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Kel'Thuzad Meta Tier List (September 2017)

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We present our tenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Kel'Thuzad patch of September 2017.

Our tenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of September 2017 is here!

Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Kel'Thuzad patch. The goal if of this list is to try and detail game's current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame). Although tier listings are generally the product of balance, many factors come into play when discussing the relative perceived strengths of heroes, including player regions, maps, play style, skill level, and, of course, personal perception. As such, any tier list—including this very one—should never be interpreted as gospel, but rather, as a guide to better grasp what to expect with regards to typical drafting experiences. One useful application of such lists is to allow you know which heroes to look out for in terms of practice and counterplay, ultimately improving your knowledge of the game.

Using the list

As stated above, tier lists are easy to mistake for gospel. As new strategies are discovered and experimented with, so changes the perception of the relative strengths of each hero. Tier lists still prove to be useful as a snapshot of player expectations in terms of drafting. Although it is generally considered preferable to focus on high tier heroes (Prime and Core tiers), it is important to note that Heroes of the Storm's wild character and map designs make it so that any given hero's tier position is prone to fluctuate depending on the situation at hand.

One classic example of such is that of Kerrigan on the Infernal Shrines map. Although we currently judge her to be a low-to-mid-tier hero, her drafting priority shoots up to first-pick or first-ban material on this specific map due to the nature of its objective. Certain heroes also synergise so well with each other that the sole fact of having the opportunity of drafting them together is generally enough to increase their potential. Tassadar and Tracer, for instance, are generally nightmarish to deal with for many. There are too many examples of these interactions to reasonably produce here, but we invite you to consult our guides to know exactly where and when each hero shines. The guides have been linked in the lists below for your convenience - just click any of the hero names to access them.

A  next to a hero's name means its tier list position has increased since the previous month whereas a  means just the opposite. Additionally, a + or - sign indicates short-to-medium term predictions (which is to say, about a month) for tier increase(s) or decrease(s), respectively. These are often updated after significant balance patches and/or when clear trends are emerging.

If you're newer to the game, also consider visiting our glossary for a comprehensive list of discrete Heroes of the Storm terms.

 

Prime Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Anub'arak- Genji Uther -
Arthas Greymane Tassadar  
Dehaka Malthael    
Stitches-      
       

Prime tier heroes are considered to be extremely strong in all situations, and show no obvious weakness. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most matches.

 

Core Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Diablo Falstad Auriel Nazeebo
E.T.C. Jaina Rehgar Sylvanas
Garrosh Li-Ming Stukov Xul
Leoric- Valla Malfurion  
Sonya Zeratul    
Varian (Tank)-      

Core tier heroes are strong in a wide variety of situations and have few counter-picking possibility. They should form the core of your team, and be picked after Prime Tier heroes have been distributed.

 

Viable Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Artanis Alarak Brightwing Abathur
Chen Cassia Kharazim Azmodan
D.Va Chromie+? Li Li Murky
Johanna Gul'dan Lt. Morales+? Probius
Muradin+ Illidan Lúcio Zagara
Tyrael Kael'thas Tyrande+  
Zarya Lunara    
  Ragnaros    
  The Butcher    
  Tracer    
  Varian (Damage)    
  Zul'jin    
  Kel'Thuzad (new!)    

Viable tier heroes are generally well-rounded that have either fallen out of favour, or, inversely, are on the rise in popularity, due to the current Prime tier contenders.

 

Niche Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Cho'gall Cho'gall - Gazlowe
Rexxar Kerrigan   Medivh
  Nova   Sgt. Hammer
  Raynor    
  Samuro    
  Valeera    
  Thrall    
  Tychus    

Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They are generally picked to "round out" your team composition when your team composition is missing out on key components, such as a "jungler" (mercenary camps), a solo laner, or solid waveclear.

 

Bottom Tier

The Lost Vikings

Bottom tier Heroes are deemed to be either considerably weaker than the majority of other Heroes, or much more challenging to play properly. Although they may situationally shine, these Heroes are generally avoided by most players.

