Heroes of the Storm Preview: Unlocking the Hero Within

The massive info on Heroes of the Storm has been rolled down like an avalanche with the latest preview posted by community manager Vaeflare. We learn how gold is acquired, and features we hadn’t heard of before.

As Blizzard prepares to launch Technical Alpha, fans around the world who got an invite are anxious and spamming F5 to find out if their account has been flagged. Blizzplanet is among those awaiting, but there have been reports that some influencers have already gotten access, which means Technical Alpha is imminent within the next few hours.

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Gazlowe build

Gazlowe build used in HGC and other Heroes of the Storm eSports events by the top pro gamers in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Gazlowe build – eSports

MelodyC - Super Perfect HGC China - Phase 1 - Game 3 – Super Perfect Team v Xteam -- May 16

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Heroes of the Storm Developer Q&A Part 3 (Feb 20, 2014) – Transcript

On February 20, 2014, Senior Art Director Sam Didier, Senior Artist Phill Gonzales, and Senior Community Manager Kevin “Cloaken” Johnson sat down to discuss the art direction of Heroes of the Storm and responded questions submitted by fans from Twitter.

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Dev Q&A Part 3 – Transcript

Kevin: What is up, guys? We are back for live Dev Q&A # 3. How is that for consistency? Right? Look at that. Three times. Three Months. We are going to keep it up too. Welcome. We are excited that you are here with us. I just want to get a few things on the table here before we jump into the show.

A couple of quick things we are allowing you to vote on our battleground again for the gameplay session that is happening at the end of the show.

So jump over to Twitter. @BlizzHeroes. We are posting a link there. So if you would like to vote, take a shot there. I don’t know if we can show the results. Some people have voted in the social media. It seems Dragon Shire is way in the lead, and that’s probably because we haven’t showed much. Go there and put your vote in.

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Tychus Hero Spotlight

Vaeflare has revealed the new Heroes of the Storm hero: Tychus Findlay. The video shows Tychus shooting with a M61 Vulcan machine gun. Looks like an frontal cone AOE by the looks. The video also shows him summoning an ODIN Thor (similar to Jim Raynor’s Summon Battlecruiser).

It’s exciting to see Hero spotlights, and what Blizzard has been busy with these past months working on new heroes.

Source

“HELL…IT’S ABOUT TIME.”

– TYCHUS FINDLAY, NOTORIOUS OUTLAW

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Tychus Findlay is a somewhat enigmatic Terran Marine from StarCraft II, who has been many things to many people. In Heroes of the Storm, Tychus takes on the role of a battle-hardened Assassin, and he’s more than happy to let his massive gun do the talking.

Former soldier. Erstwhile thief. Convicted felon. Tychus Findlay and Jim Raynor share what some might call a checkered past—the type filled with daring exploits and courageous fights doing not so courageous deeds. While no one can be sure where Tychus’ loyalties lie, one thing is for certain. He’s a fearsome combatant whose impact on the battlefield is anything but subtle. Tychus always goes big. Always.

Tychus is ready for anything you can throw at him!

(Q) OVERKILL

  • Target: Enemy, Area: Cone that can be altered based on Tychus’s position. Can be cancelled.
  • Though Tychus is usually equal opportunity with his minigun, this ability focuses Tychus’ attention on a single enemy for a few seconds, dealing some extra pain to the target. Other enemies caught in the cone of fire also take damage.

 


(W) FRAG GRENADE

  • Target: Location, Area: Circle AOE
  • This simple explosive device damages and knocks back anything caught in the blast radius.

 


(E) RUN AND GUN

  • Target: Direction, Area: Direction selected
  • Tychus sure does like getting into the fight. He can choose from time to time to charge right into battle and have his weapon instantly spun up and ready to fire.

 

MINIGUN

  • Passive
  • Tychus’ weapon of choice belies its name, packing a punch and attack speed that’s unmatched by most other heroes. The downside of this multi-barreled terror is that it takes a moment to spin up before firing. But once the minigun starts firing, it lays waste to anything in front of it.

