Blizzard Entertainment launched Heroes of the Storm 2.0 today and it is now live. When you launch the game, you will be welcomed by the progression conversion summing and rounding up all your heroes’ levels into a single progression level. In my case, level 595 converted into level 97.
I was surprised to get 65 Loot Chests in total: 5 loot chests, 55 epic loot chests, and 5 veteran loot chests. In addition, one Veteran hero portrait, 30-day Stimpack, and a plethora of collection portraits for reaching level 15 with various heroes of the same universe.
It took me about 30 minutes to open all 65 loot boxes, and checking out the rewards which varied between hero portraits, voice lines, announcers, emojis, skins, and much more. I even got the legendary skin for Diablo: the Prime Evil skin!!! So excited!
Tomorrow, April 25th, Blizzard Entertainment celebrates the launch of Heroes of the Storm 2.0, and promise to reveal a new hero cinematic. This is not Genji, so keep your eyes open. Whatever hero this is, this was not revealed to us at the Fansite Summit (back in March 27th).
The livestream will kick off with FNATIC and Team Dignitas playing a Hanamura Exhibition Match. To learn more about 2.0 and its highlighted features, Game Director Alan Dabiri and Lead Hero Designer Kent-Erik Hagman will discuss details. Read more here.
Genji build used in HGC winning matches in USA, Europe and Asia. Genji hails from the Overwatch universe. In Heroes of the Storm, Genji is a Ranged Assassin able to dive in into enemy players as a hit-and-run tactician. His deflect prevents damage to Genji and damages the attacker.
Hitting an enemy Hero with Swift Strike increases Genji's Movement Speed by 30% for 3 sec.
While mounted, the range of Cyber Agility is increased by 70% and its cooldown is reduced by 5 sec.
Jumping over terrain with Cyber Agility increases Genji's Movement Speed by 25% for 6 sec.
Quest:Hit enemy Heroes with Shuriken.
Reward:After hitting 35 Heroes, Shuriken damage is increased by 25.
Reward:After hitting 75 Heroes, Cyber Ability now refunds 2 charges of Shuriken.
Strike at the Heart
Enemies hit by the end of Swift Strike take an additional 161 damage over 2 sec.
After Genji blocks 386 damage with Deflect, activate to release a Dragon Claw, dealing 222 damage to all nearby enemies.
When Deflect ends, Genji gains a Shield equal to 50% of the damage blocked for 4 sec.
Deflected damage reduces the cooldown of Deflect by 2 sec, up to a maximum of 10 sec.
Using Cyber Agility grants 50 Spell Armor for 2.5 sec.
Genji dodges 1 Heroic Basic Attack every 8 sec.
Unleash the Dragonblade for 8 sec. While active, Dragonblade can be reactivated to lunge forward and slash in a huge arc, dealing 355 damage. If enemy Heroes are killed within 2 sec of being hit by Dragonblade, Swift Strike's cooldown is reset.
Mana: 75 Cooldown: 100
Perform two slashes dealing 200 damage. The slashes detonate after 1.25 sec causing an additional 400 damage to enemies in their area.
Mana: 90 Cooldown: 80
Hitting an enemy with all 3 Shuriken deals 192 bonus damage.
Flow Like Water
Each enemy Hero hit with Swift Strike reduces its cooldown by 3 sec.
Cyber Agility stores 2 charges but its cooldown is increased by 5 sec.
Deflect also deals an additional 33% of the damage blocked.
After 1 sec, Swift Strike deals an additional 234 damage to all enemies in the area.
Each enemy Hero hit by Swift Strike increases the damage of the next Swift Strike by 20%. This bonus stacks up to 3 times.
The Dragon Becomes Me
Each time Dragonblade hits an enemy Hero, the duration of Dragonblade is increased by 1 sec.
Each enemy Hero hit by X-Strike reduces its cooldown by 12 sec.
Shuriken now pierce all enemies hit.
Quest:Block 6500 damage with Deflect, including damage blocked so far.
