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Overdrive Rework

Discussion in 'General' started by Aerdowaith, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Aerdowaith

    Aerdowaith River Troll


    Although I personally believe Vainglory is far and away the best mobile MOBA on the market right now, I feel it is not living up to its full potential.

    Vainglory has been designed around the idea of bringing a complex MOBA format designed for PC and requiring ~ 30 to 60 minutes per match to mobile and condensing that experience into a ~20 minute match. Overall it succeeds at this goal amazingly well.

    One gameplay aspect SEMC has spoken about multiple times on their downtime dev stream when describing why they made balance changes is the idea of vainglory trying to increase "meaningful player choice". I believe this is an excellent goal. Meaningful choice means players have the most possible effect on the outcome of the match, rather than being subject to chance or luck, player decision decides if your team carries the match. This makes winning more rewarding, and losing all the more frustrating.

    Although I believe Vainglory does this well in many areas, I feel it falls quite short when it comes to hero overdrives.

    In vainglory, the concept of overdriving is that hero levels are a limited resource, so the ability you choose to level first, and more importantly the overdrives you take have an impact on how that hero plays. An overdrive is supposed to be a meaningful decision, and a point in the game where your hero feels significantly more powerful.

    The Problem:

    Unfortunately, many heroes have one or more ability whose overdrive(s) just feels straight bland and flavorless, and some have overdrives which are never taken. I would argue this is a problem.

    Before I get any further, let’s look at the worst offenders:

    -Blood for Blood:
    Slot: B|20|0/0/0/0/0
    Ardan leaps forward and punches his target. This deals crystal as well as weapon damage (that can crit) and is treated like a basic attack. Blood for Blood can only be activated when Ardan has 100% vengeance and will consume all of it. Overdrive: Blood for Blood deals an additional 25% weapon and crystal damage.
    Range: 5/5/5/5/7
    Damage: 30/70/110/150/190 (70% Crystal Ratio)​


    Slot: C|110/100/90|0/0/0
    Ardan throws down the gauntlet, projecting a perimeter around the target area and gaining full vengeance. Enemies who cross the perimeter are stunned and take crystal damage. Successfully stunning an enemy grants Ardan vengeance. If Ardan leaves the perimeter it is immediately destroyed.
    Damage: 250/375/500 (350% Crystal Ratio)
    Stun Duration: 1/1/1
    Duration: 4/6/8Lance:​

    -Combat Roll
    Slot: C|8/6/4|0/0/0
    Lance rolls in the target direction. His next basic attack within 2 seconds will strike quickly, dealing bonus crystal damage.
    Stamina Cost: 30/25/20
    Damage: 125/200/275 (60% Crystal Ratio)​

    Let’s talk about blood for blood. On overdrive it gets a range extension and a negligible damage increase. This sounds nice on paper, but think for a minute. When would I ever overdrive blood for blood over Gauntlet? The answer is practically never. The cooldown on gauntlet is just too important, so this is an ability which essentially has a worthless overdrive.

    How about Lance? Combat Roll gives a slight cooldown reduction and stamina decrease and a bit of damage. Again same issue, with overdriving impale giving additional root time, and overdriving wall giving cc immunity, there is no place to overdrive combat roll. It is a pointless overdrive.

    And there are more, Lyra portal overdrive gives a range extension and more cooldown, again compared with the utility or bulwark and her heal, it is another overdrive which is really not worth taking.

    Few others which have essentially the same issue are Taka Kaku, and Glaive Bloodsong, and I am sure there are others I am not thinking of at this moment.

    Going back to how I started this, Vainglory is a game designed to emphasize player choice, by giving them meaningful decisions to make and consequences and tradeoffs. With these overdrives especially, there is not that element of choice. One upgrade path is essentially always the right answer. I feel that is a problem and a missed opportunity.

    More importantly though these, and many other overdrives are incredibly boring. Twirling silver, Gauntlet, Chakrum, Rocket Leap, Core Collapse, and many many other abilities are just straight boring to Overdrive.


    I feel SEMC is really missing the mark on overdrives on a whole. Many heroes do have truly creative and interesting effects on their overdrives which impact the options that hero has in the game, they are truly meaningful and creative, like Gythian Wall, Thunder Strike, and Ion Cannon. All these abilities on overdrive have a unique effect or element to them, upgrading them feels really meaningful.

    I would argue every ability should be like this.

    An overdrive should never be just a stat bump, regardless of how nice that stat bump might be for making that hero powerful. Overdrives are an opportunity to give players interesting and meaningful choice in each game.

