Heroes of the Storm – Dev Q&A Part 4 Transcript

I have added the transcript of the Heroes of the Storm Developer Q&A Part 4 which took place on March 19, 2014. Hope you have fun finding out details straight from the developers: Dustin Browder, Matt Cooper and Richard Khoo.

Transcript

Tychus: I was told this suit would be my prison. Suits me just fine. I have been called a lot of things, a renegade. An outlaw. Guilty as charged. Makes life exciting. You never know who or — err what — will be on your side. So when the Nexus team called it, there was only one thing to say: “Hell, it’s about time!”

Kevin: What is up guys? My name is Kevin Johnson, and we are here at Blizzard Entertainment for our fourth live Dev Q&A. What you just saw was the Tychus trailer from our #TychusWeek focus last week. Welcome to Blizzard. We are very excited for our fourth show with you today. We are going to be talking about the talent system in Heroes of the Storm. Where it came from, where it is now and possibly where it is headed in the future.

From the Bullpen: Team XP and Leveling

Dustin Browder Shares Thoughts on Team Leveling and XP in Heroes of the Storm

When we first set out to make Heroes of the Storm, we had an idea of how the game should play. We imagined Support characters as pure healers moving to help their allies. We imagined Siege characters (now called Specialists) charging into battle, and clearing away enemy armies and fortifications with ease to make way for friendly forces. We imagined heroes claiming objectives like the Dragon Knight, or collecting Doubloons to gain the power of characters like the undead pirate, Blackheart.

 

When we first started, we had individual hero leveling like many games in the genre. We liked how it forced players to split up into different locations, and coming together was a cost and a risk. We also liked how individual experience rewarded players for doing well, and really encouraged players to do their best; knowing that they were falling behind if they started to give away too many victories.

 

We made a large number of tweaks to this system to make Support and Siege heroes work with individual leveling, and everything worked. –but then we ran into Abathur. Here was a hero who never went into battle at all. He hid back in base, and attacked the enemy from afar. This helped inspire us to consider the possibility of more extreme heroes in the future. What if we had more heroes who supported the team in strange ways?

 

We were also running into trouble where players didn’t want to leave a battle in order to engage with a map objective or help an ally. Moving to capture a Dragon Shrine was a very risky move if it cost you experience and you fell behind in levels. Players were too fearful to move away from enemy minions to actually engage with the various locations and characters on our Battlegrounds. When we played, we noticed that the players that were actually doing the most to help their team by fighting over Battleground objectives were often several levels behind.

 

Moving from one part of the Battleground to another to heal an ally or kill an enemy was also risky.  If you did it too often you would find yourself behind in levels. With individual leveling, all players had to stay in a lane next to a battle most of the time.

 

This was not the freeform strategic experience we were hoping for.

 

We started to experiment with team leveling. In this new system, many elements (like killing towns) give map-wide experience to the whole team, even if there is nobody near the town when it is destroyed. Enemy minions give experience so long as someone is nearby to collect the experience. If you have two heroes near an enemy minion when it dies you do not collect double experience. As long as you have a single hero next to a battle you are collecting the maximum experience from that battle for your team.

 

Team leveling solved a lot of problems for our game. Characters like Abathur just worked. All of our Battlegrounds were suddenly alive with possibility. Players had the freedom to go where they wanted to go, when they wanted to go there, with the knowledge that their allies were helping them by collecting the experience that minions created. At any given time one to three players on each team could be anywhere they wanted to be. They were free to roam to help their team, kill enemies, or complete map objectives with full knowledge that their allies were still getting maximum experience from the Battleground.

 

Teams that try to send all five players to one location can continue to do so, but at a severe cost.  If the other team is split up, the team that is all-in at one location will find itself falling behind in levels.

 

In the end, this was what it was all about. Creating an environment where it was easy to cross lanes to help one another, or kill an enemy. We want an environment where you can all run to a Cursed Hollow tribute, or everyone can do a mad-dash for a Dragon Shrine, secure in the knowledge that your allies have your back.

 

I hope that helps people understand what we are doing, and why. As always, your feedback for our Alpha is greatly appreciated, and has already helped us make Heroes of the Storm a better game.

 

Free Hero Rotation – Mar 25 – Apr 1, 2014

Spyrian posted the new weekly free-to-play Hero rotation for the week of March 25 through April 1. I added in parenthesis below their role.

