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Art and Animation AMA Recap: Jul 11

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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

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' FlamestrikeFlamestrike 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 ShoveMassive 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

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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 ?

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2 hours ago, Stan said:

Bonus (and more important) question: Waffles or pancakes?

What about French Toast?

Thats the third part of the trio...

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As a Stukov main I really loved the explanation they gave behind his animation process. I've always loved his animations but now I like even more.

Quote

but beyond victory poses and taunt animations, I think a Hearth animation you can choose in your Loadout would be fun too.

Would be nice to get new Dance animations.

Edited by Valhalen
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Cool AMA, a bit disappointed no one asked about more loadout slots. 3 is too little for many heroes.

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35 minutes ago, lChronosl said:

Cool AMA, a bit disappointed no one asked about more loadout slots. 3 is too little for many heroes.

Would be nice to also get new Voice Lines. They could even use portions of the jokes the characters tell when clicked.

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On 7/12/2018 at 1:11 AM, Stan said:
  • Janitor Leoric is such a great concept that it would be a shame to sweep it off the table. 

YEEEEEEESSS!!!!!!

 

 

but what about other concepts? Are we allowed to submit any if they are producible? I asked the same question on Twitter and sadly got no reply. I understand that skins are more time-consuming for some heroes than for others (also thanks for clarifying that this is a point why TLV and Ragnaros still haven't got any visual updates!) but it would be fun to think of a few concepts for some Heroes and submit them.

