View Full Version : Revival: Brainstorm on possible Infestor abilities

05-22-2009, 10:54 PM
Reviving this discussion from BlizzForums (http://blizzforums.com/showthread.php?t=24713).

Ever since the Infestor lost its original infestation ability I haven't been impressed with this unit one bit. We've seen it use several different abilities over the course of its evolution, none of which are particularly creative or unique. The only unique thing about this unit is the fact that it can travel while burrowed, empowering the user with a grand potential for ambushing against the unsuspecting.

Since the Infestor seems to be suffering from the same identity crisis that the Mothership and Queen has, I'd like to invite people to suggest ideas which they think sounds entertaining to use. Ignore the fact that the unit is presently called the Infestor, and focus on abilities that are strategic and can work well with its underground travel ability.

Here's a few that come to mind with little throught to the actual names...

Spike: Travelling underground, the Infestor protrudes a powerful subterranean spike intro the air delivering heavy damage to anything above. Think of it like a single target lurker strike, but the fact that the unit can move and strike at will makes it incredibly hard to locate and respond to. Players not paying attention would be unaware of where the attack came from.

Disease: Okay, let's stick with the name but change the premise. Lurking in the ground below, the infestor releases a toxic disease cloud into the air above. Units have a few seconds to respond to this threat before becoming inflected with the disease. Once infected, the disease will causes at most 20 damage over time for a few seconds. Those infected can inadvertently pass the disease onto other nearby biological units while the disease is in effect. Infected units have an obvious visual clue so observers and players can easily distinguish its passage among the ranks.

Infest: The ability can only be cast while unborrowed and needs proximity to work. Either through a gas cloud or bite the infestor "infests" its biological host by implanting a seed. After 20 seconds the seed explodes through the host, killing the unit and spawning an infant infestor. For a period of time that infant infestor is harmless and can only scramble away while it incubates and eventually reaches maturity...birthing a new infestor. While the seed is still dormant in the host that unit can be destroyed to stop the threat.

Trench: Using the vents on its back, the Infestor releases pockets of volatile gas into the crust, distrupting the structural integrity of the ground and creating trecherous terrain. Any units (both hostile and friendly) that pass over this rubbled terrain will experience slowed movement). This ability can be cast for a few seconds before the Infestor runs out of gas, and can even be used while moving underground...essentially carving a trench into the ground. With this the unit can impede harvesting, create blockades, or prevent retreating. After a few minutes the ground subsides and returns to normalcy.

Disease 2: Releasing a noxious cloud into the air, this disease will affect any biological units that come in contact with it and will deliver x points of damage to it over time, killing them if it depletes their health to zero. The ability continues to shoot gas through the ground for a few seconds and can be used while it moves. Players will be able to predict its movement pattern as the gas erupts from the ground and avoid it with clever manuevering. Players using this ability can opt to provide area denial by remaining motionless, or can choose to move underground hoping to infect multiple targets. Once a unit is infected it doesn't receive any more damage if it walks through the cloud again, and the disease lasts no less than the duration of the ability.

Infest 2: The Queen's ability to infest a damaged command center was exciting as hell, but sadly it was so rarely seen. I'd like to see the Infestor maintain its original ability, only with a slight adjustment. It can infest any medium-sized and larger buildings (not supply depots, turrets, pylons, bunkers, etc), both Terran and Protoss, but only when they're severely damaged. When the building is dangerously low on HP the Infestor must surface to puke on it, or pass along a seed by touching the building when adjacent to it. Whatever the animation is it takes a few seconds, allowing the player to respond. Once infester the building is under control of the Zerg and can spawn infested marines or zealots for a small price. Marines can fire their guns, zealots are melee. Both expire after a short period of time.

Scale Walls (passive): Infestors can climb up walls, just like the doodads in this screenshot: http://sc2pod.com/img/gallery/697.jpg. While slowly climbing a wall they can be damaged by ranged attacks.

05-22-2009, 11:00 PM
Why not just have him tunnel under cliffs?

05-22-2009, 11:02 PM
Why not just have him tunnel under cliffs?

I don't know...to make it unique, and to allow players a chance to respond to the threat. A unit that can remain perpetually burrowed and mobile, when outfitted with devastating abilities (not the crap it has now) seems like it could be a severe threat. So this could be a mechanism to balance it.

05-22-2009, 11:13 PM
How do you know it needs balancing down? For all we know it could need to be buffed. Ive noticed that Theorycrafters love to put negative aspects in there mechanics before there even out the starting gate. Propose a cool and fun mechanic. Leave the dirty nerfing work for Dustin IF and only IF it is actually nessisary. Hes the only one whos going to be able to figure that out.

And tunneling under cliffs is pretty unique since well its the only unit that can tunnel under a cliff.

05-23-2009, 01:41 AM
There's one ability I've been meaning to suggest for the Infestor (I have a lot of thoughts involving Infestor, he's just so cool!).

Fungal Growth: The Infestor stretches its tentacles underground, wrapping around a biological unit and spreads fungus on its surface that rapidly multiply. The fungus introduce sleep-inducing chemical agents through injectors and barbs, which are capable of breaking into power armor and disrupts plasma shielding (by encompassing the shield dome and pressuring it from all sides). The species uses this trait to trap prey and even store them as food, now the swarm utilizes this ability to preserve specimens for infestation.

Gameplay aspects: An ability which disables an enemy unit from movement, attack or ability-casting for a duration, while rendering them invisible (burrowed underground). Fungal Growth basically puts a biological unit in an egg that can be destroyed, which release the unit prematurely, but if left alone it will last a semi-long duration (15 to 20 seconds or so).

Your Marines suddenly disappearing is not a good sign :P


05-23-2009, 04:48 AM
A lot of ideas but dont really like them...Hm i would like to see Fungal Infestation which is highly unlikely since the ability is same as HSM (well, sort of) or something like, as somebody mentioned in BlizzForums, Locust Swarm from Witch Doctor in Diablo 3, you could cast it on your own units, and it can be spread through the Touch.

05-23-2009, 09:56 AM
I don't really understand why fungal disease (the old one, that spreads) and infest (basically a time limited mind control, preferably with decent range, but relatively high cost) don't cut it. Those would be the two upgradable spells that fit perfectly in my opinion.
It would need a spell to come with from the start though, something defensive preferably. Like a dark swarm the infestor could only cast around itself (making the spell's usage so much more difficult).
Other T3 upgrade could be a "cliff scaling ability", but it's ok without it imo. Not all races need a cliff scaler (although if one zerg unit were to have the ability to scale, it should be the infestor).