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PTR Patch Notes: Oct 10 & Samuro Spotlight

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The latest content patch with Blademaster Samuro & the new Heroes Brawl game mode is now live on Public Test Realms and available for playtesting until October 17.

The PTRs are finally up and it's time to test out the new Hero and the Heroes Brawl mode!

How Do I Join?

To participate, navigate to Heroes of the Storm in the Battle.net app. In the REGION/ACCOUNT dropdown menu, select PTR: Heroes of the Storm and click Install.

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GENERAL

Hallow’s End is Here!

  • 50% XP Bonus!
    • The Nexus is haunted by a 50% XP bonus until Hallow’s End concludes during the week of November 2!
  • Hallow’s End Event Quest
    • Quest: Play 15 games during Hallow’s End in any mode except Custom Games, Training, or Heroes Brawl.
    • Reward: Deputy Valla Portrait
    • Please note: Any progress made toward the Hallow’s End Event Quest on the Public Test Realm will not transfer to the live version of Heroes once the patch is released during the week of October 17.

NEW HERO: SAMURO

Samuro, the last remaining blademaster to wear the banner of the Burning Blade, is on a warrior’s pilgrimage in search of vengeance and redemption for this fallen clan. It will be a long journey, but he has sworn an oath to restore his clan’s honor.

Trait 

  • Advancing Strike
    • Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes increase your Movement Speed by 25% for 2 seconds.

Basic Abilities

  • Mirror Image (Q)
    • Create 2 Mirror Images that deal 30% of your damage and have 50% of your current Health. Images last up to 16 seconds, and only 2 can be active at once.
  • Critical Strike (W)
    • Your next Basic Attack within 8 seconds will be a Critical Strike, dealing 50% increased damage. This also applies to Mirror Images and does not break Wind Walk.
    • Passive: You and your Mirror Images deal a Critical Strike every 4th Basic Attack.
  • Wind Walk (E)
    • Enter Stealth for up to 8 seconds or until you attack, use an Ability, or take damage. While Stealthed, your Movement Speed is increased by 30% and you can pass through other units.
    • Damage taken during the first 1 second will not break Wind Walk.

Heroic Abilities

  • Bladestorm (R)
    • Become an unstoppable whirlwind, dealing moderate damage to nearby enemies every second for 4 seconds.
  • Illusion Master (R)
    • Switch places with the target Mirror Image.
    • Passive: You can control Mirror Images separately or as a group, and they deal an additional 20% of your damage.

NEW GAME MODE: HEROES BRAWL

Heroes Brawl is an action-packed new game mode that breaks all the rules and offers a fresh take on Heroes of the Storm's gameplay each week. Learn more by visiting the Heroes Brawl website.

 

The Basics
  • Heroes Brawl offers three distinct match types, with endless possibilities for twisted rulesets and wild mechanics each week:
    • Arenas: Pick one of three randomly selected Heroes, and then duke it out against the enemy team to complete objectives. The first team to complete the objective twice will claim victory.
    • Mutators: Wild rulesets and unique mechanics change the way you play on Battlegrounds you’re already familiar with.
    • Single-Lanes: One-lane Battlegrounds with no objectives, Mercenaries, or Hearthstone to distract you from destroying the enemy Core.
  • Click the Brawl Info button in the lower-left corner of the screen to learn detailed information about the currently active Brawl.

How to Brawl

  • Find Heroes Brawl in-game by heading to the Play screen, click Brawl on the far left side of the navigation bar, then queue up and have a blast!
  • Anyone can dive into the action! Heroes Brawl is not restricted by account level or the number of Heroes owned, and you can queue up alone or in a party of any size.
  • The current weekly Brawl will also be available through Custom Games - though replays, observer mode, and score screens may not function as expected for some of the unique Brawl types.
    • Heroes Brawl custom games will also discard Hero drafts and pre-selections once players enter the match.

Reap the Rewards

  • Participate in three Brawls each week to receive in-game rewards!
  • Hover the cursor over the Weekly Rewards icon in the lower-left corner of the Brawl screen for a breakdown of the available rewards each week.

ART

General

  • The following Heroes have received additional facial animation polish:
    • E.T.C.
    • Illidan
    • Valla
  • Diablo has received additional idle animation polish.

