In days long past (before September 27th, 2016) Nazeebo’s AAs applied damage over time to all targets, heroes included.
I think it’s time we bring that back. It would actually allow Nazeebo to trade a little bit in lane. Currently his whole kit is a little undertuned, and with as much self-sustain and healing as are in the game in the current meta, Naz just can’t keep up. Too much of his power budget is baked into Vile Infection.
In the current metagame, Nazeebo is a hero who is weak early game and strong late game. This archetype is viable and desirable for a healthy, diverse metagame. Heroes like Zul’Gin, The Butcher, and even Zeratul fall into this archetype.
Zul’Gin and The Butcher scale based off of attacking and killing the enemy.
Zeratul has a somewhat weak base kit, but his heroic abilities and level 16 and 20 talents are very strong.
However, Nazeebo is unique among heroes in this archetype, in that his power spike is entirely dependent on a level 20 talent, which means he comes on-line later than any hero in the game. Not only that, but it’s a level 20 quest talent, so sometimes he just NEVER come online, since his other level 20s are incomparably weak next to Vile Infection.
So just based on hero design, you’re playing the first 19 levels at a disadvantage and hoping that the huge power spike will allow the team to pull a comeback.
I think it’s time to shift some of that power around, so the team isn’t at SUCH a deficit.
Idea the first: Let Naz’s AA dot apply to enemy heroes. It would at least let him trade damage a little bit better and help his damage before level 20. Probably have to nerf the extra damage on Vile Infection to compensate for the extra early game power, but I think this is better for the health of the hero.
Idea the second: Give Nazeebo the Stitches/Muradin treatment. There is NEVER a situation to take a level 20 other than Vile Infection, unless you’re not going to finish Vile Infection anyway. In cases where you have the requisite stacks, it is 100% the pick. So if you have a talent that is ALWAYS the pick, why not give it to him baseline? You could even parse out the damage upgrades over time (maybe DoTs vs heroes at level 10, or maybe 30% of the total bonus at level 10, so he’s got a smoother power curve).
Idea the third: Make the full Vile Infection questline baseline. This is probably the wildest suggestion, 'cause you could get 175 stacks by level 16 or so on maps like Tomb if you really focus on it, so I think it would be too strong as-is. But it would put Naz’s design more in-line with heroes like The Butcher and Zul’Gin, where he can scale faster if the team gets ahead.
Additionally, again you could dole out fractional rewards at different stack levels.
(this also has the added benefit over option #2 in that you still get stack dings for killing minions. Lowkey one of the best part of playing Naz is the consistent dings).
I love Nazeebo; he’s still one of my highest level ranged assassins, but I think he, and the game as a whole, could benefit from a flattening of his power curve.