Thread: Ward Stacks

View Poll Results: How has the state of the game changed due to single wards?

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  • More balanced.

    35 47.30%
  • Unchanged.

    30 40.54%
  • Less balanced.

    9 12.16%
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  1. #1
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    Ward Stacks

    A while ago there was a change that moved ward stacks from two to one, allowing heroes to buy single wards, one at a time at the cost of 100 each, as opposed to 200 for two.

    What this did was free up the minimum amount of gold needed to invest in any wards at all, allowing heroes to split costs, as well as split wards between lanes. A stack of previously two wards could now be sent to two lanes, or alternatively pinned in the jungle or defensively midline.

    This also meant that if a support player wanted three wards, but not necessarily four, he would only have to invest 300. This could be two sight and one revelation. 2 of six slots are utilized in this fashion, and the remaining 300 gold could be utilized for two minors and a pot/tangos, or some other assortment, allowing maximum use of early-game inventory slots.

    If instead, they were forced to purchase 4 wards, they were locked into forgoing an extra bit of regen, or a set of stats.

    Now, whether any of these details can be seen as a pro or con to having ward stacks lowered from two to one is largely subjective, and in this forum we (hopefully) view things in an objective manner.

    • Ward stack allows for more flexibility in way of:
      • Placement (one bottom, the other top)
      • Counter Warding (one orange & one blue vs. two orange & one blue)
      • Splitting costs

    • Typically poor support can invest their gold earlier before (un)foreseen death.
    • Efficient use of inventory space can be attained with less sacrifice.

    Sure enough, there are a number of more subtle things that are affected by this, and it is largely agreed upon by competitors that dumbing down ward stacks from 2 > 1 was a change that made support unnecessarily stronger (allowing minimal gold loss upon death, as well as expanded flexibility in map control).

    Has the change made the game more or less balanced?


    Any talk of the benefit to the casual or public scene will be deleted.
    Support is about dying and sacrifice. Stop complaining about sacrificing for the team. And 'making things easier to do' is not a legitimate argument for a positive in this thread.
    Last edited by china; 09-27-2011 at 03:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    I think it's obvious where I stand.

    Warding is a simple enough task with two stacks, and allowing it to be bought in singles has made map control easily attainable, even when feeding or sacc'ing for kills every 1-2 minutes.

    When I used to scrim or play more actively, it became an incredibly dumb tactic of simply buying as many orange/blues as I could, then proceeding to suicide stun the opposing carry in-line. I would die, but would lose nothing, while the carry would have to deal with gold loss. Sadly, he can't buy his radiance in pieces, where as I can.

  3. #3
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    Honestly, it's been so long that I doubt anyone even thinks about that change anymore.

    Reality is this though:

    Support is a role primarily centered around self-sacrifice, which in itself is already bad design.

    S2 has been doing some work to reduce this martyrdom, in an attempt to... well, I guess they are trying to change it so teams won't be 3-4 heroes +1-2 sacrificial lambs.

    So the I don't really think this is as much a matter of balance, as it is a matter of what you want the game to be like.

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  4. #4
    Amazing. I was just talking about this point, and there's a thread approved on it. I think it's far too easy to keep up warding at all points, and being able to split costs at all points in the game is a really negative one - without even taking into account increased gold flow.

    Pretty much exactly what china said, is what we've seen in comp play constantly as well, only it appears a lot more subtle than how he described it.

    EDIT: of course, a lack of strategical depth in a game will always exacerbate the difference between things like this, and that's an entirely more relevant issue that has more impact on the cost of wards than anything.
    Last edited by Anakha; 09-27-2011 at 08:02 PM.
    Let me spell it out plain for you
    Angry people complain about the things I do
    I'm not changing direction, I'm stepping my game up
    Maintaining my name, the same way I came up.

    Truth is, I thought it mattered
    I thought that music mattered.
    But does it? Bollocks!
    Not compared to how people matter.

  5. #5
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    I'd much rather prefer the old way. It's another one of those small things that makes it a lot easier to play HoN in the long run.
    Hahahah hey.

  6. #6
    I'll play Devil's Advocate here. Do you not think more versatility is a benefit to the game? It gives players more options with how to spend their money and opens up the possibility for supports to lose less money, buy better items, and contribute more to the game than stunning and dying. This breaks from tradition, but rigid archetypes tend to become stale and boring with time.

