple of days ago.
          However if your internet is garbage it will revert you back to 20hz.

    I hate him because there is always that person who plays him. It's always a player who just doesn't give a fuck about team composition and always go's Genji because he enjoys Genji and fuck anybody else or what they think. I don't so much care in QM, but in competitive these people can go and fuck off. Competitive it's about winning, and correct team composition. What you like to play doesn't matter. If the team needs you to be a healer go be a healer and piss off with Genji even if you were the last person to pick.

    I also take thorough joy as Winston and as Mei shitting on Genji's parade in game.

      so much this! - Do you find that most Genji players are either korean or just never communicate with the team? - i do

        Can I ask what rank you guys are?

        Above 65 he is the meta, so he is just about required to win. He is where Widow was just after launch.

          57

            Fair enough, I am 64 and all I ever see is squads built around supporting a great Gengi.

            -Gengi
            -Lucio
            -Zarya
            -Symetra

            And then sprinkle in either high mobility dps or tanks to draw attention while gengi obliterates the back line while being supported from afar.

            It is cancer, the only people that downvote on the Blizzard forums are people that stop going up at low 50s that have never seen a good Gengi dust teams.

              im in the low 50s... know a godly genji as a friend who joins and games with us.. (so his rating is as low as us because "we" his friends suck more than him, so we bring him down haha)

              he can obliterate enemy teams by himself.

              i approve of this nerf.

              My experience with the Blizzard forums has been that anything that Blizzard has done is perfect and to suggest that a character needs a nerf is to suggest that Blizzard is capable of making a mistake and deserve to be downvoted.

              If Blizzard changes Genji then they were correct to do so but the previous version of Genji was also Perfect just in a different way.

              I'm stuck in the low 50's hell due to playing on my own. At this point my exposure to Genji's are the selfish fuckwit variant.

              I have no doubt there are great ones who know how to play their part and the correct map mechanics. However for me it's always Genji for the sake of Genji type player.

              I'm also not a fan of builds around a single character. If you are at the point where a single character is what everything resolves around that needs to be analysed and fixed otherwise it gets stale fast. Roles should be mandatory but a single character being the defining point shouldn't be.

              On an off topic discussion though I wouldn't be opposed to the idea of a picked ban per team with the caveat that what ever is picked is banned for both sides within competitive.

      I think I've killed more Genji's with Junkrat than anything else.

      They just love to not watch their feet when coming through doorways, and I can get anywhere they can in order to put traps in unexpected places.

    I was up late enough last night to catch Seagull's stream when he was trying out all the new changes on the PTR. This article might be a little moot now because as far as he or anyone else he was with was concerned Genji might be dead and buried, at least as far as comp it concerned, mainly due to the way they've taken away a lot of his mobility (can't double jump after wall climb).

    On the other hand, Hanzo seems to be back, what with increased projectile speed, aim speed and the return of his old hit box.

      So we're back to what Hanzo's original arrow hitboxes were like?
      http://i.imgur.com/uoEG8Gq.jpg

    I dont think ALL those changes need to be made, but one or 2 would definitely be warranted. Or, boost Mei/other defence characters who are useless in a lot of situations.

    At the end of the day something needs to change though. Every game I play I see at least 1, but most likely 2-3 Genji's in the game. I dont play competitive, but everyone's rumbling about how its best Genji wins at the top end. It doesn't really matter what people say about it, the fact that he's getting used/relied on that much says something needs to change, whether that's nerfing him or buffing another character.

    If I was nerfing Genji though, definitely the dash mechanics or reduce the effectiveness/hitbox on the deflect. Even good (not necessarily great) players can make him seem unplayable, because with the double jumps and dashes, he plays almost like tracer with more health and a way more effective Ult.

      Mei does not need a boost in anything. She's pretty well balanced... And I say that as someone who finds her annoying as fuck and wouldn't shed a tear if she ever got nerfed.

      If she is useless in a certain situation you shouldn't be playing her in that situation. All characters are not meant to be viable for all situations. That's the entire point of being able to switch.

      Also... If you're in a game with 2-3 Genjis on the enemy team and are are complaining about it but you refuse to switch to someone like Winston, you've only yourself to blame. Winston can keep up with a Genji very easily; And Genji can't reflect Winston's tesla cannon... I've seen MANY that have tried, and died trying. Especially in quick play.

      Last edited 18/08/16 1:18 pm

        Hey, I'm with you pal, Mei can die a horrible death as far as I'm concerned. Clearly she does need a boost because its one of the key things the Dev's are trying in the PTR. Most of the defence characters are pretty useles though because ultimately, you can pick one of the other classes and they will do as good a job if not better in most cases.

