Blog: Designing Deadeye
Deadeye, The Eight Groves' Most Wanted
“I’ll fill your guts fulla arrows!” – Deadeye, The Eight Groves’ Most Wanted
Deadeye is an infamous outlaw with a bounty on her head. With each kill, she becomes stronger and more infamous. Her dual crossbows and explosive arrows make her a force to be reckoned with.
Half elf and half orc, Deadeye was adopted into the elven community of the First Grove as a child and raised as Galadra the trueshot. Accused of her adoptive mother High Warden Naya’s brutal murder, Galadra was narrowly apprehended by Ivy, Warden of the First Grove, losing her right eye in the process and becoming Galadra the deadeye.
Tried and convicted (and likely framed) for the crime, Deadeye staged a bold prison break with help from her long lost brother Copperhead Joe and his Sidewinder gang. On the run from Ivy and the other Wardens, she’s taken over the infamous gang and is seeking vengeance for Joe’s recent assassination at the hands of none other than Midnight, Twilight’s Razor.
Who will triumph when The Eight Groves’ Most Wanted faces off with the Warden of the First Grove? Will Deadeye and the Sidewinder Gang continue their campaign of chaos and revenge against the people of Dusty River? And most importantly: who really killed High Warden Naya and for what dark purpose was Deadeye framed for the crime?
Deadeye is a quick and deadly assassin who lays down serious hurt with her arsenal of skills. Nimbly maneuvering in combat and wielding two ranged weapons with deadly precision, she is weak in close combat and relies on agility as her primary defense and even as a bolster to her offense.
- Infamous (Passive): Killing enemies increases Deadeye’s infamy, adding an infamy stack. When Deadeye acquires 12 stacks, Fill ‘Em with Holes deals damage in a small target area. All infamy is lost after 10s.
- Fill ‘em with Holes (Primary Attack/LMB): Fires 2 rapid-fire shots from her crossbows.
- Bouncing Bomb (Secondary Attack/RMB): Deadeye fires a bouncing bomb that detonates after 3s or when it hits an enemy.
- Elven Razorweed (Unique/Q): Razor-sharp brambles grow in an area in front of Deadeye. Enemies are damaged and slowed when they step on them.
- Ready, Steady, Fire (Epic/E): Deadeye takes a knee and shoots rapid-fire shots for 5s. Can be canceled with movement after 1s of use.
- Outta the Way (Support/L Shift): Deadeye dives in the direction of her movement. After diving, Deadeye gains the Hip Shot buff which increases the damage of her primary attack by +50% while active.
Deadeye may begin the game relatively weak, but once she is able to combine a few weavers together, she can become one of the strongest heroes in the game. There are several different weaver builds Deadeye players could explore to maximize her effectiveness. Here are a couple examples:
Spring-Loaded > Goin' Down in Infamy > Hard Knocks > More Misdeeds
This build looks at maximizing Deadeye’s Primary Attack damage. The chosen Tier 1 and Tier 2 weavers, allow Deadeye to reach her passive threshold much more often. While Hard Knocks gives Deadeye a bit of hard CC so she can keep her enemies at bay while pummeling them with auto attacks. Finally, More Misdeeds allows Deadeye really lay on the damage especially when combined with her passive effects.
Deadlier-Eye > Spurred Boots > Fistful of Brambles > More Misdeeds
If you are in love with Deadeye’s dodge roll, this is the build for you. This build optimizes the effectiveness of Deadeye’s Outta the Way ability. With this combination of weavers, Deadeye gets much more out of her Hip Shot buff. Spurred Boots combined with Fistful of Brambles means Deadeye is able to constantly roll through her enemies dealing tons of damage and providing consistent CC.
There are many more builds available and combinations possible when you play Deadeye but hopefully, those help you out when picking up Deadeye for the first time.
Déadeye Joins The Ranks
Deadeye is a very unique hero who can fit well in almost any team comp. However, here are some tips on when to pick Deadeye and maybe when to avoid her.
- Pick Deadeye when your team lacks damage. If your teammates lock in Ivy and Hogarth, go ahead and lock in Deadeye.
- Pick Deadeye when your team has enough CC but is lacking a good ranged hero. If your teammates lock in Dobbin and Bionka, it’s a good idea to pick Deadeye to help chase those pesky Kobolds and Satyrs.
- Avoid picking Deadeye when your team is lacking CC. If your teammates have picked, for example, Zoey and Cygnus, it might be a better idea to pick someone like Hogarth to add some tankiness and CC to your team comp.
From Concept to Reality
Deadeye is an extremely mobile half-elf/half-orc who wields dual crossbows. Her mobility allows her to keep her distance from her enemies while still dishing out tons of damage. However, The Eight Groves’ Most Wanted wasn’t always the deadly assassin she is today. Though she’s always been envisioned as a dual crossbow-wielding ranged hero, a number of other aspects of her design have shifted. She went through many iterations, changes, and tweaks until we were happy with the design we’re releasing with the next update.
When thinking of a passive for Deadeye, we really wanted something that emphasized the bloodthirsty, vengeful side of her that is evident in her backstory. But we also wanted something that, with some skill, would allow Deadeye players to bolster some of her weaknesses. As an example, Deadeye is fantastic at picking off targets with her high damage primary but she struggles when dealing with large groups of swarming minions. So to achieve both of these things we ended up with her “Infamous” passive. Infamous allows Deadeye gain stacks through killing enemies. Once Deadeye reaches enough consecutive stacks, her primary projectiles begin exploding on impact. For us, this really captured the feeling of Deadeye having to continuously kill her enemies in order to stay powerful.
