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The culling remaster idea (feel free to use, I'm not gonna make this)

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Okay, so the Culling of Stratholme, most iconic mission ever. But in my honest opinion the campaign version has always been bland and I've always had ideas on how to improve it.

I'm not actually going to attempt make this, I'm just going to do a big brain dump and shit out all little thoughts that have been accumulating in my head over the past 4.5 years now.

Big Brain Dump - Here we go!
At the start of the mission, after Arthas' argument with Uther, a portion of Silverhand units actually stay behind to purge, but some of Arthas' men leave. This is to illustrate free will among the men. Some stay loyal to the crown prince, others simply cannot stomach the purge.

Mal'ganis' lair should be just outside of the city, like on a hill or in a ditch for realism, I've always found it odd that it was inside the city at some random spot.

A large city guard should be present in Stratholme, but not in the way you think. Guards are humans too, they can be infected, witness the turning of villagers and have different opinions. To streamline this for gameplay purposes, I've composed them in 3 different catagories:

Recruitable - Those whose loyalty to Arthas' cause is stronger than the will to protect the people (or they've witnessed loved ones/civilians turning already).
Loyal - Hostile to both the player, Mal'ganis and turned zombies. They have a large aggro range whenever a house is destroyed and do replenish their numbers from a big base.
Infected - Infected city guard are hostile to the player and only attack guards who are recruitable, however they are neutral to both undead and Loyal guards. Loyal guards may turn infected at random, but at increasing odds the longer the mission goes on.

Note: Recruitable guards are neutral to Loyal guards until actually recruited, but they share the ideals of Arthas and will attack infected units.
Civilians should also be able to fight back and not all be infected. I've composed a beautiful coherent way to use all 3 villager models to create 3 unique enemy types that each have an unique purpose. Each villager type turns into a fitting separate zombie type, adding diversity, immersion and unique gameplay mechanics.

Villager Male 1 (Light shirt):
Light melee unit wielding a torch. Deals low damage but inflict a stacking damage over time burn effect with every attack.
140hp, 4-5 dmg (normal), 1.35s atk spd, 0 armor, medium
applies an 18 damage burn over time effect over 9 seconds with each attack.
Alternatively (if you want to import models), have a 50/50 chance they wield a Pitchfork instead.
Same hp and stuff, but instead they don't do the burn effect and have a 9-12 Piercing attack at a melee range of 140.


Villager Male 2 (gray shirt):
Light ranged unit, throwing pieces of rubble from his own destroyed home. Deals low siege damage and has a chance to stun.
120hp, 5-8 dmg (siege), 1.65s atk spd, 0 armor, medium
Concussive Throw, Has a 15% chance per rock thrown to deal 10 extra damage and inflict a 1 sec stun.

Villager Female:
Support unit. Both passively and actively heals nearby villagers.
100hp, no attack, 0 armor, medium
Has a stackable 3hp/s regeneration aura, only affecting villagers. (stackable as in 2 females in range = 6hp/sec)
Has a 75hp over 15 sec rejuvenation ability with a 12 sec cooldown.

Trivia Note: These villagers are supposed to represent an angry mob; pitchforks, torches, people throwing rocks and wives making sure their men don't go too crazy.

The chance a villager is infected or not whenever it spawns is determined by mission duration and number of kills the player has until that point.
There are no stat differences between infected villagers and non-infected villagers, only some differences in appearance and behavior. (tint them green)
Non-infected will remain around their ruined house and fight back against scourge, Mal'ganis, the player and turned villagers.
If non-infected villagers are left alone for long enough, they'll either turn into Militia and reinforce nearby city guard or become infected.
Infected villagers will start roaming, they attack recruitable guards, the player and they act neutral to loyal city guard, undead and turned villagers.

Also just a trivia note: Lore-wise, the Plague should only spread through the consumption of grain. There should be no contagion mechanic of any sorts.

Zombie types:
Each infected villager and guard unit type turns into a corresponding zombie type unit.

