Oxygen

BlizzCon Hands-on Impression: Ragnaros

Sign in to follow this  

6 posts in this topic

oxovL8I.jpg

Oxygen had the chance to play Ragnaros at BlizzCon and has listed his thoughts on the gameplay, design and viability of the hero.

Abilities and Talents

Before going over our impressions of the hero, it's worth including a list of abilities and talents. You can find all the information required in the spoiler tag below, as well as our current advice on picking talents. All abilities prefaced by "Molten Core:" imply that the initial ability changes after using the (D) trait.

Spoiler

Abilities

Empower Sulfuras (Q)
 - Mana: 25  
 - Cooldown: 4 seconds
 - Your next Basic Attack is instant, deals 222  damage (+4% per level) in an area, and heals you for 20% of the damage dealt. This healing is doubled versus Heroes.

 - Molten Core: Molten Swing - Stun and damage nearby enemies

Living Meteor (W)
 - Mana: 60
 - Cooldown: 12 seconds
 - Summon a meteor at the target point that deals 80 damage (+4% per level), then rolls in the target direction dealing 560 damage (+4% per level) over 2 seconds.

 - Molten Core: Meteor Shower - Summon a line of meteors.

Blast Wave (E)
 - Mana: 50
 - Cooldown: 10 seconds
 - Ignite yourself or an ally, granting 25% Movement Speed for 1.5 seconds, then causing a fiery explosion that deals 108 damage to nearby enemies.

 - Molten Core: Explosive Rune - Cause a delayed explosion in a large area.

Molten Core (D)
 - Cooldown: 100 seconds
 - Channel on an allied or destroyed Fort or Keep to unleash your full power. Your replace the Fort or Keep temporarily, gain new Abilities, and have 4156 Health (+4% per level) that burns away over 18 seconds.
 - When your Health is fully depleted, your return to your original form.

Talents

Level 1
- Sulfuras Hunters
 - Quest: Every time you kill a Minion with Empower Sulfuras, its damage is increased by 1, up to 30.
 - Reward: After killing 30 Minions, increase its damage by an additional 90.
- Shifting Meteor
 - Reward: After hitting 50 heroes with Living Meteor, its duration is increased by 30%, and you can recast the Ability to change its direction once per cast.
- Engulfing Flame
 - Blast Wave's cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds, and its radius is increased by 15%

Level 4
- Fire Ward
 - When Living Meteor hits an Enemy Hero, you gain a charge of Spell Block, reducing damage from the next enemy ability against you by 50%. Can hold up to 2 charges.
- Slow Burn
 - Blast wave slows enemies hit by 40% for 2 seconds.
- Catching Fire
 - Quest: Gathering a Regeneration Globe increases your Health Regeneration by 2 per second, up to 30.
 - Reward: After gathering 15 Regeneration Globes, you can activate Catching Fire to gain Resistant for 3 seconds, reducing damage taken by 25%

Level 7
- Hand of Ragnaros
 - If Empower Sulfuras hits at least 2 enemy Heroes, it restores 10 Mana and its cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds.
- Molten Power
 - Each enemy hero hit by Living Meteor increases the damage of your next Living Meteor by 15%, up to a maximum of 75%.
- Superheated
 - When you cast Blast Wave on yourself, it deals 100% increased damage.

Level 10
- Sulfuras Smash
 - Mana: 75
 - Cooldown: 60 seconds
 - Hul Sulfuras at the target area. It lands after 0.75 seconds, dealing 187 damage (+4% per level). Enemies in the center take an additional 374 damage (+4% per level) and are stunned for 0.5 seconds.
- Lava Wave
 - Mana: 80
 - Cooldown: 100 seconds
 - Release a wave of lava from your Core that travels down the targeted lane, dealing 603 damage (+4% per level) per second to non-Structure enemies in its path and instantly killing enemy Minions. Damage increased by 33% versus Heroes.

