Playtest 186 - Illusion v2 and Balance Changes

TreiskTreisk Member, Administrator
edited February 4 in Patch Notes

Tonight's playtest features some major changes to Illusion Squad

Art & General

  • The map art has received further touchups.
  • The game camera will now pan to the first Nexus destroyed when a team is victorious.

Illusion Overhaul

  • Hero - Is now melee.

    • Passive - Illusions. The Hero will spawn an illusion of itself every ten seconds, up to the max illusion cap. The cap begins at 1. Every two levels, the illusion cap increases by 1, up to a max of 4. Each illusion can be independently controlled. Hero illusions do half damage, have half the parent's health, and take double magical damage.
    • Apparate (D) - Teleport to an Illusion's position, destroying it. Deals 45 damage to units on the path.
    • Sacrifice Clone (F) - After a delay, detonates an illusion, dealing heavy damage to units nearby and reducing their attack and vision ranges for a few seconds.
  • T1 - A basic backline unit.

    • Phase Mode (Q) - The T1 will partially phase out of reality, temporarily losing the ability to attack but gaining a movement speed buff and the ability to phase through other units.
  • T2 - Is now melee

    • Shadowy Swap (W) - Swap positions with one of your units, dealing 35 magic damage to units near both locations. Enemies affected have their movement and attack speeds halved for a few seconds.
    • Shadow Form (E) - Enter stealth for 10 seconds or until the unit attacks.
  • T3 - A powerful being from another dimension. By default, it is cloaked and cannot attack.

    • Manifest (R) - The unit becomes visible and immobile for the next ten seconds, emitting an aura that slows enemy movement and attack speed. While visible the T3 fires dodge-able shadow volleys at nearby enemies.

Squad Changes


  • Crystalline Hawk (D) - projectile size reduced to 1 (from 1.5)
  • Wisp - Movement speed reduced to 4.6 (from 5)
  • Wisp - Now has the correct (back-line) armor type.


Context - These changes should help prevent scenarios where Eris walks up to armies to quickly, unsuspectingly, one-shot them. Speeding up the projectile acts to retain the ability's effectiveness on ranged units. The Sandblast damage tuning is to try to pull some early-game power away from Eris.

  • Sandblast (D) base damage reduced to 20 (from 40)
  • Chaos Bolt (F) has been adjusted

    • Cast time increased to 1 second (from 0.6 seconds)
    • Projectile speed increased to 16 (from 12).
    • Eris now has temp VFX and a temp animation when casting Chaos Bolt.


  • Burrowstrike (D) - Now travels 15% slower.
  • Scarab - Health reduced to 550 (from 600)
  • Scarab - Movement speed reduced to 4.4 (from 4.5)
  • Hive abilities no longer have generic green-sword icons.


  • Vela - Movement speed increased to 3.9 (from 3.7)
  • WindRay - Movement speed increased to 4 (from 3.7)
  • Basic Snipe (W) - Cast range increased to 25 (from 20)
  • Accelerating Winds has received new VFX!


  • What did you think of the Illusion Squad rework?

    • Did this version deliver the fantasy better or worse than the previous version?
    • Was the gameplay as and against satisfying and clear? Why or why not?
  • How did the changes make Eris feel to play and play against at different game stages?
  • How did the changes make Vela feel to play with and against at different game stages?


  • CycleCycle Member, Moderator

    This is literally gonna be my shortest feedback post ever probably. I played a single game before the playtest started as Eris.

    New Chaos Bolt is the most epic ability in the game. I really doubt I'll play another squad if things stay as they are, since this new ult is so crazy rewarding.

    Looking forward to Sunday wooo

  • RCM94RCM94 Member
    • What did you think of the Illusion Squad rework?

    Didn't see any yesterday

    • How did the changes make Eris feel to play and play against at different game stages?

    Only played against one Eris and she was in a different lane. had an allied eris in most games. The ult seems really strong (a bowling alley of death as someone said).

