Balancing for casuals or for pros

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Highly Rated
I know I'm a scrub/noob, but the question is whether or not people like me can enjoy the game when balanced for pros. (If OW is to an esport title, it needs pro-centered balance.)

I find that having game balance focused on pros makes the game more aspirational for those who aren't pros. I'd feel compelled to play more if I knew that the reason some things were difficult for me to counter was because I just wasn't good enough yet.

The real fact of the matter is that I want to see progress in my play. If I find that some things are OP as I get better (which would be a necessary consequence of balancing for casuals), I'd actually feel less compelled to improve and play in general.
Casuals
Highly Rated
It's balanced for casuals. Jeff has said himself he balances based on QP statistics primarily. And look at the World Cup: almost every game has consisted of D.Va, Winston, Genji, Tracer, Lucio, and a second healer. Widow has gotten picked a couple times, but it's rare and it was regarded as a super risky choice when it happened. The WC clearly shows that the game is balanced for casuals over pros.
pro's are important but make up 20% to 40% counting masters and gms of the player base... making the rest just to conform to there needs... in my opinion thats !@#$ty
Highly Rated
This is a mentality that more players should have. And the game should be balanced to reward improvement
Highly Rated
07/24/2017 02:49 PMPosted by SteveyHooves
pro's are important but make up 20% to 40% counting masters and gms of the player base... making the rest just to conform to there needs... in my opinion thats !@#$ty


Pros don't make anything near 20% of the playerbase.
Highly Rated
If you balance around casuals, you can have a fun game that people will play for a while, and then most will move on due to it really having no staying power (Think: TF2).

If you balance around pros, you can have a longer lasting game that can pull people back. Because balancing around pros creates frequent shifts to the meta. And in a hero based game like this one, would result in more & more heroes being released.

Unfortunately, it's balanced around casuals. The rate of hero release is too slow. Patch rate is far too slow (Months and months for small number tweaks that are compiled into one large patch).

Blizz needs to shift gears, and shift hard. But they won't, and people will defend them because "lol, I'm just being edgy".

I'm not saying "the game is dying". I'm just saying the game won't be as enjoyable long term if Blizz doesn't change gears. Maybe people will stick around, maybe they won't.

From experience, I don't think they'll stick around for casual balancing. Not for the amount of time Blizz needs to make the OWL profitable.
What exactly does "pro balance" look like? I only ask because I never really saw all these "balance for pros not casuals" threads until after Roadhog (the easiest character to play with no risk high reward gameplay) was nerfed so his damaged was brought down out of the rafters.
For those that want to balance around casuals imagine if a sport, let's take basketball was made purely for those that just want to throw a ball around. How popular would it be? Would there have ever been something like an NBA? No, the game would've been dead and forgotten now. People throw a ball around and move on, when you make a game around people who can get really good and excel people stay. And even still you can casually enjoy a game of basketball. It's a one way street. you can casually enjoy games balanced around top players, you cannot expect the opposite to happen.
07/24/2017 02:48 PMPosted by Spectra
It's balanced for casuals. Jeff has said himself he balances based on QP statistics primarily. And look at the World Cup: almost every game has consisted of D.Va, Winston, Genji, Tracer, Lucio, and a second healer. Widow has gotten picked a couple times, but it's rare and it was regarded as a super risky choice when it happened. The WC clearly shows that the game is balanced for casuals over pros.


let's hope this experience open the developers eyes. if they want the overwatch league to be a thing (2 million for a spot!??!) they better step the balancing game up a bit.... a lot
!@#$ balancing for either or! work for both this is a game and it needs to be fun for all or it will die and that is more obvious everyday with how much Toxic behavior is skyrocketing

It's balanced for casuals. Jeff has said himself he balances based on QP statistics primarily. .
yeah that is a lie or phara would be dead by now.
07/24/2017 02:56 PMPosted by Timbo
What exactly does "pro balance" look like? I only ask because I never really saw all these "balance for pros not casuals" threads until after Roadhog (the easiest character to play with no risk high reward gameplay) was nerfed so his damaged was brought down out of the rafters.


If Roadhog was so "no risk high reward" then he would've been at the top of win/pick rates across the board, but he wasn't.

I'll assume you're brand new considering your hours (but if you have a GM alt feel free to link it) but Hog was far from broken. He was an average hero pick/win rate wise and this nerf was literally from Geoff/Kaplan catering to casuals spamming this very board for Hog nerfs (look back a few weeks and you'll see lots of threads asking for Hog nerfs and anyone defending him getting drowned in downvotes, opposite of now)

The big reason it's a problem is because the very essence of Jeff's argument "It's not very 'fun'." is downright retarded.

"Fun" cannot be measured numerically like pick/win rates can. Who's to say Pharah's ability to fly, or Lucio's ability to speed boost won't be taken away because they "aren't fun"?

It's a potentially dangerous slippery slope.

The point is that if you balance from the highest tier down, the casual scene adapts to what was balanced. If you balance from the ground up, then whatever was "balanced" becomes non-existent in the top tiers.

