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Old 05-15-2008, 06:54 PM   #1
Rising_Dusk
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Default Hero Contest #2 - Public Poll

HERO CREATION CONTEST #2

PUBLIC POLL


Well, the second hero contest has been a huge success. As expected, not every team that claimed they would enter did, but we achieved a whopping 50% turnout. (12 teams of 23) Thanks to the awesome 24-hour grace period, no teams had to be disqualified for silly things, so all 12 entries are included in the .7z file for your viewing pleasure. Just extract the contents to your download folder or something, all included maps are within a folder for ease of sorting and testing.

I want to emphasize that I went through every entry in a preliminary check to make sure they follow the rules and I want to commend everyone on the freakin' awesome entries. A lot of entries I had doubts about when loading them, but those doubts were quenched upon testing. I'm really impressed with the quality of work that went into this contest, every hero feels complete, awesome, and like something I'd want to use in my own maps. Take that as a compliment, since God knows I don't give people many of those. Props to you all, entrants, I'm humbled by your work.


Voting Procedures:
  • You'll notice that there is no poll. In order to force all votes to represent a viewing of all heroes, you must download the heroes and explain in an post why you are voting for those you picked. I will be tasked with tallying all of the votes, so please, the only posts that belong in this thread are votes, any other posts will be deleted and the poster punished.
  • Anyone can vote, just make sure you check all the heroes before voting AND you must explain exactly why you choose it/them over the rest of the contestants.
  • You have 2 points you can give to the submissions, you can give 2 points to the hero you like the most or divide the points between 2 submissions if you feel that is more appropriate.
  • The five submissions with the most votes will then pass to the judge stage in which a team of judges will grade them to select the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.
  • You cannot vote for your own submission.
  • Voting will end in 9 days on 5/24/2008 11:59PM GMT-5. (On a Saturday night for you school kiddies?)
  • Have fun testing the heroes and the spells.

To interested contestants, if you'd like to PM me with a screenshot of your hero in action, I'll post a cool little announcement later today with thumbnail pictures of all of the entries, informing the ignorant about the voting and stuff. Try to keep the screenshots to around 1200x1000.

Good luck to all contestants!
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:47 PM   #2
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Ok guess I'm first, heres review:

"Top 3:
Rank #1 - Harraki Overlord

The skin was great, a nice adaption of a Naga, I liked it :p

As for the spells, I thought they were the most well put together.
All had their uses & there was some good synergy in there. I especially liked the ultimate, (more on that below).
  • Gale of Retribution
    - Not the most spectacular skill, but it certainly does the job. Sets up nicely with Life Tap.
  • Life Tap
    - Very nice ability, works very well.
  • Crimson Copy
    - I loved this ability especially the effects. With some good micro it has alot of potential.
  • Blood Offering
    - I thought this was the best ultimate out of all the Heroes. Alot of potential for melee games and well thought out. Fits the Hero & overall was very cool.
    Simply sacrifice a few weak units, such as footman, ghouls, archers etc for some strong units.

Rank # 2 - Ogre Clan Shaman

Nice skin, brings back some war2 memories :P
I thought this had the best theme going for a Neutral War3 Hero.

The spells were all nice, I especially liked Enrage & Runes.
  • Crushing Blow
    - I was a bit surprised by a knockback spell. It was cool thou, but I felt a little out of place.
    I see the combo was probably knock them into your runes amongst other things.
  • Enrage
    - Nice spell, very useful.
  • Runes
    - The best spell I thought. I can imagine having alot of fun with this spell
  • Hibernation
    - It was a cool ability, especially the animation/effect, but kind of lacked 'uberness' for an ultimate.

I think swapping Enrage & Hibernation round, would work out better.
- When using Runes you could use hibernate to lure them :p
- A strong Enrage as an ultimate would be darn powerful!

Rank # 3 - Ancestral Guardian

A cool looking model. Nice to see some variation.

The spells all looked neat, I thought the above 2 entries had better synergy thou & fir better into the war3 environment.
  • Recurring Dream
    - This spell was ok.
  • Stormy Dreams
    - Neat spell, a nice variation of typical wave/AoE spells.
  • Sleep Walker
    - This was my favourite, nicely done
  • Fiery Nightmare
    - I felt this was alittle to similiar to reincarnation, I liked the way the hp transfered over thou.

I think Fiery Nightmare as a buff would probably have worked out better, quite similiar to the Doom method.

I give 2 points to Harraki Overlord


Overall thou, have to say alot of fantastic entries & a very successful contest. I only wish I'd have entered.
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:43 PM   #3
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Here's my Top 3. (used Fulla's post as a basis, muehehe)

"Top 3:
Rank #1 - Harraki Overlord

Really nice skin, I like the colours. Looks a lot better ingame than on the WIPs.

