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Developer Update: Persephone

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Forum » News » Developer Update: Persephone 1 posts - page 1 of 1

Poll Question:


What do you think about this rework?
This might make me play her!
This might make me stop playing her...
I'll play her no matter what (unconditional love!)
VOTE
Permalink | Quote | +Rep by Branmuffin17 » April 27, 2021 4:23pm | Report


By: TitanCupcake



Hello everyone!

In the upcoming patch we will be reworking Persephone, Queen of the Underworld. We wanted to take some time to go over the why and how of this rework, as well as give a preview of the changes you can be expecting.


WHY REWORK?


When choosing to rework a god we want to ensure they meet 4 distinct criteria that indicates they need an update. These criteria are: Popularity, Balance, Community Request, Clear Paths for Improvement. We are going to tackle these one by one and go over why Persephone meets all of these criteria.

FIRST UP, POPULARITY.

As of the 8.2 Patch Persephone falls into the following windows of popularity.
  • Ranked Conquest (Pick Rate): #82/113
  • Ranked Conquest (Pick + Ban Rate): #8/113
  • Conquest Popularity: #109/113
  • Non-Conquest Popularity: #73/113
While she has a spark of popularity in Ranked Conquest, this is mostly due to her ban % and not her actual pick %. Her perception of strength at the highest levels of play are what is showcased here rather than her actual popularity. At all other levels of play her popularity struggles. While this is simply one data point it is important to use it to try to figure out why she is unpopular.

Her visual presentation and theming are strong which leads us to believe her Balance and general Gameplay flow are the core issues at play. With the rework our goal is to preserve these visual and theme elements but smooth out her balance concerns and make her kit a more fluid and fun experience to play.

In regards to the first Metric, Popularity, Persephone passes as a candidate for being reworked.

SECOND, BALANCE.

Before we get too deep into the details of her balance lets get some statistics to look at. Again, these are taken from 8.2.
  • Ranked Conquest Win Rate: #103/113
  • Conquest Win Rate: #111/113
  • Non-Conquest Win Rate: #87/113
Persephone may be highly valued but her overall win rate at all levels of play is near the bottom. Despite appearing on the top end of many players’ tier lists and sporting a high ban rate players struggle to succeed with this goddess.

Overall Persephone’s core issue can be summed up in one word, Variance. The difference between Persephone’s highest moments and lowest moments are extreme and there is little middle ground for her effectiveness. Persephone’s Flowers for example are very binary in how effective they can be. Newer players often struggle or simply cannot dodge being bitten, while a top level player will nearly never get hit. As such high end players often utilize her plants completely differently, opting for the stage 2 plant for more guaranteed damage.

To put it another way, Persephone’s Skill Floor is high (you need to be very good to even be OK with this goddess) and her Skill Ceiling is even higher. To make this type of character feel balanced at the very top level of play her win rate and overall power must be low. As such players can feel the lack of impact they are having and drop her from their overall god roster.

In regards to the second Metric, Balance, Persephone passes as a candidate for being reworked.

This metric is unique in being one of the least problematic on the list. Plenty of gods are balanced with lower win rates and higher variance in mind. Often those gods have their audience that enjoy playing them but most importantly, they feel fair to fight when balanced at this point. At this point it is time to talk about our third Metric.

THIRD, COMMUNITY PERCEPTION.

Persephone can often feel frustrating to fight against. When playing against Persephone situations that should feel good can quickly turn on their head. Did you successfully CC and burst down Persephone? That’s unfortunate, she revived, ulted your team, and everyone got wiped as they burned abilities to kill you. Even if she did 0 damage in this Passive form she would still have a similar issue. Her ability to influence fights and potentially turn them from this state is a great example of both the variance we discussed before and goes against much of what SMITE promises players when it comes to killing your opponents.

Additionally, while her Gameplay loop of creating a garden and sending it forth to do her bidding can be engaging for the Persephone player; it lacks interaction. There is not much an enemy can do to respond to a Persephone who has set up a garden in the lane you need to be in anyways or at the objective that is currently being fought over.

As such players have grown to dislike playing against Persephone. Playing defensively risks eating poke and further giving up ground. The ultimate creates very punishing moments for sticking together. Even when you feel like you have caught her out she can revive and make that effort spent feel like a trap. Even though she sports a consistently low performance across all metrics, playing against her feels like an uphill battle.

While this section does not have as much raw data to support it, I think most players would agree that when it comes to the Third Metric, Community Perception, Persephone passes as a candidate for a rework.

FOURTH, CLEAR PATHS FOR IMPROVEMENT.

When approaching a rework we want to be sure we can clearly improve the character before moving forward. Here we weigh the important characteristics of the god, what can stay, and what must be changed to really move forward.

For Persephone, she is defined by her ability to cultivate a garden through intelligent planning to become more effective. This is what is unique to her and good news for Persephone mains, an aspect we believe is not at its core problematic. If too much emphasis is placed on this it can create the variance problem described above, but she is currently very heavily pushed to the extreme on this scale. A clear path for improvement for Persephone is to give her better tools to fight directly and reigning in how much planning ahead impacts her overall strength. Planning ahead should be what separates an OK Persephone from a great Persephone, not what limits anyone but SPL level players from playing this Goddess.

