Oh god this game sucks when it goes long, it's not because of the rebuy changes, it's because teams fall apart lategame. Supports aren't designed to function at 70 minutes, and all the farm in the world doesn't let them do their job when carries are 1shotting them.
The other problem is that even mid-lategame, it takes way too much to crack a base, even twenty kills ahead if the other team has a reasonable stalling draft, and you don't have a basecracking team. The actual lead required is huge to nail a base when you start throwing heroes like Flint and Slither into the mix with some meat in front of them. It's indecisive and a pain in the arse, particularly when you consider eyes being thrown around which stop you from gaining a big eco advantage by eating their forest behind offensive wards.
I really think this is still the game's big weakness; when 2-3 heroes on both teams get huge midgame farm and the game enters a stage of brinkmanship and who flinches first loses.
I still think there's something to be said for removing more defending advantages, or introducing the equivalent of the timer in fighting games (ofc nothing so inelegant) to reward more aggressive play in uneven mid-lategames. At the moment, getting either a really important pick, or 2-3 picks is the only way, and it doesn't take a whole lot to avoid that happening.
I mention this not because I just lost a very long game (77 minutes) but because looking back, we clearly lost it because we tried to press an advantage that wasn't large enough. At the time I was about 22 5, and we had two other carries running positive KDRs and >300GPM with multiple high tier items (Nomad, Ra, FA, Midas, Glacius v Magebane, Flint, Slither, Electrian, Dsham). Even at the end of the game, their Flint was wearing the scars of the huge midgame rape we served him with a negative KDR.
The issue I take is that hard initiators don't exist anymore. The concept of blinking a Centaur/Magnataur etc in and kicking down their door is dead, in all games in this genre, and while HoN has picked the tempo up enough that it's very rare to see the long games that are common in DotA 2 (largely due to global pressure to cover other hardcarries, Furion's doling out a lot of it at the moment), when it does go long, it falls apart, and the precepts of the genre really strain under the huge numbers being thrown around.
I think this is squarely a design issue that's been overlooked for a very long time, and is something that the genre needs to address. Some bold innovation is needed here, the game would greatly benefit from a new mechanic or set of mechanics that are harder than the base entrances being wider and regen tweaks to buildings (though these were necessary steps forward).
The thing that convinces me of this is that all of the uber long games I've ever been stuck in have had this slightly comical and retarded feel to them, where stupid **** has always happened. It's easily the weakest point of DotA, DotA 2, HoN and even LoL. When the game goes late, good sense goes out the window unless it was carefully drafted for, and the superlate is not something people should or do draft for, and if there were any merit to the idea of decreasing the importance of the draft phase, it's in decreasing the need to run base crackers to get in the door.
Tenacious defences make this game un-fun because they take the game places it's never been steady on its feet in.
There is this freeware strategy game Wesnoth where **** is random as it gets and in essence general idea in community is(or was few years ago, haven't revisited it for ages) that you have to apply enough force that even random element can't stop you from winning.
This add another layer when you have to decide if odds are good enough or do you need to get more stuff in position. With statics numbers you'd always know that if x then do y.
Sure it resulted in some wtf games but it had rather well defined group of top tier players who managed to consistently win games due to them being good at "overplanning".
I played rise of titans(i think? chinnese dota clone) beta and it had boss fights(like Kongor) that if you killed boss then in mid lane your own boss would spawn and push them ****ers to the throne.I think this is squarely a design issue that's been overlooked for a very long time, and is something that the genre needs to address. Some bold innovation is needed here, the game would greatly benefit from a new mechanic or set of mechanics that are harder than the base entrances being wider and regen tweaks to buildings (though these were necessary steps forward).
Haven't played it a lot(iirc beta ended shortly) but it felt like it was introduced for this exact reason- to let winning team get into the base.
Obviously i'm not sure how effective it is since i played like 15-20 games of it but sounds like a possible solution.
Combined with defenders advantage, lategame carry numbers are excessive;
Hard initiators (other than, like, ES) are absent to jump in and stop such a defense;
Base crackers don't exist to ignore such a defense;
Game mechanics don't exist to bypass such a defense.
Does that more or less sum it up?
E: lategame carry numbers may be excessive anyway, but lets stick to a single thing here
Have inner towers and buildings tick down armour as a function of time passing. Start at 30min (ideally you want base sieges to really start being productive around then), and then every x minute, both bases start losing 1 armour on all their inner buildings. This makes pokes far more effective, and backdooring becomes much more viable.
