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Thread: Let's Talk About the Baron Changes (Long Post)

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    New Member Cupidhead AtlasGames7's Avatar
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    Let's Talk About the Baron Changes (Long Post)

    TL;DR - The current changes to Baron aren't doing enough, especially since his ult and passive are so strong. Baron requires further nerfs to his ult or maybe his passive on account of his incredible damage, which I have taken the liberty of calculating and comparing to another high-damage mage, Scylla.

    Since 5.12 has officially dropped and the Baron nerfs has dropped with it, I feel as though now would be an appropriate time to talk about Baron and why he isn't being well-received. If you haven't read the patch notes for 5.12 already, I would strongly recommend doing so before reading or commenting on this thread since I'm not going to recap the patch notes in their entirety, just discussing what I think should be happening with the god. This is going to be a bit of a long post and I apologize in advance for that, but I think that there's a fair amount of constructive criticism to be had with Baron, so stick with me and I'll explain it as best I can.

    First, let's discuss the bugs. Though it's nice to see them fixed, they would have ideally never have made it to live, but I suppose that's in the past. But there is one change I'd like to point out - the change to his 1's power scaling. I'm lumping this change in with the bugs because if I'm understanding this change correctly, it is in fact a BUFF and not a nerf. According to the 5.12 patch notes, the scaling on it was changed from 80% down to 70%, but the 5.11 (release) patch notes record it as being 60% scaling. Currently the live version says that the scaling is in fact 70%, but I very clearly remember playtesting Baron's scaling in jungle practice and having 60% scaling back in 5.11. I'm assuming this increase to his scaling was accidental but it is nonetheless worth pointing out.

    Secondly, his passive. I think that the reduction to his extra damage boost is nice, but I don't really believe that it's enough to fix the problem with Baron; that is to say, his extremely high damage. It's a step in the right direction, albeit a small one, but I don't see any reason to go over the change to his passive since it is still making progress towards a better Baron.

    Now let's talk about his ult. The changes made to Baron's ult are, again, nice but not enough. The problem with Baron's ult lies largely in how much it actually does. He gets CC immunity and respectable damage mitigation, a decent stun, a Hysteria buildup on all enemies in the cone with max Hysteria on whoever hits the coffin, combined with tick, flat, and maximum HP damage. The changes made affect his flat damage (but not the scaling on said flat damage), the damage mitigation, and the stun. However, these are not the factors that make Baron's ult so strong. I would contend that the maximum HP damage along with the extra 20% damage he gets along with the stun are what make Baron's ult so incredibly strong. Max HP damage is typically very strong, which is why there's only a couple ways to get it (Thanatos' 1, Soul Reaver, Qin's Sais, etc.). However, keep in mind that Thanatos' 1 is a skillshot ability and his most effective tool (meaning that a missed Death Scythe is going to make him much less threatening), Soul Reaver is on a timer in addition to being rather expensive, and Qin's Sais require you to constantly be landing basic attacks to ramp up damage. Comparatively, Baron only needs to get you to touch his coffin, which isn't very hard considering you're going to be constantly pulled towards it. Consider also that he can still buy Soul Reaver, allowing him to delete 25% of your MAXIMUM HP in one ability, all without calculating additional tick and flat damage from his ult. Furthermore, he also gets a free 20% extra damage on you from all sources (30% if he uses Shaman's Ring), and you're stunned for a respectable amount of time afterwards. This is all without calculating the additional damage from his three other abilities. As a given, magical protection will prevent you from taking the full brunt of the damage from the flat/tick parts of his ult and whatever abilities he uses afterwards (provided you're building protections, I.E. playing a tank/warrior/possibly assassin), but even then he can still take 15% (or 25%) of your maximum HP unmitigated before he starts to blast you with the rest of his arsenal.

    In order to understand just how powerful Baron's ult to full-kit combo is, let's do some quick math. Let's say at level 20 Baron has 540 magical power (power boots, Spear of the Magi, Soul Reaver, Ethereal Staff, Bancroft's Talon, and Chronos Pendant) and he ults you with Soul Reaver up. The initial ult damage is 25% (15% from ult + 10% from Soul Reaver proc) of your maximum HP, plus 650 (380 + 270 from scaling) and whatever you may happen to take from tick damage. Then he uses his 1 while you're stunned and lands both (not hard on a stationary target), doing 658 damage on the first beam (280 + 378) and ~98 damage on the next (15% of beam damage). However, each beam is also doing the 20% he gets from his passive (increased to 30% if he uses Shaman's Ring), meaning the first beam actually does ~790 and the second does ~118 for a grand total of 908 damage. Then he lands his 3, doing 69 (42 + 27) every .5 seconds for 4 seconds, giving him a grand total of 552 damage (69 damage over 8 procs), but the extra 20% damage on each proc means he's actually doing ~83 per proc for a grand total of 664 damage. After that he drops his 2 for 668 damage (290 + 378), boosted up to ~802 damage from his passive.

