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AoS Visual-Aesthetic Update for 2016


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I recently got back into SC2 after a long hiatus, and even though I haven’t made a full map since my WC3 modding days I couldn’t help but jump straight into the galaxy editor first and just start tinkering. If you remember the last time when HotS was released I did something similar to this, albeit it was much less detailed and much more focused on hero models available and usable for hero suggestions then. I’m taking it a step further now after sifting through the editor for the last week in my spare time, and I’d like to make suggestions for improvements to the visual, cosmetic, and purely aesthetic parts of AoS.


What I hope to achieve is show the very feasible possibilities of making use of the full breadth of assets that are available to best represent the ideas that are being used in AoS. Most importantly, and this isn’t just because it is one of my pet peeves, I would like to eliminate as much cosmetic overlap in the game as possible, meaning reducing and replacing all models that are shared by one or more units. This will give AoS a very nice, smooth and professional finish. The LotV update is by far the most bountiful of all the SC2 updates, with an incredible variety of models and effects. It would be a shame to not put them to use to the maximum of their potential.


I would like to stress this point now that this is an almost entirely superficial update, meaning that my aim is simply offering suggestions and options for simple visual additions, subtractions; switching out old models with new ones. I tried my best to avoid any influence on game balance, so that no numerical values besides stuff like resizing models to fit AoS’s proportions would be needed.

  • Jungle Camps
  • Boss Camps
  • Environment
  • Creeps
  • Bases
  • Heroes (Updates)
  • Heroes (New)
  • Heroes (Other)
  • Miscellaneous Assets



Jungle Camps


To give flavor to the jungle and because variety is the spice of life, I recommend a little more than a few visual changes. For starters, I removed the marauders and Firebat from the camps entirely (due to overlaps), then expanded the possible camps from 3 to a maximum of 9. '9' you say? Yes! Bear with me as I explain the basic idea.


Let’s say there are 2 camps in AoS. Let’s call them the Hard Camp (i.e. Thor camp), and the Medium Camps (i.e. Siege and Firebat camps). What changes here is that the hard camp now consists of 4 possible variations, and the Medium camp consists of 5 possible variations that would spawn one after the other in sequence and on rotation when they are cleared. These visual variations are mostly for appearances only because the units within each variation share very similar stat and damage values. There would also still be a total of 4 hard camps and 8 medium camps on the map.



Hard Camps




(Top row, left-right)


1- Kraith Camp


The massive Kraith unit was one of the best units to rival Thor for this purpose, as the unit itself already has a built in Cone-AoE Needle Spray attack that can easily substitute Thor’s own. 2 Mitoscarabs join it to replace Thor’s marauders.


2- Thor Camp


The Thor camp is functionally unchanged, but visually the 2 marauders are replaced with 2 Goliaths that share their stats and values. I also changed the Thor model with Odin just for shaps. You know it looks better!


3- Primal Camp


The third hard camp consists of an uprooted Primal Hive that replaces Thor, along with 2 parasitic scantipedes to replace the marauders.


4- Elemental Camp


The final hard camp consists of the Slayn Elemental which replaces Thor, and it is accompanied by 2-4 flying locusts. I got the idea from watching moths flying around a light bulb. They look good together I think.


Medium Camps


(Bottom row, left-right)


1- Quillgor Camp


A pair of Quillgor lead by the durable Alpha Quillgor substitute for the Firebat camp here, with their ranged needle ejections for attack.


2- The Ursadon Camp


Even though Ursadons are all melee, they can still just as easily fill for the Firebat camp.


3- Siege Camp


The Siege Camp returns and is relatively unchanged except for the visual detail of replacing the Marines with Vultures.


4- Hellion Camp


The new mercenary camp consists of one 'Outback Hunter' Mer Hellion along with 2 smaller hellions. In some ways, this is the closest to the old Firebat camp.


5- Impaler Colony Camp


The Impaler Colony is an immobile siege-like unit that substitutes the Siege Tank, especially with some added splash damage. It is accompanied by a 2 or 3 Zerusian Needlers that replace the Marines. Really puts the jungle in jungle camps.



Other Camps


These are the leftover camps I could put together with little to no risk of overlap.






