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Balance Blog: Garamond Singsprocket


RedHydra
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For the past week, I received several negative feedback about the changes on Garamond. Whether the Hero is popular or not in both inhouse and pub scenes, my objective is to make sure that every Hero gets a fair share of visibility, which of course involves balance. Here's the situation for Garamond:

  • Before the new patch, Garamond's Regular Abilities (Q,W,E) all had longer cooldowns (18 seconds) compared to many other INT Heroes.
  • The Turret's 30 second cooldown (Per Turret) felt too slow and unreliable. CDR doesn't affect the charges, and turrets get knocked out easily.
  • From a spectator's point of view, examining NA and EU inhouses for the past few weeks, Garamond seems to have less impact than most other heroes.

Here are the changes in the latest version:

 

- Seeker Swarm Cooldown reduced to 18/17/16/15 from 18.

- Oil Slick Cooldown reduced to 18/17/16/15 from 18.

- Mk38 Laser Turret Cooldown reduced to 15 seconds from 30.

 

This is the first step towards increasing the frequency of ability usage on Garamond's toolkit. Although the Cooldown reduction on Turret may be drastic, we want to make Garamond more attracting to use. As mentioned before, his turrets weren't often used due to cooldown restriction, so we're testing to see how effective Garamond will become with more turret drops.

 

 

There's no doubt that Garamond is already useful in games, i.e. his Ultimate, but the rest of his abilities seem to lackluster in that their cooldowns are way longer than the average ability of a typical INT Hero. I'm still considering some other changes, but tackling these first will show us where Garamond is currently standing.

 

 

Please playtest the new version thoroughly and tell us what you think about Garamond.

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What do you think about making the seeker missiles "red dots" not visible by enemies? I mean, the enemies can evade easily them, at least if they dont see the red dots they could be surprised more often, or you could increase their speed.

 

You could also consider to buff a bit his str growing to make his natural hp a bit better.

 

And what about when he use his ulti, if the SCV die they deal at least half of the damage they could deal when they suicide. At least if your enemy shadow, for example shade the SCVs he still take a decent amount of damage...

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While cooldown on his abilities may seem long, his final [Passive] gives him nice timescale making them reduce the CD of all his abilities. His turrets definately needed to have a lower CD, although i think it was over done. Should be around 20 Second CD is my opinion. I never see a Garamond play, but he is a very good character. A lot of people may not want to play him by the fact he requires a lot of skills, and one mistake could be devestating, while a standard hero doesn't really have to worry about making a mistake, unless it ends up killing them (i.e. if an AA misses an ability, their standard AA is still incrediably strong, or if they get hit by an ability, they can nearly instantly leech it back.)

One thing i have an issue with garamond is that i could never kill anyone with my ultimate at level 1 unless already low hp. Once the final was at lv 2, i could kill enemies myself.

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In my opinion, Garamond's ult damage should be reduced by at least 5%, if not 10%, in terms of INT scaling. I thought this prior to the balance tweaks on his cds, and I think that it's also important now.

 

Also, keep in mind that the reason the turret cooldowns are long on Gara is that they are a stacking ability, which isn't effected by cooldown reduction - only timescale.

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But you can only have 2 at a time.... I mean considering that Rancor nukes and Grunty shotgun, and Vergil Cut have 3 charges, with smaller cooldowns (not to mention deal burst damage as opposed DPS, which is countered by oneshoting the turrent with an aa or spamable ability if you are a spellcaster).

 

The main problem with Gara is not missiles or oil slick. Passive prevents him from really attacking fast (old timescale needs to be changed to something like cdr, or maybe a percentage (~40%) of attack speed given by a.s. items). Turrents are not burst damage, do not have long range, cannot move, or have massive hp. Not only can they be oneshot, they can just be walked away from, making them the weakest summons (in terms of ease countering). Ult duration is too long IMO. A person SHOULD be able to kill the scvs or blink away, but he should not be able to just run without a blink, massive m.s. increase, etc.....

