Heroes of the Storm Developer Q&A Part 3 (Feb 20, 2014) – Transcript


Phill: Yeah, it turns out really cool. I mean you see this on the map and you really start feeling that theme just resonating with everything; and it’s super, super cool; and the level of detail on this model is like: “That’s awesome! We get to play that much and have that much fun.”

Samwise: Some of the concepts are simple, like the one we did for Valla. You add a few things; but this is a complete re-imagining of Kerrigan.

Kevin: Very, very cool. Alright. Now we’re looking at another piece of concept art here.


Samwise: Yeah, we don’t have any 3D model yet; but this would be the idea of the Diablo Witch Doctor. Maybe in Raven Court he would be more of the jester or the harlequin just to get another re-imagining of what these characters could look like. It really lets the artist be able to kind of just come up with whatever they want and having these realms it actually feels correct. What would Baron Arthas look like? Its like “oh, we’ll find out soon you know,” … don’t hold me to that. (laughs)


Kevin: Spoiler alert, I don’t know. Alright, well let’s take a quick look at one of the other extensions of this Raven Lord part of the world. What we are calling our Haunted Mines Battleground. This is another piece of concept art that sort of embraces that. We’re looking at the Grave Golem from that map and our heroes at war.


Samwise: Now the funny thing about Haunted Mines was Dustin Browder, he’s some kind of designer on our team I think (laughter); but basically it was like a month maybe before BlizzCon, and he’s like: “We’re going to be doing a new map”; and we’re like: “Oh man! We don’t have a new tileset.”


So we ended up kind of revamping, ha! Pun intended. Some of the things for Raven Court and we added a whole sort of below level of the haunted mines so we sort of used what we had and built upon it but it actually feels like it was something we planned to do.


Kevin: That’s awesome (laughter). Always works out that way. Very, very cool. So yeah, we’re just looking at environmental pieces here. This is that subterranean element, obviously, the mines portion of that battleground.


Samwise: Uther saying: “This is mine!” Well, you can see a lot of the elements we are talking about like the peasants, because the mines are full of undead. You can see them hiding everywhere and we really play that up really: (higher pitch voice) “This place is haunted! It’s terrible!”


Kevin: Really cool.

Samwise: I don’t know, man, pretty clearly though, it’s a flipper.

Kevin: So a central piece on this battleground is obviously the Grave Golems themselves. They play a key strategic element in how the actual play on that battleground happens. Here’s a piece of concept art from Sam looking at our Grave Golem.

Samwise: He’s changed a little bit and now our current Grave Golem has way more heads and way more sort of spookiness. One of the reasons was when you have a giant patch of land on the back of the Golem with a giant tree, you couldn’t see him half the time so we had to renovate the Grave Golem and just when in doubt throw more skulls and spikes and you’ll do good.


Kevin: Yeah

Samwise: You’ll do well, sorry mom.

Kevin: Do well man (laughter). Alright, well let’s take a little bit, we have some videos as well of the Grave Golems in action.

We’ll kind of roll through that. Obviously, the central mechanic here for this battleground is going into these mines and killing undead as you’re watching Uther here killing undead, collecting skulls, which you’ll see Uther do.

He’s in close melee range, so it’s hard to see those skulls super clearly in this video; but yeah, collecting skulls and then spawning these Grave Golem which will fight for your team based on the number of skulls that you’ve collected.

Samwise: These are all haunted skeleton miners. They have dynamite. They’re lighting off the candles that are stuck on their mining helmets, and things, and again — all little tiny things like that really just make you feel like you are living in this world.

Phill: Yeah, I think for a while we had some of the undead pirates as placeholder in the mines and it’s kind of funny just simply fixing that and making the miner theme, one of them is like “I love that”, like it’s always the little difference stuff and its cool when people notice it.

Samwise: Here comes the grave Golem boys.


Kevin: Very cool, now one of the interesting things that you guys have done with these Grave Golems is that you have made a very visual, stark visual difference between a Grave Golem that has been fueled by numerous skulls and one that has filled up on fuel.

Samwise: Yeah, the one that collects the most skulls gets the Golem with the pretty crystals on his back, the other one just gets the regular standard grey of Golem sort of thing and there’s a huge difference in combating these 2 cause they just pass you and they go straight to your structure so there’s no stopping them and those structures go down pretty quick with a super powerful Golem on them. And here’s our little mini one, mini Golem.


Kevin: He still does good damage though. He’s definitely not like his big brother that’s stomping on the other side. Yeah, well very cool guys, this is some incredible artwork as I said I am constantly impressed by you guys and your team. I know you’ve been hard at work on some recent changes.

One of the new things that I have noticed in a recent build that we have been playing on internally is a sharp change in the visual fidelity, the color richness and sort of saturation of the game which is really cool.

I’ve been speaking with your tech artists as well. They have spent a while talking to me about how they’ve solved this issue with like how like a 30 percent of the color spectrum was missing from the game and how they were able to solve that.

(Sawmwise closes his eyes, and snores)


Kevin: Sorry, wake up. (laughs)

Samwise: What?

Kevin: But (laughter) the reason I am giving all of this information Sam is because we have an awesome video to show the difference between this improvements. Here we’re looking at previous to the tech art fix; and this is after.

Really, really sharp difference in the color richness and saturation of the heroes here. Super cool to see.



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.

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