Battlegrounds

  • Core attacks have received update visual effects in order to better visually indicate that they deal splash damage.
  • Cannonballs that fire on the minimap for Blackheart’s Bay have received visual effects polish.
  • Sky Temple has received additional optimization polish.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • The following Heroes have received custom Hearthstone animations:
    • Diablo
    • E.T.C.
  • The following Heroes, Abilities, and Talents have received updated visual effects:
    • Cleanse (Talent)
    • Gul’dan: Fel Flame (Q), Corruption (E)
    • Illidan: Evasion (E)
    • Lunar Illidan: The Hunt (R)

SHOP

Bundles

  • New Bundles
    • Hellblade Samuro Bundle – Available until November 1, 2016
    • The following Bundles will be added to the in-game Shop on October 18:
      • Nexus Challenger Bundle
      • Nexus Conqueror Bundle
  • Removed Bundles
    • The following bundles will be removed from the in-game Shop on October 18:
      • Starter Bundle
      • Triumph Bundle

New Hero 

  • Samuro has been added to the in-game Shop.

Mounts

  • New Mounts
    • Hellboar
  • Returning Mounts
    • Marshal’s Outrider
  • Removed Mounts
    • Crimson Hare

Skins

  • Hellblade Samuro
  • Master Samuro

SOUND

Ranked

  • New voiceover lines have been added that will play when a player is promoted into a new League Tier.

Draft Mode

  • Sound effects and voiceover will now play when entering Lost Cavern Draft Mode via Custom Games.

USER INTERFACE

General

  • A “New Player Chat” channel has been added.
    • New players will automatically join this channel upon logging into Heroes of the Storm until they reach account level 20.

Daily Win Bonus

  • The first game that players win each day will now award 50% bonus XP and Gold for that match.
    • This bonus applies to all game modes except Brawl, Custom Games, and Training.
    • A First Win of the Day icon has been added to the top navigation bar, which will activate whenever a First Win of the Day bonus is available.

XP Bonuses

  • Friend Bonus
    • Playing Heroes with a friend will now award 25% bonus XP.
  • Party Bonus 
    • The XP bonus earned by playing in a party now scales based on the number of party members:
      • 2 Players: +25%
      • 3 Players: +33%
      • 4 Players: +42%
      • 5 Players: +50%
  • Game Mode Bonus
    • Playing ranked games will now award an XP bonus:
      • Hero League: +25% XP
      • Team League: +50% XP
  • XP Bonuses Stack Additively
    • Playing in a party with one friend will still award a total of 50% bonus XP, just as it did before, but playing with additional party members will now award even more XP.
    • Playing Team League in a full party with at least one friend and an active Stimpack will now award a total of 225% bonus XP.
  • The “Available XP Bonuses” icon in the top navigation bar will activate when players are receiving any of the bonuses mentioned above.
    • Hover the cursor over this icon to display a tooltip that offers a full breakdown of all active and inactive XP bonuses.

Play Screen

  • Hovering the cursor over each game mode on the Play Screen navigation bar will now display a tooltip that briefly describes that mode.
  • Versus A.I.
    • Training mode has been moved into Versus AI on the Play screen.
    • A “Versus A.I. Options” interface has been added to the left side of the Versus A.I. screen.
      • Use the buttons to switch between Training, A.I. Teammates, or Co-op modes.
      • Use the Difficulty Slider to select the desired skill level of A.I. allies and opponents in A.I. Teammates and Co-op modes.
        • Training mode A.I. difficulty is set to beginner, and cannot be changed.
  • Suggested Play Mode
    • The Play Screen navigation bar will now suggest a game mode to new players.
      • Level 1 – 10: Versus A.I.
      • Level 11 – 20: Quick Match
      • Level 20+: Heroes Brawl (If the weekly rewards have not yet been earned.)
    • Hover the cursor over the suggested mode icon to display a tooltip that explains why a mode is suggested.

Profile

  • Match History
    • The Match History tab can now be filtered by Heroes Brawl matches using the dropdown menu in the upper-right corner.
  • Profile Summary
    • Heroes Brawl stats have been added to the Profile Summary screen that will track the number of Brawls won and weekly rewards earned.
  • Statistics
    • The Statistics tab can now be filtered by Heroes Brawl stats using the dropdown menu in the upper-right corner.

