It seems like a large amount of PvP discussions seem to be centred around balancing of characters. While I certainly understand that there are a few balance issues that need rectifying, I think a lot of “Overpowered” and “Broken” issues can be solved by pointing out that often people don’t always pay enough attention to the whole game/ game modes they are playing.
First lets point out the obvious, particular characters are more suited to particular game modes, I actually like this feature, but a lot of people don’t really seem to pay enough attention to character distinctions.
You can usually guess where characters are best suited based on their class and labels on the character, for example: Galilea is “Territorial”, this tends to make her very useful for holding lanes like on meltdown and incursion but I find her to be easier prey in capture because most players will not play her in a territorial way (instead running around on a map with several lanes). It’s similar for Ambra, she is “flexible”, allowing her the upper hand in capture if played correctly, but she tends to be weaker in single lane game modes (incursion). Now if you ask a lot of people they will likely say Ambra is “broken”, or “weak support” since her post-beta nerf. But, if we take a moment to compare this “broken” character with the “OP” character of Galilea, it becomes clear that the degree to which either are unbalanced is overstated. As someone who is “Master of Ambra” I can attest that while once I was almost always a victim of Galilea, I now tend to be fairly evenly matched, yes even when one-on-one.
How do I achieve this balance? Mostly from acknowledging my characters weaknesses and strengths, and my opponents weaknesses and strengths. For Galilea it tends to be that she will do most of her damage in short-lived and close ranged attacks. So I use this strength of hers to my advantage, I use my ranged mutation which allows me to fire small balls of fire with large amounts of damage from a range where I’m at little concern about her attacks. Obviously her stunning ability will quickly come into play and then I’m in danger, right? Well not necessarily, anticipating this attack and using sunspots to maintain health as much as possible will usually help you outlive these attacks, or at the very least keep her distracted due to its ranged damage against enemies.
Similarly I can use her territorial nature to my advantage. Galilea will often try to hold off a character or an attack from one side, but in game modes such as Capture this is a lot harder to do. Capture has no lanes or “Enemy vs Ally sides” like the other game modes which offer safety or damage, meaning you are free to go wherever you wish and attack from whatever angle you want. This is a huge advantage for a flexible character, and a disadvantage for a territorial character. I specifically use Galilea and Ambra here because they seem to be considered as opposite ends of the spectrum of balancing, but this could apply to any character with any specialisation, they are all better at something.
Now I’m not saying that if you play Ambra you should only play her on one mode, and I’m certainly not saying that for Galilea or any other character. But it is important to pay attention to character strengths and weaknesses instead of going for the CoD style “throw yourself at enemies” approach, or other approaches from other PvP games. This is a game that asks for some basic strategy, and you can turn a one sided battle into an even playing-field with a calculated play.
This isn’t intended to be condescending, I’m not the type of player who says “get good noob” and claims there are no balance issues, but part of the success of this game is making a truly diverse set of playable characters with a range of abilities that aren’t always balanced in every mode and every scenario.
All I’m advising is that if people really are struggling with a character or if they are finding an issue of balance, re-assessing your abilities and characters can be the difference between a losing streak and a winning streak.
There are obviously other problems that come into play that are harder to cope with, for example if you are in a 4player team because of a drop out against a 5player team, it can often be the difference between winning and losing. The same can be said for a team who aren’t quite used to the game vs. a team who have learned to use their character well. There can certainly be a problem if you want to be that team who wins, and that is something a lot harder to fix.
However I will say that even if you lose as a team but play well, you have still played well, and the individual good play against bad odds sometimes shows far more skill.
Anyway I thought I’d try to explain how I see current “issues” in the game and hopefully offer advice if people need/want it. Do people agree? What is your take on what I’ve said? I’d appreciate feedback including if you completely disagree. Thanks for reading.
Tl;dr: Character traits are important! Pay attention to them!