Words from the Scene – Balance Feedback
The game balance has been a big topic for some time now and we don’t always necessarily hear from the top pros all that often about it. Yoan « ToD » Merlo decided to change that and gathered some feedback through reaching out to to players, or during DreamHack Summer in the interviews. Here is the feedback in the question:
1- Players feedback
2- ToD & Remo feedback >>
HU vs UD: Humans can’t play 1 base at all because everything Undead has is a better version of Human. There is no anchor unit from T1 to T3 (Rifles are just subpar to the Fiend build). Footmen become useless and are outclassed by skeletons from the rod. Human has to invest several hundred gold in units that are weaker than Fiends and creep slower and Fiends are useful the whole game. Trying to play Knight/Gyro/Priest on 1 base just takes too long and costs too much gold and the Undead can easily counter any unit composition Human makes from the Slaughterhouse (for example, Knight/Priest heavy, they can pump out Statues and Destro push, if too many Gyros they can Abom/Fiends and add Banshees whenever they feel).
Human can never push the Undead base if they get an advantage because the base is just too strong. Meanwhile the Undead walks into the Human base and has a buffet whenever they feel like it and the Arcane tower does nothing. If Human tries to expo at T3 50 supply the Undead just banks for 2 minutes then rolls over the Human before Human gets a gold advantage from the expo. Human also has to start with AM and Water elementals become free exp and Brilliance aura is outclassed by a Statue and the DK only gets stronger as the game goes on, can creep with a rod, or deny exp with coils.
HU vs Orc: The matchup seems relatively balanced. Orc towers having T2 fortified is too strong and there is no weakness to the orc base after Tier 1. Speed scrolls are a little too strong as well. Clap/Stomp might both need to be nerfed a bit still.
HU vs NE: It seems that if the Human knows what is coming and counters it they typically win (in the case of fast expo, one base is a much weaker choice). Warden is a terrible design for the game and should be reworked. NE doesn’t really have a strong 2nd Hero in most cases that other races do (MK, TC or SH, Lich) and rely on Naga/Panda. The NE tri-hero is also very lacking.
I think clap is only right Human power, I don’t think if they give cap to clap it will be possible to win Orc, then need to nerf many Orcs units, abilities but 1) I wanna nerf UD expo, not only CL, I don’t think so CL is much way better than DL expo, Lich expo. UD expo just overpowered vs Human. Hunted goldmine time nerf, plus you can’t buy blight without Graveyard (back to 1.26) I think it’s a main nerf UD expo than, plus back Ziggurats for 550 hp. And 2) Human base is way too weak, it’s open to everybody : WELCOME EVERYONE ! Every race is harassing Human Peasants: UD with DL, CL, DK , Lich, DR, Pitlord etc, Skeletons harass. Orc with FS+TC, NE with DH Immolation, KotG, Warden etc.
Human is almost in every game lost 30+ Peasants just for trash harass. If you will looking game Blade vs XlorD at Dreamhack, Blade has clearly won fight, 50 Blade pop vs 40 Undead, but Human can’t attack Undead base, because Undead base is unattackable, and XlorD just bought 5235929 TPs come to Blade base, killed 10 Peasants – TP, killed Peasants TP, killed Peasants TP, Human can’t counter this shit and every race who lost fights (Orc with fortified upgade, Undead, Nightelf ) just come to Human Peasants to kill them, because Human can’t trade, Peasants die way too fast and 20-30 HP is don’t help to them plus I want to see lumber harvesting buff , give it for Human at T1, maybe it will be help in Human vs UD matchup in situations when you can’t buy Shredder or map without Shredder and Nightelf mass T1 nerf, because it’s way too imba vs Orc, Lyn has no chances against LawLiet, Moon and other Nightelves, plus not forgot to write them , we are still waiting for Dispel rework (Dispel priority is higher than Heal, if you cast Dispel fuck off Heal , just Dispel), and Militia rework, they to often come with wood, if someone is blocked or stacked at lumber, etc.
Fortitude on weibo https://weibo.com/u/5782753342
Let me tell you what’s going on in UD vs HUM. Undead, the strongest race when we all play with Single Gold Mine, and they still can expand in the early game, and the expansion is unbeatable, and they can keep harassing Human.
After Human do their best for defending, Undead will be Tier 3 and Double Gold Mine, unbeatable
Why don’t just delete Human vs Undead? @ChineseBlizzard.
