I strongly oppose the idea of Hero-specific scaling.

General Discussion
Kel'Thuzad is just about to be added to the Nexus, and with the MFPT interview developer confirmation that he scales slower than other Heroes, as well as the patch notes regarding Chromie's scaling being rolled back to 2% per level, I feel like I want to make a post expressing how I feel about this and the way it takes these Heroes and the game.

First, I want to say that in my opinion, making heroes like this who scale at different percentage rates goes against Blizzard's core values of trying to promote a fun and fair game, maintaining game balance, and trying not to make any hero that shines excessively at a certain point in the game.

Take KT for example. He scales at 2.5% per level, lower than the normal of 4% per level. His trait allows him to boost his spell power by 75% after affecting 30 heroes with his W and E spells. This sounds really good in theory, and until I knew about his reduced scaling, I felt that it was overpowered. However now I feel that it isn't enough. More precisely, I feel that it's not the right idea to build a Hero around lower scaling with a power spike. Some quick math reveals that by level 24, KT becomes weaker than Heroes that scale by 4% regardless of trait completion, and that this effect becomes exponentially greater every level past 24.

This fact - by definition - makes him a mid game hero. He is weaker than 4% heroes in the early and late game, because he relies on completing a quest in order to unlock his power, and as stated just before, he is weaker in the late game by virtue of his scaling. This also inherently makes performance on him directly related to player skill. Now obviously, player skill plays a huge part in any and all heroes in the game. That is unarguable. What's different about KT is that the only skill that matters is in landing as many crowd control effects as early as possible in the game to maximize the amount of usefulness that can be obtained from this hero. Once his quest is completed - other than landing your actual spells - there is no difference in how numerically weak he becomes between a bronze five player and the rank 1 KT in the world.

Second, this scaling and trait makes KT the kind of Hero which Blizzard has said they are trying to avoid in future releases - A "snowball", or "win more" hero. A player who is able to finish their quest very early on in the game (level 4) will have an extraordinary power spike and be over 68% stronger than other Heroes in the game, while only ever being just under 7% weaker than normal scaling Heroes. A player who finishes the quest later (level 12) will be only 49% stronger, while being 25% weaker just before they land that final quest completion. Let me repeat that.

A Kel'Thuzad who finishes his quest at level 4 becomes effectively as strong as a level 17 Hero, while a Kel'Thuzad who finishes his quest at level 12 becomes effectively as strong as a level 22 Hero.

That's a 5-level difference in effective power upon completion, in addition to allowing more game time in which the team with Kel'Thuzad is able to dominate team-fights.

Finally, heroes like this are anti-noob friendly, and with the Chromie scaling rework I fear for other heroes that may go down this same path in the future. While I am personally not like this, if I wanted to get into heroes of the storm because I was excited to play Chromie, but I was too new at the game and as a result too weak, I would be very much deterred from playing in the future because of this hostile mechanic.

In addition, the fact that this scaling is not mentioned in KT's trait summary makes me feel wronged and distraught for having this information withheld from me and needing to watch an interview video to get it. If these changes are followed through, and more are implemented in the future, I would suggest that in their trait summary the fact that they scale slower would be present.

Here is a list of all the heroes who, by default, scale slower than the rest:

- Kel'Thuzad
- Chromie

If you are aware of any other heroes who scale slower than others that I have not mentioned, leave them below and I will add them to the list.

Thanks for reading! Leave your thoughts below.
I did not know their scaling was reduced. I've 200 something Chromie games so this is of special interest to me :<

As it were, seems to be pointlessly over-complicated. I don't get why things can't be balanced behind what has been a staple rule that a hero's power increases 4% per level. Furthermore, as you mentioned, it's confusing why this wouldn't be stated in their trait mouse over as this would definitely be the appropriate place to put it.

Blizzard does a lot of things that don't make sense to most of us and unfortunately we're stuck with it more often than not. Here it seems they're targeting what parts of the game these heroes are viable in an unhealthy (for the game) way.
Varian's HP and Li-Ming's Q also have below average scaling.

There are also a few things with higher than 4% scaling, like Greymane's HP and Lunara's poison.

