Heroes of the Storm™

Developer Insights: Talkin' 'bout Tychus

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Developer insights: Talkin' 'bout Tychus

Designing a hero from the ground up is a fascinating subject, particularly with Blizzard characters that have a rich history in games, novels, and other media. To explore the subject, we invited Senior Game Designer Richard Khoo to chat about Tychus and how he came to fruition.

Trikslyr: Let’s talk about the design of Tychus; how was it decided to make him an assassin, and what makes him different from other heroes?

Richard: When we’re deciding what role a hero falls into and what makes them unique, we first think about the fantasy of the character and what they did in their universes. In Wings of Liberty, Tychus was a take-no-prisoners badass who rode around in a stolen Odin, used a chain gun and grenades to mow down the Zerg, and started a bar fight with Jimmy on the Hyperion. He’s clearly a rebel that let his fists do the talking. In this case, a hard hitting assassin just made sense.

T: Tychus’ Combat trait forces the marine to “Wind-up” his chain gun before attacking. In a game where constant fast action/battles are the focus of gameplay, why does a mechanic like Wind-up seem like a good fit?

Richard: We view the wind-up as a small cost to pay for the rapid attacks and higher overall damage. The sound and anticipation of Tychus about to gun something down also felt thematically appropriate. But, as you said, the game is very fast, so maybe it doesn’t work and we'd change the Combat trait in the future.

T: Heroes of the Storm supports a robust talent system that allows players to customize the feel and playstyles of their favorite heroes. What aspects of Tychus did the design team feel were a core part of his playstyle, and in what ways does your team intend for his talents and abilities to further flex what Tychus is capable of in-game?

Richard: Our goal with talents is to enhance the core hero’s design and sometimes offer new ways to play which feels like an extension of that hero. At his core, Tychus is designed to deal a great deal of burst damage with his Minigun, Overkill, and Frag Grenade combo. We have talents which make him deadly against other heroes with early talents like Dash (Increased Run and Gun Range) and Quarterback (Increased Grenade Range). Tychus is also very good at fighting minions in the lanes, and if you want to accentuate that part of Tychus, we have talents like Melting Point (Grenade deals extra DoT to minions) and Rapid Fire (After attacking three seconds, Tychus attacks faster).

T: When approaching hero powers, does the design team consider lore first or just create a concept and hope to find something in the lore that fits?

Richard: We always approach hero design with lore and fantasy first and foremost. We draw inspiration from our games if the hero was playable, and base their powers off of that. Generally speaking, there are too many powers and/or they don’t really work for Heroes, so we have to aggressively edit. An example of this - Tychus originally had a trait where when he would melee an enemy, and then stun them. Combined with a shoulder charge attack that could be targeted on an enemy, the same ability would give Tychus a shield if he targeted a minion. So you had to choose between targeting a hero and stunning them or a minion to get shield. We thought this created an interesting choice for gameplay purposes.

But, that kit didn’t quite work out. The gameplay was too complicated and didn’t make sense for a ranged assassin who had a massive chain gun that was most of his profile. So, we designed his kit around the mini-gun and we now have what you see today.

T: Here’s a fun question for you, Richard - if you were to pick four heroes to surround Tychus with, who would you pick?

I would play Tychus with Muradin, Illidan, Gazlowe, and Tassadar. We would all pick the heroes who have an ability to transform into something different.

A huge thank you to Richard for taking time out of his day and giving us some insight into what goes into designing a hero in Heroes of the Storm. We look forward to working with the design team more in the future as new content hits the public eye for Heroes of the Storm.

