How player perception shapes the metagame

I thought I’d write this just to make people aware of the phenomenon.

What the majority of players believe can be the complete opposite of reality.

Diablo example
The easiest example was Diablo. Some time ago, Diablo was being banned in almost every game. I personally didn’t find him very powerful or disrupting, but you’d almost get flamed by your team if you didn’t ban him (which I never did).

I believe this was due to one video of a player showing off w build and doing really well. (Can’t remember who it was. Might have been Masquerade) W talents used to be all but useless before Diablo had his talent changes. So this was likely what shaped player perceptions. And Ironically, when Diablo wasn’t banned, players went full Q build with him.

When Blizzard finally released the numbers. The player base saw that Diablo was clearly the worse tank in the meta.

Ana example
Same thing happened with Ana. She was banned a lot, nerfed were requested, because she was clearly the best healer and OP. And then the data showed that she was just somewhere in the middle, and the actual best healer was Whitemane (Which players considered weak)

And then there is the simultaneously overestimated and underestimated Kael’thas. The ultimate example of how player perception is whack.

Here’s the thing with KT. He had/has been constantly banned for a long time in lower leagues. This created kind of a reverse elitism phenomenon. Whenever KT was mentioned in a discussion. People would talk about how he just scared noobs and how Pyroblast was a bad ult. Because people didn’t want to look like noobs.

Even in high level games. You would hear Khaldor make fun of a Pyroblast pick, and make a big deal of it whenever it failed to secure a kill. I was watching those games, and a lot of Ults failed to secure kills all the time. But when it happened with Pyro, it was a sin for some reason.

People on these forums went on and on about how Pyro had so many counters, and was bad. Even though it’s not realistic to expect to always have those counters, or that the KT player is unable to, for example, wait until a shield or stasis effect is used before using pyro. And the statement made by players never matched what I saw happen in-game.

We now see KT being picked every so often in pro games. And they do pick Pyroblast. And it’s not a liability. And keep in mind. Between now and when KT was played less. Nothing about the hero was changed. He received no buffs whatsoever. But no one makes fun of the pick anymore.

So I think the community would benefit from less jumping in the bandwagon. Being banned a lot is not what makes a hero good/OP. And not being picked by pros does not make a hero bad. I mean, the number of pro players is limited, and they can’t possibly play everything.


Well I agree that ppl shouldn’t echo what the pros do because the effectiveness of things there and in other ranks differ.
And agree that a lot of things are perception based and the community shouldn’t be narrowminded.


A Hero doesn’t need to change if the meta around it changes.
Counters and competitors getting nerfed, enablers getting buffed. Or just simply switch on who gets picked and how often.
These things can indirectly change how certain things work.


Lightning Breath used to be on a 60 sec cd. So, of course W build with added spell power from Hellfire was strong. It’s not about a single video.

She didn’t get reworked like Whitemane did (in the same context), just heavily tweaked her W talent since is was clearly OP.

Your talking about Pyroblast used in “pro games”. But, your reference is from a single player who’s far from being a top GM player and pick that ult 100% of the time.

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Metasheep bad. Also look at uther (top winrate healer) and rehgar (minor bl buff).

I do think theres a difference between over exaggerating weaknesses and believing that something is bad. It is hard to explain to lower ranked players why pyroblast isn’t an instawin.

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So … this means Artanis is S tier?

Hee hee…


What reference are you referring to?

Not what I said. But hey. Maybe you know something others don’t :slight_smile:

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This one

I already stated his name, too.
You can check his talent choice.

100% Pyro on 188 games played.

That’s not even the same topic! I never referenced that thread. I was not talking about that player. Or any player for that matter.

It’s on your favor to indicate us where KT was more recently used and Pyro picked.

Do you have links for that statement?

Perhaps I missed something here. Why did Blizz nerf Diablo if the perceptions were untrue?

Because he had a massive massive ban rate. If you were a diablo player in lower ranks you were unlikely to be able to play him.

If i recall correctly he was overtuned initially and then they nerfed q to the point where higher level players were like okay this is balanced. But that didn’t reduce his banrate in lower ranks so they reworked his q talents In a way which was essentially a nerf.

If living bomb complaints annoy you double that and we’ve hit about backlash diablo had. It was a nerf for lower ranked players and made q build unviable in uncoordinated play.

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So Blizz admits Diablo was overtuned, thus the nerf. Player perception was accurate in this case, correct? We can’t take everything pros say since they represent the minority of the playerbase.

I thought the rework to Diablo was stupid and I just flat out stopped playing him. Used to be my favorite tank.

Yes i think it was. But perception didnt change at all after first nerf and that’s when blizz said well this is unjustified but you guys hate him so much we’ll nerf again.

Idk I kind of feel like you came to the right conclusion with none of the right evidence.

Diablo: I feel like you completely missed the ball with your thoughts on Diablo, it wasn’t really ironic that everyone went Q Diablo, it was because q build diablo was the thing everyone hated playing against. When Blizzard nerfed it they themselves said that although they liked the playstyle, it wasn’t diablo’s place to oneshot people after level 16, even if he was underpreforming as a whole.

Ana is and always has been really good. They nerfed her in ways that generally targeted stopping the double support meta, and then to tone down the amount of quest bs she had. She’s still insanely good in masters, but I understand that is just because of Masters and is super different in other leagues.

Like Karabars mentioned for KT, nothing in a heroes kit has to change for them to become meta (because that’s how a meta works). Other heroes change, new ideas take hold, and then heroes become good in that meta. Again this was why the devs nerfed ana, because she was too good in the double support meta she kind of created. KT is good right now, not great, but he has a place, and honestly phoenix just isn’t strong enough right now.

I feel like you could have picked much better examples of this - the first one that comes to mind right now is Imperious, as although I and many other people think he is beyond busted, the stats continue to not show that.

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As far as I remember, the only thing they nerfed was his Q quest talent. Then he got more buffs. Including baseline Q damage.

Developer Comment: While Ana is currently not greatly outperforming other Healers, even at the highest level of play, she is being seen much more often compared to her peers. We’re reducing the healing power of Biotic Grenade, which should bring her down a notch as well as reduce the power of its associated talents.

Her anti healing is what the devs seemed to have a problem with.

Developer Comment: We’re changing up some of Ana’s talents to better compete with Biotic Grenade-related choices. Slumber Shells and Overdose are receiving some buffs and changes, and Anti-Healer’s bonus radius to Biotic Grenade is being dramatically reduced. While it still remains a powerful talent, Ana players will now have to be much more precise to deny healing on multiple members of the enemy team.

What would you say had changed when KT started being played? The nerfs to Genji and Tracer were done long before, so it wasn’t because he was less likely to be dived.

Forgive me, it’s been years since Diablo nerf, I don’t even remember what a Q build is. I also use custom keys…

You mean you have his charge on a different Key?

Well, everything is on a different key, that is besides the point. I’m not going to have you have translate a Q build to my keyboard setup :stuck_out_tongue:

What is a Q build?

Feast on Fear”, “sacrificial soul” “Devastating charge”, and “Domination”.

Basically you dealt tons of damage and kept gaining health and armor. You needed the right maps for it though. Usually infernal shrines.

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Oh, the one where you used to take heroes life away when you collide with a wall?