Before anything, I just want to preface this by saying this has been an issue for a LONG time, but this problem has been amplified by a combination of 5v5, the current meta and most importantly, the release of Kinetic. What I may say from this point aren’t short-term things; they’re more about the landscape of Vainglory in general. Also, this one is a really long one.
Okay, let’s get into it.
Ranged characters shouldn’t be allowed to be tanky while also being a primary damage threat.
Some people call them ranged bruisers, but I instead call them ‘Not fun to play against’. Of course, I’m talking about the SM BP builds that have been popping up everywhere, particularly on Vox and Kinetic. I’m going to spend the next paragraph or two explaining why they aren’t fun to play against.
Bruisers in most MOBAs are Melee characters that build a mix of damage (Typically 1-3 items) and defence. These characters typically are tanky enough to survive burst from a single target, have enough mobility to get onto a backliner and enough damage to assblast them into another dimension. The weakness of bruisers is that they generally lack the pure defence stats of a tank to survive a teamfight and that they don’t have enough mobility and burst to kill someone with multiple people peeling for them. Some bruisers do scale well into late game, but in that case, they generally have weak early games through long CDs and weak base stats. Bruisers are generally the strongest class numbers-wise, but their downfall comes in that they need to all in to deal damage. Again, there are exceptions to that, but to put it simply, they deal good damage, they tank pretty well, they have decent mobility and CC, but they struggle in fights when they can’t get onto the enemy team. Due to this, most bruisers are best at splitpushing and 1v1ing. Bruisers are usually characterised by a high base damage, decent stats and having a long CD on their most powerful basic ability. Vainglory already has some good examples of bruisers. Glaive is a ball of damage, defence, mobility and CC that’s fantastic at duelling ranged carries and splitpushing. He’s strongest at midgame and falls off a little at late game, where his afterburn engage shenanigans are punished heavily if Glaive messes up even a little.
Now on the other hand, ranged bruisers have all these advantages and more. They have good stats, good mobility, good CC and the fantastic advantage of being ranged. These characters have duels and splitpushes almost on par with Melee bruisers while also not having the massive weakness of having to all in to deal damage. These characters are incredibly consistent in the value they bring to fights, and they scale well into late game. These characters are SM BP Vox and Kinetic. Vox has constant dashes to help his duels and kiting, alongside CC on his ult to keep him alive and good base damage from his B. Kinetic has a long-range stun and slow from her overdrive B, good base damage from her A and passive and one of the longest ranges in the game to top it off. It isn’t fun to play against a perfectly rounded character, who has damage, tankiness, CC, mobility and range, and Kinetic in particular is a massive offender.
The fundamental flaw
The main issue that this stems from is that all characters scale with a 100% ratio on their basic attacks. This is normal. A lot of MOBA’s are like this, but it also creates a problem where the innate advantage of being able to AA from range with the same scaling is so powerful that you need to compensate for it in other places. This problem becomes even more concerning in the late game where you can be blown up by the 5 members on the enemy team. Being melee and not building full tank is actually risky.
There are two main ways that games can solve this issue. The first is through items. I’ll be using League of Legends for this example. Bruiser items in League can be described as one thing: Bang for your buck. They do tons of damage for each one you complete and are seen as high-value purchases. However, there is one important thing to note: These purchases aren’t that good for most ADCs (Snipers). This is because many of them have passives that are less effective on ranged characters. Some items stack faster on melee characters (Guinsoo’s Rageblade), some items are less effective on ranged characters (Black Cleaver Movespeed) and some items are literally unpurchasable by ranged characters (Ravenous/Titanic Hydra).
Defence items are also like this. AOE Damage auras, movespeed engages, defensive actives scaling with your defensive stats, ect. This discourages ranged carries to build these defensive items other than the very few that are specialised towards them (which are focused on their passives, not their defensive stats). The combination of these two things cause ranged carries to build 5 damage items with a defensive passive or two, which gives them the weakness of being squishy, while still having the advantage of doing tons of damage from range.
Vainglory, on the other hand, solves the issue based on kit. Have you ever felt like every sniper feels quite similar? This is why.
If the items aren’t in favour of the melee characters, the only other thing to turn to is the abilities on the characters themselves. If you compare the abilities of a typical sniper (So in this case, I’m excluding Baron, SAW and Kestrel. More on this later.) compared to a bruiser like Kensei, you’ll see that Kensei has SOOOOOOO many more tools at his disposal, and they’re much more powerful too. Although a melee character being more complex isn’t anything new (Mainly because a melee character can have both melee and ranged abilities, whereas a ranged character with melee abilities would have a mostly dead ability), this reaches absurd levels in Vainglory. What does Ringo have really? He has a passive that’s good in the early game but loses relevance late game, he has a low damage slow, he has a buff and he has an ultimate that does mediocre damage for a long channel. Kensei? BARRIER ON 4 HITS. 3 CONSECUTIVE DASHES + ATTACKS. ENHANCED AA + ENHANCED ABILITIES. LONG DASH + POTENTIAL STUN. It feels night and day (specifically because I chose an example that would make it seem that way), but this is the problem when ranged carries can use WP items better than Melees. Just look at the way BP is set up, and you’ll see that the fact WP items need to be weaker for ranged characters is already in the game. If BP was the same for both Melee and Ranged, these ranged bruisers would be even worse.
The reason I exclude Baron, SAW and Kestrel is because their kits have interesting kits that can utilise the item system that VG currently has well. These characters have some sort of reason they are generally weak with 2 defence, whether because they have low mobility (SAW and Kestrel) or because they require damage to keep themselves safe (Baron)
If you’ve read the whole post up to this point, you probably know how to fix it, but I’ll go over my specific opinion.
- Never release a character like Kinetic again (High base damage, high range, good CC, strong scaling). Plus, remove the stun on her B overdrive + A combo, and have it be an unlock at 200 CP.
- Add more WP items with passives, specifically ones that help melee characters. SEMC has started with tank items already (Pulseweave and Rooks). Get to WP items.
- Nerf BP. Specifically for ranged characters. Enough said.
- Rework Aegis and Metal Jacket, or remove them. Instead, give WP carries an item that gives WP and a Reflex Block, and give CP carries something similar.
I hate WP Kinetic.
Afternote: If you ever talk to me, you MUST call Yates ‘YEETS’. This is 2 patches early, but I don’t care. His name is YEETS as long as you are in my presence.