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Samwise - Azeroth Choppers

Samwise on Azeroth Choppers in 2014

“Basically, he's a WoW icon in every sense of the word.”

Mike Schramm

Samwise Didier is a senior art director at Blizzard Entertainment, currently working on Heroes of the Storm.[1] He was one of Blizzard's first artists, joining the company in 1991.[2] Didier's greatly exaggerated physiques and vibrant, bright color palette dictated the artistic style of Warcraft III, World of Warcraft, StarCraft: Ghost and Heroes of the Storm. He has provided art direction or additional art on almost every Blizzard game released to date.[3]

Samwise WWI Paris

Samwise Didier at WWI 2008

Didier also designed and drew many of the graphical icons found in Warcraft III and World of Warcraft, as well as providing voicework for games including Warcraft III, World of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm.[4][5]

According to Blizzard cofounder Allen Adham, the name "Warcraft" was originated by Samwise when he shouted it out in his distinctive style during a lunchtime brainstorming session prior to the development of the original game, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.[6] "Warcraft" was previously the name of Didier's Dungeons & Dragons character and was intended to be the opposite of the word "witchcraft",[7][8] and he mentioned that he had always wanted to use the name to make a game.[9] Didier also designed the first statue for Blizzard.[10]

Notes and trivia[]

Samwise Didier ETC BC2011

Singing with Elite Tauren Chieftain at BlizzCon 2011

  • Didier's first job was as an usher at a local movie theater, where he frequently drew art on bathroom log sheets and time sheets. After seeing an advertisement offering the opportunity to "Make art for video games", he went to the Blizzard headquarters, showed some of his sketchbooks and framed art pieces, and was offered a job the same day.[2][11]
  • Didier was part of Team Horde as "Warchief Samwise" on Azeroth Choppers, along with Gary Platner and Jason Hutchins.[2]
  • Didier is known for his heavy fixation on pandas. "Panda" is actually one of his nicknames,[11] ever since his brother accidentally referred to Samwise as a panda bear while he meant polar bear. This random mistake is considered the beginning of the pandaren concept.[12] Didier was personally responsible for the creation of the pandaren, a race originally regarded by fans — and used by Blizzard — as a "joke race", but still with legitimacy within the lore. Among other things, panda icons also appeared accompanying much of Samwise's art. He even included it in Warcraft III on the night elf demon hunters' warglaives. Much of the pandaren culture, dress, society, and weapons were inspired by samurai and Hong Kong martial arts films, both of which Didier greatly appreciates.
  • In Warcraft II, a random doodad of the Winter tileset has the name "Sam" scrawled in the snow.[13]
  • In Warcraft III,
    • when certain paladins cast spells, they open their books to do so. Upon inspection, the interior of these books read "Sam" on a page.
    • an in-game cube skin unused by any unit in-game has Samwise's face on all sides, named "Sammy!".
    • Samwise's face is used as an icon and unit model that can be accessed from World Editor. The model is a cube with his face on the faces.
    • Samwise's face was also used on a kobold model in the WorldEditor.
    • the ashes that form after the usage of the Blood Mage's Flame Strike ability has a pattern of a panda's face.
    • several classy items in both Warcraft III and World of Warcraft have an icon depicting a scepter with a decorative "SD", likely standing for Samwise Didier.
  • In World of Warcraft,
  • Samwise frequently shares sketches and art on his Twitter account.
    • Didier's self-description note on his Twitter page at one point listed him, after "Artist", as "Panda King, Ale-Father and the 1st Son of the Storm."
  • Away from Blizzard, Samwise is responsible for much of the album art of Swedish power metal band HammerFall. He has also written and illustrated a series of "bawdy and boisterous short stories", centered around the elf-hating Grimbeard, The Last Dwarf.
  • One of his mottoes is "ABC - Always Be Creating", which is referenced by Sapphronetta Flivvers's on-click quotes.


For more, see Category:Images by Samwise Didier.

TCG art[]


  1. ^ Heroes of the Storm - Samuro Speed Drawing (2016-10-06).
  2. ^ a b c Blizzard Entertainment 2014-04-10. Official: Azeroth Choppers.
  3. ^ MobyGames. Retrieved on 2016-10-07. - NB: This list is currently missing some credits such as Heroes of the Storm.
  4. ^ IMBD. Retrieved on 2016-10-29.
  5. ^ a b Building the Nexus: Samuro (2016-10-20).
  6. ^ BlizzCon 2017 - Behind Blizzard's Worlds panel
  7. ^ Game Informer 2018-11-08. GI Show – Warcraft III, Diablo Immortal, Red Dead Developer Roundtable. Retrieved on 2019-05-08.
  8. ^ Game Informer #308: World of Triviacraft, pg. 96
  9. ^ Bryan Menegus 2019-10-01. How Warcraft Got Its Name. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2019-10-02.
  10. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Nebu 2018-02-15. Statues of Blizzard. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2018-02-15.
  11. ^ a b BlizzCast - Episode #1
  12. ^ a b Samwise Didier interview - Pandaren Brewmaster deluxe figure - "Dude, you're like one of those panda bears -- you're never cold."
  13. ^ File:Warcraft II - Winter Tiles.png
  14. ^ Medievaldragon 2012-09-13. World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria – Blizzplanet Interviews Micky Neilson & Sean Galloway. Blizzplanet. Retrieved on 2019-05-08.
  15. ^ Samwise Didier on Twitter (2016-12-01).​ “On December 1st, 1991, a baby-faced, baby-bearded, Bob's Big Boy looking dude joined a small video game company called Silicon & Synapse.”

External links[]