[Update]: The patch is now live on the PTR alongside a brand new hero by the name of Orisa!
The fourth season of Overwatch Competitive Play arrived a couple of days ago alongside some rather significant buffs to everyone's favorite murderbot Bastion. Unfortunately for players trying to do their placement matches this week the buffs ended up catapulting Bastion straight to the top as one of the best DPS heroes around. As it turns out, being nigh invincible is pretty damn good!
But don't worry, the developers are aware of the problems and will soon be putting out a PTR patch to slightly tone down Bastion. He should still be a lot more powerful than his old and underused self, but he will on longer be able to stand still and shrug off damage like its nothing. You can find Jeff Kaplan's full post over at the Blizzard forums, but if you're just looking for the short version, here it is:
"With that said, we'll make some changes to Bastion and put them up on the PTR this morning. We'd love to hear your feedback about those changes when they go up. I don't have details right now because we're still making the changes!
Balance changes can be very difficult to make when emotions run so high in the community. There is outrage if a hero does not get played a lot (like with Bastion or Symmetra). We make changes to make those heroes more viable which means they will get played more. The result is, people need to adjust to playing against Symmetra and Bastion more... and they are more powerful. We cannot just magically make Bastion get picked more so the stats look pretty and not make changes to make him more viable at the same time.
I want to share my personal opinion on Bastion (which is dangerous because I know I am a spokesperson for the game). I play every night. I'm playing both Quick Play and Competitive (I played 2 games of CTF to get my loot box). Over the past few nights I've played with, as and against Bastion. My perception is that he is a little too powerful right now. In particular, in one match I was playing Bastion and the enemy Tracer was trying to hunt me down. The Tracer player was clearly a better player than I am -- a very skilled individual. I relied heavily on my self-heal and the Tracer could not finish me off. But I was able to kill Tracer in recon mode almost through attrition. This part felt wrong to me. But a lot of the feedback I read feels wildly blown out of proportion. Bastion isn't the "I Win button" and he can be focused and countered. When a team is coordinated, he is far scarier than when a team is just playing a pick-up/deathmatch style of play -- and I've witnessed both over the past few nights. I think complaints and praise of Bastion are both valid. I don't think he's perfect yet. But I do think there is a high amount of hyperbole around this particular situation.
In any event, will put some changes up and we're eager to hear your thoughts."
If you ask me the only thing Bastion needs nerfed is his Ironclad passive. The 35% damage reduction on top of armor is simply far too much when his counters (Tracer and Genji) are already weak against armor. Once that gets fixed I have a feeling Bastion's popularity will die down significantly, and he will once again become a niche hero you whip out on special occasions to some devastating results.