The Recent and Previous Developments...
…From those who are bad at developing.
On the PTR, Mercy received another nerf, bringing her number of post-rework nerfs to 13. In order, here is the list of nerfs to Mercy since Mercy 2.0’s introduction:
- Pistol damage in Valkyrie reduced from 30 to 20.
- Mercy’s pistol no longer receives an increase in fire rate while in Valkyrie.
- Valkyrie flight speed reduced from 11 meters/second to 9 meters/second.
- Guardian Angel’s cooldown no longer resets upon Resurrect’s activation.
- Valkyrie no longer reduces Resurrect’s cooldown.
- Resurrect now has a 1.75 second cast time unless Valkyrie is active.
- Mercy’s movement speed is reduced by 75% while casting Resurrect.
- Resurrect can now be interrupted through CC, knockback, and death. If interrupted, Resurrect begins its cooldown.
- Mercy is no longer exempt from Resurrect’s cast time while Valkyrie is active.
- Valkyrie no longer grants a charge of Resurrect upon activation.
- Valkyrie’s GA movement speed bonus reduced by 50%.
- Valkyrie’s duration reduced from 20 seconds to 15 seconds.
- Mercy’s primary beam healing output reduced from 60 health/second to 50 health/second.
That last one is on the PTR now, and based upon the fact that just about every change that hits the PTR goes live, it is safe to assume that this change will also go live. There’s one big problem that I see with this change right off the bat, but because I occasionally like to be suspenseful, I’m going to hold off on that until we glance at the two sets of developer comments for this change:
“Mercy is intended to be able to consistently pump out more healing than any other healer over the course of a match. While this is currently true, the difference in healing is so significant that it makes it very difficult for other healers to compete with her for a spot on a team. Reducing her healing output will close this gap a little, but she will still maintain her status as the go-to pick for raw healing power. We’ll keep an eye on her to make sure she is still a strong pick.”
“Mercy’s previous healing output made her nearly impossible to replace in any team composition. Even after these changes she will still be able to deliver more healing over the course of a match than any other support hero. This change should allow for other healers to be a more viable pick.”
Let’s start picking these apart.
“Mercy is intended to be able to consistently pump out more healing than any other healer over the course of a match. While this is currently true, the difference in healing is so significant that it makes it very difficult for other healers to compete with her for a spot on a team.”
“Mercy’s previous healing output made her nearly impossible to replace in any team composition.”
The first and largest problem here is a misidentification of the problem. Mercy currently is a must pick, but is her healing really the cause of her mandatory status?
I’ll give you a hint: The answer is “No”.
How do I know this? Simple
Geometry logic; basic enough to be broken down into a basic truth table using Boolean data types (True/False):
The above table shows the possible relationships between two Boolean variables (P and Q) and the outcome of those two variables joined by an “and” function.
Applying this to our scenario, “True” represents a state of balance; “False” represents a state of unbalance. The variables P and Q represent different parts of Mercy’s kit. “P and Q” represent Mercy’s overall balance.
For a hero to be balanced, the entirety of their kit and each individual part of their kit must be balanced; hence the fact that the outcome of the function “P and Q” is only “True” if P is “True” and Q is also “True”. If one or several parts of a hero’s kit is unbalanced, then the hero is unbalanced.
We know that prior to the rework, Mercy was balanced, almost underpowered in some cases. She had a high overall pickrate, but that pickrate sharply fell off when approaching higher ranks in favor of other healers. She was viable enough to have at least decent representation throughout all ranks, yet she was behind every other healer in GM pickrates, so she could not have been viable to the point of being oppressive. If she was, that would have been reflected in such ranks.
If we know that Mercy 1.x was balanced, then we also know that every part of Mercy 1.x’s kit was balanced; the only factors that will yield a balanced or “True” result are ones that are also balanced or “True” (see the first row in the table).
We know that post-rework Mercy is overpowered, as her pickrates across the board, but especially in GM, are very high. On top of this, the pickrates of other healers in GM (the exception being Zenyatta, who combos well with Mercy) are abysmal, demonstrating just how oppressive Mercy currently is.
How did Mercy go from balanced to overpowered, or from “True” to “False”? Her kit was changed by the rework, and either P or Q was changed to “False”.
The keyword in that last sentence is “changed”. A Boolean cannot go from “True” to “False” or vice versa unless something caused it to do so; something changed in it.
Connect the dots.
- Prior to the rework, “P and Q” returns “True”, therefore both P and Q individually are “True”.