Zombie creation:
Infected guards and villagers do not turn into zombies on their own. Instead, Mal'ganis, Necromancers and Cultists (spellcaster Acolytes) have to manually cast a spell on an infected target which will convert them into their zombie counterpart. Infected type units would be neutral to Undead and should never fight them.

Torch-wielding Villager Male 1 will turn into Roamers: (standard orange zombie)
Light melee unit with cannibalize.
180hp, 10-11 dmg (normal), 1.35s atkspd, 1 armor (heavy)
Cannibalize, consume a corpse heal 12 hp/sec.

Rock-throwing Villager Male 2 will turn into Lobbers: (reddish tinted zombie)
Light ranged unit that lobs pieces of its own flesh. It inflicts itself damage after every attack and continues fighting as a skeleton after all its flesh is spent.
145hp, 6-10 dmg (siege), 1.60s atkspd, 0 armor (medium)
Inflicts itself 9-15 damage after each attack over 3 seconds and visually appears to be bleeding.
When the Lobber dies, it becomes a Lesser Skeleton that will continue fighting for up to 20 seconds after its flesh is shed:

Lesser Skeleton:
130hp, 12-14 dmg (normal), 2.00s atkspd, 1 armor (heavy)
Skeletons passively take 30% less damage from pierce, but 30% increased damage from siege. (the passive icon illustrates an arrow flying through a rib cage without touching it)

Healing Villager Females will turn into Plaguers: (greenish tinted zombie)
Light melee units that carry a virulent version of the Plague. Upon death, they release several ferocious Plague Maggots to gnaw at their foes.
120hp, 7-8 dmg (normal), 1.60s atkspd, 0 armor (small)
Infectious wounds, when an unit is attacked by a Plaguer, it takes 5dmg/s its atk/mov spd are slowed by 30% for 7 sec. If an unit dies while having Infectious wounds it turns into another Plaguer.
Plague Aura, a cloud of disease around the Plaguer (200-ish AoE) that deals 3 dmg/s to all living non-infected units. Upon death, a Disease Cloud spawns in this area that deals 8 dmg/s and lingers for 5 sec.
Infestation, upon death the Plaguer releases 3 Plague Maggots (dune worms) that will rapidly lose hp without a host to feed on:

Plague Maggot:
45hp, 3-4 dmg (normal), 0.90s atkspd, 0 armor (unarmored)
Plague Maggots lose 9hp/sec, are very fast and have a 300% life-steal effect, allowing them to last indefinitely as long as they have something to attack. They have no timed-life and don't leave corpses.

Objective:
Instead of a race between you and Mal'ganis whoever purges/acquires 100 civilians first, the mission objective should simply be: "Cull 500 Stratholme Citizens", this includes infected, villagers, guards and zombies. But it doesn't include actual undead, necromancers and recruitable guards.
Units that count who are killed by guards or guards who are killed by undead also do count.

Mal'ganis Zombie Interaction:
He will turn infected villagers and guards into zombies, but he won't teleport them away like he usually does.
Instead, zombies will start to gather in large crowds in random "forward" position inside the city and move out to attack the player's base when a certain threshold of zombies in the area is reached.

Map Omen:
The map should start sunny and without fog. As more and more Stratholme civilians are culled, the mood/environment settings of the map should gradually change.
0-75 kills, gradually adds a thin, light-grayish fog.
75-150 kills, fog gradually becomes slightly thicker and darker. A light rain starts at 100 kills.
150-250 kills, fog becomes even thicker and darker. Water around the map gradually starts to turn slightly darker too.
250-350 kills, fog and water gradually becomes lighter and turn a little reddish. Heavy rain starts at 300 kills.
350-425 kills, fog and water straight up just turn to a bright red. At 400 kills, periodic lightning strikes occur.
425-500 kills, the bright red fog and water grow darker.

