Season Three of Overwatch’s competitive latter began on December 1, 2016, and brought along a new patches for the game. One notable patch is a buff to Ana, the first Hero added to the Overwatch roster.
Her new buff, yet small, made a large impact on the gameplay of competitive matches. The Overwatch team increased her biotic grenade radius from 3 to 4, allowing it to reach more people. For those who don’t know, her biotic grenade is an ability that Ana has at her disposal, where she throws a grenade at teammates and have a multiplier on their healing, or when thrown at enemies, cancels all healing for a short period of time.
Now, why did this make such an impact on the meta? Well, yes her buff was one, but changes made to other heroes also had an impact on the meta.
This meta is known as the “Tank Meta” and it basically means that tank heroes in the game are now the most played, and running 3 or 4 of them in a team would have the best results, making actual damage heroes useless.
Ana has the best burst healing in the game, meaning she can heal a single target the fastest in the entirety of the roster. This allows her to heal tanks with ease, creating the tank meta. Also, tanks in the game are also very strong. The four tanks that are usually run are Roadhog, Reinhardt, D.Va, Zarya. All four of these are viable picks in the current meta because of their utility and survivability, with each having vital defensive abilities, like self healing or shields.
Well, why is this “Tank Meta” so bad? Like i said before, it deemed damage heroes completely useless, with an exception to Soldier 76, who is sometimes even replaced by a forth tank. This tank meta makes the game a little grindy and sometimes frustrating with every hero have intense amounts of survivability. It also puts skill intensive heroes into the shadows, keeping people from playing their favorite heroes.
The tank meta is a problem in both professional and casual play, that is slowly being addressed.
In the Public Test Realm of Overwatch, changes have been made to Ana, Roadhog, and D.Va. Ana’s biotic grenade healing as been decreased by 50% to teammates, nerfing her healing abilities. Roadhog’s hook has been reworked so now hook shots are more accurate, and D.Va’s health pool has been changed, giving her less defensive armour and more health.
With these new changes to the game, maybe the meta of the game will change, and hopefully in Season Four, we will have a new and flourishing meta.