Now about the skills.
  • Gale of Retribution
    - Simple, but useful.
  • Life Tap
    - Great against masses of units (militia, lol), situational skill.
  • Crimson Copy
    - That angular pool could be replaced with some bloody sfx, but that's the only flaw. Looks great, very useful.
  • Blood Offering
    - Randomness of that ultimate is what conerns me (you'd have to move more valuable units, you could also abuse it by sacrificing workers or summons (if it works for summons)), but it's still good.

I rated this hero as the first one, because it's the only one I would see in a normal melee game. He's all-round, SFX are pretty, spells aren't overcomplicated. And because that was the aim, this hero succeded the most, imo.

Rank # 2 - Heretic

The model didn't amaze me, but it's still quality. And it suits the theme. Though it feels more like Warhammer than Warcraft, but that's my opinion.

Now the spells.
  • Damned Damnation
    - Terrible name. But that's the most cool spell I've seen here. Great SFX, very useful (armour reduction), I just love the idea ("chained" units getting damaged when one of them dies).
  • Revenge
    - Confusing tooltip. But the spell itself is great, suits the demonologist's/heretic's theme. SFX owns.
  • Victim
    - I didn't like this one. Overcomplicated for a melee hero, limiting this thing to one effect would work better.
  • Hell Gate
    - Another spell which owns visually. Just the usability is average. Maybe it should deal AoE damage, if it causes a building to collapse?

I decided to put this hero in the second place, because of the great looking spells and Damned Damnation (lol). It suffers from bad grammar, but I won't rate it down just because of that.

Rank # 3 - Ogre Clan Shaman

Like Fulla said, the skin brings memories of wc2 :)

Skills:
  • Crushing Blow
    - I like how the effect suits the attack anim.
  • Enrage
    - Useful, nice buff too.
  • Runes
    - Not bad, but most of the time it damages one unit, the first one that enters the area. Unless you block your enemies somewhere.
  • Hibernation
    - Agreed with Fulla - not cool enough for an ultimate.

The ogre's on third place, because he didn't thrill me, like Harraki and Heretic did. But that's the only thing I can pick at, he's very polished, all the spells look good, that's why he's in my top 3.

I give 1 point to Harraki Overlord and 1 point to Heretic. Harraki is the best, imo, but I see the effort put into Heretic, it deserves some points too.


Short notes about the rest:
Tidal Lord - I don't like him. He would be good for some hero map, not melee. The mana stealing ability is nice, but would be rarely ever useful.
Ancestral Guardian - offensive dash spell is bad. Awesome model.
Arcane Pilgrim - too mana dependant. Only suitable for caster-tactics, melee heroes should be more all-round. I love the skin, though.
Bone Crusher - move spells don't go well with melee. I had a weird bug with him, he once rolled against a building, though I didn't use any spells O_o
Brood King - too weird, didn't like some SFX.
Divinder - ultimate lags.
Fel Shaman - this hero's so evil, that corpses slide on the ground to follow him (looks so stupid) The critter spell is great. And the skin, obviously.
Incubus - spells lack sounds.
Rift Stalker - confusing tooltips, I hate the critical strike anim triggering with every attack. First skill (with banishing) is nice.

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Old 05-16-2008, 07:59 PM   #4
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I put a lot of focus on how well the models and spells work together.

Table:
Rank #1 - Incubus

Well, what can I say? The by far best hero. The spells work very well with the model. Also, the model does not look like a simple reskinning (which many of the others did).

I like the concept of the hero's abilities too; there are no mega complex things dependent on A,B,C....,Z other factors. They are easy to understand and yet useful; which I like.
  • charge+knock
    - Is an awesome looking variant of damage+stun with the hero jumping and all. Feels like a native warcraft ability.
  • channeling+damage
    - is also a very cool effect with the whirl of fire closing in on the hero. Also feels like a native ability.
  • spellshield
    - This is the real downside of this hero. No cool effects, and only 10 seconds single target spell shield. Not my choice of ability.
  • ultimate
    - Instant kill + regen. Not particularily amazing, but useful.

Why I want this hero to win (short): The way the model interacts with the spells is better than anything the other heroes have. Despite that, the abilities are easy to understand and have short and well-written explanations. Had the spell shield been more useful and the ultimate been more creative, this hero definitely had deserved 2 points.

I would like to give 1 point to this hero.

Table:
Rank #2 - Brood King

I don't like the model of this one. It reminds me too much of a Crypt Lord. However, I do like the abilities (and particularly the concept of a hero-specific resource, spiders).
  • Burrow+impale Looks good and can serve both for dealing damage and hiding.
  • Spider shield One of the highlights of the competition. The idea of letting the spiders circle around the hero when you activate the shield is something I've never seen in wc3 before. It's cool that the shield is dependent on spiders for working too.
  • Aura of gettign spiders Necessary, but boring.
  • Ultimate Again, an intuitive ability. By sticking your own units into some kind of spider web you create a bouncing projectile which damage enemies. Once again, really creative!
Conclusion: Intuitive, but still useful and fun abilities. Had this been a coding contest, I'd put this hero at #1. The model was a little too much standard Crypt Lord and too little customized spider though. Also, there should be a more fun way to get spiders than having a passive on death aura.

