Jump to content

Lurker observations, AA/DPS Lurker


Recommended Posts

Lurker currently stands as the fastest jungler with his AOE, cancel-able autoattacks, hatchet multiprocs, and movespeed. He is also the safest jungler, as despite not having much in the way of escape mechanics, he is able to maintain a high HP value due to Hatchet and Devour.

AA Lurker however still remains to be an outlier pick. He currently stands with a 1.79% pickrate (and an insignificant 75% winrate). This is understandable. Lurker is not like other auto attack carries, or other champs in general; we know this. The first glaring difference is his requirement to burrow to attack. This means he cannot stutterstep to chase or kite. His auto attack is dodge-able or prone to miss. He has no damaging abilities that specifically synergize with an increased weapon damage stat. He possesses one steroid in the form of W. W provides timescale but the champ otherwise suffers most from a lack of repositioning mechanisms compared to NOVA/DARPA/WARFIELD. He generally must always commit to his attacks. This is intrinsic to the character's design and cannot be changed lightly.

If you build AA lurker, you are simply taking advantage of his unique attack animation, which is 1. the ability to land multiple hits in one auto, and 2. the ability to hit multiple units in one auto.

The ability to multi-proc potentially gives him hypercarry levels of damage, the likes of Tassadar and Overlord.

 

I believe there are some long standing bugs and issues that make AA Lurker more difficult than intended.

 

Exhibit A: Extreme Item Dependency

This is not really a critical issue but I bring it up nonetheless. Lurker takes a long time to scale to his auto attack builds. This is expected, none of his abilities directly benefit from a DPS oriented build.

As a squishy immobile DPS with amongst the lowest starting spell resist in the game, Lurker has the unfortunate situation of needing many items to be able to take a safe position and deal damage. It takes a long time for him to become relevant in terms of physical DPS. Hence the need to play in the same style as INT lurker prior to getting sufficient DPS. He needs durability, weapon speed, and weapon damage. I personally go the durability route first, since Lurker must commit to attacks once engaged. He cannot just skirmish with distance until Blue Gene allows him to poke from afar.

Blue gene is durability. It gives health, range, and resists. It is of course a staple of AA Lurker. The item increases Lurker's autoattack range to 9 units and gives 30 armor/spell resist when burrowed. It is an item that gives both offensive and defensive stats and ameliorates the inability to quickly move and attack by simply making his attack range invasive.

 

The item is expensive however, and despite being a core item it does well to delay Lurker's damage significantly.  First item blue gene results in having still non-relevant DPS. Greedier DPS builds however will probably result in death. Rushing Blue Gene first at least gives you the ability to play like INT lurker, get up close and deal damage using your R.

Once Lurker gets enough attack speed to land enough attacks in one burrow he is relevant as a DPS. Surviving and accomplishing this without moving is the hard part.

The item also has several negative effects, more on this later.

 

Exhibit B: Attack Hitboxes and Misses

Usually, Lurker's attacks will not land multiple times against non-NPC targets. This is both dependent on the target's hitbox size and also the range at which the attacks land, as the hitboxes of Lurker's attacks do not seem consistent throughout the animation. The attack has multiple hitboxes, which the target must come into contact multiple times to be dealt multiplied damage.

As it were, there is a sweetspot(s). You can see this for yourself with -fct and still targets of varying sizes. Targets at the edge of Lurker's range or at point blank range will not be hit twice,. It seems to be at a precise 3-5 unit distance multi-hits will land, prior to getting Blue Gene. With Blue Gene, this is different and I do not know the sweet spots. Based on -test and the small hitboxes of the pillars, it seems that the range at which Lurker attacks a target is more important than the hitbox size of the target, relative to PVP scenarios.

In PVP, with moving targets, I believe this occurs rarely. I frankly have not memorized the Blue Gene ranges and nuanced areas of Lurker's attack animation due to lack of acquaintance with the -fct command.  In general, targets at the end or beginning of the attack animation will only be hit once. This usually means Lurker must enter pointblank range in order to land multiple attacks on moving targets, not something any ranged DPS wants to do.

Knowing these "sweetspots" is important in taking down objectives, as turrets and map bosses are so large they can be hit multiple times per auto if the player positions themselves correctly.

Of course, Lurker's autoattack can miss. Targets moving at certain speeds and angles can dodge the attack. In a game where Lurker is built AA the player will find this situation happening frequently. This I believe is an intended tradeoff.

Finally, Lurker's autoattacks will sometimes do a tiny fraction of damage. This seems to occur when Lurker unburrows by the time his attack's animation reaches the target.

The ability for Lurker's autoattacks to be cancellable is a point of moot relevance for PVP. Once Lurker reaches ~1.0 attack speed it is less DPS to unburrow and reburrow to reset his attack. It is also nearly impossible to aim his autoattack once burrowed if there are other higher priority targets around, ie lane creeps. In a situation with a computer playing with 1000 APM, this is useful in PVP scenarios, otherwise not. It is mostly important for early jungle clear and INT lurker. There is a certain rhythm to performing this and it is essential to learn it to land multi-hits in the early game. To be specific, there is a certain amount of time that Lurker must remain burrowed for the attack projectile animation to complete in order to land multiple hits and also reset the attack beneficially.

 

Core Exhibit c; Blue Gene Problems

These stem from the aforementioned problems in Exhibit B.

