One of Overwatch’s most contentious and easily misunderstood heroes, Bastion, is in the process of getting an overhaul, Blizzard confirmed on the game’s forums today. Overwatch game designer Geoff Goodman addressed player concerns about Bastion’s viability and outlined how Blizzard is buffing the ‘bot.
Goodman responded to player “Rarithlynx” — who has spent more than 90 hours of his Overwatch career playing as Bastion — who posted that the hero was long overdue for a buff.
“Bastion is currently in a pretty bad spot,” Rarithlynx wrote earlier this month. “He has the most counters out of all heroes in the game, including quite a bit of hard counters. He's big and immobile, and has no defensive or escape abilities, and requires the team to babysit him all the time.”
While many other defensive characters, including Torbjörn, Hanzo, Widowmaker and Symmetra, have been buffed or completely reworked, Bastion, Rarithlynx said, feels left behind. And although Bastion can be viable in certain situations, especially against players who haven’t learned to counter him, he’s not strong competitively.
Fortunately, Blizzard has a few “high level” changes in the works to Bastion, Goodman said. The following tweaks to the character are “likely” to be testable in the next release on the PTR — Overwatch’s public test region server:
Recon Mode - Lowered spread and increased magazine size, to help with general viability in this mode.
Sentry Mode - We're looking at focusing this mode into more of a tank-buster and barrier-buster mode, while also making it feel less suicidal to be transformed. To that end we're testing stuff like increased spread and removing headshots, but taking less damage while transformed.
Self-Repair - We've been testing a few big changes to this that are feeling really good so far. Currently our internal build has Bastion able to use Self-Repair while moving and also having it no longer interrupted when taking damage. To balance that out it is now on a resource system (similar to the route D.Va's defense matrix went). These changes have turned this ability from a more niche rarely used ability, to a much more powerful and core survivability tool.
Those changes, depending on how they’re ultimately implemented, could make Bastion a force to be reckoned with once again. It would be a big shift from his current role, which is crumpling into a pile of metal scrap two seconds after being spotted by the enemy team. It probably means fewer angry Overwatch players wondering why we have an attack Bastion on Hanamura. I mean, seriously, guys? We could really use a Reinhardt here.