Why I think the current meta is breeding toxicity

As the game stands today, there are so many characters who are widely considered to be overpowered, at least in one aspect (but a significant aspect), that one could almost argue that there are truly overpowered characters, merely viable vs non-viable. And yet, this creates a big problem. In a game where composition is so important, and often determines the outcome of matches (particularly Incursion), having enough “overpowered” characters to form a whole team. Let’s look at the current Incursion meta as an example, there are two particularly powerful compositions that I often see:

  • Galilea, Rath, Orendi, any two supports or a support and a ranged DPS (often KU and Ambra, or one and Benedict), or,
  • Kleese, Ernest, KU or Ambra, Alani, and of course Benedict.

You can mix and match these compositions, but generally those characters are commonly seen on winning Incursion teams, hardcore premades and for those of you who have played against them, Japanese teams in particular. Throw a Boldur on any of those teams and you’ll be lucky if your team scores a single kill all match.

As it stands, there is no real way to counter any of these compositions, but to use them yourself. Some of those characters are also commonly seen on Meltdown teams where CC (in particular) stunlock teams are more common, in particular Benedict and Galilea.

Meltdown matches are not as heavily influenced by composition as Incursion, but a team with Benedict and Galilea against a team without either is already at a huge advantage, assuming all players are equally skilled. And this is where the toxicity comes in. Between those who deliberately play these characters and abuse their broken aspects to grief the opposing players, or hardcore teams who use these characters because they are simply the winning formula, matches are more one-sided than ever and I’m forced more and more to play characters I don’t like because of their broken aspects just to be able to compete against griefers and competitive teams alike. So many characters now are underpowered either because of nerfs or because other characters received buffs that left them behind you can build a whole team of overpowered characters and almost guarantee success regardless of the quality of your opponents.

Worst of all, some characters actually benefited from nerfs while some took a double-hit. Oscar Mike and Thorn already had their Napalm and Blight, respectfully, nerfed, so when the universal AoE nerf happened they were dropped to bottom tier, while Kleese greatly benefited as AoE, and those two characters in particular, was once his biggest fear. Kleese again, for example, also benefited from the Marquis nerfs, as his strongest counter was weakened even before he was buffed.

This thread isn’t about pointing out which characters are overpowered and need nerfs, we all know them and there have been many topics about nerfs created on these forums, this is about pointing out that too many characters are overpowered to the point that the game is ruled by a mere handful of characters while the majority of the currently 29 aren’t viable and picking them is too risky against a team that might be at least half-decent. Add to all of that the new quick match queue, which is throwing the hardcore teams who often queued Incursion with the casuals and newbies who often queued quick match into the same queue, creating even further unbalanced matches, especially when newbies don’t even have access to most of the overpowered characters nor do they have any hope of ever countering meta compositions, let alone the casuals who just want to play their preferred characters over the winning ones. Something needs to be done when the next patch rolls out, this game was more balanced on release when there were only two notably overpowered characters present versus the compositions of characters who are even more overpowered that we see today.

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I actually think your meta is wrong. These are good characters that have some synergy, but the meta that wins in incursion is a HEAVY CC team. Gali, Ghalt, Kelvin, Miko, and Montana would own any of those teams in the incursion.
Meltdown, the team would be Ambra, Bene, Isic, KU, and Thorn (or OM). Mobile, super fast wave clears, and high DPS.

Try hards will do better than a team that is joking around, yes, but when a team beats me because they outplayed my team, I just have to give respect. I know I am not the best, but I know I am pretty good.

Also, gear needs to be looked at as a whole. Would make the game much more skill based rather than I got my third legendary, time for a killing spree.

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That’s exactly what I was thinking while reading the OP.

I agree that characters like Benedict, Galilea, Orendi and Ernest are very powerful. These toons are hard to deal with when they are on the same team. However, they are nowhere near to be considered OP. Each of these characters have great amount of weaknesses and thus can be countered. If your team has the right composition that can counter these characters, the match can be won pretty easily.

Rath and Alani are a joke to the team compared to the characters I’ve listed above.

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The reason why CC is so important now than ever is because of the broken KU who can aimbot stun 3 people at lvl 9 every 15 seconds so then it is desirable to follow that up with a chain stun.

I’ve had many confrontations from KU being so broken from either myself or someone else getting mad from people using KU, and I don’t even use him xD.