MVP and Commendations

  • MVP and Commendations can now be skipped using the new Exit button added to the lower-left corner of the screen.
    • The duration of the MVP and Commendations screen now lasts 50 seconds.
    • A timer has been added to the lower-right corner of the screen that will count down the final 10 seconds of the MVP and Commendations screen.
  • Commendations
    • Bulwark will now take the number of deaths into account in order to focus this Commendation on the efficiency of damage soaked, rather than total damage taken.
      • The tooltip for Bulwark will now display the player’s total deaths during the match in addition to damage soaked.
    • Slight adjustments have been made in order to better balance the Dominator and Painbringer Commendations.
    • Abathur was previously a little too likely to receive the MVP award. Slight adjustments have been made to bring him in line with other Heroes.

BUG FIXES

General

  • Corrected a number of typos and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game.

A.I.

  • Medivh: Enemy AI players will now avoid teammates that are under the effects of Medivh’s Polybomb.
  • Lt. Morales: Can now properly detonate Displacement Grenade near enemies.

Art

  • Chen: Keg models that appear when casting Storm, Earth, Fire using any of Chen’s Skins are no longer missing certain visual effects.
  • Illidan: The visual effects for The Hunt will now properly display on the Ability’s target during replays.
  • Greymane: The Worgen model will no longer remain on screen while viewing end-of-game Stats and Talents pages.

Battlegrounds

  • Braxis Holdout: Neutral Raven Mercenaries will no longer clip into the terrain after being knocked back.
  • Braxis Holdout: Fixed an issue in which Zagara’s Mutalisk could cause a captured Archangel to exhibit pathing issues.
  • Braxis Holdout: Fixed an issue in which a captured Archangel could target enemy Heroes with its Bullet Storm Ability.
  • Garden of Terror: Shielding a Structure will no longer prevent a Garden Terror's bonus siege damage from being applied.
  • Infernal Shrines: Fallen Shaman Mercenaries will now prioritize attacking enemy Structures over Walls.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Damage Reduction: When two damage reduction effects, such as Resistant (25%) and Hardened Shield (75%), are simultaneously applied to a Hero, the larger effect will no longer be overridden by the lesser effect.
  • Anub'arak: The Cocoon overlay will now display correctly for enemies affected by Cocoon.
  • Auriel: The Piercing Lash Talent tooltip now correctly states that Detainment Strike will only pierce Heroes, rather than all enemies.
  • Auriel: Enemy Heroes will no longer occasionally be Stunned by Detainment Strike when knocked away from terrain.
  • Auriel: Quest progress for the Repeated Offense Talent will now be correctly tracked in the Stats panel.
  • Azmodan: Globe of Annihilation’s range indicator is now visually consistent with indicators used by other long-range Abilities.
  • Greymane: The Go for the Throat indicator will no longer visually persist above Heroes who have post-death forms, such as Uther or Leoric, after they are killed.
  • Illidan: Fixed an issue that could occasionally cause Illidan to fly back to his death location if he was killed while using Dive.
  • Kharazim: Will no longer automatically resume attacking enemies after using Radiant Dash to dive to an ally. This fix also applies to Illidan’s Friend or Foe and Kerrigan’s Adaptation Talents.
  • Leoric: Minions will no longer path around Leoric when he is in Undying form.
  • Medivh: The damage over time effect from Xul’s Poison Nova will no longer be visually removed from Medivh’s Health bar after traveling through a Portal with the Mage Armor Talent.
  • Rexxar: A delay will no longer occur between repeated Misha, Focus! casts.
  • Sgt. Hammer: Re-casting Orbital BFG just as the first missile re-enters the Battleground will no longer cause the new missile to follow the previous path.
  • Sylvanas: The Death Recap tooltip for Wailing Arrow now correctly displays the Ability’s description.
  • The Butcher: Hamstring will now correctly deal bonus damage to non-Heroic targets after learning the Cheap Shot Talent.
  • Zagara: The Stasis overlay will no longer appear on the screen when Zagara’s Mutalisk enters Zeratul's Void Prison.

Sound

  • Illidan: Voiceover that plays while casting The Hunt is now only audible for Illidan and his target.
  • Illidan: High pitched ambient sounds that play while casting The Hunt are no longer audible for the target’s allies. Lower-pitched ambient sounds will still play for all players and observers.

User Interface

  • Death Recap: Fixed an issue in which a Heal effect could occasionally appear to be the killing blow in Death Recap notifications.
  • Replay: Selecting a Hero during a Replay will no longer prevent the Hero Portrait and Status Bars from switching correctly when attempting to view a different Hero’s perspective using hotkeys.
  • Observer: Warhead counters will now update properly in the Observer interface on Warhead Junction.

