Hello homies, and welcome to the dev blog for Drunken Master. This blog series will aim to give you guys a 100% transparent narration of how this hero was conceived, and how his creation process proceeds every step of the way. This is episode 1, and will detail how the concept of the Drunken Master came to be, and will feature his full, RAW design document, presented in segments. Please keep in mind this is exactly and 100% what we're working with atm, and concepts and numbers are ALL subject to change (so please don't get hung up on how OP or UP the hero sounds in its current form).
Jackie Chan is a boss. He's one of my favorite actors because of the way he combines comedy and jaw-dropping maneuvers. I also remember being a little wee one growing up in China watching a movie about martial arts which involved little martial-arts-in-training kiddos getting "drunk" off of milk and tapping into their inner drunken brawler. I thought that was super cool. The concept of a drunken brawler really appeals to people because the combat style is so off-the-cuff and unpredictable, that it's at the same time dazzling and comedic. And so I set off on my quest to replicate the feel and appeal of the drunken brawler in Heroes of Newerth.
As I do with every hero concept, I started with what I pictured the feel and basic archetype of the hero to be:
Design Doc - Description:
- Archetype: Melee Tank/DPS
- Appearance: Ragged drunken asian dude with a gourd. Jackie Chan style baby.
- Unique Mechanic: No base Mana, but still has normal Max Mana. Gets a constant 10 Mana degen and does not heal Mana from well. Gains no Mana regeneration from Intelligence or items. Items cost Drunken Master no Mana to use.
The Drunken Master has to be melee, and he has to be a Strength DPS that doesn't fall too easily. Anyone who's seen Jackie Chan's Drunken Master movies can attest to that. So that part was easy. I also wanted to give the hero a unique feel and mechanic to represent his drunken brawler-ness- he needed to incorporate the concept of getting more powerful while drinking, and being less powerful when not. From that came the unique mana mechanic that he uses. We've always been very careful in implementing alternate casting resources, as we feel that Mana is a thoroughly ingrained part of the game. A hero that has 0 mana dependency is then a source of poor interactions with existing forces, as Nullfire Blade and Magebane amongst others would be less effective against him.
Trying to balance the desire for a unique mana mechanic and caution against implementing something like rage, energy, or "heat" (hahahahhahahahahaha...), I decided to compromise between mana dependency and independency. With mana- or drunkenness- he would be very powerful. Without it, he'd still be able to do stuff, but he'd lack that extra oomph. This mechanic is driven by the base mechanic that he has no mana normally, and in fact degens 10 mana per second, and his second ability, Drink.
Design Doc - Drink (W):
- Channels to drink deeply, granting mana
- Channels for up to 4 seconds
- While channeling, gains (25/50/75/100) mana each second in one second intervals, like gulps
- Passively heals Drunken Master 1 Health per point of mana passively degenerated
- Mana Cost: 0
- Cooldown: 22/18/14/10 seconds
The goal with Drink was to enable Drunken Master to gain mana, and to consume it on its own. After using Drink, Drunken Master heals 10 health per second as a result of mana degen. This was an important addition to the ability so that the ability is not useless on its own. So how this will work is, Drunken Master pays a cost (channel time and cooldown) to drink and gain mana. He may then let that mana run dry normally (sobering up) and heal, or consume that mana in order to empower his other abilities. Cool. Awesome. Bee's knees. Now, what shall we make his other abilities?
The other abilities need to encapsulate all that defines the drunken brawler: elusiveness, unpredictable movements that screw with his enemies, excessive endurance and ability to take punishment. From those basic concepts, I came up with his bread and butter ability:
Design Doc - Lunge (Q):
- Drunken Master lunges at target from 400 units away (Rampage style), hitting once upon impact.
- After the first hit, Drunken Master begins rotating around the target clockwise (visually, picture an asian kung fu artist ragdolling around his victim) until he ends up where he first impacted. A full 360 degree rotation takes 1.5 seconds. While Drunken Master rotates around the target, the target is stunned (like Panda ult). At the end of the rotation, Drunken Master delivers a second hit.
- The player may hit Q again after initial impact to stop rotation and immediately deliver the second hit. He may do this anytime after the initial impact and before the completion of the rotation.
