Biggest problem: Most skills are not worth getting/leveling

The secret to success in PVP has always been getting the most “bang for your buck” in matchmaking. You always want the strongest team for the lowest amount of power possible.

What most players didn’t realize was that every single points of power you add to your heroes needs to be optimized since adding 1,000 power to your hero means that enemy teams will also have 1,000 more power on average. In order to maximize your wins you need to make sure that you spend your power in far more useful ways (usually stars) than the large majority of your opponents - and if you stick to that approach the large majority (90%+) of your matches will be easy wins.

Previously people would try to get around this by underleveling skills that were bad or didn’t scale well, but matchmaking accounts for that now so that has led us to two forms of smurfing:

  1. Don’t level your heroes if their abilities scale poorly. Matchmaking won’t punish you for having lower level skills if you keep your heroes low too.

  2. Don’t promote your heroes if their next skill isn’t top-tier.

The problem also gets dramatically worse as the promotions go higher. Most golds are honestly already not worth it, they may be decent but I’d say only 10-15 are truly worth the ~1-2 stars of power you “pay” to gain them. Mandrake, Keel, Phalanx, Caine, Fortress, Heimlock, Heckler, Flatline, Halo, Sentry, and Baron are currently the only “100% worth it” gold skills - for platinum skills I would argue that NONE of the current platinum skills justify the huge power cost.

To illustrate I’ll discuss what happened with my first Plat hero. I reviewed all the plat skills in the game and decided that Phalanx probably had the best overall Platinum skill (it gives bonus health and damage to the entire team as long as everyone is alive). However by promoting from Gold to Plat I ended up increasing Phalanx’s power by over 3,000. Meanwhile, for that same amount of power I could’ve given Phalanx at least THREE MORE STARS, which would easily have boosted the strength of ‘Team Magshield’ to give more of a benefit than the entire plat skill - along with making Phalanx herself much stronger than the promotion to Plat did. I tried again with Caine, another hero with an excellent plat skill (+5% crit and ____ more crit bonus for the entire team) - same story, I gained over 3,000 power on Caine but realized that crits aren’t that strong in Hero Hunters, when I could’ve just given him 3 stars and gotten a much bigger bonus to his bronze/gold skill that would’ve helped his healing/survivability much more.

Some people are even figuring out that it’s smarter to leave heroes like Prophet/Artemis on green because auto-attacking is their biggest strength and they can do tremendous damage while only “costing” as much power as a 4 star gold hero.

I expect plenty of people to come in and say “No way! My Gold/Plat __________ is the best and their Gold/Plat skill has won me so many games!” but it’s a fallacy simply because nobody can compare how those heroes would’ve done if they weren’t promoted and had been fed stars instead - nobody can really compare how a 7-star bronze razorback would compare with a 5-star gold because you can’t experiment with both on the same account. So promoting “good” heroes like Razorback doesn’t suddenly make them trash and their silver/gold/plat skills aren’t USELESS, but the simple fact is that it’s not OPTIMAL - and that’s the problem. The reality is that if two identical teams face off but one has a 5-star plat razorback and the other has a 10-star bronze, despite being similar in power, the 10-star bronze razorback will have a clear advantage.

Of course tournaments still encourage higher power levels but the effect is limited because farming easy wins is more important than getting more points per win - and even then we see players like ‘Jeffmykelldotcom’ able to dominate Panzer tournaments with a bronze panzer (despite missing out on 75,000 points per win compared to plat panzers) because it’s more efficient to stomp people with a 99% win rate at 25k-30k power than it is to score with an 85% win rate at 60k power - and that’s not even accounting for the faster wins or extra crates you get (which is a big deal too).

There are hacky solutions to this like changing crate rewards or PVP gem income to scale with power, but that risks screwing over new players who need them. The smartest solution has always been to refactor how power works so that either (1) nerf stars so that they aren’t superior to promotions or (2) buff skills and promotions so that people don’t have an incentive to ‘avoid’ them.


Great post! It addresses the root of the matchmaking problems that we all hate dealing with and highlights some potential solutions. I’m glad to see this written out so well so that (hopefully) the devs can take note of it.

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It strikes me as odd that everyone else on the forums is torqued about min / maxers ruining pvp and you post a “How to be part of the problem” tutorial.