Let us know what heroes you would pick to team up with Tychus, in the comment section below. If you have any questions for our design team, please feel free to ask in the comments below and we might pick yours to ask next time. As always, keep checking Heroesofthestorm.com for more content!
Edited by Trikslyr on 8/19/2014 9:25 AM PDT
I would team up tychus with Leeroy Jenkins, Professor Putricide, Harrison Jones, and Night Elf Mohawk! Please put them in the game ;). Love what you guys are doing! Keep up the great work! I mean granted it might be really difficult to actually play the game with these characters as one would be laughing so hard at thier absurdity. But laughter is good for the soul and who doesn't want a little extra challenge now and then :).
Edited by Kezidrix on 4/19/2014 10:06 PM PDT
Just got into alpha this week and of the available free assassins this week Tychus is definately my favorite. He feels beefer than Raynor and Nova and the wind-up aspect is a pretty cool mechanic that I really haven't seen done within any of the other similar games I've played. Upon initially reading it I wasn't sure how it would work in practice but once you get used to it, it really feels pretty fluid. Enjoyably solid hero who really hits his lore figure perfectly.
Tychus has quite a few problems right now,
  • Overkill (His best ability) is shutdown by any interrupt.
  • He cannot poke with basic attacks for any real damage, even with Run & Gun.
  • The nature of his minigun (Small damage over time) is a disadvantage in standup fights.
  • His Laser Drill and Odin both are great against towers but not very useful during a team fight. Odin has less hp than Tychus who already has low hp, and Drill does very low dmg.
  • That said I do like Tychus but feel he needs a few buffs so he can feel like an actual assassin.
  • Increase the range of Grenades so you don't have to be in melee range to knock them back to you, or add a slow to Heroes hit by Grenades.
  • When you use Run & Gun have it add a small duration shield.
  • Buff Odin's HP and increasing range of Ragnarok Missiles.
  • Increase Laser Drill's Damage while lowering it's duration.
  • I agree with Felraven's points almost to a tee. I strongly enjoy playing as Tychus, but a majority of my games turn out poorly because of how weak Tychus is, especially when facing other heroes early game.
    With his minigun mechanic, I feel like Tychus was being built towards a different role, somewhere between specialist and tank, but landed the stats and talents of an assassin.

    Tychus is in need of some changes.
    -Minigun should stay wound up for much longer, and gain range when wound up. This would prevent most situations where you have a Tychus wind up to fire, then walk a few steps, and wind up again, over and over several times, ultimately doing little damage. The need to wind up is already a double edged sword, and outside of teamfights or close one on one fights, it hurts more than helps.
    -Tychus needs a talent that gives a shield/incoming damage reduction when wound up. Tychus looks and feels like he should be tank-ier than he is, and some talents to help him fall into a tank role without sacrificing his core feel would be very cool.
    -The Frag Grenade needs to be buffed, even by a talent if anything. As Felraven said, Tychus cannot poke. Given the strength of almost every other heroes' harass potential, Tychus falls short. The frag is the perfect vehicle to fix this problem. Preferably, the damage should be buffed, or re-scaled to be more effective early game than it is now, where it is practically useless aside from the knockback.
    -Finally, a rework of both heroic abilities is needed. They fall short of being useful, in my opinion. The Odin is far too weak to use in team fights, the one place where is should shine. It becomes a big target with very little health, and falls apart before being helpful. What damage it can do isn't enough to warrant the fairly long cooldown of 100 seconds. The Odin needs more health, period.
    The Drakken Laser, however, only needs a buff to be on par with other heroic abilities. Personally, I'd like to see the beam pass through targets, acting like long, narrow AoE. The damage is alright, but the cooldown is still a bit much.

    Obviously, there are several heroes that need tweaks and balances, but having played most already, I feel that Tychus is definitely in need of help the most.
    I cant really say much about Tychus because hes just so terrible that I virtually never see anybody play him.

    By far the least played character in the game, and I definitely dont need to see any data to know that
    That's the hero I play the most and by far is the funniest to play with. However I agree with some points already discussed here.

    I think the most critical is the Overkill (Q) ability. By design, it should alow you to redirect the aim to another target while shooting right? But I can't deal well with this. OK, maybe it's my fault. But I think it's glitchy and somehow should be addressed. In addition, Tychus plays almost as melee due to its range which should be increased by ~30% min.

    Regarding heroic abilities, I always pick the laser drill as it is so effective to dismiss a push against the base, to defend tributes or the pirate. I think it's pretty good in team fights thanks to it's fine damage and all enemies usually to avoid them.

    All in all, I think is one of the best for pushing lanes, but it needs support to get sustained damage. You should never play Rambo style with him.

    Sorry for ma English.

    Cheers!
    Edited by Havoc on 5/19/2014 4:21 PM PDT
    Tychus seems like he'd be fun, but I can't make myself stop playing E.T.C because Taurens=Best race.