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      We’re always interested in giving players counterplay options, so it is something we will talk about internally. I do think there are a few issues though which I’ll go through: 
      First off, most knockbacks happen extremely quickly, too quickly for you to react once they occur in many cases. Take the ETC Face Melt example, you’d basically have to preemptively use your counter to avoid the displacement – which gets into the territory of pre-cleansing and Unstoppable effects, which we already have. If we said this new counter was always on and waited for a displacement effect to hit you (i.e. Spell Shield), then I’m not sure how fun that would be to play against. If you see someone with Spell Shield, you can often try to poke this off with a weaker ability, but you may not have a secondary displacement effect that you can use to remove this new buff.
      Another thought is, we must be careful about how niche we make talents or abilities. Pointing a talent towards a very specific use case will often go unpicked and we will end up adding secondary effects to the talent for it to become an attractive option. In a lot of cases, those secondary effects can overshadow the original design and that becomes why you pick the talent. As an example, take Ana’s level 13 talents, one is for Stuns while the other is to counter Slows and Roots. We ended up having to put secondary effects on these talents to make them useful in more cases, and now those secondary effects have become the primary reason to pick these talents in a lot of cases (i.e. more healing vs. armor).
      On map design
      It seems like there is a shift towards maps with a single must-win objective (e.g. Hanamura rework). Some players find this is good, as the simplification requires less strategic thought and team coordination. By and large, it simply involves making sure you are at least on even level tiers and win the team fight to get the objective. 
      For other players, this simplification goes a little too far. There is really only "one way" to win the match, especially with the recent nerfs to other map strategies such as split pushing (for better or worse). I was wondering what your map design principles are and whether the team is fine with having one straightforward and clear method of winning, or are there plans to create more strategic depth to maps, whether this is adding new map mechanics or enabling different team comp metas. 
      On a personal note, I would love to see more map mechanics added to some maps as it would open up more macro play options and increase the replay value of those maps.
      We purposefully crafted our battleground design principles so they do not steer us toward a specific type of map objective. Instead, they focus on driving the game forward, managing emotional tension, and providing mechanical and visual variety (among others). There’s no principle that tells us to collapse players into a small area for a highly impactful, centralized objective. It’s true that we’ve been doing that more than usual recently (Volskaya Foundry and Hanamura Temple for sure, Alterac Pass and the Garden rework to some extent) but this is not the new standard.
      General: Frequently Blizzard will include very small numbers changes that don't appear to be intended to seriously shift a heroes power level. Are these intended as signals to the player base to rethink how they're approaching the hero or are you using data to tell you to do those very fine tuned changes?
      Hey ChaosOS!
      First off let me say - "Thank you so much for all of your work and passion for the Heroes community!"
      Now, to address your question: Small number tweaks are normally done when a Hero or Talent is just slightly off-balance. While losing 2 Basic Attack damage is pretty minor for most Heroes, Raynor might see a slightly larger shift since the vast majority of his damage output comes from there. 
      For a different example - there are a lot of times where we may see a vast difference in pick rates between talents on a tier, but parity between win-rates. Sometimes we might do a slight nudge to the under-picked talent in order to get players to reevaluate it. Sometimes it takes multiple nudges before the community starts using and respecting it (Mighty Gust for example).
      What's the great plan for illidan? Why not just buff his 10.
      Any insight on that? He does not need a rework just specific 10 buffs, Hunt back to 60~75 sec CD and moving some 20 demonic form buffs to 10 IMO.
      Hey TheGameOn, thanks for your question about The Betrayer. He's one of my personal favorite Heroes.
      Right now Illidan primarily takes The Hunt because it offers unique and fun gameplay, so we aren't all that upset that it's the more commonly picked Heroic ability. That being said, Metamorphosis is being chosen 40% of the time in higher level Hero League, though it doesn't always feel like it. It isn't winning nearly as much though, so there might be room for improvement.
      Illidan isn't seen all that often partly due to this being an unfavorable metagame for him. With a bruiser-heavy meta, not only is there a lot of crowd control to deal with him, but also fewer squishy targets for him to chase down. Just a year ago Illidan was very meta, and hasn't seen many changes since, so we're confident that maybe small tuning changes combined with a more favorable meta will allow him to fulfill his niche in the game again.
