Changes to the Overwatch Meta With the New Update
Overwatch Meta - PTR
The Latest PTR for Overwatch has given the Overwatch community a lot to think about and get used to due to recent buffs nerfs, and re-workings of characters. But what does this mean for the current Overwatch Meta once the update goes live?
D.Va constantly asking blizzard to “Nerf This” has finally been acknowledged. This has led to both tears of joy and sadness from Overwatch fans. A loss of 200 armour in place of 200 health for her Mech means that her survivability has gone done A LOT. This makes heroes that do constant or mass, small amounts of damage- rather than high burst damage- Such as Reaper, Roadhog, and Soldier: 76 far more effective against her. As well as this drop in survivability, her Mech’s fusion cannons have had their overall DPS output lowered but have been made to fire at a higher rate. This means that shooting targets at medium-long range is far less effective, with each bullet fired doing 2 damage where it once did 3, resulting in her only being extremely reliable at close range where you can guarantee to land all 11 (up from 8) bullets.
In short, these changes mean that D.Va has to get up-close and personal with her target to maximise damage and secure a kill, but she has lost her ability to survive a large amount of DPS being put up against her in doing so. This should result in D.Va falling out of the Meta as the go-to Tank hero and being replaced by a hero such as Zarya, who can soak up some damage through the use of her barriers.
Roadhog's Hook rework
The other Hero being affected quite largely by the new changes is Roadhog. His hook is finally being fixed (or ruined depending on who you ask) as hooked targets are now released if they leave Roadhog’s line-of-sight before being pulled. A change that will lead to a huge decrease in his hooks landing as heroes only need to break line of sight with him. This means that he will be vulnerable in the time it takes to pull someone towards him, as he can no longer peek behind a corner to hook someone and then move back into cover. Instead, he has to stay in the open to maintain line of sight thus making him an easy target.
However, these changes also fixed a few things on Roadhog’s end as well and benefit him. When you hook someone it will now bring them to a fixed location in front of you instead of simply towards you. What this means is Hooked heroes won’t travel through alternate dimensions and appear behind you, letting them escape. It also means that heroes with larger hitboxes (such as Ana, Reaper, Mei etc.) will be pulled within 1-shot range of your combo. What this means is that while the Hook is now much easier to escape, when they do land they will almost always guarantee a kill on heroes with up to 250 health or lower, meaning Roadhog is now even better at punishing poor positioning by the enemy team.
The likely outcome of this is that Roadhog will now be more of a situational hero, being effective mainly on open maps without much cover/corners. He will still be used in most matches as he now does his job better than before, provided that his hook lands. The changes will lead to a change in play-style, rather than him dropping out of the Meta completely.
With the changes to D.Va now having a lower DPS output (and effectively being removed from the Meta), and Roadhog being more situational than someone who can be as equally effective on every map, it is likely that we will see Reinhardt re-appear within the Meta as one of the primary tanks. Because two of the heroes that can quickly take out his shield will be far less common, it means that his shield will be able to last longer due to the lower amount of DPS a team will carry. This results in Reinhardt being able to last longer in pushes and thus maximises his use in Push strats.
Smaller changes have also been made to Sombra and Ana. Ana’s Biotic Grenade healing boost on allies has been dropped down to 50%. This was a much needed change as her ability to pocket heal tanks made them near unkillable. However, even with this nerf her right-click healing still out heals Mercy, Zenyatta, and Lucio, so her ability to keep people alive is still very strong. It’s likely that even with this nerf she will remain within the Overwatch Meta until her right-click heal is reduced.
Sombra’s hack time has been reduced from 1sec to 0.8secs. This is a small change but one that should allow her to get her hack off on a key target before it is cancelled by a nearby ally or the target themselves. In the most recent PTR, Jeff Kaplan explained that Blizzard never intended Sombra to be a stealth Assassin hero- able to invis in and kill a target- but rather more of a disabler. This reduction in the time it takes to hack a target means that she will be far more effective in filling this role as a disabler, able to stealth in, hack, then TP out. He also explained that Sombra is more of a support hero than an offense hero and so was intended to be played as such. It is likely that we will see Sombra playing more of a support role because of this, but she still won't be huge within the meta.
D.Va's fall from grace should change the Meta around quite a bit, seeing a rise in the use of Reinhardts and Zaryas in her place. Soldier: 76 will stay exactly where he is in the Meta as the primary DPS, as he is still extremely strong (even more so now that he is a direct counter to D.Va). Roadhog becoming more situational will probably mean Reaper is used where he is not, though he will still be used as he is extremely effective at taking out squishier targets and punishing poor positioning. Ana will still be the go-to healer along with a Lucio (or Mercy in certain situations) as a second healer. It will be interesting to see how people adapt to the new changes in the update, and if any Interesting and unpredicted things emerge within the new Overwatch Meta.