Thread: Bushwack - First Impressions

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  1. #1
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    Bushwack - First Impressions

    You guys know the drill. Provide initial thoughts on the latest addition to Newerth from the following perspectives, including but not limited to: his future possible role in competitive play, hero design and hero balance. Please note that this does NOT mean you can talk about strategy here, there is a separate forum for that.

    Forum Rules apply as always.
    Last edited by Ekamo; 01-19-2013 at 09:15 PM.
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  2. #2
    I have not seen the character a lot in games yet, but here is what I think so far about the character.

    1) I do not think he should be played as a carry, as he somehow feels to me like the slow/farming potential/clearvision could help if he was used as a suicide support ala bubbles / hag. So in his current iteration, it is odd to me to think of him as a carry (as he was advertized as one). Any thought on that?

    2) I am somehow impressed by the scorpion-ish alt avatar (it looks great) AND even more impressed by the artwork made to advertize the hero (awesome work, really).

    3) I am a bit disappointed by the ultimate's -visual-. Thought the icon for his skills looked great, and the ultimate icon especially hinted to me like when he hit someone they would have a green pathway showing where the affected target moved to (a bit like sandwraith's sand path when he hits someone with Q). I was sure that his ultimate would have been something like --> green path that shows where affected target walked at level 6, clear vision added at level 11, reveal inviz at level 16. Glad it isn't that somehow, as that might make the character quite powerful...

    4) Somehow feel like the hero lacks a bit of originality in his skills.. I am pretty sure others will point that out too. But.. self blink-ish push like rally (would have been cool if it was ---only--- on the right or the left, SIDESTEPPING to disjoint attacks, but not having the choice of what direction you go to -- with a low move range, but a short cooldown), then his poison is... boring beyond boring, (it's basically the same thing as demented shaman), his ultimate I already talked about, and then his splinter shot is.. well it's pretty much the most interesting skill he has

    5) I am pretty happy that this character doesn't seem freaking overpowered like some of the recent heroes released, so I'm glad!..

  3. #3
    Bushwack has three major benefits that can be of use to picking him and when they are compiled onto one hero, in theory it seems like a strong idea.

    1. He is a ranged carry with an innate "split shot" mechanic.

    2. With his poison, he can counter juking and focus his target.

    3. He's capable of effectively handling jungle stacks with little to no mana usage.

    When you consider his splinter mechanic, you quickly notice that it is quite hard to hit heroes with the ability. The ability requires either amazing positioning and control on your end(Tempest, Chronos, KotF) and extremely poor positioning on your opponents end for this ability to truly shine in a team fight. When compared to other ranged heroes with similar themed abilities like Moon Queen, Forsaken Archer and Draconis, they don't have as severe weaknesses as Bushwack. The only practical use of the ability at this time is to bolster his farming.

    He's also been recognized to be able to farm effectively without using much mana. This is normally a great thing because it reduces a need for general mana regeneration items and allows him to conserve his mana for abilities instead. When you consider that his abilities' mana cost are pathetically low and the fact that Nullstone is almost core on carry heroes due to the great prevalence of strong single target CC that can penetrate SH, he doesn't gain much benefit from this as other heroes would. The only great thing about his stack clearing is that it solely relies on 1 point in E and his poison, so he can start as early as 6, but the poison also has practical issues when dealing with team fights.

    His poison seems great in theory, but a short duration, long buildup, and low range make it not only hard to keep up, but when you consider that its damage is less than stellar, it just struggles in general. 450 range and a 1 second slow at 700 range are unable to keep up the poison for long times even with a 400 range pseudo blink. Not to mention that this idea of an unjukeable carry through clearvision and other methods has already been explored to an extent through Emerald Warden. EW has wolves, traps and his bird to always find his target and is arguably as good as Bushwack in this regard with much less crippling weaknesses.

    All in all, the hero is a workable design, simple but slightly uninspiring, but a great thematic concept. A lot of his problems could be solved by tweaking his ult mainly and perhaps his E for them to work better in team fights, and some nerfs to his biggest competitors would surely do him some good.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by MushidoZ View Post
    1) I do not think he should be played as a carry, as he somehow feels to me like the slow/farming potential/clearvision could help if he was used as a suicide support ala bubbles / hag. So in his current iteration, it is odd to me to think of him as a carry (as he was advertized as one). Any thought on that?
    Disagree. He has no significant burst damage (taking into account dot damage as burst). Which means he has a weak early game. Great last hitting animation and potential with Q, but no damage at the beginning. He does not die on the Suicide lane with help of side-step. But he also doesn't get any farm due to his attack range of 450. Q helps, but has a cool down and uses mana. He has Supportish propertise in his skills, but so does every other hero, because HoN is a team game. Bubbles and Hag are less item dependant than Bush.

