Samwise Didier

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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 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] Didier also designed the first statue for Blizzard.[7]

Notes and trivia

  • 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,[8] 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.[9] 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[10]
  • 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,
  • Samuro is also the name of the frontman NPC in The Tauren Chieftains band, just like Samwise is the frontman of the real-life Elite Tauren Chieftain band.
  • Samwise's face is seen in an icon for spells and abilities that do not have an image associated with them (see #Gallery). For instance, several unseen spells cast by quest givers use this icon. They can be visible if you turn on "Show Enemy Spellcast Bar" and target the NPC during casting. Various GM exclusive spells also share this icon.
  • Samwise made a cameo appearance in News From Outland: Crisis at Da Portal!
  • 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."
  • Didier's first job was as an usher at a local movie theater.[2]
  • 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.


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. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Nebu 2018-02-15. Statues of Blizzard. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2018-02-15.
  8. ^ BlizzCast - Episode #1 - "...for some reason, I decided to do like a panda guy because, actually, also like 'Samwise', 'Panda' is my nickname because I'm kind of a big hairy bear dude, but I'm not very fearsome. <Laughs> So I got the nickname 'Panda'."
  9. ^ Samwise Didier's interview with Wowhead - Pandaren Brewmaster Deluxe Figure - "Dude, you're like one of those panda bears -- you're never cold."
  10. ^ File:Warcraft II - Winter Tiles.png
  11. ^ Samwise Didier on Twitter (2016-12-01).
  12. ^ Wowhead -> Interview With Samwise: Pandaren Brewmaster Deluxe Figure

External links