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While it might not be the most glaring issue in the game right now, I believe that the Restrain effect is an important topic that warrants a discussion.

It has been a vicious cycle brought by the focus in burst kits; heroes had to be tanky or slippery to survive burst, which as a result brought heroes that required more burst as to not allow heroes to go away with one of the multiple escape mechanism available in the game. Not sure if completely true, but from my experience, the Restrain effect got introduced as a more balanced way to counter the increasing escape mechanism that plagued Heroes of Newerth for a long time. While there are stuns and immobilize skills, these abilities are hard to balance, since a long duration would not allow room for counter-play, but a short duration of them forces one to always carry enough burst, or else it will mean that the enemy target will escape and leave you with nothing.

This should not be the case with the Restrain effect. By itself, the effect is a pseudo-silence, only disabling abilities that allows for reposition, which means that a hero can be able either to fight back (both with autoattack or spells) or just run away. In this sense, while the hero needs to have a kit that can take the best use of the restrain effect (or it wont have any impact at all) it also means that the effect could last longer without it being completely oppresive on the enemy. You can have more time to chase your target, while the target has room to fight back or try to survive in other ways.

One of my gripes is that, since there is a lot of movement speed available besides the escape mechanism, the restrain effect by itself was not considered enough at that time, which feels to be the reason why it was usually coupled with other types of effects. I feel that this goes against the possibility that the restrain effect gives, which is to allow for a better balance between burst and escape mechanisms. Let's have a closer look to the list of heroes with restrain abilities.

 

Heroes with Restrain in their basic skills:

  • Berzeker (Carry): The hero initially didn't have the restrain effect, until the version 3.9.9. I guess it is mostly since the focus of Berzeker was to mark a target and chase him till death, but it required that him double activated his Chain as soon as possible as to not allow the target to blink away and increase the gap. Available in early levels, can restrain for 5 seconds while applying a tapering slow, and then it can apply an immobilize for an additional time of 1 to 2.5 seconds. While Berzeker doesn't immediately close the gap, the combined duration of the restrain and immobilize is really high considering he has his W ability.
  • Bramble (Pusher, Ganker): In the same way, Bramble also didn't initially have the restrain effect. It got added in the version 3.9 to its ult. It is important to notice that its ult has a short range for the restrain (300 from the wall) and the minimun duration can be of 1.5 seconds, while the ult has a cooldown higher that 80 seconds.
  • Gunblade (Carry, Anti-carry, Ganker): The restrain effect got added in the version 3.2. The restrain is part of his ult, has a duration between 4 to 6 seconds but chains you to your target (for better or for worse). The ability also has a small stun, some physical damage, reduces a considerable amount of armor and the damage the targeted hero deals to you, and also sights and reveals the target. The damage reduction, while annoying, still gives you room to disable the enemy.
  • Predator (Carry): Added a couple of versions ago as to reduce his weaknesses of being kited. The ability restrains for 2 seconds, but also slows between 2 to 5 seconds. Available in early levels with small cooldown. It is important to notice that the hero reduced the gap when using his Q and has a magic immunity ability. It is harder to fight back than in comparison to Berzeker or Gunblade.
  • Prisioner (Ganker, Initiatior): The hero that started it all, having the restrain as part of his kit when he got added to the game. In my opinion, is has one of the best ways to balance the restrain ability. I can have a long duration (between 3 to 9 seconds) a deal considerable damage, but the enemy has a way to break the ability, since it is tied to a gadget that can be destroyed in two hits. The skill also includes a slow, which gives the hero more chasing potential, which I consider to be fine, since he doesn't have immediate burst. My current issue is that he currently no longers counter Doctor Repulsor, since the double attack change lets him break the spell almost immediately.
  • Puppet Master (Carry, Semi-support): I'm not sure when it happened, but I believe the ability didn't initially worked as a restrain until the introduction of prisioner (or later versions). Also another skill that I feel is balanced in the way it uses the restrain effect. The ability does no damage, but can hold the enemy in a certain area between 2.5 to 4 seconds. 

 

Heroes with Restrain as an upgrade:

  • Arachna (Carry, Anti-carry): Gives restrain for a minimun of 1.5 seconds up to a lot of time (5 seconds). Still, conditional time since the restrain is tied to the spider gadget which can be killed. The ability also applies a hard slow, has long range a really short cooldown, but it requires to build SOTM on the hero. I think that the counter possibilities and the price barrier make the effect balanced.

 

And that's it. I think the effect has not been utilized to its fullest potential, mostly because of the initial feeling of it being too weak unless coupled with a lot of other effects. I consider that the point of it is to have a better balance between a longer duration and lower damage, allowing for more chase but giving other ways to the enemy to counterplay, which feels healthier in my opinion than having more burst and stuns in the game.

