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Continuing from my Zephyr thread.


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My direction for Zephyr would be:

 - Nerfing his flash farming available from the start archetype. His stat and gain is abysmally low to compensate for his jungle farming permanent damage + constant healing from creeping.

-  I want to curb the differences between highs and lows in 2 spectrums with extreme gaps of Zephyr that are: 1. Cyclones critical mass and 2. Farming advantage.

- If i want to nerf his farming advantage and his critical mass of cyclones, i have to introduce a new mechanic to the hero because outside of being bloated by those 2 high ends, his Typhoon has too high cooldown and his normal skill set doesn't function unless he's already too hard to kill and deals too much damage. He's currently too weak if he's anywhere but his extremely high curve.

What i would do:

Increase starting stats and stats gain to be a normal hero again, not having to rely on being obese.

Cyclones: Passive: Gives 3 cyclones that deal 6/8/10/12 dps (18/24/30/36 total, same number with current first level but half of the current critical mass) and slows for 0/5/10/15% (non stacking, i don't want to give Zephyr generic MS boost, i don't like how he only has cc that is his ult and i don't like how he's forced to buy Ghost Marchers).

Q: Gust: Now spawns cyclones along the way, destroys trees. Cyclones (if leveled) last for 3/4/5/6s and slows for an extra 0/5/10/15% (adds up with innate slow from E, totaling 30%).  The idea is to give Zephyr's flexibility and space control a real use, he can either pull them in or push them away and put cyclones that slow when they want to move the path you don't want them to. Cyclones should spawn in a wavy pattern and stretch for the whole gust length + distance number (wiki says 625, but in testing i find it more likely to be 400) so that you get affected by 1 cyclone and slowed in the wind path. Damage, manacost, cooldown adjusted accordingly.

W: Wind Shield: Project a 300 radius windshield around self, granting allies within 20/25/30/35% evasion against enemies from the outside, granting Zephyr 20/35/50/65 attack speed and 3 extra cyclones while he's inside. Lasts 8s or until Zephyr leaves the area. Manacost: 50/60/70/80. Cooldown: 18/16/14/12s.

R: Typhoon: Radius increased to 600, cooldown reduced to 100/85/70s. Max damage and slow reduced to 40/55/70 and 70%. I think a more frequent and lower cd ultimate is needed if Zephyr's to be viable outside of jungle, current ultimate is too strong and works too well for Zephyr's one-fight-and-afk-farm playstyle while having too high down time should he want to be more active.

=> Coupled with Q and W changes, Zephyr can fully become a space control/area denial hero.

 

This is the general direction i want to take Zephyr to, to address these core problems i see in his current form:

- Having only one viable playstyle that is to passively farm in jungle until hit critical mass.

- Not giving the player choices, the hero plays itself and you have to stay on the high curve that is max cyclone and being too fat to handle and end the game early. Fall off this high curve and the hero is too lacking in synergy and options for late game items for the players to make choices to impact the game's result.

- Overlapping with Ra.

 

A less radical proposal that i have, is to have Typhoon lower cyclone generation cooldown, to 16/12/8s perhaps, Sotm lowering it to 4s will still be doubling it. Also lessens the hero's dependence to Sotm. If this somehow pushes the hero over the curve and he ends up being overbearing again, then we can nerf some numbers elsewhere, as this would be a much needed QoL for the hero.

Edited by rezziedahl
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I highly disagree that Zephyr is a jungler/wooder only. He is VERY potent on lane, depending on your setup.

He is not a hard carry, but he is something in between with the right build.

As for how he performs in the jungle, he's still far below both Legio/Sols, and arguably Draconis as well. Won't even mention WS, since that hero is just bullshit :P.

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Where is his self sustain?

 

Going to be a huge nerf if that isn't addressed.

 

Also if the spawned Cyclones from Gust don't slow for more than 15%, it's going to be a nearly useless zoning tool. They would have to slow for more than his regular cyclones, or do something like "all his cyclones slow for 2x to 3x the amount for X duration"

Edited by ElementUser
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Posted (edited)

It is a huge nerf to his jungle farming, the combination of free damage + healing through creep kill at no manacost is too good at snowballing from the jungle too early. Frankly this element is so oppressive that it warrants the hero to be too weak everywhere else. My direction's is to make him primarily a laning hero, that can transition into jungle by buying helm and mana regen items.

