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Feedback on Prophet changes


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Hi everyone,

It's been a while since we've seen changes for Prophet, and as a "Prophet main" on several accounts in different brackets, I'd like to share with you my thoughts about the recent changes / current state of the Hero.


I. What is main role supposed to be for Prophet?

Based on the design philosophy of the Hero, Prophet is a Ranged intelligence hero who is capable of taking the role of a semi-carry OR support depending on his starting lane.

   > Long lane: The high starting stat values and stronger auto attacks allow him to have a successful, highly dominated dual-long lane in a 2v2 situation, however the lack of the ability to properly initiatie prevents him from being too powerful. After the laning phase, he should be able to take on the role of a semi-carry hero, who is not capable of farming items with his skill-set, but make up for it with his strong ultimate that truly shines in team fights.

   > Short lane: On the other hand, he is capable of mini-stunning enemies and offer a smaller quick heal that allows him to be an OK support on the short lane. Against a dual-lane, the hero should be able to keep his carry teammate alive thanks to the cost-efficient, single-targeted heal. When it comes to suicide + jungle setup, Prophet should be able to successfully harrass away the enemy suicide from XP range, but lack the ability to farm the neutral stacks in the early game with his abilities. After the laning phase, he should be able to take on the support role with his AoE healing ability in team fights.


II. Which roles can the hero fulfill in the current meta?

From the previous section, we've seen two main roles that should fit the hero. The question is, how do they play out in a real game?

   > Support role: After the recent changes that have been made to other Main support heroes, such as Monarch or Rhapsody, the healing role on the short lane did get a bit better for Prophet. Those heroes offer at least as good healing output as Prophet, but they had a stronger initiative thanks to Crippling Pollen and Staccato, which is one of the main selling part that sets aside a "strong support" from an "OK support". Needless to say, Prophet is not really a Main support character, so I think he's doing well on the short lane, nothing crazy.

   > Semi-carry role: With the strong presence of Jungle + Suicide setups, it becomes harder for Prophet to do well on a dual-long lane. We can see a lot of jungle heroes getting banned in the picking phase for this reason. There were a lot of nerfs in the near future that targeted Orb of Zamos / Grave Locket based on these items being too popular and strong, which is true, and I agree with that there should be a larger variety when it comes to starting items. However, for a dual-long lane setup, there aren't other viable options at the moment, so Prophet is forced go for this item, as efficient healing always requires another target. As a result, Dual-long lane setups took a big hit against Jungle setups with those nerfs as they have 2 orbs in their team instead of 1. Reducing the recipe cost of Grave locket by 50 gold was definitely a good step. It's worth mentioning that this is a problem for dual-lanes in general, not just for Prophet. Despite the difficulties in the laning phase, the hero can still perform just fine.

The main problem that rises for Prophet as a Semi-carry role is scaling. Once the early game ends with the laning phase, there are two possible outcomes. You either dominated lane strong enough that you even managed to get kills (which is not that simple with Prophet as the hero lacks the ability of proper initiation) which puts you so much ahead items wise that it does not even matter that you cannot farm with your abilities.

The other (much more common) outcome is having control over the last hits for the first few levels, but not having the ability to finish off heroes due to lack of initiation / raw damage. This small advantage is often destroyed by Jungle heroes who can often initiate on Prophet who has no real escape tools / improved mobility. The only ability that can help in this situation is Invigorate, as it heals and has no cast time, but the cooldown is so long that it does not prove to be enough at all.

After the laning phase, if you did not manage to get ahead, your gameplan as a semi-carry is basically destroyed, as the only main gold income for the hero is kills + assist + Grave locket passive income without any farming ability. The abilities should provide enough scaling for Prophet to make up for the lack of items, but the abilities are so support-oriented when it comes to balancing that they do not offer the scaling of a semi-carry (Attack speed amount from Invigorate, Attack damage propagate from ult without staff, ultimate duration for auto attack propagate etc.)


III. How did the recent changes affect these roles?

It became quite clear in my opinion from the previous section that Prophet does well as a support role, but definitely needs help with his Semi-carry role. Let's see if any of the recent changes help with that!

   > Debilitate: This ability received a 4 second (tapering!) slow component, which is completely new for this hero, as this ability only offered (non-tapering!) increased damage taken for 4 seconds. Giving 30% Movement speed slow to a hero who is not capable of initiation definitely seems strong, however this ability does not mention how the tapering works at all. From my experience, it seems to me that the slow component is relevant for 1 second, where the 30% slow tapers off to like 10%, and then in the remaining 3 seconds it goes from 10% to 0% slow, resulting in a very minor change overall. (I'd highly appreciate if Elementuser could tell us the exact numbers behind this new tapering slow! 🙂 )

If we look at this change from a support point of view, it should help you with initiation quite a bit ON PAPER, as at the 1st second of stronger slow makes it easier to hit Persecution on the target. However, as I wrote before, Invigorate plays an important role when you play as a Support on the short lane, so in reality Debilitate needs to receive a bigger buff in order to compete with the healing or Stun. Needless to say, You always need to put at least 1 point on persecution, and you are maxing the heal, so you won't see Q until level 4. Even then, you have to make the decision, if you want to get a very weak tapering slow with 80 damage for 90 mana, or you want to deal +50 dmg and 0.25sec stun for 10 extra mana.

