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Thread: Allow Spirit Bear to attack lane creeps when outside its leash line, & adjust return

  1. #1
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    Jun 2012

    Allow Spirit Bear to attack lane creeps when outside its leash line, & adjust return

    All other heroes with summon abilities (broodmother, lycan, prophet, etc.) can take advantage of their pets and farm multiple lanes and jungle independently, contributing to pushes and map control. For this reason, Lone Druid's Spirit Bear should be able to do the same, ability to attack neutrals remaining questionable. Though, it should still not be allowed to attack towers, enemy heroes, or Roshan while outside its leash line. The return ability should also be adjusted to work (despite taking damage) while within Lone Druid's leash line, and not work for 3 seconds after taking damage (from any source) while outside Lone Druid's leash-line. And Spirit Bear should also gain a brief phase ability so it doesn't block Lone Druid while, chasing or running, after casting return.

    Why it's o.k. to Allow Spirit Bear to Attack Lane Creeps Outside Leash-line
    When traveling with a wave, the amount of damage that even a full-build Spirit Bear (for this argument: phase boots, assault, miljolnir, radiance, armlet, and queling blade) can put out alone is fairly equivalent to any of the summoned pets of the aforementioned heroes on their own. This is due to (what I call for now) the law of creep wave momentum, where the meaningfulness of damage output begins to plateau as a lane continues to move away from your base. Many players may have noticed this in a long team push from a home barracks tower to an enemy barracks tower: the push starts out requiring everyone's effort, but at some point gains so much momentum that you start blasting spells that hit no creeps, or you start auto attacks that either never hit creeps or never go off because the creeps die faster than you can actually attack.

    Counter-pushing and jungling is another story, where damage output is more meaningful. To address counter-pushing first, Spirit Bear can easily be ganked and disabled for almost 2 minutes of game play (like any hero), unlike other pets who may die while pushing or counter pushing but can quickly be summoned again to support their team due to their comparatively shorter cool-downs. The gold vestment necessary for this advantage is also something to consider: In tests, I noticed that you need to spend at least 4,000 gold (phase boots and armlet) on your bear to make him an equivalent pusher to lycan's wolves or brood mother's spiderlings. So at least 4000 gold worth of items is at risk of being lost, for up to two minutes, to a gank by the enemy team if you're not as careful with it as you would be with your Lone Druid. This is unlike any other pet or summon ability in the game and, depending on where you are in the match, can make Lone Druid as useless as if he had died himself.

    Why Adjust Return as Mentioned
    Even without the suggested adjustments to the leash-line itself, the ability to return your bear while within Lone Druid's leash line should always be available. The reason for this particular nerf was, I believe, because Lone Druid players could send Spirit Bear in to damage base towers, eventually wearing it down with each consecutive wave until the team could rush in for a win. But this most recent nerf makes it too easy to kill the Spirit Bear in all situations. Considering the long cool-down on the Summon Spirit Bear ability, and the fact that stuns and silences (Orchid, Sheep stick, hero abilities, etc.) can still stop return from being cast, there's plenty of downside and counters available to this Spirit Bear-specific tower-pushing strategy. This would also bring attention to more quality hero picking when playing against Lone Druid, making the game more fun for both sides: a Tiny Toss, Rubick Levitate, Chaos Knight Rift, etc., are great ways to pull spirit bear outside of Lone Druid's leash-line without having to over-extend your team.

    The desire for the brief phase ability after casting return is self explanatory. Anyone who's played Lone druid and returned their bear while running from a gank, only to be blocked by it, knows the frustration I'm talking about.

    Why it's Debatable to Allow Spirit Bear to Farm Neutrals
    Early game, even after maxing all skills, there's no obvious imbalance for spirit bear to farm neutrals alone vs. other pets. But being able to equip your bear brings arguably imbalanced farming elements to the jungle. Because spiderlings and lycan wolves don't have lane creeps to absorb the damage, their potential in jungle is diminished vs. their ability to push or counter a lane, and the average number of moderate to hard level camps pets are able to kill alone (in my tests) are 2 per minute (this test took into consideration time limits for these units). A Spirit Bear equipped with only stout shield and quelling blade stays well within this range, despite it not having a time limit to how long it stays on the map. But when equipped with phase boots and an armlet as well, he'll be able to kill 3 camps (of moderate to hard level) per minute, and even up to 5 if timed properly. When doing the math, that's a lot of extra potential gold...