He can achieve 36 dps at level 2 (current lvl 3) and 48 dps at lvl 3 with 50 mana with new spells, potentially farming stacks better than current iteration, just not perpetually, making it manageable. We can even easily tweak this further with Gust's manacost and cooldown with my suggestion of it destroying trees, enabling Zephyr (with better starting stats) to periodically flash farm better with mana investment. This removes Zephyr's snowball jungling while leaving his mid game largely untouched.

My idea is giving the hero above average stats (better hp, armor and mana pool) so he can either punish weaker lanes with gust displacement, or farm stacks of easy + medium camps, gaining more item options and gameplay choices. All to get rid of his dependence to spiraling out of control with his current oppressive farming tool.

 

Cyclones spawned from Gust will slow for an extra 15% at max level, meaning it will add to the innate slow totaling for 30% max. Taking into consideration cyclone's AOE and distributing pattern and length, it's a huge and long area of 30% slow. This will require Zephyr to max out both his Q and E.

 

I want to put emphasis to my version of wind shield. Even without the rest of my changes, i think it would do Zephyr a lot of good to have something like this in his kit, in theme, flexibility and in aiding in his winning condition, like attacking tower while shrugging off defenders.

Edited by rezziedahl
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Still pretty high risk because Zephyr is a classic hero. Changing classic heroes tend to involve a lot of backlash if done incorrectly. Something like this has to be a key highlight of a patch.
 

Theorycraft works different than practice is what I'm trying to say here. Right now, I'm not really feeling the zone control when Ellonia kind of does it better already with her W patch spamming, and zone control doesn't feel like Zephyr's main theme. The DoT aura identity + Gust is more of what he's known for, but to do that he needs better survivability. I'm just not buying the idea right now.

 

Some directions like making Gust stronger + nerfing early game jungle is fine, but those have to be compensated for later on (plus his survivability). If you don't want him to jungle at level 1-3, you have to put in an explicit clause for it & make him have decent laning tools too (and Cyclones push the lane).

Edited by ElementUser
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On 4/26/2020 at 1:24 AM, rezziedahl said:

It is a huge nerf to his jungle farming, the combination of free damage + healing through creep kill at no manacost is too good at snowballing from the jungle too early. Frankly this element is so oppressive that it warrants the hero to be too weak everywhere else. My direction's is to make him primarily a laning hero, that can transition into jungle by buying helm and mana regen items.

Weird, my experience with Zephyr is that he's painfully slow in the jungle. Part of the issue is that we play with different jungles, but the Garena jungle should be easier on Zeph than the international client's jungle.

Combined with the fact that Zephyr is terrible in fights almost regardless of how much farm he has, and I'm firmly in the camp of him needing buffs.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/4/2020 at 8:21 AM, Sorais said:

Weird, my experience with Zephyr is that he's painfully slow in the jungle. Part of the issue is that we play with different jungles, but the Garena jungle should be easier on Zeph than the international client's jungle.

Combined with the fact that Zephyr is terrible in fights almost regardless of how much farm he has, and I'm firmly in the camp of him needing buffs.

I completely back up this point.

Zephyr has 1 single strenght, that other junglers don't have. He can sometimes steamroll some Melee Heroes over at mid in 1v1 Matchups, but that's about all the hero has. He is pretty easy to kill in the early, so simply some roaming on the mid, destroys his entire gameplan, since it is super hard to catch up, if you are underfarmed. In the jungle his farming is allright, but not anywhere to be broken or OP. Sols / Wildsoul / Legio or Warbeast all farm way better than Zephyr, are way better in Teamfights and actually have way better ganking potential.

I feel like after all the changes Zeph got in the past, he is at a perfectly fine spot now. Not OP, not bad, but more on the side of buffs insteat of nerfs.

Edited by cobaye
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You misunderstand me, it's also in my opinion that Zephyr's on the weaker side right now and i'd never pick him over Ra. I'm trying to address the issue that Zephyr is intentionally put on the weaker side because of his cyclones being such an over-the-top jungling tool, if Zephyr is ever slightly above the curve, he becomes a ball of frustration and you'd sure see him picked every match as a cheese because you'd have to pick hard counters to him every game. Snowballing from the jungle plus scaling damage via survivability inherently has no legit counter and unlike Ra, Zephyr has the tools and means to be completely oppressive.

