What SEMC could learn from Leauge about hero design

Vainglory is a truly amazing game and they have shown that they have potential to come up with some truly amazing concepts for heroes but there are a few things in leauge that I think they did better in leauge. These are just my opinions and I would love to hear your comments on why these things may be or if you dosagree on some of my points.

ADCs/WP carries. This is a topic I made a post about in my early forum days where I pointed out that we had a pretty consistent formula for WP carries. They all had a slow ability and a mobility ability and an ult that was mostly used by their CP counterpart or for utility (we have an exception with WP kestrel don’t think I forgot about her stun). And you guys told me that A WP carry without that formula would be pretty weak (well with the exception of a couple of you who humored me and came up with some cool new ability ideas for carries that did not follow the formula). But for proof that it works atleast in another moba we can uust look at leauge.
In leauge there are very ult reliant heroes like Miss Fortuine (she is less ult reliant in higher levels of play but she is not exatly meta up there so she is an ult reliant noob killer is the best way to. The rest of MF is actually pretty similar to gwen so she does not stray too far from that meta.
There are a few heroes without any mobility abilities at all like Ashe or Cait.
They have abilites that CC in different ways besides a slow (in a non ultamate ability) like Caitlyn’s traps or Vayne’s Knockback/stun. Overall I think by not sticking to a formulaic design they were able to diversify the role of ranged WP carries.

Junglers. all of the junglers in vainglory are primarilly there to build damage to gank lane. There are a few unique heroes in leauge that do something with this role that I think is really cool. Enter the counter junglers. These junglers have really meh ganking potential but their ability to move aroung the jungle and clear is so potent that their main job is to steal camps. There are 2 heroes who do this primarilly in leauge they are Nunu and Ivern. Outside of the jungle they both function primarily as supports (enabling the laner to get a kill by buffing them and CCing the enimy). This I fount super cool because in vainglory even a double support team is super hard to pull off because they will take ages to clear the jungle. And they will have less damage as a team. But giving a support like hero amazing clear time allowed them to fill a nieche of making the other jungler useless by farming the entire jungle (and therefore evening the damage) and making them viable as supporting the rest of the team. Making double support comps viable.

Supports: in vainglory all of our supports have virtually the same build. We have some situational items but there are no items that synergise well enough with a heroes kit that makes them want to replace a core support item with one of those Items. Leauge has done 2 things right in this department

  1. They have made other types of supports viable besides the standard tank support who deals no damage in vainglory. There are some who do that like alistar but then you have a bunch of other options too. Tank supports who do deal damage like thresh or taric. You have buff (heals and shields) supports who scale off of ability power/CP and are the primary target in team fights because of the insane utility they offer the team which they traded for squishyness heroes like soraka who have the potential to keep their entire team alive if you do not kill them first fortunatly they are not very squishy which keeps them from being OP. Then you even have damage threat supports (outside of the off meta picks of veigar, brand, and lux as support) you have heroes like morgana who exist for the most part to just destroy the ADC.
    And 2: they have items that work with each of these kinds of supports and enough similar items that you have choices and actual situational builds for supports (do I want redemption or ardent censor or both on my support healer… and if I get both then I will waste the extra +8% healing (because it is a unique passive)

Finally Assassians. They have fallen into a similar rut as ADCs.
Ever since balckfeather all of SEMC’s assassians have all had a very blackfeatheresque kit. A dash, a poke, and a damage avoidance ult. In leauge they have tons of assassiankits. There is Master Yi who has a dash and a movement ability but no pokes so he has to go pretty all in. And there are some heroes who have a singe target charm like evelynn which allow her to single out her enimes in a unique way. We can even look at the earlier vainglory assassians taka and koshka do not follow this formula at all.

I would mention tanks but I think it is a little early into the 5b5 scene to be talking about tanks as a meta evolving because we still need to introduce heroes and items that relally fit that role in the same way leauge and dota tanks fit that role (or we could leave them out… but it limits team comp diversity. I dont want to be forced into a tank meta but I would like for tanks who can still clear a lane and be usefull to be a viable options in some comps (and trust me going SC and then full tank will not cut it)

My favorite kinds of heroes in leauge are the ones who don’t follow the rules like singed who is practically a running simulator or ivern with his strage jungling mechanics and I would love to see some heroes and strategies evolve for vainglory that are strange and as out of this world as those kinds of heroes.

TL;DR sorry Idk how to sum this up… hero design in VG is not wacky enough they play it too safe maybe… they are too similar to eachother.

Oh and @Magmaw you asked me to make this. Sorry it is not great but I have got to go do other stuff now and I did not want to forget about this.


I do see what you mean, and to some extent I totally agree. All assassins are more or less the same, (Reza, Blackfeather, Idris at least) And a lot of the WP Carries are the same. However Think about it like this. Imagine a draft where the perfect last pick would be WP Gwen. Now lets say she’s been banned. You wouldn’t say “whatever, all WP carries are the same” and pick Baron, would you? (you’d probably pick Ringo, who tbh is almost the same as Gwen, except Gwen is more Burst-orientated whereas Ringo is better with a BP)

As for Supports, We kinda have 2 paths in VG. It’s either A squishy healer like Adagio and Lyra, or s tank with CC like Lance and Phinn. there’s the hybrids between those two styles two tho (Ardan, Grace, Lorelai) which may seem to merge them all together into one style, but in truth, it’s a scale, from Lyra at one end to Phinn at the other.

