Support were balanced to fix the Meta Issue?


#21

I listened to both of the videos. They were interesting, so thanks for the pointers.

I think the analysis of Zen in the second video is solid, but it also doesn’t indicate any real problem. His lack of mobility is the reason I don’t like playing Zen, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s generally better game design for players to have love/hate relationships with the roster instead of feeling “meh” about everyone. (Assuming they aren’t universally disliked.) The key problem they point out is his vulnerability to snipers and, to a lesser extent, dive. It’s easy to adjust both Zen’s durability and sustain simultaneously by just increasing his shield hp. Which, I suppose sort of makes the case for adding mobility to Ana instead of sustain so their kits don’t overlap.

I think the Mercy analysis in that video is a bit too one-dimensional, because it doesn’t give enough weight to the “mid fight” damage mitigation provided by CC (stun, boop, sleep).

As for Lucio… I agree with @Jaxtaro. The short duration and decay on Lucio’s ult is specifically to make it strong against burst damage. For reference, regarding the recent ult buff:

They essentially increased the timing window for using Lucio’s ult too early, but didn’t address the window for using it too late which is currently pretty unforgiving. Using it too late means it doesn’t resolve, because you’re dead before the animation finishes. Personally, I’d rather it was instant speed with the original shield health, but if they want to keep the “predictive” skill component of it, then they could cut the cast time down to 0.4 seconds.

Increasing the casting speed of his ult doesn’t change what it does at all. It’s just making the skill requirement to use it less severe. The timing window is currently too unforgiving for an ult.

PS:
Do we have any evidence they use pick rate for balance decisions? That would be a rather strange thing to do. I’m sure it’s weighed when there is a really low pick rate outlier, but pick rates vary and fluctuate for a lot of non-balance reasons (aesthetics, easy of use, pick rates of counters, synergies, etc).


#22

Not really, though, because they increased the amount of extra health he provides without touching the decay time. So while you get 50% more protection, it also degrades 33% faster. I predict the net difference to be zero.


#23

If they didn’t change the decay time, and increased the starting value by 50%, then it’s 50% higher at every time point. It’s a significant buff. Just not the buff it needed.


#24

While I can also agree 100% that the buff to Lucio’s Ultimate I believe did not really change much but the skill floor of the ultimate ability. The solution would be increasing his mid game support capability. By increasing his healing from 16hps to 20hps his Ult gain increase in the process. Secondly, either decreasing the decay time or decreasing the ultimate cost would be the next step in rounding out his support ultimate. Since, everything Zen cannot counter he can. I think decreasing the cost to match Zen’s Ult would be sufficient enough.

But, before this gets off topic I would like to still point out something that I think most people are neglecting. Because of how low the support pool is, and because of how many characters are in the game. I think making every combination of 2 supports viable is indeed needed. Tanks, are allowed to pair up with just about any tank and make it work. This also applies to just about any DPS pair. For some reason, supports tool kits are just soo far north and south that there is very little consistency in every aspect of a match. #MidGamePlayMatters this is why Mercy is picked over them, because of how flexible she is and the fact that she comes with a Rez. What I see is that, the utility of some supports is focused so much that the dev’s justify keeping their heals abysmally low to the point that if you don’t need their utility, they become a LIABILITY since they heal for trash.

No support should be a liability since they are all capable of healing. Because, it should always ALWAYS come down to skill. Just because a supports utility is a not needed their heals should not become a liability. If anyone has played an off meta character and is good at that character, you know the worst feeling in the world is to find the perfect moment to capitalize with your utility and kill 2 maybe even 3 targets! But, because of how much of a liability that character was during the mid-game, the push was already lost! This is a classic off meta DPS problem!

Supports suffer the same fate due to a simplistic issue of not healing enough. Increasing Zenyatta, Lucio, & Brigitte’s healing by a small overall factor of 5hps to make their heals viable at all times! Then second, add damage resistance to Brig’s Repair pack and Zen & Mercy healing tethers to give these select supports control over mitigating high burst damage to a small 10% for both females and giving Zen 15% since he lacks AOE healing like Brig’s and a powerful midgame utility like Mercy Rez. The domino effect this would have on the game would be phenomena!!!