 

Metagame assessment

Kel'Thuzad is excessively powerful under perfect conditions, but is kept in check by the numerous top tier heroes that are either too mobile to reliably hit with Chains of Kel'ThuzadChains of Kel'Thuzad or too resilient to burst down. In this regard, he fits well within Blizzard's recent obsession with making heroes have their own little niche and whatnot. He's doing really fine, sitting at a very reasonable 48%-something w/l ratio, but try to late- or last-pick him when Genji and Tracer and the likes aren't around to make your existence a living hell. I expect him to become better over time as players themselves become  better at picking him appropriately and when the typical hype finally dies down. And don't end up having to solo lane if you like completing Master of the Cold Dark.

Self-sustain bruiser-like tanks are the hot thing nowadays. With a metagame that either tries to outsustain the other with two supports, or empower Genji-Greymane-Illidan-Malthael-Tracer-Valla-or-so, surviving a lot while outputting a reasonable amount of sustained damage is great. That's Arthas and Dehaka, right now. A bit ago, Anub'arak and Stitches had their turn, but I expect them to go down in popularity.

Both Jaina and Leoric got significant buffs through their reworks. Jaina is just objectively better, with FrostbiteFrostbite providing Ice Block by level 8-12 rather than 20, and Summon Water ElementalSummon Water Elemental getting its cooldown shaved by a massive 20 seconds. Leoric is more of a sidegrade, but he's exceptional at dealing with popular tanks, has neat waveclear, and can mess with combos with Omnious WraithOmnious Wraith. And, of course, March of the Black KingMarch of the Black King was buffed nicely as well to give him some more burst survivability and combo potential.

I'm holding judgement about Chromie, but I expect she might be better than she was, and I already considered her borderline Core tier material. Of course, her new Sand BlastSand Blast design will make it so that better players will do better than before with her, and worse players will do worse, so we're likely to see more fringe cases.

The Butcher got a pretty big nerf. The hype train was short lived, but, in the end, this is probably for the best.

Gul'dan, Samuro, and Thrall are simply falling out of meta; being a caster without baseline crowd control or an immobile melee assassin is pretty hard nowadays. I still think Gul'dan is in a great place on Braxis Holdout, though the resurgence of Jaina and the... uh, more of Chromie might push him off a bit.

I wish I had a bit more to say, but besides the latest reworks, not that much has changed. I will underline, however, that these reworks have been solid. I didn't mention anything about Lt. Morales, but I do think she's better off than before; we'll need a bit more data to assess whether I'll give her a tier.

Thanks for reading!

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There's an empty slot in the Niche tier specialists.

With the rise of CC heavy tanks like Dehaka and Arthas, I think the heroes capable of Unstoppable should rise higher (for example, Garrosh and support heroes capable of CleanseCleanse.) Also, I wouldn't say Varian will ever not be good, and I think he should stay in the Core tier.

And regarding Chromie and Morales, I think Chromie's high learning curve definitely lands her in the viable tier, where as Morales has become so powerful she should without a doubt be in the core tier, at least.

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Morales' rework seems interesting, but I still find her boring to play compared to the other Supports and even more reliant on her team. She wasn't an ideal Support pick before the patch, and I'd recommend against it now unless you were confident in your front line and the team. A lot of her good talents rely too much on picking up Clear! at level 1, and long distance knockback that you can't control if you get hit with mez is a double edged sword, and occasionally has unintended consequences, but without the magic ambulance or a beam anchor, she has no other defensive besides self casting Safeguard, as the stacking shields on E at 4 feels the most superior talent on the tier, lasting indefinitely until the damage is absorbed and working in conjunction with the quest talent and I don't really go for anything else. I used to pick her up once in a blue moon if there was a Support choke and I needed Cleanse, and to me, she was the babysitter of the supports, taking her because otherwise, the kids on the map would be sticking their fingers into plug sockets and facechecking bushes.

There seems to be an emphasis on making the Medivac plays more of a reality with the level 20 tier with two talents for the same ult, but all in all, I think I preferred the old Morales better. Until level 16 at least with the extra range, healing beam cannot always be on someone  during a fight as well as managing your own positioning so you don't suddenly get caught out; it's like they wanted to create some kind of battle medic, but failed to account for her complete lack of mobility and a near total dependence on her team winning the fight quickly before someone decides to harass her and start locking out her healing beam with crowd control. E spam is fun I guess, I can see her being part of a double support comp with that on a map that encourages frequent full team brawls such as BoE where you can get Clear stacked up fairly quickly on the 3 or 4 man rotations and then pocket someone with Stim Drone during the race or the team fight, but again, she seems more like a team pick rather than something you want to approach your solo queues with. 