As for heroes who don’t follow the rules…in my opinion, Vainglory has one. (which I know isn’t enough but it’s a start). Fortress. When I started playing Vainglory, I couldn’t figure out what to do with him. He’s a Captain, but how? Yes he has the abilities for it, and yet both his A and his Ult are strangely unique. He doesn’t fit the pattern.


Yeah as far as the support thing goes I was saying that leauge has options to take it further in the lyra direction. Imagine if lyra’s healing was way better like insanly better than it currently was but she scaled off of cristal power (but she did not deal that much damage when she build full AP). This would make her utility so high that you could not destroy her team without killing her first. (And then they have the third option of actual damage threat supports… which would only work if we could pull of really squishy supports in the first place.)
Lyra even the earlier lyra (who had less armor and shield) were always too tanky to be the actual priority target in a team fight so when her healing was massive she became OP rather than the primary target in team fights.

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I can definitely see what you mean. Supports have extremely stale build paths that are predictable and unexciting(though I would have to say being support is quite a nice and exciting role in itself but moving on). They should diversify the item tree and the heroes themselves to make the support role more interesting. For example, in ML there are support items that also give some sort of Magic Power(basically CP in Vainglory) or WP but at the same time giving health and cooldown reduction to help fulfill the support role.

SEMC should release more heroes that are unique and different in every way.

But not until they release Amie first :wink:


yeah I do see what you mean, but my problem then is where do you cut the line between Support and Carry? I mean, you can try playing Celeste or Gwen as Support, they both have vision and a stun, Gwen has a slow too, but anyone can tell you it won’t work, at least not at high ranks. Also simply buying a TB/SC/AS on some captains will increase their damage output massively (and have you tried frostburn on Catherine? trust me her B becomes OP)

Part of the problem is that if captains dealt damage as well as healed/provided CC etc., they’d become too OP. Why play a hero that just deals damage when you can have damage AND a stun? This is kinda what happened with Lance at the end of 2016 (remember worlds? He was picked or banned EVERY MATCH) and then Grumpjaw in Spring 2017, and, to some extent, even Grace in 3.0.

And finally, what are Grumpjaw and Baptiste if not damage dealing Captains? I mean, sure, if you buy utility on them their damage output isn’t amazing, but if it was, they’d break the meta, as I explained above. They still have decent damage either way.

The damage delaing support issue might be more of an item options issue because on release lorelai is actually a little like morgana (except morgana has a barrier that can be used a little more often that just as an ult) but it seems that while lorelai and morgana have kinda similar kits lorelai always takes the standard tank support items whereas morgana is able to invest into damage on her very first item (even if we skip the gold income damage item). So I am not quite sure how they were able to pull it off but maybe all we need to do it are to have support items in the damaging trees that can compete with things like fountian or crucible. Because it just seems like we are getting items not because they synergise with our kit but rather because they are good items for supports just by themselves because lorelai, lance and grace all have CP ratios (ok lorelai has health ratios now but on release she did not) but go into the standard build path of supports that have health ratios or armor and shield ratios. whereas support items in leauge are often about buffing a hero’s kit so someone has an AP ratio on heals or barriers and this support item buffs heals by 10% or something so it makes sense to buy AP and then the support item. but since no one’s kit really competes with the active effect on support items the only real solution might be to have a cp or wp item that has an actuve that can compete with the tank support items. Say to compete with crucible you had an item that gave 20% cd and 50 CP that offered a cleanse to nearby heroes when activated, or to compete with something like atlas you had a WP item that reduced the attack speed of the people you attacked when 3 or more people are around or something-not saying any of those ideas are good or balanced just spitballing ideas… because they would have to be like the tank supoort items they have to have good enough effects teamwide that supports want them but bad or mediocre enough base stats that carries will not abuse them

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But for the sake of discussion lets just focus on really squishy utility supports rather than damaging supports supports. We could think about supports with amazing CP ratios for utility but little or no damage ratios and no tankyness. Their ratios would have to be so good that investing in CP instead of the typical support items is so mich better. So imagine a hero who did no damage after going like CW SG FB SF boots and a def item… except for the SF damage which is not that high… but with that build they have twice as much healing as a fully built health+CD lyra and maybe a little soft CC and some other utility like team mobility and stuff (we don’t want them to have too mcuh hard CC because we want them to be diveable because they should be the primary target because with double the healing of lyra she should be able to keep her team alive if you don’t kill her first .