Secondary effects from this is that a team with an advantage WANTS to force teamfights as opposed to farming out more, as a team with any kind of backdoor advantage (lolnymph or pwp double ults) will easily start cleaning up a base, one rax at a time.
Mapcontrol is the key to everything in the mid-to-lategame.
All competitive teams does this. Thats why kongor is so important to kill when you have an advantage (or use it to GET an advantage)... and the other team must do what they can to stop it.
Only if an extra life on one hero and sacrifice of an item slot can overcome the force-multiplier of a defenders advantage. Some non-trivial proportion of the time, and attacker with a token ends up in a position that getting killed means he's in a bad position and dies again, 'wasting' the token.
Pubs tend too throw away an early advantage by not getting kongor and superior mapcontrol, which gives the other team a chance to come back into the game... thus the game will last much longer than it "should have".
Competitive players are much better at keeping the advantage, which is why most competitive games dont go into super-lategame.
Games are not "supposed" to last forever, unless the teams have "equivalent" hero compositions and the players average skill is about the same (equal amounts of throws occur).
You talk about map control, but there comes a point where your supports even slightly out of position will get solo'd in 1 second by anyone with any amount of farm, an Eye is common and there are very very few warding spots that are sight-proof, and they are all very traditional open spots that are easily checked.
The only consistent map control that is possible at that point is by simply forcing a DOL situation (defend or lose) by pressuring a rax with enough heroes to warrant the involvement of every single person there.
This point can occur as early as 30min into the game right now, and eventually it becomes an arms war - because you're unable to teamfight successfully at a disadvantage (uphill miss, lack of sight, tower, lack of flanking options - and only blind initiation except through certain skills (snotrocket etc.).
If teams can't teamfight or crack a base, they farm.
You massively overstate how much influence a token has against a team properly set up to defend with a minimum of farm.
I should add that two games earlier, my game went superlate in DotA as well. We found ourselves as Sven Wr Lion CW QoP against Drow DP Rhasta Tidehunter Sniper, as another sidenote, I play Chinese DotA, and the lategame effectively entered the buyback cycle period, until my team, by their own admission, became bored and tried a push on their third rax without buybacks, and found ourselves counterpushed (mid was down both sides, we had top as well) before they had respawned (I bought back). We'd gotten the other rax through a mix of base trades and forced buybacks and cooldown, but if they actually defended, there was almost nothing we could do no matter how well we initiated.
Overwhelmingly though, the game was silly. Every super late game I play is silly. Having played DotA for nearly as long as it's been around, I can't remember a super late game that wasn't silly.
In the HoN game, the distance to fountain was actually a huge factor - as Nomad, I physically needed more space to kill Flint. If Magebane jumped FA and he wasn't screened, he would balk halfway accross the map, but I only had a few thousand units to harry him before I had to give up and accept joining battle with Flint chasing me back in. That's beating a dead horse though - defending is easier, not just in HoN and DotA, but in nearly every game ever.
And yes, we tried tokens, but by that stage it was pretty much a pitched fight. The really telling thing was that when we were 2 rax down we then did the same thing to them a few times.
Ohhey, I got my question answered by S2. Looks like S2 has nothing in particular in mind for meta-game shifts.
This is how ALL ARTS devs balance their games.
And THIS is how you shut down Pimp Slayer
I was trying to keep myself off HoN tonight by playing CoH. But I can't find CoH. Why would I have deleted it; I decided a long time ago I wasn't going to give up on it until they release the new balance patch, or add the ability to play without ToV and OF additions, and since one of those two things was eventually going to happen, it stands to reason that I never would have deleted it.
Balph still needs fixing though. I heard Gravekeeper uses corpses as well, so I'm interested to see how he works in combination with Balph.
Balph and Gravekeeper will directly compete for corpses in a lane. I don't think Balph needs anything at all.
After reading what you described earlier, I kind of feel like CoH has that same effect, the game is great and feels Saving Private Ryan epic up until the point where someone decides to lame it out. As you also said, fighting games dont have this problem because there is a counter ticking it down from the get-go, but obviously that doesn't really work here. Interestingly enough, in one of the DOTA2 tourneys I watched on joindota, there was a tie for placement, so in order for the team who was playing the game to advance, they had to beat the previous team's time of like 38 minutes. It was a very interesting game because the team who had to beat the clock had to play ballsy and take risks or they would lose by default. They ended up winning, doing it a couple minutes faster than the previous team, but it wasnt a stomp by any means.
I also agree with the notion that it is harder to attack than defend in pretty much every game. 9/10 times attacking puts you at a disadvantage position wise and probably hinders your ability to defend yourself depending on what game youre playing.