In my Gigantic Tier list, there’s often four to five Heroes in Tier 2. Defined as “above the point of balance” it might look, on the outside, that Gigantic is a game that suffers from balance issues, especially if such a quantity of Heroes are Tier 1 and 2. Ultimately any placement is subjective and for the most part, Gigantic’s balance is exceptional - Motiga deserve much praise for their balancing. That said, I’m sure many Gigantic players who have played for a period of time would, for the most part, agree with my placements. So what makes these particular Heroes just above the point of balance? Well, it’s various things, but a large part as to why some Heroes are a little too strong is when they’re supported by Sven. Fortunately for Motiga, there’s nothing major to fix: it’s all a case of very minor tweaks. I must also stress that my suggestions here are purely my own and aren’t necessarily right - just my thoughts on how to bring all Heroes into line.
One of only two playable support Hero’s, Sven is currently king of Guardian Arena and overshadows Vadasi by a large margin. There’s no doubting that Vadasi provides good single target healing, but the reason why one is superior to the other is because unlike Vadasi, Sven is good-to-go out of the box. A default armor break, super jump and AOE heal is a strong starting kit. To then be able to upgrade his Elastic Ooze to significantly mitigate damage and extend healing (Bounces Off Me + Absorption Matrix) make him and all those he successfully hits with Q+E, far too strong. The mitigation and sustain he provides is far superior to Vadasi to the point where, at times, robust Hero’s such as the Margrave or Lord Knossos feel indestructible. Throw in Only the Purest Ingredients (removes negative effects) and Persistent Pergative (grants negative effects immunity) and you’ve a recipe for an outrageously strong support Hero. The fact all his skills are AOE also make him forgiving when it comes to aiming and allow his entire team to benefit from what he provides.
Sven doesn’t need a huge amount of changes to bring him into line with other Heroes and as you’ve probably guessed, it’s a matter of tweaking several key upgrades but also factoring in that as an AOE based support Hero, he shouldn’t be the best at everything.
Bounces Off Me + Absorption Matrix
Providing all allies affected by Elastic Ooze with reduced damage for 5 seconds is incredibly strong, especially when it’s incredibly easy to snag your entire team. Without accurate data from Motiga it’s difficult to know exactly how much damage is being reduced, but estimates of around 20% are common. Some experience Uncle Sven players have even suggested it could be as high as 30%*. Where Absorption Matrix is concerned, it elongates the duration of Healing Waters by 10 seconds, even when players aren’t stood in the area of effect. It effectively provides an enormously long heal over time that no Heroes have the ability to remove.
To bring this pair of upgrades into line, I’d ensure that Bounces Off Me provides a 10% damage reduction. In addition, I’d reduce its duration to 3 seconds to factor in that it can affect all Hero’s. Five seconds in any team fight is a long period of time. As for Absorption Matrix, 10 seconds is, without question, far too long. Reducing this to 5 seconds would still leave a very powerful heal over time but would also require Sven to think about when to use his Q+E instead of the current scenario where using it early, rather than strategically, is the norm.
I’ve absolutely no problem with Sven utilising Healing Waters to cleanse negative effects. However, making an entire team immune to them for 6 seconds is far, far too strong. This single upgrade can render Xenobia entirely useless whilst other Hero’s (Voden and Charnok) suffer heavily due to an inability to cause key conditions. Similarly to Absorption Matrix, halving the duration of Persistent Purgative would allow it to remain useful but bring its potency back in line with other Hero upgrades.
*I'll try to seek clarification from Motiga on its true values.
The majority of HK-206’s kit is absolutely fine but there’s a few areas where he’s a concern. As an already tough Hero, he’s not only bolstered massively by Sven (not his fault) but his combination of damage from Bullet Barrage and utility from Mortar’s Impact Trigger make him a huge threat. Add on 400 shielding thanks to Siege Mode and he’s an absolute monster, even more so when he can comfortably fire for an age with Shoot n Scoot, whilst charging his Rail Gun (thanks, Pallarel Outputs!). At the heart of the issues, I believe, are his bullet barrage and Siege upgrade. For the speed in which he fires, with little care for his reload or accuracy, his attacks hit a little too hard for their frequency (without factoring in their ability to pierce or fire faster). If possible, I’d simply reduce it’s damage per shot (by around 10%). Where the shielding is concerned, it mirrors Lord Knossos’ by providing 400, but it’s undoubtedly strong. Considering most Hero’s don’t hit for 400 until mid-late game (even Imani only hits for a little over 600 now with a fully charged Scoped Shot) and Griselma hits for as little as 35 per 0.5 seconds, it’s a huge defensive boost and one with a small cooldown. Would scaling it based on your level be so bad? I don’t think so and I feel that alone would make him much more than balanced.