Reward:Deflect hits all nearby enemy Heroes.
Heroes of the Storm 2.0 Summit: Genji and Hanamura Map Preview
Blizzard Entertainment provided us video clips of Genji to share with you some of his basic and heroic abilities.
Long range, Genji’s auto-attack launches a single shuriken as three-time rapid-fire shots.
Close range, Genji slashes the target three times per second with his sword.
Genji’s active trait is named Cyber Agility. If you need to escape enemy attacks, or need to surprise the enemy from a bush or across a wall, click the trait, and Genji jumps high in the air, and lands a few yards forward.
Genji’s Q ability is named Shuriken. Throw 3 Shuriken in a spread pattern, damaging up to three targets. The ability stores up to three charges, and its cooldown replenishes all charges at the same time.
Genji’s W ability is named Deflect. Like in Overwatch, Genji is protected, and any damage blocked during 1.25 sec causes Genji to deflect an attack toward the nearest enemy, prioritizing Heroes and dealing damage.
Genji’s E ability is named Swift Strike. Like in Overwatch, Genji dashes forward, dealing damage with his sword to all enemies in a straight line. Enemy heroes who die within 2 seconds after being hit by Swift Strike cause the cooldown and Mana cost to be refunded for more mayhem.
Now let’s take a look at the Heroic Abilities. Dragonblade unleashes a series of six blade-strikes that inflict heavy damage to nearby enemies.
X-Strike is a new heroic ability that slashes an area with a large X, dealing damage to all enemies hit by the X. Very ideal to use in maps with narrow areas like Cursed Hollow and Dragonshire.
Above are Genji’s abilities and talents, and below are Hanamura-themed skins, screenshots and the revamped Uther.
NEW MAP: HANAMURA
It can’t be Hanamura without the pink cherry blossom trees, dojos, and massive bells; but the environment isn’t the only Hanamura trait. The Hanamura map also has mercenaries themed around the ancient japanese culture: like a samurai golem, and the oni-masked ninja three-packs.
Like in Overwatch, you must escort a payload. This payload moves slowly from either the top or the bottom of your base, and is escorted to the center top or bottom of the map (depending where yours started). Upon escorting the payload to the destination, two missiles are launched into the air, striking the enemy’s core. The core in this case, is a serpent dragon statue.
HANAMURA SKINS – CONCEPT ART
Genji and Hanamura are not the only content coming in Heroes 2.0. New Hanamura-themed skins are coming your way. Here you can see the concept art for Hanamura Auriel, Hanamura Zarya, and Oni Genji.
On March 28, during my attendance at the Heroes of the Storm 2.0 Summit (held in Laguna Beach, CA), I had the opportunity to see Genji (the new hero coming to the Nexus), and played the revamped Uther in the new Hanamura map. Blizzard Entertainment was kind to send me a recording of my Uther hands-on gameplay to share with you for this preview. We have the Genji abilities & talents, upcoming skin concept art, Genji gameplay screenshots and video showing Genji in action, but also the new Uther revamp gameplay video.
Follow the links below to watch a video of the talent-redesigned Uther in the Hanamura battleground.
On Saturday, April 18th, at the University of Nevada’s Las Vegas Cox Pavilion Arena, the four best collegiate Heroes of the Storm teams clashed to win the Heroes of the Dorm National Championship and its full College Tuition grand prize. Among the teams in the Heroic Four were:
The Heroic Four Matchups started at 1pm PT with Lousiana State University (LSU) vs University of Kentucky, and University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) vs University of California Irvine (UCI).
The Grand Finals were fought between UTA and LSU, with Blizzard Entertainment crowning UTA as the Heroes of the Dorm National Champions. You can check out the brackets, and the team bios for: LSU, UCI, Kentucky, and UTA.
Our correspondent, dperschonok (Naka) attended the event in Las Vegas and brought audio of each team’s press conference, plus another press conference after the champions were crowned. Watch the video below to listen to the audio. Check also the photos and the official press release after the video.
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.