On August 7, 2015 Soe Gschwind-Penski and Frodan sat down with Dustin Browder(Game Director) and Kaeo Milker (Lead Game Producer) to interview them about Heroes of the Storm. Here is everything that has been announced for Heroes of the Storm from Gamescom.
In the advent of SDCC 2015 NECA revealed the Heroes of the Storm 7″ scale action figures series 2 which includes Arthas and Tyrael.
NECA is proud to present our second series of 7″ scale action figures from Heroes of the Storm™, the new online team brawler filled with favorite characters from Blizzard Entertainment’s vast video game universes!
Created in collaboration with Blizzard, these fantastic figures feature game-authentic sculpts and nearly 30 points of articulation for great battle poses.
Series 2 includes Arthas (World of Warcraft™) and Tyrael (Diablo III™). Arthas comes with Frostmourne sword accessory, and Tyrael comes with El’Druin sword accessory.
Our NECA Booth Photos
Here you have photos taken at the NECA booth by our SDCC 2015 correspondent and cosplayer @Stroughnecks.
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Blizzplanet member Naka (@dperschonok) is at the E3 Expo and got an appointment with Blizzard Entertainment in the afternoon. Watch the PCGamer’s E3 2015 Heroes of the Storm press interview video below to base your questions around its revelations.
We would love to deliver your questions to the Heroes of the Storm developers. By submitting a question, you are entering to a random draw to win a Heroes of the Storm mouse deskmat.
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Blizzard Entertainment made a surprise appearance during the PCGamer’s E3 Expo Livestream to reveal details of Eternal Conflict which by everyone’s astonishment is considered the first expansion.
Dustin Browder and Chris Sigaty teased that at the beginning of the battleground, players can try to kill the Treasure Goblin to get some bonus gold. The expansion will hit the PTR servers on June 23rd, and go live on June 30th.
However, Dustin Browder said the monk is still in early development. The player will be able to choose whether to be a brawler-sort of monk, or a support monk. The Skeleton King has its own box of surprises too. When he dies, he becomes a Wraith and can continue to cast on players. The damage he does lowers his resurrect timer, and he spawns exactly where the wraith was. A very different death mechanic than any of the other heroes, for certain. His two Hero Talents at level 10 are: Entomb and The March of the Black King.
Entomb rises a wall in front of the Skeleton King to basically block the enemy’s escape, while the March of the Black King is a very overpowered AOE where Leoric walks forward slashing at any players in his path and basically one shotting them, dealing loads of damage.
This is the Eternal Conflict cinematic trailer which reveals the next heroes to join the nexus: The Monk (the first Diablo support hero), Skeleton King and The Butcher. Read the transcript at the bottom of this page.
PC Gamer’s E3 2015 Press Interview Video
Day9: Now the next guest has a special place in my heart, because they work on game I play a lot. A game called StarCraft. Please— yeahhhhh!!! Especially StarCraft Brood War. Ahh… Seventeen years ago, it was released.
Please join me in welcoming to the stage Chris Sigaty and Dustin Browder from Blizzard Entertainment. Dustin, what is up? Chris welcome, please join me. I’ll continue my journey back to my table of authority. Heroes of the Storm have just come out, you are the new Moba kid on the block, and what does it feel like to finally have it officially released.
Sigaty: Super exciting. We’ve been working on it for a very long time, we internally call it Heroes of the Storm BlizzCon or Blizzard the Game. We created it in concert with the community in a very big way and it’s finally arrived so very exciting for the team in general and this is just the beginning as we are about to see I think.
Day9: Yeah, what’s specially interesting to me is that many players of the MOBA genre will be familiar with the business model of releasing new heroes one at a time and of course Heroes of the Storm does this; but today we are talking about the first expansion for Heroes of the Storm… Eternal Conflict. Let’s take a look at it.
Deckard Cain: There is an eternal battle between Light and Darkness, The High Heavens and the Burning Hells. Now that conflict continues in a new arena.
A war for the very heart of the Nexus is about to begin. Which side will you chose?
Day9: Awesome! What I first want to ask, how do we think about what it means to have an expansion in a MOBA?