Mission Layout:
Stratholme should cover around 70% of the playable map area. The remaining 30% should be a large countryside area north of it. The countryside would be dotted with roads, outposts, villagers, farms, woodland, lakes, but also a couple other things;
A purple Scourge base that makes use of Sky Barges to deploy Necromancers, Cultists, Abominations and Ghouls into the city. Also launches periodic attacks against the player.
A green elite Scourge base inaccessible on a hill, this where Mal'ganis respawns.
One or two small but functional alliance town guard bases.
(and for those feeling ambitious)
An orange scourge group that's like an elite Caravan with plagued grain. The objective to take them out is optional, but here's what happens if you don't:
It would start in the far top-left and slowly move along some road that runs through multiple towns and outposts. The town defenders are hostile to the player and will defend against the Caravan and any eventual scourge that passes through. Any town wiped out by the caravan will turn into a group of zombies and undead. A portion of these should reinforce and tag along the Caravan. The rest should go through an alternative route to either attack Stratholme's defenses or attack the player's base, but avoid the towns along the Caravan's path. These alternative routes also allow the player to intercept the Caravan and avoid confrontation with most of the town guard.

Should the Caravan be destroyed, the remaining towns and outpost become allied with the player and hold off about half of the Purple attacks against the player's base.

Should the Caravan finish its route, it will besiege Stratholme's main entrance, crushing its defenses and allowing Purple scourge to enter Stratholme by foot. Once the Caravan has reached the inside of Stratholme, it will subtly despawn and SIGNIFICANTLY increase the ratio of infected guard and villager units spawning.

Additional purple and orange undead spawn in the map and the two small townguard bases will be overrun and destroyed. In their spots an expansion for purple and a base for orange will be built.
You could get creative with how you want these bases protected against players who like to cheese. Some elite, respawning Gargoyles who remain in stoneform until provoked would be a nice addition. Just make sure these don't have too long of an aggro range. Additionally whenever a scourge base is destroyed (or doesn't have a worker nor a Necropolis anymore), periodically spawn a sky barge in like a map corner containing 2 acolytes, 4 ghouls, an abomination and a necromancer, accompanied by 1-2 elite Gargoyles every minute as long as it doesnt have buildings. These will attempt to rebuild the destroyed base indefinitely.
Stratholme should have 3 Entrances. One South to the player's base, one west of the player's base and a heavily fortified main entrance near the middle of the map. Purple scourge uses Barges to enter, while Mal'ganis just teleports.

Gameplay Design:
The map should encourage the player to go into the city and cull civilians. If they don't, the mission should punish them over time.
It should start off nice and tranquil; not much scourge in the city, not too many units infected yet and the city guard's defenses should be light around the entrances the player would first approach. Also, the majority of villagers should only be created when houses are destroyed to prevent lag.

During the very start, very insignificant attacks that are just a couple city guard, some rowdy villagers and militia should move out to attack the players base. These are to be seen more like protests against the news about the prince going to purge the city, but these stop pretty fast and purple undead and zombies should gradually fill their stead as the map begins to kick off.

If the player doesn't reduce the number of infected, they'll build up across the city, losing recruitable guards and risk being overwhelmed by the crowds of zombies later on.

Purple (and perhaps Orange) Undead who enter Stratholme will also attack non-infected guards, destroy homes and eventually send increasing numbers of spellcasters like Necromancers and Cultists, who can turn infected into zombies just like Mal'ganis does (but perhaps a fair bit slower, like add an 8-10 sec channeling time per zombie instead of instant).

The inside of Stratholme should have one large central base and 2 small bases. Each able to replenish and reinforce important guarded spots at a moderate pace.

A cool idea would also be to have a little silverhand area, alonsus chapel kinda deal somewhere which would maybe try to bar Arthas' way or become recruitable after some point.

But besides some changes to Scourge units, that's just about all the ideas I have.