 

(R) DRAKKEN LASER DRILL

  • Target: Location – laser auto single-targets closest enemy, can be altered by player by pressing R and clicking on new enemy.
  • Originally designed to assist with mining operations and other excavation projects, the laser drill can be equally effective when used as a weapon. When Tychus drops one on the battlefield, it can do heavy damage to single targets.

 


(R) COMMANDEER ODIN

  • Target: Self-cast, Area: Self-cast
  • Sometimes even Tychus needs a bigger gun. That’s when he calls upon the power of the massive Odin mech. Offering additional protection as well as powerful cannons and missiles that create wide swaths of destruction, the Odin is a fearsome military vehicle.

 

COMING SOON:

  • BATTLEGROUND TIPS

  • SKINS

  • QUOTES AND FACTS

  • COMMUNITY CREATIONS

  • RELATED CONTENT

 

 

Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha FAQ

Blizzard Entertainment posted the FAQ to explain what the Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha is about, and what their plans looking forward for the game are. Another article continues sharing details about the Technical Alpha.

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Q: What is a Technical Alpha?

A: The main goal of the Technical Alpha is to test stability and improve the game service, which will allow us to handle more players online. This phase of testing is necessary for us before we move into wider scale testing with more players. Feedback from this phase will also help us fine-tune the game’s features and balance prior to releasing it for larger scale testing.

Q: How can I get access?

A: Currently, the Technical Alpha will only be offered to a small number of players in the United States who have opted in for testing, as well as a select group of international journalists and community contributors, with the goal of expanding that player base as testing goes on. If you are interested in testing Heroes of the Storm or other unreleased Blizzard games, log in to your Battle.net account at www.battle.net, go to account management, click on Beta Profile Settings, and select which game universes you want to be opted in for. You will be entered into a pool of players that we select from as we open up game testing for any of the game universes you selected.

Q: Why is this test restricted to US players only?

A: The main goal for this phase of testing is to test stability and improve the game service. In order to make this process as fast and efficient as possible, we need to keep the scale of the testing relatively small and restricted. We’re very eager to get players from many regions testing and giving feedback on Heroes of the Storm, but in order to do that we need to start small first and then expand once it makes sense from a development perspective.

Tech Alpha testing will take place on servers based in the United States and in-game purchases can only be made using USD (United States Dollar) during this phase. As such, we will primarily be including players from the U.S. so that we can observe the environment and gather relevant data before we include players from other regions. We want all of our global players to have the best experience possible, and in order to do that, we need more time to improve features, such as being able to purchase items in more than one currency, as well as other in-game experiences.

Q: If the Alpha is US-only, then why are all these foreign press sites and personalities playing the game?

A: While we’re not quite sure when we’ll be ready to extend access to the rest of the world, we are going to invite a few international press sites and Blizzard community contributors so that players from all of our global communities can keep up with the latest Heroes developments.  Please know that we’re working hard to ensure the Heroes experience will be great for all of our players before we expand access to additional regions in the future. Thank you very much for your patience and understanding during this early testing phase.

Q: I’m in the United States. How do I know if I’ve been chosen?

A: If you are selected to participate in the alpha, you will receive an invite via email. Opt-in invites will always be sent to the email address associated with your Battle.net account.

To help avoid phishing attempts, if you believe you’ve received an invite, it’s best to refrain from clicking on any links in the email(s) you receive. If you received an opt-in invite, you can verify that your account has been granted a technical alpha license in Battle.net Account Management.

Q: I opted-in for testing. Why wasn’t I chosen?

A: Testers are chosen based on many factors, including your Battle.net region, when you signed up, your computer hardware specifications, and an element of luck. Our goal is to have a good variety of player types to test the game. As mentioned previously, however, this initial testing phase will include a very limited pool of players. While a few participants may be selected from opt-ins during this time, we will likely wait until the closed beta phase before we begin granting access to a larger number of players who have opted in via Battle.net.

Q: I’ve seen sites offering alpha and beta keys. Should I sign up?

