I’ll try and give my perspective on the whole balance arguments ppl have on these forums almost daily at this point. For reference I play on Dry Tree EU, which is one of the most competetive servers this game has afaik.
There’s 3 weapons players always bring up GA, IG and VG. Essentially all the weapons that have been the war meta for months now. Taking a closer look at it they all have absolutely overloaded abilities that do 3-5 things at once (some are more broken than others but I’ll get to that).
GA is probably the most obnoxious one scince it’s always the start of the combo that kills large amounts of players at once. It’s absolutely insane what it does after the buff a few patches ago. Beforehand it was already very annyoing but you could instantly use a movement ability to get out of it.
Now it falls into the same trap other abilities do and is absolutley overloaded:
-Aoe sucks players to the center if they don’t dodge with perfect timing
-Roots players at the center
-Does roughly 4-5k raw elemental damage at explosion
In other games, CC abilities usually for starters don’t do any dmg or very low amounts. Another thing that makes this extra obnoxious is the lack of any sort of diminishing returns on CC. The worst CC for me personally is anything that disables dodges.
This trend goes over to Void gauntlet as well if you look at oblivion while it’s not as oppressive as grav well, it is undenieably the main reason players die through dmg while standing in a sacred ground:
-shreds all boons on use
-20% aoe empower for yourself and allies
-5% weaken that stacks up to 15%
-Flat ticking stamina increase of 15 stamina at a steady rate
-Aoe dmg that roughly comes to something between 150-300dmg depending on targets
The trend continues but if you read this far you get the point. The same can be done for every ability that players absolutely hate. The same holds true for Ice shower as well, while it oddly follows the principle of no dmg on cc abilities like other games do though:
-7s duration on a ‘dead zone’ wherever placed
These are from what I’ve seen the main contenders for abilities that are extremely good and meta and at the same time hated by anyone that isn’t using them.
I think there’s several ways this could at least be alleviated a little bit if not completely fixed. I’ve heard a lot of different suggestions and all of them hold some sort of truth to them.
The first and most obvious one I usally hear if I talk to other players about balance is to simply buff all weapons until they have at least one ability on par with the current ‘meta’ weapons. This would ‘fix’ the issue short term but I think that long term it would just make the game bland scince there’s just so many things you can slap on abilities until there’s overlap and you have very similar stuff just on a different skin essentially.
The flipside to this would obviously be nerfing the most broken ones. Both of these things have more or less happened in the past few months and the meta for wars at least is almost completely unchanged.
The next idea is the introduction of any sort of diminishing returns. These could make smaller scale fights way more tricky and competetive but would leave the war meta unchanged for the most part. While I don’t have a lot to say on this point I favor this one a lot regardless scince it would change the game up a lot, while I don’t really know how hard it would be to implement.
Another more nieshe thing that I’ve heard about this game a lot, that has also plagued League of Legends, is the overload of stuff one ability does. The main 3 I brought up earlier fall into this category. Either remove dmg from CC on every ability or cut down on what the abilities do. No sane person asked for grav well to have a root for example.
Another thing that is very annoying are random inconsistencies with CC’s. For example take shield bash from S&S and compare it to shockwave. They do the same thing essentially, but you can block shield bash and can’t block shockwave. Shockwave is also aoe and does more dmg as well. This inconsistency is what makes a lot of weapons worthless without any particular reason and why I think the ‘meta’ is unchanged for months now.
Personally I’d love for them to introduce both diminishing returns at some point before the arena release and work on removing either dmg or cc from these overloaded abilities, while showing some love to the other weapons that are essentially unused if you’re trying to be competetive.
At the same time I want to praise the realease of the blunderbuss. It’s at least on my server a contender for both a dps and tank weapon even inside of the war meta. A good additional weapon that doesn’t seem extremely oppressive in group play with a unique playstyle.
While this rant lasted for ages if you made it this far please tell me if you think I made any mistakes here. I tried to leave as much bias out of this as possible. As a small disclaimer I play both GA/WH and IG/VG and am essentially what players would call a ‘meta’ slave.