The Next Overwatch PTR Update is Bringing Buffs to Bastion

The Next [I]Overwatch[/i] PTR Update is Bringing Buffs to Bastion

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If you think that Overwatch's Bastion needs a few buffs, it sounds like you'll want to check out the next PTR update.

It seems like there's always an Overwatch character that could use a little adjustment. Those adjustments pop up on the Public Test Realm (PTR), and get tweaked before they go live in the game. Last week, it sounded like the next character in line for a buff was bastion, as Overwatch principal designer Geoff Goodman said in a forum post responding to a thread about fixing Bastion last week,

"I'm actually working on some changes for him right now. I'm not quite sure when these changes will hit the live game, we're still testing different things internally."

Yesterday, Goodman returned to that thread to detail some of the changes that are coming to Bastion in the next PTR. They include, in Goodman's words,

"Recon Mode - Lowered spread and increased magazine size, to help with general viability in this mode.

Sentry Mode - We're looking at focusing this mode into more of a tank-buster and barrier-buster mode, while also making it feel less suicidal to be transformed. To that end we're testing stuff like increased spread and removing headshots, but taking less damage while transformed.

Self-Repair - We've been testing a few big changes to this that are feeling really good so far. Currently our internal build has Bastion able to use Self-Repair while moving and also having it no longer interrupted when taking damage. To balance that out it is now on a resource system (similar to the route D.Va's defense matrix went). These changes have turned this ability from a more niche rarely used ability, to a much more powerful and core survivability tool."

Goodman points out that the dev team is still testing and tweaking these changes, and that what ultimately hits the PTR could be somewhat different, but these are the ideas in play at this time. There's also no word on when the PTR will go live, other than the ever popular "fairly soon."

Blizzard tends to tweak Overwatch characters fairly regularly, so it's no surprise to see them eyeing Bastion for changes. Think buffing Bastion is crazy, or just right? Tell us why in the forums!

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Rather than increase spread, could they give it a spin up time (that would still shoot bullet but just very slowly)? Increasing the spread just make it feel arbitrary and is only going to be really useful against Reinhert, a spin up time would still make it good against most tank without making it absurd how he can kill squishy in 1 sec if they turn a corner.

The salt must flow....

I'm good with the buff to recon mode if they do a little reorganizing on sentry. Dying in litterly two seconds as a squishy made me pretty much quit the game. Only way to survive is to have a specific counter.

Everyone's favorite noob-buster is gettin' some lovin', eh? I knew it was only a matter of time. :^)

As animeprime said before me: time to open up the salt-mines, because it looks like a new shit is about to start. :P

image

Sorry, as someone who mains Pharah, I'm particularly disposed to hating Bastion.

Truth be told, these balances actually sound interesting and even I think recon mode needs some more teeth.

Recon Mode - Lowered spread and increased magazine size, to help with general viability in this mode.

I think most players use Recon Mode solely to re-position their Sentry Mode or to bugger out of being overwhelmed by a push. A buffed Recon Mode is hardly necessary, but Bastion could use all the help he can get - even at moderate level play, stationary and low-mobility characters/classes are almost universally outclassed, so maybe this is a good point to focus on.

Sentry Mode - We're looking at focusing this mode into more of a tank-buster and barrier-buster mode, while also making it feel less suicidal to be transformed. To that end we're testing stuff like increased spread and removing headshots, but taking less damage while transformed.

I like this idea, because Bastion currently feels more like an all-purpose sniper than a proper sentry. Massive power against large targets and close-range targets is something he will always have, but trading off his long-range picking ability for some desperately-needed survivability when in Sentry Mode is a trade-off that I think will make him less polarized and situational, and far more viable.

Self-Repair - We've been testing a few big changes to this that are feeling really good so far. Currently our internal build has Bastion able to use Self-Repair while moving and also having it no longer interrupted when taking damage. To balance that out it is now on a resource system (similar to the route D.Va's defense matrix went). These changes have turned this ability from a more niche rarely used ability, to a much more powerful and core survivability tool.

Remember when Mercy's ult was basically an altruistic suicide bomb, because she couldn't move while using the ability? Remember how refreshing it was when they changed that? Self-Repair often felt redundant to have, because you couldn't effectively use it until you either survived or escape a firefight - since Bastion is currently an all-or-nothing hero that always wins fights or dies trying, you can rarely capitalize on Self-Repair the same way Roadhog, Mei, or Mercy could recover their own health. This is another prospective upvote for me.

All in all, I'm very surprised to see just how well Blizzard is doing when they set out to re-balance their heroes in Overwatch. Asymmetric, multi-class, team-based FPSs are extremely hard to balance, but damn are they fine tuning it very well so far with almost every new update.

