Blizzard announce the Eternal Conflict

This was announced during BlizzCon 2014 (with the presentation of some of the new Heroes from the Diablo universe and the concept map High Heavens against the Burning Hells), but now all of this is official. The next big update for Heroes of the Storm will be called “The Eternal Conflict”.

This new content will add most of the features previously said, but also another map currently being worked on.

The new Battleground

The Battlefield of Eternity

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The Battlefield of Eternity is one of the new battleground that will be introduce with the patch, this will be a 2 lanes map with a central objective in the center. Two Immortals will appear a short time after the beginning of the game. The goal is to kill the enemy team’s Immortal while protecting yours from damage. When one of them is dead, the other one will focus its strength to one of the lanes.

This map will also replace the current mercenaries with new ones :

  • The Siege Golems : Three Khazras.
  • The Bruisers : A shaman and two Infernal Dogs that are re-summoned by the Shaman until he dies.

Get a new free mount : The Mechanospider

Following the livestream of the Heroes of the Storm launch event, a new mount : the Mechanospider is available for free on the Team Builder website. Two steps are necessary in order to get one.

  • Like the Heroes of the Storm Facebook page
  • Create a team with your friends and associate traits to them.

After that enjoy the Nexus with this new mount!

Mechanospider

Like Valla, join the Nexus with this new mount!

Jaina – Frostbolt Assassin Talent Build

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.

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Level 1
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Level 4
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Level 7
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Level 10
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Level 13
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Level 16
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Level 20

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.

Why Heroes of the Storm Needs an Adventure Mode

Heroes of the Storm has been in technical alpha testing for several months now, and I’ve drawn many conclusions from what I’ve seen. One is, of course, that the game is really fun, and the dialogue/nods to old lore and so on is well done. But what has stuck out the most for me is the tutorial.

For those who cannot watch at the time, the above videos feature voice acting, multiple characters and even a (this one is not present in the video however) StarCraft II campaign style cutscene. While the story is deliberately silly and over the top, I still found it engaging to see Raynor, Uther, Stitches and Diablo interact and battle each other in the Nexus. For example, the argument between Raynor, Diablo and Stitches over whether its possible to “feast on terror” is great, and I would love to see more scenes like this.

Now as a multiplayer, DotA type game, one may argue that outside of the tutorial there is no place for a story. I would have agreed until Blizzard’s announcement of “Adventure Mode” in the similarly free-to-play, multiplayer focused Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. They found a way to add a somewhat story based, PvE experience to their cardgame, and the fan response has been an overall positive one so far. Thus I say, can Heroes of the Storm not also have an Adventure Mode?

Imagine, that maybe once or twice a year (or however often Blizzard plans to make adventures for Hearthstone), they would release a short collection of PvE objectives that continue the adventures of Blizzard’s characters in the Nexus. They would be light-hearted, sure, but Blizzard has always done humor and in-jokes well. Adventure Mode could even possess an ongoing storyline, revealing more information about what the Nexus is, or it could just be explorations of “how would such and such characters interact with each other? Wouldn’t it be cool/funny/epic depending on the combo?”.

Of course, one may argue that incentives for playing alone in a game designed around team battles would be contradictory. In that case, the adventures could also be co-op enabled, or even co-op entirely. With the removal of the ability to complete quests in co-op games, they are sorely in need of a purpose. Training is already covered by the similar practice mode, so adventure could be where can co-op really shine.

Hearthstone‘s Adventure Mode also provides rewards for those not interesting in PvE and funny interactions with Naxxramas bosses. An Adventure Mode for Heroes of the Storm would need the same sort of bonus incentives. Such rewards could range from unlocking skins or color variants for heroes, unique mounts, or perhaps even giving an alternate way of unlocking heroes besides gold or real money. If this latter option were to be the case, Adventure Mode would likely need to be bought in to with in game gold or real money, like Hearthstone‘s will be.

Now, am I suggesting Blizzard immediately begin planning/working on an Adventure Mode for Heroes of the Storm? No, not at all. Right now Blizzard should focus on balance, finishing their roster of heroes for launch (which seems to include far more than the ones currently playable in the alpha) and ensuring this is the best Blizzard characters Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game they could possibly make. But once Heroes of the Storm has officially launched, and Blizzard must decide what next to do with it, I think an Adventure Mode would be the perfect step forward.

I Don’t Want to Hear It

stitches-with-bra-feature-boxOne of the first things, it might even be the first thing come to think of it, I do when I join a Dota2 match is mute everyone on the other team. They’ve never said anything I needed to hear anyway. Any potential for humor, meaningful exchanges, friendly asides has already been destroyed by playing this game. What they’re going to say probably cruel, racist, sexist, homophobic, insulting, angry, demeaning, and pointless. So I mute them. It helps. Sometimes I mute my teammates if they’re especially vitriolic or crude but not always. They might  say something useful, organize a gank, or talk about a useful push strat.

I love that I can’t communicate with the enemy team in Heroes. Love it. I don’t want to talk to them. If I want to, I can friend them and chat that way but the freedom to scream via a keyboard at a stranger on the internet is gone, and I don’t miss it.

Hero Guide: Nova

Nova is a nasty little hero – a ranged assassin. She’s a predator, a ganker, pure and simple. She can lane and pick up a few talents that boost her laning potential, but Nova shines when she’s cloaked, stalking, and punishing heroes low on life. Or not low on life. With a single ally nearby, Nova can bring almost anyone down. She’s fragile though, and a few hits from enemies is enough to kill her. Used correctly, Nova is brutal and terrifying. Used poorly, she’s free food.

