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  1. #1
    Community Advocate CH4_BrianFantana's Avatar
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    Let Supports be supports (focus on buffs, shield + healing)

    Sorry in advance if this isn't completely coherent/organized. Multitasking ftw.


    So with the recent changes to supports I'm starting to feel like the devs don't want us to play supports at all as they are intended. With the new focus on bonus will (or switch from bonus health to will) to return most of our skills to pre-nerf levels, it seems like they want us to focus on an incredibly difficult stat to stack, and one that does not typically come with the more offensive stats (entropy is defensive, lantern/deadshot have negligable PD/AD boosts from bonus will), and that's not even getting into the fact that you need to cast spells every 3s for 10 minutes just to get the maximum bonus will.

    I can understand why it was changed from health. Lots of great items gave health and damage, cosmic staff, royal seal, lobos, all things that let supports be incredibly tanky and still do decent damage, and that kind of defeats the purpose of a support character.

    But this has swung it too far in the opposite direction, and the benefits aren't nearly large enough to justify will stacking, especially because ITS JUST NOT WORTH IT. And this is clearly evident by just taking a cursory view at the recommended builds, and the ones listed on Dawnbase. None of the "high scored" builds has any of these characters playing their roles. Arcane plays tank, Robin bruiser, Zatanna/Ivy Blasters. Why even call them supports?

    Bonus Will/Itemization:

    As noted above, bonus will is not only the most difficult stat to stack, but also the least rewarding (seriously, how many times have you ran out of will end game that you truly needed multiple items stacking it rather than just a dreamstone). It has pretty much the worst scaling in the game, and only through massive amounts of spell spamming can you even unlock the full benefits. It also offers very little offensive benefits, while costing an immense amount of credits/time to accumulate, compared to the previous health bonuses.

    Using an older item list since my work internet doesn't approve of dawnbase, I calculated it costing roughly 13000 credits for ~2000 will. At a 10-15% rate for the abilities I'm concerned about, yields bonuses of roughly 200-300 bonus to abilities.

    The items listed are deadshots eye AND lantern, entropy aegis, and metallo's heart

    For the scaling duration the scaling is roughly .04% and 1% per 333 - .8 and ~6, respectively


    Note that for these 4 items, two are tank oriented, and only Harley of the 4 supports can even slightly make use of deadshots AND lantern.

    Champions:

    I haven't had much experience with Ivy, so I'm not going to discuss her, and Robin/Arcane don't really focus on heals/shields, so my main focus will be on Harley and Zatanna, and to a lesser extent Robin.

    For Harley and Zatanna, both of these characters have a heal (though Zatanna's is tied to a shield effect). Both scale with Bonus will at about 15% (~300 bonus).

    Harley, Robin, and Zatanna all give move speed bonuses. Harley's speed is improved by will (at theoretical max Will will be roughly 3% better than old limit), Robin's and Zatanna's get a roughly 1s benefit from having 2000 bonus will.

    The Issues:

    While this seems like not a great issue, the problem is found in the enemy itemization. The three most prevalent items in the game, Coda Blade, Royal Seal, and Lobo's, renders these abilities to nigh uselessness. No other item has such a drastic effect on a single class of characters. There is no ruduce all power damage output by 50% item, no disarm, no 50% crippling blow to reduce basic attacks.

    And these items cost FAR LESS than the effort it takes to scale these skills. Getting both of these items costs less than half of the supports, while also granting them AMAZING BENEFITS. The support gets skill block, 20% attack speed reduction (which doesn't extend far enough to effect most ranged heroes), and an insignificant amount of PD/AD from force of will/will force. Not to mention to truly max out, Zatanna, Arcane, and Ivy are forced to get attack damage, and Robin PD.

    Speed bonuses:
    For the speed bonuses, the clearest issue is the absolute prevalence of royal seal/Lobos. Aside from Zatanna, the slow from each of these items are LARGER than the speed bonuses from the skills, completely rendering the abilities moot as soon as the targeted champion is attacked.

    Note that I understand that some abilities can help peel away the pursuer (such as knockbacks), but this focus is to show why stacking will is far inferior to building the character improperly.

    Let's look at each individually.

    Zatanna: Why waste all your hard earned credits getting a 2s duration buff (to offset a 1s nerf)....when you could just get a royal seal and another power damage buff, and spam an actual nuke, dealing massive amounts of damage and accomplishing pretty much the same thing, while also getting more hp and PD in the process. Her spammable nuke is why everyone makes her a blaster rather than a support.