(Source)

Samuro Spotlight

The official spotlight for Samuro is now up.

The patch will be released during the week of October 17.

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      I know this isn't exactly "art and animation", but more likely "organisation of the art in the collection", but I don't think I can ask this in the other coming AMAs either, so I'll go ahead and post this here: Can we get better organisation on the sprays and portraits in our collection? Getting filters for the different unverses and filters for "sketches", "herostorm", "stylized", "indigo", "classic", "nexus", "achievement", "event", etc, would greatly help with finding what you are looking for, and it will make the collection seem less messy.
      I'll bring this up as part of our ongoing discussions on evolving the collection. Thanks for the feedback!!
      I liked and missed master skins, not the exclusivity of them (okay maybe a little bit), but it was fun to have over the top versions of the base skins. Did you enjoy re-imagining decked out versions of each hero?
      Absolutely ? One of the joys of early HotS skin development was giving a Heroes twist to the established heroes coming into our game from other universes. We will still drop “Master level” skins from time to time, but we hope you’re also enjoying the themed skin bundles as well!
      What hero was the most fun to design/animate?
      For me it was Dehaka!
      I was a hardcore Zerg player in BW and SC2, so it was exciting to be able to help bring Dehaka to the Nexus. One of the reasons I love the Zerg is their obsession with evolving. Our Art Director had a cool idea to help sell this fantasy: Dehaka's arm would regenerate once the player accomplished something, in this case, when they picked a heroic ability. This was both challenging and very fun to execute on. The fully grown arm had to line up perfectly to the severed one. This was also the first time a hero's model changed significantly after picking a heroic in our game.
      Thanks for the question YugoBetrugo17! It's very hard to pick just one, as one of the great things about Heroes is the variety of characters we get to animate and design. Animating Alarak was a lot of fun because of his weapon design. But Lili was also fun because it's not every day you get to animate a character skipping. Not sure when that will happen again!
      For me it was ALSO Dehaka!
      I started my life at Blizzard as an intern on StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, where we first met Dehaka, and I fell in love. By the time I got there, Dehaka was already animated, but I thought the concept of his character - this badass primal zerg - was SO awesome I jumped at the chance to give my own take on him.
      Plus I got work with a pretty cool Tech Artist. (PS: Happy Birthday, Billy!)
      Why aren't we getting banners as often as we should? There are plenty of banners that could/should be added, but we are only getting banners for events, and not regular ones ?
      We think banners are a fun way to customize your character and we'll continue to invest in them even more moving forward! Banners were originally difficult to distinguish or associate with a given player, but in the past year, we've added the ability to see the owner of the banner (in text form) in-game, along with adding it to the MVP screen. As part of this expanding support, we'll be releasing more banner content in future patches that not only celebrates our events, but also our Heroes, skins, and the game as a whole. We hope you like them, and please keep those requests coming!
      When animating a character that has seen a previous iteration in the Blizzard universe (as is almost always the case) how much inspiration do you draw from the original iteration, and how much do you create fresh?
      In the case of a game like OW, are you able to directly port over animations, or do you end up creating everything from scratch anyways?
      Bonus (and more important) question: Waffles or pancakes?
      In general, when setting out to create an existing Blizzard hero, we collect reference materials from across the company with the goal of making the hero fit in the Nexus while still staying true to their other incarnations. We often will get in touch with other game teams to get their feedback as well as their buy-in on what we are doing. In the case of Overwatch heroes, we do not port over animations directly. We do heavily reference them though!
      Waffles FTW.
      How much of the artwork that finds it's way into the games is just one of you, doodling and brainstorming by yourself, it gets traction w/the others in the team. Or is all the artwork made by commité?
      I think the team does an exceptional job of being mindful of the collaborative mentality. However, every good idea's gotta come from somewhere!
      D.Haka, for example, came about because my buddy and I were making jokes while queing for QM during a lunch break. Chromie's sand-clone dance was something I begged FX for and we were able to make happen, and her Taunt, when the dragon appears, is something I mocked up a working protoype for and pitched to the team.
      One of the most fantastic and most surprising things I've found working as a game developer at Blizzard is the seriously incredible sense of ownership over the work I'm creating. We have teams, there is an approval process, and yes, direction often comes down from on high -- but every voice really does matter. My opinions are valued, and good ideas are acted upon no matter what the source.
