Blizzard held a panel for Heroes of the Storm to discuss some of the exciting new possibilities with the latest three heroes, as well as their plans for future heroes. They also took time to answer player questions on requested heroes and other features.
The devs want to set Heroes apart from similar games and push the limits of the genre by playing more with the mechanics of their heroes. Part of that vision is exploring the variety of ranged assassins, which they do with Greymane and Lunara.
Bending the rules of the genre helps to set the game apart and create more refreshing and unique gameplay.
In the future, they have characters in the works like traditional Diablo II characters, Varian Wrynn, Kel’Thuzad, and Gul’dan. Their goals of creating fun gameplay and pushing the limits of the genre come out in their extensive design and testing regimen, which looks something like this:
- Paper design: 1 week
- Technical design: 2 weeks
- AI playtesting: 1 week
- Design playtesting: 8 weeks
- Dev team playtesting: 4 weeks
A Dryad from Warcraft, Lunara’s three basic abilities are Noxious Blossom, Crippling Spores, and Wisp. Thornwood Vine and Leaping Strike are her Ultimates. She specializes in ranged attacks and using toxins, including her passive, Nature’s Toxin.
Graymane is a ranged and melee hybrid assassin who wields a pistol and a sword. He is uniquely able to shapeshift into a Worgen, inline with his origins.
Conceptually, he was inspired by the idea of a hero who excels at a mix of melee and ranged assassination. They felt that the unique combination of play style is along the lines of the unique gameplay they push in Heroes.
His ability to shapeshift is on his E skill. Named Darkflight, it causes Genn to leap at an enemy, turning himself into a Worgen in the process. As a Worgen, the skill is called Disengage, which makes Genn roll backwards and turn back into a human.
His Q ability, Gilnean Cocktail, is a ranged AoE attack. When shapeshifted, his Q turns into a melee dash that cleaves enemies and allows him to get more basic attacks off.
His first Ultimate is Marked for the Kill, causing enemies to take 25% more damage from all sources, including your allied players. As a Worgen, the Ultimate turns into Go for the Throat, where he leaps and viciously attacks his enemies. If Greymane kills a hero with this ability, it allows him to use the skill again at no cost for 10 seconds. You can keep casting it as long as you get a kill with it.
Cho’gall is probably the strangest new hero to the game. He’s the first unit that will be controlled by two players, each using one of the two heads, named Cho and Gall. Cho controls the movement and has a melee playstyle, while Gall works like a ranged assassin and has mage-like skills.
E Rune Bomb and Runic Blast are shared abilities. Cho casts Rune Bomb and Gall detonates it. Cho’gall can take on two enemies since two players are controlling him, meaning each player can focus on different heroes. They wanted a raid boss-like feel for Cho’gall.
Obtaining Cho’gall is a game unto itself. All BlizzCon attendees and virtual ticket holders will unlock him within the month. After that, players who own Cho’gall can share him with friends who don’t. If the person who doesn’t own him helps you win 2 games with him, they unlock him for free. If you win four games with each other, you get 2200g for it, as well.
Side note: Cho’gall will have a nipple piercing skin. If you’re into that kind of thing.
Q: Will there be any plans for cool death animations for heroes like in Diablo?
A: That’s a cool idea and they will give feedback.
Q: Whats the next skin for nova?
A: Can’t talk about that yet
Q: Will you make a character based on John Oliver?
A: No, I don’t think we can.
Q: Will there be Justice League Task Force skins?
A: It’s a cool idea but don’t think we can.
Q: How will banning and picking Cho’gall work?
A: Both players have to have both heads, and if he gets banned you can’t select any of the heads.
Q: How do you draw the line between typical hero roles like junglers, specialists, tanks, etc.?
A: The roles can sometimes be pretty broad, and the label for each hero comes down to quests mostly, but that shouldn’t effect how you want to play the hero.
Q: Five Abathurs vs 5 Abathurs or 5 Lost Vikings vs 5 Lost Vikings in arena mode?
A: Certain heroes won’t be available in Arena mode.
Q: How does Cho’gall work in terms of talents?
A: Cho and Gall both have their own abiliteis and own unique talent selections.
Q: Where the trolls at?
A: We have a couple that I’m itching to get in, but it just depends on when the roster feels right to implement them.
Q: Who chooses the skins and mounts for Cho’gall?
A: Both players can choose the skin and mount but whe you get in game, it will randomly choose who wins the selection of skins/mounts.
Q: How will disconnects work with Cho’gall?
A: The AI will take over just like other heroes.
Q: Where are the warlocks?
A: They are working on Gul’dan right now.