Developer Notes for June Balance Changes
A few weeks ago when we released the Football Fever update, many of you noticed that for the first time our balance changes did not have accompanying developer notes. So we went back to the team in order to get those. Better late than never!
We're still working hard on the next update that will release some time after AWC. In the meantime, read on below for more insight why we made the latest changes to heroes and items. You can find all of the balance changes from the June update here.
As the combat power of traditional marksmen is highly dependent on their equipment, they are usually weaker than other classes in the early game. In high MMR and professional matches, there are frequent clashes in the early to mid game. This has shined a light on the shortcomings of marksmen during that part of a match.
In these games, marksman position themselves to play to their strengths by jungling. This lets them develop to their stronger state sooner while avoiding the embarassment of laning against stronger heroes. With these changes, we hope that upgrading marksman's laning capabilities will help them reutrn to the Abyssal Dragon lane.
For heroes such as Valhein and Tel'Annas, we've improved their combat capability in the early game to make them more threatening during the laning phase. However, we've slighted reduced their combat effectiveness in the late game. We'll be keeping an eye on whether these adjustments bring marksman back to the lane, rather than the jungle.
We fixed a serious bug that caused Rourke's passive armor decrease to not apply to his own attacks. Since this is a very strong buff to him, we slightly reduced the damage of his first ability. We are continuing to watch the data on Rourke closely in case this was too strong of a change.
We fixed a serious bug that caused magic resistance not to be reduced when landing Raz's second ability. Since this is a very strong buff to him, we slightly reduces its damage.
Omen's ultimate can directly control targets outside the field of vision. As a warrior that leans toward standing DPS, we don't want him to have such powerful teamfight initiation.
The Flash has lots of mobility and is not easily controlled, so we've canceled control immunity for the starting dash of his first skill. This should reduce his reputation as "unbeatable."
Lindis has a lot of mobility and can use traps to expand her field of vision. Under such conditions, here damage ratio is a bit high, so the passive damage of her first ability has been reduced appropriately.
Even after the balance changes made previously, we still found that Liliana was a clearly better choice for middle lane mage. We reduced the stun time of her second ability and the magic damage of her ultimate, which will reduce her ability to suppress other mages.
Tulen's lightning has been hot for a long time and now it's time to cool off.
After buffing Plague Wyvern in the last patch, we received a lot of positive feedback from longtime Preyta players. However, after getting more game data we noticed that Preyta's damage output was among the highest in the game and his control capability is second to none.
This is somewhat unfair to other mages. We don't want to weaken his damage output, but we want to maintain his strong AoE, so we've slightly increased the cost of the damage output and reduced the powerful control capability.
Since enemies who have been immobilized can still escape with movement abilities, we've given Yorn more chances to set targets and upgraded the stun.
We hope that the changes made in this patch will reduce Max's mobility in order to not be as much of a threat to fragile heroes.
Lu Bu is too versatile with a combo of mobility, control, and DPS. This limits the use of assasins. On the other hand, he overly suppresses short-legged marksmen and mages who don't have movement abiltiies. In this patch, we reduced his mobility but made up for it by slighting increasing his DPS capability.
Wonder Woman can use her first ability and ultimate to obtain a very high percentage of damage immunity. This greatly increases her survivability. In this patch, we've reduced tyhe proportion of damage reduction during her ultimate and reduced its stun duration. This should make her strength more reasonable.
Xeniel's ultimate has a powerful support effect and it could be used too frequently. This makes it difficult for his opponent to find an opportunity to counter. That's why we've increased the cooldown. In addition, the duration of damage immunity that the ult provides to friendly units is disproportionate to the ability charge-up time. That's also been fixed.
We hope that giving Fennik certain operational gameplay and a small range increase will make him safer and more flexible on the battlefield.
As a warrior, Ryoma's second ability has a range that slightly exceeds expectations - almost as far as some marksmen. This lets him controls heroes from a safe distance, so we've shortened the range appropriately.
Despite the previous cooldown and damage nerf, Superman is still at the top of the ban list. In order to give Superman fans more opportunities to use him, we've decided to reduce his damage again to give him the chance to get in on the action.