      Lana: What was your favorite animation to work on and why is it Enforcer Morales' hairflick?
      Hahahahah -- That was a fun one! I begged to work on even just a tiny piece of Enforcer Morales, and was very lucky that I finished up Enforcer Jo quick enough to sneak in a hearth for Morales between other tasks.
      Favourite animation to work on, however? Gotta be my boy Dehaka.
      What heroes/effects were particularly hard to animate?
      Stukov! This boy was challenging from a number of angles:
      Technically -- Making sure that his various FX were correctly connecting to his base model. Massive shove, in particular was exceedingly challenging to get working 'just so' and it took an incredible effort from all disciplines to get it where you see today.
      Artistically -- Stukov is a stoic military bro who is ashamed of the monster he's become. I went to school to animate monsters -- all I wanted to see was Stukov go full Rage Mode with that Zerg limb, but he's supposed to be restrained. Calm. (Compelling character -- but what an obnoxious justaposition!) Keeping a half-man half-alien looking upright and put together on the battlefield.. but also threatening and tough. Not exactly the simplest task.
      Emotionally -- Now, this is getting real deep into animation nerddom, but I really struggled with getting his acting choices just right! In the end, I'm pretty satisfied with the balance I found. It's probably best seen in his Quick Match hero select screen:
      When Stukov is out of combat, he stands with his arm tucked behind him - as he wants to present his best most human self to you.
      Upon hitting ready, Stukov looks at his arm, resigned, and says 'Victory above all' - because winning battles is more important to him than his cosmetic flaws, and he will use every advantage he has in order to do so.
      When he's readied up, he has forgotten any insecurities and is ready to fight.
      And when Stukov unreadies, it's almost as if he's coming to his senses. As if, perhaps the animalistic, zerg mentality has affected more than just his arm, and he's back to his militant, disciplined self.
      Thanks for the question, kid-karma:
      We are constantly pushing ourselves to do innovative and challenging things for new heroes. Some of these challenges will be invisible to our players by the time they ship, so this is a good opportunity for us to shed some light on what we went through.
      For myself, Ragnaros was particularly hard. He went through various iterations in art and design, so his character rig had to change multiple times to accommodate. One thing to call out specifically is Ragnaros' "flame base." To prevent the spinning texture from flipping around when a player moved him, we needed a way to lock it down to always face the camera. To do this, we separated the flame base from the rest of him and re-attached it back in game. This made it hard for the animator to know what he was doing inside our animation program because a significant part of Ragnaros was not moving as it would in the game. The animator had to use a lot of his imagination when doing his work. ?
      Ragnaros' custom mount was also tricky. It was our first time introducing a mount with a dynamic trail. This introduced new technology to our Heroes and required a lot of interaction and iteration between Tech Art, Engineering, Animation, and FX. We now use this technique on the various water mounts in the game.
      It seems like Standalone hero reworks are coming with new skins. Is this something we can expect in the future?
      Hello! Our recent reworks from Sonya & Medivh through Raynor & Azmodan have been paired with everything from new takes on existing skins to entirely new skins. With future reworks, we'll continue to have similar skin support across that range, though note that it's much more important to us to get the right rework at the right time for gameplay purposes rather than aligning a rework with a skin.
      Overwatch has victory poses and taunts available in lootboxes, will we ever see anything like that in HotS?
      Hi Imephraim! That's a really fun question, it's an idea that gets brought up every now and then internally too. I can tell you there are currently no plans to do this but it's still an idea I'd like to hang onto. It requires a lot of technical hookups in the game before it would be possible that aren't currently at a high priority, but beyond victory poses and taunt animations, I think a Hearth animation you can choose in your Loadout would be fun too.
      Hey /u/Blizz_LanaB, great job on Yrel, she looks amazing though I have a question. Did you get to animate her wings too or was that somebody else or the FX guys?
      Thanks!
      I animated them, as well! The motions at least -- our amazing FX artist was responsible for making them look so beautiful, otherwise.
      They were a little tricky, because the wing rig lives in a separate file and then is attached to the model once they are in the game together -- so it's a little funny animating them as separate pieces -- but I think they turned out great!
      The Lost Vikings haven't gotten new skins (or even recolors) ever. Any plans to change that?
      Eventually, yes. The primary hurdle for The Lost Vikings is that it is a "three models for one Hero" situation. Building three new models is quite a commitment, so a new skin for them is something we have to clear time for. But I'll go ahead promise that recolors WILL happen! ?
