[CDC #6] Lister the Tormentor

Hero and Skin Suggestions
This is my submission for the CDC #6! Links below:
CDC #6 - https://us.battle.net/forums/en/heroes/topic/20768666797
Concept - https://www.heroesfire.com/hots/concept/lister-the-tormentor-10048

Lister the Tormentor is the leader of the Minions of Destruction, Baal's elite pets that players in Diablo 2 must face right before they can challenge Baal himself. The Minions of Destruction were very powerful enemies, with high movement speed and a heavy hitting melee attack with knockback. They were so difficult that trying to fight them with Baal's curse in the room was often a death sentence.

I tried to build the concept around the idea of a quick moving, hard hitting demon with lots of knockback. Lister's basic abilities are mostly geared toward moving him into good positions where his knockback attacks can do the most work, pushing enemies out of position for his team to assist him. All of his damage comes from his basic attacks, since he wasn't known for spellcasting in the game. Of course, knockback on every basic attack would be obnoxious to play against so instead he has a charge system for a trait, spending charges to gain more powerful knockback attacks.
Creativity - 4/5
While there have been numerous knockback heroes never has one be solely designed around it before which in itself is unique.

Cohesiveness - 5/5
Not much i can say here since it seems you caught his role and design how you wanted quite clearly with speed and knockbacks being his core.

Thematic - 5/5
He sounds rather ruthless and enjoys bashing his enemies into others or against something which fits the theme of a demon very nicely.

Interaction - 4/5
I would say he is extremely fun to play as the person behind Lister but would be very aggravating or annoying for an enemy or even some of your allies as Yrel has a decent CD on her knockback and causes this effect alot but overall he could theoretically interact in ways that revolve around him more.

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

Total - 18/20

Was rather enjoying this read its my first time judging a Heroesfire concept and he was a fun read as well, would be fun to play in the game as well.
Just updated my concept for the next phase of judging!

Talents were added in, and I some small changes to the trait. The most important are a small nerf to the cooldown, and the ability to toggle whether his basic attacks will use charges of the trait (so Lister can choose to disable his bonus damage/knockback for any reason).
Overall Score
Creativity - 5/5
Cohesiveness - 4/5
Thematic - 5/5
Interaction - 2/5

Total - 16/20

Creativity - 5/5
The character is very creative all in all, with a new niche and taking a new spin on a melee assassin. The Ruthless Barrage mechanic is unique, and I think the idea of conditions on your abilities to add stacks to Ruthless Barrage is quite clever. The abilities themselves are a little lackluster, clearly in an attempt to keep the focus on basic attacking, but each still has its own uniqueness. The divide between the heroics is quite good; his supportive benefit might get lost rather quickly on Dark Pact, but it's still a nice change of pace that works in the character. I appreciate the innovation Spectral Hit. I would also like to see another talent on Tier 7.

Cohesiveness - 4/5
The kit is built on Ruthless Barrage, and the core gameplay loop of refreshing charges in order to truly create a basic attacking menace is clear and certain. That provides most of the cohesion in the kit; there are a couple of minor things that take away from the cohesion a bit. One of the core problems with the kit is that I doubt the ability for the Lister player to actually stay on an enemy, and reliably deal damage. Fixate and Pursuit of Destruction just doesn’t contribute enough to the ability to keep up with an opponent while basic attacking, always pushing enemies back. You can see the same thing with Kharazim, having trouble sometimes keeping to opponents. Another core issue is that Lister doesn’t have any tools to survive. Tier 3 seems a bit odd, not really holding much of a central cohesiveness, and I think transforming it to a defensive tier with ways to stay alive might be best. A couple of talents I find problematic are March of Hell, which takes away from Dark Pact in a problematic way, and Endless Barrage, which single-handedly removes what makes the character engaging in the first play.

Thematic - 5/5
While not much to work with, you created quite a nice design here, altogether. I like the central focus on basic attacking and knocking enemies back, and I think the design works well to create the feeling of a Minion of Destruction. It fits the contest well.

