Melee vs Range - A DOTA comparison and why it works

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ParoX

Senior Member

02-02-2010

Locust’s very good analysis of melee vs ranged in the current state of LoL made me think back to my competitive DOTA days, where some melee dps heros were still viable. The following discussion will be about melee heros/champs in DOTA that are not designed as tanks, and still are able to be viable, and why they are viable. Can any of this be implemented into LoL?

Firstly, I’m looking at the overall game mechanics as to why melees work in DOTA more than they work in LoL. Granted, in DOTA, melee still had a hard time against range, more so in the laning phase because of denies, however, melee heros/champs were able to have a greater impact over the course of a game. This at first seems strange, because DOTA actually has far more CC (disables) than LoL, longer lasting stuns, and buyable CC items such as hex, purge, and euls. Why with an increased number of CC, can melee champs still be effective in DOTA?

1. BKB – this item granted invulnerability from magic (including disables) for a small duration. This item alone became essential for most melee dps champs, in order to allow them to use their burst and not be CCed into uselessness. To balance this item however, any ultimate that had a stun or silence component would still stun/silence during BKB, but would deal no damage. Additionally, ‘bash’ was a counter to BKB. Bash is a mechanic missing from LoL (i think for the better) where certain heros/champs had a percentage chance on hit (auto attack) to proc a mini stun, usually ranging from 0.5 to 1 seconds. The only counter to bash in DOTA was evasion, provided by only 1 item, and possessed by only a small number of heros/champs naturally.

2. Manta Style – This item created 2 images of the champ that also dealt a percentage of damage, and took a greater percentage of damage. (Think shaco’s ultimate, but 2 of them). This item provided melee champs with a slight escape mechanism (creates confusion) and the ability to deal damage in a team fight before getting CCed. This wasn’t as effective as BKB because AOE spells would destroy the images in no time, but this is still a factor for melee dps champs.


3. Larger MAP + tp scroll/boots of teleport – Because of the larger nature of the map and the existence of mobility items like tp scroll and boots of teleport, DOTA’s 5v5 fights come at a much later stage of the game. Prior to the 5v5 battles, there are numerous smaller skirmishes of 2v2, 3v3 etc... In these smaller skirmishes, there is obviously less chain disables (CC) going on, so a melee hero/champ has a greater chance at using their damage burst. Once the 5v5 battles started (late game), if the melee champ has been unable to farm up his BKB and his required damage item, he does become useless. There were some exceptions to this rule, which will be looked at next.

Now I’ll look at what specific melee dps hero/champs in DOTA were viable, and why.

1. Spectre – The ultra-carry, and has been over several patches. He doesn’t need BKB to deal his damage because he had a global spell creating images of himself that damaged enemies, with the ability to teleport to any of these images and join the team fight or pick off a lone enemy or two. He also had a chasing skill that slowed enemies, granted vision of them, granted himself speed, and allowed him to phase through units/terrain.
2. SA – This guy had permanent invisibility after level 6, as well as a blink strike, and an AOE slow/silence. Due to the large nature of DOTAs map, and the increased amount of smaller fights before the 5v5 battles, SA if played right could dominate and set up a win by roaming and killing mid game. This is much like what evelyn can do in lower tier games where 5v5 battles come much later and players don’t buy wards/oracles. If the map was much larger and the 5v5 battles came later in LoL, im pretty sure evelyn would actually be a viable pick, where she could dominate mid game, before becoming weak at late game 5v5 battle time. Also didn’t really need BKB because of his skill set.
3. Skeleton King/Sven – 2 tankier dps champs that were viable as the teams DPS because of BKB. Without BKB, both these champs despite their tankier nature, are unable to do anything but cast their spells, because their auto attack will not be utilised when they are chain disabled.
4. Naix – this champ had a spell that granted him 3 seconds of immunity to magic, same as a mini-BKB. He also had a spell that allowed him to escape by jumping into a minion and then burst out of it when he choses to regen a percentage of his HP. The 3 seconds of immunity was all this character needed to be effective, he just needed to farm decent damage, and possibly a blink dagger (flash).

There are a number of other melee dps champs in DOTA that were viable to a lesser degree, but the ones I have outlined above are the main ones used at a competitive level. I know that juggernaut is sometimes used at top tier in DOTA, but most of his damage came from his spells and how is auto interacted with his ultimate spell, he rarely got the opportunity to just auto attack to deal damage in a team fight. He was most useful in the mid game, before the 5v5 battles started.

It seems the reason that these work is because they ALL have some way to deal their damage through their auto attack in a team fight and not be disabled into uselessness. Also, the larger maps allowed there to be a mid game with smaller scale fights, in which they could be more dominant, before the late game 5v5 battles.

