I'll leave my best appreciation for last.



Lancer Balancing

Phaedra
• Mending Swarm
o now has a maximum heal of 60 (30 max each turn).
• Putrid Spray
o duration increased from 1 to 2.
o damage reduced from 20 to 15
o Hive mod - removed
o Big Bugs - damage increase reduced from 5 to 3.

Overall I am not annoyed with the Phaedra changes provided the double slow is removed to account for the 2 turns Putrid spray.

I suppose the main reasoning behind Mending swarm changes is to make Phaedra susceptible to burst damage, however this punishes good predicts from Phaedra and mind games.
I see where this is headed and I saw Night's post on the issue. So my suggestion is one of either, Phaedra's main weakness is that if her HP is low Mending swarm is useless, so we could do trade-offs, here are two approaches to balance this skill (in my opinion):
  1. Keep it capped at 30 per turn, but allow for a three turn heal (making it up to 90) which is sufficient enough to reward phaedra if she predicts a burst, but doesnt allow future turns to negate burst. This gives her a new identity as the outrading lancer for multiple turns (with both heals and bugs)
  2. As is on live, but allow only a % to be recovered, something like 75% (aka Fate transfer stuff) so even if she predicts right, she wont be able to burst heal next turns and still pays for the bad positionning if any
These things can be made into separate mods so Phaedra can choose whether to opt for burst negation or consistent negation which might be interesting.

Actually the main annoyance with Phaedra in my opinion, and where safe nerfs can happen is her ult range (-1 on area or hexagon [black hole]) and her spray which i think has been balanced reasonably well. One can leave mending swarm untouched for the most and this will be sufficient.

Zuki
• The Big One
o Regenerating Ammo Mod - No longer reduces the cooldown. Now grants 6 energy on cast
• Missile Storm
o Artillery Barrage Mod - Range increase down from 2 to 1.
I particularly like the change to regenrating Ammo, while I won't be using it myself, I think its now similar to the old celeste trap feature, which allows zuki a nice reward if it misses and it removes the irritation from players who keep spamming regenartive ammo.
I think though with the cover changes, it might be important to remove the extra damage on shrapnel from the primary mod, or nerf it a bit (like +2, +3 even but it seems a bit strong) since it already rewards out of cover damage.

The rest are pretty cool, I am happy with the Finn/Aurora changes, I think adding base heal on the Ion cloud gives for more "optmization" moves, and the Finn targetter just adds a lot of depth for the enemy to guess.
Overall I think the changes are pretty good.




Meridian


Played a few games with Meridian and different mod setup, feels smooth, but similar to a frontliner. The ranges are pretty nice and rewarding, and his ult has a good buildup, I like that it gets increasingly harder to get it to remain running after 2 turns. I think there is a lot of mod that help with energy but in high level game its very rare for the guy to hit 1-2 targets consistently. though current energy numbers seem good (8 x 2 is pretty nice).
I found the interesting mods on the ult are unstoppable for all, and self shields, its very hard to keep the ult running for more than 3 turns so the buildup mods are linear while energy upkeep is quadratic making them somewhat inefficient. A mod that reduces the energy worsening to 10 or even 15 instead of 20 for 3 points might be interesting. The energy mod seemed rather interesting to use, but the upkeep is horrible enough to run the energy, if you will upkeep that ult for that long (and you shouldnt, because then it would be too OP) the energy rewards on the mod are bad somewhat, the shields are good.
All in all, Meridian feels right already, and seems pretty well in his spot, his base HP might be slightly higher than I expect for his ranges. I think he will be particularly strong as he is able to kite well (I love that haste mod on the primary <3) but i think the multiple-target hits rewards for higher level of play is where his weakness will be mostly, his healing is a bit lacking but his chip shielding should make up for it.
The downtime on his ult feels natural, as youd need time to rebuild the energy. So all in all, fluid experience playing him, and a lot of interesting build tweaks.
One additional reservation is the fact that he needs to be close to other allies, I see a similar thing with suren, but suren has a dash so she can dash close. In his case though, I would rather reward him from playing at his max range with the healing, so his mod would award more healing the farther he is from an ally. This allows for a subtle twist on ranges in his case, as in attacking he has to be close, but in healing he has to be far. (It also makes interesting scenarios where healing frontliners is a cool thing but you wanna stick with your firepower and help them kite)




Stats

And my absolute favorite thing about the new season goes for this. I liked some of the metrics, particularly the damage mitigation ones, and now the ability to measure allows people to optimize builds and really have an objective views about what their build is maximizing and their playstyle is. Granted that, as for any metrics system, players will think having more of a thing is better, eventhough for certain classes or lancers you shouldnt, for instance as a FP you dont want to maximize the vision stat.
So I have to say achievements and stats look pretty promising.
Kudos for separating the stats per queue. That is a quite neat thing to have.
My reservation about the achievement system is that it shouldn't apply for Coop games (as it is unclear at the moment), because its easy to unlock those in coop. And meaningless too.
Another quick remark is that Vision per turn per life is quite confusing to understand.
In addition the percentiles for each stat are really jumbled up, they are interesting, but not easily readable or understood by what they mean. I do agree that they should stay though, but they are completely confusing if you dont really think about them.