    All that together adds up to a pretty easy to confirm combo that does 3024 damage plus 25% of your maximum HP. Given, this is only one example of a Baron build and this damage is being calculated without taking protections and penetration into account, but it still seems pretty clear that in his current state Baron hits like a truck.

    As a point of reference, a level 20 Scylla (a character renowned for being a strong nuker) with the same build does 772 on her 1 (260 + 512), 896 on her 2 (320 + 576), and 1568 on her 4 (800 + 768). All together that makes a grand total of 3236 unmitigated damage plus 10% unmitigated max HP damage. Baron does 15% more max HP damage in exchange for doing 212 less flat damage before protections and penetration is calculated. Keep in mind also that Baron's ult-to-full-kit combo is much easier to secure than Scylla's 1-2-ult combo, mostly on account of the CC involved.

    So with all this information, how can we fix Baron?

    I suggest either removing the flat/tick or the maximum HP damage from his ult, on account of the fact that using the two together makes his ult incredibly strong. 650 alone doesn't seem like a big number for an ult, but when you add 15% (25% with Soul Reaver) of your HP being chunked unmitigated along with an extra 20% (30% with Shaman's Ring) damage on all his next abilities, it really starts to add up. Shaving his combo down to either 3024 flat with 10% maximum HP from a possible Soul Reaver proc or down to ~2375 with 25% maximum HP between ult and Soul Reaver seems a bit more reasonable in my eyes. Additionally I'd like to point out that a lot of Baron's power comes from the fact that he instantly gets max Hysteria on a target from using his ult. It could also be prudent to shave off more of the extra damage he gains from his passive, but I would suggest either fixing Baron's ult or his passive depending on which he should be more dependent on, instead of doing both a nerfing him into early irrelevancy. Making Baron more dependent on building max Hysteria on targets is questionably more interesting but also more difficult, but I think there's something to be said for emphasizing his passive over just instantly nuking a target with Baron's ult. Mages should be strong in the endgame, that much is true, but I believe that the nature of Baron's easy-to-confirm abilities (let's be honest, they're not that hard to hit) means that he should be less of a nuke character and more of a consistent damage dealer like Agni or Isis. If nothing else, these changes will hopefully make him a bit less of a pain to fight against without nerfing him into oblivion.

    Feel free to let me know if I messed up any math. All my numbers came from the in-game jungle practice with one sample build (pen boots, Spear of the Magi, Soul Reaver, Chronos Pendant, Ethereal Staff, and Bancroft's Talon). I was not able to run any sort of tests regarding penetration or protections, as stated, but I am led to believe that Baron has strong penetration due to his use of Spear of the Magi. Feel free to test that also if you find yourself able to do so - I'm interested to hear how Baron measures up once protections and penetration are calculated.

  2. #2
    The Mad Hatter Chosen Relanah's Avatar
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    It is odd that they upped the scaling on his 1... I can only assume someone forgot to put their glasses on so the 6 looked like an 8. (I can also confirm that it was indeed 60% scaling, looking at video footage shows ingame a 60% scaling)

    I think a lot of the Baron's problems could be alleviated by removing the max health damage from his coffin and the hysteria build up from the pull. Possibly even making it so that the stun is a shorter duration if not at max hysteria.

    Meaning the goal would be to use your skills to build up hysteria to get the death sentence ultimate, rather than it by itself activating its own conditional powerspike that also sets up all your skills for maximum potency follow up.

    Thus also providing counterplay. Since no longer would it be as viable to initiate with the ult, you'd be able to play around it so long as you can avoid getting stacked hysteria.
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    Member Follower Licton's Avatar
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    While i agree on EVERY word you said i think that his ulty needs huge nerf and his stun should be completly removed

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    Senior Member Honoured Saerireth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Licton View Post
    While i agree on EVERY word you said i think that his ulty needs huge nerf and his stun should be completly removed
    Why. You keep saying this, you don't give any reason why a channeled ult that brings people into melee range of a mage who has no escape should have its stun removed.

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