The current meta in Battleborn are the crowd control abilities. Picking characters with the abilities to stun your opponent and chaining these together can lock them out of the game. These stunlocks makes your opponent a sitting duck, making for an easy kill and preventing them from leveling up and playing the objective. During my interviews with the high level teams like dunk squad and lost heroes that where participating in the Battleborn Tournament they also mentioned this. In the Battleplan (45) the Creative Director of Battleborn, Randy Varnell, interacted with the community about some of the things they are working on for the game. He also stated that he is very sympathetic to the CC Meta, and that they are still working on a plan to dramatically change that in time. This is something that probably won’t be in the next major patch, but hopefully in a follow-up. This reminded me of a discussion i think not everyone is aware of.
Cleanse the new Counter
Back in February Randy Varnell also mentioned on the forums that the team is looking into a new cleanse ability. This new status effect would remove any crowd control effect from the affected player. No definitive details where given if it’s actually coming to the game and on how the team would implement such a ability. Randy did mention a few possibilities how they could implement such a feature. One of them is like the new wound ability Gearbox Software implemented last summer. Wound was originally an ability that was exclusive to only Galilea, but this got some rework and got added to a few other Battleborn heroes. Wound reduces healing, health regeneration and lifesteal received by 60% of any affected target and got assigned to certain character skills. Gearbox could so a similar thing with the new cleanse ability adding it to certain character abilities. Randy did mention one implementation that would make sense and that is by adding it to Reyna’s overshield ability. Not to overshields in general because that would make Boldur even more of an unstoppable beast.
This implementation makes me think on how this would be executed because a stuns last for ~1 second. You would need some serious reaction speed would you be able to counter that by popping that overshield on an ally. That makes me believe that the cleanse ability is also a status effect that lasts for a few seconds. This would give the affected hero a brief window of time that he is unaffected by crowd control abilities like the stun and slow. Thereby making it more difficult for players to stunlock a single target.
Around the time that the discussion of the cleanse mechanic was active on the forums, Randy Varnell also did his own Twitch stream and spoke briefly about the subject. He mentioned that another way of implementing a cleansing mechanic was by adding it to the gear system. A player could bring along a piece of gear that would make him immune to crowd control effects once every minute or so. While Randy also mentioned another mechanic that could add to that, this is a very interesting thing to have in the game. Currently there is gear that reduces CC effects by a few percentage. But a 10% CC reduction of a 1 seconds effect isn’t very noticeable and therefor not very useful. If this gear stat was replaced with a cleanse stat those types of gear would become more useful. A skirmisher like a Caldarius or El Dragón that’s all about going in do a chunk of damage and get out, could do some sweet load outs for that. Having gear that negates the abilities that stop you dead in your tracks can be very beneficial. This way these type of character can disrupt the battlefield even more, however there is still the question will the cleanse ability on gear be for all CC Abilities or will it just specialize in one type of CC and therefore forcing you to sacrifice more gear slots.
Personally i would like it to counter all the CC effects, but it kinda depends which gear would get this feature and how it will effect up the balance of the game. What do you guys think of this new cleanse ability and how do you think it should be implemented into the game.