Overwatch Megathread: Bastion is our friend


I remember this piece and it was Very Good, so thanks for writing. @Benicillin also here making some good points. It’s not that I disagreed or didn’t see where this was coming from, it’s mostly that, like, there was no official announcement about it so I was like “oh boy what happened now? let’s check the patches. oh there’s nothing here. ???”

It honestly doesn’t surprise me that Blizzard is Like This in terms of how they treat their supports. They don’t exactly have a history of giving a single fuck about their support classes or support play. The entire concept of it seems less interesting to the company as a whole, which is obvious because, when given little oversight from the community in HotS, they once put out 3 assassins in a row. They didn’t even notice until it was pointed out.

For the company as a whole, it seems to just be a matter of “what’s fun?” to which the answer is usually “DPS”. I feel like it’s why Ana is the go-to support character for them. She has most focus in the lore out of all the supports. With her most recent addition in HotS, she got 6 sprays for her in the patch she was released, whereas every other character has 2, if any. They put a lot of effort into making her a cool old Egyptian lady sniper, and that’s great and I love her, but Blizzard has repeatedly neglected focusing on making support more powerful because they’re “not skill-based” and, as we’ve all gone over, that’s a bullshit narrative that’s affected every single support, including Ana.

And that’s what it comes right down to, I think, is the competitive scene. I was kind of desperately hoping it would fail after the shitshow that went down with Blizzard and the e-sports community that we touched on early in this thread. Then the game could just wind up… being a game. But that’s clearly not the case, and the fact that Blizzard is allowing themselves to be lead around by the nose by their comp scene means that we’re not going to see them stop being shitty to supports until they allow the comp scene to shoot themselves in the foot so hard that they blow the whole fucking thing off.


There are things I would criticize about the way Blizzard handles balance, but I’m really really skeptical of the idea that buffing Mercy so hard she’s now a stone-cold must-pick was a decision based on animus towards Mercy players and stereotypes thereof. The rework was never a nerf. It was never intended to be a nerf. Making a character better sounds like an incredibly strange way to express your disdain for them.

I think Blizzard has been trying to resolve some of the design contradictions in its characters. One example would be the recent Roadhog hook changes; an ability that repositions the enemy and then also one-shots them is kind of nonsensical (since the reposition ends up not mattering), so they made an attempt to untangle that contradiction. An ult that can provide massive reward for withdrawal from play is also somewhat of a contradiction, so they turned toward a Mercy rework as well.

The fact that they didn’t foresee that such changes would leave one of those characters extremely weak and the other extremely strong, shows that they don’t always have especially great foresight, and balance patches can feel pretty rollercoaster-like.


I’m not entirely sure where a lot of the hate on the Mercy rework is coming from, but I honestly think it’s great. The old Mercy was bad, straight up. Mostly in two way though.

  1. It necessitated Dive comps. Dive became so so so integral to the meta simply because you HAD to kill Mercy first, and you HAD to be having super fast and aggressive engagements. This led to Dive being played on both sides, and see pick rates for any character outside of the meta being so so so so low. It was stale, and boring and frustrating, and I say that as somebody who has hundreds of hours across Tracer/Winston combined

  2. There’s no arguing that it spawned a lot of really bad Mercy players who would absolutely do the whole “hide away from point and wait for a five man Rez” type situation. The new rez is great because it forces Mercy players to play for tempo now, instead of big plays. This is great, it extends team fights, opens up the door for different characters to find their way into the meta, and also makes Mercy incredibly valuable now.

I honestly think that the meta is way more open now than it ever has. I mean holy shit, Junkrat is one of the most viable characters in the game right now. When was the last time that was the case? Roadhog is finding usage again, Orisa is finally making their way into team comps, and pretty much every DPS character is viable. Even Widow is a go for pretty much any team right now.

I get that it’s annoying/frustrating that the community seems to dictate so much of the balance of OW, but I do really really think the Mercy changes are great. The more worrying problem to me is the immediate nerfs that the OW team will employ before characters even come out. Think about how mad people were about doomfist/orisa/ana before they got off the PTR. That forced Blizzard to nerf without any real play time, and that seems incredibly backwards to me.


I don’t think this a sudden change - at least in culture. I mean you don’t purchase a stadium and court billionaire investments for franchising within the span of 4 months. This was in the works for several years. The game exists for the franchising, not the other way around. It could have been HoTs - truly - it just didn’t take because DOTA/LoL dominate way too heavily. Blizzard has to cater the pro-scene because if they fail - that is an absolutely massive financial flop.