      Why do you prefer slower, larger scale reworks over smaller, more abandunt changes?
      We see time and time again heroes get ignored for months/years and they slowly devolve into a critical state requiring a full on rework like raynor, kerrigan, vikings, chen. 
      We have other heroes that are at a decent winrate with low use/unused talents that havent been changed for a while, making for a 1-dimensional talent builds and overall less compelling interactivity and gameplay, yet these issues go seemingly ignored for an incredible amount of time.
      Hey Dreadnought7410!
      We don't prefer to do slower, larger scale reworks over small changes--they both have their uses. We've released balance patches regularly with many changes to multiple heroes over time, and generally save large reworks for heroes who need more sweeping changes.
      There are advantages and disadvantages to smaller balance tweaks and large rework changes. I went over many of these specifics in our last AMA, but some things we think about are:
      The larger the rework, the greater the risk of hurting the hero's core identity. Even if you make a slam dunk design, it will not have as great a chance of being widely accepted if it significantly alters the hero's fantasy.
      As you mentioned, more abundant changes means that the game is fresher for more people, and fewer heroes are left alone for less time.
      Small number or functionality tweaks can make talent builds feel fresh, which in turn makes the hero feel new and exciting without the need for a major rework.
      That said, large reworks are sometimes necessary. Some examples of why this happens are:
      To update older heroes and bring them in line with current design philosophies. To carve out a role for heroes who have fallen out of use relative to other heroes currently favored in the game. To solve fundamental design issues with their kits. Going forward, you can expect to see us make numerous smaller changes to improve hero and talent pick/win rates. For example, today we just released a balance patch with changes for 17 different heroes.
      General: What does the process for building a balance patch look like? How do you decide what issues to tackle, how do you test ideas in terms of doing what you want them to do, and when are things locked in for implementation and bugtesting?
      Hey ChaosOS!
      Every week the members of the balance team meet to talk about the state of the game. One of the things we do during this meeting we all bring up individual changes/heroes/issues that we would like to see addressed in the upcoming balance patch.
      In regards to how we decide what issues to tackle, there isn’t a single method, as our decisions can come from various sources. Some of these are:
      We have a lot of data that we can look through to find anomalies. We can see hero and talent win/play rates across various filters to see if something is over/underperforming.
      We watch pro play and have discussions about what is happening there.
      We all play the game regularly, and use our personal experience to see where we can make improvements for the average player.
      We look at heroes who haven’t been tweaked in awhile to see if there’s any room to make changes.
      We make the actual changes the week before the patch releases so that we have time for QA to check the changes and fix bugs.
      Sometimes for larger balance changes, for example Artanis’s changes that came out in a balance patch, we will test the changes for weeks/months in advance and merge them into the next balance patch once we’re confident in the design.
      I am curious, which hero did you think would be extremly OP on release, yet turned out to be very weak.
      Vice versa, which hero did you feel was UP, but turned out to be overtuned on release?
      Hey SeeALot, great question.
      Lunara was a character we thought would be OP on release and we were a little worried about, however she ended up being really low initially and needing lots of buffs.
      Malthael is an opposite example where the balance team felt he was fairly solid overall but the larger development team thought he was going to be really weak. Malthael ended up completely crushing the solo lane and being extremely powerful upon release.
      Thoughts on heroes who almost always only has a single talent in certain tiers? examples being garrosh picking into the fray, dehaka picking feeding frenzy, ana picking sleep dart quest
      We put a lot of work into building out talent tiers and trying to offer players interesting choices, so when a single talent ends up dominating a tier it's pretty disappointing.
      The Hero Design team does the initial work of designing talent trees for all new heroes, and most of the time we can recognize and prevent these cases early so that the Live Design team never has to worry about it. This is something I feel we're getting even better at as we learn from previous talents like Into the Fray or Glacial Spike, and even from Heroic abilities like Cleansing Flame that end up as one-sided choices.
      When lopsided talent tiers do make it out the door, it forces us to think very carefully about how we want to bring them back in line. Usually the reason these talents are so popular is that they're very fun to use or provide key utility a hero doesn't otherwise have - so simply removing or weakening them may not be the way to go. In that case we can either-
