Vlad

Genji Heroes of the Storm

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This thread is for comments about our Genji build guide for Heroes of the Storm.

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Hey everyone,

Enjoy this Genji Build Guide. As he is not yet released and players will need several weeks to evaluate the worth of all of his talents, this guide will probably see a lot of re-polish and updates.

Still, enjoy the guide, hopefully it will give you a bit of an edge over your opponents at Genji's release.

I hope someone finds the Easter Egg I've hidden in this guide. :)

- Kendric

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On 22/04/2017 at 11:12 PM, KendricSwissh said:

I hope someone finds the Easter Egg I've hidden in this guide. :)

I need healing. 

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Having played a fair bit with Genji, I find the most effective playstyle is to Cyber-Agility into melee range, unload Shuriken while Deflecting, and Swift Strike for the kill or to safety. If there's alot of people, UNLEASH THE DRAGON! Genji is actually the first hero we've gotten in a while to have a big teamfight ultimate (X-Blade).

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Misspell probably: last comment on X-Strike talent at level 20 reads "cooldown reduction of 48 seconds when hitting the entire enemy team", 5*12=60 right?

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1 hour ago, Guest DemonRimo said:

Misspell probably: last comment on X-Strike talent at level 20 reads "cooldown reduction of 48 seconds when hitting the entire enemy team", 5*12=60 right?

Thanks for pointing this out! I passed this onto Kendric.

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I've been enjoying Genji a great deal using the Deflect build.  The only change I make is to go with Flow Like Water on 13 over Shingan.  If I get close enough to safely point blank Shurikens into a target then I'm likely doing fine already.  The extra damage is nice but 3x Shuriken (especially with Shuiken Mastery) does the job well enough.  Having less cooldown on Swift Strike though can easily be the difference between life and death (yours and your enemies).

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3 hours ago, TSRD said:

I've been enjoying Genji a great deal using the Deflect build.  The only change I make is to go with Flow Like Water on 13 over Shingan.  If I get close enough to safely point blank Shurikens into a target then I'm likely doing fine already.  The extra damage is nice but 3x Shuriken (especially with Shuiken Mastery) does the job well enough.  Having less cooldown on Swift Strike though can easily be the difference between life and death (yours and your enemies).

What about Double JumpDouble Jump? Do you ever pick the talent?

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No, but maybe I should.  Swift Strike always gets you in and out of fights which is why I like lowering its cooldown so much, Cyber Agility is good but it's a bit harder to use mid fight comparatively (at least for me).  That said, with Shuriken Mastery finished, having another charge of Agility gives you two more charges of Shurikens.  Put that way I'd probably take Double Jump over Shingan as another two uses of Shuriken is probably going to do more damage (for me) than the bonus point blank damage Shingan gives.  If you take his Anti-Ability damage talent then Double Jump would be an easy pick.

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One thing to note that this guide has gotten wrong:

Living Weapon, the level 20 talent for X-Strike, can cause a far bigger cooldown reduction than 60 seconds max. It isn't worded well in the talent description, but it actually reduces the cooldown by 12 seconds for every instance of damage dealt by X-Strike to an enemy hero. That means you can get up to 36 seconds cooldown reduction per hero hit in perfect conditions, as there are three instances of damage dealt. I for a fact have been able to use it two or three times in a row with no cooldown  quite easily on maps with tight objectives (especially Infernal Shrines) from the cooldown reduction I've had. I therefore think it should be at least changed to a Situational rather than Not Recommended.

Edited by CobraJD
Correction

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4 hours ago, CobraJD said:

One thing to note that this guide has gotten wrong:

Living Weapon, the level 20 talent for X-Strike, can cause a far bigger cooldown reduction than 60 seconds max. It isn't worded well in the talent description, but it actually reduces the cooldown by 12 seconds for every instance of damage dealt by X-Strike to an enemy hero. That means you can get up to 36 seconds cooldown reduction per hero hit in perfect conditions, as there are three instances of damage dealt. I for a fact have been able to use it two or three times in a row with no cooldown  quite easily on maps with tight objectives (especially Infernal Shrines) from the cooldown reduction I've had. I therefore think it should be at least changed to a Situational rather than Not Recommended.

I can't really test it (as it seems to be quite rare, to hit someone multiple times with the X-StrikeX-Strike in mid/higher leagues), so i would really appreciate some kind of proof. Additionally, this does not really change the ranking, because of the aforementioned problem. Also, all talents have been tested thoroughly by Kendric, a pro player, and he deemed the talent not good enough based on his experience with the talent. So, even if it lowers the cooldown multiple times from one hit, it is not consistent enough.

