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0.4.0

Gameplay & minion overhaul. Hero Balancing and more!

General

Gameplay

Hero Experience
Altering the proportion of experience required to get to level 2 compared to subsequent levels allows healthier experience gain overall when it comes to gaining experience via laning, jungling and hero kills. All three areas of experience gain will now be able to be balanced and altered more freely and accurately under this new leveling system.
  • It now takes 280 experience to get to level 2 instead of 90, with this amount increasing by 100 experience for each subsequent level instead of 50.
  • All experience sources have been rebalanced to accommodate the new system.


Kill Gold & XP Bounties
Hero takedowns were giving unhealthy amounts of gold and experience based on the player’s killstreak or deathstreak. For instance, group kills were granting twice the amount of hero experience overall than they should have been, and getting a kill on a much higher level opponent was granting almost half the amount of experience that it should have been. The system has been reworked, and now includes more levels of killstreaks and deathstreaks. Getting kills in groups is now worth far less gold and experience, meaning smarter decision making around MOBA fundamentals like farming, rotating and grouping will be required.
  • Heroes on a higher killstreak are worth more and more gold, with the first kill worth 300 gold and subsequent kills worth 300, 450, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, etc.
  • Heroes on a higher deathstreak are worth less and less gold, with the second death worth 270 gold and subsequent deaths worth 215, 175, 140, 110, and 100 for each death after that. 
  • Assist gold is always 150, except for deathstreak kills, which are half of the death streak’s kill bounty. This assist bounty is split equally between all assisters.
  • Group kills grant hero experience that is based on the victims hero level and is split equally amongst all members that participated in the kill. Solo killers receive all of this experience themselves, with an additional percentage amount on top that. This percentage amount changes throughout levels 1-8.
  • A killer gains 15% more experience for each level they are below their victim, and receives 15% less experience for each level they are above their victim. There is a cap of 60% for the decrease and no cap for the increase. This was previously only 7%, and had no cap.
  • The split experience granted from lane minions has been reduced from 30 percent additional experience to 25 percent additional experience. 


Basic Attack Projectiles
The responsiveness of Basic Attacks was lacking and not up to standard. Increasing the speed of the projectile should help with making Basic Attacks more reliable and intuitive. 
  • Basic Attack Projectile speed has been increased by ~20%.


Heroes
As part of ongoing improvements and our quest to make Fault ever more juicy, more tweaks to the camera system, player movement and the movement animations are in order. These changes should combine to make it feel like player movement is not slow and cumbersome.
  • Hero camera FOV decreased slightly and camera positions tweaked.
  • Hero acceleration increased slightly.
  • Hero movement animation speed increased.
Movement speed is a core aspect behind the design of heroes, combat and the map. In order to delineate each hero into their separate classes and have these classes have distinct combat advantages, disadvantages and playstyles, a convention has been established for all current and future heroes’ base movement speed.
  • Hero base movement speed has been tweaked according to what class each hero is in. Base movement speed of the classes from low to high are as follows:
  • Ranged Carries and Burst Casters 
  • Ranged Casters & Ranged Supports
  • Tanks & Melee Supports
  • Bruisers
  • Melee Assassins & Fighters


Lane Minions
Lane minions were not in a good spot for a number of reasons. Minions felt like they individually had too much health and were not sensible and intuitive to last hit, so increasing the number of minions per wave spreads out the total health of the wave across more minions. Killing a single minion in a four minion per wave system meant that a more significant portion of the waves damage output was eliminated for every minion that was killed when compared to a six minion per wave system, meaning that it was too difficult to execute finely tuned wave management for the ideal freeze or slow push. This also means that crashing waves into towers will be more impactful since a greater push can be created, therefore rewarding skillful wave manipulation. Additionally, the time to hit level 18 was proving to be too long, leading to even long matches not seeing the peak of most heroes' capabilities. Increasing lane minion experience overall should help lower the time required to hit level 18.
  • The amount of melee and ranged minions that spawn from the beginning of the match has been increased from 2 melee and 2 ranged to 3 melee and 3 ranged. 
  • Additional melee and ranged minions no longer spawn per wave at certain periods over the course of a match.
  • Melee and ranged minion health, damage, hero experience and gold bounties have all been redistributed appropriately across the new amount of minions.
  • The percent of max health dealt per shot as true damage from structures against minions has been increased from 30% to 45% for melee minions and 45% to 70% for ranged minions. 
  • Experience gain from lane minions increased to help reduce the time taken to reach level 18.
  • Lane minions now have a new movement system. Minions now walk in a proper line, have uniform spacing, follow a singular path and have more smooth overall movement and behaviour.