      A: Make the effect baseline (as with Glacial Spike on Kel'thuzad) and reshuffle other talents accordingly
      or
      B: Revisit the talents on that tier and try to make the other two choices feel just as impactful (as with Holy Ground on Tyrael)
      Which of these options is preferable varies case-by-case, but the most important value is not to undermine what's cool and enjoyable about a hero with whatever changes we decide to make. Given the choice between having uneven talent picks, or making a hero less fun overall, we'd prefer to wait on changing the talents until we're confident that our changes will have the desired effect.
      Hi homer12346,
      We do review talent trees to make sure there is some diversity in options. The goal would be that every talent is viable in some situations and your talent selection can feel fluid based off the match state, team compositions, etc. If there are two solid talent options at a tier that garner the majority of picks and a third lesser chosen one, this can still be okay as long as there is some scenarios where this third (or fourth) talent can be viable. Sometimes it’s purely a personal playstyle preference for why players pick certain talents, other times it can be different skill bands where some players may simply avoid active talents all together.
      Funny enough for Feeding Frenzy, while it is the most picked talent, Symbiosis does still see around 20% of the picks and has an overall higher win rate. ?
      Xul: As you have noticed, he became a maintank in certain comps (shown in the HGC). Are you happy about this and do you have plans for him, either making him a real maintank (like changing his role from assassin to Tank) or tune him more into the assassin role wih removing some survivability?
      Hey Elegostelkai!
      Right now we're pretty happy to see Xul in HGC, and in general we like to see weird/wacky comps have their time in the spotlight. A core tenet of our design philosophy is that we want to push the boundaries of what a conventional MOBA is, and as such we're excited when our players do the same.
      That being said, if an off-meta strategy becomes too powerful and dominates pro-play for too long, it can be a problem if it drastically warps the fundamentals of our game and take it to places where there isn't enough interaction between both teams. 
      We don’t currently have any plans to change Xul due to his recent games in pro play. We’ll be keeping an eye on it, but for now, we’re cool with it.
      How are you guys reacting to the pushback against the mobility Overwatch heroes have brought into HotS? By that I mean, is this feedback you've listened to and found yourselves agreeing with, which you will apply for future hero releases or do you feel different, and if so how/what?
      Tracer and Genji's translation into the game has really shaken up the game and the community, given that their kits and mobility break a lot the core mechanics and penalties of the genre. Combining high damage with ranged attacks, while being able to apply it on the move. Mages and older HotS heroes, in particular, adhere to these limiters and have to sacrifice mobility or expose themselves in order to apply their damage. Tracer and Genji have an easy time getting in and out of combat while being nigh impossible for most heroes to shake off while taking very significant damage. 
      Very frustrating, being killed by heroes which do not adhere to the moba mechanical rulesets which restrain most other heroes. Especially by characters from a new Blizzard universe which after 3 years is still struggling to establish itself. (We've embraced the characters, but there's still no real plot or enough world building for it to currently stand next to IPs such as Diablo, Warcraft and Starcraft. Though I understand that they can bring interesting new mechanics and gameplay to the game.
      Hey Mozerath, thanks for your question! Mobility in Heroes is something that we've been watching for a long time.
      To start with, we've always pushed the boundaries with Hero Design in HotS; we think that it's one of the things that makes Heroes of the Storm special. We have characters like Cho'gall, Abathur, or The Lost Vikings that really "break the rules" of traditional character design. The key to these characters is adjusting their power the appropriate amount while keeping these unique traits in mind.
      The great mobility offered by Tracer and Genji is another one of these unique traits, though not as flashy as a two-headed ogre. We knew that during development they would need to be balanced around it (in fact at one point Tracer had so little Health that she was being one-shot by Nova). We didn't anticipate how much we would need to tune them down though, so unfortunately they've been steadily nerfed (for the most part) since their release. We think they're much healthier than they started in terms of balance at this point, though we're always looking to make further tuning adjustments when we think the time is right.
