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


Panel Q&A

Phill: Before we open it up to Q&A, we are going to go over a couple things. In reference to Cho’gall, the key to any relationship is communication, and even though ogres bicker a lot, they did figure out how to mount up in the Nexus.



In case you are wondering, Cho’gall is moving at mounted speed, he’s doing it right. You got this, guys. If you want to ride a horse, normally you can, but this is a little bit more fun; and we love getting opportunities to do this.



Did you hear about this? This is so exciting for us, we told you guys for a long time that we were very, very excited about the Overwatch universe being brought into the Nexus, that we are waiting to understand what the Overwatch universe was, what the experiences would be, and it was simply when it comes out we’re ready and the Overwatch team said knock it off.



Tracer is ready and we are in the process of getting her into the Nexus.



These are some very early pose tests. We don’t have much to talk about her right now, and we can’t really answer any questions during the Q&A; but thank you guys so very, very much for listening to us, letting us share the development process with you and being such an outspoken community and helping make this game better and better every time.



There is a microphone over there, please line up, we have 15 minutes for questions. Thank you again.



Hey, how is it going? I have a question about death animations. I really love the game, and sometimes I feel a little disappointed when I’m playing Diablo, and he just kind of limps and rag dolls whenever he’s killed by a murloc, or what have you, and the same thing with any of the zealots or Tassadars and what have you. They don’t erupt into that blue flame that is so satisfying in StarCraft II; and so I was wondering if you guys have any plans to add those really cool death animations? I would love to see Diablo like have his soul sucked out of his body then ripped right into the soulstone every time they kill him; because again, I just feel like a limp rag doll on certain characters as a disservice to the character.



Phill: That’s great feedback. I’m going to tell Rick — our lead technical artist. He recently got smashed by a log, but as soon as he’s better we can work on this. I love that idea, those are great ideas, I love the soulstone, thank you for that feedback.


Hi, I was wondering what the next legendary skin is going to be. Maybe Infested Nova?



Hugh: I wish we could say, but I don’t think we can. So I’m sorry. Thank you for the question.

Phill: You lied. What about Arthas? He transformed into a bat.

Hugh: Did we talk about that?

Phill: Yeah, we showed it. Arthas he transforms into a bat.


Hi, I was wondering about your older IPs like… you brought the Vikings before, and I loved Blackthorne when I was a little kid, and a lot of his abilities in the game are already kind of integrated and you can use them easily. I was wondering if you have any ideas about that if you’re going to maybe bring him in?



Hugh: He is often in our conversations when we are talking about what types of heroes we can add to the game that can push the genre a little bit further. So he’s definitely on our radar. We’re not working on him yet. We can’t talk about him yet, but he’s in our radar.

Kent-Erik: Who here wants to see Blackthorne in the game? I don’t know Phil, it doesn’t sound like too many people.


Hello, my name is Muscle Beach from Fever Clan and I was wondering in the next two to five years, would you make a character solely based on John Oliver, the night-time comedy host? Blizzard is awesome, he is awesome… I don’t know, make him a centaur or … I don’t know, Archimonde’s brother, I don’t know?



Hugh: The way you present that makes it sound pretty awesome, but I don’t think we can say yes to that either.


Hello, I was wondering 20 years ago, Blizzard helped co-release a game called Justice League: Task Force and I was wondering, if we could see some skins of the said Justice League characters for existing heroes such as Batman Rexxar or Darkside Azmodan?



Phill: We’ll look into that.


Hey, first off thank you for making Heroes of the Storm. It’s amazing. I am Mr. J. Pickles and I have a question about Cho’gall; and how is it going to be in the competitive scene like bans, and picks. How does that affect the picking order when you ban Cho, then you can’t play Gall, and all that?



Kent-Erik: It’s definitely something we thought a lot about, in our current iteration if you ban Cho, you ban Gall. If you ban Gall, you ban Cho. You can’t first pick them. You can’t last pick them. You have to pair pick them. For hero league, both of you have to have the heads (each of the two heads) selected, and if one person hits ready you are both locked in.