    • How did the changes make Vela feel to play with and against at different game stages?

    Vela is really fun to play right now. I really enjoy the basic snipe. I played a few games as and a few games against vela yesterday and I think the raptor's auto attack projectile speed might be a little too fast. While it feels satisfying using it. Against it, it often is just like "where'd my units go?" Somewhere between the old projectile speed which felt very unsatisfying to use and the new almost instant might be the sweet spot.

    Also, Vela vs Celesta did not feel great because there is no real answer to purifiers since celesta can just put a wall of wisps in front of the to block any snipes and they one shot raptors.

  • MeltCatMeltCat Member
    edited February 4

    What did you think of the Illusion Squad rework?

    Didn't play Illusion last night (mostly intimidated by the micro requirements I felt on Sunday, also just wanted to play Vela and Eris). Didn't see Illusion in any of my games either, which is unfortunate because the changes sound cool.

    How did the changes make Eris feel to play and play against at different game stages?

    Honestly, I didn't even feel the Sandblast nerf. My early game felt about as strong as usual. Likewise with her ult. This change is far less noticeable than the prior change that switched to the windup-then-fast from the old no-windup-but-slow ult. That said, it did seem like mid-to-long range hits with the ult were a little harder because of the extra time that it could be dodged.

    How did the changes make Vela feel to play with and against at different game stages?

    I didn't actually build any windrays this test; the small movespeed buff made it feel like I could kite fairly effectively.

    The range increase to Basic Snipe felt amazing. It's like a mini ult and you can cover a ton of angles with it.

    Vela feels amazing to play right now. Can't say much for playing against her in the current state though, as I didn't have any such games where I wasn't also Vela.

  • bycebyce Member

    Played 2 games. The first one, as the Illusion squad, someone had to leave and I wasn't even able to get to T2. I was able to use Apparate a few times, but not to much effect. Didn't really get far enough into the game to think about anything else.

    The second game I played as Poison. My partner in crime was @statico as Fire and we had @Berler at the bottom as Alder. This was the first game I really felt like my party had some real teamwork going on and it was a blast! For most of the game, I would just charge in with my big blob of an army and tank everything so that statico (Fire) could do his thing. Poison certainly works fine as a deathball and you could do even better if you have better micro than me. I had plenty of fun just charging in, lobbing grenades for a bit of crowd control, nailing Plagues, and tagging units with Caustic Eruption. This squad is looking really good as it is. The only thing that feels kind of "off" is the Sludge. I feel like maybe it could do more than just float around and suck on people, but maybe, in the future, some sick animations when it takes damage is all I'm really looking for.

    Yeah, really not much else to say, I just plain had fun this time. No Vela or Eris action to talk about.

  • Hive

    I played Hive in all my games this time, and have refined my understanding of the squad's situation.

    Scarab's are very powerful in the early to mid game when they can shred armies composed largely of T1s. Hive's status as a C squad gives Scarabs an advantage against frontline units, but its stats and cleave also make it effective against squishy backline units.

    So rushing Scarabs usually makes you unstoppable in the early game. However, the effectiveness of Scarabs drops of in the late game as your opponents acquire tanky front-lines and reach a critical dps threshold (late game sources of ability damage are especially effective since it gets around the Scarab's physical resist). Thus, I find that my strength-for-investment ration peaks when I build my fourth Scarab. Queens are fine, but after that my options are some combination of upgrades and Hornets, and this does not keep pace with what other squads are doing.

    I should mention that, power falloff aside, I enjoy transitioning into upgrades after building Scarabs and Queens, since the choice of upgrades varies quite a bit depending on what you are up against.

    On the other hand, I find it difficult to play with both Hornets and Scarabs. I think this is partly a lack of micro skills on my part. The two units want to do very different things. Hornets want to kite enemies into mine fields, while Scarabs really demand that close with your opponent and stick to them aggressively.

