Polarised playstyles – what’s the solution?
I’m going to discuss my opinion on the slowly polarising playstyles currently in the game, and what action we might suggest to make changes to blend the current playstyles closer together, and form more cohesive team play.
It’s likely this might be an incendiary discussion, but this is the official forums and not Reddit or Steam Forums and we hold ourselves to a higher standard here. Let’s maintain the discussion intelligently please.
By Polarised playstyles I mean;
Group 1) - Those people who mix-max their character, understand fully the breakpoints and requirements to kills a Hookrat with one shot, and use the S+ tier classes that are often regarded as broken – Waystalker, Pyro and Bounty hunter being the classes that stick out as giving players a much easier ride via wonky mechanics. Ironbreaker Drake Pistols, Kruber Halberd, Shade Double Daggers get an honourable mention here.
Group 2) - Those people who play with a bit more experimentation and flexibility to their build, and possibly play “in the spirit” of the game a bit more. Kruber Sword and Shield, Slayer, Handmaiden and Zealot are quite nice examples of classes that are a bit more within the original press release of “Visceral Melee combat” put out by FatShark.
Although these groups appear in every game ever, it feels like there’s definite lines being drawn as to what kind of player you are, and feelings range from being frosty to someone for not playing in your own way, to being downright nasty.
I am firmly in the second group of people and you can probably see my bia in this post, although I can see why people play the first playstyle and there should be a place for it in the game…
There seems to be a widening gap between the two groups, with various levels of resentment building depending upon the type of person you encounter in a group. People in group 1 get annoyed with people in group 2 not being as effective as they possibly can, and people in group 2 get annoyed with people in group 1 steamrolling/CDR spamming or Ult bombing through everything.
So how can the balance be changed so that both groups are happier?
If you ask me (and you didn’t. But I’m going to tell you anyhow) there needs to be a large balance patch that addresses some quite big issues.
Firstly, my personal blood-pressure-problem; The Waystalker.
This class really epitomises the problems as far as I’m concerned as a member of Group 2. It has a wide array of very (too?) effective weapons, an ambient heal that when coupled with temp health makes elf ridiculously resilient, has an infinite ammo build and an Ult that doesn’t need aiming. All of this encourages a solo-yolo playstyle that is absolutely not enjoyable for those playing alongside it and breaks any kind of team cohesion. There needs to be significant changes to the whole class on many levels to bring it in line with everyone else.
Pyromancer has similar problems, in that the wigglemancer build with beamstaff is so effective that it makes me sigh with frustration that is it so easily spammable, and the auto-aim ult can be spammed so often it doesn’t even count as an “ultimate attack” and it just an alternative attack – it happens that frequently.
Bounty Hunter is the one people use as the example of broken “ranged meta” although a good Ranger Veteran can spam ranged almost as much. Let’s not circle the drain already by discussing the ranged meta.
Many players call for buffs to certain classes, Kruber Huntsman being almost always the topic of a heated discussion about his balance. Actually, Kruber HS is probably one of the best balanced classes when taken entirely on it’s own. Put it next to some of the other ranged classes and it looks weaker, BUT I think the problem lies with the other classes and NOT Kruber Huntsman. Leave that poor fella alone for a little while.
There are also some classes that fall way below par, Witch Hunter Captain, Ranger Veteran and Battle Wizard being the ones people need to play very effectively to be on par with the others.
In fact, I believe Krubers classes WHEN TAKEN ALONE AS ONE CHARACTER are the closes to being balanced. The Mercenary could benefit from a little tweak to his talents to make his supporting aura/ult be a bit more supportive, and Footknight could use a tweak to maybe reduce his ult recharge a little – but taken as a range of careers Kruber has the closest to being balanced across his own careers. An effective Ranged career that needs some skill to be good at, a good tanky class, and a good support class.
Other careers should therefore be modified to fit in with this quite-well-balanced character.
So, my question is;
Where is the middle ground for you? What classes are nicely rounded without being Steamrollers of Ease or Sub-Standard? Where should the starting point be to nerf or buff each career with the ultimate aim being a better synergy of the two different groups of players?