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Casual 2.02: A First Impression

By Korvasomali - 9th February 2011 - 14:46 PM

Official Maps


Stonewain


2.02 has completely changed usual Stonewain gaming, meaning 4k games. 1k is still pretty much the same; changes here are just more useful units and stronger creeps. I'll list few things that changed the game play most:
  • Hero revive times
  • Stacking system
  • Unit/Hero relationship
  • Hero changes
  • Creep strength
Hero Revive Times

Hero revive times have been increased a lot, meaning that taking care of heroes is more important than ever. Lose a hero: major disadvantage.

Stacking System

This mainly means that Leadership is now half as strong as it was in 2.01. This change severely hurt heroes' importance, as they are the primary source of Leadership.

Unit/Hero Relationship

This is closely linked to stacking system changes. Because Leadership is weaker and units are stronger, heroes are less needed and the game play focuses much more on units than it did in 2.01.

Hero Changes

In addition to the Leadership change, many heroes' purposes have changed and all heroes are useful choices. For example, everyone's favorite choice of Elven heroes, Elrond, has gone through big changes. Health nerf, splash damage, major increase in Athelas healing power, Restoration at level 5, cost 3000... these changes keep him still as a support hero, but he is now an ideal army killer in combination with Glorfindel and Haldir.

Creep Strength

As I already wrote, creeps have gained massive buffs. In 2.01, heroes that easily defeated Fire Drakes now die to it, and a Cave Troll takes almost any <2000-cost hero to red health. This means that instead of the usual 2.01 fight order (Troll -> Drake), players must find other ways of leveling up their heroes, or else they must invest more time in the traditional fight order.

Conclusion

All of above mentioned facts and other 2.02 changes have completely changed Stonewain game play. I personally enjoy discovering new strategies in my old beloved map.

Lostriand


3v3 and especially Lostriand haven't been played much in 2.02, mostly because everyone did only 1v1/2v2 ClanWars matches and Lostriand has reputation of being a noob map. This comes from one side being lower than the another and the fact that in lower skill games many players built Towers, Warg Sentries and Walls to block the passages to enemy base. 2.02 has less powerful Towers and Warg Sentries combined with more powerful siege units, making camping extremely difficult, so those who have trauma about Lostriand camping don't need to be worried anymore. 2.02 changes have also added nice twists to team games with many players. For example Dwarven Riches, Fuel the Fires and Marketplace affect ally buildings.

Nanduhirion


Practically the only 4v4 map in 2.01, Nanduhirion has it's unique playstyle because of the base layout. How that has changed in 2.02 remains unknown, because when eight players play 4v4 in 2.02, the map is usually Adorn River. However, because of the massive team advantages that were mentioned in the Lostriand part of this article, the map is even more thrilling than it ever was.

So...


...You can also have fun as in 2.02! All of you are challenged to beat Admiral Lee's Pathway of Demise (4 player one team tower war) with replay proof on either 2.02 or 2.01 and the first team to beat it get spotlights!

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