We’re currently in the process of updating the free-to-play hero rotation with a set of six fresh heroes, who will stand ready to start smashing towers at a moment’s notice once Heroes is back online. We’ll bring in a new set of free-to-play heroes every Tuesday, and you can check out your free heroes for this week below.

Week of Tuesday, Mar. 25 – April 1, 2014

  • Tyrande (Ranged Support)
  • Stitches (Melee Warrior)
  • Diablo (Melee Warrior)
  • Tychus (Ranged Assassin)
  • Kerrigan (Melee Assassin)
  • Nova (Ranged Assassin)

In addition to refreshing the hero rotation, today’s update also brings a number balance changes to Heroes of the Storm. Find out what’s changed in our Balance Update thread.

This post will be updated each week during the Tech Alpha whenever we refresh the free hero rotation, and you can expect the next set of free heroes on Tuesday, April 1 (and no, that’s not an April Fool’s joke!) Make sure to do some brawling with this week’s roster before they rotate out of the pool!

If you’d like to see hero rotations from previous weeks, we’ll be posting them as replies to this thread.

 

Heroes of the Storm – Tyrael Week Spotlight Trailer

If you thought that last week’s #TychusWeek was a one-time thing, you were wrong. It seems Blizzard Entertainment is planning to release a weekly spotlight video of each hero, and that’s kinda awesome upon itself considering there are 23 heroes in Tech Alpha, and many more yet to be revealed.

This week the spotlight falls upon Tyrael, in celebration of the release date of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.

Heroes of the Storm Tech Alpha Balance Update #1 – Mar. 25, 2014

Blizzard Entertainment has released a new Weekly Hero Rotation along with balance fixes across several Heroes.

heroes-of-the-storm-logo-685x200

We’ve brought the Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha down today in order to refresh the weekly free hero rotation and make the balance changes listed below. Thank you for all the great feedback you’ve provided during alpha testing thus far. We hope you’ll try out these changes in-game and share your input with us soon!

General

Mercenaries

Knights

  • Knight Health reduced by 20%
  • Time between Knight and Sorcerer attacks increased from 1.0 to 1.25

Heroes

General

  • Focused Attack talent bonus to Basic Attack damage increased from +30% to +50%

Abathur

  • Symbiote no longer persists during a killed Hero’s post-death state (Uther/Tyrael)
  • Fixed a bug which granted Hero clones created by Ultimate Evolution more Health and damage than intended.

Gazlowe

  • Fixed a bug which unintentionally granted increased damage for all abilities while in Robo-Goblin form.

Raynor

  • Hyperion duration reduced from 15 to 12 seconds
  • Hyperion volley damage gain per level decreased from 24 to 20

Sgt. Hammer

  • Base vision radius increased by 2

Uther

  • Divine Storm cooldown increased from 45 to 70 seconds
  • Hurricane talent
    • Bonus stun duration removed
    • Now decreases Divine Storm cooldown from 70 to 50 seconds
  • Eternal Devotion
    • Base duration increased from 7 to 10 seconds
    • Holy Devotion talent no longer increases Eternal Devotion duration
  • Hammer of Justice damage gain per level decreased from 14 to 10
  • The Regeneration Master talent has been replaced with Path of the Wizard
    • Witch Doctor

      • Voodoo Ritual changed from 20 +1 Health per level and 5 Mana restored to 1% Health and Mana restored.
      • Gargantuan Health increased from 1000 + 100 per level to 1400 +140 per level

 

Malfurion build

Malfurion build used in HGC and other Heroes of the Storm eSports events by the top pro gamers in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Malfurion build – eSports

iakona - SuperStars HGC NA - Phase 2 Part 2 - Game 1 – Even in Death v Superstars -- Sept 2

Scouting Drone

Elune's Grace

Hindering Moonfire

Twilight Dream

Ice Block

Tenacious Roots

Rewind
jun - Tempo Storm HGC NA - Phase 2 Part 2 - Game 2 - Gale Force eSports v Tempo Storm -- Sept 1

Moonburn

Full Moonfire

Lunar Shower

Twilight Dream

Ice Block

Tenacious Roots

Astral Communion
jun - Tempo Storm HGC 2017 Europe Open Division Cup 13 Finals - Leftovers vs Bushido e-Sports -- Aug 29

Moonburn

Full Moonfire

Lunar Shower

Twilight Dream

Ice Block

Tenacious Roots

Astral Communion

Tychus build

Tychus build used in HGC and other Heroes of the Storm eSports events by the top pro gamers in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Tychus build – eSports

Prismaticism - Roll20 HGC NA - Phase 2 Part 2 - Game 3 – Superstars v Roll20 eSports -- Sept 3

Press the Advantage

In the Rhythm

Quarterback

Commandeer Odin

Neosteel Coating

Armor Piercing Rounds

Big Red Button
mora - BlossoM HGC KR - Phase 2 Part 1 - Game 4 - BlossoM v MVP Miracle -- Jul 22

Press the Advantage

The bigger they are...