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it's more than possible to get a full reset by landing 3 hits on a cc'ed target in the center and 2 hits on the sides, you can test it in try mode

the information is straight up wrong, the guide hasn't been updated to reflect actual gameplay yet

 

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I am going to change the talent's description if it helps avoiding confusion. 

Yet, it does not change my perception of the talent being worse than others at Level 20. 
To go for a talent that will net you ideal value every once out of 30 or so times you cast it is not good enough to make it worth recommending. 

Of course you can claim it's good in an ideal world. If it works for you, feel free to pick it. But I've had too many games that have been decided by Zanshin. 

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I have a question: while I understand that Perfect Defense normally will provide superior protection/damage, can Augmented Guard be taken against comps with very high burst damage? I feel like it would gain lots of value if the enemy team had a Jaina and Alarak or some other form of large ability damage. Would probably still be a niche pick at best, but still might be worth considering. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

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28 minutes ago, Niteshadow said:

I have a question: while I understand that Perfect Defense normally will provide superior protection/damage, can Augmented Guard be taken against comps with very high burst damage? I feel like it would gain lots of value if the enemy team had a Jaina and Alarak or some other form of large ability damage. Would probably still be a niche pick at best, but still might be worth considering. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

If the enemy team is burst-focused, the shield after the end of DeflectDeflect will usually disappear by decaying over the 4 seconds, rather than be used to soak up damage, as the burst will have ended by then. 
Since most of burst-focused heroes rely on spells and ability damage rather than on AA damage, Cyber ShieldCyber Shield can be used to mitigate the damage in case you use DeflectDeflect too soon, putting it on cooldown.

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35 minutes ago, positiv2 said:

If the enemy team is burst-focused, the shield after the end of DeflectDeflect will usually disappear by decaying over the 4 seconds, rather than be used to soak up damage, as the burst will have ended by then. 
Since most of burst-focused heroes rely on spells and ability damage rather than on AA damage, Cyber ShieldCyber Shield can be used to mitigate the damage in case you use DeflectDeflect too soon, putting it on cooldown.

Alright. Thanks for the prompt reply!

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I've seen genji picked a lot in the hgc crucible so I decided to try him out. After many games these are my talent choices https://www.icy-veins.com/heroes/talent-calculator/genji#25.0!1121111

It's pretty much what the pros went for as well, picking the consistent damage from shuriken talents and the Dragonblade for teamfights.

Genji is a poke hero, I usually stay on the side or behind the enemy and put pressure and when I see an opportunity for Dragonblade I jump in. Dragonblade is superior to X-strike because its easier to land and after 2 slashes it surpasses x-strike in damage, the level 20 Dragonblade is also really strong, it means Dragonblade will never end. X-strike does give genji more mobility and its an easy point and click ability but Genji doesnt need more mobility, he needs more consistent damage to finish off low health enemies.

The level 20 talent, Zanshin seems underwhelming, I rarely stay in range of more than 2 heroes when using deflect, sometimes I even miss-time it and I absorb no damage.

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On 2017-5-29 at 10:18 AM, Fransoa said:

I've seen genji picked a lot in the hgc crucible so I decided to try him out. After many games these are my talent choices https://www.icy-veins.com/heroes/talent-calculator/genji#25.0!1121111

It's pretty much what the pros went for as well, picking the consistent damage from shuriken talents and the Dragonblade for teamfights.

Genji is a poke hero, I usually stay on the side or behind the enemy and put pressure and when I see an opportunity for Dragonblade I jump in. Dragonblade is superior to X-strike because its easier to land and after 2 slashes it surpasses x-strike in damage, the level 20 Dragonblade is also really strong, it means Dragonblade will never end. X-strike does give genji more mobility and its an easy point and click ability but Genji doesnt need more mobility, he needs more consistent damage to finish off low health enemies.

The level 20 talent, Zanshin seems underwhelming, I rarely stay in range of more than 2 heroes when using deflect, sometimes I even miss-time it and I absorb no damage.

That's pretty much the build I use. However I usually go with X-Strike instead of Dragon Blade, but maybe it's because I don't have much pratice with Dragon Blade and tend to get myself in tight situations. And I love ZanshinZanshin. I've scored some neat kills with it by baiting opponents.

