The one about the Medics


#1

Just as a preface to this post, I am the medic main for the ESL team “Spears End”. And the Medic role is literally all I play. My Gamertag is Vivid Seraph if you are one of those people who like to source check where their information is coming from. I just want you guys to know that my heart and soul has gone into this game specifically for the medic role since this game has launched. All comments are accurate to the most recent console patch 2.0.1.

This post is mainly to check out where the medics fit in to competitive play at the moment. The reason I think that analyzing competitive play for medics is crucial is that when a character is really pushed to it’s limits against the best players out there one can start to tell where it’s weaknesses and strengths really are.

So lets start this off with the very fitting first choice of Caira. Caira has something very special going for her at the moment called reliability. And right now in competitive play she is one of (if not the) top medic because of this alone. About the only thing she isn’t reliable with is healing when her teammates happen to be in the air. Other than that, she has more healing output than any other medic at the moment and more survivability than all the others. As if that isn’t enough, she also brings offensive capabilities to her entire team with a speed boost that when in the right hands will turn a game on a dime (evo dome, cloak + speed boost, etc…), and the point here is that it is reliable. Nothing about her kit is hard to pull off, and so the only thing left to skill with her is personal mechanics.

Val… my one great love is finally getting some much needed love from TRS <3. Val in my humble opinion was always meant to be the early game “push to win” character that we can find similarities in with Cabot, but still have a chance in the mid/late game. Right now people still need some time to adjust to the recent buffs, but if team compositions realize her weakness’s and respond appropriately things can start to get really reliable. The only thing I noticed with val that should be addressed is that against an ESL monster Val doesn’t have a good choice of perk aside from one perk that probably doesn’t see much play below the level of 40… health regen. Health regen allows Val to save her ever precious healing burst for when she needs to do her medic duties and save her teammates instead of constantly trying to heal herself like she is pretending to be Lazarus.

The public match favorite enters the ring now with Laz BABY. But for real, Lazarus is seen literally as a joke in competitive play at the moment. I’m not saying this to start a !KAPPA !SALT thing down in chat, but he really is seen that way to every competitive medic player I have met. And the reason in my (again humble) opinion, is that he is the most unreliable medic that is in the current line-up. A few things contribute to this at the moment and I’ll start with the ones that aren’t bugs. Lazarus intrinsically needs to have a team that during combat can position properly without error, and execute their response to monster positioning without error. The reason I am stressing this is that the moment a player makes a mistake on a Lazarus team the stakes skyrocket. And when the stakes are high, everything is on the table for that one moment in the game. Even if a team lays a beating into the monster for the first half of the game the chance of that monster to crawl back into the game is exponentially higher with Lazarus because of the amount a monster can get off of hunter mistakes.

Still about Laz, I just thought a line-break would make this easier to read. Warning: time to bust out that dusty dictionary. ‘Propensity’ is a word that I feel can be greatly appreciated in this conversation because it’s definition alone will help in understanding everything I’ve already said about Lazarus. With that stuff out of the way, people fall through the map when you play Laz. Not a joke. Bodies actually just go, “I’m gunna take a trip to Valhalla quickly if that’s okay with y’all”.

And last but oh I dearly hope not least: Slim. The moment I received my first glimpse of this stylish bug-man of awesomeness, my brain couldn’t even handle the excitement. And after I started playing him I found that something I totally didn’t expect to happen was going on. I was dealing ALOT of damage. While I was doing all of this damage I also noticed that my team was suffering even though I stretched my kit to the max in an attempt to keep them alive. The play style that Slim encourages is risky and requires an above average skill to pull off correctly. But when slim received a 30% damage nerf, he also lost a lot of trade potential playing the “high-risk” game. When the monster downs a team mate, a certain amount of health damage has to have been done to deem a trade ‘worth’. Slim lost his ability to push this in any favor for the hunters against a good monster with his nerf. If a hunter line-up wants to out-trade the monster and that’s all they are looking to do, Caira is overall a more effective pick than Slim at the moment and that is just the sad truth :frowning: but I really do hope this is addressed in the future.

Just to wrap up this beast of a post, I don’t think that Caira is overpowered at the moment. I do however think that the other medics pale in comparison to her, with Val hitting a not so close second. From what I could tell about Slim, he received a nerf based on one week of telemetry where players had to get used to an entirely new mechanic and combo with the spores and jetpack from sunny. Now I DO believe that Slim was in a position to receive a nerf, but I do not believe that a 30% reduction in damage follows the philosophy Chris Ashton portrayed on the TRS stream from April 9th stating that taking small steps in nerfs/buffs would allow them to continue moving in the same direction with future changes to be less confusing.