It also makes no sense for the level 20 upgrade to Stim to remove the self buff effects it used to give to Morales. It's bad enough trying to keep up with the likes of the popular damage dealers and bruisers right now while they're running all over the bloody place like they've ate too many blue Smarties, but hey, if you can keep Q on someone who went Super Saiyan and is moving at warp speed, then power to you o_O 

Regarding the other Supports, I am holding Brightwing and Rehgar in extremely high regard right now. I've always said if you can master playing the fairy, you will be able to play any Support. Currently she's the only Support in the game who can offer a global, a significant reveal and wide vision, hard cc, Ice Block and Storm Shield. While other Supports are more undeniably more powerful within their optimal drafts, Brightwing is far more consistent despite an arguably weak early game, and is capable of not only surviving most dives and the dreaded Kel combos later on, but saving other people from them without necessarily blowing an ult, and completely denying the opportunistic finishes from Genji and Illidan altogether. 

Edited by Plergoth
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1 hour ago, Plergoth said:

Morales' rework seems interesting, but I still find her boring to play compared to the other Supports and even more reliant on her team. She wasn't an ideal Support pick before the patch, and I'd recommend against it now unless you were confident in your front line and the team. A lot of her good talents rely too much on picking up Clear! at level 1, and long distance knockback that you can't control if you get hit with mez is a double edged sword, and occasionally has unintended consequences, but without the magic ambulance or a beam anchor, she has no other defensive besides self casting Safeguard, as the stacking shields on E at 4 feels the most superior talent on the tier, lasting indefinitely until the damage is absorbed and working in conjunction with the quest talent and I don't really go for anything else.

(...) it's like they wanted to create some kind of battle medic, but failed to account for her complete lack of mobility and a near total dependence on her team winning the fight quickly before someone decides to harass her and start locking out her healing beam with crowd control. E spam is fun I guess, I can see her being part of a double support comp with that on a map that encourages frequent full team brawls such as BoE where you can get Clear stacked up fairly quickly on the 3 or 4 man rotations and then pocket someone with Stim Drone during the race or the team fight, but again, she seems more like a team pick rather than something you want to approach your solo queues with. 

Regarding the other Supports, I am holding Brightwing and Rehgar in extremely high regard right now. I've always said if you can master playing the fairy, you will be able to play any Support. Currently she's the only Support in the game who can offer a global, a significant reveal and wide vision, hard cc, Ice Block and Storm Shield. While other Supports are more undeniably more powerful within their optimal drafts, Brightwing is far more consistent despite an arguably weak early game, and is capable of not only surviving most dives and the dreaded Kel combos later on, but saving other people from them without necessarily blowing an ult, and completely denying the opportunistic finishes from Genji and Illidan altogether. 

I think Morales is a bit more fun now, as you pointed. Plus not having to Hearth back every 30 seconds for mana is a bless. And having talents that increase her Energy generation makes her more engaging to play. She still is a bland character, but I think that is part of her design and fantasy; a dedicated medic that is commited to the duty of healing and healing.

However, the rework let you play more offensively with the Displacement GrenadeDisplacement Grenade talents, such as debuffing (System ShockSystem Shock) or shield damage (EMP GrenadeEMP Grenade). If anything, I'm pretty sure Blizzard made this rework to add more versatility to her kit; not a true combat medic, but something between (plus if she had more mobility, she would be too strong). The complexity behind the Grenade adds an extra layer of depth to the Hero, I'd say, as you actually have to think before you fire the damn thing, instead of just sitting there with the Healing BeamHealing Beam. So I'd say that Morales is very well balanced now.

Brightwing has always been the most flexible and versatile Support in the game. She can do a bit of everything, but master at none. I really like her in Double Support compositions, as she can heal chip damage while focusing on a more offensive build (plus she can't deal with the current burst-oriented meta). Same for Rehgar, who, in a Double Support composition, can go full damage and still heal a lot.

