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Overwatch Director Responding To Community Criticism Of Bastion With Further Changes

by Brian Shea on Mar 02, 2017 at 06:41 AM

Following this week's Overwatch title update, the game's community saw a massive outcry surrounding the rework of Bastion. Many complained that the war machine's new configuration made it too powerful and difficult to kill. Director Jeff Kaplan took to the Battle.net forums to address the community and outline his plans for action.

"[W]e'll make some changes to Bastion and put them up on the [Public Test Region] this morning," Kaplan said in his post. "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!"

At the same time, Kaplan offered his take, as well as an anecdote that helped him understand players' frustrations with the recent change. "Over the past few nights I've played with, as and against Bastion," he said. "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."

Kaplan also addressed the challenges of balancing characters, particularly when large overhauls like Bastion's recent reconfiguration are involved, and working with the community of players. "Balance changes can be very difficult to make when emotions run so high in the community," he said. "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."

In the meantime Kaplan says that Bastion will be receiving changes in the PTR for PC players so that the tweaks can be further tested prior to being implemented.

[Source: Jeff Kaplan on Battle.net]

 

Our Take
I played both as and against Bastion last night, and I have to agree that he felt too powerful. Thanks to his healing, Bastion was able to survive onslaughts of attacks from most characters. It's quite impressive how quickly Kaplan and his team have jumped on this. Hopefully they can solve this quickly and get the changes out of the PTR and into the rest of the game.