I would like to give 1 point to this hero.
Table:
Rank #3 - Rift Stalker

Model looks good despite being just a reskinned blademaster.

Here we again have the hero-resource concept (souls).

The "blink-strike" variant looks very good. The shadow moving out from the body and striking + banishing is clearly the highlight of this hero.

The big downside is that all abilities look like: Does that... and also that... and that! It's too complex imo. Cut down on the 10+ lines of description (simplify the spells), and use double line breaks and color coding if you necessarily have to have complex spells.
Just outside top 3 - Tidal Lord

I liked both the model and the abilities; mostly because they all were useful, properly looking, and quite easy to understand. However, the ulti had a serious flaw: the effect (both fx and trigger) would last even if you ran out of mana. When participating in a contest, bugs like this mustn't exist. This would've been a point if not for that obvious ulti-bug.

Others
Bone Crusher - The charge+AOE damage spell is very well made, the model and script work nicely together.
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:52 PM   #5
Rising_Dusk
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My Thoughts:
1st
Tidal Lord [1 Point]
What I Liked:What I Disliked:
  • I absolutely adored the flow of the hero. Of them all, this hero stood out above the rest both aesthetically and in personality. This hero felt like Blizzard could have made it (With the exception of one of the dislikes listed below), and God damned I can't think of a better compliment to give than that.
  • The third skill was beautiful. It's quite possibly the greatest synergy of all of the heroes and still standalone one of the most useful skills possible. I mean, in melee games I always see caster armies backing those hefty melee units or ranged units or ranged units. All enemy heroes have mana too. Suddenly, you just steal that away bit by bit and eventually they'll be overextended and taken out. That's the kind of awesome skill I like to see. Some people think it's too conditional, but it's just conditional enough. I mean, in the same way you wouldn't cast silence on a footman, you wouldn't want to drop this skill on a footman army. But even in small levels it can be extremely valuable at sustaining yourself (Especially with that ult!) and keeping the enemies on their toes. I loved it; pure and simple.
  • I disliked how cluttered some of the art looked on the model. I mean, excellent use of in-game textures, but at parts it was just too mushed together and hard to distinguish. The armor edges needed borders or something to help give shape to the model. Past the watery ebb and flow, you could barely tell what was going on there. Really loved the model otherwise, though.
  • I think the second skill could have used more love in the special effect department. As cute as the naga death puff is, I think more could have been done to give it some impact and power behind what you were doing to them. I also disliked how short it lasted, for a buff of its caliber I think 12 seconds would have been a more balanced choice.
The hero was my favorite of all of the ones in the competition. I came back and played it a couple times even after I had tested them all through because I enjoyed it so much. I tried it with some UD statues and that owned, I gave it a try alongside an archmage and it destroyed too. Of course, I was playing shitty computers, but I still had a blast toying with the combos that I could find... They all felt right. So yeah, it earns one of my points for being one of the only two I could play a whole melee game through with and being the only one I played a half-dozen times out of enjoyment. (Among other abstract concepts as listed above and such)
2nd
Bone Crusher [1 Point]
What I Liked:What I Disliked:
  • I absolutely adored how amazing the raider model suddenly felt. I really loved how he was just a general that summoned a shadow wolf to ride around on. I think that was supremely clever and I was thrown back by it.
  • I dug the animations hardcore. Man, I seriously loved the second skill, that rush and spin-slice was so fluid and sexy. I found myself doing it to random peons of the enemy just for shits and giggles. Good stuff.
  • I enjoyed how fluid the skills felt on the hero, they all made sense and I enjoyed playing through a whole melee game with the guy. This entry and the Tidal Lord were the only two I actually enjoyed enough to play whole melee games with, which held a tremendous amount of weight in picking where my points went.
  • There's a good reason why there are no melee skills that throw units over terrain and stuff. I managed to get multiple enemy units stuck on the rocky areas behind trees in the middle areas around the tavern in Turtle Rock using the first skill. I think as cool as the ability felt, it really allowed too much enemy unit movement.
  • I think he should have been scaled higher. He was smaller than a grunt normally and about the size of a normal raider with the ultimate active. I think that although scale is a very minor detail, it would've made a world of difference.
  • The third skill I felt was a bit overpowered and destructive on the whole. I mean, the enemy team used Earthquake on my base and I just tanked and raped it within a second. At least with things like storm bolt you can only cast so often and it's active. Bash requires you attack a target, but like, this skill was an area stun just when you are attacked. That's a bit much and probably would have been better as a different skill entirely.
I still felt that the hero was phenomenal and that it fit the atmosphere and type of hero design I really appreciate. For that, I inevitably gave it one of my votes. Good stuff guys, I was really impressed with what you came up with on animations alone.
3rd
Ancestral Guardian
What I Liked:What I Disliked:
  • I really liked the ultimate and how it was a superpowered reincarnation. I think that might be a con too since it's terribly imbalanced compared to reincarnation, but that's okay, it was still a ridiculously awesome skill. I especially enjoyed how it flowed with the skill that uses bezier curves, those things spiked out and did awesome stuff in that ultimate mode. It seems to be a recurring themes for a lot of heroes in the contest for their main synergy to be "ultimate that makes other skills better."
  • I loved the way it looked, the pit lord animations were a great choice for the model. All of the skills felt like they belonged to the model and vice versa, like there was a lot of thought put into how they would work together and such.
  • I wasn't a huge fan of how that bezier curve ability needed to be channeled for a few seconds for it to work. That felt like it would have been a great skill for use if it were just an instant cast with a sweeping attack slam animation or something. That would've been awesome.
  • I think the whole hero lacked a lot of balance with the melee game. I remember you making mention of this before, but I wanted to bring it to the surface and point out that I think it could use a little bit of work. For instance, I disliked how the ultimate was reincarnation plus an awesome extra effect that basically crushed the TC's ult entirely. That was the biggest thing that jumped out to me there.
The real reason I liked this hero so much was how well it flowed together. Even though some things I didn't like and others I thought were great, it really felt like a completed and thought out creation. That's a big plus, it's not like MC just made a random model to go with some skills Vex had planned, it was more like they worked it out together to pick what best would fit together; a true example of systems engineering, something I can respect a lot.
You'll notice that I didn't include code or anything in my considerations here. All of that I think will be covered adequately in the judging stage, so I didn't want to spend too much time here. I mean, we don't think any less of the Blizzard melee heroes because half of the object editor fields for their skills don't work, why should we vote down these ones for purely code issues? :)