I completely agree with you: Genji is a poke hero. He is meant to just throw Shurikens and wait for the right opportunity to finish the low health opponents (usually when their CDs are exausthed). The Shuriken build is usually more rewarding because you can catch those fleeing and deal massive damage thanks to Shuriken MasteryShuriken Mastery and ShinganShingan. I always end up performing poorly if I go with the Swift Strike build.

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On May 29, 2017 at 8:18 AM, Fransoa said:

I've seen genji picked a lot in the hgc crucible so I decided to try him out. After many games these are my talent choices https://www.icy-veins.com/heroes/talent-calculator/genji#25.0!1121111

It's pretty much what the pros went for as well, picking the consistent damage from shuriken talents and the Dragonblade for teamfights.

Genji is a poke hero, I usually stay on the side or behind the enemy and put pressure and when I see an opportunity for Dragonblade I jump in. Dragonblade is superior to X-strike because its easier to land and after 2 slashes it surpasses x-strike in damage, the level 20 Dragonblade is also really strong, it means Dragonblade will never end. X-strike does give genji more mobility and its an easy point and click ability but Genji doesnt need more mobility, he needs more consistent damage to finish off low health enemies.

The level 20 talent, Zanshin seems underwhelming, I rarely stay in range of more than 2 heroes when using deflect, sometimes I even miss-time it and I absorb no damage.

While Dragonblade may be the better ult for more experienced Genji players, I find X-Strike to be much better for people who are newer to the character or, alternatively, if the enemy team is REALLY bursty. Having that 1.25 seconds up in the air after you dive into the back line without the damage would still be worth it, just because of the amount of time you can deal damage but take none in return. You can dive in with Swift StrikeSwift Strike, throw some Shurikens, DeflectDeflect, then pop X-Strike to make sure you aren't instantly focused down. The damage can be fantastic, but the fact you can't take any damage in the air is what makes it the ult I really enjoy most of the time.

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2 hours ago, Niteshadow said:

While Dragonblade may be the better ult for more experienced Genji players, I find X-Strike to be much better for people who are newer to the character or, alternatively, if the enemy team is REALLY bursty. Having that 1.25 seconds up in the air after you dive into the back line without the damage would still be worth it, just because of the amount of time you can deal damage but take none in return. You can dive in with Swift StrikeSwift Strike, throw some Shurikens, DeflectDeflect, then pop X-Strike to make sure you aren't instantly focused down. The damage can be fantastic, but the fact you can't take any damage in the air is what makes it the ult I really enjoy most of the time.

I like to purposely dive into the enemy team with X-Strike and then pop Deflect, to bait opponents.

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Living Weapon is, by experience, a very good talent on maps with choke point or against teams that like to group up. I already managed to ult 3 times in a row with this talent, and even without a full reset, the cooldown reduction is good to take. Sharpened Stars seems less powerful, since at this stage of the game, the ennemy will likely have anough forms of damage mitigation or healing that poking will be almost ineffective. Zanshin seems underwhelming if you didn't take Reflect at lvl 16, but I didn't test it yet.

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There's some good comments from Niteshadow and Farbas on Ult and L20 talent picks..... Maybe these could also be used in expanding the discussion on contingencies under which you'd pick each respective talent? I'm guessing Dragonblade also more useful/viable with more melee opponents and thus X-Strike more so with the more important backline targets?

I'd love a bit more comment on this as I'm still newish to Genji, and I've mainly been using X-Strike and typically living weapon for the cd in better organised team fights (and just more my style with that style of assassin), but have begun to wonder if maybe I should be using dragonblade ult a bit more for sustained damage in some situations.

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4 hours ago, Kiarbitrager said:

There's some good comments from Niteshadow and Farbas on Ult and L20 talent picks..... Maybe these could also be used in expanding the discussion on contingencies under which you'd pick each respective talent?

If you mean in the guide, it's already covered - "X-Strike can act as an escape mechanism that allows Genji to dodge incoming burst damage and crowd control"

4 hours ago, Kiarbitrager said:

I'd love a bit more comment on this as I'm still newish to Genji, and I've mainly been using X-Strike and typically living weapon for the cd in better organised team fights (and just more my style with that style of assassin), but have begun to wonder if maybe I should be using dragonblade ult a bit more for sustained damage in some situations.

