After Most Recent Patch, Bastion Gets Overhaul Again

Following the most recent patch for Blizzard’s Overwatch, fans were very upset (or happy depending on what side of the beating you were on) with Bastion’s buff, so-much-so that Blizzard had to quickly make a new patch to consider what to do with him.

After his first nerfing when the game came out Bastion went from the most heavily used to the tissue in the trashcan. An update this week provided a major overhaul to the character, making him more powerful and self-sufficient. Among other things, it allows him to heal himself while on the move (and without being interrupted when taking damage). Unfortunately, that was too much of an update for players and Blizzard felt like an underpaid nanny with all the complaints they were getting. Overwatch’s director, Jeff Kaplan, actually responded with a lengthy post on the game’s forums sharing some thoughts on the situation.

Kaplan, understood and noted that any change, regardless of what it is, is likely to cause at least some negative feedback from the fans. “With that said, we’ll make some changes to Bastion and put them up on the PTR this morning,” he said. “We’d love to hear your feedback about those changes when they go up. I don’t have details right now because we’re still making the changes!”

Since that post, the PTR update for Bastion has actually gone live. Now it may be a bit overshadowed since the most significant component to the update is clearly and obviously the new character, Orisa. However, the new nerf, that people asked for, makes it so that Bastion receives, in Sentry or Tank form, only 20 percent less damage, rather than 35 percent less damaged taken in the original buff.

This was a very quick turnaround of this buff, and this may not be the only adjustment that’s made. However, it also means that this change itself may not end up making it into the live game.

Kaplan’s post continued on, where he discussed the perception of the ‘meta’ and how it usually conflicts with reality (Cough, something everyone should understand, cough). One example he talks about was the belief that, at one point, Mercy was rarely played; in fact, she was the fifth most played character overall. He also accounts his time with a superior player.

“Balance changes can be very difficult to make when emotions run so high in the community. There is outrage if a hero does not get played a lot (like with Bastion or Symmetra). We make changes to make those heroes more viable which means they will get played more. The result is, people need to adjust to playing against Symmetra and Bastion more… and they are more powerful. We cannot just magically make Bastion get picked more so the stats look pretty and not make changes to make him more viable at the same time.

“I want to share my personal opinion on Bastion (which is dangerous because I know I am a spokesperson for the game). I play every night. I’m playing both Quick Play and Competitive (I played 2 games of CTF to get my loot box). Over the past few nights I’ve played with, as and against Bastion. My perception is that he is a little too powerful right now.”

Kaplan proceeded to highlight an encounter between him and a superior Tracer player. Kaplan continued to play as Bastion and won through what he described as attrition (gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure), as he was able to heal through enough damage to kill her.

“This part felt wrong to me. But a lot of the feedback I read feels wildly blown out of proportion,” he said. “Bastion isn’t the ‘I Win button,’ and he can be focused and countered. When a team is coordinated, he is far scarier than when a team is just playing a pick-up/deathmatch style of play–and I’ve witnessed both over the past few nights. I think complaints and praise of Bastion are both valid. I don’t think he’s perfect yet. But I do think there is a high amount of hyperbole around this particular situation.” 

Clearly, Bastion needs some help but this new buff may be the trick. Kaplan has said before that he wants fans to play with all characters, and, since the game is still not even a year old, balancing issues will be a problem. As fans, take heart that Blizzard listens. Sometimes it is just trying to separate the good comments and council from the fannyflustered fans. Tell us what you think should be done with Bastion on Twitter!

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Johnny and his beard always ask wouldn’t it nice if we were older? Then we wouldn’t have to wait so long. And wouldn’t it be nice to live together in the kind of world where we belong? You can see his ramblings on Twitter at @SomeBeardy2Love