- After the rework, “P and Q” returns “False”, therefore P, Q, or both, are “False”.
- A variable flipping from “True” to “False” can only happen if that variable is altered.
- The only parts of Mercy’s kit that could have switched from balanced to unbalanced are the parts that were changed by the rework.
Do you know what changed through Mercy’s rework?
Not her healing output.
Her healing output is the same as it was prior to her rework; the same 60 health/second, the same aim-assist allied lock-on, the same ease of use and retargeting.
“But what about Valkyrie?”, I hear some of you furiously fingering into your keyboard.
I don’t know…
Mercy’s average healing/game as of June 28th, 2017 (pre-rework): 11905.
Mercy’s average healing/game as of August 12th, 2017 (pre-rework): 11912.
Mercy’s average healing/game as of March 21st, 2018 (post-rework): 11926.
Mercy’s average healing/game as of May 31st, 2018 (post-rework): 11603.
Mercy’s average healing/game as of June 30th, 2018 (post-rework): 11752.
Mercy’s average healing/game as of July 22nd, 2018 (post-rework): 12132.
What about Valkyrie?
Mercy’s healing output since her latest patch has remained within about 300 HP of where it was prior to her rework.
That said, I’m going to humor this remark anyway. It helps to establish a point.
Suppose Valkyrie was problematic in regards to balance. What should be changed as a result?
I’ll give you a hint: Not anything that isn’t Valkyrie.
If a hero is overpowered, the reason for them being overpowered needs to be defined. Once the issues have been localized, nothing but the source of those problems should be altered. Altering a “True”, regardless as to whether or not it causes that variable to change to “False”, does not change the other variables that are “False” back to “True”. Therefore, the hero will remain unbalanced.
Everything I have said above should come intuitively. If A and B results in balance, but then B is replaced by C, and then A and C results in an imbalance, it’s pretty obvious that C is the source of the problem. The problem will not be fixed by changing A.
Take Hanzo’s rework, for example. Hanzo was underpowered prior to his rework, and his rework, which granted him Storm Arrows and Lunge while leaving the rest of him unchanged, made him overpowered. The only thing the developers should be altering with Hanzo (and the only thing they have altered so far) are his Storm Arrows and his Lunge. Nerfing his primary fire, his Wall Climb, or his Sonic Arrow wouldn’t solve the problem, and would only serve to piss off the Hanzo playerbase.
The source of Mercy’s dominance isn’t something that has remained the same for 10 seasons (her healing output). The source of her dominance is something that has changed dramatically since then: Resurrect.
“Reducing her healing output will close this gap a little, but she will still maintain her status as the go-to pick for raw healing power.”
“Even after these changes she will still be able to deliver more healing over the course of a match than any other support hero.”
Really? I’m a bit suspicious. This is a flat 17% reduction to Mercy’s total healing output, and that’s not accounting for the slower charge rate on Valkyrie as well.
Let’s do some math. Suppose that the 17% healing reduction transferred perfectly into her current averages. As stated above, our current average for Mercy’s healing output is 12132.
12132 - (0.17 * 12132) = 10069.56 healing/game.
10069.56 would be our new healing average for Mercy. I wonder what Moira’s is…?
10609… She also received a slight buff to her resource regeneration in the PTR, so that number will likely go up a bit as well.
In actuality, Mercy’s healing output will probably drop below Moira’s. Realistically, that is a disadvantage Mercy will shrug off in the meta; she still has Resurrect on her E ability.
“We’ll keep an eye on her to make sure she is still a strong pick.”
That will not be a concern, just like it wasn’t a concern the past few times you said that. Perhaps if you took a glance at your feedback, you would know that.
That last sentence was referring to both a realistic outlook on balance, and the non-balance related complaints voiced by current and former Mercy players.
“This change should allow for other healers to be a more viable pick.”
Oh, don’t worry; this change will do nothing to achieve that. Resurrect is still on Mercy’s E.
…Hang on. I’m getting word that a bug fix has just gone live. Let’s check the patch notes to investigate!
“Fixed a bug that allowed Mercy to damage boost certain abilities (e.g. Hanzo’s Dragonstrike, D.Va’s Self-Destruct, and Junkrat’s Steel Trap)”
Hmm. This “bug fix” reminds me of Lucio’s Wall-Ride “bug fix” in that it has been an intended feature since forever ago and the developers just now decided to remove it but wanted to be stealthy about it.
