With Arena, recent buffs to Laz, and the exposure that’s brought I thought it was time to revisit the issue that is Lazarus.
Lazarus has been fixed for a good month or so now, his reload speed perk properly affecting his cloak, and a much larger heal burst radius granted means he feels (and is) more useful on the battlefield.
The effect of this (Lazarus with reload perk) is that a team with Hank or Sunny is actually kept very well healed with a Lazarus, and as long as the support and medic have the most basic of communication, Laz can be almost perma-cloaked if they want him to be.
The main issue that Lazarus used to have was that there was absolutely no way to counter the tactic of spreading damage on hunters, because when you hit one down, the rest would follow in quick succession, and no-one would be around to provide the utility or distraction that Lazarus needed to start getting people back up. With his reload speed and larger range heals this isn’t an issue any more.
The other change that has helped Laz by proxy is the knockback nerf. He peels much easier than before, but perhaps more importantly it’s not possible to legitimately knock a hunter away from a dead body for long enough to be able to either eat it or give yourself the space to protect against Lazarus’ revive.
Here is an example of how easy it feels to get a revive in (first round of the Arena match there, in the second round I failed by dashing too far, otherwise would have been another easy rez), especially on monsters like Behemoth and perhaps Wraith.
So, on balance, it feels like Laz has gone a bit over powered. His cloak and quicker self heal means that he is the most survivable medic aside from Caira if she’s supported (if any medic is targeted and downed then it is devastating for the team, Laz isn’t special in this regard). His on field heals are almost Slim level but without needing to actually attack the monster for it. All of this culminates in a frustrating experience for monsters as hunters are generally healthy enough to provide support for any Laz revive.
Lazarus in his current state resets the game for the hunters too easily, especially against lower level monsters, but even now I feel against more experienced ones too. This isn’t so much a product of Laz changes in and of themselves as I said above… it’s also about other changes to the mechanics of the game. It may be time to give him a slight nerf/rebalance.
So… what needs to change?
Some love the feeling Laz has right now, I do too, but it doesn’t mean it’s fair. If Laz is to remain with his level of heals then the damage mitigation that his revives provide has to be looked at. The lack of a strike on people coming back means that for each revive performed the monster is having to put in an extra amount of effort than they would against another medic. It’s not as simple as just looking at HP healed/revived, because while Val or Caira may heal a lot in a match, they also have to contend with people being downed or even killed that provide an ever growing monster even more opportunity to take down that hunter in the future.
Either his revives have to cost the hunters more than they do, or the revives have to be harder to pull off against camping monsters. IMO Lazarus revives too quickly, that’s the crux of the issue. If the monster is nearby and poised to stop Laz, he can still get a revive in. A monster actually swinging aimlessly over a body can still be revived under!
I would say the following changes need to be made…
- Stop the Lazarus device working until someone is dead. If the point is to revive someone from the dead then let it only work from dead. This fits with the general purpose of Laz (wait and be patient) and also then allows the monster a window from within which it can try to take measures to defend against Laz without having to worry about the revive.
- Slightly increase the time it takes to charge the device. Not by much, but enough that a monster that is within melee range can actually get a swipe in. A monster is giving up health to defend the body, it should have a reasonable chance at doing just that.
- Slightly increase the range at which the device works. All the above aside it is a problem with some monsters and their ability to pinpoint their attacks at a moments notice even from range. They know they just need to hit the body with a snowball or whatever. A bit more range would give Laz the flexibility while cloaked to secure a rez when the monster isn’t too close.