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.
I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)
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Last week, our staff member Naka attended the Heroes of the Storm 2.0 Summit in Laguna Beach (CA), where Blizzard Entertainment revealed details of its new features and the new hero Cassia.
After the presentation, both Kaeo Milker and Alan Dabiri answered questions from those who attended the event. Note: Usually, publishing recording is forbidden, sometimes there is crosstalk and interruptions, or those asking questions do so in very complex ways, so there may be some editing in this transcript. Here is a transcript of the Q&A:
Blizzard Entertainment is proud to announce the next hero to join the Nexus, Stukov, will be on PTR tomorrow. An avid fan of the original StarCraft, president Trump was escorted by the secret service to the Irvine headquarters to voice the hero.
“I am a fan of Blizzard games since 1996. It’s true. It’s true. I am a strategist. I never liked Everquest. Sad! I like deals. I like rushing for the kill. Love my business. I’m like a smart person. That’s why I love the zerg. Mike is a good friend of mine. V is a friend of mine, too. So I had to voice Stukov for Heroes of the Storm. My favorite hero. It’s a win. I know about wins. Massive electoral votes in history. 306. Stukov coming to PTR tomorrow, they said. I didn’t say it.” — president Trump
“Don approached us when one of our QA guys told him we were working on Stukov, and we were delighted to invite him to the VO studio. He got Stukov’s accent right away, and we liked his performance.” — CEO Mike Morhaime
On March 28, Blizzard Entertainment held a press event to reveal the new hero coming to the Nexus. Blizzplanet was invited to this event to share with you the plethora of content that Heroes of the Storm 2.0 will introduce for players.
The new hero, Cassia, hails from the world of Sanctuary… the original Diablo II Amazon. After shattering the Worldstone, the young Amazon Cassia had changed. She had seen hatred, terror, and destruction firsthand. If the Askari were to survive the coming darkness, they needed an army. She would begin their training immediately.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Diablo® franchise, Cassia is a “Javazon” war-matron who pays homage to the Diablo II Amazon. Wielding the power of lightning and a sturdy shield, Cassia asserts her will over any Battleground as a highly aggressive ranged Assassin whose Avoidance trait allows her to mitigate even the strongest physical attacks.
Celebrating 20-years of StarCraft, Blizzard Entertainment announced the StarCraft: Remastered with support for 4K will be released this summer.
The BlizzHeroes Team has released new heroes at certain times coinciding with cross-game promotions in the past. Here are some notorious examples:
Artanis joined the Nexus on October 27, 2015. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void was released on November 10, 2015.
Tracer joined the Nexus on April 26, 2016. Overwatch was released on May 24, 2016.
The Warcraft film hit theaters in the United States on June 10, 2016. It was no coincidence that Medivh was released on June 14th, followed by Gul’dan (July 12, 2016).
World of Warcraft: Legion came out on August 30, 2016. King Varian perished at the Broken Shore, and 3 months later, Varian joined the Nexus (Nov 15, 2016).
Alarak joined the Nexus on September 13, 2016. The next day, StarCraft II Patch 3.6 introduced a new Co-op Commander: Alarak.
With the precedents listed above, referencing heroes coming to the Nexus with other Blizzard games’ promotionals, it is not hard to make predictions. With StarCraft: Remastered just around the corner, coming this Summer, the question has to cross your mind: Is Praetor Fenix coming to the Nexus? Only time will tell.
Praetor Fenix was a close friend of Tassadar, Jim Raynor and Artanis; and played an important role in the original StarCraft and the Brood War expansion. The video below captures his first death, his return as a dragoon, and a bit of spoilers from StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void.
Probius warps into Heroes of the Storm! Blizzard Entertainment revealed the next specialist hero during the HGC 2017 Katowice Western Clash livestream. It is not phase-smith Karax as I predicted, nor any known StarCraft hero. Instead, it is a wildcard (like ETC, Brightwing, or Murky who didn’t exist in-game or in written media before).
Probius is a StarCraft protoss probe which builds pylons and warps cannons onto the battlefield. The hero should be in the PTR on Tuesday.
Blizzard Entertainment teased via Twitter to expect a new Hero announcement during the 2017 HGC Western Clash livestream on March 3 (3am EST/New York) (12am PST). The tweet offers two clues as to what the hero might be: the key animation of a protoss warp gate as it teleports units, and the expression “warp drive.”
Spin up your warp drives, Heroes, and tune in tomorrow for an exciting announcement during the #HGC Western Clash!
Personally, I have a feeling it is Phase-smith Karax. Currently, there are three StarCraft II units represented in Heroes of the Storm:
Tassadar (high templar)
Zeratul (dark templar)
The only StarCraft II protoss hero that is not based in an actual unit coming from the warp gate is Alarak (Highlord of the Tal’darim). So there are three possibilities here: either the next hero is a unit that comes from the warp gate, a Hero Commander, or a wildcard (like Murky, ETC, & Brightwing who were originally not real Warcraft characters). So that only leaves us with phase-smith Karax, a stalker, immortal, probe, dragoon, archon, or a dark archon.
Wildcard heroes never seen in StarCraft could be a probe, stalker, or immortal. Known dragoon: Fenix. Now an archon or dark archon would be interesting. Either a standalone Archon hero, or Blizzard could play around with a two-player unit like Cho’gal. That would be very interesting. However, my money is on Karax.
UPDATE: On March 3, Blizzard Entertainment revealed Probius, a specialist hero. A wildcard, as it is a character created from scratch with no previous lore or appearance in-game.
A new PTR patch has been deployed in this balance update, nerfing several heroes: Tychus, Murky, Varian, Rexxar, Tassadar, Malfurion, and Lucio. By nerfs I mean, well, there is a lot of Reduced and Decreased keywords across the board.
Check out the patch notes below to find out how your favorite heroes were affected with this wave of nerfs. Ahem… balance updates.
NECA unveiled the next NECA Heroes of the Storm Thrall Action Figure, and it is awesome. The action figure is 7 inches tall scale, deluxe, with 25 points of articulation. Expect it to ship on June 2017.
NECA is proud to present the Thrall action figure from Heroes of the Storm™, the online team brawler filled with favorite characters from Blizzard Entertainment’s vast video game universes!
Created in collaboration with Blizzard, orc leader Thrall (World of Warcraft™) features a game-authentic sculpt with extra-detailed armor and 25+ points of articulation. The Warchief of the Horde is 6.5” tall and appropriately meaty, and comes with a hammer accessory.
Blizzard Entertainment dropped a surprise today announcing that the Overwatch hero Lucio is coming to the Heroes of the Storm PTR very soon for testing. At the time of this posting, Lucio hasn’t been deployed to the PTR. He’s possibly coming on Tuesday.
Below you can watch the video teaser, and 12 gameplay screenshots from Blizzard’s press gallery.