1. #1

    Developer Insights: Double Support Team Compositions

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

    Over the last several months we’ve seen double Support team compositions become more and more prevalent in all levels of play, including esports. While we think this is an okay strategy to see some of the time, we are currently seeing too much of it and will be making some tuning and design changes going forward to address its over-prevalence.


    Before diving into the specific changes and reasoning, we'd like to provide some context on double Support and our current stance:
    • We know characters like Tassadar, Tyrande, and Medivh cannot be played as a solo Support. They need to be paired alongside a healer. This is totally fine! We are perfectly okay with these characters showing up in double Support comps (because otherwise they wouldn’t have a team composition they fit in).
    • We are mostly trying to move away from the “double healer” team compositions that we are seeing so commonly. Like everything, double healer is okay in moderation, we just don’t want this to be a common strategy that doesn’t care about map, enemy team composition, etc.
    • Most team compositions right now are setup as the following:
      • A tank for your primary front line
      • A bruiser or second Warrior as a secondary front line
      • A healer to keep your team alive
      • This leaves 2 spots on a team, and with one of those commonly being occupied by another healer or Support, it means we only see one Assassin. This also forces Assassin picks to be into a smaller subset of ‘hyper carries’ such as Valla or Greymane. While these characters are cool, we really want to create some space for Mages and other characters to shine as well.


    Along with the above, we wanted to touch on why we think we’re seeing double Support more now than in the past:
    • About a year ago we introduced a new Armor system. This system ultimately made a lot of Warriors more efficient heal targets, and we mentioned that we planned to go through and remove some healing from Supports when we first implemented the system. This is a change we never ended up doing, so we’re looking at taking care of it now.
    • We’ve also been going through all our characters and trying to focus them with specific strengths and weaknesses. While this goal is important to make sure that all characters feel and play in a unique way, it’s also likely made double Support more powerful. Uther, for example, has the weakness of being an inefficient long-term healer, but can prevent tons of burst and keep allies alive during critical moments. If you pair him with someone like Lúcio or Auriel (healers with high efficiency) then you get the best of both worlds; you can prevent burst and out sustain the enemy team. Essentially these healers have more powerful strengths and complement each other’s weaknesses.
    • In a vacuum, our Supports are pound-for-pound more powerful than our other Heroes. They are designed to provide enough healing for a team of five, while still bringing things like wave clear, crowd control effects, or decent damage. It’s possible that double Support has always been the ‘best way’ to play, and the community has been trending in this direction for a while.


    So, with all of that in mind, over the last several months the Live Design team has been debating how to address this:
    • If we nerf healing numbers, do we just see teams bringing two Supports more often to have enough healing?
    • If we buff healing numbers, can you make due with a single Support, and potentially see less double Support?
    • Should we be buffing a group of characters that we already feel are pound-for-pound more powerful than other characters?


    While we’re still actively debating the best solves, we wanted to take a crack at this, so we have a number of changes hitting the Nexus soon.
    Here is a general list of changes we’re making to Support Heroes:
    • Weaken wave clear:
      • Cutting a handful of talents such as Lightning Bond on Rehgar
      • In general, making it so wave clear on Supports is worse. This should be an understood handicap for running multiple healers.
      • Your team will have slower lane rotations and less ability to quickly take jungle camps while efficiently soak lanes
    • Decrease Damage by 5%~:
      • This will also help reduce wave clear slightly.
      • Bringing two healers will mean your team is giving up more damage, hence having less kill potential.
    • Decrease Healing by 5%~:
      • This will help address the addition of Armor and will simply pull a little bit of healing out of the game.
    • Decrease Health by 5%~:
      • Certain Supports are unusually tanky for being ranged backline characters. Also factor in that they can heal themselves, and they end up being very difficult for the enemy teams to focus fire down.
      • With slightly reduced health pools, we want to put some emphasis back on focusing these healers.