Level 13
- Cauterized Wounds
 - Empower Sulfuras heals you for an additional 60% of the damage dealt to heroes over 2 seconds.
- Tempered Flame
 - When Blast Wave damages an enemy Hero, you gain a Shield equal to 100% of the damage dealt for 3 seconds.
- Submerge
 - Cooldown: 90 seconds
 - Activate to place yourself in stasis and heal for 624 Health (+4% per level) over 3 seconds.

Level 16
- Giant Scorcher
 - Empower Sulfuras burns enemy Heroes for 6% of their maximum Health over 3 seconds. This additional damage does not heal you.
- Meteor Bomb
 - Living Meteor explodes at the end of its path, dealing 229 damage (+4% per level) to all nearby enemies.
- Blast Echo
 - After Blast Wave explodes, cast another Blast Wave on yourself. Can only occur once per cast.

Level 20
- Flames of Sulfuron
 - Sulfuras Smash slows enemies by 50% for 2 seconds and enemies in the center are stunned for an additional 0.5 seconds.
- Lava Surge
 - Lava Wave gains an additional charge and its cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds.
- Heroic Difficulty
 - Your Health and damage are increased by 50% while in Molten Core, and its cooldown is reduced by 50 seconds.

Hero Design

The iconic Ragnaros is one of the two Heroes announced at BlizzCon 2016. At a first glance, he is an ability-focused ''battlemage-like'' Assassin that relies on abilities to deliver the bulk of his damage, but enjoys swooping in for a few basic attacks whenever the opportunity arises. 

He stands out, however, in his ability to quite literally become a raid boss by ''engulfing'' a friendly Fort or Keep or ANY dead Fort or Keep (which includes opponents') through his Trait, Molten Core, after a few seconds of short range channeling. While under Molten Core, living friendly Forts have their attack disabled, and their normal health bar replaced by Ragnaros' alternate form's own humongous health bar. While in this form, Ragnaros also gains access to 3 new abilities that replace his normal abilities. You don't want to pick a fight with Ragnaros while in this form, let alone when he is supported by allies. You can leave this form at any time by using your trait again, or by losing all of your health, which slowly degenerates over the ability's duration. Dying while in this form simply sends you back to your original form, with however much health you had upon cast.

Empower Sulfuras (Q) is a run-of-the-mill basic attack ''preparation'' skill that makes your next attack deal a significant amount of ability damage to the next target (and nearby enemies) hit. You are healed for a small amount of the damage dealt, and this amount is doubled versus Heroes. Highly reminiscent of Arthas' Frostmourne Hungers and other such abilities. Excessively satisfying ''crunchy'' sound upon use. Gives Ragnaros a very respectable amount of lane sustainability, and is one of the main contributor to his burst damage combo. Great at dealing with Mercenary Camps.

Living Meteor (W) is a vector-targeted line damage ability. Its targeting is reminiscent of Alarak's Telekinesis, but in practice, you use it as you would use Gul'dan's Corruption. This one deals a ridiculous amount of damage to anyone foolish enough to remain within the Meteor's area of effect for any amount of time. To put things into perspective, I've taken a wild Varian's health from 50% to 0 as he attempted to escape my wrath through a narrow gate, unaware of the boulder's potency. To me, this is Ragnaros' defining ability. Waveclear, combo, poke, punishing runners... it does it all. And it feels great. It may also be slightly overtuned. Looks like the Diablo II's Druid's Molten Boulder, which is cool.

Blast Wave (E) buffs an ally (hero, minion, or yourself, even), granting a short and relatively potent movement speed increase. Upon expiring, a relatively large explosion occurs around the target, dealing are of effect damage. The damage is mediocre, but the movement speed is particularly useful for landing Empower Sulfuras or positioning yourself for Living Meteor. This ability is significantly improved by talents, most notably the one that double-casts the ability.

