For Blizzard Entertainment™ to revert (partially) the changes to Bastion (in Overwatch)
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I have altogether approximately 200 hours on Bastion. He was an incredibly fun character to play due to his very unusual playstyle which required more game sense, positioning and awareness of the game in order to play well. Good aim was rewarded very well with the headshots' critical hit multiplier, and his glass cannon, high risk high reward mechanics. I thoroughly enjoyed the character but this quickly changed after February 28th 2017 / 02.28.2017 (last edited at 03:55 PM on the O'Clock). This occured, to my knowledge, because of his low pick-rate (how often a character is picked in competitive), which I believe to have been approximately 1.6% at the time. I am currently unable to find a cached/archived version of the site which provided this statistic (Overbuff.com), but this is what I believe it had been. His Quick-Play (A less competitive version of the game, with looser game rules such as no huge penalty for leaving matches early) pick-rate on the 6th of January 2017 was sitting at 1.18%, according to the same website.
Currently, he feels a lot like a watered down Soldier: 76 - a character an assault rifle, with well-rounded and high utility. Sure, we can agree that in his Configuration: Sentry form, Bastion does immensely more damage. However, despite his 20% damage reduction, he still dies incredibly easily against flankers. Tracer, who gets her ult very quickly, can just zip in and place it on you. Since the damage reduction is no longer 35%, and doesn't recieve armour from using Configuration: Tank, the tracer kills you instantly. This means either you experience a long walk back from spawn, which puts your team at a huge disadvantage because not only are they a player down, but they're a Bastion down. Or, you get resurrected by your Mercy - if you have one, and if she has Resurrect up.This again creates an insane opening for your team, because she has expended a high-value ability.
If you don't have a healer such as Mercy or Ana on your case all the time; Bastion is the only DPS - other than, to an extent, Sombra - that relies on his team. Even in Sombra's case, she relies on other DPS doing their job as well, when she uses EMP. Bastion, on the other hand, requires a focus healer to focus on Bastion at all times, and impedes their ability to do their job efficiently, instead of switching between many different allied heroes and healing them, Because otherwise, Bastion is incredibly vulnerable, even with a shield. Consequently, your teammates die more easily and your healers have trouble doing their jobs.
In addition, playing a decent Soldier: 76 is much more beneficial to the team since not only does he have an AOE Self-heal, he has high movement with his Sprint ability, and huge burst damage with his Helix Rockets, he has a great ultimate ability which lets him hit every single shot on an enemy, and can wipe enemy teams with it; if he knows they cannot counteract on his ultimate ability, Tactical Visor, easily. Though it does take a decent amount of skill to know when and when not to use this ultimate, it's still a very powerful one. Bastion on the other hand, is essentially Soldier: 76 with the ability to sit down and deal more damage, as long as the enemy doesn't walk out of sight. As a result of not only Soldier: 76 being more powerful, many other Damage Dealers in the game are more versatile and useful than bastion. One statistic to support this is his current pickrate in Competitive, which has gone down from the 1.6/1.18% I mentioned earlier, currently sitting at 0.55% pickrate in the past 6 months (which would have started mid/late April 2017 at the time of posting this).
Overall, Bastion is picked significantly less than his changed counterpart (which is currently in the game), despite the main concept behind reworking the character - to my knowledge - was to increase his pick-rate and making him more widely useful to players. In contradiction to this, he has only been picked less and is less viable unless in hugely niche situations, even more so than before. Personally, I believe the main reasons for this having happened, are that he is less enjoyable than his older self, because of his less unique playstyle, and the fact that it's much easier to secure you and your team a win, if you pick another damage dealer, such as Soldier: 76. It is for this reason that I request that many of the changes be returned to their original state, so here are my suggestions:
1) Configuration: Sentry -
Reconfiguration time decreased from 1.5 seconds to 1.0 second (Return this to the normal 1.5 seconds, as it greatly contributed to his high risk/high reward playstyle, and thus made him feel much more unique and fun).
- Bullet spread increased by 50%
- Bullet spread is always at maximum (it no longer increases as the weapon is fired) (I partially agree with this change, and the one above, as it did feel like he was very much a sniper instead of a mid-to-close range character. However, i believe this to be too harsh a change, as the character feels very unrewarding currently due to how close he has to be to enemy players to deal significant damage - which is the main reason for playing bastion - which puts him in huge danger considering he cant move, at all, or quickly. For this reason I think the Bullet spread should not be kept at minimum, but increases as it would have done before the February patch. Bullet spread should also be decreased by 10% from its current state, rendering it to 135% of its original spread overall, firing or not firing).
- Magazine size increased from 200 to 300 (I personally do not think that this was needed, what with the patch increasing the frequency of having to get out of Configuration: Sentry and move around, that it automatically reloads before you've hit the 300 bullets mark. I don't think this made a huge difference because of the conflict of interest in making Bastion more mobile, yet increasing his ammo in Configuration: Sentry).
- No longer deals critical damage (This was the downfall of Bastion. Now, not only does he have to be closer to do damage, you aren't rewarded for good aim as much because of the increase in spread - although having perfect aim does increase your damage, but only marginally - but having almost aimbot-level aim isn't rewarded at all. Although I understand where Blizzard Entertainment™ is coming from with the changes, I think this as well, was too harsh. Perhaps keep the critical damage multiplier, but reduce it from *2 to *1.5. From my point of view, this would reward very good aim, but not so much that it's too powerful).
