What if Blizzard introduced the option of community made coop maps? Like, custom maps you can play and still level up your character? I think that would open the door for a lot of interesting concepts to be explored (alternate timelines, etc.) while actually rewarding you for playing.
That would be pretty cool. I'd love it if Blizzard made an actual official coop campaign. Like, a DLC that is specifically designed to be played with multiple people. Another idea would be a last stand mode (like in Dawn of War II) that allows players to hold out against neverending waves, kinda like In Utter Darkness.
Yes! The story turned from an epic that described the downfall and rise of empires to a much more character-focused "hero's journey"-type story, which works if the characters are well written, but sadly a lot of them are not. It especially shows in heart of the swarm where the only interesting characters show up towards the end of the campaign (Abathur does not count because he has literally 0% impact on the story).
What I liked about the way that SCI put a spin on the classic epic was the atmosphere. I LOOOOOOVE how the game gives you so much power (as in you fight and win every battle), but still manages to make you feel powerless. You are in the middle of what's happening, but you are still unable to influence it.
Ouuuuh... That Zerg-ish commander seems really cool. I love how creative your unit concepts are! Most pitches for "new" units I read about so far are really just describing variations of existing units, but when I read through your ideas I struggle to find anything that has already been done before! ;-)
Note that this can be both a blessing and a curse, though. Too much new stuff could overwhelm the player, which is something you should try to avoid. Maybe make the parasite-Zerg play a little more like normal Zerg and the robot-Terran a little more like normal Terran, but at the same time that is something you should decide yourself. I am just trying to be helpful and honestly I am still processing your first commander post.^^
I think making these kinds of decisions is hard, as it is difficult to estimate what would actually be viable for the player, without extensive testing.
(But even that can sometimes fail as units like the primal igniter prove. Don't lie to me. I bet you even forgot it existed until reading this. ^^)
That's at least why I personally favour passives over units when it comes to defining a commanders playstyle. They don't force you to tech into a specific direction in order to interact with what makes a commander unique.
Edit: Before I forget; I would love to read about (or maybe even play with) your commanders. I am always curious about what other people can come up with.
Hmm. I guess I thought that the creep part didn't quite fit with the operations on hostile territory thing. It especially didn't fit in with "guerrilla tactics", since the Garm brood is all about being sneaky and giving your position away is not helpful with that.
Although a cool way to incorporate creep would be to make enemy structures spawn creep upon death.
That would allow the player to set up fortifications on hostile territory, something that wouldn't be possible with creep colonies.
An alternative would be to make nydus exits generate creep. I think I like this one better because it would empower the player to easily fortify his means of reinforcement.
The idea behind this thread was to take the concept further. I thought people could share their thoughts on Z/D. Northing is set in stone (obviously, I mean I edited my first post like, ten times :) ) and creating an in-game version this early on would probably limit everyones ability to interpret this concept/add to it.
Awesome that you created a template map though. Dare I say... wicked. :P
I remember thinking that that's it when Han and Horner came out. I thought that Blizzard couldn't possibly bring out any more commanders, since they had already done all of the end war characters. Tychus proved me wrong.
Now that Blizzard is no longer restrained by the shackles of the cannon anymore, neither are we, meaning we can come up with any crazy concepts we want. For the most part anyways. Sorry Carbot Zergling.
I could not help but notice one of these crazy concepts concerning a certain cerebrate of the overmind. You can find it here:
My own concept builds on Mr Bunston's, so read it before continuing. Done? Good.
I really like the design philosophy behind Zasz and I am a big fan of how it ties into the existing lore, although there are a few key points I'd handle differently:
The two Broods
First off, let's turn the fanservice up to eleven: Why one cerebrate, if you can have two? The "raider hub" units fit the description of the Tiamat brood in that they are a small but elite force. This force is being lead by no other than our boy Daggy. Since we see Zasz and Daggoth work together in the campaign it should still be mostly lore-accurate and I also think that it captures the idea behind SC1's broods and cerebrates pretty well. Very specialised forces that compliment eachother.