Sulfuras Smash (R1) launches a projectile that deals a large amount of damage in a big area of effect. Enemies in the center of the area of effect take significantly more damage, and are stunned for half a second. Huge range, huge combo potential, looks amazing. There's a slight amount of synergy with the rest of the kit, as the stun allows you to reliably land the rest of your abilities, but most of the time, you'll be looking for sheer ''damage everyone a lot'' value with this one. The cooldown is relatively short given the power of the ability.

Lava Wave (R2) causes a huge wave of lava to pour down from your Core structure down the chosen lane, all the way to your opponent's own Core. Minions, Mercenaries, and Heroes (not structures) that touch the wave are completely annihilated. I cannot understate this; the wave's damage is grossly overtuned, dealing over 1000 dps at level 16 or so, although I suppose it is avoidable, and can never be used to contribute to some objectives. It will always generate a tonne of experience for Ragnaros, however, due to its global kill nature. Combined with Molten Core, Lava Wave probably makes Ragnaros one of the best Heroes at protecting Forts and Keeps especially. Looks amazing, feels amazing - but not when you're standing in it. Will yield surprise Abathur kills every time.

Gameplay and Impressions

Ragnaros is great. I think the English language doesn't have the words to describe how sweet he feels to play. The art teams - graphics and sounds alike - have outdone themselves in terms of conveying ridiculous fiery destruction.

With competitive waveclearing, solid unavoidable damage, flexible Heroic ability choices, a versatile kit, and, of course, the unique ability to push 2-3 Heroes away from Forts and Keeps, I feel that Ragnaros may become the new go-to ''what do we need? Oh, right, anything'' Valla-Gul'dan-esque damage dealer. I suppose this versatility is also a weakness of sorts, as he is not particularly outstanding at anything, but rather, can respond to a variety of situations well. He also handles Mercenary Camps with relative ease, thanks to Empower Sulfuras' sustain and area damage.

I had the chance to try all 3 Q-W-E-oriented builds. Empower Sulfuras build offers excellent sustain and Mercenary clearing, but getting in the thick of things for juicy multiple Hero hits can be difficult, as Ragnaros is not particularly resilient. Living Meteor build was my favourite of the bunch. That thing helps with waveclearing, besieging, and poking, all while keeping you about as safe as you can be. It sucks for dealing with Mercenaries, however, and missing Meteor is awfully punishing, so beware. The level 1 talent that increases the duration of Meteor and allows you to redirect it is really fun to use, and has some particularly strong synergy with the level 16 exploding Meteor, as it essentially guarantees that you'll get that damage off. Blast Wave build had me very skeptical at first, but that one's true power is unlocked at 16, when you get to double cast the thing automatically. Combined with the shielding provided at 13, you can pretty reliably generate shields that scale with how daring you are to hug as many opponents as possible. This one would be quite strong against melee-heavy team compositions, and otherwise lackluster.

I do wish I could say more about him, but we're just dealing with an exceptionally well designed Hero here that is extremely satisfying to play. Although not particularly difficult to play, he will most certainly be a crowd favourite, if not just for the fact that it's Ragnaros. 

Meta Meta?

Ragnaros is currently grossly overtuned. What he lacks in utility, he significantly makes up for in raw damage. I may or not be slightly worried about this, as, last year, when I tried out Greymane, Lunara, & Cho'gall, I believe changes were not made to their kits or numbers in any way. I did get confirmation from one of the devs, however, that they would likely revisit some of his numbers. And so, I feel that his viability will be directly tied in to his damage values, somewhat akin to Valla and Gul'dan. He's a good choice for rounding out your team composition, but he doesn't bring anything significant that you would build your team around. He would also be interesting as a counterpick to push-heavy teams that might include Azmodan or Sylvanas. I have a feeling he may be at his strongest on Tomb of the Spider Queen because you can't really rely on the map objective to push down structures while avoiding Molten Core. Consider he can eat temple lasers and Blackheart's cannonballs, by the way, so the respective maps might see him a lot as well. And Lava instantly destroys Zerg waves of any size. Is this problematic? Probably, and we shall find out to what extent exactly in December.

