Heroes of the Storm director Dustin Browder announced today that he's leaving Blizzard's MOBA-like for other projects within the company. Browder has been with Blizzard since 2005, as a senior designer on World of Warcraft's Burning Crusade expansion and lead designer on Starcraft II. The news came via a post by Browder in the official Heroes of the Storm forums.
"We sometimes get exciting chances to work on other projects, too. I'm going to take one of those chances to try something new at Blizzard," wrote Browder. "This was not an easy choice to make. I still play Heroes five nights a week, and sitting in the bullpen surrounded by this team has been the most intensely creative experience of my career. But one thing that's making this decision easier is knowing the future of Heroes is in the right hands."
Taking Browder's place is Alan Dabiri, who has actually been at Blizzard Entertainment longer than Browder. Dabiri was the technical director for Heroes of the Storm.
"In fact, since StarCraft entered the Nexus in September, the Heroes team has been releasing some of our best content to date all without my daily involvement and I've been thoroughly blown away with what they have delivered. For those who haven't seen him on BlizzCon panels or doing interviews, Alan has had a hand in nearly every aspect of Heroes since the beginning, both in his role as our technical director and as part of the team's collaborative development process," added Browder.
Dabiri was already responsible for the new Heroes Brawl mode recently added to Heroes of the Storm. He's also focused on adding new features for eSport play.
"For example, we're adding a tournament draft mode with draft observer support," Dabiri told Polygon. "It's been a long time coming, and we'll be glad to finally get this into the game. This also includes an early version of a 'hero swap' phase to support esports in custom games."
"We have made massive improvements to the game over the course of the last year, and we've got a ridiculous number of developments coming in the first half of 2017," he added. "We're looking at a complete rework of our progression/reward systems and a ton of other things that I can't wait to share with everyone. Of course, we have lots of exciting new heroes and battlegrounds planned in 2017 as well."