With Deadeye’s primary attack (left click) we wanted to explore an attack that, while still potent, strayed from our classic attack cadence (think Stinkeye, Cygnus, Ivy, etc.). In that vein, Deadeye’s original primary attack had a 1-2-3-4 ~reload~ 1-2-3-4 cadence. We felt that we had found a unique pattern that really fit the character and provided a different feel to her playstyle. However, early playtests showed us that while we had done something different and interesting, the time she had to wait to reload was doing more to disrupt the flow of the character than enhance her uniqueness. So in changing it to her current 1-2, 1-2, 1-2 cadence, we feel like we kept a part of the distinctive cadence we had previously discovered while also making it flow more easily with the rest of her abilities.
Deadeye’s secondary attack (right click) has gone through a few iterations but has evolved into an ability that feels great and echoes some familiar OMD2 gameplay. In Deadeye’s original secondary attack iteration, she shot six arrows. She shot two at a wide angle, two at a smaller angle, then finally two directly in front of her. The outermost shots did the most damage so the idea was that if Deadeye is facing off with a particularly tough enemy (large minion, mercenary, boss, etc.), she would be able to use this skill shot to deal damage to that large enemy without sacrificing damage on her other enemies. However, we quickly realized that this was much harder to pull off in real games that when we were testing the ability and it wasn’t as fun or tactical as we wanted it to be.
We were also getting feedback that, although Deadeye excelled at dealing tons of damage, she struggled at keeping up with enemies and killing them before they ran past her and into the rift. With that in mind, we wanted to give Deadeye a way to keep her enemies close at hand while she continued to pummel them with damage. That is how Deadeye’s original secondary ability Elven Razorweed was born. Interestingly, when we first imagined the ability we were picturing Deadeye throwing caltrops onto the ground but our awesome artists prototyped some brambles instead and we loved how the brambles reinforced Deadeye’s style and gameplay. With the early development shift from caltrops to the brambles we swapped the skill from RMB to Q for a better feel and flow in combat.
Deadeye’s original Q ability was a Sticky Bomb which, when fired at an enemy, would stick to them and explode after a few seconds. We really loved the feel of this ability when using it on enemies like Bosses or Mercenaries. However, a majority of the time when fighting swarms of minions, the ability did not feel nearly as noticeable or exciting to land. We wanted to keep the AoE aspect of the ability, while making it a little more fun to use in the majority of cases. That is when we decided to explore her current Bouncing Bomb ability. We got great feedback from playtests right away. You may be reminded of the Blunderbuss secondary attack from OMD2 when you use Deadeye’s Bouncing Bomb. Of course, as mentioned earlier, her Bouncing Bomb was swapped with Elven Razorweed and is now a RMB skill rather than Q.
Compared to her other skills we went through far fewer challenges with Deadeye’s Epic ability, Ready, Steady, Fire. We had some early feedback from players that they didn’t want to be able to cancel the ability, wanted to move during the ability, or wanted to be able to rotate a full 360owhile shooting. These were all things we explored during development but each of them had their own problems. Overall, we really liked what we ended up with. We felt that although the ability requires planning and skillful positioning it is an extremely powerful ability and rewarding ability when executed well.
Deadeye’s development began before we had any sort of dash or mobility system in OMDU, though we had known for a while that we wanted to add that kind of functionality to our heroes, including Deadeye. One of our talented hero programmers, Paul Renton (you may remember him from the Tundra blog), took up yet another challenge and implemented an awesome, robust mobility skill system for us to use on our heroes. Deadeye was our first hero to actually make use of the mobility skill system though others (we’re looking at you, Midnight and Temper) were released earlier. But because she was the first to actually use the system, there were tons of initial challenges in trying to get the Deadeye’s dodge to feel right including how the camera moves, how fast Deadeye herself moves, how far Deadeye dodges, and many more elements that come together to make the whole experience.
Deadeye is a really fun and unique hero who brings new, exciting ways to continue killing hordes of orcs. But when playing Deadeye keep in mind that although she can dish out damage with the best of them, she is fairly squishy, so using her dodge roll at the right times and in the right directions can mean the difference between life and death. And even though she may feel weak at the beginning of the game, once Deadeye starts gaining levels and weavers, with the right combinations, she can become a killing machine. With that said, we hope you guys have as much fun playing Deadeye as we have had developing her and we’re excited to hear your feedback.
Original Art Design
Deadeye’s art concepts have held very constant throughout the design process, but we wanted to share a few of the early design variations.
The crossbow has been a cornerstone of her design from the beginning and features prominently in the earliest art, though earlier designs hinged around a single crossbow.
Her renegade look has also been very consistent, complete with some pretty sweet mohawks, leading to the final design we have today.
Designing Deadeye Insider Access
Interested in learning more about Deadeye? Tune in to OrcsMustDie.tv on Thursday at 3:00 p.m Central for a special “Designing Deadeye” Insider Access episode. Harmonia will be joined by Tudd to discuss all things Deadeye!