        Don't get me wrong here, I'm a big advocate for switching characters, and will do so gladly if required. I also dont necessarily have an issue overall with Genji personally, most of the people I end up playing against are garbage and are easily taken care of. My main beef is that everyone picks him irrespective. A game with out Genji would be refreshing to play in tbh, so much Japanese yelling :P.

          See I don't agree with logic behind Mei's ult being buffed like it has been, especially when you consider in the exact same PTR patch they nerfed Mcree's ult like they did... They both fill a very similar role, that of area denial and zoning people out. The difference is McCree's ult is FAR more easily avoided already so crippling it like they have seems insane to me, and I don't even play McCree.

          On top of which, Mei's ult doesn't even leave her remotely as vulnerable. To me it absolutely seems like a change for people who were too busy complaining instead of finding a way to get her ult past a shield. Plus they gave her that ridiculous right-click hitbox back, which is arguably more obnoxious than Hanzo's arrows given that she's a close range character who can headshot snipe people across a map with it.

    There's always going to be a character people want nerfed, sometimes reasonably sometimes not. With Genji, I can't comment on high level play but in low-medium (where I roughly sit), he can be annoying but is counterable, and he is fun to play so there is that.

    Reading the in-article comments calling for a nerf, the one suggesting he shouldn't be able to deflect bastions turret mode says it all - obviously salty that he can't just sit there holding down fire to get POTG, not smart enough to learn that all you need to do is stop shooting until reflect wears off....

    The actual 'problem' with Genji is that people are stupid and don't want to learn... So many times myself or friends have called out a Genji sitting behind the team and nobody else turns around, so then they get ulted in the back and bitch and moan.

    Yet they'll refuse to even try to counter him, so far as I'm concerned they deserve what they get.

    I was once playing Genji and shooting 3-4 people at a choke point in the back WHILE capping an objective, not one of them turned around... So when it ended up PotG it made them all look like fools.

    Some people are too trigger happy and just never learn. I play Genji now and then (most played is easily Junkrat), and there is ALWAYS at least 1 or 2 people I can kill repeatedly in the exact same way for the entire match... And they're absolutely the only ones who have a problem dealing with or at least mitigating the effect of a Genji player.

      This is true. But this point isnt limited to Genj. There are idiots who run into Torb turrents all the time and so on and so forth. Those players probably wouldnt turn around if it was Tracer/McCree/Reaper behind them either.

      I'm just frustrated because every game I have to play against a Genj. Dont necessarily have a prob with him overall, but that Japanese yelling wears kinda thin after the 50th time you've heard it in a session. Want a bit more variety in my opponents. :P

        I can absolutely understand not wanting him to be 'necessary' every game... But I think that's got more to do with buffing certain other characters to also be appealing or more of a deterrent to Genji players, than just straight nerfing Genji.

          Thats what I was getting at above. Sorry if I wasnt clear enough in my above comment.

      I don't consider myself a great player but decent enough. And the issue with genji is that he is so mobile even when you do act quick to deal with him, you are too slow because he has just dashed through you or your team mate and killed them with sword and you flick over to him again and he just keeps swording and dashing that it makes it bloody hard to hit him 8s was a little log for ultimate and I think 6 seconds will be in a good place.

      That being said his double jump nerf with wall climbing wasn't nessisary. That to me is a core function for genji and will really hurt him. That is like taking flashbang away from Mcree.

        My problem with his ultimate is that a great many people are very slow to respond to it when he does it... And I have no idea why.

        I've seen people respond faster to a Reaper ult than they do an ulted Genji who is very obviously running towards them. Or instead of trying to deal with him, they make the choice of trying to hide instead of taking the time to line up a shot or two and just flat out kill him.

          2 problems here. 1, good players wont just run at you from a visible location, so some players need to actually find where he's coming from. Also, he's able to dash in during the Ult, so even though you hear the cue, it might not be immediately obvious where he is. 2, Reaper/other Ults like this have a major downside to them. Reaper moves very slow during the Ult, Pharah doesnt move, Tracer is a 1 off explosion, Roadhog moves very slowly and takes a few hits to kill someone, etc etc. Genj on the other hand, can dash and reflect during the ult, and his sword slashes are 1 hit kills most of the time. Then when you add in the fact that you're also fighting other characters, and there's the possibility of coupling it with other Ults like Mei/Zarya/Rein, it becomes a handful.

          Yes granted, people dont react fast enough, and he is killable during the ult. But again, with a lot of good players, it's easier said than done.

    "Player character Rock is fine, nerf Scissors he is to OP against Paper"

    I love it when enemy Genji use deflect in a desperate attempt to survive my Zarya beam/Winston lightning/Mei frost/Symmetra laser.

    So the Genjis you play against don't know they can escape with his slash dash?

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