Our current meta has been dubbed “Barrier-watch” where your team may face up to 3500 HP of mobile barriers at any time. A major complaint has surfaced regarding this meta; shooting shields is pointless. Is it? Let’s find out…
So as it turns out, a lot of the forum lore regarding DPS “shield breakers” is incorrect. Soldier doesn’t really have great “shield crush”, neither do Hanzo, McCree, or Junkrat for that matter. Sym certainly doesn’t. As it turns out, the only two true shield-crush DPS heroes are turret-mode Bastion and Reaper. The only benefit to running Symmetra in barrier-watch is the opportunity to be at high charge levels against squishies for the majority of the game.
Fielding the two best barriers breakers in the game on your team will take 5.65 seconds to burn 3500 HP of enemy barrier health. Everyone else’s shield break time is in the 10s of seconds. The takeaway from this is that unless your entire team is consistently focusing barriers, it is largely pointless for the DPS to attempt to burn them down. There are simply better uses of DPS time.
On to the beam heroes! Zarya and Symmetra are now facing damage nerfs and increased aim requirements in the next patch.
Until the patch drops, we won’t know the reasoning behind these changes. But my question is, why are the beams doing simple, standard damage? One of my favorite Tower Defense games, “Defense Grid” had a laser type tower that would apply direct damage to enemies passing within its range, but would then apply a “burning” effect once they passed out of its range.
Why do I bring this up you ask? It has to do with Crowd-Control and Mobility. That laser tower was poor against large, high HP enemies. However, due to the lingering fire damage it excelled against small, fast targets that went out of range of the slow, hard hitting towers too quickly for them to be effective.
CC effects are largely presumed by this forum to have been implemented by the devs to “counter mobility”, however as many players here have noted; CC is MORE effective against NON-MOBILE heroes due to the effect being easier to land.
But the devs did something amazing that we did not expect when they introduced Ashe to the game; they added a burning status effect to Overwatch! Burning is effective against fast, hyper-mobile targets that depend on avoiding damage, while at the same time not really affecting high HP pool or self-sustain heroes due to its low damage over time.
IF the devs are truly attempting to offer mobility counters to the game, adding DoT fire damage to the BEAM weapons would do this nicely and isn’t any form of CC.