Whenever S2Games releases a new Hero, the Community is skeptic to say the least. This isn't a new phenomenon, and can be viewed empirically by quickly glancing at YouTube or Forum posts left by disgruntled members of the Community when the Hero is first announced. When this first started happening, I was somewhat confused, because it seemed like no matter what Hero came out, no matter what skills or weaknesses it possessed, it would be quickly dismissed as the newest overpowered garbage to grace the game.
If you read my last article, you might be scratching your head asking yourself if you are about to read the same article twice- but there is a distinct difference here. A hero like Emerald Warden or Tremble didn't just carry the illusion of lower-bracket chaos, they literally delivered it. No matter what the highest tier competitive player says, these Heroes dominated the lower game brackets and left players frustrated. Players who claimed they saw this coming a mile away were quick to remind everybody that "they told you so".
But that's not why I'm here writing to you today. Because for every "I told you so" there are at least one hundred unspoken "I told you so, but I was wrong"'s that are sadly never uttered. What I am talking about is the insanity- no- the literal hysteria that is ignited when a new Hero is announced.
This deafening hysteria quickly consumes the forums in a wave of panic and utter disgust. How could S2 dare to create a Hero of this caliber? With skills like that, why would I even bother picking anything else? These questions are tough to answer because they might as well be rhetorical questions, carefully cherry picked from a garden of stupid. When critiquing a new Hero, players continue to fall into the same traps by regurgitating the same arguments. To set the record straight, I don't have any problems with people criticizing a new Hero, but I do have a bone to pick with the following strategies:
This argument revolves around simply counting up everything a Hero does to make it sound overpowered. It sounds something like this: "It has a huge Nuke, a Stun, a Slow, Crit, Invisibility, a +300 attack speed buff, increased movement speed, AoE silence (goes through magic immunity), near permanent invisibility, free wards and counter-wards". Sound ridiculous to you? That's because it is- I just described Scout to you, a Hero that I don't think anybody has a problem with today. Good job Sherlock, by counting up every single thing the Hero does you can literally make anything sound overpowered. I hate to break it to the population- but Heroes have to be able to do something in order to be useful.
The context-less argument is all about throwing out random information that sounds ridiculous because it has no context at all. This usually sounds something like "780 magic damage every 11 seconds at level 16", a hilariously out-of-context statement written by an Anonymous writer impersonating [S2]DivA. We can only assume what he meant to say was "Buffs you and 2 random Heroes around you if they are in 600 range- if both you and the two random units that get the buff happen to attack twice within a short interval you can deal around 780 damage- also you are playing a squishy Int Hero that has one of the lowest base HP in the game and has no ultimate". But technicalities like "the hero has a passive ult, of course his base abilities are going to be better" usually fall quickly (and silently) under the table.
"The S2 Conspiracy"
There's an ongoing conspiracy theory that S2 designers are secretly sexually insecure and overcompensate for this by creating overpowered Heroes to "one-up" (no puns intended) the original DotA cast. Fans of this theory like to attribute this fact by the fact that "all S2 Heroes have stuns, long range and good attack animations"- statements that aren't just false but also, again, don't provide any context for the Hero that is coming out. S2 Conspiracy theorists tend to be DotA loyalists who don't understand that a Stun is actually an Immobilize, a Disarm, a Perplex and Silence balled into one and are then disgusted when an S2 Hero contains two or more of these abilities split into separate skills. These are the same people who don't understand why Hammerstorm and Magmus are good roaming Heroes.
The astrologer, similar to the S2 Conspiracy Theorist, prides himself on being ahead of the curve. He is quick to recognize something he's seen before, which can only mean that S2 is all out of ideas. Sentiments from the Astrologer include statements such as "Another Invis Hero?", "Ranged, has a Stun, AoE ult- big surprise!" or "can you guys create anything other than Int Heroes?" when the 2nd Int hero in a row comes out. The Astrologer, like the others, is fool-proof, because no matter what the last Hero was that came out was, he will always be able to somehow connect the two to confirm his ongoing suspicion that he's got S2 all figured out. His predictions are, and will always remain, completely flawless.
So, all these bases covered, how is it possible to actually judge a Hero before it comes out? Simply put- you can't, stop trying. There's no way to judge exactly how balanced a Hero will be when he isn't out yet because you simply don't know how he will synergize with other Heroes, how the finer points of his abilities work out- Mana costs, Cooldowns, Armor values, Stat Gain, etc. All these finer details mesh together and often paint a much different picture once the Hero has sunk into player's minds. So the next time you watch a Spotlight video and you're absolutely sure Flux is going to be the next pubstomper- do everyone around you a favor and keep it to yourself until the Hero has been released and is at least 1-2 weeks old.