    Individually, each of these changes are small. However, we feel the sum of these changes could have a meaningful impact on the meta. We’ll be reading your feedback, playing, and looking to data to see the results of this. We may be making more changes in the future if this doesn’t do enough.

    Before closing, we wanted to take a few moments to provide some context around making sure our Healers still feel awesome:
    • We will continue to do talent reworks and Hero updates to all characters, including Supports.
    • We feel that adding interesting “mini-games” for characters to play can create rewarding and challenging gameplay moments. If you’ve had a chance to play Ana, she can have very high highs, and very low lows. While we’re not going to suddenly make a bunch of our healers skillshot based, we have learned a lot from Ana and will be iterating on things moving forward.
    • Speaking of Ana, and more recently Alexstrasza, healers that have a hard time healing themselves push players into double Support strategies more often. Moving forward, this is also something we’ll be looking at. For Ana specifically, we’re exploring adding a self-healing mechanic to her trait, Shrike. While these updates won’t be a part of this initial release, it is something we’re working hard towards.


    Thanks for taking the time to read this and hopefully this has provided some context for the massive number of tweaks we are making. As always, we look forward to reading your discussions and seeing you all play with this in the live game.

    - The Heroes Live Team
    Moderator of Heroes of the Storm, come say hi!

  2. #2
    The Insane apepi's Avatar
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    I don't understand them. They don't want someone to be a heal bot yet they literally nerf all that shit besides that? Why must the support role suck? Why can't you have more than one on your team? What happened to the game being w/e you want to draft? I don't see you doing any fucking thing to make sure specialist are getting played, hell you are even making them weaker. Wtf do you want? A boring 1 tank/support+3 Assassin meta? Or 2 tank/2 assassin+1 support meta? Because the game was so much better then right?

    How about instead of releasing Alex/Sniper bitch, you release a fucking hero who can heal their God damn selves? Then maybe we wouldn't need another healer. Why literally release healers that need heals from an outside source when you are having a double support problem already? I don't think I am asking much.
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  3. #3
    I know double support is a thing, but you could fool me with that in platinum. I prob see a double support game 1 out of every 10. At least people have stopped going solo Tyrande and Tass for the most part.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by apepi View Post
    I don't understand them. They don't want someone to be a heal bot yet they literally nerf all that shit besides that? Why must the support role suck? Why can't you have more than one on your team? What happened to the game being w/e you want to draft? I don't see you doing any fucking thing to make sure specialist are getting played, hell you are even making them weaker. Wtf do you want? A boring 1 tank/support+3 Assassin meta? Or 2 tank/2 assassin+1 support meta? Because the game was so much better then right?

    How about instead of releasing Alex/Sniper bitch, you release a fucking hero who can heal their God damn selves? Then maybe we wouldn't need another healer. Why literally release healers that need heals from an outside source when you are having a double support problem already? I don't think I am asking much.
    Honestly I'd say the reason that double Support is so prevalent is because Assassin and damage dealers are really potent in themselves, rather than the healing being too good. If Assassins did enough damage to only have to warrant two spots on the team, then is it really the healers fault?
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  5. #5
    The Insane apepi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoiseTank13 View Post
    Honestly I'd say the reason that double Support is so prevalent is because Assassin and damage dealers are really potent in themselves, rather than the healing being too good. If Assassins did enough damage to only have to warrant two spots on the team, then is it really the healers fault?
    It is basically a game of cat and mouse. Stronger Assassins are the more heals you need. But the problem now is that there is so much burst, you can't really save someone if they get caught out, a single person can't save them. I feel like they are making a knee reaction to the double support meta instead of thinking why people even are playing double support.

    Really only the pros/masters are playing double support that much anyways. Why nerf all supports because of that?
    Time...line? Time isn't made out of lines. It is made out of circles. That is why clocks are round. ~ Caboose

  6. #6
    Did i said allready that blizz gived another reason, why people don't want play supports?
    Whatever...