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its not hard. just drag a box around them >.<

 

should actually be very easy for sc2 players

 

 

 

if you think garamond is weak, try this:

 

rush a lock box. lock box target, wait half a second, seeker missile ontop of lockbox's target and ult. micro the scvs so they are ontop of the lockbox'd target. they will be stun locked the moment they get out of lockbox, and then blown up by ur ult. this combo tends to do as much damage as cyprus's, but with the advantage of being aoe, and stunning. That and you can use it every ~30 seconds.

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its not hard. just drag a box around them >.<

 

should actually be very easy for sc2 players

 

 

 

if you think garamond is weak, try this:

 

rush a lock box. lock box target, wait half a second, seeker missile ontop of lockbox's target and ult. micro the scvs so they are ontop of the lockbox'd target. they will be stun locked the moment they get out of lockbox, and then blown up by ur ult. this combo tends to do as much damage as cyprus's, but with the advantage of being aoe, and stunning. That and you can use it every ~30 seconds.

 

Agreed, but Cyprus's final deals much more damage. Garamond's base damage is about half the amount with only the standard 4 scvs. the scaling is same though as cyprus. With more scvs then it deals so much more.

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Agreed, but Cyprus's final deals much more damage. Garamond's base damage is about half the amount with only the standard 4 scvs. the scaling is same though as cyprus. With more scvs then it deals so much more.

Cyprus to me i think uses less skill than Garamond as well. That is because he can blink in, wall, push walls, ult then blink out. Garamond turrets are useless compared to cyprus's blink.

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There are various methods to work with in tweaking Gara appropriately:

 

1) Drastically reduce turret start-up time and increase the collision size.

2) Significantly increase turret drop range while maintaining cd.

3) Provide turrets with small area of vision or even detection (this would be very significant)

4) Add small cast time for oil slick while drastically increasing the oil spread speed

5) Increase Gara's scv damage on structures

6) Most pressing, fine-tuning gara's scaling from no longer having the benefit of increased attack speed

 

That points on that list can be read independently or in conjunction with each other where appropriate, it is non-exhaustive nor restrictive of the methods that could be implemented, but is a fair deal more suited to his targeted balance changes. Gara balance should be made accordingly to the hero meta, in that he suited to the role he is designed for, whether it be a pusher, initiator, sustained dps, or a versatile mix of the several. In having his attack speed potential and hence AA damage nerfed, Gara has been made to shift from a sustained dps hero in earlier versions to more burst dps - given his INT spell scaling - with average CC.

 

The point to be made is that Gara's turrets are part of his sustained dps skill-set, which does not synergise well with his other skills in the context of team fights, whereas they are in heavy use for farming/laning. It is important to ascertain the situation where exactly Gara's turrets are being underused, is it really for want of a shorter CD, or is it because they have generally less utility in situations where gara is primarily placed in?

 

If Gara is being primarily played as a ganker, then expect turrets to see minimal use due to the high start-up time (unless placed ala grunty swamp trap as an escape prevention mechanism, where then you must consider drop range). If Gara is being played as a pusher, then perhaps the turret CD changes have some validity. Then again, whether gara is intended to be played as a strong pusher is dependent on his meta, and correspondingly the map meta (E.g. whether other alternative heroes are strong pushers accordingly). it is fair to say that efficacy as a push hero has been greatly reduced in that even Shadow's Shade has much higher active push potential and scaling than Gara's turrets, other aoe skills from other heroes not yet considered, possibly lowering Gara's attractiveness in this aspect of active pushing (passive push is the alternate factor in which Gara does do well)

 

Decreasing turret cd will increase the propensity for turret drops about the map, but will not increase turret efficacy in battle. What this will provide is maintaining gara's dps in extended team fights, while allowing for stronger push/defense capability immediately post-fight; of which the push potential is more notable.

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Played this char a lot before. Still a bit.

 

Hero is currently very powerful but with some issues, he is really dependant on Lockbox. First days v 6. I played without LB and I was successful most of times. Maybe Cause Anivia from Lol uses an slow missiles too but having an item assuring your hit it would be fool not to buy it. If you haven't LB and you fail your combo, obviously there's a big chance to die if in combat ( I suppose you can say this with many heros).

