[ Updated ] Xypherous with a tentative look a Heimerdinger's new Turrets

Posted on at 7:40 PM by Moobeat
7/2 Update: Added in more posts!

I'm sure many of you will be pleased to know that Xypherous is currently on the forums discussing his tentative plan for Heimerdinger's post rework turrets. 
Continue reading for the full scoop.

Heimer's Tentative Turrets
Xypherous has delivered a few long awaited details on Heimerdinger's rework, sharing some tentative iterations of Heimer's beloved turrets.
"Every designer works significantly differently from one another in terms of how they work with the community – so these types of write-ups will be more on a case-by-case basis.  
Disclaimer: The following is all work in progress and is subject to change at any time.
Additional Disclaimer: The following uses temporary particles made by me and thus look terrible. 
Turrets – Why are turrets cool?
We wanted to solve was why Heimerdinger’s turrets cool and what draws players towards Heimerdinger. They should be easy to use, claim territory, farm minion and provide a threatening zone that Heimerdinger could operate from behind. 
Conversely, we also wanted to solve all the negative aspects of Heimerdinger’s turrets – their binary nature against long ranged targets, their wide disparity in effectiveness between melee or ranged and the fact that they intrinsically relied on being countered by their opponent rather than being played around. 
So we added laser beams on them and called it a day.


They still can’t hurt towers all that well though.

Lasers! 
How does this work?
Heimerdinger’s turrets now have two direct attacks: The rapid cannon attack pattern that they have currently and piercing energy beam attack that is on a much longer cooldown. This allows Heimerdinger’s turrets to harass and provide threat to a larger range of enemies. 
The quick cannon attack is a very short ranged attack and excels at shredding minions apart – but provide continuous threat in a region. The energy beam is a long ranged attack that can harass opponents at range and deals very heavy damage. His attacks scale off ability power but the energy beam cooldown can be reduced with additional cooldown reduction.
Melee characters will need to dodge the beam attack to destroy the turrets quickly – while ranged mages will need to still need to dodge the beams to harass turrets down. Turrets have a fair amount of magic resistance and far weaker armor early – lowering the disparity between enemies. 
Additionally, we’ve reduced the power of each individual turret and raised the turret count back to three as it lets us make each individual turret easier to take down – but also raise the potential use cases of turrets from providing vision to providing coverage. 
Formations!
From internal testing, the biggest gain here is that Heimerdinger’s turret formations become a little more interesting. If you clump your turrets – you’ll have a very strong zone of minion control and hiding – but the barrage of skillshots is fairly easy to dodge, as they come from the same point.

Contrast, a wider spread pattern that is less efficient at farming minions – but also provides better harassment by attacking from many different angles: 


Keep in mind though, that the cannon attack is relatively short ranged – so clever spots to put beam turrets will prevent their basic cannon from being able to affect many targets, seen here when the bottom turrets can attack Annie with their basic cannon attack but the topmost turret is slightly out of range.


Additionally, since each turret is individually weaker – advancing with the turret wall is a much slower process than before. With two high-powered turrets, you could easily leapfrog your way in a creeping methodical pattern. With three turrets of moderate strength – you’ll need to think about whether or not your third turret and the loss of the old turret will create gaps that enemies will use to murder you.


Otherwise known as - I regret my decision to replace that top turret to push in. 
Local Control
One of the things we wanted to stress on Heimerdinger is that he has local control over his area. Because his turrets were still active while Heimerdinger was not nearby, it made his turrets powerful in a way that was neither appreciated nor particularly compelling to play against. 
Since he could farm his lane passively from base and push from afar – it forced his wave clear to be weak as he had so much presence. We wanted to take away this global control because it forced too many limitations on Heimerdinger’s power level and play pattern to the detriment of the entire builder fantasy – from turret count, to turret durability, to the fact that turrets had to die when he did. 
Turrets now shut down after 3 seconds if Heimerdinger isn’t within 1200 range of them, enabling characters to have a window of opportunity to reclaim lane position if Heimerdinger has left.


Quick setup
A portion of Heimerdinger’s ultimate has been devoted to shoring up a couple of his weaknesses – one of which being an inability to quickly set up when the time was required. One of the ways to use his ultimate can be to quickly set up a turret nest in a flash. 
Using his ultimate in this manner will spawn the familiar frosty turrets that you are accustomed to, that slow enemies on hit. However, using the ultimate in this manner will prevent you from using it in any of the other modes and has quite a significant cooldown cost early. If Heimerdinger returns to lane and uses his ultimate to create a foothold fast with it, he’s giving up a portion of all-in strength for the next few minutes.



When asked for a time frame, Xypherous commented:
"No - we're working on Game Health / Balance. I'm shooting for a month or so out from today - but that doesn't fall on any specific patch day.