      The extension of certain skin-themes in events like Herostorm or Raiders of Warchrome have been a delight. Can we expect similar events to expand on other skin-themes in the future?
      As long as the community is engaged and passionate for a skin theme, we would love to continue exploring those themes! ?
      Something me and many of my friends have noticed, is that a lot of the Heroes character models are muscular and chunkier than their other video game counter parts, Is there a particular reason for this?
      Yes! We try our best to maintain the key elements that make those heroes who they are, however, when a new hero or skin comes into our game we have to take into account how those models are seen by the player. Because our game has a RTS-style isometric view, we often need to exaggerate proportions so that the asset is easily readable and identifiable from our game camera. Having said that, our game has evolved over time and with new features like Heroes 2.0 loot chest and collection views, we've been adjusting our modeling process to account for close up views as well.
      What were some of the difficulties the team ran into when making/animating Alexstrazsa's dragon form? And can we be hopeful to see more like that in the future?
      The biggest issue we ran into was the size of the dragon - we knew we wanted to have her in dragon-form out on the battle field, but to do so effectively proved a challenge. How do we ensure we're adding to the gameplay experience rather than obscuring it?
      There was a lot of back and forth on the scale of her dragon form between art and design, but ultimately, it was our incredible engineering team who helped us cultivate a powerful and performant experience using turning tech.
      Most heroes can turn on a dime and it's no problem, but a massive dragon pulling a 180 in a single frame is visually abysmal and breaks the immersion of the dragon fantasy. The tech enables us to have 'turning' animations for the dragon that we blend in/out of, so we can actually have the model bend and face the direction she wants to go as she turns, rather than popping in the opposite direction.
      This is a question for each artist/animator: If you could redo one hero from scratch, who would you choose? Could be one of yours or someone else’s work.
      Kerrigan! One of my favourite characters from lore (and I play her all the dang time). I was lucky enough that I got to animate a skin for her -- had a chance to animate a legendary homescreen and a few custom animations -- but I'd love the chance to do my take on her kit in full!
      How much work goes into making a legendary skin with unique animations and/or sound effects? If you decided today to make a new legendary skin for a hero, when would you guess it would be ready for release?
      Artistically, it's typically the same amount of work for a brand new hero! New model often means new rig, often means new animation set. With all that work and TLC from so many different teams, it could typically take months and months!
      Alright I got several question so lets start with the big one, which I have been curious about for quite a while
      Why was Nova's original taunt animation changed to the current one?
      I believe you changed it after the game went "live", Im just curious as to why because its not like there has been a lot of animation changes, at least not after heroes are open to the public.
      Thank you for doing and for probably being the best art direction in all of Blizzard right now, you guys rock!
      First of all, thank you so much for the kind words!
      Nova's original taunt fluctuated a bit too far out of character for her. So the dev team decided to change it to something that actually fit her personality!
      Taunts are a funny thing to animate because it's hard not to let our own personal attitudes seep into the characters. The way that I would taunt someone is dramatically different than the way Yrel would taunt someone, or Dehaka, or Artanis... In this case, I think Nova's old taunt dipped a little too far into the voice of the dev vs. the voice of the character.
      What was the biggest animation error or glitch that has occurred during the entirety of HoTS? I wanna see how screwed up this can get.
      Hi NumberOneBepsi! I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're after, but when animating Nazeebo's Gargantuan there was a bug in the game during development where a Minion would randomly attach to his hand. It was incredibly funny and the Designer agreed to make it a part of his kit. We created some animations to have him actually pickup the minions and then attack with the minion still in his hand. I think a lot of people don't realize this happens. ?
      I've always been curious as to the process of getting a design from initial concept art to in-game, would you be able to give a general sketch (lul) of the steps leading to your art appearing before us in game?
      I've always been a huge fan of how Blizzard games look and feel and HOTS is no different! You guys are awesome thanks for the passion you put into this game
      It's truly a collaborative effort! Generally it looks like this.
      Design comes up with a 'paper design' -- an idea of what the hero's abilities will look like and we can already start feedback before they begin implementing the hero into the engine.
      In tandem, Concept art starts concepting how we want the hero to look.
      The designer, once approved on paper, starts creating the asset in-game using temporary assets for testing.