Drawing attention to how the system is abused is a very key part of the path to a fix. And if some people are doing it anyway, there’s hardly harm in leveling the playing field in terms of matchmaking knowledge.

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Panzer is the perfect example of this. Her bronze skill is arguably her most potent skill. Getting her 10* means she can easily one shot all energy heroes except a few tanks with it. Heck, she can even one shot a number of non-energy heroes with Breach and Clear. The rest of her skills are pretty marginal in comparison.

Her silver skill is ok at best, while her gold skill is downright useless since you will rarely be out numbered (since you know, you are instantly killing an opponent or two in the first 5 seconds of a match). Her plat skill is probably the most useful for PVP after her bronze, but going up three ranks is not worth getting it really.

Just look at the leader boards. A 10* plat Panzer will run be about 15k in power. The same 10* bronze will be just over 9k. That’s a 6k difference in power between the two. That’s like having an extra 6* gold character on your team. Unfortunately the 3 abilities you gain with that 6k power arn’t worth the huge jump.

Kudos! Very well-written post. :slight_smile:
At first I saw the length and quickly exited to a new thread, but I came back to read and I’m glad I did.

I think someone suggested this before, but maybe there should be Grade requirement before upgrading stars…? Such that you cannot promote a certain hero from 7* to 8* without them being Gold, from 8* to 9* without them being Gold 2, and from 9* to 10* without them being Platinum.

I like that idea, but then someone else mentioned what would happen to the people’s heroes who are already past 7* that are below Gold, which is true?
Well, maybe they could become unplayable until they reach the required Grade?

I feel like the stars and grades should be congruent and work together.
10*'s is the best of the best, and Green rank is the worst of the worst.
I don’t think a low grade hero should be able to have high star power.

Just have it where to advance stars you need a set quota, 5 stars silver status, 7-8 need gold 2 bars, 10 stars need plat and max skills. ect ect

I suggested a gate system for leveling with upper tiers locked out, even if you already posses them, until you meet the requirements to access them. The post is still active. You’re thoughts would be appreciated.

I get what your saying, but I think addressing it as a solution is the better approach. There are constantly new players on the forums reading for strategy ideas. I’d rather not feed them info on how to become “that guy”. And as far as leveling the playing field, most of us have heroes way past this point. Sogui, while making an intelligent and well intentioned post, created a great strategy guide on how to be the next tool with the 10* bronze panzer.

Aún estoy aprendiendo puesto que el foro está en inglés, pude traducir lo máximo que pude y te apoyo, gracias por compartir esta información


Translation: I am still learning since the forum is in English, I was able to translate as much as I could and I support you, thanks for sharing this information.

Gracias por todos, amigo. Sigues posteando.

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I’ve mentioned it in posts in the past but it bears repeating: one of the key problems with “useless” skills is not so much that they are ineffective (although there are a handful that are straight trash - looking at you Gammond gold), it’s that the best part of them are close to as good as they will ever be from the moment you unlock them. It doesn’t matter if they are level 1 or level 70.

Clyde’s “Dirty Fighting” is a great example (lots of skills like this). It’s a move that when it procs will stun a target for 6 seconds which is a lifetime in the short & sweet battlefield that is Hero Hunters. That in itself is very useful and can swing the tide of a fight in the right situation. The problem is that you get 6 seconds of stun at every level and the only thing that scales is the damage that comes tags along with it. At level SIXTY, Dirty Fighting only stacks 17,000 damage to the stun shot. What’s the point of that? At high-gold/platinum that amount of health is a drop in the bucket. So why increase your power level by 1,000 points or so for a completely inconsequential amount of damage? Broken, broken, BROKEN.

Instead, why not take the best part of that skill and make it scale as well? Instead, at level 1 Dirty Fighting should stun an opponent for .1 seconds. Yep, literally less than a stagger achievable through a cover break. For every level you increase it, it scales up with very slowly gradually diminishing returns (so that it doesn’t become OP at increasingly higher levels - nobody wants to be stunned for 20 seconds at a time). Damage should increase too and probably at a higher rate than it currently does but that’s just gravy on top. It’s the stun duration that people that care about. You’ll rarely, if ever, see a 1/1/70 Clyde in PvP again.


Good post @Sogui , can a dev comment please.