I also think it would be better if you only comment on heroes you're willing to give phenomenal feedback on. I think it's really stupid to say "Hey, this was an okay hero, I hated this" as your entire feedback. That's ridiculous, I'd much rather people not say anything at all about it. I also want people to consider that ultimates do not have to be overly epic. This is a melee hero contest, not a flashy-wtf-myeyes contest. Look at heroes already in melee like the Tauren Chieftain, the Alchemist, the Pit Lord... These ultimates not flashy at all, but they add dimensions to the game. Things like the Incubus' ultimate are incredibly useful, amazingly beneficial to the game, and fit perfectly in the melee environment. As a matter of fact, I respect heroes far more if the ultimate is practical, valuable, and versatile rather than just pretty. Come on people, have some design sense, it's really ridiculous how lame some of the logic behind a few of the comments before this post are.

I want to again reiterate that I was very impressed by all of the entries. Personal favorite skills go out to the Arcane Pilgrim's ultimate (Gorgeous effects, I could've swore you imported custom effects, but you just blew me away with the clever use of in-game ones) and the Heretic's second skill that made an allied unit explode violently (Wicked sick shit dude, mad props there). I also had loads of fun trying all of the heroes, I just didn't have the motivation to spend all of today typing out a super analysis of each and every one; twelve entries is a lot! Good stuff, though, the lot of you; expect rep coming your way come the end of the contest.
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:42 PM   #6
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________
Incubus
1 Point

I liked the flow of his skills, and though he did feel a bit AoS-y in my opinion, he still fit well as a melee hero. The shaman's animation set worked very well.
His ultimate was simple, but got the job done, and I liked that.[/table]
_________
_________
Brood King
1 Point

This hero was also one of my favorites. The first skill was a useful defense skill, so were the spiders. The aura was OK.

Was the ulti working properly? I imagined it as the green ball dragging whatever it took with it until it hit something and then them scattering. It only pushed them back a little bit.
_________

The rest were really awesome as well. A close 3rd for me was the bone crusher, then the Ogre Shaman/Tidal Lord.

Ancestral Guardian looked the most kickass though, and I think the delay on his ult and the spiral spell were too long.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:30 PM   #7
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My two cents go to the Bone Crusher. It was imba and all but he was genuinely fun to play. cba to make a long review and shizzle.
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:58 PM   #8
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1 point to the Ogre Clan Shaman.
1 point to the Bone Crusher.
Honorable Mention to the Incubus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassiel
Ogre Clan Shaman

Overall Concept
If nothing else, an ogre hero fits into the game well. Not only that, the lack of some kind of playable ogre unit in WC3, whether as a hero or a normal unit (not counting mercenary camps), has always struck me as odd. Back in the day, Warcraft was one manly mofo of a game. There were no ragging sorceresses, no effete Night Elves, just humans and orcs hacking the shit out of each other, channeling the elements, summoning daemons, raining down fire and destruction. I interpret this hero's theme and abilities as hearkening back to yon days of general badassery, when playing Warcraft put hair on your chest and your balls, or if you didn't have balls caused you to grow a pair, sometimes three, and then put hair on all three of them. For these reasons, I approve.

