(CDC 6)Dac Farren, Hell's Vanguard

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This is my entry for the 6th Community Design contest, "Hellscape" (link to the contest thread below)

Dac Farren, Hell's Vanguard

In the Diablo 2 expansion, Dac Farren was a named Imp which the players would encounter near the start of Act V. Though he wasn't a quest boss, he was the first 'Super Unique' monster (using Diablo Wiki terminology) in the act, which is why I gave him the title of "Hell's Vanguard", as he's usually the first demon "character" you'd meet when facing the invading armies of hell (You might meet other named monsters earlier, but they'd be randomly generated 'unique' monsters who wouldn't be the same in every playthrough).

My concept for him is that of a high risk, high reward mage, who has rather low poke and needs to risk getting in relatively short range of his enemies to maximize his damage potential.

As usual, I'll place the bulk of the concept in another post to avoid spam-filter-bug-related problems.
Class: Ranged Assassin
HP: low-medium
AA damage: medium
AA range: 4 (lower than most ranged heroes, like Cassia)
(I'll probably edit in other stats like max HP/mana or exact AA damage, later on the contest)

Basic Abilities:
Dac Farren has two Traits (kinda like Leoric)
Trait 1(passive) - Hellfire:
▪ Some of Dac Farren's abilities cause enemies to be marked by Hellfire.
Hellfire marks stack up to three times and last for ~5 seconds.
When the duration ends, all stacks are lost at once.
Reapplying marks refreshes the duration, even when the stacks are maxed out.
▪ basic attacks against marked enemies deal ~50% more damage

Trait 2(D) - Perch:
Point-and-click, ~3 range, ~10 sec cooldown
Activate to jump on top of an allied hero or Tower and remain perched atop them for up to ~6 sec.
▪While Perched, Dac Farren can't be targeted, but also can't use basic attacks or move, instead going along wherever his perch goes (kinda like Gall).
▪Dac Farren can use basic abilities while perched, though Teleporting will cancel Perch. He can also reactivate the Trait to jump a small distance off his Perch.
▪If his perch is destroyed or Hearths, Dac Farren will be placed in the exact same spot his perch was standing (so better bail before that happens... Kinda like D.Va).
▪If the perch is affected by diplacements from an enemy's effect, Dac Farren will be knocked off (cancelling Perch), and placed where his perch was before the displacement.
▪Dac Farren is also "dis-preched" if his perch moves past unpathable terrain. If it was with a dash, Dac Farren will be placed where the dash met with the terrain. If the perched teleported to the other side of terrain, Dac Farren will be placed at the starting point of the teleport.
▪Cooldown starts when the effect ends (not when it starts).
Hellfire is meant to make his basic abilities more interesting (less bland?) by making him a little bit of a "combo mage" (more on that later), while Perch gives him a way to mitigate his high-risk nature a little by jumping on an ally and letting them take the damage.

Perch is based on the Imp's ability to jump on Siege Beasts or Towers in D2. I was originally planning a Fetish Shaman, but it seems those are native to Sanctuary (much like Khazra), so it wouldn't meet the contest criteria; then I remembered the Imps, who are actual demons, and work so much better. Lucky!
Hellfire is made up and not based on something in particular.

Q - Fireball:
Linear Skillshot, ~6 range, ~6 sec cooldown
Throw a somewhat slow-moving projectile that deals moderate damage to the first enemy hit and applies a stack of Hellfire to them.
When hitting an enemy or impassable terrain, or reaching the end of its range, the Fireball explodes, dealing a small amount of damage in an area of ~2 radius and applying a stack of Hellfire to any enemy damaged by the explosion.
meant to be the main method for applying Hellfire, the fact that it can't go through terrain makes it harder to use than other heroes' skillshots.
The projectile is low-moving so that it's more effective at close range, emphasizing the "get in there" nature of the Hero.