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lol gammond gold defeated me this brawl lol… his stupid gold actually revived someone and i lost.

One of the biggest issues is that there are LOTS of players who have already gone down the road of leveling crappy skills and they are forever at a disadvantage to those who aggressively min/max. Unless they start from scratch or straight up quit, they’ll never be on equal footing. That’s not cool.

Aside from fixing the issue (see my other post, suggestions to gate skills/levels behind levels, remove skill levels entirely from PvP algorithims, etc), the only other fair avenue is to make it so you can reset skills. Make it cost gold, Heronium, bucks, whatever if you have to…but let players who followed common sense and leveled their guys in the name of progression not be punished for it.


Seriously dude, you shouldn’t even care. Actually witnessing the skill activate is rarer than seeing a unicorn, hunting it down, and eating unicorn steaks for dinner.

i was more confused on how the match came from me having 2 vs 1 and suddenly changed shift to me being 1 and him 2. I wasn’t even mad.

This is such a good post.

I also got wiped more than twice by Jeffmykelldotcom with his 10-star Bronze 1 Panzer which is by now legendary. Wow he really figured this out to his advantage, kudos to him.

Unfortunately, I can’t copy his team because (1) stupid me went to plat Panzer and (2) stupid me evenly leveled up my skills for my heroes as I went along. Hence he can fight at 25-35k (whatever he chooses) and either he gets no power penalty in matchmaking, or any power difference penalties that the matchmaking system brings against him is irrelevant because of his 10 STAR BRONZE PANZER.

So, getting killed all day is sorta fine. Up to a point.

To be fair I myself am killing lots of Panzer-less teams. However, to be fair again I am seeing quite a bit of fightback because people are figuring out how to use Maven (plat)/Odachi to properly counter Panzer which is what I’ve said all along.

And surprise, I am starting to see the high-starred plat Nightingales and Flatlines coming back into play with Panzer as well because it creates a dilemma of who to take down first (not necessarily the energy blues). So in terms of game balance I am sure that the community will figure out the best counter(s) to Panzer-based teams (and not necessarily only including one in your lineup). To that extent I think, even with Panzer’s undoubtedly high win-rate, things are gonna even out after a while.

So, HHG if you happen to be reading this thread - please pay attention to the OP’s analysis. It is spot on feedback. And release a good fix to fix it.

For me the past 2 months have been frustrating… last month the horrible and broken pvp matchmaking was truly disappointing; you did not even have a chance with many of the matchups. 10k, 12k power differences… what can we do.

This month the point of contention was not the fact that Panzer kept killing and killing, but rather, the PVP Faction Brawl devolved into which team owned the bigger Panzer and who could get their Breach and Clear off first. Again the fundamental issue isn’t so much how powerful Panzer is (she is), but why is person A matched with person B when the actual real world power of a person A (for example with a 8-star plat Panzer) far exceeds the actual real world power of a 6-star Gold Panzer team (but with accompanying heroes who are theoretically equal in numerical power but actually far inferior)? The system inaccurately values skills, that’s why.

That’s 2 months of major unsatisfactory experiences… all because - as the OP has correctly identified - the leveling/hero power system is majorly flawed. And exploiters are getting better at exploiting/min-maxing their way through. To keep up it will soon be necessary for me to attempt to do so and I don’t think it will healthy to have a min-maxing culture or to pursue a game-within-a-game where the key interest is how to get the most bang-for-buck matchups by underleveling/or other ‘tricky’ means. That’s a pretty toxic direction to go wouldn’t you agree?

Before any changes are made to Panzer/Irfit/any other heroes, this fundamental issue has to be fixed in order for the game to progress. Otherwise, it all loops back to this issue and we may never have the game we wanted to play (and paid for) again.

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One of the few rare cases where gammond gold would have a good chance to activate. On a 5v5 good luck with that skill. I’ve never ever seen it happen in 5v5.

It’s quite easy to figure out if you’re a spreadsheet player. Exposing it makes it so the devs actually pay attention. They should realize that this ruins the game for developing players because the power level these abusers stay is at the 20k - 30k bracket. The point where you just start to build your first plats and 10star heroes. Then you encounter these mofos, so discouraging you just want to drop the game.

Bumping this because we keep making threads about the symptoms of this (min-max) but this is the only PVP thread that actually discusses the core problem and its solutions.