It just seems like increasing his mana costs for morphing (and possibly other things, if needed) would be an acceptable means of allowing people to punish Morphling for making mistakes without rendering him "useless," and it'd potentially raise the skill ceiling for him a bit by making mana management a defining feature of a polished player.
There are many ways to bring him down just a bit to the level of the other heroes. I mean , hes not OP and its not like it's auto win if you pick him , but like you said the way he currently is , he just promotes sloppy play.
On a side note, what I'd like to see in 6.75:
-Players are now unable to Force Staff out of Power Cogs.
Every other hero with similar disables has it (Enigma, Void , Disruptor)... Time for some Clockwork love
I just have an issue with the cogs in general, though... like with Profit's trees, it can be really difficult for a melee carry to do any damage to a trapped victim if they can't blink inside or don't get locked inside. Clockwerk can bust a cog to let them in, but that takes a couple of seconds on a trap that only lasts a handful of seconds to begin with.
Besides, I'd say Clockwerk's real issue is that he simply doesn't scale. Once the game goes past 30 minutes he starts becoming increasingly less relevant because none of his skills will deal any sort of meaningful damage, and if you just want a stun bot or whatever, there are probably better choices. Dude needs like a Tiny-style Aghanim's Scepter or something.
Look at Cogs this way: You're looking at a push that saps mana and damage that goes through BKB (except for the damage.) If your enemy has 5-6 second BKB, you can disable them for almost the full duration with Hookshot and good Cog placement, forcing them to spend time going around them or risking taking multiple pushes. Cogs are great regardless of Force Staff, you just have to try to plan ahead and use them efficiently instead of going Hookshot > Cogs > Did we win?
What Clock actually seems to need is some buff to Battery Assault. All his other abilities are fine, but later in the game BA can be very underwhelming if you don't have the luxury of just locking down a single hero. I'd say the cooldown should be lower so that on Rank 4 you can have a good uptime, and maybe they should up the radius by 50 or 75 units and introduce a secondary zap when there's multiple units in the area. Besides that, I'd say +2 base armor, +1/+0.3 to strenght and +2/+0.2 to int and he should be just fine.
---------- Post added 2012-09-30 at 06:43 AM ----------
Well, looks like Spirit Breaker got his buffs. http://www.playdota.com/changelogs/6.75
Jesus christ, complete 6.75 notes are crazy: http://www.playdota.com/changelogs/6.75
Bunch of noteworthy stuff.
- Aegis now lasts only 6 mins, so no more sitting on Aegis and just picking up the next one when Rosh respawns. Use it or lose it.
- Alchemist got buffs to pretty much everything. I'm wondering if the new AOE on his stun will affect allies if he stuns himself.
- Chen's free TP got moved to Test of Faith. Now he has to choose between a ~300 pure damage nuke or sending someone back to base.
- Clockwerk got +0.3 STR/level, and Power Cogs got buffs to both duration and damage/mana drain. Staffing out of cogs will now trigger the knockback+damage+mana drain. Cogs will last 5(!) seconds at level 1.
- Dark Seer Vacuum can no longer move invulnerable units. No more wombo combo.
- Dazzle's Poison Touch got an interesting buff, extremely short cooldown at level 4. I guess it'll actually be worth taking that 4th point in it now.
- Doombringer got some assorted buffs, Devour can eat any creep of any level right away now. Nets, warstomps, and thunder claps are now all available to him right away, ditto satyr regen aura or wildkin armor aura. Devour rescaled to be substantially less gpm at the start, but more gpm once it's maxed, and with a lower mana cost too.
- Drow Ranger got some nice buffs, she'll do more damage, slow for a whopping 60% with level 4 arrows, and her Silence has a lower cooldown now.
- Huskar will now be even more ridiculous with a scepter, 4 sec on his ulti when it's maxed. Dunno if this means anything for comp but Huskar's going to be fucking hilarious in pubs now.
- Jakiro's Ice Path now functions kind of like a Fissure, it will stun and damage anything that touches it, rather than requiring Jakiro to actually land it. Buffs the spell and gives Jakiro a sort of niche as area denial combined with his ulti.
- Juggernaut's Omnislash will one-shot creeps except player-controlled ones, which will make him more dangerous against solo heroes that thought the one or two creeps around could protect them.
- Major buffs to Lina and Lion's ultimates, Lina's having a much shorter cooldown and Lion's doing a lot more damage as well as a shorter cooldown.
- Huge nerf to Lycanthrope, wolves are much, much squishier now and cost more mana. Jungling with him is going to be slow, maybe we'll see a laned Lycan as an answer? Wolves got 50% magic resist to compensate for the HP nerf, though jungle creeps aren't going to care.
- Significant nerfs to Morphling. Stat morph now costs 10 more mana per second, his base damage is significantly reduced, Waveform's AOE is reduced, his cast time in general is increased, and he can no longer take action until Waveform finishes (no more channeling a TP halfway through a Waveform.)
- Naga Siren lost a TON of base damage and has a longer cast time, but strangely enough her ulti is unchanged.
- Necrolyte's Sadist buff is much more interesting, provides HP and mana regen per second for 6 seconds after a kill. Each kill adds a separate stack, hero kills give 10x the rate of creep kills.
- Nyx Assassin received miscellaneous buffs. Mana Drain will drain more mana and cost NA less mana. Spiked Carapace will be overall more useful, though the change lowers the skill ceiling on it.
- Phantom Assassin's crits will now crit even harder. Not enough RNG in that hero, apparently.
- Phantom Lancer received a crazy Agility buff... +4.2/level.
- Shadow Fiend is a walking bomb now. Once he picks up Requiem he'll automatically pop off a half-strength Requiem (damage equal to the amount of souls lost for dying) when he dies. This free Requiem can pop off independent of the main Requiem of Souls cooldown and can activate even when Requiem of Souls is on cooldown.
