Last week, our staff member Naka attended the Heroes of the Storm 2.0 Summit in Laguna Beach (CA), where Blizzard Entertainment revealed details of its new features and the new hero Cassia.
After the presentation, both Kaeo Milker and Alan Dabiri answered questions from those who attended the event. Note: Usually, publishing recording is forbidden, sometimes there is crosstalk and interruptions, or those asking questions do so in very complex ways, so there may be some editing in this transcript. Here is a transcript of the Q&A:
Blizzard Entertainment is proud to announce the next hero to join the Nexus, Stukov, will be on PTR tomorrow. An avid fan of the original StarCraft, president Trump was escorted by the secret service to the Irvine headquarters to voice the hero.
“I am a fan of Blizzard games since 1996. It’s true. It’s true. I am a strategist. I never liked Everquest. Sad! I like deals. I like rushing for the kill. Love my business. I’m like a smart person. That’s why I love the zerg. Mike is a good friend of mine. V is a friend of mine, too. So I had to voice Stukov for Heroes of the Storm. My favorite hero. It’s a win. I know about wins. Massive electoral votes in history. 306. Stukov coming to PTR tomorrow, they said. I didn’t say it.” — president Trump
“Don approached us when one of our QA guys told him we were working on Stukov, and we were delighted to invite him to the VO studio. He got Stukov’s accent right away, and we liked his performance.” — CEO Mike Morhaime
Big changes are coming to the Nexus for Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard invited me to a Summit where they revealed that Heroes of the Storm 2.0 is the next evolution of the game. With these updates comes a massive change to the progression system, loot chests, social features, new announcers, a collection manager, and an updated currency system.
Celebrating 20-years of StarCraft, Blizzard Entertainment announced the StarCraft: Remastered with support for 4K will be released this summer.
The BlizzHeroes Team has released new heroes at certain times coinciding with cross-game promotions in the past. Here are some notorious examples:
Artanis joined the Nexus on October 27, 2015. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void was released on November 10, 2015.
Tracer joined the Nexus on April 26, 2016. Overwatch was released on May 24, 2016.
The Warcraft film hit theaters in the United States on June 10, 2016. It was no coincidence that Medivh was released on June 14th, followed by Gul’dan (July 12, 2016).
World of Warcraft: Legion came out on August 30, 2016. King Varian perished at the Broken Shore, and 3 months later, Varian joined the Nexus (Nov 15, 2016).
Alarak joined the Nexus on September 13, 2016. The next day, StarCraft II Patch 3.6 introduced a new Co-op Commander: Alarak.
With the precedents listed above, referencing heroes coming to the Nexus with other Blizzard games’ promotionals, it is not hard to make predictions. With StarCraft: Remastered just around the corner, coming this Summer, the question has to cross your mind: Is Praetor Fenix coming to the Nexus? Only time will tell.
Praetor Fenix was a close friend of Tassadar, Jim Raynor and Artanis; and played an important role in the original StarCraft and the Brood War expansion. The video below captures his first death, his return as a dragoon, and a bit of spoilers from StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void.
Who is Probius: Probius is a special probe who was first featured in the Legacy of the Void opening cinematic. He was responsible for assisting in the retaking of the Protoss homeworld of Aiur. The pylon Probius summoned was instrumental to their efforts and resulted in a last minute warping in of reinforcements. As the old saying goes, big things come in small packages.
Why should I care: Probius is an interesting addition to the Nexus because he’s a mix of a few different heroes. He’s capable of delivering a large burst of damage akin to Chromie through the combination of Warp Rift and Disruption Pulse. He has considerable lane sustain as long as he is within range of a pylon. As long as he’s conscious of his health he can stay sustain a lane as long as Gul’dan. He can effectively zone the enemy team, much like Gazlowe, through the use of a Null Gate, Photon Cannon or by laying down Warp Rifts which could potentially give your team the edge on a map like Infernal Shrines.
“Beep boop, you’re dead.”
But is Probius for me: Well, I can certainly say he wasn’t for me. Part of the problem with Probius, as far as I can tell, is that he’s not necessarily rewarded for his set up which is the core mechanic to his kit. It’s easy for the enemy team to just avoid his tricks and if they’re smart or you’re careless with your pylon placement – and your pylon is destroyed – you’re effectively placed on time out as your abilities cost too much mana to be spammed and your cooldowns are very high. If you’re at a low level of play, Probius might be a solid pub stomper, as he’s reliant on the enemy team “standing in the bad”, which they will likely do. However, if this isn’t their first time seeing what you do, they will probably avoid it. Or worse, if they are a high mobility assassin they will likely just charge you and kill you. Your best bet, from what I have experienced, would be to push as far as the enemy team will let you get away with, and then simply retreat. If you lose too much health you will lose your lane. And unfortunately for Probius, he doesn’t have much to spare.
