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Is Jungle too casual now?


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Cumulatively it seems a large chunk of the hardcore spirit that makes people play and come back to HoN over other more casual games has been extinguished over time within the Jungle. 

It's a mix of everything. Some general things like free couriers impact everyone.
But then there is the fact that creep respawn even if there are dead bodies around, the change of the jungle layout making stacking easier, the slightly increased gold over time, the easier camps. 


And now I've noticed a change that I think is relatively recent. Jungle creep no longer affect your potions?

So you don't even have to care about your kiting and you can heal while doing it.


Is this a conscious decision to make it more casual in general or is it about making jungle more competitive in the meta or whats up?



Edit: And some folks might wonder, what's bad about being casual just for the sake of casual. Well, beyond being less to learn and thus less interesting in the long term as a legacy game with a lower skill ceiling its also more boring since there's less to think about and challenge yourself with.

Edited by Ondis
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I think this matter is quite more complicated than it seems to be at first glance.

 

Let's begin with the matter that as a Jungler, your impact on the game and overall relevance drops as time goes on. Every minute, a carry becomes stronger, a semi-carry acquires items; and you do the same as they do, however, they will be stronger than you if given enough time - that's the nature of being a carry, semi-carry and a jungler.

As a jungler, you have to learn to maximize potential gain from your neutral creeps within the best time-frame possible, while at the same time helping your team gain momentum. The changes to health potions and other things related to making jungle more "easy", is not a strong argument in my opinion; as the main focus of the jungle is not "killing neutrals and farming" but the gentle balance between farm/roam/map control. This change, to my opinion, is simply a matter of Quality of Life changes.

 

Another point I'd like to address is how fragile a Jungler is in the initial stages of the game. Block his camps properly, and he is absolutely crippled and vulnerable for an extra 3-6 minutes. Of course, in the long-term he will recover, but, if you plan to take advantage of that time frame - it is a very dangerous moment for a jungler and his team.

Kiting is still very important, in order to minimize damage to your hero from neutrals you must know how to kite properly around neutrals and how to behave near each different neutral camp. You must know which neutral camp (Catmen, Vagabond, Skeleton) you can engage with, or which camp you should just leave be at the price of missing a camp and delaying your item by an extra minute. You must know when to use the tactic of engaging 2 camps at the same time, or one camp at a time.

(I enjoy Jungle myself, I pick Legionnaire, Solstice, Tempest, KotF often, and I know a thing or two about it. Each jungle hero has different dynamics within the jungle, a manner of how to stack camps, when they are ready to handle which stack - engage into the wrong neutral stack at the wrong time, and you've practically shot yourself in the foot.)

 

 

 

The thing I'm trying to say is - this is a team game. Jungle is a unique experience in HoN, as it is unlike any other lane - you do not directly engage a human player most of the time. This is contradictory to the philosophy of a team game in my opinion, but it is necessary as well - as I, personally, enjoy my solitude within a group of people. So I get my quiet space (hopefully) for a few moments, then I'm ready to help the team with incredible power.

The changes simply put the focus on what's really important - the teamplay aspect, rather than the idle engagement with non-player characters.

 

 

 

I'd like to add a matter of discussion - a comparison to Starcraft 1 and Starcraft 2, as I play those games as well.

Starcraft 1 is considered the original cult classic (Much like DotA from Warcraft 3), it has all the clunky and broken mechanics - units blocking each other forcing the player to issue additional commands, limit on amount of units you are able to move at one time, overall not a very fluid unit movement, bugs that are possible to exploit to gain an unfair advantage over the other player, etc.

Now, in Starcraft 2, they took the game and changed many aspects in the game design and philosophy. No more maximum unit command limit, units are able to stack on top of each other, extremely fluid unit movement (some perceive it as too cartoonish perhaps), fixed many bugs (I'd like to remind that in the past it was possible to infinitely stack Ancient and Neutral camps until they introduced a change to limit that number to 3).

What this did, is create a different experience from Starcraft 1. It removed the "feeling" that Starcraft 1 had, and made a new game. However, the changes allowed for Starcraft 2 players to demonstrate the amazing things that they can do with the new system at hand, things which were not possible at Starcraft 1. Some may say that they made the game easier, however, I think - they opened up a doorway for us to see what new heights you can achieve.