The return of Lucio & Zen! The beginning of Zen & Brigitte! The counter sniper potential that Brig’s would have by giving 75 armor to a target & 10% damage resistance would allow long range characters like Soldier and Mccree to safely duel a Widow or Hanzo for control over high ground knowing they cannot be 1 shot thanks to Brigitte for 4 seconds! The birth of Sombra + Zen. Or Brigitte + Sombra! Drastically increasing sombra’s pick rate. Not to mention, how offensive Reinhardt would be able to be knowing he has a bonus 10%-15% damage resistance available. Or Brig’s seeing a Widow about to snipe a squishy and tossing repair pack in anticipation to the shot. All, these changes due to the supports increase healing would create more room for other non-support characters to be more aggressive. There really is no downside that I can see? To all possible pair’s of supports having truly viable healing and a select few having damage resistance.

Some might argue that, “These changes to supports will make the fight’s take longer” This is not necessarily the case. Take the new Biotic Grenade I proposed.

Nano boost provide’s 30% damage resistance and 30% damage bonus to a single target. Now, if Ana grenade’s that target. They now do a bonus 45% and that is just from Ana. Add a Mercy damage amp and they do 75% bonus damage! Or if you want to really aim high, use Discord instead of Mercy, the way discord works with other damage bonus additives would make a single target take 89% bonus damage instead of 75% that Mercy would give.

Give that type of damage to a Reinhardt or Solider who is using Tactical Visor would be very powerful. Simultaneously give the Biotic Grenade and Mercy damage amp to a single DPS they are going to do the same damage Nano would apply. BUT THEN!!! This allows Ana to Nano a second target! This would be just the tip of the ice burg when it comes to how high offensive potential would go with select characters! The trickle effect of making every support pair viable, would make every tank pair viable, and every dps viable! IT WOULD END THE META CYCLE!!!
Removing the direct damage from Biotic grenade simple makes the grenade less of an independent tool and more dependent. This also makes, diving a heal-nade target not advantageous. But, does not mean it is not achievable with help!
These changes would truly allow the utility other supports bring to florish in their correct direction. Ana, Brig’s and Zen would be offensive aiding supports. While Lucio and Moira are dive ready supports! And Mercy would be an all around support capable of aiding in any of these categories, not to the same degree! But enough to matter. While still providing Rez!


#25

My hypothesis is that without compensatory buffs to Mercy and Ana’s single target healing, the AoE healing buffs would shift the meta to triple tank plus Moira, Lucio and Brig. So goats-like comps. Whether that’s good or bad, I dunno. It’d certainly narrow the usable hero pool a lot.

If you bumped Mercy’s healing beam back up to 60 hps, and had the 10% damage reduction apply to both her power up beam and healing beam, including during her ult, then that’d probably balance it out.

Not sure about Ana. The grenade changes you suggest do increase her healing, but I don’t think the grenade has enough range to promote 2-2-2. It’s sort of a goats buff too, but Ana can’t really drive that.

Tanks actually do have the same problems. For 2-2-2 you pretty much have to pick one of Rein or Orisa (same for 4-1-1, which quickplay seems to like). I don’t know how the recent support adjustments are shaping out, but if it makes the meta “pick one of Mercy, Moira or Ana for your main healer”, then I actually think that’s a pretty good spot. The current roster is really limiting. Unless they do things like have Roadhog’s self-heal apply a percentage to allies as well (which I’d be all for), I think it’ll be impractical to make all the healers balanced and unique, while still making things like Zen+Brig viable without killing 2-2-2.

Really, I think the game just need more tanks and healers to get a more diverse meta. I’d say:

  • Two more anchor tanks. One of them should probably have sustain (eg, shield health or self-heal), so you can pick them for weak healing comps.
  • One more non-mobile bruiser (like Roadhog and Zarya).
  • One more main single-target healer.
  • One assassin/flanker healer.
  • One utility healer of some kind (CC, zoning, buffs, etc). Probably someone tanky if they don’t add a tank with healing.

