BlizzCon 2013 – Heroes of the Storm Overview Panel Transcript

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Arthas

How they are gonna play this Arthas the Lich king. This guy has got to be absolutely amazing. He has got a feel like you are in command, of one of the most deadly villains that has ever stock the north ways of Azeroth.

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So here’s all these different versions, that we had of this character over the years and this is the real challenge I think for the art guys, try to capture the essence of this character into serve a single vision of what they are trying to get done.

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And this the version we have of this guy today.

Didier: So here is the Heroes of the Storm version of Arthas. FOR THE LICH KING! Yeah!

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So what was kind of funny was we have been saying was that we had years of concept material for this guy. We didn’t really have to lift up a pencil or push a pixel to help define this guy.

The years and years of Blizzard artists doing this have already helped us. So what we did is take the iconic elements of Arthas the Lich King: the crown, Frostmourne, the black armor with the skulls and the cool spiky shoulder patch.

We took elements of every single one of the Arthas concepts and just sort picked our favorite ones and put them all together and now we have our “Heroes of the Storm” Arthas here.

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Browder: So it comes to the gameplay. We want to try to match what these guys have done with the art. So we want Arthas to be a slayer. This guys is a killer. He is really tough, but he can take a lot of damage; but he needs to have power to wipe out his enemies as well.

So we are sort of putting a lot of abilities in the game, that allows Arthas and encourages them to hunt down and kills his enemies. Arthas likes to steal the souls of the enemies that he kills, and they will follow him into battle.

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So you really want to be hunting down enemies’ heroes. We have an idea that we are playing with right now in Heroes of the Storm, where you can chose your own heroic ability, and one of the reasons we do this is because these characters are so big that it is sort of hard to contain them inside one single set of powers. So we give you choices of multiple powers.

So we have got Sindragosa this giant frost breathing dragon, undead dragon that will sweep across your enemies. If you don’t like Sindragosa, you can choose to summon the army of the dead and lead all of your frozen Ghouls into the battle as you attack your enemies.

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Didier: As a little tribute to some of the Warcraft III fans out there… anyone out there WarCraft III players?

[The crowd cheers]

Alright. So nobody. So I’ll explain. So basically if you check out this slide here, this is prince Arthas before the fall. You notice he has Frostmourne there; but he is sitting there all beautiful with this long blonde hair — just looking all princely and everything and that’s one of the fun things about this game art-wise.

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We can even go back to some of the characters from the past or what they use to be and then you know, what they are now. Prince Arthas here — it is still Arthas; but everybody know that he has a sort of a dark side of him about ready to come out when they see this skin.

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Sigaty: Yeah, no spoilers damn it.

Elite Tauren Chieftain

Browder: Alright, let’s talk about one of my favorite characters in the entire Blizzard multiverse, Elite Tauren Chieftain. Do we have any fans of ETC out there right now?

We know he is very famous. That comes as no surprise to us that I actually have three members of the Elite Tauren Chieftain band here on stage with me today. Three guys from this amazing band that often has these other bands close for you guys right, you have occasionally some bands combine.

They finished what you guys start. This is been a character that I think has been absolutely a wonderful part of the Blizzard universes. What do you guys think makes this character really work? What do you think makes ETC fun for Blizzard fans?

Sigaty: Well, I can’t speak on whether it works or not because I know musically there is a lot to be desired, but as far as what we were trying to do with ETC and Elite Tauren Chieftain is capture some of the mirth and some of the fun that’s always present in the Blizzard games, going back to Warcraft II, clicking on your orc grunt, trying to get to his pissed lines, and heard funny lines. That click on the sheep 100 times, and making it explode.

Didier: Yeah actually, sheeps exploding is actually what the band sounds like.

(crowd laughs)

Sigaty: That’s accurate, that pretty much accurate.

Didier: Well-done.

Sigaty: I want to describe it accurately, right? … but that’s the point of it; and whether it always comes across, we want that in Heroes of the Storm and I think that’s what this is speaking to or trying to do.

Browder: Awesome. Here is ETC in Heroes of the Storm.

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Didier: Something for the Alliance fans to kill whenever they see.

Browder: This character is absolutely awesome in-game. He is a very high-end mobility kind of warrior character. He can move quickly around the battlefield. He’s got the ability to heal himself if he gets in trouble.

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Since he’s moving quickly — you can imagine he gets in trouble quite a little bit — so he needs an ability to stay in the action and protect himself when gets into trouble.

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He’s also got one of the most fun heroic abilities in the game called Stage Dive. He leaps off from wherever he’s at. He flies across the battlefield and lands in any other location.

So you can absolutely surprise the opposition appearing absolutely out of nowhere, to jump on the enemy.

The other ability has his Mosh Pit and this is the ability to sort of rock out for a minute and have everybody nearby, all of the enemies stop and have a little dance.

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Didier: I was just going to say, I think he has two more fans in the real band does.

Sigaty: Once again accurate.

Browder: Alright, you see we have got two heroes here. Two warrior heroes; but they are very different heroes.

Arthas is a lot slower. A lot tougher. A lot about dealing out the damage, as opposed to the Elite Tauren Chieftain, who can move rapidly around the battlefield, and really bring the fight to the enemy.

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That’s one of our big goals for this game when it comes to the designing of these heroes. Both artistically and in terms of how we build them in the game.

We want all of them to be as unique and special; and feel like you are playing a different character that you can possibly manage when you sit-down to play.

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Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003 posting news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Next-Gen MMO, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews of Blizzard licensed products. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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