Here is the first of what will be many posts pertaining to Champion Balance. The goal of these posts is to give you a preview of changes we are currently testing so that you can be a part of the balance process and hopefully have a better understanding of what, why, and when changes will be coming down the pipeline.
To keep the feedback focused, these posts will only discuss the Champion changes planned for the next patch.
Before PlayByGray and I jump into it, I want to take a moment to explain the process we use internally for testing the changes we release.
This comes from a variety of sources, including: win/loss rates, forums, personal experience, and data from our Qualitative Team. Qual members are our game experts. When people ask “Do you get paid to play games all day?” they can actually say “Yes!” Spending their time mastering the game, discovering new metas, and assessing the overall experience make them experts at calling us out on our BS.
We compare this feedback to the original design goals established for the Champion.
Do they meet the requirements of their role? Roles are an amorphous concept, but generally speaking they provide a guideline for functionality i.e., an Enforcer should not be able to erase a target in a single skill rotation.
Is there counter-play? This is another tough concept, as it means more than just "can I dodge it?" Knowledge is key and ensuring we provide proper in-game feedback is vital (VFX, SFX, animation tells, etc). The player needs to understand what has happened to him/her and thus, ideally, begin the process of learning the proper counter.
Is the Champion fitting into the proper team composition? This is important for establishing kit flow (ranges, rank vs. ratio potency, power spikes, etc.). If a Champion is meant to shine in the Early/Mid phases, more of their potency should be driven by innate skill damage and less by damage ratios.
Create/Implement a Plan
Now that we have a better understanding of where the Champion currently stands in relation to our expectations, we can create a plan to bring them in line. This starts with creating goals by which success can be measured.
Example: Atomic Poison Ivy should have less health than other Enforces to compensate for a passive shield that recovers every 10 seconds.
Qual now plays the Champion with the goals in mind and provides feedback
This is where YOU, the Protector, can provide your feedback and influence design.
Based on the feedback, we go back to Step 1 and start the process again.
Changes are planned and tested before they go live. Now YOU TOO can be part of the process!
In the Pipeline (The Technical Stuff):
Below are the Champion changes we currently have slated for the next patch. It's important to note that all values listed here are subject to change and some changes may be delayed to later patches.
We are currently examining Gaslight Catwoman's efficacy. As a stealth-based Champion, she is ideally suited for the early/mid game phases (i.e., laning) and should plateau in the late game as enemies begin to counter her. We feel she is close to fulfilling this role, but needs a few number adjustments.
Reduce her ability to erase a full health target with a single skill rotation at level 6 While we expect her to be strongest during these phases, we feel she is disproportionately so, given her ability to damage over time, gap close. and escape.
Reduce some of her scaling so patient/defensive players can more effectively counter her in the late game. With strong base damage, damage ratios, and attribute growth, Gascat can be difficult to effectively counter. This leads to the sensation of helplessness once she gains the upperhand.
Shift Gascat’s focus from Basic Attack damage to Skill Damage. As an Assassin, Gascat should derive the majority of her potency from her skill damage, and only need to basic attack intermittently. Her high Attack Speed makes her ideal for building Attack Speed & Critical Chance/Damage to stick to targets and reapply Sharpened Claws. By reducing the amount of Attack Speed per level she gains, this build will be less viable and return the focus to her suite of damaging skills.
Attack Damage per level decreased from 3 to 2.4
Attack Armor per level reduced from 3.5 to 3.2
Health per level reduced from 88 to 81
Base Attack Speed reduced from .69 to .625
Reduce ratio from .5 to .25
Increased Bleed damage from 30/55/80/105 to 30/60/90/120
Damage increased from 40/75/120/155 to 60/100/140/180
Reduce Ratio from .7 to .5
Range reduced from 5 to 4
Damage ratio reduced from .75 to .65
Nightmare Superman is currently seeing a lot of play with the AM and PRO teams and is frequently being banned. His team utility is extremely strong and a disproportionate amount of his strength is tied to Vortex, which is nearly impossible to escape, leading to an almost guaranteed gank or save.
Give opponents more opportunity to escape Vortex. While Vortex is meant as an impactful engage/disengage tool for team fights, its ease of use leaves little opportunity for counter-play.
Distribute his damage more evenly across his skills. Too much of Nightmare Superman’s potency is associated with Vortex, causing his other skills to be undervalued. Distributing his damage across all of his other Basic Skills allows them to serve a more distinct purpose, while Vortex can maintain its focus as a disruptive skill.
Increase cooldown of utility skills. Nightmare Superman was designed to bring a lot of utility to a team fight. While his is succeeding in that design, the frequency at which he can perform these acts was a little too strong.
Damage increased from 50/80/110/140 to 60/100/140/180
Reduced the AoE size from 250 to 200
Reduced the displacement distance from 250 to 200
Increased the delay before secondary activation from .5 to .75
Cooldown increased from 13/12/11/10 to 15/14/13/12
Reduced range from 7 to 6
Min Damage reduced from 25/50/75/100 to 30/50/70/90
Reduced Max damage ratio from .75 to .5
Max Damage reduced from 75/150/225/300 to 60/100/140/180
Slow reduced from .25% to 20%
Cooldown increased from 11 to 14
Can now be cast on Drones and Creatures
Siphon Damage increased from 50/80/110/140 to 60/90/120/150
Siphon Shield increased from 25/40/55/70 to 30/45/60/75
Infuse Shield increased from 50/80/110/140 to 60/90/120/150
Infuse Damage increased from 25/40/55/70 to 30/45/60/75
Reduced range from 5 to 4.5
Cooldown changed from 120/105/90/75 to 120/110/100/90
Atomic Green Lantern
This is a quality of life change to improve the efficacy of his ultimate. We've seen how easily certain Champions (looking at you Atomic Wonder Woman!) can effectively negate Meltdown by using their escape skills.
Will cost reduced from 75 to 65
Missile Speed now increases from 400 to 1600 over 5s.
Will cost reduced from 80/100/120/140 to 100
Arcane Green Lantern
Arcane Green Lantern’s Will costs were causing him to tap out faster than desired. Increases to his Will pool and Will Regen will put him in line with expectations of a Controller/Enforcer.
Base Will increased from 200 to 280 at level 1
Will Delta increased from 19 to 30
Base Will Regen increased from 1.24 to 1.4
Will Regen Delta increased from .08 to .17