Another core aspect of Persephone is that she has minions that do her bidding for her. From the Skeletal Warrior that charges forward to her plants running at enemies this too is a core aspect of Persephone. Not only do they give her unique visuals but also unique gameplay. However from an enemies perspective there was little they could do to play around these effects (and at top level little Persephone could do to get the Harvest Flowers to connect). A clear path for improvement on this unique aspect would be to improve Persephone’s direct control over these minions while giving enemies a more even skill test at avoiding them.

This finally leads us to her Passive. While her planning ahead and minion focused gameplay can be adjusted in healthy ways, reviving from death to continue fighting in any form that remotely resembles current Persephone won’t be in the rework. Reviving from the dead to do interesting things or in a very limited capacity might be possible in the future, but casting your core kits abilities and applying crowd control is likely not. As such the clear path for improvement, and the overall experience of playing against Persephone, is a new Passive.

SUMMARY

Her overall balance state and popularity combined with her overall sentiment show her as a perfect candidate for our rework Criteria.


THE UPDATE?


Here we want to go over the planned adjustments for Persephone! With all the above notes we believe we have clear paths for improvement to her existing themes. Here is the plan:
  • Maintain Persephone’s gameplay loop of creating a garden and reward her for planning ahead.
  • Give Persephone more control over the actual direction and use cases for her minions. Make sure these use cases feel good to utilize and learn at all skill levels.
  • Give Persephone more immediate impact without her plants, bringing her Skill Floor to a more reasonable level.
  • Give enemies more clear counterplay that can be learned at all skill levels.
  • Decrease frustration when playing against her, specifically her ability to revive and heavily impact an ongoing fight.



BASIC ATTACKS
  • Unchanged.



PASSIVE – POMEGRANATE SEEDS (REWORK)
  • Persephone now enters the Death Realm upon dying. She can no longer damage, see, or interact with any active entity on the map when in this state.
  • Instead, for free, each time she dies she can roam the map placing seeds that will spawn when she respawns. This will allow her to respawn with Plants immediately available for her to use.
  • Persephone still accumulates Seeds from her Harvest Flowers and can still sell them to the fountain.
  • Goals: We want to reduce the frustration around Persephone reviving but still want to give Persephone a way to actively impact that map upon her revival. This will also help Persephone be able to contest things quickly after she revives by having a garden already prepared.




ABILITY 1 – BONE RUSH (HEAVY ADJUSTMENTS)
  • This ability no longer caches aim when fired, allowing Persephone to re aim it up until the point it starts charging.
  • This ability no longer topples over damaging enemies in a large AoE. Instead it charges forward a larger distance, stopping on the first god hit and slowing them.
  • This ability still places a skull, but it will place the skull where it stops.
  • Goals: Reduces the frustration from being poked at an incredible distance while also making this ability feel better to use as the Persephone player. The long delay and buildup time combined with cached aim meant it functioned very differently from other similar abilities.



ABILITY 2 – HARVEST (REWORK)
  • This ability no longer places skulls on a charge based cooldown.
  • This ability now does damage in an area after a brief warm up. Once the area explodes 3 Skulls are placed around that area at once.
  • Goals: Provide Persephone with a way to more quickly set up her Garden at once while also giving her more immediate impact in a fight.



ABILITY 2 – HARVEST PLANTS (REWORK)
  • The Harvest Skull and Plants have also undergone some heavy changes.
  • The Sprout (Stage 2 : Exploding Plant) has been removed.
  • The Skull now immediately transitions to the Flower state after 4s.
  • When Persephone Basic Attacks or uses Flourish on the Flower it will charge in the direction it was attacked or the direction Persephone was facing. It no longer attempts to lock onto targets.
  • The Flower will attempt to bite anyone that gets too close at a set interval.
  • Important Note: This ability does still have protection from multiple bites happening in rapid succession.
  • Goals: The use cases and the counterplay options for all parties involved should be much clearer. Persephone’s can try to lead opponents and cut off their escape paths with well aimed Flowers while enemies can clearly see the counterplay (don’t get too close).



ABILITY 3 – FLOURISH (BALANCE ADJUSTMENTS)
  • This ability now deals damage on takeoff.
  • Since the Sprout has been removed, this ability no longer Pre-germinates a Skull.
  • Goals: Give Persephone some extra offense to enemies diving her now that her Sprout no longer provides that quick burst of damage upon landing.



ABILITY 4 – GRASP OF DEATH (BALANCE ADJUSTMENTS)
  • This ability no longer restricts your movement the closer you move to the center. You are only prevented from moving outside the max radius of this effect.
  • Instead, players moving away from the center will have their movement speed reduced.
  • Goals: Give players more flexibility with how they fight against Grasp of Death. Before it was difficult to help a trapped teammate as you heavily restricted your movement. This was on top of making it very difficult to dodge Persephone’s incoming attacks.


FINAL THOUGHTS?


In this rework Persephone players will still need to manage their garden and minions for maximum effect. She has more immediate tools to answer to the ever shifting battle but she will still need a skilled player to really unlock her potential. Enemies can also fight her with a better understanding of where the damage is coming from and how to avoid it while also feeling rewarded for catching a Persephone out during a good play.

We are excited for everyone to get their chance to play with Persephone in 8.5! Be sure to hop onto the upcoming PTS and let us know how she feels!


Source: https://www.smitegame.com/news/developer-update-persephone/
Branmuffin17
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