Heroes of the Storm AMA Transcript – April 30, 2020

Have you planned heroes with a more atypical gameplay, for example a hero based on the speed of movement like a rider, or a hero a little artist who while he is channeling a spell we can draw with the mouse the AoE, heroes with surprising gameplay ? This kind of atypical mechanics. — ynev

Yes! We like to try technically crazy things early in a heroes iteration cycle and sometimes we get cool stuff out of it. Qhira’s Revolving Sweep is a good example of that. Long long ago we thought about giving Brightwing an ultimate where you would “draw” a path of healing with your mouse for a few seconds. I think that idea was pared down and refined until it became Blink Heal. Unfortunately, complex systems that sound really cool on paper often either end up with not-so-cool gameplay or a bottomless pit of technical problems to overcome. — David P Warner

Any updates on kerning?

Alternatively, can you do something about this one-pixel-off-from-perfect-balance capture bar? — Kamikaze28

It’s still on our ra dar. We have other things that are ahead of it. It’s not sc heduled at the mom ent but when we evaluate pr iorities it’s something that comes up. Keep figh ting the good fight and keeping us honest — Andrew Kinabrew

Can you please describe the next big thing in HOTS with as little words as possible? — Daredboy

Pretty cool. — Andrew Kinabrew

Does the elemental lord of fire have any skins in the works?

Every time new items are added to the collection I look to see what you tease us with. Ragna Robot and Dark Nexus Ragnaros are the ones that come to mind immediately. — Reckerwrex_1291

We’re in the process of evaluating what we’re going to do for 2021 and we are well aware that Rag needs another skin. There’s a non-trivial amount of work to get new skins done for him. We have a bunch of cool ideas. It is still a goal. — Andrew Kinabrew

Could you take a look at Sylvanas during Haunting Wave and Lunara Leaping Strike both still being interrupted by the Dragon Knight kick knockback, despite both being unstoppable? — Master Fenix

Absolutely! I’ll make sure we investigate that shortly. — Joshua Kofalt

What kind of unique challenges have come up from using an old engine? How did you get around them? And most naively, any hope for rebuilding something new like a HotS 3.0? — Eiddew

Every engine and game project has challenges, unrelated to age. Heroes is no different in this regard! Most of the hard problems we face revolve around systems that were built for other purposes that we have to refactor or systems that simply don’t exist that we have to build up from scratch without destabilizing other parts of the game. Things like pathfinding, networking, and ability usage are examples of things that are vastly different between games like Starcraft 2 and Heroes of the Storm. Our origins in Starcraft give us a ton of benefits as well though. The engine is extremely data-driven, which makes implementation time for designers blazing fast. This is why we can easily test and iterate on things like the Nexus Anomalies. Many general systems like movement, unit selection, and projectiles already existed in the game, so we started with a huge leg up for that stuff. — Jeff Beaudoin

Is Haunted Mines still on the table and something we may see return in the future, or is it indefinitely shelved?

I answered a similar question here: https://www.reddit.com/r/heroesofthestorm/comments/g96brg/heroes_of_the_storm_ama_april_30_2020/fos7ud8/ The long and short of it, is that we are uncertain but talking about it! — Brett Crawford

Is Gazlowe’s Salvager outdated?

This trait, probably meant for easier repositioning when conceived, affects all cds to make scrap more crucial.

Problem is, this means abilities must be a bit too clunky to make spam harder. Also seems like poor design, wasting Q for W or E, or spamming Q to recharge heroics.

Now, I adore the clunkiness at the core of his kit, and how he has to physically go in for Scrap and autoattacks. But if said kit were a bit more dynamic, responsive and melee-oriented, it’d go a long way for his gameplay and popularity. — PhantomV13

(☞゚ヮ゚)☞ — Kevin Gu

Pretty please can we get end of season mount rewards again for ranked? Genuinely one of my favorite things about the game that is currently gone. Even new colors for old end of season mounts would be awesome. These hard earned rewards are what keeps me playing those extra games. — airmaxang

We have been exploring season reward options and if things go well should have something to show the next season. — Andrew Kinabrew

are you still using the official forum for your feedback in order to improve the AI? — BringerofHarbs

Yes, I am. — Kevin Gu

About the AI: previously, a big overhaul to their internal workings was mentioned, with changes to the structure of their goal and tactical systems and whatnot. Since that seems to be out with the latest patch already, does that enable you to update the AI faster than before, or is it about the same?

