Heroes of the Storm

Is there any way to design a melee assassin that can be balanced for both quickmatch and high level play?

HeroesoftheStorm 2 - Is there any way to design a melee assassin that can be balanced for both quickmatch and high level play?

Seeing all the Qhira threads has led me to thinking about it. Many melee assassins (butcher, valeera, illidan etc) are very polarising in design. They all stomp the shit out of low level games with no CC and healers and with players who have no clue how the game works and constantly roam solo and get picked off by these melee assassins (aka quickmatch)

However in higher level games where CC and stuns are present, where players have brains and where players have the map awareness not to roam solo and the game sense not to face check bushes, their power is significantly lower.

That means blizzard is constantly forced to make a choice. Balance the hero for quickmatch and make the hero a joke/niche in high level play, or balance the hero for high level play and have the hero stomp quickmatch games non-stop.

There are so many generalist ranged assassins who can be picked in draft and are very versatile, but many melee assassins are niche (butcher, valeera, illidan etc) and is only pickable when enemy team drafts poorly because they are just bad heroes that are basically bad in most situations but playable in niche situations (unlike generalist heroes like jaina, sylvanas, fenix, falstad and many other ranged assassins who are playable in most situations and excel in niche situations).

How could blizzard design a melee assassin to not stomp quickmatches where there is no cc and everyone is extremely bad, yet still be a generalist assassin in high-level play?

Samuro, murky and gazlowe are viable for both low and high levels but that's because those heroes PvE all game and play like specialists.

I think (but I'm not sure) the answer is that the melee assassin cannot be reliant on their auto attack damage. The reason is that auto attacking is the most polarising part of a melee assassin's kit. In small skirmishes and 1v1 fights, melee assassins can hit freely but in big team fights with CC and stuns, melee assassins never get to hit anything. That makes for very polarising damage output (too high when you can hit freely, non-existent otherwise). So in quickmatch where your team rarely coordinates and groups as 5 properly, where there is no CC, a high auto attack damage melee assassin would dominate a lot more than in high level play where players don't roam solo as much, and there is CC so melee assassins can't go into range to attack anything.

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The melee assassins that are viable in high level play all rely on their abilities. You can play alarak into heavy CC comps, you just play him like a mage and he does fine. Maiev is used for her utility and abilities so it is okay if she rarely lands auto attacks. Both of them are viable at higher levels. But butcher, illidan and valeera all need to land their attacks so they're all garbage in games with CC, proper tanks and proper enemy positioning.

So if the balance team is going to nerf qhira (and they probably will, they pander to casuals who complain), besides just tweaking her talents, would it make sense to nerf qhira by nerfing her auto attack damage rather than nerfing her kit or her hp?

That way, she has less ability to do solo kills on stragglers who are not with their team (basically every hero in quickmatch), but she can still contribute effectively in team fights even where there is a lot of CC (since she would then rely more on her abilities rather than her auto attack damage).

Her auto attack damage already applies a bleed anyway so it would make sense to lower it.

To my mind, nerfing Qhira's auto attack damage is the only way to allow Qhira to remain viable in both quickmatch and high level play. If they nerf anything else like her hp or her abilities, she is STILL going to be very strong in quickmatch but she is going to be garbage against teams with CC and stuns who don't roam solo and have a brain. Basically she will become the next butcher, valeera and illidan, a "niche" hero (and we all know niche means garbage because generalists do well in every situation and excel in niche situations while niche heroes are garbage in every situation and do average in niche situations).

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Higher level players (e.g. Fan from Tempostorm) already express their view that Qhira in her current state is oppressive against bad players but garbage against decent players. She is already considered (in her current state) not that great by decent players. Any nerfs to her should try to nerf her in quickmatch games WITHOUT AFFECTING her viability in higher level games with stuns and CCs. Otherwise, she'd be the next forgotten hero and 2 years later there'll be people asking for reworks.


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