Playtest 187 - Ryme rework and balance!

TreiskTreisk Member, Administrator
edited February 7 in Patch Notes

Sunday's playtest primarily features balance changes and a minor Ryme rework!

Squad Changes


  • Hero

    • Movement speed: 4.3 ⇒ 4.4
  • Glacial Ranger

    • Damage type: Back-line ⇒ Anti-frontline
    • Health: 225 ⇒ 235
    • Damage: 17 ⇒ 20
    • Range: 5.0 ⇒ 5.5
    • Attack recovery time: 0.0 ⇒ 0.1
    • Movement speed: 4.4 ⇒ 4.2
  • Frostcaller

    • Has received a new model and animations!
    • Damage: 35 ⇒ 22
    • Range: 10 ⇒ 8
    • Attack cooldown: 1.6 ⇒ 1.5
    • Movement speed: 4.0 ⇒ 4.1
    • Frostfall (W)
    • Now casts three smaller AOEs (one on either side of the primary target area)
    • Pulse slows movement by: 15% for 2 seconds ⇒ 75% for 0.8 seconds.
  • Ancient Ice Frog

    • Movement speed: 4.0 ⇒ 4.3


  • Scarab

    • Damage: 50 ⇒ 30
    • Physical Resist: 25 ⇒ 0
    • Attack splash radius: 1.5 ⇒ 1.0


  • 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?
  • What did you think of the changes to Ryme?

    • Did this version deliver the fantasy better or worse than the previous version?
    • What effects did you feel on different matchups compared to the previous version of Ryme?


  • ShrikeGamesShrikeGames Member
    edited February 8

    Those hours flew by! That was such a fun and dynamic playtest. I was legitimately surprised it was over.

    Vela/Grath vs Vela/Ryme is such an amazing matchup it feels good everytime (and we saw it a lot). It really felt like there was a lot of counterplay, back and forth, re-accessing and re-positioning, etc. Vela/Grath vs Eris/Grath is also a good matchup.

    As Grath, using Harden on yourself to absorb 3 Vela snipes after baiting was really satisfying. It was a cool moment that stood out.

    I never once saw Illusion Squad played though.

    Ryme rework is nice, I don't really have any complaints.

  • PursuitPursuit Member
    edited February 8


    Playing Illusion right now feels like this-

    All the abilities are cool and flashy but you just can't compete in terms of raw power at the moment. And I know to some extent that's supposed to be the point of them, but right now there's no way to use their fun flashy abilities to net a win.

    I feel like they're one of those squads that has a lot of hard to pull off abilities. The problem is that, for as hard as they are to pull off, they're just not that rewarding. I've had games where I sneak 2 illusions behind my opponent and use the hero ability 4 times over the same section of units and it does some damage, but not nearly enough for how hard that kind of positional play is to execute. IMO it's incredibly fun to use though, I'd love to see a version with either a bigger radius so it hits more units or more damage on the same radius so it actually feels significant when you do pull it off.

    The Tier 1 is by far the most solid unit in Illusion's arsenal, with good control you'll rarely lose them and they have the potential to go pretty aggressive at times with their abilities too. I personally think the ability would work much better on a higher HP melee / frontline unit, but the current version of them feels pretty fun to use as is at the moment.

    The Tier 2 feels like it has a great idea behind it but it's just unusable in it's current state imo. My two majors gripes are that it's health is too low for a melee unit of it's cost and it requires insane babysitting to use it's cloak ability at the moment because it still auto acquires targets and reveals itself. As a result how this unit usually ends up being used by me is it cloaks, gets to the frontlines, hits 2-3 times before it's health is super low, swaps places with a Tier 1 (which can then immediately use it's ability to escape) and recall home. Not worth the investment at all IMO.

    I don't understand how to use the Tier 3 effectively atm. It often ends up just being an invisible wall that adds a little extra DPS on occassion. I've managed to save it from otherwise certain death by using a Tier 2 to swap out with it when it's low then cloaking the Tier 2 and having it run away, but I dont really know what this accomplishes.

    Otherwise, honestly Illusion feels like a squad I want so much to be good. I've already been using the hero ability for all sorts of cool non-combat related things, letting my hero zip around the map like a beast, and I've tried hard to pull off some amazing plays like casting the ult on the 4 illusions somewhere where they're safe then having the 4 tier 2's turn invisible, infiltrate the enemy ranks then swap with the illusions right before they explode. Stuff like that just seems like it would be so awesome to pull off, but right now it's a ton of effort for something I can already do to some extent with other squads for a fraction of the effort.

