D2 Amazon may still join Heroes of the Storm: Devs host Reddit Q&A

A summary of the main points from the Heroes of the Storm developer Q&A on Reddit.

Last week, Blizzard developers hosted a Reddit Q&A, where they answered some burning questions from the playerbase.  Among the hot-button issues were potential heroes, map rotation, talent build diversity, and changes to some of the game's oldest tank heroes.  

But let's start with the headline news. The Diablo II amazon hero is not off the table, the Novazon skin notwithstanding. The skin was greeted with disappointment by many, assuming that it meant the actual character would never be released.  

"A skin that shares a similar theme does not guarentee a hero never getting made," said Blizz KinaBREW, pointing to the Starcraft Medic hero that was announced at Gamescom despite Uther having a similarly inspired skin.  

With the addition of the latest warriors and tanks, such as Leoric and Johanna, many of the older heroes in these roles have begun to feel sub-par by comparison.  These include pre-release heroes such as Diablo, Chen, Stitches and Arthas, who "are heavily on the radar".  Currently the goal is to focus the strength of individual characters to counter specific team compositions (auto-attack focused or heavy crowd control teams, etc.). 

The powers at be are also moving steadily closer to solidfying a map rotation system, having settled on 6-8 maps as the ideal number.  While battlegrounds will be taken in and out of play, especially as they receive updates, there are "no plans to ever permenantly retire a map," according to Blizz JeDeShazer.  

Build diversity has been a persistent concern for some time now, with some heroes having almost mandatory talent choices for a single viable build path.  Since talents were meant to be the Heroes answer to items in terms of customization and strategy, this is something of a problem when a hero can't spec to do more than one thing. Said Blizz Daybringer:

"In the case of hybrid builds and the talents pointed at them; I think we can do better."

Ending on a forward note regarding the newest map set to drop next week, "Infernal Shrines": if the Punishers seem somewhat overpowered then they're doing their job, even if the result means that one team can possibly snowball an advantage because of it.  

"We intend for our battleground map mechanics to be an integral aspect of how matches play. We have fully intended Punishers to be threatening to our players and to be an anti-player mechanic."

- Blizz JDeShazer

To see if any of your own questions were answered, check out the full Q&A on HeroesNexus.com.

Published Aug. 23rd 2015
View Comments
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    I think that making the Amazon after making the Novazon skin is a bad idea. The two characters would look too similar during gameplay. At the very least, the Novazon skin would have to be banned during competitive play due to its similarities.
  • Perchance to Game
    Featured Contributor
    Not necessarily. While they might be similar, the Novazon skin is designed to be recognizable as Nova first and foremost. The pony tail, ranged weapon (rifle or crossbow the silhouette will come out the same) animations, etc all contribute to conveying Nova, as opposed to anyone else regardless of her outfit.

    An amazon hero would be her own character with unique identifiable traits in her appearance. She may even have a completely different weapon (chances are if they do make her they will specifically avoid the crossbow for the reason you cited). The D2 Amazon had javelins or bow and arrows, beyond crossbows if memory serves.
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    I guess they could go with the spear or javelin routes, but I still think the base model would need some major differences to not get the two confused. I'm sure people would notice that the Amazon's carrying a different weapon, but in a competitive sphere it's typically not considered a "legal move" to use a skin that's too similar to something else. I'm pretty sure they banned certain skins/cosmetics in LoL and DotA2 for similar reasons.
  • Perchance to Game
    Featured Contributor
    There is that - but my concern would be more for new players. Even then, I suspect it would take about one or two games to clear that up. We use a lot more than base colors and shape to identify MOBA characters - the way the model moves is a major part as well. Nova's animations are pretty unique and heavily tied to her stealth mechanic that I can't imagine mixing her up with any other character - the breaking stealth, dropping to one knee with the rifle is kind of imprinted into my brain now as the last thing I see before my hero dies though, so that may skew my perspective somewhat ^_^
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    I disagree with every point here. Firstly, you ONLY see nova when she is in a fight, the Amazon will show up all the time (because I doubt that she will have stealth) Secondly if they are both enemies, who cares whether they look similar. Thirdly, if they are on opposing teams, health bars ar an easy way of figuring out who is who. These are all the most basic of mechanics and all render your initial stance on this invalid.

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