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Balance philosophy - small buffs to UP heroes


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I remember when I was helping to balance this game a few years back that a lot of people got frustrated with nerfs/negative changes to OP heroes and would stop playing those heroes even if it was warranted.  I think giving unpopular/less powerful heroes small, simple buffs can go a long way.  So i wanted to start a thread about making small buffs to heroes

Buff:  Zera - make W scale with agility or weapon dmg and change to physical dmg for armor mitigation

Reason:  by design zera is a burst assassin designed to isolate and pick off ranged assassins in a very fast time before ulting out.  True damage doesnt make sense here since he's not really a tank buster, and I think there being a higher damage on his W would bring forth a more enjoyable reward landing more attacks as zera.  You don't want him doing close to same amount of damage per attack as like a ranged dps carry, so i argue there needs to be a slightly higher damage reward for the risk of faceplanting yourself as a melee assassin.


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I like this thread.

Zera has been on the receiving end of buffs for a while now, and he does pretty decent with Bioplasmid/Time Splitter/Blue Gene. But it seems he's still not good enough for picks in inhouses unfortunately.

On to your point, I wouldn't remove the missing health scaling on W (or true damage for that matter), because it allows him to finish off targets (and being a tank buster is an asset to keep the STR heroes at bay).

Instead, what could work is reducing the Missing Health scaling a bit to accommodate Weapon Damage scaling. So 2 scalings and balance around those numbers.

Another idea I entertained for bit is to allow Q to crit and adjust its damage accordingly. This could open up his item build options some more.

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I think Zeratul doesn´t get picked because there are more popular melee assassin alternatives (Boros, Shad, Leo and maybe even Crackling).

However, I do not think he needs to be buffed in terms of damage, his kit is really strong.

Your idea of opening up his options for new builds might encourage players to play and pick him more.

Edited by sYnc
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I like the idea of instead of nerfing strong heroes start buffing other heroes to catch up. This way you don't end up with negativity. 🙂 

Man I miss zera bubble days and a Q that allows you to jump from creep to hero ultra-fast... The whole backstab mechanic was so fun back in the day.  When I first came back to play a game, I played zera, and was building all burst for the backstab mechanic, only to realize it was changed and I forgot all about it. haha.

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my opinions



Jakk: At his base, he can provide a lot of risk if TS is able to come out on the field and his mines become a mineral source. If he is on the losing side, this makes for a difficult comeback due to how well his abilities can be countered and the high barrier of blue gene. This cannot be avoided, that is just how his kit is. But the point I want to bring is that this champ revolves around a lot of premeditation, by using traps he makes great slowfields or just straight death traps.

  1. For R traps, it takes a large amount of time and energy sources to be able to create these continuously for something that can take only 80 minerals to counter, and can yield nothing (or even give minerals) if the traps never are within range. For the time he puts in, the risk is heavy. From what I gather from the previous updates that enhance how his Q/W works, Summers paradigm is a lot less passive now. I suggest a reduction in the cast time of the R back to before (+/- slight energy cost reduction). He is incredibly squishy, all game. If he wants to use R like point blank bombs then let him; this has the added bonus of deploying mines more quickly.
  2. In lane, he can make his E traps quite deadly by quickly converging W drones on slowed enemies, creating a decent amount of burst. This takes a very long time to do since his W isn't charges but is cooldown-based. It is also not as opportunistic in the early levels, as the speed of the drones scales with skill level. I suggest scaling of the skill scale with max # of drones able to be deployed 1/2/3/4, instead of having the movespeed being low until level 3/4. That way he can still use his W/E combo more reliably in lane, and not until after E is maxed.


Viron: I am not sure if this champ is intended to ever see the light of competitive play, neither am I sure if what I've observed is a bug. His W is his main damage source, it is very useful in both farming and killing. How it used to work is that it allows jump(s), and for the next 5 seconds, Viron would exude his true damage gas in a small radius around him (very small radius). So even though the ability states it makes a trail, Viron can just hug the enemy and damage them with the aura instead of catching them in a trail. In the last time I played Viron, he does this unreliably. Sometimes the damage aura would just end as soon as his jump ended, he no longer would exude the aura. I can't really tell if the effect would truly ended since I cannot see the gas on low graphics but the damage would stop coming out.

Of the tanks in the game, Viron is probably the strongest in damage output throughout the early/midgame, but eventually falls off in lategame. Drake's damage would continue to scale better.


Tychus: Where do I start? I am not sure what people are complaining about. This champ is a shell of what it used to be post-rework. His R seems to be the subject of contention, that was nerfed. He has very easy access to durability unlike most other bruisers. Understandable, even though the ability is so easily countered by anti-heal, and anyone with a brain usually just stops attacking Tychus when he activates his R anyways. And then they walk away, which is the easiest thing to do against Tychus if you dodge the easy to avoid E slow. The duration of RnT stacks was decreased by 1 second, his W damage scaled, Q-W no longer has synergy at max RnT, and RnT stacks no longer are maintained on hitting non-heroes with abilities. Off the top of my head, this is what really was harsh on Tychus's playability. Due to the nature of his kit, he has to constantly be hitting something, so he is usually out of position. Without those stacks his abilities are quite poor. W is a DPS decrease most of the time until level 3/4, but it also falls off late game because his auto attack becomes stronger. The only DPS benefit is that it is AOE, but again, it is very easily dodged until he reaches max stacks. I basically just use it as a small extension of my attack range once they get too far.

