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An idea for what Maronogin's (the classy Dreadlord's) in-game kit could look like

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Level 9
Dec 1, 2021
I suspect that Shar isn't planning on making Maronogin a playable character (just purely speculating here, I could easily be wrong), so I decided to try to imagine a kit for him myself. A manipulative demon focused around business and money is just a really fun idea for a character, and I wanted to explore how his personality could be shown off in his gameplay. I also tried to steer away from default abilities, since there wouldn't be a lot of fun or creativity in just giving him a default Dreadlord kit with Transmute as his ult. (Though I understand that campaigns often use default abilities, because designing 4 new ones for every hero could end up being difficult and unnecessary, while also making things a bit too complicated for the player. And it's not like Blen having Shockwave or Gardon having Immolation is going to have an effect on the quality of the campaigns anyway, especially when heroes aren't even that important gameplay-wise.)

Anyhow, with all of that out of the way, here's my (potentially imbalanced) idea on Maronogin's gameplay:

  • Hostage - Maronogin binds an enemy unit with an unholy spell, rooting it in place like an Entangling Roots would, with the difference being that it doesn't deal damage.
    When Hostage is picked up, the hero unlocks the Release ability. Using Release on a target affected by Hostage will immediately dispel the root, while granting the player bonus gold based on how long the target has been rooted. If a rooted target dies, or the root expires normally, then the player gains no gold.
    Level 1 - roots for 20 seconds, grants 5 gold for every second spent rooted after using Release
    Level 2 - roots for 40 seconds, grants 10 gold for every second spent rooted after using Release
    Level 3 - roots for 60 seconds, grants 15 gold for every second spent rooted after using Release

  • Mass Investment - Maronogin emits a golden pulse around himself, then fires a golden wave in the target direction. Whenever the pulse or the wave hits an enemy or an ally, 1% of the player's current gold will be used up to either heal or damage the target. Both the heal and the damage are based on the gold used. The effects of the ability can't be multiplied by hitting a unit with both the pulse and the wave. Enemies hit will have their attack and movement speed slowed by 35% for 4 seconds.
    Level 1 - heals for 5 and damages for 4 per gold used
    Level 2 - heals for 7 and damages for 6 per gold used
    Level 3 - heals for 9 and damages for 8 per gold used

  • Leverage - Whenever Maronogin attacks, he applies a mark to his target. If a hostile ability (basically anything that does something to enemies, including things like Ensnare, Dispel and Immolation) hits a marked target, then the mark will be consumed, and the target takes damage, while the player gains gold equal to half of that damage. This is a passive ability without a cooldown, but if a mark was consumed on a target, then that target cannot be marked again for 8 seconds. Manarogin's abilities cannot trigger the mark.
    Level 1 - deals 5% of the target's maximum health as damage
    Level 2 - deals 10% of the target's maximum health as damage
    Level 3 - deals 15% of the target's maximum health as damage

  • Partnership - Maronogin chooses a friendly target to empower, permanently changing the color of its outfit to gold and granting it 20% bonus movement and 30% bonus attack speed, which is doubled when the target is facing at least 1 visible enemy unit or hero. The buff has a permanent duration, and cannot be dispelled, but the player will loose 10 gold per second for every buffed target. If a buffed target kills an enemy unit, then the lost gold will be refunded, for up to 50 for a unit kill, or 200 for a hero kill. If a buffed target dies, Maronogin will restore the health of the target to 100%, costing 5% of the player's current gold if the target is a unit, or 20% if it's a hero, but the target will bleed away 20% of its health every second until it dies. However, the bleeding is stopped and the buff is dispelled if the target kills an enemy unit during the bleeding. Partnership has no cooldown.
    When Partnership is picked up, the hero unlocks the Dissolution ability. Using Dissolution on a target affected by Partnership will immediately dispel the buff.

If you have any thoughts regarding my ideas, or if you have an idea for a kit yourself, then I'd love to hear it! Also, is there any other hero that I should try to imagine (or reimagine) a kit for? (I could potentially post some more kit ideas here if you guys are interested. There's a lot of cool ideas to be had with Arkain's cast.)
Level 9
Dec 1, 2021
Eh, that's a fair point. I do have fun thinking up overcomplicated designs, but I also really value depth in simplicity, aka things that are easy to understand but complicated to actually use, like the pieces in chess (it's basically the perfect way to design a game, as it allows new players to start playing, while still giving the experienced players something that keeps them interested in the game as they're figuring out new things themselves).

As for the ultimate, the idea was to make an ability where you really put a lot of gold into a specific hero or a unit, and they either make a great use out of it, or they just end up being a horrible waste (you need to be careful about the partnerships that you invest into). My headcanon about this guy is that he gains his powers from money, and the idea of using it to not only buff up but also potentially resurrect people sounds great.
An alternative idea that I've had, is that there could be a simpler ult that is more of a "must interrupt or you're getting annihilated" kind of spell (like Starfall or Stampede) which would still require money to be maintained:

Hostile Takeover - Manorogin causes a cloud to start appearing in a huge area, starting from the center and slowly expanding outward. Enemies that enter the cloud will receive a debuff that will cause them to attack their own allies (first priority would be their ally units, then ally buildings, and then enemies), while also granting them 60% bonus attack speed. But the player will loose 4 gold per second for every unit affected, and 10 gold for every hero affected. This ability requires channeling, and all affected enemies will loose the debuff upon the channel being stopped or the player running out of gold. Lasts for 30 seconds.

The aura also seems reasonable, but I think it would fit better as a basic ability rather than an ultimate. It's alright to make ults that are great in some situations and underwhelming in others, but I wouldn't make one that is specifically restricted to only do something against buildings and neutral creeps. Maybe I'm just reading too much into it, but there's a reason why we've never seen a mana draining ult or a vision granting ult. (When it comes to ultimates, situational features like this can work, but as an icing on the cake rather than as the main point of the spell. Global teleports are really the only exceptions I can think of)
Level 20
Dec 15, 2021
Of course the aura is not an ultimate :grin:

Here comes the taxman
like mana drain but gives you gold and can target buildings, gives less/more depending on target price maybe

Goblins from above
calls down a (invincible) goblin zeppelin that bombard a target area

Oooh shiny
create a temporary golden statue of the hero that stuns all enemies around it

No problem you can't buyout (ultimate) varies depending on where you cast it:
-on one of your unit : you immediately get a 2nd one next to it
-on an enemy building : stops working for 1 min
-on an enemy unit : like possession
-on an enemy hero : teleported to its town hall where they just chill for 30 sec (maybe OP ?)
Costs 0 mana but 500 gold
Level 2
Jul 7, 2016
Pretty sure it's just gonna be normal demonic skills with Transmute. Rain of Fire, Soul Burn, Sleep, Vampiric Aura, Drain and Transmute. Might see War Stomp, Cripple, Immolation, Mana Burn and Finger of Death (but non-ultimate) too since those are demonic skills in standard WC3.
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