Edited by Valhalen
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I expected the.. lich with as many nicknames as Apollo Creed in Rocky, to be higher. That thing seems ridiculously OP imho (too much aoe damage and cc baseline, and when quest is done, +75% spell power...free). I agree though, still early. Something tells me he's gonna be spammed in HGC 

As well as Morales. Of the most efficient healings (if not THE most), disengage and of course, the new Medivac + talents can make for some really deep team strategy Core rushes.

Didn't also expect Jaina that high, she's surely much better than before but the meta still reeks of counters for her. Think she'll get lower.

Gul'dansgame sure but... when exactly were Thrall and especially Samuro considered meta? Thrall was/is seldom picked, was pretty good all-around pre and post rework, ok, maybe I can get behind that. But Samuro? I guess it must have been very early during his release (and ceased after the nerfs); otherwise, I must have missed episodes. Still, wouldn't call him meta with the narrow meaning of the term.

Good job on the post as always, thumbs up (tho I noticed some sortage on puns :> ).

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Dehaka, Arthas and Anub have always been the top tanks. No mention on Uther? he was harshly nerfed, Rehgar should climb up to Prime Tier.

Genji should step down from Prime Tier, I feel like he's not pick or ban material anymore. I'd rather secure a Greymane or Malt who are easier to play and more reliable. He has the 3rd lowest winrate :'(

Edited by Fransoa

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17 hours ago, SteveFrost said:

I expected the.. lich with as many nicknames as Apollo Creed in Rocky, to be higher. That thing seems ridiculously OP imho (too much aoe damage and cc baseline, and when quest is done, +75% spell power...free). I agree though, still early. Something tells me he's gonna be spammed in HGC 

Keep in mind that it is so easy to shut down KT if you can avoid the CC. Anything with gap closers or some kind of stun/pull that displaces KT can absolutely destroy him. His HP pool is tiny and he has absolutely nothing defensive bar offense. Greymane, as long as he can avoid the freeze will roll or leap, can destroy KT.

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1 hour ago, Blainie said:

Keep in mind that it is so easy to shut down KT if you can avoid the CC. Anything with gap closers or some kind of stun/pull that displaces KT can absolutely destroy him. His HP pool is tiny and he has absolutely nothing defensive bar offense. Greymane, as long as he can avoid the freeze will roll or leap, can destroy KT.

Not to mention that Stealth Heroes (mostly Valeera and Zeratul) can shit all over Kel'Thuzad. Anub'Arak is also a hard counter to Kel'Thuzad, and his presence in the meta is strong.

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4 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

Anub'Arak is also a hard counter to Kel'Thuzad, and his presence in the meta is strong.

Ironic, isn't it?

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2 hours ago, Blainie said:

Keep in mind that it is so easy to shut down KT if you can avoid the CC. Anything with gap closers or some kind of stun/pull that displaces KT can absolutely destroy him. His HP pool is tiny and he has absolutely nothing defensive bar offense. Greymane, as long as he can avoid the freeze will roll or leap, can destroy KT.

Alone/overextended perhaps. But given some proper peel and protection from his team, he'll be like, Li-Ming 2.0; all the same poke from safe distance with the redonkulous damage plus the added cc, minus the mobility (Li Ming can go Wave of Force ofc but still, nowhere near that thing imho). Just the way I have it in my mind.

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10 hours ago, Fransoa said:

No mention on Uther? he was harshly nerfed, Rehgar should climb up to Prime Tier.

Uther enables prime damage picks Greymane and Genji with Divine Shield like no other Support can, the armour he gives on top of his usual heals helps the front line IMMENSELY during the course of a game, on top of being a surprisingly resilient support as he has a lot of tanky characteristics (self sustain, stun, killing him doesn't mean you win the fight as his trait sustains the rest of his team for a short while, and so on). He's also easy to play and his quests are relatively quick to complete too. 

Rehgar is an unquestionably strong support, and I personally prefer him over Uther, but not only is his cd 10 seconds longer than Uther's, there is a far greater chance of it failing that holds him down slightly and gives him a skill cap that Divine Shield simply doesn't require ("Dragonblade is ready, give me DS pls" - "Okay."), not to mention that if it fails to land on someone, it goes on a 10 second cooldown even if you didn't get interrupted while casting it. On top of this, Rehgar lacks hard cc, unlike BW or Uther with a silence and stun baseline respectively. After level 16, the totem becomes a powerful snare, but arrives at a late stage of the game. 