 

Things what could be done ( Though I don't like at all):

 

Getting ulti targetable but limiting number of Scvs getting red. ( creating 4 as currently but having a posible maximum of 6-8 for example)

 

Creating buff to other skills when you ulti (more slow on oil, or faster seeker missiles)

 

Update Passive tooltip or getting a new one: " Scvs have health equal to 75+10*lvl Weapon Damage and lasts 10 seconds."

 

What the flob it means? Health is just 75+10*lvl ( lvl 18=255) and it is not increased by weapon damage and nothing so I don't understand what it means :D"

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In my opinion it is a problem, too, that u cant aa if u get silenced. Is this the idea behind him or not? Coz i really like a small hybrid build between int and ad with some lifesteal coz of staying alive... So i like to get hom, gravity, and shrink for dps... But if there are just a proper player even in a pub game im dead no matter what i do. Neither have an escape ability, nor being able to leech, slow or stun for saving my ass.

So i actually think that the cd as fine in V.5, i would just appreciate some possibility to survive... Or do sth.

In the current play teamfights last around 4 seconds, right? Well if im silenced the 4 seconds i cant even aa... Well mb i got a thinking mistake but i really want to know what u think about that issue.

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Garas passive needs to change. His passive scales his weapon speed off of "old timescale" making it impossible to really increase his attack speed atm (the rate at which he throws SCVS) totally negating one aspect of his char. Back in the old days Mass SCV gara was a very effective build bc it combo'd really well with his ult, but right now you dont really have a lot of choices besides skill spamming with LB.

Garas weapon speed either needs to be changed to scale off of cooldown reduction, or he needs to passively gain attack speed as he levels (or both). Right now the attack speed issue is a massive gimp for him.

 

Also the passive on his ult needs to be changed to cooldown reduction from old timescale. Its supposed to grant him a passive 30% increase in CD that combos with his natural attack speed passive......

 

(right now both his passives are not working right at all, which is in effect a major nerf)

 

Gara also desperately needs a button to control his scvs (like marine king, unix etc)

 

Also please fix the issue where he cant AA at all if silenced, its total BS. He is literally the only hero that cant attack while silenced...

 

The spread speed on oil slick could use a decrease, its only useful if someone is coming towards you atm, can never be used to slow a fleeing opponent, bc they can outrun it.

 

The startup time on turrets (before they can fire) is far too high, that could really use a decrease as well, often they get picked off before they can even fire in the mid/late game.

They could also use some spell resist and some more health for the same reason. (and maybe even detection cause that would be baller, and give him a role as the "anti gank")

 

Those are the changes I would really like to see....

Outside of these glaring issues I was rather happy with the new changes, gara could really use the love, he is one of the more UP casters. Sure his ult is powerful IF it connects, but there are many ways to shut it down, dodge it, or blow them up in the 4 seconds they run at you. Its only really effective with lockbox, and without it you miss over half the time. A way to fix this could be increasing their movement speed and decreasing their blow up time or something.... (so you arent totally dependent on LB) but Im not sure how well that would work out without testing

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I think turret CD was reduced a bit too much. They are actually extremely good when you have a Gara who knows what he's doing and places them next to your tower during lane pushes (even on his own), which will kill the tower fairly quickly.

Later on, enemies passing by your turrets take a large amount of damage and are debuffed because anything affecting your spell damage affects your turrets too. So if you got Gravity and Nitrogen, the enemies hit by your turrets take true damage and are slowed. There's other examples there too.

 

I've seen some players have some extremely good micro on their Gara too where they didn't need a LB and just rushed you from the fog to quickly kill you and teammates with full skill combo. All before the changes introduced above.

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I ♥ mule.

He just needs cdr to work on his attackspeed like it was before.

His turrets are fine imo maybe give them +100% int shield so it can't be 1 shot.

His scv need to live even after getting stunned/silence its such a hardcounter atm

 

But there are a few verry annoying things that counter mule.

1. Jakk summers, if your playing against him its gg

His e minefield will block your AA and ulti, his e laser will stun you cause you to lose 2 scv.

