Remove Magicstick?

I'm thinking back to 48b. The versions of blink. Whatever team had their blinks first won. At some special occations you could win the game with spectre or shadowfiend, But then you had blinks on that SF and spectre had his own built in dagger. Im asking myself, was the game more fun then? Doubtfully. There was simply not enough heroes to choose from, not enough heroes to be competetive. The game consisted of almost 20 heroes at most. And in the end it wasnt a winning situation.
Before that. I think further back, all the way back to sentinel versus scourge. The imbalance was huge. Some versions sentinel was completely unbeatable, then some versions after that scourge was the same. Picking heroes from the same pool was definently more interesting. And it still is.
So what about the games today? I think someone who is able to farm alot should make impact of the game. If someone is good enough at getting creeps and getting items meanwhile enemys arent. He should be able to change that game. As far as that im still accepting the part of dota that is consisting about farm.
The other night i played a DP2 game. As normally i was just playing for fun, i had a necrolyte and the enemys had a gankoriented lineup. They clashed us all over the map. They farmed too, became stronger and stronger. In one fight i had finally managed to setup a mekansm. They didnt know about it. They took a fight which wasnt in their favour. We won that fight, the first fight we won of that game. Score was AFTER the fight 7-20 to the enemys. I finished a pointbooster directly after. The game was over. Even if they did get me down, the efford was too big. We also had some other defensive stuns and warlock golem keeping me alive. That mekafight might have been a mistake from the enemys. But it was also gamebreaking. They couldnt afford loosing 1-2 battles. While us, the farming team could easy afford loosing the first 10.
So was team 1 just bad? One can say that. Its just DP2, one can say that too.THey failed so why not. But they putted all their efford on fighting and ganking, even sucessfully. Still a hero like necrolyte, with just meka and pointbooster made it so horribly hard to win that game.
Playing defensive. Beat the crap outta the opposite. Ganking, Successfully pushing towers and killing heroes.
I remember mousesports times. The era of BKB. We played with warlock or lich and 2 bkb heroes. Didnt really matter what heroes it was. We won the games when we got the bkbs. It was completely insane. Noone beat us. Even then, SK played versus us. Beating the living crap outta us earlygame. And they had spectre that setup. Still we managed to win that game fairly easy. By just finishing the bkbs.
Is that how we want the competetive dota to look? Is that what the fans wanna watch? Is that what the players wanna play?

I dont think so. I think we should step a little bit back towards how it was before - not all the way tho.
Make defensive choices also cost you in the balance of the game, and make the offensive once give you more.
Magic Stick is one of those items. In a big clash it pretty much gives everyone carrying one 150 extra HP. And since everyone carrying one you could say it just gives everyone that extra hp. And you can choose to use it anywhere in the fight, it doesnt matter if your attacked. Perfect survivability spell.
You go versus a nuker in the lane and survives the first 10 nukes? Nice, now its even harder to gank you then it wouldve been if the enemy was just farming and lasthitting creeps. It doesnt encurage fighting. I've never experienced magic stick as something that encurage fighting. Its a defensive item, atleast thats how its used.
And i think when Icefrog - which i have great respect for, his work, and his betatesters - but when hes making an item which everyone in the game has use of, there is failure. Something is broken. And in this version that is the magicstick.
The supporters seems to be much more useful with that stick tho, It makes those wardbuying-suiciding-for-your-carry-hero somewhat doable in fights. Maybe thats also one of the problems. Supporters these days actually dont need any items at all. They can launch their 150hp heal anywhere in the fight and survive like that. Meaning they could get even more wards, and that you can dodge even more teamfights or ganks. Because thats what wards are made for, dodging fights. Not initiating fights, unless there is a countergang. But then again, the team doing the first efford to actually get a kill - gets killed.
I dont have extremely many ideas about howto make the game more fighty. More actionpacked. But something i was thinking about was having cooldowns shorter in earlygame. What would happen if the cooldowns on ultimates for example changed over time. 200 seconds for Enigmaulti is fair later on, but early on it only makes you really consider when you using it. If it under the first 20minutes of the game would be less - would she fight more?
If you completely ignore a hero, and it farms up and wins the game. I have understanding about that kinda dota. I appriciate it too. But if you have ganked someone alot of times, it should pay off more. It seems to be better to kill a tower then to kill a hero - which is nothing wierd. But when its better to kill 1 tower then to kill 5 heroes then im questioning it. Simply, is it really what we wanna play and what we wanna see?