  7. #7
    As a healer main in everything, including hots, I welcome this change. I hate it when someone picks a 2nd support when I am one. It just takes away from the fun of having to heal people, because someone else is also doing it.

    That, plus the fact that you will need to pour through more skill into your gameplay to pull the same numbers makes me happy.

  8. #8
    The Insane apepi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Well View Post
    As a healer main in everything, including hots, I welcome this change. I hate it when someone picks a 2nd support when I am one. It just takes away from the fun of having to heal people, because someone else is also doing it.

    That, plus the fact that you will need to pour through more skill into your gameplay to pull the same numbers makes me happy.
    I doubt this will fix that. This will only make you both weaker in spite of that.

    For those who think double support is actually better...stat wise all over the game it isn't. The most prevalent comp with double support is Tank/2 support/1 Ass/1 specialist, what is their win rate you might ask? 49.9%. Oh wow so good. Supports must be nerfed! If you wish to check it out yourself, look here.
    Last edited by apepi; 2017-11-28 at 10:54 AM.
    Time...line? Time isn't made out of lines. It is made out of circles. That is why clocks are round. ~ Caboose

  9. #9
    If they want more ranged assassins (or maybe non-bruiser melee assassins, they exist too, Blizzard) to be viable I feel like they have to adress tanks though? Mages like Ming or Jaina are still gonna feel unimpactful against tanks because their burst is rendered ineffective and they're CD reliant (weak sustained damage). Meanwhile tanks often have CC, waveclear, suvival, sustain, decent camp clearing potential and, ofcourse, hero damage that's threathening to those mages (or melee assassins) and the now significantly squishier healers. I really feel like we'll see 3 warrior comps more often again because of how well rounded warriors are in general. I could just as easily be wrong though. Not to mention that I like warriors in general so I'd rather not see sweeping nerfs to them.


    Quote Originally Posted by apepi View Post
    I doubt this will fix that. This will only make you both weaker in spite of that.

    For those who think double support is actually better...stat wise all over the game it isn't. The most prevalent comp with double support is Tank/2 support/1 Ass/1 specialist, what is their win rate you might ask? 49.9%. Oh wow so good. Supports must be nerfed! If you wish to check it out yourself, look here.
    Double support was never that big of a thing outside of master/competitive to begin with and even there it didn't happen every game. Not to mention that Zarya/Tyrande/Tass and Medivh are already exempt from the double support meta. Blizzard is essentially catering to 2% of the playerbase and even there some people liked double support. I mean, we've had worse meta's, I'm looking at you Tyrande/Diablo/Muradin. Just forcing it to change by making double support a liability to the team is a shit way to go about it, imo.

  10. #10
    I'm not sure if it's the best decision... maybe they should try to encourage people to try different comps rather than discourage to play double supports? Also, I could understand worse waveclear, lower damage and health pools but nerfing healing on top of that even if it's just 5% is too much IMO.

  11. #11
    The problem is not the support I feel. With heros like Greymane and Valla burst is crazy and often a non-warrior heros is often burst down before a solo-support can save them. So several teams pick heroes like Uther to save them from sudden burst while picking another healer with good wave-clear/damage to supplement sustain. The problem with people avoiding mages is that its becomeing so much harder to hit backline as mages. Li-ming can have a hard time landing her skill shots because its so easy for double warrior comps or even solo warriors like stitches and etc to block all their shots. Jaina has a hard time hitting backline because if shes to close the warrior just deletes her.
    The question is why have heroes that need precise positioning while heroes like Valla and greymane have insane mobility and burst in their kit?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Blizzard said awhile ago that they hate the idea of healers being a heal bot here they are nerfing the non healing abilities of heros. Then the last two support that they add to the game have little self healing capability and alex can be punished trying to heal herself with that 3 second long ramp. Ana biotic grenade barely heals her leaving her a wek solo support when shes easily dived or focused with no capability to heal herself. If they want healers to be something other that healbots and dont want them to have wave clear or damage they need to add more "support" options. Life-grip, cleans as a baseline, an armor spell, etc... Instead we get flame buffet, lightning shield, knockback ribbon, etc...
    A great example, I feel is brightwing because she has her healing with a little damage but she has two really great "support" abilities that aren't heal related. She has poly which is great peel/negation (Poly an ulted diving Illidan, lol) ans she has pixie dust. Another is lili with the blinding wind.

