Ok, so I’ve seen people quoting telemetry figures in almost every thread discussing balance problems like they are the definitive indicator of the state of the game’s balance. In reality this could not be further from the truth.
The telemetry data is based on all games played by the entire community, what they fail to account for is the massive variation of skill level throughout the player base.
The majority of the players are bad. That’s not an insult to the community, this is the case for all games, due to your average person being an idiot.
The telemetry says that Lazarus is the most successful medic at the moment, does that mean he’s the best? Not by a long shot, in fact he’s still very easy to counter. The problem is that bad monsters don’t know how to deal with him. They don’t think to corpse camp if they get someone down, or they focus a less important target like the support or the assault.
Similarly the telemetry says that Wraith is the monster that most often reaches Stage 3. Does this mean her survivability is too high? No, good teams can shred her super quick. Is it because she’s too fast? No. In combat she’s quick, but when actually running she is the slowest monster in the game. Bad players don’t know how to deal with Decoy, its really that simple.
If you’re new to the game and haven’t taken the time to read up on all the different characters and their abilities, this is understandable to a degree, but this simple fact cannot be ignored: Bad players are skewing the data.
And again, this is not an issue isolated to Evolve. I’ll give some examples from another game’s telemetry, DotA 2.
According the telemetry for this game, a Hero called Puck has the 5th worst win rate in the game. Does that mean she’s the 5th worst hero in the game? No. She is a Hero with a very high skill ceiling, but also a very steep learning curve. She enjoys regular success at high level play and is regularly seen in tournaments, and in fact was part of the winning team’s line up for TI4.
Conversely, another Hero called Omniknight has the highest win rate of all Heroes. Is he OP? No, due to his high exp and gold demand, it is much more difficult to field him effectively at higher level play. Conversely, at low level play bad players just can’t handle the free magic immunity he brings to the table.
I apologize if this means nothing to those of you not familiar to DotA 2, but I’m just trying to give another example that isn’t Evolve.
And don’t give me wrong, telemetry data isn’t completely irrelevant, it just needs to be taken with a pinch (or more often than not, a barrel) of salt. I certainly believe the game could benefit from character specific tutorials, far too often do you see the same things over and over from low skill players. Medics that don’t heal their team, Trappers that don’t use their tracking ability properly, or even ignore it entirely. Assaults that pop their shield the second they initiate combat. All likely problems caused by human ignorance, but still problems that can likely be solved by ensuring players are better educated.