      We do have other characters in the game with high amounts of mobility (as has been pointed out in this thread). Illidan, Zeratul, and Lucio are good examples. The biggest difference between them and Tracer or Genji is that their mobility has more conditions. These include target selection (Illidan's Dive), range limitations (Zeratul's Blink), or inability to travel over terrain (Lucio's Movement Speed). These added forms of counterplay make these abilities feel better to play against than they would otherwise, and allow us to really push the envelope with them.
      At this point, we think that the low-condition mobility from Tracer and Genji makes them special, and we likely won't add more characters with this level of mobility without conditions. But we do think that mobility is a great way to allow players to make flashy plays and has a high skill cap, so you'll likely see more forms of it with added counterplay in the future.
      Some heroes have heroic abilities with extremely low pick/win rate. For example: Lili's Dragon, Kelthuzad's Frost Blast, Mephisto's Durance and Guldan's Rain.
      Are there any plan for changing how these skills work fundamentally beside number tweaks?
      Hello blacktiger226,
      We are always looking to bring both win and pick rate parity to all Heroics. The reality is that it is actually very difficult sometimes without making sweeping changes. Some of the examples you list above fit that bill and will most likely see changes if and when they are looked at for reworks ?
      On developing new heroes, I wonder if we will have heroes of the Heroes of the Storm universe or if all the heroes will be from other Blizzard universes
      One of the many amazing things about Heroes of the Storm is that ANYTHING is possible in the Nexus!
      I feel like there's a lot of controversy around Garden of Terror and a lot of people saying it lost it's identity mainly (including myself unfortunately). That said, what are your guys plans for other maps like Blackhearts Bay? I think it would be good if the team communicated more with the community before putting so much effort into a map redesign.
      The Garden of Terror rework was done in response to years of consistent player feedback (in community discussion and in our own user experience research) saying Garden was among the least-loved maps in the game. Our goals for the rework were to preserve the map's thematic elements (seeds, shamblers, terrors, weather effects) while removing the elements that made so many players sigh when they saw the loading screen (chasing a vehicle around, eternal night phase, zero sum double vehicle phases, vehicle time-out).
      We iterated on the Garden rework several times internally. First we tried small changes like repositioning/renumbering shambler camps, changing timers, and changing the vehicle's abilities and spawn point, but none of those changes made the map notably more fun or interesting. The map still had the same problems it did on live servers. Then we went wild for a bit with experimentation - at one point we had a completely new layout and a "siege vehicle" objective reward that could dig in, spawn bushes around it, spawn shamblers to push in a direction, and shoot out burrowing seed bombs that detonated for aoe damage. We tried a "gauntlet" type design where we spawned a series of seeds, one at a time, all over the map, and the first team to gather three won the objective. Those were interesting experiments, but they each had their own fatal problems. Ultimately, we found that the version on PTR right now provided the most fun we've ever had on Garden. The story might not be over, though. We're confident that this version of Garden will do much better than its original version, but if we're wrong, we'll do what we need to do.
      As for Blackheart's Bay, we do plan on adjusting the map, but we currently do not expect a complete mechanical overhaul like the Garden rework.
      Any plans on having shuffle pick be an option in custom games? (instead of forcefully enabled for ARAM?)
      It makes doing, for example, 1 versus 1 battles on the same hero impossible on Lost Cavern since you are forced into a new hero upon game start.
      Adding a Shuffle Pick option to the custom games screen (with some additional buttons and levers to customize it further) would be cool, I agree.
      You recently vastly improved the reconnect feature. Will a spectate feature ever be added?
      Hi, reddituser25987! We continue to improve the rejoin functionality and while doing so are touching areas of the game that could, eventually, make spectating a possibility...
      HOWEVER, while we'd love to watch HGC games live in client or check out our friends playing while waiting to party up, we have no plans to prioritize a spectate feature above the myriad of core game systems and features that we want to keep improving at this time.
      Tooltips are very inconsistent. 
      [[Archon]] states its splash radius. [[Fury of the Swarm]] doesn't say what the splash radius is.
      [[Water Dragon]] lists the range in which it summons. [[Divine Reckoning]] doesn't list its radius.
      [[Maelstrom]] says "per second" while dealing damage every 0.25s, while [[Fend]] states its tick rate (every 0.25s).
      [[Varian/Charge]] can target structures. [[Colossus Smash]] can not. It's impossible to know cases like these from the tooltip.
      Generally, information seems to be extremely lacking in tooltips.
      Also, summon descriptions are nearly always extremely lacking. They sometimes state health, sometimes state attack speed and usually damage. Why are they not always mentioned? For example:
