PvP Beta Feedback

Been having a surprising amount of fun with the beta, and noticing not very many people had unlocked Kelvin or at least had been bothering to use Kelvin, I gravitated towards him to try and see what he’s all about. Now there are several tank characters I haven’t unlocked or played much in comparison, but I figured I’d give some feedback on the character I’ve played the most in the beta!

Kelvin seems to suffer from some flaws in his basic design. As an Eldrid character, he has no natural shield and shields he gains from skills degenerate, but he has natural health regen that he can bolster with his helix upgrades, and a skill which can gain him permanent health. The latter is a fantastic gimmick and could have made him a terror to deal with during late game pushes (after getting a handle around how to spend the beginning of the game, I consistently end up with 4k HP if the match hits 30 minutes), except in actuality he is merely keeping pace with rising damage potential of the Attacker and Support characters, which leaves him consistently underperforming in his role as a wall and lane controller simply by virtue of not being able to survive. More than other Defenders, he has to be very aggressive simply to maintain his position because a lack of permanent shields makes staying at the front lines extremely difficult.

  1. Permafrost is useful but pales in comparison to the shield generation abilities found in other characters. The shield degeneration simply happens far too quickly. Even with helix upgrades, Chomp for example leaves Kelvin unable to resume his primary attack before the shields granted by Permafrost disappear.

  2. Chomp could use some sort of lunging movement added to it. This skill is crucial to Kelvin, it’s his opener for any 1v1 confrontation and it’s his finisher, but very often a foe can simply slip out of Chomp’s reach unless they are just as slow as Kelvin. Less of an issue once he has Ice Wall, but I think most people would agree any character who needs to rely on his Ultimate just to close a 1v1 has a problem.

  3. Speaking of Ice Wall… it’s a bit underwhelming, especially for an Ultimate. I don’t want to disparage it too much because it is so great when you can catch an overeager opponent in a chokepoint and separate them from the rest of their team while yours is right on top of him, but it’s awfully small and it’d be nice if it had some DoT attached like every other area denial skill has.

  4. Sublimate I actually have little to complain about, it sets him apart from many of the other Defenders by making him dangerously mobile while still controlling the enemy’s approach. Most of my complaints were more related to Permafrost and it’s relationship to Sublimate. But the hitbox on it does have some issues: it’s depressingly easy to get caught on a corner by some invisible bit of the hitbox (which in a fleeing for your life situation is the absolute worst), or to try and clear a raised area that he can’t actually jump over but by appearances should since the ice cloud is floating a good bit above where your perspective would have been in first person.

I still very much enjoy playing Kelvin, and smart Loadout planning can help Kelvin a good bit (I usually aim for health bonus and health regen so that I spend less time farming Minions with Chomp), but that is simply treating the symptoms - other characters who don’t have Kelvin’s problems have access to the exact same items, after all! It would be nice to see some of these issues addressed in the future.

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I’m pretty bad with tanks, but it felt like his damage and health weren’t quite high enough to compensate for his lack of movement speed and range. Definitely could’ve just been me though.

He’s faster than most of the Defenders, but not fast enough to catch that nearly dead Support with a Chomp before they escape behind their friends.

I’ve found the most success with him by treating him like the Pyro in TF2: Never stop moving, use the paths off to the side of the main lanes to try and lure people into chasing you before turning around and ambushing them (gets even better once you have Ice Wall), run in and hit the minions before running out again, preferably with Sublimate so you’re stunning/slowing down whatever you didn’t kill. That’s what I mean by “aggressive”, you’re not there to stand and block progress, you’re there to cause chaos.

But if you’re the only Defender on the team, that means this play style leaves your squishier team mates exposed every time you dart off, which is where the flaw in his design becomes obvious. If you don’t eventually try and throw yourself in front of the enemy to keep your allies alive, you’ll find yourself alone and easily chased down, but that is where Kelvin crumples, because he’s getting gigantic chunks of his health blown away, and ducking behind a wall for a second or two won’t save him because he has no shields.