Our writer Kendric has also provided us with some gameplay footage of Ragnaros, which you can find here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first time I saw his gameplay video I knew that the bread and butter build would be Living Meteor. The damage and range is too good to be ignored.

Either the devs will hit him with the hardest nerfs as the meta metas, or simply tune down his health to make him the squishiest Assassin alongside Chromie.

How much base health he has, by the way?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Valhalen said:

Either the devs will hit him with the hardest nerfs as the meta metas, or simply tune down his health to make him the squishiest Assassin alongside Chromie.

Blizzard? Nerfs? They would never!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24.11.2016 at 2:19 AM, Oxygen said:

Doubt they'll make him squishy. It goes ''against the fantasy''.

Isn't fire kinda squishy tho?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan

      Weekly sales have been updated for the week of September 26. Get Cassia, Zeratul and other skins & mounts at a reduced price.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Weekly Collection Update: Sept 26 – Oct 3, 2017
      Next week's Collection Update will begin on Tuesday, September 26! Check out the new list of featured items and Hero discounts below.  Upcoming Hero Sales
      Cassia — Sale Price: 375 Gems Zeratul — Sale Price: 375 Gems The following Skins and Mounts will enter the Featured Item Rotation, and will be unlockable using Gems until next week's Collection Update:
      Upcoming Featured Skins
      Pirate Queen Cassia Golden Unraveler Zeratul Azure Grimskull Nazeebo Techno Super Sonya Lurkablo Amber Ghost Tracer Pajamathur Abathur Storm Wolf Rehgar Upcoming Featured Mounts
      Marshal's Outrider Verdant Magic Carpet Weekly Sale Bundle
      If you’d rather pick up everything at once, we’re also going to add a new Weekly Sale Bundle to the Featured tab in your Collection. This limited-time bundle contains all of the items above at a discounted Gem price, but will only be available until next week’s Collection Update takes place.
    • By Stan

      It's time for a new Heroes Brawl and this week it's Silver City - a single-lane battleground straight out of the High Heavens. Shuffle pick and standard play with no talent restrictions apply. The first team to destroy the enemy Core wins. Play two games to earn a Loot Chest.
      Update: There seems to be a bug with this week's brawl and credit toward earning a Loot Chest is tagged as completed from last week. Relogging does not solve the issue and playing a brawl does not count toward the credit or fix the problem either.
      Blizzard (Source)
      This week’s Heroes Brawl is Silver City! Battle against the enemy team on this single-lane Battleground featuring a familiar design straight out of the High Heavens, Mercenary Camps ready to be swayed to your team’s favor, and tons of action. Queue up, choose your hero, and try your best to send the enemy team to the Burning Hells!
      Rules:
      Shuffle pick - Choose from one of three Heroes before entering the battle. Standard play - no talent or level restrictions. The first team to destroy the enemy Core wins! Rewards:
      Complete two matches of the Silver City Brawl to earn a Loot Chest! Find out more about the new Heroes Brawl game mode on our Heroes Brawl site; and as always, you can find more information on this week’s Brawl by clicking the Brawl Info button at the bottom of the play screen when preparing to queue for the Brawl game mode.
    • By Stan