1. Because the attack is now longer range, the issue of it missing become a more glaring problem. While now that Lurker can attack from 9 units away at all, it now technically takes more time for the projectile to reach the target, and if the target is towards the edge of the attack, it is likely going to miss if the target is moving perpendicular or away from Lurker. In essence this dampens the benefit of having longer range.

2. Because the autoattack sometimes does dramatically reduced damage if Lurker unburrows before the projectile reaches the target, the issue of the projectile now taking longer to reach the target becomes an even greater problem. So if Lurker unburrows before his attack hits the target 9 units away, that attack will likely do a tiny amount of damage. Sometimes, the attack doesn't land at all and does no damage. In other words, Lurker must remain burrowed longer for his attack PROJECTILE animation to complete so it deals damage.

3. The Blue Gene attack animation has a longer start up time than the regular auto. This poses several issues.

  • Burrow attack-resetting becomes deleterious to DPS; even though I recommend rushing Blue Gene as a first item on AA lurker your jungle clear actually becomes slower with Blue Gene
  • The time to begin attack becomes that much longer and further exacerbates the time it takes for Lurker to begin dealing damage due to his burrow requirement.
  • This disrupts the rhythm of attack-resetting, making the player prone to errors on different playthroughs. Lurker's attacks feel less of a projectile and more of a channel once you get Blue Gene. Clearly, Lurker is a very nuanced champ and requires a lot of practice to memorize his attack behaviors. The differences that Blue Gene introduces to the auto are more excessive than just enhanced range.

These in conjunction altogether force Lurker to remain burrowed longer for his autoattack to start and complete to ensure it does not deal fractional/no damage. It worsens Lurker's natively critical immobility and removes the benefit of auto attack resetting.

4. The attack's hitboxes obviously change when getting Blue Gene since the attack is now 9 units. From what I've observed, it seems multi-hitting becomes rarer, almost as if the hitboxes on the attack animation become more spread apart with the longer range. Assuming a small hitbox -test pillar the sweetspots seem to occur at 6-7 and 3-4 units of range. Prior to Blue Gene the sweetspot tends to be 2-4 units of range for most hitbox sizes. The location of the sweetspots change and requires guesswork on the player's part.

5. It seems Lurker cannot attack wards unless he is facing the ward at the time of burrowing once he gets Blue Gene.

6. The bug with Wrathian Violator is still there, Lurker can attack targets with the additional range, but the projectile never reaches the target to deal damage.

 

Suggestions:

DPS consistency and less item dependancy is the goal. Besides fixes, Lurker's auto attacks should be providing at minimum a single auto's damage per auto. Deviations that cause DPS to drop such as bugs or misses should be removed.

1. W backlash changed to -50% movespeed at max level from -50% timescale. This will make it so his DPS is not suffering 16% of the time during W. Decrease W cooldown by 1 second, as the cooldown does not start until after the backlash ends.

Or consider doubling the duration of W, halve the benefits of timescale per second. Adjust cooldown accordingly. This should help players take advantage of the W window. This is a buff, but should also help with Lurker's item dependancy.

2. Blue Gene also increases projectile speed and have the startup time equal to regular non-Blue Gene augmented attacks.

3. Whether it is a bugfix or a ease-of-access improvement, have Lurker's autoattacks with Blue Gene still deal damage regardless if he is burrowed or not upon the attack reaching the target.

4. Adjust scaling weapon damage so DPS Lurker can participate in PVP earlier and be less item independant. 65%? I affirm again that the chance of multi-hits in real PVP scenarios is not likely to happen often. However Lurker's jungle clear is already rapid enough.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Head
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Head said:

1. W backlash changed to -50% movespeed at max level from -50% timescale. This will make it so his DPS is not suffering 16% of the time during W. Decrease W cooldown by 1 second, as the cooldown does not start until after the backlash ends.

That would unintentionally buff INT Lurker since the backlash won't impact his R speed anymore. 
 

21 hours ago, Head said:

2. Blue Gene also increases projectile speed and have the startup time equal to regular non-Blue Gene augmented attacks.

This is interesting. Although the startups are identical last I checked, but I can see the merit in increasing the projectile speed.

 

21 hours ago, Head said:

3. Whether it is a bugfix or a ease-of-access improvement, have Lurker's autoattacks with Blue Gene still deal damage regardless if he is burrowed or not upon the attack reaching the target.

This is an SC2 thing I believe since once he is unburrowed he has no "weapon", therefore everything extending from said weapon is deactivated. It's the same reason why when you kill a tower while its projectile is in mid-travel, it won't deal damage. The weapon no longer exists. I made a note to double check to see if there is a work around later.

 

21 hours ago, Head said:

4. Adjust scaling weapon damage so DPS Lurker can participate in PVP earlier and be less item independant. 65%? I affirm again that the chance of multi-hits in real PVP scenarios is not likely to happen often. However Lurker's jungle clear is already rapid enough.

That's the thing, which I alluded to in Discord. To buff or fix the bad parts of Lurker risks making him near unstoppable in the situations where he is already good. As mentioned to you previously, I think small changes here and they may slightly improve the hero, but they won't address the underlying issue about the hero, where he is generally ignored and avoided in 98% of games.

My opinion is that any long term positive change for the hero will require a degree of revision to what the hero should be, should do, and what kind of player should he attract in 2021.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...