Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:35 am

Dominant-Male wrote:I don't think new currency is something the map needs. Getting creeps doesn't have to be a huge investment if the entire team chips in. 500 gold from each member of the team is enough for abominations for example. Pooling has been increasing over the last games I've played, it's just that earlier on people were distracted by the shiny new items.

The thing is the feel the player has: every single little gold he spent on troops, he could have used to further pimp his hero, and especially in version O there always is a way to pimp even more your hero, thus there always remains a bad taste when diverting the needed resource to other things than it, however vital to flow of later play that may be--most importantly, a trade off of which most new players are not even aware, let alone a trade off that does not work and should not be. But if what I have already explained still does not sound convincing, there is nothing else I can say.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Ensabahnur » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:20 pm

I always thought it would be interesting to have each creep wave be stronger then the last - either via stats/upgrades and/or with different units altogether.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Merlin » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:45 pm

Damn your thoroughness, RAV! I have nothing to add to this conversation. :(
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Death » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:55 pm

Yeah, the cheese/pushing is still a little dominant over the other aspects of the gameplay, but that's part of what adds value to heroes like Toro, Jean, BLM, WD, and etc.

I really would enjoy it if ganking became slightly more predominant since it tends to be the most entertaining part of the game as it's more fun to run around and match video gaming skillz against a player rather than an idle structure.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Merlin » Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:57 pm

Boot stacking has to go, or be reduced to complete garbage compared to a regular item build. It's so fucking lame.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:27 pm

Stacking boots is the dominant item build for any hero. When comparing one boots to any one other item, there may be no other single one that has this much an impact on all play as it does, and there definitely is no other item with this good a price/performance ratio. Even more, there seems to not really be natural diminishing returns to play either; at least you always want to have one more boots than the others, which starts an arms boots race. To these conditions, boots are the outstanding item for everyone, and in turn force everyone else to commit to this item.

Its one socket seems to be just enough, combined with the speed benefit, to not miss more. There is no trade off in staying power, stacked boots give one of the best staying powers by being so elusive when in jeopardy and yet back into full front action the moment after; even detours for replenishment can be done quickly enough as if you've never left; any good opportunity on the field is more than soon yours to take; you are the decider, you have the initiative; you always stay close to fully effective on the field.

I do like that their stat stacks like any other would, and yet in any strategical consideration movement always is the most powerful factor and must be given special attention in balance. But to this end, and to still keep what I like, before instating diminishing returns on them, or removing its one socket, I'd rather have tested what an adjusted price does. Is stacking them as is still this dominant compared to other options when costing, say, 1800 gold? Maybe this sounds much, maybe even ridiculous, and maybe it is still not enough.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby yale_homo » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:58 pm

would it work to make the expo keep invulnerable once its counterpart falls? (ud bot falls, allied top becomes invulernable)

or maybe instead, after counterpart falls, building gets some ridiculous multiple of HP and armor such that if you really want to cheese, you need to take your whole team for a significant period of time?


i realize this punts the issue SOMEWHAT -- but most of what i have seen is cheese that follows an expo already having fallen.

this probably wont work, but its worth tossing out there for discussion
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:36 pm

Even though some first strike cheese and prolonged building harassment remains, a fancy idea, you fabulous man, fancy indeed!

Still, aside from some other softer additions and adjustments, there is one radical design from some time ago that, and if for nothing else then at least in its most basic premise, dwarfs all other solutions to this problem.

I'd even daresay, it completes AoS.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:39 pm

There are still a few things I have to say on stats:

The movement bonus should not be considered a kind of gem stat, but a kind of premium item stat; its worth to play has more in common with percentages of spell evasion/reflection/critical than with +25% mana regeneration or +200 life. I go so far as to say, one times +10% movement speed is worth much more than one times +15% spell evasion. Movement speed may be the most elite stat there is, and this is why there is need to better reflect that in the rank of pricing.