It's a tried-and-true formula that nearly, if not all, games featuring e-sports followed and Blizzard attempting to balance around both is a fools errand.
Highly Rated
It is very simple.

If the game is balanced around casuals - the game will be boring for pro and E-sport will die.

If the game is balanced around pros - it will have almost no effect on casuals, they will adapt to the point of their limit and have their part of fun.

You know, all serious PvP games are balanced around pro. Like LoL, for example. But average players enjoy to play these games too.
It should most certainly be balanced around higher levels of gameplay. I wouldn't say Pro's specifically, but players at say masters and higher levels of gameplay who understand heroes flaws and strengths and can take advantage of them and provide useful feedback to more easily balance things out.

If Blizz want OW to be an esport, they will have to do this. The game being balanced around high levels of gameplay means people can strive to improve as they will know the reason a character seems OP to them is because they aren't good and need to infact "Git Gud"

For example, in the forums, I noticed people who mostly wanted the Hog nerfs were lower tier players whereas higher tier players thought it was unnecessary. This suggests casuals wanted Hog nerf due to their limited understanding of how to counter and play Hog. All they have to do is get better at the game by understanding how the heroes work.
99% of people asking for balance around pros think that suddenly their ex main will get buffed because he is currently underused in Competitive. What those people fail to understand is that even if the game gets balanced around pros only no one said that will balance by pickrate... So in other words your ex-main will probably remain in the trash. Why?
Pros love making money by playing this game, they will never say buff x character that is difficult mechanically so we get more competition from X team that has better aiming abilities than our team. What they will say is buff X hero because we have an X main in our team, or buff all the mechanically not challenging characters so that we can elliminate the risk of having a bad day and losing due to that.
Pros will always look and find the easiest character and solution to balance in order to keep their competitive advanatge against their enemies.
I honest to God hope they start balancing around pros only, just to see most of the people leaving this game in the first new Season.
I'm a total noob, but I want it balanced for pros. Winning is boring.
07/24/2017 03:27 PMPosted by JammyJay
It should most certainly be balanced around higher levels of gameplay. I wouldn't say Pro's specifically, but players at say masters and higher levels of gameplay who understand heroes flaws and strengths and can take advantage of them and provide useful feedback to more easily balance things out.

If Blizz want OW to be an esport, they will have to do this. The game being balanced around high levels of gameplay means people can strive to improve as they will know the reason a character seems OP to them is because they aren't good and need to infact "Git Gud"

For example, in the forums, I noticed people who mostly wanted the Hog nerfs were lower tier players whereas higher tier players thought it was unnecessary. This suggests casuals wanted Hog nerf due to their limited understanding of how to counter and play Hog. All they have to do is get better at the game by understanding how the heroes work.

Out of all the pro players that were main Hogs 1 complained about the changes Harblue, no one else. If you find someone else in a clip in his stream or post in the forums that complained please share it with the rest of us.
The way I see it, the game will not be very profitable if the casuals don't like it, so make sure they are taken care of.

Maybe one day e-sports will be like regular sports, where millions of people will watch them religiously even if they never played that sport in their life, but that day is not today. The "casual" (meaning non-pro) fan base is the core and foundation, e-sports / professional competitions are a bonus for additional marketing and the brand's overall reputation.

Edit: That's not to say they should abandon the pros. Ideally, it should be designed so both groups are satisfied, which is not unreasonable at all. They aren't mutually exclusive. It just seems reasonable to err towards satisfying the thing keeping you alive over the thing that is simply nice to have.
07/24/2017 03:31 PMPosted by Psychokraken
07/24/2017 03:27 PMPosted by JammyJay
It should most certainly be balanced around higher levels of gameplay. I wouldn't say Pro's specifically, but players at say masters and higher levels of gameplay who understand heroes flaws and strengths and can take advantage of them and provide useful feedback to more easily balance things out.

If Blizz want OW to be an esport, they will have to do this. The game being balanced around high levels of gameplay means people can strive to improve as they will know the reason a character seems OP to them is because they aren't good and need to infact "Git Gud"

For example, in the forums, I noticed people who mostly wanted the Hog nerfs were lower tier players whereas higher tier players thought it was unnecessary. This suggests casuals wanted Hog nerf due to their limited understanding of how to counter and play Hog. All they have to do is get better at the game by understanding how the heroes work.

Out of all the pro players that were main Hogs 1 complained about the changes Harblue, no one else. If you find someone else in a clip in his stream or post in the forums that complained please share it with the rest of us.


I never mentioned anything which suggested the Pros opinions on Hog. Perhaps you should read properly instead of getting triggered at the sight of the word "Hog" and jumping to conclusions.

I talked about the forums reactions towards Hog nerfs and how differences in the players skill level had an affect on their reaction to the Hog nerfs.
Honestly I've been seeing this debate over the forums lately and I think it's a little misguided. You can cater games to both casuals and high tier competitive players. There are a lot of games that are easy to pick up but challenging to master; Smash Bros is a perfect example. I'm sure balance for high tier and casual players are not mutually exclusive goals for the balance team.

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