In this latest edition of Designer's Notes, we'll go into detail about the balancing changes that'll come with the Y8S3.3 Update and give you some insight into the reasons behind them.
BALANCING MATRIX AND TOP OPERATOR BANS
WIN DELTA VS. PRESENCE
Please note that we are using presence to gauge the popularity of an Operator. This notion had to be introduced to reflect the implementation of the pick & ban.
Presence definition: pick rate of an Operator when not banned. Win Delta: The Win Delta is aggregated from Operator's Win Deltas per Bomb Site.
OPERATOR BAN RATE
An earlier iteration of these changes was released on the Lab Test Server and two main lines of feedback were identified from the community:
- Players don't want to lose the ability to bait extra attackers into reviving the victim trapped in the Welcome Mat.
- Players are afraid that these changes will make the game more run & gun oriented.
We have heard your feedback and made some tweaks aimed to tackle these issues:
- Teammate Revive: Players caught in the Welcome Mat can choose to wait for a teammate to perform the revive, if they do so, they will not receive the debuff when leaving the trap. This should grant Frost opportunities to hunt teammates willing to help trapped players while attackers are rewarded for playing as a team.
- Stronger Debuff: In addition to not being able to sprint we've added a movement speed reduction of 20% and increased the duration of the effect to 1 minute. This will cripple the run & gun capabilities of reckless players that separate from their teams and fall into Welcome Mats.
- Slower Revive Animation: Trapped players will now need 4 seconds to exit the trap regardless of the revive method. This should grant extra time for defenders to finish off trapped enemies before they can stand up.
Welcome Mat Removal by Teammate takes 4 seconds (was 4.3 seconds). No debuff applied.
Welcome Mat Removal by Self takes 4 seconds (was 2.5 seconds).
If players remove the trap by themselves, a debuff will be applied to them. The effects are as follow:
Duration is 60 seconds (Was 20 seconds on the Lab Test Server).
Will move 20% slower
Won't be able to sprint.
Will leave a trail of blood behind them.
Health is set to 20 hp.
Being caught by a Welcome Mat is considered entering the Down But Not Out state. R6 allows DBNO only once per round, this means players that have already been DBNO will immediately die if they fall into a Frost trap.
We have two main objectives with this set of changes, the first is to make the placement of Welcome Mats more strategic and less "deploy and forget." The second is to make being caught by Welcome Mats less frustrating by giving more options to players.
Players will have now two options to escape from a Welcome Mat, they can wait for a Teammate to help them, or they can release from the trap by themselves at the cost of receiving a penalty with several negative effects that will impact their movement speed.
As mentioned in the Y8S3 Designer's Notes, the next few changes are in preparation for a more definitive solution that intends to address the Frag Grenades issue.
- Gadgets: Stun Grenades will replace Frag Grenades.
- Secondary Weapon: Added Gonne-6.
Iana has been the top Attacker for almost a year since we removed Frag Grenades from Finka and changed Sledge's and Zofia's armor rates. It is time for a change that leaves more space for other Operators to excel. We are replacing the Frag Grenades with Stun Grenades to retain Iana's aggressive playstyle and adding the Gonne-6 to keep a bit of her destructive power.
- Gadgets: Added Frag Grenades as 3rd option.
- Secondary Weapon: Removed Gonne-6.
We needed to add another 'competitive' operator to replace Iana during this transition period. We already know that Finka is a good fit and could take this spot. Now that the LMG-meta has been adjusted, we believe that she can have Frag Grenades again.
She won't keep the Gonne-6 however, as the combination of it and Frag Grenades will be limited to special cases.
- Gadgets: Frag Grenades will replace Breach Charges.
- Secondary Weapon: Removed Gonne-6.
To allow for more operator diversity on the attacking line-up, we are also going to give Gridlock Frag Grenades instead of Breach Charges, she already has the Super Shorty for soft destruction, so we'll remove the Gonne-6.
POF-9 (PC & Console)
- Reduced vertical recoil.
- Reduced lateral recoil.
- Reduced recoil increase after long bursts
We believe that Sens is an operator with great potential, but it looks like they'll need a push to shine. We made them a 1-Armor and 3-Speed operator back in Y7S4, and softened the POF-9 recoil for Gamepad in Y7S3, but that wasn't enough. Operator weapons have a lot of weight on their performance, so we are taking a second look at the POF-9, but this time for both Mouse and Gamepad.
This weapon has been considered challenging to operate for a long time, and we've decided to soften its recoil. With this change we are aiming to have a weapon that feels way more forgiving to use. This should allow players to perform better with the POF-9 at longer distances and grant them more freedom to pick its weapon attachments.
- Damage: Increase to 60 (from 49)
Despite the high damage, the time to kill is much higher than average regardless of enemy armor because of the low rate of fire. We never increased it because we didn't want to go lower than 3 bullets to down a player with any automatic weapon, but the recent changes on the Extended Barrel have proven that this is fine for certain operators.
So, with this change, the DP27 will be closer to other weapons with higher rates of fire in terms of time to kill a full health operator, especially against high-speed operators.
- 1-armor: 0.218ms (faster than average)
- 2-armor: 0.218ms (faster than average)
- 3.-armor: 0.327ms (slower than average)
- Armor: 3 (from 2)
- Speed: 1 (from 2)
We changed Warden to 2-Armor and 2-Speed by the end of Y4 to increase his mobility and allow him to react faster to the Attacking team. With the evolution of the game, and defenders playing more loosely than back then we will drop his speed to reduce his roaming capabilities.
We believe the 1.5x on the MPX, synergizes well with his kit to counter Smokes from far away, so rather than change that we are going to reduce his speed. He will be slower and louder while running around the map, which will make him an easier target to take down by more coordinated teams.
We want to encourage players to play him closer to the site, where he can use his ability more effectively because flashes and smokes are easier to predict. He should be a critical operator to keep alive until the end of the round because can counter most of the attacking strategies. He shouldn't be the one to go for roaming and dying too early.