Recent changes to McCree and Ana sparked expectations for drastic metagame changes. None of that happened to say the least.
Ana was buffed. She’s a bad support hero so she deserved it. She’s also new hero so some initial tweaks are just part of usual update procedures. Either way, as the meta stands, Ana still resides under the shadow of prevalent supports like Lucio, Mercy and even Zenyatta.
McCree’s range was nerfed while also receiving buffs to his abilities. Blizzard didn’t like his metagame role as the primary sniper and decided to change that by force. The buffs to his abilities and the nerf to his range show that they want McCree to get in the mix.
However, McCree’s use hasn’t dropped off as anticipated. Blizzard miscalculated the reason behind his popularity. I think that the changes are noticeable although most players in casual games seem oblivious. McCree still saw plenty of play during ELEAGUE’s Overwatch Open, indicating that the changes had a similarly small impact on competitive play.
Blizzard, take a step back!
It’s not a good sign that Blizzard constantly tamper with their characters. I’m a big fan of letting the metagame balance itself. The greatest esports titles, like earlier versions of Counter Strike, Quake, and more importantly Starcraft Broodwar, didn’t receive rolling updates. Their developers didn’t mess with the metagame, which is a positive side effect that we can identify in retrospect. Blizzard getting too hung up on balancing issues causes the progress made by the community to be lost.
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Many of my Overwatch articles discuss the downsides of mechanical and social aspects of the game. It’s important for us to ask these questions even if the game is fun. Although it’s valid to appreciate the game just for casual reasons, it’s not healthy for an esports title to cater to those standards.
That being said, I have mixed thoughts on the update because of Blizzard’s oddly misplaced efforts. They honestly have to find a healthier distance from the metagame to attain a clearer read on patching needs.