      [[Abathur/trait]] lists the Locust's health, but most others don't (say, [[Ultralisk]]). Right now on the PTR Ultralisk now doesn't even state its attack damage (only the skillshot's damage, and that it splashes for 50% when attacking). [[Gargantuan]] doesn't even mention the stomp's damage, or the fact that it slows!
      Writing good tooltips is a really important and often underappreciated skill in game design. It becomes particularly challenging when you have a really big game being made by many people, and a ton of heroes made over several years alongside and evolving design philosophy.
      You're totally on the mark that our tooltip consistency could be better and it's something we've been gradually working to improve. I don't think we'll do one "huge" update in a single patch per se, but we regularly revisit our tooltips (especially during hero reworks) and plan to continue those efforts going forward. If you see anything that looks particularly off, bringing it to our attention as you've done here is also great.
      That said, one thing I'll add is that consistency is only one of many values we employ when writing tooltips. Technically most abilities in the game have a 0.125 second cast time, but we don't actually put that in the tooltip for the sake of readability. It may not seem like a big deal for one tooltip, but every hero in the game has dozens and dozens of tooltips, so readability ends up driving many of the decisions we make around how to present information. However this is something we're very open to feedback on as there may be places where something is off (like your Varian example), and we greatly appreciate players bringing cases like this to our attention. Thanks!
      When is the Chen rework coming?
      Chen is the 3rd least picked hero behind Lost Vikings and Probius. His winrate is awful. There's zero way at this point that the balance team can claim he's "balanced" at this point. Take a look at the info that jhow provided in the solo lane matchup. He has very few positive matchups. He needs fixed in a bad way. This is very frustrating for people who love the brewmaster. I've running with the #FixChen hashtag on twitter for a while now. Almost over a year now at this point. Please save us. At least give us a timeline at this point. ?
      Hi Zexerous, glad to hear you’re a Chen fan and hopefully we can make some changes in the future that will help address some of those concerns.
      To touch on his win rate quickly, depending on the filters I’m looking at (HL vs QM, MMR bands, games played as Chen, etc.), he is sitting around 47-49%. This does put him on the lower spectrum of hero win rates, but it’s still not that far off.
      We made some talent adjustments to Chen a few months back, but we will revisit him at some point – I think it’s clear that he’s not a tank with his current kit (having to constantly stop and channel in fights), but we haven’t fully embraced him as a Bruiser either. We will likely look towards that direction in the future. 
      I’m not able to provide a timeline at this point, only that a major Chen update won’t be happening in the next few months. While not part of your primary question, we do also want to look at Probius, Lost Vikings, and other low play rate heroes as well.
      Lastly, I'd like to ask if some skins or Heroes make it forbidding for other Heroes to come in the game. Widowmaker from Overwatch can never come due to Widowmaker Nova existing? Mercy because of Auriel? Kaldalis because of Artanis? 
      I really hope they don't come as skins cause that would be terrible and huge disrespect to those characters imho.
      Cheers and thank you for your time, God bless.
      Hi BertRaccoonGR!
      Making skins that have crossover with existing heroes does not necessarily mean we won’t add those heroes in the future. An example of this is with the Novazon skin which was clearly inspired by the Amazon from D2. Even with this skin, we knew we wanted to do a D2 Amazon and we’re super excited to bring Cassia to the Nexus ?
      Would the team at Blizzard ever consider more instant point and click crowd control (a la Brightwing and Medivh polymorph)? I don’t feel like there are enough reliable ways to shutdown mobility and am often frustrated by this in QM.
      We have a handful of these, the ones you call out and others like Varian’s Taunt. In general, we’re trying not to introduce a ton of new hard-CC that is targeted as these are not very skillful to execute well (you clicked on the enemy), and have low counterplay options (the enemy clicked on you). It’s likely over time that a few of these will trickle in on new heroes though.
      Is it possible to see other heroes in the Multiclasses category, besides the Varian, or the Blizzard Classics, in addition to the Lost Vikings?
      Hey Zequi21, good question.
      For the Multiclass category, we’re planning to remove that with our eventual role update. Varian would most likely fit into a couple of the newer categories, Tank and Bruiser. There would be a few other heroes who would also hit multiple categories such as Zarya in Support and Bruiser. Overall, the multiclass role wasn’t very clear to players and often you couldn’t play Varian the way you wanted due to your team’s composition.