Knowing which talent to pick (or at least know which situation you are in) based on the team you are with and against is art, and can be learned only through experience, especially with the heroes you are playing with or against. Living WeaponLiving Weapon is unreliable and should not be picked outside of low MMR QM or bronze. ZanshinZanshin is way more reliable and acts as a AoE as well.

If you believe sustained damage might be better, go ahead and pick DragonbladeDragonblade instead. However, keep in mind that the ability is more skill reliant, so if you fail at first, do not give up.

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I did more tests on Living Weapon, the level 20 upgrade for X-strike. In my games, a 2nd X-strike changed all my games from questionable or losing to winning. I find the talent to be a must pick if the enemy has "7 heroes" and situational if the enemy has "6" or have a tendency to clump up. For example, Living Weapon against Samuro or LTV and sometimes Rexxar is practically a free X-strike in any team fight. This works in duels against them too. I would put the talent to be situational, since a 2nd X-strike every 0-24 seconds allows Genji to dictate the pace of his team fights. This is especially true if Genji manages to pull an immediate 2nd X-strike that can be overwhelming to deal with.

Edit*

I also want to point about that Strike at the Heart is a trap talent for Swift Strike build, since the damage and reliability of the talent does not match Shuriken Mastery in any way.  The fact that Genji has to hit a target at the end of his incredibly long range swift strike for mediocre damage makes it hard to use in team fights. The only times where I found the talent useful is taking down a low health target, which Shuriken Mastery does just as good and can provide a 2nd set of shurikens if Genji fails to take the target down immediately. This is much more forgiving than the low burst provided by Strike at the Heart, which also promotes dangerous play style.

Edited by Trensicourt

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      As for your question – Chromie is probably one of the heroes that I am most proud of. When I started working on her, I'd never animated something seriously 'cartoony' before -- pushed timing, held poses, crazy mid-air jumps and things. She came hot on the heels of Dehaka -- realistic monster bro. It was tough to switch gears, but I feel like in the end I squeezed cute-gnome-personality into every piece of her kit.
      The one thing you might have missed, as we didn't want it to happen to often, is that if you begin walking by clicking far enough away -- Chromie will actually start her walk cycle with a little jump instead of just running. (Similar functionality to how the bikes do a wheelie)
      Speaking of Dehaka, he also has several walk variations. He looks side-to side while walking around (the little sneak is always prowlin') and every once in a while he gives a solid hobble onto his good arm to help him along.
      I see you play Tyrande... one of the first things I did on the team was fix a deformation issue on Tyrande's gluteus maximus, which was quite visible in the hero selection screens and was the butt of many jokes. Without any patch notes mentioning the change, Reddit somehow noticed! That made my day and is still one of my most memorable moments working on Heroes of the Storm.
      As for something that you may have missed... Cho'gall was such a large hero that we added extra joints to his skeleton to add realism to how his massive body moves. I'll leave it up to you to find those extra joints ?
      There are so many portraits in HotS but we can only use one at a time. What do you think about adding a portrait loadout slot so we could use different portraits with different loadouts, to be used on loading screen?
      This is something we've discussed and we like the idea a lot. No timeline for getting it in game yet, but it's definitely on our radar.
      When are we getting Janitor Leoric?
      The team as a whole loves seeing the bucket of ideas that the community is always creating! And Janitor Leoric is such a clean concept, it would be a shame to sweep it off the table…
      Alexstrasza's face looks a little stretched out horizontally in the hero bar at the top of the screen and in the observer/replay UI. Is it a trick of perspective or is it actually messed up somehow? Link:
      https://www.reddit.com/r/heroesofthestorm/comments/8v2wk5/its_been_nearly_8_months_blizzard_isnt_it_time/
      This is unintentional! I watch too much HGC to not be aware of it -- We're definitely on it!
      Can we expect Ragnaros to get skins (or recolors) that are not red, orange or yellow? Something purple or green will be great. But he's the 2-nd oldest hero with only 3 skins.
      It's something the team would love to do, but the biggest hurdle for Ragnaros is the heavy load of FX work associated with him. The model recolor would be easy to handle but FX would not only have to touch a myriad of FX, they would also be on the hook for maintenance of those skins should any issues arise. At the end of the day we have to consider whether or not the resources spent for a single Raganaros skin/recolor is more meaningful to our players when the time could have been used for multiple new skins or recolors instead. It's a balancing act, but one that we would eventually love to make the time for.
      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 Damien
      This thread is for comments about the episode 20 of our podcast.