Balancing Hilde – Damage and Effects Pt.I

Almost done!

In the last post I decided on the cooldowns and new visual style for Hilde’s skill descriptions. After getting to play Lee Sin, he does indeed have changed icons when he has used his abilities (although the original description labels everything, which isn’t the case for Hilde). This clarifies that it can be done and it is a much more elegant solution to the problem of a tooltip covering 25% of the screen.

In this post, I want to fill in the damage and effect numbers for Hilde’s skills. I must keep in mind that she is a tank (lower damage) and that she uses her spells in combos rather than singularly (so I should balance the combo and not the individual spell). As I made her stance ability castables 15 second cooldowns, she won’t be expected to use them all in a single battle (which means more power!).

With my DotA hero suggestion, Idol, I looked at the power of similar skills on other heroes to guide the power of my hero’s skills. I will be doing the same here. Riot also does this, you can tell by the number of single target damaging spells that deal 230-300 damage at skill level 5 (down to B in the ability list and there are already 6!). So, I will go through my skills one by one and decide on some values…

Icathian Blades

Persistent Effect: Hilde’s attacks heal her for XX

Firstly, I need to change this to % based lifesteal. To encourage synergy between the persistent effects of Fyrone Temblor and Aegis of Kaladoun, it should increase in power if attacking a squishier target.

For non-ultimate effects, there are 4 lifesteals that I have quickly found on the ability list. Olaf’s Vicious Strike, Lee Sin’s Iron Will,  Nasus’ passive and Udyr’s Turtle Stance. They all cap at around 20% lifesteal. Therefore, using Riot’s previous testing experience I’m going to trust them.

Persistent Effect: Hilde’s attacks gain 20% lifesteal

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Activation: Hilde teleports to the target location, increasing attack damage and ability power of nearby champions by XX for 3 seconds.

This is Hilde’s escape, chase and allied buff ability. It’s technically on a 10 second cooldown, since you have to wait 5 seconds to switch to another stance, then 5 more seconds to switch back. This ability is so that Hilde can help her team kill people and so that she can escape when she uses the stance ability of Fyrone Temblor or Aegis of Kaladoun.

There are a few AoE allied champion buffs; Taric’s Radiance (90 AD), Sona’s Hymn of Valor (14 AD and AP) and Gangplank’s Raise Morale (24 AD). Only Gangplanks is a short term activated effect. Taric and Sona can maintain theirs for a long time, Sona’s being part of her stance dance (like Hilde). Janna can increase AD by 50 with her Eye of the Storm, but that is for a single target.

There are 2 ways I could go with this. I could go with a more powerful, short term boost. This would help in team fights more, as burst damage is better than sustained. Or I could go with a weaker, longer term boost. This would improve Hilde’s survivability in a sustained fight (longer time = longer time with a boost to lifesteal). Since Icathian Blades are meant to be more of an offensive support tank ability, I think the short term is better.

Activation: Hilde teleports to the target location, increasing the attack damage and ability power of nearby allies by 30 for 5 seconds.

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Cursed Power*: Hilde deals XXX (+XXX) magic damage to enemies in a cone. Champion kills grant gold to nearby allies.

*Activated ability while using Icathian Blades

Cursed Power is Hilde’s way to contribute damage to finish off enemies, but reduce the effects of kill stealing. It is a fairly long range conal ability (would have a thin and long cone) that should act like a typical AoE nuke. Even though Hilde is a tank, this is one of her long cooldown activated abilities. She will need to rely on it in a pinch, so the damage should be significant.

Champions with cone damage abilities include Mordekaiser (Siphon of Destruction: 245 damage), Ashe (Volley: AD+80 damage), Cho’gath (Feral Scream: 300 damage), Kassadin (Force Pulse: 300 damage) and Annie (Incinerate: 325 damage). Out of all of them, Mordekaiser and Cho’gath are the tanky ones. I will use these numbers to guide my spell.

Cursed Power: Hilde deals 300 (+X%) magic damage to enemies in a cone. Champion kills grant gold to nearby allies.

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So, with the base number in, lets look at the skill descriptions…

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Fyrone Temblor

Persistent Effect: Hilde’s attacks reduce target’s armor and magic resistance by XX for XX seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.