    Let’s look at some ideas I have tossesed together:

    Blood for Blood Overdrive: BFB applies a decaying slow to target 1.5 sec, slow to a max of 30%, scales with bonus health.

    Gauntlet Overdrive: Gauntlet gives allies which pass through gauntlet a speed boost of .5 for 1.5 sec, only apples once per hero evert 3 seconds.​

    Combat Roll Overdrive: After Combat Roll, lance gets a decaying move speed boost.​

    Bloodsong Overdrive: BS gives Glaive a 200 barrier for 1 second. For each hero hit with blood song, the barrier is 50 stronger and last an additional second.​

    Lyra Portal
    On overdrive, enemies who pass through portal receive a decaying slow of 25% for 2 seconds. If Bulwark is at the portal exit, enemies are silenced for 1 second.​

    Taka Kaku
    On overdrive Taka is immune to all damage and CC for .5 sec.​

    Now, I understand those sound pretty strong, probably way over powered, I know, I just want to get everyone's imagination going because I believe every hero should get a similar ability rework. Vainglory is a complex enough game at this point that a dynamic element could be a part of every hero ability in the game, and those new overdrives balanced for all heroes.

    I understand this would be a huge undertaking, and require a massive amount of rebalancing afterword, but I believe the result would be a significantly more dynamic and interesting halcyon fold.

    What do you guys think? What cool overdrives would you like to see on heroes ?

    Edit: Adding a quote from later on in the conversation from a user who I feel really communicates the concepts of my original post well and adds some additional points. I have added the quote below. Also thanks everyone for the information and conversation. :)

    @Nivmett @ShinKaigan
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
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  2. slashingwinds

    slashingwinds Mageborn

    I want to preface this by saying this is a very well made thread. Like, you may be a Carnie, but instant respect. Clear point, well chosen examples and a level of english that although may feel normal to you, is phenomenal on these forums. Kudos to you, good sir.

    Now onto my small bit of negativity.

    Ultimates (C abilities) don’t have Overdrives, they only get flat number increases.

    If you bring that into the equation, many of your examples fall apart, as it’s primarily about captain ultimates. And although the Blood for Blood example may still stand, that ability is overdriven by Jungle Ardans, a rare breed of off meta that’s usually built when an ally who called captain refuses to trade with you and takes your main into a ranked match.

    Some of the best examples of ehh overdrives are: Taka B, Rona A and Skaarf B
    I would put these forward as examples instead of what you currently have.
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  3. Aerdowaith

    Aerdowaith River Troll

    Thanks for your encouragement and input.

    I was not aware that ultimates were not intended to have overdrives....and that is good information, however in that case I would argue they should have overdrives. Vainglory is a game where heroes only have three abilities, compared with games with four abilities, this puts it at an inherent complexity deficit, which could be helped by making ult overdrives a thing.

    To me choosing between a stat bump on an ult, and an overdrive on an ability which is also just a stat bump just feels like a waste.

    Are you aware of any reason this would not or should not be possible? I feel it would make Vainglory an inherently superior game.

    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
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  4. slashingwinds

    slashingwinds Mageborn

    Although a good idea on paper, I do think it would be difficult to put overdrives on every ultimate in the game. It would make ultimate overdrives extraordinary valuable on some characters, but weaker on others. For example, ultimates that are already maxed, such as Rona C, would become even more of a must. Even if you reduced the stats, this would leave her level 9 weaker, but level 12 stronger. Her C is maxed just from the idea of it; more damage, more tanking. Adding more would seem somewhat unnecessary, and make her difficult to balance, more than she already is. Complexity in an ability is also a factor. Abilities that are already complex don’t need anything added to them, as it would make the game confusing. For example, how would you overdrive a Lyra portal? Damage? Heal? Damage buffs? The portal is already difficult to use, so why make it worse. Any simple overdrive, however, would come down to a stat buff or something similar, which seems like something you’re against.

    If it could be done, it would be great, but I would think great difficulty would arrise out of attempting to do this, particularly (again) with Captains. I’m not sure though, maybe it’s not as bad as I made it out to be. Selective overdrives might be better for ultimates, with other ultimates simply getting stat boosts.
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  5. Aerdowaith

    Aerdowaith River Troll

    Humm, I can see your point for the most part, but maybe I was not clear enough in the OP. I would like to see almost all abilities get their overdrives reworked, so yes it could change level breakpoints for various heroes and would completely change the meta, but that is not something which is impossible to overcome, it would likely require completely returning every hero in the game.