Which brings us to another problem: the elite stats of premium items happen to be classified in two categories of usefulness, and to make matters more complicated, this imbalance in usefulness actually shifts from one to the other with increasing stack, and the problem is that the price of admission does not dynamically shift as well to re-balance this at runtime. What I speak of is the difference of usefulness when evading/reflecting/enhancing physical melee/missile attacks, and doing so for spells, because the former have a much higher density of occurrence for statistical percentage effects to be relevant in practice: you do notice an improvement when equipping one time a +15% missile reflect or +15 critical hit; you almost never notice a one time +15% spell reflection. Yet they are priced here the same, or the one being much less reliable for notice costs even much more. A point can be made that when actually evading a spell, much more damage is prevented than reflecting a missile, but in practice the one bonus to missile reflect prevents much more, the so much higher occurrence of incoming missiles does not make those percentage comparable or balanced in use.

And then to make matters worse, when seriously stacking those categories, its usefulness for price suddenly shifts greatly to spell related percentages. There is a huge gap, a sudden jump between one and at three of those items for spell related stats; yet for phys/missile related ones it is much more linear. Even this weird difference and shift has to do with a difference of occurrence and total power of effect prevented/enhanced.

What this means is that the price of the first +15% spell reflection is way too high for what it does in practice as such; you only would commit to this if you seriously intend to stack it--and are realistically able to. But starting with second and third +15% spell reflection you acquire, the price is too low. This discrepancy even counts for normal spell cooldown reset based on percentage, like the Lesser key of Ix provides.

What this does is that spell related premium items are pretty much all or nothing. I wished this was not so. I wished that, like with phys/missile related stat effects, there would somehow be achieved a better linearity, that buying even only one such item has noticable use, for better variety in equipment.

One way to do this is giving spell related stat items an additional active component to the same passive statistic: a shared cooldowned first-time trigger, which would for example mean on Tertiary Eye, the very first spell thrown at you each 45 seconds is always evaded 100%, but within that cooldown any other incoming spell is only evaded by statistical effect of +15% meanwhile. Same for use of Spell Blade, Mirror Shield and even Lesser Key of Ix.

This bridges the huge gap of usefulness with spell related stats between non stacked and stacked in an acceptable manner, making usefulness more linear similar to phys/missile, and this gives the player the option that even a one time admission of such item can still be worth the price, enabling him to keep his inventory more diverse if he chooses so, while not falling off an utility edge. The items could be made even more expensive for that, and still be worth that, which at the same time would better price-balance the late possibility of stack.

Had we a tech tree for items, we could even turn things around, make one +15% passive on cooldown a later upgrade path to this at first only active item.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Merlin » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:52 am

:idea: Give the keeps Protoss plasma shields.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:54 am

And as closing comment to those stat issues I'd like to say this:

The whizbang implementation of the newest breakthrough stats can all too easily lead one underestimate the power in play of the technically simple stats--sometimes we unconsciously measure a value in one field to the standard of another, leading to problematic assumptions and conclusion.

If we do go so far as to appreciate the reality of movement speed's outstanding worth to almost anyone in almost any situation, and really make it a very expensive item, like starting with 3000 gold, I'd even go so far as to suggest the unthinkable: to improve the stat to +15% movement speed and too give it a second or even third slot, for better consistency with the others.

Now, people that are very much used to the old ways and really hang to their early affordable boots, could be appeased with another set of cheap boots that do not stack, that do not even mention a percentage in tooltip to prevent any confusion with the better, simply stating "Improves movement speed".

But since movement speed is a stat bonus no one can afford to neglect no matter what if others do not as well, why have an item at all that every player always is forced to buy anyway on rote? Where does this serve free player choice in playstyle, which is what itemization is about, why having an item slot in the inventory always reserved to an obligatory item.