Although OP’s second team comp would be really good on Echelon where DPS is really important but maybe add a Ghalt and make the healer Miko so they can do a poke + stun combo.

Rath? Really? I’ve never ever ever (in the last several months) had any problem with Rath on the enemy team… He is far from being a “current meta”.

I think the most OP “character” in this game is still a “Miko + something” combo. Good Miko makes the whole team nearly unkillable.

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???

Ghalt is good on kill teams, being able to setup and pull in a priority target then use that advantage to push is a huge play, I probably should have listed him on there although I hardly see him played anymore. Kelvin is back to his former glory, but with so many characters buffed around him his place has fallen, team stuns are still great but he’s more about running disruption and doesn’t fit as well onto either kill or camp teams, but he’s great on a mixed composition. Miko and Montana, well, the only time they have a really big impact on Incursion is when they’re together, which is how the old meta was played but since Miko’s nerfs there are better picks now. Still solid, but not top 5 or instant win anymore.

Harder to kill, maybe, but not that hard. Miko’s still a decent pick but he’s not hard to focus, nor is it hard to force his focus elsewhere by picking your target and forcing him to go where you want him. A good Miko can tear an unprepared team apart, but a good team can destroy a good Miko if they play smart and assassinate the healer.

I can’t disagree more, with 3 of those 4 anyway. Benedict… Yeah, the arguments have been made many times, I wont cover that one again. Gali and Ernest though? Gali has so much CC on one button click, it’ll never stop being wildly broken. She has the most CC on one skill AND the only AoE pull in the game, an AoE pull into a debuff ring of death no less, then she can stun you while you’re trapped in it. Her kit is a nightmare. And Ernest, drop the egg, sit in the egg, fire outrageous DPs down lane without having to aim, clearing waves and scoring kills effortlessly. He can tag you and kill the sentries around corners by shooting about walls or bouncing his shots around corners, he’s just abusive. His ult too, you can just chuck it at an enemy for huge damage, and with the knockback on his charges you can use it as a pseudo-pull by throwing them behind enemies then knocking them into your territory, it’s absolutely savage.

Orendi’s on that list because she’s Orendi, she fits on any team on any mode on any map, she’s so versatile that it’s hard not to at least consider her.

I would have said the same a few months ago, but I’m not talking about Rath the Assassin who runs around ganking everyone, I’m talking about Rath the Disruptor. Overgrowth in particular, this is the scenario: You’re locked at the choke (oh the joys of Incursion) and there’s a Gali looming with Desecrate ready (again), if you so much as peek down land she pulls you into her circle of death, then as you try to escape Rath uses Catalytic Smash. Pull+silence into knockup+silence is absolutely devastating, now Orendi’s free to drop a Shadowfire Pillar on you while you’re trapped and silenced in the debuffing ring of fire and you have no hope of escape. The length on his Catalytic Smash shouldn’t be underestimated either, if you’re too far out for a Desecrate he can still knock you up from safety while applying that underrated silence then slow you with Crossblade as you try to escape while Gali sniper you with her ridiculous lasers or a ranger character pops their head out to finish you off. Rath is a CC nightmate and plays disruption better than assassin, when paired with Gali it’s inescapable. As Rath says, no escape.

I frequently play with a particularly good Rath and have played against this combo a few times so I’ve seen both sides of it, and he’s been on the receiving end too.

As for Alani, she’s not OP - in fact I think she’s perfect - but she synergises so well with CC-heavy and camp teams, she has loads of CC of her own as well as area denial and wave clear, and of course those lovely burst heals. Like Orendi she can fit onto any team and perform well.

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He’s been playing with @blainebrossart1 recently I’m sure. His Rath playstyle must be on the brain.

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Blaine’s the second most terrifying individual Rath player I’ve seen, but the way he (Rath) fits onto a turtling Incursion composition is… Unpleasant, yet impressive, from the other side.

Perhaps pre-nerf, they both received nerfs to their AoE and then the universal AoE nerf rolled in which cut those two down mercilessly. Orendi and Alani are much better at wave clear, Gali is what she is and she is among the fastest clearers n the game, and Toby can run a lane so long as he’s protected. Thorn and OM used to be among the top two picks in the game, that’s quite the opposite now. And again, so many characters have been buffed around them while they’ve had two nerfs, one each directly and one indirectly.

