Friday, November 1, 2013

November 1st, 2013 - Dota 2 Workshop Hiatus

I would like to thank everyone who has read my posts. It is a priceless feeling knowing that my personal opinions were appreciated, acknowledged, and read. I am sorry to say that now I've started a new job, I am unable to allocate time for this blog. This hiatus will not be indefinite. I will write again in the future, but I do not know when. When I do, it will be written in daily increments of a week. So it will not be one day, break a few days then one day again. Again I can not thank you enough for you interest. See you next time and good luck have fun in Dota 2!

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14th - 31st, Dota 2 Workshop *On Break*

0. [Break] If you read this, I am sorry to inform you that I'll be taking a break for a few weeks because I am a nerd and will be busy playing the new Pokemon Y in my spare time. I hope you will understand. Thank you for your patience!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October 12th, 2013 - Dota 2 Workshop Highlights of the Day

1. [Bristleback] Heavy Armor Bristleback by Jeremy Klein 

     This set comes with five items including: a helm, arms, back, neck, and clobber.

     The distinction this set makes is expanding on the good features of Bristleback's look while minimizing the bad. Take the spikes for example. All it really is is the change in shell and a darker hue towards the end of each bristle. Each individual item matches each other but also matches the hero's default tone too. The bulkiness of the set reminds us of how tanky he is especially with his passive. My favorite part of Heavy Armor Bristleback has to be the mace. It resembles some sort of baby that acts as a reflection Bristleback's spiky exterior. A preview video of how the set looks in game is available on the submission page.

2. [Doom] Crown of Omoz by Alex Pascal and Julio

     A wonderful companion item to the mythical sword Eye of Omoz.

     For some reason, the incorporation of Doom's design into Dota 2 turned his face more skeleton bony. In the first Dota he appeared to be more like a hellish Wyvern or just more beast like to say the least. This mask wipes off the faded mug of Doombringer and turns his face into a more sinister yet cunning figure. With the horns now melded into the whole look, instead of having their own seperate divisions, they become more-so compatible with the rest of Doom's body.

3. [Courier] Larval Faerie Dragons by Mittens

     This would be the perfect result of imagining Puck in courier form.

     Please keep in mind that this was submitted a whiles before Valve decided to give Puck a face lift. One of the concerns for this submission was that it looked way too similar to the hero already, but if anything Valve's slimming of Puck's face made the faerie dragon look more like this courier. At any rate, I find this completely acceptable and noticeably different from the hero. The colors, the wings, the cute little rounded paws, are all so cute and leaves no room for any player to mistake this messenger to be designed after someone else. The clarity potion and tangos are just icing on the cake.

Friday, October 11, 2013

October 11th, 2013 - Dota 2 Workshop Highlights of the Day

1. [Earthshaker] Burning Ground by Jaiko Takeshi

     This set comes with four items including a totem, helmet, belt, and bracers.

     The design of the ancient markings accomplishes the overall synergy of each item in the set. They certainly account for Raigor's power with its unique brightness levels of the glowing patterns. The rough exterior design that encases the lines also brings out the element of earth from Earthshaker. There are a few issues with the modeling that can be found on each individual page, but as a first time submission for the artist, it is a great idea. Because of this, I am looking forward to any future work Jaiko Takeshi can showcase.

2. [Silencer] Guardian of Silence by Sebastian

     This set comes with six items including: a blade, armlets, belt, helm, shield, and shoulders.

     Brought to you by the creator of the Dreadknight set, dawns an elegant uniform created for Nortrom the Silencer. What I find puts this submission apart from other Silencer sets is the discreet use of the color white, spread across his clothing. Other creators seemingly do not want to allow the audience notice colors outside purple and gold which entails Sebastian to some extra points for thinking outside the box. Next, these items aren't bulky and in fact slim Silencer down quite a bit compared to the Hidden Talent set. They keep Silencer stylish while maintaining his identity. Lastly, I would like to point out that Nortrom's book of silence is hung on the back of his belt which provides an excellent unneeded touch fans of the hero will appreciate. A preview video of what the set looks like in game is available on the submission page. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

October 10th, 2013 - Dota 2 Workshop Highlights of the Day

1. [Beastmaster] Helm of the Warbeast by Futashia

     Who would have thought that a single helm could change a hero's persona completely?