 

On 5/3/2020 at 8:48 PM, ElementUser said:

Theorycraft works different than practice is what I'm trying to say here. Right now, I'm not really feeling the zone control when Ellonia kind of does it better already with her W patch spamming, and zone control doesn't feel like Zephyr's main theme. The DoT aura identity + Gust is more of what he's known for, but to do that he needs better survivability. I'm just not buying the idea right now.

 

Some directions like making Gust stronger + nerfing early game jungle is fine, but those have to be compensated for later on (plus his survivability). If you don't want him to jungle at level 1-3, you have to put in an explicit clause for it & make him have decent laning tools too (and Cyclones push the lane).

It wasn't the intention to make zone control Zephyr's primary focus, it'd be a sub-theme that comes into play when Zephyr exercises his traditional identities: DoT aura/damage when you continuously stick to enemies in melee, displacing/separating enemies into his zones where he can slow and deal damage and deny favorable teamfights, and winning game by bringing the fight to the enemy's base.

I believe i've enhanced these in many ways, via Gust creating a slow zone that can both hinder an enemy from escaping and prevent their allies from helping, via Windshield that rewards Zephyr heavily in melee should he takes over and maintain a position, via Typhoon that can freely be used both offensively (extra lockdown/damage) and defensively (entry denial) due to Zephyr's basic spells being self-sufficient. New gust would also be immensely useful for boosting jungle farm due to destroying trees and providing constant damage re-aggroing creeps running back (can increase duration for this). I have updated my idea for windshield.

Quote

W: Wind Shield: Project a stationary 300 radius windshield at Zephyr's location, granting allies within 20/25/30/35% evasion against enemies from the outside, granting Zephyr 20/35/50/65 attack speed and 3 extra cyclones while he's inside. Lasts 8s or until Zephyr leaves the area. Manacost: 50/65/80/95. Cooldown: 18/16/14/12s.

Again, it's meant to be a versatile tool that Zephyr can apply in any situation, close quarter combat/combo with gust+typhoon/defensive and/or siege zone. Attack speed is an important addition to allow some scaling with carry item choices and reinforce his winning condition by hitting structures.

In the laning phase, currently he has abysmal starting stat and stat gain, all due to his jungling potential, increasing it greatly should enable him to beat out his lane, set up more ganks/kills, and use mana to farm stacked camps, easily making up for 20hp he gets per last hit in lane (not counting jungling from lvl 1 and of course, taking his new spells into consideration). Cyclone shouldn't be a problem in lane if we give him an off button like salforis, he doesn't need it to eat cyclone anymore. Q -> W  is respectable with a lane mate, there also won't be a dilemma of building cyclones vs pushing lane.

Having better stat line + new spells will also allow him to consider different items, unlike how currently he's forced to buy ghost marcher and rush helm of black legion. I think a mandatory rush item is bad for a hero's gameplay.

 

It might just be theorycraft and needs testing in practice, but i think this direction has good potential, fixes the things holding Zephyr back and improves upon his design and gameplay.

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On 5/8/2020 at 3:43 PM, rezziedahl said:

Having better stat line + new spells will also allow him to consider different items, unlike how currently he's forced to buy ghost marcher and rush helm of black legion. I think a mandatory rush item is bad for a hero's gameplay.

I can actually not agree with that personally.
Ghost Marchers are a nice to have tool but I wouldn't call them mandatory nor in all cases valuable. In fact I'd personally even say that on occasion Plated Greaves or Steam Boots are by far stronger, let alone Post Haste at a certain point in the game but since that is usually most peoples goal I am not including those in my inquiry, just mentioning them.

In fact not always is Helm the best option either, I've found myself in plenty situation where rushing Staff is just the supreme answer to almost  ANYHTING. It grant's you every stat (and god knows Zephyr is stat hungry in every way possible) and one of the (in my oppinion) strongest Staff effects you can achieve during early mid game. The regeneration (20/4sec) and self sustaining insane aoe damage output, paired with the raw stats the item grants you, CAN easily rival a mock if not even best it.