    Robin: 13000 credits to build up will, offsetting the nerf by 1s. Doesn't actually let someone escape from an enemy with slow once the fight is triggered. Or...you could go full bruiser, knockback the enemy for a massive amount of damage and then slow them with bo staff. And use a lobo's to then keep them away from your running teammate after you initiate.

    Harley: She's more unique in that her buff is her passive, and tied to her ability use, particularly her heal. Stacking will offsets the nerf by 3%, but is still inferior to the slows. Her knockdown allows to rescue teammates, but just as well, you could have built a royal seal and just pied them instead, slowing the enemy (or even multiple enemies!) by 20%, while simultaneously giving your teammate the 12.5% speed buff from BFF, giving u a change of 32% speed instead. So by building for a hybrid offense, you actually benefit your team more than trying to actually be a better support.

    In summary: why spend all the money on slight improvements to your buffs, when you could build offense instead, and gain a larger benefit (since the item slows are better than all but Zatanna's speed bonuses), sometimes being able to apply the move changes to more than one unit (in the case of Ivy, Arcane, Zatanna, and Harley).


    Healing and shields:

    Coda Blade (and the power equivalent). ***? 50% reduced healing, 50% reduced regeneration. Pretty much on the game recommended list for nearly every AD champion. Costs 2500 credits.

    Harley's Heal will bonus is completely negated (goes back to essentially base heal), essentially giving the enemy team a 10k gold advantage. Same for Arcane and Ivy's passives.

    Zatanna fares slightly better due to the heal only coming after a shield which probably would be gone by the time the heal procs.

    Once again, why lose all focus on damage for a skill that will be essentially negated by a core item for many champions? These heals are not significantly large in the first place (especially late game), even with stacked will, to warrant the "support" focus. Out of combat healing is nice for lane pushing, but these characters need something to use when fists fly (which in this game, is very frequently).

    The suggestions:

    Any of these suggestions could be done in any combination, and feedback and discussion is more than encouraged.

    Improve scaling across the board for bonus will. If I want to dump massive amounts of credits to boost my will and spend 10 minutes casting a spell every 3 seconds, I should have massive heals, massive shields, and enduring buffs (within reason of course, not asking for 20s dynamic duo buffs or anything, but one that extends to it's cooldown isn't entirely out of the question).

    Remove (or at the very least reduce) the 50% heal penalty on coda blade. The regen hit is more than enough to deal with the tank characters. The extra hit to the supports is unneeded, and does nothing but force them into an offensive role which is too attractive already.

    Change the buffs to add either resilience, reduce the effect of snares, or make them immune to them entirely for a few seconds (so they can peel, for instance, a 1s immunity allowing to get out of melee range before it can be applied again). This will help your teammates escape and function in the actual support role.

    I want to be able to play a support as a support. To stand there and keep my allies alive. But I increasingly find that building the supports as another role entirely is a far better way to achieve that goal than to play support. If my buffs (with scaling) cant cause my allies to run faster than their attackers due to slows being larger than them, it becomes more beneficial to slow down the enemy than speed up your allies, or kill them entirely.

    I have two options as Harley, for instance. I can either pie smash for massive amounts of damage by focusing on AD/PD while slowing all my pursuers. Or I can do a 600 heal that will be reduced to 300 by an item that cost a fraction of mine, a heal amount smaller than most spammable q abilities, and watch as my allies all die because they aren't able to escape combat because my buffs are inferior to nearly every champions core item.
    Last edited by hammerreborn; 01-30-2014 at 11:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Character Designer Vesuvium's Avatar
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    Re: Let Supports be supports (focus on buffs, shield + healing)

    Thanks for the detailed feedback! There are some good observations here, and I've forwarded this thread to some of the other designers.

  3. #3
    Joining Harmony Miraql's Avatar
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    Re: Let Supports be supports (focus on buffs, shield + healing)

    Tbh I don't get this way of reworking Supports, changing them to Will-stackers, makes really no sense for me.
    Supports are usually characters which doesn't get that much gold throughout the entire game, so they deal with it by buying low-cost items to help their team.

    Coming from DotA, where Supports didn't scale, but bought lowbudget items which supported your team hard, all from Lifesteal Auras, an Activate to lower yours and target enemy Aura (even though it was used on Assassin-like Heroes mostly), to an item which could put people up in the air, even polymorphing.
    DotA even had an update to Linken's Sphere (Entropy Aegis, but only for Target Skills) so you could use it on your allies to grant them the shield for a duration depending on the cooldown of the item.

    I'm not saying it's what the game needs, or that it would work in this game.

    However Will-stacking is just not an good idea, the time it takes before an Support actually start doing much, takes too long.

