3 Nerfs that NEED to happens


#1

With the October II update, the PVP meta is more balanced and fluid than it has been in months. Unfortunately, HHG has been extremely stubborn or misguided about the state of a few heroes and as a result we continue to see the game suffer.

Problem #1: Nightingale

Remember Panzer in July? Panzer was utterly broken, remember how she was so much stronger than any other DPS that it was futile to even try to beat them without using one yourself?

Since Role Warfare Update #1, Nightingale has been the Panzer of supports. While other healers like Keel, Heimlock, Gammond, Caine, and Moss saw their healing reduced… HHG inexplicably gave a buff to Nightingale’s Plat. In update designed to make damage “stickier” by reducing passive healing, HHG gave a buff to an ability that is basically the antithesis of sticky damage.

It’s hard to even know where to start with discussing why Nightingale is glaringly OP, I could write pages on the topic but I’ll try to just sum it up in a few bullet points.

  • Fastest (and best) instant heal in the game

  • By far the best damage buff in the game, thousands of DPS, +15% crit, AND a mark on a skill with a 15s cooldown and 10s duration… giving it a 66% UPTIME.

  • Passive stun that averages out to 4s of stun every 14s, making her one of the strongest stunners in the game (she doesn’t even have to hit an enemy to trigger the stun buff, but if she misses she gets to keep the buff too, as if she needs more crutches).

  • Disgusting Plat that would have absolutely ruined the game except for the fact that the strongest counter to her Plat is… you guessed it… Nightingale’s silver!

  • For no apparent reason her “power” is significantly lower than what it should be. A 9* Plat+1 Nightingale has less power than a 7* Plat Beck, and yet her stats are very, very good. This alone gives her a huge advantage in PVP.

  • As of the last Role Warfare update she basically ignores armor now. Her weapon will even shoot tanks for 100% damage, giving her the ability to drop life-threatening DPS on any bio in the game. This isn’t as important as the other points but it just reinforces how Nightingale is basically a “does everything” hero with no weakness.

Properly nerfing Nightingale will require a lot more thought than HHG has shown in the past. Nightingale is probably the only hero in the game where you could remove anyone one of her skills and replace it with “do nothing for 2 seconds” and no matter which skill you picked, she would still be the best support in the game. I don’t want Nightingale nerfed into uselessness, she’s a starter hero and I totally want her to remain a top pick, but there are two huge issues with her current state:

A) Even when she doesn’t shoot, she contributes more than any other support. Anyone who has played enough PVP can attest to the frustration of a piloted Nightingale rolling around endlessly in the backline and yet still pumping out immense amounts of healing and firing off her game-deciding mark while only stopping for brief pauses. Her skills fire off incredibly fast, reload progress is “saved” between rolls, and her Platinum can passively heal an entire team by itself. Combined with her crazy power stats its often futile to pressure Nightingale without a Nightingale of your own to mark her.

B) Her mark completely defines the metagame. With the buff to crit damage her mark is even stronger than ever, providing thousands of DPS and 15% to the entire team with a possible 66% uptime, it allows her to focus AND buff the entire teams damage in a way that no other support could dream of. Even if someone on your team survives the first mark, its only 5 more seconds before she can mark again, eventually the relentless buffed focus fire will land a kill, and another, and another… unfortunately the current balance also requires a powerful mark due to Point A (her crazy healing even when she is just rolling around) and the next hero on the list.

Problem #2: Mandrake’s Gold -

Everyone knows this skill is broken, but like a massive wound in balance, the metagame has simply had to form like scar tissue around it. The most obvious problem with this skill is that it basically makes all bot DPS borderline useless. When combined with Problem #1, it means that a team without a mark will be virtually guaranteed defeat against Drake Gold + Nightingale Plat… the moment the invis kicks in, all bots lose interest, even channeled skills like Incinerate or Taser will abruptly cancel, and a second later if a human player isn’t continually maintaining pressure (which is not simple given the tendency of autoaim to shoot cover and the difficulty of manually tracking a moving invisible player on a phone screen) - then Nightingale’s plat will begin to pour tens of thousands of health onto the invisible hero.

This skill is the single largest culprit behind the 1DPS+4Support meta that has made PVP so stagnant. Bringing another DPS becomes a huge liability when that DPS can’t finish off targets on their own.