Those are fairly minor, though. I'm actually ok with having some heroes scale a bit better into late game.
Just seems like an over-complicated mechanic :<
08/29/2017 10:15 AMPosted by Inothy
Take KT for example. He scales at 2.5% per level, lower than the normal of 4% per level. His trait allows him to boost his spell power by 75% after affecting 30 heroes with his W and E spells. This sounds really good in theory, and until I knew about his reduced scaling, I felt that it was overpowered. However now I feel that it isn't enough. More precisely, I feel that it's not the right idea to build a Hero around lower scaling with a power spike. Some quick math reveals that by level 24, KT becomes weaker than Heroes that scale by 4% regardless of trait completion, and that this effect becomes exponentially greater every level past 24.


Your quick math is incorrect. Upon quest completion, a 2.5% scaled KT continues to output more damage than a 4% scaled hero all the way to level 30. At level 24, KT would do about 23% more damage than a hero with 4% scaling. At level 30, this bonus goes down to 13%. For KT to start underperforming 4%-scaling heroes, you'd need to get to level 39 (which is impossible given the level 30 cap).

08/29/2017 10:27 AMPosted by mynd
I did not know their scaling was reduced. I've 200 something Chromie games so this is of special interest to me :<


Only Chromie's Q damage has been changed to 2% scaling, because of her new built-in quest.
Can someone clarify for me how the math on the scaling works?

My assumption was that it takes the base damage then multiplies that by 1.04 multiplied by the level. 100*1.04*level=Damage

For KTZ this would be 100*1.025*level then multiplied by another 1.75 for the completion of the quest. This would be an effective scaling of 4.375% which is slightly higher.

Is this how the damage is calculated or is the 75% bonus taken from the lvl 1 dmg with no scaling?
08/29/2017 10:43 AMPosted by Madmax
Only Chromie's Q damage has been changed to 2% scaling, because of her new built-in quest.


I get that, it's just over-complicated and, at the very least, needs clear clarification in-game.
Great post. Deserves a blue response IMO.
I almost agree, I can't help but remember I also agreed with how "pointlessly overcomplicated" and "hard to find" it would be when warriors started getting baseline armor. That isn't listed in their trait description, only in their select screen description of all places. But all threads worrying about that quickly disappeared after they went through with the changes anyway.
08/29/2017 10:50 AMPosted by Alfare
Can someone clarify for me how the math on the scaling works?

My assumption was that it takes the base damage then multiplies that by 1.04 multiplied by the level. 100*1.04*level=Damage


The correct formula is [base damage]*(1.04^[player level]) = [actual damage] for standard scaling. For KT, it would be [base damage]*(1.025^[player level]) = [actual damage].
This type of info feels like it falls on the block of visual clutter. Its super important but if they wont tell you if you have stukov's healing pathogen or not surely they intend to withhold this type of info.
Different scaling for different heroes is how the balancing team can control the character's power-curve as they level up. It prevents characters from being super-weak early game then super-broken late game. It is a fundamental part of stat balancing in RPGs.
Your quick math is incorrect. Upon quest completion, a 2.5% scaled KT continues to output more damage than a 4% scaled hero all the way to level 30. At level 24, KT would do about 23% more damage than a hero with 4% scaling. At level 30, this bonus goes down to 13%. For KT to start underperforming 4%-scaling heroes, you'd need to get to level 39 (which is impossible given the level 30 cap).


I was about to write this but than i saw someone already did :)

on top of that, the statement that KTZ is weak early game is based on the assumption that he is somewhere in the middle of the powerlvl at lvl 1.

But looking at him, with all his CC and dmg it does more look like he is pretty strong at lvl 1. And the quest has a reward in the middle too. So he gets a spike when half way finishing the quest.

There where heroes for a long time that scale differently. Greymane for example scales better. He gains more HP than normal. Varian scales worse. He gets less HP than normal. But no one ever complained because those heroes are balanced around the fact that they scale better/worse.

I get a strong feeling that this topic is just the fear of something new instead of an actual issue.
It's to prevent overscaling.

Chromie scales slower, but so long as you keep up with your quest, her sandblast can max out at 5000 stacks with 25,000 damage. Of course it's impossible to reach that in anything outside try mode, but that alone should give a good indication of what it means to be rewarded for playing well

I like this a lot personally. You get rewarded for playing well and get crazy damage spikes. It rewards higher levels of play!

Although I've been hearing KTZ is deceptively easy to complete his quest so he'll probably get a nerf fairly quick
Its fine. Give them another point to apply balance changes. More options for tweaking things the better for the balance.
08/29/2017 10:15 AMPosted by Inothy
want to say that in my opinion, making heroes like this who scale at different percentage rates goes against Blizzard's core values of trying to promote a fun and fair game, maintaining game balance, and trying not to make any hero that shines excessively at a certain point in the game.

