NS's Blog about Roshan
NS' Blog "A little bit about Roshan":
The history of Roshan
So, some history to start with: Dota appeared about 10 years ago. No one probably knows, when that WarCraft 3 map appeared, which even remotely resembled this wonderful game, which everyone is playing now (or at least actively trying to find a key). Anyway, it's all very long-standing and at that time no one could have predicted that the map has such a great future. Respectively, in the first versions of Dota there were a lot of imbalances. I can remember Lion with 15 second stun and 10 sec cooldown and much more. It was just a map to rest from classical WarCraft, of which there were thousands around. Roshan attended there as a main boss, some big and hard to kill guy. Such bosses were presented in all similar maps (like AOS, Angel Arena and others).
Dota was developed, imbalances were fixed and about 7 years ago Dota became more balanced - or at least, everyone thought so. Great and mighty Dota v5.84c (last version made by Guinsoo, right before Icefrog took Dota into his hands and started to make 6.xx maps) seemed to be ideal, though if you look at it closely you will understand that it was insanely imbalanced. Talking about it could take a lot time, but no one needs it. Additionally, we are only interested in one aspect - no, not Roshan, but Aegis.
Those days Aegis could be bought. Let me tell you a little bit about it: This artifact cost about 4500 gold and was some mix of assault cuirass, hood of defiance and heart of tarassque. It gave 15 (or 10, I don't remember) armor, increased magic resist and gave 11 hp regeneration per second plus gave 4 (!) reincarnations. Heroes which died with Aegis, respawned - not on the battlefield, but in base, near the fountain. For a long time, no one understood that aegis can and should be abused. As soon as it was grasped, aegis was first nerfed, then banned on tournaments and afterwards completely deleted from Dota. It was deleted, but not quite. It was decided to fundamentally change Aegis and turn it into what we have currently. I.e. it's dropped from the killed Roshan. At the same time, Roshan was massively weakened and since then nothing changed.
This history tour is here to realize where Roshan and Aegis did come from. It's very important to have a clear understanding that both Roshan and Aegis were invented as crazy imbalanced and not suited for tournaments map near 10 years ago.
What do we have nowadays? Now Dota 2 is, I'm not afraid of these words, a cybersport headliner with a lot of tournaments, competition surpasses all possible limits, absolutely all top multigaming organisations have their Dota 2 teams or are in urgent search for an own team. And all of this happens with a game, which is still in beta and there is no access of broad masses. And Roshan with Aegis is still here. Actually, I'm not against Roshan in fact, it's a part of Dota history, something that is still interesting especially for casual players, who start to explore a map after the first launch, find secret shops and angry Roshan guy who is not easy to kill until you haven't farmed yourself some strong artifacts. But something is wrong here. Let's understand how Roshan fits into professional and semi-professional Dota.
Roshan is located on the Dire's territory. That is already wrong by itself, but in those old times, when he was placed there, no one cared about it. Now everyone knows that it's wrong, but there is no hurry to change it. Why is it really so bad and imbalanced? I've added a map with marks in it (MS paint lvl 80). Roshan is marked with letter P and some interesting places marked with numbers. Let us in turn.
Supposed that Dire decide to kill Roshan in early game (on 6-7 lvls some heroes allow it, I'll write about it later). Then numbers 1 and 2 are important and, somehow, number 4, too. 1 and 4 are marking towers and number 2 is practically the only Radiant way to Roshan. Early game Roshan kill implies that towers 1 and 4 are still alive. This in turn means, that you can't get to Roshan under smoke or by another imperceptible way is possible only through the number 2 (or by the river). Respectively all that Dire need to prevent a sudden attack is to place 1 observer ward there and 1 sentry ward (to see invisible enemies). Also, the fact of towers existing near the Roshan gives an opportunity to sudden shifting of all heroes to the Roshan by the teleportation on these towers (this fact also helps to defend Roshan, if Radiant decide to kill him in early game, while these towers are alive).
Lets at once review the similar situation when Radiant decided to kill Roshan in the early game. Pay attention at the numbers 5,6 and 7. Its nearest Radiant's towers to the Roshan. Place, where you can be grouped and use a smoke being confident that you can't be observed by some wild ward. Also it's a place where you can teleport to cut your map travel time. It's obvious, that these towers are farther from Roshan and not connected with him. They don't prevent Dire's opportunities of taking Roshan and also don't help Radiant to defend him.
Moving forward, to get to Roshan Radiant again have to go through the only way, marked with number 2. It's very easy to observe that Radiant are going to kill a Roshan, because ward is always placed at that place and they will be seen elementary. But, lets assume, that tricky Radiant got to Roshan's place, e.g. with smoke and started to kill him. Dire notice that(hear or check somehow, because Radiant players are missing from a map for a long time - towers are too far from Roshan, so it will take 15-30 seconds for Radiant players to get to the Roshan) and again find themselves in a winning position.
Roshan can be chambered by spells from the whole Dire territory, herewith chambered from the heights, where Radiant don't have an access and also can't watch there. Also it can be chambered from the tower marked 1. As a result, Dire can kill all Radiant heroes near the Roshan not even coming to them and then kill prepared monster.
Generally, in fact, in even game Radiant theoretically don't have a chance to come and kill Roshan in early game, however Dire do it constantly in every second game. Many teams adjust their pick to it - that's what we will talk about now.