This post is ultimately me laying out my own observations of the competitive scene as it relates to medics at the moment, and I do realize that all of my comments are subjective. I really do put tons of time and effort into this game and I really just want my voice to be heard on this topic because of how close to home it hits. I hope that this helps give clarity to the medic side of competitive play to players, and help with future changes from TRS. @MacMan @DB_Sinclair @Chloe


#2

:clap:

I’d say that it doesn’t matter if there are characters that just don’t work for competitive play as well as others, such as Laz, but it is important that they aren’t so knife edge as to throw or win games on what amounts to a dice roll in most circumstances.


#3

they need to take a break from balance and work out all the bugs first. laz might be a niche pick if bugs werent stopping him from doing well.

theres alot going on actually…i had to stop playing yesterday cuz it was causing me to lose.


#4

Pretty well agree on all points even as a non competetive player. Damn right on the mark for all the medics.


#5

I don’t even like playing Medic anymore. It used to be my #2 position, but I never really liked playing Caira; Val’s kit is nice but her single-target healing rate is laughable; Lazarus is my favorite but you can’t play him with PuGs and even a decent Monster will shut him down completely; I like Slim but his in-combat healing is not very good and with his damage nerf he doesn’t bring nearly as much damage to make up for it. Playing Medic with PuGs is a s**tshow to begin with - people you don’t know blame you for everything and feel entitled to critique your play - but then when only one Medic can actually Medic, and it’s the Medic I just don’t like at all, it’s discouraging. I always flip past Val & Laz in char select like: sigh


#6

@mediumvillain I agree with most of what you said tbh. If you can grab a friend I strongly encourage you to try out Val + Sunny. Right now it is a powerful combo that is stronger than Caira + Sunny in early/mid game and it’s fun to see a monster tranq’d 24/7 <3.


#7

None of my friends play the game unfortunately. I’ve added quite a few people on Steam, and there’s a couple who will send invites when they’re forming groups (I don’t have enough people on my friends list playing at once to do that) which usually goes well, but it doesn’t happen very often.

Anyway, Sunny’s inclusion is fine for the rest of Val’s kit or any Medic, but doesn’t really make any of their healing more viable, and when you’re getting focused Jetpack Booster is not quite a magic button - you still can’t boost when you’re being knocked back.

I was just playing Caira with a Sunny and the Trapper domed a Goliath under the Medbay platform (…), of course he focused me right away, I’m kiting around like a maniac, Sunny drops a Shield Drone & the guy’s like “come over this to this side” but within a second I was dead and he’s like “derp should’ve been on this side.” I’m thinking “Thanks, d**k.” That’s why I hate playing Medic in PuGs - people like to tell you what you should have done instead of what they’re gonna do before they do it, when it could actually be useful.


#8

Caira is so strong because her grenades have the potential to heal 4 teammates just like healburst, something a Val simply can’t do and Laz has to work with corpses even to be the most effective.

Caira is also very straight forward to play, while Val is weaker in the important thing: healing, but still takes way more skill to be good at and Laz is just the wildcard.

Personally i am VERY tired to see only Caira in competetive play, but that’s because of the ridiculous healing potential she has compared to the other medics. Val needs something, like a heal over time in addition to the healburst healing, and/or a selfheal on her medgun. That would turn her into a warrior.

Slim, well he doesn’t seem to belong somewhere yet, a 30% damage nerf is pretty steep change so early after his release.


#9

Caira is getting boring to see in high level play. You would think the “pro” teams, could play something different. But they only play what’s top tier, because they don’t have the skill to use a lower tier character; and use him in high tier.


#10

I never understood why Val is Tier 1, she has two precision weapons, which require sniper skills from the user, which takes time to learn unless you played sniper in other games and liked sniper. And her kit is designed that it has to be cycled constantly to be effective. Also misses weigh much more for Val, she is required to be on point with her abilities, not very much leeway for error. Again not a skill requirement i expect from a Tier 1 character.

Lazi is also basically a sniper, but he is is off the table for the competetive folk anyways.

Slim isn’t accepted yet.

That leaves Caira who has the lowest amount of effort, she can basically sit on her grenade launcher the whole game. She is Tier 3, but imo she has zero gameplay depth. Basically all you have to learn with Caira is, how to arc grenades, that’s it. Because positioning, team synergy, jetpackmanagement and dodging skills are mandatory for every hunter.


