Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard’s MOBA currently in Closed Beta, is getting a pretty big patch today. After the release of The Lost Vikings last month, Jaina before that, and Thrall and a new battleground in January, Heroes is getting Sylvanas Windrunner, a new battleground, and new Hero and player rewards after today’s patch goes live.
Sylvanas WindrunnerSylvanas Windrunner joins Heroes of the Storm from the Warcraft universe. Once a ranger-general of Silvermoon, she was tasked with defending Quel’Thalas, the elven kingdom. During the Third War she was killed, and Arthas subjugated her as a banshee to serve the Scourge. However, Sylvanas and other undead broke free from the Lich King’s control and banded together calling themselves the Forsaken.
Sylvanas’ talents inlcude:
- Withering Fire (Q)
- Shoot the closest enemy for 25 damage, preferring Heroes. Stores 5 charges.
- Shadow Dagger (W)
- Deals 10 damage, and an additional 40 damage over 2 seconds, to target unit. This effect spreads to nearby units.
- Haunting Wave (E)
- Send forth a wave of banshees, dealing 30 damage to all targets. Reactivate to teleport to the banshees’ location.
- Black Arrows
- Basic Attacks and Abilities stun Minions, Mercenaries, and Towers.
- Wailing Arrow (R)
- Shoot an arrow that explodes for 200 damage and silences enemies for 2.5 seconds. Can be reactivated to detonate the arrow early
- Possession (R)
- Force an enemy Minion to fight for you. It gains 20% Attack Damage and Health.
Sylvanas will be available to purchase in the store individually, or as part of the Ranger-General Sylvanas Bundle Pack which will include Sylvanas and a skin.
Tomb of the Spider Queen
The new Heroes of the Storm battleground being added today is the Tomb of the Spider Queen, which we’ve received concept art glimpses of before. Another 3-lane battleground, killing minions and enemy Heroes will result in gems being dropped which you collect and turn in at the Spider Queen’s altars. Once your team has turned in 50 gems, the Spider Queen unleashes her Webweavers who then travel down each lane and lay siege to the opposing team.
Each subsequent turn in will cost an additional 5 gems, and like the Blackheart Bay battleground, slaying a Hero who is carrying gems will cause them to drop and allow them to be picked up by other Allied Heroes.
New Hero and Player Rewards
In addition to other user interface and general changes, Blizzard also announced new Hero and player rewards. Before the patch, Heroes were capped at level 10, and players stop getting rewards after Player Level 15. That’s all about to change as new Hero and Player Levels are coming with additional rewards.
The maximum Hero Level is now 20. At Hero Level 15, players receive an additional 1250 Gold, at Level 20 an additional 2500 Gold.
While it’s nice to see Hero Level increases (I’ve yet to get a Hero to level 10 due to the number of Heroes and increase in experience required between levels), the real bonus here I think is the Player Progression rewards. The current Player Level cap is set to 40, but after 15 there aren’t any rewards which I always thought was a bit odd. As of today though, that changes as a bunch of new rewards have been added.
- 7 Day Stimpack at Player Level 10
- 2,000 Gold at Player Levels 20, 25, 30, 35, 40
- Team League unlocked at Player Level 40
The best part? If you’ve passed a Player Level requirement, you will retroactively receive the rewards the next time you login to Heroes of the Storm. So if you’ve reached Level 40 already, you’ll receive a nice bonus of 10,000 Gold and a 7 Day Stimpack (which increases your experience and gold gain for a week) – just in time to shell out for Sylvanas and get a good head start on leveling her.
In addition to the existing Ranked Play, the anticipated Team League ranked mode is also launching today. In Team League, you can create a named team with a dedicated roster to participate in ranked team play. In order to qualify for Team League, players must be Player Level 40 and own 10 or more Heroes (excluded free rotation Heroes).
Here’s a few other things being updated with today’s Heroes of the Storm patch that I found interesting (in no particular order):
- All players’ default Graphic Settings will be re-detected and reset following today’s patch, which may help to address a few performance issues that some players have been experiencing.
- The “Network Spikes” indicator has been removed from the performance overlay (Ctrl + Alt + F).
- Significantly reduced the likelihood that players will receive the same Battleground multiple times in a row when playing in matchmaking game modes.
- Many Hero Models have received minor animation and pose updates on Hero Select.
- Mecha Tassadar will now, quite literally, transform into a fighter jet and fly across the battlefield while mounted.
- Several Hero Skins have received new art for certain Abilities and Talents, which more closely match that Skin’s theme.
- Anub’arak’s Real-money and Gold prices have been reduced to $6.49 USD and 4,000 Gold.
- The in-game leveling curve has been adjusted slightly to slow down the first 10 team levels, though the amount of XP required to reach level 20 remains the same.
- New Generic Talent: Arcane Power (Level 20) – Activate to gain 400 mana and 15% Ability Power for 5 seconds. 60 second cooldown (currently Jaina only).
- Healing Ward duration increased from 10 to 15 seconds, while heal amount reduced from 3% to 2% of max Health per second.
Visit Blizzard’s blog for the full list and details of today’s patch and Hero adjustments.
What update are you most excited for with today’s Heroes of the Storm patch? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.
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