The Imp's basic way of attacking in D2 was the Sorceress' spell Fireball (I think)
W - Teleport:
Point target, ~4 range, ~8 sec cooldown
After a ~0.75 sec windup, teleport to the target location, causing a small blast of fire (~2 radius around Dac Farren) at the destination, which deals a small amount of damage and applies a stack of Hellfire to any enemy damaged by it.
Cannot teleport through impassable terrain.
taking damage during the windup will cancel the ability and place it on a reduced cooldown.
While the Imps in D2 used Teleport to keep at a distance, I didn't want a safe, mobile hero, so I added the windup (though that doesn't work so well, if Fenix is any indication) and made it not go through terrain so that it's a bad escape tool.
On the other hand, the AoE application of Hellfire on the destination is meant to encourage aggressive use.

The ability is based on the Teleport used by the Imps in D2, but the damage is inspired by the animation, which showed a little ball of fire around the teleporting Imp, even though that fire had no effects in the original game (I think).
E - Inferno:
Stationary directional channel, ~3.5 range, ~12 sec cooldown
launch a torrent of flame in a cone (~20°) which follows the cursor, dealing medium-high damage per sec to enemies inside the area.
Hitting an enemy with Hellfire deals additional ~50% damage per stack and refreshes the duration of Hellfire.
The channel has a maximum duration of ~6 sec, and is cancelled by reactivating, or if Dac Farren is stunned, displaced, or placed in stasis.
Cooldown starts when the spell ends.
This ability provides the biggest damage potential in Dac Farren's arsenal, but being a stationary channel makes it risky and easy to cancel, so it's best used when perched on an ally.

Imps in D2 would cast the Sroceress' spell Inferno from atop towers or Siege Beasts to safely deal damage to the player. This is where the concept grew from (since Fetish Shamans do the same from the shoulders of other Fetishes)

Heroic Abilities:
R1 - Siege Beast:
Point target, ~6 range, ~70 sec cooldown
Summon a powerful Siege Beast with timed life (~30 sec) at target location.
The Siege Beast has a melee attack and will move to engage any enemies within ~7 range of it, prioritizing heroes.
If no enemies are in sight, it will move to the nearest lane and start pushing along it.

Dac Farren can use Perch on the Siege Beast, and doing so will ignore the maximum duration of Perch, allowing Dac Farren to fight from atop the beast until its timed life runs out.
Perching on a Siege Beast does not give Dac Farren control of its movement.

Lv 20 upgrade -Pandemonium
Casting Siege Beast will now spawn an additional Beast in each of the lanes, where minions normally spawn.
This additional beasts start at half hp and have increased movement speed until they first engage an enemy.

Furthermore, Perching in any of the Siege Beasts will cause a Shadow Imp to appear Perched on each of the other beasts, which will mimic casts of Fireball and Inferno with untalented versions of the spells.
A powerful but uncontrollable summon (similar to Nazeebo's Gargantuan), which gives Dac Farren the option to push without relying so much on his allies (a little like Abathur's Monstruosity).

No Imp concept would be complete without this guys, who worked in tandem with them in D2. Originally, I was gonna allow the ability to control the Beast if you Perched on it, but the D2 manual explicitly sais Imps don't really control the things, and I thought that would help diferentiate the ability from Abby's Monstruosity.

R2 - Hell Rift :
Passive: increase maximum Hellfire stacks to 5.

Active: Vector Targeting, ~7 cast range, ~50 sec cooldown
A large glowing crack appears on the ground in the target area (~4 length by ~2 width), after ~1.25 sec it explodes, dealing medium damage and applying 2 stacks of Hellfire to all enemies caught on it.

Lv 20 upgrade -Burning Hells
Hell Rift leaves behind an impassable crevice for ~3 sec, which burns in an area around itself dealing minor damage and refreshing Hellfire duration on any enemies that step in it.
If an enemy standing on the fire has no Hellfire stacks, it applies one stack on them.
This one synergizes with Dac Farren's other Trait, allowing him to rack up some really high damage if he can consistently land his abilities.