    Anyway, I haven't had a chance to read the patch notes, but did something change with his laser tripod? The thing has been absolutely murdering people. As it appears to be right now, you may want to consider bringing it back into the kickass range, down from murderous light of Ra himself.
    I believe Overkill should also slow Tychus's movement speed as if he catches anyone in it, they cannot outrun the damage at all which cant take someone from 100% to 0. In comparison to other champs, there isn't anyone else who can do that without throwing in all they abilities at one time (i.e Nova with Envenom and Blood for Blood can kill Valla in one full ability rotation).
    He is really cool, but his Tank ult really messes people up
    I personally feel when Tychus gets to late game he becomes rather tanky and when you're about to kill him, he just wiffs his ult out and he's back to 100% health and I find that kind of ridiculous, but maybe there's an aspect of it I'm not looking at.
    Honestly, I think Tychus is one of the best assasins in game right now, with the right build and skill, his late game is obsurd, if you are left untouched you can litterally either decimate an entire team with insane dps, or prolly pull off the highest DPS in game on turrents.
    As an avid Tychus player i must admit Tychus with the right build can be almost unstoppable, i build him purely for auto attack (health per level, health from basic attacks, faster auto attack speed, odin, giant slayer, shield based on health activate, and then upgraded odin or the auto attacks hit two other targets for 50% damage.) i use this build every game as it fits my play style quite firmly and left to my own devices i can melt Stiches and Arthas like butter in a microwave. I wouldn't exactly say Tychus is broken in this fact due to his early game being very reliant on his Q for damage and he is an assassin so he should have a high damage output. He is by far my favorite to play and by far the hero i feel like i make the impact to my team with, in similar MOBA games I'm not a high tier player i usually stay away from the ranked games because of this fact. but when this game releases i would feel pretty confident having Tychus at my side.
    Edited by Roarzalan on 6/29/2014 10:51 AM PDT
    Remove the slow on his Q, I mean he already has a dash and a knock back and can run while shooting with Q
    I've played With, against and as Tychus. And have the 2nd level hero quest done(6games) for 90% of the heroes.
    And Tychus is by far the strongest without equal.
    With the right build he is UN-killable, and if you do get close to dying you simply hit "R"(odin) for an few thousand health and a full set of in your face death.

    You can possible tell where im headed with this, but he needs a bit of a nerf.
    At least to Odin directly, and the health gain when he using it, to reflect in some manner the effort already taking to get him as low as you did.
    In my opinion, this hero has much advantage over others of their class (assassin). Once started shooting is almost unstoppable. His first ability causes a lot of damage in very little time, and if the enemy hero tries to escape Tichus should only use its second ability to push him back and keep attacking.
    As for his heroic skills, the laser seems very effective in fights 1 vs 1, but is a bit inefficient in team fights, Odin, the other hand, I can feel it balanced because, despite their skills do not lots damage, this is offset by the increase in their basic damage.
    Recommend adjusting just a little the damage from their skills during the first levels of the game.
    Tychus is a fun hero, but his damage ramps up too quickly. I like the wind up mechanic; however, having a skill that instantly winds it up defeats the purpose of this in most use cases. I feel he would be more balanced if Run n Gun did not Wind up the attack. I'd make Run N Gun the Overkill ability (makes more sense considering you can move while firing and change Overkill to a short burst, but lowers your damage for awhile after. This would help deal with his dominating damage against other heroes.

    His ultimates feel good overall. ODIN is unique and fun to play with and can be countered easily enough to keep it from being overpowered. His laser can be devastating if left alone and yet can be countered by running away or killing it. His ultimates overall are well thought out and add to positive gameplay.
    The enemy team can destroy Odin before it even finishes transformation, and as soon as Odin is gone, Tychus still has the health he had before transforming.
    Tychus OP... JK. He has one build that makes him the strongest assassin and probably also the most bulky one. A build based on his autoatack and leech. Past that. his other talents are so crappy that if you pick them you go from the best to the worst in only a few levels
    I think it would be nice if Tychus had an hp indicator of both the mech or himself on the side when he is using himself or the mech. (I can't phrase this suggestion right but I hope you get it....)
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