GamesCom 2015 : Heroes of the Storm Coverage

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On August 7, 2015 Soe Gschwind-Penski and Frodan sat down with Dustin Browder (Game Director) and Kaeo Milker (Lead Game Producer) to interview them about Heroes of the Storm. Here is everything that has been announced for Heroes of the Storm from Gamescom.

Dustin Browder and Kaeo Milker

 

New Heroes Announced

Before we dive into the new heroes the Devs had a question from the Gamescom floor about how quickly they want to release new heroes and Kaeo Milker answered “Throughout tech alpha and beta we tried all different timings on our heroes we went as long as 6 or 7 weeks between hero releases and that was way too long, that was too long for us that was too long for our players.

We’re now settling down where 3-4 weeks is where we want to be consistently so players can expect see these heroes coming out at that kind of a cadence, moving forward there may be opportunities sometimes where we do it a little faster than that, if something goes wrong along the way with testing some may go a little longer but we’re always going to work really hard to keep it at about in that time frame.”

They did not specify when this cadence will start but it seems that they are confident that they will start doing this very soon even as soon as starting with the next hero for Heroes of the Storm. Kaeo also mentioned that the new map Infernal Shrine and the monk Hero Kharazim could be in the PTR as early as Monday August 10th, 2015.

During Gamescom they announced 3 new Heroes and elaborated more on the Monk Hero Kharazim.

  • Kharazim

    During the panel the Dev's spoke of him being a dedicated support or damage hero depending on the type of build that you choose for him. They also spoke of creating this character to let you be able to complete more in game quest quicker specially when you have a support and Diablo character quest. They also mentioned that Kharazim will have a high skill cap and his best advantage is during those areas when there is a high choke point as he is able to move in and out quickly from different situations.

    Abilities:

    • Radiant Dash (Q): Quickly teleport to a friendly or enemy hero.
    • Breath of Heaven (W): Heals Kharazim and other nearby heroes.
    • Deadly Reach (E): Extends Kharazim's attack range and deals bonus damage on attacks.
    • Seven-Sided Strike (Heroic 1): Becomes immune to being targeted and lands 7 attacks on nearby enemies.
    • Divine Palm (Heroic 2): Puts an allied hero in stasis and greatly heals them if their HP is depleted during the stasis.

     

  • Rexxar

    The Dev's mentioned that they focused on his core kit from Warcraft III. Rexxar is a ranged warrior that also brings a long a pet (Misha the Bear) to help him in battle. He is an axe thrower and he uses Misha as his extension which also means that both Rexxar and Misha are controlled together not separately like The Lost Vikings. Misha attacks what you attack and you can call the bear back to you by calling them home. You can also use Misha with a charge that stuns the enemy opponent and you can even use Misha to body block the enemy which can be very useful to both engage and escape any situation. When Misha dies he will respawn automatically in a timely manner. There is no details yet on whether the death of Misha gives experience points to the enemy team.

    Abilities:
    • Spirit Swoop (Q): Summons a hawk in a straight line that slows the enemies it hits.
    • Misha, Charge! (W): Misha charges towards a location, stunning enemies it hits.
    • Mend Pet (E): Heals Rexxar and Misha (if she's nearby).
    • Bestial Wrath (Heroic 1): Greatly boosts Misha's attacks.
    • Unleash the Boars (Heroic 2): Summons boars that charge towards enemy heroes, greatly slowing them on impact, and revealing them.

     

  • Medic

    This is the Medic from Starcraft and this support is a dedicated support. Medic is also a single target healer that can throw grenades to disrupt the enemy and even use her shield to protect enemy heroes. We didn't get much information on the Medic as they just introduced her but we did get an insight into one of her Heroics that let's her transport atleast herself and one more allied hero to another part of the map in a carrier that heroic is known as the Medivac. Dustin Browder cautioned against always using this heroic as it means that you can't choose the other heroic of course and that means you take away from her dedicated support role.

    Known Abilities:

    Medivac (Heroic 1): Summon a carrier to transport yourself and atleast one more allied hero to a certain distance on the map. (Full distance not known yet)

  • Artanis

    This is the latest hero also revealed at Gamescom but not much information has been given out about the Starcraft Warrior. This was posted on the Heroes of the Storm Site:

    If you’re the kind of player who prefers warriors that get up close and personal with their enemies, Artanis may be just the Hero for you. The leader of the Protoss will soon join the fight as the first StarCraft warrior, and he’ll be bringing some heavy hitting abilities with him.

 

New Map

Blizzard also announced a new map coming as soon as Monday August 10th, 2015 to the Heroes of the Storm PTR. When asked about how many maps were planned for Heroes of the Storm Dustin Browder stated that in the future and he doesn’t know when they might go to smaller sets and might have seasons or months. They will be speaking with the community to get feedback on how much rotation there should be for maps and how quickly they should be changing sets or releasing more battlegrounds.

New map Infernal Shrines

Characteristics :

  • 3 Lanes – More focused on Laning than Battle of Eternity
  • 3 different Shrines all with different aspects
  • Collect 30 Skeletons at the shrine to have the ability to summon a Punisher from these Shrines.
  • Punished are Hero focused which means they will chase enemy Heroes all across the map even jumping over gates and taking tower damage to simply try and kill an enemy hero. They are not lane pushers but more of an extra boss assassin for your team.
  • The Devs Mentioned that heroes who can easily kite will have more of an advantage on this map specially when coming up against an opposing Punisher.

Matchmaking and Ranking Rework

The Dev’s have heard the feedback on Matchmaking and they are already planning on reworking the system. In the ranking system we have now you have to have about 20-25 matches before you placed and then about 100 more to find where you belong. They want to revamp this to a system that ranks you closer to where you belong faster. This is what I understood from that panel.

  • Require 20-25 placement matches. Placing more than likely where you belong. When you see an actual rank that’s where you or someone you are playing with belongs. Placement matches might not show your ranking. Ranking will only appear once you have actually been placed and from there it will change depending on your true ranking. Revamping team league and hero league.

They are also reworking Hero League and Team League. It will now just be Hero League.

  • 1-4 players queue and 5 player queue. No need to have a team it can be any combination of 5 players can swap in and out with team league members. Work in progress so of course it can change.

Dustin Browder mentioned that they are planning on a Grandmaster league as well. More information on that will come soon and they also mentioned they are open to feedback so all of this is subject to change as they see what they can improve on based on player feedback. The new season still has no set date.

Dynamic Bundles

During the panel the Dev’s were also asked about bundles and how they planned on reworking the bundles so that players who already owned items in the bundles would not be purchasing the same item twice. Kaeo then let us know that they are working on what they call Dynamic bundles which means that if you already own an item in that bundle the bundle itself would be discounted even more to subtract the item you already own so that you do now purchase the same item twice. They also mentioned that players who have already bought the same item twice would not be forgotten and they will be helping you out as well. Future information for this would be provided soon.

In Development

Blizzard also showed off new skins and mounts in Development. Here is what they showed off:

Skins:

  • Master Kharazim
  • Jade Dragon Kharazim
  • Master Rexxar and Misha
  • Frostlord Rexxar and Misha
  • Earthbreaker Thrall
  • Sgt. Doomhammer
  • Judgement Uther
  • Prisoner Tychus

Mounts:

  • Blackheart’s Doubloon
  • Malthael’s Phantom
  • Treasure Goblin
  • Judgement Charger

Thank you Heroes of the Storm Wiki for the excellent breakdown of the Hero Talents.

Alexis Lopez

Is a long time Blizzard fan! He has recently started writing for Blizzplanet in August 2015 and is an eSports Journalist for Blizzplanet on all things Blizzard.

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