We’ll never start a game with just one head, because I think the engine would just explode. We’d divide by zero, you’ll see on the internet how that works so that’s currently what we’re going with, always open to feedback from you guys in the community how that sounds especially after we implement it like does that make sense, can we clean it up some more? We are always listening to feedback and that kind of stuff.


Just make sure you don’t make it like the Lost Vikings when you select random hero. It crashed… yeah.

Kent-Erik: Oh you can’t auto select in. well keep an eye on it.


Hey guys, the mount riding the hero is something we’ve been asking for, for a long time. So thanks for doing that. The next part of the challenge though… Carbot has a mount that Raynor rides in one of his videos. That’s the beautiful majestic horse head on a stick. When can we get that?



Phill: I’ll put the task in, Monday.

Kent-Erik: Do it Phil, do it.


Hi, guys. First of all, thank you for the amazing game. Love it. I’m a big specialist fan, personally. I want to know where you guys draw the line between what in traditional MOBAs are… say jungler, and someone could say camp, someone who could siege very well. I’m a huge Rexxar fan, started back in Warcraft III. He turned out to me being a specialist jungler. I’m wondering where you guys say he’s a warrior versus he’s a jungler versus he’s a straight tank? Where do you guys draw the line as far as being a warrior like Johanna, or a specialist like Icy Rexxar?



Hugh: All of our roles can be pretty broad in terms of what they bring into the game, and so sometimes we have a character like Rexxar that kind of straddles the line in between; and really we have those labels through things like quests, but when it comes down to how you are going to play them in the Nexus, it’s really up to you so we’re not too concerned that if we have some overlap between two different roles, and we are just going to keep adding new heroes that add new things into the game.


Hey guys, I was wondering with the new arena mode, and it showed like the 5 Illidans versus 5 Illidans… Will it have something like 5 Abathurs versus 5 Abathurs, or 5 Lost Vikings versus 5 Lost Vikings, and shenanigans and so?



Hugh: We’ve tested some of those things, and they are definitely shenanigans. So we have a list of heroes that can work in that sort of a mode, and a list that can’t. Whenever we can, we want to put it in there. We found some cases where you have 5 warriors versus 5 warriors; and then the game lasts forever. So we’ll avoid those. We’ll kind of choose a special case for gameplay reasons, and just for technical reasons.


Hi, just wondering for Cho’gall, who picks the talents and the heroic? Is it Cho, or Gall, or is it a debate between the two of them?

Kent-Erik: Cho is his own hero with his own talent tree and his own two heroics. Gall likewise is his own hero with his own talent tree and his own two heroics. Have fun.


Hi, I just want to start off by saying I love specialists. They are all unique. They are all game-breaking-ish, and why haven’t there been any new specialists since Sylvanas, I believe?

Hugh: It’s a good question. As you saw with the presentation, there are a ton of things that we are taking into consideration every time we make a hero. So sometimes we go on stretches where we don’t add a certain role into the game. It’s not to say we won’t in the near future, or in the future; but it all just depends on how everything checks out; but there will be more specialists, it will make you happy.

Kent-Erik: I think we can have Cho’gall for a specialist for a while, but yea.


My question is, are we ever going to see any gender-bender skins like female Illidan or male Jaina?

Phill: We’ve actually talked about that on the development side quite a bit, there are some implementation stuff that’s a bit tricky and we’d have to develop the code to do that stuff. So it’s just a matter of time and resources, but it’s something we’ve already discussed. We have some examples of those that we have done. It’s just a matter of getting an allocation of resources so we can push through and make it happen. I think we have all had a lot of fun seeing that, and it’s a great suggestion.


Hi, this is… thank you for all the work on this and I have a question regarding gnomes, because we have Falstad always mounted and his sprite is a little bit smaller than Muradin’s; and I was wondering about Mekkatorque, and gnomes in general. Do you have any plans?

Hugh: I think we all like gnomes.