A: No! As of now, we have not released any keys to websites to offer to their readers, so any alpha/beta-key offers on these sites are fake and could be attempts at phishing for your account information.

Q: Will there be any other ways to get into the alpha besides the opt-in?

A: Not at the moment. If this changes, we’ll be sure to let everyone know.

Q: How many players do you plan to invite to the Technical Alpha?

A: The number of players we invite will be based on our testing needs. If during the course of testing we determine we need more players to participate, we’ll continue to invite more players from the opt-in pool.

Q: What game content will be available in the alpha?

A: The Technical Alpha will start with a matchmaker, an assortment of heroes, a small selection of skins and mounts, a basic tutorial, and a progression system that players can use to unlock more content and features. Remember, the goal of this phase is to test stability of the service, so the content we have here is just the beginning. Our plan is to add more content and features over time as we expand testing, until we’re ready to launch the game. We may even remove certain content and features as we enter different phases, and then reintroduce them later.

Heroes of the Storm will be a constantly evolving game, and you’re getting a front row seat into the development process as we grow the service. Your input along the way will be valuable in making sure the game gets better and better as more of the community gets in to the game.

Q: Will testers be able to purchase items using real money?

A: Yes; however, testers must use USD (United States Dollar) payments to purchase items in the game. Purchases are capped at $325 for this phase of testing. Once the Technical Alpha comes to an end, accounts will be wiped, and testers will receive a Battle.net Balance credit for the amount spent. As mentioned previously, real money purchases are enabled only for players in the North America region using USD as their currency at this time.

Q: How long will the Technical Alpha last?

A: We’re not sure yet, but we’ll provide testers with advance notice before it ends.

Q: What’s the difference between alpha, beta, and the final game?

A: Alphas and betas are still considered “work in progress” versions of the game. This means all the content included is subject to change and might not be representative of the final game.

Q: Do I have to participate in the alpha in order to get access to the beta?

A: No, we will continue to pull players who opted-in as we progress into closed and open beta testing.

Q: How long until the closed beta test starts? How long until other regions can participate?

A: This timing has not been determined yet. A lot will depend on the results of the Technical Alpha and the progress we make during this phase of testing. Stay tuned for more details as we get further along in development.

Q: When will the game be released?

A: We have not announced a release date.

 

We’ve been hard at work on Heroes of the Storm since you last got your hands on the game at BlizzCon 2013 and we’re gearing up to invite a very limited number of players to join us in an initial phase of infrastructure and technology testing that we’re calling the Technical Alpha. In the meantime, there are a few important details that everyone may want to keep in mind as we prepare to enter this very early Alpha testing stage. 


What does Technical Alpha mean, anyway?

While Heroes of the Storm is playable and much of the core experience is present, it’s still very much in the early stages of development. Work is ongoing and we’re far from considering the game in a polished or finalized state, but after a period of extensive internal testing, we’re ready to crack open the Nexus for the very first time and invite some players to step inside.

This initial testing phase is intended to help us better examine how our infrastructure and tech will function across a much broader spectrum of machines and connection types. What’s more, inviting external Alpha testers will allow us to take a closer look at our hardware needs so that we can be absolutely sure we’re able to support the entire Heroes population as the community grows.

Since we’re focusing on our support systems for Heroes of the Storm right now, we’ve dubbed this testing phase the “Technical Alpha” or Tech Alpha, for short.

Once again, we’d like to remind you that Heroes is still a work in progress. Please keep in mind that invitees may encounter bugs and game features that are not yet implemented, as well as temporary sounds, user interface elements, and graphics.  We will continue to iterate on Heroes of the Storm throughout each testing phase, so don’t be surprised if you see many aspects of the game start to level-up in the weeks and months that lie ahead.


Who’s invited?

We’re going to kick off this initial Tech Alpha phase with a very limited number of  participants and continue to expand the pool of invited players as our testing needs evolve and grow over time.