    Edit: Also, what do you have against an Support going Blaster just for one game? It works in League sort of, why shouldn't it here?
    Last edited by Miraql; 01-30-2014 at 06:49 PM.

  4. #4
    Community Advocate CH4_BrianFantana's Avatar
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    Re: Let Supports be supports (focus on buffs, shield + healing)

    Quote Originally Posted by Miraql View Post
    Edit: Also, what do you have against an Support going Blaster just for one game? It works in League sort of, why shouldn't it here?
    I have nothing against Supports going blasters. I like that every character can build in different, but valid ways. But with the current scaling and itemization in the game, supports can be everything...but supports.

    What benefit do you see to will stacking for support characters, with the nerfs also added in. Nothing.

    Will stack on Harley, your bonus heals are completely negated by coda blade, and your BFF is still inferior to basic attack slows from lobo or skills with royal seal. You also do basically 0 damage.

    Will stack Robin, you counter the nerfs, and do 0 damage.

    Will stack Zatanna, your shield is slightly better (probably the only person who really benefits from will stacking), the duration nerf to speed is countered, and your nuke does base damage.

    Etc. etc.

    Or you could build Zatanna as blaster with royal seal, the slow + your speed buff will allow your allies to escape, and allow for killing potential, in which you can push lanes, last hit more easily, and have more earning potential.

  5. #5

    Re: Let Supports be supports (focus on buffs, shield + healing)

    I believe that it will be always nigh impossible to properly create a support hero in games like this, no matter which type of mechanism it uses for spells and scaling. You either go with the scaling mechanism as League has, and you end up with heroes that would suit different positions a lot better until you tweak their numbers into the ground and force them into that role since they wouldn't be able to stand toe to toe with anybody, or give them a traditional skillset [Leona, for instance] that limits their impact ceiling at level 3 / level 6 and there's almost no reason not to just keep her at that level for the rest of the game just to unleash her combo on someone.

    Or you take the flat spells route that DotA and HoN has, where all supports can go toe to toe in middle with some of the more popular and effective picks for that lane and end up dominating a same-skilled player. But due to the lack of scaling on spells, most heroes have a relatively small impact ceiling, when compared to others, even the enemy mid laner. If the game won't be ended fast enough, then all you got on your hands is just an extra support with a low more farm than he usually has. This is, speaking for most support off course, and not taking into account those like Earthshaker, that can transition to a semi-carry role effectively.

    Damn things just wierd to balance either way. I'd be curious to see how this game would turn out if it took the DotA route with its supports tho'.

  6. #6
    Community Advocate CH4_BrianFantana's Avatar
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    Re: Let Supports be supports (focus on buffs, shield + healing)

    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyOne View Post
    I believe that it will be always nigh impossible to properly create a support hero in games like this, no matter which type of mechanism it uses for spells and scaling. You either go with the scaling mechanism as League has, and you end up with heroes that would suit different positions a lot better until you tweak their numbers into the ground and force them into that role since they wouldn't be able to stand toe to toe with anybody, or give them a traditional skillset [Leona, for instance] that limits their impact ceiling at level 3 / level 6 and there's almost no reason not to just keep her at that level for the rest of the game just to unleash her combo on someone.

    Or you take the flat spells route that DotA and HoN has, where all supports can go toe to toe in middle with some of the more popular and effective picks for that lane and end up dominating a same-skilled player. But due to the lack of scaling on spells, most heroes have a relatively small impact ceiling, when compared to others, even the enemy mid laner. If the game won't be ended fast enough, then all you got on your hands is just an extra support with a low more farm than he usually has. This is, speaking for most support off course, and not taking into account those like Earthshaker, that can transition to a semi-carry role effectively.

    Damn things just wierd to balance either way. I'd be curious to see how this game would turn out if it took the DotA route with its supports tho'.
    I don't think that's necessarily true. It is entirely possible to keep the scaling as is with a few itemization changes. The supports would work far better as supports if their skills weren't countered automatically by some of the items in the game. If Harley/Robin could give a larger buff to speed than Seal/Chains slow, and spirit increased it further or made it last longer, that would be beneficial for escaping or perusing. As is, you are better off just getting the slow than worrying about your buff.

    Think of it this way.

    Harley uses pie and heal on an ally while pursuing an enemy:

    If she stacked damage with Royal Seal, the pie would do decent damage, slow for 20-25%, and heal the ally for ~300, granting both the nerfed move speed and attack speed. You end up doing damage, applying ~35-40% move speed difference in the allies favor. This speed drops to a ~15% gain if the enemy uses a slowing effect.

