Hey guys, welcome to the inaugural episode of Tigg’s Torrid Takes (TTT) where I review the latest patch notes and give a quick and hopefully not-too-hot take.
Patch Notes for 10/10/17:
- Stuff about Season 4 timing etc. etc.
- Season 4 will run for 15 weeks and brings a new format to chapters:
- Chapters are now 1 per week and feature a specific Trust each week
- Each chapter has 5 new missions. Complete them to earn flux and loot matrices for that week’s Trust!
- Each chapter will feature a short blurb about that week’s Trust, giving you a peek inside the world of Atlas
- Challenges have been replaced with Alerts
- Alerts are time-limited missions that spawn semi-randomly. Follow our social channels for news about upcoming alerts! (There will also be in-game notifications shortly before Alerts fire off)
- Complete the Alert within the time limit to earn the reward
- Alerts can also be passive bonuses, boosting your gains to XP, flux, etc!
- The Trust theme of Season 4 means that you can earn previously missed Trust skins, as well as some completely new ones!
- Season 3 participants will earn a Hyperbotics Overcon
Short chapters neat. Possibly too short. 2 weeks might be a sweet spot? Bit rushed to complete each week.
Alerts are a cool concept, let’s see how it goes.
Earning previously missed Trust skins and new ones — seems good. Some things from the past probably shouldn’t be obtainable anymore (old titles or possibly skins, for example). Other things maybe should (emojis, overcons, perhaps skins with connections to the lore like these).
Ranked Season 4 will introduce a 2nd ban for each team. This ban will take place after each team has made their first 2 picks. The 2nd player on each team will control this ban.
Some good, some bad here. It seems like the draft will go Ban(A), Ban(B), ABBA, Ban(A?), Ban(B?), ABAB. My concerns are twofold:
- Overpowered lancers won’t see any play.
There are two sides to this coin, of course. On the one hand, poor Quark / PuP / Orion probably won’t see any play. On the other hand, it’s nice not having to waste a ban on them. (Well, you still do.) Also, if the lancers were all balanced, this wouldn’t be a problem at all.
Of course, the above is mitigated by the fact that you can still only ban 2 initial lancers before teams get a crack at picking stuff, so the later bans are probably going to be more strategic and targeted at enemy weaknesses or pocket picks. So I think this aspect actually works out well.
- There aren’t enough supports.
In short, there are only 8 supports. And even then, Helio and Khita don’t have reliable healing, and Su-Ren doesn’t work in many comps. Many teams run 2+ support comps, meaning there’s just going to be a shortage. There could be as many as 3 or 4 support bans! I think there are enough, and maybe this will force some diversity, so I think it’s probably OK overall.
- Ranked will be on a short down period and there will be more news when Season 4 Ranked begins
- >>> Ranked will be on a short down period
New Powerup: X-Ray Vision
This has to be the biggest change of the patch notes. However, I’m not sure yet what to make of it. The powerup is very interesting and it remains to be seen what its effect will be. I like that it’s intended to counter running away and playing super turtle-mode, and that it rewards controlling the middle of the map. However, I have one main concern which is that it shuts down a lot of what many ranged firepowers “do.” Like Nix. Poor guy already doesn’t see much competitive play. I can’t imagine he’ll see any with this thing around unless his team has a way to control that powerup. In general, having superior vision is a big deal and being able to do damage without being seen, as a firepower in general (whether due to distance, walls or camouflage), is a skill. So this may dumb things down on that front. On the other hand, we may see a resurgence of frontlines (though I think we already were…). In general, expect this powerup to be very powerful, especially at higher levels of play.
Master skins now have a smoky/powered-up VFX to make them more noticeable
Badass. Love it.
- Doom Ray: Energy increased from 6 to 7
- Scamper: Forceball targeting range increased by 1. Energy on cast increased from 5 to 6
- Reactive Chains: Energy per hit and tether reacting increased from 4 to 5
- Going Ballistic: Cooldown decreased from 3 to 2
- Over-Overcharge functionality change. Now causes the explosion to always deal the maximum damage of 24 regardless of shield strength
Isadora gets quite a few buffs here, but fortunately most of them are minor — bonus energy that she honestly somewhat needs in my experience. However, I caution that while Isadora was not a very strong pick for most players, top players could perform extremely well on her PRIOR to these buffs. And remember, players are still learning how to use her. There is a real risk that she becomes an unstoppable powerhouse.
I think the change to Forceball range is very good — it always felt 1 too short to me. Over-overcharge is now quite a strong mod and likely to see lots of play. Overall, I don’t think these changes are enough to break her for the average player, but I think she will be a top-tier pick in competitive given how difficult it is to kill her.
- Health increased from 120 to 125
- Damage of all catarangs increased from 24/12 to 26/13
- Embiggify: Damage increased from 8 to 10
Nev was already reasonable before these changes. Top-tier? Perhaps not. But at least average. Very high damage, but low survivability. Now, even higher damage (though the buffs are minor). And 5 more hit points. These changes push her into the echelons of top-tier, I think, but won’t break her. Excited to see her perform at a high level in competitive given her relatively high skillcap.
- Radiate no longer increases healing, but grants the target 10 shielding until end of turn instead.
- Positronic Surge – Fusion mod now grants 10 shields per ally hit instead of 15
Those familiar with my blog will know my suggested Quark changes: Generally, moving a portion of his healing to shields. So, these changes are in keeping with that theme, and the nerf to Fusion is sorely needed.
However, I don’t think these changes quite do it for perhaps three reasons.
- Quark can still heal (and do damage simultaneously) at rates that require an answer, and with tether distances that are hard to play around.
- This change only affects Radiate, and not friendly tether healing or the Growing Attraction mod. (Also, they INCREASED the overall throughput if the shields are utilized?!?)
- Quark’s energy gain is still out of control. If you have just a friendly tether attached, not an enemy one, and you Radiate, you gain 11 energy per turn. For comparison, if Aurora hits all three allies with a primary, she gains 9 energy. And Aurora’s one of the few that actually gains decent energy for doing nothing. What’s Dr. Finn going to do? Sure, he could heal all 3 allies for 18 energy, but then he has to sit there for a few turns gaining no energy at all. My point is that if the Quark team disengages, they get his (insanely powerful) ultimate very quickly regardless. My proposed change would limit Radiate energy to 4 per bond (rather than 8) so that a Quark would only gain the 8 if he had an offensive tether as well.
Do you agree? Disagree? Am I a prophet or a madman? Legolas or just some legs? Leave a comment and let me know!