Developer Insights: The Bloodlust of Rehgar
It’s time for another Designer Insights in which we explore a hero’s design and mechanics. We’ll be chatting with Game Designer Kent-Erik Hagman about the Earthen Ring Shaman himself, Rehgar.
Trikslyr: Rehgar is a strong support who can certainly hold his own during combat. After learning the ways of the shaman through Thrall, Rehgar will now join the Nexus. How did the design team create a kit for a hero with a small amount of background lore to pull from?
Kent: So Rehgar's kit, with respect to his core abilities and Bloodlust, actually all used to be available on Thrall, who was one of our support heroes at BlizzCon 2011. As we kept iterating on design and re-evaluating Heroes of The Storm, Thrall's kit was set aside. After deciding how we wanted Heroes to play, we started bringing the older heroes back online. From there we received feedback internally from other team members, stating they really wanted to see Thrall laying down the hurt with Doomhammer.
But we were really happy with the gameplay of Thrall’s previous kit, and wanted to keep it in our game. We decided to find another great hero that could easily fit the lore and theme of the kit, and Rehgar Earthfury was perfect for our goal. From there it was all about updating the design to our new standards and finding an awesome trait to tie it all together!
Trikslyr: Let's take a second to look at Rehgar's trait before diving into the process of the design. Rehgar can turn into a ghost wolf without a channel, allowing him to increase his movement speed instantly. In addition, basic attacks during ghost wolf hit for 100 percent more damage and cause Rehgar to change back to his regular form. What were the intentions of the design team with a different trait compared to what's available in the Tech Alpha?
Kent: There are times with design, where we have a really strong mechanic for an ability, and we'll look for ways to get the fantasy to bend to fit the mechanic. Then, there are Rehgar times: when we have an absolutely awesome flavor hit like ghost wolf and will rework the mechanics to fit the awesomeness of the fantasy. We thought it was a really awesome hook, and after playing it, immediately decided we needed to work around it. Oddly enough, it was one of the last pieces added to his kit, and is very defining of his playstyle, as it happened to synergize so well with the positional play of Lightning Shield and Earthbind Totem. As for the attack out of wolf form, it seemed like such a natural fit, and that went through a couple iterations before we settled on its current play.
Trikslyr: There are damage and utility options available for Rehgar in the talent selection screen. He reminds us of Tassadar, in terms of versatility. What are some of the talents players can look forward to when playing Rehgar?
Kent: Our talent designer, Matthew Cooper, knocked it out of the park with Rehgar. He has, in my opinion, one of the most fun talent trees to play with. Rehgar boasts so many options and synergies that you can create with his talent tree. There are games where I go for a full wolf harass build, where I'm using Feral Lunge (Rehgar's attack from Ghost Wolf leaps at the target and does 200% bonus damage) constantly to poke my enemies, and stealth talents like Shadow Wolf to constantly evade my enemies when I'm running from them. There are games where I'm utilizing Lightning Shield often, and so I elect to grab the free Lightning Shields talent on my totems and double cast them on allies! Lightning for everyone!
Trikslr: Thanks for all the information! It’s time to end this episode of Designer Insights. You know the drill, let's hear an awesome anecdote from playing Rehgar in the bullpen!
Kent: Rehgar's second heroic ability, Ancestral Healing, heals a target for a massive amount after a short delay. There was a time (and this is reflected in the Level 20 talent for Ancestral Healing) when the heroic simply healed a target to full health (we were inspired by the Hearthstone card Ancestral Healing, but just couldn't find a way to give taunt capability to a hero.)
Well this was all fun and games until someone decided to take the Dragon Knight. While healing an ally for 15,000 HP in one go was certainly fun for one team, it was apparently not as fun for the other team. So yeah…. we had to change the ability!
A huge thank you Kent-Erik Hagman and the design team for taking time out of their day to chat with us about Rehgar. If you missed any of our previous Designer Insights, check out the list below, and keep an eye on HeroesoftheStorm.com for more news from the Nexus.