One of those could come from the Torb rework (bruiser or utility healer), but the rest… ain’t exactly going to happen soon. Especially if they add more dps heroes along the way. The most pressing needs is another anchor tank, I think.

Even with that, Mercy is probably always going to have the highest pick rate among people who aren’t playing for money, because of aesthetics and ease of use. Provided she’s not grossly underpowered, that is.


#26

Allow me to put some values into perspective, before begining. The time it takes each healer to heal a single 200hp character to full HP from an imaginary 0 with their primary healing tool. I say imaginary because if someone is at 0 hp they are dead. And thus cannot be healed.

  • Ana- 2.25 seconds
  • Brigitte - 12.5 seconds
  • Lucio- 12.5 seconds
  • Mercy- 4 seconds
  • Moira- 2 seconds
  • Zenyatta- 6.6 seconds

Lucio and Brigitte should not take 12.5 seconds just to heal a single squish to full hp. The additional heal gain I propose would only increase the speed of healing up a squish to 10seconds. As for Zen, he would go towards 5 seconds healing at 40hps. This is by no means a huge buff for them. Considering only Zenyatta and Brigitte would also receive the new damage resistance buff. Of which Zenyatta’s is infinate and Brigittes would be on cooldown since it is only applied to her Repair pack duration. For this same reason, characters like Ana who can heal a character to full in under 3 seconds are not receiving the damage resistance additive.


So lets actually talk about this debate this for a bit. Can these comps be played with the changes I proposed? Yes, they can! Would they be the new meta? No they would not. Implying you ran triple Tank. Which is an unorthdox style of play, since it is not 2-2-2, does this mean you cannot run a 2-2-2 comp to beat it? Depends on what you play. I will tell you one thing, having Zenyatta + Ana+ Reaper would be very powerful against this. Reaper has always been a staple response to Triple tank gameplay. With the new versions of Zenyatta + Ana the amount of damage Reaper would be able to put out on a single target would be 50% damage bonus every time Ana used biotic Grenade on him. So long as he shot the discorded target. This would destroy a triple tank meta very easily especially thanks to Zenyatta having a stun ability.

Tanks have slow consistent damage. This loses to high burst damage. Which is exactly what this comp brings. Moira and Lucio can heal for a lot together. But they cannot save the team from a Grav + Deathblossom combo that is doing a bonus 50% damage. This is the same damage that he would be doing if Orisa used her Ult + Deathblossom. Alternatively, you could run anti-dive healers in response. Like Brigitte + Moira or Brigitte + Zenyatta. Since Moira and Lucio cannot apply bonus damage to the team. Zen + Brigittes additional damage resistance & stun utility would easily outweigh Moria’s & Lucio’s powerful healing
if they focus targets. The number of support combinations to kill triple tank would truly be overwhelming. Remember, if they are running triple tank, they have 1 less DPS character! Which means, the team going 2-2-2 would actually be able to heal the slow damage being done THANKS TO THE HEALING BUFFS I GAVE TO THE WEAKER HEALERS!
Triple tank only worked because heals were to low depending on what comp you ran, and even though Tanks do slow damage, it was more than enough to overpower to standard healers! AKA Mercy/Zen. Since I increased Zenyatta’s Healing output and gave Mercy and him damage resistance. They can actually sustain an entire team if they are properly healing the targets who are being focused so they can now stack their Damage resistance giving that single target 25% damage resistance + 90hps This gives a single target so much time! This is more than enough to give Zenyatta’s Discord and the 2 DPS characters time to focus down targets together. And destroy that team!