That’s kinda what Adagio was, years ago. But he did have damage output, and SEMC’s way of solving it was giving him two separate paths, with health for heal and CP for, well, CP. And yeah they could add another hero with that style, It would be a nice thing to see. I mean, there is Lance and Grace, who have CP ratios on their stun/heal respectively, but the problem is they’re effective enough without extra CP. They could’ve made Lorelai’s stun scale with CP rather than health… I don’t really know where I’m going with this.

Back to the point. I suppose what SEMC is trying to do is give all these heroes two seperate paths without making either one OP, and therefore keeping supports to health and Carries to Crystal/ Weapon. While it does add diversity to the one hero, I do agree it makes them all end up with one build in the Support role. I would love to see a support like you suggested, but also, consider this: Maybe it’s not unique heroes we’re lacking, but more a lack of items.

This. The build tree in VG is nowhere near as rich as other MOBAs, and it’s one of the thing that makes the meta feel as stale as it does.

That said, we could certainly use more heroes as well.


Yeah in the support role that is probably true. my point about diversity in kits is still somewhat valid with the other roles. but if we compare support heroes on release lorelai is actually alot like morgana (she has health ratios now so she was shifted to fit the rest of the heroes and that also gave her 2 roles).


Hm, I’m a bit late to the party.

Anyways, I believe a lot of the lack of seeming diversity in VG’s hero roster is primarily because 5v5 wasn’t a thing until very recently. They would be scared of running new types of laners that might totally bomb because in 3v3 your laner is pressured more than any one lane in 5v5. Likewise, your jungler has far less room for variance, and your roamers have to cover as many bases as possible.

In League (a decent model for SEMC to imitate in this context), they have had 3 lanes for a lot longer, allowing them to have larger variety in playstyles - people can aim for counterplay even if one lane is being smushed. Likewise, the junglers tend to vary between assassins and tanky frontliners, while the supports tend to vary between the healing and frontlining kind. So they end up with two pseudo-roamers much the same way a properly played Baptiste or Reim can aim to protect a carry alongside Lyra or Ardan.

We could definitely stand to get more items, but I think more variety in heroes would be better. There is a limit to how much you can easily see on a device screen. We don’t want to be typing in a search bar or scrolling for 15 seconds to find the item we want. This aspect of PC MOBAs doesn’t translate properly over to mobile gaming as a result. Its not impossible… but made much more difficult. I would guesstimate maybe 3 more items in every category is the max that is realistic given the infrastructure we have. If you give us more heroes that use the items in more different ways, then you get something akin to more build paths - but without crowding your ingame UI as heavily. Likewise, the current quantity of items probably is geared towards 3v3, and not 5v5 - this is one of many areas that should be hit by growing pains. Many of League’s items look like slightly altered versions of the same stats - rather than being entirely different things.

I should also point out that there isn’t a lot of point to counterbuilding because the counterbuilding usually feels less effective than optimizing your best case scenario. Why build P.S. when your team can either hard focus+CC Rona or your Taka can apply Mortal Wounds for you? Why build a Reflex Block if you can avoid being engaged on entirely? Having more items won’t change some of the fundamental game dynamics, without being very strong in their own right. Like Fountain of Renewal.

VG is to some extent also held back by having 3 abilities+perk per hero. I think it’s fine, but it reduces the amount of differences you can introduce to separate different heroes. It’s a lot harder to justify having 1/3 of your abilities be highly situational, vs 1 of 4, especially if you are often engaged in combat. An ability like Ryze’s Ultimate (a large portal to places on the map) would be impossible to justify on a carry in VG 3v3, but with 5v5 released they can examine more ideas like that. If only because the pressure is reduced on any one laner.

In terms of making the game more interesting, I feel that SEMC should now by default be able to make more different types of kits. There are more niches of heroes they can attempt to create (I believe some people categorize League’s heroes into somewhere above 10 sections). Making more of the heroes have viable build paths helps a lot for making the current pool more diverse - and it livens up draft a little more. I don’t think every hero should have a viable alternate path - that screws up draft immensely - but having a large subsection still rewards people who take the time to master heroes and flex positions.

It’s also worth mentioning that in League, there are many abilities on carries that are relied on as forms of CC for engage/disengage, etc., without using them as roamers. Ashe’s Ult is a very good example of this (think of it as a global Aces High). We aren’t going to suddenly have carries being played as captains on a regular basis - we will just see more people attempting to chain CC and otherwise synergize their abilities. After all, not everything from League is unapplicable here. :wink:


Coming back to this because I’ve just seen 3.2 patch notes. I dunno if it’ll work, but just so you know, I’m definitely going to be trying Captain Petal. the CP ratio on her heal has been doubled, and I think the rework will make it much easier to land properly.


Your carries do everything they can to dodge out of Ult.

I am very confused by what you mean? Which ult? Which game’s carries?

Does those who play LOL get the same feeling that there are just some heroes that are OP and UP ? But nobody seems to care that much due to the vast array of choice available.

When is VG going to expand their hero pool and item pool. If i was them, i’d be pumping out idea’s like no tomorrow… why?

think about it. There are literally thousands of different heroes if you count all Moba’s… the longer you leave it, the more likely your hero will be accused of being too similar to another.

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