Minions waves in the late game were hindering teams from capitalizing on successful picks, teamfights and objective kills due to how slow they were to crash into structures. Teams should be able to effectively gain a benefit from successful trades in the mid and late game, so increasing minion movement speed across the course of a match will aid with closing out games and rewarding teamwide decision making.
  • Lane minions now gain increasing movement speed every 90 seconds, maxing out at 725 movement speed at the 25 minute mark.


Super Minions
Super Minions are a key element behind late game lane pressure and are meant to ensure lane priority and keep players in lane to deal with the lane pressure. Currently, Super Minions were not strong enough to fulfill this role and were being destroyed too easily. Since a large majority of a minion wave’s damage and sustainability actually comes from the melee, ranged and siege minions, granting additional armor to these other minions enables the wave to sustain through damage better and output more effective damage. Additionally, Super Minions need the ability to sustain through efficient forms of wave clear in order to require either high value damage dealers to deal with them or larger amounts of time to kill. 
Super Minions now have two unique abilities:
  • Reinforced Armour - Unique Passive: Super Minions take 70% reduced damage from area of effect abilities.
  • Reinforced Minions - Unique Passive: Grants 35 Physical and Energy Armour to nearby allied minions, excluding other Super Minions. Cannot stack.
  • When Super Minions spawn, they will now replace the Siege Minion in that wave instead of a Melee Minion. 
  • Super Minions now spawn at the front of the wave instead of at the rear.
  • Super Minions and Siege Minions now deal 85% and 25% less damage respectively to towers.
  • Two Super Minions will now spawn in each wave if all inhibitors are destroyed.


Jungle Minions
  • Fixed jungle minions spawning to be 120 seconds instead of 100.

Raptors
The 3 raptor system was leading to unhealthy gameplay for many reasons. Their gold and experience values were very high, leading to large amounts of gold funneling and experience leads for teams that could effectively secure the objective. The Favor they were granting was also only going to the killing player, meaning that more funneling could occur on more influential players and leaving the rest of the team from gaining more influence and therefore limiting their impact over the course of the match. Also, having three individual units meant that more portions of the objective’s damage and time investment was eliminated at discrete moments in time, rather than requiring players to fully invest in a set amount of risk for a set amount of time in order to reap the rewards.
Raptors have now turned into the Raptor Objective, featuring one large raptor that grants every member of the killing team 2 Favor, along with limited gold and experience. Doing this shifts the objective away from influencing gold and experience gain and instead offers a more separate form of influence for teams to fight over and secure; Favor. Now each player of the killing team is rewarded for taking the objective, turning it into a more team focused objective that enables all players to gain more influence and have an increasing potential to affect the course of a match.
  • Raptors have been reworked to only have one large Raptor. It’s health and damage have been adjusted to compensate, and now has a slower Basic Attack.
  • This Raptor grants 50 gold to the killer, 150 local experience, and 2 Favor to all living or dead members of the team that kills Raptor. 


Prime Helix 
A large, impactful later game objective needs the capability to reward the killing team with the means of effectively working towards ending the game. The Orb Prime buff will be receiving more means of fulfilling this goal in the future, but the Prime Helix objective itself also requires the means to reward players for securing it. Making Prime Helix grant both local and global experience, along with global gold, will help players gain an edge over opponents in the late game to help close out a match. 
  • 800 global Experience is granted to each of the killing team’s members, and an additional 600 local Experience is shared amongst members of the killing team that are nearby.
  • 300 global Gold is granted to each of the killing team’s members. 


Optimization


Lighting
We decided to move back to a dynamic lighting pass to reduce hitching while entering busy areas like the jungle. This should fix problems like fps stuttering caused by the environment. A static, more detailed lighting pass will be introduced again as we fix the loading problems caused by it.
Volumetrics
  • We have started experimenting with rendering volumetric effects, such as clouds (as you can see in Dawn Base) and fog. These are just tests for now and we will keep introducing new rendering effects (like volumetric clouds all over the sky) as we go.