Well your "opinion" is stupid, and wrong. It in no way goes against their "core values" of a fun and fair game, and in fact supports it. They make different heroes function differently. That was always the plan. It most certainly goes toward maintaining game balance. And I don't know why you think trying not to make any hero shine at any point is some core value of theirs. With heroes who specialize in splitting to gain experience, or quest talents that scale a hero up when completed, it's been a long time that heroes have different peaks in power at different times.

Hello?
Gul'Dan has 4.5% scaling on Q and E.
There are tons of quests that buff heroes indefinitely as time goes on and skilled shots are landed or other actions performed.
This has been in the game for a long time, it's not new.
I think Li ming's low scaling on her missiles is because of mirror ball at 16. Gaining 2 extra missiles can be visually impressive without it being brokenly powerful.

In regards to chromie q and kel, it seems to place emphasis making sure you finish your quest as early as possible. Finishing it in the late game doesn't give you a power spike, it just helps you catch up.

Looking at kel overall, he has a substantial amount of cc as baseline kit. That alone makes him strong in the early game without the need for good damage. However, he needs good damage later in the game to continue being useful. I guess that's why his quest and baseline scaling is designed that way.
Chromie's "scaling" has been moved into her new quest for her Q. You hit 20 times to get back to previous damage (400), then an extra 3-4 times for each lvl and you will be at your old damage. Once you complete the quest (80 hero hits, it seems that Blizz intends for Chromie to be done with it by lvl 11 for that escape), you just keep on raking in the damage. Nerf for bad chromies, and early Chromie.

Honestly, I love the chromie changes. The only damage lvl 18 is baseline now, so its 3 different utility options. Ability to recast Temporal Loop for ANOTHER combo is nice.

Note that they have done different scaling for a LONG time now. Zagara's abilities used to scale at +3%/lvl. Lunara's dot scales at +5%/lvl, as does Kael's Pyroblast. Cho'Galls HP scales at +4.5%/lvl.
Blizzard's core values of trying to promote a fun and fair game, maintaining game balance,


heroes having different scaling isn't in conflict with maintaining game balance (or fun/fair/etc) its there because of game balance.

Honestly I'm kinda surprised you don't have zagara on your list as she's prob the most infamous of lowered scaling. Granted, with her rework, she regained some scaling, but she's still not a full 4% on the board. But the point is, some heroes are designed around having some different strengths early,mid and late. While the focal of balance is at 20, several heroes don't all have the same progression to get there.

and part of that is intended for some hero appeal. Granted, it would be nice if the ability/stat itself somewhere mentioned the scaling variance (cuz trying to frontload that into the trait could be too much text bloat) but varied growth (and quests :O) are inline with the design goals and balance of the game.
I like this a lot personally. You get rewarded for playing well and get crazy damage spikes. It rewards higher levels of play!


I love the theory of that, but think crippled base stats + lower scaling is an awful way to achieve it. Rewarding high numbers of hits is fine, but requiring hits just to achieve 'normal' stats (as they're doing to Chromie) feels really bad.

The main problem I have with Chromies new Q is how it punishes anyone who's not constantly getting stacks. It transforms the reward of 'get cool things for hitting heroes' into a frustrating chore of 'keep hitting heroes or your damage will suck'. As a result, anything that doesn't involve shooting heroes suddenly becomes awful to do (regardless of whether it's good for the team), as that now means you'll have less opportunity to meet the hit requirements needed to not nerf your Q damage. Things like soaking lanes, channeling objectives, taking any objective that doesn't involve teamfighting, helping your team to take camps, or even just 'staying safe until your teammates return' all suddenly turn into a constant, grating, irreversible drain on your (potential) damage output.

Additionally, I rather dislike how snowbally this system is. And as fun as it is to have a good game where you get constant hits and end up dominating with a godlike Q nuke, that's not always going to be the case. There are also 'bad' games where you just don't get enough (early) hits (enemies dodging, properly pressuring/killing/zoning you, maybe just a lack of easy stacking opportunities). Having a bad start is already frustrating, and adding the need to 'catch up' with your stacks on top of the usual hurdles you already need to overcome for a comeback only makes those games even more annoying.

I vastly prefer the butcher/KTZ model, where there is at least a clear finish line to work towards, instead of a constantly increasing demand just to keep up.

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