What is going on with the Nurse
Time to make a post out-lining what I think has actually shaped the discussion of Nurse since she emerged as 'the best killer' out of nowhere(following the most severe nerfing of any character which made her for a short time 'the worst killer'). I've made it in a new thread because it's long even for me. You were warned.
So just to outline my views on the Nurse: depending on what standards you measure her by, she is the best and worst killer in the game. Almost every discussion I get involved in about her revolves around the ability of one side to ignore this and the other to force them to look at it, like the creatures in Birdbox. Both know the Nurse needs adjusting, but the former group understand that if they consent to this then survivors will continue to enjoy being balanced on a different standard; that of 'how most players who are in lower-ranks play', which if it was applied to the Nurse would mean she needs several significant buffs. The nut-shell of everything now:
- Her addons have never been changed.
- This makes the sudden recent focus on them suspicious.
- The consensus that addons hindered blinking never went away, it just got drowned-out.
- This needs explaining by those pushing for changes to Nurse.
- Survivors having become worse at the game is currently the best explanation.
- That isn't being acknowledged because it undermines the case for changing Nurse.
- It instead supports the case for changing survivors, in a way they have resisted for 3 years.
- As they will not support that, a compromise is reverting Nurse changes in patch 1.9
TL;DR version below
Other than that is a more specific issue: there have always been complaints about the Nurse, but why have they only recently become fixated on her addons? I could say that 'survivors have found a wedge-issue, a point of least-resistence and the devs are cooperating with them'. Even killer-mains after all are saying 'her basekit is fine, it's just those addons'.
My own thoughts on that are: "Am I the only person left playing this game who doesn't have a goldfish memory-span?"; the Nurse's addons have not been changed at all since she was released, none of them. There hasn't been any listed changes to the game which would have affected them either in a way that reflects the drastic change in focus that complaints about her have had. Why was no one complaining about them in 2017? Why has it only become a thing since then?
I'll reiterate something else I've already said: if you told a Nurse-main in 2017 that people would be complaining about her addons making her over-powered, they would reply "Oh I wonder what buffs they'll get to cause that?". The answer is none; they haven't been changed, nor affected directly or indirectly by any other balance, design or mechanical changes beyond the superficial. That Nurse-main would then make the obvious conclusion: "What happened that made survivors so bad then?".
One narrative pushed is that Nurse's extra-blink addons give her multiple chances to react and course-correct during a blink-chain, limiting the ability of survivors to evade. This means you no longer have to be good with the Nurse, merely adequate.
IF this were all there was to it though, I would expect Nurse to have made great strides in no longer being so weak at low-ranks and another killer to take her place as the weakest. This doesn't appear to have happened. Also, was it the case in 2017 and people just didn't realise it was the addons when they made more generalistic complaints about her? Why were Nurse-mains at the time saying they preferred not using them because they interfered with muscle-memory? Did they just not realise the utility of extra blinks?
I think survivors have stumbled over the truth but not noticed: it's not that the Nurse has extra chances to succeed because of extra-blinks, but that survivors have extra-chances to fail. Blinking with addons remains as hard as it was in 2017.
With all the focus on addons though, we're out on what has changed about blinking itself. In Patch 1.9 from January 2018, substantial changes were made to the function and appearance of her blinking, as well as the way her lunge-attack out of a blink. Killers discussed these changes and the consensus was that the changes were mostly neutral. I have now partially changed my mind on this.
I now believe survivors failed to adapt to those changes. I don't think they realised the implications of this one in particular: "Duration of the blink now depends on the how long the player charged the blink for, rather than the distance traveled during the blink. The time required to fully charge a blink (2 seconds), the maximum distance traveled (20 meters) and the time required to cover that distance (1.5 seconds) remain unchanged."
Survivors are not able to judge how far the Nurse is blinking based on how long she charged each blink; they can react, but not anticipate. A Nurse can fully-charge a blink, then aim lower at the ground to shorten the distance. This reduces the uncertainty and inaccuracy that extra-blink addons introduce. It reduces the require muscle-memory for a Nurse blinking towards a close survivor. Killers though have become so accustomsed to adapting by now that we don't realise when we're doing it; the Nurse-meta following her initial nerfs happened almost by accident too.
It turns out that she has in fact gone through a second evolution in her meta, due to being able to short-blink on a full-charge. The patch notes for 1.9 say that "The following points will address the additional balance changes that should counter balance the improved Blink", but none of the following points address blink at all, or seem to have any relevance. It's just changes to pallets, STBFL, map changes, scratch-marks and an exploit fix(listed under balance rather than bug-fixes for some reason).
Changing the Nurse on the pretense and manufactured consensus that her addons are a problem is absurd. There is nothing to explain how this could have changed since 2017, save for 1.9 changes which are really about killers adapting instinctively and survivors not at all. If it just seems like survivors really can do nothing against post-1.9 blinks, then there is the option to revert the 1.9 changes, not knee-jerk nerf the Nurse, because that is what it would be. Nothing has been learned from all the previous mistakes if this is on the cards.