Damage Mitigation and Vulnerable Changes

General Discussion
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Hey everyone, the following information is from Lead Live Designer, Matt Cooper!

Hey all,

As of the Varian patch, we have changed how the Vulnerable and Damage Mitigation system in our game works. This system and it's overarching goal, is to determine how much damage a unit should take based off of buffs and debuffs applied.

Previously on live:

When looking at how much damage a target is going to take, we look to see if there are any buffs or debuffs that would modify that damage. With this, the single biggest damage mitigation buff (Hardened Shield) and the single biggest damage mitigation debuff (Vulnerable) are compared, and the difference is the result.**
  • Example: Hardened Shield grants +75% damage mitigation, and Vulnerable amplifies damage you take by +25%, so the net result is 50% damage mitigation. In this system, it didn’t matter if you had Safeguard from Lt. Morales (+25%), Spell Shield (+50%) and Hardened Shield (+75%). Since Hardened Shield is the largest, that is the buff we used.

Since multiple buffs and debuffs don’t stack, there was no need to implement a cap. The maximum in either direction was simply the biggest buff and debuff available to players.

Now on live:

When looking at how much damage a target is going to take, we sum all of the damage mitigation buffs against the sum of all the damage mitigation debuffs.
  • Looking at an example with one buff and one debuff, the system plays out exactly the same.
  • However, if we look at an example where you had multiple buffs or debuffs active, such as Hardened Shield and two sources of Vulnerable (Sylvanas & Jaina for example), now the system will essentially take the 75% buff and subtract both of the 25% Vulnerable effects for a total damage mitigation of +25%.

Now that multiple buffs and debuffs stack additively, we have implemented a cap. The current cap is set to +75% on the damage reduction side, and +25% on the damage amplification side.

Why are we exploring this?

In the future, we are looking at giving some damage mitigation baseline to a handful of heroes —mostly Warriors. When we were exploring this, one challenge with the old system was that any baseline damage mitigation your character started with would have no impact whenever you received a temporary damage mitigation.
  • For example, an Arthas who has +15% damage mitigation all the time would only receive an additional 10% when buffed from Lt. Morales’ Safe Guard ability. It felt weird that these buffs were essentially less impactful on tanks than other characters. In this new system, Arthas would get the benefit of both the 15% and the 25%, putting him temporarily at 40%.

Once Warriors have some sort of damage mitigation baseline, we’d also like to look at the amount of healing Support characters can dish out. We don’t want to reduce healing drastically, but giving Warriors some damage mitigation baseline allows us to essentially reduce healing without making Warriors any less survivable. However, healing would be slightly less impactful on a target with no baseline damage mitigation.

Previously we had very few effects that adjusted damage, so we felt the need to represent them in consistent bunches. Our debuffs are all currently set at 25%, and we have buffs at 25%, 50%, and 75%. With this system, we feel like we will have the freedom to perform more precise tuning. Instead of removing a Vulnerable talent that is too strong, maybe we can simply reduce the amount slightly.

Note:

This new system also fixes a bug we were having issues with. Long story short, the old system calculated buffs first, and then multiplied the debuff later giving a less than desired result.
Highly Rated
Won't this make healers less fun to play though?

What do you plan to do to make sure healers feel impactful?

Edit: Why down vote? If you read his post, he says healing nerfs are coming guys.
11/21/2016 03:48 PMPosted by TheMechE
Won't this make healers less fun to play though?

What do you plan to do to make sure healers feel impactful?


it will be mainly for warriors and i bet mostly through talents.

meanwhile the Army of assassins and specialists are still screaming for healers to not get globaled before doing something.
Pure healers might be less fun to play, but this would be a buff to less heal-focused supports. If it's not as necessary to talents to keep warriors alive, other talents in Support kits might see more play.
I have to point out a few major issues here:

1. Stacking damage reduction additively is completely unintuitive. In your example, you're trying to correct the problem in which the Arthas with passive damage reduction would unexpectedly get less benefit from Safeguard, but your solution is merely reversing the problem. Adding the 15% and 25% together (to 40%) means Arthas gets ~29.5% damage reduction from Safeguard instead of 25%, and players have no reason to expect such an exception.

I'd strongly suggest stacking them multiplicatively instead. Using your example again, Arthas would get 25% damage reduction from Safeguard just like anyone else, and the combined result would be 36.25% reduction.

2. Baseline damage reduction for warriors doesn't just impact healers; it removes the consistency of effects that deal X% of a target's maximum health as damage. If I'm understanding your intent correctly, it would make more sense to increase warrior health pools and add a passive "receives X% bonus healing from allies." In essence, you'd be making Amplified Healing baseline.
So if im reading this right now safeguard and hardened shield together would mitigate 100% of damage? And what happens if I pick up Inoculation (50% to safeguard for 1.5 seconds), does that push the damage mitigation to 125%? what happens then?
11/21/2016 04:50 PMPosted by Dreadnought
So if im reading this right now safeguard and hardened shield together would mitigate 100% of damage? And what happens if I pick up Inoculation (50% to safeguard for 1.5 seconds), does that push the damage mitigation to 125%? what happens then?


Hey there,

Per the OP, the caps are actually 75% Damage Mitigation (equal to Hardened Shield) and 25% Vulnerability. Hope that clears some things up for you!

