Heroes of the Storm

Gladiator’s Medallion is a Band-Aid solution over a gaping wound of a problem.

HeroesoftheStorm 9 - Gladiator's Medallion is a Band-Aid solution over a gaping wound of a problem.
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TL;DR: I've been playing since Beta, Gladiator's Medallion puts the blame of getting CC chained on the player instead of on the design of heroes, there's way too much CC in the game.

Credibility: This part is mostly so people can't immediately pooh-pooh my argument. I played HOTS religiously back in beta and following its release, when the current leveling/loot system dropped I was already at level 400 and am currently just under level 700. I quit playing before the ladder ranked system came out but I very quickly reached Rank 1 in Hero League and Team League (mostly played Hero League) and never left my spot at the top of the (non-ladder) leaderboards. I think this gives me some room to constructively criticize this game.

Issue: Heroes of the Storm has a big issue with Crowd Control (CC). Anyone who has played for more than a few games has undoubtedly run into a situation where they find themselves stunned for multiple seconds until they get 100-0ed with no room to have survived without having had "better positioning." While this can happen in other MOBAs (I know from experience of playing League, but am unfamiliar with SMITE and DOTA2), I believe it is much less common in these games.

To put this issue to numbers (and because I have too much free time), I made an Excel spreadsheet of each hero in the game and their CC abilities and talents. Taking the total number of options for CC across basic and ultimate abilities and talents and averaging it out across every Hero, this number comes out to 4.22. This means that the average Hero has access to at least 4 options to Slow, Root, Stun, Knockback, Stop, etc. their opponents. Strangely enough, the average for Hard CC (Stuns, Roots, etc.) on basic abilities is higher than the average for Soft CC (Slows, etc.) on basic abilities at 0.64 vs 0.56. This phenomenon is seen in Ultimate abilities as well, with the Hard CC options being more than double that of Soft CC at 0.625 vs 0.307. I mostly bring these up because I find them interesting, but I believe the 4.22 number to be much more telling here. This is what I believe to be the issue.

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The Gladiator's Medallion: Blizzard released this "Item" to be available to all heroes save Gall and Deathwing half as a way to promote aggressive plays and half as a way to escape the previously mentioned CC chains. Focusing on the latter reason, I do not think this is an appropriate fix nor the correct mindset to have when combating the CC problem. One second of Unstoppable every 5 minutes (which you cannot use if you are currently Stunned, funnily enough) does little to give you enough room to get away from CC chains when the chains themselves last many seconds and don't require you to stay perfectly locked up for the entire duration. You walking away at 100% speed for 1 second will rarely get you away from a team dedicated to locking you down and killing you. More importantly, however, the Gladiator's Medallion suggests that the issue is with the players and not the overall design of the game.

To use an analogy, imagine you are on a large, leaky boat that is filling up with water. You scoop water up with your hands and throw it overboard to try and save the ship, and after five years of this, the captain of the boat takes a moment away from running into icebergs (Mei) to hand you a bucket to help, except the bucket has to be hung up to dry before you can use it a second time. Not only is the bucket an ineffective tool for this problem both conceptually and especially in its current form, but it is given to you seemingly to shirk blame from the person who caused the problem and has the power to fix it.

The Solution: Reduce and remove at least half of the CC in the game. I don't think the game would suffer at all if Butcher's charge didn't stun for 1 second and instead slowed by 90% for the same duration, or if the slow decayed instead. I don't think it is necessary that Qhira stuns the person she hits with her E for 0.25 seconds, then again for 0.75 seconds when she reactivates while also knocking them in the direction of her choice upon reactivating. There are lots of little changes that I think would help, and while I could sound salty to some and that I just got upset because I played poorly, I think it is a sign of bad design when 69/89 heroes have some way to Slow, Root, Stun, etc. you with nothing but their basic kit. I also think it's not very fun and cheapens the experience.

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