I have thinking about this idea for quite a while. The post made by @glosskilos
inspired me to finally post my thoughts on this issue.
Suggestion: Enable lords and heroes on foot to enter infantry units. This is called ”Commanding” a unit in any further mentions.
Reason behind the suggestion: Foot characters are not viable in the current and past metagame compared to characters with accompanying mounts. Their low speed and mass usually makes them easy targets for goon squads and characters on mounts.
The introduction of ”Commanders” could potentially increase the survivability and viability of characters on foot. This might help solving the inherent balance issue of characters on foot compared to those with horse-like mounts and flying mounts.
How does it work?
1. Click on a lord or a hero
2. Click on the new button called ”Command unit”
3. Select the targeted unit that you wish to command
4. The lord will start to run towards the center of the selected unit. Every X seconds the game checks where the center of the unit is and the lords destination is changed to match the new centre.
5. The lord enters the middle of the unit.
6. The potrait of the lord now placed ”on top” of the commanded unit and a "horn icon" is added according to figure 1.
7. Any command given to the unit will also affect the lord. The lord moves at the same speed as the unit and keeps the position in the middle of the unit, as if it was an ordinary soldier. The commanded unit moves at the slowest speed among the unit and the lord.
8. The lord cannot take any actions other than casting spells, using its special abilities and clicking on the ”Abandon unit” button, which stops the lord from commanding the unit.
9. The lord cannot be targeted as a target for ranged attacks, spells or melee engagements. Instead it functions as any of the other soldiers in the unit, except for its special abilities and separate statistics.
10. Any spell which is cast on the commanded unit is duplicated on the lord. This affects friendly buffs as well as enemy debuffs. Magic missiles and aoe abilities are NOT duplicated. Character abilities are NOT duplicated.
11. If either the unit or the lord starts routing, the unit and lord is separated and function as usual.
12. A symbol appears above the commanded unit, telling you and your opponent if it is commanded by a hero or a lord.
13. A lord or hero with stalk or unspottable will not show the commanding symbol until the lord is spotted. A lord or hero which becomes stealthed when the enemy has LOS of the commanded unit will remove the commanding symbol until the ”commander” (add this to the rest of the document!) becomes visible. The commanding symbol reappears when the commander becomes visible again.
Why is this useful?
1. Improves survivability of foot lords and heroes against focused ranged fire and goon squads as they are not directly targetable. No change in survivability against single target direct damage spells (spirit leech, soul stealer), but lost value due to spell duplication.
2. The ability to use strong, single target, buffs on both unit and lord (e.g. occan mind razor, fists of gork). Debatable whether or not healing can be used to heal both the unit and the lord with a single cast.
3. Improves the survivability of heroes and lords (commanders) with stalk. Check reason 13 in the paragraph above. A commander like Tretch could potentially become unspottable and disengage from the unit leaving the enemy wondering if he is still commanding the unit or not. Also, he could be stealthed before the enemy has vision of the unit.
4. Introduces a novel feature in the game that could increase immersion in the campaign/battles. This would make it more fresh and improve the lifespan of the title. Examples are: Alith Anar commanding a unit of shadow walkers would be very fun and nicely fit the theme of the faction. Grimgor Ironhide commanding his Immortulz. Sigwald leading the mirrorguard.
1. Lords and heroes cannot initiate ”Command unit” if the targeted unit is engaged in melee combat. The same is valid for a unit which is firing missiles.
2. Mounted/Monstrous characters cannot command units.
3. Huge lords or heroes such as Durthu and Kholek Suneater cannot command units.
4. Available "command" targets: Infantry and foot missile troops.
5. ”Command unit” has a 120s cooldown and a 60s cooldown for ”Abandon unit” starts when the lord enters the center of the commanded unit.]