Something need doing? Yes, please add the Orc Peon to the Nexus, I have been waiting for years! I want to play a dedicated builder hero that provides map-wide utility, wave clear, siege and team support via building his own unique structures and repairing baseline ones.
In some ways, he would play a similar role to Abathur: a squishy, individually weak hero that requires preparation and map awareness to eventually overwhelm the enemy team if left unchecked. However, where Abby is comfortable hiding in a base or bush and influencing events from afar, the Peon must run out into the lanes and get his pickaxe dirty.
Building and repairing structures should require a resource that is unique to the Peon (I think Gold is fitting) that he collects from enemy minions and when hitting/destroying enemy structures (a nod to Pillage from WC3). The Peon should only be able to carry so much Gold at a time to prevent abuse like endless repair etc. (the sack slung over his shoulder can only hold so much!) and he loses a portion of it every time he dies. This will effectively put a target on his back, like a questing Butcher, giving another way for the enemy team to punish him.
With Gold, the Peon can build structures to influence the game in a variety of ways: barracks to extra lane minions, watch towers for vision, siege and offense, spiked walls to reinforce the base or to cut off key chokepoints to objectives, maybe even some sort of mini-well for healing/buffs! There is a lot of freedom here and the devs could get creative in coming up with the chosen buildings and what utility/buffs/mechanics they provide.
Obviously, structures should require a building time for balance purposes and I envision the Peon is, for all mechanical intent, channeling these structures into existence. Therefore, he cannot move and can be interrupted while building (though the current progress/health of the building should remain where it was left off like in Warcraft) and, of course, he can cancel building at any time and return to finish it later.
A crazy idea to make his frequent channel times less boring is introduce a mini-game mechanic where the player must press timed button prompts that represent the Peon needing different Orcy build materials like wood, nails, spikes, etc. Think playing DDR but you’re using your Q, W, E, R keys (just a funny thought I had lol). Regardless, this will make the Peon a strong set up character, perhaps even stronger than Gazlowe or Probius, but at the cost of struggling in dynamic team fights where building structures will be easily punished.
Lastly, the Peon should also be able to spend Gold to repair the game’s baseline structures (forts, keeps, core, etc.) and should be the only hero in the game capable of doing so. M.U.L.E. has been removed from every hero that previously had it as a talent option except Abathur and I strongly advocate (whether Peon gets added to the game or not) that it be removed from him as well. Firstly, it is not thematic for a Zerg to summon a Terran tech and, unless a building is getting actively sieged, provides little counter play options to the enemy team. Being able to point and click to repair damaged structures anywhere on the map every 60 seconds for free is quite strong and honestly obnoxious.
In contrast, the Peon must physically travel to the damaged building and choose to spend time and Gold repairing it. This provides the enemy team with more counter play options: overwhelming the area and forcing him to retreat or simply ganking him before he ever gets there. The Peon player is also forced to choose between spending Gold on repairing a structure or building a new one to help the team somewhere else. I feel this would make the Peon’s ability to repair structures (an incredibly powerful utility option to stay in the game) well balanced and fair.
Overall, I think the Peon would be a fun hero to play who could have a unique gameplay role via using buildings to empower map control, siege and serving as the game’s only “Structure Support” hero. He could alter the landscape of any map by building structures that empower your allies and inhibit your enemies.
Like a true Peon of the Horde, you are working tirelessly (between nap break, of course), with the power of Zug Zug and your trusty pickaxe, to carry your team to victory. Ready to work!!