It's based on the Hell Portals that appeared all over Mount Arreat in D2 Act V, which led to demon-infested mini-dungeons.
Talents :
So this time around I came up with a theme that encompasses all Talents, instead of just one tier.
The idea is that as Dac Farren grows more powerful, he also becomes more like the Great Evils, taking on their traits as he "climbs through the ranks" (except for Tier 1, 'cause I ran out of Bosses who're actually demons :P).
It probably doesn't make a lot of sense lore-wise or whatever, but I still thought it was cool.

Level 1:
▪ Lazarus' Sorcery:
Every fifth basic attack is ~20% stronger, deals spell damage, and applies a stack of Hellfire.
Quest: apply ~100 stacks of Hellfire.
Reward: This talent now triggers every third basic attack; also gain a charge of Fireball.

▪ Maghda's Coven:
The target of Perch now deals ~15% more damage to enemies with at least one stack of Hellfire.
Quest: apply ~100 stacks of Hellfire.
Reward: While Perched, allied minions and non-boss mercs within ~6 range of Dac Farren deal ~100% more damage to enemies afflicted by Hellfire.

▪ Adria's Bloodcurse:
Active, ~15 sec cooldown.
Create a blood pool with ~2.5 radius centered on Dac Farren's current location that lasts for ~3 sec.
Enemies who step in the pool are dealt a small DPS and slowed by ~15% for ~2 sec.
Staying in the pool (or entering it again) refreshes the effect, but doesn't stack it.
Can be used while Perched.
Quest: apply ~100 stacks of Hellfire.
Reward: The explosions from Fireball and Teleport now leave behind a blood pool.
As usual for my concepts, I put the Quest Talents on early levels, so that finishing the quest and getting the reward is actually viable.
This tier is named for the lowest-ranked, least-demonic characters, who still remain mostly human despite being corrupted by Hell.

Adria's Bloodcurse is based on her abilities in the D3 bossfight, while Maghda's Coven is inspired more on her lore (though she did use minions in-game).
Lazarus didn't really do anything to out there, so I gave his name to the more "generic" talent :P
Level 4 :
▪ Bartuc's Armor:
Gain ~2.5 Armor for every Hellfire stack on an enemy within ~6 range of Dac Farren.
If an afflicted enemy dies within range, the Armor to persist for ~3 sec (but if they leave the effect range while alive, it is lost immediately)

▪ Izual's Frost:
Enemies damaged by Teleport are rooted for ~0.25 sec per stack of Hellfire on them, including the stack applied by Teleport.

▪ The Butcher's Carnage:
Basic attacks on enemies afflicted by Hellfire splash to nearby enemiess for ~25% base damage (this damage is not increased by the Hellfire bonus).
The splash radius is ~1 plus an additional ~0.5 per stack of Hellfire.
This tier is named after characters who are also corrupted non-demons, but who have changed enough to even respawn in Hell when they're killed, like demons do (plus Butch :P).

I wanted to leave cold-based effects for Duriel, but Izual really didn't do anything more memorable than Frost Nova, so I kept mobility-impairing effects for both.
Bartuc's ability is based on his infamous Armor which was dyed red with the blood of his enemies, earning him the nickname "Warlord of Blood"... In the lore, anyway. It's curious that he's pretty much naked when Baal summons him in D2 :P
For the Butcher, I had originally plned to give him the "hunger" effect that went to Ghom, but I think this also works, since he had fire-based AoE effects in D3, and slaughtered a whole gorup of people in (the lore of) D1.
Level 7 :
▪Rakanoth's Cruelty:
Enemy Heroes damaged by Teleport are dealt additional damage equal to ~3% of their max HP. If they were facing away from where Dac Farren appeared, the bonus damage is doubled and an additional stack of Hellfire is applied.

▪ Ghom's Hunger:
Dac Farren is healed by ~20% of all bonus damaged caused by Hellfire.

▪ Cydea's Temptation:
Active, ~25 sec cooldown
Enemy Heroes within ~3.5 range of Dac Farren are taunted for ~0.15 sec per stack of Hellfire on them.
Can't be used while Perched.
This tier is named after demonic servants of the great evils. I was gonna put Iskatu here, but he pretty much just summons stuff, so I couldn't come up with anything.

