Everything you need to know about the Genji and Hanamura Reddit AMA


Just a day before the momentous Heroes 2.0 launch, select members of the Heroes of the Storm dev team took to Reddit and answered two hours of fan questions, comments, and critiques. A variety of topics were discussed but the bulk of the questions were about Genji and the new battleground Hanamura.

The Panel

/u/BlizzAZJackson - Adam Jackson, Associate Live Designer
/u/BlizzTravis - Travis McGeathy, Heroes Lead Game Designer
/u/BlizzKyle - Kyle Dates, Game Designer - Genji
/u/BlizzKwevs - Michael Cuevas, Senior Animator - Genji
/u/Blizz_BMarony - Bryan Marony, 3D Artist - Hanamura
/u/Blizz_JDeShazer - John DeShazer, Lead Battleground Designer - Hanamura

These massive threads are always a little tedious to follow, so here are the big takeaways you should know about:


Genji’s deflect ability originally functioned like it does in Overwatch, allowing for entire abilities to be reflected. However, it ended up being too technically complex (for example, how do you reflect Flamestrike?) and it was decided that a flat damage reflect suited the game better.
Blizzard didn’t want to add many talents that ventured outside Genji’s “high mobility, high damage assassin” role. Game Designer, BlizzKyle, explained that adding any extra utility “CC, healing, scouting, etc” would require them to remove power from his mobility and damage and ultimately make the hero less interesting.

His talent tree offers different strategies and methods of achieving the same goal-- being highly mobile and doing damage.

Genji is designed to be an ability driven hero. Auto attack based talents were initially experimented with, but weren’t satisfying or as interesting as his abilities.

Swift Strike is the longest movement ability in the game (aside from globals), but it was originally roughly 25% longer than it is now. Developers kept dying while they were using the ability and slowly turned back the range into it felt a good distance. A lot of the design around Genji is based upon skilled players mastering Swift Strike distance.

Originally, Genji has a melee Q ability that involved him using his Dragonblade. However this was promptly moved to his heroic to better reflect Overwatch.

Quality of life changes.

Blizzard is looking to implement some sort of loss forgiveness for players affected by intentional feeding, disconnects or otherwise overwhelming toxicity.

An ingame esports tab that would include HGC information, hero win rates, talent choices, and bios on different teams might possible be in the future. Blizzard “doesn’t have a time frame” for when this might be implemented, but it is on their radar.

Loot boxes, skins, and cosmetics.

Senior Animator, Kwevs, thinks bringing Overwatch style victory poses is a great idea and something the team would “very much consider”.

The team is planning to implement themed loot boxes in the future.

Custom mouse cursors are another type of cosmetic that blizzard is looking to add in the future.

More esports and HGC related cosmetics are being explored, but Blizzard is making no promises!

Lead game designer, BlizzTravis, is “always amazed at how creative players can get when they want to be toxic”. Despite this, he revealed that the team has been considering adding macros to the end game screens that help players congratulate the enemy team in a “controlled fashion”.


The Heroes of the Storm team loved the design aesthetic of Hanamura so much that they knew they wanted it to be the tileset for the first payload map, even though in Overwatch there are no payloads in Hanamura.

Initially, Dehaka was weak on Hanamura due to the lack of bushes. More were added just for him.

The first version of the healing pulse item (captured from mercenaries) had a built in cleanse!

The team was initially “concerned about the potential complexity” of Hanamura, but also excited about what it could bring. With Hanamura, the “easy to learn, difficult to master” mantra that defines Blizzard game design was always on the teams mind.

Blizzard is aware that players think 7 core HP on Hanamura is too low, however internal testing shows that 8 core HP consistently leads to ~24 minute games, which is longer than ideal.

Potential re-works and balance

Blizzard is considering reworking Lt. Morales in light of the recent rework to Uther.

While the dev team is not thinking about adding map vetoes, they are planning to be “more aggressive” with changing and patching battlegrounds, similarly to what they already do for Heroes.

Genji was a challenge to balance because of his high mobility. In general, the dev team has to be careful with high mobility heroes and make them have big weaknesses, such as a lack of CC or the inability to effectively trade damage.


Battleground Designer Shazer explained how some battlegrounds have persisting mercenary camps when an objective spawns because internal testing shows it helps the team that lost the map objective. Other battlegrounds don’t have this presumably because mercenary camps benefit the winning team more and create snowball situations.

Senior Animator, Kwevs, hinted that this particular Crispin Glover dance may be added to the game at some time. 

The Heroes of the Storm team works very closely with the Overwatch team to ensure heroes like Tracer, Genji, Lucio and Zarya all have a seamless visual transition.

Battleground Designer Shazer says that Towers of Doom and Hanamura are just the first attempts at creating battlegrounds with unique win conditions. The team intends to keep exploring “interesting design possibilities” regarding unique win conditions.

At least one person on the Heroes animation team is a huge fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

April, 25th is almost here!

Heroes of the Storm 2.0 is just moments away and, come April 25th, will unleash it self alongside a new cinematic, a new hero, a mysterious event and the Nexus Challenge 2.0! You can find the complete schedule on the official website.

Sort by:

Comments :0

Insert Image

Add Quotation

Add Translate Suggestion

Language select