    The average gold gain/min for a player (including tower rax, hero kills, & asists gold, but excluding base towers and base structures rax gold) is about 300-350 gold. And, excluding xp from hero kills & assists and from catapults, a hero in a solo lane should hit level 14 by 20 minutes into the game. Though champs like brood mother, prophet, and Chen have an advantage in that their pet abilities require less levels to get the maximum effect, I stuck to 14 to give heroes like Lycan and Lone Druid a fair chance, who's pets benefit from maxing all three base abilities.

    Though these other hero's pets are not as gold dependent as Lone Druid's Spirit Bear, by 20 minutes in, Lone Druid should have 6000 gold, enough to buy himself protection (Tranquil Boots, Planeswalker's Cloak, Poorman's shield, and some branches) while equipping his Spirit Bear with the previously suggested items (phase boots, armlet, and quelling blade). Considering that Spirit Bear can farm up to 5 camps per minute with this equipment and each camp on average produces 110g and 208xp, you just boosted your gold gain/min in an average game from 300 to 630 and your xp gain/min from 454 (according to this argument) to 1054! In comparison, most other heroes with pets are only going to be able to increase their gold gain/min from 300 to 432 and xp gain/min from 454 to 704. If not effected by leash line, Lone Druid could be able to gain 130 more gold per minute than any other hero in the game (not considering Alch or Doom Bringer) and 300 more xp/min than any other hero in the game. One could argue that Lone Druid does have 12 slots to fill, and that the extra gold finally makes it more viable to have this inherent ability, but giving a champion unfair gold farming advantages isn't the way to do it.

    Buffing Spirit Bear in a way that will allow him to push and counter push lanes independently brings no imbalance or advantage to the hero that countless other heroes in this game don't have. Nor is there any additional potential in gold or xp gain, or map advantage gained from buffing Spirit Bear in this way that countless other heroes (even those without pets like Phantom Lancer or Dark Seer) don't have.

    Though making any pet or hero too hard to kill (Visage's birds if no one minds me pointing them out) can be unsatisfying for both sides and open potentially imbalanced game-play strategies. The opposite holds true as well. And any ability that backfires on their own hero without the influence of another hero (preferably opposing) is one that needs to be adjusted. No one likes getting stuck, blocked, or disrupted by a spell that doesn't work the way it's intended to.

    Though many players prefer uniformity to game play, some situations require drastic measures to maintain balance (like a fat bear that can strike faster than any other hero, but runs as fast as a turtle), at least until alternatives are introduced. Though the ability to hit lane creeps is fair and balanced, neutrals are still questionable and need to be explored with more game testing by the community.

    The Work
    All tests were performed in DOTA2 with cheats enabled. All heroes were leveled to 16 before testing and no auras were purchased from shop that could potentially screw up tests. Push tests were also performed in this same way while timing rate of clearing a wave each minute. Neutral camp and lane creep gold and xp values were derived from mechanics page on ( Only moderate and neutral creeps were considered in math since they were the only ones visited in my test and allowed for the fastest farming from camp to camp based on how close they are placed together (farmed radiant jungle only). I averaged the xp and gold that could be gained from all potential spawn outcomes and averaged them together at a ratio of 2:1 (2 being moderate and 1 being hard). The result gave an average gold gain of 110 and 208 xp gain per camp cleared (both values were rounded to nearest whole number).

  2. #2
    Basic Member xXSynXx's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    balance suggestion belong to playdota forum. post your suggestion over there
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."

  3. #3
    ^ Lmao.

    Wall of text vs that usual post.
    Welcome to Left 4 Portal Strike of the Fortress 2: Episode 3.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by xXSynXx View Post
    balance suggestion belong to playdota forum. post your suggestion over there
    Make sure to read the Forum Rules as well as the stickied Threads of the Forum Section you are posting in.

    Contributions i'd like to highlight:
    My Suggestion: Coaching System
    My Sticky: Intended Changes List
    My Challenge: Completely Fixed Hero Challenge: Skywrath Mage

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