Relentless Soldier

Commandeer Odin

Spray 'n' Pray

Armor Piercing Rounds

Big Red Button

Valla build

Valla build used in HGC and other Heroes of the Storm eSports events by the top pro gamers in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Valla build – eSports

sCsC - L5 HGC KR - Phase 2 Part 2 - Game 2 – Tempest v L5 -- Sept 9

Hot Pursuit

Punishment

Arsenal

Strafe

Tempered by Discipline

Frost Shot

Farflight Quiver
Equinox - Spacestation HGC NA - Phase 2 Part 2 - Game 3 - Spacestation Gaming v Gale Force eSports -- Sept 8

Monster Hunter

Puncturing Arrow

Repeating Arrow

Strafe

Siphoning Arrow

Frost Shot

Farflight Quiver
Cris - Playing Ducks HGC EU - Phase 2 Part 2 - Game 1 - Playing Ducks v Team expert -- Sept 8

Monster Hunter

Puncturing Arrow

Repeating Arrow

Rain of Vengeance

Siphoning Arrow

Manticore

Farflight Quiver
snitch - Dignitas HGC EU - Phase 2 Part 2 - Game 5 - Team expert v Team Dignitas -- Sept 3

Hot Pursuit

Punishment

Arsenal

Strafe

Gloom

Frost Shot

Farflight Quiver

 

Falstad Build

Falstad build used in HGC winning matches in USA, Europe, and Asia. Falstad hails from the World of Warcraft universe. He is a ranged assassin in Heroes of the Storm. The terror of the skies.

Falstad Build – eSports

Quackniix - Fnatic HGC EU - Phase 2 Part 2 - Game 3 - Tricked esport v Fnatic -- Sept 3

Seasoned Marksman

Hammer Gains

BOOMerang

Mighty Gust

Giant Killer

Afterburner

Epic Mount
k1pro - Gale Force HGC NA - Phase 2 Part 2 - Game 3 - Gale Force Esports v Even in Death -- Aug 26

Seasoned Marksman

Hammer Gains

BOOMerang

Mighty Gust

Giant Killer

Afterburner

Epic Mount
Sake - MVP Black HGC Eastern Clash - Day 3 Game 1 - CE v MVP Black -- Aug 13

Seasoned Marksman

Hammer Gains

Secret Weapon

Mighty Gust

Giant Killer

Afterburner

Epic Mount
Xuyu - CE HGC Eastern Clash - Day 2 Game 1 - Team Face Check v CE -- Aug 12

Seasoned Marksman

Hammer Gains

BOOMerang

Mighty Gust

Giant Killer

Afterburner

Epic Mount

Falstad Features

ABILITIES

Hammerang

Throw out a Hammer that returns to Falstad, dealing 126 damage and slowing enemies by 25% for 2 sec.

Mana: 70
Cooldown: 10 sec

Lightning Rod

Deal 111 damage to an enemy, and an additional 78 damage per sec for 4 sec while close to the target.

Mana: 70
Cooldown: 15 sec

Barrel Roll

Dashes forward and grants a 178 point Shield for 3 sec..

Mana: 75
Cooldown: 14 sec

Tailwind (Trait)

Gain 15% increased Movement Speed after not taking damage for 6 sec.

Cooldown: 6 sec
falstad-portrait

Backstory

Falstad Wildhammer is the High Thane of the Wildhammer Clan and a founding member of the Council of Three Hammers that now presides over Ironforge. Despite wild speculation, Falstad has never been dead and anyone who claims such is a liar.



Description

Able to strike enemies from afar and fly over any terrain. Uses abilities to avoid damage or destroys his enemies.

