[UPDATED] Blizzard updating Heroes of the Storm progression system and more

Gaming / PC
Heroes-of-the-Storm-2.0

A great many changes are coming to Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm including progression, currency, loot, and more!

Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard’s multiplayer online battle arena, launched to the public just under two years ago. During that time a lot of changes have been made including the addition of new Heroes, new Battlegrounds, and plenty of cosmetic changes. Even though it’s free to play, players can purchase Heroes and skins for money. Blizzard has announced that Heroes of the Storm 2.0 will be released on April 25th and it brings some pretty big changes.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Blizzard will be unveiling more details about the changes coming to the next iteration of the game. The biggest has already been unveiled and is being dubbed “Progression 2.0.”

UPDATED (04/05/2017 10:30 a.m. ET): Looks like Blizzard has changed the Loot Crate rewards for those who have already been playing Heroes of the Storm with some much bigger and better rewards.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Progression

Those familiar with Heroes of the Storm will know that there are two levelling systems currently. The first is your Player Level, the second is individual Hero levels. These are currently separate but Progression 2.0 will bring those together and instead of being capped at 40, the Player Level cap has been removed and instead will be the sum of all the Hero levels you’ve gained while playing. Based on the Hero levels I currently have, I calculated that my new Player Level will be above 441 — a far cry from the current level 40 cap.

In addition to changing the way levelling works, portrait badges are also getting a revamp and will display your level up to 99. Once reaching level 100, your visible level will be reset to 1 but you’ll gain a new badge to reflect your new tier.

Progression Rewards

The rewards as you gain in Player Levels are being revamped as well and are as follows:

  • Level 1: Unlock 10 Hero Rotation Slots
  • Level 5: 1,000 Gems + Hero Rotation Slot 11
  • Level 10: 7 Day Stimpack + Hero Rotation Slot 12
  • Level 15: Hero Rotation Slot 13
  • Level 20: Hero Rotation Slot 14
  • Every Level-up: 1 Common Loot Chest
  • Every 5 Levels: 1 Rare Loot Chest
  • Every 25 Levels: 150 Gems + I Epic Loot Chest

We’ll discuss Loot Chests and Gems below.

Heroes-of-the-Storm-progression

Get ready for a new way of progressing and gaining rewards in Heroes of the Storm.

Hero Level Progression Rewards

In the current system, levelling up Heroes gave you Gold, mount variations, skin variations, and master skins. These will no longer be unlocked through Hero progression but will be available in the Shop (renamed Collection) or in Loot Chests (more below). That includes master skins — if you have enough shards, you can purchase them regardless of your Player or Hero level.

However, please note that if you’ve already purchased a Skin or Mount using gold or real money before the patch arrives, you’ll permanently receive the base version and both of its variations on patch day —whether or not you had previously unlocked those variations.

So what do you get for levelling up Heroes in the new system? At level 5 you get a Hero Portrait, level 15 a Master Hero Portrait, 500 Gold every 5th Hero level, and 1 Hero-Specific Loot Chest every 10th Hero Level. We’ll get to Loot Chests in a moment.

XP

However, it’s not as simple as adding up your current Hero levels as Blizzard is making changes to XP gains as well. Anyone who plays knows that you can usually breeze through the first 5 or 6 levels and then face the long grind to Hero level 10 and beyond. Blizzard has recognized this and in Heroes of the Storm 2.0, they’re increasing the XP requirements during the first few Hero levels slightly and reducing the amount of XP required to level up at higher levels by 75-80%. So while my Player Level should be 441 when the new patch goes live on April 25th, it will be higher based on the increase in XP Blizzard has implemented. As an example, a level 10 Hero before the update will be around level 15 after the update. Level 20 Heroes? Expect a bump to somewhere around level 55.

Lower level Heroes will also be adjusted but in a different way. Because the XP required will increase at lower levels, instead of dropping Heroes down a level, Blizzard will instead add XP to keep your Hero at the level it was before the patch. In other words, you can only gain under the new XP system.

Loot Chests

One of the issues I always found with Heroes of the Storm was once you got into the higher levels, and especially level 10, there wasn’t much to really accomplish. I begrudgingly play level 10 Heroes because it takes so long to level up and the next reward after level 10 is level 15. By uncapping the Player Level and changing up the Progression in the game, Blizzard will now be rewarding each level gained with Loot Chests. These can be earned in-game or purchased for Gems (more on that in the Currency section below).

Heroes-of-the-Storm-Loot-Chests

You can earn or purchase Loot Chests.

There will be four types of Loot Chests: Common, Rare, Epic, and Hero-Specific. Common chests will be awarded at just about every Player Level. The exception will be at levels in which you earn a Rare, Epic, or Hero-Specific chest. In other words, you can only receive one chest per level upgrade. Rare chests will be awarded for every 5 Player Levels you gain, while Epic chests will be rewarded every 25th Player Level.

Hero-Specific Loot Chests will be awarded for every 10th Hero level you obtain with each Hero and is guaranteed to contain at least one item for that specific Hero.

