I haven’t had much time to play ranked lately, what with noticing on Monday that Auriel was free and deciding to go for level 5 (pretty easily done with friend/stimpack bonus). So, a couple of thoughts, mostly on the new patch.
But first, a non-patch thought. As pointed out in a previous post, a single bad death can have terrible repercussions. I’ve mostly eliminated this tendency in my own game, but to keep moving up to Diamond I think I’ll have to watch other players and keep them out of bad fights. On the face of it, it seems pretty complicated, because most fights seem to happen when teams are close in levels. It’s hard to create any separation, especially late game. But if you count the number of times your team (or the enemy team) decides to fight when outnumbered, down in levels, or minus a dead teammate or two, I bet it approaches 50% of fights. It seems so obvious, just like chasing people all over the map for kills in the early game is a an obvious bad idea, but people still do it. I’ll see how it works out.
Falstad: I’m used to nerfs. Brightwing was my highest level hero for a long time, but I used to go around saying “RIP BRIGHTWING 6/30/15 NEVER FORGET” to mourn her first big nerf. Then they nerfed phase shield build this summer too. If they hurt Brightwing again in about nine months, then Brightwing Summertime Nerf is definitely a thing. I just wish Blizzard hated people on the Night Elf team in WC3 (as Faerie Dragons were) as much as they do now.
Falstad seems like he got hit hard. They nerfed tailwind movement speed, hammerang damage, and boomerang damage while adding a bribe-like passive ability. Yet, in the accompanying notes, Blizzard didn’t address this at all:
In our ongoing pursuit to create meaningful and Hero-specific generic Talent choices, Bribe was a Talent that got caught in our crosshairs this patch. We have removed it from a few Heroes and have added new flavorful versions to a few others. We have always liked the design and gameplay behind the Talent, but also realize how much players had to give up in order to pick them. Wingman, Pixie Charm, and Covert Mission are being reintroduced to Falstad, Brightwing, and Nova, respectively, with design mechanics more suited to each Hero’s unique style of play.
What did any of that have to do with hammerang, boomerang, or tailwind? It seems like they’re trying to force Falstad into a marksman build, which I generally dislike because of his fragility, and/or make him into a specialist. For me though, I end up playing fragile assassins a bit like specialists sometimes anyway–lots of siege damage, relatively low hero damage–so I don’t die. I guess I’ll have to give this new setup a try. Pirate skin is just too good to give up.
Butcher: It’s always fun to see heroes that look like they should be deadly–e.g., Meat Man–get buffed instead of elf characters for example. Sorry Lunara, there’s just no way any forest crap should be able to do the damage an enormous, red, cleaver-wielding maniac from the netherworld should. Since he hasn’t gained any escapes, it looks like you still need to be extremely careful when to engage with Butcher, but just wait long enough and meat will win in the end. And who can argue with that? No, you’re wrong. Nobody can. Meat is delicious.