Heroes of the Storm 2.0 Preview: Feature Highlights

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.

The new progression system is a change to the way leveling works for both your account as well as individual heroes. The level cap has been completely removed from both of these systems. Your player level is now based on the total sum of all your character levels combined. Every time you level up, you will earn a Loot Crate and there will be bigger rewards at various milestones. The curve for leveling has been completely reworked as well. Before, leveling was very time-consuming after level 5, and got even worse once you reached level 10. The new character leveling is a much smoother and gradual curve as opposed to the old system. A level 20 character on the old system will roughly translate to level 55 in the new one. This system should feel much more rewarding and less grindy than what players are used to. It also should incentivize players to keep leveling up with loot chests being a carrot on a stick for players to chase.

Loot Chests are also coming to the Nexus and I couldn’t be more excited about this. For those of you familiar with Overwatch, it’s a very a similar system. Each Loot Chest will contain 4 random items that will be drawn from nearly every possible reward in the game, including but not limited to Heroes, Skins, Sprays, and Portraits. There are also different rarity levels on the chests themselves in the form of Basic, Rare, and Epic. Each Loot Chest is guaranteed to reward at least one item of the chests rarity level. There is built-in protection to ensure you eventually get higher rarity items if you haven’t received any after a number of loot boxes. You also have the ability to pay in-game gold to re-roll the loot box if you aren’t happy with the rewards. If the item is something you already have in your collection, you will be able to turn it into Shards — which is a material used for Crafting. Think of this like disenchanting the duplicate cards you have in Hearthstone for Dust. Hopefully we will see some holiday-specific Loot Chests like Blizzard has done in Overwatch, but nothing has been revealed on that just yet. There will also be items exclusive to loot chests and the first they announced is the long-awaited Prime Evil Diablo Skin!

There are also a number of ways you will be able to customize your game with other cosmetic rewards that can come out of Loot Chests, such as Announcers, Voice Lines, Emojis, Banners, Sprays, and Portraits. The two most exciting features for me here are the Announcer packs and the Emojis. You will now be able to have different characters be the in-game announcers such as Brightwing, Arthas, Illidan, and more. While nothing has been announced, I’m hoping we eventually see other famous Blizzard game voices like Deckard Cain be an announcer in the Nexus.

The emojis remind me of 16-bit stylized graphics from the Super Nintendo days. Every character will have their own set as well as various generic sets like food and hand symbols. These emojis look great, and I hope that we will eventually see them in the Blizzard Launcher, other Blizzard Games, or maybe even our mobile phones.

The shop is now being replaced with what they are calling the Collection. This is a very streamlined view of all your characters, as well as what skins and cosmetic items you own. From here you will be able to purchase items with in-game gold, as well as Gems — which is a new virtual currency that can be purchased for real money. You will also be able to Forge or Craft items such as skins using Shards. Skins are also being separated into their own color variations, which will make them cheaper and easier to get the exact color variation you want.

All of the changes have me very excited about the future of Heroes of the Storm. I was able to see these things firsthand and it feels like a step in the right direction for the game. The Beta for 2.0 launches today and you should be able to download and try it just like you do for any PTR. If you are new to the game, or maybe you stopped playing for a while, now is a perfect time for you to jump in and experience these great new features that Heroes has to offer. Hope to see you in the Nexus.


Heroes of the Storm 2.0


Heroes of the Storm 2.0 includes an overhaul of the Progression System and the introduction of Loot Chests (similar to Overwatch’s) where players get access to cosmetic rewards such as new voicelines, sprays, banners, and more.

  • Revamped Progression System.

  • Loot Chest Rewards for all players.

  • Gems replace Real-Money Currency.

  • Forge Cosmetic Items with Shards.

  • Fun new Social and Customization Rewards.

  • New Hero: Cassia, the Javazon.



Leveling up is now faster than ever, more frequent, meaningful and rewarding.

  • No more level cap means the sky's the XP limit.

  • Player level is the total of all Hero levels gained.

  • You get a Loot Chest every time you level up.

  • Even bigger rewards at leveling milestones.




Every time you level up, you are rewarded with a Loot Chest — packages received through progression or purchase that contain four random items drawn from nearly every awesome reward in the game, including playable Heroes and Loot Chest-exclusive items. Now all the fun rewards the game has to offer will become available to all players, including those who are strictly free-to-play.

  • Basic Chests are awarded with every Player Level.

  • Rare, Epic, and Hero-specific Loot Chests are awarded for reaching specific milestones.

  • Reroll Loot Chest contents using Gold.

  • Loot Chest exclusives such as Prime Evil Diablo.

  • Guaranteed to drop at least one item of that chest’s rarity, or higher.



Loot Chests will contain a wealth of new cosmetic rewards — taunt opponents with new Voice Lines, joke with teammates using Heroes Emojis, or … have Abathur call all the action in a match? Logical decision.

  • Announcers: Let some of your favorite Heroes call out your takedowns, kill streaks, and more.

  • Voicelines: Cheer on your allies and jeer your opponents with quotable catchphrases.

  • Emojis: A massive collection of stylized and Hero-specific Emojis make chat much more expressive both in and out of the game.

  • Banners: Raise a flag whenever you assert your dominance on the battleground.

  • Sprays: Make your mark on the field of battle by dropping unique icons and tags on the terrain.

  • Portraits: Show off your personality and expertise on loading screens and in your profile.



The Heroes of the Storm in-game Shop will be replaced with the Collection tab — a hub where you can purchase new items, craft cosmetic items using Shards, and browse or sort through every item in the game; and customize Loadouts per Hero.

  • Collection better supports the diversity of new items in the game.

  • Forge the cosmetic rewards you have been dying to get using Shards — a new crafting material.

  • Loadouts lets you outfit your Heroes with preferred skins, mounts, sprays, and more — even Announcers can be set on a per-Loadout basis.

  • Each Hero can have up to three Loadouts.



Alongside Gold, Blizzard Entertainment will introduce a new virtual currency: Gems. Combined with Shard crafting, Gems provide diverse options to acquire playable Heroes you don’t own, and cosmetic rewards.

  • Gold unlocks new Heroes and rerolls Loot Chests.

  • Gems replace real money and are used to buy Heroes or items in the Featured Shop.

  • Players are awarded 1000 Gems at Level 5 and occasionally receive more through progression.

  • Featured Items will rotate regularly.

  • Splitting skins up into their separate color variations makes it cheaper and easier to get exactly the item you want and nothing more.



Heroes of the Storm 2.0 Feature HighlightsCassia the AmazonSummit Q&A Transcript
New Hero: GenjiUther Revamp


Danny Perschonok is a writer and photographer. He has been a Blizzplanet.com user since 2004, and became a member of the staff to cover events for the site officially in 2013. He has attended events such as BlizzCon, San Diego Comic Con, ESL Legendary, and Heroes of the Dorm.

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