So while this skill is crazy when combined with the constant healing from Nightingale’s bronze and plat, its best counter comes from a consistent, powerful, high uptime mark like… Nightingale’s silver. Problem #1 and #2 are practically siblings but each has to be fixed individually before they can both be considered solved.

There are so many ways this ability could be at least made more reasonable. The invis effect could silence heros so that (like Mandrake himself when he uses his invis) they can’t continue to heal/nuke/charge/etc. with their skills while they’re also invisible and healing from Mandrake’s gold. The effect could simply lose its potent heal over time and instead provide additional armor for its duration. The invis could have a shorter duration, it could be limited to one allied hero at a time, it could have a lower health % threshold for removing the invis effect, it could have a cooldown or limited number of times that it can re-apply on the same hero. There are SO MANY ways to make this skill reasonably strong without it being oppressive to so many team comps, its mind-boggling that it continues to remain in this state.

Problem #3: Panzer’s Shotgun -

With the latest Panzer nerf. Panzer is actually balanced in many ways. Her sustain DPS remains high, but within a reasonable range relative to her power level. Unfortunately, HHG chose to achieve this balance by ignoring what keeps Panzer problematic - her ability to dump unsurvivable damage on a huge number of frontline and midline heroes.

If HHG ever does address Problems #1 and #2, then Problem #3 will be even worse since Drake’s gold and Nightingale’s Bronze/Plat remain one of the only ways that many energy/mech heroes can ever survive Panzer’s opening burst. However even with Invis and strong healing, surviving Panzer’s burst is a losing proposition for most energy heroes. Panzer remains a huge force upon the meta simply by making a large percent of energy heroes non-competitive in PVP due to strong chance that they will be annihilated in seconds. HHG’s nerfs have made it easier to keep backline energy heroes like Nightingale, Flatline, and Min alive (due to significantly wider spread, now even letting spread reset doesnt guarantee a hit) but these heroes were already among the strongest energy heroes and could already survive with a combination of Drake invis + Roll spam… but Panzer can still tear up anyone in the front or midline regardless of cover state. Panzer remains an oppressive force in the meta that greatly limits viable heroes in the first 2 rows. I would much rather have seen Panzer’s total ammo capacity reduced a long time ago instead of another spread nerf. This could even be a buff to her sustained DPS on longer-distance shooting, but without the oppressive ability to shutdown most of the energy lineup by dumping half a million damage on them in the first 10 seconds.

Edit: I posted below but I believe that Flatline and Mauler are must-nerfs. Nerfing Flatline gold’s heal over time and the stun duration of Mauler’s plat are both necessary for the long term health of the meta.


#2

Nerf Nerf Nerf… sigh… you are still min/maxing with

  • 9 star 3 silver Panzer lvl70
  • 9 star gold Mandrake lvl55
  • 9 star gold Nightingale lvl75

While you have many Platinum and more than enough frags to 10 star all of them if you wanted. Not having done any changes to these show that you still feed on poor noobs that are at a low power level and ruin their PvP experience. You know the game mechanics well so its a shame that your posts gets disregarded by many with your playstyle.

Anyway, don’t listen to me as I’ve stopped playing pro PvP since mid August, I do now a few on Auto unassisted (not expecting to compete as a pro) as I’m close to throw up every time I meet Heal/Revive meta when I play manual PvP pro (that bad taste in my mouth is there when I defeat them as well). Great game I’ve spent 1000 hours playing PvP for fun, unfortunately still broken…


#3

@BombBella @Muninn @Howitzer @Omnipotent @Huginn @Rook

READ THIS. READ THIS. READ THIS.

Get this post to whoever has authority over balancing the game. Seriously - this is an unbelievably valuable post that needs to be taken seriously by the developers.


#4

@Nailfox - While I normally tend to agree with you, I think you’re way off base here. Sogui has proven that he’s a top pvp player with his draft performances. He understands the game more deeply than just about anyone, as is obvious by his posts and comments.

The fact that he min-maxes is entirely irrelevant to the merit of this post. If you truly don’t believe these three things aren’t overpowered, then I don’t even know what to say… This is one of the most accurate, deeply well-thought-out posts I’ve seen on the forums in a long time. It’s absolutely spot-on and @Sogui, nicely done.