      In next week's patch, Loot Chests purchased via the Loot tab will be only of Rare quality. The change only applies to Loot Chests purchased after next week's patch goes live, so it's best to hold off Loot Chest purchases until then.
      Other changes
      Celestial Steed Mount has been removed and replaced by Celestial Raptor. The Welcome Bundle has been removed from the Collection. 1,000 Gem reward at level 5 has been removed. The collection adjustments have been taken from the latest patch notes.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Collection
      Collection Adjustments
      Loot Chests Loot Chests purchased via the Loot tab will now only grant Rare Loot Chests, rather than Normal Loot Chests. Please note: This only applies to Loot Chests purchased after this patch is applied to the live version of the game in each region. Normal Loot Chests the player already owns will not convert to Rare Loot Chests. Rewards The Celestial Steed Mount has been removed and replaced by the Celestial Raptor as a reward for purchasing Loot Chests. The 1,000 Gem reward for reaching level 5 has been removed. Please note: Veteran players who have not logged in following the release of Heroes 2.0 earlier this year will no longer be able to claim this reward once this patch is applied to the live version of the game in each region. Bundles The Welcome Bundle has been removed from the Collection.
    • By Oxygen

      We present our tenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Kel'Thuzad patch of September 2017.
      Our tenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of September 2017 is here!
      Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Kel'Thuzad patch. The goal if of this list is to try and detail game's current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame). Although tier listings are generally the product of balance, many factors come into play when discussing the relative perceived strengths of heroes, including player regions, maps, play style, skill level, and, of course, personal perception. As such, any tier list—including this very one—should never be interpreted as gospel, but rather, as a guide to better grasp what to expect with regards to typical drafting experiences. One useful application of such lists is to allow you know which heroes to look out for in terms of practice and counterplay, ultimately improving your knowledge of the game.
      Using the list
      As stated above, tier lists are easy to mistake for gospel. As new strategies are discovered and experimented with, so changes the perception of the relative strengths of each hero. Tier lists still prove to be useful as a snapshot of player expectations in terms of drafting. Although it is generally considered preferable to focus on high tier heroes (Prime and Core tiers), it is important to note that Heroes of the Storm's wild character and map designs make it so that any given hero's tier position is prone to fluctuate depending on the situation at hand.
      One classic example of such is that of Kerrigan on the Infernal Shrines map. Although we currently judge her to be a low-to-mid-tier hero, her drafting priority shoots up to first-pick or first-ban material on this specific map due to the nature of its objective. Certain heroes also synergise so well with each other that the sole fact of having the opportunity of drafting them together is generally enough to increase their potential. Tassadar and Tracer, for instance, are generally nightmarish to deal with for many. There are too many examples of these interactions to reasonably produce here, but we invite you to consult our guides to know exactly where and when each hero shines. The guides have been linked in the lists below for your convenience - just click any of the hero names to access them.
      A ↑ next to a hero's name means its tier list position has increased since the previous month whereas a ↓ means just the opposite. Additionally, a + or - sign indicates short-to-medium term predictions (which is to say, about a month) for tier increase(s) or decrease(s), respectively. These are often updated after significant balance patches and/or when clear trends are emerging.
      If you're newer to the game, also consider visiting our glossary for a comprehensive list of discrete Heroes of the Storm terms.
       
      Prime Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Anub'arak- Genji Uther - Arthas↑ Greymane Tassadar   Dehaka↑ Malthael     Stitches-               Prime tier heroes are considered to be extremely strong in all situations, and show no obvious weakness. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most matches.
       
      Core Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Diablo Falstad Auriel Nazeebo E.T.C. Jaina↑ Rehgar Sylvanas Garrosh Li-Ming Stukov Xul Leoric↑- Valla Malfurion↑   Sonya Zeratul     Varian (Tank)-       Core tier heroes are strong in a wide variety of situations and have few counter-picking possibility. They should form the core of your team, and be picked after Prime Tier heroes have been distributed.
       
      Viable Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Artanis Alarak Brightwing Abathur Chen Cassia Kharazim Azmodan D.Va Chromie+? Li Li Murky↑ Johanna Gul'dan↓ Lt. Morales+? Probius Muradin+ Illidan↑ Lúcio Zagara Tyrael Kael'thas Tyrande+   Zarya Lunara       Ragnaros       The Butcher↓       Tracer       Varian (Damage)       Zul'jin       Kel'Thuzad (new!)     Viable tier heroes are generally well-rounded that have either fallen out of favour, or, inversely, are on the rise in popularity, due to the current Prime tier contenders.
       