 

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2 hours ago, Fliits said:

Ironic, isn't it?

Couldn't have written it better if they had tried :p

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1 hour ago, SteveFrost said:

Alone/overextended perhaps. But given some proper peel and protection from his team, he'll be like, Li-Ming 2.0; all the same poke from safe distance with the redonkulous damage plus the added cc, minus the mobility (Li Ming can go Wave of Force ofc but still, nowhere near that thing imho). Just the way I have it in my mind.

I think the blink Li is worth more than you think in terms of playing with the team. It sounds silly, but that tiny blink isn't just a range-breaker, but also the ability to move from body blocking. With no mobility ability, he can just be body blocked so easily, especially when you throw in someone like Anub as was suggested above. Illidan also is a huge issue on this. 

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3 hours ago, Blainie said:

I think the blink Li is worth more than you think in terms of playing with the team. It sounds silly, but that tiny blink isn't just a range-breaker, but also the ability to move from body blocking. With no mobility ability, he can just be body blocked so easily, especially when you throw in someone like Anub as was suggested above. Illidan also is a huge issue on this. 

Truth. I feel as though he suffers from a bit of Kerriganitis, being extremely powerful on certain maps that allow him to stack Blight up quickly and create huge problems for his opponents to deal with, then dropping off the scale a little bit on other maps that are more spread out. 

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2 hours ago, Plergoth said:

Truth. I feel as though he suffers from a bit of Kerriganitis, being extremely powerful on certain maps that allow him to stack Blight up quickly and create huge problems for his opponents to deal with, then dropping off the scale a little bit on other maps that are more spread out. 

Another problem with both Li-Ming and Kerrigan is that they require very specific team compositions to really shine (Li-Ming not so much). They are more flexible than The Butcher in this regard, though.

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5 hours ago, Plergoth said:

Truth. I feel as though he suffers from a bit of Kerriganitis, being extremely powerful on certain maps that allow him to stack Blight up quickly and create huge problems for his opponents to deal with, then dropping off the scale a little bit on other maps that are more spread out. 

Mewn made the same comparison on stream yesterday. There's definitely some truth to it, but I don't think it's as obvious - CC is always useful, no matter how you cut it. KT definitely isn't as bad from behind.

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On 14/9/2017 at 4:42 PM, Blainie said:

I think the blink Li is worth more than you think in terms of playing with the team. It sounds silly, but that tiny blink isn't just a range-breaker, but also the ability to move from body blocking. With no mobility ability, he can just be body blocked so easily, especially when you throw in someone like Anub as was suggested above. Illidan also is a huge issue on this. 

Yeah, mobility is often overlooked in favor of other things; that's why I mentioned it above. If the team is built around KT, the opposing team will need to run a really hard engage comp; and they may not allow them that via the draft.

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Quote

Kel'Thuzad is excessively powerful under perfect conditions, but is kept in check by the numerous top tier heroes that are either too mobile to reliably hit with Chains of Kel'ThuzadChains of Kel'Thuzad or too resilient to burst down.

Agree with this 100%. Got him today, promptly went 0-15 in QM with him.  He's got a nice kit, but doesn't have the necessary burst to do anything alone in space.  Outside of a two-Warrior comp to set a frontline, and at least one hero with a more reliable stun to set up KTs combo, I can't see him doing much.

 

Keep in mind I have like a 25% win percent with non-Melee assassins, but my going with KT was significantly bad.  Never had better then a 1-3 KDR, and was often behind even Warriors in Hero damage.  As he is currently constructed, I'll never play him or consider playing him again.

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18 hours ago, Plergoth said:

Did he actually use the word Kerriganitis though? I'm calling first dibs on it. 

It's all yours.

 

4 hours ago, gamerk2 said:

Agree with this 100%. Got him today, promptly went 0-15 in QM with him.  He's got a nice kit, but doesn't have the necessary burst to do anything alone in space.  Outside of a two-Warrior comp to set a frontline, and at least one hero with a more reliable stun to set up KTs combo, I can't see him doing much.