So my pure suggestions, what would they be?
- Remove or completely rework magicstick.
- Make it pay more gold to be near and inside herokills - why not even more experience? And make the one not lasthitting also get gold for the actual kill. Even if they are 5.
There are possibly tousands of more ideas to make the game more actionpacked and less farmoriented. What ideas do you have?
1 Sav:

Hey Dray,

Some of the figures you are using are wrong, 1 charge on a magic stick gives 15 hp and 15 mp. So in total that is 15x15=225 hp/mp, but this only emphasizes your point I guess.

I have some mixed feelings about this item, support heroes really need this item in all stages of the game, whilst carries often sell it in midgame because it becomes useless to them. This gives the support heroes a little advantage in earlygame, which IMO isn't a really bad thing, this helps them with ganking and surviving, which leads again to more action.

I do think that 15 charges is too much, but the error is more in obtaining the charges than the limit of it. IMO it would be better if you had some sort of "chargecollecting-cooldown" so that in a teamfight you cant instantly collect 10 charges when everybody uses his spells, but that there is a certain period of time between the collected charges, resulting in getting only 3 or 4 charges.

My thoughts.

Big fan, Sav

2 Blewd.:

"Some of the figures you are using are wrong, 1 charge on a magic stick gives 15 hp and 15 mp. So in total that is 15x15=225 hp/mp, but this only emphasizes your point I guess."

That is the upgraded "magic wand".

3 schainer:

100%agree on the goldincrease/expincrese part. Since 20versions or sth I ask myself, wtf again no killgoldincrease, or creepgolddecrease. It would make the game so much better by just changing goldvalues...

4 Drayich:

Yeah, it gives even more! My bad!

5 Sav:


Yeah, my bad, I assumed Dray meant the upgraded version, but it doesn't matter much I guess. If you buy a magic stick you will always finish it.

6 Nataru:

"100%agree on the goldincrease/expincrese part. Since 20versions or sth I ask myself, wtf again no killgoldincrease, or creepgolddecrease. It would make the game so much better by just changing goldvalues..."

Should give the assist/support hero more gold than the killer/last hitting(normally carry) hero. Which they gained the fame and streak already. So imho they should get less gold?

7 Nataru:

ermm..yeah maybe can make a suddendeath-like mode after the game past 50 mins?perhaps spawn a supercreep(with no gold&exp) to help push? and again thats all just my humble opinion

8 Pixel:

well i think that fixing the gold your getting by killing a hero, is very nice. But DotA is more and more about tactic. I also remeber the mousesport era where you went troll and still won, beacuse you had a good tactic: get bkb.

But today DotA isnt so much about farm i think. I think that Ice Frog have made very gank oriented than in the past versions. But to fix that gold for hero kills would encourage ganking to much. Then DotA isnt about making the right descion anymore, then its about killing, killing and killing heroes.

There is no choice for teams to have a farm or semifarming tactic. I think that yes, ganking is ALOT more fun and should be rewarded great, but not on that beacuse one very important ascpet(farming) will be destroyed.

I think that towers should be more easy to kill, and that you should get less gold for the creepkills. Beacuse today you get a very small amount of gold when killing a hero, and so should it be for the creeps to!

Sorry for bad english and sorry for this wall of text:p(big fan of you dray!)

9 ds:

increasing the nonsplitting hero bounty weakens the solo gankers: pudge, lina, NS, BS, clock, etc. the difference between them and the heroes who just happen to have a stun is often the fun gameplay.

and its not like its a lot of fun ganking with more than 2 or 3 people. 5 man roaming should be discouraged imo.

