Overwatch: New Changes Spell Success for Meta
Huge Changes for Popular Heroes as Well as Ult Changes Underway
Overwatch is a highly addictive and popular game created and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It has long been touted as the most balanced and up to date game ever with developers releasing patches on a weekly basis. If the game needed adjustment, Blizzard issued a fix. It was these "fixes" in season 5 that killed the experience for me. With the buff of Reaper and the nerf of Roadhog, competitive matches were not a choice for many.
With the close of season 4, many habitual players like myself decided to take a break from the next season. This was primarily because the meta for the game was BROKEN. School is back in session, and Season 6 is underway. Along with the new season are some game-changing elements. Many characters are seeing some groundbreaking changes. It's an exciting time for many, but for others, nothing will ever be the same. Here is a basic list of the new changes along with some additional information about the characters.
The beloved D.Va has had some huge changes recently. With a nerf to the defense matrix, an increase of her overall hitbox, and boosting mechanics all changed, D.Va feels like a completely new character. She now has a homing missile attack and the ability to shoot while boosting.
Some may like the changes, but many are complaining that D.Va is too much of an "off" tank. She no longer can soak up as much damage, nor does she put out a lot of damage. Needless to say, D.Va is still very much a fan favorite. Whether or not she's "Meta" enough still needs some testing. We shall see how she fares in higher tier battles.
As if many didn't like playing against Junkrat before, he now has a whole slew of buffs. His concussion mine ability has been buffed and he can now carry two mines. This means that if you wait long enough he can have a total of three on screen at a time. His RIP-tire also has a buff making the tire move 30% faster overall. This has made Junkrat a huge contender and a great choice to use instead of Pharah when the map is crowded with too many hit-scan opponents.
The latest Buffs to Junkrat have indeed made him more fun to play. He feels more nimble and mobile. He has a sense of speed and agility when airborne. Also because of the multiple mines, he is deadly. Junkrat now has very few counters. Genji is no longer super effective and Reaper is no match... that is if you have decent aim.
I know, I know. For many of us, the new Roadhog changes aren't news. However, let's talk for a moment on how his recent changes affect the meta. Roadhog's initial hook nerf took place over 6 months ago. With this, ferocity went away and many avoided playing Roadhog. With this factor, Blizzard decided to increase Roadhog's survivability, making him the most resilient tank of all time.
Roadhog can now use the "take a breather" ability while in full motion. He also takes 50% less damage while doing so. It's because of this one change that Roadhog has become almost unstoppable. He is a primary choice in death matches or for competitive teams that can capitalize on his hooks. Truth is, many are satisfied with the direction of Roadhog. He feels like a true tank and requires for teams to double down focus to kill outright.
One of the weirdest tanks in the game is Orisa. With a hodgepodge of attacks and abilities, she never quite fit in with the primary tanks. Also, her barrier ability was laughable at best. Enter Orisa 2.0, well you get the picture. Orisa has had substantial changes to her playstyle. Complements to her barrier and shooting speed have indeed helped her become a better tank. It feels as if Blizzard had a moment and realized that many of the tanks needed to be reworked.
Orisa now has a buff to her projectile speed and her barrier. Both have been increased by a staggering 20%! Her barrier also has a better shape, allowing it to hold chokes better and perform more like Reinhardt's shield. I think this buff makes Orisa a better choice for king of the hill battles or for maps like Nubani where she can take advantage of being a mobile anchor point.
Easily the most substantial change to a character in Overwatch history has been Mercy. It has been rumored for a while and is now live in the game for the last 3 weeks or so. As a Mercy main, you'll love the changes. Mercy feels like she can finally defend herself and she makes a point to be a better healer at the same time.
Mercy's ultimate ability (resurrection) has now been altered. She can no longer group resurrect. Instead, Blizzard opted to make her "Res" a one-time-use ability, with a cooldown of 30 sec. This sounds bad but in practice, it's actually amazing. Resurrections now take critical thought. Entire teams can now be killed without that moment of dread when you hear "Heroes never die!"
In place of her ultimate has come a new ability, Valkyrie. Mercy now has the ability to fully Fly! This is not a variation of guardian angel, but fully featured 360 degrees of flight. She also can move freely on the X, Y, and Z axises. Her healing and damage boosting abilities now have a grouping effect. The ability daisy chains from player to player within a radius. Lastly, her blaster has unlimited ammo when in Valkyrie. The ability lasts 20 secs and Mercy now feels like a total badass. Here is some footage of me playing as Mercy.
Has the meta changed?
Overall I'd say, yes! The meta has changed and for the better. Overwatch feels a lot better now that the balance from the end of season 4 has been fixed. Reaper no longer rules the map as the most OP character of all time and things are getting better. I also think that the addition of Doomfist helped the balance even further. The future of Overwatch is looking great as we progress further. Of course, the game will never be perfectly balanced, but Blizzard is trying its best to reach that optimal level.
For those who want to play Overwatch, it is now on sale for $20 off at Blizzard.net for a limited time. My advice to you is to find a team and enjoy playing!