Let's continue with a bold statement: Creep spread should not be a thing for this commander at all... At least not in the common sense. Zasz / Daggoth (I will be calling him Z/D from now on) still spreads creep, but only to build more structures. As proposed by Bunston he should use colonies, but not just as a callback. As Z/D's forces are very focused on aggressive tactics, he needs powerful defensive structures to repel incoming attack waves. Aggressive creep spread is something I am against, as the vision role of tumors is being fullfilled by his parasites. I see them as working the same way in the sense that they spread in a similar fashion. You select an enemy unit that is infected and manually spread the parasite from it to the next. While it will still remain on the original unit, it will be unable to infect more units, similar to a used tumor.
Since Zasz' forces are "emphasizing ferocity, speed, and surprise" (taken from the SC wiki article on the Garm brood) they always gain the creep speed buff without the need to actually be on creep.
Unit Roster - The Strong and the Sneaky
I propose a few changes to the unit roster as presented by Bunston. I think basically having the same units in both the raider hub (aka Daggoth) and hatchery (aka Zasz) armies feels a little... repetitive. The distinguishing factor should be speed as opposed to brute force. I am thinking Mutalisks, Scourge, Queens and Defilers (because Queens and Defilers fit his parasite warfare theme) for Zasz; Ultralisks (Torrasque) and Guardians (Kukulza) for Daggoth. Both have Lings (Devouring Ones for D) and Hydras (Hunter Killers for D). I go into more detail regarding my D choices in the next paragraph.
A cool idea for Z would be to emphasize the sneaky-aspect of the Zerg race by giving him some burrow upgrades. The roach burrow move and regeneration come to mind, but I also think it would be great to have some sort of aoe stun that charges up when units are underground and triggers when they unburrow to encourage setting traps for your enemy. (Guerrilla warfare.) Other concepts to make his units more unique would be making mutalisk attacks slow (the enemy units movement speed) with a longer range than usual and giving scourge a dive-bomb ability against ground targets that charges up on an area and then deals massive damage.
Canals and Carnivores
Last, but not least, the raider hub: I think that the basic idea here is very good, but I'd handle the execution a tad bit different. First off, it should be a nydus canal, right? It and the units produced here should use a different style than the rest of Z/D units/structures to emphasize they belong to the Tiamat brood. This actually reminds me of another point I wanted to bring up:
Nydus Canals. In my Z/D iteration he has not just the "big" Nydus canal that trains his elite stuff, but also canal exits spawned from it. You would be able to have one at a time and spawning a new one would get rid of the existing exit. Ordering one of your units to one of the canals (either the static one that spawns elite units OR the movable exit, which one doesn't matter) will instantly teleport it to the other one. No loading/unloading. You would be able to spawn exits anywhere with vision, which ties into both the parasite, as well as the ambush aspects of your kit. (Note that this would definitely get unlocked at the later stages of commander progression)
Unlike Bunston's original idea I wouldn't want the player to get access to a bunch of stuff from the get-go. I imagine the ambush army as something that you'd slowly build up over the course of the game. It would be used to support your existing forces at the start of a map, while it would assault entire bases on its own towards the end. (Something that I feel like is important to mention is that ambush units don't actually die. If their hp drop to zero they just tunnel out and appear again next time ambush is used. Kinda like Alaraks death fleet, except for the fact that you get to build it up yourself. Super satisfying.)
Back to the ambush units themselves! While I like Unclean Ones and I would adore seeing an official Blizzard version of them (in SCII) I am pretty sure that they don't fit the theme of the ambush. You call in brute-like front line units, not spellcasters that require additional micro.
No Kukulza Mutalisks either. Although I would argue Kukulza Guardians would fit in very well. The units you deploy when "ambushing" should focus on head-on engagements, the normal ones on harassment and mobility. One key difference between Z and D is the earlier mentioned speed boost. It would apply to Daggoth in the opposite way. His units never get it, even when they are on creep.
Why these changes? It's pretty much like Bunston said. The ambush cooldown might be pretty short, but you should still have to think strategically about when to use it, to use it efficiently. The cooldown is short, but the units also only remain deployed for a short time and they are slow.
Ouff! That was a lot of text to read through (and gosh did it take long to write!). Thanks for sticking around till the end! If you want to read even more I suggest you check out the wiki articles on the Garm and Tiamat broods.
Leave any suggestions or thoughts below, I'd love to see more people contribute to this concept. :-)