Originally i wrote this in another thread, but i think the topic is important enough to warrant an own thread.
Okay, so now we can talk about it. The way elites and doctrines are currently implemented isnt good for the game balance at all. Choosing elites and doctrines before the match without knowing what the opponent is doing makes no sense at all. First time we see what the enemy has taken is in the loading screen and then its too late to change anything. With the amount of combinations available i can be put severely at disadvantage vs my opponent without any chance to influence it. This totally contradicts the idea of choosing elites and doctrines pregame. Everybody will just run the most universally efficient elites and leave everything else aside (in above average rankings). With the amount of elites and doctrines AND factions to be released the game can almost balance out itself like Dota does but only if we know what the enemy is taking. Remember, there are MORE factions/elites and doctrines to come, which either have to be bought(factions) or unlocked by grinding(elites/doctrines), however long that might take!
The way it is now people will complain much more than needed about "randomness", "op heroes" and the fact that doctrines are not available right away. Even if we could build custom games and choose to draft in a Captains Mode or something for community tournaments how do you want to advertise competitive play this way? If two equally skilled players go against each other without any decisionmaking in counterbalancing matches will just be boring and onesided. Nobody will take a risk and pick what works universally best. This isnt Starcraft where you adjust your strategy midgame but more akin to mobas where good drafting is half the win. The game does have its skillshots and a share of decisionmaking throughout the match but it is still rock, paper, scissors. Let us figure out which elites/doctrines work out against which and let the game balance itself. "Casuals" can handle that. Relic themselves said they want to lay the foundation for "esports" and the rest would depend on the community. I think they couldnt be more wrong on this matter. The way i see it there is no chance currently for it to be taken any serious outside of private custom modes with house rules.
Don ruin competitive play with a small design choice, Relic.
The entire point is that you don't know what you're opponent is choosing as their elites. DoW 2 was the exact same with the commanders. The same system is implemented into CoH 2 and works just fine despite some commanders and doctrines being better than others.
All of this needs to be tested first by the community too so that the appropriate balancing can be implemented in due course. Despite what you may perceive as a bad system is actually one that breaks up what could be the staleness of armies that consist of troops that mirror each other.
It's all about risk/reward ratio as well. Sure you can choose to have lower costing elites for an early game advantage but if your opponent manages to acquire enough elite points during the course of the game to pump out that Wraithknight then kudos to them.
I dont perceive neither DoW2 and CoH2 as very competitive games, not only for this reason of course. Company of heroes is full of Rng. I dont even disagree that the system in CoH2 does work but i would not want it in DoW3 because of what it COULD be. Also in DoW3 elites and doctrines have a much bigger impact. If there is a ladder system it will not take very long until you see the same elites and doctrines over and over in higher rankings because they work universally the best when you dont know what youre playing against. It will become set and forget. In "competitive" play mind you, in casual there will be much more variety.
Remember , we arent talking about 3 factions but also a lot more to come. There is just too much decisionmaking thrown away for RNG. Then everybody can blame the bad matchup instead of themselves.
I really like the idea of elites, doctrines , ancient cores etc to kill. If a big part of the general public despises MOBA'S for whatever reason, making this game mode so casual and rng based (as mentioned above) is exactly the wrong move. The video "assemble your troops" already got 50/50 likes/dislike ratio again. Relic gotta show how much skill and decisionmaking could be involved. And how diverse strategies, mindgames and tactics can be when you know what you go against.