    3) I am a bit disappointed by the ultimate's -visual-. Thought the icon for his skills looked great, and the ultimate icon especially hinted to me like when he hit someone they would have a green pathway showing where the affected target moved to (a bit like sandwraith's sand path when he hits someone with Q). I was sure that his ultimate would have been something like --> green path that shows where affected target walked at level 6, clear vision added at level 11, reveal inviz at level 16. Glad it isn't that somehow, as that might make the character quite powerful...
    Lets you keep vision on the target. Doesn't need a graphic effect. But would be nice.

    He is a squishy hero. I feel his Sidestep is hindering his reliable and passive survivability. Could be balanced however. Does mean he is very reliant on the performance of his team. He can kill stacked camps potentially at level 6 with split fire & ult and kiting whilst taking minimum damage. However it'd be nice if a team member actually stacked for him. I see him as a carry since his 'utility' offered on the basic level is low. For a start he has a farm-aid that doubles up as a soft-steroid. Perhaps he is a semi-carry as he has an in-built farm tool, just why is his early game so awful compared to other Semi-Carries? Heroes like Swiftblade and Forsaken archer are more threatening.

    Itemisation seems to be a puzzle. Items like Thunderclaw and Nullfire Blade helps give him more damage by Ult applications. But it leaves him squishy. 450 attack range puts him in compromising positions potentially. Shroud can be a tool, but doesn't protect him from incidental splash damage.

    In team fights, with farm his Potential damage is very high if he can hit 1 or more extra target with his auto attacks. Does rely on very perfect positioning, which his Sidestep helps with. Sidestep, if used smartly can be very effective at dodging skill-shots in 1 on 1 scenarios. Back on his split attack. Forsaken Archer, Draconis and Moonqueen don't have to worry about position as much as Bush. Their split attacks are very newb-friendly.

    But yeah, can farm without much mana and taking damage. Unfortunately without initial farm, does it very slowly. He can take stacks, but with no farm this only gives him 200gpm.

    It's hard to comment on his balance since he has such a bad early game, and it's difficult to reach a fair end-game in random MM. With my limited observations, he comes across as a Hard Carry with item identity problems or a very weak Semi-Carry. Perhaps numbers ought to be tweaked so he is a more 'consistent' hero across all game stages. There is a problem in his Blink giving him bonus attack damage on next attack. There is a problem when the skill worth levelling up first is the blink for the sake of doing a smidgen more damage. At least with Chronos' it has a slow *and* AoE damage as well.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reldnahc View Post
    When you consider his splinter mechanic, you quickly notice that it is quite hard to hit heroes with the ability. The ability requires either amazing positioning and control on your end(Tempest, Chronos, KotF) and extremely poor positioning on your opponents end for this ability to truly shine in a team fight.
    I think his Sidestep is supposed to help with the "positioning" aspect. He can quickly jump to a position where his Splintershot will be hitting 2-3 targets. It has a low cd and low manacost too, (6 and 60 respectively) and, generally, can be spammed during fights.

    I love the hero, I think even though his skills aren't super exciting, they are fun to play with. I feel like he's the kind of hero a new player would want to play, since he isn't incredibly hard to play, but can still be very effective.

    One thing I find when playing him, his first skill outranges his aa range. This means most of the time, even with the slow, if I'm casting it at max range, the one second slow isn't enough for me to catch the enemy. You can always sidestep into range but then you're left with nothing for 6 seconds, and the enemy can easily capitalise on this. Only played 1 TMM game with him and 3 midwars, but using sidestep to help chase often led to my death without team support.

    But even with that I still LOVE THIS HERO!!!!!

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    Although it is too early BUT thus far, he seems too lackluster. In a team of 5, he just really doesn't appear to have a place if aimed to play competitively. Otherwise, I am a fan of passive ultimates and simplicity in character design.

    Fun-wise I think he is alright.
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  7. #7
    Dont think he can be played competitively, the range is the main problem imo a Draconis or Silhou will rape him with equal farm, one thing i have experienced from playing him if he is able to auto hit freely and hits more than 1 hero with auto attacks he does a lot of damage, you need to have good positional skills to be able to maximise this hero.

