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
I don’t have much trouble with NightElf myself for the most part, and from what I saw at WGL it seemed like the top Humans (at least Infi & TH000) do not either after winning close series vs Moon & LawLiet in semis.
If NightElf masses Tier1 and it gets scouted it seems defendable for the most part.
If NightElf goes Keeper Of The Grove + Archers into fast Tier3, wether on 1 or 2 bases it seems very winnable for Human by using Castle tech, Priests with training Pala 3rd hero and Knights.
If NightElf plays Warden it seems tricky but it’s all about map control & either setting up expo while being in a stable position. If you are behind you might get Fan of knived to death in your Peasants but if you are ahead you can usually push and do well so it seems to be a lot about the early game.
Overall I would say this is one of the most balanced matchups in the game in my opinion but might favor Human slightly at my & at top level.
I struggle against Orc and really thought that Orc was favored against Human for a while. Reason being Orc can tech so quick and there doesn’t seem to be a good way to punish it (except maybe expanding which fails a lot of the time). So their Tauren Chieftain is out way before the Mountain King which can then be powered level to lvl 3 and then Stomp level 2 just dominates a lot. Of course it’s hard for Orc against a lot of Breakers but there is many ways to avoid their impact by doing well before those guys actually get there. The Headhunter style is also a pretty good alternative to standard for Orc and has been difficult to deal with for Humans at least in Europe. Over in Asia during WGL Infi & TH000 did really well against Orc beating Fly100% & FoCuS but didn’t have to face the best Orc, Lyn who lost to Elf twice and who until recently was on a really long winning streak against Human.
This matchup might be close to 50-50?
The worst matchup in the game by far in my opinion. Human weaknesses = being forced to open Archmage a lot of the time, having to expand to be solid (it’s hard to do well on 1 base and has been figured out) and of course this is the matchup where Peasants are super vulnerable at many stages especially early on. First of all Cryptlord was overbuffed, he is too well rounded, moves fast, is tanky, hits hard and the exact same can be said about the Beetles who are the only summon that do not expire in the game and who also have burrow on lvl 2 beetles (Cryptlord lvl3). On any map where the expansion is not hard to creep such as Last Refuge, Echo Isles, Terenas Stand for example Undead can open fast Cryptlord with 3 Ghouls and easily creep the expo as first camp thanks for Sacrificial skull, Beetles and the support of Rod Of Necromancy. Once the Beetles are lvl 2 Undead will easily dominate, it just seems impossible to prevent an eventual expansion from the Undead on those maps and Undead with an expansion is extremely strong.
Everything around expanding was buffed, such as Sacrifical Skull not requiring a Graveyard anymore, the Ziggurats now have a ton of armor so even a single Nerubian Tower will provide a lot of support to Undead when they expand and feel unsiegeable. The reason Orc does well against Undead is they can match the speed aura of Undead very well with endurance + speedscrolls and they have a lot of CC (Crowd Control) in the form of Stomp mainly, Hex & Ensnare. The only way for a Human to try and catch up/slow down an Undead is Stormbolt which is insufficient so kiting will always be really powerful for Undead. Whereas if an Undead chases a Human player he will always catch him because of the Unholy Aura speed advantage. In terms of Units it just feels like there isn’t a unit composition that seems good against Undead. Breakers get demolished by Fiends+Orb. Aboms with disease cloud is strong against everything except Gryphons which is easily countered by Fiends. And the biggest problem of them all is that Knights are hard countered by frost armor and then if you make many of them they will turn against you as Banshees join the field and steal them away. Rifles got nerfed to help out Elves against rushes but they are Human’s core unit and this affected other matchups aswell. Towers feel like paper against Undead because everything they have kills them fast, wether it’s Fiends with piercing damage, Destroyers with mana, Pitlord 3rd with Rain of Fire they seem to evaporate really quickly and once they die every Peasant in that base will follow in the case of an expansion play.
This matchup heavily favors Undead and is the most urgent to be changed in the near future in my humble opinion.
Balance changes suggestions:
Current items levels, value & selling prices.
