At BlizzCon 2014, we revealed a little bit about how ranked play will work in Heroes of the Storm. Today, we’d like to give you a more detailed look at our initial implementation for Hero League and Draft Mode, which we’ll open for testing once Closed Beta begins on January 13.
As you read through the rest of this post, please keep in mind that this is our initial implementation for Hero League and Draft Mode, and we’re looking for your help in playtesting these features thoroughly during our Closed Beta phase, and beyond. Hero League and Draft Mode are not yet complete, and we have a number of improvements in store with future updates.
Earlier today, Sunday, Jason Bischoff (Blizzard Senior Toys and Collectibles Manager) retweeted NECA — which plans to bring some Blizzard licensed products to the Toy Fair New York event through February 14-17.
Though there is no specific mention of what NECA is going to showcase, barely two months ago there was a video interview by UltimateToyCollector with NECA’s Brad Haskins who showed how NECA sculptors are crafting the Heroes of the Storm action figures. In this video, Brad says the action figures might be on sale around the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016.
One of our fans, Bartek, suggested this talent build to me some time ago. Ever since, I have made it my favorite Jaina talent build to rely on.
At level 1, choose Winter’s Reach to increase Frostbolt range by 30%. All spells cause enemies to slow movement. The longer your Frosbolt range, the more you slow and damage your target.
At level 4, choose Envenom. It scales damage each level and does damage over time while you continue to slow the target with Frostbolt. Activate to poison an enemy Hero, dealing 945 damage over 6 seconds.
At level 7, choose Ice Lance. The cooldown of Frostbolt is reduced by 2 seconds if it impacts a Chilled target.
At level 10, choose Summon Water Elemental. It deals 176 damage on impact, and Chills nearby enemies. So make sure to summon it on top of enemy players. The Water Elemental’s Basic Attacks splash for 25% damage and Chill. Cooldown: 100 seconds. Even if you die, the Water Elemental will continue to wreck havoc to anyone within his range until summoning duration ends.
At level 13, choose Icy Veins: Activate to make your Basic Abilities’ cooldowns recharge three times as fast and reduce their Mana cost by 50% for 5 seconds. That’s three consecutive Frostbolts, or any other quick combo. Icy Veins has a 60 second cooldown.
At level 16, choose Northern Exposure: Enemies damaged by Cone of Cold are also afflicted with Vulnerable, increasing the damage they take by 25% for 2 sec. A decent strategy here is to cast Envenom –> Icy Veins –> open with Cone of Cold, then shoot three quick frostbolts (the first two benefit from Icy veins 25% damage increase for 2 sec). Could be good at the Dragon Shire shrines and other one-on-one situations.
At level 20, choose Wintermute. Your Water Elemental will now mimic your Frostbolt, Blizzard, and Cone of Cold Abilities for 50% damage. Cast range increased by 50%. Usually, I like to sit by grass to ambush people with Water Elemental (Wintermute). I also wait at the shrine in Dragon Shire expecting someone to come around the corner to get slapped with Summon Water Elemental, Envenom, Icy Veins, Cone of Cold, Frostbolt. They won’t even see what hit them. I have been able to kill 3 players standing next to each other dropping Water Elemental (Wintermute) on them.
Try this talent build, and experiment with it. You will love Jaina even more than you already do.
Abathur was the first Heroes of the Storm Specialist hero created by Blizzard Entertainment. He is the only hero who stays mostly at the base, and from there the player uses a lot of map awareness checking on all friendly players and supporting them in a range of different ways from healing, to shielding, stabbing enemy players, planting toxic nests, providing players with vision of key areas of the map, empowers minions, protects structures, sends out Locust minions, and his ultimate talent allows Abathur to clone a player and use their abilities against enemy players.
Abathur is the jack of all trades, but in this build Abathur is Jack the Ripper. Stab. Stab. Stab.
Have you been in a battleground where you successfully escape those chasing you and out of nowhere you die? That’s the long range of Abathur’s stab.
At level 1, chose the Eradicate Minions talent. Spike Burst is essential to assist with killing lane minions to gain team experience. Later on, Eradicate Minions will help with collecting skulls at the Haunted Mines, or seeds in the Garden of Terror battleground.
At level 4, you get a talent for your Stab ability. Barbed Spines increase Stab damage by 20%. This is the ability you will use the most when you apply Symbiote to a friendly player, structure or minion.
At level 7, chose the Needlespine talent. This will increase the range of your Stab by 33%. The reason you die out of the blue is the crazy range this talent gives Abathur. Especially, if Abathur quickly jumps to a minion and Stabs you at very low health.
At level 10, Ultimate Evolution allows Abathur to clone a friendly player. The best options to clone are Nova, Zeratul, and Tychus.
Two Novas can seriously destroy an enemy team from afar with Triple Tap. Two Tychus means two Thors wrecking havoc. Two Sgt. Hammer can do a load of siege damage. How about Two Jaina or two Illidans? You get the picture.
At level 13, chose the Spatial Efficiency. You get a second charge of Stab. To put that in perspective, at level 13 Abathur’s Stab can do 213 damage. That’s a total of 426 damage (2 charges). That’s 1/5th of Jaina or Illidan’s Health. Stab has a 3 second cooldown. For that reason, I call this the Jack the Ripper Build. Stab. Stab. Stab. Deadly.