      The art team then goes on to create the model, textures, and tech artists make the rig -- and if possible, we support the designer by prototyping assets they may need. (i.e. Chromie's Q was so distinct, we had to do a custom animation with temp geo for the designers to work with) Writing also starts putting together the script and recording VO!
      Once the design is somewhat locked in -- final Animation and FX begin, and then we hand off into our incredible sound, and video teams.
      We consistently meet as a team the whole way through to make sure we're all on board with the direction, and eventually it makes it's way to you!
      If you want a more in-depth view into the process, I'd advise scoping out the 'Ressurrecting Kel'thuzad' video series we created. ?
      Oh, oh hello, When you animate a hero how do you know what movements do? do you sketch them first or have some one to act them for reference?
      hehe, thanks for doing this AMA, Im in my last year of animation school and Blizzard was always a big part of why I decide to study this, I love all the Blizz work but here in Heroes I think is were the artist put more heart in their work.
      It varies animator to animator.
      Depending on the character, sometimes I can just feel it, but I do a lot of sketching, and a lot of video-recording! Sketching, often,for when the action is physically impossible. Video reference, when I'm looking for smaller moments -- how did I shift my weight just then? What is the way I'd look around in this instance. What are some unique ticks I could put into an idle animation? etc.
      You can see me working out Yrel's bubblehearth here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BkEOmH7A7m-/?taken-by=lifeatblizzard
      And Enforcer Johanna's ready up here: https://twitter.com/Latienie/status/968674147889905664
      Most importantly I'd suggest talking to your peers! To this day I have a post-it on my monitor that says 'Feedback Early and Feedback Often'. Game development is collaborative, and learning how to give and receive feedback, and communicate effectively goes a long way!
      What are your preferred art programs (Maya, Cinema4D, Blender, Photoshop, etc.)? Any hidden gem programs you think more people should use?
      With 3D digital content creation programs, once you know one, it isn't too hard to learn another. A lot of the tech artists on our team had to learn one of these programs on the job. Just become familiar with one and you'll be fine! They each have their own strengths and weaknesses.
      Hi Devs! Altough i am aware most won't comment on this since it's the most asked question (i.e "is hero X coming") i must do my part and ask if Mei from Overwatch is in consideration to appear in the game since we already have Jaina that can function as a similar hero? Thanks for the hard-work and we'll see you in the Nexus!
      Nothing is off the table in the Nexus. ?
      Do you prefer capes or wings?
      Wings.
      Is there any chance we can see more concept art or in-progress work on the game? Not like future stuff, but I would love to get some insight into the process of making my favorite skins/characters/maps that are already in the game.
      I think that the @BlizzHeroes twitter account has been posting concept art fairly frequently -- that's a good place to start. Also: we hosted some art drops on Art Station you should check out -- like this one! https://magazine.artstation.com/2017/05/blizzard-entertainment-heroes-storm-art-blast/
      Sometimes various skin tints have many colors, sometimes they have a similar amount of colors as the base tint but are different, and sometimes they have much fewer colors or are all shades of the same color.
      What is the reasoning for this limited pallet with some skins in particular?
      Here is an example of the former (many colors)
      https://heroesofthestorm.gamepedia.com/File:Sonya_Death_Knight_Naxxramas.jpg
      and the latter (very limited color palette)https://heroesofthestorm.gamepedia.com/File:Sonya_Death_Knight_Blighted.jpg
      So color variations are meant to give the players an outlet to see their favorite heroes and skins in new and colorful ways, but occasionally, we have to take gameplay implications into account. Sometimes we have to consider content that's coming in the future -- like all of the marine suit based heroes, including Raynor, Tychus, Lt. Morales, Blaze -- and therefore limit the base version of a hero into a uniquely identifiable palette. Other times we have to take hero silhouettes into account (like Stitches and Butcher) and make sure their palettes don't overlap. In other instances, we have to take into account the FX built for that hero or skin as it affects people on the team beyond those who are modeling them.
      That said, we do appreciate the feedback on any and all color variants and we hope the community continues to let us know what they love and what they feel could use more love ?
    • By Stan
      Blizzard's currently investigating an issue that's causing unintended and unusual team comps in Quick Match.
      Placeholder for tweet 1016800516402106369 This is probably a bug that went live with today's patch in the Americas. Hopefully, the bug will be fixed by the time the patch is live in Europe. Stay tuned for updates!
      Blizzard (Source)
      We are aware of an issue causing unintended and unusual team compositions and are currently investigating. We will post any additional updates in this thread. 

      Thank you for your patience as we figure this out.