It's enough to have any hero with armor reduce spell, e.g. Slardar even with 1st lvl ultimate suits, that reduces armor by 8. Roshan's armor will go into negative what means that units' and heroes' damage won't resist, but on the contrary will be increased because of negative armor. As a result, Roshan killing will take from 10 to 15 seconds, I would remind that to get to Roshan's place Radiant needs also 10-15 seconds, so practically you have no time.
Roshan principally beats quite hard and there could be some problems with his killing, if you don't have any summoner hero in your team, but it's enough to have any of them (Furion, Chen, Broodmother, Enchantress, Lycnathrope, Lone Druid, Enigma and some other), to tank most or even all of his damage by summons and not lose heroes' hp. Also summons deal their own damage what, of course, makes his destruction easier.
Actually it's not clear, why can some heroes kill Roshan on the 1st lvl or in every suitable moment of the game in seconds, while other heroes barely deal with him even in late game.
Aegis is a right to fail
Well, finally I would like to say something about Aegis. Not about who, how and why can easier get it (it's obvious that Dire can get it easier with heroes, made to kill Roshan, what Dire abuse very often) but about what is this artifact in general and what does it bring to Dota. Aegis is a craziest imbalance, it's a right to fail, right on bad performance, right on audacity and frankly vast preponderance of power in favor of the holder. It's because aegis gives reincarnation with full mana and hp on the battlefield, so a 5-vs-5 fight turns into 6-vs-5. Herewith aegis can belong to heroes like Leshrac or Spectre, which you can't kill, which are hard to kill and if you kill them, they will respawn again and the situation will be repeated.
Many times, especially when Spectre was a trend, I saw a situation when Spectre with buyback and aegis appeared on the battlefield, fought, died, respawned, fought, died again, used buyback, used ultimate and fought third time. There is no same strange thing anywhere. Imagine, that in CS 1.6 you can go somewhere away kill 5 stupid bots and gain reincarnation. Where is the logic of such an artifact? Also I would like to remain that Dota is not CS, where you start every new round from scratch. In Dota every won or lost fight inexorably approximates/puts off win, and Aegis gives all chances to win next mass fight.
It remains only to say a few words about positions 3 and 8. There the most expensive, big and strong neutral creeps are located (apart from Roshan himself). According to the location of points it can also be noticed that Dire creeps are very close to Roshan (number 3), analogous Radiant creeps are generally on the other end of the map (number 8). Why is it so important? Lets suppose, that Roshan died on the minute 25, next Roshan will appear on the 35th minute. Both teams know it and start to group near the Roshan's place on the 34th minute, or a bit later. They are taking positions, placing wards, in general, they are preparing to fight for Roshan, or with Roshan (in case that one of the team didn't come to Roshan at necessary time). Situation obliges both teams to stay near the Roshan and not farm lanes, because if someone leaves to farm a lane or somewhere else, his enemies will be able to kill Roshan easily and there will be no reason to fight for Roshan 4-vs-5 (we review approximately equal game of two equal strong teams).
Such state could last for some minutes and all this time Radiant got nothing to do, whereas Dire can easily farm creeps, marked with number 3 and get gold and experience. It would seem that Radiant can go to their woods and farm some creeps there, but, firstly, they will get less gold and experience that Dire and secondly, they will leave their positions, so Dire will be able to occupy Radiant's old positions, or brake their wards. Dire themselves don't need to go anywhere - they stay where the creeps are spawning. There were some games in my experience, when we stayed there for 5 or more minutes farming creeps and slowly but surely overtaking our opponents in gold and experience.
Roshan's future in modern Dota
Generally, seems like I said everything about it. I tried to present focal points above. It can be examined in more detail and so on, but I'm afraid that it will take too much space and I can begin to repeat, or confuse in thoughts, what I do not want to. From all above written I'm doing some conclusions/wishes about Roshan's future in modern Dota.
- Firstly, the relief and Roshan's place on the map should be changed. I know that it's difficult to do. Actually, I don't know how to, wherever he will be placed some team will have an advantage. May be place him into some location where you can teleport, but it's a bit pathetic, isn't it?
- Secondly, Roshan should be buffed. Maybe don't improve his HP, armor or damage, but make some simple edits: Armor reducing abilities shouldn't work on Roshan, as well as orb-effects (shoutout to Ursa) and stuns/bashes. Summons should die when attacking Roshan just like illusions. Generally, make Roshan a hard thing to kill, so teams which just won a fight 5-vs-0 should decide, whether they go to kill Roshan or they go to finish the game, because Roshan killing will take a lot of time and forces.
- Last, but not least, remove Aegis per se. I would like to remind, that there is also cheese, dropping from the third Roshan. I suggest to do make all Roshans drop cheese. Cheese, of course, is a bit imbalanced too, but it requires some control, at least. It can't be used during the stun, hex, doom. So, cheese is more balanced that aegis which simply gives one extra life. Or just make more significant gold bonus for Roshan's killing without any Aegises/cheeses.
In general, it's not necessary to implement all three steps. First step could be application of one of them. For example, Roshan's buffing can solve some problems by itself, because he will become hard to kill. Aegis removing will decrease Roshan's "price". Relief changing is the most difficult and unlikely variant, but may be the most adequate. Though in my opinion with any equal Roshan killing terms the opportunity to gain such artifact like aegis is delirium and unreal imbalance, that should be removed from professional Dota as soon as possible.
My next blog entry will be devoted to buyback problem in Dota (yes, I do consider it as a problem :D)."
Translation from Russian to English by Ilya 'turik' Turov.