Basically, his abilities are only worth using at their max stacks, besides Q, but this champ has such little ability to maintain those stacks against champs because he possess almost no cc. And he must get to 10 stacks, which by the way are probably gone if he gets hit by any cc, such a easy thing to do since he has no mobility. Compare this to Cain or Kerrigan who easily get to max stacks and also have much more reliable ways of maintaining attack range. E is just so easy to counter due to the fact that you can turn around for a split second to avoid the slow projectile. I suggest just making the slow originate from the impact landing of the E, instead of where Tychus in relation to the target's direction, and add an impact marker before it lands. This also makes sense, it is flobing flash grenade. Then nerf slightly the duration of the slow. Then also reduce its cast time. Just due to how long its cast time is he can risk losing all his stacks. Better yet, make it give stacks for how many champs are effected.

Also maybe make his Ult apply Debuff immunity at max RnT, then apply the heal.

  1. So in short, Tychus's abilities are very weak, and then acceptable at max stacks, then probably too weak again at lategame. He needs to maintain max stacks but it is difficult to upkeep due to the need for heroic targets.
  2. He has no way of maintaining attack range on heroic targets due to lack of reliable cc and mobility. He can barely do anything against a target running from him.
  3. He has no mobility to dodge cc, and most cc would cause him to lose his stacks. He is probably out of position due to the need to attack constantly to maintain stacks.
  4. His ult is too easily countered by anti-heal, and his aoe abilities no longer benefit from lifesteal anyways, he must get spellvamp items, which do not come to his build naturally.
  5. His only form of CC is too unreliable and is almost always useless against fleeing targets, unless Tychus is somehow behind their frontline.
  6. His normal W range is pitiful and a DPS decrease at early levels. It is great at waveclear, but only because creep doesn't dodge. It may be buffed, but not so Tychus can mow down every wave with W.
  7. Abilities are too expensive in energy costs, but again, Tychus still shouldn't have W up for every wave. Have it refund CD for every second not used maybe?

"Just get Blue gene!" This is almost a required luxury item, but believe me that this item is quite inorganic to Tychus's build progression, it sacrifices a lot of tempo (in damage output) just to go out of your way to purchase that. Tychus desperately needs other stats at this time.


MK: has a similiar situation to Tychus, but has more damage and no need to upkeep stacks. He can use a slight buff to base resistances, he is very squishy. He has nothing going for him besides his summon mechanic. If he builds straight resists his damage suffers immensely. Small buffs

Starscream: Faced a lategame INT starcream lately. The nerf to his R damage was too much.

Vorpal: add targeting reticle for his damage reflect aura. Particularly important with blue gene.

Axiom: Passive drawback is too large. Punished harshly for any active items.

Fenix: early game W, like Tychus, is a DPS decrease. While he can move and attack at the same time it really is a pathetic ability until max level, and hurt his jungle  startup tremendously. When he first came out Fenix had a terrific early game but now he starts and grows slowly for a lategame that isn't that great when all you need  is a ghosting garb for him.


Rework: Overlord, Narud


Nerf: :^)






Edited by Head
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Tychus: I think the hero may need some quality of life changes for his Heroic/W/E. 

Fenix: W was adjusted further in 103. You should check it out and tell me if your opinion still holds true. The biggest buff to his W though is that it now procs crits and ls.

Vorpal: Ok.

Axiom: Hmmm.

Narud: maybe in the future but not any time soon.

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13 hours ago, John said:

Always been in favour off buff over nerfs +1

It's easier and more efficient to nerf 1 hero than buff 74.

However, in the last 1-2 years or so some older heroes may feel left behind by the changes to the game, items, and overall power creep. So new buffs, reworks, or quality of life changes to bring them in line with the present era is indeed more favorable.

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On 9/10/2020 at 5:41 PM, MOTHER said:

It's easier and more efficient to nerf 1 hero than buff 74.

However, in the last 1-2 years or so some older heroes may feel left behind by the changes to the game, items, and overall power creep. So new buffs, reworks, or quality of life changes to bring them in line with the present era is indeed more favorable.

Yes i completely agree here mother, but i think small buffs that don't take up too much development time can go a long way for the community

Garamond small buff - give him option to instantaneously deny his towers to actually deny lane money (right now channel too long), and let him be able to put two towers down in series without a delay

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Garamond needs some attention and love @MOTHER. I would argue he has become probably the hardest/highest skill ceiling hero to play and is why no one is playing him. His slick is a skill shot to an exten, bomb drone is a skill shot and his ult is again another skill shot that you need to manually direct and pay attention to how many drones you have up before using ult- as opposed to like an omni. He takes huge amounts of skill to play properly and it doesn't always even pay off. I have yet to see an IH with gara since the IH scene has started back up. 

Make his slick work more like anthrax root, and rework his ult/minions I've tried everything from changing keybindings to control units, no matter what I try there is alwawys a delay from when I ult- to when I can control my minion with control group and sometimes it doesn't even work right. I think if a hero were to get reworked it should be gara, 1. The kit isn't working(maar/zera got into a good rework/space I'm sure gara can too) 2. no-one is playing or they play once or twice and never attempt again because like I said, the skill required is extremely tedious and the payout is minimal(yes sometimes gara can get lucky or bd but it's a shell of a hero in it's current state). 


Edited by Bile
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