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I found that I wasn’t really able to win the one on ones as well, but thanks a lot for the tips

I am another who is loving Kelvin at the moment and using him frequently when compared to other heroes. In response to your ideas:

1- Complete agreement! The rate at which permafrost deteriorates at is ridiculous and I find the passive to have very little value and be just above useless, therefore the deterioration should be slowed significantly or removed (which may be a bit excess). Additionaly I think the rapid deterioration may even be a bug because… Again it’s insane how fast it just vanishes.

2- I agree, with how crucial chomp is to Kevin’s effectiveness it is significantly too difficult to land, I thought the delay should be removed, but a lunge is also a nice idea. Besides that it’s great/fine. Although you mention it is difficult to land due to Kevin’s lack of mobility, where as in my experience the mobility is a slight problem, instead I found the hit box for chomp to be inconsistent, “which may just be me”… So second portion of this paragraph could be ignored.

3- Ice wall… I believe your description of it is a bit generous :slight_smile: … This thing was useful to me maybe… 1/7 or 1/8 times. The concept and delay are perfectly fine but the thing is just too small, mostly the length but the hit box for the stun could also use some enlargement… Possibly the width as well? I think a damage over time effect may be excess however.

4- Yeah subliminate seems fine to me as well, as you said the only issue is basically “polishment” for the hit box. Overall I find this ability to actually be quite fun and rewarding, like Kelvin himself when played successfully! Although, again, that’s a slight but significant feat to accomplish with the effectiveness of the current Ice wall and Permafrost.

Edit: Another point: I’m finding it just as difficult to land Kelvin’s primary melee attack as well, similarly to chomp the hitbox just seems to be very small or unforgiving, so I’m more or less being forced to use his secondary smash about 75% of the time. (Although it’s not that bad… Due to the pushback from his smash, I love that!).

I will be honest: After having unlocked 19/25 Battleborn, Kelvin is my least favourite to play by far, and I do not think it is simply because I do not like his concept or style. I think he is quite weak, unless there is some way to play him I am missing out on, and struggle to think of a time I would want to play him or be on a team with him ahead of another Battleborn that either does more damage, has better support, or is more durable.

My largest gripe is that Ice Wall is not powerful enough or useful enough to be an ultimate. Now, obviously if you manage to stop a fleeing enemy or trap one, or cut off a group, it is good. However, doing that consistently with the range, size, and delay Ice Wall has is too difficult (but admittedly rewarding when it comes together).

Compare this ultimate to something like Miko’s Fungus Among Us, which is easy to use, extremely powerful, and can also shift the tide of a fight in a different yet, I would argue, equally powerful way. The difference is that it works pretty much 100% of the time, not maybe 20%.

Past that, Kelvin has a decent escape and good initiation and crowd control with Sublimate, but as mentioned, its hit box is wonky and I can often not tell I am even damaging things with it. It is, I feel, his only good ability. Chomp’s only redeeming feature is its permanent health gain but it is not as powerful as I would expect. His melee attack is slow and seems weak, and his durability is not good due to being Eldrid and having no shield and being very, very vulnerable if Sublimate is not up.

I expect Kelvin to be tweaked upwards. I like the design and concept, but have little desire to play him as he exists. Oh, and while it may not be important to many, Kelvin is even worse in missions than in versus. Ice Wall has no value in missions at all, and Sublimate is also pretty pointless since initiation and escape are not really important there, which is half its purpose. So, you basically have a big, slow golem ambling around doing minimal damage.

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Sublimate needs to have a cancel action. I’ve ran into many scenarios where I needed sublimate to stop sooner to get a chomp off.

I’ve put in a lot of time in the PvP with Kelvin, and I have to say, I love him, and here is why, in no particular order.