HawK during Dreamhack (pre-beetle nerf patch)
ToD: How do you beat Cryptlord consistently, can you tell me?
HawK: It’s so hard for me because before this match I played in Pad ladder 3 games and I lost to Godfather just push me with mass Ghouls and Beetles. I can’t defend my expo because on expo Beetles on main everywhere. But i waiting for nerf.
Neo: There is a nerf on the test server that reduces the hitpoints of the Beetles.
HawK: Only hitpoints, Happy before said nerf speed and maybe damage, Beetles 5, not like 6.
Honestly I'm just so sad with it, I genuinely have loved getting back into Wc3 again, but it's so desperately sad how this game has been left for dead by its developers, and every change they've made has been a terrible one.— Benjamin Baker (@DeMusliM) August 1, 2020
Not sure what to do or feel with it.
Lyn during Dreamhack Summer after match vs Sok
ToD: It seems like these days you have been having a little bit of a harder time in tournaments. You lost in WGL obviously no shame in losing to LawLiet. Is there any lack of motivation or do you think that Orc is in a rough place right now?
Lyn: I think Orc is getting weaker and weaker. Especially vs NightElf. Moon makes some new strategy like Ancient Protector Rush & then expand. With Blademaster it’s hard to stop it. So I tried a lot with other heroes but there is no way and we will lose. So I just waiting for new patch. Nowadays vs Undead as you said Cryptlord is so good. Especially vs Orc it’s getting harder & harder. Before I said Orc vs Undead, Orc is easy. But it’s getting harder. Fast expansion and 80 supply just go rush. Orc just have 50.
Vs Human it’s 50-50.
ToD: Is there any particular change you’d like to see changed in the game to make Orc better vs NightElf in particular?
Lyn: Sometimes I saw Grubby stream. He tried a lot like troll Headhunter start and then sometimes Shadowhunter start. But I think vs top level like Moon or LawLiet there is no chance to win. So maybe just wait for next patch.
Lyn after match vs Chaemiko talking about Katowice world finals:
When I saw the prizemoney, I really wanna get the champion at this tournament. I don’t know if with this patch version I can. Every Orc player thinks like that. When Orc gets stronger I will be the champion.
Blizzard thinks Orc hero is too strong compared to other races, so they make nerf. But Orc’s army is weaker than other race. So they should buff Orc’s army. Hero doesn’t matter i think. Because other race hero is getting stronger and then I dunno just depends on Blizzard. Even I say this maybe they don’t mind. Buff army, Orc’s army.
eer0 during Dreamhack Summer after match vs Pink
Neo: We saw in the first 2 matches you played a lot of Dreadlord, is that your favorite hero?
Eer0: Before the Cryptlord, he is the best and my favorite hero but the Cryptlord is the best now.
Neo: But today the Cryptlord got nerfed so he is weaker now, do you think that it’s still a very strong hero?
Eer0: If Cryptlord using expansion he will be very good hero still, of course get nerfed it costs a bit more mana and hitpoint of the summon a bit nerf. But it still didn’t affect much on when you go for fast expansion. So it’s still great hero when you play against Orc and in Undead mirror.
ToD: Where do you think Undead is at in the 3 matchups that are not mirror ?
Eer0: NE > Undead = HUM > Orc
Moon (NE) during Dreamhack Summer after match vs Lin Guagua
I think vs Human is still very difficult, so I have to think of another strategy than Keeper.
I think it will be difficult to use Keeper going forward. Because Human players know how to fight against Keeper & mass Archers.
I will ready to new strategy for another match & another tournament.
NE vs Orc is easy. NE vs Undead is 50-50
LawLiet during DreamHack Summer after his match vs FoCuS
I think NightElf against Orc is easy, if NightElf knows how to beat Orc then NightElf has some big advantage. So maybe it’s easy for me & Moon but I don’t know how other NightElves think.
NightElf vs Undead is… I don’t know 50-50. Because if play against really good Undead player it’s really hard, like 120, like Happy.
NightElf vs Human is a little hard for NightElf because no more work against Human about Keeper Tier3 mass Archers. So we need to find some other tactics but I don’t have any other idea so it’s really hard.
It’s hard against all Humans but especially against TH000 & Infi.
ToD: Against Orc can you elaborate on what it is that makes a difference between you Moon & other Elves, any tips for the Elves that struggle against Orc?