Seriously. Come on. When amplifying Hanzo’s ult, Mercy gets hitmarkers on her screen and assists in the killfeed. She received (and currently still receives) ultimate charge from amplifying it. Her “damage amplified” statistic increased while boosting these abilities.
Abilities that truly never were intended to be amplified by Mercy’s damage beam (Rip-Tire, for example) did none of the above.
It’s pretty obvious that this has been an intended feature since day one. If you’re going to nerf Damage Boost, at least have the spine to say it rather than trying to kick it under the rug.
In short, my reaction to the recent patch notes can be summarized by this picture:
Shall we move on to previous events?
Initial Reasons for the Rework:
When the Mercy rework was revealed, we were given a developer update that identifies two reasons for the rework.
Timestamp: 0:38 - 2:12.
These two reasons can be summarized by “Hide and rez” and “Resurrect didn’t feel good to play against”. I will start with the latter of those two reasons, as it can be undermined and pulled apart in fewer words.
“Resurrect didn’t feel good to play against”. The first and most obvious question to ask at this point is, “What ultimate, when used to any benefit of the enemy team, is fun to play against?”
Last I checked, being blown up by Rocket Barrage, sliced apart by Dragonblade, frozen by Blizzard, denied by Transcendence, nuked by Self-Destruct, or knocked down by Earthshatter, does not feel good. This is a PvP game; “disheartening to play against”, “frustrating to play against”, or “unfun to play against” are a given for at least one team for part of each match, or the game wouldn’t be empowering for the other team… and thus, wouldn’t be enjoyable. Using this as a reason to change a balanced mechanic isn’t justifiable, unless the same can be said about every other ability in the game. Otherwise, it is simply a double-standard that reveals favoritism.
The second rhetorical question to ask is, “Does it feel better to play against a hero that has been a must-pick for nearly a year?”
Would you prefer to play against a character that resembles every other hero in that their ultimate is annoying to deal with, or would you rather play against a hero that is objectively overpowered, has been nearly a win condition for far too long, and still has an annoying ultimate?
Shall we dive into a bit of player perspective philosophy?
Unless the hero is a balance concern, Player 2’s perception of Player 1’s character isn’t relevant. It is given that Player 2’s perception of Player 1’s character is likely negative when playing against Player 1. On the other hand, Player 1’s perception of Player 1’s character is not a given in any videogame. For the videogame to be successful, Player 1’s perception of their own character, or how it feels to play their own character, needs to be positive. If that perception is negative, players will stop playing. As a result, Player 1’s experience with Player 1’s character is infinitely more important than Player 2’s perception of Player 1’s character.
In short, a player needs to feel empowered by their own actions. The player does not need to feel empowered, and in a PvP game, should not and will not feel empowered, by the actions of their opponents.
Player 1’s experience with Player 1’s character was breached and disregarded when Blizzard tried to make Player 2’s perception of Player 1’s hero positive… which they also failed to do. By attempting to change that which neither needed to be changed nor could be changed, the balance team tampered with something that should never be altered.
Moving onto “Hide and rez”…
“We think it’s wrong to tell a main-healing character to go off and hide somewhere and stop healing for some period of time.”
But it is fine for a main-damage character to go off and hide somewhere and stop dealing damage for some period of time, like many heroes currently do in preparation for an ultimate?
In actuality, you are right; just not for the reason you think you are. You are correct because hiding was maladaptive for the team’s chance of victory, and therefore was a bad way to play her. Allow me to explain this in an even more elaborate manner than my past few megaposts.
The success of a mass-Resurrection (4+ revived players) depended upon several factors:
- The Mercy’s ability to survive and execute the ability in the first place (the obvious one).
- The number of players alive on each team after the Resurrection.
- The number of available ultimates held by each team after the Resurrection (but primarily the enemy team).
- The shock value of Resurrect against the enemy (by far the most important factor for the post-rez fight).
The last factor is more important than the other two post-rez factors because it determines what other factors need to advantage the Mercy in order to have a good chance at a successful Resurrection. As the enemy team is given time to reorganize and fire their first attacks at the newly Resurrected team, they would already have a positioning advantage and the first shot… that is, if the team was expecting the Resurrection.
If the enemy team is expecting the Resurrection, they will have the post-rez advantages of the first shot and additional positioning time. Of course, this is a very bad situation to be in for the newly revived team, requiring some very strong advantages of their own to compensate and have a chance at winning the fight. In this case, they would need both the numbers advantage and the ultimate ability advantage.
