Moira is the latest hero of Overwatch and she is what the community and players have been asking for, a Healer Support. Supports are the backbone of compositions and depending on the type of healing they can provide, the rest of the composition is built around them, taking into consideration the terrain as well. Therefore, whenever one enters the game, or even when they are reworked, we know that meta shifts will follow and the whole strategy depth increases.
Her limits have not been explored yet and it seems like she will enable a lot of different plays with her ranged healing, while at the same time it is required of her to deal damage in order to heal, which is very interesting as far as her gameplay is concerned. The one aspect I wanted to focus in this article is her Ultimate, because I feel that it will be very hard to judge a player’s performance with it due to the fact that it combines healing and damage.
It is not the first ultimate that is hard to evaluate, however. In previous articles of mine, while trying to figure out which stats should be tracked for the different heroes, I stumbled upon Ana’s ultimate which -I deem- is the most confusing one, since it provides both damage increase and damage reduction to another player. [Previously it also enhanced a hero’s speed and attack rate, but that was removed.] The second of the two effects provided can’t be shut down, while the first can be nullified with a sleep dart or some CC ability that puts the hero out of the game for some time. Still, no matter how many stats one collects for this Ultimate’s effects, none of it reflects badly on the Ana player, since it’s entirely up to the player who receives it to put it to good use.
Thankfully, Moira’s Ultimate’s stats are indicative of the player’s performance with her a bit more. The problem lies in the dual nature of the ultimate that enables two styles: aggressive and passive. It can be used both as a way to deal damage and eliminate opponents from the points, or to sustain one’s allies. Players will actually do a bit of both, since there is no way to stop the channeling and you can’t avoid healing an ally that passes through it. In the end, the stats collected will only tell us if the player tends to use it mostly to get frags or to heal his allies and keep them alive so as they get the frags.
There is only one way, that I can think of, to properly evaluate one’s usage of such ultimates with dual effects or ultimates that work on a team level rather than on an individual one. The stat is called “Fights Won when Ultimate was Used in Fight” or FUU Win% and Winston’s Lab already attempts to track it. With this number, you can tell how much success on average the team had when the Support player activated his Ultimate and then it provides a good basis for discussing the player’s decision-making ability combined with VoD analysis of the player’s playstyle and his team’s tactics.
Such a metric, however, requires the game to be conceptualized as an arrangement of team fights instead of just individual skills being activated in succession. Once again, Winston’s Lab has gone that extra mile, which I feel that Blizzard could also acknowledge and introduce maybe to the game. Our data is incomplete due to the limitations of the capturing program, but Blizzard’s is not. If they decide to go that way, then I think that a lot of in-game stats can be replaced by other metrics on a team level that provide more insight and properly judge these intangible things.
In conclusion, the more flexible and complex the skill, the harder to judge it by only one or two metrics, or even the combination of them. A higher level of organization is required that manages to capture the very essence of the game, which is the fights. Hopefully, Blizzard will start moving towards that direction in the future with their stats and provide us with them so we can keep refining and elaborating on our metrics.