At level 16, choose Adrenaline Boost. This talent doesn’t offer any damage boost, but it helps your host stay alive longer when he/she is in need of fleeing away by adding a 40% movement speed boost to Carapace (the ability that shields the host). Of course, that can also be helpful when Zeratul, Muradin, or Tyrael (for example) leap away from reach when they are nearly death. Boost your host’s speed with Adrenaline Boost and stab the crap out of them.
Finally, at level 20, choose Evolution Master to decrease the cooldown to 90 seconds, and increase the clone’s duration to 60 seconds.
Malfurion is a ranged support Hero in Heroes of the Storm. This guide will focus on a healer build where your goal is to keep your team alive. Before starting, let’s take a look at his basic abilities.
|Regrowth||Heal target ally for 52 Health instantly and an additional 130 Health over 10 seconds. Mana: 75. Cooldown: 7 seconds.
|Moonfire||Deal 40 damage to enemies within target area and reveals them for 2 seconds. Mana: 20. Cooldown: 3 seconds.
|Entangling Roots||Root enemies within the target area for 1.5 seconds, and deals 27 damage over the duration. Affected area grows over 3 seconds. Mana: 75. Cooldown: 12 seconds.
|Innervate (Trait)||Grant target allied Hero 100 Mana over 10 seconds. Cooldown: 30 seconds.
Malfurion isn’t exactly a dedicated healer like Li Li Stormstout (which has two healing spells), but he can do a decent job later on end-game. My first choice at level 1 is Conjurer’s Pursuit. At the lane, you will be killing minions with moonfire and entangling roots. Conjurer’s Pursuit is triggered with Health Globes. These come from killing the wizard that accompanies the lane minions.
Conjurer’s Pursuit: “Your Hero gains an extra 5 Mana and 0.2 Mana Regeneration for every level gained.”
At level 4, my choice is the Healing Ward. There are situations where many party members are getting damage simultaneously. An example is in Cursed Hollow, when the objective is to gather tributes. It is a PvP fest where each team wants to prevent the other from capping the tribute. When your team is taking a lot of damage, throw the Healing Ward to heal everyone within its radius, and cast regrowth on the tank or any player who is low in Health. A really good choice at that level to keep your team alive in those situations. At this point, no one has a Ultimate ability.
Healing Ward: Activate to place a ward on the ground that heals allies in an area for 3% of their max Health every second for 10 seconds. Cooldown: 60 seconds.
At level 7, Enduring Growth increases the duration of Regrowth. That will keep some team members alive longer until your next Regrowth is up. Regrowth has a 7 second cooldown, so adding 6 seconds the Regrowth effect is optimal to keep your main tank or DPS alive and well healed.
Enduring Growth: “Increases the duration of Regrowth by 6 seconds.”
At level 10, you can now choose a Ultimate ability. For Malfurion’s healing build you must choose Tranquility. It is an Area of Effect heal to keep all team members within the area healed. Putting down a Healing Ward and Tranquility gives even better results if sustained damage is coming in hairy situations.
Tranquility: Heals 29 Health per second to nearby allies over 10 seconds. Cooldown: 100 seconds.
At level 13, you get Life Seed which basically adds a Renew effect to all party members near the player you cast Regrowth on. Very good option.
Life Seed: Nearby damaged allied Heroes will automatically gain the heal over time portion of Regrowth. This effect has a 15 second cooldown.
At level 17, I usually go with Hardened Focus which reduces cooldowns if you are above 80% Health. That means dishing out more heals, and going /oom sooner, but it’s worthwhile.
Hardened Focus: “While above 80% life, your Basic Ability cooldowns regenerate 50% faster.”
Finally, at level 20 go with Serenity to enhance Tranquility.
Serenity: “Tranquility healing amount is increased by 25% and restores 5 Mana per second.”
I have tested this build in countless of games, and most of the time if the team is good, this build will increase your chances of winning the game.
Blizzard Entertainment announced they are gifting Technical Alpha players this Christmas with a 25% XP boost through Dec 25 – Jan 1, and a unique portrait reward that will identify you as a technical alpha tester. The portrait reward will be given on January 13 once closed beta begins.
Holiday XP Boost
The holiday season is upon us, and to celebrate this festive time of year, we’re giving away free bonus XP! Players who log in to brawl in the Nexus between December 24 and January 1 will receive a 25% XP boost. The boost is only available while logged in to the game, but it will apply to all Heroes and stack with other similar bonuses — the +XP bonus will also stack additively with Stimpacks!
Technical Alpha Portrait Rewards
We also have another treat for players currently in the Technical Alpha! We will soon be awarding players with two unique portraits to show off their accomplishments. Players that play a game during the Technical Alpha will be granted a unique portrait when Closed Beta launches on January 13, 2015, and those players that reached Player 40 at any time during the Technical Alpha phase of testing will also be awarded with another unique portrait. So if you have access to the Technical Alpha, there’s no better time to jump in and take advantage of the holiday bonus to help you hit Player Level 40 before Closed Beta hits!
Happy holiday brawling, Heroes. Thank you for your continued support, and we wish you the very best of adventures in the coming year as we quickly approach Closed Beta on January 13, 2015!