Heroes of the Storm

The problems with XP changes reveal a deeper problem with the game: Killing Forts/Keeps punishes teams the wrong way

So okay, people don't like the XP changes. I to be honest don't have the time or patience to play any PTR so I haven't tried them. But what I know is that I do enjoy the current state of the game, so if the XP changes are cancelled or postponed I wouldn't mind.

What interests me most of all of this is the theory craft part of it. It is quite suspicious that the XP reward for Forts is apparently so important that removing it and replacing it with a catapult didn't work out. Afterall, isn't soaking supposed to be a better way to get XP? I think this tells us something about the game and I now think something is broken at a deeper level.

A bit of context and an interview

During blizzcon weekend I shared a gamasutra interview with the devs that was really good at explaining what their mindset was behind these changes. That post contained a quote that got people so angry it was downvoted to heck. So maybe that's why nobody heard about that interview. But here it is : To_balance_Heroes_of_the_Storm_remember_that_MOBAs_arent_a_true_sport

"All MOBAs have the problem with…it's not a true sport!" Crawford exclaimed while trying to parse the minute game changes being discussed. "In basketball, if I make a 3-pointer, I'm not 3 inches taller then you now. In MOBAs, that's what happens! I just did something good, and I get a power advantage over someone else."

Crawford says that this philosophy means that in the last few years, the dedicated team at Blizzard has looked at everything from ripping out character levels to eliminating hte concept of Mana. What they've focused on for the last 6 months instead, is tweaking rules to keep power imbalances from stacking up quickly.

Yes, it's interesting at least that yesterday someone posted a sarcastic post saying Blizzard should just remove player levels when in fact that's something they actually tested.

Read:  Having no snowballing fundamentally conflicts with having short game times. The experience changes are flawed, but Towers of Doom is the answer.

"Structures are score"

If we put ourselves in the mindset of the devs. The snowball problem is caused by XP itself. Because the closer you get to killing the core, the more XP you accumulated and thus your heroes are stronger than the other team's. In this view, structures are score. Killing a fort and killing a keep is worthwhile because it gets you closer to killing the core, which is supposedly the ultimate goal of the game. Meanwhile, XP is something that makes your heroes better at team fights and therefore more likely to kill structures.

What??

The problem is then that it doesn't seem things work this way. Not at all. After multiple reports from players of all levels, specially top players, that removing the XP reward from structures made it so not killing structures is a better strategy, that shows that the whole premise of seeing structures as score is not working.

XP is thus the goal and not a method to win the game. And I think this is a problem. XP is the score .

Where is map control?

What this debacle uncovers is a greater problem with the game. Map Control doesn't have strong enough of an effect in the outcome of the game. If map control was working properly, a team of highly skilled players should easily be able to win a game in which the other team lost all their forts and keeps without the aid of XP. But apparently that isn't the case.

Potential explanations

  • Are minion waves too weak? If having a loose catapult in a lane doesn't considerably make your life more difficult, then maybe it is way too easy to clear minion waves.
  • Is map vision from minions/structures not as important as it should be?
  • Are catapults too weak?
  • Is soaking too strong?

I have no idea. But this is worrisome.

Read:  [OC] After spending way too much time and effort since Soulcalibur VI came out, I present: HEROES OF THE SOUL

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