There are 2 main reasons why a player is in low tiers, he’s either new to the game or he enjoys playing the game casually or in other words doesn’t play ranked. The new players will eventually rank to the mid tiers (what i consider mid tier is t7 silver to poa gold) and naturally they will learn the basics of the game and figure out that Saw is countered by atlas and anything that punishes his low ability and that killing petal’s munions renders her useless, same concept for heroes like krul and taka. We all got stumped by Saw or a Krul when we were newbies, did they nerf Saw back then ? No we improved and figured out that these heroes are actually really easy to beat, all games have noob stomping strategies do you see them getting removed ? No cause its just makes sense.
This tweet pretty much nailed it, designing a game to make it more noob friendly will just ruin its balance. Lets say they nerf Saw and Krul next patch, they will become even less viable in high tiers but they will most certainly still be frustrating for noobs well cause they’re noobs (don’t want it to come out as toxic).
I think others have hit it on the head when they say that there’s a difference between taking low experience into account and focusing balance around lower tiers. The former means you make [small] accomodations for low experienced players while focusing on balancing a hero based on high experience play, and the latter means you prioritize low/general experience feel of play while attempting to still make the game challenging for high experienced players.
The difference on focus is what makes a statement and shows in the overarching feel of the game, which is where we are now where we find heroes less viable without outlandish effort (SAW) even with high experience because they’ve effectively been plateaued in capability to avoid a harrowing matchup with less experienced players who still have an idea of how to implement the main strength in a hero’s kit.
Effectually, almost every hero that has a kit with a strong main mechanic instead of having to combine mechanics will be op at low tiers once people figure that out, but I don’t think that’s a reason to plateau heroes, and that’s not necessarily what semc seems to be doing. What semc seems to be not doing is balancing the strengths of all heroes in regards to each other where high experience is concerned, which essentially often defaults into the effect of a plateau even without intent.
@Sandiha made a good point about overcoming strong heroes. Heroes like SAW, Krul, and Skye are meant to be overcome in mechanics, not strength, and people learned how to do so. When you start balancing heroes to be overcome based on power when that’s not their role (it’s fine for a bruiser or assassin to be stronger than a captain, but a bruiser should always be comparable to a bruiser in power in some capacity, even if not in mechanics. Same as it being fine for captains to be comparable in defense, but it would make little sense for a bruiser or assassin to have as much defense as a captain)
This whole idea also makes early game vs late game moot, which is another aspect of this. No hero should be less viable late game. They should all be somewhat balanced. No hero should be exceptionally handicapped early game either. How they scale can vary, and how much their utility helps them early vs late can vary, but all heroes should be relevant at any stage of the game in their respective roles, instead of what we have now where some heroes struggle with relevancy in their roles simply because they didn’t snowball or because of early match design. That’s bad design to me simply because unless mechanics are specifically implemented to curb that handicap if the player can master them, you’re making some heroes stronger than others outside of role, which defeats the intent of a balanced match…based on mastering mechanics.
There are some good points here, but at least to your finale point about snowballing and early vs late game, I’d point to any other MOBA. VG actually has the smoothest curve between early and late game I’ve played, if you play a carry or league or DOTA there will be situations where you will automatically lose fights if you take the wrong ones. If you play an early/mid game hero and don’t snowball you can often have zero effect on the outcome of the game. I dont know why you think this core principle of a MOBA is somehow a bad thing.
In my opinion VG actually needs to make early and late game heroes and builds more different. Someone like Gwen can be relevant more or less the entire game, it feels like she has her cake and eat to to, being a great late game carry and early game bully. Someone like Koshka just doesn’t have that clear early game power at least I think she should, and with how bounties are set up doing well early on doesn’t really matter that much.
I haven’t read every single post, but here’s my opinion since months, and I think that at least Vaktabi and TheInterpreter agree with me:
One should balance for the high tiers as much as possible, and then check that the high-tier balance is not causing troubles at lower tiers, and fix those few outliers which are problematic at lower tiers.
Simple philosophy, satisfies every one.