E3 Expo 2015 – Heroes of the Storm: Eternal Conflict Expansion
Blizzard Entertainment made a surprise appearance during the PCGamer’s E3 Expo Livestream to reveal details of Eternal Conflict which by everyone’s astonishment is considered the first expansion.
Dustin Browder and Chris Sigaty teased that at the beginning of the battleground, players can try to kill the Treasure Goblin to get some bonus gold. The expansion will hit the PTR servers on June 23rd, and go live on June 30th.
However, Dustin Browder said the monk is still in early development. The player will be able to choose whether to be a brawler-sort of monk, or a support monk. The Skeleton King has its own box of surprises too. When he dies, he becomes a Wraith and can continue to cast on players. The damage he does lowers his resurrect timer, and he spawns exactly where the wraith was. A very different death mechanic than any of the other heroes, for certain. His two Hero Talents at level 10 are: Entomb and The March of the Black King.
Entomb rises a wall in front of the Skeleton King to basically block the enemy’s escape, while the March of the Black King is a very overpowered AOE where Leoric walks forward slashing at any players in his path and basically one shotting them, dealing loads of damage.
This is the Eternal Conflict cinematic trailer which reveals the next heroes to join the nexus: The Monk (the first Diablo support hero), Skeleton King and The Butcher. Read the transcript at the bottom of this page.
PC Gamer’s E3 2015 Press Interview Video
Day9: Now the next guest has a special place in my heart, because they work on game I play a lot. A game called StarCraft. Please— yeahhhhh!!! Especially StarCraft Brood War. Ahh… Seventeen years ago, it was released.
Please join me in welcoming to the stage Chris Sigaty and Dustin Browder from Blizzard Entertainment. Dustin, what is up? Chris welcome, please join me. I’ll continue my journey back to my table of authority. Heroes of the Storm have just come out, you are the new Moba kid on the block, and what does it feel like to finally have it officially released.
Sigaty: Super exciting. We’ve been working on it for a very long time, we internally call it Heroes of the Storm BlizzCon or Blizzard the Game. We created it in concert with the community in a very big way and it’s finally arrived so very exciting for the team in general and this is just the beginning as we are about to see I think.
Day9: Yeah, what’s specially interesting to me is that many players of the MOBA genre will be familiar with the business model of releasing new heroes one at a time and of course Heroes of the Storm does this; but today we are talking about the first expansion for Heroes of the Storm… Eternal Conflict. Let’s take a look at it.
Deckard Cain: There is an eternal battle between Light and Darkness, The High Heavens and the Burning Hells. Now that conflict continues in a new arena.
A war for the very heart of the Nexus is about to begin. Which side will you chose?
Day9: Awesome! What I first want to ask, how do we think about what it means to have an expansion in a MOBA?
Sigaty: For us Eternal Conflict represents this epic moment for us which is the first Blizzard world entering the Nexus; it’s all about Diablo for the next several months and its heroes, its battlegrounds and more; and it’s coming on June 30th. It’s two weeks away, goes up on PTR next week so we are super excited about it.
Day9: I also understand that the Treasure Goblin from Diablo III is a feature in the game.
Sigaty: Right, Treasure Goblin from D3 is out there. It spawns in the battlegrounds in the first thirty seconds before the gates lift. You get the opportunity to kill the Treasure Goblin before he escapes through his portal; and if so, you get some bonus gold. So we are excited about that too.
Day9: Whoever thought of the Treasure Goblin mechanic for Diablo III is a genius, man. That makes so much sense. It’s a walking piñata. In terms of some new heroes, I’m excited to talk about King Leoric; new hero coming in Eternal Conflict.
Browder: The Skeleton King.
Day9: Dustin, tell me about King Leoric.
Browder: This is a hero we’ve wanted to do for a long time. He’s a favorite boss from the World of Diablo. We have characters in our game that we are allowed to do some really unusual things. We’ve changed a lot of the core rules associated with the genre. So Leoric has a trait which is something that sort of defines him specifically. When he dies he turns into a wraith and he stays on the battlefield and he’ll stay on the battlefield for the duration of his death.
Day9: Can he deal damage?
Browder: He can’t deal damage but he can attack other players and he can slow them and do other effects. Any damage he would have dealt lowers his death timer which allows him to get back into action even sooner so you can imagine that you are running around as a wraith sort of haunting the people that killed you and then when your death timer ends you return to the battle exactly where that wraith is standing; you don’t need to come back from. You are going to be right there maybe just delivering just vengeance on the guy who killed you.
Day9: Can anyone deal damage back to you?
Browder: No. You are just a wraith just floating around.
Sigaty: That is a hero for you and I for sure. So when we die repeatedly we can come back quickly.
Day9: So what else can King Leoric do?
Browder: Well, King Leoric has got a number of heroic abilities just some top-end abilities you can choose between two different abilities like all of our heroes.
The first is called Entomb. With Entomb, you can create these walls that will trap heroes. They may be in a position they don’t want to be right now. Maybe point blank with Leoric and maybe some other team members might leap in to help you out as well. So he’s this very powerful warrior character that can really control the battlefield.
His second heroic ability is an ability that allows him to move across the battlefield. It’s the March of the Black King, and it allows him to sort of smack enemies with his giant mace. It reminds you of the boss battle from Diablo three where he is unstoppable; there’s nothing you can do to prevent this once he winds it up and he deals ferocious amounts of damage healing himself with every swing as well. So he can really plow through an enemy team. Really adds a lot of value to a team fight.
Day9: I know also the Monk is being added and I don’t know if you can talk at all about the Monk; but I’m going to ask you to.
Browder: The Monk– it’s all good. The Monk is still early in development for us. We are still working on him. He is the first Diablo support character coming to the game. He is very mobile, very agile, leaping on enemies jumping in to help heal friends and at the same time we are trying to do something very special and different with his talents so the Monk is a character that can choose his own trait at the very beginning of the game.
So instead of having a usual set of talents at level 1, he can choose what traits he would like to take: whether he wants to be more of an attack oriented character, more of a melee kind of brawler or more of a traditional support character.
It really allows us to use this talent system to like push it, giving you the player a lot of control over how you play this character.
Day9: I mean these heroes are particularly sort of crazy. I mean the way that you are working with the talent system, with the Wraith spawn, and with like so much content to draw from, from past IPs; how do you do the sorting, not just with which heroes you want to put in but with these sort of ideas that we are actually getting a chance to see today.
Browder: There is a lot of different reasons, obviously Diablo support was something the community have been requesting for a long time and we were wanting to do.
The idea of having a character that didn’t die came from… and we looked for different characters that could be and we talked about Malthael for a little bit as maybe that kind of character really we looked at… we felt that the Skeleton King made a little bit more sense.
So some of the things we have an idea for the game mechanics, something that would really push the boundaries of what you’ve seen in this genre before; and sometimes it’s just a character that needs to be done so like Arthas is going to happen, like we’ve got to do that guy and then sometimes it’s lots of different reasons.
Day9: For me some of the heroes that really stand out are like the Murkies, the Abathurs; the really fringed sort of characters, some very exciting to see.
Sigaty: Yeah, Heroes have tried to set and tried hard I think and succeeded to really set a tone of expect the unexpected and there are these heroes and the designers are really killing it I think with the amount of variety you see between the heroes. It’s something that makes me continue playing Heroes each night.
Note: Special thanks to our transcriber rettep. Read the transcript of the E3 2015 StarCraft II: Whispers of Oblivion announcement; and listen to our E3 2015 interviews with Extra-Life (Jeromy “Doc” Adams) and Heroes of the Storm (Phil Gonzales and Alan Dabiri).