    Celesta vs Alder 1v1 on bottom


    This was one of the most interesting tactical early games I think I've played in Atlas so far. Really awesome play by @Cycle making Alder dangerous even vs its 'counter' in Celesta, and me doing everything I can to counter it. Involves splitting armies into multiple controls groups, constantly spending gems on both sides and really just an awesome back and forth match that was super fun (on bottom at least) and exemplifies the sort of things I'm enjoying most in Atlas atm. The first ~10-15 minutes is the fun part, after that things get weird and I'm honestly not sure what happened? I thought we lost and tried to /surrender then apparently my runbye that I thought was a failure won us the game or something, the replay keeps dieing on me and I can't watch it to see how exactly that happened.

    edit: Finally got to watch this game to the end and wow that was weird.

  • As usual, I mostly played Hive. I found Hive (fast Scarabs) & Eris vs. Ryme & Vela to be a pretty rough match-up for Hive.

    Ryme's CC makes it very difficult to connect with Scarabs, especially since the slow affects their burrow and Xaphid's. If I timed things perfectly I could burrow before the slows hit, and I think there might be some fun skill-testing there. The slow is also very brutal for the Queens since their movement speed is already pretty low.

    As discussed, Snipe squad is very good at picking off tough single targets like Scarabs, and the match-up vs Hive is a good example of a situation where this capability is impactful. Raptors are also good at sniping mines as they are being placed.

    Together these two squad's were able to shut down each mode of attack available to Hive. I felt pretty powerless, but I think that it is good that two-squad combinations like this can be used to counter a particular squad.

    I also rushed Scarabs against Celesta in the 1v1 position. I found that I was dominant vs Wisps and Purifiers, provided I made the right moves. Though I wiped my opponent several times, he easily wiped me once when I messed up, so I still found the match-up to be tense and enjoyable. I think fast Scarabs (and Hive in general) works well in the 1v1 position, but struggles in 2v2 where greater quantities of firepower can be focused on the Scarabs.

    As for the Scarab nerfs, they did feel weaker. I think my upgrade builds have improved (I started building into lifesteal), so I think that was able to partially compensate for the loss of physical resistance.

    My thought for the week is: Could the movement speed of Queens be increased to close to the speed of Hornets? This would allow them to roam around with your ball of Hornets and place nests protected by minefields. Now, I could see this making the Queen OP because the speed to chase + the Infest passive could get out of hand. Still worth a try imo.

  • Ryme

    Delivery On Narrative
    (1.1) - The immediate thing I notice with the rework that impacts the "narrative" of the hero is the new Frostfall. In terms of how the ability fits into the kit, and is used in battles, I feel like it doesn't read as well anymore. A static wall, even when scaled down art from the original is still used, it doesn't feel as much like calling down a blizzard. Admittedly, though, my take on it is heavily influenced by eg. blizzard from Warcraft 2.

    (1.2) - With the previous implementation, the ability covered an area larger than a single unit in any direction, which makes sense for a storm system that would be called down in an area and sit there. Of course, it wasn't the size of the captor ultimate, which definitely feels like a storm system. The current take on it is, at least for big T1s, 1 x 3 enemy units. The depth of the ability reinforces the gameplay of it being a wall (or at least targeted as one). I almost wonder if something more like a wall of wind fits it better, or something that moves, like the violent edge of a storm front?

    (1.3) - In general, right now Ryme is feeling more like Mr. Freeze, and less like Storm.

    Gameplay and Match-ups
    (2.1) - Now, above comments aside, I actually prefer the gameplay of the new Frostfall. It feels like it is tougher to land, though I can't tell if it really is. If the ability continues to dot if a unit walks into it after casting, then it is more forgiving, but for some reason, perhaps because of the targeting method or the rectangular area of effect, it feels more challenging. It feels more like a skill shot than a zoning tool, which is how I primarily used it before (outside of big engagements).

    (2.2) - The game I played as Ryme was with Eris against Vela/Ryme. The match up felt fairly equal early on, but later on Chaos Bolt and Absolute Zero (perhaps with some Frostfall mixed in) seemed very powerful.

    No matches played with or against Illusion.

