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Overwatch Director on Bastion: “He is a little too powerful right now”

by Joey Davidson | March 3, 2017March 3, 2017 11:00 am PDT

Bastion’s pretty beastly right now in Overwatch. Some changes have been tossed in for testing on PTR on PC, but the main client hosts a robot who can really wreck in the right hands.

Of course, gamers have taken to forums, communities and comments to declare their hatred for the new Bastion. Some have used expressions like, “Bastion’s the Win button.” The crowd is loud, and Blizzard has heard them. They’re working on a fix in the PTR for Bastion, but he’s live in his current form for at least a little while.

All of this lead Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan to write an exceptionally lengthy response on the Battle.net forums. You can dig into that in the source below. He notes that folks may have over-exaggerated Bastion’s current strength, but he tips his hat to the issue:

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. In particular, in one match I was playing Bastion and the enemy Tracer was trying to hunt me down. The Tracer player was clearly a better player than I am — a very skilled individual. I relied heavily on my self-heal and the Tracer could not finish me off. But I was able to kill Tracer in recon mode almost through attrition. This part felt wrong to me. But a lot of the feedback I read feels wildly blown out of proportion. 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.

The changes are coming, but one wonders about the need for the PTR

Why even have the PTR? Folks were noting these problems with Bastion on the PTR well before the patch went live to the public. Bastion went unchanged, and now folks are even more vocal.

Why have the PTR if you’re not going to apply feedback before pushing to the full client?

Blizzard

Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...

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