I’m not a pro player since my team doesn’t play steady enough to enter the ESL. But we do play end tier matches and only lose to the best monsters out there, most of which need wildlife buffs to defeat us at all. We hate the current character picks for pro matches and refuse to only play with 8 out of 16 characters basically. Caira is boring to play, Hank is kinda boring to play, and Markov is also boring to play. Then there is the Kraken that 60% of the ESL matches have. If “pro” matches only “allow” the choice of good characters there is something flawed in the design.
YES, omg, yes. From my experience, that is a end tier pre-made, simply doing 1 random on my own makes me want to punch a wall. It feels like this complete foundation of strategies and logical gameplay choices are just “not there”. We make optimal choices, calculate in a few heavy hits from a monster and we expect to have 1 teammate going down to unreasonable fast combo’s at least. Random/casual teams don’t. They play their class in a combination of other classes. Setups that they like.
And i’m sitting there. Val + Bucket… alrighty, we are going to lose (before the match started). In the end we didn’t, but that was because the monster was equally skilled. Me and my teammate (both top 200 world global) had to pull every skill out of our ass to down a Kraken with full health stage 2 + sloth buff without support and a healer. Them cheering, us being pissed off because they couldn’t even dodge one hit.
You want to know what the problem here is? Balancing rules out casuals basically. You simply need to make a character that the best players can’t abuse, and the casuals can still use to be effective (to a point). Take Hank for example. Very easy to learn, very hard to master. A pro player will be 90% more effective with Hank, but the casual player can still play him effectively. Problem is, only the pro player will try to get maximum efficiency from a character. When that level of gameplay is reached, you will know if another character is more effective.
Take the same argument we see more often now: Tier 4 hunters. We still play mixed setups and if someone can down one of our “weaker” teams, we pick our best. For me, that is either Sunny or Slim. Goliath players that can snipe you out of the air with rocks? Fine, i’ll pick Slim and see how you do then. We often win those matches. Love to corner hunters and eat through their shield? Fine i’ll pick Sunny and see how you fare when you lose grasp over a hunter. We often win those matches as well.
Before T4, the best Goliath players all picked 3p Rock Throw stage 1, or at least had it stage 2. Now that strategy doesn’t pay off anymore. Eating through a shield can still be done, but it isn’t as effective anymore. Going stealth and bypassing the hunters going the other direction ‘jucking’ has become MUCH harder with Crow. Body camping? Still doable pre T4, now with Torvald… hold ur horses because health damage becomes permanent quite fast.
The thing is, if “pro” matches are balanced so every character is viable to pick, then casuals will play with the same characters that at the ‘end-game’ level of play are balanced. Really, casuals don’t have anything to add to it, because if the characters have been abused to the max their experience like giving your dad the key’s to a F1 race-car and telling him to beat the lap record of the day with it. He can’t yet, he can try, but the car/character won’t be experienced by the hands that need to handle them to tell if the car has been modified or not. Your dad won’t see the difference if they point at it. THIS is why feedback from casuals is worth less.
There is an exception. Take the Wraith early stage. Any noob could kill entire teams with it and every random group actually feared the damn thing because it was so strong. While pro teams said that they could down the wraith pretty easy if you knew what you did. If the Wraith really was balanced it would be as it went with the Behemoth. Where learning to play the monster should be hard, and fighting it still full of surprises. But it didn’t. Even the best teams had trouble fighting a good Wraith. So they nerfed it and this monster seems to have found common ground with the others.
Casuals started to say the Wraith is too strong, pro players backed this argument up. Patch included almost a rework of the Wraith.
My unsalted opinion is that Casuals aren’t very trustworthy when it comes to balance issues. They haven’t experienced every strategy yet, nor have they seen every composition work against it. The more experienced player you are, the more you play, the more you have seen and the more will work against a certain monster. If you make a complicated machine, are you going to let the intern give you feedback or the experienced worker? Reality does state that fresh players give new insights that can be very valuable, but the real stress points pointouts are from the people who worked with it for a longer time.
Because they play at the ‘edge of knowledge’ they will still overlook some aspects, but the real problem is much closer to their eyes than to that of a casual. Best way to check how good they really are is to look at the trapper. Does he follow the monster? Does he anticipate his routes, does he dome close to the monster or further away. Does he run to the rest of the team after a dome, or start to fight the monster right away. In a pro team, these questions aren’t even asked. You work your character like you are supposed to do. No discussion possible, and none needed.