Frame Rate
  • We are testing framerate smoothing to fix fps stuttering and have locked the FPS to a maximum of 100 until further notice. We will unlock it again as soon as we can guarantee a smooth framerate at higher numbers.


Bug Fixes

General
  • Pinging Good Game now properly pings Good Game instead of Ultimate Ready.
  • Fixed issue with Keybinds not working with Mouse Thumb Buttons.
  • Fixed issue with screen resolutions making it so you could not access the settings.
  • Fixed issue with Gideon and Belica deployables randomly disappearing.
  • Fixed issue with Abilities showing ready when not having enough Mana to cast them.
  • Fixed issue with Blue Buff not taking damage from Auto Attacks.
  • Fixed issue with Radiant Pulse
  • Fixed Minion Aggro when attacking an enemy in lane.
  • Fixed being able to place more than 1 shadow ward out at a time and cleared the way they appear on mini map 


Map
  • Fixed Raptor area where you could get on top of walls
  • Ledges on Duo Lane can no longer be walked on.


Heroes

Muriel
General:
  • Backing animation works correctly.
Consecrated Ground (E):
  • Now properly gives the 2nd Shield.

Balance

Items

Substitution
  • Active Range increased from 700 to 1500.


Titan Fist
  • Active ability’s damage type changed from Energy Damage to Physical Damage.


Aspects

Magician
Magician is a very powerful aspect throughout an entire match, especially in the laning phase. Although more proper early game sustain items are coming in the future, the mana regen has been decreased in order to require more meaningful decisions to be made, especially when trading in lane in the early game. Too much freedom is currently being given to players to freely use abilities with minor consequences, so requiring players to make more intentional use of abilities will reward better decision making and higher skill expression in execution.
  • Reduced from 0.5 to 0.25 Mana Regen per 100 missing Mana.


Heroes

Energy power gold value, amount on items and energy power scalings have all gone through many changes over the past months. Energy power gold value was lowered, meaning more energy power could be placed on items for the same amount of gold, resulting in abilities that scale off energy power dealing more damage. Due to an effort on our part to test and see how these changes would affect gameplay, slow changes to ability scalings have been done in past patches and continue to occur to this day. The changes here should be the last of the changes in regards to adapting to new systems and should hopefully mean more precise balance passes can be performed in the future.

Countess
The ability to counteract a Countess was extremely difficult when she was using her Shadow Slip ability and was preventing skill expression when one was in combat against her. Enabling a small recast delay on her Shadow Slip should allow skill expression to exist for responsive players fighting against a Countess, while also increasing the risk for Countess players and increasing the thought process required when engaging on enemy targets.
Shadow Slip (Q):
  • Energy Power scaling reduced from 50% to 40%.
  • Now has a recast delay.
Dark Tide (E): 
  • Energy Power scaling reduced from 110% to 90%.
  • Now has a recovery delay.
Feast (R):
  • Energy Power scaling reduced from 160% to 100%.

Gideon
Cosmic Rift (Q):
  • Base damage reduced from 85/130/175/220/265 to 80/125/170/215/260.
  • Energy Power scaling reduced from 100% to 80%.
Void Breach (RMB):
  • Base damage changed from 115/155/190/240/275 to 100/145/190/235/280
  • Energy Power scaling reduced from 120% to 90%.
Black Hole (R):
  • Base damage per tick increased from 45/70/95 to 65/105/145.
  • Energy Power scaling increased from 22% to 29%.

Narbash
Thunk (RMB):
  • Cooldown increased from 16/14/12/10/9 to 16/14.5/13/11.5/10

Steel
Shield Bash (RMB):
  • Base damage increased from 70/90/110/130/150 to 70/100/130/160/190.
Shield Crash (R)
  • Base damage increased from 120/170/220 to 150/225/300.
  • Stun duration reduced from 1.5/2/2.5 to 0.8/1.3/1.8.

Twinblast
The ability to rapidly deploy Twinblast’s Grenades was never intended and was leading to a fairly substantial amount of damage and an unhealthy laning dynamic when trading. Adding an internal cooldown will help his Grenade ability to more properly assist Twinblast with being more Basic Attack focused and fulfilling his fantasy and niche.
Grenade (Q):
  • Internal Cooldowns should now have a 0.625sec delay in between each charge.

— Strange Matter Team
August 26, 2020