May 23, 2019 saw the first balance changes to characters in about a month. This patch changes the way 2CP maps work, nerfs to D.Va and Torbjörn, but buffs to Bunker compositions overall. Not only that, but the patch notes also sees the release of the long awaited replay system to watch back old matches.
Everyone who’s played Assault knows this scenario; the defending team is about to full hold on point A, but the attackers touch and trigger overtime. Since the defenders spent all of their ultimates in the previous fights, attackers have the advantage. What was looking like a full hold turned out to be a last second capture for the attacking team. Now since the defenders lost A in overtime, they have overtime spawns (13 seconds opposed to 10). This allows the attacking team to quickly run down to point B and start capturing it before the defending team is there to fight. This ends up with the attacking team capturing point B in a flash. The scenario is referred to as “Snowballing”, by metaphorically starting out small but rolling and building momentum to end up big.
Well hopefully not anymore. The change on the PTR reduced the respawn time for defenders to 3.5 seconds after losing point A, so defenders that are dead and respawning, or die shortly after, will have a respawn time short enough to get set up for point B.
That is the most important change to Assault, but the added time for attackers after capturing point A was reduced from four minutes to three. This is merely to reduce the overall match time, as 2CP can often last twenty minutes or longer, only to end in a draw.
D.Va: Probably Not Going Anywhere
This character has been a main stay in the highest levels of play due to her kit. She is mobile, has a high impact ultimate, does consistent damage and has the single most impactful resource ability in the game, Defense Matrix. This resource negates all hitscan and projectile damage from enemies, barring beam damage.
The length of the Defense Matrix was reduced from 15 meters to 10, this will force more aggressive positioning from D.Va if she wants to negate damage. D.Va players have to make the choice of negating damage to save a teammate at the risk of they themselves being punished, or not negating the damage at all because it isn’t worth it.
There is also the scenarios where a D.Va player is able to save a teammate from being killed off, seemingly from across the map. That allows bad positioning to go unpunished and a kill that should have been guaranteed to slip away. Now it wont be as easy to save that teammate.
Replay: See Failures In 3rd Person
It was tested during the 2018 OWWC, now it is here. This replay system will allow users to view their previous 10 games from any angle at any point in the match. This is great for self review, as well as reviewing for teammates and enemies. Teams in OWL can also use this to do more in depth reviews on their stage games as well as scrims, because custom games save too.
The Ranked meta was written about in a previous article, this patch is the icing on the cake. Bunker compositions have been on the rise after Baptiste’s release, with the highest levels of play seeing it more often than not.
— Cameron (@cameron_ow) May 13, 2019
The natural synergy in Bunker is easy to form and hard to break. Orisa shields the team in one spot, Bastion sits behind the shield, Baptise does AOE healing and makes the already huddled together team invincible. In order for a team to break this setup, they need coordination, pathing and a composition that makes at least a small amount of sense. Good luck finding that in Ranked.
With the buffs to Orisa, Baptise and McCree, the Bunker meta will likely spread throughout ranked and possibly to OWL. In Ranked play, attempting to coordinate a dive to dismantle the bunker is difficult, so it could be common to counter a bunker composition with another bunker, whoever can do more damage faster wins.
2CP will likely remain as most people’s least favorite game mode, but now it wont be as bad. D.Va is harder to play, so her pick rate in Ranked might go down. However the best D.Va players in the world will still be amazing at her, so it’ll be hard for OWL teams to not play their D.Va specialist on that character. Bunker meta will likely spread throughout ladder and into OWL, it’ll boil down to holding left click on shields harder than the enemy.
What do you think of the 1.37 patch? Tell Ethan what you think @Hearin_Voices.
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