Ghom's and Cydea's abilities are more based on their lore than things they did in-game.
For Rakanoth, I considered some kind of "cage" (Like Xul's Bone Prison), since he was Izual's jailkeeper in lore, but that would most likely have taken the form of a root or a simmilar effect, and Izual already does that (this concept isn't supposed to be CC-centric).
Level 10 :
▪Siege Beast (R1)
▪Hell Rift (R2)
See "Heroic Abilities" above.
Talents continued:
Level 13 :
▪Azmodan's Artillery:
Increase Fireball's maximum range and explosion radius by ~33% and explosion damage to non-heroes by ~100%.

▪Duriel's Snare:
Damage from Teleport now slows enemies' attack and movement speed by ~25% for ~2 sec.

▪Andariel's Venom:
Inferno now applies a DOT with ~33% of its base DPS for ~1 sec plus ~0.5 sec per stack of Hellfire.
The damage doesn't stack, but the effect is renewed every time Inferno deals damage, so the duration increase only comes into effect once a target leaves the AoE.

▪Belial's Deception:
Using Perch now causes enemies to see a copy of Dac Farren perching on each target in range.
The copies mimic ability casts, but deal no damage and apply no Hellfire.
Additionally, manually ending Perch grants Stealth for ~3 sec.
This tier is named after the "Lesser" Evils, obviously.

Andariel and Duriel have talents based on their D2 bossfights, while Azmodan is more based on his HotS "feel", though he did command a siege in D3, so it still fits, I guess.
Belial is more directly based on his lore as "Lord of Lies", instead of specifically how that lore is reflected in D3.
Level 16 :
▪Mephisto's Phantom:
Fireball now benefits from Hellfire, dealing ~50% bonus damage per stack to the impact target and ~15% damage per stack on the explosion.
Additionally, increase Fireball's projectile speed by ~100% (and it now looks like a flaming skull :P)

▪Baal's Flame:
Teleport now creates 6 flames that move away from Dac Farren, dealing moderate damage and applying a stack of Hellfire.
Each flame has a range of ~3 and pierces enemies (but won't hit the same enemy more than once).

▪Diablo's Thunder:
Inferno now grants unstoppable while casting.
Additionally, It's range is increased by ~20% and the cone angel by ~33%.
This Tier gets talents named after the "big 3", The Prime Evil brothers.

This ones are all based on abilities from the D2 bossfights, specifically Mephisto's Skull Missile, Diablo's Lightning Breath, and Baal's Incineration Nova.
Level 20 :
▪ Pandemonium (R1 Upgrade)

▪Burning Hells (R2 Upgrade)

▪Tathamet's Rage:
Increase Hellfire damage bonus to ~65% per stack (affects all abilities and talents that gain bonus damage).
Additionally, basic attacks are ~20% faster and refresh Hellfire duration.

Applying Hellfire on an enemy with 3 or more stacks causes a small explosion around that enemy that deals low damage and applies a stack of Hellfire.
This explosion will not trigger Wildfire.
See "Heroic Abilities" section for the R upgrades.
Tathamet's Rage follows the conventions from previous tiers, but Wildfire doesn't 'cause there's only 1 demon at that level :P

Tathamet's Rage increasing both damage bonus and attack speed might seem small, but it can change Dac Farren into a dangerous AA Assassin because the target will never be out of Hellfire as long as the battle goes on.
Wildfire was meant to be "do something when you apply stacks to an enemy with full stacks", but I didn't want it to have anti-synergy with Hell Rift's max stack increase.
Last post reserve, for week 3 fluff and stuff
Creativity - 4/5
Quite an interesting design with things like Perch and Inferno there and matches the cheekiness of a Gremlin/Imp while making the whole 'Hellfire burns!' thing sticking to it.

