Originally Posted by 3qual
Hey thanks, that's some great detailed feedback, you brought up a lot of the same issues I was even thinking of as I was debating how to improve this suggestion.
I definitely have the same apprehension about tapping item creation as a design space in dota. It is certainly not something we should see a lot of, the UI and clumsiness and inventory restrictions (particularly in dota 1) make it something we should avoid in general. I would probably T-Down any straight up item recipe suggestion that had a spellbook for that very same reason, adding too much complexity and all. But I think these same rules are made to be broken, there should always be a single outlier that does something unique that violates those same boundaries, just in moderation, in a meaningful way. Like how Meepo has more than 1 hero- you wouldn't want to see another hero doing that too introduced, or another minelayer, or another Meat Hooker, or another permanently invisible hero. And definitely not see items that give those same things. So I figure that if its just 1 hero, doing item creation as his unique mechanic for an ultimate, and only in moderation (3 items total and only at level 16), and actually doing it in a way that only items could do (droppable/stealable), then its justifiable. But you're totally right that its something to be wary of.
Yeah I've been going back and forth on the balance situation. Is having the unlimited use, 3-for-your-team book that gives TP scroll equivalents overpowered? Or would it seem useless to pubs who wouldn't even let you put it in their inventory, and people wind up thinking the hero sucks? Even if he's still good organized, if he fails the pub test, its a problem already. On one hand I keep thinking that having those 12x creeps, 600 heals and teleporting all around the map would be hideously overpowered like you say, and faceroll right into a base at level 16 or whatnot.
But on the other hand, I try to look at it from the viewpoint of- would a pubber really want this item that he knows puts him down 1 inventory slot and is risky and backfiring if he dies? And can't save him anyway, since unlike a TP it doesn't work while being hit, and takes longer? If we saw it put in as is, half the people in pubs would probably immediately think its overpowered as all hell, and the other half would think its a huge nerf. I don't know which would be right.
Its something really tricky to balance, I think I'd seriously need to see this in game and play around with it with a few teams before I had a good idea whether its too strong, weak or alright. I've tried to put intentional safeguards to keep this from either being too strong or too weak. It gives this huge pushing power, but none of it is combat-useful, so it won't help your team win a clash other than setup. So for as good as the pushing is, you'd still need to win the actual battle, something kotl *isn't* good at. And beyond that, theres the intentional swinginess of being stealable on death and the resurrections directly canceling each other out; if you fail the push, and they get your books, they'll stop it immediately and even counterpush right away. And on the other hand, by making it a TP-scroll 3rd option (TP vs travels vs book), it gives players a reason to hang onto it and not chuck it no matter how useless the other 2 spells end up on them. So I try to keep it from being too strong or too weak, but I'm not sure where it will wind up without testing.
One thought I had, along the lines of your 2/2/2 scaling idea with the resurrection, is that the spells themselves could be kept constant, all three of them, and the increased levels just make the more copies. Readjusting all the numbers to be balanced again, I'm not sure how much of a heal would be too strong or if a 3 second combat-disabled teleport is alright at level 6. And maybe another thought is giving the book itself attributes, like the +5/10/15% magic damage dealt by the holder I was talking about with Chakra Magic (or both of them). Heck, theres one way of making KotL keep his artillery role; let illuminate get strong from maxing out chakra and enscribe, via the +% damage suggestion
So yeah, if anyone has any ideas, what other kinds of attributes might make sense if you pegged them to the spellbook as an item? Right now I'm still leaning towards 'no-stat-bonuses-just-spells', but maybe you could tone down the effects of the spells themselves and give the book some extra stats like +INT or +all stats or +magic damage %