Joule is crazy op, easily best hero this patch. (yes I changes my mind on this point).
What I wan’t to talk about is this: Joule is literally the only front-line sustain warrior to work well since the defense changes. Warriors are supposed to work by having high sustained damage output, often AOE, and using defensive tools (defense stats, fortified health, healing, damage reduction, etc) to extend their time in the fight enough to deal significant damage. Essentially, buying defense should at a certain point in your build, actually increase your real life damage output by significantly extending your time alive in fights. This was true back in 3v3 and the old defense system, where it was considered cheesy to build 4-5 damage on warriors.
There is a common misconception that warriors stopped being good because of tanks replacing them, crowd control, or some other factor. This is not true, warriors don’t work because the feedback loop of more defense allowing you to survive longer, which lets you deal more damage, which means more sustain (meaning larger total HP), making that defense more valuable, was broken when SEMC gave pierce items crazy pierce value.
I don’t have the math on this at all, but a good way to look at it is like this:
Lets say your damage per second is 100 with two damage items (40 base damage, + 30 each item), and you survive 8 seconds in a fight. Total of 800 damage.
Now you have to choose between a third damage item, or defense. The damage item may increase your dps by 30, while the defense would extend your survival time by 5 seconds. You will deal 1300 damage with the defense, compared to only 1040 with the damage item. While these are made up numbers, it does a pretty good job of illustrating the incentives that used to push a decent balance of damage and defense. If you buy defense earlier on you don’t have enough damage for that extra survival time to be worthwhile, neglecting defense just means diminishing returns on damage increase. This also is impacted by heroes with built in defensive stats. Having fortified health, or healing makes defense more valuable since it actually is effecting more hit points over your life. Rona does not feel super squishy because her fortified health is less than before (it is actually way more), it is because buying defense does nothing to scale that value.
The issue is right now, this balance is way out of wack. It’s like if the defense only increased survival time by 1.5 seconds, leading to a total of only 950 damage in this scenario. Yes a point still exists where defense will be a better choice than buying more damage, but now that is pretty much always your 5th, or 6th item. And more often than not you are picking them up not for the stats, but for the unique abilities on husk, shroud, or aegis.
Leading back to joule, why does she work as a sustain (one of the few non burst damage dealers in the game) frontline? Her tankyness comes from damage reduction, so pierce has no effect on it. This means that she can take advantage of the healing feedback loop we talked about before, which is why serpents mask is so potent on her. When she heals 100 HP, it’s effectively more like 150 damage you actually have to deal to counteract it when you factor in her perk and base defense. Since her defense is baked into her kit, she can build entirely damage and abuse this sustain synergy and great damage scaling to become both crazy tanky, and super high damage output.
Anyway this is a poorly written long winded analysis of stuff people probably already understand, so I’ll end it here. Please make defense worthwhile again SEMC, it is the single largest factor pushing me away from the game right now. Just to offer a solution:
- Reduce the non pierce stats of pierce stats of boensaw and broken myth somewhat so they are less effective against non armor/shielded targets.
- Increase the armor value of metal jacket, or give it 300 HP like shroud just to maintain symmetry.
- Make shiversteel build out of dragonblood contract, warmail, and blazing salvo. Increase its price, and reduce the slow strength slightly. Give it 40 armor/shield.
- Reduce the base armor/shield values of all heroes late game. It should not be worthwhile to buy piercing items against heroes with no defense. WHY IS TENSION BOW SO GOOD AGAINST TANKS, AND SQUISHES
- Getting to that, reduce tension bow’s pierce to 20%. WHAT IS THIS ITEM.
I have actually not been this mad at the game since sugar venom left. The fact that this has not been addressed for so long is shameful, and is really the main thing holding 5v5 back from being amazing, in stead of just good.