The State of Overwatch Pt. 2

written by Hopalong

Part 1 of this article can be found here

In Part 1, I discussed causes of the seeming decline in Overwatch’s popularity since the launch of the OWL in early 2018 due to various changes in the games playstyle. Part 2 is going to focus on the positives of the game and the what we may have to look forward to in the coming months. First and foremost, Baptiste is hitting live servers today along with a slew of balance changes, primarily focusing around support nerfs, and DPS rebalancing.

We’ll start with Baptiste and his possible impact on the current meta. Baptiste’s kit puts a major emphasis on AOE healing, light hitscan DPS, and of course his Immortality Field. While his 60 AOE projectile healing and his 30 AOE healing per second are not insignificant, his immortality field will likely have the biggest impact on the meta. Without high burst damage heroes, it will be difficult to take down the projector’s 250 hit points. The obvious intention here is for it to help with the long sustained fights that 3-3 GOATs comps force, but impact is rarely the same as intention. Immortality Field could present GOATs with even more sustain than it already has, solidifying it in the meta for the foreseeable future. Alternatively, it could give cheese comps the sustain they need to overpower a 3-3 composition. An unkillable Bastion in an Immortality Field could present quite the obstacle for a 3-3 to overcome. I don’t want to speculate too much as of yet, but we’ll see what happens in the upcoming weeks

Another one of the sets of announced changes are those to various DPS heroes. First, there are a few nerfs to semi-recently buffed heroes. Reaper and McCree are being slightly nerfed. I don’t see them making a huge difference in practice. Widowmaker, Torbjorn, Sombra, Hanzo, Soldier 76, Mei, Junkrat, Pharah, and Doomfist are all receiving slight quality of life buffs that will hopefully make them a tad bit more effective in specific interactions, for example Soldier 76’s primary fire has it’s damage being increased from 19 to 20, meaning that he’ll only take 10 body shots to kill a squishy as opposed to 12. Again, these changes will make these off-meta DPS slightly more forgiving to play.

The only other announced upcoming changes are those to a few supports, and a few tanks. Lucio is the first support who’s being changed, with his overall speed buffs for teammates being nerfed. Ana’s nano boost will now give less heals, making it less effective at healing tanks. Zenyatta is receiving more primary fire damage in exchange for a nerf to the Orb of Discord’s damage amplification. Orisa is receiving less of a speed decrease when firing in an attempt to make her a more viable active tank. Zarya is having her right clicks splash damage locked at 2 meters as opposed to changing based on her charge. Last but not least, Wrecking Ball will not be pulled out of ball form when he activates his shields. Overall, we’re seeing quality of life buffs for off-meta DPS and tanks, and nerfs to supports. With any luck, a combination of that and Baptiste will help to kill the GOATs meta we’ve been stuck in for the last 6 months or so, but only time will tell.

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