[Level 1 items]
Cloak of shadows, Gauntlets of strenght +3, Mantle of Intelligence, Slippers of Agility
Cost=100, Sell value=50
[Level 2 items]
Permanent: Circlet of Nobility, Claws of Attack, Gloves of Haste, Ring of Protection +3
Cost=125 (except Circlet 175), Sell value=62 (except Circlet 87)
Charged: Sentry Wards, Wand of Illusion, Wand of Lightning shield, Replenishment Potion
Cost=150, Sell value=75
[Level 3 items]
Permanent: Claws of Attack +9, Crystal Ball, Pendant of Energy, Periapt of Vitality, Ring of Protection +4, Ring of Regeneration, Talisman of Evasion
Cost=300, Sell value=150
Charged: Potion of Greater Healing, Potion of Greater Mana, Potion of Invulnerability, Scroll of the Beast, Wand of Mana Stealing
Cost=400, Sell value=200
[Level 4 items]
Permanent: Alleria’s Flute of Accuracy, Belt of Giant Strength +6, Boots of Quel’Thalas, +6Robe of the Magi +6, Runed Bracers, Scourge Bone Chimes, Sobi Mask, The Lion Horn of Stormwind
Cost=400, Sell value=200
Charged: Ankh of Reincarnation, Book of the Dead, Healing Wards, Health Stone, Mana Stone, Wand of the Wind
Cost=450, Sell value=225
[Level 5 items]
Permanent: Ancient Janggo of Endurance, Claws of Attack +12, Cloak of Flames, Helm of Valor, Hood of Cunning, Khadgar’s Pipe of Insight, Legion Doom-Horn, Medallion of Courage, Warsong Battle Drums
Cost=500, Sell Value 250
Charged: Blue Drake Egg, Idol of the Wild, Potion of Divinity, Potion of Restoration, Scroll of Restoration, Spiked Collar, Stone Token
Cost=550, Sell Value 275
[Level 6 items]
Permanent: Amulet of Spell Shield, Khadgar’s Gem of Health, Orb of Darkness, Pendant of Mana, Ring of Protection +5, Staff of Silence
Cost=600, Sell Value 300
Charged: Amulet of the Wild, Demonic Figurine, Engraved Scale, Ice Shard, Scepter of Avarice, Scepter of Mastery
Cost=700, Sell Value 350
Level 5 Items permanent suggested changes:
Helm of Valor, Hood of Cunning, Medallion of Courage should be replaced by Crown Of Kings (+5 all stats)
These items are rarely very effective and compared to one of the strong aura really do not provide much, replacing them by an item as strong as Crown of Kings would make it so it’s a good boost for one of the heroes.
(This has already been done on Autumn Leaves, a map that was added into the latest 1vs1 season of W3Champions)
Items sell value rework:
Rings of protection often seem not as good compared to other items, as Human, since we are often forced to play Archmage first since it’s the most viable by far. Rings are kinda useless because Archmage will often not be attacked at all so picking up rings pretty much equals picking up no items at all for the entire early game. And selling them for 62 gold does not often justify having to run to the shop to sell them there. Increasing the gold earned from that level would help with that alot especially when you find 3 defensive items on an Archmage and a trip to the shop to sell those would then make a lot more sense.
Those can be found as an item level 2, or as an item level 3 which sells for 150 or as an item level 6 (LOL?) which sells for 350. Currently the difference between finding a good or bad item is very significant and with multiple camps being crept it increases the change for extreme RNG/Randomness/Luck. I think perhaps increasing the amount of gold for sell value would reduce that effect alot. For example the red camps (Level 5 Permanent) are often key on maps like Last Refuge, Amazonia, Northern Isles. Finding an aura you already have whereas the opponent finds the perfect aura they need to buff their army or heroes can win or lose you the game. And when you are the one finding the bad item, getting 250 gold for it does not nearly make up for the disadvantage you are at. Selling value should go from 50% to 80%. So instead you would get 400 gold for that one. In last game situation where the map is mined out it could make for interesting situations rewarding those who crept more aswell and can sell items to rebuild heroes/army a little bit.
Now let’s talk about all 4 races and what I’d like to see changed (with in mind mostly all the matchups involving at least a Human, I’d rather not talk about matchups without a Human since it’s the only main race I play).
With the suggested changes below I would like to see the game improve without breaking any matchups.
