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BlizzCon 2017: Heroes of the Storm Developer Interview John DeShazer, Tony Hsu

by - 3 weeks ago

BlizzPro sat down to interview Heroes of the Storm developers John DeShazer and Tony Hsu. Highlights included the release plan for Hanzo and Alexstrasza, as well as discussion of game updates and future plans.

Highlights

  • Hanzo will launch by the end of the year.
    • His skillshot builds up over time and can be cast while moving.
    • When Scattershot strikes the terrain, it shatters his single missile into five doing full damage.
  • Alexstrasza will launch soon after BlizzCon.
    • Heals her allies by granting them her own HP through Gift of Life.
    • Can transform into an immense dragon form–the first hero able to do so.
    • Her fire breath in dragon form damages her enemies and heals her allies.
    • Considerations from developing Chromie were brought forward to her dragon form. Constraining her wingspan and turning animations allow a large model onto a battleground.
    • Abundance allows her to heal herself after giving away her own life essence to allies.
    • Works as a powerful solo-healer that might shake up the meta.
  • Performance-based matchmaking
    • Focus is on playing as best as you can.
    • If you lose a match but personally performed well, you will lose relatively few overall points, or still possibly gain some.
    • Since the game is so varied, there is no single “right” way to play a character, meaning your performance metrics will reward you for focusing on helping your team win.
    • Performance-based matchmaking will be built into the existing system, affecting things like queue times, and will work seamlessly in the existing system.
    • Unsure if old game performance and MMR will factor into new matchmaking system.
  • Laning updates
    • Focus to make early lane combat more impactful.
    • Pushed back map events a bit–first map event will now start an extra sixty seconds later.
    • Mercenary update for night camps incentivizes pushing with spell armor in place.
    • Any map mechanic that plays well with early lane combat will result in faster maps under this update, including: Dragonshire, Tomb of the Spider Queen, Braxis Holdout.
  • Heroes content releases will be more spread out. This may mean a hero release, a couple weeks later rebalances, and then a couple weeks later a battleground.
  • The team will take a review pass of map rotations.
  • No Chen reworks are on the roadmap right now.
  • This PTR is strongly asking for player feedback–engage with the community team on forums if you can.

Seth Harkins

PC gamer and lover of (most) things Blizzard. In his off time, he writes bad fan fiction, tends to his growing number of house plants, and enjoys a love-hate relationship with two cats.