When Hilde is in the middle of a team fight, and no-one is focusing her, then she will likely switch to Fyrone Temblor for its persistent effect. This skill makes the enemy squishier, letting your team bring down their carry quicker or weaken their tanky DPS.

Nidalee’s Bushwhack (40% AR/MR), Kog Maw’s Caustic Spittle (25 AR), Amumu’s Cursed Touch (35 MR), Urgot’s Noxian Corrosive Charge (20% AR) and Eve’s Ravage (25 AR) are the abilities that reduce AR/MR in the current game. Amumu and Kog Maw both have it passively, so they are the best place to start. Both these abilities are under 5 second durations. Hilde needs 8 seconds on her debuff, so I have to reduce the numbers to balance that. However, Hilde’s reduction is a stackable ability which therefore means extra risk in order to reach maximum stacks. This means the numbers can be increased. Unlike Amumu and Kog Maw, Hilde reduces AR and MR.

Persistent Effect: Hilde’s attacks reduce target’s armor and magic resistance by 6 for 8 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.

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Activated: Hilde swings her axe around her, enemies are stunned for 1 second per hit.

Originally, I wanted Hilde to unsheathe her axe in a swinging motion and move into a whirlwind. The more I think about it, the worse I think that idea is. The animation would be really strange, and would mess up if she used her stance ability cast during it. I’m thinking that using a similar animation to Rammus’ Tremors is a better idea. Essentially, this skill is an interrupter. It’s meant to stun on the initial switch for 1 second, then it will stun again 2 seconds later. What the delay also allows for is an initial stun on a group of enemies, then Hilde can use Mountain Divide to catch up with squishies in the back. This should be just enough time for the second stun to hit that target. Overall this ability should be much more disruptive than a continuous 2 second stun, but it also gives time for certain champions to escape and use abilities, so it has to be balanced around that. I think it should also deal token damage, since abilities do feel better when they’re damaging!

Heimerdinger’s Grenade (300 damage, 1.5 stun), Veigar’s Event Horizon (2.5 stun), Anivia’s Flash Frost (up to 320 damage, 0.75 stun) and Alistar’s Pulverize (270 damage, 2 stun) are the AoE stuns in the game. Using these numbers, here is the new ability:

Activated: Hilde’s axe causes 2 tremors around her*, dealing 150 magic damage and stunning enemies for 1 second per tremor.

*with a 2 second delay between them (wouldn’t be in tooltip but necessary info)

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Mountain Divide*: Hilde leaps towards a target, dealing XXX true damage and XX bonus true damage per XX armor and magic resist below her own.

*Activated ability while using Fyrone Temblor

Mountain Divide is Hilde’s threat. She initiates with her Tribal Dash abilities but Mountain Divide is the reason people will want to stop her. It’s a relatively long range teleport nuke, which deals true damage and even more damage to squishy targets. At end game, when Hilde has a ton of Armor and Magic Resistance, it’s going to be dealing insane amounts of bonus damage. Therefore I have to take into account these factors when inputting numbers.

There is one single target true damage ability in the game. Olaf’s Reckless Swing deals 340 true damage on a very short cooldown, but also damages himself. Mountain Divide has a longer range, doesn’t cause self damage and can also be increased through items. It also has a longer cooldown and will generally put Hilde into more danger. As a tank, she should be able to deal with it, but it’s a pretty suicidal move in general.

Mountain Divide will probably be the most difficult skill to balance. Hilde’s ultimate abilities are not going to be massively powerful in damage, so Mountain Divide could be her de facto ultimate. However, I don’t want this to be the case because it will ensure that every Hilde player will skill Fyrone Temblor first, which reduces the versatility of the champion. This situation can be combated by reducing the base true damage of the ability, but increasing the bonus damage component. Aegis of Kaladoun increases the damage of Mountain Divide (by increasing your armor and magic resistance), Icathian Blades‘ ultimate ability will also increase the damage (twofold, by increasing your armor and MR and reducing theirs). This means that players will have to find a balance between all 3 skills to figure out the most effective skill sequence.

For these reasons, I will delay putting in numbers for Mountain Divide until all my other skills are accounted for

In the next post I will put in numbers for Aegis of Kaladoun and Hilde’s Ultimate. Sorry for the very wordy post, if I had more concept art I would put it in!

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Sam


 

 

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