Y3S3 Designer’s Notes: Mid-Season

The “Designer’s Notes” series will provide you with insight into our Balancing team’s thoughts on Operator balancing around the middle of each Season. These will come after we have reviewed the data and feedback from the new Operators, and changes made with the latest Season. We are hosting an AMA on our subreddit starting at 2:00pm EDT (October 23rd). After reading these changes, please head here to ask your questions!

We utilize data and player feedback to make decisions on adjustments. With that in mind, we wanted to share some of the data they have been looking at for our various Operators. The following charts plot the power (Win Delta) and popularity (Pick Rate) of the Operators on Attack and Defense. The Win Delta is the average win ratio when an Operator is picked minus the average win ratio when an Operator is not picked.



Upcoming Changes


  • Reduced weapon swapping speed between CCE Shield and Sidearm
  • Delay before refilling charge after usage ends increased to 2 seconds, from 1 second
  • Attackers regain full mobility after 0.5 seconds, down from 1.5 seconds, after being shocked

We do recognize that Clash is currently not performing well in terms of Win Delta, and these changes may lead people to believe that we are nerfing an already underpowered Operator. We have made these changes to refocus Clash to fulfill the function that she was originally intended to perform, and do not anticipate a major impact on general Ranked usage or strength.

The swapping speed change is more of a bug fix than a balancing change. We had never intended for her swapping speed to be that fast from a design standpoint. When players would immediately ADS, they would skip the “equip” animation for the sidearm, and therefore significantly reduce the equip time. We also increased the amount of time it takes to put the CCE Shield on her back, further increasing the amount of time it takes to switch to a weapon. Our design intention is that she should be able to swap to a side arm outside of a gun fight or behind cover, but not be as lethal as she is currently.

The issue with the current state of the delay in the refill charge, and the reduction in the amount of time it takes for Attackers to regain full mobility is that it led to players being able to use her shock in short bursts to keep Attackers slowed for too long. On the topic of regaining mobility more quickly, this will also allow Attackers to move around a corner and escape without Clash being able to chase them down and continue shocking them. The goal of these changes is to lower frustration, and further empower our Attackers in their ability to manage encounters with Clash.

Ultimately, we believe that this will further drive the idea that Clash is reliant on teammates, as opposed to an Operator than can exist completely independently. She is not intended to be able to hold half of the map by herself, and will now require the proper support from teammates to do so.


  • ALDA 5.56 recoil aligned with other LMGs

With the ALDA, we took a unique approach to LMG hipfire recoil. His LMG would have reduced recoil the longer it sustained fire without aiming down sights. This led to confusion, and did not play out in the way that we had anticipated. As such, we are removing this recoil style, and will be aligning the ALDA hipfire recoil with how the recoil for our other weapons acts.


  • Reducing recoil to improve handling

Following the weapon sight misalignment fix that came with Operation Grim Sky, we saw that it has had a significant impact on Smoke and Mira. As such, we are tweaking the recoil value on the SMG-11 to give Smoke a bit more viability when using this weapon.


  • Reducing recoil to improve handling

Following the weapon sight misalignment fix that came with Operation Grim Sky, we saw that it has had a significant impact on Smoke and Mira. As such, we are tweaking the recoil value on the Vector to improve the firepower that Mira is able to bring to the table.

Current Status

Lion continues to be problematic for us at higher level play. We have a designer that is currently testing a pair of separate possible short-term solutions. One adjustment would remove the intel gathering aspect of his gadget, or we may go with the other, which will trigger more of a Jackal style ping. This is still very early on in testing and production, and will have more details to share once these changes have gone through some feedback sessions.

Much like Lion, we are not happy with Glaz in his current state. We are trying to move away from his role as one of the best “site pushing” Operators, supported by his own Smoke Grenades. We want to bring him closer to the original idea of a sniper, holding a line of sight with a high powered rifle. This one is also early on in production, but is a bit more promising. Much like the Lion change, we will be performing additional play tests internally (with Pro players), and plan to share more details in a future Test Server or Designer’s Notes entry as it draws closer to going live.

To ensure that your questions from these changes are answered, our balancing team will be participating in an AMA on our subreddit starting at 2:00pm EDT, October 23rd. Feel free to ask them your questions here! We look forward to seeing you there.

Balancing Team AMA.

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