In particular, I’m thinking about some of the remaining glaring issues, like their behavior when confronted with Lurking Arm or Concussion Mine, especially near gates but also on other chokepoints. There has definitely been an improvement in their overall behavior, but I look forward to seeing it ironed out a bit further. I’d also say the follower AI doesn’t benefit as much from these improvements, as its logic keeps being seemingly overridden by its new leashing priority. — maguszeal

Yes, the overhaul make sit easier to navigate the AI trees in our editor. I don’t have to spend as much time figuring out how things work. The issue you describe is more complex as it touches our path finding tech, something that /u/Blizz_JeffB can provide better explanations for you. — Kevin Gu
Our current pathfinding solution doesn’t weight terrain based on the existence of dangerous AoE abilities. This means that before an agent enters an AoE, they don’t know it is there, so they cannot path around it. There are a number of factors that make refactoring the pathfinding in this way non-trivial, including the nested nature of our ability data and specifics related to the pathfinding system itself. The overhaul you mentioned does, however, give us a greater and faster ability to iterate on the behavior trees, which is ultimately how an agent decides to handle moving out of AoEs. This power can potentially be leveraged to get us a shorter-term solution to this problem without having to wait for resources and time to become available for a more involved engineering change. — Jeff Beaudoin

Can we expect new heroes? If yes, when? — DeadPixel94

Yes! ✌✌(˵¯̴͒ꇴ¯̴͒˵)✌✌ — Dorothy Sheng

Have there been any discussions about adding new banners to the game? Outside of events and anniversaries, it doesn’t seem like many have been added since HotS 2.0.

Warcraft could use a Scourge banner (the one with Frostmourne overlaid on a pair of broken warhammers), along with banners for other races and organizations (like the Burning Legion, Silver Hand, or Twilight’s Hammer). StarCraft could get Purifier versions of the protoss banners. Diablo could get banners representing the missing classes, along with the Horadrim, High Heavens, and Burning Hells (or banners themed around specific angels and demons). Overwatch could use banners for the characters who don’t already have their own designs.

More options would be appreciated! — Xagganoth

We have actually just recently started discussing getting some more banners in, but don’t currently have a time frame for them. This is a very helpful list, thank you! Please feel free to leave me a reply with any other banners you’d be interested in having. — Taylor Hankins

Could you please bring the Death Knight Arthas skin back? By that I mean the one that looks like his default skin, but without the helmet or glowing eyes (and with the same alternate voice-over used by his Crown Prince skin).

It was available during the Alpha, but removed before Beta because some people felt taking his helmet off wasn’t a big enough visual change to warrant being a separate skin. HotS 2.0 introduced skins that made even smaller changes (like Chen wearing his hat on his head rather than his back), so that shouldn’t be an issue now.

For many fans of Warcraft III, Death Knight Arthas is the most iconic version of the character, as that’s how he appeared in the majority of missions where he was playable. It would be really nice if we could play as that version of him in Heroes of the Storm. — Xagganoth

I agree that would be cool. There has been some movement towards getting the Arthas remodel going. We are currently in the planning stage for 2021 and there is a strong desire to get the remodel in your hands. When we release the remodel I think it would be good to have a variation without his helmet on to fulfill this wish. — Andrew Kinabrew

have any of you ever lost so badly to any hero and thinking ” i’m gonna nerf sh*t out of him next patch!” ? — Re-legion

Yes, and then I immediately change my mind when I realize that it wasn’t the hero… It was me 🙁 — Kevin Gu

Are there any plans for future cross over skins, like Zerg Queen Alexstrasza or Eye of C’thun Probius? — Nino_Chaosdrache

We are actively making new content and anything is possible in the Nexus! — Dorothy Sheng

What programming languages do I need to know to work as a programmer on the game? 😀 — SolidShock24

The game client is written in C and C++, for the most part, so that is the language of choice for 90% of gameplay code. — Jeff Beaudoin


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Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com 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. Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. 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) ***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet’s patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donatives will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round.

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