    IDK guys what do you think?

  12. #12
    Can anyone explain how 5% nerf across the board is going to incentivize taking solo-healers? Is it a nerf so that it makes a non-Support more attractive? I just feel like this global nerf is going to hurt solo-healing just as much as double support.

    I'm primarily a vsAI/PVE player so this nerf to their wave clear and damage is gonna irk me quite a bit. I love playing DPS support builds just to gain more efficiency knowing that there are builds that can emphasize decent damage output.
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  13. #13
    Pandaren Monk RH92's Avatar
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    I don't think the 5% nerf is a huge deal.

    It is just hard to tell, I think having utility on Supports is fun. The role is already frustrating enough if you are forced into it and your team mates are absolutely garbage at getting anything done in both team fights and macro play.

    I think the root of a problem is in some carries having good burst AND sustain damage, namely Greymane, Valla and to lesser extent Tracer who is slightly more niche. Another thing is Bruisers being way too oppressive, most of them do a good damage and are tanky which makes them easier to heal.

    That means a single hyper carries who deal both burst and sustain damage are forcing Burst Healer pick while Bruisers are forcing Sustain Healers due their combination of tankiness and rather good sustain damage.
    Last edited by RH92; 2017-11-29 at 07:53 AM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by RH92 View Post
    I don't think the 5% nerf is a huge deal.

    It is just hard to tell, I think having utility on Supports is fun. The role is already frustrating enough if you are forced into it and your team mates are absolutely garbage at getting anything done in both team fights and macro play.

    I think the root of a problem is in some carries having good burst AND sustain damage, namely Greymane, Valla and to lesser extent Tracer who is slightly more niche. Another thing is Bruisers being way too oppressive, most of them do a good damage and are tanky which makes them easier to heal.

    That means a single hyper carries who deal both burst and sustain damage are forcing Burst Healer pick while Bruisers are forcing Sustain Healers due their combination of tankiness and rather good sustain damage.
    Yeah, that really sums it up. Rehgar was a hero I liked because he could still do camps, clear waves and in the past he could be quite aggressive (when he could selfcast R), yet they've taken that away for the most part now. The more one dimensional they make a class, the easier and boring it becomes to play, thus making people shy away from it. I think it's especially bad for people like me (and afaik, you) who like playing bruisers since they're usually well rounded, as mentioned earlier. The reaon I love playing a solo laner is because of how much I can do for the team, wether it's (limited) peeling, harassing the backline, engage, waveclear, push, merc,... These changes just make me want the LoL type of queing even more. Atleast I still have Kharazim and to a lesser extent Stukov.

    As for Vala/Grey. It's their type of damage for sure. You can't really counter them since their Q builds have such high AA and spell damage. That said, not having an extra support to babysit them should already be a decent nerf, granted that Tass is one of the best enablers and he should still be a dual support pick. Falstad is kinda similar to them aswell but he has to make a choice between Q bursty damage or AA sustain at level 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thimagryn View Post
    Can anyone explain how 5% nerf across the board is going to incentivize taking solo-healers? Is it a nerf so that it makes a non-Support more attractive? I just feel like this global nerf is going to hurt solo-healing just as much as double support.