I would arguable disagree. Ana, is as strong as she needs to be. But, this is dependent on the player behind her. Ana’s Biotic Grenade goes more than far enough. I would advise you to go into the practice range and look at how far she can throw the grenade to hit a distant target. Not only that, but her Grenade still heals for a total of 100hp instantly on impact & with my changes also applies a heal over time totaling to 75hp. Meaning one succesful grenade and every target gets 175Hp total. This is very powerful! And, i feel also necessary since she currently lacks the ability to heal though barriers! She also has a secondary healer with her! She is not alone! Grenade still gives a bonus 50% to all healing sources. Allowing Zen, after the changes I proposed, to heal for 60hps on a single target! This is the strength of pre patch Mercy! Or Brigitte/Lucio heal for 30hps which is current patch Zen heals. You must also remember, that target is also
being healed for 15hps thanks to the changes I gave Ana’s Grenade. The new biotic Grenade is exactly what gives Ana the potential to heal with any secondary healer efficiently! Not to mention the buffs to Nano that are coming soon!


So please allow me to stop you right there, you are compromising! This is not what I am doing. I am suggesting a solution. The game does not need a more divers meta! It needs to put an end to META completely!
With the new era of healing that I propose, it actually opens the door for more unorthodox style’s of play. Right now, you say shields are neccesary, and you are correct! They absolutely are. On average damage blocked is substantially higher than damage healed per game! Because, healers simply heal for too low. After this, heals would become more powerful depending on the combination of healers you use! This allows for tanks to be more aggresive, like Reinhardt and do more than just block majority of the game! And, if you stop and think about it? If Reinhardt is blocking a lot less, then, wouldn’t that mean the NEED for shield has gone down? Yes it would. If that is the case, things like Zarya/D.va or D.va + Hog would be a possibility depending on which healers you used! I do predict though, that Zarya would need to have her Personal shield buffed to compete with other Tanks though. Maybe, increasing the damage absorbed to 300! But decrease how much charge she gains to make it still even out at 40 charge per bubble? Hmm, but that’s another topic completely.


#27

One thing to keep in mind is that percent damage reduction is essentially the same thing as a multiplicative hp bonus. IIRC, they want to limit the existing additive hp stacking mechanics they already have in the game (permanent armor/shield hp buffs), so I can’t imagine they’ll be willing to make multiplicative hp stacking a core mechanic for supports. (Putting aside the issues with damage reduction being properly communicated in the HUD as compared to armor/shield hp.)

That said, no reason we can’t discuss it. :smile:

For 4+ players the healing output shifts in favor of Brigitte, Lucio and Moira. Plus, supports and tanks provide a lot of CC to deal with things like Reaper.

Though, you do make a good point that players could stack the damage bonuses from Ana, Zen and Mercy then to counter tanks… Not sure that’s a good thing either. That’s sort of the main reason why Zen+Mercy has been meta for so long, right? The stacking damage buffs?


#28

From my perspective, I see that the only form of defense applied to health bars in the game is Armor. And, with the exception of Torb & Brig’s no one can simply just give Armor. Not only that, but even then I still believe the Armor is drastically under powered in the long run. Since the damage falloff has a max capacity of 5 damage! However, if you buff armor other tool kits from select DPS would get nerfed! This is not the solution we want!

For the simple fact that the amount of damage Overwatch DPS are capable of doing is drastically high to the point where 1 shots are indeed always readily availible, I do believe that increasing the sustain factor of the game is necessary. In overwatch you have well over 5 ways of increasing damage output. Aka, damage bonus. But only 2 current ways to increase damage resistance! In a game where the ratio of damage to heals is drastically tipped in the direction of damage! We are talking a ratio of 5:1 this is actually insane and is the current reason META is even a thing. Meta comes down to, which composition of characters is best at taking advantage of the current flaws in the games system. The heal to damage ratio is to spread apart.


Lets examine!
In triple tank meta, Tanks, who are designed to do slow consistent damage and an occasional burst damage, are capable of destroying a standard 2-2-2 composition because the 2 healers cannot keep the lone front-line tank alive through that slow consistent damage, even if the tank is properly utilizing their defensive cooldowns. Those healers just CANNOT handle! Why cant they? Because tanks do slow damage, which is harder to dodge in overwatch. Which means, if they are focusing another slow target, damage up-time is very high! 80% of the damage going out is always hitting the target. Ever played against a DPS with 50% accuracy!? Scary! Factor that in from multiple targets, and you have an equation that spells the impending doom of that single front-line tank. Solution? Kill the healers keeping these 3 tanks sustained! This is exactly why Moira replaced Ana in the triple tank meta. Lucio remains a staple to give everyone additional protection on top of their already self sustaining composition. This means killing either of the healers is going to take far too much coordination and something the team opposing the triple tank comp cannot afford, time!


