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[S2]Nomes Blog: Hero Development: Druid #2

By X-Flame - 17th August 2011 - 12:45 PM

This is second in a series of pre-release development blogs for a hero in progress. In the previous edition, I commented on the initial design goals and challenges that were presented in designing such a hero, as well as the influences that transpired me to create it. In this installment, I will explore her initial ability set. Please note that this blog is being written for a one-week-old version of the hero, and that many abilities have changed since then. All art assets are temporary. Yes, that is a recolored Wretched Hottie with Martyr wings.

I decided to name the hero Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, following my typical mythology naming conventions. MsPudding and I recently watched the god-awful Clash of the Titans movie, so now I’m kind of interested in making a Perseus for our Andromeda too. Artemis seemed especially fitting given the mythos of shapeshifters within Savage lore as being wily, cunning huntresses. If you recall, the goal of the hero was to present a unique playstyle that featured form-switching between a ranged caster and melee DPS form. In typical Nome flair, I decided to name the two separate forms “Aspect of the Wych” and “Aspect of the Chimaera”. Switching between the two forms would be accomplished by leveling her Aspect Switch ability, which would also grant increasing passive bonuses tailored to each individual form. The abilities on each form would share levels and cooldowns:
  • Q: Leeching Seed/Galeforce
  • W: Sylph’s Embrace/Hades Charge
  • E: Aspect Switch
  • R: Gone with the Wind/Chimaera Strike

Aspect of the Wych


Aspect of the Wych, or the human form, was intended to be a support caster. Direct damage was relegated to the Arcane Bolts passive. Because this was a fairly complex hero, I tried to keep each spell simple but effective. Arcane Bolts was only added upon the realization that the Wych form had no damage capability at all.
  • Leeching Seed: When cast upon an enemy, lays a dormant seed upon him. After three seconds, the seed bursts and immobilizes the host, draining attack damage through its tendrils and transferring it to Artemis.
  • Sylph’s Embrace: A scaling regeneration-type heal, similar to Huskar’s Inner Vitality.
  • Aspect Switch/Arcane Bolts: This was a passive/active. On activation, instantly shifts to Chimaera Form, gaining a temporary speed boost. However, while in Wych Form, you also gained a passive bonus–Arcane Bolts: on spell cast, Artemis releases a series of three Arcane Bolts that seek out nearby enemy heroes and deal damage.
  • Gone with the Wind (Ultimate): Channel the power of the winds to summon a cyclone that brings you and any nearby allies to a target destination. For those of you who have played the old DotA Stormspirit, this is a nerfed version of his “Lightning Grapple” ultimate.

Aspect of the Chimaera


Wych form was fairly refined, but Chimaera form was not. The original intent of Chimaera form was to provide a very “hard” carry playstyle, with powerful auto-attack damage boosted by big Phantom Assassin-style crits. There were a lot of drawbacks to this dichotomy between support caster and melee DPS, however–I’ll cover these drawbacks, and my eventual solutions to them, in a future installment.
  • Galeforce: Artemis generates powerful winds around her, lashing nearby enemies for damage while granting herself 100% evasion for a duration. If this skill seems lackluster to you, don’t feel alone. It was the first to be replaced. The only reason this ability existed was because what I originally wanted wasn't possible without code. I was very upset.
  • Hades Charge: Charge headfirst at an enemy, using your head as a battering ram. A portion of the damage taken from the front during Hades Charge is mitigated. This ability was taken from a previous, unreleased-and-scrapped hero of mine, Cerberus. Cerberus, in a backwards twist of eponymous fate, was dissected into three of my finished hero concepts. His ultimate, Dregs of Hades, was reworked into Emerald Warden's Hunter's Command. His passive, Ouroburos Crown, was reworked into Amun-Ra's Ashes to Ashes. Finally, his Baphomet's Ram has become Hades Charge.
  • Aspect Switch/Feral Might: As with Wych form’s Aspect Switch, this was a passive-active. The Chimaera form’s passive was simply increased stats: a decreased base attack time, increased health, and increased movement speed. Again, if you activated to switch to Wych form, you’d get a temporary speed boost.
  • Chimaera Strike (Ultimate): Quite simply a critical strike.
As I mentioned in the introduction, this post is a snapshot of a design that is already one-week-old and outdated. Many sweeping changes and optimizations have already been enacted, so “tune in” next time to see the continued evolution of the Druid! I was just kidding about the Perseus hero by the way.

Author: [S2]Nome


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Richard Liu, also known as [S2]Nome, is a game designer for S2 Games and an avid gamer. He is an alumnus of Emory University with a BA in Psychology.