    Disappointed with sidestep imo it should Disjoint, and if it cant Disjoin then it should have slightly more range maybe, i like the concept of the hero very fun to play i think a few adjustments to him could make him a Competitive carry.

  8. #8
    The hero is far too dependent of Nullfire Blade, whereas Master of Arms and Night Hound can manage finely without it.

    Nullfire Blade and Bushwack (his ultimate, especially) has too much synergy to be incidental.

    Bushwack has a completely ineffectual slow, and an ineffectual DoT without it, which Nullfire fixes both.


    He also seems team-dependent to keep the enemy close-up to line up piercing shots, which isn't a bad thing.
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  9. #9
    He is a great hero, but i think he could use some small buff.

    1. that 1 second slow is pretty shot actually...yes it is a decent damage nuke, get cheap mana cost and low cooldown...but really..could push the slow to 2 second and it owuld not make it gamebreaking by any mean.

    2. his W is nice and the damaeg boost is ok, but i think it would be very nice if it would actually disjoin.

    3. his utli deal good damage actually..especially when you get nullfire to get quick charge...but i think the duration is a bit low. maybe they coudl push the duration to 5 second.....if would not make it really stronger to farm or gank...but would give it a huge boost again escaping ennemy, as dot will ahve more chanc eto finish them up and clearvision will remain up longer.

  10. #10
    Worst thing about this hero is when you time a perfect sidestep to dodge a barrage of enemy abilities... and then half of them follow you to the new location because they happen to be targeted. Second skill needs a disjoint and probably should be +110%/120%/130%/140% of attack damage for that attack instead of the basic fixed damage. It's meant to be a carry and this is the formula for all the other skills - why not sidestep too?

    The other sentiments are valid, i'd like to see split shot do a little more but I think sidestep is the biggest problem. Played a few games with him and you get killed so quickly by abilities you should be able to dodge with proper timing.
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  11. #11
    I find it really odd with all of these illusion changes we keep getting once a month that none of the two hero's passive skills extend to his illusions. Was the illusion guy at S2 on winter vacation all throughout Bushwack's development?
    And Myrmidon's ultimate still doesn't work with illusions.

  12. #12
    First of all, on role, this hero basically only fit on the carry role
    his skills cannot gank or initiate well, he is item dependent, where he cannot support

    so back to the carry thing, carry basically need 3 things

    1. carry potential, these usually come from passive skills or initial satats or stat gain

    bushwack have a high 3.0 agi again, and very few notice, he have the highest initial agi in the game(they even have to make his initial pre agi armor to -0.5), and as a ranged hero, his initial attack speed is high, so after getting level and items, he has an extremely high attack speed

    his ult only helps a little on damage, but on the carry thing he is very good on positioning, and that is how Hag become carry nowadays in diamond hontour

    2. farming speed, this is how many hard carry dies off today

    and every body knows, bushwack is pretty good on this part, for having 2 strong farming passive

    3. survivability, because a carry that did not die can farm much more, and this helps a lot on positioning too

    bushwack is ok on this part


    So, bushwack is not bad to be a carry if you build your item correctly, but he is extremely item dependent


    personally, i believe that increase the ult duration according to charges should be good, cos that skills really wear off so fast, like 0.5 second more duration per charge would be good
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by TheRedSpy View Post
    Worst thing about this hero is when you time a perfect sidestep to dodge a barrage of enemy abilities... and then half of them follow you to the new location because they happen to be targeted. Second skill needs a disjoint and probably should be +110%/120%/130%/140% of attack damage for that attack instead of the basic fixed damage. It's meant to be a carry and this is the formula for all the other skills - why not sidestep too?

    The other sentiments are valid, i'd like to see split shot do a little more but I think sidestep is the biggest problem. Played a few games with him and you get killed so quickly by abilities you should be able to dodge with proper timing.
    I completely agree with you on everything you said, it would make the hero much better and i would be ok if they even increased the CD on it because it would disjoint.

  14. #14
    nice thing is this hero can be easily tweaked with numbers.

    As is though fairly underwhelming.
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    I haven't played him, but from what I can detect from his abilities:

    Q seems weak. 125% of attack damage is not really great in terms of carrying ability considering the large cooldown it has for the amount of damage it does and slowing by less for longer is better than slowing much for shorter, as you'll generally be about as fast as your target and thus consistently making it slower is better than a burst of it barely moving. I don't really see the point of this ability in Bushwack's repertoire, it's just a small damage addition that doesn't really do anything.