If the enemy team isn’t expecting the Resurrection, then the Mercy could probably get by with either the numbers advantage or the ultimate advantage and still have a chance at winning, as the enemy team might not capitalize on their positioning and first shot opportunities as well as they should due to the shock value of Resurrect.
How does “Hide and rez” fit into all of this, you might ask? Hiding before the fight removes the possibility of having enough of those advantages against the enemy team in the post-rez fight, and therefore any chance of a victorious post-rez fight against any team of similar skill.
Hiding leaves the initial fight to a 5v6, the missing hero on the Mercy’s team being the main healer and primary source of sustain. Obviously, this is a huge advantage for the team of 6 in the first fight, allowing them to steamroll over Mercy’s team with likely zero casualties, and ultimate expenditures used only to counter any of the opposition’s ultimates. On top of this, the team of 6 also now collectively has 2000-3000 more ultimate charge from killing 5 players in addition to any healing dealt over the duration of that fight. Thus, it hands the ultimate ability advantage to the team opposing the Mercy.
The opposing team, assuming they are paying even the slightest attention to what is happening around them, would notice that the enemy is crumbling very easily for a supposed 6v6, raising suspicions as to whether or not the fight really is a 6v6, quickly leading to the realization that the enemy Mercy is missing from the fight. From this, only one conclusion could logically be drawn; she’s waiting to use Resurrect. There goes the ultimate’s shock value.
At this point, even if the team of 6 somehow managed to sustain 2 casualties in the initial fight, it won’t matter. If both teams entered the fight with the same number of ultimates, the team that does not have the hiding Mercy has at least two more ultimates than the other team (2000+ ultimate charge, Mercy’s team used Resurrect). One or two offensive ultimates is the absolute maximum a team needs to wipe a freshly-revived team when they are expecting the Resurrection, resulting in the revived team staring down the barrel of a gun they have no chance of avoiding.
In contrast, a Mercy who stays with her team keeps the fight at a 6v6, granting her team more sustain and forcing the enemy to expend ultimates to overpower them. Once the ultimates started firing, the mercy would distance themselves from the fight, evade, or take cover, laying down pistol fire or amplifying damage rather than attempting to heal those for whom healing would be useless. As a result, the enemy was less likely to realize that Mercy has Resurrect (the enemy was comparatively difficult to kill, removing the prompt to think about why they were crumbling easily in the first place), Mercy’s team was more likely to pick off a few enemies, and Mercy has successfully baited more ultimates from the enemy team. As a result, her team has more advantages and fewer disadvantages in the post-rez fight.
The only cost to staying with the team was an increased chance of being picked off before being able to revive the team, which just follows the same risk choice explained in the Resurrect section; if taking more controllable risks now helps to mitigate the high risk later, then taking those smaller risks now is safer than not in the long run.
Consequently, reviving a team after hiding typically resulted in a second wipe, while staying with the team until it was unsafe to do so was more likely to yield favorable results. That is why it was “wrong to tell a main-healing character to go off and hide somewhere”. It was a bad tactic, as it usually backfired.
Rather than letting the issue resolve itself by fixing the SR exploit that ultimately led to the tactic’s rise in the first place, the developers decided to remove Resurrect as an ultimate entirely. They changed the thing that wasn’t the problem, and ended up pissing off the playerbase.
Anyway, I’ve used this example many times before, but removing Resurrect as an ultimate because some players abandoned their team leading to a second wipe is equivalent to removing Rocket Barrage as an ultimate because Pharah players too often blew themselves up with it. There’s no need to intervene; the tactic will die out on its own, so long as the ranking system isn’t feeding it.
Ironically, the rework ended up only replacing one tactic of hiding with another. This time, however, the is no drawback to it, making the tactic beneficial. Valkyrie is best used by pressing Q and then flying the hell away, barely staying within beam range of the team. Doing this minimizes risk, but compromises no rewards. A Mercy playing closer to her team in Valkyrie is not helping her team any more than a Mercy 29 meters from her team, and is only exposing herself to enemy fire. Consequently, staying as far as possible from the fight for Valkyrie’s full duration is the way to go.
But wait! There’s more! Jeff Kaplan was interviewed by Venturebeat at one point in which he revealed another reason for the rework after it was pushed live. In the interview, Jeff Kaplan said this:
“The goal — I’m about to tell you the goal and it’s going to make us sound like miserable failures. But the goal was to lessen the impact of resurrect overall on the game”
To be fair, I have never seen a truer quote from anyone who has authority in balance changes. It sure as hell does make you seem like miserable failures. How is month #11 of must-pick Mercy going for ya? Are you ready for months #12, 13, and 14?
