I think it’s pretty close to balanced, actually. As you said, the only problems on the monster side lies with the two Krakens and Gorgon. Behemoth maybe, but he’s underpowered, if anything.
Kraken needs to have his banshee mines back instead of his current banshee cannonballs. His moves need to be changed so that they aren’t so frustratingly difficult to dodge and aggravatingly stunning. I also believe he’s extremely anti-fun because of how difficult he is to damage. His flight and strafing capabilities allow him to easily mitigate a large amount of damage, and combined with the fact that he can spam vortex to force assault away and is difficult to apply CC to, are large contributors to how annoying he is.
Every other monster has to feel pressure if they want to get downs, but Kraken can just hover and spam from a distance. It’s not satisfying to deal damage to a Kraken, because it takes too long and the entire time the hunter team is scrambling to avoid his abilities. He needs to be more affected by CC and easier to damage, even if that means making him tankier. Very few people enjoy going against Kraken, just like very few people don’t absolutely hate going against a Lazarus or Sunny. Are they beatable? Absolutely. Is it fun? No.
Also, he needs to have his snowballs changed from solid hits to DOT (or at least have the knockback removed), so he can’t guarantee a death any time he gets a down without having to sacrifice anything for it.
Moving on, Kelder needs his abilities and animations to match up, as well as have them fixed so he can’t clip several moves together. His sneak pounce abuse also needs to be put in check. I think his burst damage needs to be redistributed and he could do with some radius reductions on his abilities.
Gorgon is fine for the most part, but her damage needs to be rearranged. Right now she is incredibly bursty because the spider trap nabs a hunter, does a large amount of damage in a short amount of time, and can be compounded by layering both acid spit and web snare on top. This combination makes her seem much more unfair than she really is, because an otherwise even match can be lost in the blink of an eye as a result of one mistake at the wrong time.
Behemoth is an odd beast. He seems intimidating because of his huge health pool and tongue-fissure combo, but he’s a bit of a joke because of how slow and cumbersome he is. One of his abilities is almost exclusively for isolating either himself or a lone hunter, and another has a cast time that makes it laughably easy to dodge. He’s pretty much entirely dependent on landing the tongue grab to have any chance against a decent hunter team.
‘Bob’ has an extremely difficult time with hunters who use elevation against him, and all of his health doesn’t mean much when it melts faster than any other monster. His traversal is quick but it forces him down linear, easily predictable paths, which causes him to take a large amount of damage on the chase. It also lets the hunter team keep up with him with relative ease.
I’m aware the devs are making big changes to Behemoth, which I am excited for. However, I don’t know exactly how they are changing him aside from a general idea of making him into more of a ‘tanky raid boss’. I think that he needs to have faster cast times, and his abilities need to be adjustable while firing them.
He also needs to be able to either get to the hunters more easily or bring them to him more often. He should be able to stay in a fight longer (I don’t remember if it was @Insane_521 or @GentlemanSquirl, but one of you suggested giving Behemoth a way to counter burst damage via a damage reduction stack that built the faster damage was dealt. Props to whoever came up with that, I think it’s a fantastic idea).
In combat, he needs to be able to fight without having to rely on a single ‘wombo-combo’ to down a hunter. Stun-lock and roll spam are two of the biggest complaints with Behemoth, so moving away from that is the best thing for both sides.
Now, on to the hunter side. To be honest, I don’t have that many complaints about hunters after the ‘macropatch’. At the very least, there aren’t any glaringly OP characters on the hunter roster this time around IMO. The only issues I can see lie with Parnell, Sunny, Jack, and a Kala/Laz pairing.
I say Parnell because of his burst damage. He is capable of burning through bars of monster health in seconds when his SS is activated. This type of burst capability is exactly the type of spammable, stressful deterrent that got Torvald his most recent nerf. If a fellow hunter is dangerously low on health, Parnell just needs to pop SS to either force the monster to back off and let them get healed up, or take an insane amount of damage in the short time it takes the get the down.
It’s almost like an additional form of CC, and it’s either incredibly frustrating, or the monster player fails to notice due to blood lust, which leads to a feeling of confusion as to where all that health went afterward. I feel Parnell might be due for a nerf, or at least a redistribution of damage, to make him less frustrating to fight.
This could come in a longer cooldown or a shorter duration, or maybe even a fire rate/reload slow while in SS. It’s not on the level of OP, but it’s certainly stressful and irritating to fight in addition to everything else the monster has to keep track of.
As for Sunny, I feel the golden girl is almost perfectly balanced, aside from her goddamn drone. It has capacity comparable to Hank’s shield with a much higher recharge rate, can be replaced instantly and fully charged in seconds, and is able to be placed in the most absurdly broken spots. It can even be thrown out while focusing Sunny, adding to the CC, damage, and healing that already make it difficult to get her down. Going for anyone else is practically not an option because of the stupidly high recharge rate of the drone, damage/CC, and the jetpack booster.
It forces you to either waste an ability every eight seconds or spend extra time and health attempting to corral a hunter away from it. Spending that much time worrying about a deployable is toxic and un-fun in itself.
My suggestion would be to add a small deploy time to it, similar to Griffin’s sound spikes or Emet’s respawn beacon. This would at the very least keep her from deploying it while focused and stop the placement of the drone in those broken spots that turn blue for a split second. In return, I think it could do with a buff to health, which would also make her a more viable choice against Kraken, who currently renders it almost useless.
Laz and Kala make me rage like no others. I can’t stand the perma-cloak abuse coupled with Laz being safely transported outside the dome every time his health gets low, all while my armor is bypassed completely, leading to my slow, miserable demise. I can’t even describe how happy I was upon hearing that cloak was being changed to something else. So that’s one little victory I will absolutely be savoring come TU9. However, it still leaves the ability to lounge around outside the dome.
I am completely, 100% against hunter teams being able to do this. It’s infuriating and unfair to not even have the chance to fight your opponent because they are physically out of your reach. Couple that with reviving the dead and being a slippery invisible bastard? Ohhh, rage doesn’t do the feeling justice. I think it is an awful idea to allow this tactic to persist into TU9, particularly with the additions of everyone having the dome (which I am assuming will remove the ability to down the trapper to escape) and the removal of FT3. Both of which are vital counters to a Laz comp.
My suggestion would be to have a timer that takes the dome down if a hunter stays outside the dome for more than say, five to ten seconds, and which doesn’t regenerate upon being inactive. This would allow a hunter team to split up a reasonable distance for map coverage and still make it inside the dome before the timer ran out, while neutering Laz’ ability to frolic about outside the monster’s reach.
Finally, we come to Jack, who in my opinion has become unusable against Behemoth and Kraken after the ‘macropatch’. His new lowered capacity and higher recharge make him fine and dandy against Goliath, Wraith, and maybe Gorgon, but against the steady traversals of Bob and Kraken, he might as well just stay on his teeny peashooters. I think that either a slightly higher capacity in general or individualized performance against the different monsters would be the answer there.
…I just looked over this post and
Still, though, I think that the majority of the characters are pretty balanced. Aside from a few glaring anomalies (looking at you, Kelder) I think this is the most balanced the game has ever been.