1- A.R.E.S. Camp


A.R.E.S. paired with 2 Eradicator Sentry Bots.


2- APC Camp


A Armor Personnel Carrier with 2 Diamondbacks.


3- Militarized Transport Camp


A Militarized Transport with 2 Cyclones.



Boss Camps








1- Xel’naga Construct


In my opinion, the most suitable candidate to replace the Stone Zealot is the Xel’naga Construct from the campaign. It closely matches Aeon as an upright, bipedal, laser shooting boss, with the added bonus of looking ridiculously sexy while doing it too.


2- Static/Walker-Void Thrasher


Besides the static bosses in the campaign (Zurvan, Final Narud), the Void Thrasher looks the most menacing by far. I immediately thought of AoS when I first saw it and I knew that its destiny is to become the new Daggoth in 2016. Its inspired design really puts all its would be predecessors to shame. It even has a deadly AoE lightning attack to replace the current AoE flames. I included both the static and walking version to create variation between each level. The first 2 levels of Daggoth would be using the ‘static model’ but would become a walker thrasher for his final form (cuz he’s pissed now).









LotV brought with it dozens of beautiful doodads that could be used if you have an eye for them. But out of all the doodads that I saw, the ‘Purifier Trees Giant’ and the ‘Aiur Trees Giant’ are some of the most perfect. They are flobing huge and really give you that forest feel that is somewhat lacking in AoS. It would be a grave shame to not include these beautiful trees in AoS’s landscape. There’s nothing quite like them in the editor.







This one is a no brainer and I am sure others concluded the same when playing the campaign. The Endion Forest Tileset is without a doubt one of the most beautiful tilesets in SC2. Endion's vivid and crisp coloring really shows the age of the old tilesets, especially the current AoS one. I feel that switching the AoS forest tiles for Endion’s would be the single most needed aesthetic update for this game. Yes, I realize that they are both forest tilesets, but what the AoS tileset is trying to be, the Endion tileset does effortlessly. Truly, the best forest tileset in SC2 right now. I’ve also included a link below to a video that showcases how amazing this tileset is.










1- The basic melee Zerg/Protoss creep remains unchanged. (Although I was going to suggest to change the Roach to a Drone or Swarmling to avoid overlap but didn’t think the unit is a good fit)


2- The Zerg ranged creep has been changed from the hydralisk to the unused Locust, this is mainly due to the hydralisk model already overlapping with not one but 2 existing heroes. The ranged Protoss creep is also replaced with the new Dragoon model. It looks perfect for this role, and helps set Cyprus further apart.


3- Both team’s basic siege creep models are replaced; Zerg make use of the neglected Primal Guardian model, while the Protoss get the sleek new Arbiter model. This creates a better sense of scaling for the larger super creeps later in the game.


4- The melee super creeps are switched with the vanilla ultralisk for Zerg, and the sadly ignored Colossus model. To equalize them, the Colossus will obviously have its ranged reduced to melee which would still look badass, sweeping all that it towers over. It’s up to you though if you want to tack on some cleave AoE damage with their attacks to make use of the Colossus’s sweeping lance attack or just remove the sweep mechanism altogether.


5- For the ranged super creep, we return to the awesome Carrier and Swarm Guardian models. The models are really great but I felt were too ‘Final Boss’ to be a mere lane siege creep if you know what I mean. Of all the Zerg and Protoss models, I feel these two scream supercreep the most (unless we count the Zerg Leviathan or Protoss Mothership).












1- Pylons: I searched hard for the perfect model to replace the bland pylons from melee SC2, and I found it. Behold! “Aiur City Building C (Floating)” but scaled down to 35% and height set to 2. It’s beautiful, royal, and the ideal replacement for those boring old Pylons which you can see to its right. Boredom has no place in AoS!





2- Towers: The T1 and T2 Protoss towers remain unchanged, but the T3 tower ought to change to reflect its position in the hierarchy (as well as its strength) as the final tower before the Artifact. To fulfill this purpose, I submit the ‘Khaydarin Monolith’ model from the Protoss Campaign as the best candidate. It’s intimidating and looks fantastic in action. The spawning pool towers would also change to the Monolith model.