Cohesiveness - 3/5
He doesn't seem 100% fitting to High Risk High Reward with things like Teleport (though the wind up does help alot here) and Perching on allies or a Siege Beast, if he was say much closer to the enemy where his damage multiplies and has a very low health pool (think tracer, murky, TLV) then he would deff become a Risk for Reward type guy.

Thematic - 5/5
He plays like a cheeky gremlin and a resident of hell so not much to say here, i am impressed with the ironic title cause it does match him being the first super unique of the Act.

Interaction - 5/5
He seems easy to play for both an ally and a enemy though he might freak out allies when he perches on them. (i know i would at first)

Overall Score
Creativity - 4/5
Cohesiveness - 3/5
Thematic - 5/5
Interaction - 5/5

Total - 17/20

Had to look up his name and i am impressed with who ya picked and the title ya threw on him, his Perch also combos with Siege Beast pretty cool and honestly? i would play him cause he looks fun, i gotta ask though how does Perch work with Mounted allies?.
I've added in Talents for week 2, and I've also updated the concept, lowering the range of both Inferno and basic attacks, to better enforse the "high risk" aspect of the design. (Also added in a mention that his HP is low-ish, so just warping in the middle of the enemy team and then standing ther casitng Inferno is likely not a good battle plan :P)

The whole "you can be safe while perched" thing is so that he's not plain unusable, 'cause I feel if he didn't get that then he wouldn't get many chances to dish out damage, and would end up with very situational damage and not much else.

one last thing: I wanna change the name for the R1 upgrade, since I remembered that "Pandemonium" is a place in Diablo, and this ability has nothing to do with that XD. Can ayone give me ideas?

Same for the level 20 Talent Wildfire. I feel it comunicates the "spreading" effect nicely, but "wilfire" sonds kinda... less than "hellfire", so I'm not super into it. Any suggestions?

Overall Score
Creativity - 5/5
Cohesiveness - 5/5
Thematic - 5/5
Interaction - 4/5

Total - 19/20

Creativity - 5/5
This is perhaps one of the more interesting designs I’ve seen you produce, and that’s saying something! The character introduces a slew of new mechanics, a new style of play, and several new themes that work well with the game. I am quite happy with the mechanic of Perch, as its quite interesting to have a character hopping on an ally’s back and casting spells from it. I think using an ally as a shield is an interesting take on a personal defense. The least creative part of the kit is probably Teleport. While the limits of the teleport do help to make it different, I am not entirely pleased that it is basically the combination of Li Ming’s Calamity and Fenix’s Warp. Hell Rift is also a bit basic compared with Siege Beast, but it works as a nice comparison to Siege Beast, being focused solely on Dac Farren’s casting potential. I am also displeased by only having two talents at Tier 2. Is there a reason for this (please don’t say you ran out of demons of that rank…)? Also, as a side note, you should probably change the name Teleport, since Li Ming already has Teleport.

Cohesiveness - 5/5
The kit works very well together as a high risk, high reward combo mage, utilizing good focused damage with the Hellfire mechanic and how every part of his kit is bound together with it. I think Perch is a necessity for the character, although the lengthy duration diminishes the risk factor (more on this in Interaction). I think the fact both heroics work with one part of his trait is really cool, and the talents add a lot to his playstyle in a good way (though he does seem to have a bit many activatable CC abilities. Might want to tune it down a hint). Altogether, the entire kit really does work well together. Him riding an Illidan would be weird graphically, though... Also, is he brought along by global teleports like Brightwing’s? If so, it might be a bit too strong.

Thematic - 5/5
The character really captures the feel of an imp, and even if it isn’t necessarily lore-friendly, I love the evolution of his talents, drawing from mechanics and nomenclature of the different demons! I think his kit fits what you wanted well, it fits the character, and it fits the contest. Altogether, good job.

