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Hearthstone Developers Talk Titans and Designing Deities – TheFantasyTimes

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By Nikita Gambhir

Hearthstone Developers Talk Titans and Designing Deities



The Titans are among the most powerful and significant entities in the Warcraft universe, and their influence can be seen throughout the franchise’s lore. These colossal beings have played a vital role in the creation of most of the playable races in World of Warcraft, inspired one of its classes, started the Burning Legion, and empowered the Dragon Aspects. Now, Hearthstone is introducing these god-like beings to the game in Titans, its latest card expansion.

In a group interview with Hearthstone VFX artist Luke Mason and lead designer Cora Georgiou, Game Rant learned how the Titans impacted the game and the design process for creating worthy Hearthstone cards. While designing a Hearthstone card that does justice to these deific characters was not an easy task, the developers believe they were up to the challenge. They shared their process of designing the Titans and their Keeper lieutenants to ensure that they left a lasting impression on Hearthstone players.

Of the 145 new cards coming to Hearthstone in Titans, each class will receive two cycles of Legendary minions: a massive Titan and a mighty Keeper. While the Keepers are more like traditional Legendary minions, the mighty Warcraft Titans work differently. Once played, these minions must use each of their three unique powers once per turn before they can attack like normal.

However, Hearthstone ran into a problem with the Titans – there aren’t enough in Warcraft’s lore. The Pantheon consists of six Titans, with the fallen Dark Titan Sargeras making seven. With Argus, Telogrus, and Azeroth herself, Warcraft only has 10 named Titans, while Hearthstone has 11 classes with the new Death Knight. The developers considered not having a Titan in every class, but they realized that wouldn’t be fun. Hence, they decided to introduce some new characters along with the old. Amitus is a Hearthstone-original Titan coming in the new set. “She’s pretty cool. She’s a peacekeeping Titan,” Georgiou said, “and she fits a bit of a niche that I thought the Titans didn’t have in the order.”

As the lieutenants and creations of the Pantheon, there are plenty of characters to choose from WoW for the Titan Keepers. Keepers like Freya and Tyr are shoe-ins for Druid and Paladin respectively, but players will have to wait and see what Keepers appear and how their powers will change the game.

The Titans are some of the most prominent entities Hearthstone has ever put on a card. “These are god-like beings that have been traveling the cosmos who are now planting their mark,” Mason said. As literal planet-sized gods, it was essential to make sure playing a Titan felt suitably epic. Hearthstone’s VFX team was prepared to make it happen. “It was exciting, in a world that already has magic users that can already defy the rules of reality, to one up that,” Mason said.

The new Hearthstone set aims to create a memorable impact in every play, from the greatest Titan to the simplest use of the new Reforge mechanic. “Players have a lot of eye candy in this set,” Mason said, “If they are coming here for magical sparkles and celestial star magic, this is the set for them!”

Hearthstone is available now for Mobile and PC.

The Titans are some of the largest and most powerful entities in the Warcraft universe and have influenced nearly every part of the franchise’s lore. These massive entities have had a hand in creating most of the playable races of World of Warcraft and inspiring one of its classes, starting the Burning Legion, and empowering the Dragon Aspects. Now, Hearthstone is finally adding these god-like beings to the game in Titans, its next card expansion.

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Game Rant participated in a group interview with Hearthstone VFX artist Luke Mason and lead designer Cora Georgiou about the impact of the Titans on the game. Designing a Hearthstone card worthy of these deific characters did not come easy, but the developers believe they were up to the challenge. They shared the process of designing the Titans and their Keeper lieutenants to make sure they left a lasting impression on Hearthstone players.

RELATED: Hearthstone Devs Share How Twist Came to Exist



How Hearthstone Remembered the Titans

World Of Warcraft Titans Azeroth

Of the 145 new cards coming to Hearthstone in Titans, each class will be receiving two cycles of Legendary minions: a massive Titan and a mighty Keeper. While the Keepers are more like traditional Legendary minions, the mighty Warcraft Titans work differently. Once played, these minions must use each of three unique powers once per turn before they are able to attack like normal.

