Design: For Emotional Influence.

Design an emotion, which is what I want to talk about today. Basically, when a designer (amateur or professional) crafts for emotional impact, the game has a greater pull on players, in other words, have them return for more. When you design for emotion, the crafter will have to take both the enemy, the player and a potential ally into account. You also have to take abilities into account.

The first emotion I want to cover is fear. Fear is the result of playing with Dota heroes such as Nightstalker and Pudge. And not a common pick but also Sniper or PA. A good Pudge and Night stalker will have you fear to venture anywhere on the map, the entire game. Their abilities push fear onto enemies and make them feel fear-stricken.  Pudge, he can come out of nowhere and hook you, make you fear the end result of your wandering too far anywhere. He can single you out. In the same way, Nightstalker can achieve the same thing. He can come out of the woods and just appear and kill you. Players that push the limits of your awareness over map control are something to be feared.

Additionally, what about PA and sniper? These heroes incorporate fear in the shoes of the player, not as an extension of a persona pushed onto enemies like Pudge or Nightstalker. As a player, pa and sniper do not have abilities that can handle most players until late in the game. It takes a team to babysit these two characters because their abilities take away the capabilities of them doing anything outside of the awareness of their teammates. Take sniper, he has two passives, a nuke and an AoE dot. Basically, Sniper is by far, one of the weakest heroes. He doesn’t have a reliable slow to take advantage of his range. He doesn’t have a stun or an escape mech to avoid death or instigate death. All that he has is extra range and this hero’s extra range only assists in getting the first hit; Though it doesn’t help with him getting the last hit.

PA has the advantage of being able to deal some early game damage with blur. With a Bkb and heavens, she can be lethal late game.  She is still weak because her slow isn’t all too reliable, especially against many enemies. Her ultimate is chance based so that isn’t reliable either. She is a walking: I can get the first hit, character. Though it doesn’t help her unless you know what you’re doing.

What about other heroes? All heroes have some sort of killing ability but heroes like dazzle and Omni even though they have killing ability. It’s more of a feeling of comradery: I can help the carry get a kill. How can I help the team? It is more of a stance of humbleness.

Let’s go back to Ppudge and the designer says we’re designing a Ppudge. What lane would he go to? It’s not cut and clear because of hook. Hook is the wild card because in players hands they can be open about how they hook or they hook from the shadows. If you’re open, it has a bigger chance of being dodged. If you hook from the shadows, the ability has a lower chance of being dodged. Either way, it’s a surprise. Also, this hero takes advantage of beginner actions. When you’re a beginner, the player doesn’t think about a lot of things an experienced player would think of. For example, a beginner or noob (bad player) might have their emotions take over and they run straight back instead of dodging a potential attack. They don’t either know or think about enemy actions. It’s fighting against this hero, a lot, that enables a player to grow to the next level because you have to think about enemy actions.

Slark is designed the same way, everything in his arsenal has you prepare to think about the actions of the enemy. Unless you happen to use Llother’s (shadow blade) an enemy dodge has to be planned or it can ruin an entire skirmish. With Slark, a player has to plan fifteen minutes sometimes forty-five minutes ahead of time. Depending on who you’re versing and what lanes they go to. Thinking about player movements is really something that should be thought about with this hero. I mean you can cheat and get Silveredge or Shadow Blade, but these items take away the skill and aptitude of planning your next attack.

This is  a good reason not to get shadow blade on Drow, sniper or most heroes. Until after, the player has learned how to control the battlefield. Not getting Windwalk items, it forces the player to learn how to not die without using Windwalk. After finally picking up Windwalk, you can use it to initiate instead of run away.

Player level has to be taken into account when making a hero,  item or any variable in the game. This is a good reason why designing for pro players is not good. Take Visage or Chen These were really popular heroes in Dota 1. In Dota 2, their bottom of the list. Why, because they were not designed having the average player in mind, they were designed to accommodate for pro players. It takes an unusual amount of extra work to be adequate at these heroes because the multi unit mechanics are very weird in source oppose to Warcraft 3 where these mechanics were made, by blizzard,  to have people control multiple units in a way that would captivate the player.

Which reminds me, when designing a character either by fear, nurturing or lust for death, it is good to remember that the main thing you want to do is provide it in such a way that the player comes back for more.

 

End of Round 2

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