     What this helm does is introduce a coolness and charisma to the savage hero we identify as Beastmaster. He is a hero that is rugged, manly, wild, tribal, and savage which has now been taken to higher levels with this horned beauty. Frankly, right away I was under the impression this helm looks a bit similar to the Father of Dragons Helm by Don Don. However it is only the characteristic of the cheek/mouth guarding plates and the skull section.

2. [Nyx Assassin] Primal Instincts by [prosto-mogy]

     This set comes with three items including a horn, claws, and carapace. 

     I love these sets that incorporate the idea of Nyx's armor naturally evolving compared to just straight up replacing his shell with different armor. In this set, Nyx even loses his leg armors. The name Primal Instincts allows me to imagine that he has been surviving in a dangerous environment which forces our critter to hunt specific prey which is a great comparison to his role in game. His orange carapace warrior armor is slimmed to a lighter sort of blood color marked by tiger striped lines. The best part is the evolution of the exposed larger wings out the back that can indicate a steadfast preparation to strike. 

3. [Brewmaster] Hat of Brewing by goose

     A clear throwback to our beloved Pandaren from Dota 1.

     Goose did very well in reminding the audience of its olden style yet making the hat fitting and fashionable to the world of Dota 2. Specifically, I am mentioning the ears. Although he'll never be the same black and white panda from the old days, the ear exposure from the holes can attest to him being the same hero with different characteristics. Plus, since his ears are longer now, and have a white fading to the outside, it adds a level of finesse to our Brewmaster.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October 9th, 2013 - Dota 2 Workshop Highlights of the Day

1. [Alchemist] Boiling Blood Berserker by Hawkseye

     This set comes with seven items including: blades, armor, flasks, a hat, punching claws, rags, and spikes. 

     The reason I chose to feature this set is because it is a well executed, simple idea. There are no exaggerations in the design, just a tattered-robed alchemist riding its battle ready ogre. Outfitted with black clothing, the ogre looks dangerous enough along with the many tusks and horns attached to his forearms, head, and the alchemist's tiny saddle. The swords too. They aren't flashy but they look good, and the sword straps are created to perfectly match the swords' designs in their placement position.

2. [Bounty Hunter] Poor Man's Shield by SPL4tt

     "A busted old shield that seems to block more than it should"
     Even though it's modeled after the in-game item, the colors originally match well with Gondar. Spl4tt has also made the marks and cuts depicted by the in game portrait more detailed and the item has an excellent size transition as well. Although this takes up the shoulder slot for Bounty Hunter, it is a nice change of pace compared to always having him carry a shuriken there (which by the way is never the one you use to throw).

3. [Tiny] Lava Tiny by heckaa

     A second, upgraded item to the previous Lava Tiny by the same creator.

     When we already have the Elemental Ice Infusion item in game, there is no escaping from the thought of the opposite type. At the other end of the spectrum, we arrive at this lava element. This design is a nice representation of what everyone can imagine a molten Tiny to be. The great features of Lava Tiny include molten rocks in all of his animations. That means when you are using Avalanche or Grow, the rock chunks that rise and come out are all imbued with magma. There is a video available at the submission page demonstrating all of Tiny's sizes and animations. The only complaint I have is that Heckaa removed the charred tree that would've been available via an Aghanim's Scepter.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 8th, 2013 - Dota 2 Workshop Highlights of the Day *FAIL EDITION*

0. [Disclaimer] These are all legitimate submissions which Valve has already rejected. Viewer discretion is advised. (MNSFW)

1. [Queen of Pain] Dick Stick by Julius_dman

     Queen of Pain's new dagger...

     When I look at it, the Dick Stick has very well made textures but there are some parts that are inaccurate. For instance, lets critique the testicles. No ordinary human would usually have their shaft buried between their testes and have them at the same level. Next, the head is a bit to sharp around the edges and needs to be smoothed. However, I will give Julius_dman props for creating a handle.

2. [Sven] Ligula by OK.Ravand

     Sven's new utensil. 

     There is no better way for Sven to get fed than to be killed by him while he's using a spoon. It makes perfect sense in that situation, but I feel it may be more effective if he was using a fork because of the sharp tongs. Perhaps in the future there can be a select style to choose the perfect utensil in every situation. However, this weapon does solve the problem of whenever you ask your friends to have a spoonful of something. A prime example of this put to use can be found here in this video: 

3. [Courier] Dotex by ThG!♥

     Quote from submission page, "A courier that if you upgrade, will turn into a airplane."