      For Blizzard Classics, I would love to explore some of these characters in the future. There’s so many awesome characters we want to add, so it’s a question of when they make the most sense and when is the right time. There’s other things we of course need to consider like making sure they’re bringing fun new mechanics and playstyles as well.
      Chromie was designed as an artillery mage. The recent rework did away with that role completely changing her playstyle to a hybrid auto attack spell caster and many players were not fond of it which was reflected by the fall of her pick and win rates. Would you ever consider reverting the rework and adjusting her numbers which many Chromie mains had requested?
      Hey Demon_Ryu, thanks for the question.
      Through reworks and balance updates we’ve pushed Chromie out of the artillery mage role. Overall this is a playstyle we weren’t happy with as it didn’t feel great to play against. To touch briefly on a few points:
      -Her abilities were extremely long range (artillery design), but that meant that she was often off-screen from an enemy perspective and you didn’t have a lot of control over her damaging you. Basically, just keep in perpetual motion and hope she misses.
      -Because her abilities were fairly hard to land, the damage they dealt had to be cranked up to extreme levels to keep her win rate and effective damage output in a reasonable spot. Essentially, if she only lands 20% of her abilities, then those abilities have to be extremely impactful when the hit. This could lead to her 1-shotting enemies which again is not fun to play against.
      -She was extremely hard countered by certain enemies. I don’t believe we’ve really addressed this point, but it is something we’d like to soften. 
      -She has a ton of CC between her Time Trap and both Heroic abilities. In general, multiple CC effects can be frustrating to play against and she brought more than many characters. This combined with the above points was just not a great spot for her to be in. This CC also made the rest of her kit much easier to use and much more consistent which was a challenge to tune around and make feel fair.
      As for the future, we will likely make more Chromie changes and potentially even reimagine what her core playstyle should be, but its unlikely we will go back to that long-range artillery mage style.
      Tassadar-
      From what I understand the lifesteal component to Tassadar's shields has been a problem with his balance for a long time, initially only being a talent option then becoming baseline with a talent to increase it. Has the dev team considered eradicating lifesteal from his base kit and talent tree to balance him better for pros and non-pro play as a pure utility support? (There is also the matter of lifesteal not fitting Protoss from a SC gameplay/lore perspective.)
      Hello T-280_SCV!
      Tassadar has definitely been a unique challenge for us the balance side. I think we have learned a lot of valuable lessons from him, though, and we'll definitely be taking a look at him to see how we can improve.
    • By Stan
      Blizzard is currently working on a new Heroes of the Storm forums with brand-new features including new notification features, real-time updates, and a new flagging system to foster more engaging conversations. The current forums is hosted on a different platform so older posts will not be migrated over to the new forums.
      Old posts will be in a read-only mode after the transition. We don't know if the revamp only targets the Heroes of the Storm forums. The post also mentioned Overwatch before it was edited out. It would, however, make perfect sense to update the platform on all game forums in the future.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Hey everyone,
      Over the past years, we’ve seen your suggestions on how to level up the forums and ensure your time in our community stays positive. We know that currently the forums can be difficult to navigate, sometimes posts you want to see get buried, and reporting doesn’t always appear to lead to action. On that note, we’re excited to announce that we will be launching the new Heroes of the Storm forums starting soon. With a streamlined look and new features to match, this change will provide a better experience for the Heroes of the Storm community. Brand-new notification features will help you keep on top of your posts and real-time updates ensure that you don’t miss any of the conversation. Additionally, we have replaced the previous report function with a new flagging feature to help keep the forums a place to foster more engaging conversations. These are just a couple of the changes that will be coming soon to the Heroes of the Storm forums which we can’t wait for you to use. 
      Please keep in mind that the current forums will be hosted on a different platform so older posts and threads will not be migrated over to the new forums. These will be available in a read-only state for a short period of time after the transition. As such, be sure to save your favorite conversations elsewhere if you plan to revisit old memories in the future. New posts will automatically be directed to the new forums.
      Stay tuned and get ready for the new forum experience!
    • By Stan
      BlizzCon 2018 rewards have been added to the game in the latest content update. Virtual Ticket holders will receive a mount, spray, banner, and portrait this year.
      Nexus Razorgrin Mount

      BlizzCon 2018 Banner

      BlizzCon 2018 Portrait

      BlizzCon 2018 Spray (Cartoon Nexus Razorgrin)