- Peasants have little hitpoints, not much mobility and they hit for 5-6. Of course when turned into militia they attack for 12-13 but the militia timer was reduced from 45 to 40 so they cannot help defend an expansion as well anymore since they can only be turned into Militia in the main base. A slight armor or HP increase would help a lot not losing lots of Peasants against every race and in many games.
- Only 1 main opening Hero being the Archmage, make Human strategies predictable and said Hero has very little hitpoints.
450 on level 1, 475 level 2, 525 level 3, 575 level 4 which by this time against Undead will be facing a lot nuke for example, Orc will have ensnare/speedscroll/stomp. A small hp buff would help a ton in many situations to actually be able to get out of dicy situations when facing Coil/Nova, Hex/Stomp, etc
- The towers do feel like they die too quick once any sort of decent sized army hits Human, the meta currently heavily involves piercing units which are really good against Human towers. To prevent Human towers from being so easily sieged into perhaps adding a little bit of extra mana drain on the arcane towers would help a lot. The orb currently do 24 damage to units & 12 to heroes. 20 to summons. Increasing those numbers even to 26/13/22 would help.
Clap being uncapped is a problem, the last slight cooldown increase from 6 to 7 seconds was not enough to nerf it imo. Capping it to a certain amount of units would help a lot. (Warden Fan Of Knives has 4/5/5 cap for example).
Spellbreakers are hard to counter for them. Not sure how to fix
- Speedscroll reloads in the Orc shop very quickly (60 seconds) and the value for this 50 gold item is extremely high, perhaps either increasing the cooldown to 80 seconds or the cost in gold to 85 would help against Orcs that keep banking those Speedscrolls and easily outrun their opponents (while having fortified defences on Tier2). Reducing the 10 seconds duration is probably not the best route to take to nerf it.
- Fortified Defences being made available on Tier2 instead of Tier3 tech is a drastic change, Human has multiple levels of Masonry we need to research to be very well reinforced, Orc has a single, non very costly upgrade they need to make. Does not seem fair. I agree that previous burrows needed assistance but adding the whole upgrade with its entire effect on Tier2 is quite a problem. Not sure what to suggest but maybe making it multiple upgrades with gradual level of armors would help here.
- Stomp alongside Clap is the best AOE spell in the game, it stuns a big area for too long a time (especially against heroes).
Increasing the cooldown more or reducing the stun time (on heroes at least) is necessary imo.
NightElf seems to be the race the most ill equipped to deal with Human fast expansion, which is why we often see them rely either on mass Tier 1 allin, or Warden play mainly with sometimes KotG play on certain maps. 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.
- Ancient Of War Creeping has been pushed a lot and is now well executed by most players making it fairly easy for Elves to creep at will, with which the latest Moonwell changes can be really scary. It does not feel like there are many options to do much against it at times. Perhaps lowering some of the stats around Ancients of war would help with that.
- Wisps are decently fast and do damage to summons + remove mana from casters, Sieging an Elf expo often means getting detonated multiple times and having to pull back. Lowering the mana drain from wisps on Heroes would be good perhaps from 50 to 40?
They are very reliant on being able to hit & run and also kite, so when facing Orc having Stomp/Hex/Ensnare/Speedscroll they can struggle at times. They don’t have dispel before tier3.
- Cryptlord is currently overbuffed (as mentioned above).
- It is now easier than ever to expand as Undead making them very scary on 2 bases, Sacrificial Skull should probably require a graveyard once more.
- Necromancers can be extremely strong if Undead can manage to fast expand and then start working with AOE (Carion Swarm, Impale). Perhaps changing some of the numbers on those again might be required, not sure exactly which & how.
- Hero Nuke is really strong, wether it’s Deathknight, Lich or Cryptlord once Undead reaches high levels it’s really hard for Elf & Human in particular to keep up with them it seems.
- Statues stats might be a little too high for their supply cost/price. Human Brilliance Aura provides 0.75/1.25/2.00 on level 1/2/3. A statue will spend 6 mana per second to replenish 3 mana on each hero per second so 9 mana total making a 3 supply unit far better than one of the strongest Aura in the game which is part of the reason why Human has to open Archmage first so often. Keeping the hp regen as it is currently might be fine but the mana regen should be lowered to 2 mana/second per hero/unit at least.