  • CycleCycle Member, Moderator

    Illusion Squad Rework

    • did not interact with them much at all during playtest
    • a day before playtest I played as them, and they seem suuper hard to play, which is pretty sweet.
    • Captor as melee + low life felt fragile. Would need to practice against bots before being able to play well, I think
    • if using ult and the targeted illusion dies, the ult is cancelled I think. super tough to get a nice reward (as opposed to Eris' ult, for example)

    Ryme Rework

    • only played against Ryme as Alder, mostly felt like minor changes to Ryme
    • getting slowed by the T1s really punishes overextensions. I initially felt "wow this is annoying" but later figured out a slight playstyle shift that helped a ton, making the matchup more fun.
    • I did NOT feel like the T2's Frostfall was hard to avoid or hard to get out of.
    • I am never afraid of Ryme's ult. I'm not sure if this is because I'm just ignorant to its effectiveness in combat, or because it just feels underwhelming (compared to Alder, Eris, Celesta, Hydros, Vex, etc)

    Alder SFR

    • I got to play bot lane a bunch as Alder, and wow 1v1 as Alder is super fun. I missed playing as him.
    • I played a couple of games 1v1 against @Pursuit Alder v Celesta and it was some of the most fun I had playing Atlas (the game Pursuit linked plus G92c5e2ffcd3e4ffc888137e835c43317 vs Sean on Ryme was probably my favorite game of Atlas ever).
    • all of Alder's everything just feel super expensive. With other squads I feel like I can buy extra things, whereas with Alder I feel like I'm struggling to have enough to get to combat potential.
    • Goliath still doesn't feel right in combat, so I've elected to stop building him in lieu of some T1 armor upgrades, or just finishing my army.
    • feels like Alder maxes the slowest of any squad, mostly due to the mandatory research upgrades such as ToL bonus or Sapling Plant Range.
    • in trying to play super safe, I've started getting Greater Shamanism and Thorn Propulsion to zone more effectively. I can still learn a lot about good Needlefern placement, so this is super exciting for me.
    • after the games from last night, especially the bot lane games, I would give Alder's SFR a good 7.5/10, where the points lost are from

      • unit cost meaning I never max on army
      • Goliath not feeling that useful
      • feeling like I'm playing at an innate disadvantage vs other squads pre-Grove Tender (for this reason I rush a single Grove Tender)
      • feeling like I can't take titan camps as easily as other squads can
  • Patch Feedback

    Was the Illusion gameplay as and against satisfying and clear? Why or why not?

    It was satisfying to play against. As a vela main I had a lot of trouble in my first couple of games against this squad because they were able to close distance quickly and obliterate my raptors. Later when i was able to kite better I had a much better time fighting against illusion squad. I liked that an increase in my own skill led to me doing better in the game against a challenge.

    What did you think of the changes to Ryme?

    I never played against him but I played with him as my top lane ally in 3 games. As a vela player it was very very nice. Ryme already is great with vela because his big front line units can hold the line while my weak ranged units have free range on the enemy units. Now with him able to completely stop people in their tracks my life as his partner got way easier. It was fun to wait for him to freeze the enemy champion because then I could deliver death swiftly by just focusing fire since he can't run away (Also makes Vela's hero powers much easier to land)

    I enjoyed the games I played during the playtest.

  • bycebyce Member

    I played Ryme. I felt like I played the early game about as well as I could. I got 2 gold expos early on, and even got both 2x gold expos in the early midgame just because I could. Still, we struggled to gain foothold against the other team's attacks and eventually lost.

    Ryme felt 100% like a support squad that would be really fun in a premade game but isn't so fun if you're just solo queueing. I did a lot of picking units off with the slows, even picking heroes off if I hit them with a money Frostbolt (and, oo boy, did I!). Frostfall and Absolute Zero did great for zoning, but felt really weak with no one around to dish out some serious damage for you.

    I would personally rather see Absolute Zero do something like slow the area and do slight damage over time, or something else that's just more rewarding than it is right now. As it is, there's just no way anyone's going to stay in the area for 4 whole seconds, and even if they do, they just get slowed. That doesn't feel fun to me. I made an early advantage for myself and as the game went on we struggled more and more to stay in it. When it got to late game, I really wanted my ult to do something more impactful.

    As I said, Ryme's early game felt really strong, so I understand he can't be strong in every aspect of the game. He just felt a little too weak in the late game, when you're not dancing around eachothers' armies trying to pick off units, you're dancing around to set up for an insane 3v3 battle. Mr. Ice Frog sure is good for that, but still, I wanted so bad for Absolute Zero to just do some kind of damage, or slow enemy attacks, or just something more.

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