It's interesting to notice that most of the heroes that currently have the restrain effect are carries. I think that this could be changed, since the idea is for carries to have glaring weaknesses at the cost of their main strenghts. In the case of Gunblade and Puppet, I feel that the restrain is in a good position, since for the first one it is in an ultimate skill, and for the latter, it is part of a hero that doesn't have a lot of chase potential. I consider that the effect should be rebalanced in Berzeker and removed from Pred, since it removes part of the counterplay that existed against them and really restricts the possibilities you have to fight back against those heroes (more in the case of Predator).

Would like to se the ability used more in supports, with the approach of long duration with counterplay opportunities. In the case of gankers and carries, I think that the introduction of an item that focuses on the Restrain effect is long overdue and would give a better balance between either go for this item at the cost of a more important one but avoid getting kited, or focus on your core item at the expense of losing your targets.

 

What are your opinions about the Restrain effect in the game? Could its use be improved? Do you feel there are issues with it?

Edited by Bersk
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I think restrain effect is already fine but I wonder if this game someday implements an immobilize without restrain effect (can't move normally but still can use reposition ability), that mechanic could be implemented to Doctor's W on Doctor himself when using his W to limit his mobility.

Also, I think Predator's restrain should be tied to his ultimate instead so there'll be another reason to purchase staff on him.

 

 

If anyone wonders about my intelligence regarding this game, then consider yourself visiting this thread:

Alternatively, visit this blog below to see the compiled version of the threads/posts I made on this Official HoN Forum:
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/17/2020 at 6:18 AM, datfizh said:

I think restrain effect is already fine but I wonder if this game someday implements an immobilize without restrain effect (can't move normally but still can use reposition ability), that mechanic could be implemented to Doctor's W on Doctor himself when using his W to limit his mobility.

Also, I think Predator's restrain should be tied to his ultimate instead so there'll be another reason to purchase staff on him.

 

 

Counter-intuitive, it's never going to happen. It would also feel really awkward.

Predator's Restrain being tied to his ultimate is kind of pointless. If the enemy has any regular human reflexes, they would be long gone before his Terror procs.

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  • 1 month later...

Just got shut down 100% by a Pris as Chron.
Who exactly came up with that 9 second restrain was balanced?
"Just hit the ball!" As you're combod by something else in the meantime.
Either Chronos is obsolete or Prisoner is broken.

 

Objectively I think pris is a good concept but that 'Shackled' effect is too strong for an already strong phys hero with its utilities.
His role is obviously to have others shut down. I just think it's a little bit overwhelming.
I think counters are good and meant to be. This is however ridiculous.

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2 hours ago, Soultrigger said:

Just got shut down 100% by a Pris as Chron.
Who exactly came up with that 9 second restrain was balanced?
"Just hit the ball!" As you're combod by something else in the meantime.
Either Chronos is obsolete or Prisoner is broken.

Objectively I think pris is a good concept but that 'Shackled' effect is too strong for an already strong phys hero with its utilities.
His role is obviously to have others shut down. I just think it's a little bit overwhelming.
I think counters are good and meant to be. This is however ridiculous.

Uh, how much are attacks needed to destroy the Ball? Oh right, 2 attacks. I wonder how hard is to destroy the Ball as Chronos because most of the time Chronos should have Logger's Hatchet as his starting item so the ball could be destroyed almost immediately. If we talk about the situation where Logger's Hatchet is on cooldown, then that is the good timing of Prisoner player so Prisoner's enemy with Hatchet on inventory should be punished for that.

To ElementUser:

I guess I should content enough with 100% Movement Slow as replacement of the idea about pseudo Immobilize, though 100% Movement Slow Reduction still counters it.

I agree on the statement given regarding restrain on Predator 1st ability because it seems reasonable, knowing him only has 1 disable and mobility ability in one package. So, he basically has less or nothing to offer upon leaping before the restrain addition on 1st ability.

If anyone wonders about my intelligence regarding this game, then consider yourself visiting this thread:

Alternatively, visit this blog below to see the compiled version of the threads/posts I made on this Official HoN Forum:
newerthbrainstorm.blogspot.com

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I think the biggest issue with restrain is the counter play offered.

For example, a prisoner's ball can be killed in 1 second that you're not running with AA+hatchet, a puppet master's strings still gives you some room to play in and if you were next to trees to begin with you can juke a second or two out of it. A predator's 2 seconds is nice for the pred, but it's not catastrophic unless you were in a bad shape already.

But I find when I'm facing a berzerker he gets with a level 1 spell a 6 second restraint while he sees me and I can't juke, which is horrible early game as a suicide.

If I'd look at any of them it'd be him, specifically at how long of a duration he gets with only level 1. But this is from a WH player, so I'm biased as hell..

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