     Pretty sure the name is a reference to an American mailing company called UPS. Some conflicts that this entry runs into would first be the size. Since most couriers are small, it wouldn't be right to have this delivery truck become a small toy. Another issue with that is how the animation wouldn't be apparent enough. It would just look like a car going in a straight direction at all times. Last but not least it would probably be OP having a courier that could run over things while it delivers items. #Fedex

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7th, 2013 - Dota 2 Workshop Highlights of the Day

1. [Enchantress] Forest Song Set by Exotic Lemming

     This set comes with five items including: a headpiece, skirt, staff, arm twigs, and clothing.

     This idea is phenomenal. Everything in uniform is great. The wooden horned headpiece with her locks flowing out the back. The butterfly theme in the clothing and staff. The element of wood coming out of her arms and being used as her skirt. It is an elegant fusion that makes Enchantress define the word Nature. There are only two problems I have with the set and I think Valve may also have. The first is that the clothing for Enchantress uses the slot "Neck" which so far, we've seen that the implemented sets only use a neck-chest guard of some sort. The second is the design of the staff as a weapon. The focus is completely on the sprite found near the hand, but she is supposed to throw it to impale enemies and leaving just two sharp roots at the end just doesn't seem like it will cut it. Having said that, this is by far my favorite design and I would definitely use this if it was implemented.

2. [Drow Ranger] Bows of Dominance by IGWTmenace

     I do not know whether these are going to be two separate bows for the audience to choose or one bow with two styles, but what I do know is that IGWTmenace did a fantastic job.

     Whenever I see a Drow bow, I immediately seek out distinction. Drow is pretty much a monotonous character, and often times, this results in creators jumping to making bows that can either incorporate an ice element, or an animal element with the bow. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but because of those popular trends, this certain weapon appears to be a more innovative style. I am also a fan of how futuristic and beautiful it looks with the in game screenshots. Just my personal opinion, I would rather choose the one without the red accents, simply because I mistook the one with the red shine to be a Vengeful Spirit weapon at first. Nonetheless, both of them look stunning.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October 5th, 2013 - Dota 2 Workshop Highlights of the Day

1. [Riki] Highborn Reckoning by Vextrakt

     This set comes with six items including: two daggers, a shoulder guard, arm guard, horns, and a tail.

     First and foremost, I would like to commend Vextrakt for making a set which does not cover any part of Riki's head, which when you think about it, is actually pretty hard since he does not have the prettiest face in the game. Instead, he is given new horns with the rest of the ensemble to portray a deadly bad-ass of the shadows. Past sets have always featured a yellowish gold which quite frankly do not compare to the how the color is being used here with the armor and daggers. The ruby gems inserted throughout he equipment add a nice contrast to the color scheme as well. 

2. [Drow Ranger] The Remainings of the Ice Drake by Nannou

     This set comes with seven items including: a bow, gauntlets, hair, pauldrons, quiver, cape, and boots.

     There are actually quite a few sets for Traxex that incorporate some kind of dragonic element to it. This particular set stands out with its wing mimicking cape, drake faced pauldrons, and a generous bow which looks like Drow's frost arrows come out of a dragon's mouth. Also, the boots and gauntlets actually look like a dragon's hands and feet but upside down with the quiver as a dragon's tail. The Remainings of the Ice Drake set can best be described as the embodiment of Traxex's victory over a slain ice drake. To read the full lore created by Nannou, it is found in the description of the submission page.

3. [Skeleton King] Dark Cruel Tyrant by hyrx

     This set comes with five items including: a sword, pauldrons, gauntlets, cape, and helm.

     Where do I even begin with this submission? I wonder if Hyrx took his time to name this set because Dark Cruel Tyrant is essentially the perfect description of how SK looks in it. The regality of Ostarion is just unsurpassed by anything else. In this black commanding glory, it is truly amazing how big a difference you can show with so little since Skeleton King sets can only change his cape, head and right side of the body. Now we have to mention the sword. The sword looks like "The Blood Shard" on five thousand pounds of steroids with the highlight being a skullcap near the end of the blade. I can without a doubt say that this sword will be the best out of all of them if released. Hyrx certainly has raised the bar for future SK sets.

