BlizzCon 2017 Hearthstone: What’s Next Panel Transcript

THE KOBOLDS STRIKE BACK

Dave: Wow, that is some scary stuff. The dungeon is a terrible place. We’ve got these powerful adventurers at one side, we’ve got these horrible monsters on the other side, and in the middle we have the Kobolds. This is their time to shine, this is when they put their candles together, they pool their resources, and they form an unstoppable army of (who are we kidding), the Kobolds! What are they going to do? Somehow, they’re going to have to squeak by.

 

Come beasts that prowl and growl.
Come heroes and knights most foul.
With our noggins we’ll contrive.
Always skulking.
Never bulking.
We kobolds will survive.

 

I have been reading these verses to you. This is something we wrote early on in the design process, because we wanted to explore: “what does the dungeon look like?” If you’re the lowest monster on the totem pole, we gravitated towards Kobolds for a couple of reasons on this set. One is: they are the kind of small monster that you might find in all kinds of dungeon environments, so we really like that. The other is: there is something uniquely Warcraft about the Warcraft Kobolds, the way they use their candles on their head as a mining light, they even have their own catchphrase, and say it with me now: “YOU NO TAKE CANDLE.” Love this guys. We knew once we tried to figure out how to get them into Hearthstone, our team would have a lot of fun with it.

Ben: This is in fact how most of us remember Kobolds looking — from our time in World of Warcraft. The literal tunnel rats of Azeroth. Forever beseeching us to refrain from stumping out their candle illuminations; and most of us did it, right?

 

So, what happens when we corner these poor beasts in their own lair? Just what can we expect then? Well, as Dave mentioned, these are some resourceful fellows; and as a result, they’ve started to look to their own environment to provide the answers. You’ve got some fashioned armors out of some of the poor beasts in the deep, you’ve got some who maybe harness the more magical property of the incandescent fungis.

 

Peter: Hehe… Want to buy a fungal cake?

Ben: You have even got, as you head in deeper, the crystal veins that run along the walls, and some of them have started to level up their own weapons with that, or to hear them tell it make diggy things glow bright. And finally, you’ve got some that have learned the mystical arts of the darker magics themselves; and while they might be just as dangerous to those around them, or even to themselves, there’s still nothing to laugh about.

 

Now, get to the deepest lairs and some of these guys have found a way to turn some of the denizens of the deep to their own resourcefulness. We’ve got dire moles that have been used to dig deeper and deeper still, and some of them have even found ways to harness the magical properties of wax itself. Truly terrifying, if you’ve made it this far.

 

Dave: So, we had the idea that the Kobolds are sort of making do with their environment as best they can. So if they discover a mushroom cave, they might use these mushrooms to create concoctions to use against adventurers, or to use as illumination.

Here’s somebody you might find: this is Voodoo Master Vex. He is a Kobold who is digging some tunnels and stumbled on a troll burial ground. Voodoo Master Vex has been hanging out with trolls so long he thinks he is a troll. He loves hexes. You might run across him in the single-player dungeon.

Then this guy is one of our favorites: Candle Beard. Candle Beard was tunneling along one day, and he stumbled on a buried pirate treasure. Now… Candle Beard does not have a ship of his own, in fact, Candle Beard has never seen the ocean, but he thinks he is a pirate. His favorite move is Charrrrrrrrrge. Thank you, beer all weekend. Tip you later.

 

Peter: With all of those awesome Kobolds we needed to have awesome designs to go with them, and so we tried to figure out what different Kobolds could do. Here is the Kobold Illusionist. When he dies, he’s going to summon a 1/1 shadow copy of one of the minions in your hand.

 

That could be something innocuous like a Gadgetzan Auctioneer, or Malygos, or maybe another Deathrattle minion. So you can take advantage of that, and do some pretty cool things, but Rogues aren’t the only ones who get Kobolds. We wanted to have a Paladin Kobold, too. With all of those adventurers running around in the dungeon, we needed to have a solution. The Kobolds were going to throw them in jail.

Here’s the Drygulch Jailor. When he dies, he gets to rescue three Silver Hand Recruits that he’s been keeping in prison. This is pretty cool with some of the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan cards that buff the minions in your hand, and also gave us a great story for why we have Kobolds in paladin.

 

Ben: Now, just who leads these tunnel digging misfits of Azeroth? — You may ask. What kind of luminary would it take to bring all the candles together under a single albeit slightly brighter candle of his own? Begin our search for the Kobold King.

As we began to take the first forays into what it would take to lead such a bunch of rat men across the world of Azeroth, we knew that he would sit on a waxen throne, that much was without question; but would he perhaps be carried through the tunnels on a dais of his own, carried by some of the smaller meeker Kobolds? Perhaps, in fact, his mode of transportation would be a Golem of his own mystical construct.

 

Ultimately, as it turns out, all you really need to be the leader of the Kobold nation is that extra IQ point that it takes to think about putting a lantern on the candle around your head to keep it from being snuffed out, and so we ended up with this guy.

 

This is our first sketch of King Togwaggle, the king of the Kobolds, we see him here in the initial concept sketch with the treasure that he has strapped to his back for safekeeping, mostly from other Kobolds probably; and his regal shovel, less anyone question his sovereignty; and as we see him in the game lounging on his throne in a somewhat cocky manner, he’s pretty sure no adventurers are going to find their way down to him; but if you do, keep in mind it’s going to take more than just your wits to snuff out this particular candle.

 

NEXT: DUNGEON RUN

BlizzCon 2017 Hearthstone: What's Next Panel Transcript
1. What is Kobolds and Catacombs?2. Legendary Weapons3. Spellstones4. Adventurers5. Monsters
6. Traps7. The Kobolds8. Dungeon Run

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Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

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