A few comments: I'm a little disappointed by the decision to use the two-headed ogre model yet not factor both heads into the concept and abilities (even if only one of them) somehow. It would also have worked better if you'd found a class name that doesn't repeat a unit already in the game, but I concede that all the obvious ones are already taken, including Ogre Mage.

Art
Like a fat girl, the texture gets the job done.


Abilities

Crushing Blow
Because of the knockback, I don't think this ability is particularly melee-worthy--at least, not straightforwardly so. On the one hand, it would be a great way to gum up the surround-and-pound micro that occupies such a central place in ladder games, since the Ogre would have a way out of being surrounded. On the other hand, you can only use it in very specifics circumstances if your aim is to isolate and kill an enemy hero (knocking him into a wall would work; otherwise, you're just helping him run away by using this ability). Overall I think this one's a wash, and would require a lot of tinkering to get right, if it can be got right at all.

Enrage
I like that it's a big fat AoE Bloodlust. I wish it worked more in the vein of WC2's Bloodlust than WC3's, though, giving units bonus damage and life, armor or DR instead of bonus attack and movement speed. But there's no mechanical reason for my preference, only a flavor one, and in fact the AoE WC3 Bloodlust is probably more effective in most cases. I guess you could frame my preference in terms of stats: I associate orcs and ogres with Strength, but this ability is clearly in the vein of Agility; it finesses, whereas I expect orcs and ogres to do things by brute force. WC3's Shamans paved the way here though, so I can't fault you for following Blizzard's lead. However, I can fault you a tiny bit for not differentiating Enrage from Bloodlust more strongly than by the shift from singletarget to AoE.

Runes
Awesome, just like in WC2. My one suggestion would be to use the image functions rather than the rune models for the effect, since flat models tend to get covered over by uneven terrain. Drop some Runes on a hill and you'll see what I mean. The image functions will look identical (albeit you'll have to script the pulsation), but conform to the terrain, including the sides of cliffs and such.

Hibernation
This is where I sort of lost my jones for this hero. Sure, Hibernation just combines Tranquility with mana regeneration using flavor that doesn't, at least for me, quite work. But as I see it that's not even the problem. The problem is that we have this badass ogre who crushes his enemies and works his allies up into a frothy rage of devastation and runs around with exploding fingerpaint drawing shit on the ground, and what's his ultimate power? Sleeping! FUCK. If he's going to sleep, it should be some wicked-ass apocalyptic kind of world-ending event. But he doesn't even snore! I think this one could've been a lot better thematically.


I had a lot of trouble deciding between the Incubus and the Bone Crusher for my second point. The Bone Crusher wins in terms of art and overall concept, but I think the Incubus is a marginally more playable melee hero, and this is a melee hero contest. I guess I'll break them both down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassiel
Bone Crusher

Overall Concept
I'm not wowed by the concept, but I don't find it inadequate either. This is overall a positive thing, since few of the existing melee heroes have concepts that you really take notice of. Sure, there's already a hero that rides a wolf, but there are multiple heroes that ride horses too, so nyah.

Art
Using animations to make two units out of one was ingenious. I avoided linking entrants to their heroes on my first pass, and didn't even notice that this wasn't a custom unit model until I used Warrior Mount. I'm baffled by the lack of an upward slice animation specifically for Uppercut, though.

Abilities

Uppercut
This has problems similar to the Ogre Clan Shaman's Crushing Blow, but worse in that your ability to relocate a unit is not limited by pathing, which is very abuseable.

Charge
There is definitely a place for dash-style abilities in melee, and this works equally well whether the Bone Crusher is mounted or not. It does duplicate some of the chasing functionality of Warrior Mount though, which makes the latter less attractive. Why bother with the ultimate when you can use Charge to run fleeing enemies down or close the gap following Uppercut?

Fury
I'm at a loss as to how this would be useful. The stun is so short that its only real effect is to stop channeling abilities. A longer duration AoE slow might work better, but in either case I don't see how the ability works flavor-wise anyway. Fury = stun doesn't play in my head, so I guess I would've rather seen a mechanic that better represents his being really pissed off.

Warrior Mount
His ultimate is somewhat displaced by Charge, but it's still cool. I do find myself wishing it did more than give more speed, life and damage, but at the same time, that does seem to be the way of morphs in WC3.

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Originally Posted by Cassiel
Incubus

Overall Concept
I don't know what the concept is, but I'm pretty sure it's not what the word Incubus means. I'm guessing this guy is really more along the lines of the WC1 Daemon, which could be cool. His abilities don't necessarily fit that interpretation though.

