While it still takes some time before we launch the "open beta" for VotE, we nonetheless should slowly but surely begin to categorize heroes based on their intended role and lane. Of course, a meta has to develop over time, but we don't really create heroes within a vacuum, we have a concept about them being a carry or a tank or something like that.
This DOESN'T mean that the categorization based on attributes, melee/range and main designer has to drop, of course, these have a right to exist because they still convey informations and meaning. But, of course, that doesn't say anything about the qualities of a hero within a team. For example, Int-Mages are just as likely here as Int-Nonmages (like Azazel, Rachet and Raijin, with both Aephus and Sylvia being potentially mages but having a different intended role).
With that said, what roles should we use in the first place to categorize the heroes? My proposal is using a small pool of roles, but also using a sub-category within each role so people can analyse with a single glance what kind of jungler, support, carry etc. the hero in question is. It also allows for players to find heroes that are similar to their favourite hero to expand their pool of mastered heroes.
So, here's my suggestion for categories and sub-categories. As usual, I'm open for your opinions and criticism.
- Carry: The Carry starts with limited power, but becomes a threat in lategame due to his high synergy with items.
- Striker: Their main damage comes from autoattacks and their kit encourages that with buffs or repositioning.
- Spellcaster: Their main damage comes from their abilities. Scale especially well with AP most of the time (although AD-Caster also exist).
- Brawler: A mixture of the traditional Fighter and Tank. Can dish out and soak damage well (if not exceptional) in every stage of the game, but have limited options in teamfights.
- Vanguard: Their main purpose is to initiate fights and grab as much attention as possible to make the fight easier for his teammates. Tend to have finishers and other tools that work well if the Vanguard gets ignored for too long.
- Protector: Living meatwalls and proud of it. They usually accompany squishies on the lane to, well, protect them.
- Mage: Mages are quite good in dealing damage (most mages tend to be semi-carries), but their main strength comes from the mindgames with their kit, which enables them to deal even more damage if they can pull off their tricks.
- Chainer: Their abilities are somewhat weak themselves, but using these abilities in quick succession (optionally combined with autoattacks) makes these kind of mages especially brutal and fearsome.
- Harasser: Specialize in punishing those who come too close to the minions or important teammembers. Or bad positioning in general.
- Supporter: Good utility without needing many items or levels, therefore great as partners for other roles.
- Warden: Protect their partners so they can farm safely and escape critical moments more likely.
- Disruptor: Although still being able to help teammates in many ways, their greatest traits are punishing enemies with their crowd control effects and high-base low-scale damage.
- Jungler: Instead of going to a lane, Junglers try to defeat as many monsters in the jungle as possible and use that edge to hunt for bigger game or gank a lane. Junglers usually share many traits with Brawlers.
- Assassin: While capable of clearing their jungle, they focus on going to lanes often to provide a numerical advantage for their partners. They excel in dealing single-target damage or CC.
- Hunter: Still capable of decent ganks, but they are more comfortable in clearing the jungle fast and counter-jungle so they get even gold and EXP while depriving the enemy jungler of their income.