Sorry. There's still some questions on numerical and health - especially on one of the ultimate modes."
He also reminded us that this rework will not come along side a visual update, commenting:
"Nope - it'd take too long if we waited for a VU.

Besides, Heimerdinger still needs his swag walk."


He also responded to a few more questions about the purposed changes:
"Quote:
So do you get to pick what direction/target the laser beams go in/at, or do they automatically target the nearest champ? 
They have some special AI - Essentially, they will choose to not use laser beams unless they see a champion they can target.
They will prefer hitting things that you have stunned or that you are attacking.
They much prefer using their lasers on champions - but they'll use it on minions if minions get too close and they might take damage from them.

Quote:
Alright, Xyph, when you say the turrets "shut down", do they die when Heimer leaves or do they simply become inactive?

They become inactive and very vulnerable to damage - though if Heimerdinger returns, they will return to being active."
Responding to more summoner questions:
"Quote:
I've always wanted to see Heimerdinger have the ability to pick up turrets that are already in use for a minimal mana cost. The advantage is, of course, a turret when you need it. The disadvantage would be that you have to rely on the set-up time once again when laying them down (unless you use Heimer's upgraded upgrade from the OP, which I'm incredibly happy about). 
Is the ability to pick up/dismantle turrets being considered? 
I thought about it as a Heimerdinger specific item that he would have to invest in - it's on the pile of 'these would be really cool if we did more champion specific item' idea pile. 
No idea when it would be appropriate to do those - we'd have to find the appropriate time.


Quote:
Are we keeping Heimer's interraction with Banner of Command? 
Yes. 
Also - because the machine guns do relatively poor damage compared to the beams, they now benefit from things like spell vamp and liandry's and rylai's. 
Rylai's is the scary part.


Quote:
Did you guys work on turret survivability? I'm hoping they aren't completely blown up late game again with little or not effort, like they currently are 
We're just going to bite the bullet and do non-linear scaling on turret durability.

Essentially, turrets will have defenses based on his champion level and some scalars - and it won't make any sense to anyone because they won't follow any sane mathematical formulae but we'll just put numbers there until they do what we want them to do."
Even more!
"Quote:
A concern I have is his turrets now are 3 and squishier. Late game they fall in one hit to ADCs already in live. If they are squishier now then that worries me. 
Definitely. While I'm not going to talk about rockets today (as writing one of these things up does take a fair chunk of my development time), we've also retuned rockets / ultimate so Heimerdinger has some backup plans against compositions which turrets just aren't effective against. 
The core thing here is that Heimerdinger needs to fulfill the mage role on your team - which means he should be some combination of strategic utility, damage and control.

Quote:
So when Hiemer dies, his turrets go inactive after 3 seconds, but might still be there when he gets back?
Yes - although, it's probably not likely. :P

Quote:
Also, will the CD on turret parts now that we have 3 be decreased from the 20 it's currently at?
We'll need to tune numbers - so I have no idea. Sorry."

Keep on rollin'!
"Quote:
What of his passive? I'm sure you've given him a new one correct?
Eh. It's the same passive. 
We tinkered with some other passives but his regeneration passive does a lot to make Heimerdinger easier to play with fallback patterns and the like. 
It's not as interesting as other passives - but we've overloaded his other skills with additional intricacies.


Quote:
could you explain the quick setup/ult bit a bit more? it seemed interesting but wasn't especially clear to me. the ult can pop multiple turrets instantly? what about his available to place turret pool and regeneration of that pool? isn't that still a constraint?
One of the functions of his ultimate is to place three turrets simultaneously. 
However, as this counts against your turret cap - currently, if you use the ultimate in this mode, it is 'Screw all of my turret placements, I need three turrets here NOW!'.


Quote:
also doesn't having the turrets stay but go dormant punish him for recalling to buy? they become free bonus gold to the enemy at that point don't they? i'd think having them die might be better, but that brings me back to the available to place turret pool and limit, and how it would punish there. i imagine this being a hard decision point for you unless i've missed something with regards to turret durability in the changes. 
It will punish him for recalling to buy - but his opponents then need to take advantage of that time window to destroy the turrets.

We can reduce the free bonus gold if it's an issue."
More Q&A:
"Quote:
So, what are the benefits of leveling Turrets now? Still getting Green and Red turrets (with the shreds/AoE)? Does the 3 turrets is available early or you have to invest all 5 points?
Currently, you don't get the shreds / AoE portion of the turrets on level up anymore. Turret level-ups just increase Turret Damage and some minor things like number of ammo charges you can hold. 
His level ups aren't particularly interesting - that's kind of one of the prices of having a modal ultimate in a lot of ways. :x

Quote:
EDIT: Also, I am confused. You said you were modifying his rockets so he wouldn't be completely useless against compositions he was weak against, but the person was being worried about ADCs; literally every team I have fought against in the last year has had at least one adc. Am I reading you wrong, or does the reduced armor make the turrets easier for ADCs to kill?
Turrets will gain Armor/Magic Resistance as Heimdinger's champion level increases.