This is just my perspective as a competitive player but the meta on Incursion and meltdown is similar as CC heavy comps are the way to go. A lot of people are mentioning Miko but for us Miko is usually a bad choice since wounds were added into the game as most supports have great wave clear but Miko doesn’t until level 10. Usually all it takes is a Whiskey or Cal to just remove the Miko from the equation especially if he doesn’t build tanky.

We usually ban most CC heavy characters in the draft since stuns are so good atm. Gal, Boldur, and Kelvin rarely make it through the banning phase these days. The issue with the Miko pick is any character that can just blow him up in 1-2 seconds removes him from the game. Cal, Benedict, Thorn, Whiskey, Toby…etc can make it a 4v5 really easily.

My picks for Incursion would be an aoe character such as Orendi but she can be replaced with anyone that provides a team aoe ability such as Mike or even Phoebe. You just need someone to scatter them and most large aoe’s do the job.

You don’t “need” a tank but tanks help a lot with soaking damage and a few characters can fill this role such as Gal, Montana, Kelvin, Boldur and even Attikus if you go with double supports.

1-2 Supports depending on your comp as Alani/Ambra can clear waves and dish out tons of damage while Miko and Reyna are more for keeping 1 person alive aka your tank/initiator. In comp the draft very much determines if your going double support or not.

You need an initiator whether it’s your tank or someone like Dragon, Attikus, Phoebe or Rath to engage and disrupt the enemy team. Tanks often do a better job at this but sometimes Rath or Dragon can help tremendously with securing that squishy kill that forces the enemy to withdraw or risk getting wiped.

Your 1-2 picks depending on team comp would be an assassin for either bullying someone like Kelvin or Montana out of lane or removing Miko form the fight. A lot of characters can fill this role such as Cal, Marquis, Toby, Mellka, Deande, Whiskey, Phoebe or even Shayne. Most characters are very flexible and can built for the occasion.

Sorry for the wall :stuck_out_tongue: just thought i’d give the input of someone that plays comp for 90% of his matches. Our group also does very little Incursion because we find it boring for the most part but with the tourney coming up we are practicing it more.

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Whenever I go into games with my team we never pick characters to win. We just do whatever we want, often ending up with really lopsided teams that will usually have a marquis, Deande, some random support, and whatever else.

We don’t play to lose though, and often find a way to make our random comp work, but a lot of the times we fight good teams we end up getting killed and losing. It’s not that we suck, it’s that we got out comped and none of use care enough about the win to play characters we don’t want to.

And on a Galilea note, I would be fine if she has as much Cc as she does, of only she wasn’t a tank as well. Shes too damn hard to kill for all the power she possesses.

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This. I play with a lot of people, mainly the Aussie crew and a lot of people from here, and we never pick to win. We play to win, but we pick who we enjoy using or who we’re good with, not necessarily who’s the best character or what’s the best comp. Lately though, it seems we have to play characters we hate or don’t particularly enjoy using against the hardcore teams to have a chance, and that really ticks me off. Not everyone I play is on board with that philosophy, but the frustration is growing…

Desecrate, that thing seriously has to go. I don’t need to list why, we all know it. As for being hard to kill, for every nerf she’s received there’s been a buff to compensate and she’s no better now than she was at launch. She has far less DPS now, and at least her perma-silence is gone, but she has more survivability than she did before and that merely balances her out to the same level of ridiculousness. Most “Nerf Galilea” threads (which were particularly common after launch, before the waves of buffs that brought some characters up to her level) had mentions of Desecrate having way too much CC, GBX only took the perma-silence from Desecrate but it still has (the only) AoE pull, silence, DoT, and slow, and she has a stun in her kit to round out the massive CC, as well as Desecrate being a damage amp on enemies. She also has extreme amounts of health regen in bursts and some (albeit slight) life steal. It’s just too much, way too much for one character.

Damn, didn’t I say I wasn’t gonna talk about Gali? Anyway, who’s that other melee with the shield… Yeah, THAT one I wont talk about…

Well, there are many character combos that can lock down a target to guarantee a kill. Heck, you don’t even need 2-3 toons to make a kill with chain CC. All you need is a Toby with his legendary gear. That in my book doesn’t make the individual characters OP. There are a few different team comps that pull this off and come out victorious even against the compositions you have listed in the OP.

The issue with any META is when players allow it to continue. I love to play Kleese, (prolly my main) however when I see that the team isnt all 105s. Most will agree that the range on his Taser is just too far, especially when the additional target is picked. (reduce the range and bingo perfect Kleese) I pick someone else who isnt Ernest, Benedict, Orendi, Galilea. I try to get my pvp lore completed on other characters.