3- Spawning Pool: Instead of the current Terran inspired spawning point. I propose that it be changed to the Shakuras Warp Gate (doodad) combined with some decorative Aiur tiling (Aiur temple platform doodad used here) and something regal and Protossy ahead of it instead of the current shop (we’ll get to that later). Here I am using the Aiur City Guardian Statue, as well as 2 Aiur City Cliff Platform Disk garden doodads. I was liberal with the doodads of aiur trees, logs and overgrowths mainly for effect, and to demonstrate the possible options available to fittingly beautify this area of the map.





4- Creep Spawning Point: Adjacent to the Protoss Artifact are 3 creep spawning points. I propose spicing this area up with a teleporter or some decorative tiles. My first and IMO best choice is adding 3 ‘Star Ship Adun Teleport Pads’ (seen here in the top left). Following this you can use the new unit warp in animation that was used in the campaign to create a warp in animation for when the creepwave first spawns. It’s a nice little touch but it goes a long way in terms of atmosphere. Below it are some of my other choices from the Aiur Temple doodad set. These (especially the gold circle) could be used as pads beneath the range/melee barracks even.










1- Eggs: Those damned orange eggs in the Zerg Base are an eyesore, and I feel compelled to suggest a change for them too. For my first choice, I propose replacing them with the Egg Cluster model that comes in 1, 2, and 3 egg variations. You can make use of all variations at the same time so long as the health values are equal. They also come with their own cushion. My second choices to replace the current egg are the Creep Tower, and the Baneling Nest. Any of these would look better than the current orange chicken eggs.





2- Towers: Presuming you went along with replacing the Nydus Destroyer model used for Daggoth and decided on having the T3 towers different than the T1/2, I propose another novel use for it. The Nydus Destroyer model could be repurposed as a visual replacement for the Zerg T1/T2 towers. The Virophage cannon will remain as the T3 cannon only. Using the Nydus Destroyer this way is a very unique and zerg-like interpretation of the lane tower.





3- Spawning Pool: I saved the most dramatic visual facelift for the Zerg Spawning Pool. I was very liberal with the doodads to help you understand the ‘inner hive’ motif I was going for. The cornerstone of my idea and most important piece is the beautiful ‘Queen Chamber’ doodad that forms a doorway of sorts for heroes to kinda emerge from/spawn in front of. The creep flooring, the corpses, fog, the ‘infested’ vines, bones, and cocooned colonists are all intended to give the feel that the Zerg base was once a Terran facility that has been consumed by the swarm. I think more than any other part of the map, the Zerg base needs to feel like it’s a zerg base. The spawning pool is most sensible place to start.




Heroes (Updates)


Alternative Costumes/Skins


First I’d like to list all the possible skins that I found you can make good use of. The following suggestions are not meant to replace the hero model, rather they are intended to merely be alt. skins.




(Top-down, left-right)


1- Khyrak: Tyrannozor, Primal Ultralisk


2- Cyprus: Instigator


3- Huntress: Primal Hydralisk, Lurker Morph Hydralisk


4- Immortal: Annihilator, Vanguard


5- Null: Energizer, Havoc


6- Medic: Field Response Theta


7- Lurker: Impaler


8- Crackling: Raptor Zerging, Swarmling Zergling


9- Brine: Corpser, Vile, Primal


10- Erekul: Ascendant


11- Anthrax: Corruptor (SC2 Melee skin)


12- Avenger: Broodlord Morph Mutalisk, Primal Mutalisk, Mutalisk (SC2 Melee)





Unlike the previous list, the second list of suggestions actually are for replacing existing models because they are either outdated or a better model can be used to more effectively represent the hero, and also hopefully eliminate overlap.




