Damage: different forms and the meta

  • If you read my post about healing and why Zerocool is the best support, expect a similar post, just the reverse. I will be diving into different forms of damage. Unlike my support post where I put every healing ability into a class, I will not be doing that with damage. Since every Hero, regardless of category, deals damage I will select one or two abilities from each category (damage, support, tank) to represent that type of damage output.

    • Targeting - The number of opponents damaged.

    Single Target -
    An ability or basic attack that can only damage a single opponent. All melee basic attacks can hit numerous targets but all ranged basic attacks can only affect one opponent except for Nidhoggr's Shredder.
    Abilities - Daemon's Shuriken, Maeve's Life Siphon, Miko's Stasis, Buttercup's Yank.

    Area of Effect (aoe) -
    Abilities or basic attacks that deal damage in an area, affecting all targets within it. Although the size of the area varies, all melee basic attacks are aoe.
    Abilities - Gizmo's Sucka, Nidhoggr's Death Growl, Cass' Blade Dance, Kulev's Sacred Ground, Azrael's Void Wave, El Bastardo's Death Spiral, Makutu's Attraction/Repellent.

    Multi Target-
    Abilites that effect a static amount of opponents or just one individual at a time. This is easily confused with aoe and is a bit of a grey area.
    Abilities - Daemon's Shadow Strike, Gizmo Turrets, Nidhoggr's Shredder, Miko's Stasis (with mod), Zerocool's Bot, El Bastardo's Empower.

    • Rate - The amount and speed in which damage is dealt.

    Passive -
    Basic attacks and abilities that deal low damage per second but tend to have the advantage of dealing damage constantly/consistently. The majority of basic attacks are passive damage.
    Abilities - Daemon's Shuriken, Gizmo's Turrets, Nidhoggr's Burn passive, Kulev's Sacred Ground, Zerocool's Bot, Azrael's Soul Eater passive, El Bastardo's Deathspiral, Buttercup's Whiplash.

    Burst -
    Large amounts of damage dealt instantly or over a short time through abilities or basic attacks.
    Basic attacks - Daemon, Gizmo (at full attack speed), Nidhoggr (melee), Cass (melee), Makutu (Huaki stance).
    Abilities - Daemon's Shift Strike, Nidhoggr's Boomitar, Maeve's Life Siphon, Cass' Hightail, Miko's Stasis, Azrael's Chrysalis, El Bastardo's Overload (assuming he can stay on top of his target), Buttercup's Burnout, Makutu's Barge.

    Damage Types - Classification determines the amount of damage dealt by the ability.

    Flat -
    Abilities that deal a set amount of damage (ignoring modifiers). Nearly all damage in this game is Flat and all basic attacks are Flat damage.

    Percentage Health -
    Damage that is determined by the targets maximum health. The bigger the health pool, the more damage per application. Important note: since this damage is determined by a percentage, 10% for example, the rate at which any target dies is identical regardless of maximum health pool. This damage is effective against all targets but it is ideal against tanks and high health opponents.
    Abilities - Daemon's Shadow Strike, Gizmo's Mini Mech Flamer, Nidhoggr's Burn passive, Nidhoggr's Flame Breath, Nidhoggr's Powerslide.

    Discussion time.

    Nidhoggr and Makutu reign supreme, but why? Both have plenty of burst damage not to mention the devestating result of combo'ing them together. Courtesy of Ragekrom, who did the testing for Makutu, the meta build for Makutu (Back Breaker, Killa, and a flex mod) results in Barge dealing 208 damage base. Back that up with a Boomitar, 60 damage per pass, 2 passes total, 120 damage base. You have a combo that deals 328 damage and it can hit an entire team. That's absurd damage output considering the size of some Heroes health pools.

    Healing that isn't easy. The only support capable of topping off an individual who took 328 burst is Zerocool but he can't heal numerous allies effectively. A single 2 to 4 man Barge can win a fight not to mention the potentional of even more damage coming from a Boomitar combo.

    So why are these two Heroes members of the the Holy Trinity? Makutu is a tank with more dps than the majority of the damage roster, at least more burst. Since he is a tank he still has plenty of utility and durability not to mention his unique ability of being able to single handedly chain cc other tanks.

    Nidhoggr, despite being a melee burst caster, has the highest multi target ranged damage and passive damage. In a straight ranged basic attack duel Nid loses to Gizmo, but Gizmo can only attack one target at a time and her's doesn't have the potent effects of Nid's. For those of you who didn't know, Shredder (Nidhoggr's unique ranged basic attack mechanic) applies his percentage health damage over time burn passive. Meaning, he can hit an entire team with Shredder bolts while simultaneously burning them down. No one is safe.

    Dealing with Makutu, you gotta burn him down. Which means you play Nid. To deal with Nid, you gotta interrupt his Shredding. Which means you play someone melee and your best bet is Makutu. A bit of a contradiction but hey, I didn't program the game.

    Since there is substantially more forms of dealing damage than healing (what my other post discussed) you would expect this to be longer. I'm not tiring out my fingers talking about things you are already aware of. My point is this: if a hero becomes a "jack of all trades" they quickly become overpowered and then they end up defining the meta. The current state of the game is testament to that. Can other Heroes and builds work, sure, but they lack the practicallity and simplicity of a dps Makutu and Shredder Nidhoggr.

    If you are new to this game/similar games of this style, hopefully you learned something. If you are a vet who denies this then please share your thoughts/experience.