The Margrave as the only true “tank” is always going to have the finger pointed at him for being strong because there’s no other benchmark. Despite that, my main concerns are Blunt Trauma, Shake, Rattle and Roll and Doom Strike. The Margrave, right from the go, is capable of stunning an enemy team and even though its duration isn’t overly long, a follow up of Ground and Pound can incapacitate an entire group of players for upwards of 3 seconds, that’s before you throw in a 5 second slow. Only this week in GA I managed to achieve a penta kill just by using this rotation - it’s neither difficult and incredibly tough to counter. Lowering the slow duration to 3 seconds and the stun to 0.5 would help. Unfortunately and even then, the right upgrade path would still be a poor choice. Where Doom Strike is concerned, by having it as the first upgrade path on Demon Fist it’s a huge damage boost right from the get-go and allows The Margrave to deal enormous damage to single or multiple targets (if you also take Demon’s Reach). I think the damage output from the final burst is too high and if you time it right, even if your main target moves out of reach you can usually turn and smash someone else in the face quite easily.
Perhaps this is unique to european servers, but I don’t see Lord Knossos often. I can’t really explain why because in the right hands, he’s incredible. Amazing at initiating, capable of dealing very high damage and with Sven trapped to him he can survive for frighteningly long periods. So how to balance Lord Knossos? There’s two things that need tweaking. The first is Seeing Red and an upgrade that allows Lord Knossos to snowball in a team fight. So much so that he can maintain double damage for far too long. The fact that Seeing Red triggers of Voden’s Green Man Decoy, Cador and Griselma’s Portal Beasts further adds to the fact that he can maintain it for far too long. Considering most upgrade paths for other Heroes only provides a 25% damage bonus (maximum), having double is pretty obscene, especially with it triggering off AI controlled resources. As far as changes are concerned, it should only trigger off player deaths. Secondly, five seconds is a long period of time to gain double damage and based on that, I’d reduce it to 3 so that Knossos still has a different path of choice to Sharpened Horns and can still increase his damage briefly, but not for as long.
Finally and similarly to HK-206, I think the base shielding provided by Major Beef is too high. 400 extra health is a huge amount right off the bat and only gets better with Thick Skinned. Admittedly its effectiveness towards late game does drop off but during early encounters it’s incredibly strong and even more effective when bolstered by a healer. Making the shield scale based on your level, as opposed to a flat value, would be much better.
I know many complain about both Tripp and Tyto but I actually think they’re only a whisker away from being balanced. Yes they’re mobile and yes they hit hard but they’re both (for the most part) focused on dealing single target damage and both are incredibly squishy if caught by slows or stuns. Despite that and where Tripp is concerned, the biggest issue I have right now is the fact that her invisibility still has too little counterplay and the combination of Lightspeed on Electric slide make her near untouchable for most Hero’s to pursue her. Fundamentally I think there needs to a greater means of ensuring Flashdance isn’t an instant invisibility without neutering Tripp’s stealth potential. On that basis, I’d like Flashdance’s duration reduced by 1 second and for her to have a clearer shimmer when invisible, so that eagle eyed players can at least follow her or keep a look out (similar to Zeratul in Heroes of the Storm). As for Lightspeed, I think if Tripp chooses to take such an upgrade it should add a slightly longer cooldown upon use, similar to Griselma when she uses Displacement’s Exit Strategy.
Similarly to Tripp, I only think there’s one major issue and that’s his ability to escape with little counterplay. The range and speed of Swoop is, in most circumstances, a guaranteed means of fleeing combat because like Tripp, no other Hero’s have a reliable means of pinning you down outside of very limited stuns or slows. Reducing the distance of Swoop would likely be more than enough to address this issue because he'd then have to think weigh up the risks of diving into combat.
Voden’s strength lies in the fact he’s capable of being a jack-of-all-trades. His ranged damage is high, his poison frustrating (and still deals good damage) whilst his heal, super jump and decoy provide plenty of sustain and evasion. Without wishing to do anything too drastic, I’d bring the duration of Hidden Spring down to 4 seconds and the duration of Poison Spores to 6.
Have you played Gigantic? If so, which Heroes do you think need tweaking and how would you balance them? Let me know!
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