    I also support the move towards more map control. It is, again, another element of the game, and making it easier to ward/counterward speeds up the pace of games.

    Furthermore, I posit that '#enemy wards bought' is directly correlated to '#correct decisions needed to win'. For example, you can walk around all day against a team with no wards with little risk. This is a bad move on your part because you aren't doing anything productive; the only punishment you face is your lack of income. Alternatively, wandering around alone while the enemy has vision of you is suicidal, thus punishing your mistake even harder. Shouldn't the game be focused around forcing players to make correct decisions as often as possible?

    Finally, ease of counter-warding makes the risk of warding higher, effectively raising the price of the wards you do place. If you buy 4 wards and none get countered, you got your 400g worth (if not more depending on ck/player kills resulting from vision). Conversely, if they get countered, you get much less value from your investment, forcing you to again spend even MORE money for more wards. The only way I would see a problem with single-ward purchases is if counters were more difficult to buy (ie: still in 2 stacks). In this case, the investment for orange wards would be relatively safer, creating issues with too much map vision, as blue wards would be bought less often.

  7. #7
    It was a dumb change; it has become FAR easier to maintain ward control and you can't "dry out" enemy supports like you used to. The difference between buying a single antiward or a set is HUGE when you are losing early game.

    It is hard to pinpoint where it exactly became unnecessarily easy to support, as both changes to support gold, single wards, striders and even the 50g reward for anti-warding have given support players a huge sum of $$$ they didn't have before. As a true support player, I hate the current gold system as we are flooding in gold and the reward for playing a true support is far, far lower.

    Wards no longer require yourself to make crazy sacrifices and if you don't have wardvision 100% of the time now, its simply just because you are bad and don't know your timings. Going back to selling wards in stacks would be a decent place to start, but I doubt that I would have a big enough impact on the current gold flow.

    The 50g reward also needs to be removed; removing enemy vision is more than enough incentive to antiward. Support gold still feels like the big sinner here, but I doubt that will be changed sad

    EDIT: It haven't become less or more "balanced"; it has just become easier to play support.
    Last edited by BadaBing; 09-27-2011 at 04:38 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Warchamp7
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  8. #8
    <pointless>
    Last edited by Anakha; 09-27-2011 at 07:57 PM.
    Let me spell it out plain for you
    Angry people complain about the things I do
    I'm not changing direction, I'm stepping my game up
    Maintaining my name, the same way I came up.

    Truth is, I thought it mattered
    I thought that music mattered.
    But does it? Bollocks!
    Not compared to how people matter.

  9. #9
    @Jookie: What's wrong with making the game easier to play? Never heard of the adage "Easy to learn, hard to master", eh? Nevermind, I forgot that the grognards of this genre absolutely ****ing hate seeing new players breathing new life into the game though.

    Anyway, I honestly can't see S2 reverting the stack change. On a fundamental level of design, I dislike the idea of having to buy two of an item to buy it at all. I believe this is why S2 made the change in the first place.

    It's had an obvious effect on the game's balance, but I don't think the right answer to correct that is to revert the change. If wards are really that strong, why not nerf their price? 100g for map vision/countervision is really really good and has been part of the absolute core of playing support for a long time in this game genre.

    Reverting the change, like you say, would mean that support have to make more meaningful decisions between items and wards, dying with/without gold, etc. Nerfing the gold price of wards would accomplish the same thing, but without the unintuitive idea of "When you buy an item, you get one copy of that item. Except wards."

    Of course, this is a game design vs. game balance argument so vOv

    As an aside, I take issue with the statement "Support is about dying and sacrifice. Stop complaining about sacrificing for the team." Speaking as someone who primarily plays support, I feel like this is a really distorted view of support. It's a popular view among competitive players, yes, but I think it's distorted.

    Support are heroes who can function without items - is it really sacrificing to maximize your efficiency and benefit to the team? If I've blown all my spells as a support or initiator, then you'd better believe that I'm going to die in place of my carry if I can, because that means I've done something to help the team. I don't see it as a sacrifice at all. Is it a sacrifice to spend 20 boring minutes farming creeps as a carry so you can win the game?

