The following 4 paragraphs are just an intro to my opinions, feel free to skip them if you don't care. There is also a very brief summary of my suggestions at the bottom if you would like something short to read.
I want to preface these suggestions with my opinion on Lunara and my mentality around balance, as to provide reason for my suggestions. In general I think Lunara is a fairly average and not particularly competitive hero. Regardless I greatly enjoy playing her and have dedicated a very large amount of my time to playing her consistently many times a day, but I do feel like she is lacking a few qualities. I don't claim to be the best at this game, I feel like I am quite good at it, but I'm no pro, so I don't pretend I have all the answers when it comes to making a hero more competitive viable or 'meta'. I would also like to acknowledge that not every hero needs to be in the 'meta', or super powerful and first ban worthy or anything like that. Such an ideology would be unreasonable anyway since every hero can't be 'meta', as that goes against what a 'meta' is. regardless I would love to see Lunara pushed into a state where she has greater build variety and is considerable when it comes to hero league play.
My main issue with Lunara is the inflexibility in what makes her 'good', her entire game plan is based on trying to do as much damage with her trait as possible, no questions asked. She has talents that seek to improve her alternative offensive options, those being auto attacks and her noxious blossom, but those builds always feel like a sacrifice when compared to her trait centric build. because of this, when the 'do damage with poison' plan doesn't work, Lunara doesn't work.
thusly I chose to dedicate a fair amount of my spare time theory crafting possible balance approaches that address the problems that I believe Lunara has, as well as spending the time to play the hero enough to understand what makes her work and what prevents her from feeling effective. I don't really have any expectations as to response from Heroes of the storm developers, but I would be honored if my suggestions were even considered, and I would be ecstatic to see my suggestions impact the balance decisions surrounding my favourite hero in the game.
Of all the changes detailed below, the changes I am most passionate about are the ones relating to Lunara's 'Noxious blossom' ability, as I believe they could create an incredibly fun and dynamic hero experience. Regardless of outcome I greatly appreciate any and all feedback, from anyone, developer, fellow Lunara enthusiasts, critics, who ever, I would love to hear your opinions. So here are my suggestions to the Heroes of the storm development team and player base as to the balancing of Lunara.
Problems with Lunara:
#1 Lvl 20 quality disparity;
'Intensifying toxin' is an auto pick lvl 20 talent because of its obvious and easy to use value, Lunara's other level 20 talents could be improved to be more appealing in comparison.
'Boundless strides' should either reduce the mana cost of leaping strike by 10 to 15 or partially/fully refund the mana cost when used on an ally, this is because this lvl 20 reintroduces an early game mana problem Lunara has that usually goes away at around lvl 13 to 16 and would help to encourage the 'spammy' nature of the talent.
'Galloping gait' should provide some additional effect that encourages aggressive use, such as increasing all damage dealt by 10% for the duration of the effect, or partially refund the cooldown of ultimates used during the effect. This is because this lvl 20 only really gets picked as a survivability tool which is a waste of its potential for offensive play, I wouldn't even mind if this came at the cost of a slightly longer cooldown.
'Forest wrath' is probably fine as it is, although it would be nice if this talent reduced the charge cooldown by 1 or 2 seconds, even if this meant slightly decreasing the range bonus provided.
#2 Limitations in late game power with lvl 16 talent;
'Unfair advantage' is a very large part of Lunara's late game power spike, however it is not always a suitable choice, for example against Johanna or an Ana that takes the 'cleanse slows' on heal or against teams that are mostly unfazed by Lunara's poison (high group heal + zoning). Improving the other lvl 16 talents would give Lunara much needed variety in her late game power options.
For 'Invigorating spores', the talent could give a permanent 0.5% max health bonus damage on auto attacks, increased by 0.5% for each stack of nature's toxin on the target (2% max health at 3 stacks of toxin), as well as the existing attack speed when using 'Crippling spores' (The attack speed bonus could be slightly decreased if needed, the base 0.5% max health damage is also very optional as it could easily be overkill).
For 'Star wood spear', the talent could give 1 extra attack for 1.5 to 2 seconds after auto attacking a hero, increased by an additional 1.5 to 2.5 extra attack range for 6 seconds after using 'Crippling spores'. This would give lunara greater up time on her attack range, but would still allow for counterplay as the attack range is removed out of combat.
These two talent changes would give Lunara better options for late game variety based on enemy compositions (a better anti tank option and a better anti poke option). As for the 'Accelerated contamination' talent at lvl 16, it would be much nicer if the condition was changed to having 3 stacks of nature's toxin on one or more enemies (including non heroes), as this would make the talent synergise much better with the 'Choking pollen' talent at lvl 7 and provide good objective dps (The cooldown rate increase could be reduced slightly if needed, maybe 70 to 80%).
#3 Lunara's base kit;
Lunara's kit is mostly fine as it is, however there is one glaring issue, her 'Noxious blossom' is pretty bad, and subsequently so are all the talents that affect it, the only exception being 'Splintered spear' (and 'Choking pollen' to a much lesser extent), which ironically is better on its own than her entire blossom ability.
I think fixing her Noxious blossom is actually fairly simple, the based range should be increased by about 10%, the reason why is because the most useful aspect of the blossom is that you can hit enemies that are slightly outside of auto attack range, however most heroes have an ability that can do this, which nullifies a lot of Lunara's poke. especially early game, any mage will just out 'range-trade' you with spells all day (think Kael'thas empowering living bomb every six seconds). Increased ranged would give Lunara a slightly better low dps poke tool, which would give her a safer lane trading experience against assassins and a way to harass safely in team fights in a way many other spell damage heroes can (although it would still be weaker range harass than a conventional mage).
To compensate for this the lvl 4 talent blossom swell could have its range bonus reduced by 10%, however this talent is also in need of buffing, I think two suitable options would be having the talent reduce the mana cost of her q, or making the blossom apply two stacks of poison (preferably the two stacks of poison option). This would be especially nice with the hypothetical change to the lvl 16 talent that gives cdr at three poison stacks, since blossom + crippling spores would apply three stacks of poison. In theory this could make the choking pollen build fairly competive as a ranged poke sustain/burst hybrid build.
Boundless stride reduces mana cost, Galloping gait increases offensive capabilities, Forest wrath reduces cooldown.
Invigorating spores and star wood spear improved functionality, Accelerated contamination works on one enemy.
Q range increased base, blossom swell slightly less range given, but applies more poison.
© Post "Lunara Balance Suggestions" for game Heroes of the Storm.
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