Kent-Erik: Who here wants gnomes?

Phill: Then let us know which one then… got it.


I guess this is a follow-up question from the last one, but I like little guys as much as the next person, but where are the trolls at?

Phill: That’s a very, very good question. We have a couple that we are itching to get in. It’s just a matter of when the roster has a great time to implement that, and we are ready and raring to do it. Trolls, Draenei, getting Greymane as a worgen in and there are things like that that we do want to achieve; and I agree with you. We are going there.


When you select Cho’gall, who dictates the skins and the mounts?

Kent-Erik: This one is fun? Our online team… they are crazy. They are like you know what? We really want to capture the fantasy of the two-headed ogre. So Cho can select the skin. Gall can also select the skin. Cho can select the mount, and Gall can also select the mount. When you go into the game, the game will randomly choose which head wins the mount or skin choice. The other head will then win the other choice, but any good two-headed ogre should work.


Hi, my question is: When you queue for a random dungeon in WoW you can flag yourself as a leader. Do you have any plans on being able to do that when you queue for a quick match or hero league?; because it really sucks to have two leaders. You are pretty much guaranteed to lose.



Kent-Erik: I would love to let you queue as a shot caller and like call it out in the UI. I think we are still discussing all that stuff. We have so much we want to add to the game with our online systems. Tomorrow is the state of the game panel, and they will be talking about stuff like this so please community let us know how much you love that feature over all the other stuff we want to get in because I would personally love to get that in. I think it would help out a lot, so you don’t have two shot callers trying to tell the team where to go.


Hi, when you did the pass on a lot of removing the unstoppable abilities why did you keep Muradin’s (E) unstoppable versus Chen and Diablo?

Hugh: A very case-by-case basis. Some of the abilities, we actually want to be unstoppable in there for gameplay reasons, and in other cases there is unstoppable and they are just for technical reasons; and they were never really intended to be unstoppable movement abilities, and those are some of those cases.


Hey guys! I’m Marcus and I’m also a fellow game designer in Austin Texas. I love MOBAs, I love Heroes, I was wondering though with your talent system, during your 17-week process… is having multiple talent builds, is that something you strive for, or is that something you just kind of hope that you get?

Hugh: We usually take different approaches from one area to the next, but we definitely are always looking at trying to build distinct roles and that’s something that we are looking at even more intensely lately about trying to build three very distinct gameplay styles, or maybe two distinct gameplay styles for a hero. So it is something that we are taking into consideration.


Just a quick follow-up: Do you consider someone that does not have two or three as an unsuccessful hero?

Hugh: I wouldn’t say that. It’s nice to have the variety right? We have some characters that can have very distinct playstyles, and then you have other characters that you can select here and there, what kind of talents you want to augment your kit; but it’s not really going to define how you play. I think both of those styles add something new into the game.


Hey, another quick little Cho’gall question. What happens like… let’s say we’re playing Gall and the person that is playing Cho disconnects? What actually do happen with movement, and that kind of stuff?

Kent-Erik: Every time that happens I shed a tear. That’s the first thing that happens. What does happen is the AI currently is taking over for you. I believe (don’t quote me on this), I believe we worked really hard to have Cho really listen to Gall’s pings as a way to like “Hey, AI-head, take me over here, take me over there.” Hopefully your buddy is actively reconnecting so he can take you over there. If you are Cho, and your Gall-head disconnects, it’s actually a lot less bad because the AI is very good at aiming its skillshots; but that is like my nightmare scenario that keeps me up late at night. It’s like: “No, no, Cho!,” and hopefully they are reconnecting.


Moderator: This will be our last question.

As a warlock main and a Gul’dan fan, where are my warlocks?

Kent-Erik: Chris Metzen has some words for you.

Phill: I kid you not. I’m working on him right now. Thank you so much guys.

Kent-Erik: Thank you everybody!


NOTE: Special thanks to Renate for transcribing. Read more BlizzCon 2015 Panel Transcripts.


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

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