Recently I’ve gone back and did some work on the main unit for the undead, the Lich King. A few days ago I gave it the Bonestorm ability, and this weekend I added another powerful non-ultimate ability, the Necrogate. In addition, I went back and updated some old abilities to make them more functional and efficient.
The Necrogate is definitely an unusual ability. Everything about it is different and unique in comparison to the rest of the abilities in Salt the Earth so far.
The Necrogate is spell for the Lich King which summons a gate to the underworld. This gate has no health bar, cannot be targeted, and lasts forever until the Lich King is killed. It is similar to the Dwarfs Tectonic Shift ability, in that it does block off movement and stop projectiles; it is effectively a wall.
However, the Necrogate is much more than a wall. It has two main components. Firstly, it provides a buff to nearby undead units granting armor, and a minor heal-over time component. Secondly (and this is the major effect), it will teleport your dead units to itself, from anywhere on the map.
This might seem underwhelming until you realize the possibilities. Suppose you set up your Necrogate at your spawn point and leave your Lich King there. As your units die, they will be teleported (dead) to the Necrogate, and the Lich King’s passive resurrection ability will resurrect them. Now you have a fall-back point for your units, and you can regroup for another push.
Additionally, due to the defensive buff of the Necrogate, it becomes a strong point to defend if your enemy should try to kill your Lich King. The passive buffs it provides makes your units stronger as you try to hold the point.
There are other ways to combo with this ability, but we’ll cover that soon. Next, lets look at some more changes to old abilities.
Sould Blade is an ability that gives the Lich King healing for 60% of the physical damage he deals with his auto-attack. As you can see from the image, the ability now has a new visual effect (giant green glowing sword).
Additionally, the ability went from 60% healing to 40% healing on melee auto-attacks. However, the ability now gives 5 health any unit dies within a 10 meter radius (friend or foe). This change should make him rely less on his auto attack, and more on being present on the battlefield, and will make his self-healing more reliable.
Soul Step is an ability that lets the Lich King place down a soul anchor at a fixed location. Then, later the Lich King can re-trigger this ability to teleport back to the soul anchor spot.
This ability only received a minor change. The teleport back to origin now triggers automatically upon reaching 20% health.
Soul Step could synergize very well with the new Necrogate ability. If you place your soul anchor at the Necrogate, you’ll automatically jump back at 20% health, receiving the healing buff from the Necrogate, as well as resurrecting units that have been teleported there during the battle. Now all you have to do is wait for the cooldown, re-place the soul anchor, and charge off to battle again!
Lastly, Soul Harvest is an ability that lets the Lich King swing two ethereal scythes at nearby enemies, healing himself for a percent of the damage done. This damage is AOE (cone), so the damage and healing is quite substantial.
The only change to this ability was to make it passive. Having to active this ability in melee combat all the time was too high of a demand on the player, so now its passive, and simply makes the Lich King a more formidable foe in melee combat while also making him even harder to kill.
In conclusion, I think I need to stop using the word ‘soul’ in all of the undead abilities.