- Impale lasts way too long on heroes stun wise. Much like stomp an AOE stun that also does damage should definitely be more limited. Not only Undead already has a lot of speed when facing Humans thanks to unholy aura they also got very strong lockdown and now stun potential with impale. A full HP Archmage getting impaled will sometimes die before the stun ends because of the stun duration and how squishy the Archmage is. Current impale does 2,3,4 seconds stun per level on units and 1, 2, 3 on heroes. It definitely should be lower.
Overall UD changes:
- Speed auras such as Endurance/Unholy Aura could be toned down a bit. It is too difficult for Elf/Human to keep up with those in many situations.
- Unholy Aura: Movement speed 10/20/30% Health regeneration: 0.5/1/1.5 HP/sec.
- Reducing the Speed to 8/16/24% would be a lot better for the races without speed auras to be able to keep up speed-wise. Having an aura that provides hp regen + this much speed definitely makes it difficult to play against Undead currently.
The State of Warcraft III Balance – Post WGL Summer 2020
Overall, the state of balance is currently in an alright spot. All races are competitive and can win tournaments. And this is once again the skill bracket I’m going to be focusing on. The Top players. The most important skill bracket, in my opinion.
While every race can perform well, there are still issues. Every race has one hard matchup currently. For Orc it is against Nightelf, for Undead it is against Orc, for Nightelf it is against Human and – the biggest problem child – for Human it is against Undead. If we could find ways to level the playing field in those match-ups, we should be making big strides towards making the game a lot more balanced and enjoyable.
ORC vs NE
- Nightelf hits an immense power spike early, once the Keeper of the Grove reaches level 3. The most important goal for the Orc in the early game is to prevent the Keeper’s progress and delay level 3 for as long as possible. The issue here lies with scouting. Orc cannot afford to send peons to scout (as they need every single peon for their one burrow tech, which is the only competitive build on the top level). Using grunts to scout is extremely risky, as they might get entangled and killed, leading to the Orc falling further behind. It does not sound like a very big deal but it is. Scouting is absolute key in the early game for Orcs and they need some help in that regard.
- Make the Great Hall provide 11 instead of 10 supply. This way Orcs could fit in one more peon for scouting with their 1-burrow tech
Being able to have one more Peon out on the map would help Orc players a lot in making smart decisions early. But it should not be too powerful in the other matchups by any stretch.
- The Nightelves will always get their expansion and a bigger army faster than the Orc. While the Elf tries to overwhelm with pure mass, the Orc attempts to unlock powerful tech or heroes to hold on against the onslaught. However those unlocks oftentimes fall just a little short. They could use slight buffs.
- Reduce Mirror Image mana cost to 80
- Make Lightning Shield grant +1 armor
- Make Improved Pulverize also grant Taurens Resistant Skin
Risk: Low / Low / Low
The Mirror Image and Lightning Shield changes are minor ones that would help but should certainly not be too extreme by any stretch of the imagination. Whilst giving Resistant Skin to Taurens is certainly a considerable change, it is one that is needed. Taurens are still by far the weakest tier 3 melee fighters and they need a bit of help. With this change they receive a bit of durability and also ease of execution without making them too strong.
UD vs ORC
- Between Hex, Stomp, Ensnare, Purge and Orb of Lightning the Orc has too much strong lockdown. Especially against heroes. A slight nerf would be appropriate.
- Make Orb of Lightning proc unable to trigger upon attacking heroes
- Decrease the War Stomp stun duration on heroes from 2/3/4 seconds to 2/2.75/3.5 seconds
Risk: Low / Low
The Orb is almost exclusively used against Undead to begin with. Against units it remains just as effective. This would be a healthy change to allow UD to get just that tiny bit more out of their heroes that they need. And as far as Stomp is concerned, the spell is still very strong. Most likely still a little too strong. Especially against heroes.
- The super late game armies usually consist of mass Fiends vs mass Berserkers. With a few casters for buffs and debuffs mixed in. The Orc has the advantage here as their supporting casters, the Spirit Walkers have both a powerful buff in Spirit Link as well as a dispel in Disenchant. The supporting units for Undead – Destroyers and Banshees – are considerably weaker. As Destroyers get heavily countered by the mass Berserkers and Banshees only have curse as an effective ability. Undead could use a bit of help with their supporting casters.
