According to Overwatch Developer Geoff Goodman, Brigitte will soon no longer be able to stun through shields, like those of Reinhardt or Orisa.
In a post on the official Blizzard Overwatch forums, Goodman said the Overwatch team was playtesting the change that would most likely be included in the next PTR update.
Goodman said this change would make it “a lot more tricky to land a clutch stun on an enemy Reinhardt, for example, but you can still use the ability to close distance and land melee hits to trigger Inspire.”
Brigitte has been a source of controversy ever since she was introduced into the game, some hate her, while others think she’s one of the best things to happen to the game.
The changes are definitely a nerf, as Brigitte’s crowd controlling Shield Bash is one of the things that makes her a must-pick in most situations.
Goodman gave no indication in his post on how soon fans could expect these changes, and with a new update rolling out the same day, it could be a few weeks before players hear any further news about it.
Whether this change is significant enough to end Brigitte’s reign on top of the meta remains to be seen, but at least Reinhardt players can sleep a little easier knowing their shields will finally protect them again.
Blizzard Entertainment’s Vice President and Overwatch’s beloved Game Director Jeff Kaplan has revealed what he thinks is the ideal competitive meta for the expansive title.
Overwatch exists in many forms, from its highest ranks to its lowest, but the game’s competitive meta at the professional level has also varied greatly since the original release back in May 2016.
In the olden days, teams prioritized dive compositions led by Winston’s jumps and Tracer’s blinks. Then, in 2019, fans around the world either groaned or cheered as the divisive GOATS meta took center-stage, featuring a hefty squad built entirely with tanks and supports.
Now, Kaplan is explaining his perspective on the game’s ideal state, following criticisms he levied back in July against the game’s double-shield reliance. Examining the game’s departure from a static, Orisa and Sigma-dependent environment, he dissects his compository ideology.
Barriers have held an uncomfortably powerful role in Overwatch for a long time.
As discussed in an interview with the Loadout, Kaplan is both aware of the professional scene’s interests and the casual base’s tendencies. Coupling those factors, he believes the game is at its best when there is some blend of high skill caps and diverse team compositions.
“The most ideal, healthiest state of the game is when the meta is somewhat fluid, when the meta is more map dependent or team match up dependent than it is static. We’ve all seen those moments when the meta has been completely static and all six players will just play the same six heroes every time. I think that’s fun from a mastery standpoint, but I think it’s a lot more exciting for viewers when creativity and curiosity come into play,” he said.
When Kaplan refers to a “static” meta, the simplest example is 2019’s GOATS, where three healers (Brigitte, Lucio, and Moira) were coupled with three tanks (D.Va, Reinhardt, and Zarya) and would barrel into opponents.
It took tremendous teamwork to be pulled off successfully against other professional teams, but many fans considered it more tedious than entertaining after months of gameplay.
In its current state, Overwatch is not completely balanced, but there is a degree of variety to it. That diversity seen in the Overwatch League spans downward into the casual ranks. Kaplan indicates that this is in line with his department’s hopes.
“I think most of our players would say in the ideal meta, all our heroes would be viable in some way competitively. I think as a competitive goal from a game designing and game balancing perspective that is extremely challenging, but it’s obviously what we strive to achieve.”
While he assures that Overwatch would be completely balanced in an ideal world, in the meantime, his team would at least like to push toward a game that varies to some extent based on coaching, player preference, and map.
It remains to be seen if current and upcoming patches can accomplish that, but Kaplan’s emphasis on “fluidity” is a welcome driving force.