Specifically the lower health DD melee, but a lot applies to the tanky melee as well. At low skill DD melee is balanced or even a too strong, this is for the fact that so many low skilled range don’t pay attention to their surroundings, pick terrible perches, or just run straight into the middle of things and try to go toe to toe with melee. When that happens, obviously, low skilled ranged will be decimated by even lower skilled melee. That’s why I’m sure a lot of people will reply to this post disagreeing.
However, at high skill play melee is at a terrible disadvantage. Where/why does the imbalance lay? It should be obvious, but melee have to put themselves in the firing line just to clear minions or engage players, good ranged will sit in a safe position where they have little to no exposure, quick escapes and can be supported by their team. And the melee characters have to hold what are supposed to be their initiation abilities in reserve for escape. I laugh when I hear a ranged character complain about an enemy marquis shutting them down when there are a million angles and locations you can take to effectively clear minions from cover, even more so when a melee character gets the drop on them. The enemy teams melee is so good you say? Because they keep killing you on the ground floor of meltdown near the stinger? Ya, no.
If you do manage to creep up on someone without being spotted, most of the time they can easily escape, especially since skilled players will choose good locations, or even just turn and kill you. Ever seen a good phoebe close a good thorn just to see the thorn blight and slow the phoebe PB volley, back up and kill her in the next 3 shots without any support? That should not be possible, there’s no world where that should be able to happen between players the same or nearly the same skill level, yet in high skill play that’s going to be common, let alone if the thorn is using ledges. Boots of the brute go a ways to help fix the balance disparity, but I suspect it wont take long before they get nerfed to oblivion.
You might even rebutt this argument that good melee will be waiting for their team to stun someone then run in and kill them, put aside the fact that that itself would just prove the point, but depending on the ranged and comp of your team, half the time it can be a hindrance to have the melee jump on a stunned character and block all their teammates shots.
I do understand that making melee relevant in high skill play makes them seem overpowered in low skill play, but I feel like the game is old enough now that that it’s time to worry less about low skill balance.
Another balance gripe I have is on stuns. They are far too powerful in high skill play, they are guaranteed kills, making any character without them very disadvantaged. I feel like their durations are pretty good in terms of team response/notice, but when compared to TTK they are too long.