4. [Ward] Assassin's Gaze by PrivateRowan

     Wards that beautifully depict Nyx Assassin's one of a kind armor.

     The real stunning factor of this ward is that the armor piece decoration over the eye is actually part of Nyx's real body armor. Now combine that with an armored bug leg which holds the ward up in its place and you will have the epitome of a Nyx ward. I honestly think it could not have been done any better. I feel it may be too much if you cover the right side with an armor piece too, so PrivateRowan deserves praise for engineering such a work of art.

5. [Shadow Shaman] Skull Sticks! by SebastianBastian

     This is another one of those, "so good and accurate it should have been the default" items.

     These are actually two items with each stick having their own respective names. The one that is upright is called the "Skull Stick Dark Witch" while the one with the inverted skull is called "Skull Stick Black Mage". I think it would be a great addition as a pack in a future chest since all we have for shadow shaman is that one Vagabonds set. I'm not sure if other owners of that set notice, but the offhand jug thing that replaces one of Rhasta's wands actually looks incorrect and has a floating ball of light in mid air above it. These sticks would make a terrific replacement to the Vagabond weapons as well as the default sticks Rhasta already uses.

Bonus. [Omniknight] Axsky Super by Drakonizer

     This Halloween, Omniknight will be trick or treating as Axe...

     Jokes aside, this weapon is a wonderful alternative amidst all the loads of holy hammers. It does seem ridiculous to some that Thunderwrath would be wielding something other than a hammer, but if you recall the Holy Paladin set, it contains a weapon that very much resembles a dual sided ax. Coming back to the weapon at hand (no pun intended), it is very detailed with its markings along the handle and makes for an excellent single weapon to customize Omniknight with any of his equipment. A shot of the rotating weapon model as well as Omniknight holding it is available in the videos posted in the workshop submission page.

Friday, October 4, 2013

October 4th, 2013 - Dota 2 Workshop Highlights of the Day

1. [Warlock] The Exiled Demonologist by Cersei and Jaime Lannister

     This set comes with eight items including: a hood, garment, bracers, book, staff, lantern, pauldrons, and a custom ultimate.

     Since the Demonic Archivist items, we have yet to see another set for Warlock. This collection is an excellent reminder of how dangerous and feared Demnok the Warlock should be. What I find great about this submission is how vibrant and distinguished the items can be, and yet still maintain the properties of the normal warlock so it isn't overly flamboyant. If you want to see what the set looks like in game, as well as the animations of the new summon, the links are available at the workshop submission page.

2. [Venomancer] The Thorned Mutation by 7thBattery

     This set comes with six items including: a carapace, mandibles (jaw), spine, pincers, venom spitters, and a custom plague ward.

     As depicted by the side by side comparison screenshot above, this set makes Venomancer as menacing as ever. Absolutely every aspect of every change the set gives, brings forth a more toxic, yet sexier representation of what this plague spreading hero should have looked like all along. Although the main idea behind the set is seemingly the red venomous thorns, the small intricate details that compliment them really is what outlines them. What comes to mind are the fin/webbed like appearance of the tail and claws, and the small bulges disbursed throughout the hero that appear to be withholding more volatile poisons stored underneath its skin.

Edit: *Venomancer is getting remodeled. Hopefully 7thBattery will be able to translate this set to the new model upon release.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October 3rd, 2013 - Dota 2 Workshop Highlights of the Day

1. [Ursa] Scales of the Immortal Set by Thnk

     This set comes with four items including: a helm, pauldron, bracers, and a kilt.   

     "One does not simply play Ursa without farming Roshan." Personally, I am surprised this still doesn't have over 500 ratings yet. If we look back at all of Ursa's sets (with the exception of Alpine Stalker), his items are actually... sort of... bland. No offense to the creators, but I mean just look at those old sets and look at this one. Speaking of that Alpine Ursa debacle, wasn't its removal something about it not being relevant to the lore? Come on. For the record, I am completely pro-lore, otherwise we'd have a bunch of fools running around in expensive costumes that don't relate to anything (Sup League?). But you're telling me Alpine was at one point approved, and this set which features the artistic styling of associating Roshan with Ursa still isn't implemented? What is up Valve?