MeatMachine:
All in all, I'm very surprised to see just how well Blizzard is doing when they set out to re-balance their heroes in Overwatch. Asymmetric, multi-class, team-based FPSs are extremely hard to balance, but damn are they fine tuning it very well so far with almost every new update.

The current tank meta begs to differ.

Most lineups run three of any combination of Reinhardt, Roadhog, Zarya, or D.Va (with Winston thrown in for KotH maps), a Soldier 76, Lucio, and Ana. Even in Quick Play, Roadhog is everywhere after his "fixes" only succeeded in making him even more consistent with his hooks than he already was, to the point where he is even consistently one-shotting his traditional counters, Reaper and Mei. Dealing with Torbjorn + Symmetra defenses is still a chore for uncoordinated teams, and Sombra is still garbage.

Blizzard's inability to make small balance adjustments has resulted in heroes wildly fluctuating between useless and overpowered, and a stale metagame that is dominated by tanks that are better damage dealers than dedicated DPS heroes. And that's not getting into the poor hero kit design...

Instead of polish, Overwatch has a veneer. Peel it away, and you see a game design disaster.

Really, it's amazing what some polish and good art design can cover up.

SlumlordThanatos:

MeatMachine:
All in all, I'm very surprised to see just how well Blizzard is doing when they set out to re-balance their heroes in Overwatch. Asymmetric, multi-class, team-based FPSs are extremely hard to balance, but damn are they fine tuning it very well so far with almost every new update.

The current tank meta begs to differ.

Most lineups run three of any combination of Reinhardt, Roadhog, Zarya, or D.Va (with Winston thrown in for KotH maps), a Soldier 76, Lucio, and Ana. Even in Quick Play, Roadhog is everywhere after his "fixes" only succeeded in making him even more consistent with his books than he already was, to the point where he is even consistently one-shotting his traditional counters, Reaper and Mei. Dealing with Torbjorn + Symmetra defenses is still a chore for uncoordinated teams, and Sombra is still garbage.

Blizzard's inability to make small balance adjustments has resulted in heroes wildly fluctuating between useless and overpowered, and a stale metagame that is dominated by tanks that are better damage dealers than dedicated DPS heroes. And that's not getting into the poor hero kit design...

Instead of polish, Overwatch has a veneer. Peel it away, and you see a game design disaster.

Really, it's amazing what some polish and good art design can cover up.

It doesn't even have that good of an art design, it's just shiny neo-futurist mixed with some pixar and saturday morning cartoon graphics. I know I'm beating things over the head but TF2's original art style was wonderfully distinctive with the whole 50's spy thriller style which isn't often seen... It's a shame it's been buried under unusual effects and poorly designed hats.

Onto the topic though, balancing Bastion a bit needed to happen so he's more viable at higher levels but he needed sensitive tweaking so that he doesn't ruin games at low levels. Now Blizzard, buff Zenyatta's damage.

vallorn:
Onto the topic though, balancing Bastion a bit needed to happen so he's more viable at higher levels but he needed sensitive tweaking so that he doesn't ruin games at low levels. Now Blizzard, buff Zenyatta's damage.

...so that we can see yet one more tank squeezed onto a team?

xxobot:

vallorn:
Onto the topic though, balancing Bastion a bit needed to happen so he's more viable at higher levels but he needed sensitive tweaking so that he doesn't ruin games at low levels. Now Blizzard, buff Zenyatta's damage.

...so that we can see yet one more tank squeezed onto a team?

Once Bastion is balanced relative to the other tanks then you can buff DPS classes, and once that makes Pharah, Gengi, and Tracer obsolete you can buff them, and once they make supports useless you can buff them, and then that just makes the Tanks king again.

GG Blizzard, your patch notes will at some point just be: "Please, Understand".

My guess is that this will remove "sitting in the corner" -Bastion almost completely while "surprise maddafakka" -Bastion becomes a bit more viable as a cheese strat.

All in all, it's a change. Not much change. At least not in competitive

erttheking:

Sorry, as someone who mains Pharah, I'm particularly disposed to hating Bastion.

Well, you main a hero so you're a part of the problem. /s

Oh good, now your average Quickplay team will be curbstomped by Rein/Bastion combos even harder. I can't wait.

In all seriousness these sound like good changes, at least on paper.

erttheking:

Sorry, as someone who mains Pharah, I'm particularly disposed to hating Bastion.

As someone who plays Overwatch on console, I'm particularly disposed to hating Pharah. Have you tried using analog sticks to aim at a moving target high above you? It ain't fun, particularly when you're playing a character that doesn't have hitscan weapons.