#5

I did state that he knows the game mechanics well, my issue is that he is still exploiting the weak by obviously min/maxing and his view is also tainted for mid level play. He should be skilled enough to face proper opponents similar to he natural level around 75k and not 45k.

The reason why I bothered to post a reply was that I’m against constantly nerfing the few good heroes, as his comments are not all valid for the higher level matches where you need to break through a wall off heal/revive :nauseated_face: .

Most of the best PvP players have unfortunately almost or fully stopped playing since 2-3 months ago, new stars will then rise and maybe that is good for the game? Time will show.

My proposal as stated many times before are to properly buff weaker DPS heroes to give us more viable options. Make it so there are both Bio & Energy Heroes which have the damage and sustainability to be viable great heroes in most matches, unfortunately this was not properly addressed in any of the 2 October updates where many of us expected more DPS heroes to shine.

As a side comment as I’m writing, I got to give credit to HH for the latest Bounty event, perfectly balanced time/damage/health, good set of milestones, and if it had a better spawn rate it would be a 10/10 for from me.


#6

Agreeing with this, right on point


#7

I’m not going to engage in off topic baiting but the reason I put Nightingale as the #1 problem is because she the foundation of the “wall of healing” meta. Her and Mandrake have created this meta where you 100% cannot rely on multidps without a Nightingale of your own to force the AI to focus fire. Without her mark any dps you dont control will spend most of their time firing at non-optimal targets and if they even do get an enemy low, their damage will quickly be wiped clean due to mandrake gold + nightingale heals.


#8

I agree to your last point Sogui, but that is easy to overcome with a proper DPS if you play manual shooting, the problem gets exponentially worse adding a plat Ifrit and maybe a plat Heimlock/Cain in that equation which is what you tend to see too often at high level matches… Then you have buffed high health on all heroes, 4 heal/revivers and the games gets endlessly boring breaking through that meta over and over again in the same match. And if you in addition add a player rolling around all the time with nightingale using only her skills with a fast charge time then the circle of hell is complete and after a couple of minutes even when you win you want to throw the ipad out of the window instead of wanting to play another game of PvP.

With a mid-line Energy DPS hero which had comparable health and damage as Panzer then Mandrake could be easily taken out and countered. E.g. further buff Sapphyr and similar DPS heroes for both health and damage.

With a mid-line Bio DPS hero which had comparable health and damage as Panzer then Panzer could be countered. E.g. further buff Odachi and similar DPS heroes for both health and damage.


#9

Sogui does nails most of the problem in the head. Night was the problem in heal + revive meta, it is still the problem now. Everything on Nightingale screws the meta over.

Heal over 60% of the enemy team’s DPS? Check
The only reliable counter to Mandrake? Check
Low power count? Check
Hard to kill? Check

Mandrake is somewhat ok since he’s been around for a long time. I hate his design but have to use him to win though, so I would be glad if something can be done.

Panzer is now ok. Dogface, Odachi, other high single DPS characters can easily outmatch her. Panzer is good as she is right now, let her keep her strengths.


#10

Agree with OP. There are a few heroes that dominate pvp and this should be changed. Panzer could be debated if she is balanced or not but playing over and over again against roughly the same team is boring.

Ps if you nerf Nightingale probably change rezzing as well as she is the best Ifrit counter.


#11

And add more relaible healers. Right now we only have Gale, Moss and Caine.
We now have good Bio damage dealers, need more energy though


#12

I’d rather see the other healers being more useful (matador, gammond etc) then seeing Nightingale nerfed, I have played a lot of matches where a keel or moss outheals a Nightingale


#13

I tend to lean this way too. Right now the meta gets dominated by a few because they are the best option. There are tons of characters and factions with awesome themes (halo lightning, disorient/stun, ninjas, drones, UAF, cover destroy, etc etc) yet none get seen because the meta team has it all. We need better alternate healers, tanks, dps (outside of mech) - something to match the meta.

