Arena of Valor, the state of magic items

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Ever felt like you can’t play mid lane mage the way you want it? That the item-build you want is just not possible? These questions bother me every time I create a mid-laner item build.

Arena of Valor is my favorite mobile MOBA game. In the past, I praised both Tencent and Timi studios for all sorts of things they have done well in this game. From creating interesting and new characters to the regular and quality balance changes, Arena of Valor is well maintained, at least comparing to the other mobile games (not sure people from the Indian server will agree with me thou. Seems like an issue worth looking into).

Now, let me start by saying the issue I am discussing here is not a major one, and I don’t think the game suffers without the solution. This is a sort of feedback/insight from playing Arena of Valor on average 3 hours per day, every day.

So what’s the issue?

We start with 6 item slots.
-Reserve one slot for boots (98% or AoV heroes use boots in their builds) we are left with 5 slots.
-If we play Mid-lane mage there are two more mandatory items, Hecate’s Diadem and Holy of Holies. Two additional slots reserved.
-If an enemy builds a magic defense, we have to get Staff of Null. One more reserved item.
-Phoenix Tear is primary sustain item for the vast majority of mages. True, its replaced at LVL 15, but most games are over by that time.
-Take into account slot for the defensive item (one defensive item should not be a problem, right?)… well, we are left with… 0 slots!

AoV itemAoV T2 Enchanted KicksAoV T3 Hecates DiademAoV T3 Holy of HoliesAoV T2 Staff of Nuul

(this is an example without defensive item. Add that to the mix and there is no freedom to choose)

 

What is the problem with that?

Here’s the problem: Boomstick, Frosty’s Revenge, The Apocalypse or Zweihander, they are excellent items, that effectively change the way we play our character. On the other hand, we have Hecate, Holy and Null which acts just like damage/stat bonus. There is nothing special about the last 3 other than the fact they are mandatory.

At best, mid-lane mages have the option to create one item of choice, just one item that fits, type of hero, player’s style, or what’s needed for that particular game.

I want to be clear: this is not intended as flame or disrespect, it is just an observation/feedback with the aim of hopefully push the game toward more fun and engaging playstyle.

Possible solutions:

1. merge two out of three mandatory items (Hecate’s Diadem, Staff of Null and Holy of Holies).
To clarify my position, I don’t think just stick two items add up stats and passives, and that is it. Obviously, some fine tuning is mandatory, but the main issues are passives. They are the core of the problem and that is what I have in mind when speaking about merging.

2. Split one of those three items and add to the other two. The reason for not adding it to the item outside of this group is simple, we don’t want again to have 3 mandatory items.

3. Straight up remove Holy of Holies, and add a certain amount of HP across the AP-item board.

Here’s the thing, by creating one slot free from a mandatory item, I think we will regain the ability to choose, to adopt the different playstyle, to deal with the problem the way we see fit. Currently, as the mid laner, there is one way to do the job, while the more interesting tools are all around us, lying on the ground.

Am I in a wrong here? Please let me know in the comments below, do you think this is the problem? And if so, what would be your solution?

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