- Decrease Destroyers’ Devour Magic cast point, decreasing the time it takes to cast the spell
- Buff Necromancers’ Unholy Frenzy ability by reducing the HP/second drain from 3 to 2
Risk: Low / Low
The Destroyer change would have a slight impact on micro precision with the dispel timing but would certainly not increase the unit’s power level by a significant amount. This would rather be a quality of life improvement for the player, feeling more in control of his army because of the decreased delay on dispel. Necromancers are still almost entirely unused because of their underwhelming spells. This slight buff might make them relevant but should not be going too far.
NE vs HU
- Nightelves have no second hero of similar strength to the opposition. This goes for pretty much all matchup by the way. In the past Pandaren Brewmaster used to be a late game power-house for Elf. But nowadays his power level is much lower compared to the late game carries of the other races (TC, MK, Lich).
- Make the Drunken Haze debuff undispellable, similar to the way Acid Bomb from the Alchemist works. This would give the Panda more late game-utility and would make it harder to counter him. Exactly what he needs. As heroes that get countered by dispel always fall off greatly in the late game.
- Reduce Drunken Haze mana cost from 70 to 60
- Increase Drunken Brawler Evasion chance from 7/14/21 to 9/18/27
Risk: Low / Low / Low
While the first suggestion would certainly be a significant one, it would also be one that the Panda desperately needs to become viable again. This change should help him greatly without being too powerful. The other two suggestions are just slight buffs that would further empower the hero but should not have the most profound impact.
- While Human has plenty of strong units to choose from, Nightelf only seems to have two units that perform truly well: Archers and Mountain giants. Especially the later the game goes, the more hard countered everything from the Nightelf gets. Be it bears, Chimaeras, Faerie Dragons or Dryads. Everything gets answered quite easily from the Human. And the biggest offender here is the Sorceress’ Slow ability. Especially against Bears – which are supposed to be the most reliable powerful late game tech for Nightelf – this spell is way too good. With everything slowed down so significantly it is always much easier for the human to properly control the fight and get much better value out of his army.
- Increase Druid of the Claw starting mana by 25 and decrease Druid of the Claw Bear Form ability mana cost from 25 to 15. Out of all the Tier 3 heavy melee units Bears have always had the most utility. With their abilities Rejuvenation and Roar they are quite unique amongst their peers in being able to influence a battle. By helping with their mana management we would lean more into their special niche-personality, also helping with ease of execution, without making them too strong in their stat-line for actual combat.
- Reduce Sorceress’ Slow ability movement speed slow from 60% to 50%. While Buffs and Debuffs in Warcraft 3 were always intended to provoke a play and counter-play interaction with casting spells versus dispelling them, for Nightelf vs Human this is just not possible. The Human has way more mana to cast his spells than the Nightelf ever has the ability to follow up with dispel. As dryads are too weak to mass produce and wisps are too expensive and also too damaging to the Bears’ mana pool on top of being too hard to use defensively. We just simply have to live with the fact that Human can slow everything down and there is not much that the Elf can do about it. And since slow cannot be countered or prevented, it has to be slightly weakened.
- Remove Chimaeras’ friendly fire splash damage. This just seems like an unnecessary, clumsy relic of the past.
Risk: Low / Low / Low
This would be a tiny buff to Bears only. And one that they could also very much use in the other matchups versus Undead and Orc. The Slow nerf would certainly be significant but well placed. Orc can struggle very hard against slow while also having no good counter to it. Human Mirror would also benefit from a slow nerf as with that perhaps the rampant Mass Breaker wars would subside. And against Undead, where Human struggles, Slow is a non-factor thanks to Destroyers. Additionally Slow takes away from the micro component of War3. It quite literally slows down the game andcan deteriorate battles into a very dull affair. So a Slow nerf should be beneficial all around.
HU vs UD
- Human seems to have no chance playing on one base. They have to expand every game, trying to survive until Tier 3 and 70 supply. That makes games very one-dimensional, predictable and boring. Human needs some help to encourage and improve one-base play. Once Human does have their Tier 3 unlocked, they can become very powerful. So I believe the correct approach should be to facilitate the T3 transition rather than buffing the actual units too much.
