Baptiste is getting some tweaks to his kit, according to Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan.
He shared on Reddit that Blizzard was actively making an effort to balance Baptiste’s Immortality Field, and that the changes are already being playtested.
“We’re trying out some changes to immortality field to make it less oppressive,” he said on a thread discussing the Immortality Field’s cooldown. “I missed the playtest today so I’ll ask the crew how it went.”
Jeff’s comment shows that Blizzard already has an idea of how to balance the Immortality Field, although he didn’t specify what the developer team is planning.
The thread that prompted Kaplan’s statement suggested that the skill’s cooldown should start once it’s destroyed, rather than after it’s placed. The change would effectively decrease Immortality Field’s uptime across the board. It’s unclear if that approach lines up with Blizzard’s plans for the hero.
The Field is a complex skill that has its effectiveness based on a series of aspects, such as its health, cooldown, radius, and uptime. A comprehensive tweak should alter at least one of those characteristics.
Baptiste’s Immortality Field is a controversial skill. It places a device that denies deaths in a small area-of-effect radius. It lasts for eight seconds unless destroyed and has a 20-second cooldown that starts the moment it’s placed, which means that Baptiste can potentially toss one of them every 12 seconds.
Players can destroy the field generator by dealing 200 damage to it, but if Baptiste places it out of the view of the enemies, like behind a wall or around a corner, it can essentially make a team immortal during a full eight seconds.
Simply nerfing Immortality Field’s health will make it easier to destroy but won’t help strategic placements outside of the enemy’s line of sight. Increasing its cooldown would force players to use it more sparingly and reduce its overall uptime, and that could be the direction Blizzard opts to follow.