McElroy:
Well, you main a hero so you're a part of the problem. /s

It's not a problem if your mains are Support. I play lots of Mercy/Lucio/Zenyatta because nobody else picks healers a good 80% of the time.

I'm sure you're a smart fellow 'n' all,

Neverhoodian:

As someone who plays Overwatch on console

but your opinion is irrelevant.

Neverhoodian:
I play lots of Mercy/Lucio/Zenyatta because nobody else picks healers a good 80% of the time.

You'd think Lucio becomes even more of a babby's first hero since you don't need any aiming with him.

McElroy:
I'm sure you're a smart fellow 'n' all,

Neverhoodian:

As someone who plays Overwatch on console

but your opinion is irrelevant.

You know what isn't irrelevant? My wallet. I'm not going to spend booko bucks on a new PC just to play Overwatch when I have a perfectly capable PS4.

SlumlordThanatos:

MeatMachine:
All in all, I'm very surprised to see just how well Blizzard is doing when they set out to re-balance their heroes in Overwatch. Asymmetric, multi-class, team-based FPSs are extremely hard to balance, but damn are they fine tuning it very well so far with almost every new update.

The current tank meta begs to differ.

Most lineups run three of any combination of Reinhardt, Roadhog, Zarya, or D.Va (with Winston thrown in for KotH maps), a Soldier 76, Lucio, and Ana. Even in Quick Play, Roadhog is everywhere after his "fixes" only succeeded in making him even more consistent with his hooks than he already was, to the point where he is even consistently one-shotting his traditional counters, Reaper and Mei. Dealing with Torbjorn + Symmetra defenses is still a chore for uncoordinated teams, and Sombra is still garbage.

Blizzard's inability to make small balance adjustments has resulted in heroes wildly fluctuating between useless and overpowered, and a stale metagame that is dominated by tanks that are better damage dealers than dedicated DPS heroes. And that's not getting into the poor hero kit design...

Instead of polish, Overwatch has a veneer. Peel it away, and you see a game design disaster.

Really, it's amazing what some polish and good art design can cover up.

The tank meta is out of fashion at this point, because:

- Roadhog hook changes make it consistent, which prevents most of the bulls*t shots he used to get people through walls and doors.
- D.Va is now a lot weaker now than before since they swapped her armor and health. It used to be that even counters like Reaper had a hard time...
- Ana's biotic grenade is a lot weaker, and it is no longer a "throw and forget" kind of skill that changes even the biggest health pools from "critical" to "full".

hermes:
The tank meta is out of fashion at this point, because:

- Roadhog hook changes make it consistent, which prevents most of the bulls*t shots he used to get people through walls and doors.
- D.Va is now a lot weaker now than before since they swapped her armor and health. It used to be that even counters like Reaper had a hard time...
- Ana's biotic grenade is a lot weaker, and it is no longer a "throw and forget" kind of skill that changes even the biggest health pools from "critical" to "full".

We'll go point by point here.

-Roadhog's hooks have gotten more consistent on both ends, and that's the issue a lot of people are having. No more bullshit hooks around walls and over ledges, but now the Roadhog doesn't have to aim nearly as carefully in order to one-shot a target he grabs. With the recent hook changes, a hooked target is always placed in exactly the same spot in front of Roadhog, every time, when previously this wasn't the case. A decent player can now consistently hook and kill targets that otherwise had a decent chance of escaping, like Reaper and Mei.

-D.Va is still really good, just not quite as overpowering as she was before. Still, Reaper is gonna have a hard time again here in the next patch, since Blizzard plans to remove the dead zone that Defensive Matrix has.

Previously, D.Va's Matrix stops projectiles, but not immediately when they come in contact with the matrix. Bullets still travel a couple of meters before being negated. In the next patch, they will be negated completely and instantly. This means that as long as D.Va is facing the Reaper with Matrix up, she won't take damage. What's more, she can now extend her Matrix over an ally who got hooked by Roadhog and protect them.

-Biotic Grenade was never a "throw and forget" skill. If you're aiming for an ally, you had to time it very carefully and aim very carefully. Otherwise, you missed or hit a target you didn't intend to.

It's a lot weaker than it was, but Ana's HPS is still ridiculous, and she's still seeing heavy play at every level because she's still blatantly better at healing big targets than the dedicated healer, while adding debuffs and CC as well.

Really, Ana was a horrible design mistake, and she should never have been released. Blizzard was so concerned with whether or not they could make a healing sniper work (they couldn't), they didn't stop to think about whether or not they should.

 

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