The situation is not much different when you play as a Semi carry on a dual-long lane, as you are maxing out Persecution (stun), and Invigorate offers a much better synergy with the multi hits (not to mention mana efficiency). The slow component is not strong enough to justify breaking the synergy between heal and stun, and also it makes no sense to help Prophet with his initiation when the hero is not about having initiation. Overall I think it's safe to say that this change has no real impact on the gameplay of the roles.

The improved travel speed on Q and E projectile is a very nice quality of life change, and it made sense to get in line with the projectile speed of Heal, as the hero has very good cast times and attack animations that truly fit the role of a semi carry hero.


   > Invigorate: This ability changed from Magic type to True type, that allows you to heal magic immune targets. In my opinion, this was actually THE BEST change Prophet received in a long time, as the hero needs help with his scaling due to being a semi-carry. It's very rare to benefit from healing magic immune targets in the early game, but it becomes crucial in the lategame, as Shrunken head becomes a necessity for many heroes. Greatly affects the semi-carry role with staff of the master.

   > Shared Fate: The AoE size of this ability was reduced by 36% (800 range radius circle instead of 1000), but cast range increased from 0 to 600. This change also wants to help the initation ability of Prophet which I don't like, as in my opinion it should not be the main selling point of the hero. Right now, if you need to cast this ability from 600 range (as there are no heroes nearby), you will not be able to get in attack range to reach them with your attacks, as the slow component of the ultimate tapers off way too fast. If you cast this ultimate when someone is actually nearby, then you dont want to cast the ultimate 600 range away from you, because you won't be able to boost the attack speed of your chasing ally heroes. In my opinion, the change made to the ultimate has very little impact, and it is only frustrating, as it would require you to have a better flexibility with attack and cast ranges to make use of it which the hero clearly lacks. Long story short, you don't want to cast the ultimate from 600 range, but every time you do, you have to suffer from the 36% reduced area size.


IV. How should have the recent changes affect these roles?

In my opinion, the changes we saw in this patch tried to improve the initiative of Prophet, but what the hero really needs is help with scaling.

   > Support role: The current place of Prophet for this role is perfectly fine in my opinion, as it is a viable pick for the short lane, but it's still not stronger than heroes who are only viable on the short lane. Any changes made, should not affect the support strength of Prophet too much.

   > Semi-carry role: Prophet definitely needs help in this area, but it should be done in a way that it does not affect his power level of the early game or his strength in the support role. Improvements that affect mainly the later stages of the game (such as Invigorate being True effect) are needed to compete with other semi-carry heroes with reliable, scaling passive abilities.


V. What balance changes Prophet might need in the future to achieve these goals?

As a conclusion of my Prophet balance-state overview, I'd like to share some thoughts about how we could make Prophet more powerful in the later stages of the game without making him too strong early on. I'm not saying that every single change suggestion should be implemented from here, but some of them might worth taking a consideration!

   > Stat gain: Prophet has excellent starting stats, however his scaling with his levels are not too impressive. In my opinion, the agility gained per level should be increased a bit, as he is heavily relying on auto attacks, and gaining like +0.3 agility / level should not affect his early game, while granting him extra armor and attack speed does matter later.

   > Debilitate: The slowing component from his Q should be reverted, and this ability needs a buff that can allow it to compete with Persecution. To be more exact, not just Persecution, but the strong synergy of Persecution + Invigorate. In my opinion, it's not a problem that there is not much synergy between Debilitate and his other skills in the early game, however if Q is a "stand-alone" spell, then it just needs to simply more powerful than his stun on paper. Right now, Debilitate and Persecution has the same mana cost, but Persecution deals more damage AND offers better CC in the early game. The 2 second shorter cooldown on Debilitate is simply not enough.

In order to maintain the current early game strength of prophet, I think a good solution would be reducing the cooldown of Debilitate from 10 seconds to 8 seconds, revert the damage amplification nerf from 4/8/12/16% increased damage taken to 5/10/15/20% increased damage taken, and reduce the mana cost from 90/100/110/120 to 60/70/80/90. This way, the ability could be spammed more easily, there would be no real synergy with the other skills low level, however it would provide a more efficient harass opportunity without dealing more damage and making kills happen more easily. The revert to the damage amplification could help with the scaling in the later stages of the game where prophet falls off a bit.

   > Invigorate: This ability is absolutely viable now in the early game with the increased heal amount especially on level 2 from a previous patch, however the attack speed bonus falls off really quick in the later stages of the game compared to other semi-carries. In my opinion, it is fine that the attack speed no longer scales with later levels, only the amount of faster attacks, however the 110 attack speed is not enough later. A good way of improving it would be increasing from 110 to 150 at all levels. This spell is easily comparable to scout's vanish ability, who recently received a boost to his attack speed from breaking stealth to 300+ at max level. Giving 150 attack speed to 2 targets is still not more than 300, and it's also on a longer cooldown.