    If she stacked will, the pie would do little damage, no slow would be applied, and the heal would be for ~600, with a slightly improved move speed and attack speed. You end up not doing any damage, only getting ~18% move speed difference in the allies favor. This speed drops to -2% if the enemy uses a slowing effect, allowing them to escape.

    Conversely, with the enemy attacking:

    If you stack damage with seal, the same occurs. Assuming the enemy also has a slow, your team still ends up 15% move speed in your favor.

    If you stack will, you give him an extra 300 hp, and he dies as he is permanently slowed and unable to escape.


    The suggestions would allow even a slight immunity effect to the speed buff, allowing a temporary 18% move speed buff to allow escape, or a massive heal to allow survival or continued fighting, at the cost of being able to output lots of damage on your own. A fair trade i think

  7. #7
    Joining Harmony Miraql's Avatar
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    Re: Let Supports be supports (focus on buffs, shield + healing)

    Quote Originally Posted by hammerreborn View Post
    I have nothing against Supports going blasters. I like that every character can build in different, but valid ways. But with the current scaling and itemization in the game, supports can be everything...but supports.
    It was more targetted against the devs, it seemed like they didn't like Supports being capable in builing Power Damage, but with less scaling.

    But it would be nice if we were given Activate items which could maybe give a burst-heal of a flat amount as DotA has, it really only helps Supports, "supporting" their team.

    Edit: Also, how are Melee Supports gonna work now may I ask? if they want to go Will Stacking, they can't really do much in lane.
    Last edited by Miraql; 01-31-2014 at 04:07 AM.

  8. #8
    Joining Harmony The_Ez's Avatar
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    Re: Let Supports be supports (focus on buffs, shield + healing)

    I'm not sure if it was intended or not, but the latest patch actually hurt my will stacking Ivy build.

    Ignoring the passive heal nerf (writing that one off as a warranted balance) my CC has been reduced dramatically. Sure, if I max out my root strike it is better when I have a lot of will now, but why would I ever do that? I have a shield and a passive to level first. I'm being forced to choose between CC and heals where before I had both...

    And let's not forget the nerfs to abin's and deadshot's. Two of three will draining items nerfed into the ground in an update that seems to want players to consider mass will? Pre-emptive knee jerk?

    Also, how are Melee Supports gonna work now may I ask? if they want to go Will Stacking, they can't really do much in lane.
    Not a melee support myself, but modded steel's breastplate is some nice damage mitigation, and pre-nerf deadshots was good for damage.
    Be extremely subtle even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.

  9. #9
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    Re: Let Supports be supports (focus on buffs, shield + healing)

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Ez View Post
    Not a melee support myself, but modded steel's breastplate is some nice damage mitigation, and pre-nerf deadshots was good for damage.
    I'd say good luck farming that item on an Melee Support early on, avoiding to take heavy damage, whilst still delivering something to the lane.

    Also this patch feels like Assassin Meta tbh, tanky items have been nerfed pretty hard (I don't say it wasn't needed though) and that just makes them stronger.

  10. #10
    Community Advocate CH4_BrianFantana's Avatar
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    Re: Let Supports be supports (focus on buffs, shield + healing)

    Quote Originally Posted by Miraql View Post
    It was more targetted against the devs, it seemed like they didn't like Supports being capable in builing Power Damage, but with less scaling.

    But it would be nice if we were given Activate items which could maybe give a burst-heal of a flat amount as DotA has, it really only helps Supports, "supporting" their team.

    Edit: Also, how are Melee Supports gonna work now may I ask? if they want to go Will Stacking, they can't really do much in lane.
    Well, an improvement to deadshots/lantern could work. Make their AD/PD scale better with bonus will. Not really sure why it got nerfed in the first place.

    Especially as harley I've never, ever, hit the 1k will mark, seeing she can only use one spell roughly every 10s without enemies in range. And was a whopping 20 attack damage REALLY that OP?

    It's another case of risk vs reward. There is none. Spend the entire match slowly building will, for nerfed rewards (item wise), only to counteract base skill nerfs (champions).

    -------------------------------------
    Also, you know what really made me upset. When I was play testing a full will build last night with harley I realized I was completely wrong about her heal. Originally I thought it was around a 300 base heal. It's not, it's 165. Meaning that with full will stacking, my heal went to a whopping 400 damage, or 200 for anyone with wounding (which apparently is on the cosmic staff now too, something PD heroes never get *sarcasm*).

    Is that really so overpowered? Really? All of my credits to make my heal less than some champions have base AD/PD damage at end game, WHILE REQUIRING NO FURTHER EFFORT. Why don't we turn some of the AD/PDs favorite items into cast skill, get miniscule improvements, and see how fast they are dropped like a rock.

 

 

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