Art
I fully expect most people to like the custom model a lot, but the difference between his upper and lower body, which I (perhaps arbitrarily) associate with the aesthetic of the Doom games, has never worked for me. There also doesn't seem to be any logic to the emitters. Why head, hands and lower body, but not chest, arms and feet? The emitters also aren't especially fluid, so whenever the Incubus is in motion there's an unsightly (as opposed to an awesome) trail of fire.

Abilities

Impaling Blow
My positive comments about Charge apply to this as well. It could use a different name, however, since there's already an Impale ability.

Arcane Burst
I suppose it's not too different from Flamestrike, but some of the choices here are odd. Why center it on the hero? Why require the channeling? How is this supposed to play?

Spell Shield
Usually when an item duplicates an ability's functionality it's an aura, but I think there's room for Spell Shield here. The numbers and possibly even the implementation would need considerable tweaking, though, and I don't see how this ability fits into the hero's concept either. The duration of the buff and the ease with which it can be defused by spells like Curse and Faerie Fire make it a tough one to get just right.

Consume Soul
Dark Ritual and Death Pact rolled into one, but against enemies instead of allies. This is useful, fits a demonic theme, and may be just different enough from the two abilities on which it's based to not feel repetitive.

In the end, I went with the Bone Crusher because both had the dash-style ability, while the Incubus' Spell Shield and Consume Soul are basically already in the game, the latter as hero abilities, no less. To reiterate, I think the Incubus is more playable; but this seems largely to be because its abilities cleave so closely to existing ones, so that while they may be more playable, they're also less creative and less interesting. That, together with the better thematic unity of the Bone Crusher, sealed the deal.
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:31 PM   #9
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Iíll start with saying that I was really impressed with all the heroes, and I mean all. There were some truly amazing examples of the quality of art the artist on this site are able to produce. Iím only sad that the art restrictions prevented some submissions from going further with their creations.

The quality of spells didnít disappoint. Some very impressive and creative displays of what can be done in a month (or in some cases a week) with the world editor. Iíve had hours of fun trying out all the spells through the testing process.

Design and balance left melee territory in quite a few cases which, although probably inevitable, is still a bit disappointing. There were, however, some great themes and spell combinations on offer. With such diverse and high quality art and spells, design is really what differentiated between the good and the great for me. In my opinion it is also the hardest to get right.

With that waffle-packed introduction out of the way, Iíll give out some points:

Ogre Clan Shaman1 point
Ancestral Guardian1 point

Ogre Clan Shaman

This hero fits in perfectly as a warcraft tavern hero. The skin is of a superb quality, and importantly doesnít stand out against the other warcraft heroes. When put on the already personality-rich Ogre model it is pure win.

The skillset is great; they all conform and add to the theme, while still being individually unique and useful. Hibernation, while perhaps not possessing the epic game-changing of other melee ultimateís, has epic personality. Even though it is incredibly simple, itís easily my favourite ability in the competition.
To spice it up a bit I was thinking of something along the lines of wind-walk break. I mean, an Ogreís not exactly going to be happy at being woken up; so heís probably going to go a bit berserk. I also really like some of the other ideas of fear-inducing snoring, or damaging farts. It definitely need something though.

I think I need to mention that I thought Crushing Blow was unsuitable for melee. It looked really good, had great synergy with Runes and was implemented about as well as I think any knockback could be for melee. For me the ability to relocate an enemy hero just detracts from game play, and itís the only thing I didnít like about this hero.

In conclusion; the theme, design and quality of work really blew me away. If it hadnít been for the knockback, this could easily have been in contention for 2 points. Great hero, loved it.
Ancestral Guardian

The model was spectacular; the creativity and quality of work are really impressive. While the spells lacked a bit of polish, the ideas behind them were great. They worked really well with the model to produce a tangible theme and identity to the hero that I really enjoyed. With a few quick fixes and polishing to the abilities I think this hero could be amazing.

I enjoyed how the ultimate played; there was quite a lot going on in there, but it seemed to turn out very nicely; especially the buffs to the heroes skills.

Recurring Dream Ė The model slid sideways at one point when cast on a moving target right in front of the caster; this looked quite bad.
Stormy Dreams Ė It took too long for the effect. This might have been ok with a different animation.
Sleep Walker Ė It could be cast on enemy units.
Burning Nightmare Ė It got down to 2 hp too quickly; this just looked wrong to me. Given that the hero is unkillable once he gets to 2 hp, the transition should be steady. Itís trivial, but aesthetically important.

While this might seem a big list, most of them are trivial or easy fixes.

In conclusion; the theme was really well developed; perhaps because so many of the skills used the heroes model. It all felt really tied together, which was great to see. A really impressive hero.

