Overwatch Players Divided by Brigitte Rework
The recent Overwatch update brought several new balance changes to the game. One of the largest balance changes was with Brigitte, whose abilities were reworked to make her a better healer, while also making her less of an oppressive force that she was before.
Brigitte was cited as a problematic hero by Jeff Kaplan in a recent developer update. Despite all the nerfs she received, Brigitte was considered overpowered in a GOATS composition with three tanks and three supports due to her high burst healing, the ability to provide armor to her team, and the fact that she had a 500 HP personal shield that could stun enemies. However, in a 2-2-2 composition, Brigitte is nowhere near as strong because the nerfs she received made her more reliant on having two other supports.
As such, the Overwatch team made several balance changes to Brigitte to fix this issue. These changes included reworking Repair Pack to be charge based as opposed to cooldown based, with a heal over time effect rather than being an instant burst heal. Additionally, her Inspire ability now heals allies more and heals Brigitte herself less than before. Her Whipshot is faster overall, Barrier Shield has significantly less health, Rally has an increased ultimate cost, and Shield Bash does not stun for as long.
While this does tune Brigitte to be better in a 2-2-2 scenario, her play style has changed dramatically, and she can't be played as effectively as she used to be. As such, many players find Brigitte to be almost useless. However, other players find Brigitte to have some good, niche uses, and believe that she still has impact within the game.
One of the biggest issues people will cite is the nerf to her Barrier Shield. The shield's overall HP was reduced from 500 to just 200. As such, if it is focused, the shield can be broken in less than a second. Brigitte players may find this frustrating, as she has lost some of her unique identity as a hero. However, the shield was considered to be one of the most oppressive tools that Brigitte had. Players did not like how a support could have the tanking capability of Reinhardt, and allow a team to push through a choke or a contested area without the need of a main tank necessarily. This nerf not only removes that tanking ability, but it prevent Brigitte from playing too far forward, as she can no longer protect herself as easily as she used to.
Furthermore, Brigitte's greatest strength is to deal with flankers. Heroes like Genji, Tracer, and Doomfist can have a tough time getting eliminations when there is a Brigitte in the backline who can use her shield to stun flankers who come in for a quick pick. However, flanking damage heroes are not even considered to be the strongest meta picks at the moment, and even those flanker heroes can deal enough damage by themselves to break a Brigitte's shield, making it much harder to deal with them.
However, it has not even been a week since the latest update has hit, and Blizzard has promised to look over the performance of each and every hero in the role queue beta. If they deem Brigitte to be undertuned, they will make adjustments accordingly in due time.
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