Dec 13, 2009

[Rant/Games] Warcraft 3 Balance

One thing that has been bothering me is the constant complaining about warcraft 3 and it's lack of popularity. Therefore before I go on to doing things I should be doing (i.e. practice), I want to somewhat analyze warcraft 3 a bit. To do this we must admit a few things:

1) Warcraft is imbalanced.

2) Orc is imbalanced.

3) It is hard to make changes to one race without effecting all the matchups.

Orc is easily the best race in the game. Before people completely disagree with me and say I'm wrong, there is a simple way to look at this:

Take 2 or 3 top players of each race. For undead this is hard as there isn't enough top players beyond TeD, though I think we could use FoVs old records or Lucifer's stuff as well.

Compare the w/l records vs other races, you'll notice how Orc players have the higher w/l than pretty much all other races. Before you say "Orc players are better players" That's why I chose pro level, where everyone will be on an even level skill wise.

Orc is actually easy to balance, because orc players always use the same couple strategies no matter what race they are fighting against. Walkers/Raiders or mass Wyvs. Headhunters are used vs mass air. Catapults can be used vs NE. Because of this general end all be all strat of Orc, I think it would be really easy to balance. While this won't happen, I can still wish.

The strength of the orc is not only the BM, but the fact that the army is so great at forcing or escaping conflicts. Ensnare can start a fight or prevent it from happening at all. Either way it forces the other player to either lose the units or fight. Because of this amazing crowd control, the BM can focus on any unit it likes and kill it.

1) Early healing. Orc's healing is very strong. For a very minimal amount of cost (100 for 3, or about 33 gold) you can heal a unit back up to nominal health. This means any unit you run back to your base can be healed back to full. Add this with walker's damage mitigation, and units can survive a long long time. To make this more balanced, I think either make it a bit more expensive, reduce the amount healed, or increase the time it takes for the healing pot to be useful. The third means a bm can't recover 100-200 hp wind walked, break damage, and stay in a fight if it takes say, 1 minute for a full hp heal instead of the 30 seconds.

2) Ensnare. Ensnare is ridiculous. It last forever on normal units, and just with 4 (double check that someone?) you can permanently ensnare any hero. Add hex to remove TPing and potions and you can kill any hero. or most escaping units. Add a 50 gold scroll of speed for even more insane fighting or retreating, and it become a too powerful tool. I think 3 seconds on heroes and 10-15 on units is good, or significantly increase the cool down.

3) Hex I can't complain too much about, it's annoying at higher levels, but as it being a hero spell it works really well. If anything increase the mana cost a bit so it isn't as spammable, to allow items to be used while hexed would balance it out a lot as well.

4) Critical Strike. This ability is what make many many players scream and tear out their hair. A blademaster with a gloves of haste, boots, and as many claws + 6, 9, or 12 they can get their hands on has the power to level any army when micro'd well. The BM's attack speed as well as the chance to do ridiculous crits makes him very power. Combine that with the CC from hex, stomp, or ensnare and he can dominate almost every other hero in the game. There aren't many ways to really balance this.

Basically the problem is that it's luck based. There is a chance that it will hit 0 out of 100 attacks, or 50 out of every 100. When you have a hero getting hit with a BM, you have to act like the next attack will be a crit, and micro accordingly.

One way to balance this is to lower the BMs base damage or attack speed, but that just makes him worse. Another way is to reduce the crit damage. Rather than 2,3,4, it could be 1.5,2,2.5 or something similar. I think a good way to balance this is to actually make CLAWS NOT STACK. While it will significantly reduce damage, it effects ALL dps heroes, so it would end up making them less effective in general and would promote other hero choices.

Oh and remove the darn tomes of XP.

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