BlizzCon 2015 Heroes of the Storm Deep Dive Panel Transcript

Browse these pages:IntroLunaraGenn GreymaneHero Design: Genn Greymane
Cho'gallHero Design: Cho'gallPanel Q&A


Hero Design: King Genn Greymane

Kent-Erik: Thank you Phill. What’s up BlizzCon, you guys excited? My name is Kent-Erik along with Hugh, I’m another one of the hero designers on the team, and I kind of want to walk you through the process of making Greymane.



Greymane came from a completely different area than Lunara. We knew we wanted to bring in more range attackers into the game, and we looked at the Warcraft III dryad (right, man we love that unit, like that silhouette is super iconic and unique. We can do some cool stuff with this); but we are talking about bringing in another range assassin, and we looked across our game, and we have some really cool basic attack characters.

Characters like James Raynor and Valla the Demon Hunter, and we knew we are also bringing in Lunara.



We want to make sure that we did something a little bit different mechanically. So we are sitting around in that room discussing various new mechanics that we could do…. when somebody had what we always thought was a pretty cool idea.

What if we did a character that kind of started off poking you from afar… say something like a Falstad, but then when you got low, what if the same character could go in as a melee to finish you off? Wouldn’t that be pretty cool?



We were all like looking around the room like yeah, that is interesting, that’s different, that’s very unique for our game; but these two forms… this sounds like a shapeshifter, and when you say shapeshifter within the halls of Blizzard, there are always two things that really pop to mind: druids and worgen; and once the word worgen got loose in that room, everyone’s eyes went real wide with excitement.



We were all thinking: “Man, I love worgen; but I don’t know if everyone else does so I’m not going to say anything,” and we were all looking around and we realize: “Wait, that guy likes worgen too; and that guy likes worgen. We all love worgen,” and we all got really excited because once you start talking about worgen — well we got to talk about their leader: King Genn Greymane.



Look at him! Oh… His Majesty! This is a guy that if you’ve played Cataclysm, and have rolled a worgen character, then you’ve seen his story. The story of a King who is trying to help his people but ultimately fails, pretty epically too; and is now out for honor and glory to redeem his people.

Our hearts really ran away with the character right away before we even started; but we knew we had to check in with the art team and so we walked out of that room and immediately walked down the hall to the art pit and we ask those guys: “Hey, can we do Greymane?,” and as you may have gleaned from Phill’s talk they were pretty excited to do this character.

So we immediately set to work on the paper design starting with that long process Hugh outlined; and when starting on the design for Greymane, we started with that initial concept we started and we developed it into a tagline; that is a short phrase that kinda describes the character, and it is going to drive their design.



For Greymane this tagline was pretty simply what I kind of told you earlier: the range assassin who wears you down from afar before going into melee form and ripping your throat out as a worgen.

We really wanted every aspect of his design, every ability to just ooze with: “This-is-two-sides-of-one-coin characteristic.” We wanted shapeshifting to be this epic moment that was like let you know Greymane is in for the kill; and so we started with asking that question of how does Greymane shapeshift?



Is it just like a button you press, and you just press it and you are a human, and you are a worgen, and you’re just flipping forms all the time… or is it something else we could do?

Could we tie it to one of the abilities? Once we opened up ourselves to that idea, we really blew open the design; and I want to start with that: his (E) ability.



It’s really two abilities: Darkflight and Disengage.

As a human, the ability is Darkflight — it allows human Greymane to leap towards his enemy, becoming a worgen midflight and tearing at them with his claws.

As a worgen, however, the ability changes and it becomes Disengage. This ability allows Greymane to tumble away popping up in a human form, pistol ablazing, ready to continue combat from afar.

We’ve got a short little video here showing you an action against poor Leoric who is just standing there doing nothing wrong where Greymane leaps in as a worgen and now he is going to be able to roll away to pop back up as a human ready to go again.



What we love about this, is that the ability really directs the player how each form is supposed to be used. Worgen form is all about being in melee range. You do significantly more damage with the basic attacks as a worgen than you do as a human; and you want to be up close, but human form is all about wearing your opponent down from afar with your pistol and disengage gives you that space.

Next, I want to talk to you about his (Q) ability. This is another button that flips based on which form you are in.



As a human, this ability is Gilnean Cocktail. Being the King of Gilneas, Greymane has fantastic access to this vast library of weapons; and here he has pulled out these various cocktails ready to hurl at his opponents. His glasses filled with all kinds of chemicals, and you’ll watch Greymane hurl it at his opponent and actually does very little damage to the first target it hits; but it’s the enemies behind the opponent that really feel the real brunt of the spell.



As you’ll watch these Lost Vikings caught behind Kerrigan they take triple the damage than she does from the explosive blast of this ability; but while that may be a great ability for human Greymane to wear down his opponents, worgen Greymane want something else altogether and this ability is called Razor Swipe (Q).



This ability is on a very low cooldown allowing him to use it frequently, and it’s all about mobility. It allows Greymane to stick to his opponents as you’ll see in this video, he is going to dash forward for a very short distance sweeping out his enemies around him allowing him to continue getting more basic attacks off as that is where the majority of his damage is found.



I want to talk to you about his two heroics; and again we went back to that tagline and we had each heroic really reflect the two forms of Greymane.

The first one is Marked for the Kill (R). In this ability you’ll watch a human Greymane fire off a silver bullet towards his opponents. The first enemy hit is marked and made vulnerable. It means they take 25% more damage from all sources, including your teammates. This is great at the start of the fight exactly what human Greymane wants, but the ability gets better after that.



Here is poor Butcher take the mark, as Greymane can then leap as a worgen incredible distance closing the gap on that opponent allowing him to finish them off in case they thought they were going to get away.

But as a worgen, that worgen’s finisher style we want to reflect with “Go for the Throat” (R). In this heroic ability you’ll watch Greymane leap a short distance and just eviscerate his opponent doing three vicious strikes, doing high damage; but if Greymane kills the opponent with this ability, he can still use it again for free in the next ten seconds.



As you’ll watch in this video here you have a poor Illidan just standing right there getting ripped up by Greymane who then can use the ability again on Thrall there.



Now Phill was talking about how for the master skins they’ll take the concept of the character and really crank it up to eleven; and so we love to do the same with the level 20 talents that upgrade heroic abilities; and “Unleashed” is the next evolution of “Go for the Throat.” and I want to step you inside Greymane’s dreams that he has as he sleeps at night… a low health team running away.

You see, “Unleashed” lets Greymane continually re-task “Go for the Throat” (R) every time it lands a kill, and Greymane just loves finding low health teams running away.

So if you are fighting against Greymane, watch your health bar. That’s Greymane. Again, he is here on the showfloor playable in case you haven’t gotten a chance go check them out now to learn to wear down your opponents as a human using your pistol, and then when they are low health leap in as a worgen and tear their throats out.


I’m going to hand over to Phill. He is going to talk to you about our last hero today.


Browse these pages:IntroLunaraGenn GreymaneHero Design: Genn Greymane
Cho'gallHero Design: Cho'gallPanel Q&A

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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts


Tomas Hernandez is owner of since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

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