   > Persecution: The balance for this spell is fine at the moment, however I think the -1 debuff stack with ultimate should be removed in my opinion, as it mainly hurts the later stages of the game.

   > Shared Fate: The change from this recent patch should be reverted, and the mana cost nerf from a previous patch should be reverted. The ultimate used to cost 100/150/200 mana instead of 140/245/350, making it difficult to use ultimate at lower levels due to high mana cost, smaller radius and shorter duration. (back when the ultimate was cheap, it was also 1200 radius with 5 seconds duration and 50% tapering slow instead of 800 radius with 4 seconds duration and faster 40% tapering slow) In my opinion, the damage propagate should also scale with ultimate levels, making it from 50% attack damage to 50/75/100% attack damage, so that the staff of the master is not as powerful. (You get 100% damage propagate with staff at all levels)

Thanks for giving a minute to read my thoughts about the current situation of Prophet, and feel free to join the conversation!

Edited by JellyBringer
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He's best as support with the option to semi carry. No changes are required to appease the other part of him, so to speak. 

 

Similar reasons why Aluna doesn't have changes that cater to her semi carry role. 

 

Ultimate changes will NOT be reverted. They were needed, as I played Prophet and didn't realize how horrible the old target scheme was. 

 

Prophet's primary boon is to be a universal damage amp source in team fights - he performs that role well for his team. He'll never be as good as traditional supports in laning phase, but is still viable as a lane partner. 

 

If he needs buffs in general for a future patch, I'll look at this post. Thanks. 

Edited by ElementUser
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The first version have too many click target, click point but over all it's not bad.

The current version is horrible. You destroyed every reason to pick Prophet. Bad heal early game, Decent attack speed buff. Ultimate Skill shared Debuff but have long cool down ultimate and also - 1 charge Persecution.

I picked old Prophet back then many times. Actually enjoyed playing him, but the current version is serious punish me every time i picked him

Edited by w3wstarboy
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59 minutes ago, ElementUser said:

Prophet's primary boon is to be a universal damage amp source in team fights - he performs that role well for his team. He'll never be as good as traditional supports in laning phase, but is still viable as a lane partner. 

 

If he needs buffs in general for a future patch, I'll look at this post. Thanks. 

Thanks for the quick and on point feedback! Glad I could help with my insight! 🙂

I wrote about the Debilitate change in my main post based on the dev comment from the most recent patch notes. Do you think the tapering slow will be enough to "somewhat rival" Persecution as a harass tool in the laning phase AKA people pick Q over E? Also, can you please share with us the formula for the new Debilitate tapering slow? I can't find it anywhere. Thanks in advance!

"+ Debilitate is lacking as a standalone harass tool. By adding a tapering slow to the effect, it will somewhat rival Persecution as a harass tool in the laning phase."

Edited by JellyBringer
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It makes it so that the player has more flexibility to level up his abilities depending on what they want, rather than always maxing 1 ability. This means keeping Q as a stronger 1-point wonder.

You don't really need to know the formula, but you can look into the game files to check. It starts a 30%, then a midpoint is chosen (I believe I chose 0.2 as the midpoint, so 20% into the state duration, it linearly starts tapering to 0%).

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14 minutes ago, ElementUser said:

It makes it so that the player has more flexibility to level up his abilities depending on what they want, rather than always maxing 1 ability. This means keeping Q as a stronger 1-point wonder.

You don't really need to know the formula, but you can look into the game files to check. It starts a 30%, then a midpoint is chosen (I believe I chose 0.2 as the midpoint, so 20% into the state duration, it linearly starts tapering to 0%).

What happens between application and mid-point? I just checked a replay in 1/4 speed out of curiosity, and as seen in the picture, less than 1 second passed from the 4 second debilitate debuff, but it's already down from 30% to 9.56% slow!

spacer.png

 

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It's supposed to be very slight. Because it's so vague, I can tune that any way I want as long as it tapers.

I'll silently make it a little better for the upcoming patch, but the intention is not for it to be an effective CC - more like a "Q has an acceptable amount of slow if you only 1-point E for some reason" type of CC

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Thanks for the clarification! I was trying to convert the tapering-slow to simple slow effect to see the expected value of it.

Originally when I saw the patch notes, I thought that all tapering slow effects follow the same rule, and that they taper off with the same speed over the duration, so l was expecting debilitate to cause 15% slow for 4 seconds essentially, but it makes sense now!

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5 minutes ago, YoUCan`THidE said:

I also experienced that the tapering slow is basicly nothing on the Q.
Also it's quite confusing that some 30% tapering slows are different than others. Maybe all tapering slows should be linear (including prophet?)

That's not how it works & I can't write that info in the tooltip. 

I can define a start point, mid point and end point movement speed slow for a given MS slow duration, and change the mid point percentage value. Adjusting these parameters lets me control how strong the slow tapers, as it will linearly taper at the appropriate rates and towards the appropriate breakpoints. 

Although Prophet's is slightly undertuned until the upcoming patch, it is intended to be a weak slow. See the reasons and intentions why in a previous post of mine in this thread. 

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