      Niche Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Cho'gall Cho'gall - Gazlowe Rexxar Kerrigan   Medivh   Nova   Sgt. Hammer   Raynor       Samuro↓       Valeera       Thrall↓       Tychus     Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They are generally picked to "round out" your team composition when your team composition is missing out on key components, such as a "jungler" (mercenary camps), a solo laner, or solid waveclear.
       
      Bottom Tier
      The Lost Vikings Bottom tier Heroes are deemed to be either considerably weaker than the majority of other Heroes, or much more challenging to play properly. Although they may situationally shine, these Heroes are generally avoided by most players.
       
      Metagame assessment
      Kel'Thuzad is excessively powerful under perfect conditions, but is kept in check by the numerous top tier heroes that are either too mobile to reliably hit with Chains of Kel'Thuzad or too resilient to burst down. In this regard, he fits well within Blizzard's recent obsession with making heroes have their own little niche and whatnot. He's doing really fine, sitting at a very reasonable 48%-something w/l ratio, but try to late- or last-pick him when Genji and Tracer and the likes aren't around to make your existence a living hell. I expect him to become better over time as players themselves become  better at picking him appropriately and when the typical hype finally dies down. And don't end up having to solo lane if you like completing Master of the Cold Dark.
      Self-sustain bruiser-like tanks are the hot thing nowadays. With a metagame that either tries to outsustain the other with two supports, or empower Genji-Greymane-Illidan-Malthael-Tracer-Valla-or-so, surviving a lot while outputting a reasonable amount of sustained damage is great. That's Arthas and Dehaka, right now. A bit ago, Anub'arak and Stitches had their turn, but I expect them to go down in popularity.
      Both Jaina and Leoric got significant buffs through their reworks. Jaina is just objectively better, with Frostbite providing Ice Block by level 8-12 rather than 20, and Summon Water Elemental getting its cooldown shaved by a massive 20 seconds. Leoric is more of a sidegrade, but he's exceptional at dealing with popular tanks, has neat waveclear, and can mess with combos with Omnious Wraith. And, of course, March of the Black King was buffed nicely as well to give him some more burst survivability and combo potential.
      I'm holding judgement about Chromie, but I expect she might be better than she was, and I already considered her borderline Core tier material. Of course, her new Sand Blast design will make it so that better players will do better than before with her, and worse players will do worse, so we're likely to see more fringe cases.
      The Butcher got a pretty big nerf. The hype train was short lived, but, in the end, this is probably for the best.
      Gul'dan, Samuro, and Thrall are simply falling out of meta; being a caster without baseline crowd control or an immobile melee assassin is pretty hard nowadays. I still think Gul'dan is in a great place on Braxis Holdout, though the resurgence of Jaina and the... uh, more of Chromie might push him off a bit.
      I wish I had a bit more to say, but besides the latest reworks, not that much has changed. I will underline, however, that these reworks have been solid. I didn't mention anything about Lt. Morales, but I do think she's better off than before; we'll need a bit more data to assess whether I'll give her a tier.

      Thanks for reading!
    • By Stan

      Gale Force Esports and Team Freedom will be battling it out tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. PDT in the newest battleground, Volskaya Foundry. SolidJake and JHow will be casting the event and Ana will be eligible for play.
      Learn more about Volskaya Foundry here. The battleground will be added to the Ranked map rotation next week.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Join us at 10:00 a.m. PDT / 7:00 p.m. CEST September 21 as Gale Force Esports and Team Freedom break in the newest Battleground to enter the Nexus, Volskaya Foundry.
      Jake ‘SolidJake’ Kulinski and Josh ‘JHow’ Howard will be casting as these top North American HGC teams battle over the course of five games. Be sure to tune into twitch.tv/blizzheroes for all the action, and yes, the newest hero Ana Amari will be eligible for play.