If I get some more time i'll try and beef up these two reviews and hopefully add some more.
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:40 PM   #10
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Hero Contest #3 - 2nd Place

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I decided to just pick the artwork and spell I liked the most and give 1 points each, so:

art:
PlaceHeroGooddrawback
1.Bone CrusherI think it is the most impressive model of the lot, a big plus is that people would instantly think it is a geoset merge in the first impression, when it is just the raider model with animations that allow him to get out of the wolf, so, this is by far the artwork that has impressed me the most, I wish though the morph stage had those thunder effects used in summons, would have been made clearer the wolf is a summon - A guy summoning his own mount, that's just a great idea.I think the passive roar spell is very annoying.
2.HakkariSo, at least a honorable mention, I think this skin is very cute and appreciate the effort of getting a naga to look so close to hakkar.Gale of retribution really is its weakness, it looks like a scroll-type spell which happens to make a tornado appear where the caster is located. The other spells are ok either in the looks department or tactical-wise or both. I think that without Gale of retribution this could have gotten 2 points...

Spell:
PlaceHeroGooddrawback
1.IncubusImpaling blow is very cool, the blend between the animation and code is really top quality, as a matter of fact I think that I finally had to decide towards RiftStalker for just a minor factor, but I would call it a technical tie.I didn't love Incubus' ultimate, it is just instant kill + retribution design/balance/melee-wise it may make sense, but I really can't get impressed by it. I also think the model needed tweaks and improvements, it was impressive to see TDR pull out a model in less than half a day, but I sort of wish he spent more time on it, for example looking for better textures and thinking twice before adding the massive particles. Cause the design and TDR's skills had the potential of making this truly awesome artwork, heck, it is actually kickass even with the flaws I mentioned.
2.Rift stalkerThe Warp Merge - Soulstorm combo is just too nice. I actually tested the map 3 times before noticing how this combo works, but once it does it looks nice, all the animation since the time you cast warp merge till you got the successful synergy with soulstorm looks very nice.The skin, really is a turn off, I think it looks ok in game, but the portrait's mouth is something I can't stand to look at.

3.Ogre clan shamanI think this is perhaps the most creative spell in the contest, yes, it really is. Imagine the reaction of an opponent when he catches your ogre sleeping.I wish this wasn't the ultimate, I expressed my opinion on this in the other thread. I also think that the other spells are very well coded and designed, but they are warcraft 2 ideas or the usual knock back, so Hybernation really stands out for this hero in the originality department.

4.Brood KingSpike trap is such a great idea, and it looks like it was implemented very well, I think this hero not getting my points right now is mostly a consequence of the tough competition that made me like the spells more, cause this spell alone would have otherwise been a good reason to give points to this one.The model itself does not have flaws I noticed, but it looks too much like the fiend. I didn't find the ultimate too odd, but it was certainly hard to use and I think the ball really needs a death animation.
5.HereticRevenge, now that's very nice for an evil hero, if casted correctly the exploding unit effect is very cool.Well I couldn't get any good vibe from the model. What I didn't like was that the ultimate was mostly massive eyecandy for a very simple spell gameplay wise, and the eye candy was this pentagram which I think is something just too overused already.

So, I give 1 point to Bone Crusher and 1 point to Incubus.

I wish I could have 7 points so I could vote for the seven submissions, distributing 2 points among 12 teams makes it sounds a little unfair considering how high the average quality of the submissions became. I was personally not too impressed with the last hero contest's submissions (they were fine submissions though), the shock it gives you to try so many good hero designs is too big this time in comparison.

Sorry if I sound harsh in the drawbacks columns, that's not the intention, notice that if I named a hero it means I really liked it significantly over the other submissions.

Edit: I tested again, and changed my mind, today I really felt better vibes from incubus' impaling blow, I decided that although the spells from the top 2 in the spell list are so close in coolness that they are tied, the artwork is really something else. By using artwork as a tie breaker in this case, I really got to vote incubus.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:13 PM   #11
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One point to the Ogre Clan Shaman for its model. The textures are clean and it looks cool.

One point to Rift Stalker since it seemed the most fun to play. I was inside the enemy base killing all of the peons because it was fun.
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:22 AM   #12
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I'm going to have to go with the Ogre Shaman, why? 1. His skin was great 2. He was fun as hell to play! I got so engrossed with him I suddenly wanted to stick him in a WAY bigger ladder map and just run around having fun! 3. Hibernation is just plain awesome, as Vex pointed out, what is your enemy going to think when they find your ogre sleeping? "WTF!?"

Drawbacks to him were...

Slightly...erm...OP, I got several mana regen items and pots, and ya know what? I could run around soloing red creep camps(in case none of you understood what I meant, I mean the creep camps that are red on the minimap), I just had to plant down several runes(5), then lure the enemy into them, enrage, then use crushing blow, gg creep camp and I get gold, and an uber item.