    I'm primarily a vsAI/PVE player so this nerf to their wave clear and damage is gonna irk me quite a bit. I love playing DPS support builds just to gain more efficiency knowing that there are builds that can emphasize decent damage output.
    It's less about the 5% nerf and more about the removal of stuff like Lighning Bond and Moonburn, though the AA nerf is still bad. It removes their ability to do just about anything outside of assisting their team during teamfights/lane brawls. Because of that, it's kind of a liability to have more than 1 of them on a team since double support vs any good waveclear assassin, let alone a specialist, now narrows down the amount of heroes who can react to that situation. Same goes for a big group of leftover minions after a curse, for example. Not to mention something like Pirate camps on BHB or w/e.

  15. #15
    I like the changes, especially gutting healers wave clear/mercing potential. Like they pointed out, there are many other roles and double healing shouldn't be a common thing, so that different playstyles are valid.

  16. #16
    Pandaren Monk RH92's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melzas View Post
    I like the changes, especially gutting healers wave clear/mercing potential. Like they pointed out, there are many other roles and double healing shouldn't be a common thing, so that different playstyles are valid.
    Problem is they decided to create a different issue in order to fix the other.

    I as a person enjoy two things, helping others and strategy. Naturally I like most team sports and I don't really feel the need to score goals myself, but I love creating the opportunities for my team mates. Problem in non-cooperative environment is both Tanks and Supports are thankless job as you are not there to create opportunities, but to cover every dumb mistake your Damage Dealer is doing in attempt to score that goal. It simply isn't cooperation, you are their slave.

    Now they are greatly removing utility from Supports which is even further pushing the role down the obnoxious path. By removing any wave clear or ability to capture mercenaries they are making every single Support just a heal bot you can spam ping once you die when their heals are on cooldown. Now every Healer can just heal and that's it. If playing Supports is not fun because you have to heal a bunch of selfish fucks who will never thank you for it, why remove the ability to create other opportunities for them? For example as a Rehgar, I will no longer be able to perfectly time a Mercenary Camp or effectively soak experience. No, now I will have to beg others to take camp instead or hopelessly ask them to stop feeding and soak the fucking experience so we can fight on equall talents. Why do you think most professional HGC Support players are playing mostly other roles in Hero League? Shouldn't they be practiticing their Heroes?

    Double Support meta is result of two things, well three I guess:
    1. First they decided to give every Support a very pronounced niche (Burst or Sustain healing), which caused a major problem when a standard team composition is considered a Tank, Range Carry, Healer, Melee flex and Range Flex. It puts your team into a difficult decision making when you have room for just one healer, do you make your team weak to Burst or Sustained damage?

    Why all of this happened? Before that the biggest complaint was diversity as depending on a meta one Support became a highly contested pick and people thought it was predictable and no fun. Instead of properly balancing the characters they slowly removed tools from them and pushed their kits into very specific niche.

    2. As I mentioned before, you have few Carries doing both Burst and Sustain damage. Why the fuck does Greymane has Cursed Bullet? He already has a good burst with his Worgen Form which at least makes him to compromise his own safety. With Cocktail spam and his ability to deal damage from a range he already does a decent sustained damage. Same goes for Valla, but I don't play her to pinpoint what is wrong with her.

    Then you also have Bruisers dealing high damage while also being very tanky. Bruisers are overtuned, simple as that. They are much harder to burst down, can both peel and pressure enemy backline over a extended period of time. On the other hand most Melee Assassins can die within a single stun, even though their damage output is just a tiny bit higher they need to choose their engages more carefully and thus presenting less threat for enemy team.

    I don't know, I don't lose my shit over 5% nerf. However removing utility feels like a bad decision.
    Last edited by RH92; 2017-11-29 at 08:00 PM.

  17. #17
    The Insane apepi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melzas View Post
    I like the changes, especially gutting healers wave clear/mercing potential. Like they pointed out, there are many other roles and double healing shouldn't be a common thing, so that different playstyles are valid.
    It isn't a common thing and it really never has been. This is just because a lot of masters/hgc pros have been playing double support.
    Time...line? Time isn't made out of lines. It is made out of circles. That is why clocks are round. ~ Caboose

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