LawLiet: It’s really hard to tell. I played really too many times against Orc with FoCuS Soin Lyn Fly about 300 games. So I just know how to beat Orc. If Orc uses Headhunter, Grunt or Shaman. It’s not important. Maybe use some Huntresses, Archers & Wisps. Wisps. Wisps is a really important thing against Orc. Other NightElf try to practice about how to use Wisps. Maybe watch Moon’s replay help all other NightElf players.
Infi during DreamHack Summer after match vs Fortitude
Neo: So my first question is: you picked UD today and I want to know why. Is it because it’s more fun or is it because it’s more easy-
Infi: Both. (Interrupted.) Both, both. It’s mainly because Fortitude is great in Human mirror and I don’t think I can beat him. So I have to change my race.
ToD: Is it the first time we get you on interview? Cause we running late the other day. I’m very curious what you think about balance currently in Warcraft 3 and because you play random and you know all races very well, I’m talking about overall balance, any matchup that you want to talk about, we are way ahead of schedule, so if you want to talk for a very long time go ahead. I just want to get your opinion about balance in general and about human as well specifically.
Infi: I know, I know. I read about ToD’s long interview about the balance seriously. I think ToD’s opinion is unfair, especially about (HUM) playing against UD. He says it’s hard but I still think it’s unfair. UD vs HUM is not 0-100 but 0-1000000000. As long as an Undead player can do N-C combo and practice a thousand games, it is impossible to lose to HUM. Okay, that’s all.
ToD: Yeah, so what’s about other matchups like in general because you play multiple races, so I feel you are probably the best random player in the world I would say. So I think a lot of people should care about his opinion in general and we have heard like Night elf is doing well against orc all that kind of stuff. Does he agree with everything… Human is doing well against Night elf. Does he agree with all of these statements we keep hearing?
Infi: In general, no doubt that UD is the best race. And in the coming WGL qualifier Turtle Rock will replace TM, so there’s no doubt that UD is overwhelming to other 3 races. Human and Night elf are very close in this balance. And weakness should go to Orc. There are two matchups that need to rebalance: Orc vs Night elf and Human vs Undead. The two matchups are pretty imbalanced now. What’s more, I think Human vs Night elf close to 50-50. Maybe Human has a bit advantage. Hard to say. Close to 50-50, I guess. If one of them has the advantage, there is only a little bit. The same goes for Human vs Orc. And on the other hand Orc vs Undead also close to 50-50. If Orc players use more Wyvern, it will be less difficult to deal with Crypt Lord. Even if they are at a disadvantage, they will not fail miserably. In conclusion, only Orc vs Night elf and Human vs Undead need to be to rebalanced while other matchups are okay.
ToD: Okay, one last question then. You have been playing a lot on W3Champions and you currently rank 3, you were rank 1st earlier and you have pretty good winrate: 72% with random. So I wonder how your experience has been playing on W3Champions and do you think it helped you at all with you know developing some strategies and playing good on tournaments by practicing here?
Infi: Okay about ping. I might have a bit disadvantage in early game, but overall pretty okay. I learn a lot from W3Champions. The ideas of many European players are worth learning. Some Asian players think that European players are poor but I don’t agree. Many European players are creative. For example, the strategy that I used to defeat Fortitude today refers to European Undead players. They have some advanced ideas, I think.
Neo: That’s really cool to hear it. I have one more question as well: we don’t see you in the other tournaments in the moment like NeXT or AWL. Why are you playing this tournament?
Translator: First of all he thinks that tournaments have very big influence to the Warcraft 3 stream and he also want to stream he thinks that prepare for stream and tournament is pretty tiring. Okay. He try to play one tournament in one month. So think tournaments need to prepare. He want to prepare very hard.
Infi: The organizer is a large institution, so I think the tournament will have great influence and high quality. The reason why I refuse other tournaments is that I don’t have the energy to play more tournaments as a streamer. Every tournament requires serious preparation and serious play. I try to play less tournaments, e.g. one per month, the most important one.
Happy (Undead) during DreamHack Summer after match vs XlorD
Neo: In the last interview we had with you you said you wouldn’t play Cryptlord because he would be nerfed anyway. So of course we saw the nerf and now you pick him. So what changed in your mind about the Cryptlord.