    Putting mechanics in the game simply to screw support because "well support is supposed to be unpleasant and thankless, because they sacrifice for the team" is just dumb. When you promote that view, that "support is supposed to be thankless", a lot of people are going to start thinking that support need to be screwed for a game to be good.

    Obviously I know that this isn't the goal of this thread, just trying to clear up what I think is an harmful interpretation of the role of support.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Anakha View Post
    As for support primarily being about self-sacrifice, that's complete garbage.
    This is how the game is played? Support upgrades the chick and buys all wards. These investments come at a cost (primarily your own survivability).

    If you play Andro, you will often be swapping out your carry to save him, even though you know that you are gonna die 100% yourself. Thats just how the game is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Warchamp7
    It has been a horrible experience watching such a fantastic product fade into what it has become; a shadow of it's former self and a mere glimmer of what it had the potential to be.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maliken View Post
    Our single main focus is to bring extremely high levels of enjoyment to as many players as possible through our games.

  11. #11
    <pointless>
    Last edited by Anakha; 09-27-2011 at 07:56 PM.
    Let me spell it out plain for you
    Angry people complain about the things I do
    I'm not changing direction, I'm stepping my game up
    Maintaining my name, the same way I came up.

    Truth is, I thought it mattered
    I thought that music mattered.
    But does it? Bollocks!
    Not compared to how people matter.

  12. #12
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    Note that there's no part about required self-sacrifice in there, nor should suicide under any form be a positive overall reward except in very drastic circumstances.
    The fact that you don't get last-hits, for the sake of your lane-mate already causes you to sacrifice something. And it's really just a downward spiral from there, since not getting last-hits, directly limits your ability to farm/perform well.

    The ward change promotes that, and fits the entire stagnant 3-2 metagame bullshit that plagues HoN like an inherited curse.
    There is no stagnant 3-2 metagame. Trilane are an option - not a must. Especially now that jungling is becoming more and more prevalent.

    It was a dumb change; it has become FAR easier to maintain ward control and you can't "dry out" enemy supports like you used to. The difference between buying a single antiward or a set is HUGE when you are losing early game.
    Actually, I'd say it's become even easier to "dry out" enemy supports, since counterwarding has become easier too, which means you have a much easier time removing the enemy teams wards, and since sight wards are limited, you dry them out in terms of accessibility.

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  13. #13
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    @Brannock

    Why do you assume I hate new players? My reason for disliking the game being easier has nothing to do with that. First of all it was fine the way it was. Second, developers should stop making games easier for the sake of making them easier - which is what S2 does constantly. I simply get more enjoyment out of a game if it's more difficult and seeing it being actively dumbed down over and over is pretty disappointing. I mean if you can see why HoN players hate LoL, then you should easily see why this kind of **** is annoying.
    Hahahah hey.

  14. #14
    <pointless>
    Last edited by Anakha; 09-27-2011 at 07:56 PM.
    Let me spell it out plain for you
    Angry people complain about the things I do
    I'm not changing direction, I'm stepping my game up
    Maintaining my name, the same way I came up.

    Truth is, I thought it mattered
    I thought that music mattered.
    But does it? Bollocks!
    Not compared to how people matter.

  15. #15
    Single wards HELP supports by making them lose less gold on death, thus HURTing them by promoting suicide as a result of their lower penalty?

  16. #16
    "My reason for disliking the game being easier is because I hate change. Also, ease of entry is a bad thing."

    LoL is a bad game because it balances around casual level play and actively removes anything that anyone would ever complain about, not because it's easy to learn.

  17. #17
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    A 3-2 metagame is not necessarily a trilane metagame. It is a game where you pick 3 heroes capable of carrying a game for an indetermine period of time if left unchecked with a won lane and a decent level/gold advantage, with 2 supports to handle the dirty work of ensuring lane control and ward management.
    Sound familiar?
    As soon as you get a jungler, you have 4 heroes with potential for a level/gold advantage. And since jungling is becoming more prevalent, we do often only have 1 hero that is completely gimped and retains his usefulness primarily for as long as his disable is not on CD.