10 Player 13:

My suggestions would be:

1 - Getting slightly less experience from creeps when farming with no enemy heroes in the area.

2 - Money from kills being divided between killers and assistants.

3 - Slightly less gold from creeps.

4 - Magic Sticks getting weaker each time it is used. Healing 1 less point of HP/MP per charge every time, or losing one maximum charge maybe...

11 0tso:

I agree with a lot of the points you are making - the anti-agressiveness of Magic Stick and how Observer Wards are used to know which fights to take or dodge.

But I find that a lot of dota players who are discussing whether or not current dota is more or less agressive/defensive/farm oriented/gank oriented compared to older versions (6.48b for example) are missing a very important point.

For how long was 48b the official version? Take that time, add the fact that the competitive hero pool at that time was ~50% the pool that we have today and compare how much different 43b was compared to 49c and you will probably realize how analyzed (not fully but again not far from) that version was. People had tried everything before, there was not as many viable item builds that you could go on a hero, which means that smart teams (like the 'mousesports times' and 'bkb era') had a very good overview of how a game would turn out right after the picks were made and lanes decided.

The effect being that games were decided by 'Whatever team had their blinks first'.

Now, if you look at current dota not even the very best teams know what to expect the enemy to do. Since dota nowadays is so dynamic - there are some 50-70 heroes that you are able to pick and every hero has the possibility to "branch out" differently by choosing different items, maxing different skills first - people tend to take the easiest path.

In essence the point I'm trying to make (it is rly hard to structure text nicely in this tiiiiny comment box) is that "back in the days" people knew the version inside out. When you know what to expect it is much easier to draft a team that can buy 5 blink daggers, 3 BKB:s and just dominate the other team into submission, today we don't have that at all.

And what happens when you don't know the game you're playing? You take the easiest path to victory and in 9 out of 10 cases that path spells f-a-r-m-i-n-g. Look at SMM. The teams who went there had no idea what to expect from one other, and (especially the asian teams) quickly found that picking 3-4 carry heroes, "triple core strats", aka playing safe was a more consistant recipe for success rather than more risky ways of winning like trying to gank the enemy until they give up, or drafting a push lineup.

You say that ganking a hero over and over again should pay off more, but you have to keep in mind that dota players are like 14 years old insecure girls, they will do whatever the popular girl in their class does - be it picking "boring heroes" like MYM or "5 carry strats" like the asian teams. As soon as people learn how to play gank oriented strats in a way that makes them beat "safe" line ups then I am sure dota will be a much more enjoyable game to watch and play.

That means that if we shift the play style of dota by force (lets say that you got 700 gold to kill a hero and 20 gold to kill a creep) rather than letting people learn how to play interesting strats dota will cease to be a game that is decided by good decision making and turn into a game that is decided by abusing the changes done to shift dota away from farming.

To give you an example of what I mean (if anyone managed to read through this WoT, I'm rly bored at work ^^), let's look at this replay: http://www.gosugamers.net/dota/replays/29112 (I really recommend you watching this very short and action filled replay before reading further, otherwise I'm gonna spoil one of the best replays I've seen in awhile for you)

I think the picks here give a very good picture of what I like to call "safe picks". On the scourge side we have three carries, one in each lane namely PL SF and Panda. Provided that you don't get rolled in the lanes that means that you are very sure to have at least one carry that can dish out loads of damage around 20 minutes play time, when teams usually start fighting for towers as 5.

On sents side we kinda see the same "safe", hard to fail with picks: PotM morph and SS are three heroes that are hard to feed with if you know anything about dota, since they all have strong farming and escaping skills.

Basically, if this replay was 60 minutes of farming (lets pretend this is the final of SMM, in spite of knowing that it is really a casual league game where most people have loads of delay) people would draw the conclusion that 66b sucks and people only farm)

spoiler alert

But what you will find when looking at this replay is that Demon ganks the shit out of scourge, with perfect execution he just runs around from lane to lane serving kills for sentinels carries on a silver platter. Extremely entertaining to watch and most probably equally entertaining for Demon to play (especially when everything that can, goes his way). QED no matter how safe, boring, passive you play there is still room for entertaining ganks.