 

Keep in mind I have like a 25% win percent with non-Melee assassins, but my going with KT was significantly bad.  Never had better then a 1-3 KDR, and was often behind even Warriors in Hero damage.  As he is currently constructed, I'll never play him or consider playing him again.

His win/loss rates are already showing a large variation between both ends of the skill spectrum. I can't tell if it's drafting-related or if he's just really hard to play. I suppose a double skillshot into... er, more skillshots, might be difficult to perform under pressure.

I'd say don't give up on him. Playing a hard hero sets you up for playing easier heroes thereafter.

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Do note that a proper Kel'Thuzad would always remain with the team and postition well. I'm not saying that prevents genji and tracer and anub and the likes from screwing him up however.

In response to all the comments about heroes being able to escape frost nova after being pulled, I found out that if you can predict the area that your two heroes that you want to chain will meet after being pulled, with extremely skilled timing and in quick succession, you can place your frost nova in that area and then pull the enemies together. By the time they are pulled, they'll be frozen in place. It takes extremely good timing but if you get it right, it can make it almost impossible for enemies to escape after getting pulled, and ultimately makes them very unfortunate victims of Kel'Thuzad's extremely devastating combo. Practice that, and you shall be ever closer to mastering the lich lord of Naxxramas.

Edited by Maxkitty

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10 hours ago, Oxygen said:

It's all yours.

We can share! :) 

Wonder how long it'll be before Leoric receives some changes, he seems to be completely dominating the HGC series this weekend, provided someone can actually play him. March of the Black King is very good at the moment but still has a large margin for error, as witnessed when all of Team Liquid sidestepped him when he used it late. 

Burning Despair seems to be the most contentious talent at the late game. After doubts about it after seeing the PTR notes, I tried it in game a few times and it's how he is winning fights for his team. Drain Hope - an uninterruptible channel - on anybody, keep them within range, and you just start facemelting. It's insane on top of everything else he can do right now. 

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KT belongs in niche from what I've seen so far, at least in low level play. The CC he provides can be nice, but it's not overly reliable thanks to the delay on pretty much all of his abilities. I find that people either constantly miss the combo or just get jumped up by whoever he didn't hit immediately after. In a good team he could take out two key players and turn an entire fight, but I'd rather have pure damage from other assassins or more meat to go with the CC from a warrior.

Also, a bit of a side-note but I find him super eye-catching, I find myself focusing him just because he looks more THERE than other heroes.

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On 9/16/2017 at 9:03 AM, gamerk2 said:

Agree with this 100%. Got him today, promptly went 0-15 in QM with him.  He's got a nice kit, but doesn't have the necessary burst to do anything alone in space.  Outside of a two-Warrior comp to set a frontline, and at least one hero with a more reliable stun to set up KTs combo, I can't see him doing much.

I'd say it's exactly the same as playing Chromie - you'll never get it right on the first match and, given how badly you might do, people will just give up and think he's a weak hero. I absolutely sucked in my first games. At level 21 with him now and things have changed drastically. I'm more familiar with where I need to place it catch a Valla using Vault, Genji using Dash etc. 

Free kills on Abathur is always nice too.