If we just focus on nerfing nightgale, someone else will just take her place as the 4th healer in the top team. Meta wont change much. But if we create alternate playstyles that are viable, the meta will at least have 3 to 4 top tier teams people reach for. While I agree one of Gale’s abilities could stand a slight nerf (all of her abilities are just too useful), buffing others is way more interesting to me than just bringing her down a peg.


#14

As said before, we read every post on the forum, and take every suggestion into consideration. Thanks for the feedback! No need to summon developers into a thread. We read everything.


#15

It is true that if these nerfs happened, we would see other compositions that would require their own consideration. There are other heroes that are currently lurking near the top that may require their own response too. However I’d rather see HHG take more bold steps like October Update 2 and shake up the meta rather than continue to let the same heroes run the show.

Flatline is one potential problem, she’s another brick in many of the “wall of healing” strats, her contribution to the meta is rather 1-dimensional. On almost any team she’s in she simply becomes the first “must kill” target and teams that don’t have a big mech DPS or a mark are simply unable to break the “wall of healing” for Flatline teams. Her rez isn’t so much of a problem as her gold is. Her gold basically acts like an instant rez, when someone reaches 0 HP instead of dying they receive 50% of Flatline’s HP and a significant heal over time. Thankfully, unlike Mandrake, her gold is limited to only one hero per 10 seconds which makes it less oppressive. Ultimately though she may need to be looked at since she’s another strong factor in the 1DPS-4Support meta. If you bring multiple DPS, they can end up being a liability with flatline on the other team… triggering Flatline’s gold may take half her current HP, but the heal that comes with it is actually LARGER than any health loss. My 7* gold flatline has 212,625hp, meaning the most she can lose is 106,312hp from her gold… but her gold also heals for 114,570hp over 10 seconds. As her health gets lower the effect only benefits her more.

Mauler is also a low key threat to the meta. People won’t deny that he’s good but after the armor change he actually puts out really good DPS now. His low crit chance and low dps were the only things holding him back before but now his skin and reduced armor have solved his main drawbacks. He can now serve as a “main” DPS like Dogface/Panzer/Odachi/etc. which lets you run 4 supports with him. With the right supports he turns into an absolute nightmare for most teams and even if he isn’t a problem now, his design means its only a matter of time before the spirals out of control. I know it would be heresy to suggest nerfing him before he’s even in the spotlight but reducing the discombobulate stun seems necessary in the future.

To the people just saying “well other healers can outheal Nightingale” or “just buff other healers”, I would like to reiterate a few points:

  1. It isn’t just Nightingale’s raw healing, it’s the fact she does it with a passive and a lighting fast heal that doesn’t heavily rely on successful weapon damage for charging. If you focus other healers like Keel, Operator, Moss, Caine, etc. they have extremely limited self-healing and will struggle to provide healing when they are constantly being knocked out of cover/stunned/staggered/etc. If you focus Nightingale all she has to do is roll around and toss out the occasional mark to stay alive and focus your heroes down one by one.

  2. As I said in the OP, one of the only reasons that Nightingale’s plat hasn’t ruined the game already is because it’s countered by another Nightingale skill, her silver. Her plat isn’t going to do anything for a marked hero being focused by 5 enemies. However this just reinforces Nightingale’s pre-eminent role in PVP and is a HUGE factor in limiting team diversity, if your team doesn’t have a mark against a Plat nightingale then you MUST pilot a top-tier DPS hero and have several supports helping you stay alive while you try to apply enough burst to bring down an enemy in spite of Nightingale’s healing.


#16

I dont disagree with a Gale change. Shes just useful on all fronts. My concern is similar to what you are talking about with Mauler; hes an up and coming dps guy who will work in the exact same team formation- 4 support healers and one DPS. So as much as I think Gale could use a nerf, I want to promote more diverse team playstyle with the buffs.

October patch 2 was a step in the right direction. A guy like Steele is actually starting to come out of the woodwork a little as a frontline DPS…who would’ve thought. However, he’s no where near meta. Just an interesting side experiment. If HH is more bold as you say, id rather it be making bold moves to buff these kinds of guys to tier 1 or 2.


#17

I disagree that any of this needs to happen. Don’t want to be shredded by Panzer? Take control of her target and dodge til her ammo runs out. After the first 30 seconds, she’s inferior to Dogface. Or put your dps on her and force her to dodge or die.