(Top-down, left-right)


1- Queen’s Ultralisk: Torrasque (Presuming above changes to creepwaves are undertaken, this model deserves to be a unique heroic unit)


1- Drake: Ravager (This is probably one of the most controversial proposals but Drake's model qualifies for an update. Ravager with its fiery core and dragon-like horns is a great match. Just reduce attack range and tack on those lances [spinal crawler])


3- Vorpal: Dark Archon (Especially if the Archon model has been relieved from its supercreep duties as suggested above; this could double as a vorpal alt skin but we already have a "black" hero in Shadow)


4- Kerrigan: Kerrigan - K5 (I have a personal preference for the HotS Kerrigan model, but it also comes with a unique set of animations that AoS did not make use of yet. If you don't intend to, then this change isn't necessary)


5- Justicar Akasha: Sentinel (Purifier -Zealot)


6- Lord Zyrkhan: Aiur Zealot


7- Penthos: Centurion (Shakuras Zealot)


8- Corona: Adept -OR- Talis (The other would become an alt. skin)









Narud - I can't be the only one who is deeply offended by the sight of Narud's Loci of Power. Any of these possible replacements would really help. Think of the children Adam!


1- Xel'naga Charged Crystal


2- Xel'naga Crates Skinny (Doodad)


3- Xel'naga Shrine (Doodad - Scaled down to 40%)


4- Xel'naga Shrine Long Cliff (Doodad - Scaled down to 40%)


5- Zhakul'das Obelisk (Doodad - Scaled down to 45%)


6- Zhakul'das Obelisk 2 (Doodad - Scaled down to 45%)



Heroes (New)


Once again, after going through all the files and purposing stuff for AoS as it is today, I then looked to the remaining models that can still be potentially used for new heroes without overlap. The following are IMO the best candidates for models for future AoS heroes.




(Top-down, left-right)


1- Hellbat (Hellion optional but not included)


2- Ascended Kerrigan


3- Ghost Kerrigan (The armed and unarmed variation could be utilized in 1 hero with 2 modes like Jakk for example, Psionic and Rifle)


4- Eradicator/Sentry bot


5- Karax


6- Reaver


7- Replicant -OR- Disruptor (The other would become an alt. skin)




9- Fenix


10- Alarak (ASAP omg!)


11- Vorazun


12- Swarm Host (Plenty of alt. skins. RoA had a decent Swarm Host hero, steal?)


13- Overlord -OR- Overseer (The other would become an alt. skin)


14- Hybrid.Nemesis (Maar’s long lost brother, SUCH BEAUTY! ASAP AAH!)


15- Devourer


16- Wrathwalker (I know this one is unlikely, but somehow someway this perfect colossus skin must be used somewhere)



Heroes (Other)


This section is for great models I found in the editor that could be heroic units, either as full fleshed out heroes, or as parts of existing/future heroes. But they come with a few 'buts' (like having no attack animation for example) and would need a little imagination if they are to have a place.




(Top-down, left-right)


1- Disruptor Phased (If a Disruptor or Repilicant hero is made, this naturally can go along with it for a phase shift spell; alternatively it can be used as a projectile of some sort)


2- Shade Phase Shift (I suggested above that Corona's model should be changed to the Adept whom uses this for her melee Psionic Transfer ability. With that change, I can see this model being used for Corona's ultimate instead, sort of like DotA2' Elder Titan's Astral Spirit)


3- Changeling


4- Lasarra


5- Valerian Mengsk


6- Ma'lash Pit Fight


7- Broodling


8- Defiler (Needs some color, but should be good to go)


9- Drone


10- Queen (Classic)


11- Ouros (Doodad - Scaled down to 15%)


12- Amon (Epilogue03 - Doodad - Scaled down to 15%)


13- Megalith


14- SS_TerraTronMissileSpinner (I'm thinking to replace Greelus' Silencer Drones but it could even be its own hero possibly)



Miscellaneous Assets


In this last section for the sake of completion I’ll be adding “things” that don’t fall in any of the previous categories; things I found that I believe you should consider making use of in the future. These things are very unique stand outs in the galaxy editor. I can easily see them have a place in a MOBA like AoS for spells, item drops, abilities, whatever, etc.








In light of the dramatic visual changes proposed for the spawning pool, it seemed appropriate to change the shop as well. Currently the shops are these bulky rectangles created from a Protoss doodad. I propose replacing it with a simple and less space consuming ‘Treasure Goblin’ or Goblin Merchant unit. Optionally, the area around him can be spiced up with some crates and gold make it more clear that he is a merchant.


