Overwatch’s principal designer Geoff Goodman continues to insist that new support hero Baptiste will counter the dreaded GOATS meta.
Standing for “Go All Tanks and Support,” GOATS compositions consists of three tanks and three support heroes. This has become the standard team composition for the entirety of the Overwatch League’s second season, save a few stand-out moments.
Many comparisons have been made to the previously popular dive meta, which had competitive teams using heroes like D.Va and Winston to disrupt the enemy team’s backlines. It was another consistent composition that began to not only bore OWL viewers, but frustrate players on all levels. In response, lead designer Jeff Kaplan introduced Brigitte. Meant to disrupt dive, Brigitte’s aggressive durability and squishy-killing capabilities made her the key not only to destroying dive, but also to introducing GOATS.
Kaplan recalled messing around with Baptiste’s Amplification Matrix ability, stacking Orisa’s Supercharger, Mercy’s damage boost, and Zenyatta’s Discord Orb for a huge damage stack that resulted in the enemy team being easily erased. This was a difficult combo to set up because of the Matrix’s size and the reliance on the enemy team’s positioning. But Kaplan still feels a cap will be put on damage amplifications in time, although the team don’t want to nerf the hero preemptively.
Goodman noted that during testing with Baptiste, the designers and developers first believed he would further enhance GOATS because his kit appears to reward grouped up allies with splash healing and damage increasing abilities. But they found out it was quite the opposite.
“In truth, Baptiste seemed better at countering the GOATS comp,” Goodman said.
In the same interview, Goodman listed off heroes that may be better suited to team up with the new support hero. This includes hitscan heroes like Bastion, Ashe, and Soldier: 76, who most benefit from the Matrix ability. Baptiste also reportedly has good synergy with Ana, since his ultimate doubles healing effects. This seems to open up a lot of new composition possibilities, giving a boost to lesser used DPS heroes in competitive play.
Kaplan stated that he is hoping to see Orisa/Ana/Zenyatta/Baptiste compositions played in the near future.