What I do think, is that the development team was not prepared for or even understood how to deal with was all these disparate play-styles that the game brought in[and that they advertised to]. People that never really gave a 2nd thought to fast paced shooters began to play Overwatch because it has weird utility kit heroes like Symmetra or pure healers likes Mercy and they are coming from an MMO. However, as others have pointed out - those heroes are antithetical to the pro-scene which heavily favors dps and flashy kilsl and one very specific set of talents. And the unfortunate thing is, that over the years the pro-scene and even gaming companies at large have said ‘these are the talents that are really indicative of good gaming skillz’. Which is not true. I think OW would benefit from a separation in its development of the pro-scene vs. non-pro. I think that its failure to do is, is actually driving the roiling toxicity that is sort of poisoning the game at large.


A lot of arguments here seem to rely on the premise that the old res was accessible to certain demographics of players in a way that the new res is not. But that’s a premise that doesn’t make sense to me. Mercy is still completely about support. Mercy is still completely about triage, even moreso than before. And yes, Mercy is still even about disempowerment, since she can instantly undo the kills that might tip a fight-- just on an individual basis instead of en masse.

The only thing that’s actually been taken away from Mercy is the singular “huge res” moment, but it has been exchanged for something that’s demonstrably even more powerful. Was that one play really the entire appeal to folks who main her?


I would argue the design of Mercy meant that it necessitated this gameplan. The ultimate generated fast and was the most powerful one button move in the game, completely invalidating Symmetra’s entire character especially on offense. Being able to force out enemy ultimates to teamwipe only to reset was ridiculously strong and having Mercy die immediately meant you lost the fight anyway. I don’t think people playing Mercy that way were “bad players” rather they played the character correctly.


I don’t know if that’s really true though. Most players are smart enough to not use all of their ults at once now. Most times when you rez’d a team wipe, it would just result in another wipe since everybody is now out of position/probably used their ults. People had become smart enough to tell when Mercy was holding rez.

The game feels a lot better when Mercy players are rezzing one or two important characters to keep team fights going, which was always one of the best ways to use rez in its original incarnation.

Also, I haven’t figured out how to quote people on here yet, so this might look out of place and dumb. Please don’t yell at me ヽ( ̄д ̄;)ノ


I like the Mercy changes quite a bit. To me, having a good last second push get wiped out by an overtime res was just one of the most miserable experiences to have in a game. Having to make every encounter hinge on whether or not a res is gonna happen was just exhausting and unfun.

I’ve also felt the change has a small impact on accessibility? The res ult was beginner friendly but so is the entire rest of her kit. My wife isn’t really into competitive shooters and has kept on trucking very well with Mercy post-change. She’s still one of the easiest characters in the game to get into imo, but now with a bit higher skill ceiling.


Imo, the issue now with the Mercy rework I’m seeing is mostly having to do with the shit they’re trying to push in the PTR with making the Rez a flat 30 seconds even with the Ult. Which is bad. Which is, I think what we’re mostly talking about now?

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind so much about what Overwatch is doing if Blizzard hadn’t managed to, I have to assume intentionally, shoot every other accessible co-op shooter in the knees.


That change definitely seems like an oversteer. I’m hoping it’ll get less severe before going live


It is, and honestly like, I don’t think it’ll make it into the main game because they never announced they were trying something new, which is why it’s PTR. I think they’re still testing things out because people are still complaining about how powerful Mercy’s Rez is. Like it’s been pointed out before, it seems there’s always complaints about Mercy’s raise in general…


Because Mercy was underpowered and badly designed. Compared to Lucio she was essentially a no-pick for her healing capacity and compared to Zenyatta she was a no-pick for her damage buff, meaning the only reason to play her was for the ultimate. As a result she became absurdly easy to play around and that’s what created the impression of “bad Mercy players”, but the ultimate was so costly that it forced you to play that way anyway.


The Halloween event’s coming up in less than two days! Anyone else here excited for what’s been shown of the new content so far? #MeiIsTheReasonForThe Season


If I don’t get Zen’s skin there’s a good chance I will cry.


The Symmetra skin is bomb, I can take or leave anything else.


I played Endless Junkenstein as Zenyatta and loved it.


I LOVE the new skins although I have unlocked zero of them. Endless Junk is also fun, looking forward to spending more time with it over the coming weeks, as I want that Sym and last year’s Mercy’s skin something fierce.


Make sure to try it as Zenyatta at some point.


The only new skin I like is Zen’s, but holy hell do I love it. I’m also on the “if I don’t get it I’ll cry” train. I also finally got to grab Junk’s skin (since I wasn’t in on the game last year) and I’m so glad for it. That good good explode-y boy never gets any interesting skins.


The reason I recommend Zenyatta in endless is because the bots don’t move out of tge way much and they are constantly walking towards you if you are near the door. There is something especially satisfying about using Zenyatta’s weapon against these enemies for me. I also enjoy deciding who to increase damage on during multiple Roadhog and such.