And hello to you too, good people. Today, I’m going to rant about Invoker and why I hate his guts.
Once upon a time, the order in which you put your Quas, Wex and Exort also determined which spell you’d get. The more mathematically gifted of you may notice that this would result in him having 27 possible spells. Don’t worry, I won’t go through those, but suffice to say he wasn’t exactly balanced, even for the 6.20s patches.
Then, Icefrog decided to do the unspeakable; remove him from the game completely until a cure was found.
About 20 or 30 patches later, he was introduced in the game once more, with his current 10 spells.
Since then, he’s been through quite a few balance attempts. Let’s be fair, it can’t be easy to balance such a unique character. However, the issue remains, and it goes as such:
First, nobody plays Invoker. Then, he gets buffed to the point which he destroys the matches he’s in. Then, he gets nerfed a bit, and nobody cares, because he’s still broken. Next, he gets nerfed even more, and perhaps he’s not broken anymore, but people continue to play him, since he always has potential, and they have gotten used to him. And then, he gets a final nerf, or the meta changes, and he’s thrown back into oblivion, forgotten and alone.
Repeat from step 1.
I can’t say for sure, but I believe he’s the single Hero who’s received the most tweaks of all time, counting back from Dota 1 of course.
The question is, what is going so wrong in all this?
I’ve mentioned quite a few times by now, that Heroes need to have clear strengths and weaknesses, or at least they should be decent all-around (much like Mirana USED to be). Otherwise, a buff in a Hero’s numbers (attributes, skills etc) will very easily result in him being broken.
I feel the developers are making this specific mistake a lot lately, namely taking away Heroes’ weaknesses instead of buffing their strengths.
As an example, go back to Leshrac’s patch. The idea of the Hero was an AoE nuker, with really heavy damage output, but who could be squishy and needed some setup for his combo.
The moment he got a 1 second slow in his Lightning meant he could solo-kill. The new items, Glimmer Cape,Octarine Core and Lotus Orb also meant he wouldn’t be as an easy kill anymore.
In those same patches, people got A LOT of MMR through the pony.
As for Invoker, he used to be a wizard-themed Hero; very strong spells, and a lot of them, but he had no stats, low mobility and of course, hard gameplay.
Patch after patch, those got removed. He got stats for simply leveling his QWE, and now even a +6 attribute bonus (why make him get drums?). He got high movement speed in high Ghost Walk levels, resulting in a permanently invisible+hasted orchid carrier (why pick Clinkz?), that’s actually very hard to kill with some mobility items. And, saving the best for last, he got a Ravage that also disarms and has a 40 second cooldown.
I never understood the reasoning behind that last one. If there was even any. Why pick Tidehunter?
Add that to his 2k+ HP burst potential with a Eul’s (why pick Lina?), his global killing potential, or that AoE mana burn that sends an entire team back to base, and of course, his DPS capabilities, and let’s ask: Is there anything he’s bad at?
Let me give you a hint:
No, there isn’t. The only thing that resembles a drawback I can really think of is that he’s naturally harder to play than most Heroes.
I don’t like the idea of having a character that can pretty much fill any role way better than average. A jack of all trades should be decent in everything, not “THE FIRST IN EVERYTHING” as he says so himself.
Personally, I would
-Either give him a role he can’t play, as in, take away his “I’ll just put Alacrity on myself and outcarry the carries” and make him a pure Nuker/Controller, still with 10 spells, but with a clear theme, or
-give him 0 armour and some overall less stat gain, so that he’s a bit more item-dependant.
As a final note, I’d like to point out that Invoker used to be somewhat of a rare sight, a bit like Meepo. Heroes like that may be harder to play, but they make up for it through their having unique abilities (extra spells/extra selves). And it was fine, really, better than seeing the same face again and again in every match.
I don’t believe that “hard to play” should be considered a real in-game weakness. A Hero weakness means something a player shouldn’t be able to overcome through sheer practice, such as a carry being weak early game, or a heavy nuker being fragile. Difficult gameplay simply means this character requires some extra effort to unlock his full potential.
Simply put, inability to play with more than two spells (WHY pick Invoker then??) is a weakness of the player, not the Hero.