The alternative to the Goblin Merchant is Moopy who looks like the Ewoks from Return of the Jedi. Too cute to miss in the editor.


Either of them or both of them can easily satisfy as the new AoS shop vendor.








(Top-down, left-right)


1- Protoss Mobile Satellite: This can probably be used as a part of a heroic utility ability or something. I imagined a Karax hero would make use of it.


2- Carrier Repair Drone: See above.


3- KaraxServitorWeaponA (Unnamed): See above.


4- Oracle Stasis Ward: Utility object or projectile


5- Space Mag Mine: Projectile or as the name suggest a new type of mine.


6- Widow Mine: This used to get hero idea proposals but I placed it under miscellaneous.


7- Gas Turret: Looks really sexy. Greelus?


8- Vespene Pod and Essence: I think either of these is a better visual fit for Queen’s biomass samples than the current one.


9- Restore Full Life: Pickup or part of a utility item/ability.


10- Energy Pick up: Nice parallel for the current jungle health pick ups.


11- Restoration Charge: Health and energy pick up! Yes? No? ok…


12- Critter-Gigablossom: I have no idea what to do with this. I wanted to make a Jungle Camp out of it with the Zerusian Needlers. It’s a pretty cool creature to have around, someday, maybe.



Visual Effects




(Top-down, left-right)


1- The Void-Nebula Storm Near (Doodad): Could look good as an ‘aura’.


2- Dual Bubble Unit: Also could be used as an AoE aura effect. I was thinking Vorpoal’s ult or Corona’s ult.


3- Atmosphere Stabilizer: Some sort of utility item or spell that summons a shield.


4- Purifier Beam: It speaks for itself really.


5- Cybros Beam (Doodad): Alt version of above.


6- Xel’Naga Psionic Storm Cloud (Doodad): AoE Spell, I imagined Immo’s ult maybe.


7- Void Rift: AoE Spell or even a projectile.


8- Oracle - Place Wormhole Unit: Some sort of AoE spell.


9- Zurvan Latent Energy: A buff/debuff effect or AoE effect.


10- Void Shard Unstable Energy: A buff/debuff effect or AoE effect.


11- TutorialPurifierBeamUnit (Unnamed): Another take on the sky beam earlier in the list but this one has a nicer start up animation.









1- Dirge Beetle: Wizzy (as in Wizard)! Gives bonus spell damage.


2- Artosilope: Lucky! Bonus gold per second.


3- Cleaning Bot: Cleany! Gives debuff Immunity.


4- Lab Bot 1-X: Sneaky! Gives invisibility.


5- Automaton 2000: Time Machine-y! Gives CDR or timescale


6- Crab Beetle: Crabby! Gives an STD dealing damage over time to you and everyone around you.




Whether you decide to take my ideas and suggestions into consideration or not, I really hope at least you give some thought and attention to this aspect of the game's development. Take a month off of balancing, and give some love to the very thing players are seeing day in and day out. The game is starting to look its age, and there is something we can do about it. Thank you for your time, and I hope this proves to be helpful.

Edited by Jessika
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This is op

but I would liek to think the zerg base would be the Void base(void related stuff)

and for erekul I think Malash is much more badass

I think Finalnarud should be the final boss and rename it to something else

The instigator model would be a skin for cyprus?

and i would accept any good ideas to replace the jungle because it needs a rework for a long time too imo

All of this is pretty hottt

maybe for items/props they could be new runes

Edited by accountzZ
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This is op

but I would liek to think the zerg base would be the Void base(void related stuff)

and for erekul I think Malash is much more badass

I think Finalnarud should be the final boss and rename it to something else

The instigator model would be a skin for cyprus?

and i would accept any good ideas to replace the jungle because it needs a rework for a long time too imo

All of this is pretty hottt

maybe for items/props they could be new runes


I considered putting forward that proposal but I wanted to respect the themes of AoS and work within them. But a Amon vs Everyone scenario could work, especially with the new models of Amon and Ouros or Amon's Temple and the Xel'Naga temple taking the place of the artifacts of each team.


This is also why I avoided most of the WC3 stuff (except the Goblin Merchant cuz that's practically MOBA tradition at this point), I wanted to be consistent with Ecko's vision.