Post Rework Contradictions and Failures:
When the initial rework dropped into live servers on September 19th, 2017, this set of developer comments came with it:
“While resurrecting downed allies is a core part of Mercy’s gameplay, the way her Ultimate functioned was causing a number of problems. It was frustrating to play against, and it incentivized Mercy players to hide away from important battles, instead of taking part in them. This version turns Resurrect into a single target ability. It’s still an important part of Mercy’s kit, but plays much better for both Mercy players and her enemies. Valkyrie, her new Ultimate, gives her the opportunity for big game-making plays and opens a number of new options for her.”
I’ve already gone over the reasons for the rework, so I’m going to skip over the first part of those comments. For now, just keep these two quotes in mind while I go grab more developer comments. Try not to laugh (or get very angry, either would be a justifiable reaction to these quotes) in the meantime:
“This version turns Resurrect into a single target ability. It’s still an important part of Mercy’s kit, but plays much better for both Mercy players and her enemies.”
“Valkyrie, her new Ultimate, gives her the opportunity for big game-making plays and opens a number of new options for her.”
Jeff Kaplan was interviewed by Venturebeat, who published an article with his answers from said interview on November 3rd. I’m not going to post the entire interview, as that would extend this post by a lot, much of which wouldn’t even be relevant to the topic at hand. Keep this quote in mind too:
“We are very intentionally trying to bring the power level of resurrect down. We want the top two things you notice about Mercy to be, ‘Oh my God, she’s an amazing throughput healer,’ and ‘Wow, look at that mobility, she’s just flowing back and forth through the map.’ And we don’t want her to be the resurrect bot that’s just erasing kills.”
On November 16th, Mercy’s second nerf after the rework went live (the previous one being on October 17th). This was the cast time nerf on Resurrect. You know, the one that drops her movement speed to 25% and disables attacks and abilities. With this patch, we got these developer comments:
“We feel that Mercy’s recent rework has been successful, but her Resurrect ability still feels too strong and frustrating to play against. Now that it has a cast time, enemies are more able to counter the ability. However, Resurrect will cast instantly when Valkyrie is active. This should make her feel powerful when she transforms on the battlefield.”
Keep holding those laughs. Or anger. Or whatever emotion you are currently suppressing. Let’s connect some dots… or rather, show where the developers failed to do so.
“This version turns Resurrect into a single target ability. It’s still an important part of Mercy’s kit, but plays much better for both Mercy players and her enemies.”
Three and a half months later, Resurrect had a 1.75 second incapacitation tied to it with no exceptions.
It’s pretty intuitive that an ability that disables a player for nearly 2 seconds is going to play much worse for the player than an ability that doesn’t. Not being able to control your character in a game where being able to control your character is a given does an excellent job of sabotaging the gameplay.
So yeah… I would trade the current rez for mass-rez without a second thought. Because it’s clear that mass-rez played better for Mercy than the current version of Resurrect.
That is despite her must-pick status. Oh look, a segue into the next part of the quote!
“…plays much better for both Mercy players and her enemies.”
I guess I should ask this question again. Does it feel better to play against a hero that has been a must-pick for nearly a year?
How about a full year, because that’s where we’re headed at this point?
“Valkyrie, her new Ultimate, gives her the opportunity for big game-making plays and opens a number of new options for her.”
“This should make her feel powerful when she transforms on the battlefield.”
Those new options, the new opportunities for big game-making plays, and the feeling of being powerful when transforming on the field now consists of sitting in the skybox 30 meters from the fight in a slightly-less-useless-than-spectator mode… Probably as your team dies beneath you to enemy ultimates.
Such power. Many game-making plays. Impressive PotGs. Cool new options.
Well, I guess that last one is true. Now you can do things like fall asleep, feed your cat, or make a sandwich!
“We are very intentionally trying to bring the power level of resurrect down.”
Then how about you do that instead changing her healing, which has been fine for the past 10 seasons? Or are you going to keep banging your head against the wall?
“We want the top two things you notice about Mercy to be, ‘Oh my God, she’s an amazing throughput healer,’ and ‘Wow, look at that mobility, she’s just flowing back and forth through the map.’”
Ten days later, Resurrect’s cast time went live. If you want Mercy to be about mobility, why was your first order of business after saying that to place a standstill mechanic on one of her basic abilities? And again, why are you nerfing her healing when the problem is Resurrect?