    W is a shorter ranged blink that I guess doesn't have the same terrain ignoring abilities in return for adding a bit of damage to Bushwack's next hit. This would've been a pretty useful ability if it disjoined but it apparently doesn't or if Bushwack in general was more powerful as he could then do more with dodging abilities, however, if I was playing Pyromancer I simply wouldn't use my stun on Bushwack without him first being disabled as I know he's going to dodge it, making it similar to a sort of aoe null stone - you don't throw a targeted aoe at Bushwack unless it's in a situation when you know this ability won't help anyway. Sure it's useful for the ''null stone'' effect in itself, but you must then ask which of the heroes' skill sets will be the stronger if neither hero uses one of their abilities as described above - and in this case, I believe Bushwack just loses out.

    E in combination with R is pretty good. The problem is the first of Bushwack's two skills. An easy way to fix Q would be to let it trigger E as well.

    I compared R to relentless salvo when I read it. If not for E, this ability would've been bad for an ultimate. Consider that relentless salvo gives 400 attack speed for 2 attacks, has 19 less max damage and doesn't give clearvision - it's more like a tradeoff than one skill being considerably better than another. However it's fine.

    Again, I believe Bushwack's problems would lie in his weak Q and W abilities, most prominently Q. Overall I see no reason yet to pick Bushwack over easier and safer heroes like Draconis, Silhouette, FA etc. that outfarm, outcarry and outrange Bushwack. Other low-ranged carries like Corrupted Disciple suffers from similar problems, Moon Queen doesn't only thanks to her obscene burst nuking power, Bushwack was unlucky enough to get designed according to the first group with no idiot-safe overpowering mechanisms or advantages as are in demand. Bushwack is yet another case of the design or perhaps balance department seeming to allocate different heroes to different teams - there's the Solstice etc. team and then there's the Grinex, Bushwack, Ravenor etc. team. This hero is released in a period of periodic power creep and a hero pool filled with both underpowered and overpowered, perpetually used heroes, it got stuck in the 2nd category and that's where I think it'll stay considering S2's balance team.



    I also question at all why anyone would pick this hero over Wretched Hag who dots better, has more aoe, has better mobility, slows better, does more damage and both gains & needs more from hellflower/sheepstick.
    Last edited by ImCantPlay; 01-20-2013 at 05:59 AM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ImCantPlay View Post
    I also question at all why anyone would pick this hero over Wretched Hag who dots better, has more aoe, has better mobility, slows better, does more damage and both gains & needs more from hellflower/sheepstick.
    To be difficult I will remark on the reference to the items.
    Bushwack has the second highest Agility gain per level of any hero in this game.
    He also has the highest starting Agility of any hero.
    Attack speed is not a problem for Bushwack. He will gain Attack speed from building items with his Primary stat, agility. Thus Hellflower's Attack speed isn't that useful as say an alternative item.
    Bushwack's mana pool is low, but he has 2 passive. His 2 Active abilities also have a really cheap cost. Therefore Sheepstick and Hellflower's mana regen and mana pool aren't that useful compared to other heroes.

    If you want a slow which Sheepstick provides, build a Nullfire Blade (procs Ultimate twice) or an Icebrand (boosts Healthpool).
    If you want to amplify your damage which Hellflower offers, build Shieldbreaker or Sol's Bulwark (- Armour).

    He does not need Hellflower's trail. His Ultimate effectively does a much better job of this.

    With regards to Hag and Bushwack, they are awfully similar on the surface but are actually very different. Yes, they both have a Single Target slow. They both have a short-CD blink. They both bring AoE. The Differences are?

    Bush's blink gives +damage on next attack (at the expense of not being a true blink. More a, pretend he walked realllllyy fast. And Range).
    Bush's Slow scales with his attack damage (Bat's a flat increase with rank).
    Bush's AoE is consistent and scales. (Hag's is flat increase with rank and in a burst).
    Bush also gives Vision on his target when auto attacking. (Hag would have to build a Hellflower to offer this same function, and even then, when the target is in fog, you just see sparkly orange trail).
    Bush builds pure auto attack damage that also potentially offers attack speed and armour. Hag's carry items can focus on raw auto attack damage but it may be at the expense of her Mana Pool. If she builds to increase her damage through her primary stat, she only increases damage, regen and mana pool with Int. Agility is a better auto-attack stat than Intellect.