However, Georgiou explained that Hearthstone ran into a problem with the Titans – there aren’t enough in Warcraft’s lore. The Pantheon consists of six Titans, with the fallen Dark Titan Sargeras making seven. With Argus, the Unmaker from Legion, Telogrus, the void-corrupted Titan world destroyed by Sargeas, and Azeroth herself, Warcraft only has 10 named Titans, while Hearthstone has 11 classes with the new Death Knight.

“This is something we ran into early in the ideation for this set. We knew we wanted Titans to be the exciting new thing for the expansion, and the problem of not having 11 canonical Titans was a tough one right at the beginning… We at one point thought, ‘well, what if we didn’t have a Titan in every class?’ But that didn’t seem fun.”

Luckily, Hearthstone is willing to introduce some new characters along with the old. Amitus is a Hearthstone-original Titan coming in the new set. “She’s pretty cool. She’s a peacekeeping Titan,” Georgiou said, “and she fits a bit of a niche that I thought the Titans didn’t have in the order.” Considering most of the other Titans are male characters with long beards, Amitus’ design also brings some much-appreciated diversity to the Pantheon. According to Georgiou, she also may not be the only original character in the expansion.

Iconic Titans like Eonar, Khaz’goroth, Golganneth, and Norgannon fit easily as the Titans for the Druid, Warrior, Shaman, and Mage respectively, but some classes weren’t as straightforward. “A lot of these Titans didn’t come with class identities off the bat,” Mason said, “so it was really up to the teams to figure out the most effective matchings.”

Georgiou gave an example with the unrevealed Demon Hunter Titan. “I think that we came up with a way to represent Demon Hunter through a not-so-traditionally Demon Hunter character, but in a way that felt like it was a marriage of the two.” It is clear Georgiou is excited for players to see what Titans appear in the set as Hearthstone reveals it in the month leading up to its release.

“Obviously we have the canon Titans, but we have a couple that are surprises. I’m curious to see if anyone will guess who the Death Knight Titan is. I think if you think about it, it makes sense, but it’s not so obvious.”

As the lieutenants and creations of the Pantheon, there are plenty of characters to choose from WoW for the Titan Keepers. “We have Titan [Keepers] like Hodir for Hunter,” Mason said, “Being the Father of Giants, he makes future minions like giants!” Keepers like Freya and Tyr are shoe-ins for Druid and Paladin respectively, but players will have to wait and see what Keepers appear and how their powers will change the game. “There are lots of fun things for players to play around with – and potentially even learn more about the lore [of the Titans and Keepers] through their play.”

Making a Titanic Entrance in Hearthstone

hs legendary location old gods

It is no exaggeration to say the Titans are some of the biggest entities Hearthstone has ever put on a card. “These are god-like beings that have been traveling the cosmos who are now planting their mark,” Mason said. As literal planet-sized gods, it was important to make sure playing a Titan felt suitably epic.

Luckily, Hearthstone’s VFX team was prepared to make it happen. “It was exciting, in a world that already has magic users that can already defy the rules of reality, to one up that,” Mason said. The incredible visuals from Hearthstone’s Colossal minions from Voyage to the Sunken City, plus the amazing effects from Festival of Legends, helped pave the way to make an atmosphere for Titans that are on a truly massive scale.

“For example, we have Norgannon, the Titan of magic and lore. This is a god-like being who has been traveling the cosmos in search of all the different magic systems across the planets… In addition to the normal Arcane, you can see hints of green with Fel, yellow with Holy, all the different magic types, all coming together in this rainbow spectrum of runes.”

The Titans aren’t the only cards that aim to please both visually and aurally. The Prison of Yogg-Saron, the free Legendary location card inspired by the Ulduar raid in Wrath of the Lich Kingalso features some chilling effects. “It opens with a pool of pristine water that slowly gets corrupted by Yogg-Saron as he’s staging a prison break, held back by these blue, ethereal chains.”

The new Hearthstone set seeks to create a memorable impact in every play, from the greatest Titan to the simplest use of the new Reforge mechanic. “Players have a lot of eye candy in this set,” Mason said, “If they are coming here for magical sparkles and celestial star magic, this is the set for them!”

Hearthstone is available now for Mobile and PC.

MORE: Hearthstone Developers Explain How Twist is Changing the Game

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