From there on magicarmor (when laning, Vestment before staff occasionally might be a clever choice) or Physical Armor (Frostfield / Mad Mage) depending on your opponents lineup into a heart and you are very much able to either solo your opponents team or atleast keep 3-4 of them in check while your team deals with them.

So I really am not sure if Helm is as mandatory as you make it seem.

It may have been before the addition of the new Staff effect, but ever since I personally feel like Zephs staff easily tops 90% of item choices (10% circumstancial) (aslong as you aren't being stomped).

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Not debating whether or not the hero needs ghost marcher and/or helm to function properly (i'd still argue yes), the hero needing instead to rush staff in itself is another symptom of the same problem.

Staff being overwhelmingly better than any other item choices indicates that's just simply a bandaid to keep the hero afloat despite their design problems by giving them an upgrade unique, unfair, either bypassing their weaknesses or is uncounterable, available only to that hero unlike normal items. There are currently some heroes like that and i abhor their current states: Slither, MoA, Rally and Zephyr. There are some more that share the problem, but to a lesser degree.

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Posted (edited)

This is simply high-risk low-reward. We don't have SBT anymore, so the process for hero reworks & the like is much worse (since I also have a limited playerbase that is willing to test on demand). The high-risk part comes from the fact that players will hate the hero (remember what I told you about the jungling efficacy loss + survivability loss?).

 

It's less to do with actual implementation, but more to do with "if we put the time to actually get this into a production-ready state, is there any big payoff? Or will it just risk killing Zephyr?"

 

Right now, it's not convincing to me that it's going to work, and resources are better spent conceptualizing other things, like oh idk, reworking heroes that are broken in design (Adrenaline, Nitro). I'd rather spend time on the patches that are coming in the near future, rather than patches coming in the far future.

Edited by ElementUser
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On 4/21/2020 at 8:02 AM, rezziedahl said:

A less radical proposal that i have, is to have Typhoon lower cyclone generation cooldown, to 16/12/8s perhaps, Sotm lowering it to 4s will still be doubling it. Also lessens the hero's dependence to Sotm. If this somehow pushes the hero over the curve and he ends up being overbearing again, then we can nerf some numbers elsewhere, as this would be a much needed QoL for the hero.

In the mean time, i suggest we do this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Reading the topic makes me proposing this optional suggestion as below:

Spoiler

Zephyr

  • (1st ability) remains the same
  • (2nd ability) remake: An enemy unit auto-attacking Zephyr grants 1 charge, up to 3 charges (4.5 seconds individually timed duration). If the enemies has 3 charges already on their next auto-attack to Zephyr, they will be knocked up for 0.3 second and takes 200% Zephyr's attack damage as magic by a cyclone over 3 seconds, consuming the charges in process. Selecting unit affected by cyclone will consume the cyclone and heal Zephyr by 15/25/35/45 health. Expired cyclone also heals Zephyr and it expires early if its target dies. Cyclones prevent enemies from receiving this ability's charges.
  • (3rd ability) remake: Applies 12/16/20/24% movement slow over 3.5 seconds and deals 35 magic damage to enemies in 1100 radius to self if they have forced movement applied on them. The slow effect of this ability prevents the enemies to be affected by this passive effect.
  • (4th ability) remake: On cast and every 2 seconds deals up to 250/350/450 magic damage based on how far they are to the center by the minimum 50 magic damage in its center (center has 50 radius) and pulls enemies in radius towards center by up to 150/250/350 units over 0.3 second. Has 250/350/450 radius, 240/200/160 seconds cooldown, 150/250/350 manacost, 6 seconds duration, and 500 range. Staff boost: increases duration to 12 seconds.

From my proposal, what Zephyr gets are:

  • Mostly what this topic suggests while also retaining some of Zephyr's current abilities.
  • New niche to Zephyr as the hero with forced movement synergy.
  • A little tactical play to both Zephyr and his ranged opponents from possible disposition.
  • A different approach of zoning ability proposed by ultimate ability.
  • First + ultimate combo of further repositioning the enemies to their disadvantage.

Though, my proposal eliminates:

  • The cyclone collecting so Zephyr will less dependent on ultimate or last hitting creeps as he does currently.
  • Evasion from ranged attacks so ranged heroes don't have to buy Savage Mace or having Arachna aura to completely makes one of Zephyr current ability completely unused.

 

Edited by datfizh
adding this and that because why not.
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