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Blizzard Explains Why Tychus' Cigar Was Removed From Heroes of the Storm

“Making 2 versions means more data management, multiple duplicates of the asset"

Fans of both Starcraft and Heroes of the Storm may have been surprised to realize that StarCraft‘s Tychus Findlay, who’s a playable character in Heroes of the Storm, no longer has his signature cigar hanging out the side of his mouth. Taking to Reddit, Blizzard has offered up their explanation as to why the cigar was removed, and it pretty much comes down to the games rating, as well as development.

According to Blizzard, there are some countries which wouldn’t allow Tychus to keep his cigar, as there was a ban on representing smoking in media; this eventually led to Blizzard having to make a decision as to whether or not they should keep the cigar and make a non-smoking Tychus for those countries, or remove the cigar completely.

Blizzard commented on the difficulty of creating two versions of Tychus, stating:

“Making 2 versions means more data management, multiple duplicates of the asset (if we update an animation, it has to propagate to all versions) such as the the death ragdoll model, The facial animations, his morph into the Odin, and apply that process to every skin as well. This mountain of work affects multiple departments and has to be addressed every time we’d adjust Tychus.”

Removing Tychus’ cigar completely, however, would have been comparatively easier, according to Blizzard, and would have enabled them to put more time into creating new content.

“Put the development time into more content instead of bloating the management of one character. This is a decision based on productivity. The appeal of Tychus should not hinge on a cigar anyways, and we have no issue with that aspect of his character.”

Apparently, these kind of situations emerge pretty frequently for Blizzard, and sometimes it doesn’t always work out the way Blizzard may have wanted, such as:

  • “Skelethur doesn’t even show up in some regions because of guidelines about the depiction of human remains
  • “There was a desire to localize Gazlowe’s license plate to every region. That is a ton of time spent on a small detail that you become very disenchanted with. We [Blizzard] got off the hook for that one, but I’d rather remove the plate and start work on the next hero instead of spending days on license plate management (his name is spelled differently in some countries, and he even has a completely different name in some regions).
  • “Skulls and Blood. We have to do ‘alternate’ versions for anything with these elements. We have different versions of grave golems, Blackheart, etc.”
Published May. 27th 2015

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