META bullying rant

As patches come out one after another, I’m not sure if changes are made completely our of random or if devs try to force a singular playstyle they have in their minds.

Here’s the thing. As of now, there are four meta careers (BH, Pyro, FK, IB), 2 legend-viable off-metas (Slayer, Zealot) and everything else, including Unchained which was downgraded into trash-tier from viable tier by the latest patch. “Here’s the main roster we want you to play, take everything else at your own risk”, so to say. Practically, ever since the release update, which nerfed a lot of viable careers, there is a certain favoritism pattern in their changes of what’s good and what’s not.

Kerillian’s basic career was good in the BETA, but got nerfed so it doesn’t regen past oneshot health mark anymore. Unchained, while being shadowed by Pyromancer, still stood out by having full access to beamstaff quickscopes in melee range (a skill-based mechanic, mind you) and lost the only thing that kept her from getting bullied into guardbreak and/or overheat by a couple of storms or berserks; all while facerolling Pyro who can still quickscope everything with power bonus and crits, =>100% critchance and 20 to 5 seconds ult recharge speed barely felt the nerf. Not mentioning all the other classes that had nothing to offer to be chosen as a viable pick and not as a prefferance (or a meme) on the Legend difficulty in the fisrt place. And I would understand if it was made simply for a “challenging option”, but no, devs keep dumbing down difficulty to make it “accessable for everyone” in the process.

There is no single point of relativity in balancing aswell, changes are made towards making META picks stand out more and everything else just get shadowed by better choices. Why pick, say, Unchained Sienna as a party tank, who can get one-shot by overheating from literally a couple of attacks and has no good melee options, over, say, IB Bardin who doesn’t have any flaws aside from maybe poor survivability against ranged specials (which barely matters, newest patch considering), but also has better stats and is much easier to play? Why try newly buffed Mercenary Kruber if his only advantage over FK is 10% more critchance and negligable cleave boost, while the latter outperforms in literally every other aspect? Why take WH Captain at all, if the only thing that made him pickable for giggles in BETA, being bonus HP for entire party on markable enemy kills, was removed? And so on, and so forth.

What I’m saying is, despite all that “dumbing down towards the masses” tendency, devs basically nerf all but the most viable options. If feedback is of any value to Phatshark (it probably isn’t, but one can at least hope), they should probably know that “most picked” is not equal to “most fun” (at least not for everyone), and bullying people into picking the most viable options by nerfing the least viable ones is not what makes players stick around with this game. It’s probably even quite the opposite, lack of cool new ways to play the game considered. If a character is weak and/or is lacking a key feature, guess what, nerfing (or sometimes even buffing, like they did with Mercenary, once in a lifetime) him won’t change anything! I will take risk of speaking for most of the playerbase here, but giving us more mechanically good options instead of just making strong ones even more obvious choises is what players need the most in order to enjoy game’s variety for longer. If you are making highest difficulty “accessable for everyone”, locking 70% of the roster for meme lords and 4-man premade party strats from it is not gonna help your cause a single bit. If keeping playerbase’s game experience fresh is any part of dev’s cause, that is.


There are more viable classes than that. Your list is just kinda the most solid all-rounders. Also, Slayer isn’t anything special unless in the hands of a real pro… it’s the hardest class to be good or even competent with in Legend and there are only a few people on it I don’t cringe at playing with.

Waystalker, Ranger Veteran, Witch Hunter, Mercenary, and Shade are all perfectly fine and the remainder of classes are viable but lackluster, except in very specific circumstances. Of all characters, Kruber continues to have the least versatility despite providing a valuable support service to the comp.

“Off-identity” classes likely exist so someone who wants to main a specific character can fill any roll on that character ie. so people aren’t forced to spend 100hrs grinding before they can enjoy the game at higher levels of play. Unfortunately, off-brand classes are generally vastly inferior to their on-brand counterparts due to a combination of class balancing and weapon selection.


There are more viable classes than that.

