Balancing Hilde – Power Resource

Figuring out the exact numbers for my League of Legends Champion Suggestion is going to be quite tough. Since I cannot just build the champion and see how her skills interact, it’s difficult to really theorycraft all the possibilities and create a balanced suggestion. My champion is also very complicated, so there are so many more variables to play with. In these Balancing Hilde posts, I will be blurting out all my thoughts as I try and figure out some specifics for my champion’s skills. Hopefully it will be helpful, but it will be a massive wall of text!

Power Resource

When I mention power resource I mean mana/energy/rage/whatever that champions use as a payment for their abilities. One thing I need to decide is which one to use, or whether to create my own new resource. Firstly I will look at the pros and cons of each resource. I do have to add a disclaimer though, I’ve never used any of the champions that don’t have mana… so I’m a bit of a noob when it comes to an understanding of energy.

Mana

The key factor of mana is that at the start of a battle your skills are only limited by cooldowns, but you often cannot sustain your level of production for the duration of the fight. The longer a fight goes on, the weaker a mana user will become. On the other hand, early on in the battle they are at their maximum strength. For a mana user, cooldowns are the only limiting factor at the beginning of a battle. Anything that reduces cooldowns on a mana user is extremely powerful, including items and the Blue Buff.

Energy

Energy is the opposite. You will often use your entire bar of energy for a spell combo, then have to wait for it to regenerate to cast more. Longer fights are great for energy users, because their resource is always regenerating. Of course, at the very beginning they will be at their optimal (full energy), but as mana users start to get low, an energy user will only lose a slight amount of production. A mana user will be crippled. The energy cost of skills will often not allow the use of all 4 in quick succession. This is the main limiting factor. Anything that grants a boost to energy will be the best way to power up an energy user.

Rage

Rage is only officially used on Renekton, but the mechanic is sneakily used on a few other champions. I’m going to refer to stackable power as rage. As you attack, you gain production. It’s a simple mechanic which differs from alternatives because you are at your weakest in the beginning. You have to build up your power in order to build up your production. The only limiter at the beginning is time. Once you have massive rage (which tends to snowball) then your limiting factor becomes pure cooldown.

None

A few champions use no power resource. Garen and Katarina are such champions (are there more? I can’t think of any). These champions are only limited by cooldowns, so cooldown reduction is excellent on them. They also tend to be rather boring champions because they can either do low damage with frequent spell use, or high damage with infrequent spell use. I don’t like this mechanic.

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What gives Hilde wings?

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From a quick look at these power resources, I do think that energy is the best option.

For initiation, energy and mana are the most powerful… a tank must initiate so this is great. However, my champion has so many abilities that there must be a limiting factor. Mana’s only limiting factor is cooldown, yet because there are so many skills, Hilde will rarely have down time. If she used mana, she’d be immensely powerful at the beginning of a fight (she could just switch and spam about 7 abilities before she’d have to wait). Also, because of the sheer amount of skills that Hilde possesses, she will quickly become out of mana. She’d be a burst tank, which is not a feasible idea. Energy doesn’t have this problem.

Hilde relies on spell combos to be effective. There’s no point in her Tribal Dash Aegis without the ability to switch into Fyrone Temblor (for an AoE stun) or Icathian Blades (for the teleport escape)… she would get destroyed in focus fire. All her Tribal Dash abilities put her in danger, but if she cannot switch to another stance then she only has a single target castable at her disposal (none of which improve her survivability). When I designed Hilde’s abilities, I wanted each weapon to give her a different objective to achieve. Using these in unison will result in awesome outcomes. You want to give your team a massive damage differential? Use Tribal Dash Blades followed by Aegis of Kaladoun to reduce enemy resistances and increase your own. Need maximum disruption? Use Tribal Dash Aegis followed by Fyrone Temblor. Want to save your allies from death? Use Tribal Dash Fyrone for a speed increase/decrease followed by Aegis of Kaladoun to boost their survivability (or Icathian Blades to get your ass out of there too).

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Much like a fighting game, Hilde has to master combos.

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Of course, these are just the 2 spell combos that rely on her ultimate. The most effective Hilde will use the castable portion of her skill after switching. So she must be able to use 3 abilities before running out of energy.

After her ultimate, Hilde must be able to maintain a constant rhythm of switching. The persistent abilities on her weapons are used best together, stacking one effect to maximum, switching, stacking the next one, switching, and so on. This will drain her energy, so in order to balance this I have to make sure that her energy regen can at least maintain a switch every 5 seconds (for example).

This actually opens up an interesting design mechanic. If I make the energy cost of Hilde’s switching exactly the same as her energy regen per 5 seconds, then she will always be at 0 energy. This means that she cannot use the castable in her stances. This opens up a decision! I love decisions, they are what make a game a game. Hilde has to decide whether she wants to use her castable for some instant satisfaction, or if she wants to maintain her constant effectiveness by just switching.

Power Resource Summary

  • Maximum energy cost of Tribal Dash + Switch + Cast = <Total Energy
  • Energy cost of Switch = Energy Regen over 5 seconds
  • Minimum energy cost of Cast = Duration of Stacks

These will be the guidelines for my energy costs.

In the next post, I will start looking at the cooldowns on her castable abilities and her ultimate.

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Sam

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