Happy: Yeah well, pretty obvious the nerf was in the wrong direction, everyone admitted that. Just like I said before the main problem is that. Their movement speed is fast for such early summons, they are faster than Ghouls and also faster than any Tier 1 unit except Huntress and the fact that they can burrow without researching this ability. Which make them ideal to setup expansion first then you can just harass and your opponent cannot do the same. So basically this nerf maybe made it a little bit easier for Human because of HP but in other direction not really.
ToD: So if you were the balance designer and you had to try and fix the Cryptlord & Beetles what would you have done? You just would have lowered the movement speed of beetles and remove burrow on level 3?
Happy: On level 1 and level 2 Beetles I would make them have average move speed, same as Ghouls and for burrow it just needs to be researched on both level 2 and level 3. Without research it should not exist.
ToD: Should they have the same hitpoints as they did before or now?
Happy: Maybe? Hard to say.
ToD: Are you fine with impale?
Happy: Well impale was basically underpowered before so right now it works fine. Just in some situations might look too strong because sudden impale. Then you simply unable to not just use invulnerability potion but you’re even not having enough time to heal the hero after he falls from the impale.
NE vs UD: In my opinion and game experience (million games with Happy). Undead have maps advantage, this mean Undead is stronger than Night Elf.
-TM – better for Undead. The closer respawn = harder for NE. At the begin Undead able not allow NE creep nothing. In the late game, Undead able to up his heroes very hard. Able to counter expansion.
–CH – better for Undead. DK with aura with Naga and boots of speed able not allow NE creep nothing. In the late game, DH and Naga too weak for deal with Undead heroes.
–NI – better for Undead. Like TM, late game Undead heroes too strong compare Demon Hunter and Naga. Also Items gives to UD more advantages then Night Elf heroes get.
–EI – better for Undead. Earlier patch this map was better for Night Elf, but current situation give Undead player opportunity make expansion. For Night Elf extremely hard play 2 versus 2 base , and even if the Elf ahead, he cannot consolidate the advantage with one more base, when UD it is enough to just defend.
–AZ – OK for both. DH able to get LVL 3 faster and this is must have, if Night Elf want to win Undead, need to be ahead. Late game DH and NAGA weaker then UD heroes
–TS – better for Night Elf. Warden able to get LVL 3 and control the map.
NE vs ORC
My personal score against best Orcs are not good, so I can’t agree with LawLiet/Moon and others about it easy for Night Elf.
In my opinion and game experience:
–TS LR EI – better maps for ORC
–TS – Orc able to do save counter expansion, easy to creep Shadow Hunter.
–LR – best map for BM control. KotG very hard to get LVL 2
–EI – KotG hard to get LVL 2. Place for expansion near the mercenary camp have bug, and Orc able to cancel Night Elf expansion.
–NI – OK for both race. AZ, TM, CH – better for NE
NE vs HUM
For understand balance match up situation we need to check current strategys of each map of general map pool.
–Northern Isles « NI » – better map for Human. In General: for human easy to creep expansion, in general NE can’t rush, and can’t do counter expansion.
Why Night Elf can’t rush with mass T1 units:
1) Human always do footman scout , and Human can immediately change mind, and make fast T2. This way NE must cancel the HuntersHall and waste resources, continue to play with KotG 1 vs 1 base style = what’s good for Human in the late game.
2) To play Warden, and mass Huntress, need to do some harass, for delay Human expansion, but with proper control and block, Human more likely hold this harass.
Why Night Elf can’t do counter expansion:
- Elf tree of life is very vulnerable to cancellation with AM + Staff of Footmans counter attack. Therefore, the elf must harass on the one hand and put the expansion on the other, but this map hard to get Warden LVL 3 to do this.
- Demon Hunter doesn’t work at this map (can’t do harass).
- Warden have problem to get LVL 3 and do normal harassment for delay Human expansion.
- LVL 2 Warden harassment not enough.
- Keeper have good chance to delay human expansion, but can’t make counter expansion. 2 vs 2 base, Human have heroes and units advantage.
–Terenas Stand « TS » – better map for Human
MK always have lvl 3 before NE, even NE use trick with double Ancient of War and lighting shield script. With 3 LVL MK advantage, NE hard to do counter harasment, and make counter expansion. This map DH and KotG as first heroes not playable.
–Last Refuge « LR » – better map for Human
Easy creep merc camp , easy to make expansion. KotG hard to deal with merc camp opening by Human. Warden hard to get LVL 3 before Human, to do harassment vs expansion.
