Why The Game Should Be Balanced Around The Best Players

So there have been a few debates around the seeming recent balance strategy of semc and I wanted to state a rationale that I feel would make the most sense for both players and semc. Just to state it. Whether it gets implemented, whether anyone notices, it is what it is, but it was said:

Semc should balance heroes based on the best players, and it is a pointless long term flaw to do otherwise. This is because the best players are either playing the hero to its optimal technical ability in most cases, or finding the broken mechanics of said hero, and are the only logical metric to determine a hero’s true strength.

The other aspect that cinches this idea is that if you balance for the less than optimal player, you will have to keep balancing the hero as the average player skill improves or risk heroes that cap out in terms of meaningful impact even in their stated role. Essentially, if semc balances for the average player base, they will have to keep tweaking the hero once people generally get better with them to keep them in line and no one wants to keep modifying heroes forever (I think?)

If you have another opinion or rationale you feel refutes this, I would like to hear it. I just thought someone should say why that kinda strategy for balance is a long term headache and make a reasonable argument as to why.



Perfect. You can’t balance a hero for those who can’t utilise what his kit can offer or don’t fully understand how he works. Also it’s far easier to become better than to worsen your play.


I agree to an extent.

High skill cap heroes should be balanced with the best players in mind. If Kestrel, Leo, or Inara are only successful in tier 9 gold +, this does not hurt lower tier players very much.

What is often overlooked by high tiers is that someone like SAW, Koshka, Krul, Petal or Taka, low skill cap heroes being good in high tiers means they absolutely menace the rest (and majority) of the player-base.

Why not just buff petal and saw? because then a teir 6 can walk up to a player, tap them once, and win a fight. There is a reason SEMC is buffing krul into a diferent place than he was pre nerf. He needs ot work a way that does not make him a noob stomper for most players. CP Krul makes more sense in that respect because he does not automatically win all duels.

edit: Taka and Krul are not really low skill cap in high tiers, but when no one knows how to fight them they are very easy to abuse.


Well this is complicated , I remember I was watching a pro battle royale player and he was laughing because the Devs nerfed a gun abused by the pro players , he said pro players going to find another gun and make it look op like the other one , so I would say pro players are skills vs skills unless the hero broken which shouldn’t be released because of testing , I see balancing hero vs hero is more clear in the other tiers .

i think balancing based on high tier games good but not perfect because you need to ask yourself are you balancing based on skill or based on the heroes real strength ? .

Yeah, but those are 4 exceptions, @TheInterpreter is talking in general. I agree those heroes should be balanced more towards lower elo players, but I also don’t find acceptable them to be completely useless at high tiers. Also, Saw is an interesting case, because the one that destroys low tiers is WP Saw, yet they completely guttered CP.

Yeah, I’m not sure how I feel about this. In principle, I agree. It’s more complicated. A videogame is its own small business now with the nature of in-app purchases and constant updates.

If you only balance for the less than 5% or whatever of the player base, and those balances create super OP/abusive strats at lower elos, there’s a huge risk of losing those players because the game is ‘unfair’. They then quit, write a bad review, and you lose their income and participation.

It’s a complex issue - balancing a MOBA. That’s why @Nivmett deserves such props for the work that was done prior.

For myself personally, I’d love it to be balanced around t10 players! But I understand that it’s not that simple, and am overall pleased with the product.


However another thing that happens is if SEMC buffs heroes that are competent or even really good in high tiers (INARA) to the point where they’re gonna piss off the players that really took the time to get good at the game and become high tier once they’re abused. I’m sure Leo is also going to become a menace in high tiers because those ratio buffs are no joke whatsoever. Probably the biggest buff ever seen in VG history. There needs to be a good balance and reworking heroes is one way to accomplish a good balance. SAW is not the best design since it only works against low skill players, but annoys said low skill players because they don’t know how to beat him yet which can push people away from the game when they lose fights to someone who just stands there and does nothing but AA.

How to solve the SAW problem: delete his WP path and buff his CP.

That’s what you should keep on eye on low tiers, but your main focus shouldn’t be low tiers.

The real strength is the one reached with the highest skill since they use their full potential. So balancing a hero for high elo is the same as doing for its real strength.

This assumes that there is no win rate equilibrium point if you balance around all tiers, which I find to be unfounded.

Win rate equilibrium for who? High tiers? If the game gets balanced for low tiers then WR and UR won’t reach a balance point in high tiers.

Again, why are you so certain that win rate won’t stabilize if you balance around all tiers? I hear this claim, but I see no evidence for it other than the same claim over and over gain, but restated in different terms.

Good luck making Saw viable at high tiers and not broken at low. Good luck making Skye viable in low tiers and not broken at high. Good luck making Silvernail strong at low tiers and not broken at high. Same with kestrel, inara, krul, Taka, malene, and every other noob stomper/high skill floor hero.


Balancing hero’s for lower skill and not to their full potential make them OP if played at high level, and that’s a fact.

If you balance Celeste for those who don’t land her A consistently, what would happen with those how can do so?

This will lead to an unbalance. And that’s again, a fact.

Edit: we have no API, so you are just asking for proves that doesn’t exist, so how do you know all the WR are balanced right now? Our argument is based on the logic evolution of the meta game, but yours is based in nothing.


This is what I was talking about when I said that the only evidence anybody could offer was just their restated claim.

And that’s more than what you have said

I’m not making claims though. I’m questioning the foundation of the argument.

This is the base. The logic evolution of meta game

That… makes no sense. Given that the strength of a hero changes within tiers, assuming you manage to get a 50% win rate in total that hero will be bad in some tiers and op in others. Look at saw for example: even when useless and troll pick in high elo, he still destroys lower tiers, how do you intend to find a balance for all tiers?

Another good example is Skye, one of the highest skill floor heroes: she is terrible at low levels because they can’t abuse her mobility and positioning, so for her in order to be strong at those tiers you would need to “ignore” other parts of her kit. What would happen with high elo where players know how to abuse her kit to it’s full potential? She is balanced to use only half of her kit yet she is able to use the entirety of it, how is that balance?


This is not at all what I’m saying. Maybe you should read this:

I find this to be a solid framework around which balance decisions can be made. Worldwide, less than 1% of players are VG, and regardless of what you consider to be skilled, that’s an incredibly small cross section of the playerbase to be balancing all gameplay around when you consider that LoL still factors in an audience that comprises 90% of the player base, albeit with less attention than other player categories. High elo gameplay simply does not represent the majority of games played, so some consideration is due towards this population of average players.

Heroes that are overpowered in low tiers and underpowered in high tiers are less a symptom of bad balance and more a sign of misplaced development priorities. These heroes should be reworked, not endlessly tweaked.

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Always the same argument. I will explain this: LoL takes into account low levels, yes, but they don’t make heroes OP in high levels to make them playable in low tiers. When balancing is better to have X hero UP rather than OP, so if a hero is OP in low tiers they nerf him, so he becomes UP in high levels, but they won’t buff a hero UP in low tiers if this means that hero will be OP in higher tiers, which is what SEMC is doing.

There is a difference between balancing for low tiers (SEMC) and taking into account the experience at this tiers (LoL)