With the 2018 Gameplay Update in full effect now for a few weeks, the question still lingers as to what the current meta is. What you may have thought were only small tweaks have had substantial impacts. This, in turn, had shifted the game to put more emphasis on laning pressure and those that excel at it. This was so apparent that Blizzard has already gone ahead and patched some of it to try and maintain balance. Let’s look.
If you’ve already forgotten what exactly was done for the 2018 Gameplay Updates you can check out my summary, but the part we’re interested in today is that early gameplay was extended through various means. This, in turn, made those who were strong in the PvE aspect of the Nexus to start to become very important. Those that could capitalize on pushing lanes early and grabbing a level lead could often keep that lead for the rest of the game. So Blizzard has tried to correct it, and to their credit, it has helped. They knew that these changes were going to have an impact and a big one at that.
Developer Comment: As expected, our gameplay update for 2018 resulted in large changes to many of our game systems. While we’re overall happy with the direction of the update, there have been some unintended side effects that we’re hoping to remedy.
So back to the question at hand. What exactly IS the meta right now? Well… I’m sorry but it’s still shifting. You can find some good tier lists at places like Ten Ton Hammer and Tempo Storm but this is only part of the equation. What I can tell you is that before this patch the previous major balances had healing nerfs across the board. This was again to counter what had become the dominant meta then of double support comps. With this most recent patch towers and minions largely received buffs whereas mercenaries were generally nerfed to counter their pushing power. However even in the wake of these changes pushing is still quite potent, just not as strong as it was a week ago.
What I can see as what’s going to popularize next is Heroes that can multi-task into lanes well. Whether through global presences like Dehaka, well-rounded characters like Sonya, or some of our more traditionally strong laners like Sylvanas. It may take a bit longer but getting momentum in a lane still seems to often end games. If you’re on the losing team and you can’t keep up then you’re done. If you don’t have Heroes who can push in those forts then you’ll lose. You need to have that PvE prowess now more than ever.
But what do you think? What has your experiences been this past holiday season and into the New Year? Have you found strength in the PvE-type Heroes or maybe something else? Let me know your thoughts and experiences; I’m always interested in hearing from you. For everyone else, I’ll see you within the Nexus.