2. [HUD] Devourer's Lair by Vollbernd

     Outworld Devourer and this HUD are truly a match made in heaven... or where ever the hell the lore says he is from.

     Normally, in my book, I would knock off some points for HUDs that seem like they can only cater to one hero. However, a creation such as this just does so much justice to OD that I can forgo that thought. Devourer's Lair features a glowing turquoise effect between all the obsidian crevices, a personalized loading screen, and even a custom day/night clock. More details as well as previews of the other aspect ratios can be found in the link to the submission under the title.

3. [Ward] Insight Sprite by Christopher Volken

     Cute little wards that flutter their teeny-tiny faerie wings until they expire.

     There's no mistaking it when you try to guess which hero this ward is themed after. It is exactly what you can imagine and expect out of Puck's sugary, plum-princess world. The dead giveaway is the signature Faerie Dragon styled wings. This ward features a sort of aura-esque glowing spiral around it which you can barely see in the right screenshot. One of the tinier details I also love is the subtle palette change of the base that the eyeballs fly above. To get a better view of the wards' glowing aura, as well as their animations of flying in action, visit the submission page and watch the preview video (don't forget to watch in HD if you can).

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October 2nd, 2013 - Dota 2 Workshop Highlights of the Day

1. [Juggernaut] Demon Mask "Orochi" by Heeho

     Orochi refers to the legendary eight headed serpent deity featured in ancient Japanese mythology.

     This mask for Yurnero the Juggernaut makes a gracious portrayal of the aforementioned beast. Ever since the mask from the Thousand Faces Set made its debut, it has set a precedent for future masks which this Demon Mask Orochi may have just surpassed. The factors that set this item apart from the rest of the herd are definitely the blue widow's peak frame imitating the jaw of the monster, as well as a sleek and straight facial indication with its menacing eyes and blood dripping line designs. To "top" it all off, the mask also changes Juggernaut's hairstyle into a topknot to further emit an authentic Japanese samurai vibe.

2. [Slark] Trenchstalker Set by Don Don

     This set comes with five items including: a helm, blade, bracer, carapace, and pauldron.

     This set was actually submitted in May which was three months before the currently in game Deep Warden set. What's great about these equips is that they transform Slark's fishy orientation into a full armored lobster. The colors from the items all reflect well with each other giving a very unified purple glow to Slark. Also, the helm actually replaces the view of his eyes into those lobster peepers on the sides. With its special hook blade and lobster tail carapace that flows with the helm, this collection is nothing short of marvelous. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1st, 2013 - Dota 2 Workshop Highlights of the Day

1. [Sven] Strength of the Future Gods by Akaize

     This set comes with six items including: gauntlets, a helm, pauldrons, leg protectors, a belt, as well as a sword. 

     What I like about the set is the overall design philosophy revolving around linking digital scriptures found over the entire armor and weapon. Next, we have a very unique horned helm with its one of a kind defining eye light which bursts out of the helm and glows outside. Keep in mind that these shining properties actually require activation through Sven's ultimate ability, "God's Strength," which you can view through the preview video on the workshop page. Even without the bright details from activating his ultimate, his normal blue mode still provides a very clean, cool, and handsome looking swordsman.

2. [HUD] Power Surge by Coridium

     I am pretty sure this HUD speaks for itself and that it is of great appeal to match with Razor. 

     Not only that, but whenever I play, I'll always try to use an HUD in my inventory which matches the hero I use during that game. I can see myself using this HUD alongside: Razor, Vengeful Spirit, Disruptor, Zeus, Storm Spirit, and Leshrac just to name a few. Accounting for color schemes, it can also match with other blue heroes that have no affiliation to lightning as well. Another interesting characteristic is that there is a lightning sort of jewel which pulses with light around the display. If you look in the description Coridium provides in the workshop post, you can see how he incorporated the ideals of hero fashion from the default models of Razor and Drow Ranger into the HUD too.

October 1st, 2013 - D2 Workshop (Opening)

Welcome to the D2 Workshop Blog!

(Working Title)

       Hello reader! This blog is just something I am trying. I see some promoters of the Dota 2 Workshop, a broadly known one being DotaCinema's top 5 weekly video, and yet when I browse the workshop myself, there are always more of other items and sets that seem deserving of praise and recognition.  Therefore I will try out this blogging thing and post all the diamonds I can find in the rough!