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      It’s time for a new brawl. Or has this one already happened? It’s so hard to keep track! Join us for a sand slinging battle for the ages, where you play as one of 10 identical masters of the temporal arts – Chromie!
      Rules:
      Everyone plays as Genie Chromie, on either the attacking or defending team. Attackers are equipped with extremely long-range Sand Blasts, but no other abilities or talents. Defenders have access to no abilities and must dodge incoming attacks. If a defender is hit with 3 5 Sand Blasts they will be killed, resulting in them spawning as a “Ghost” on the opposite side, where they will have access to Time Traps and will grant vision and slow attackers. Rounds will last 10 seconds at first, with each switch reducing total round time. If round lengths reach 3.5 seconds, Sudden Death will commence. Tornadoes will spawn at the outer rim of the map and slowly travel towards inward, pushing all players to the center. The first team to win three rounds will be crowned victorious! Rewards:
      Complete three matches of Dodge-BRAWL to earn a Loot Chest! Find out more about the Heroes Brawl game mode on our Heroes Brawl site; and as always, you can find more information on this week’s Brawl by clicking the Brawl Info button at the bottom of the play screen when preparing to queue for the Brawl game mode.
    • By Stan
      Heroes developers answered your questions on reddit earlier today and we're looking at highlights of the latest Art & Animation AMA.
      Heroes of the Storm Art Team
      /u/Blizz_TedP – Ted Park (Lead Character Artist) /u/Blizz_CKingdom – Careena Kingdom (Lead Animator) /u/Blizz_BShih - Billy Shih (Principal Technical Artist) /u/Blizz_LanaB – Lana Bachynski (Animator) /u/KaeoMilker - Kaeo Milker (Production Director) AMA Highlights
      The team will add more D3 banners to the game and is open to suggestions for missing banners, portraits, and sprays that you'd like to see. Kael'thas' Flamestrike is hard to see on Sky Temple for players who play with low graphics and the FX team will come up with a fix. Probius' pylons, cannons, and gate colors will be updated to match his skins. It's still on the radar for a rainy day. Animated homescreens are gone, because they were too resource-intensive. Having the 2D homescreens allowed them to show off the beautiful art without taking 15 people offline for a few weeks to do it. If you begin walking by clicking far enough away, Chromie will start her walk cycle with a little jump instead of just running (similar to how the bikes do a wheelie). Cho'gall was such a large Hero to develop that they added extra joints to his skeleton to add realism to how his massive body moves. Portraits will be eventually added to loadouts, but there's no timeline for that. Janitor Leoric is such a great concept that it would be a shame to sweep it off the table. The biggest hurdle for new Ragnaros skins is the heavy load of FX work associated with him. Better organization of the in-game art collection is something they'd like to do. More banner content will be released in future patches. Stukov was the most challenging Hero to animate. Massive Shove was exceedingly challenging to get working. Ragnaros' custom mount was also tricky. With future reworks, they'd like to add new skins to the game, but it's not a priority to always align them with reworks. New skins for The Lost Vikings are resource-intensive, because the team needs to create three standalone skins for a single Hero. Recolors will happen in the future though. The game has a RTS-style isometric view and Heroes are often chunkier so that the asset is easily readable and identifiable from the game camera. Coming up with a new Legendary skin takes about the same amount of work as a brand new Hero. Upcoming AMAs
      Ranked Play Changes and Matchmaking: Week of August 6. Hero Balance and Design: Week of September 10 Blizzard (Source)
      There are only 5 sprays in the Diablo category -- the D3 icons for the first 5 classes. Can we at least get the icons for the D3 Crusader and Necromancer that are missing as sprays?
      I'll talk to the bringers of sprays and get these in the pipe for future addition. And from this and other threads it sounds like there are a lot of suggestions for missing sprays/banners/portraits that you all would like to see - we love hearing those ideas, so please keep them coming and we'll get them on the list for eventual inclusion!
      Kael'thas' flamestrike is still really hard to see on Sky Temple with low graphics settings. Are there any plans to update spell effects like flamestrike for people who play on low graphics?
      I'll bring this up with our FX team - thanks for calling it out!
      Might as well get this out of the way now because you know you are gonna get alot of these
      Will we ever see new models for BW and Arthas?
      BTW you guys do fantastic work and I'm going to college this year to start working towards a job in your industry! It's my dream to be able to do what you guys do keep it up!
      Given the community's intense desire for an answer on this topic, I'll do my best to answer as directly as I can.
      The Heroes team as a whole is aware of this request and we have had many discussions on how best to approach the rework. Unfortunately a rework like this would affect many departments (design, modeling, animation, fx, tech art, engineering, etc.) and given our development bandwidth, we have to weigh the work it would take vs. what else we could be making in that time (other new heroes, skins, feature support, etc.). That said, we don't currently have any timelines for these reworks since we want to weigh the cost of doing them with all of the exciting new content we currently have in the works.
