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Stan

Senior Game Designer on Warriors

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The development team sought to establish a more clear definition of tanks around the time frame between D.Va and Garrosh. With a predefined list of Warrior qualities they found out that Warriors who lack peel are used as bruisers to harass the enemy backline.

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From a Hero Design perspective, this is something we've talked about a lot on the team. In years past the conventional wisdom was that a "tank" had to be hard to kill, and do things that are sufficiently disruptive (damage/CC) that you can't simply ignore them - which in turn allows them to soak damage for their team.

However, around the time frame between D.Va and Garrosh, we sought to establish a more clear definition of what's required to "tank" for your team and what tools a Warrior needs to do that effectively.

This isn't a comprehensive list, but I believe we landed on something like the following:

  • Durability/Mitigation (so they're not easy to blow up)
  • Self-sustain (so they can stay in a fight)
  • Peel (so they can protect vulnerable allies)
  • Interrupt (so they can disrupt cast/channeled abilities)

We've found that Warriors who don't have enough of one or more of these qualities end up being used as bruisers to harass the enemy backline. Most of the time it's "peel" that's lacking, as this is the aspect that wasn't as clearly defined in the past. Even now I'd say it's hard to say precisely where that line is, and that it's subjective based on what other heroes are capable of. 

If you look at someone like Sonya with 2 stuns, you'd think she could be a tank - and indeed to some extent she can, but other aspects of her kit push her to be more aggressive and limit how effective she can be at protecting a squishy backline (compared to someone like Muradin or Arthas). I think this is something we're trying to be much more aware of earlier on in the development and playtesting process for new Warriors. Do we want them to be able to tank? If so, do they have all the necessary tools? Are there aspects of their kit that make it unintentionally more difficult for them to do so?

This is something I'd encourage all of you to think about (and feel free to disagree with us on!) when discussing whether a Hero can tank for their team, and what they need to be doing to tank effectively.

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E.T.C. may be a tank by these standards, but Tyrael sure as hell isn't. Have you ever been in a game where Tyrael was able to out-tank anyone while being the second tank on his team? I doubt anyone ever has.

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18 minutes ago, Fliits said:

E.T.C. may be a tank by these standards, but Tyrael sure as hell isn't. Have you ever been in a game where Tyrael was able to out-tank anyone while being the second tank on his team? I doubt anyone ever has.

Tyrael was never a tank. He is a Bruiser with a supportive kit.

I think Blizzard needs to start sorting better their classes with sub-classes (i.e.: Bruiser). Not only that would help with matchmaking, but also prevent people from saying stuff like "Tassadar is a healer" or "D.Va is a tank". Just like they need to further emphasize that Specialists are not exclusively siegers; heck, they even changed the icon and description of the Specialist class since the Chromie / Medivh patch.

Edited by Valhalen

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I actually believe that since the opening of the game and the addition of SO many new heroes throughout the few years, that it has become impossible to label something a "warrior", even if just for QM matching. I think there should be a clear cut TANK and a WARRIOR separation. I.E.

 

Tank:

Muradin, Johanna, Garrosh, ETC

 

Warrior:

Sonya, Tyrael, Rexxar (which at this point is a glorified SPEC), Dehaka

 

Now I guess the question becomes, what about the stuff that's kit COULD become TANK rather than warrior - Varian comes to mind, as well as Anub. Well what's wrong with pruning based on 2 different labels rather than try to fit things under 1? As your game grows I think you'll find you're going to run into this more and more. Obviously this is mostly about QM and how matchmaking searches (getting a game with sonya as your only "warrior" vs a team that has johanna as theirs). Also, for new players completely to the game - or even the genre in general, it's a bit confusing that "Hey, Muradin is a warrior, but I want to "tank" on Sonya, it says she's a warrior too!" I believe you're setting them, and the veteran players they come into contact with, for failure, whether that be abusive chat or just never really giving the game a chance because of the obvious difference in the actual "warrior" roles.

 

TLDR: Why can we not split the Warrior role into Tank and Warrior (Bruiser), would that not better service the design team in fitting certain things into certain roles based on kits?

 

-- Obviously this would open the door to the way healers are combined when you could make a case about having a Healer role and a Support role, but the above would also apply to all of that as well.

Edited by Savagefaction

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6 minutes ago, Savagefaction said:

getting a game with sonya as your only "warrior" vs a team that has johanna as theirs

Actually, the new algorithm Blizzard introduced prevents you from getting in a group of a true Tank VS a group without a Tank (it can happen, but it is very very rare).

Sonya and D.Va are classified in the game's data as Bruisers, so at least there is that. I've ran countless Quick Matches with Sonya as the sole Warrior and never got in a match against a Tank Warrior like Johanna or Muradin.

Edited by Valhalen

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52 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

Tyrael was never a tank. He is a Bruiser with a supportive kit.

He was taken as a tank earlier on in HotS life, but now he's a Sanc bot ): I still view him as a tank, but more along the lines of a Support / Tank hybrid, similar to Uther. 

Losing uncapped Regen Master on him hurt his frontline before they removed the level 13 talent and turned his niche into a dive and utility driven "bruiser" who couldn't put a dent in a house of cards, but, unlike Johanna, he still has access to it, so that's a bonus, I guess? Or maybe just a symptom of the weird design decisions going into these reworks and the inconsistency as they address generic talents at an agonisingly slow rate? 