- Reduce Castle Tech from 360 to 320 gold
- Reduce Staff of Sanctuary cost from 250 to 175 gold
- Make Sundering Blades intrinsic to Knights, so they don’t need to research the upgrade anymore but rather have it naturally already
- Remove Priests’ Heal cast point to make the spell cast instantly (like Obsidian Statue’s Essence of Blight ability). To compensate for that we would need to introduce a matching cooldown for the spell of course. This may not sound like much but it would actually make all the difference in the world. Priests are super clumsy and annoying to use exactly because of this. Because they are always busy healing. This means you can’t move them, you can’t micro them, oftentimes you can’t even use Dispel. Because they’re always busy healing. Giving them the “statue-treatment” would be an immense quality of life improvement. And a slight buff that the Priest could certainly use. Important however: when you manually give the Priest a command to heal a target, he should still stick to that allied target for healing and not reset his priority with every cooldown.
- Increase Priests’ Dispel range from 600 to 700, reduce mana cost from 75 to 65 and reduce Dispel cast point to make it cast faster
Risk: Low / Low / Moderate / Low / Low
Helping with the expense of going Tier 3 for Human should help in this matchup and not impact the other matchups too much. If anything it should help Human Mirror tremendously. Priests are a staple in many Human armies. But they suffer from annoying habits. Ones that we should fix. Sundering Blades not requiring an upgrade anymore would be the only very significant change. This is certainly a big buff. One that will make Knights much better in games where a lot comes down to crisp timings. But I believe this would still be a good change in the right direction.
- Crypt Lord is a little too strong. While the buffs to the Crypt Lord were very good and refreshing for the Undead meta game, after a lot of testing it has now turned out that they went a little too far. But the situation can be rectified.
- Increase Level 2 Carrion Beetle collision size from 16 to 32. Beetles are strong. And they need to be for UD to have a viable first Hero outside of DK. But especially as far as economy harass is concerned, they are a little too strong. The headache that 4-6 beetles can cause in a main base or inside of an expansion is too much. By increasing their collision size to 32, players would be able to wall off against them. Something that is currently not possible. This would help a tremendous amount and simultaneously allow for smart counter play.
- Remove the burrow ability from Level 2 Carrion Beetles. The Crypt Lord’s summons are quite tough to kill already. That should not be made even harder with burrow. For level 3 Beetles Burrow is fine, but for level 2 Beetles it is a little too much.
- Decrease level 2 Beetles HP from 330 to 310. Again, this serves to curb the power spike of Level 3 Crypt Lord a little, which should be the proper thing to do.
Risk: Low / Low / Low
While we want the Crypt Lord to remain a viable first hero option, currently he is a little over-tuned. These outlined changes should be the proper ones to take to make him more fair.
- Games never lead to counter expansion play from the Undead but always are determined by the UD’s all-in push towards the expansion. That is in parts because the UD Tier 3 push is so strong but also in great parts because counter expanding is made very difficult by one single unit: the Siege Engine or Tank. Tanks have for the history of War3 been the most frustrating units in the game. That is in my opinion alone enough to nerf them. But additionally to this they are the main reason why Undead is hesitant to counter expand. As in a 2 base vs 2 base game Tanks are way too efficient and hard to deal with. Tanks are partly responsible for why the HU v UD matchup is stale and unhealthy.
- Nerf Tank HP from 700 to 500
- Increase Tank experience bounty from 60 to 85
Risk: Low / Low
Tanks are too harmful to the game. No other unit can cause as much frustration as this one. They are too hard to kill, too strong against buildings, give too little of a reward for killing them and don’t promote any of the fun, interactive micro play that makes this game great. And they force Undead to stay on one base, making games predictable and leading to a less diverse meta. Human – and everyone else as well – is absolutely fine with these units weakened.
