Heroes of the Storm

Why Talents Rarely Change Ability Speed – AoE & Projectile Timing Matters

Content of the article: "Why Talents Rarely Change Ability Speed – AoE & Projectile Timing Matters"

Think about it. How many talents are there that speed up projectiles or make AoEs go off sooner?

There’s tons of talents to boost or reduce attack and move speed. Extra cc duration, larger radius, and cooldown reduction to spare. Talents like Zarya’s Demolitions Expert combine multiple aspects.

But where’s the speed increases? Why not 30% faster Frostbolt and Sand Blast? Why add Xplodium radius and root duration to Bone Prison, instead of making them go off .25 seconds sooner?

Counterplay, Clarity, Feel

Counterplay is the most obvious and crucial reason. Imagine skillshots like Storm and Frost Bolt approaching Snipe levels of speed, Shadow Fissure and Bone Prison getting faster and hard to react to.

Then there's clarity. Minor speed changes during a match are uncanny. But even a minor radius boost is immediately seen via the warning area. Abilities are events. In the midst of battle, with tons of effects going around, you must have a clear idea of how fast things travel and explode. This is unlike attack and move speed changes, which feel significant even at low amounts and exist in basic abilities.

Lastly, feel. Radius buffs make the ability feel stronger, whereas speed feels like a correction. If an ability is actually cumbersome, that's for baseline changes to fix, like speeding up Frost Blast.

Don't Rules Hinder Creativity?

Nope! The beauty and function of design, in games or otherwise, lies in limitation. The craziest of heroes, abilities and maps adhere to core rules, without which the game would be chaotic. A huge dragon that’s immune to cc and healing is fine, but a Flamestrike that bursts .1 seconds sooner? Nope!

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Creativity for the sake of change is not an argument. That is oblivious to the hard work, expertise and coordination that goes into game design.

Had written this after seeing a Snowstorm suggestion to add a 4th wave at the same speed, and wondered what bothered me. Had the dev notes on Varian’s Frenzy in mind. Whilst it adds attack speed, the point is it's funky to add 15% extra on top of Twin Blades' 100%, on level 20 no less.

I don’t think anyone’s talked about this before, and found the rules rigid enough to be worth analyzing. Posted now due to Chromie's new Pursuit!

The Few Tempo Talents

Major enough to not fall in uncanny territory. If I’m missing any, do chip in!

  • Auriel’s Swift Sweep makes sweepin’ 50% faster, also reducing the self-root. Crucially, it is a level 1 talent, thus the tempo doesn’t change during the match. Funnily enough, next tier we have do have a teeny 15% buff, but of course, to the radius. Both are significant and popular and popular.
  • Gazlowe’s Hyperfocus Coils halves the cast time of Deth Lazor, a 1.5 second difference.
  • Medivh’s Glyph of Poly-Bomb makes only the initial burst go off a whole sec faster.
  • Li-Ming’s Fireflies “drastically” increase the speed of Magic Missiles.
  • Chromie’s Timewalker’s Pursuit now makes Time Traps arm nearly twice as fast.
  • Tassadar’s Psychic Shock increases speed by 25%. Since waves occur per .5 sec, it’s a strong but hardly noticeable .1 sec change. However, Psionic Shock is perceived as a continuous source of damage. Say, if Blizzard and Psionic Shock had talents to deal damage twice as fast, which one would stand out more? Also had Accelerated Decay pointed out before but it boosts damage.
  • Gall’s Bomb’s Away is the smallest change at just 20%. Exception that proves the rule? Well, it also comes with a 20% range increase and the bomb takes the same time to get there, so the tempo actually stays the same. Also, the travel time being ‘bout 2.5 seconds makes 20% of that a significant 0.5 seconds, thus this talent is valid due to the lasting presence of the projectile.
  • Extra-Wound Timers makes grenades explode later! Turns them into more of temp traps.
  • E.T.C.’s Double-Necked Guitar and Azmodan’s Infernal Globe were removed a while ago.
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Source: reddit.com

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