But his rockets will be a much more flexible tool as a whole."
Continuing:
"Quote:
why do you say that his turrets will be "weaker" against towers?
right now they are a primary target and dies to 2 tower shots. What do you mean by weaker?
His turrets will be less capable of raw damage output versus towers than other incarnations of Heimerdinger.
Essentially, his job is to get you to the tower and hold the area - not destroy the tower rapidly.

Quote:
Is he going to lose the CDR on his Ult to gain all this new functionality?
His ultimate currently does not give CDR.


Quote:
So his ultimate has multiple modes? Could you possibly extrapolate on this?
His ultimate is a lot like Mantra, except instead of getting a side benefit, you just get more of what you want and the spell additionally slows.

For example - in his turret case, you get 3 slowing turrets instead of one."

He also commented that this iteration of his turrets are less capable of knocking down a turret but still push well.
"Essentially, these turrets are very good for lane pushing and control - but inflicting damage to towers are something they are weak at. 
Heimerdinger should siege you but his actual raw damage against turrets are constrained - ideally, he's setting up bastions where your teammates can then push down the tower while he holds down the fort, so to speak.

Turret durability is very non-linear in this work - so the old turret terror manifests itself in late game rather than 'as soon as laning phase ends at he hits level 9'"

Update: Few more responses here:
"Quote:
Have you considered that the most damaging part of Heimer's kit design-wise is the fact that it tries to mash Heimerdinger-like turret placing and fortification with mage-like nuking and disabling? This new design just seems to be "more of everything!!!" which isn't necessarily an improvement because 2 out of 3 of those things were horribly out of place on the Revered Inventor.
Ranged poke is a fairly unified play pattern combined with zone of control in a lot of ways. Set up a region of safety and then poke away. 
The problem with trying to create a pure builder archetype is two-fold - How do they win? How powerful can it be? Most pure builder archetypes in games are tuned to not lose - which is fine in the games they are in where you can switch classes to offense or defense as the game requires. They don't need to win because if you need to win, you can simply switch out to a more offense team build out dynamically as the round goes on. 
However - since you can't change characters mid-game in league, a pure builder playstyle is going to be intrinsically unfair because it needs a way to win without interacting with the opponent. Contrast TF2 or Tribes where the builder is simply trying to not lose but that's fine because you simply change to scout or soldier when you no longer need to not lose. 
When these playstyles are balanced according to their power level, they're going to appeal to a very small subset of player because the power level has to be really weak to justify the fact that you can win while totally ignore the enemy. 
I'm perfectly willing to bet that Heimerdinger with his focus on turrets / rockets / grenades will still feel out of place to you because you're looking for a pure builder experience but that aligns better with a pure support playstyle (perhaps a roaming support playstyle) rather than an offensive mage - which, while cool - is more than likely a different character.

Quote:
True Heimer mains are crying everywhere. Stop the abuse. Wasn't being known as "Worst Champ In LoL" bad enough? Especially when he really isn't that bad currently. He may still have the preception but he's finally not "Worst Champ" anymore and NOW you change him? FML. Why?
Currently Heimerdinger isn't in a terrible spot power wise. He's not that bad currently, you are absolutely correct 
Which is a problem because every single one of our gameplay concerns are still present on him - he's not particularly decent for game health, he has binary matchups and isn't particularly delivering on his core experience in terms of playing as or playing against - still horribly anti-melee in top lane and still violates the fundamental principle of dueling in that lane as well. 
In the end, reworks are almost never about the character not working. You can make any character 'work' by throwing a whole ton of power at it. The question is not whether or not the character is actually powerful or not - the question is whether the character is a good one for the game. 
Reworks are about the fact that if the character works in the current iteration - it probably shouldn't because it comes with so much baggage in terms of playing against or playing with concerns. If a character has game health concerns, binary patterns and odd counterplay - they make the game worse as a whole - thus necessitating further nerfs in order to minimize their negative impacts on the game.

Quote:
No matter how you look at it, it's the removal of a global skill effectively.
Yes it is. 
The reasoning for this is: If Heimerdinger's turrets are a global skill then they'll have to be balanced around the fact that they could be a global skill.

The end result of this is that they then have to suck in lane - because they could be global.

A character's power needs to be concentrated in what they're supposed to be good at - before thinking about all the side utility and tricks they can bring. If a character's side utility actually consumes so much of their power budget such that they now suck at what is supposed to be their strength - it means that it needs to be fixed or worked around."

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