2) Configuration: Recon -
- Bullet spread decreased by 25% (This was a good change, and makes Bastion less of a one-trick-pony of sticking in one position and dealing damage, but allows him to hold his own more easily against other players when moving away. Perhaps a little unnecessary, as you could still fend off attackers before the change, it was just a little harder, but it's a change that makes a difference, yet only slightly; I don't see the need for it to be reverted but I don't see why not either).
- Magazine size increased from 20 to 25 (Again, a simple change which doesn't have a huge effect, but a nice change. I still see why it doesn't have to be changed but that doesn't mean it can't be).
3) Self-Repair -
- Can now be used while moving
- Now bound to secondary fire (formerly Ability 2)
- No longer interrupted by taking damage
- A new resource meter has been added that depletes while Self-Repair is active and recharges when not in use
I believe this change was probably the only necessary one to fulfill Blizzard's original intent to buff and improve the character's viability. The fact that it was interrupted by damage and couldn't be used while moving made it almost useless. There were 2 scenarios in the grand scheme of things in which you'd have to use Self-Repair. The first being you are in Configuration: Sentry and are taking fire, so you try to heal. Unfortunately, there are many repeated damage characters like Soldier: 76, D. va, Tracer, and others, that simply made it impossible to heal. The second scenario would have been trying to run away in Configuration: Recon. Whether you were taking fire or not, you had to stand still to heal, making you incredibly vulnerable. It worked most of the time, if you can manage to find a corner to hide behind and heal, but most of the time you were chased down anyway, since most of your counters have high mobility; not a big problem, as this is simply part of the game's design philosophy of picking heroes to counter others, but I don't think it should mean by picking a character, you can't be outskilled by the character you are trying to counter. This was a great change and I fully support it as possibly the only change needed to make Bastion viable.
4) Configuration: Tank -
- No longer grants bonus armor (This made sense with the original change to Bastion which granted him 35% damage resistance, and overall boosted his survivability in Configuration: Tank, but they changed the attribute from 35% to 20%, and didn't give Configuration: Tank any armour gain. This meant in the case of Tracer snagging a Pulse Bomb onto you (which kills you instantly now, as the 20% damage reduction is not enough to mitigate the damage. Originally, you could use your Ultimate ability to mitigate the damage and just about survive - barely. Now, you are unable to counteract the ability by yourself and again, rely on your team to protect you, which would only be possible of you have a Zarya on your team, and she has her Projected Barrier available, and actually shields you. This makes it boring and frustrating as there is no way to survive, and/or counteract Tracer's Pulse Bomb, which is under your control).
5) New Passive Ability: Ironclad -
- Bastion takes 35% less damage while in Configuration: Sentry or Tank (Originally, I imagine the idea behind the game developers' changes to Bastion was to remove some of his damage, but make him harder to kill. Which originally worked out fine, particularly for Configuration: Tank. Now however, since the reduced this to 20%, it doesn't make a significant different to many of the characters, particularly Hanzo and Widowmaker, Genji and Tracer's Ultimate abilities or Soldier: 76's Helix Rockets. The reduction to damage is negligible while the reduction to damage is unproportionately significant).
6) Developer Comments -
- Developer Comments: The goal of these changes is to move some of Bastion's power from Configuration: Sentry to Recon, while keeping its sentry mode a strong option, especially versus tanks and barriers. Overall, Bastion should feel stronger and more flexible with these changes.
"The goal of these changes is to move some of Bastion's power from Configuration: Sentry to Recon" This was done somewhat successfully, but when they simply reduced Ironclad's damage reduction, this meant Bastion was more reliant on his Configuration: Recon than beforehand, making Configuration: Sentry less viable, which took away the main thing that was attractive about playing the character - his high risk, high reward playstyle and the 'sit down well, shoot well' playstyle and instead is now much more like Soldier: 76's playstyle.
"while keeping its sentry mode a strong option, especially versus tanks and barriers." This is correct, it is definitely strong against tanks and barriers, unless the tanks are good and the damage dealers on the other team are also good, because you can still be killed by their damage dealers before you can take down their shields.
"Overall, Bastion should feel stronger and more flexible with these changes." Although Bastion does in fact feel more flexible, he doesn't feel as strong or as fun, because he now lacks individuality in his playstyle. It is there, but nowhere near as much as he did beforehand, to the point where Bastion has essentially lost it all. His flexibility is one of the reasons he is less fun because what was fun is the fact he wasn't "flexible" in-game. That was his niche, and he has no longer got it. (It also doesn't fit with the his personality/character concept because he's meant to be an old, worn down robot from ages passed, but that's beside the point and doesn't really make a huge difference to how fun he is, but it still does, to a slight extent).
To have these changes happen would mean a great deal to myself, and Bastion players who used to play Bastion for how different and interesting he was - his requirement for a different skillset. These changes have made a big difference to people, who have stopped playing the game as it isn't fun anymore because they used to play this character a huge amount and thoroughly enjoyed him, and then it got boring because he was no longer as unique. Most notably, Kolorblind/Kolorbastion, the Number 1 Bastion player in the world, was almost able to quit his job at a Walmart and spend his time entertaining others through playing Bastion. However, he lost enjoyment in the game as his niche, which is what got him views, was taken away and he shortly afterwards left the game entirely. He has now returned to working full-time at Walmart, to my knowledge.
I would highly appreciate if you could sign this petition, as it would change up to, if not more than 35 million people's experience on this game. Even if it may seem unimportant to you, it would still be highly appreciated if you could sign the petition. Thank you.
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