Solutions for LoL to make melee dps viable

-Larger map (more maps!)
-BKB –like item (requires significant farm, provides no damage)
-Melee champs with inbuilt skills that allow them to deal their damage

Thoughts?


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NoyRave

Senior Member

02-02-2010

Quote:
Solutions for LoL to make melee dps viable

-Larger map (more maps!)
-BKB –like item (requires significant farm, provides no damage)
-Melee champs with inbuilt skills that allow them to deal their damage

Thoughts?
most of LOL champs got inbuilt skill that would enable them to do damage and/or useful in other categories.

lets recap all the LOL dps melee heroes,

warwick/sion/shaco/udyr/yi/katarina/trydamere/jax - only prob ive seen is warwick and jax.

sion can dominate a lane w/ the right partner.
shaco is a ganker/deceptive character.
udyr can farm/jungle w/ little prob and can gank quite easily.
yi got special for those pesky slows and a skills that enables him to get closer.
katarina same as yi.
trydamere can be played as a bait and can close gap between heroes.

in lane well, even in dota a range would dominate melee if played right, but laning stops around 10+ minutes coz of ganking and teamfights.

my suggestion to these game would add a basher items but udyr cant carry it
and i sure would like to see more items being made with the
ability like purge/windwalk/illusions/bash etc.


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NKT Baker

Senior Member

02-02-2010

Lots of good points. In dota melee heroes dominated much harder then in LoL. I agree with bigger maps. Also, like dota, let us use the edges of the map where the trees are or something like that.
One idea i had was place taller patches of bushes inside bushes. So wen one enters a bush thers also another layer of bush they cant see into.


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ParoX

Senior Member

02-02-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoyRave View Post
most of LOL champs got inbuilt skill that would enable them to do damage and/or useful in other categories.

lets recap all the LOL dps melee heroes,

warwick/sion/shaco/udyr/yi/katarina/trydamere/jax - only prob ive seen is warwick and jax.

sion can dominate a lane w/ the right partner.
shaco is a ganker/deceptive character.
udyr can farm/jungle w/ little prob and can gank quite easily.
yi got special for those pesky slows and a skills that enables him to get closer.
katarina same as yi.
trydamere can be played as a bait and can close gap between heroes.

in lane well, even in dota a range would dominate melee if played right, but laning stops around 10+ minutes coz of ganking and teamfights.

my suggestion to these game would add a basher items but udyr cant carry it
and i sure would like to see more items being made with the
ability like purge/windwalk/illusions/bash etc.
You kind of miss the point.

Sion is not really melee dps in the purest sense - he has a skill set that deals damage and doesnt rely on his autoattack for damage.

shaco - skillset that allows him to deal damage without relying on his auto, has a good escape mechanism, and a good initiation mechanism for ganking. Plus image ulti, which has been discussed above.

udyr - vulnerable to cc/disable, not viable in 5v5 team fights at a higher level.

yi - same as udyr - vulnerable to cc/disable, and now vulnerable to exhuast blind.

trynd - same as yi/udyr - vulnerable to cc/disable.

kat - mainly deals damage through her ult, is more of a caster, not really a autoattack dps so is not relevant to this discussion.

What i was talking about is in-game mechanisms/items that allow the melee dps champs to effectively be able to deal damage through their autoattack. At the moment, ranged dps champs like corki/tristana are able to auto attack damage simply because of their range, where as melees are gimped, as discussed by LOCUST.


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Omega Therion

Senior Member

02-02-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by ParoX View Post
You kind of miss the point.

Sion is not really melee dps in the purest sense - he has a skill set that deals damage and doesnt rely on his autoattack for damage.

shaco - skillset that allows him to deal damage without relying on his auto, has a good escape mechanism, and a good initiation mechanism for ganking. Plus image ulti, which has been discussed above.

udyr - vulnerable to cc/disable, not viable in 5v5 team fights at a higher level.

yi - same as udyr - vulnerable to cc/disable, and now vulnerable to exhuast blind.

trynd - same as yi/udyr - vulnerable to cc/disable.

kat - mainly deals damage through her ult, is more of a caster, not really a autoattack dps so is not relevant to this discussion.

What i was talking about is in-game mechanisms/items that allow the melee dps champs to effectively be able to deal damage through their autoattack. At the moment, ranged dps champs like corki/tristana are able to auto attack damage simply because of their range, where as melees are gimped, as discussed by LOCUST.
CC doesn't magically go away when you pick a ranged carry. However I will agree on the point that melee carries in LoL are not team friendly. They cannot take rally or exhaust or teleport, most melee carries are limited to Ghost and Cleanse or Cleanse and Flash. Udyr's tiger DoT can become HUGE burst if built right and he only has to hit you once, the rest of your points are completely solid though.