Since our current focus is set on determining how we can further develop our tech to serve a growing population, Alpha access will be limited to players in the United States. While we’re not quite sure when we’ll be ready to extend access to the rest of the world, we are going to invite a few international press sites and Blizzard community contributors so that players from all of our global communities can keep up with the latest Heroes developments. Please know that we’re working hard to ensure the Heroes experience will be great for all of our players before we expand access to additional regions in the future. 


So, how do I get in?

Contrary to popular belief, surrounding yourself with lit candles and shouting “Tech Alpha” into the mirror three times will not grant Alpha access, but it may amuse your family members. No, the only way into the Nexus is through an official email invitation from Blizzard Entertainment.

In order to give yourself the best chance at gaining access to testing in the future, you’ll want to make sure you’ve opted in to Heroes of the Storm testing using the Beta Profile page found within your Battle.net Account. When prompted, you’ll need to download and run the System Check tool in order to attach your computer’s specifications to your profile and then check the Heroes of the Storm opt-in box, as pictured below. 

Heroes Opt In Box.png

As always, be extra mindful of shady characters who wish to steal your login credentials through phishing attempts, which are often disguised by falsified emails and websites. What’s more, Alpha keys are not necessary and are not being given out during this testing phase. Please be warned that any key generators or other offers for a Tech Alpha key are most certainly suspicious.

The best way to ensure an invite is the real deal is to avoid clicking any links. Instead, log in to your Battle.net account and check the Summary section to see if a Heroes of the Storm license has been added to your account.

As mentioned previously, however, this initial testing phase will include a very limited pool of players. While a few participants may be selected from opt-ins during this time, we will likely wait until the closed beta phase before we begin granting access to a larger number of players who have opted in via Battle.net.


When can I share Tech Alpha content?

As mentioned previously, we’ve been testing Heroes of the Storm internally for some time now and, over the past few days, you may have seen a few forum threads and conversations spring up from players who managed to access an early version of this client through various means. While you should feel free to discuss the content you’ve seen thus far, we’d like to remind you that accessing and posting these files is a violation of the Battle.net End User License. As such, we’re kindly requesting that you refrain from streaming or posting videos of the Heroes of the Storm client until we begin sending out Tech Alpha invites.

Once the Tech Alpha arrives, there will be no NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), which means that you’ll likely begin to see many new Heroes of the Storm streams, screenshots, blogs, and more once we start sending out invitations. If you do receive an invitation to the Tech Alpha, we want you to know that it’s totally fine to share your thoughts about the game with others through any medium you please at that time. 


We’ll be adding a ton of content to Heroes of the Storm in the coming months and hope you’re as excited as we are to embark on this journey together. Stay tuned, because we’ll have plenty more details about Heroes to share with you soon! In the meantime, you can check out our Frequently Asked Questions blog  if you’d like more information.

 

Heroes of the Storm’s Valla the Demon Hunter Unlocked With Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Pre-Order

Blizzard Entertainment revealed today that players can unlock the Heroes of the Storm character “Valla the demon hunter” as a bonus character by pre-ordering the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion.

Speculation-mode on: Could this exclusive offer herald the launch of Heroes of the Storm beta in the next couple of months? The time range can’t be predictable, but Dustin Browder did manage to throw a few hints that beta could be here very soon — during the live Q&A part 2. Read the full transcript and/or watch the video. Here are at least three quotes from Dustin:

Dustin: “No, but we are taking a little break from battlegrounds right now. We have gotten enough battlegrounds — if we are going to beta with these, and see how these goes.”

Dustin: “And we need to focus more on heroes. We need to focus on this new user experience — and then in a couple of weeks to a month, I think when we are done with that new user experience, I think we will start experimenting with more maps.

Even if I don’t know if we are going to add, we might just have one map for swapping out if we go out with a beta — and the alpha, and the community goes: “Huh? Your fixes on Dragon Shire was garbage. This is still terrible.””

Dustin: “The other thing I will say too is: We probably are going to come out when we go out for a beta — whenever that is — with a limited set of talents, so that we can really focus and test these; but the system is designed to add. The system is designed to grow.”

