Balancing Hilde – Cooldowns and Effect Durations

In the last section, I decided on Energy being my power resource and formulated some guidelines for the specific numbers behind the ability costs. In this part, I want to think about the cooldowns for my abilities and discuss possible implications of various cooldowns. In addition, she also has stackable on-hit effects, so the duration of them is important.

Cooldowns and Effect Durations

If you’ve been following Hilde, you’ll remember that she has a lot of abilities. Here is a summary…

  • 3 stances
  • 3 stance abilities
  • 3 abilities which trigger upon stance activation
  • 3 abilities which are triggered from her ultimate
  • 1 ultimate

13 abilities! It’s a lot! On the other hand, most of them are reliant on other abilities. There is only ever 1 stance ability available at one time (i.e. you can’t use 2 stance abilities in unison). Her 3 ultimate abilities are also like this. At a single point in time, Hilde will only have a choice of 4 abilities (her current stance castable, her other 2 stances and the current stance ultimate). This is why I think she won’t be as complicated in practice as she seems on paper.

Of course, her stance switching nature means that she will be using these abilities very frequently (which opens up the reliant options). She will have a lot of choices to make and will be a difficult champion. This is how cooldowns can help me simplify Hilde or ensure that she’ll be hard as hell.

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Cooldowns don't have to be boring...

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Stance Switch Cooldowns

The simplest cooldowns to figure out are the stance switching cooldowns. Her Axe and Shield stances have stackable debuffs on attack. To work out an appropriate cooldown, I will have to decide on how long the debuff lasts (so that Hilde can stack one, switch, then stack the other one, switch back and maintain the stacks of the original stance debuff). That sounds complicated so here’s an example…

  1. Hilde casts Fyrone Temblor giving her attacks a debuff that reduces enemy armor and magic resist. Stacks 5 times.
  2. Hilde attacks her target 5 times, building up to maximum stacks.
  3. Hilde casts Aegis of Kaladoun giving her attacks a buff that increase her armor and magic resist. Stacks 5 times.
  4. Hilde attacks her target 5 times, building up to maximum stacks.
  5. Hilde casts Fyrone Temblor giving her the original debuff.
  6. Hilde attacks her target and refreshes the 5 stacks that were previously running out.

So, the cooldown between the stances has to be short enough so that the original debuff is still active after switching, attacking 5 times and switching back.

In addition to these 2 effects, Icathian Blades grants Hilde healing on each strike. When she has maxed her Axe debuff on an enemy, she will deal more damage and heal for more. When she has maxed her Shield buff, her heal will grant more effective health (health after calculating resistances). The goal of Hilde in a team fight is to reach maximum stacks of her Axe and Shield attacks, then switch to her blades to provide her with extra tankiness through self-healing.

So the duration of her debuffs/buffs must last long enough for her to switch to Blades and then have a short period of full power. Players can decide whether to cut this time short (to refresh the effects) or take the full time of super-power and not waste any time switching back.

To start calculating numbers, I’ll need to have an average attack speed. I’ll use 1 as a default, although that could be changed later.

  1. Hilde casts Fyrone Temblor
  2. Hilde attacks 5 times – 5 seconds
  3. Hilde casts Aegis of Kaladoun – 0.5 seconds (human delay)
  4. Hilde attacks 5 times – 5 seconds
  5. Hilde casts Fyrone Temblor0.5 seconds (human delay)
  6. Hilde attacks to refresh – 1 second

So, between the last hit of her Axe attack and the time she switches back to reapply the debuff is a 7 second interval. This means that the debuff/buff must last at least 7 seconds.

If Hilde then switches to Icathian Blades she will have…

Fyrone Debuff: 6.5 seconds remaining

Aegis Buff: 5 seconds remaining

This gives her 5 attacks at full power, 3.5 attacks if she wants to maintain her Aegis buff (thus switching back to Aegis and attacking once). 2 attacks if she wants to maintain her Aegis and her Axe stackables (since she’ll have to waste 1.5 seconds to switch and attack again).

Unlike a DPS class, the super power effect isn’t really that powerful. All it does is grant her maximum tankiness. Therefore I think that the full power period should be at least 8 seconds if she wants to maintain her stackables. To switch and apply both stackables it takes 0.5 + 1 + 0.5 + 1 = 2 seconds. Therefore, if I want the full power period to be 8 seconds, the stackables need to last at least 8-9 seconds.

Summary

  • Stackable buff/debuff lasts 8 seconds
  • Switching has to be available every 5 seconds (maximum cooldown period)

With these figures, we can now fill in some of the blanks of the skill description mock-ups…

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These would be the skill descriptions that occur when in another stance. To solve the problem of a massive amount of text, I’ve thought of a better way to reduce some of the clutter (using skill replacements, a bit like Lee Sin). So these aren’t final, but they’re good for detailing all facets of my stances.

In the next post I will be continuing with cooldowns, working out whether to make Hilde’s stance cast abilities high or low cooldown. After that, adjusting the power of abilities will be possible.

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Sam

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