    As far as abilities already being complex, although I agree over complexity could be an issue one solution would be to take certain aspects of abilities and move them so they are part of the overdrive (balance as needed). Generally though, I do not feel VG being over complex is likely. The gaming community can manage a huge amount of complexity, just look at Dota, the only caveat in my mind is that the complexity is sensible and cohesive.

    A counterexample to ults just offering a stat boost when upgraded is Baron Ion Cannon, which though yes, a range increase on bascs is technically a stat, it really changes the way Baron is and can be played. To me this is a really creative and good ult upgrade relatively speaking.

    To address about your example of Lyra portal, like I tossed out in the OP, just add a slow enemies take when they go through the portal, and maybe give allies a small speed boost. It's not too unreasonable, and would make the ult way more interesting. Really there is a huge amount of creative license which thoroughly reexamining hero overdrives could give SEMC.

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  6. Colton

    Colton Technologist

    Alright, well these examples just don't make sense to me because these abilities i actually do overdrive often. For example Lance players almost always overdrive his ultimate because it reduces the stamina cost. Opening up ability combos that would otherwise be impossible. While the gythian wall overdrive requires you to stand still the entire time making it cumbersome to use.

    I also often overdrive Ardan's blood for blood first when using early game comps because it adds to my teams burst, lets me be more mobile, and generally is better for snowballing.

    The heroes who actually need improved overdrives are mages. Not saying some heroes don't need better overdrives like ringo. But not the ones you're pointing out
  7. Aerdowaith

    Aerdowaith River Troll

    Not to be rude, but that sounds more like an issue of you being disconnected from meta. That might be ok at lower elo, but if I ended up with an ardan on my team who overdrive blood for blood before vanguard I would down vote them trolling or intentional losing idk, but I don't believe I have ever seen a pro who was roaming overdrive blood for blood or combat roll....

    Generally my issue is not just I feel some abilities have weak overdrives, but more that many overdrives are simply boring and uninteresting, and could be a lot better, making the game more complex overall.

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  8. ThePowerpuffBoy

    ThePowerpuffBoy Stormguard

    Some heroes have like no overdrive at all....
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  9. DarkHydra2002

    DarkHydra2002 Stormguard

    If ults has overdrives that would be so unbalanced for late game heroes/junglers, unless the overdrive isn’t that good. This is bc you can only over drive the ult at level 12. So junglers would have a huge advantage, and snowballs would snowball even more with good ult overdrives. Wow this is messy...
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  10. kokatsu066

    kokatsu066 River Troll

    judging people based on "race"
    tsk tsk JK
  11. Aerdowaith

    Aerdowaith River Troll

    If all overdrives were good, or overdrives on the A and B were comparable, then that would actually add another element of complexity when choosing. Do I overdrive my A/B or wait to overdrive my ult? For instance if the whole other team chooses to overdrive their A&B would they get a power spike which lets them win the game? That to me makes for exciting complexity and interesting implications.

    Really though, my goal would that overdrives are all balanced such that the lvl 12 overdrive is not too large of a power spike, and choosing what to overdrive would be a situational decision, rather than their being abilities which heroes should essentially always overdrive and not even have to think about it.

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  12. Colton

    Colton Technologist

    I don't often overdrive blood for blood. But it's an option. Pro player do it on occasion. And pro players definitely overdrive combat roll. I'm poa gold currently. I dont know if that's low tiers or not.
    Edit: to clarify. Overdriving combat roll only makes sense when you aren't fighting much/any c c so it's not common. I feel like it being a potential path is enough.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  13. Xaldarian

    Xaldarian Stormguard

    Apart from the constant misspelling of Ardan and Glaive an excellent write up.

    Glaives Ultimate will be nerfed...
    Blood for blood is a jungler upgrade which helps connecting to the enemy and upgrade his damage for only the jungler.

    Reim B
    Lance C
    Petal A
    Idris A

    Are all lousy... Just like Samuels C
  14. Aerdowaith

    Aerdowaith River Troll

    Thanks for clarifying. I for sure was under the impression you were saying they were meta overdrives, or at least close enough to meta to be chosen often. I suppose it is an overstatement that they are not overdriven, but I feel rarely is just as bad. I would love to see some stats from SEMC about overdrives, but in my mind choosing an overdrive less than 30% of the time in mid to high elo play indicates a problem.

    Being a viable option is nice, but if the scenario is so niche that it is truly rare for a particular overdrive to be chosen, then SEMC can do better.

