Content of the article: "Why Vivian doesn’t deserve deletion"
I’ve had this half-drafted in my Google Drive for a while. I saw some posts recommending that Vivian be deleted and figured I might as well pull it out of unfinished limbo and toss the 2¢ it’s worth into the ring.
Allow me to preface this with the statement that I don't expect for a moment that EM will straight-up DELETE any champions, simply due to the frustrations of their mains, the frustration of players who bought their skins, and the creators of the champion and the skins themselves. That's a lot of work and cash down the drain for a lot of people for the champions' players and creators alike.
That being said, Vivian is one of the 3 main sources of my annoyance in Paladins. Only one of the other two (Strix) is relevant here, but what do these three share?
1) None are particularly uncommonly played.
I'm almost guaranteed to run into a few of each each time I play. Unlike Wormhole Evie (of which I am a staunch hater), these three appear all the damn time. Seeing WH Evie frustrates me more than any of these champions on their own, but I see these three far more often, meaning I get more frustrated in total by them.
2) Effort imbalance.
TL;DR for this section: Braindead to play, but you likely have to try in order to deal with them.
Think of all the things you need to do while playing… Let's say Drogoz. You have 3 cooldowns that need to be managed, as well as a resource bar. You need to manage your vertical and horizontal position, lead your shots and Fire Spit, and determine the correct time to use your fairly easy-to-shut-down but very powerful ultimate. That's a lot of things to do.
Let's take another example in Lian. Lian needs to manage 3 cooldowns as well as use them very often, but is far more forgiving with shorter cooldowns and autoaim. Nevertheless, she needs to watch her fragile little back from flankers obliterating her, and be absolutely sure she doesn't miss her Presence. Not as much as Drogoz, but alright.
What does Strix do?
Generally speaking, you can count on Strix to do the following:
Run to high ground > Look around (maybe) > Scope at point > Fire > Repeat from 2.
When he is concerned, he may fire a flare at a spot he can't see or monitor as well as what's through his scope. When confronted, he will probably try to quickscope you, finish you off, then press f and run away. He has ONE cooldown to be managed and a resource bar that wishes it got as much action as Io's and Drogoz's do. Mild awareness is recommended (but optional) to watch or listen for flankers. If he knows a flanker is approaching, he need only go invisible, get a free shot while they're still a fair distance away, then finish them off from ~800-1k health.
What does Vivian do?
She might run around the map, pressing Q when her health drops below half or before starting a fight, and then hold click at enemies until someone dies. Eventually, she'll hit E and run around the map and shoot harder.
Other times, she might stand around the front line and aggressively click at enemies. Generally speaking, though, you can count on her to lob her two little drones before any fighting starts, then possibly forget about them. Whoops.
Booby Trap Vivian is a slight exception. My personal 2nd favourite way to play her, she'll throw a drone or two at a flank route, then ADS and start shooting someone. After a second or two she'll lob a drone at them, then repeat. Slightly more engaging since she's actively managing a second cooldown, but still not much.
Now, I hate both of these champions. But there's something that distinguishes each of them, and that thing is what affects my desired fate for them: P O T E N T I A L.
What separates Strix from Vivian is that I think that an invisible, revealing sniper is inherently a bad idea for an FPS. I don't think there's much that can be done to make such a character fun to fight. Just remember that invisibility at medium-close range and beyond can basically be used as a free and nearly unpredictable shot. Unfortunately, this idea of an invisible know-it-all sniper is essentially baked into Strix's character (Ghost Feather/Owl). You can't really change it without changing his whole identity.
Vivian, on the other hand, has an identity of being prepared. She has plans on top of plans. She's the type of person who probably has everything from a flare gun to a hand-powered generator in her pocketbook. She (presumably) accomplishes this through her drones. What this means is we can boil her down to this:
- Tools for any situation.
Which basically means 'drones for any situation.' I don't think a drone/deployable-based damager is inherently a bad idea for Paladins. It fills a role that we don't have covered yet, and could fit quite well into the Customize your Champion speal that Paladins is all about. Shift the focus of Vivian's kit and identity to her DRONES, not her gun.
This could be accomplished by tying her shield to a drone that appears behind her head or something. Destroy the drone or deplete the shield's health to eliminate it.
Furthermore, 'aiming' is not being prepared. Aiming is called 'knowing how to use your fucking gun.' Scrap that 'ability' and change it to a drone, perhaps one that can be customized through her Talent.
- Nanites – RMB Drone now heals ally players AND deployables within 10m for 200 hp/s.
- Max of 2.
- Healing stacks.
This allows Vivian to adapt to a more supportive role. She can now sustain defenses for longer, and this opens up some potential synergies down the road with other deployables. The short range keeps it from being a replacement to the likes of Jenos and Luna's heals, essentially requiring it to be thrown next to whatever needs to be repaired to work. Additionally, this ability to heal deployables would be (currently) entirely unique to Vivian, giving her an actual reason to be picked besides how goddamn easy she is.
- (Snappy name #2 goes here) – Every 6s, all enemies within X units (about the range of Io's Life Link?) of Vivian’s RMB Drone are stunned for 1s.
- Max of 1.
Again allowing her a more supportive role, this gives Vivian something she’s never had: CC. She’s no longer just a damager, but can be an actual asset to have in point fights. Hell, you don’t even have to make it stun; what if it increased active cooldowns of enemies in its radius by 1.5s every 3s? Since it may be cancerous in 1v1s, this is just an idea that can be built off of and *should NOT* be implemented as is.
- Mosquitoes – Vivian’s RMB drone becomes a proximity mine, releasing a cloud of small bots. Drone swarms last for 2s, and will split to pursue any enemies near the mine on activation. The swarm can do up to 325 DPS, but will split evenly when another enemy comes within 4 meters of an infested target.
- Max of 1.
- Example: Maeve triggers a trap on her own. Grover touches her, then Furia touches Grover. Maeve takes 162.5 DPS, while Grover and Furia each take 81.25 DPS.
- Max of 1.
I’m picturing something like Fireflies from the Black Ops 3 Campaign (I don’t know, I’m not creative). This form of area damage would punish enemies attempting to solo-flank, but would quickly be countered by grouped-up enemies. If you so choose, have them also target deployables. What if Deployables always took the full 350 dps?
I’m not saying any of these ideas would be particularly great. I'm trying to say that there’s plenty of things that can be done with Vivian and her identity of being drone-reliant. She could be so great to play, with so many options and gimmicks and playstyles! That kind of potential shouldn't be discarded. It should be salvaged.
- Potential Vivian Rework Idea/s
- List of on-hit effect changes: shields and deployables
- Why doesn’t anyone run the Artificer Hive on Turret builds (especially on Legendary)?
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