 

 

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I know - changes are hard, they are difficult to understand sometimes, difficult to process - especially if the change addresses something very important to the person (Such as the recent Adrenaline change, I'm sure many people were upset as they enjoyed playing the Old Adrenaline much more than the New Adrenaline). But, I don't think the change to the Jungle aspect of the game is making it more casual, rather, it simply puts your focus where it needs to be so you will have to deal with less issues on the backstage and focus on the main events of the game.

Edited by Lunarios
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I don't understand how you like changes that take away from the unique position a jungler is, which you seem to enjoy, by "focusing" it on the teamplay aspect, or indeed just removing aspects that you had to focus on before. 

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I don't think these changes take away anything at all from that unique position. I enjoy the solitude and knowing what I have to do and when, and having rewards given based on proper usage of mechanics and timings. Focusing it on teamplay is because it's where your head should be when you've had enough of the first aspect of being a jungler - as at some point, you have to leave the jungle and start participating the team game.

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Jungle is a bit too easy now.  I would say that things like the neutral corpses blocking camps and the old courier were bits of artificial difficulty.  It made the game really tedious but not more interesting.  What concerns me is how easy it is to play heroes like lego and draco and rather mindlessly take on the jungle and come out of it with a high GPM.  I miss the much older iteration of the jungle where a lego was actually afraid of dying in the jungle and couldn't battle hard camps without having their black helm.  Back then it was actually tricky to play the jungle and it was easier to come across them in the jungle and gank them when they had low health.  It was riskier to play it.  Does anyone who plays Solstice even need to worry about losing their health while jungling?  You can go AFK half the time and still do well.  If it wasn't for orb of zamos making dual lanes really strong I would be more bothered by the easiness of the jungle.  

The casual nature of gameplay can take away from the rewarding feeling of mastering something hard, but the game is generally still challenging enough for this not to bother me.

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Yeah the Orb was introduced so lower ranks could play a bit smoother and ego's wouldn't clash so much over who is supporting and who isn't.
Kinda a necessity though in principle I don't like it. 

That certainly made the need for Jungle to be more profitable. But I don't think it should be easier. I.E. the skill ceiling should remain, the gold boost for some creeps is good though. 


Why the potions though?

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16 hours ago, inkspot said:

Jungle is a bit too easy now.  I would say that things like the neutral corpses blocking camps and the old courier were bits of artificial difficulty.  It made the game really tedious but not more interesting.  What concerns me is how easy it is to play heroes like lego and draco and rather mindlessly take on the jungle and come out of it with a high GPM.  I miss the much older iteration of the jungle where a lego was actually afraid of dying in the jungle and couldn't battle hard camps without having their black helm.  Back then it was actually tricky to play the jungle and it was easier to come across them in the jungle and gank them when they had low health.  It was riskier to play it.  Does anyone who plays Solstice even need to worry about losing their health while jungling?  You can go AFK half the time and still do well.  If it wasn't for orb of zamos making dual lanes really strong I would be more bothered by the easiness of the jungle.  

The casual nature of gameplay can take away from the rewarding feeling of mastering something hard, but the game is generally still challenging enough for this not to bother me.

I'd say it's easier now for the average jungle player to not completely fuck his team, but there's still a significant gap between average jungle execution and skilled jungle execution - the former might be passable for Gold and maybe Diamond games, but any higher you get punished severely for not knowing the optimum rotations for the jungle hero in question. It's the difference between a 350gpm Draconis (not bad) and a 500gpm Draconis. As Lunarios also pointed out, there's still the art of balancing jungling v.s. team contributions that the average jungler won't know how to optimize. As a mid player I'm generally wary of having a jungler on my team since (in solo q) it 1) usually decreases rotations/tp reactions from your team (especially since now you're also hoping the sui player can confidently execute sui) and 2) it makes recovery/snowball more challenging without access to stacks early on. The best I can hope for is my jungler not feeding to neutrals and being relatively active with Ok farm, which has been more common now thanks to those QoL changes to jungling.

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