- Peasants are too vulnerable to the Undead harass and just economy harass in general. Throughout the last few patches other races’ economies have been blessed to make them more robust. With Orc having fortified burrows now on Tier 2 and Undead Acolytes having been made stronger. This was a very good development for the game. Matches became less about avoiding fights and only “laming” against the economy and more about army interaction on the map between the players. While Nightelf still has sturdy defenses and ways to ensure their wisps’ wellbeing thanks to entangled goldmine and moonwells, Human needs a bit of help. They are suffering a little too much compared to everyone else in terms of economy harass.
- Increase Peasant HP from 220 to 230
- Increase Arcane Tower Damage against summons from 20 to 22
Risk: Low / Low
While the Peasant HP buff would be beneficial not only for defensive purposes but also for aggressive potential – with militia attacks – I don’t believe that this change should go too far. And the Arcane Tower buff would also only be slight. But much appreciated. Treants, Wolves, Water Elementals and Skeletons should become a little easier to deal with.
- The Undead Tier 3 timing push with 50 supply, Orb, triple hero, fiends, statues against the Human expansion is a little too strong. While this push is not impossible to hold, it is extremely hard for Human. Some changes are in order.
- Decrease level 1 Rain of Fire range from 800 to 700 and reduce the damage by around 10%
- Make Knights have Sundering Blades by default
Risk: Low / Low
When it comes to the push to the expansion for the Human, every little thing counts. Every tower placement, every Storm Bolt, every Flying Machine, every Knight. These changes would have significant impact and should be a step in the right direction. The nice thing about giving Knights Sundering Blades by default is that it greatly helps Human with early timings – exactly what they need – but doesn’t really make them too strong in a drawn out, long macro game.
- The same way that Tanks are cancerous to the game from the Human side, Necro Wagon pushes are cancerous from the Undead’s. Spamming limitless amounts of Skeletons with virtually no answer from the Human is extremely one-dimensional and quite frankly dumb. While this strategy never used to be too good, that has now changed with the strength of the Crypt Lord.
- Reduce the maximum amount of corpses that Meatwagons can carry from 8 to 4.
This would certainly be a considerable nerf. But just as with Tanks it would be a very deserved one. Mass Necro pushes are no fun at all and should not have a place in the meta. Or if they should then only in very rare cases.
- There is a big discrepancy in power between the Tier 3 late game melee fighters of the races. While Abominations and Mountain Giants are strong and in a good spot, the other three are a lot weaker in comparison.
- Make Improved Pulverize also grant Taurens Resistant Skin
- Give Knights Sundering Blades by default
- Increase Druid of the Claw starting mana by 25 and reduce Bear Form mana cost from 25 to 15
Risk: Low / Moderate / Low
As I outlined earlier, these buffs would be significant but also very much needed.
- Magic immune units should be supporting casters and only be good in low numbers. When armies consist of mostly magic immune units, it takes so much fun and so many interesting aspects away from the game. As spells – a key ingredient of War3 – suddenly get rendered almost useless. Mass Destroyers used to be played in the past. And that made for very frustrating and dull games. With significant nerfs to their stats the mass Destroyers were curbed, while they still remain relevant as supporting units in low numbers today – exactly as it should be. With Dryads we had a similar situation. The problem in the meta today is with Spell Breakers. In two match-ups – HU vs ORC and HU vs HU – mass Breakers is too strong and too oppressive. Magic immune units shouldn’t have stats strong enough to allow for massing only them for a late game army. But Breakers do have stats strong enough to allow for this. And that is detrimental to the game. In the matchup against Orc they even super counter the Farseer with their ability to steal Spirit Wolves, when Orc already has the greatest problem dealing with mass Breakers.
- Reduce Spell Breaker armor from 3 to 2
- Move the Control Magic ability upgrade back to Tier 3
Risk: Low / Low
Mass Spell Breakers are too prevalent. They promote no-fun gameplay. While Spell Breakers are interesting units and should certainly have a place in the meta, it should not be in mass. And targeting their base stats to make them a little weaker in head-to-head fights – like back then with destroyers – should be the correct and a very healthy change for the game.
- There are a number of abilities which are quite interesting in theory but are in actuality just way too weak and need some considerable buffs to become at all viable.
- Increase Demon Hunter’s Immolation Damage by 10% on all levels, remove the initial mana cost of turning the skill on and improve the damage tick intervals from 1.0 seconds to 0.5 seconds (meaning immolation does damage every half second rather than every second. This would help tremendously with properly microing a Demon Hunter with Immolation.)
