We are making some significant changes to Jackson, Butter, and Nightingale in the 0.7 update, and we expect these changes to have a big impact on how these heroes fit into your teams. Because of this, we wanted to take a few moments to explain to you what to expect and a few reasons why we feel these changes are necessary.
Jackson’s TL: DR
- Jackson is now a Mechanical unit
- New Silver ability, Grenade Launcher
- New Gold ability, Concussion Missiles
We feel one of the most radical changes come to Jackson. He was intended to be a DPS unit, but we didn’t feel like he really hit his potential. As one of the first heroes you get we want him to feel good and set your expectations for future heroes. We started this change in 0.6 when we swapped his first Bronze and Silver skills. Having Missile Barrage as his primary just makes playing Jackson much more rewarding.
The first change to come was Jackson was converted from an Energy unit to a Mechanical unit. The main reason for this is primarily to give the starting line up more elemental diversity. Previously you would have started with 3 Energy units and 1 Biochem unit. This change also allows users to get exposure to our elemental resistance system earlier, which we feel is an important core element to gameplay.
To unify Jackson’s purpose in the team, making him a great choice for dealing with large groups of weak enemies we felt his Silver skill needed an update. Jackson’s Silver ability has been changed from Charged Lance to Grenade Launcher. As you might expect, this powerful ability lobs a grenade at your target for a significant AoE blast of Mech damage.
Jackson’s first passive and Gold ability, previously Combat Drone, seemed inconsistent with his new direction. Having the drone made Jackson feel more complex and less focused. As a result of this, we’ve changed his Gold ability to be a passive buff on his Bronze ability, Missile Barrage. His new ability Concussion Missiles improves Missile Barrage by adding bonus damage and disorients enemies who are out of cover. We think this makes getting to Gold feel much more rewarding and focuses Jackson’s skill set significantly.
Butter’s TL: DR
- No longer has a team shield
- New Bronze ability, Draw Fire
- New Silver ability, Defender Shield
- Gold Skill Refinement
Butter’s high star rating and powerful skills made him a formidable force in the early game. This made him a requirement in every team and made the use of any other early game tanks feel somewhat less than ‘awesome’. To address this concerns, we are adjusting Butter’s role within a team.
The primary change is Butter’s brand new Bronze ability, Draw Fire. This ability gives Butter a personal shield and taunts enemies into attacking him. Draw fire is for taking fire away from allied Heroes. This allows Healers to focus their healing on a single at-risk Hero and allows Attackers to freely engage enemy targets without fear of reprisal.
Butter’s Defender Shield is replacing his old Silver ability. While Defender Shield will no longer shield himself, it provides his teammates with a much stronger shield and will also refresh the duration of Draw Fire if it is currently active. By combining both of his abilities, Butter can effectively negate damage for the rest of your team. This allows butter to continue to fulfill his previous role as team shielder while providing the basis for more skillful gameplay and simultaneously allowing deeper strategic play in PVP to work around Butter’s protection.
Additional adjustments to his Gold ability improve Butter’s survivability further. Damage Eater now provides a always active damage conversion from any active shields he may have. The shield can be provided by any allied Hero, not just himself. This provides Butter with innumerable synergistic opportunities within a team composition which will encourage more experimentation with the Hero going further into the late game.
Nightingale’s TL: DR
- Faster rate of fire
- New Bronze ability, Heal Pulse
- New Silver ability, Locked In
Nightingale was the third hero to see significant change this release. She is, and was, a great support hero. Her heals were vital to the survival of your teams and made it possible to survive through the Gauntlet. However, we felt her gameplay was not very exciting. Her reloads were long, skill charges were slow and her moment to moment gameplay did not feel action-y. One thing you will notice immediately when you play this hero is that her rifle feels much more satisfying and fast paced.
We’ve changed her heal a bit in this update. She has a single target heal with a small heal over time to help with damage mitigation, so she no longer heals the entire team but she can more easily able to keep a single hero alive. When you combine this with Butter’s update these two make a natural synergetic link, Butter will take the damage and Nightingale will keep him on his feet.
Her second ability “Lightning Strike” is being removed completely and replaced with “Locked In”. Lightning Strike was a damage dealing ability and didn’t fit well with Nightingale being a support hero, it gave her a lack of focus. Her new skill will not only buff the whole team by increasing Base Damage and increasing Critical Chance but also put a “Mark” on the targeted enemy. This “Mark” dramatically increased aggro towards the targeted enemy forcing your AI controlled teammates to focus fire that unit. If you haven’t already checked out Savage you should, he’ll make a great teammate.