Store Cost: 312 | heroes-of-the-storm-gold-icon 7000

Role: Ranged Assassin

Difficulty: Hard



Origin

falstad-store-thumbnailFalstad was originally introduced in the novel Warcraft: Day of the Dragon (reprinted in the WarCraft Archive).

During the Second War, the old Horde captured Alexstrasza (the Queen of the Red Dragonflight) and enslaved her brethren to use them as aerial siege weapons against the Alliance. Rhonin was sent by Krasus and the Council of Six to infiltrate Grim Batol in order to rescue the dragon. Falstad Wildhammer assisted Rhonin the mage and Vereesa Windrunner in that mission, and earned the respect of the Red Dragonflight.

Throughout World of Warcraft until the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, Falstad was an NPC located at the Aerie Peak in The Hinterlands. In the Cataclysm expansion, the NPC was moved to the throne room of Ironforge as one of the members of the Council of Three Hammers.

Cameos:

"Agh? I'm yer' dwarf!"

"The wind at ma' back, and a monster 'tween my legs! Errrr..."

"Do a barrel role, eh?"

"(fart noises) Ewww! Man alive, Swiftwing! Did you eat a ghoul again?"

"(Upset stomach rumbling) Look out below, we've got a sick gryphon here!"

"It's nice ta' get out of Ironforge. I dunna' how those Bronzebeards can stand that cave."

"Rumors of me' death have been greatly exaggerated."

"Um, you didn't happen to see a little guy in a red shirt around here, did 'ya? He's always watchin' me..."

"In my day, it took serious dedication to ride a gryphon. Nowadays, even gnomes are doing it!"

"Thank you for flying Wildhammer Aerie-lines. Your in-flight entertainment today will be The Perfect Storm-Hammer"

"Flight attendant, me' mug is empty!"


Falstad Talents

Gathering StormQuest: Every time Hammerang hits a Hero increase its damage by 1.5.
Seasoned MarksmanQuest: Every Minion killed near you grants 0.2 Attack Damage, and Takedowns grant 0.5 Attack Damage.

Reward: Upon gaining 40 bonus Attack Damage, you can also activate Seasoned Marksman to increase your Attack Speed by 40% for 3 sec. 60 sec cooldown.
WingmanEnemy Minions killed near Falstad grant a stack of Bribe. Falstad can use 20 stacks to bribe a Mercenary, instantly defeating them and permanently increasing the damage of Lightning Rod by 5%. Does not work on Bosses. Max of 80 stacks.
Static ShieldGain a Shield equal to 4% of Falstad's max Health after every Lightning Rod strike. Lasts 4 sec and stacks.
UpdraftIncreases Barrel Roll's range, Shield amount and Shield duration by 40%.
Hammer GainsBasic Attacks heal for 20% of the damage dealt to the primary target.
Secret WeaponIncreases Hammerang's range by 30% and Basic Attacks deal 60% bonus damage while Hammerang is in flight.
BOOMerangReactivate Hammerang mid-flight to deal 217 damage around the hammer.
Charged UpIncreases the number of Lightning Rod strikes by 2 and its range by 25%.
Hinterland BlastAfter 1 sec, deal 756 damage to enemies within a long line. The cooldown is reduced by 25 sec for every enemy Hero hit.

Mana: 100
Cooldown: 120
Mighty GustPush enemies away, and slow their Movement Speed by 40% decaying over 4 sec.

Mana: 70
Cooldown: 60
ThunderstrikesLightning Rod deals 20% more damage each subsequent strike.
Flow RiderWhile Tailwind is active, Falstad's Basic Abilities recharge 100% faster.
Giant KillerBasic Attacks against enemy Heroes deal bonus damage equal to 1.5% of the Hero's max Health.
Crippling HammerIncreases Hammerang's slow from 25% to 50%.
Aerie GustsReduces the activation time for Tailwind from 6 to 3 sec, and increases the Movement Speed bonus from 15% to 25%.
AfterburnerBarrel Roll increases Movement Speed by 60%, decaying over 3 sec.
Call of the WildhammerHinterland Blast has double the range and deals 25% more damage.
Wind TunnelMighty Gust creates a wind tunnel for 4 sec. Enemies caught in the tunnel will periodically be pushed back.
Nexus FrenzyIncreases Attack Speed by 20% and Attack Range by 1.1.
Epic MountReduce the cooldown of Flight to 30 sec, reduce the cast time before flying to 0.5 sec, and increase the speed by 50%.


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