It's been less than 24 hours so this would be a preliminary report. I tried CH and TM after the update, not on high rank accounts with any good cores, but still.
TLM poison builds (their hardly Focus builds now, just poison builds) are everywhere now. If you're smart and don't make a wrong move, they're not that hard to beat. They can be easy if you go first but hard if you go second since they're entire strategy revolves around trapping you. At least that was the case for my rank 1 TM. But that's not what I'm here to complain about. The problem with the balance changes is that they made Surgical bad, didn't do anything to help Frenzy, and buffed what was already their strongest skill by far--toxic-grenade--through the roof from a mathematical standpoint (heal cooldown didn't do much since poison cooldown was already reduced). This has created a new breed of TLMs that have fallen into the same diversity purgatory as BH. Any viable TLM build will now revolve completely around Toxic Grenade, their new god skill, just like how BH can only use Smoke. This really bad. Classes that can only rely on a single skill are broken classes. Surgical was fine as it was, Frenzy needed a buff, and toxic may have needed a nerf.
What's now happening is that poison is the new meta and TLMs are the new BH. Poison is akin to Smoke. Botanical Hazard is akin to Azrael's Borg/Blood Hawk/Black Abyss Bot. Heal is akin to Defense Matrix. This is no fun. I don't like healing on first turn in every single battle and being paranoid about making a single wrong move to win. TLMs aren't really tanks anymore. Their just purely aggression because that's the only viable way for them to win now. I liked it back when they were tanky classes with Frenzy and Surgical.
On the other hand, CH was buffed to godly levels compared to before. They're almost like when TLMs had Smoke in early Delta. The perfect combo of tankiness coupled with a debuff. CH is now the tankiest class in the game by far with a passive shield and Shadow Arts. The high Dex and +10% block from Shadow Arts, plus the Malfunction make it so my opponents are practically guaranteed to get blocks and deflects at some point. Malfunction is a better skill than BH Smoke now since most of the other Focus builds still rely on Tech to do damage and Malfunction utterly cripples their attacks. Not to mention, Energy Shield is still worse than Defense Matrix. The 10% damage reduction from Shadow Arts indirectly nerfed Static Smash, Static Grenade, Atom Smasher, and EMP Grenade, allowing CH to have even better energy control than ever with their insane Tech scaling Static Charge. Of course, Venom Strike is amazing now, too. Dex is the superior stat for CH Focus by far now, since robot damage doesn't matter as much when you're using Botanical Hazard. It also helps balance out defenses, which would always be lopsided before with Plasma Armor; now they're impeccable. BHs just got screwed with their Blood Hawk tricks since they can't rely on the fact that you have physical armor anymore.
Overall, I'm really loving the fact that Dex can be a great stat again. But CH might be a bit over the top now. It can walk circles around the best builds of the other classes. We'll see in the coming days though since it's still early.
(On a different note CH currently makes a mockery out of "Legendary" bosses. I bet you could beat the hardest ones as a Rank 1 or level 39 even with all the buffs. Balance should be about PvP first, but that's a bit sad.)
Dex for TM is also superior to Tech now for Focus builds, I think, which is awesome. It's not a bad class now, I'd say. Dex being viable again was probably the best thing that's happened with balance since passives came back. Bludgeon is a fun skill to use now as a Focus build when you need it.
Mercenary may have been hit a bit hard. Not necessarily because the nerfs were that harsh, more so that everything else was buffed a lot, especially debuff and poison skills which are the new meta.
Some people might think otherwise, but BM still seems pretty bad. Not one of those buffs was substantial except for maybe the Fireball cooldown which makes Strength viable again but not great. The class doesn't even have Bludgeon anymore.
BH still needs to be weened off Smoke and use some of its other skills. The problem with BH is that the Static Grenade energy regen model is better suited for classes that have chunky burst moves like Merc. Even if you buff stuff like Venom Strike and Cheap Shot it's not going to do much since it's hard for BH to play the extended looping game like TLM and CH. Maybe things will change, but for now the class still feels as bland as ever.
< Message edited by NDB -- 6/12/2019 12:50:09 >