2. Electric mantle, if playing against a enemy with mantle you will get chainstunned. This is due to the scv proccing the mantle you getting the hit, and the scv still attacking the hero with mantle thus proccing more mantle hits. The way this works seems broken its like allowing pyre to proc on each scv attack (which i know it did and got fixed so also fix this electric mantle chainstun)

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I think they can keep the cool down on the turrets but they just need a little more range, faster targeting, and a lot more health. About the ult they could make the scv's have a button or make the ult a targeting ability like bio. They also have to fix the passive and I think then Garamond wont have to be bound to the Lockbox and can have more combos when the passive is fixed.

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(right now both his passives are not working at all, which is in effect a major nerf)

 

False. Both passives are working as said [except for small exception]. Gara's final does indeed give timescale [Old fasion timescale]. And his standard SCV passive does actually still scale with timescale like said. The problem is that you can't get Timescale except with a very limited amount of items that aren't worth Gara's Time (excluding yamato). The only thing that is false about the passive is that it says Gara's Final gives him timescale. The issue with this is that the definition of timescale is changed. Because of this, gara shud also gain +25% Movement speed from timescale (like other timescales) although it would be overpowered. All in all, his passive is working fine as it is.

(i.e.) Rancor's Passive refunding consumables, but there is only 1 or no consumables. It still works, but there aren't anything to help the passive or make it rather useful.

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False. Both passives are working as said [except for small exception]. Gara's final does indeed give timescale [Old fasion timescale]. And his standard SCV passive does actually still scale with timescale like said. The problem is that you can't get Timescale except with a very limited amount of items that aren't worth Gara's Time (excluding yamato). The only thing that is false about the passive is that it says Gara's Final gives him timescale. The issue with this is that the definition of timescale is changed. Because of this, gara shud also gain +25% Movement speed from timescale (like other timescales) although it would be overpowered. All in all, his passive is working fine as it is.

(i.e.) Rancor's Passive refunding consumables, but there is only 1 or no consumables. It still works, but there aren't anything to help the passive or make it rather useful.

 

not working right was probably a poor choice of words....

 

In the patch notes the "old timescale" mechanic was removed from game to be replaced by cooldown reduction. Time was then changed to be "new timescale"/ You can get "new timescale" items that will in effect increase his attack speed (because it increases the game clock itself), but the entire scalibility of his passive is broken, with regards to attack speed, because there are so few items in the game that grant it.

His attack speed should have been changed to work off of cooldown reduction when old timescale was removed like every other reference to "old timescale" was supposed to be.

Thus his passive is broken (even though it is technically working), because it was not changed when the game mechanics got updated.

The end result is a massive nerf to garamond, because he has almost no ways to increase his attack speed, which severly handicaps what builds and playstyles are viable with him. (All the items that currently pack CDR including things like int pots used to increase his attack speed)

 

As for the the passive ability of his ult, because it is still working off of old timescale it is still comboing properly with his attack speed, but its not granting the other effects of "new timescale" (as you mentioned), and it isnt stacking right with CDR. It needs to be fixed to either be "new timescale" or be "CDR" (in which case a little buff to his base movement may be in order).

 

It is true they are both technically "working" in that they function, but it is also true that they are both broken as i pointed out above, and the end result is a massive nerf to garmaond as a whole

 

Garas heroic passive needs to scale his attack speed off of CDR, and the passive on his ult needs to change to either "new timescale" or "CDR" so that it combos properly.

 

EDIT:

 

I am not sure on the exact mechanics behind garmonds SCV factory other than its based off of the brood lord, but I am pretty sure it relies on several triggers, because scvs must first be loaded on regular intervals (that has a CD of sorts) and then thrown if there. this production aspect is the reason that silence prevents him from auto attacking (because he cannot make the scvs). [which is total BS but thats not the point of this comment]

 

So in effect his AA is an ability, that has a cooldown and there is no reason not to scale it off of CDR that I can think of....

I really dont get why he hasnt been patched yet....unless there's some other plan in mind for him

 

Would love an explanation

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