My Heroes of the Storm Wishlist: Deathwing and Blackthorne

Heroes of the Storm has been a wild ride for me since Blizzard Entertainment invited me to the Technical Alpha. I played through the Beta, and then have steadily played the game since its official launch (June 2, 2015).

I haven’t played as much as I wish, because aside from playing video games, I am bound to updating the Blizzplanet websites nigh on a daily basis. I currently own all 70 Heroes; and 48 of them are Above level 10. The other ones are between level 5-9, except Cho and Garrosh. Currently at Player Level 673. I usually have played them in the PTR, too. So that’s a lot of gameplay and a lot of time invested in Heroes of the Storm.

I have barely needed to purchase new heroes with real money. I have purchased probably 3 heroes that way, and I have purchased all the remaining heroes with gold: which is obtained by completing quests, playing games, or by leveling heroes up to level 5, 10, or 15 (which provide large amounts of gold).

 

I have enjoyed many of these Heroes, and will continue to collect everything Blizzard throws at us. Ana will certainly be a favorite after my long tenue with Auriel (level 22), and I am totally looking forward to Junkrat (which is my main hero in Overwatch).

But once Ana and Junkrat are live, what’s next from Blizzard Entertainment?

There have been a couple leaks I will totally not mention here, and maybe a few subtle hints from Blizzard’s recent skins. The most recent one is D.va the Destroyer. Blizzard has been focusing a lot on Overwatch heroes lately since the launch of the Hanamura map.

Blizzard has also seemed to be very busy with some stuff because after the Eternal Conflict and Machine of War expansions, they have not announced a new expansion. Maybe they decided internally not to release expansions? I really don’t know. I am just looking at the facts: the Hanamura battleground map was released on April 17. We posted a preview about Genji and Hanamura after Naka attended the press event.

Naka also attended the Ana/Junkrat/Volskaya Foundry press event recently, and that is the second Overwatch-themed battleground map.

The previous two expansions added two StarCraft-themed and two Diablo-themed maps. This time we have two Overwatch-themed ones kinda spread apart by 5 months. So it is kinda obvious there was no intention of releasing a Overwatch-themed expansion per se. Not sure what the future holds on that front of new expansions. What we do know from our recent GamesCom 2017 Heroes of the Storm interview with game director Alan Dabiri and game designer Kyle Dates is this: “So maybe we will release a hero here, then focus on a major rework there, then maybe do a battleground rework (we have started doing these a little more), skin drops, things like that. So we have got a lot of content, a lot of changes to the game, but they are a little more spread out so that they don’t all stack up on top of each other; and as a result I think that is going to mean that maybe we are not releasing heroes so frequently right on top of each other. Just to give a little bit of a breather as well.

Overwatch has 24 heroes, but I don’t think Blizzard is going to push them into Heroes of the Storm in a row. I have a strong feeling that we will begin to see two Warcraft-themed maps in 2018 (if not before), and that means new Warcraft heroes. Kel’thuzad was definitely the first of them. So here is my personal wishlist.

DEATHWING

So far we have seen Varian and Garrosh shortly after their demise in World of Warcraft in Mists of Pandaria and Legion respectively. We have Arthas, Illidan and Ragnaros. Three from three early expansions. We are missing Deathwing from Cataclysm.

If Kel’thuzad is the opener for upcoming World of Warcraft boss heroes, then Deathwing must be considered to complete the World of Warcraft expansions theme the developers have going. Deathwing is my definitive #1 in the wishlist. With that rad D.va the Destroyer skin tease-bomb? A MUST-HAVE!

The way I would go about introducing Deathwing, doesn’t necessarily means he has to take half the map’s estate in terms of size. Ragnaros is pretty huge in terms of size in World of Warcraft, and yet he is normal-sized in Heroes of the Storm.

The way I would go about it, if I was a developer, I would have Deathwing in his human-form.

As the Earth-warder, I would give his Q-ability some sort of earth shockwave similar to Thrall’s Hero ability, but short range, stunning players briefly and causing damage.

The W-ability I would give Deathwing has to be fire-themed, but it can’t be like Kael’thas bombs, so probably a short-range fire-breath that scorches the ground briefly. From the Deathwing fantasy, if you have read Richard A. Knaak’s Warcraft: Day of the Dragon, you might know of an obscure ability he has. That is the ability to charm people into serving his will. More to the point, as Lord Prestor, Deathwing was able to manipulate King Terenas and other leaders of the Alliance into crowning him King of Alterac. Thus, I wouldn’t make this mind-control step on Sylvanas’ Mind Control heroic ability’s territory, but instead make it the E-ability.