If the beginning speed of heroes feels too sluggish, that default speed can be improved, which turns early boots redundant even on this. So it is actually an ironic circumstance, because contrary to popular demands to undo the stack-ability of boots, stack-ability for adaptable composition of boni is actually the only redeeming factor for any existence of boots at all! We are now at the very root of the issue.

So the real solution can only be to not further undersell their worth. With consciously acknowledging the highest average worth of movement speed to everyone's most situations, raising boots to be a primus inter pares of the knights stackable premium stat table, things go the other way around, few can then afford to have them albeit all could make best use of them, forcing, or should we now better say allowing again, to weight available options and diversify to need and allowance at hand.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Zeuter » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:30 am

It would keep more money away from upgrading towers again. :P

I wouldn't mind seeing boots removed.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Viikuna- » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:56 am

Id like to see some nice travelling mechanism. Maybe not teleporting, but something that helps you to move greater distances, but does not help you in combat, like boots do...
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Zeuter » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:40 am

The old teleport gates?
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Merlin » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:22 am

Back on the topic of cheese!

First of all, let's define cheese:

  1. A tactic involving one or more players suddenly attacking an undefended enemy structure with the intention of destroying it before the enemy has the time to react. Usually performed as a last-ditch effort, or timed to coincide with a diversionary attack at another location.
  2. A strategy involving short and rapid, but sustained bursts of aggression against enemy structures with the overall goal of causing maximum damage while minimizing personal risk by staying back and only exposing oneself while casting.

When I tried to define cheese, I realized there are (at least) two distinct sorts in ToB. While they are different, they share common qualities; the biggest of which is dealing unavoidable damage to structures. They entirely--and intentionally--bypass the requirement for lane pushing, spawn wave support, and enemy hero confrontation to achieve the game's final goal, which is the destruction of buildings.

So why is this done?

  1. Both forms of cheesing are extremely easy to carry out. Much easier than playing the regular way, in fact. The first sort carries the element of surprise, which is huge given the number of entrances/exits that expansions have. The second sort is designed (by players) to be unstoppable, even when there are enemy heroes around.
  2. The risk-reward ratio is better than any other strategy, currently. You don't have to wait for spawns that will probably get one-shot by a spell. You don't have to deal with enemy heroes, and you're almost definitely going to deal at least a little irreparable damage to their structures. Even if you are killed, death is only a minor penalty. The gold that they will have gained from your death is negligible, and you will probably respawn and make it back to your expo before the other team is able to retaliate. Dying is so minor that it's basically the fastest way back to your fountain.

The obvious solution is to introduce game mechanics that make this type of play ineffective, or less effective than the desired way to play. There are plenty of things you could do, but the tricky part is deciding what the best fix is. It should do at least a few of the following things:

  • Increase the difficulty of cheesing.
  • Increase the risk involved in cheesing.
  • Decrease the effectiveness of avoiding the desired play-style.
  • Reward the desired play-style better.

You could also give players the tools to deal with it, but I prefer that the game actually punishes people for cheesing.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Zeuter » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:39 am

Solution: increase building armor/magic resistance when there are no enemy spawns nearby.

Cheese is still possible, but a lot less effective.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Viikuna- » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:18 am

That makes no sense really.

Just bring repairing back in some form. Edit those creeps so that they can take towers down faster or endure tower damage better somehow. ( Some defend like ability for blocking tower arrows, maybe, no? )
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Death » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:35 am

Does Blood Meter dissipate upon death? I can't remember... >_>

What about an item that gives an aura of regeneration, specifically geared towards towers? It would be pretty interesting, allowing players to forego the stereotypical builds in favor of playing a more defensive role, sacrificing some boots, brightdarken, or etc.

Obviously, it should be relatively low, but stackable.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Merlin » Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:00 pm

Repairing doesn't really make cheese less effective. It just allows a team to recover from it. It also has the undesired effect of allowing a team to recover from legitimate sieges, which ends up prolonging the game.