11/21/2016 03:26 PMPosted by Trikslyr
Now that multiple buffs and debuffs stack additively, we have implemented a cap. The current cap is set to +75% on the damage reduction side, and +25% on the damage amplification side.
Hey there,

Per the OP, the caps are actually 75% Damage Mitigation (equal to Hardened Shield) and 25% Vulnerability. Hope that clears some things up for you!

ok, they should have a % on that shield to show vulnerability to show additional information. Im of the belief that while its necessary to keep the screen spartan and clean of cutter, there still needs to be information shown like this to not draw confusion on stacking vulnerabilities/resistances.
tbh I like the old system better because it is far, far simpler.

~They dont stack~ is much easier to keep in mind than ~they dont stack, unless they are opposed to a debuff, in which case they additively apply~

in the old system, the largest buff like Hardened Shield would override all other resistant effects, and the largest vulnerable would override lesser vulnerables. When there is a buff and a debuff at the same time, the highest debuff gets subtracted from the largest buff.

This is much much much more intuitive and simpler than the new way which is that resistants and vulnerables still dont stack, UNLESS there is already one of the opposing effects applied, in which case they are additively subtracted from each other. Intuitive right.

So as an example, in the new system, Tyrande and Jaina vulnerable WILL NOT STACK just as before, but if they are applied to someone who has hardened shield active, then THEY WILL STACK.

imo this is very screwy and unintuitive. The gameplay ramifications is that it is suboptimal to stack vulnerabilities, just like it is now, UNLESS the target has a resistant effect on it. That is not very intuitive or elegant.

EVEN MORE BAD NEWS, they are exploring BASELINE damage mitigation on warriors. So as an example Arthas would get 15% resistant BASELINE. Isnt that screwy. It will just make things like considering basic attack damage and all the math even more complicated and unintuitive. The cleanness, simpleness and intuitiveness of the numbers are one of the strengths of HotS. It is scary to see that potentially slipping away.
I like the new system and the possibilities it brings.
11/21/2016 05:12 PMPosted by Killerxp
I like the new system and the possibilities it brings.


Me too, but not if it ruins supports. Uther needs buffs or a rework
Just wondering, when talking about buff & debuff caps for damage migration & amplification what are the upper & lower limits?

Eg. -75% <-> +25% dmg taken?

Will any other status like the Protected status (100% dmg migration) be able to exceed these limits?

Also please look at multiplicatively instead of additive.
11/21/2016 05:08 PMPosted by GoodStranger
imo this is very screwy and unintuitive. The gameplay ramifications is that it is suboptimal to stack vulnerabilities, just like it is now, UNLESS the target has a resistant effect on it. That is not very intuitive or elegant.


Not saying you're wrong as such, but it is for me intuitive, which may mean there's a portion of the player base that will find it so.

EVEN MORE BAD NEWS, they are exploring BASELINE damage mitigation on warriors. So as an example Arthas would get 15% resistant BASELINE. Isnt that screwy. It will just make things like considering basic attack damage and all the math even more complicated and unintuitive. The cleanness, simpleness and intuitiveness of the numbers are one of the strengths of HotS. It is scary to see that potentially slipping away.


This, I would hazard a guess, won't be that unintuitive. People expect Warriors to survive. There will come a point when a person has to learn those mechanics, but that should be at a level where "intuitive" has ceased to matter anyway.
So PBA's effert was not wasted. Now Arthas finally will be burfed.

Big grats to you PBA!
I, personally, think not stacking is easier to understand. The biggest effect takes precedence. If the issue is Warrior health pools force up Support healing numbers, which in turn do far too much work on Assassin health pools, then why not just revamp all healing in the game to percentage based?

This would actually be a virtual buff to high health heroes, like Cho'gall (which may need a nerf) and Diablo (which could actually use this buff). Meanwhile, it's a nerf to healing assassins which the OP hints is a goal further down the road.

Though it doesn't open up baseline resistance for Warriors they way they want, they can simply adjust Warrior health, and don't have to worry about it "nerfing" healing on that Warrior.
Make is simple: simply multiply everything together. No maximums. Done.
Good change and good direction IMO.
I like the system changes. Makes the procedures clearer, a player's action is more likely to have an effect than rather being 'overwritten' by another's players choice.

Mixed feelings on the planned design changes. It will further - for good or bad - increase the impact of assassin squishies and further reduce the impact of healers. It will make dual support compositions less attractive, which imho add a lot of variety to the game without being anywhere close to dominating the meta. Making non-maintank warriors more viable is a good call, but it shouldn't come at the expense of supports.
One of the great things about HotS is that damage is damage. You don't have to do any math or make any guesses about how much damage you're going to do to that Arthas or that Lili, 500 damage is 500 damage in both cases. This makes it really simple to estimate when someone is or isn't killable, you can simply do it visually from the health bars. This change would eliminate that.

If different heroes take different amounts of damage from damage sources, all of a sudden this visual simplicity is gone. You're going to have to start looking through and learning hero stat blocks the way you have to in other mobas.

Honestly if they're going to do this they might as well add magic and physical armor the way other mobas have, because that's exactly what this system is, and doing it in an oversimplified way doesn't make it any better -- you've already thrown out the big advantage of doing it the way HotS originally did, might as well get all the advantages of having the full armor system.

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