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NoyRave

Senior Member

02-02-2010

yi isnt really much vulnerable to cc/disable if played right. because after they would cast a spell yi can jump in next to them w/o having to deal with getting to it, same as try. best bet having a cleanse. dps is different from a tank.

most melee dps in LOL deals more dps than range,

in a teamfight would you FF trydamere first? answer is no due to his teammates CC and his spec leaving him to deal more damage and still tank.

if udyr is building for dps HE IS NOT A TANK, so basically you got a tank to handle that situation.

you dont go in yi as a starter.

i would choose udyr/yi, than trist and corki if our team composition can handle 2 solo lanes, and 1 of our teammates wards, those 2 can still gank like crazy, and without DENY/TOWER AGRO those solo lanes can still maintain their ground(decent solo laners).


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YummyCheese

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Adjudicator

02-02-2010

Don't forget Manta Style allowed you to dodge projectiles as well - essentially negating one stun.


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Toyton

Junior Member

02-02-2010

A much larger map would be delicious.
I never got the chance to play DotA, but, I've seen a few DotA/HoN videos, and their map seems so much bigger compared to LoL.


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YummyCheese

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Adjudicator

02-02-2010

I haven't followed pro DotA recently, but back when I watched (6.55-6.60 mostly) Sven and SK were near useless. Sven was used occasionally, but many others were far preferred. Stealth Assassin was also not used much after his nerfs (late 6.5s, not sure of exact patch.) Admiral has been pretty consistently used, but he's not a hard carry (if a carry at all). Also Broodmother (Bloodseeker that was early 6.6, I think that's changed), Meepo (not so much after hte nerfs) Phantom Lancer, Terrorblade (only .52e, after that he was useless), and Ursa recently I believe.

Lanaya also used occasionally, but only if they had a really good Lanaya player (which was rare). I think you hit the main points tho - BKB allowed alot of them to work (I.e. Broodmother), and invisibliity/escape mechanisms allowed the rest to work.

I think a buff to cleanse in such a way that it works similar to BKB did (but shorter) and buffs to Quicksilver Sash, will allow melee champions to work better. ALSO better escape mechanisms. ATM most melee DPS have horribad escape mechanism (for some reason the ranged champions have better ones - why can Corki and Tristana escape so easily, but Yi has to settle for absolutely no method of escape?). Invisibility was also a LOT better in DotA - as fade time couldn't be delayed. The problem is that melee champions are REALLY hurt by CC - and they have no way to survive/escape, while ranged champions do. Tyandamere's spin got nerfed, and now it's near useless as an escape mechanism, Yi is still stunned, and now that his ulti is negated by exhaust he'll be more useless than before... so yeah.


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blackshatan

Junior Member

02-02-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by YummyCheese View Post
I haven't followed pro DotA recently, but back when I watched (6.55-6.60 mostly) Sven and SK were near useless. Sven was used occasionally, but many others were far preferred. Stealth Assassin was also not used much after his nerfs (late 6.5s, not sure of exact patch.) Admiral has been pretty consistently used, but he's not a hard carry (if a carry at all). Also Broodmother (Bloodseeker that was early 6.6, I think that's changed), Meepo (not so much after hte nerfs) Phantom Lancer, Terrorblade (only .52e, after that he was useless), and Ursa recently I believe.

Lanaya also used occasionally, but only if they had a really good Lanaya player (which was rare). I think you hit the main points tho - BKB allowed alot of them to work (I.e. Broodmother), and invisibliity/escape mechanisms allowed the rest to work.

I think a buff to cleanse in such a way that it works similar to BKB did (but shorter) and buffs to Quicksilver Sash, will allow melee champions to work better. ALSO better escape mechanisms. ATM most melee DPS have horribad escape mechanism (for some reason the ranged champions have better ones - why can Corki and Tristana escape so easily, but Yi has to settle for absolutely no method of escape?). Invisibility was also a LOT better in DotA - as fade time couldn't be delayed. The problem is that melee champions are REALLY hurt by CC - and they have no way to survive/escape, while ranged champions do. Tyandamere's spin got nerfed, and now it's near useless as an escape mechanism, Yi is still stunned, and now that his ulti is negated by exhaust he'll be more useless than before... so yeah.
problem with the old OP cleanse of 2 second invulnerability was that u essentially had a free BKB from level 1 at the start of the game. U didnt have to farm it like u do in DOTA.


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