Interaction - 4/5
My only gripes with the character are isolated to his interaction. One of his key features is his low range and health, but high damage, and on this note, he becomes a very high risk, high reward character. I am perfectly okay with his Perch existing, and I think its a cool way to mitigate some of his risk, but the fact it lasts through an entire fight kind of nullifies the cooldown, and just serves to make the character feel a bit more sluggish at times. Perhaps reducing the cooldown and duration would make this problem a lot more manageable (5 second duration, 10 sec CD). Another way is perhaps adding a way to “knock him off” his perch, perhaps by dealing enough damage to his perch, or CC’ing his Perch, or something. It could also add more counterplay to his kit. One final note is that Tier 6 talent, Baal’s Chokehold, is really oppressive. Just hop on a Siege Beast and cast Inferno, and you have a perpetual silence until the enemy dies or until you decide to give up. It is simply too much disruption, and due to Dac Farren’s ability to indirectly move while casting Inferno, it becomes far too powerful. Perhaps a spell power reduction instead of a silence would suffice? The rest looks pretty good.
Sorry it took so long to post updates. Been a busy week, and you said we could get a couple extra days, so I hope my Week 3 participation is still admisible.

09/20/2018 11:38 AMPosted by Bliztron
displeased by only having two talents at Tier 2. Is there a reason for this (please don’t say you ran out of demons of that rank…)?
More than running out of demons, I ran out of ideas :P.
I limited myself to only using characters who were unskippable bosses in at least one game, which didn't help in that regard. (there was a reason for that, but I can't remember what it was XD).

I've added "The Butcher's Carnage" at level 4, though Butch would technically be even lower than level 1 in "rank", since he was used as a minion by Lazarus in D1 and by Maghda in D3, but oh well.

09/20/2018 11:38 AMPosted by Bliztron
Also, as a side note, you should probably change the name Teleport, since Li Ming already has Teleport.
Probably right, but "Blink" is taken by Zeratul, "Warp" by Fenix, and I couldn't come up with another term DX
Maybe on week 4.

09/20/2018 11:38 AMPosted by Bliztron
I am perfectly okay with his Perch existing, and I think its a cool way to mitigate some of his risk, but the fact it lasts through an entire fight kind of nullifies the cooldown, and just serves to make the character feel a bit more sluggish at times. Perhaps reducing the cooldown and duration would make this problem a lot more manageable (5 second duration, 10 sec CD). Another way is perhaps adding a way to “knock him off” his perch, perhaps by dealing enough damage to his perch, or CC’ing his Perch, or something.
I agree, and decided to do both, 'cause allowing him to be knocked off means he'd nowbe the one waiting a long time for it to cool down, and then he only gets a little use out of it, so reducing cooldown (and duration to compensate) felt better.

I also added a limit on moving around the map, so it won't be (situationally) too powerful, like what you said about BW's TP.

09/20/2018 11:38 AMPosted by Bliztron
One final note is that Tier 6 talent, Baal’s Chokehold, is really oppressive. Just hop on a Siege Beast and cast Inferno, and you have a perpetual silence until the enemy dies or until you decide to give up.
I mean, not really, 'cause Inferno has limited duration and a cooldown (that's longer than its max duration), but I still decided to change the Lv 16 Talents around and avoid the Silence altogether.
Total - 18/20

Creativity - 4/5
Cohesiveness - 4/5
Thematic - 5/5
Interaction -5 /5


Taken individually, some of his abilities are pretty unoriginal in both name and function (Fireball, Teleport), and you even explain a lot of the effects in terms of other heroes, but the overall feel of the kit is rather fresh, I think.

Also, no skins, voice lines, or fluff of any kind (which is kind of what week 3 is about) means lower score here.

His kit works well together to spread hellfire around and then get close and dish out the pain or die trying. I don't see any major problems with it.

However, other than maybe tier 1, his talents feel thrown together randomly and without any clear direction or build paths, probably should have given less priority to the naming scheme and more to the talents themselves.

Like Damian said, he feels just like a Gremlin/Imp, and you did manage to make something flavorful out of his title and talent naming scheme.

Having removed the silence and lowered the perch duration, I don't see any big sources of frustration for either enemies or allies.
It may be annoying for the Dac Farren player if he keeps getting drop from perch by his allies, but I guess just don't climb onto the Shimadas?

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