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Grandmaster bracket balancing

Jul 24, 2014

Because of the large level gap between max (160) and grandmaster (50), the pvp meta between these groups is very different. As I understand, the most popular level bracket is 160, so it makes sense for a lot of pvp balance changes to be done with 160 in mind. However, as an avid 50 pvp player, I have noticed some of the balance changes that have trickled down to our level bracket have not been entirely fair. I believe some special considerations need to be made when balancing the different level brackets: what is extremely overpowered in 50 may not even be an issue at 160 and vice versa.

I have a few examples of this, but the point of my post is not to vent. I just want to suggest to whomever has agency over making pvp balance changes to take some time to reflect on potential changes with regards to level brackets before pushing them through to the live game. This post is motivated specifically by the ice colossus nerf at the start of the season. I loved playing ice, and I can admit that colossus was extremely overpowered in its previous state, and while the nerf to colossus was fair and deserved in the 160 bracket, it has made ice unplayable in the 50 bracket.

As another example, the balance school itself is simply too strong in 50. Earlier in the season, 7 of the 14 players on the first page of the 50 leaderboards were balance. This extends into what I was saying earlier: even though balance's strongest spell in 160, scales of destiny, was nerfed, balance was left untouched and unchecked to wreak havoc in the 50 queue.

I only brought up ice and balance as examples, there are a few more overarching, macro issues I see in grandmaster that could be solved quickly if there were to be some dialogue between KingsIsle and the 50 subgroup.