Jeff Kaplan hints at upcoming changes to divisive Overwatch hero Baptiste - Dexerto
Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan hints at upcoming changes to divisive Overwatch hero Baptiste

Published: 7/Jan/2020 5:59

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

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.”

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. 

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.

Overwatch

Why an Overwatch 2 delay could be a blessing in disguise

Published: 17/Jan/2021 23:38 Updated: 17/Jan/2021 23:41

by Bill Cooney

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We’ve been waiting for what seems like forever on Overwatch 2 and everyone wants to see big news at BlizzConline 2021. But if we don’t get a release date, we shouldn’t be treating it like the end of the world.

The hype around Overwatch 2 was incredible when the first trailer and gameplay were revealed at BlizzCon 2019 but, after that, it steadily died down to little more than background noise with no official updates or news whatsoever coming from Jeff Kaplan and the team since.

Really, it’s only coming back on everyone’s radar because of BlizzConline, the online replacement for the canceled 2020 convention starting on February 19. Of course, we don’t know anything about what’s officially going to be covered there, but so far people have been saying we could see anything from just a few shots of new heroes, maps, and other content, all the way to a full-on release date.

But, drawing a line in the sand with a set date could be one of the worst things to do to the game before it even comes out.

Everyone obviously wants to play a good game day one on release, but, we’ve all come to expect to be drip-fed information on the newest upcoming titles at every stage, and to know roughly when they’re coming out. This hasn’t happened for Overwatch 2, and to say people are starting to get anxious over it would be arriving very late to the party.

The way it works though is if a game has a set release date from developers of publishers, then it becomes news when or if that date gets delayed or pushed back, and you better believe the pitchforks will come out on Twitter when people find out they’ll have longer to wait.

You may have seen where this is going, but take Cyberpunk 2077 for example — from E3 through the lead-up to the release (which was delayed multiple times) we were shown video after video of incredible-looking gameplay and promised an immersive, futuristic world to get lost in. We got neither.

Instead, most of us got a bug-filled mess that barely worked unless you had a high-end PC or the latest gen console, and even then it still didn’t deliver everything that was promised. It was so bad, Sony even pulled it from the PlayStation store. Now, just imagine that happening to Overwatch.

Overwatch 2 concept art
Blizzard Entertainment
Concept art, screenshots, trailers, and a bit of gameplay are basically all we’ve had to tide us over since 2019.

Not to say Jeff and the Overwatch team aren’t capable of delivering an amazing product — they’ve proven they can do that already — but for the sequel to be the best that it can be, they should take all the time they need. We all want to play OW2 ASAP, but if they need to hold off on a release date a while longer to avoid a broken, buggy joke, then so be it.

“I don’t know, I have no idea,” Kaplan said about a release date all the way back at BlizzCon 2019. “Just let us make it great, that’s all we care about more than anything, we don’t have a date in mind.”

That kind of thinking might be a bit of what endears Jeff to the community, as someone who worked on World of Warcraft when today’s “Classic” was just the entire game, he’s one of the last links to the “old Blizzard,” one that even had its own definition of the word “soon™” coined by fans, which is good to keep in mind as we continue to wait for Overwatch 2.

“Soon™: Copyright pending 2004-2021 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. “Soon™” does not imply any particular date, time, decade, century, or millennia in the past, present, and certainly not the future. “Soon” shall make no contract or warranty between Blizzard Entertainment and the end-user. “Soon” will arrive some day, Blizzard does guarantee that “soon” will be here before the end of time. Maybe. Do not make plans based on “soon” as Blizzard will not be liable for any misuse, use, or even casual glancing at “soon.”