Interaction - 2/5
Here is where the design falters quite a bit. When creating a hero based on basic attacks, in is important that the talents and abilities work to spice up the gameplay and add the skill into the design. While the conditions for refreshing Ruthless Barrage stacks do contribute to this, many feel superficial and something meaningless. Pursuit of Destruction has an element where you can hit minions if the enemy positions themselves, which adds some counterplay, but more often than not it will essentially be free for Lister. Fixate is another easy to complete one, as landing three Ruthless Barrages will probably not really be that hard. And if it is hard, it might feel a bit pointless at times. The design just isn’t all there. I like the idea, but perhaps a different path would make it feel more natural and less oppressive. The fact that he has two easy to use abilities (one point and click with Fixate and another with disruption with Brutal Sweep) really just makes the whole character feel just too easy to be effective with. Lister can quite easily Pursuit of Destruction at an enemy (landing a Ruthless Barrage), quickly Brutal Sweep them (another), and then just basic attack them some more to always refresh Fixate and keep the Ruthless Barrage’s coming. The enemy has almost no opportunity to outplay Lister because most of his effects come from just clicking on them. The fact that every basic attack also knocks enemies back can also prove problematic, as that can quite easily deny most characters ever casting their spells with just how fast and how much disruption can come out of Lister at any time. At to this the incredibly powerful and overwhelming Spectral Hit heroic, with the stun and armor drop being quite large, and the slow lasting far too long, and it all becomes far too much disruption. The cooldown of Spectral Hit is also quite low, with the level 20 talent making Lister absolutely busted with his 1.25 second stun every 4 basic attacks, and essentially permanent armor shred and slows. I think you need to find a way to add more skill into his kit, making Ruthless Barrages harder to recharge through abilities and knocking out some of the point and click disruption that plagues this design.
(My third try to post this, getting eaten by spam filter or something :( )

Just updated for the next phase of judging. I've tried to take all of the problems into account and fix them in some way.

I reduced Lister's basic attack speed some. That should make Fixate and Spectral Hit less dangerous because his attacks and therefore Ruthless Barrages will come out slower; also, the time between attacks should allow spellcasters to get abilities in without being locked in crowd control.

Spectral Hit also got nerfed overall. All effects but Fire had their numbers knocked down, the base cooldown went up a bit, and the active duration was reduced (so it might be difficult for Lister to trigger all 4 effects). The level 20 talent was also changed to grant a 5th hit with cooldown reduction, granting a similar effect, but much more balanced and actually somewhat difficult to trigger.

I also looked at which basic abilities I could change to increase skill required. I can't think of a way to change Brutal Sweep without keeping the intent of moving Lister and his target to increase knockback value, so it's unchanged. Pursuit of Destruction now needs to travel most of its distance and hit a hero to refresh Ruthless Barrage, so it is harder to use to get maximum value. Fixate has been reworked a lot; now it's a lobbed projectile, adding a skillshot element. It also no longer refreshes a charge of Ruthless Barrage when its cooldown is reset, and its active effects have been geared more toward Lister sticking to his target.

As for talents, I've gone and done a big rework over them. Problematic talents like March of Hell have been changed, the worst offenders at tier 7 were removed and tier 7 was given a full 4 talents, and a defensive tier was added in at tier 3. Plus there were lots of other changes I don't want to fully include due to space, but notably some talents were moved and adjusted, while some were reworked/added with the intent of rewarding riskier and more skillful gameplay.
Total - 20/20

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

Before detailing, I have to point out that I think you did a great job at taking Bliztron's feedback and fixing all the major issues this concept had, turning it into a much more balanced and interesting character.

I didn't think I'd be giving perfect scores on this contest, but here we are.


He's a quite unique take on an AA assassin, focusing on recharging his trait to continually force enemies out of position while dealing damage.

The skins are nice and fit the character quite well.

His kit works well together, with an initiation tool, a way to stick to his target, and a sweep that allows him to chose the direction where he´s going to start pushing that target.

His talent tree seems overall better after the latest changes.

It seems slightly odd to have an AA based melee hero want to push his enemies away often, but you made it work well.

Seems to me like he would feel rather accurate to the original, end he'll probable dispatch careless enemies just as well.

I see no major issues here.

Could be frustrating to play against, especially for slow mages (Chromie and Kel'Tuzzad come to mind), but he's not oppressive enough that they'd stand no chance (at least not by himself).

I would not want to be Lister against an evasions/blinds heavy team, but that applies for al AA characters.
Just put in my last update! Since I didn't have any specific direction, I tried to spice talents up a little bit and make Dark Frenzy a little more interesting.

Dark Frenzy got a significant increase in its movement speed bonus (15% to 30%) so it should feel more impactful, but to make up for the extra speed its duration was dropped slightly and its cooldown increased slightly. Also, the level 20 talent was changed from granting allies Ruthless Barrage charges (which felt somewhat gimmicky) to a global range plus temporary Unstoppable, making it an even better choice for encouraging his team to be aggressive (or maybe to run away).

As for talents, I tried to phase out repetitive and boring ones. Since both Tier 1 quest talents essentially granted movement speed and cooldown reduction, one was reworked to a Mana sustain quest with a conditional damage reward that encourages Lister to stay high on Mana. Tier 2's boring attack speed increase talent was replaced with a way for basic attacks to reduce Ruthless Barrage's cooldown when Lister is out of charges; it's supposed to be the consistent damage talent on the tier. Tier 3 Block talent was changed to refresh with Ruthless Barrage refreshes from basic abilities, so it should be less gimmicky than the original.

Final note, I nerfed Lister's basic attack speed just a little bit lower to ensure he can't put out too many attacks too fast. This is especially important with the new Tier 2 talent that grants light cooldown reduction on Ruthless Barrage for basic attacks.

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