#11

I wouldn’t say they don’y have the skill, it’s more like they are just too cowardly to ditch the crutch, because there is no reason the enemy team will. I hate to say this, as I am actually against it, but perhaps a ban phase is required after all.

Also, someone mentioned Laz is useless against pubs, that’s false. Infact, he is the most useful in pubs, because the monster is likely to be of an average skill. I play Lazarus in pubs a lot, because it’s the best way to learn dodging when your team will refuse to support you.

Did you know, btw, that people used to have a 50% win rate with Val? But with the introduction of Caira, people have been spoiled by her generous healing and most pub players don’t see the need to develop any dodging abilities at all.


#12

Yeah… People tend not to do well on Val anymore.
Don’t like the idea of people claiming to be “pro”, and having to sit there with everything handed to them, and showing no potential skill with any other character.


#13

B-But… It’s the meta, guys! I read it up online that it is the best combination!.. Come on!..


#14

Competitive players will always pick the most reliable way to win because their sole concern is winning. It’s not that they aren’t skilled enough to play without crutches, crutches just help win games so using them is an automatic choice.

What a bizare discussion, like it’s from outside of reality. What do you expect a player who’s sole concern is winning but to pick the most powerful and reliable solution??? It ain’t an epeen contest about how hard a char you can win with.


#15

No, it’s not an “epeen” contest to show what char you can play with. It’s supposed to display skilled players in the game, at top tier. That isn’t what’s happening. It’s boring game, after boring game. I can’t watch the stream, because all they do is the same character game, after game, after game. I couldn’t care less if they won or loss. Hell, someone has to lose. You know how interesting it would be, to see someone pick a bucket in a tournament, and win?

MaddCow’s stream was more interesting than most of the “pro’” players games tend to be. At least it had variety, interesting players, playstyles, and tactics…

You know what. When we come up with tournaments of skilled players, that use all of the characters; let me know. They might get another viewer. Because as it stands, if I wanted to see the same characters, the same tactics, the same players, the same maps, the same lack of variety; I will go find 1 game, and put it on repeat 500 times.

You know how much I facepalm when I see what monster they picked? “I bet it’s a Kraken, that’s all they can play”, guess what it is? Kraken, of course. So much for a skilled monster. 5 games later? 6 Kraken’s. Before that? It was the Wraith for some reason. It’s hilariously redundant. What’s even worse, all 6 Kraken players play exactly the same. When did these tournaments become so boring? That’s why I don’t watch many streams right now, they’re all the same. No one’s unique, because they all “have” to play the most powerful characters. Basically they challenge eachother to have the same playstyle as the other guy.

If they were actual “pro’s” they would be able to use a low tier character with the same skill/output as a top tier character.

So no, they cannot play the game without a crutch. Because they don’t know how, they aren’t pro’s.
Put Maddcow in the tournaments. He can think for himself, and actually make the game interesting.


#16

Their playing to win the tourny so they don’t much care about any of your complaints. I agree on all points that it’s boring to see the same chars always and played the same way always but that doesn’t matter at all with a competetive players mindset is what I’m saying. They don’t give a shit because they need to win. They may even dislike it themselves and wish the same as you but that is also irrelavent to their picks. That’s why this whole argument is silly.


#17

It’s really not about that, that’s completely missing the idea of competetive play. I used to play CoD competetively and there were so many weapons avaible but only a select few were viable. Not because you can’t be good with others, just because everyone picks the best stuff nonstop and, on average, even if you deliver a better performance you will be outpowered. There’s always advantages in games that simply can’t be outweighed by skill, no matter how good you are, because certain strengths and features only require minimum skill to always overcome lesser characters/weapons/items/you name it. They can only be outweighed by a downright terrible opponent which obviously doesn’t ususally happen in a competetive environment.


#18

Eh, they can all test each others skill with the same 4 hunters, and 1 monster all they want. I’m not wasting my time watching the same thing again, and again. ^.-


#19

Well yeah, you don’t need to and I get that can be very boring but I’m just saying…


#20

ehh…this isnt exactly true. fighting games are balanced where some characters are certainly easier to gain wins from. but ppl stick to thier mains and win tourneys all the time. daigo used ryu for like 8 years and FINALLY switched to evil ryu on ultra street fighter.

league of legends and dota. well LoL just had a funny ass one. urgot got zero buffs and was due for a remake becuase no one used him. then a pro used him in lcs to counter a very popular zed and now hes getting banned or used almost every game!

so I believe your idea to be false. ppl need to maximize thier usage, just because something is easier doesnt mean the others arent viable.