- The second hit knocks the target away from Drunken master
- Physical effect type
- Rotation counts as channeling and may be interrupted
- Each hit deals Attack Damage + (20/40/60/80) in physical damage and counts as an attack for purposes of attack modifiers
- Second hit knocks back 400 units through a push
- If Drunken Master has 50 or more mana, Lunge consumes 50 mana and the second hit slows the target by (20/30/40/50)% for 2.5 seconds
- Mana Cost: 0
- Cooldown: 14/12/10/8 seconds
- Range: 400
Lunge is aimed to represent the unpredictable and swift nature of the Drunken Master, as he is quickly able to pounce on an enemy. I'm sure you've all seen at least some asian kung fu movies to envision how awesome it would look to have a HoN hero ragdoll tightly around a victim too. The move is finished off with a user-controlled or automatic second hit which displaces the enemy, screwing with them and setting them up for death. The skill features a cool and optional double-activation, full control for a skilled user, and a trade-off between full disable duration (by letting the revolution complete) versus more burst-y damage and chosen displacement direction. Relatively low cooldown is aimed to keep the Drunken Master a threat and active, as this will be his primary (and only pure) offensive ability. The mana bonus to this ability is huge- since the Drunken Master ultimately knocks the target back away from him, and he's a melee DPS hero, being able to close the distance by slowing the target afterwards is a big boon. Without the mana, the ability is a good skirmish initiator, CC, and displacement. With the mana, the ability sets up solo kills.
The drunken brawler is elusive and unpredictable, and as such, most definitely needs a stagger:
- Drunken Master staggers in the direction of the cursor, disjointing in the process.
- Stagger follows pathing and goes for 300 units over .25 seconds. Disjoints.
- If Drunken Master has 50 or more mana, Stagger consumes 50 mana and grants Drunken Master (20/40/60/80) Movement Speed and (20/40/60/80) Attack Damage for 3 seconds
- Mana Cost: 0
- Cooldown: 10/8/6/4 seconds
Stagger was given a short range and uses pathing so that it is not too powerful of an escape mechanism. It does disjoint, however, making it a potentially powerful defensive ability in the hands of an expert. Without mana, it is a very short range escape/approach ability on a short cooldown, allowing a good player to time its usage to be a nuisance and a constant threat. With mana, it becomes a powerful self buff that enables the Drunken Master to become a huge damage threat that is difficult to escape, and allows the ability to buff Lunge, since Lunge's damage is based off of Attack Damage.
Drunken Master's ultimate was a toughy for me. I felt that his Lunge and Stagger, combined with the upkeep and management of mana with Drink, demand a lot of attention from a player looking to maximize the hero. At the same time, it's his ultimate- it needs to be impactful. At the end, I decided to go with a temporary self buff that plays on his extreme resilience, and gives a hero looking to fill a melee DPS role a much needed resistance to crowd control.
Numb to Pain (R, ultimate):
- Drunken Master takes a special tonic to make himself resistant to enemy assaults
- Drunken Master becomes immune to Stun, Silence, Slows, Perplex, Root, and Disarm for (6/8/10) seconds. Removes any of those effects on him (obviously can't break Stun or Silence)
- If Drunken Master has 100 or more mana, Numb to Pain consumes 100 mana and reduces all damage taken by Drunken Master by (20/30/40)% for the duration
- Mana Cost: 0
- Cooldown: 60/45/30 seconds
Without mana, Numb to Pain allows Drunken Master to do his thang without being owned by CC in a team fight. With mana, Drunken Master becomes a beast of a tank, allowing him to stay in fights without massive amounts of gold investment in survivability if his ultimate is used properly. Numb to Pain is impactful, requires correct timing, but allows you to turn it on and then focus on landing your other abilities and your positioning afterwards.
These four skills, along with the unique mana mechanic, really serve to push forward everything great about the concept of a drunken brawler. Unpredictable, kung fu-ey movements, check. Drunken stagger, check. Reliance on chugging booze-a-hol to be extra powerful, check. Hit me, see if I care mentality, check. The next step after the concept is always to see how it translates in game and if the skills give off the desired effect and feel. The next blog in the series will focus on the process of scripting Drunken Master into the game, the unique challenges presented by his mana mechanic and Lunge ability, and how Idejder and Deejay dealt with them (because I sure as hell was not going to try to script this beast).
Last edited by Idejder; 06-27-2011 at 08:00 PM.
Pu Liu | Director of Monetization
Last edited by Jonanin; 05-30-2011 at 07:24 PM.
Grabbing popcorn and off for a good read. inb4 "tl;dr" guys.
Very interesting. Still iffy on the unique mana thing though.
I like where this blog is goingJackie Chan is a boss.
Awesome! I like this in-depth behind the thoughts
Reminds me alot of a hero in lol, can not remember its name though
YOU HAVE CAPTAIN DIOMEDES. YOU ARE READY FOR WAR NOW. YOU ARE READY TO EXCEL.
How will this hero work with mana combustion items or Magebane's ultimate? Or burst regen items like Chalice and Mana Ring?
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Since this is only a concept so far, I'm hoping there will be eventual changes. The drinking concept is highly awkward, since in effect it means he's limited to 400 mana for every engagement unless he somehow finds 4 seconds to channel uninterrupted.
first i was like :x
but then i was like :X
nothing to see here please move on
Eh, would've preferred Harlequin, but oh well...
Freaking awesome concept and sounds fun to play. Iffy on the mana/drunken aspect and how it'll work in the game.
codex core cuz of no mp cost on cast, you heard it here first.
I build my Codex Level 5.