Sigaty: For us Eternal Conflict represents this epic moment for us which is the first Blizzard world entering the Nexus; it’s all about Diablo for the next several months and its heroes, its battlegrounds and more; and it’s coming on June 30th. It’s two weeks away, goes up on PTR next week so we are super excited about it.
Day9: I also understand that the Treasure Goblin from Diablo III is a feature in the game.
Sigaty: Right, Treasure Goblin from D3 is out there. It spawns in the battlegrounds in the first thirty seconds before the gates lift. You get the opportunity to kill the Treasure Goblin before he escapes through his portal; and if so, you get some bonus gold. So we are excited about that too.
Day9: Whoever thought of the Treasure Goblin mechanic for Diablo III is a genius, man. That makes so much sense. It’s a walking piñata. In terms of some new heroes, I’m excited to talk about King Leoric; new hero coming in Eternal Conflict.
Browder: The Skeleton King.
Day9: Dustin, tell me about King Leoric.
Browder: This is a hero we’ve wanted to do for a long time. He’s a favorite boss from the World of Diablo. We have characters in our game that we are allowed to do some really unusual things. We’ve changed a lot of the core rules associated with the genre. So Leoric has a trait which is something that sort of defines him specifically. When he dies he turns into a wraith and he stays on the battlefield and he’ll stay on the battlefield for the duration of his death.
Day9: Can he deal damage?
Browder: He can’t deal damage but he can attack other players and he can slow them and do other effects. Any damage he would have dealt lowers his death timer which allows him to get back into action even sooner so you can imagine that you are running around as a wraith sort of haunting the people that killed you and then when your death timer ends you return to the battle exactly where that wraith is standing; you don’t need to come back from. You are going to be right there maybe just delivering just vengeance on the guy who killed you.
Day9: Can anyone deal damage back to you?
Browder: No. You are just a wraith just floating around.
Sigaty: That is a hero for you and I for sure. So when we die repeatedly we can come back quickly.
Day9: So what else can King Leoric do?
Browder: Well, King Leoric has got a number of heroic abilities just some top-end abilities you can choose between two different abilities like all of our heroes.
The first is called Entomb. With Entomb, you can create these walls that will trap heroes. They may be in a position they don’t want to be right now. Maybe point blank with Leoric and maybe some other team members might leap in to help you out as well. So he’s this very powerful warrior character that can really control the battlefield.
His second heroic ability is an ability that allows him to move across the battlefield. It’s the March of the Black King, and it allows him to sort of smack enemies with his giant mace. It reminds you of the boss battle from Diablo three where he is unstoppable; there’s nothing you can do to prevent this once he winds it up and he deals ferocious amounts of damage healing himself with every swing as well. So he can really plow through an enemy team. Really adds a lot of value to a team fight.
Day9: I know also the Monk is being added and I don’t know if you can talk at all about the Monk; but I’m going to ask you to.
Browder: The Monk– it’s all good. The Monk is still early in development for us. We are still working on him. He is the first Diablo support character coming to the game. He is very mobile, very agile, leaping on enemies jumping in to help heal friends and at the same time we are trying to do something very special and different with his talents so the Monk is a character that can choose his own trait at the very beginning of the game.
So instead of having a usual set of talents at level 1, he can choose what traits he would like to take: whether he wants to be more of an attack oriented character, more of a melee kind of brawler or more of a traditional support character.
It really allows us to use this talent system to like push it, giving you the player a lot of control over how you play this character.
Day9: I mean these heroes are particularly sort of crazy. I mean the way that you are working with the talent system, with the Wraith spawn, and with like so much content to draw from, from past IPs; how do you do the sorting, not just with which heroes you want to put in but with these sort of ideas that we are actually getting a chance to see today.
Browder: There is a lot of different reasons, obviously Diablo support was something the community have been requesting for a long time and we were wanting to do.
The idea of having a character that didn’t die came from… and we looked for different characters that could be and we talked about Malthael for a little bit as maybe that kind of character really we looked at… we felt that the Skeleton King made a little bit more sense.
So some of the things we have an idea for the game mechanics, something that would really push the boundaries of what you’ve seen in this genre before; and sometimes it’s just a character that needs to be done so like Arthas is going to happen, like we’ve got to do that guy and then sometimes it’s lots of different reasons.
