Some wild brainstorming for an idea I don't expect to be implemented. Nerfed Nydus via a base quest could enrich Zagara's RTS identity and add a mid-game power spike to allow for her her early game power to be toned down. Implementation and balance can work very differently.
I always adored Zagara and Nydus Network, even pre-rework at its 2% popularity. Had even made a
on it! It's not just a heroic. It's a playstyle. True to her RTS roots, Zagara dominates the map through Creep and summons troops. Nydus allows you to travel to your conquered territory.
But cd reduction is currently too PvE-ish. I'd buff it vs Heroes, but reduce or remove it otherwise. Unlike in Starcraft, troops and structures are AI-controlled. The fantasy, playmaking and PvP power are de-emphasizes in favor of pushing, especially before an objective.
But I also got this weird idea. Remove cd reduction, nerf Nydus, add it via a base quest. Why?
- No heroic enriches overall gameplay like Nydus. Might of the Nerazim and Monstrosity come close. Napalm Strike doesn't change how you play, rather adds another damage ability.
- As said above, it completes the RTS conqueror fantasy of Zagara.
- A mid-game power spike can help balance her troublesome early to late-game power.
Arguments Against This
While anything can be balanced, the main issue is complexity. Creep already adds a lot to keep in mind for Zag and enemies, serves a ton of functions and already compliments her RTS side.
Abathur and Dehaka have global mobility from the start. But Zagara, bully and pusher extraordinaire, gets a reusable tunnel that eliminates her health and mana issues.
In the end, Nydus is a great jam-packed Heroic. I expect Zag to get a mini-rework for her generic talents and E build, but nothing too drastic for Nydus. Her popularity is also an issue. 5th least popular ranged assassin on Master SL, despite the above-average winrate her big lvl16 buffs gave her.
Won't that be Super Broken?
Not with minor nerfs to Zag that'd bring her troublesome early game power down, and Nydus losing its cd reduction and creep radius bonus. Could even nerf Nydus further, say by giving it a long duration. Note that without cd reduction, Nydus is worse than the OG version, which could be cast anywhere on vision and entering wasn't interrupted by damage.
But is it enough to nerf the Hero and Heroic, and lock it behind the quest? It's a heroic after all.
No direct comparisons, but as frames of reference, Muradin got 1.5 level 7 talents at the exchange of aa damage, even got buffs in following patches. Jaina got a nerfed version of her lvl20 Improved Ice Block. As Alarak and Junkrat show, storm talents can be as good as heroics. Tassadar got Force Wall as a basic ability, though nerfed and replacing another. With the right math, balance isn't an issue.
Implementation – Quest, New Heroic Etc
As a new, PvE-focused unit on 20, Broodlings were odd. But they could be a heroic for the summon-iest hero in HotS. Also tying territory expansion to PvP and freeing Endless Creep from Nydus.
Nydus Network – Reward: Gain the Nydus Worm ability and summon a permanent Worm in the Hall of Storms. While inside the Network, you gain Hall of Storms' restoration bonus and can travel to any Worm by right-clicking near it.
- Quest Idea 1: Deal X Hero Damage and Y Siege Damage.
- Quest Idea 2: Basic Attack Heroes X times while on Creep.
Nydus Worm (1)
- Summon a Nydus Worm globally on a visible area with Creep. 120 second cooldown. While on cooldown, use on a Worm other than your starting one to destroy it. Maximum 4 Worms.
- Duration increased from 240 to 300 seconds.
- Cooldown increased from 18 to 30 seconds.
- Added: Basic attacks against Heroes while on Creep reduce the cooldown of Creep Tumor and Nydus Worms by 1 second.
Broodling Swarm – New Heroic, 30 sec cd
- Summon 5 Broodlings that follow Zagara, including through the Nydus Network. Broodlings have 130% move speed, deal 15 damage, halved vs Structures, and slow by 2% for 2 seconds, up to 30%.
Come to Momma! – Storm Upgrade
- Broodlings now also reduce enemy armor by 1 for 2 seconds, up to 15. While having fewer than 5 Broodlings, the nearest Nydus Worm spawns one every 3 seconds. Can be toggled on or off.
Endless Creep (20)
- Increase the cast range of Creep Tumor by 2000%, its move speed bonus by 50%, and its cooldown reduction of Creep Tumor and Nydus Worms by 200%.
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