Dis, kinda put me off from it getting 2 points

So 1 to Ogre Shaman

My other point will have to go to the Hakkari, was fun to play, I simply ADORED, how I could run into massive amounts of enemies and stay alive because of the life drain aura, as long as I had mana pots I was fine, the ult was really awesome, trade in 5 of your units for better expendable ones? Can you say WOOT!

The replicate ability was just plain cool, same with the winds.

So yah, I'm gonna give the Hakkari Overlord 1 point
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:55 AM   #13
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"Top 3:
Rank #1 - Skull Crusher
1 Point

This hero had the best combination of awesome art with nice coding and spells. I was at first disgusted at the model, because I thought it was simply a goblin-thing with a raider sword attached (like the kind of models you find on the Hiveworkshop?) but then I noticed it was a raider without the wolf with awesome animations! I almost fell off my seat when I saw the ultimate's animation! Flawless.
Now the code/spells. Once again, at first glance his skill-set looked like it was made by a 9 year old, but after further investigation (aka choosing the skills) I noticed that they were pure epic-ness. I spent a good 20 minutes charging, and knocking back enemies. Although the ultimate was just Avatar with a movement speed bonus, it really boosted every aspect of the hero and made him seem very awesome at the same time.

Rank # 2 - Tidal Lord
1 Point

This is a very nice model, even though the skin could be better... The skills are really what make this hero shine. The first is great for Hero killing, while the second is a great nuke with summon and debuff! The third compliments it all by allowing him to keep casting and his ultimate does the same while making him even more of a shotgun-nuking sun-of-a-coconut. I actually played the game out with this hero, and I had a lot of fun doing it.

Honorable Mention - Ancestral Guardian
1 Imaginary Point

I really loved 2/4 of the skills and the model leaks awesome. I mean, who ever though of such a indirect summon as Dreamwalk (ithinkthatswhatitscalled)! Also, the charge was funny, but it didn't really fit warcraft very well... due to its ... strangeness... And the orb summon was also very nice :D congratulations
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:23 AM   #14
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I am so impressed with all of the entries. This is my first time to actually test hero entries for a hero contest. ^^ Choosing the best hero is hard for me, but because we will it in a melee game, I have chosen two heroes with skill sets best applicable in a melee game.

Quote:
I will give 1 point to Ogre Clan Shaman.

Reason: Impressive skill set and model. When I see the model, I feel like it really belons in WC3 which is a good factor for me. I really liked how the skills are made. You got a knockback skill(Crushing Blow) which I believe useful on position control. But I hope this won't cause units to be stucked on weird spots. An AoE bloodlust(Enrage) is a nice flavor to this hero because I am thinking of an Ogre having some tantrums :P. A trap skill(Runes) is an impressive one though I don't like the runes :P. Synergizes well with the Ultimate(Hybernation) because you can lure your enemies to destruction lol. Hybernation, in my opinion is the most unique idea in all of the entries that I have seen. Besides from it's regeneration bonus, it can be used for luring for trapping enemies or surprising enemies.

Quote:
I will give 1 point to Hakkari Overlord.

Reasons: Same as above, Impressive skill set and model. I like the color of this hero. :P On the skill sets, Gale of Retribution is nice. Positive buff for your team, and negative buff for your enemies. Life Tap was one of my favorites. It will surely keep you alive. Crimson Copy is wicked! I really liked this one though I don't like the water pool animation :P because it's too... hexagonal :P. Blood Offering is like a last resort skill for me. I used this when most of my units are nearly dead. I actually turned the table of fortune in my favor because weaker units are replaced with stronger ones.

Quote:
Special Mentions:

Bone Crusher: Loved this one. When he is not mounted, he looks like a kid wielding a giant sword. :P The animation of the last skill is awesome. Though his skills are more of a Hero Arena or AoS type so I didn't put points to him.

Tidal Lord: Another hero that fits a melee game. Impressive model once again(I'm really a jigrael fan! :P). Though the heroes that I have chosen are much better on this one due to gameplay reasons(I'm referring to how I play ^^).

Brood King: As I look at the model, I am trying my best to convince my self that it's not a cross breed of Crypt Lord and Crypt Fiend. Anyway same reason on Tidal Lord why I didn't chosed this one.
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:23 AM   #15
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1 place the Heretic 1 point

Simply good model

Very interesting and useful spells, are wonderfully made effects. The hero is well balanced in comparison with others of mile heroes and personally to me was interestingly him to play.

2 place Rift Stalker 1 point

Weak texture at one of the best icon

The first spell very much was pleasant externally, in the rest spells have liked, but I think it more pertinently in RPG or AOS, therefore second place

Also some impressions:

Ancestral Guardian
Really good hero, it was pleasant for them to play, but he has seemed to me a little banal

Bone Crusher
Interesting, but I did not like model

Ogre Clan Shaman
The first spell simply awful...

Last edited by HunTer : 05-18-2008 at 10:30 AM.
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