One of the key things about Warriors that tank and those that either suck at it or aren't considered main tanks is bodyblocking. Both Dehaka and Sonya are classic case examples where they have a lot of tanky attributes and talents, but besides both being too unreliable (how many Warriors have a way to shut down Whirlwind, Sonya's main sustain?) to be a front line and initiator, enemy players can ghost through them when they use certain abilities. Compare this to, let's say, Anub, who has one of the biggest collision circles in the game bar Cho'gall, and can win fights or get picks for his team purely down to a Burrow cutting an enemy hero from retreating past their own gate because Anub is so wide, not to mention that it innately helps to soak skill shots for your team. 

There is a lot of things that make a tank... a tank, besides just being tanky and some hard cc. 
 

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So let me get that straight... hots dev team first make a huge basket called "warriors" and puts there so many different chars (some of them are not even close to each other) and then they come and say "Oh wait, we thought a lot about it and we think that good "tank" should have this and this and this... but we will call him warrior anyways and throw him into the warrior's basket to confuse players! Yeah, that is a great idea!"

-__-'

Srsly all we need is just make much more diversity in naming. So many good players and streamers suggested it years ago and still nothing. I can't understand why tye have such problem with that.

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It's been a long time coming. If blizz is too busy to sit down then they can just use the sub roles from hotslog. I very rarely disagree with their designations. 

Edited by Orshova
Auto correct is a douche

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5 hours ago, Orshova said:

It's been a long time coming. If blizz is too busy to sit down then they can just use the sub roles from hotslog. I very rarely disagree with their designations. 

that would leave the support category with only tassadar and medivh, so I'm thinking their not going to do that, at least not exactly like hotslogs.

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1 hour ago, Fliits said:

that would leave the support category with only tassadar and medivh, so I'm thinking their not going to do that, at least not exactly like hotslogs.

And maybe lets think for a minute here why is that ?
Maybe it means that there are to little SUPPORT chars in game ??
Maybe blizz should make more support chars instead of warriors and assasins ???
Nah, that couldn't be it... or maybe ? ;)

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13 hours ago, Plergoth said:

He was taken as a tank earlier on in HotS life, but now he's a Sanc bot ): I still view him as a tank, but more along the lines of a Support / Tank hybrid, similar to Uther. 

Losing uncapped Regen Master on him hurt his frontline before they removed the level 13 talent and turned his niche into a dive and utility driven "bruiser" who couldn't put a dent in a house of cards, but, unlike Johanna, he still has access to it, so that's a bonus, I guess? Or maybe just a symptom of the weird design decisions going into these reworks and the inconsistency as they address generic talents at an agonisingly slow rate? 

One of the key things about Warriors that tank and those that either suck at it or aren't considered main tanks is bodyblocking. Both Dehaka and Sonya are classic case examples where they have a lot of tanky attributes and talents, but besides both being too unreliable (how many Warriors have a way to shut down Whirlwind, Sonya's main sustain?) to be a front line and initiator, enemy players can ghost through them when they use certain abilities. Compare this to, let's say, Anub, who has one of the biggest collision circles in the game bar Cho'gall, and can win fights or get picks for his team purely down to a Burrow cutting an enemy hero from retreating past their own gate because Anub is so wide, not to mention that it innately helps to soak skill shots for your team. 

There is a lot of things that make a tank... a tank, besides just being tanky and some hard cc.

Even in his Alpha days I considered him more of a Bruiser with Support skills. He can do a surprisingly amount of peel and interrupts, though. I really hope they give him a deserved rework to define better his role/niche.

Your points regarding the tanks are very valid. I think despite all nuisances and inconsistences here and there, Blizzard made a great job by adding very different types of tanks. They're polishing the edges really well.

2 hours ago, Godeyes said:

And maybe lets think for a minute here why is that ?
Maybe it means that there are to little SUPPORT chars in game ??
Maybe blizz should make more support chars instead of warriors and assasins ???
Nah, that couldn't be it... or maybe ? ;)

Blizzard has been hearing the community on more Supports. And we've got plenty of really meta-changing Supports this year (Ana herself makes the Double Support meta even more powerful).

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for more Supports in this game.

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19 hours ago, Stan said:

This isn't a comprehensive list, but I believe we landed on something like the following:

  • Durability/Mitigation (so they're not easy to blow up)
  • Self-sustain (so they can stay in a fight)
  • Peel (so they can protect vulnerable allies)
  • Interrupt (so they can disrupt cast/channeled abilities)

We've found that Warriors who don't have enough of one or more of these qualities end up being used as bruisers to harass the enemy backline.

This is really scary to read 3 years after the game's release. What the hell did they think tanks were meant to do?

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1 minute ago, Oxygen said:

This is really scary to read 3 years after the game's release. What the hell did they think tanks were meant to do?

But isn't E.T.C. pretty much all of that combined in one Hero?

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12 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

But isn't E.T.C. pretty much all of that combined in one Hero?

It is; I'm just wondering why they're even bothering stating it. It makes it sound like it's some kind of deep discovery.

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10 minutes ago, Oxygen said:

It is; I'm just wondering why they're even bothering stating it. It makes it sound like it's some kind of deep discovery.

Well, to the newbs and noobs, maybe? There are still people who claim that Tassadar is a Healer.

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Inb4 Tyrael screams "REWORK ME!" "UPDATE ME!" in a corner...

They could also make a Mage class and put the appropriate people/elves/liches/fire elementals/idk what else there to make the Assassin class less crowded (Mage Wars hello?) since game could be called Assassins Creed right now.

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5 hours ago, SteveFrost said:

Inb4 Tyrael screams "REWORK ME!" "UPDATE ME!" in a corner...

They could also make a Mage class and put the appropriate people/elves/liches/fire elementals/idk what else there to make the Assassin class less crowded (Mage Wars hello?) since game could be called Assassins Creed right now.

Maybe divide the Assassin Class in two sub-ranks: Physical Damage and Ability Damage.

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