- Increase Burning Oil damage by 25%
- Make Farsight give the Farseer an intelligence buff of +4 / +8 / +12 for 20 seconds after using the ability
- Make Thorns Aura reflect damage of both Ranged and Melee attacks instead of just Melee
- Change the Death Knights ultimate to make Animate Dead summon 2 Abominations and 3 Fiends (with a duration timer of course) instead of requiring 6 corpses
- Give the Beastmaster’s level 3 summons 40% spell resistance (to take 40% less damage from spells and dispels)
- Decrease Stasis Trap mana cost from 100 to 90 and increase Stasis Trap HP from 100 to 120
Risk: Moderate / Low / Low / Low / Low / Low / Low
These abilities are all so underused and so weak that buffing them a little should not break anything within the game in my estimation. The Demon Hunter’s Immolation change I suppose is the one that might have a big impact.
- Late game Magic Damage Flying units are too weak. Gryphons, Frost Wyrms and Chimaeras are very interesting units, very unique, but are never seen. They are too expensive, take too long to build and get countered too easily by piercing damage. The thing is, that they can in fact be good in the super late game. If you ever do have the time and resources to get to 75+ supply. But in nowadays’ meta that is almost never doable. So in order to make them more viable but not overpowered I think the proper approach would be to make them cheaper and easier to acquire without actually buffing their stats too much.
- Decrease Gryphon Rider build time from 45 to 40 seconds and reduce their gold cost from 280 to 260
- Decrease Frost Wyrm build time from 65 to 60 seconds and reduce their gold cost from 385 to 355
- Decrease Chimaera build time from 60 to 55 seconds and reduce their gold cost from 330 to 305
- Remove Chimaeras’ friendly fire splash damage
Risk: Moderate / Moderate / Moderate
While I don’t think that buffs like these should make these exotic units overperform, this could certainly greatly change their role in the current meta. With everything being timed and measured so razor-thin and precisely at the top level nowadays, it is impossible to say where exactly changes like these would lead.
- Item imbalance has been greatly improved over the years but there are still some outliers, items which are either too good or too weak.
- Reduce Claws of Attack +6 to +5
- Remove Helm of Valor, Medallion of Courage and Hood of Cunning from the drop table and replace them with a new item: Medivh’s Gift. Medivh’s Gift provides +5/+4/+3 stats. And it exists in three forms: Strength, Agility, Intelligence. The item can be toggled between these states (with a 10 second cooldown). Meaning you can switch between the states freely. In Strength mode it gives +5 strength, +4 intelligence, +3 agility. In Agility mode it gives +5 agility, +4 strength, +3 intelligence. In Intelligence mode it gives +5 intelligence, +4 strength, +3 agility.
Agility would have the lowest value for Strength and Intelligence forms because non Agility Heroes can’t make good use of the attribute. And Agility Heroes can for the most part not make great use of Intelligence.
- Reduce Wand of the Wind charges to 2
- Reduce Sentry Ward vision range from 1600 to 1200 and make them give 30 experience when killed
- Reduce Tome of Retraining gold cost from 300 to 150
- Increase HP restored when revived with Ankh of Reincarnation from 500 to 600
- Increase item sell gold value from 50% to 65%. Currently the way it works is that you can sell items for 50% of their gold value. I think this amount should be increased to 65%. Because regardless of how well we balance the item drops, there will always be good versus bad items to find. Especially depending on any given situation within a game. So finding bad items will always be a constant, no matter what. We can’t change that. But by increasing their sell value we can at least reduce the negative impact that finding bad items has.
Risk: Low all around
The mentioned items are clearly either a little too weak or too strong. Changing them should only come with benefits.
- Tavern revives are too accessible and allow for the richer player to recover from mistakes much more easily than the opponent. Hero kills feel as if they are of no consequence for a player with plenty of resources. These easy revives detract tension from the game.
- Implement a limit of 2 Tavern revives per game per player
- Or: Implement a 4 minute cooldown between Tavern revives
It is a rare occurrence already to see a player tavern revive a hero more than once, let alone twice in a single game. However when it does happen, it can feel rather unfair and deflating.