Wait a minute  — I’ve been playing Heroes since the beta! Blizzard has recognized that and based on your Player Level you will receive up to 70 Loot Chests on patch day — April 25th — to open. If you’ve completed at least one match, you’ll get 5 Common Loot Chests. For every 10 Account Levels, you’ll receive an additional Common Chest to a maximum of 35. For every 25 Account Levels, you’ll receive 1 Rare Loot Chest to a maximum of 20. Finally, for every 100 Account Levels, you’ll receive an Epic Loot Chest up to a maximum of 10.

The updated rewards are as follows: for every 10 Player Levels, you’ll now get one Epic Loot Chest (to a maximum of 55) and for every 100 Player Levels you’ll receive one Veteran Loot Chest (to a maximum of 10). The Veteran Loot Chest will contain five coins (items) instead of four, and each Epic or Veteran loot chest guarantees at least one Epic rarity or higher item. In addition, if you’ve reached Player Level 40 before Heroes of the Storm 2.0, you’ll also receive a 30-Day Stimpack. Not too shabby at all!

Using my “current” level of 441 as an example, I expect I’ll see 35 Common, 9 Rare, and 4 Epic 44 Epic and 4 Veteran Loot Chests, but it’ll likely be a couple more given the XP required per level changes.

New Loot

Each chest contains four random items. These can range from the current Heroes, Skins, and Mounts, but also a bunch of new items including Announcers, Voice Lines, Banners, Sprays, Emojis, Portraits, and Shards (more on those below). If you don’t like what’s in your chest, you can spend gold to re-roll the contents of that chest up to three times. However, it’s an all or nothing roll so you can’t pick and choose what you keep and re-roll. If you get an item you already have, it will be converted into Shards.

Heroes-of-the-Storm-Loot-Chest

Each Loot Chest contains four items.

Currency

So just how do you get all these cool new skins, mounts, variations, Heroes, and the like? In the current version of Heroes, Heroes can be purchased using real money or in-game gold, while Skins can be purchased using real money. In the new system, there will be three types of currency, including the previously mentioned Shards. Gold can still be earned by playing matches, levelling up and completing Daily Quests. Gold can be used to purchase Heroes and re-roll Loot Chests.

Gems, on the other hand, replace real money and can be purchased using money. However, you’ll also get Gems for free when you reach certain Account Level milestones. Gems can be spent on Heroes, Loot Chests, Stimpacks, Bundles, and other featured items.

As mentioned above, Shards are obtained by opening Loot Chests and from duplicates being automatically converted to Shards. Shards can be spent on Skins, Mounts, Sprays, Emoji Packs, Announcers, and Voice Lines. When purchasing skin and mount variations in the new system, each variation is a separate purchase so if you want all three colour variations you’ll have to make three purchases. The nice thing about this system is if you only like one or two colour variations, you can purchase that one specifically.

All in all, the currency and progression system definitely looks to increase the various ways that players can obtain items — like Skins — that were previously only available by spending real cash.

Other Changes

In order to facilitate these changes, you’ll notice a change in the interface with a new tab called Collection. You’ll be able to view and purchase all your Heroes, skins, mounts, banners, and more here. You’ll also be able to save three Loadouts per Hero which allows you to save customized skin, mount, and banner configurations for each Hero. The profile page is also reworked, making it easier to check and follow your progress.

Cassia, a new Assassin Hero, is an Amazon Warmatron. She is coming, as well as more new Hero details coming on April 17th and May 4th. A new Battleground will also be unveiled on April 17th, while Launch Event details will be shared on April 18th, as well as New Bundles on April 20th alongside a New Program (not sure what that will be). Finally, the Nexus Challenge 2.0 and Event details will be unlocked on April 25th when the patch is released.

Heroes-of-the-Storm-Cassia

Cassia, the Amazon Warmatron, is joining the Heroes lineup.

Blizzard will also be doing a couple of Reddit Q&As about Heroes of the Storm 2.0 on April 5th with details of a second Reddit Q&A appearing on April 19th.

Heroes 2.0 Beta

Can’t wait until April 25th? Blizzard has you covered there as well! Simply follow the steps below to get in on the beta and experience the upcoming changes for yourself.

  1. Head to the Heroes of the Storm tab on your Blizzard launcher.
  2. Use the Region selector found above the “Play” button to switch to “Heroes 2.0 Beta.”
  3. Hit the big, blue “Install” button, and then log in to start playtesting!

There are also a few important details that you should be aware of during the Heroes 2.0 Beta:

  • Real money cannot be used to buy Gems or make any other purchases in the Heroes 2.0 Beta.
    • Instead, you’ll earn Gems by completing a Weekly Quest that will only be available during the Beta.
  • Finally, any items unlocked or purchased during the Beta will not transfer to your live Heroes of the Storm account.

If you’re after a bit more information, Blizzard has also released a Developer Update video, and you can hit the currently released patch notes in the link below.

As you can see, there are a lot of changes to look forward to next month. Do you regularly play Heroes of the Storm? What do you think about the new progression system coming next month? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: Blizzard
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