Nova has Holo Decoy, and Samuro has Mirror Image. So the type of mind control for Deathwing’s E-ability should be something akin, but different. With more emphasis in sarcastic manipulation from the shadows. Something that Blizzard hasn’t done yet in Heroes of the Storm. Charm should make an enemy player look like someone from the opposite team. Basically, the target’s team will look at him and think he is the enemy. Possibly even taunt and force nearby enemy players to attack the target for 2 sec. Feels pretty evil.

Then for Heroic Abilities, Deathwing should be able to transform into his Dragon-form for a few seconds. We have Sindragosa moving through the sky breathing ice and rooting players, and we have a massive Battlecruiser sieging everything in its path. So the first Heroic I would give Deathwing is memorable in the minds of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm players that went AFK… breathing fire in a straight line, burning enemies along its path, and scorching the ground for a few extra seconds (similar to Sgt. Hammer’s Napalm Strike but in a straight line).

The second Heroic ability I would give Deathwing, reminds me of the iconic Cataclysm cinematic showing Deathwing atop the towers of Stormwind. Considering that, in Dragon form he should be able to destroy enemy structures in the same fashion, or a massive tail-sweep that does something akin to what Stukov’s Flailing Swipe does.

 

BLACKTHORNE

It has been a long while since The Lost Vikings landed upon the Nexus on February 10, 2015, and no other Blizzard Classic game character has been introduced since then. Blackthorne was originally a SNES and MS-DOS video game that Blizzard Entertainment launched in 1994, and later Blizzard purchased the Blizzard Classic rights from Interplay to publish a port for Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance in 2003. In 2013, all three games: The Lost Vikings, Rock ‘N Roll Racing, and Blackthorne became free downloads. You can download them from your Battle.net account’s download page.

Blackthorne is a lethal military captain and mercenary originally known as Kyle Vlaros — prince of the kingdom of Androth in Planet Tuul. As a child, Kyle was sent to Earth as a refugee to prevent his assassination. Twenty years later, he was contacted by Galadril to return home to fight for the fate of his people. Among his arsenal of weapons: hover bombs, wasp grenades, and a sawed-off shotgun. “Thrown onto the futuristic planet of Tuul, Blackthorne must contend with a world overrun by mutant monsters and goblin hordes in a valiant attempt to liberate the Androthi people.”

This is what Dustin Browder told us during our PAX West 2014 interview

Mark Loftus: What is the likelihood that your next heroes might be based on Lost Vikings, Blackthorne or Rock’n Roll Racing heroes and villains?

Dustin Browder: Well, we’re working really hard on it. I don’t know when those guys are coming, but we’ve heard that many many times. It’s something that we’re really passionate about and excited to work on.

 

If Blackthorne ever makes it into Heroes of the Storm, there are two other characters from his universe that could potentially follow up as potential heroes: the villain Sarlac, and the Androthi magician Galadril.

Blackthorne would be somewhat invading a terrain covered by Raynor and Tychus, but there are a few subtle differences. Blackthorne can shoot blind backwards with his shotgun. The hover bomb actually works similar to Cho’gal’s Runic bomb.

These are actually Blackthorne’s weapon descriptions:

  • Hover Bomb: After this bomb is thrown, it rolls toward its target and detonates upon impact.
  • Fire Bomb: This bomb features a somersault explosion that can damage multiple enemies at one time.
  • Remote Wasp: When deployed, you can steer this bomb with the arrow keys and detonate it by pressing E (ideal for destroying laser field generators).

Back in December 4, 2014, Blizzard had an AMA at Reddit. One of the fans asked about Blackthorne, and this is what Phil Gonzales responded:

Phil: Yes. There are concepts for the update in the office. When this becomes a reality – not sure yet!

 

Blackthorne has been on Blizzard’s radar for Heroes of the Storm as said during the BlizzCon 2015 Heroes of the Storm: Deep Dive Q&A. You can read our panel transcript.

Hugh: He is often in our conversations when we are talking about what types of heroes we can add to the game that can push the genre a little bit further. So he’s definitely on our radar. We’re not working on him yet. We can’t talk about him yet, but he’s in our radar.

 

 

Thus, it is a matter of “WHEN” Blackthorne will join the Nexus, rather than “IF.”

 

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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