What you say and what your patch notes say flatly contradict each other:
Developers: “We think mobility should be one of Mercy’s core mechanics…”
Patch notes: “…So we made Mercy turn into a rock for two seconds while using one of her abilities.”
Developers: “We think healing should be one of Mercy’s core mechanics…”
Patch notes: “…Which is why we are scapegoating and nerfing her healing rather than the ultimate on a basic ability.”
Whatever to make the rework seem successful, I guess?
“And we don’t want her to be the resurrect bot that’s just erasing kills.”
Sorry. Just… enjoying this a bit too much.
You say this when:
- There is no variation in how Resurrect is used. There is always a single best moment to use it, and that is to reverse early-fight picks. You have removed any thought required for the ability’s perfect utilization beyond a check for single set of parameters, reducing the planning process to an automatic function. A bot-like function, to be less subtle.
- Resurrect is the reason she is a must-pick right now, and will continue to be a must-pick for another few months, due to your mind-numbingly slow, and yet somehow still rushed “balancing” updates.
Developer/Community Interactions - Misleading, or Outright Lies?:
As you all probably know, we now have a 10th
garbage bin megathread garbage bin for Mercy discussion, the endless stream of feedback dating as far back as August of 2017.
All along, we have been receiving these messages:
There was also this from Jeff Kaplan on the old forums:
“Thanks to everyone for taking the time to write up thoughtful feedback here. We’re reading the responses daily.”
Most recently, there was this quote from Tom Powers. It was not necessarily on the topic of Mercy, but still in regards to feedback:
Clearly, they would know that the bulk of our complaints are not in regards to Mercy’s balance state, but how Mercy isn’t fun to play anymore, right?
January 25th, 2018:
6:39 - 6:43
“If we tone her down too much, we will bring her back.”
The developer update is titled “Popular Community Topics”, yet Jeff Kaplan uses all of the time spent on Mercy to talk about only her balance state. He doesn’t even mention how she actually feels to play.
He also said this on the old Overwatch Forums:
"We have no plans to revert Mercy. We also feel like she’s not in a horrible place or unplayable.
It’s still to be determined if she is exactly where she should be because it has been too soon and the dust needs to settle. Her playtime in QP and Comp is still incredibly high. Her winrate is still above 50% but more in line with what we’d expect.
But I’d like to put the notion that Mercy is going to be reverted to rest.
Also, we don’t agree with the statement that all supports are weak. Support heroes are extremely powerful and impactful in OW."
Lots of discussion on Mercy’s balance, and not a single mention as to how Mercy feels to play.
Even more discussion on Mercy’s balance state, still no sign that they have a clue as to what our concerns are. They were too busy addressing a nonexistent concern to do that, apparently.
Why might this be?
Allow me to reference someone else who took the time to look at the statistics:
"Reading our Feedback"
"Jeff Kaplan: 5.1k posts read
Geoff Goodman: 6.8k posts read
Bill Warnecke: 3.6k posts read
Romain Dijoux: 1.2k posts read
Scott Mercer: 851 posts read.
Aaron Carter : 33 posts read
Micheal Chu: 14.1k posts read
Tom Powers: 15.7k posts read
[Feedback Thread Continued Part III] Mercy Updates - Jan 30, 2018: 17.7k posts; 100k posts overall.
Exactly who is reading our feedback when the contents of one thread exceeds the read posts of 6 Overwatch Developers?"
So that explains the disconnect, but it raises another question: Were they lying about reading our feedback?
The most obvious and simplest answer is “duh, of course”, but there’s one tiny detail that needs to be identified.
In every post made that is supposed to assure us that someone on Blizzard’s end is reading our feedback, they always say “we”.
Right. So, uh… Who is “we”?
Note that it is never said that “The Balance Team is monitoring your feedback”, or “Developers are monitoring your feedback”. It is always “We are monitoring your feedback”.
On the rare occasions that moderators or developers talk to us, they do so as Blizzard representatives. As a result, “we” can be anyone that works for Blizzard. It could be moderators that operate halfway across the world from the balance team, who have no say in such decisions, and it still qualifies as “we”. The developers could be totally unaware that the Overwatch Forums exist, and still say truthfully, “We read your feedback”.
It is not an outright lie to cover up the fact that they don’t care. It is even more malicious. It is intentionally misleading, designed to tell a lie without actually being one.
So the next time you see a developer or moderator say “We read your feedback”, ask them who “we” really is.