World Editor FAQ: Abilities
What are abilities?
A: Abilities modify the capabilities of a unit. Items can have abilities, but they don't do anything until a hero picks them up, and then they give their abilities to the hero.
What are buffs and effects?
A: Buffs and effects appear in game as the result of abilities. Buffs are attached to units and effects are not. Buffs can alter a unit's statistics (like Bloodlust), do damage (like Starfall), or prevent a unit from being affected by an ability twice (like the "being healed" buff from statues). Effects just look pretty.
How do I edit abilities, buffs, or effects?
A: Go to "Module->Object Editor" and click on the tab for the type you want to edit.
What parts of an ability can I change?
A: You can change targets, graphics, sound, damage, unit ids, range, levels, and other similar values. You cannot change the basic logic of the spell through the spell editor. You need to use triggers to change spell logic.

For example you could:
  • Change Bloodlust to decrease unit speed.
  • Make Starfall a unit ability.
  • Make Raise Dead summon 1 zombie.

    However you could not (without triggers):
  • Add a stun effect to Mana Burn.
  • Make Death Coil area of effect.
  • Make an aura that turns units into sheep.
  • Q:
    What parts of a buff can I change?
    A: Buffs inherit most of their effects from the ability that created them, so edit that ability to change those effects. To edit the graphics, sounds, or descriptions of a buff you can use the "Buffs/Effects" tab of the object editor.
    How do I use negative numbers?
    A: In the main editor window go to "File->Preferences->General" and check "Allow negative real values in object editor".
    How many abilities can I have on the same object?
  • 4 abilities on an item
  • 5 hero abilities on a hero
  • large number of unit abilities on a unit or hero
  • Q:
    Why are the icons for my two abilities both using the same slot?
    A: This happens when you have two abilities with the same base order ID. This will always happen if you have two custom abilities with the same base ability on the same hero. For the Channel and Spellbook abilities you can change the "Base Order ID" field, so you can have several versions of the ability on the same hero. You can't do this for most abilities though.
    How do I make an ability that fires when the hero attacks?
    A: Base your ability off of "Abilites->Special->Item->Orb of Lightning (New)". Give it the Effect Ability you want to go off and then the % chance you want it to go off.
    How do I make a multiple-level morphing ability with different forms at each level?
    A: You can't. You could fake it by adding/removing abilities through triggers.
    What are the "Channel" and "Charge Gold and Lumber" abilities for?
    A: The neutral hostile hero ability "Channel" and the neutral hostile unit ability "Charge Gold and Lumber" have no game effect (other than costs and hero animations). They are meant to be used in conjunction with triggers. You can create a trigger event that fires when one of the abilities is used, then have the trigger create the effect of the ability.
    What does the "Stats - Area of Effect" entry do for morphing abilities?
    A: That field determines the search radius that the pathing system will use to find an appropriate landing spot for ground-air morphing units. Just leave it at -1.
    How do I make custom caster upgrades (like "Shaman Adept Training") that go up to "master"?
    A: Right now, the Map Editor ignores the "Techtree - Requirements - Levels" field for non-default values. You can work around this using triggers.

    1. Create two different upgrades, one for adept and one for master, each with only one level. Associate the appropriate spell with the appropriate upgrade, and give both upgrades to your caster building.
    2. Go to "Scenario->Upgrade Properties" (in the main window, not in the Object Editor), and disable the master upgrade.
    3. Make this trigger:
    Event: Unit - A unit finishes research 
    Condition: (Researched Tech-Type) is equal to "Adept Level Caster Upgrade" 
    Actions: Player - Set Maximum research level of "Master Level Caster Upgrade" to 1 for (Owner of (Triggering Unit)) 
    Why don't my orb or life steal abilities stack?
    A: If a hero has more than one of these abilities, only one of them will work:

  • orb abilities
  • life Steal
  • Impaling Attack
  • Cleaving Blow

    This is as intended, it is meant to keep heroes balanced in melee games.
  • Q:
    How do I make the Corrupted Ancients from the RoC campaigns look in the direction they're attacking in TFT?
    A: Create two new abilities, one based on Root(Ancients) and one based on Root(Ancient Protector). Set the field value 'Rooted Turning' to true. Then give the Corrupted Ancients their respective ability instead of their normal Root.
    How can I make a unit unselectable and invulnerable?
    A: Give the unit the "locust" ability.