I am trying a new format because my posts are generally seen as too damn long. Since the first two sections are something I repeat in almost every post because I have to explain everything for someone who doesn’t know me, and the third is generally knowledge that most people who analyse MOBAs will know. These are ALL skippable if you already have an idea of what’s going on, and the fourth can honestly be skimmed or skipped if you’ve experienced a high enough level of play. SO, I’ve stuck them into detail tab things so you don’t have to scroll a bunch or read to get what each part means. Hopefully this works out.
I am of the opinion that Aftershock is both fundamentally brilliant and broken. Aftershock is definitely a unique item. The way it procs gives it depth, since you need to manage cooldowns to precisely activate the procs as soon as possible for maximum effect. It can synergise with playstyles well and it scales differently from most kits, so it brings interesting build orders. Whoever originally designed the aftershock type item was brilliant (because basically every MOBA has this type of item). But in Vainglory, it’s specifically broken, and I’ve sure EVERYONE has felt this, especially since the health rework
The philosophy(?) of Value
Firstly, we need to talk about how value works. I’m sure if you’ve read my posts before, you’ve understood my personal philosophy(?) of how value works, so you can just go ahead and skip to the next section. Basically, how value works is that based on how much damage and damage negation you bring, the more value you bring to a fight. Damage is what wins fights, and damage negation is what stops the opponents from winning fights. CC can stop the enemy attacking (or let you do more damage), mobility can allow you to find the right targets to deal your damage to, or to escape from enemy damage, and tankiness will prolong your existence, and allow you to provide value for longer. Since the only bit of HP that matters is the last, damage needs to be focused correctly to actually kill and remove value from the enemy team, and eventually, you’ll win the fight.
How tanks work in MOBAs
So now that we understand how I personally perceive as value, let’s also talk about how tanks work in MOBAs. Originally, tanks were used in PvE games such as WOW. Since the enemies were AI controlled mobs, tanking hits for the team was pretty easy. However, in a PvP game, since people have control over what they target, tanks can’t just bring a big bulky body to be useful. In most MOBAs, there are three ways you can encourage people to focus tanks
- Give the tank annoying CC
- Give the tank buffs/debuffs
- Give the tank SOME damage
in Vainglory, you also have
- Stacking your BP/DE from a safer position
which is actually one of the best ways Vainglory deals with tanks, which punishes dumb tank play. However, Vainglory suffers from an issue with number 3. Giving tanks SOME damage is a major flaw in the design of tanks, for one simple reason.
If you can have someone who does good damage while also being incredibly tanky, then what’s the point of a bruiser or even a ranged carry?
Why Aftershock is Broken
Aftershock is what enables the tanks doing more damage than damage dealers playstyle, and it’s really a problem. Because of the way aftershocks damage works (constantly strong base damage that only needs a Broken Myth to scale into late game), you see these cheesy AS SC BM/TB chunk half of your health builds. They’re still very tanky, since SC gives good stats, and since the damage items they buy and the tank items they get later are so cheap, allowing them to scale incredibly quickly. This means that as long as this build works on a character, it’s incredibly reliable to get, strong in the early-late game and is quite tanky. Even if you were to let’s say, nerf SC to do no damage to players (oh wait) people would just go down an even tankier road of AS BM MJ Aegis Cruc or for more of a CDR approach with a CW. One of my guildmates ran AS SC/BM MJ Atlas Aegis on Taka last patch and was pretty much unkillable while still chunking health bars into another dimension, and there wasn’t anything they could really do because the value of their damage was not nearly enough to finish him off.
What SEMC is doing will NOT solve the issues with Aftershock. From what I’ve heard, Nivmett is specifically not nerfing Aftershock in a major way to keep the AS BM playstyle alive, but it’s fundamentally broken. This is one of the main reasons I think that defence items were weakened for 5v5. If AS BM players were even tankier, their value would be so incredibly high that there would be 3 proc builds per team with a Celeste mid (AND ALSO NOTE THAT DEFENCE CAN’T SAVE YOU WHEN BOTH ITEMS BOUGHT IN THE AS BM BUILD COUNTER DEFENCE). If you’re wondering why you’re so squishy as Lance or Cath, in my imaginary head cannon of theorycrafting, Aftershock is the reason. This also leads to the gimping of a characters kit to not be overpowered with AS. We recently saw Taka take a hit to his base damages and get an increase in his ratios (Which is really a bigger nerf to WP Taka than the passive buff. Oops), and this pattern could have a lot of consequences for other characters if AS is not fixed.
So, what do I think is the solution? well, I think that Aftershock should have a scaling to its passive. At base, it should to 10% max health and have slightly more CP and CDR stats, and should scale off of CP and CDR (Capping at 15%). For an examplebuild, if you have an AS, CW, BM and an infusion, your procs should be doing around 11%-12%. This way, to do damage with AS, you actually need to build more damage items. The item would still be cheap and the build would still be reliable, but you would be rewarded less by simply building tank.
Aftershock is pretty roken with tanks so give it a scaling to make it balanced.
That way we can make buffs to defence items and alternative paths to characters again.
One B for every % max health AS does.