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Why was deathwing destroyer mode nerfed?

Reddit | heroesofthestorm
BlizzAZJackson
23-10-2020 02:24:56
morphlll

An 8% nerf to his destroyer W is quite significant

The complaint was that worldbreaker was too weak, not that destroyer was too strong. All they had to do was buff worldbreaker to the levels of destroyer mode, it's not like destroyer deathwing was even remotely OP in the previous patch

I'll try to explain this in as simple of a way as I can, but there are a few reasons why we changed him the way that we did.

Firstly, the general community assertion that i've seen going into making the last round of changes was that Deathwing isn't that strong and would have been fine had we just buffed Worldbreaker form. This is statistically untrue and would have likely ended up moving him back into overpowered status. When making changes to heroes in more nuanced situations where their actual performance and community sentiment are different (or even more difficult situations such as them having vastly different performances and perceptions in low level, high level, pro play, and/or Quick Match vs. Ranked), I have to take how good the hero actually is into account when making these kinds of changes. Some facts:

Before the patch, he was sitting at a 53.3% win rate. He's not super commonly seen anymore, but I think we can all remember how strong he has shown to be in the past. I would assert that, while his popularity and the perception of his power level have fallen off since his days of being must-pick/ban material, he is still a strong hero.

Since the last patch, which many viewed as an overall nerf to him due to nerfing Destroyer form, his win rate has climbed to 55.4%, so he very likely would have moved into clearly OP territory had I not nerfed some part of his kit to compensate his Worldbreaker buffs.

To add some extra complication, when making these kinds of changes I have to heavily consider how to move the needle enough to change community sentiment so that I hit the goals that I want with these kinds of more nuanced changes. I initially approached this knowing that the general sentiment is that Worldbreaker form is behind Destroyer form, so to change that perception there had to be a good amount of movement on the needle to get people to try out the other form. Had Deathwing been a sub 50% hero, or a hero who hasn't recently been a large part of the meta, this change would have been easy. I would have gladly only buffed Worldbreaker form and called it a day. However, due to the desire to open more people up to the fact that Worldbreaker form has a lot to offer him and the fact that he is in fact powerful despite some community sentiment, I decided that the best way to move the needle was to both nerf Destroyer form a little bit while also buffing Worldbreaker form.

Of course, we could have tried other methods of fixing this as well, such as largely buffing Worldbreaker talents or changing how his form swap works (though this has many limitations and may not be feasible due to how its animation/FX work), but this was the initial route that we ended up going with.

We're not done with making changes to Deathwing, and this was a preliminary change to his playstyles be more balanced. I hope that this gives you some insight into our thought processes. :)

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BlizzAZJackson
23-10-2020 02:35:03
BlizzAZJackson

I'll try to explain this in as simple of a way as I can, but there are a few reasons why we changed him the way that we did.

Firstly, the general community assertion that i've seen going into making the last round of changes was that Deathwing isn't that strong and would have been fine had we just buffed Worldbreaker form. This is statistically untrue and would have likely ended up moving him back into overpowered status. When making changes to heroes in more nuanced situations where their actual performance and community sentiment are different (or even more difficult situations such as them having vastly different performances and perceptions in low level, high level, pro play, and/or Quick Match vs. Ranked), I have to take how good the hero actually is into account when making these kinds of changes. Some facts:

Before the patch, he was sitting at a 53.3% win rate. He's not super commonly seen anymore, but I think we can all remember how strong he has shown to be in the past. I would assert that, while his popularity and the perception of his power level have fallen off since his days of being must-pick/ban material, he is still a strong hero.

Since the last patch, which many viewed as an overall nerf to him due to nerfing Destroyer form, his win rate has climbed to 55.4%, so he very likely would have moved into clearly OP territory had I not nerfed some part of his kit to compensate his Worldbreaker buffs.

To add some extra complication, when making these kinds of changes I have to heavily consider how to move the needle enough to change community sentiment so that I hit the goals that I want with these kinds of more nuanced changes. I initially approached this knowing that the general sentiment is that Worldbreaker form is behind Destroyer form, so to change that perception there had to be a good amount of movement on the needle to get people to try out the other form. Had Deathwing been a sub 50% hero, or a hero who hasn't recently been a large part of the meta, this change would have been easy. I would have gladly only buffed Worldbreaker form and called it a day. However, due to the desire to open more people up to the fact that Worldbreaker form has a lot to offer him and the fact that he is in fact powerful despite some community sentiment, I decided that the best way to move the needle was to both nerf Destroyer form a little bit while also buffing Worldbreaker form.

Of course, we could have tried other methods of fixing this as well, such as largely buffing Worldbreaker talents or changing how his form swap works (though this has many limitations and may not be feasible due to how its animation/FX work), but this was the initial route that we ended up going with.

We're not done with making changes to Deathwing, and this was a preliminary change to his playstyles be more balanced. I hope that this gives you some insight into our thought processes. :)

I also think it's worth noting that while the above post is largely a defense of why we made the changes we did, I was on the fence about those changes while putting them in, and I don't really consider them a success after the patch due to them not living up to one of my design philosophies.

One of my guiding philosophies with the balance patches is that I want my changes to always have a net positive effect on the total amount of "fun" that is added/removed from the game.

In this case, while I am confident that the right choices were made statistically, I don't think the needle was moved enough in Worldbreaker's direction for enough players to feel like a cool, new way to play Deathwing was now viable, and instead more players only felt the pain of Worldbreaker nerfs. This is why balancing games is hard, since community sentiment matters just as much as statistics.

If you could all do me a huge favor and just destroy enemy Deathwing players about 5-10% more often in your matches, then you'd make my job really easy and I could give you some meaty Worldbreaker buffs with no compensating nerfs :P

Fuente

BlizzAZJackson
23-10-2020 22:42:27
BronzeTalons

I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to put out such an incredibly insightful post. I love it when you guys do this. Thanks for everything you do for this game.

Thank you. The kind words mean a lot. :)

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