Day9: For me some of the heroes that really stand out are like the Murkies, the Abathurs; the really fringed sort of characters, some very exciting to see.
Sigaty: Yeah, Heroes have tried to set and tried hard I think and succeeded to really set a tone of expect the unexpected and there are these heroes and the designers are really killing it I think with the amount of variety you see between the heroes. It’s something that makes me continue playing Heroes each night.
Our coverage of Pax East 2015 goes on with the announcement for Heroes of the Storm, many updates will come in the near future that were showed back at Blizzcon 2014 such as Sylvanas and the new map Tomb the Spider Queen. More details on the article below.
During the panel, Game Director Dustin Browder took the stage to discuss the Closed Beta and some of the changes we’re planning for Open Beta, leading up to launch. If you’re interested in watching a panel recap, you can find it on the official PAX Twitch channels.
The brawls have been coming fast and furious in the Nexus, and if you’re curious about how your favorite Heroes are faring, we have some fun stats you might enjoy. Currently, the overall win/loss percentages for our Heroes are fairly close. In fact, Diablo and Zagara are our most balanced Heroes with a win percentage right around 50%. The rest of the roster only varies from this figure by around 3%, but if you’re curious, these are the current top-tier Heroes in Quick Match:
The Lost Vikings
Our lowest-tier Hero is currently Chen, and going forward we may make some balance changes to bring him more closely in line with the rest of the roster.
Top-tier play is very competitive, and the winningest characters in Hero League are:
The Lost Vikings
Our most balanced Heroes in Hero League are Zeratul and Valla, with the lowest-tier being Murky. As always, we plan to make balance adjustments to ensure that all Heroes are viable in their own right.
A lot of press, including Blizzplanet, were eagerly waiting their turn on the line to take photos of the NECA Heroes of the Storm action figures. I was able to take a bunch of photos to share them with our audience.
Blizzad Entertainment provided NECA the Heroes of the Storm videogame’s model files. The prototype figures were then 3D-printed and from these, NECA plans to build the joints and articulations for the final product.
There are two things you must know about the NECA Heroes of the Storm Action Figures shown in our photos:
1. These action figures are currently prototypes, and thus they don’t have joints yet.
2. In addition, you might notice that Illidan and Nova are taller than Stitches. The NECA representative who attended me responded that the big ones are actually 2-UP figures, and that the final product will be the size of Stitches.
NECA also showcased the unpainted Tyrael and Arthas 2-UP-sized prototypes. The Illidan and Nova are slated to ship on July 2015 while all the other NECA Heroes of the Storm Action Figures shown at Toy Fair NY are currently set to TBD (To Be Determined).
I also asked the representative whether there would be more action figures based on the Heroes of the Storm license, and while not official, there might be promotional Heroes if Blizzard Entertainment requests them (Think SDCC-exclusive or BlizzCon-exclusive). Again, not official.
“NECA is proud to present our first series of 7” scale action figures from Heroes of the Storm™, the upcoming online team brawler filled with favorite characters from Blizzard Entertainment’s vast video game universes! Created in collaboration with Blizzard, these fantastic figures feature game-authentic sculpts and nearly 30 points of articulation for great battle poses. Series 1 includes Illidan Stormrage (World of Warcraft™) and Nova Terra (StarCraft™). Illidan comes with Twin Blades of Azzinoth accessories, and Nova comes with rifle accessory and interchangeable left hand.”
Toy Fair NY 2015 NECA Heroes of the Storm Action Figures Photos
As a reminder, please visit Blizzplanet around February 14-17. I will personally attend the Toy Fair New York 2015 event to visit the NECA booth. The event is closed to the public, and only accessible to toy industry professionals and merchants. I am attending the Toy Fair New York exclusively as press with a badge provided courtesy of Toy Industry Association, Inc.
My intent is to find out more about the Heroes of the Storm action figure Series 1 (and hopefully Series 2). From what I have seen on NECA’s tweets, the plan is to showcase Series 1 at the Toy Fair. Thus, I plan to take photos and video. Possibly, a video interview.
Earlier today, Sunday, Jason Bischoff (Blizzard Senior Toys and Collectibles Manager) retweeted NECA — which plans to bring some Blizzard licensed products to the Toy Fair New York event through February 14-17.