    Supports, by their very definition, do not need lasthits or gold income to perform well. This is a fallacious argument.
    No, supports are just heroes that can do something well enough without items to warrant them not getting them. They do however, not perform on a level with other heroes that "need"/get farm at any point.

    A Chipper can perform without items just as well as any support hero can. The only reason he isn't used as a support hero is because he doesn't have any reliable disables.
    The same goes for a variety of heroes, since there are a lot of heroes who aren't impacted a lot in what they do by having items.

    Level-advantages are primarily built because heroes survive battles. Because most support heroes never get any significant items, they also don't get levels, which means their overall impact on the game stagnates easily, and they start to contribute less on the overall outcome of the game as it progresses.

    Second, developers should stop making games easier for the sake of making them easier - which is what S2 does constantly.
    Would you care to elaborate? Because the ward changes (and courier changes for that matter) don't make the game "easier", they actually assist in giving you more options.

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    Please use the report post function to have me review a post that you believe is breaking the Forum Rules.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Anakha View Post
    Supports doing that is only one particular way of playing the game, and conversely - one that fits only a metagame where the goal is to farm a carry up at the expense of someone else.

    AKA

    turtle strats. The only type of strats where supports are recklessly sacrificed for someone else's welfare are turtle strats.
    Not gank strats, and CERTAINLY not push strats.
    You are completely wrong. No matter the strat or lineup, the supports will ALWAYS be buying the chicks, wards and NEVER fight for CS.

    The game is about managing team gold and expenses, the current way of doing this has been proved superior throughout a gazillion games.
    Quote Originally Posted by Warchamp7
    It has been a horrible experience watching such a fantastic product fade into what it has become; a shadow of it's former self and a mere glimmer of what it had the potential to be.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maliken View Post
    Our single main focus is to bring extremely high levels of enjoyment to as many players as possible through our games.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brannock View Post
    "My reason for disliking the game being easier is because I hate change. Also, ease of entry is a bad thing."

    LoL is a bad game because it balances around casual level play and actively removes anything that anyone would ever complain about, not because it's easy to learn.
    Still assuming and putting words in my mouth. Didn't even think about new players in the slightest when I made my original post. I don't like games being easier. New players are completely irrelevant especially considering I never find games with anyone under 1600 anyways. (btw lol @ bringing up 'new players' in balance. wtf is this)

    And I'd be damned if changes to wards from buying 2 -> 1 actually makes it significantly easier to learn. The whole concept of wards (proper warding, counter-warding, etc) is something that takes most players awhile to fully grasp.

    Also I dislike bad changes like that observatory garbage. :S
    Last edited by jOOKiE; 09-27-2011 at 05:38 PM.
    Hahahah hey.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bojangles15 View Post
    Single wards HELP supports by making them lose less gold on death, thus HURTing them by promoting suicide as a result of their lower penalty?
    It doesn't hurt them, because no gold loss in exchange for enemy gold loss, as well as XP for surviving allies.

    Also, support is about sacrifice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anakha
    As for support primarily being about self-sacrifice, that's complete garbage. Support as a concept is being able to prop up other heroes to achieve a net effect more efficiently or more quickly than was before, or to reach a greater potential effect through synergy.
    Note that there's no part about required self-sacrifice in there, nor should suicide under any form be a positive overall reward except in very drastic circumstances.
    You noted your own definition for a support hero. Bravo? Shall I define 'support' myself, and say note: there's self-sacrifice there? You really ought to stop pushing your own opinion as irrefutable fact, as it's not a good look for you.

    As for self-sacrifice:

    Support has no gold to lose. Andro runs in to stun carry, attack a few times, die in the attempt, but enemy carry dies, losing gold and granting XP to allied heroes. Positive overall reward. Not a drastic circumstance at all. Really don't see how you can argue that a suiciding support does not achieve an overall benefit for the team.

    The very best support are those that sacrifice everything for the team. I've played as support for top teams over the years, and you can easily tell who's supporting well, and who isn't, on what hero. A glacius who suicides into Kongor pit in order to sac enemy spells, an andro who sacs herself for her carry hero, any support who thinks to buy a tp and buy out wards before even thinking of boots.

    But that's OT, and I don't think any talk of that should continue at all. So lets leave it as a difference of opinion.

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