- Huuuuuge buffs to Spiritbreaker. Gains extra base damage in exchange for Empowering Haste not increasing his damage anymore. Greater Bash now ignores magic immunity and does bonus damage equal to 10%-40% of SB's movement speed (so up to about 210 damage if he's at 522 ms.) Charge of Darkness no longer places a buff on the victim. Greater Bash stun duration increased to 1.6 sec at level 4.
- Sven's Great Cleave now cleaves more damage in a wider AOE. God's Strength increases his damage more and Warcry increases armor more.
- TA's Psi Blades no longer spill damage when attacking illusions. No more one-shotting entire teams.
- Major buffs to Treant Protector. BAT increased but he also received a massive bonus to base damage. Overgrowth no longer does damage but roots for 4.5 sec at max level and has a shorter cooldown. Living Armor aura replaced with a 100% uptime buff placeable on heroes OR structures that blocks up to 80 damage from heroes and provides large HP regen. Buff is automatically dispelled after 6 instances of damage are taken. Global cast range.
- Drums, Arcane Boots, Soul Ring, and Tranquil Boots all received relatively small nerfs.
- Black King Bar can't be sold anymore.
- Ethereal Blade's Ether Blast now does damage based on the hero's primary stat instead of Agility, and it can be used on allies.
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity, Yasha, and Sange are now a little cheaper, Force Staff is now a little more expensive.
- Orb of Venom and Observer Wards are now significantly cheaper.
- Shadowblade is now made from a Claymore and a new Shadow Amulet item, which gives +30 attack speed and can be activated for 2.5 sec of invisibility as long as you remain stationary (like TA's Meld, but without the bonus damage and armor pierce on attack.)
- Smoke of Deceit is automatically dispelled if it's used on brewlings.
Lot of crazy changes. I'm disappointed Tree's invis is still mostly a one-point wonder, but the skill they gave him to replace his aura with is fucking amazing and the Overgrowth buff will really be damned nice.
Ethereal Blade change will make that item a hell of a lot more useful for damned near everyone. Still being built with Eaglehorn kinda sucks for non-AGI heroes. Cheaper Observer Wards should be interesting... it'll cost more to remove wards than to place them.
5 second cogs at level 1? Jesus f***
A lot of these nerfs seem unnecessary or even outright over the top. Morphling needed a change, not a complete kick in the face. He's not THAT ridiculous because it's not his damage that's the issue, it's the fact that he can farm in any lane in any game and can't be ganked. Take away his immortality and he's a fair hero, you don't have to destroy his early game completely. A mana increase on morph would have probably been enough.
Sure, removing Vacuum's interaction with it prevents the wombo combo but it's not changing the fact that a late game Radiance Naga can split push a lane and be given a guaranteed escape with her ulti, and the fact that that ulti has a cooldown exactly as long as a TP scroll.
Honestly, Naga's ulti is on the same level of power as a Ravage or Black Hole, but it doesn't have the cooldown you associate with ultimates that powerful.
You have to coordinate your team around Naga's ult way more than the other big team fight ults in the game or you just screw yourself over. She's been banned a whole lot less recently for a reason imo. International 2 hysteria isn't indicative of imbalance
And weren't you guys just saying about how it's so hard to land a decent Ravage against pro-level players? So if Ravage is also hard to land, why not put it on a short cooldown, too? I mean, you can just dodge it, right?
---------- Post added 2012-09-30 at 10:27 AM ----------
I'm wondering if blink dagger would be a good buy on her. She's already pretty mobile with 320 base speed (how does a water snake move so fast on land!?) but blink would definitely give her the ability to drop a sleep on the enemy team from a very long distance away and make it virtually impossible to escape her nets.
I just think people haven't fully explored how good her ulti is just yet since she's relatively new. I recall there are some spells that will continue doing damage to caught targets, though I can't remember which ones they were offhand.
When you pop a Ravage there is never a question of whether or not it will give you an advantage - it always will. Even if all enemies maneuver to dodge it, you will still have achieved that. The question is always whether or not it gave you enough of an advantage to justify itself being used and put on cooldown.
Song doesn't deal damage or doesn't let you deal damage during it. It allows your cooldowns to recharge as much as those of your enemies. It would only allow you to bypass most of positioning, but it works both ways. For Song to be effective you'll need to build your team around it and without it not only Naga but her entire team would be a lot weaker. I'm not sure if I agree with the cooldown but it's pretty easy to see the justifications - it doesn't guarantee you anything and Naga is nothing without it, and her record does reflect that dealing with her is far from impossible.
And let's not forget that if your team is too spread out she can just hold position sleeping a few of your allies while the others take on 4 with no backup in sight. My favorite move is to pop mirror image/manta on their tower and run into their fountain with my ult up. Team 5 mans the rax while they can't do a damned thing about it. They made her ult make buildings immune to stop this behavior but it's still completely possible in a new way.
I don't consider Slithice nor her ult the best of the best, by any means. Chronosphere has far more power and Drow has far more damage and control. Siren is a well rounded team based carry and that's good for her, but I do question the direction of the changes in the patch.
I don't disagree that it's a powerful ultimate, but the skill ceiling for using it is rather high. You need good perception and fast decision-making to use it correctly, especially when using it for something besides all-in initiation or escaping. And as the statistics point out, misuse of it or superior play from opponents is fairly common. In a sense, every good use of it can be countered with good play, which again can be countered with better use of it and so on.
I suppose the high ban rates are because she enforces a different kind of play from both teams, and often players would prefer to not go down that road. And when she is not banned, teams sometimes seem hesitant to pick her up.