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.