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Every designer works significantly differently from one another in terms of how they work with the community – so these types of write-ups will be more on a case-by-case basis.
Disclaimer: The following is all work in progress and is subject to change at any time. Additional Disclaimer: The following uses temporary particles made by me and thus look terrible.
Turrets – Why are turrets cool?
We wanted to solve was why Heimerdinger’s turrets cool and what draws players towards Heimerdinger. They should be easy to use, claim territory, farm minion and provide a threatening zone that Heimerdinger could operate from behind.
Conversely, we also wanted to solve all the negative aspects of Heimerdinger’s turrets – their binary nature against long ranged targets, their wide disparity in effectiveness between melee or ranged and the fact that they intrinsically relied on being countered by their opponent rather than being played around.
So we added laser beams on them and called it a day.
Heimerdinger’s turrets now have two direct attacks: The rapid cannon attack pattern that they have currently and piercing energy beam attack that is on a much longer cooldown. This allows Heimerdinger’s turrets to harass and provide threat to a larger range of enemies.
The quick cannon attack is a very short ranged attack and excels at shredding minions apart – but provide continuous threat in a region. The energy beam is a long ranged attack that can harass opponents at range and deals very heavy damage. His attacks scale off ability power but the energy beam cooldown can be reduced with additional cooldown reduction.
Melee characters will need to dodge the beam attack to destroy the turrets quickly – while ranged mages will need to still need to dodge the beams to harass turrets down. Turrets have a fair amount of magic resistance and far weaker armor early – lowering the disparity between enemies.
Additionally, we’ve reduced the power of each individual turret and raised the turret count back to three as it lets us make each individual turret easier to take down – but also raise the potential use cases of turrets from providing vision to providing coverage.
From internal testing, the biggest gain here is that Heimerdinger’s turret formations become a little more interesting. If you clump your turrets – you’ll have a very strong zone of minion control and hiding – but the barrage of skillshots is fairly easy to dodge, as they come from the same point.
Keep in mind though, that the cannon attack is relatively short ranged – so clever spots to put beam turrets will prevent their basic cannon from being able to affect many targets, seen here when the bottom turrets can attack Annie with their basic cannon attack but the topmost turret is slightly out of range.
Additionally, since each turret is individually weaker – advancing with the turret wall is a much slower process than before. With two high-powered turrets, you could easily leapfrog your way in a creeping methodical pattern. With three turrets of moderate strength – you’ll need to think about whether or not your third turret and the loss of the old turret will create gaps that enemies will use to murder you.
Otherwise known as - I regret my decision to replace that top turret to push in.
One of the things we wanted to stress on Heimerdinger is that he has local control over his area. Because his turrets were still active while Heimerdinger was not nearby, it made his turrets powerful in a way that was neither appreciated nor particularly compelling to play against.
Since he could farm his lane passively from base and push from afar – it forced his wave clear to be weak as he had so much presence. We wanted to take away this global control because it forced too many limitations on Heimerdinger’s power level and play pattern to the detriment of the entire builder fantasy – from turret count, to turret durability, to the fact that turrets had to die when he did.
Turrets now shut down after 3 seconds if Heimerdinger isn’t within 1200 range of them, enabling characters to have a window of opportunity to reclaim lane position if Heimerdinger has left.
A portion of Heimerdinger’s ultimate has been devoted to shoring up a couple of his weaknesses – one of which being an inability to quickly set up when the time was required. One of the ways to use his ultimate can be to quickly set up a turret nest in a flash.
Using his ultimate in this manner will spawn the familiar frosty turrets that you are accustomed to, that slow enemies on hit. However, using the ultimate in this manner will prevent you from using it in any of the other modes and has quite a significant cooldown cost early. If Heimerdinger returns to lane and uses his ultimate to create a foothold fast with it, he’s giving up a portion of all-in strength for the next few minutes.