Scourge (iirc, I was looking at the replay from Demons POV) had wards up, but even if wards 'are made for, dodging fights' demon manages to stay away from the areas scourge has vision of. Had everyone played dota like this I am 100% sure it would be much more entertaining to watch and play. That is why I think that the passiveness that you write about is inherited from DotA players being insecure in coming up with strats hence playing it easy simply because a win is a win, no matter how you win.

12 Avi:

Great read Dray. I've been liking what you've been saying for a while. The game needs big mechanics changes to make it a more ganking/"fighty" metagame. I've been playing HoN and the competitive scene is usually the most boring thing in the world to watch. It's even more of a farmfest than DotA is at the moment.

13 Anonym:

magic stick after 20 mins is TOTALLY OP OMGZ. you just went too far just to be outrageous

14 Xatu:

Yeah, if the game becomes a little more Urn orientated rather than stick, game would be more action-packed. Because urn gets charges when an enemy hero is killed near you, however with a magic stick you can get free 15 hp when enemy Treant Protector casts living armor.

So Urn is a lot more than just a supportive westment. It can be the birth of ganking for glory.

15 Salky:

Imo Icefrog is makin dota playable for the most of ppl. Somedays it was hard to farm. These days u have magic stick wich will save your ass most of the times (like u allready said), quelling blade wich can make any idiot farm easily (even me, basicly there are heroes who are able to get almost every creep with this item like tree, magina, etc...all those with high base dmg) and ofc not to forget poor mans shield wich does such a huge dmg block (might not look like that but 10 dmg is some like 15-25% base hero dmg + agility boost = more arrmor) ...imo removing all this items (or a huge nerf onto them) would be the key for much more aggresive play style in dota.

PS: good article I do 100% agree with u

PS2: sry my english sux :)

16 Xatu:

And also Heroes may give more experience and money. It may give you a grand total of 350-400 gold with a deal like that:

- If killed solo, all goes to killer.

- If there is assist/are assists, %40 of it may be divided among assisters.

17 RikoSe:

Hi dray -> i think will be fine if add more gold for fb/towers ... xD

18 Freestyler-:

I think the teams are picking different, because I'm 100% agree what you say, but look at mym, they are winning with a ganking line up, venge, sven, potm, but what? if you have a necro they use the sven ult+stun to focus him, and it's the same, necro is useless at this point even with a mekans point booster, The gank oriented picks are now sven venge, with a high stun and early gank power but the change is that they have lategame power too, like sven ulti, or potm semy-carry/carry role... but with a lina today you can't carry a game.. I don't think it's imbalance I think that now 5 mages heroes in a line-up don't win a game anymore

19 iHateMagicStickWhenImBristleback:

maybe it would be good if the range of magic sticks is smaller when collecting charges.. i mean a 450 range perhaps would change the whole gameplay because 450 is just too welcoming for nukes and ganks... well, thats just my opinion

20 Ramiro:

Magic stick is as good as it is right now. Also, the idea of the gold that everyone gets without even having to last hit is a ridiculous idea, It would change dota to such a bad game, imagine a game were everyone picks troll, morted, void, naga siren, etc...

That's not DotA anymore.

21 dummdiudmm:

But if u check -bonus, u see how much gold and exp u got from assists, maybe it should be more etc..

22 LunaTuna:

If always wondered if it would make the game more action oriented if u gave all heroes involved in killing a hero a temporary buff to maximum Movement speed.

So lets say u tower dive: Kill the carry and after that you and your mate get max. MS for 3 seconds.

People would more often take a risk and will more often die when the enemy got stunners or healers.

Pls share your opinion!

23 Anonym:

make it that wand only gets 1 charge per spell. like urn does per death

i think magic wand still good, and make the game more entertaining

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