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Posts with tag dustin-browder

The complexity of Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm official art
Ten years ago, players told Blizzard that WoW was too simple compared to past MMOs like Ultima Online, EverQuest, and Asheron's Call. More recently, many (including me at one point) said the same about Hearthstone -- that too much complexity had been removed from the genre compared to games like Magic: The Gathering. Today, Polygon posted an interview with Heroes of the Storm game director Dustin Browder. His message: HOTS isn't "DOTA for babies."

"If you come looking for complexity in exactly the same places," Browder said, "you will be disappointed. If you come looking for complexity wherever it may be, I think you're going to be surprised and have a great time."

Blizzard has stripped away many MOBA hallmarks, such as the item store. Browder says that other features make up for this loss of complexity. Talent selection is crucial. Map-specific objectives also play a huge role in determining the course of the battle and require careful strategy to accomplish.

In a video included with the story, Polygon's "MOBA expert" Emily Gera had some further comments on the game: "The masses don't want to play big, scary MOBA games... Blizzard is trying to create a game that has less of a barrier to entry and bypass the classic issue of MOBA games -- that MOBA games are full of jerks... There's a lot of infighting. In HOTS, everyone on the team is in it together."

What do you think? Is HOTS dumbing down the genre too much, or are these the changes the genre needs?

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm dev Q&A

The latest Heroes of the Storm dev Q&A is here, and you can watch it above when it goes live at 11am Pacific. This week, as the Tech Alpha runs on, the developers are talking about the talent system. Joining Kevin Johnson this time, we will have Dustin Browder, Game Director, Richard Khoo, Senior Game Designer, and Matt Cooper, Game Designer.

As the talent system is a key part of the game that separates it from the Item Shop methodology of other MOBAs, it will be interesting to see the insights and design challenges that the developers have faced. You can send in your questions to the developers on Twitter at @BlizzHeroes by using the hashtag #HeroesQA.

Following the dev Q&A, there'll be a live match, shoutcasted by Dustin Browder and Kevin Knocke.

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm Developer Q&A highlights

Yesterday, Senior Community Development Manager Kevin Johnson sat down with Game Director Dustin Browder and Senior 3D artist Phil Gonzales to answer the community's questions on Blizzard's upcoming Hero Brawler. They covered several key topics, and provided some nuggets of new information. If you'd like to watch the interview in full, you can check out the video on WoW Insider.

But let's go through and summarize the key points they covered. This isn't in the order it happened in the video, because it seemed more logical to categorize it by topic.

Overall Design and Philosophy
  • It is going to be free-to-play!
  • Beta is not ready yet, they're working to get it out as soon as they can. There isn't an exact date yet. Internal testing is ongoing.
  • One of the biggest defining qualities for Heroes is the importance of the different maps. This is something that separates it from other MOBAs, you'll want to take different heroes and different strategies and so on. Also, there's heroes with extensive lore behind them, that's a hugely important element, and they aren't afraid to challenge any aspect of the design to make it fun.

Read more →

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

BlizzCast episode 6 available for download

The 6th episode of BlizzCast was posted today, and though it contains very little WoW-specific information, the podcast still contains a ton of information general Blizzard fans would like to hear. When listening to it, keep in mind that it wasn't recorded in the last few days or anything like that, it's a few weeks old at least. They mention Wrath of the Lich King still being in beta testing and Sylvanas' custom model hadn't yet been implemented, for example.

Their guests this time around are Lead Tools Programmer Monte Krol, Senior Art Director Samwise Didier, Lead Game Designer Dustin Browder, and senior artist for Diablo III Anthony Rivero. That lineup of guests really offers up a cool look at the early design and development of Blizzard games, and the guests actually offer a little insight into just how you can start working for Blizzard yourselves. They also have another installment of their Q&A portion with various developers.

Starcraft and Diablo fans will find the gameplay information in this BlizzCast more interesting than people who are exclusively WoW players. As always, BlizzCast is available for download through the official website (EU has it as well), iTunes, or you can read the transcript right on their website.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Blizzard, Interviews

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