Ghouls: A faster, more skirmish attacker with less hp and cleaving attacks.
235hp, 10-14dmg (normal), 1.20s atkspd, 0 armor (heavy)
Cleave, deals 25% of attack damage against closely adjacent units. (110 aoe)
Ghouls are a lot faster and attack with increased numbers.
Ghoul Frenzy increases cleave damage from 25 to 35%, movement speed from 310 to 350 and attack speed from 1.20s to 1.00s.

Necromancer: Primary spellcaster. A living among the dead, can raise dead, turn infected into zombies and cast cripple.
305hp, 9-12dmg (Magic), 1.60s atkspd, 0 armor (unarmored)
Raise Dead, raises a SINGLE skeleton warrior from a corpse for 75 sec.
Convert Infected, channels Necromantic powers on a target Infected unit, turning it into a zombie after 8-10 sec of channeling.
Cripple, reduces a units damage dealt by 50%, atk/mov spd is slowed by 25%. Lasts 20 sec. (yup, nerfed)

Skeleton Warrior: Light melee unit. Often raised by Necromancers, but can also be trained from the Graveyard building and is often used in attack waves.
230hp, 14-15dmg (normal), 1.35s atkspd, 1 armor (medium)
Takes 30% less damage from pierce, but 30% additional damage from Siege.

Cultist: Secondary spellcaster of the undead scourge. A living among the dead. Can turn infected townfolk to zombies and has battlefield-altering abilities.
345hp, 14-17dmg (Magic), 1.75s atkspd, 0 armor (unarmored)
Curse Ward, deploys a ward with 50hp in front of the cultist. All enemies within 500 range of the ward have a 20% chance to miss their attacks.
Convert Infected, channels Necromantic powers on a target Infected unit, turning it into a zombie after 8-10 sec of channeling.
Death bolt, a lesser Death Coil, can be used to heal a target undead for 150hp or damage a target living enemy for 75.

Caravan Wagon: A modified Meat Wagon, designed to carry shipments of plagued grain. Sturdier than regular Meat Wagons, but also a lot slower.
580hp, 71-84dmg (siege), 4.00s atkspd, 4 armor (heavy)
Virulent Plague, each attack creates a cloud of plague, dealing 12dmg/s that lingers for 4 sec. Units in it get affected with Virulent Disease.
Virulent Disease, a concentrated disease cloud effect that deals 4dmg/s for 20 sec. When an unit dies from Virtulent Disease, it creates a virulent plague cloud and the dying unit.
Only has like 90 movement speed.

Abomination: Bulwark of the Scourge. Heavy melee unit with cleave, cannibalize and abominable infestation.
1480hp, 41-50 dmg (normal), 1.80s atkspd, 2 armor (medium)
Cleave, deals 30% of attack damage to adjacent units in a moderate area around the main target. (175 aoe)
Cannibalize, heals 25hp/s while eating a corpse.
Abominable infestation, upon death, the Abomination spawns a plethora of units; a skeletal abomination, 2 engorged maggots and 4 plague maggots.

Skeletal Abomination: An abomination who shed all of its flesh. It's significantly faster without having to carry all its flesh with it and hits just as hard, however it's also a lot more fragile.
280hp, 41-50 dmg (normal), 1.30s atkspd, 0 armor (heavy)
Cleave, 30%, 175 aoe.
Lasts up to 15 sec.
(upscaled skeleton orc)

Engorged Maggot: Fat plague maggot. Slower, but lasts longer.
90hp, 4-5 dmg (normal), 1.40s atkspd, 0 armor (unarmored)
Engorged maggots only lose 4.5hp/sec and move slowly. They have no timed-life and don't leave corpses.
(dune worm)

Plague Maggot: very fast and nasty buggers with insatiable hunger. expires very fast without a host to feed on.
45hp, 3-4 dmg (normal), 0.90s atkspd, 0 armor (unarmored)
Plague Maggots lose 9hp/sec, are very fast and have a 300% life-steal effect, allowing them to last indefinitely as long as they have something to attack. They have no timed-life and don't leave corpses.
 
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