If we consider just winning the game - every hero is viable. But viability is not counted by “being able to win”. It’s distinguished by relativity, in comparison to “the best of the best”. If your pick preforms roughly as good as objectively the best option - it’s viable. If it underperforms in many ways without giving you any significant advantage - it’s not.

Also, you might be misled. Just to clarify, I am only speaking about Legend difficulty here. Everywhere below Kerillian WS, for example, might be the best pick possible, but on Legend, skirmish (the only thing she stands out at) is practically useless, unless your entire team is going downhill and is about to get wiped, which is the opposite of “most effective tactics” to begin with. Same can be said about all other… ghm… “well-rounders”.

Also, Slayer isn’t anything special unless in the hands of a real pro…

I’ve seen many people perform well with him on the second-third try. Being different doesn’t mean being harder, and minding more than one possible playstyle doesn’t mean being a real pro. But I’m not speaking specifically about Slayers in this topic anyway.

Unfortunately, off-brand classes are generally vastly inferior to their on-brand counterparts due to a combination of class balancing and weapon selection.

That’s the point, duh. And they get worse and worse, which is worrying. One can only have so much fun with meta characters until he might wanna play something else, and being forced to play strictly with competent friends or on lower difficulties is a bad excuse, especially if we consider devs dumbing down the Legend difficulty.


That’s the point though: all of the classes I listed, despite not being all-rounders, will perform to the same level as all-rounders in many comps. The meta is more diverse than people act like it is and it involves more than just “this class is good/bad.”

What kinda crappy WS are you playing with? Don’t really have any challenge in winning or chart topping with her in Legend, regardless of comp. Classes that instantly delete multiple hardened specials, both LoS and non-LoS are not underperformers by any stretch and her kill and DPS output is top-tier.

He’s a non-ranged character in a ranged meta. While not useless, he will almost always “underperform.”

I mispook in saying “generally.” It’s really only Kruber and Sienna that suffer in their non-purebred classes. Everyone else has more versatility in at least one offbrand class and Sienna and Kruber both have two classes that are “on-brand.”


Huntsman is still very viable, crit buff for party, boss killer, special removal, good range and hoard control.


The current meta is based around Quick Play and not being 100% sure what your group make up will be. People are picking the “all around” best rather than something that specializes because they don’t know what they’re going to get in their group or what map they’ll end up on.


I don’t agree with that statement. Big difference between what’s viable and what people take to be confident in PUG. Same goes for any game, the line’s just blurrier here because it’s non competitive.

What I will say, though, is that they seriously need to re-add the chests at the start of each level from VT1 that let you change loadout and class, ideally.

The current meta is based around Quick Play and not being 100% sure what your group make up will be. People are picking the “all around” best rather than something that specializes because they don’t know what they’re going to get in their group or what map they’ll end up on.

You got it pretty much right. Even more so, offmeta picks usually end up causing toxisity, because their users are assumed to not know what they are doing by default. More than often it ends up being just the case.

As for the rest…
I never understood people trying to start holywars or measure schlongs how they make it work while completely missing the very definition of balance: relativity. Balance is what makes scales work the way they do: you can’t measure something’s weight without using a counterpart, a standart. If you insist you’re good with an offmeta character - “then you win a pumpkin, you lucky bleeder”, but, seriously, the topic is about overall relative balance and average performance, not someone’s personal experience.


Ease of use =/= meta though. The meta concept gets pretty muddied here because the game isn’t PVP but meta can’t simply be summed up as what’s simple or convenient. The most “meta” comps have classes that the general user base considers “non-meta” or even suck at using. There are multiple ways of achieving equivalent meta balance with a variety of comps.

I agree with a lot of your points about the meta. When you hit Quikplay in Legend, there’s a whole lot of unsurety regarding who you’ll be matched with. There’s no ELO or ranking system for matchmaking. So why risk it by bringing something that’s subpar? Bring your A-game. Bring the class that’s going to help ensure your victory the most.