DH is very bad against expansion (from the moment when Human players started to block their workers by use build placement).
–Echo Isles « EI » – better for Human
- This map have a biggest bug, that Night Elf can’t creep merc camp, if Human send millitia at the begin. To deal with it, NE should spend to much recources for block the worker, and there is still a possibility that Ancient of War will die with wisp. Use re-pool back creeps is very hard (For example watch my game Foggy vs Blade « DreamHack » where even 2 wisp can`t re-pool back). If the elf cannot creep this point he cannot compete vs Human about creep LVL heroes.
- Demon Hunter doesnt work on this map.
- KotG is too weak because Human have access to merc camp.
- Warden can’t make 3 LVL without creep merc camp.
–Concealed Hill « CH » – better for Human
- Demon Hunter doesnt work on this map.
- Warden hard to get LVL 3 to be effective.
- The only strategy remains KotG, but the main problem, that Human get AM LVL 3 faster than KotG.
- Late game, KotG become very weak to compare Human heroes.
- Also NE haven’t good second hero.
Amazonia « AZ » – OK for both races.
- KotG – can get LVL 3 and make some pressure
- Demon Hunter – can harass Human expansion
Twisted Meadows « TM » – better for Night Elf
- This is the most difficult and specific map, « 3 in 1 map »
- Depend of respawn, difficulties arise for both races.
- In any case Human players have the option to ban this map.
- This is the only map where Warden really can get LVL 3 faster and make some harass.
–Turtle Rock « TR » – better for Human
(added for WGL next season)
because of the possibility of close respawn, this map create disballance
Helm of Valor, Hood of Cunning, Medallion of Courage should be replaced by Crown Of Kings (+5 all stats). I agree difference between the profits between Hood and auras is so huge maybe it should be Crown of princess which gives +4 to each : D
LawLiet’s post makes most sense I agree with him mostly you can post my thoughts about Sorceresses slow duration and weakening slow effect from nerubian also I agree with your items reworking. Also I 100% agree with this: Bears just feel weak in general. Perhaps a slight buff on those would go a long way to help Elf do better and not to have to rely on giants so much. bears are just useless for most part, maybe Sorcs slow should not slow attack speed so much dunno. Oh also I think statue regen rate should be nerfed for 1 hp/mana per use its fucking imba now
1) Some sorc nerf, lesser duration of this spell or lesser attack speed decreasement.
2) Nerub towers are too strong, movement and attack speed rate decreasement should not be that high.
3) Bears are useless in the most part, need some buff to it. Maybe faster mana regen to be more usefull for creeping and hp regen between fights. Usually Bears without mana and its hard to heal.
4) Statues regen rate is crazily good, one 3 food 200 gold unit gives huge hp/mana regen, it should not be like that imo, either reduce HP/mana regen for 1point each by cast or make this cast cost more mana.
5) ToD’s Items change suggestions is totally reasonable and I support him at this.
UD mirror: Basically, in some maps, there is no way you can punish a Crypt lord expo, even if you tried to blind counter it. If you try to harass the Cryptlord player, he’ll just slowly creep until he has enough Ghouls and summons to easily take his expo while poking your hero, until the moment when CL is level 2 and then either you back up and let him expand or you get impaled and surrounded, any attempt to expand yourself without CL ends up in your opponent’s harass and army being much better due to the high number of beetles. So, basically what happens is that most Undead mirrors now are CL vs CL, which results in a pretty boring and very unstable matchup, a matchup that traditionally was very heavy micro based. Slower beetles or lower number of beetles (6->4) would probably fix the problem as surrounds with impale wouldn’t be as easy.
VS Orc: In the highest level of play, the matchup is obviously favouring Orc, one of the reasons is how easy it is to prevent the UD from creeping early and how easy it is to zone the Undead and take his camps once the threat of the Hex from the SH is up. However, the biggest problems come from the TC in the lategame (or midgame if the Orc opens Farseer). The Fiends are super slow and pretty big, so it’s really hard to get good splits, and the stomp, combined with the Hex on the DK just prevents you from saving your units or kiting.
I find it difficult to change things without affecting other game modes (2×2 / FFA). So I vote for small changes. In nutshell how could I nerf Undead: Increase the build time for Hauntedmine. Nerf hp or armor on Ziggurats. Nerf regeneration or movement speed for Acolytes.