It must be at least two years ago since Soldier: 76 of Overwatch was meta. Tagged with Ana’s ultimate, the Nano Boost, Jack Morrison can shred through any shields, tanks, or low HP heroes, then. But those days were gone, or at least we thought so. Today, Blizzard released a new Experimental card in-game that dedicates to buff everyone’s favorite vigilante.
The last time Soldier: 76 was touched was in March 2019, where he received multiple minor buffs. Unfortunately, these changes were quickly overshadowed by the Sigma-centric meta, along with Orisa. Today’s Experimental changes, though, have the potential to shape the game’s future meta. As always, none of these buffs are set in stone, as Jeff Kaplan and the team measures their effectiveness.
— Bad Pachimari (@BadPachimari) October 1, 2020
The hero’s weapon, Heavy Pulse Rifle, is the primary target of these changes. It will no longer have bullet spread, though, a constant recoil was implemented in its place. That change alone can spell numerous situations for the meta. Without the spread, players no longer have to tap the first few bullets to get more accurate long-distance shots. Though recoil is still necessary to balance Morrison, it can be flawless to aim with practice and mouse adjustments.
Players from other titles such as Counter-Strike or Rainbow Six Siege would be more familiar with this iteration, as well. CS’ AK-47, among all of its rifles, has the same mechanic. Players can learn the gun’s recoil pattern and aim accordingly to compensate for this weakness. With the Heavy Pulse Rifle changes, there is no upside to tapping in a burst, too, even in long distances. In fact, streamers and content creators are speculating Soldier: 76 to just hold down m1.
These adjustments come with rewiring players’ aim, of course, especially for those whose first first-person shooter is Overwatch. Learning to anticipate the recoil correctly and its pattern will be worth the more consistent damage output. Blizzard is also bundling in increased ammo for the said weapon, from 25 to 30.
The patch notes include comments from the developers, describing, “Overall, this will make him better when firing in full auto, rather than controlled bursts. While recoil exists with other heroes’ weapons, these changes are intended to be impactful to gameplay, rather than establishing the ‘feel’ of the weapon.”
Players who wish to test the Soldier: 76 changes can log in to their game and choose the Experimental mode. It’s in 2-2-2 role queue so expect a longer wait time for DPS.