Raven Lords, Dragon Knights, and Pirates

I’ve played about twenty games of Heroes since I was inducted into the Alpha about a week back. The first few were against bots, with bots, but once versus opened up I jumped in and went to town. I don’t know what my record is and I don’t care much to know – what I do know is that collecting and using the environmental boons is the most fun I’ve had as a support player in a long, long time.

Creep stacking is boring. It get tedious quickly, you never reap the rewards from it directly, and you spend most of your time dodging enemies, watching a clock, and trying to ensure the ancients are piled high enough for your AM to butcher.Sure, there’s some quirky fun to be had pulling creeps, stacking neutrals, XP denying by raiding camps, but it’s an empty sort of fun. I’m working for someone else. My decisions have been made for me. I want to help and that means creep stacking and babysitting.

Heroes of the Storm has freed me from that routine. I still babysit the assassins and warriors; but it feels less obligatory. They’re capable and nasty from the get go. My presence with a shield or HoT just amplifies their threat. I can wander and collect tributes, help control or contest shrines, hoard doubloons to buy artillery bombardments. I like that. The maps are small enough to give me room to work, to hit merc camps and wittle them down, but to slide back into a fight and shield Kerrigan before she dies. I’m out of the fighting, but not entirely. I get to help my team but I’m not stuck stacking creeps.

Instead, my tributes weaken minions and towers. My doubloons get cannon fire. I’m useful in an active sense, not a passive one. I got twenty skulls and made our golem even better. I like helping my team. I love contributing to fights with heals and buffs, stuns, and crowd control. I can do that, and I can power us up with a rampaging Dragon Knight who breathes fire and kicks enemies.

Everyone wins.

Except the red team.

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Free Hero Rotation – Mar 25 – Apr 1, 2014

Spyrian posted the new weekly free-to-play Hero rotation for the week of March 25 through April 1. I added in parenthesis below their role.

We’re currently in the process of updating the free-to-play hero rotation with a set of six fresh heroes, who will stand ready to start smashing towers at a moment’s notice once Heroes is back online. We’ll bring in a new set of free-to-play heroes every Tuesday, and you can check out your free heroes for this week below.

Week of Tuesday, Mar. 25 – April 1, 2014

  • Tyrande (Ranged Support)
  • Stitches (Melee Warrior)
  • Diablo (Melee Warrior)
  • Tychus (Ranged Assassin)
  • Kerrigan (Melee Assassin)
  • Nova (Ranged Assassin)

In addition to refreshing the hero rotation, today’s update also brings a number balance changes to Heroes of the Storm. Find out what’s changed in our Balance Update thread.

This post will be updated each week during the Tech Alpha whenever we refresh the free hero rotation, and you can expect the next set of free heroes on Tuesday, April 1 (and no, that’s not an April Fool’s joke!) Make sure to do some brawling with this week’s roster before they rotate out of the pool!

If you’d like to see hero rotations from previous weeks, we’ll be posting them as replies to this thread.

 

Blizzard at PAX EAST 2014!

Blizzard Entertainment announced their schedule and plans for their exhibition at PAX East, an event celebrated in Boston.

Blizzard will be at Booth #848 showcasing a World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor demo, a hands-on playable version of the Hearthstone on iPad, a brand-new demo of Heroes of the Storm with new heroes not available yet in the Technical Alpha, and a panel to be presented at the Albatross Theatre on Friday, April 11 at 10:30a.m.

Calling all Heroes, we’ve got something new to show you, and we’re bringing it to PAX East! If you’re attending, be sure to grab your shield and sword and join us at BOOTH #848! Head over for your chance to play an all-new Heroes demo featuring brand-new Heroes (playable for the very first time only at PAX), live in-booth shoutcasts, and more! And don’t forget to arrive early and join Blizzard developers at the Albatross Theatre on Friday, April 11 at 10:30 a.m. EDT for Heroes of the Storm: The Ultimate Blizzard Mashup. If you’re not attending PAX East this year (or you’re already overloaded from all the epicness on display at the show), fear not— the entire panel will be streamed live on the official PAX Twitch channel. Source

For those who prefer their information in bullet format, here’s a big list of what all you can expect at this year’s Blizzard booth:

  • Warlords of Draenor hands-on demo featuring updated character models and the intro experience for the upcoming expansion.
  • Hands-on time with the in-development Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition™, playable on PlayStation 4.
  • A chance to find out what’s in the cards for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and play the mobile version on iPad.
  • A brand-new demo for Heroes of the Storm, featuring new Heroes playable for the first time anywhere outside of Blizzard.
  • Blizzard developers will be on-hand to chat about your favorite games.
  • Blizzard developers will also be giving a presentation at the Albatross Theatre on Friday, April 11 at 10:30 a.m. EDT titled Heroes of the Storm: The Ultimate Blizzard Mashup (streamed live on one of the official PAX Twitch channels for those not in attendance).
  • And did we mention there will be giveaways, prizes, and more? If not . . . there will be giveaways, prizes, and more!

 

Head on over to east.paxsite.com for panel schedules and hotel and travel information.

 

We hope to see you there!

 

Heroes of the Storm – Tutorial Mission

When launching Heroes of the Storm for the first time, a tutorial kicks off right away to teach the player how to move and how to attack.

To move you right-click on the ground. To attack press A and left-click the target or the ground. Feels a lot like playing Warcraft III.

The tutorial can be pretty hilarious with the voice overs of Jim Raynor, Uther and Diablo. Raynor isn’t very impressed with Diablo’s lines about tasting his fear and tasting terror. Uther also throws another reference: “Death is merely a setback.”

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