      We absolutely appreciate the passionate feedback that we get on the topic and we hope you'll continue to let us know what you think could be improved as well as what you love about the current version.
      In the past, folks at Blizzard have said they will update Probius's Pylons, Cannons, and Gate colors to match his skin tint. Is this still happening? Should we hold out hope for other ability updates to be recolored to match their skin tints too? Some examples:
      Void Illidan uses purple blades but they become green when he uses Metamorphosis Dreambreaker Thrall is green but uses red lava-themed abilities Crimson Special Ordinance Raynor is red but his Banshee is blue Hi Vambage, thanks for bringing this up. It's great to know updating Probius' ability models is still wanted. This is something that is still on the backlog for a rainy day. We also try to keep this in mind with all new skins we create. With regards to the other examples you give, in some cases a hero’s abilities can’t be adjusted to perfectly match an alternate appearance (i.e. a skin that’s a different color) due to the importance color has on communicating whether an ability is damaging or healing. Green and red are particularly tricky—if something that is red is turned to green, it can be mistaken as something that is safe and non-damaging. It can have an impact on gameplay that Design likes to keep an eye on, but every case is different, and we always like to review.
      Most of the skins don't have abilities matching with the tint used, like any Probius skin where the pylon will always be yellow/blue, even when using another color. Some skins have abilities matching with the tint like Queen of Ghost Kerrigan. Why is that the case and do you have any plan on changing it to make it more consistant?
      Hi! We avoided creating a hard and fast rule to always match abilities with their tint as the overhead from such a commitment could constrain us to the point that it meant less new things like heroes or skins in the long run. It’s a fine line that we try to balance skin-to-skin, but we’ve always wanted to go back specifically to Probius’ ability models as we agree that consistency there would be great. It’s just a matter of when we can prioritize this work, so please continue giving input on which heroes would benefit most from these efforts and we'll take that into consideration. Thanks!
      What is your creative and development process for selecting which heroes get what skins?
      Greetings! Our process for selecting skins involves a combination of creative passions, production bandwidth, and timing. Above all, concept and theme are king. Our top priority is always to create skins that our team is excited about, and that we think our players would be excited about. Sometimes we start with a theme and think of what heroes would be a great fit. Other times the heroes themselves are the inspiration for an idea.
      From there, we try our best to balance all the ideas against our ability to create them. Some heroes are MUCH more time consuming to create skins for and we have hard choices to make when one skin may take considerably more time across many more people to get in game. Along the way, we look at everything from hero popularity to skin implementation complexity to how often players are equipping existing skins for heroes. At the end of the day, we try to bring as many unique, compelling, and varied skins to the game as we can, for as many players as possible.
      Like everything we do, this process is constantly evolving, and I've been thrilled with the themes, variety, and quality of the skins so far this year. And there are sooooo many awesome new skins in the pipe that I can't wait to get in the game, too!
      We didn't see an animated home screen for Yrel when she was released. Do they take too many resources to make and are from now on dropped, or was this a rare exception?
      I really liked the home screens in the past. I wish there was a way to let me choose a specific one from the past when I log in.
      I also really liked those home screens, but they were seriously an incredible undertaking that took a lot of people offline for a long time. Plus, we have these incredible artists creating beautiful concept pieces that really deserve a chance to shine.
      Furthermore, there is so much more we want to show you, and that stuff is equally deserving of space on the home screen -- stuff like upcoming events, and all the other content that we're always working on. Oftentimes, we'll be making cool things for you guys and have no obvious way of telling you where to check it out aside from patch notes.
      In the end, having the 2D homescreen allowed us to show off our beautiful art and surface to you the things you might be looking for without taking 15 people offline for a few weeks to do it.
      And that's more time for those people to make even newer, even cooler content. ?
      Circle of life.
      What are some touches you've put on a model, or character that you were REALLY proud of that we might have missed? Something where after you were finished you called over your boss, showed him/her, yelled 'Nailed it', made some pseudo-obscene gesture, and walked out for the day.
      You help make the game come to LIFE. You made Leoric lumber, you made playing him FEEL lumbering. To be able to make ME feel that way when I am playing him (or any character) is truly a feat. I want to know more about something you've done to a character so I can more truly appreciate your hard work.
      "Something where after you were finished you called over your boss, showed him/her, yelled 'Nailed it', made some pseudo-obscene gesture, and walked out for the day." HAHAHAHA - I would neeeeeever. ?
      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 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.