Edited by Jessika
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Yea I like almost all ideas listed and really appreciate the work and thought you put into this post. Probably one of best/most well thought out posts on here for a long time.


I'm not sure if I agree with changing the tier 3 towers. Mainly because it seems... not intuitive. You have your first 2 towers and then all of the sudden you get to the base, the terrain changes, and then there's these different towers, which you assume have a different effect or are in some way different from the last 2 towers other than damage/health, which they arnt. I guess that's my main gripe, unless you change every tier, but they have to make sure they look like towers/they're going to shoot you. And maybe I'm thinking too much from a new players stand point which isn't fair/right.

Edited by Jaysi
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I'm not sure if I agree with changing the tier 3 towers. Mainly because it seems... not intuitive. You have your first 2 towers and then all of the sudden you get to the base, the terrain changes, and then there's these different towers, which you assume have a different effect or are in some way different from the last 2 towers other than damage/health, which they arnt. I guess that's my main gripe, unless you change every tier, but they have to make sure they look like towers/they're going to shoot you. And maybe I'm thinking too much from a new players stand point which isn't fair/right.


If I'm not mistaken currently only the T3 towers can regenerate their health. This along with other things such as high ground, added strength/damage, and a little sprinkle of that 'save the best for last' bs can qualify it for this visual change I think. Plus like you said, there is already an indoor/outdoor thing going on with the terrain, so perhaps the visual change to the towers isn't that out of place.


Sack adam make jessika lead dev plz


Lol! Please don't, that would be a terrible mistake. I don't have half the talent or more importantly the patience that Adam has to mod this map and then deal with the crazies here. XD



Very happy with the positive feedback btw, cheers guys.




Edit- I added a few missing things that I left out of the heroes sections (updates/others), and added the critter-rune models for the sake of completion.

Edited by Jessika
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wheres the megalith or purifier warden?

They could be bosses

The united protoss tries to take down amons hybrid body(void artifact)(is there a doodad for that?)

the protoss artifact could be the purifier core shooting the body when you take it down with kerrigan Epilogue's Q


I've accounted for all of these actually, but I left them out mainly because I didn't feel they were the most optimal suggestions for change right now


The Purifier Warden model is basically a smaller malfunctioning version of the Megalith. Which works better as a hero or as a heroic summoned unit. But IIRC, Ecko and Whale were never fans of large vehicular heroes such as tanks or even the Colossus. The Megalith walks that line where it can be a hero, but it may end up looking awkward being so small (See my Amon and Ouros examples). So it's best used as a boss or a summoned unit like Timmy. I added it anyway.


Amon's Hybrid body has no attack animations as far as I know. It can only really work as a structure like the Zerg Artifact for example. The Purifier Core is definitely the best candidate to replace the Protoss Artifact, although there are few other super structures that can work too like the Shakuras Xel'naga Temple. For Zerg, I'm old school so I still have a preference for the Overmind.

Edited by Jessika
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I approve of this!!! ^^^^^^^^ post




I do agree with making Final Form narud a boss.... and rework narud hero into something NOOB friendly... but i doubt that can be done as you said.


The Final Narud model is really big and wide, it suffers from the same problem as the Zurvan model in that it really was made for cinematics. It's lacking some essential animations I think. With effort, I am sure it can work as a boss, but I'm not sure it is worth that effort. Especially when you have something like the Void Thrasher which is very similar but much more versatile.


The Final Form Narud works best IMO as a super structure like the Artifact, but that would require considerable thematic changes in AoS (which pits Protoss against Zerg, rather than Amon or Mobius Corp).

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to be frank. if you have the skills to edit the map we would all be eternally grateful. you would have a house to stay in scotland anytime bro.


If by edit the map you mean strictly alter the terrain (cosmetic, landscape, tilesets, doodads, etc.) then yes, as my knowledge starts to fall apart the minute coding gets involved. It isn't actually difficult to do (especially since we wouldn't be starting from scratch), so much as it is time consuming. It can feel tedious if you aren't into that artsy fartsy stuff (which I am). I wouldn't mind giving it a shot in my free time if you guys aren't in a hurry.

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