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  15. Aerdowaith

    Aerdowaith River Troll

    Thanks for pointing out the spelling mistakes, I have edited to correct them. To be fair, I only misspelled Ardan twice. ;)

    I am not entirely sure what you mean by "Glaves ultimate will be nerfed" can you clarify?
    Same with what you are saying about Blood for Blood, are you saying it can be good to overdrive to help snowball in jungle, or for mobility in a fight?

    Generally, l will acknowledge that there are probably niche situations where any ability in the game can be good to overdrive, however I would again argue if the situations in which you take particular overdrives are niche, it is an indication they can be improved.

    And yeah, just to say it again, I'd be happy if some of the worst abilities were reworked, but I do strongly feel that there is an opportunity here for SEMC to make the game significantly better, more dynamic and fun by looking at most/all overdrives and adding a rewarding element to each to make each ability feel more unique and each overdrive special and the upgrade path more meaningful.

    Again, going back to the idea of meaningful choice.

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  16. Colton

    Colton Technologist

    Broader choices are always good. But to me it makes sense that some overdrives are situational. For example you don't expect sulbering husk to be balanced for every single match up. It's meant to counter high burst.

    Now, I agree completely many heroes should have broader pick. But even something viable < 10% of the time adds interest in strategy if it's meaningful and interesting when used
  17. Xaldarian

    Xaldarian Stormguard

    Glaives ultimate is listed as a skill that will be nerfed next patch.

    Jungle Ardan as in wp/cp ardan who then gets a boost of 25% ratio over the entire offensive arsenal build. So lets say you build SB BP TM and have 350 wp halfway through the fight. You'd get 87 bonus damage per hit from overdriving it. 87 damage per hit and thats just the ratio...
  18. ScarletZero

    ScarletZero Elder

    Reim B is great on OD as it greatly lowers the CD, increases Root Duration, etx....

    Lance C is great on OD as it lowers the stamina cost and greatly reduces the CD

    Petal A OD is only good on CP Petal, otherwise its garbage on WP Petal

    Idris A, well.... Isnt that Great

    Sams C, likewise is also terrible to OD
  19. Ve3nNo0wM

    Ve3nNo0wM Gythian

    What you're suggesting in the OP is a rework of all ability overdrives to make them more interesting.

    This is basically how the original dota moba got created. Fans using the in game map modifiers and heroes to suit. Also how tower defence games got made... And also counter strike...

    It won't happen unless SEMC give us the tools to do it ourselves. Which would basically kill their own game.

    Some genius creates a game using their engine and it turns out to be more popular than the original? Uh oh... SEMC will probably hang themselves.

    But great post. Nice idea.
    Can it be done? Yes.
    Will it be done? No.

    Edit:.... talents? Lol.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  20. VainMaster017

    VainMaster017 Gythian

    First off, great essay, I love reading these rational arguments! A bit of criticism and response:

    I think you countered your own argument here mate, this is my perspective.

    So you start out by saying you agree with balance changes allowing more player choice. Right on track so far, but then we get into your argument that blood for blood does not have enough system support (damage, significant effect, ect.)

    This is were you lost me. Moabs are designed to allow system support AND player choice/skill to determine success. Why are you assuming that "low system support" means no valuable choices from player side?


    -blood for blood has an overdriven range of 7. This allows you to dash through walls with vision, push forward then gauntlet, and manipulate the battlefield with ease. Bonus wp damage is great but the main thing you missed about BFB is its mechanic.

    BFB Is treated as an AA.

    This means that BFB can apply on-hit effects with bonus overdrive damage. Get it? Crits do more damage, TB does more damage, and AS is applied to target instantly without another basic attack.

    -NEVER overdrive gauntlet. Why? Despite what SEMC advertises, vg uses CDA not CDR meaning cooldown gets LESS effective the more of it you have. Good roams will build Contraption that has 40% cdr, which will reduce the cd of gauntlet far more than gauntlet with a lower base cooldown. The damage of gauntlet is also negligible without cp, you want gauntlet to stun so your team can damage.

    -The utility of BFB overdrive is far superior to gauntlet.

    I will admit my bias as a roam main, who loves ardan and the other roams but it seems to me you don't play him often. Honestly, you chose a horrible example to prove your point because FB and combat roll have so many uses in long battles especially in higher tiers. You may have persuaded me if it was koshka's A that only upgrades damage, ect.

    Overdrives are unique and have so much player side effects that can't be described. This is also why balance changes are so difficult to implement; devs have to predict how a tiny stat change can be used by players to such an extent.

    Please get to know these heroes well before judging their kit bad or bland.

    -Git Gud

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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