 

The Q&A Part 2 where Dustin said these things took place on January 22, 2014. He said the “User Experience” would be finished within two weeks to a month. Today is February 25th, which means by now they should be experimenting with new maps. Dragon Shire was sent to get some fixes, and it’s been a month already.

If we analyze the wording “we might have one map for swapping out Dragon Shire if we go out with a beta” — we are getting a strong indication that beta might be starting really really soon … on queue with today’s Valla announcement.

In case you haven’t yet figured out where I am going at with these quotes, allow me–

1. It doesn’t take months for the team to implement fixes to the Dragon Shire map (based on Alpha testers’ feedback).
2. User Experience UI development was supposed to last 2-4 weeks (which is now over: January 22-February 22).
3. While the Dragon Shire fixes are implemented, new maps were going to be created after the User Experience was finished.
4. If by the time beta starts, the Dragon Shire’s fixes make that map still suck, they might have a new map to swap out Dragon Shire with to start beta.

Put together those equations, and you get as result that beta should have started within now and a short time-frame. Of course, this is just speculation based on what Dustin might be implying.

Update 2:23pm — looks like the speculation is taking a more factual form. The official Heroes of the Storm facebook posted the following:

Heroes of the Storm is a raucous online team brawler starring your favorite Blizzard characters. To learn much more, visit http://HeroesOfTheStorm.com, where in the weeks to come, you’ll find tons of videos, hero profiles, game features, information on how to join the public beta test, and more.

 

Who is Valla?

Valla the demon hunter debuted in the Diablo III short stories published online at the Diablo III website. Her story is aptly titled: Hatred and Discipline (written by Micky Neilson). The short stories were also published as an ebook under the title: “Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls“.

In addition, Valla is among the heroes Tyrael recruited to assault the High Heavens to steal away the Black Soulstone to prevent further corruption of that realm. This story takes place in Diablo III: Storm of Light by Nate Kenyon. In this novel, Tyrael recruited Valla (Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls), Mikulov the monk (Diablo III: The Order by Nate Kenyon), Shanar the wizard and Jacob of Staalbreak (Diablo: Sword of Justice), and Zayl the necromancer (first seen in Diablo: The Kingdom of Shadow by Richard A. Knaak).

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Heroes of the Storm Alpha Leak Confirmed

Kevin “Cloaken” Johnson posted unusually on Reddit to inform fans the recent Heroes of the Storm alpha and screenshots leak was legit, and warns fans about potential phishing schemes. The best way to sign up for beta is through the official website which should always be typed manually on your internet browser.

There is no ETA for when closed beta might start, but certainly plans are to make that happen soon.

Cloaken: Hey guys –

As you know, we’ve been testing the game internally for quite some time. The images you are seeing from data miners is not something unexpected. This is all part of the journey for us.

Please do, however, be wary of what will surely be the growth of phishing sites around the web. Still no word on public testing, but we are making forward progress. If you want to make sure you are considered for future public testing, please do sign up over on the website at http://heroesofthestorm.com — source: Reddit

 

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Heroes of the Storm Developer Q&A Part 2 (Jan 22, 2014) – Transcript

This is a full transcript of the recent Heroes of the Storm Q&A Part 2 held at Blizzard Entertainment by community manager Kevin “Cloaken” Johnson where he interviewed Dustin Browder and Kaeo Milken. Enjoy!

Kevin: What is up guys? Welcome back to our second live developer Q&A here at Blizzard Entertainment. My name is Kevin. We are excited to be back with you. Happy new year … because it is January, and the last time we were with you … was December.

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Raynor build

Raynor build used in HGC and other Heroes of the Storm eSports events by the top pro gamers in the United States, Europe and Asia. Raynor is a ranged assassin in Heroes of the Storm.

Raynor build – eSports

bdg - Mighty HGC KR - Phase 2 Part 1 - Game 3 - Raven v Mighty -- Jul 1

Seasoned Marksman

Focused Attack

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Hyperion

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