Hello everybody and welcome back to another Fan Community Spotlight. Today, we burrow down below to showcase a new custom Mercenary, Anub'arak made by Wailor, whom despite achieving an impressive 7 wins on our WCDCs, is actually being featured on the series for the very first time. Anub'arak is actually already featured in the game as a Rogue Legendary from The Grand Tournament all the way back in 2015, but his presence in the game is very forgettable to many people and we can do him more justice.
While Constructed is undoubtedly the "main" mode of the game and it's only natural for most creators to spend most of their focus there, the other modes offer a new type of challenge to work around and this may result in some cool content you'd otherwise never see from other designers. Hearthstone is not just one game type anymore, but a multitude of different ways to experience it, and every new way adds some new ground to the table. With fan-made content for non-Constructed modes becoming more and more numerous, a lot more possible design space is being discovered and experimented with. It may seem slightly intimidating at first to try to design something for a new mode, especially if you're not too experienced with it compared to whatever mode you normally focus on when you play, but with some playtime to understand the mode of the game, some perseverance, and some extra feedback from people who know the mode in-and-out, anyone can become an expert at creating content for any type of mode. Don't be afraid to branch out your typical card making style to try designing for a mode you haven't designed for yet. After all, the only direction you can go when you start is up.
Motivational speech aside, it's time to hand it off to Wailor to talk about how this custom Mercenary was made.
Describe Anub'arak for us. How were you inspired to make him in the way that you did?
Stats at levels 1, 15, and 30 respectively.
Wailor: "Well, Mercenaries is basically the only game mode I currently play, so I wanted to create a character for it. Since I haven't played a lot of WoW (you know, just to get the Liadrin portrait), I decided to adapt a character from Warcraft 3, which I have fond memories of.
In terms of gameplay, Anub'arak is mainly a self-sustaining tank similar to Cariel Roame, but with some AoE and passive damage in the form of Bleed. His main weakness compared to Cariel is that he cannot heal the same turn he Taunts.
This would be his main role, but he is a pretty flexible character, as his Equipment Spider Ring allows him to go for a more offensive build. There's also this other Equipment, Carrion Talisman, which introduces Undead synergy -- a very cool tribe that needs some love already D: Also, make Lich King undead DD:
To be honest, I didn't plan this at all. I basically adapted the Crypt Lord abilities from WC3 and added some details from HotS and Warcraft lore, and it all came together pretty nicely. I guess the guy is a tank in all his appearances, it makes sense that translating his abilities from other games into Mercs mechanics would result in a tanky character as well."
How long have you been making your own cards?
Wailor: "A very long time, to be honest. I started back at Hearthpwn, but I can't remember the exact year (2016 maybe?). I started to get a bit more serious about it around 2018, I think."
Do you have anything behind the scenes you want to share with us, or perhaps a sneak peak of what's next to come?
Wailor: "Not much to be honest. Shortly after finishing Anub'arak, I tried to create Mercenaries for the League of Explorers, but it was pretty hard to come up with something for all four of them. Also, it's very hard not to make broken stuff for this mode (you don't want to look at my take on Finley)."
What design philosophies do you have that you wish to share and spread to new creators?
Wailor: "I think the most important thing is to find your own personal style, while at the same time making cards that make sense in the context of what we've seen so far in the actual game.
In my case, I usually focus on flavor. Even if I start with the effect of the card, I put a lot most of my effort in thinking an appropriate fantasy for it. However, there are a lot of people who put much more focus on the mechanincs of the card and that's also fine."
Do you have anything else you wish to share?
Wailor: "Well, I wanted to thank all the staff for mantaining this site. It's a lot of work that usually goes unnoticed."
Hope you enjoyed the spotlight this week. If you want to read some more information about this project, you can click the banner below this text to go to the project's forum thread which explains everything in some more detail.