Though there is no specific mention of what NECA is going to showcase, barely two months ago there was a video interview by UltimateToyCollector with NECA’s Brad Haskins who showed how NECA sculptors are crafting the Heroes of the Storm action figures. In this video, Brad says the action figures might be on sale around the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016.
Blizzard Entertainment plans to showcase Heroes of the Storm at PAX PRIME in a few days. That build attendees will have the opportunity to play at the demo stations has Azmodan, Chen and Anub’arak as playable heroes.
Blizzplanet’s PAX PRIME correspondent will be there to interview Dustin Browder and Phil Gonzales — developers of Heroes of the Storm. We welcome our visitors and members of the community to submit questions for this interview. Fill the form below.
These are the questions submitted by the community. We’ll have the hard task of picking the best 12 — considering past interviews have lasted between 8-30 minutes. We’ll see how many end up answered. Stay tuned.
What are anub’arak’s strengths and weaknesses?
It is crystal-clear how Chen and Azmodan are meant to be played, but Anub’arak is a real question mark. What makes Anub’arak different than other warriors playstyle-wise?
Do you have an approximate ETA for the patch release with Chen, Azmodan & Anub’arak?
What do they think about competitive teams at the current state?
Any other planned game modes other than the proposed Draft Team Competition?
How many Heroes and Maps are in production right now, and have you figured an ideal number for launch?
Are there plans for Blizzard Themed maps such as Starcraft, Warcraft, Diablo, ect, or Thoughts on Map skins. Example: Blackheart’s Bay with a Diablo Touch.
How many Heroes would you like to have ready for Live?
Will there be more variations of Mercenary Camps then the 3 we already have?
Does Chen’s ult let you micromanage the pandas?
Will there be modding tools and if so will there be supporting uneven teams like an team of three powerful heroes versus seven weak ones? And will there be room for more than 16 players per match or is it limited similiar to Starcraft 2?
Is there an schedualed point for if/when you consider adding more talents per tier for heroes? When youve created X amout of heroes or a point in developement when certain features has been added or tested?
Will you be following Starcraft 2 or World of Warcrafts map pool? Adding more maps while keeping the rest or replacing existing ones and keep seven or eight maps active at any given time?
Will there be any crossover promotion between your other games to Heroes of the Storm, like owning World of Warcraft: Mist of Pandaria and gain some iconic characters from that point like Chen Stormstout and Lili Stormstout or default Diablo 3 for Barbarian and Witch Doctor?
What is planned in terms of project lifecycle for HoTs? Is “Tech Alpha” a new name for Closed Beta, or will we see Alpha > Closed Beta > Open Beta > Release? And will you comment on the goals of each stage of the lifecycle? the open beta progression in hearthstone carried over to live, can we expect that as well?
Can we expect to see maps that feature game modes similar to those seen in WoW Battlegrounds? Such as Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, Holding an item to gain power over time (Dropped if slain), etc…
How do you feel the game ought to be balanced between the three main franchises?
At present, the game is skewed in favor of Warcraft Heroes – is this intentional, or merely an effect of Alpha development? (ie Will we see more balance when the game goes live?)
How many hero concepts is the team considering/working on at any given time?
Based on the heroes released so far, what’s the average number of man hours needed to make a hero?
What’s been your logic for Hero pricing, both gold and real money?
When will they release the patch for Chen, Azmodan & Anub’arak?
Will we be able to micro Summons/Chen split up heroic?
Are there any plans for a Starcraft Warrior Hero?
Is Blizzard happy with the current rate of gold gain?
Can we see Dustin Browder on Town Hall Heroes or Clairvoyance?
Does Blizzard feel the talent system is nearly complete or are they still going to be adding to it or changing it, and are they still planning to implement a second customization system (such as artifacts, but please not artifacts) in game?
Will we see heroes like Alexstrasza, Aviana, or Genn greymane?
Is there any chance of a singleplayer mode, perhaps something akin to the Horde campaign in ‘The Frozen Throne’?
-What is the likelihood of Lost Vikings/Blackthorne/Rock n’ Roll Racing heroes?
-What is the likelihood of original heroes being implemented, taken from the Nexus itself?
-How much similarity/difference to Anub’arak and Chen bear to their ‘Warcraft III’ counterparts in terms of gameplay?