Interview with Enhander Part 5

Wrooks: What are some of the thoughts that run through your mind when you review a suggestion?

Enhander: Usually I’ll first look for any unique mechanics that they have.  I like to comment on those because I’d rather say positive things about that to encourage it.  Next I’ll usually look for any glaring number balance issues and more general things.  After that I’ll see if the hero has a role or roles that they can fulfill properly, and then if the abilities work together or not.  I’ll also see if the abilities can be stand-alone (this is probably one of the more common errors).

Wrooks:What are some of your philosophies?

Enhander: With respect to hero design?

Wrooks: Sure

Enhander: There are several things probably.  First, heroes should be able to fill at least one role well.  This isn’t to say that their entire kit has to be dedicated to one role.  For example, Tiny fills both an early game nuker and late game carry role.  However, if a hero design is more versatile like this, there have to be more weaknesses to the hero as well so you don’t end up with a “jack of all trades, master of all” scenario (which is what I think the current iteration of Invoker has ended up being).  Second, hero ideas should always try to fulfill a niche that isn’t already filled in the game.  This is one of my major gripes with League of Legends, since often times there is no reason to pick X carry over Y carry, simply because their abilities fulfill the same tasks and one simply does it better than the other.  When you pick Slark as a carry, you’re looking to capitalize on a low-disable enemy lineup and hopefully pick off enemy supports early, whereas if you picked something like Medusa you’re looking for a more teamfight oriented lineup of your own.  Both are carries, but they fulfill vastly different niches as such.  Hero ideas should then try to fulfill niches that are not yet within the game (for example, your idea of an anti-displacement hero).  My last major philosophy with hero design is that abilities should work synergistically, but they must also be standalone.  A simpler way of putting this is to avoid forced synergy.  There are examples of this in game (old Witchcraft on Death Prophet), where the ability is only there to make the other abilities better.  A good example of standalone, yet synergistic ability is Witch Doctor’s kit.  Individually all of his spells work well on their own, but they’re a lot stronger when you use them in combination.


Wrooks: Let’s take a break from dota suggestions. What are you interested in besides Dota and its world?

Enhander: I’ve started getting into ‘Don’t Starve Together’ lately, since my friends have had time to do LAN games together.  It’s a nice break from the intense DotA scene, since it’s a more laid-back game (although that’s not to say it’s easy by any means)

Wrooks: What’s the game about?

Enhander: Don’t Starve Together is a co-op (well there’s a PvP mode but it is intended to be co-op) survival game.  If you’ve heard of Rust, it’s kind of like that, except it has storyline based on the Thelema religion/cult and makes for an interesting immersion experience.  Basically, you try to survive in the world for as long as possible.  A lot of the game is based on the seasons, each of which have their own challenges.  Kind of like Terraria, there are a lot of different bosses (referred to as Giants in the game) that you can go kill and craft stuff from their loot.

Wrooks: Sounds epic, What other type of media are you interested in (Movies, books, tv shows, or animes, or comics)?

Enhander: I’m a fairly big fan of webcomics, although the ones that I read on a daily basis, save for one, are not the conventional panel-strips.

Wrooks: I had an idea for a type of comic. It was more like it had strips and each strip had a animation scene inside it. Though that’s complex.

Enhander: That’d be an interesting experience.  I like the idea, although I would imagine it’d be hard to really streamline the reader experience, since the panel animations would have to line up.  People read comics at different speed, so it might be jarring to have to wait for an animation to re-loop to where you left off.

Wrooks: Yea, its something worth thinking about though it be interesting just a lot lot of hard work making sure it comes off right. What comics do you read specifically?

Enhander: I read Subnormality by Winston Rowntree, Love Syck/Lovelyss by Alexis Flower, among others.  If you’re looking for a more traditional style comic, Dumbing of Age and Shortpacked by David Willis are easy reads.

Wrooks:  Getting back to Dota, What is your top 3 favorite or inspirational media (Movies, books, tv shows, or animes, or comics)? like ideas you get from those types of things?

Enhander: I’d have to say the three media that I draw my hero ideas from the most would probably have to be movies, books, and other games.  I mean, games often have a way where you think to yourself “this would be cool as a DotA hero”, at least for me.

Wrooks: Can you tell me alittle bit more about that?

Enhander: So sometimes when I’m playing a game, I run into mechanics that I think would be really cool in DotA.  For example, if you’ve ever played Ori and the Blind Forest, the Bash (this is completely different from stun bashing in DotA) mechanic is a really cool thing that I thought might work in a DotA hero.

Wrooks:  Can you go into more detail about the Bash from Ori and the Blind Forest for anyone who might have not played it?

Enhander: So bash is a mechanic where the player can basically ricochet off of any projectile or mob in the game.  So in the DotA world, this would be kind of like using Mirana’s arrow as a vector to bounce off of.  It’s a bit hard to explain… here’s a video:  As you might notice, bash also has the effect of sending the projectile in the opposite direction that you bash towards.  I think this might need some tweaking to work into DotA, but it’s definitely an interesting mechanic.

Wrooks: Woah that looks epic, would you draw from other mobas such as Smite and Heroes of the Storm?

Enhander: I haven’t played those games, but probably not.  I would refrain from bringing Smite, HotS, LoL, or any other ARTS game heroes into DotA just because you’d basically be copying a hero over.

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