    I think if we're going to compare bush to heroes, it ought to be with Moonqueen (and to take into consideration Blitz and Andromeda. Draconis and Forsaken Archer are also valid considerations to since those two 'compete' on the surface with Bush's mechanics).
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  17. #17
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    You're agreeing with what I said, I think you didn't understand my sentence. What I was trying to convey is that hellflower and sheepstick are both very good items but compared to Hag, Bushwack gains less from them, making it something like an opportunity cost of losing out of really good items. Now to address your points about their abilities that weren't made in vain.

    1) Wack's blink adding damage is irrelevant, this damage is neither important nor something Hag has any trouble matching and exceeding.
    2) It only adds +25% of your attack damage. This means that if you have 500 damage it will do 625 damage. If you have something more realistic such as 200 damage it'll do 240 damage - hardly ''scaling'' as popularily thought of. That and Hag's slow lasts long enough for it to really not need to be re-applied in fights anyway, it's not like a 3-second nuke slow or something.
    3) Yeah Wack does give clearvision, but I tend to find that this niche is overpopulated and doesn't tend to be a problem with the nature of the picked heroes nowadays.
    4) Yes, agility is a better auto-attack stat than intelligence, but when Hag can disable everything you have, slow you to a crawl, outdamage you can still compete in terms of attack speed that doesn't matter - you'll be outcarried in practice. Intelligence has to be less powerful as a carry stat because its items are better, the stats would be broken if this wasn't the case. What something does in theory or in isolation is less important than what it accomplishes in the whole in interaction with other things and that's where Hag wins.

    Moon Queen if you want to compare her with Bushwack (I don't because I think they differ too much) is basically just a better hero. She has massive nuking ability and carries better too while retaining the aoe on auto attacks. Wack has his little things over her that enables him to do some things she can't but these things are less powerful than what Moon Queen does and that's what's important.

    When I look at Wack I don't see a carry, so the comparisons to Blitz and Andromeda are more warranted. In the support role I... don't see the point of picking him over any good support. Why take Bushwack over Slither who also slows with no stuns but does way more damage with a longer range, for example? I'd take something like Pearl, Empath etc. any day over Wack for support, I'd do the same with more offensive supports like Witch Slayer, I can't see him outperforming dedicated gankers or carries and I can't see how he would combine some of those roles into a functional whole which by that merits being picked, like FA or Hag does who are both strong aoe heroes and pretty good carries both because of and in addition to that.
    Last edited by ImCantPlay; 01-20-2013 at 07:32 AM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ImCantPlay View Post
    Other low-ranged carries like Corrupted Disciple suffers from similar problems, Moon Queen doesn't only thanks to her obscene burst nuking power...
    What exactly is the rationale behind him having low attack range? If you accept that the W is fairly under-powered and doesn't really measure up with even his other skills (let alone CD's and MQ's) then it still doesn't make sense for him to be shorter ranged than other ranged carries like arachna with W being the cited ability that makes up for it and adds diversity and skill. There would really be nothing inappropriate about making his auto attack have the same range as his Q. Another option would be to add a passive range increase with W so it functions like flint beastwood if there are really balance concerns here.

    I reiterate the point about the damage bonus though, as a carry the fixed damage bonus is worthless in late game it should totally be +110%/120/130/140 so you can do an offensive combo as you gain attack damage items.
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  19. #19
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    You're saying that in general right? because I never said anything like that about the range, I just noted what his range is. But the last time I tried to say that carries like Silhouette and Draconis having 600 range plus their very powerful skill sets is a problem as long as heroes like CD still have such penalties as much lower attack range for tradeoffs that aren't as relevant as they once might have been, people said there was no issue, so I won't try to argue it again.

  20. #20
    My first impression is that his E is the core ability of the hero... its by far the strongest ability. It helps him flash farm, and keeps him on level with other carries, at least farm wise.. However, he just doesn't feel that "lategame" once he gets there. I feel the damage buff on W is a bit too weak once you level it up, yes I know the CD drops drasticly, and thats the point of it, but still 40, seems a bit weak..

    Q is his "nuke" but the dmg isn't really that great early, and the slow is very little. I dont know... His ulti and E are strong. His "juke" move, doesn't disjoint and therefore isn't that strong imo. But I think you have to wait a bit more to see the hero out.

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