Unrelated to cheese: Item info should be a brighter color. A lot of people miss the fact that items have sockets because it's difficult to see that information.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Dominant-Male » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:58 am

After even more playing I've composed a list of changes I'd like to see. Didn't feel like posting explanations for each of them, but if anyone wants clarification I'll give it.

Spoiler:
Items:

- Increase the damage bonus of Longsword to +9
- Remove the Earth Stone gem
- Add an item called Sturdy Shield. 600 gold, +3 armor, 2 sockets.
- Cutlass Supreme should not deal critical hits against buildings
- Give Mutant Rabbit's Foot a socket slot
- Give Witch Hammer and Hushblade a +10-20 bonus to damage
- Decrease the cost of the Battle Standard from 2800 gold to 2000 gold
- Increase the effect of Bloodletter by 5-10%

Heroes:


Jimmy

- Increase line of sight to be in proportion to his size
- Decrease damage and mana cost of Cleaver

Phantom Queen

- Change the primary effect of Hush from duration into damage
- Change the duration of Hush into 3/5/7/9/11 seconds per level

Battle Rouser

- Increase the cooldown of Browbeat by 5 seconds
- Increase the cooldown of Butthead by 5 seconds

Toro

- Freezeburn should not affect buildings

Jean

- Double the healing done by cauterize
- Reduce the duration of cauterize by half
- Reduce the cooldown of cauterize by 5 seconds

Pory

- Decrease damage from ignition to 15/30/45/60/75 damage per level

Misc:

- Change the name of the mercenary shop from humans for hire/undead for hire to something else. You can only hire mules there now.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Death » Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:26 am

Jean *really* doesn't need a buff right now. Blinding Light + HP makes her absolutely ridiculous, especially if you have a Blood Mage hanging around. The double wake is painful enough to deal with, but having nearly every single spell miss?

It's absolutely overpowered, especially since you can get it to last for such long durations.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Dominant-Male » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:18 am

I still think cauterize isn't suited for the fast tempo of the game. Standing around channeling for 10 seconds to heal nearby units for 600 HP isn't great. Jean might need tweaking, but other abilities than cauterize should get the nerf.

Also, a question that's popped up a few times: Is balance between the sides something we should try to attain? Most games now are either all pick or all random, but back in N it was almost never like that.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby -Y- » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:29 pm

Zeuter wrote:Solution: increase building armor/magic resistance when there are no enemy spawns nearby.

Cheese is still possible, but a lot less effective.

This depends on whether the creep AI can be exploited, like luring creeps into towers.

In my opinion just make the towers deal a lot more damage to heroes and suffer less damage from heroes. Leave only a couple of spells that can deal any real damage to buildings (like Flare and Pory's ulti). Creeps should be more resistant to tower fire and their numbers should be good enough to serve as cannon fodder so your siegers could drop the spells.

On the other hand by making creeps more resistant to towers and more numerous you get a simple triangle Tower>Heroes>Creeps>Towers.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby erwtenpeller » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:52 am

Merlin wrote:
  1. A tactic involving one or more players suddenly attacking an undefended enemy structure with the intention of destroying it before the enemy has the time to react. Usually performed as a last-ditch effort, or timed to coincide with a diversionary attack at another location.
  2. A strategy involving short and rapid, but sustained bursts of aggression against enemy structures with the overall goal of causing maximum damage while minimizing personal risk by staying back and only exposing oneself while casting.


This just makes "cheezing" sounds like common sense and good tactics, which it basically is unless there is serious abuse of inblances and/or exploitation of bugs.
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Re: Feedback - 1.23 (6/14/2010)

Postby Merlin » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:25 am

I tried to make the definitions sound neutral on purpose. Cheesing is a bastardly thing to do, and it basically ruins the game. It's not a good tactic; it's the best. The best tactic in ToB right now is bastardly. I don't like that the most effective way to play the game is also the most bastardly way.
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