This is exactly why characters who lack the ability to heal multiple targets, Mercy & Zen to be exact, are getting the infinite damage resistance with their heals. They actually do need this. Now, to make sure they do not overshadow other healers and just create a new damage resistance meta. Lucio and Brigitte had their heal values increased to make the comps they normally do good in even better at sustaining so they can remain a staple pick in the era of damage resistance. Also the reason that characters who can heal multiple targets very strongly Lucio, Moira, Ana DO NOT have access to damage resistance! This would put them in a place where they are now superior in every way to the focus target healers. Brigitte was in a very special place, since she does have aoe healing, but she lacks high AOE healing, giving her Damage resistance to pair with her repair pack makes her very versatile. But not overpowered in any one direction. This is also why I nerfed her repair pack from 150Hps to 100hps. But also reduced the cooldown to 4 seconds. Reducing the duration of the buff she gives I believe would also be neccesary. Maybe decrease the armor pack duration to 3 seconds. And, make the cooldown 4seconds? :thinking: Hmmm… This is something that I think would need to be placed on the live server to get a proper feel of whats a good spot.


You say that, but in any scenario where they have a brigitte for CC simply making her the focus is not hard. Remember, the weakness to the multi tank meta is to kill the healers. If the healers have mobility its difficult, aka Lucio & Moira. Brigitte has no mobility and with her shield bash on a 7 second cooldown. That is the least of Reapers concerns. SHE IS HIS TARGET! Simply focusing her shield down would destroy her gameplay, and I give you my word. No healer in this game no matter what buffs they get are healing through Reaper. But, not even Reaper would be a needed pick. ANY shield buster to assist the DPS in killing her would only take a matter of moments. She is a sitting duck without mobility. Phara would also be a very strong pick. With 3 tanks, who is going to shoot her out of the sky?
The only reason these comps seem so strong is because it takes 3 healers in the current state of overwatch, to make a completely solid support selection with no actual flaws. I believe I said it last post.

With the changes I proposed, it makes those flaws less exploitable. And you can have a very solid support healing strategies and combos between just 2 supports to the point where picking 3 can work. But, it is not needed, simply picking another role that is much superior in that field would be much more idea. But, it still leaves the door open for it to be done, and still be viable if you have the skill to compensate.


Most people think that triple support is suppose to have Brigitte, Lucio and Mercy or Zen instead of Lucio to keep a defensive ultimate ability. But, in actuality the strongest support combination would be Brigitte, Lucio & Zenyatta. Rally makes Zen less divable, and repair pack and lucio giving speed boost and boops to anyone trying to dive him are much more of a viable strategy than simply letting someone die, and hope to get Rez off. Preventing the death is always the more favorable outcome. But, because most of this rest on the awareness of Lucio and Brigitte to how safe their vulnerable support is many scrap the idea and just run Mercy instead. Just so they can leave lucio on speed boost. Which is an ok strategy to… But can potentially starve Lucio from gaining ult charge from his healing tool kit. Where Zen Brig & Lucio no one typically gets starved at all. They all heal for a moderate amount and they all get their fair share. Where as Mercy monopolizes the healing part of the gameplay. Which in turn allows Lucio and Brig’s to not have to focus on it. Once again, lazy and non-optimal. However, it is still VERY consistent. One is a very high skill ceiling comp, while also having a very low floor. Where, the Mercy strategy makes the floor a pretty solid spot to be in. The ceiling does not go nearly as high up, but hey. Its also hard to mess up.


In conclusion, my changes have made is so 2-2-2 comps are pretty ideal! Since the skill floor of 2-2-2 comps is relatively high! While other comps like triple tank and things have a much lower skill floor. But, they still have the potential to rival if not surpass a standard 2-2-2 comp. This would legitimately END the cycle of meta currently plaguing Overwatch.