  1. Perm Health gain - you have to make it part of your gameplan yes, but its a quick chomp and you can back away quick if need be, and then chomp again, the lower you make this cooldown the better your going to do. When you can double
    a characters health permanently its pretty awesome.

  2. As your building up health with Kelvin, Chomp deals even more damage based on health, I believe through a mutation. Its very repetitive but still a nasty bite, chomp, smash, chomp, smash, chomp smash. Obviously there is more to the game but I am simplifying it.

  3. Permafrost is just awesome. Early game you use it to escape and stun enemies, late game you use it to assassinate. Early game it makes for the greatest getaway I have seen, because you can’t be body blocked and you just stun everyone you touch. Late game, if you have good awareness (and teammates) you can pick off low characters who are trying to fight but stay out of reach. Fly in, stun, chomp. They never see it coming, and typically I am able to escape without fear of death if I am going deep into territory.

I am horrible at implementing ice wall but I am getting more used to the idea, trying to trap heros more often. It the perfect size for most gaps.

I would say being able to not cancel subliminate may be intended if it weren’t for the existence of the helix which increases it’s duration everytime you hit someone. So I agree we should be able to cancel it, although I must also say that particular helix hurts Kelvin more than it helps him… Generally your just going to be useless for an extra six seconds or so, I think with that helix you should be able to strike/stun targets twice, maybe after a delay for the second strike… For whatever reason (although without the duration increasing on the second hit).

Edit: So apperantly you can cancel subliminate by simply recasting it… I swear it didn’t work the first time I tried XD

I think he would be in a better spot if he had a reliable slow. As it stands now the one from sublimate isn’t long enough to matter when u do the shift animation. And the one from the punches is too far down the punch chain to keep them there.

Boulder has several slows you can talent into, better ones too. How is the ice elemental not have several good slows to choose from?

If I were to make a suggestion I would take away sublimates stun and turn it into an aoe damage and slow ability, OR put a longer cooldown on chomp but add a decent slow and more hp gained per kill to keep the hp thing going

Exactly how I am using him currently, not sure it he is intended to play this way but it works perfectly fine now. The only issue being again: Ice wall seems no where near “polished” and chomp could use some as well, then permafrost just deteriorates too quickly… Which again seems like it may even be a bug due to how fast it vanishes.

Kelvin is fun as hell… Causing chaos and what-not. He feels like a primal ape gone on a rampage at times XD.

Do NOT take his stun away. It is one of his most useful team abilities. Can’t tell you how many times I stunned someone trying to escape so that Marquis could finish snipeing them.

And Chomp needs to remain a shorter cooldown. It is your lifeblood in close combat.

you can cancel it, hit the skil button again silly.

I do feel that if you cancel it early it should reduce it’s cooldown some, rather than having the same cooldown length regardless like it is now.

That would be really cool, however I feel it would be an unfair advantage late game when other cooldown reductions are applied, because if I was Kelvin, and in a close combat situation, I would move in and out of sublimate frequently to stun enemies I was currently attacking, giving me a far superior advantage.

However you are trading off potential health regen and movement speed by doing so. And it’s not like I’m saying knock off 50%. What would be wrong about if you only used 1 out of the 3 seconds you get 2 seconds subtracted from the cooldown.

You’d probably need to not include the total from the extending helix trait as that could allow you to pretty much permanently lock down a group of battleborn (which would be awesome…but OP).

This probably won’t happen though since the skill works just fine the way it is.

Yeah exactly, I’m not sure if him getting reduced cooldown upon early cancelation of the skill would be overpowered or not.

Well, good news for Kelvin!

A balance patch has been issued for the PC version of the beta, which adjusted his Permafrost shield gain and his base shield max was raised, which means Permafrost should be giving much more shields with every skill completion.

Unfortunately it seems like only the PC beta will be receiving the patch, but hopefully a lot of these changes will carry over to retail!

You can find the full details here:

I saw it listed in the PS4 patch as well.

Nice, never mind.