TeeMee has both strong control and team protection capabilities, so he shouldn't be so durable.
We fixed a bug that caused Arduin's passive to be triggered even after leaving battle. At the same time, the amount of HP recovered each time the effect is triggered has increased. This should improve his survivability in battle.
The half second damage reduction and control effect that Chaugnar's ultimate gives to teammates is indeed a little short. We've increased its duration so that he can better protect his teammates.
With the growing number of strong opponents in the Dark Slayer lane, Airi appears to be a bit weak in the laning phase. The damage increase to her first ability will bring her in line with her opponents.
We made some changes to the equipment of half-tank/half-DPS warriors. Since Astrid is very dependent on her items, her shield will now have a fixed value to prevent her from being weakened by the item changes.
We no longer believed that Jinnar was able to play the role of confronting bot and mid lane mages. We hope he will regain a place in the arena and we will continue to ovserve him after these numerous buffs.
In previous patches, we shortened the ability cooldown for mages so that they could adapt to a more compact battle rhythm. The passive marks of Aleister and Azzen'Ka weren't adjusted, so we did so in this version, but we also drastically reduced the minimum interval between when they trigger. Outstanding players can now trigger the passives more frequently.
Illumia's ultimate now shows vision of the enemy, so we've increased the cooldown.
Krixi and Gildur's early game combat capability was obviously low. If they were suppressed early, it would snowball from there. We decided to make her stronger in early game fights, but weakened her growth over the course of the game.
Natalya is over-reliant on chaining her abilities, which makes her easy to counter. That's why we've made enhancements to the cooldown and mana regen of her first ability for more stable performance during laning and teamfights.
The two seconds of physical damage immunity that The Joker has gives him strong survivability against physical assassins. It's unreasonable that his ult creates distance while making him untargetable, so we've replaced that with a short period of immuinity to control.
Veera is quite weak in the early game. With the changes made in this patch, increasing the damage of her first ability in the early game will clear minion waves and allow her to support teammates faster.
As a typical assasin, Zuka has a lower-than-expected burst capability. Since his burst is very dependent on his passive, we've increased the effect of his passive.
Grakk's performance pre-patch was somewhat weak. We hoped to enhance him by powering up his combos and increase his ability to fight enemies at close quarters.
The slow effect of Frosty's Revenge was reduced and Kahlii is a diehard fan of that item. In order for her not to be affected too much, we reduced the cooldown and increased the passive damage of her first ability.
The powerful control effects of Alice's ultimate have made her too strong in teamfights. In particular, with Frosty's Revenge, her ultimate becomes so powerful that enemies in range can barely move. That's why we've decreased the slow of her ultimate.
In the last patch, we added a charge mechanism for Skud's second ability, but it seems like the 60% bonus charge is no longer sweet enough for players. That's why we've increased that to 100%. From a balancing perspective, we slightly reduce the base damage of the ability and his ultimate, but he will get more powerful when fully charged.
As an assassin, Butterfly lacks the necessary capabilities to escape and chase enemies., which limits her usability - especially as she seems too powerless against single enemies. She also relies too much on her passive. Even with a pure tanky build, she may have good damage output and seem overly strong in games where she has the advantage, she doesn't have much of a role when disadvantaged.
The changes in this patch increase the focus on killing the target which is core to the Butterfly experience. It also reduces her reliance on equipment for survivability or when support is not available to assist in a kill.
Arum has the extremely powerful capability to invade the enemy jungle in the early game. We hope that nerfing her base values will make things a bit easier for her opponents to deal with.
The overly high shield value of Maloch's second skill had given players a bad experience against him. To make up for the reduction, his first skill now does more damage.
The prevention of getting interrupted while dashing during his ult ensures a better player experience.
We felt that Slimz was slightly weak in the previous landscape, so we hope a range increase will make him a more competitive marksman choice.
Zephys was so threatening to fragile heroes - a little too much. Reducing the movement distance of his ult should help these heroes better deal with him.