What I think @Avar is getting at is performance of off-meta picks. Let’s use Slayer as an example. I prefer playing Slayer in Legend, because I am incredible at CW and SV deletion. I can also solo hordes. However, I NEED lots of help with Rattling Gunners, Warpfire Throwers, and so many other ranged specials. So if I’m in a premade with ranged special lockdown… THEN is Slayer an ideal pick. I just can’t guarantee that my team will be good at that. If I run IB tank spec I can pretty much guranatee that I’l be able to accommodate for my party’s weaknesses and carry us to victory most runs.

If it’s Quickplay - Pick meta
Premade - Pick classes that play best to team composition


That’s more or less it. There’s a meta balance that can be achieved with a variety of comps that will, as a team, always outperform a comp of the top “safe” ranged DPS meta picks. However, taking support or something like slayer into PUG is risky, because you might end up with a team of 4x support where any boss basically = death due to attrition due to being unable to down it in a timely manner while handling hordes and specials.

If this was a PVP game, people would better appreciate that there are more ways to skin the cat than what we solo queue into pug with. I almost always play with friends I’ve made in the game and our comps aren’t what others would consider meta but we only really lose when the director decides to delete us by dropping silent death turds on our heads. That being said, when solo queue’d I pretty much always take a top ranged DPS, just because it’ll compensate/carry if I get a comp of randoms that’s otherwise untenable (this is why we need to be granted the ability to change loadout/class at the beginning of each level). Getting a random PUG when you’re on a support class that’s devoid of damage output is exrutiating.

Friend is topping damage every game as him and his boss kill is actually insane.


OP may not clearly understand what the term “viable” means, so I’ll help out:

        capable of working successfully; feasible.

You’re conflating the definitions of “viable” and “best” and isn’t helping whatever argument you’re attempting to make.

        that which is the most excellent, outstanding, or desirable.


Poster may not clearly understand what “context” of terminology as in comparison to words’ general meanings stands for, so I’ll help out:

“The situation within which something exists or happens, and that can help explain it.”

You’re conflating the definitions of “viable” and “best” and isn’t helping whatever argument you’re attempting to make.

Being deluded about your argument having any demagogic significance only because the general meaning of a “nitpicked” word does not exactly match a given definition in a dictionary does not inflate your intellectual value in any discussion you’re attempting to feed of. In fact, it does quite the opposite.

“A person without the usual ability to use reason and understand.”


Your rebuttal isn’t “viable.”


LMFAO!!! More please XD

Seriously though, classes that don’t consistently perform well should be looked at. It annoys me to look at class selection and not even THINK about playing some of them because other classes do so much better.

LOL, the current ‘meta’ careers merely has a low skill floor to play, and your version of ‘trash-tier’ means you don’t know how to play them.

I’ve been playing a ton of what has been considered off meta and I’ve seen lots of off meta players thats been doing well. If anything, the off meta builds are better for the ‘oh-crap’ situations where I see a lot of ‘meta’ careers would crumble. BH is only good at taking out 1-2 CW at a time, Pyro still needs more tweaking downwards (which seems to be happening, but tbh it is more of the beamstaff that needs nerfing) but is squishy and has no escape mechanism, FK lacks damage and IB is just mostly a crutch for bad players and also don’t bring much in terms of damage to the team.

A lot of the off meta careers simply have a higher skill floor or a higher skill cap that most newbs to the game are not able to reach yet. The meta is just simply easy to play and do ok with.


If you think everything except those 6 are trash, I don’t know what to tell ya. Seems everyone’s opinion differs on what’s good and bad. I’ve seen nearly every career played to a powerful extent, even in Legend. Feel free to only play those 6 because you think they’re the only ones usable in Legend.

This would be awesome.

Got 'em.

I have no idea what those types of people are talking about…

I just got my first 650 kill game today in Legend AS Witch Hunter Captain… with the very group that included the Sienna Pyro, Waystalker, Ironbreaker. They were all around 400-500…

So I have no idea where they would think WHC not in the Meta. I’ve been playing in Meta groups for a while now. And they sure as heck haven’t been carrying me.

I think it’s safe to assume the beam staff nerf was directed at pyromancer more than unchained.

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