As far as Mandrake? You can auto target or manually target stealthed heroes. Everyone runs Nightingale anyway, so just use her to mark them after or just before they stealth. Or just kill him quickly and be done with it.

I agree that Nightingale has the best heals in the game. She’s still soft and very killable if you keep constant pressure on her. I generally ignore her. The other healers have been so significantly nerfed that their heals are only supplemental at this point anyway. I think there should be a couple alpha class healers to counter the alpha dps’rs. Flatline is the only hero that always needs to die first imo. I just kill my way around Nightingale’s heals, then finish her off in the end. Mark/kill/rinse/lather/repeat.

The only things that need to change imo is Flatline’s unlimited rez needs a limit, like Ifrit and I don’t think you should be allowed to take 2 rezzers into the same match. Or as an alternative, rezzers can’t be rezzed.


#18

I agree that Night is too strong, especially when you get her to 8 stars and above. She singlehandedly wins game after game and I’ve been claiming for a long time that she is OP. Now that Plat 3 Nightingales are not an uncommon sight, the pvp situation with her is even worse.

Nightingale needs a big nerf, no doubt about it.

I myself have a 10-star plat Night and saying this will hurt me too. But it’s clear and obvious that she needs to be closely looked at. I mean, cooldown increase from 10 seconds to 12 seconds? That is hardly anything. She was already super fast at 15 seconds before the October balance patch changed her. And she still has her super fast 2.1 cooldown gain per shot.

And the other point is this… Panzer is less and less an appropriate counter to Night at high levels. Since October Update I, not only has Panzer’s damage been lowered, she now has decreased accuracy at long distances (and Night is a backliner usually hidden by Mandrake and piloted to roll around). Meanwhile, not only that, but distance, rolling or cover has no effect on Night’s Mark. It is frequently not possible to kill off Night anymore. It is becoming a situation where the best counter to Night… is Night.

Balance Nightingale, please.


#19

I made a post awhile back about how I thought some heroes needed to be nerfed. You adamantly disagreed and said I wasn’t playing in high enough brackets (I was around 55k-60k power at the time).

Well, now 2 months later Panzer and some others have been nerfed by the developers like I said they should be months ago. Also, my top team power is over 70k. I still see almost every team dominated by Panzer and Nightingale, with other support filling in (Caine, Heimlock, Ifrit, Flatline, and Mandrake). I use them myself and my 9*, 3 plat Panzer is an absolute monster. I can only imagine her at 10*.

As it stands I have to agree with Sogui on almost every point he brought up. I get people are adamantly against nerfing. No one likes their toy to become worse. Everyone would rather see buffs to the under performing heroes rather than nerfs to the over performing ones. The problem is when you have such dominant heros in the game like Panzer and Night, you can’t really buff everyone else to bring them to the same power level without messing everything else up.

Imagine Heimlock healing every 10 seconds, or Odachi able to burst down a mech hero in the first 5 seconds of a match. Now imagine 10-20 heroes doing this. It would create a whole new set of issues. Instead, it would be MUCH better to just nerf the few OP heroes. I think the devs are on the right track with the recent Panzer/Night nerfs, but think they could still use some work.

I will say if Mandrake’s gold gets nerfed, he would need some SERIOUS reworking in other areas. His gold is his only saving grace. His plat barely makes a dent in enemy health, with only an additional 7k dmg, and his bronze is too random with the stun portion.


#20

The reason why these three heroes are run the most is because they are used to it and it is still a great team. But I do not see them beeing OP anymore.
Gales heal is big as a single heal or small as a group heal. Both beeing good but not OP. You could think about changing her gold though, because the random stun can really cost you a match if you get unlucky. But it is the same with some other skills too.
Panzer is now reasonable. Sure her damage output in the first 30 seconds is still huge, but you can deal with it 90% of the time. After 30 seconds she is a medicore damage dealer and her HP was nerfed too, so you can now kill her within the first 30 seconds.
If you can not deal with mandrakes gold abillity, than that is your fault and not the skill beeing OP. The heal is smal, kicks in with a delay and you can still hit them. In addition you can mark them to prevent the invisibility. What it does for you is mostly preventing our heroes beeing killed by a godlike playing AI, who randomly focus on one hero in the beginning.