    Theoretically, you could lure opponents into mine fields, then use your Scarabs to burrow behind their army and cutoff their retreat. However, to get this tactic operational you need to buy the burrow upgrade and probably one or both mine upgrades. This means that you are probably falling too far behind your opponent's in unit quantity to make it worth it (just a hypothesis at this point).

    My thought would be to preserve the Scarab's tankiness and damage, but remove the cleave from its default kit and instead make it an upgrade. This should prevent Scarabs from being so ridiculous in the early game, but make it viable to spec into the cleave later in the game to counter opponents for going all in on squishy T1s.

    To help Scarabs play nicer with Hornet's as I described above, you could give them the burrow ability by default. Causing the burrow to slow enemies at the exit or along the path would also be helpful since you would need to build just one scarab CC enemies rather than a whole wall of them.


    I played against the illusion squad, and due to my Scarabs I had a pretty easy time against them until they built T3s. The Void Monsters did pretty well against all-in units like Scarabs, and there were my attention was elsewhere and Illusion was able to ambush my outlying units very effectively.

    After the changes made this patch, the squad seems to be more about "Stealth" rather than "Illusion," which is a similar but distinct fantasy.

  • ShrikeGamesShrikeGames Member
    edited February 4

    What did you think of the Illusion Squad rework?
    I thought illusion being melee was a little odd but it worked out better than I expected. I saw illusion played twice I think although never played myself. It's way better now that you can't tell which heroes are the illusion and which is the real one. I got lucky one game and sniped the real one as Vela, instantly killing him and like 4 illusions. It felt amazing and visually looked really cool. Some serious mind games trying to pick out which one is acting differently or more likely to be real, a lot of fun.

    Did this version deliver the fantasy better or worse than the previous version?
    Better for sure, I saw more swapping with illusions and using illusions to scout out edges for flanking enemies and hiding the real one. Great potential for sure.

    Was the gameplay as and against satisfying and clear? Why or why not?
    Playing as Vela it felt pretty darn fair against illusion, counter-play is viable on both sides and neither has a distinct major advantage.

    How did the changes make Eris feel to play and play against at different game stages?
    Kind of frustrating at times but mainly due to expectations. The graphics of the fireball (Eris' ult) don't match the hitbox, it extends farther than the indicator and is wider than shown. This bit me in the ass a few times, the former specifically made me scream because I thought I had skillfully dodged only to die horribly.

    How did the changes make Vela feel to play with and against at different game stages?
    Vela feels really balanced and fair relative to others. I really like the change to the T2 because that extra range makes such a huge difference against say Celestia's T2. You can't engage them if she's seiged up as it crushes Vela's T1, but Vela's T2 now can safely (roughly) snipe it without being hit. Early game it can still struggle at times (Hive destroys you in everyway and Eris has a decent advantage) but on the other hand you can hang back and pick off units and gem collectors as much as you can. Vela really needs to be careful until level 6 I feel. Late game Vela feels fine but it's a much larger space to explore so I'll need to play a lot more to really see.

    Hive is downright broken, there were a couple games where we felt like there was nothing we could do against Hive. I remember saying "this isn't particularly fun" and us being at a total loss as to what to do. Hive could single handily wipe two of us, rushes in, mass aoe stun, big damage, and a shitload of health. One game I marked+sniped hive and he lived! (barely) I was so flabbergast, Vela's ult is typically a one-shot, one-kill. Hive=Stay as far away as possible, don't engage, stun, unleash everything you have or you're just dead on the spot. It didn't even feel like there was a period of the game where we would have an advantage, early, mid, late Hive was ridiculous. There was no option to even "shut them down before late game" (EG: don't let protoss get mass carrier).

    Mines are really cool though. I didn't realize they existed and was surprised when I started blowing up. The mines look like any other cube and didn't give off any of the traditional "this is going to explode" or "this is a bomb" visual clues. After that though it was a nice touch to have to snipe them coming at you. I enjoy the mechanic.

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