Defenders 036: Venomancer

January 5, 2012


I hope you’re happy, ArcticVanguard.  Venomancer took me longer than any other defender to date. For some reason I had a really hard time with this one.  What do you think?

Don’t forget to visit r/Dota2 to vote for tomorrow’s hero. For those of you wanting PNGs, I’ve included them waaaay down at the bottom of the post.  Now, let Player13 rap for a bit…

Long ago, when the Dota-Allstars site was still alive, I lived and breathed Hero Suggestions.

We’d vote on each other’s designs in the forums hoping, that with enough support, they’d be moved to the showcase subforum.  From there, we’d pray for Guinsoo, or later Icefrog, to part the skies and select our creation to join the battlefield. It was a futile effort for the most of us, but some were lucky; Jakiro and Obsidian Destroyer actually have their roots there. It was upsetting to be passed over, but it gave me a chance to learn the basics of judging good and bad hero design.

Now, from a design standpoint, I’ve always thought Venomancer’s concept was pretty unique.

At a time when Agility heroes were synonymous with attack damage, he was one that relied a lot on DoTs and magic. And for the longest time, he was one of only 3 non-int heroes to have an ulti upgradable with an Aghanim’s Scepter, pre-Icefrog. Admittedly, back then it was a little weird because the old recipe called for a Mystic Staff. What’s he to do with +27 int? It was a good thing Ice changed that.

He’s also the first hero in Dota to have a unit model with origins outside of Warcraft lore. I’m sure you Starcraft guys recognize that the original Venomancer is a Hydralisk. The only other 2 special models are custom made: Enigma (which is WoW based) and Ancient Apparition. The Venomancer model, on the other hand, was officially included in the map editor by Blizzard.

In the old Suggestion forums, there always used to be someone trying to promote including the Terran Marine or the Fel Orc Marine in Dota, two other models that were also available in the World Editor. Many believed that machine guns and flamethrowers had no place in a fantasy type game, to which some countered that the Veno model, which had already been implemented, came from StarCraft. Certainly that was a bit of a stretch…

Now that the graphical limitations have been ripped off, do you think there’s room for hi-tech heroes and abilities in Dota2? Will we ever see robots, cyborgs, or space marines? What about characters from cross title games?  Would you want to see Kardel Sharpeye go up against the Sniper from TF2?  What about Chell vs Pit Lord in a portal duel?

Wallpaper. 1920×1080.

PNG Versions: Wallpaper / Square



  1. January 5, 2012 at 9:54 pm
    abc says:

    We’re already going to be having Goblin Shredder and he is pretty much a guy in a robot. Tinker is also kinda hi-tech.

  2. January 6, 2012 at 1:27 am
    Alternativity says:

    I’ve always felt like original Veno is kind of out of place visually. Yea, he’s part of original W3 model pool, but still. Same problem was with AA. However, he was imported so that’s another thing. On the other hand, Enigma and PL (you didn’t mention him, based on Kimahri from FF)fit more than well. All that changed with Valve design, Venomancer now looks like he truly belongs to the world.
    And no problem with technology… but keep it small. Even if Dota2 is not placed in Warcraft Lore, they should keep level of technology and stuff like it was back there. And they should be careful with mixing the cultures and themes too much. Like LOL did. Seriously…zombies, pirates, bunnies, robots, ninjas…ridiculous.

  3. January 6, 2012 at 3:50 am
    Crepuscertine says:

    Valve is known for their cross-franchise antics.

    I guarantee that at some point, other characters from other Valve games will make their way into Dota 2 as heroes.

    It might not be for a while, but it will happen.

  4. January 6, 2012 at 7:16 am
    Adam says:

    Dude! For the longest time, I was trying to figure out where the Phantom Lancer model came from. I was like “This doesn’t look like any model I’ve ever seen in the game…” I had no idea it was custom, though. Thank you!

  5. January 6, 2012 at 8:21 am
    Player13 says:

    Ah PL right. I can always count on the internet to clean up the loose ends after I make a statement. Love that hero too. Hope he gets a nice remake after he’s ported over.

    A Portal crossover would be nice. As a “for fun” thing, I’d put together a Hero Suggestion based on P-body from Portal 2 earlier last year, posted on the Dota2talk forums… Maybe Valve’ll be interested and I should email them… (though admittedly the ulti requires a lot of tweaking)

    Yea, bro there was once an entire subculture for designing custom icons and models specifically for WC3′s World Editor. There was a giant database site for people to upload to, and us dedicated Hero Suggestion creators would delve through the pages upon pages of these to find the perfect icons to include in our forum post.

    It’s still semi alive, and its pretty amazing what’s been done:

    Naruto models & abilities (start at 0:32)

    DBZ models

    One DBZ WC3 map I googled was still being updated as of Sept 2011. I’d imagine the model design stuff is still relevant for the SC2 community.

  6. January 6, 2012 at 11:44 am
    3973 says:

    Well, before the Internacional they released a Dota 2 image with pyro from tf2, or it was fan-made?

  7. January 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm
    Brokh says:

    Clockwerk is pretty hightech…

  8. January 7, 2012 at 8:30 pm
    Bob says:

    You know Crepuscertine, I kind of get the feeling that Icefrog, unless the idea is not intrusive at all, will push strongly against that happening.

  9. July 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm
    Rorschach says:

    Can you make same wallpapers with black background?

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