Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan hints at upcoming changes to divisive Overwatch hero Baptiste

by Brad Norton

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The current version of Baptiste might not be controlling the meta in Overwatch for much longer as Jeff Kaplan has teased that new changes are on the way for the controversial hero.

Released in March of 2019 as the 30th hero in Blizzard’s hero shooter title, Baptiste brought about a brand new function to the world of Overwatch that remains a prominent aspect of the current meta almost a full year later.

Filling the role of a support character, Baptiste has been a controversial figure for many months, in large part due to his Immortality Field that prevents the downfall of nearby teammates. According to Overwatch's figurehead. however, significant changes could be on the way to shake up the hero.

Blizzard - Overwatch
Blizzard - Overwatch
Baptiste was first playable on the Public Test Region in February of 2019.

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Outside of a few minor adjustments to cooldown timers over the months, Baptiste’s kit has remained largely intact since his release. Remaining atop the power rankings of support heroes for a number of patches now, Baptiste was prominent throughout the ‘Double Shield’ meta and has remained a powerful figure to this date.

With exception damage output and rather unnoticeable falloff at a distance, combined with significant area-of-effect healing output and a get-out-of-jail-free card to deploy every 20 seconds, Baptiste can be a challenge to take care of.

Despite having one of the longest cooldowns of any ability in the game today, his Immortality Field remains a pivotal aspect of practically every team-fight on the competitive ladder. This might not be the case for much longer however as Kaplan has teased that the development team is “trying out some changes to Immortality Field to make it less oppressive.”

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Regardless of how weak the deployable ability might be on the map, or how lengthy the cooldown might be, the fact that Baptiste can provide invincibility to his teammates will forever have a significant mark on Overwatch.

Kaplan’s statement seems to indicate that a number of adjustments are incoming, not just a singular tweak. Perhaps the ability will be overhauled entirely or Blizzard will provide new ways to negate the immunity effects.

I missed the playtest today so I’ll ask the crew how it went,” he joked before signing off from his latest, rare sighting on Reddit. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxdy2SMf9CE

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There’s no telling when these changes might come into effect on the Public Test Region. Given the gap between content releases ahead of Overwatch 2 however, here’s hoping that the rework isn’t too far off.

Sigma has been the only other addition to the game since Baptiste burst onto the scene so the time is certainly nigh for a fresh set of changes to mix things up.