Remember, the more you call for a Nerf in PvP will change the dynamics in PvE. Most games are strictly balanced for PvE and thus the reason why PvPers often complain. Once they “Balance”, new characters will be Buffed and then they will become the new Meta, in a cruel never ending cycle…

Having a default or no gear for PvP would be a great start, because most of the META is reliant on gear.

I like to pretend that doesn’t exist. What were we talking about again?

I never meant to claim that Rath is OP, I messed that up, but he slots onto CC-heavy camp teams made up of abusive OP characters because of the great synergy. The same way I don’t consider Orendi or Alani OP, they just fit right in as high-tier picks.

It’s not guaranteeing the kill that gets to me, using chain CC to safely secure kills is just smart play and good coordination deserves to be rewarded, it’s the particular methods and combinations that get crazy and the fact that the same characters are so frequently used for these simple and hard to counter tactics. Like Galilea, there’s always a Galilea somewhere…

Pull it off, maybe, but it’s very hard to counter Kleese/Ernest/KU without your own Kleese/Ernest/KU, and even then you’ll just be stuck at stalemate until one Ernest randomly (and probably unintentionally) kills someone. And Benedict… Oh, Benedict… And how even do you kill Boldur anyway? I may have missed one or two characters and I know I didn’t list every strong composition that exists, just some examples, but my point is that there is a very powerful metagame revolving around very few of the selectable (currently) 29 characters that make the majority obsolete.

I hate to admit this, and @Dr_H0H0 knows that I’m not exactly for drafts (though no hate on you for preferring to play that way) but with the current state of the game I’d actually welcome a draft. I don’t think it would do the playerbase any good, especially not now, but I don’t think that heavily unbalanced matches are either. Strong compositions were fine when so many characters were balanced and each could be strong and fulfill their role, but right now there are a select few that are a cut above a cut above the rest. Yes, I meant a cut above a cut above, the difference between the top-tier picks and bottom-tier is staggering.

That is, assuming that the cries will be heard rather than the unreliable meta data being used as a reference for buffs/nerfs. That’s how we ended up with Benedict where he is now, after all.

Another thing I was once against, but with the state of the game now… Again, I don’t think it will do the playerbase any favours, but it never had to get this far. Many legendaries, I know a lot of people have a problem with gear in PvP but I typically don’t, it’s when a grossly powerful character uses a particularly strong legendary to push them over the edge - Benedict with Symbiotic Gauntlet, for example - that is gets disgusting. I never saw gear as being problematic before the last few patches when the metagame shifted so drastically.

The only people I think are OP are: Ernest, KU, Kleese, Benny, and in a way Orendi.

Orendi is more just because of Pillar storm and currently she is prolly the strongest guy in the game.

Ernest’s entire kit is bad for this game. His objective pressure is ungodly, he has high damage, his kit negates a class of BB.

KU we all know why he needs the hammer now.

Kleese was super over buffed in the defense part of his kit, which makes the fact he has really out of no where absurd damage even worse. Before you could kill him and he’d have to try. Now he just lasers you.

Honestly Benny has been busted since people figured out the clipping. That and his kit also naturally counters half the BB.

The case with battle born has almost always been there is 3 ungodly’s. Even then they didn’t auto win you the game. Case could be made for ghalt. Then you have 7 or so that are good solid BB. Then you have the rest where you only dip into this pool when there’s no one else to pick.

Now you have at least 3 characters that not only abuse aspects of the game super hard but they counter huge swaths of the cast.

That is a problem.

Oh man is it anti-fun.

That’s the thing about Kleese and Ernest. They are really good in random matches where people pick whatever they want but suffer in drafts where you can counter pick against them.

It’s pretty much impossible to avoid running into teams that will do whatever it takes to win. There will always be a meta team to stomp most other team comps. I think a large part of what you are experiencing is a decline in the number of casual players. Most of the people who choose these comps are probably tired of losing, so they decide to start picking characters that they might not like but give them a better chance of winning. You seem to be falling into that same camp.

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And that’s the problem. Why should we have to play characters that are so ridiculously strong to have a chance at winning and avoid being stomped?

Battleborn has always had several characters that were clearly better than the rest. I’m not saying this is a good thing or that we should get used to it, but it isn’t anything new. I was just trying to make an observation as to why Slif_One is suddenly experiencing this now.