Heroes of the Storm

The Problem with Falstad’s W Build – Uninteractive Design

HeroesoftheStorm 2 - The Problem with Falstad's W Build - Uninteractive Design

Although certainly overtuned, there's a few reasons that Falstad's W build feels so oppressive, and will continue to do so if improperly dealt with.

Should be noted that as Wingman became Dishonorable Discharge, it traded a pure PvE component for a chiefly PvP one. It's natural that Fal's new W build will hurt more. Also doesn't help that since stacking shifted from minions to heroes, you'll get zapped a lot more in the early game.

The first issue is build diversity. Falstad can dedicate a whole 4 talents to purely W. Unlike other builds, say autoattack that includes Q range and Tailwind activation, full W = pure W.

But still, the aa build has a whopping FIVE talents, so what's the big issue?

Charged Up and Ready to Blow Up

The point of W is it's on a frail hero, who must carefully navigate enemy attacks to maximize its use, or strategically gtfo. Risk vs reward. The slow, dive and speed in his core kit all compliment this ability.

Kinda ironic that when all other abilities work for it, W is such a selfish build, completed with Afterburner on 16 at 50% popularity, a talent that has synergy with no others.

But anyway. Charged Up. Such an 'easy' talent. It heavily reduces the risk involved with completing a W cast in just about every scenario. And now that W is stronger, boy do we feel that.

Recall that the long-distance nuke potential of Azmodan and Chromie got nerfed, not because they were OP, but oppressive and uninteractive. Also note how talents that make abilities more 'easy' are rare, and we see why playing against a juiced W feels wrong. There's tons of talents that increase the range of skillshots, the size of aoes. But range for a point & click? That's dirty.


Secret Weapon, now that's a talent. It boosts the range of Q, but buffs your basic attacks while it's out. This short timeframe that demands your dedication is what W is about. Again, kinda ironic!

Conclusion & Feedback

The W build feels oppressive because it's uninteractive, and balance won't change that. Basic Attacks require you to stay close and kite. Hammerang is a skillshot that returns to you, includes a slow, aoe, and can get an armor debuff, which makes timing and aiming crucial not just for you but your team. W is pure single-target, point and click damage, that synergizes with nothing other than itself.

Reducing Charged Up's range bonus should help. Then it's just a matter of balance to fix winrates.

But then we stay at the build diversity issue.

As a rough example, picture this. BOOMerange doesn't increase Q's damage, but causes one W zap to strike enemies hit. Charged Up doesn't increase W's hits but reduces the cd of Q & E. Static Shield offers a smaller shield, but it also applies to Hammerang's damage.

The point is there's more diversity as there's more choices for the same build, and it's impossible to neglect other abilities. I know it feels good to dump your entire being into a single ability, but it's pretty poor design. Because it's less that if feels good, and more that it is comfy, and thus annoying.

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