For now, I would say this hero is a pass. He will likely be tuned in the comings week, and if they knee jerk buff him enough he may become a hotly contested pick. But in the mean time his cannons are a dud, and his combo is too easily avoided. I would steer clear of Probius unless you simply want some Quick Match fun. At least he’s cute.
Probius warps into Heroes of the Storm! Blizzard Entertainment revealed the next specialist hero during the HGC 2017 Katowice Western Clash livestream. It is not phase-smith Karax as I predicted, nor any known StarCraft hero. Instead, it is a wildcard (like ETC, Brightwing, or Murky who didn’t exist in-game or in written media before).
Probius is a StarCraft protoss probe which builds pylons and warps cannons onto the battlefield. The hero should be in the PTR on Tuesday.
Blizzard Entertainment teased via Twitter to expect a new Hero announcement during the 2017 HGC Western Clash livestream on March 3 (3am EST/New York) (12am PST). The tweet offers two clues as to what the hero might be: the key animation of a protoss warp gate as it teleports units, and the expression “warp drive.”
Spin up your warp drives, Heroes, and tune in tomorrow for an exciting announcement during the #HGC Western Clash!
Personally, I have a feeling it is Phase-smith Karax. Currently, there are three StarCraft II units represented in Heroes of the Storm:
Tassadar (high templar)
Zeratul (dark templar)
The only StarCraft II protoss hero that is not based in an actual unit coming from the warp gate is Alarak (Highlord of the Tal’darim). So there are three possibilities here: either the next hero is a unit that comes from the warp gate, a Hero Commander, or a wildcard (like Murky, ETC, & Brightwing who were originally not real Warcraft characters). So that only leaves us with phase-smith Karax, a stalker, immortal, probe, dragoon, archon, or a dark archon.
Wildcard heroes never seen in StarCraft could be a probe, stalker, or immortal. Known dragoon: Fenix. Now an archon or dark archon would be interesting. Either a standalone Archon hero, or Blizzard could play around with a two-player unit like Cho’gal. That would be very interesting. However, my money is on Karax.
UPDATE: On March 3, Blizzard Entertainment revealed Probius, a specialist hero. A wildcard, as it is a character created from scratch with no previous lore or appearance in-game.
A new PTR patch has been deployed in this balance update, nerfing several heroes: Tychus, Murky, Varian, Rexxar, Tassadar, Malfurion, and Lucio. By nerfs I mean, well, there is a lot of Reduced and Decreased keywords across the board.
Check out the patch notes below to find out how your favorite heroes were affected with this wave of nerfs. Ahem… balance updates.
• Do not waste Regeneration Globes!: This is a big one. I often see Globes wasted as a result of a player losing focus in a fight and allowing the Globe to expire. A Regeneration Globe helps your sustain through health and mana. If you’re able to bully your lane opponent you can prevent them from safely getting a Globe, or you get some free hits on them when they attempt to grab it. Additionally, many quests rely on Globes in order to be completed. This leads me to my second point:
• If someone on your team is rotating lanes for Globes, try your best to wait until they reach your lane to get the Globe. If they complete their quest sooner, this will help you as well as they will become stronger. If at all possible, prevent the enemy team from completing a rotation for Globes.
• Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to talent selection. Take Gul’dan for instance: Many players rely on Corruption when playing Gul’dan, but if the enemy team ends up drafting Jaina and Nazeebo, you will actually benefit more from the Spell Armor gained from a Fel Flame build. Small tweaks in playstyle can make all the difference.
• Rotating is easily one of the most misunderstood aspects of this game: Because of the fluidity of laning in Heroes, you’ll often see a hero, or a group of heroes rotating in lanes. This can be extremely dangerous for a lone hero. If this ally is on your team, attempt to warn them with a danger ping. If you’re rotating as part of a group try to single out an enemy who has overextended in lane. Preferably you should be unpredictable in your rotation pattern. If you go from top to mid, and then from mid to bot, chances are each lane will retreat. However, if you can predict the movements of the enemy team you can catch them unaware and get an easy kill. When at all possible, follow safe paths, on your side of the map if you’re alone. If the enemy team is also grouped, try to keep an eye on where they are and where they’re headed. It might save your life.
As always, thanks for reading. Until next time, the Nexus calls.