As promised, today I get to let you in on the abilities that Cthulhuphant is bringing to Heroes of Newerth. And as a bonus, you guys get the first screenshots of Cthulhuphant in-game, as well as his alt avatar!
Trample (Q)- Cthulhuphant is a melee tanky initiator, and this ability gets him into the thick of it. He charges forward in a direction, dealing damage and stunning any enemy heroes he connects with. If there are any creeps in his path, they are blasted away like projectiles, also dealing damage and stunning enemy heroes they hit.
Hook 'Em (W)- With Hook 'Em, Cthulhuphant uses his mighty tusks to skewer and immediately kill an enemy non-hero unit. The corpse creates a shield which blocks a large portion of damage coming at Cthulhuphant from the front. Strength of the shield is proportional to the target's max health.
Mortifying Presence (E)- This is a passive aura of fear and madness. Nearby enemy heroes have their attack and movement speeds slowed. When Cthulhuphant kills an enemy unit, the effect doubles for ten seconds. If he kills an enemy hero, the effect triples for ten seconds!
Obliterate (R)- Cthulhuphant draws on all of his awesomeness to fire raw, brutal energy blasts from his many trunks. Obliterate causes five pulses of devastating area of effect damage in front of Cthulhuphant.
The guys over at S2Games were generous enough to let me be involved in the design process a bit, and it was a lot of fun to toss ideas around with them. We fell onto the same page for most of his abilities. The only place we differed was his ultimate. I'd suggested tapping into the Cthulhu mythos of madness and insanity a little more, and having his ult trigger and area of effect delusion. While within a certain range of Cthulhuphant while his ult was active, all friendly heroes would appear as Cthulhuphant to enemy heroes.
Imagine the chaos and confusion that would come from getting into a teamfight and suddenly you're facing five Cthulhuphants, and you don't know which is the real one, or which was the carry you'd intended to focus, etc. Unfortunately the logistics of implementing (and balancing that) were also a nightmare. Additionally, it would have left him without that little bit of extra offensive capability that I think will ultimately make him really fun to play.
I'm really excited to get into game with him, and also watch other people play him and see what they think. This whole process has been incredibly enjoyable, and I want to thank you all for being a part of it, and thank S2Games for letting us do it. And without further ado, the first screenshot of Cthulhuphant for Heroes of Newerth! (click for larger images)
Here's Cthulhuphant and his alt avatar hanging out in-game:
This is a shot of the shield that Cthulhuphant gets immediately after goring an enemy creep with Hook 'Em:
And here's our hero mid-trample!