How much is balance driven by pro opinion?

So generally one of the most asked questions that players of the game want to know is what balance or design is supposed to reach is what is the endgame. Recently the devs have asked pros in their discord on what they want to see. How much is driven by that or personal preference or statistics. I prefer asking the pros but what are your thoughts on how balance philosophy should be or who should have the best opinion.

There’s a possibility the devs might be grabbing some of my ideas. (Or I’m just good at guessing).

Generally the approach I go for is:

  1. As many heroes as viable as possible at the same time. I.e. Heros should be both unique and worthwhile. Which is kind of like an ecological niche theory design. (I.e. Ashe fills the niche between McCree and Widow)
  2. When making changes, try to do the minimum change, while getting maximum benefit, and also in such a way that blocks negative sideeffects.
    I.e. A scalpel instead of a chainsaw.
  3. When solving for problem heroes, try to gradually make them weaker without stripping out their core playstyle. Usually focusing on what makes the hero feel OP or Unnecessarily annoying.
  4. A hero can be allowed to be annoying, if they feel balanced on counterplay. I.e. Roadhog, and hopefully current Mei.
  5. If you can accomplish the needed balance changes through “only numbers adjustments”, it’s a lot more likely devs will patch it in, since it’s a ton easier to code, playtest and patch.

I’m also a big fan of LoL’s main balance guys writing on the subject.

That said. Devs are gearing up for some barrier tank changes soon. Hopefully it looks like this:

✅ Fixing BarrierTanks and OffTanks

Although they could go with one of these if they are feeling extra spicy.

✅ 1x BarrierTank Role Queue design

✅ Modified 1-3-2 that can be 1-1-2-2

Ever since I got information that the devs have a secret discord server with some of the top ranked players in competitive and some league players and that they discuss the changes themselves rather than rear through every suggestion on the forums, my respect for the game died a little… I liked OW better when it wasn’t being considered an esport.l, and just a nice game to enjoy.

The whole game premise is not favourable towards being an esport… I heard somewhere while Valorant, CounterStrike and Rainbow Six Siege have millimetrically precise hitboxes, OW has the most lenient hitbox detection ever. Try it: if you hit a full hear above Tracer’s head you still get a headshot.

IMHO OW shouldn’t be an esport, and just be a nice game everyone could enjoy and chip in with their suggestions, rather than being developed by and for the elite 12 players that decide themselves how the game should be like :pensive:

Edit: I’ll never forget when Mercy’s ultimate was repeatedly gutted because specific and well known players (not going to nameshame) cried to the devs they didn’t like to have their “beautiful plays” and “masterful teamkills” be undone by a support character :roll_eyes:. The word that was used was “disheartening” to see that happen. As if it wasn’t disheartening to see your whole team die and you have nothing to do, and be stripped of practicality the only chance you had to earn some juicy POTG

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As well as like the entire community…she was hardly changed because of pro players…

As for grey…it’s because you actually think about the problems that need to be addressed and the game as a whole and don’t look at things through the prism of “hero X needs blank” (where hero x is usually a persons main)…they balance the game…not individuals

well i think its a bit silly that balancing and game features matter so much ti players who just enjoy fun games without trying to improve or compete to ur best capability. I mean its not like low rank meta has ever changed. Whatever you feel best at and usually just rein zarya brawl with mercy onetricks and moira onetricks also lol. I mean pros and content creators have not been listened to for a long time. If they pros did balance goats, moth meta, and double shield would have been done within a patch. Mercy is in a great state, blinky just did an unranked to 4.5k account.

The people who commit the most to the game dont want to see their character become the best, they just want to improve the game. If they were greedy they would not be in ow. They want to make ow fun for the players that left and created the 20 80 split of casuals to competitive players which im pretty sure is a false number but who knows. If u didnt know that influx of players increase cash influx for casual features. Tbh no more casuals are gonna come in in groves. Competitive players will tho example valorants hype. The hitboxes thing is because ow is very dynamic unlike cs, val, or r6. There is a lot going on and mobility makes lenient hit boxes an ok feature in this game because competition is not just who clicks on heads better.

Ow in a lot of peoples opinion is a fun game for avid esport or ranked players and i dont understand why balancing really changes that. The idea that there are 12 players developing the game is stupid. Content creators did a qna thing with the devs to see what their thoughts were and see how the content creators who input their entire life in the game can work better with the devs. Pros do get private convos with devs to make sure goats and double sheild can be avoided and that we have dynamic, regularly inclusive and changing metas. They also push the idea of a better skill to impact ratio that fits what a good ranked ladder should be like. The mercy ult thing wasnt pros complaining, it was a design choice because mercys hiding ult felt bad for the devs themselves. Mercy was broken after and she is in her best state yet.