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PAX East 2015: Exclusive Heroes of The Storm Battleground & Hero Announcement

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At Pax East 2015 this past weekend, Dustin Browder-Game Director of Heroes of the Storm-made several announcements regarding current beta stats, a new battleground, new hero, overall game progression, and other additions.

To start, Browder went over the current beta stats for Quick Match and Hero League--which hereos are tier topping, evenly tiered, and lowest tiered.

Top Tier-Quick Match
  • The Lost Vikings
  • Brightwing
  • Nazeebo
  • Uther
  • Rehgar

Even Tier-Quick Match
  • Diablo
  • Zagarra

Low Tier-Quick Match
  • Chen

Top Tier-Hero League
  • Illidan
  • Reghar
  • Sgt. Hammer
  • The Lost Vikings
  • Tyrande

Even Tier-Hero League
  • Zeratul
  • Valla
Low Tier-Hero League
  • Murky

Browder also announced the new battleground, Tomb of the Spider Queen. This upcoming battleground is completely different from the other current battlegrounds as it is entirely set underground and it is extremely small. Browder described it as “a knife-fight in a closet kind of map.”
 

Gameplay will be much different in this map due to its smaller size and the fact that lanes are extremely close to each other. Players will almost always be in lanes, killing spiders to collect gems. These gems will accrue and ultimately summon spider queens that will help players push lanes and kill enemies. This will be a constant mechanic in this battleground.

New Hero
 

Also announced, was the upcoming new hero: Sylvanas. Ever encompassing sneakiness and all that is evil, she will be a siege specialist with extremely high dps. Sylvanas will be a deadly pushing hero, but can also be played as an assassin because of her heavy burst damage.



Abilities

Withering Fire-Rapidly shoots arrows at the closest enemy target for light damage, prioritizing enemy Heroes. It stores up to 5 charges and can be fired on the move. Charges are restored by killing enemy minions.

Shadow Dagger-A damage-over-time ability. As it deals damage, the effect spreads to nearby targets, allowing Sylvanas to take out entire lanes of minions.

Haunting Wave-This ability sends forth a wave of banshees who deal moderate damage to all targets. The ability can be reactivated to teleport to the banshees’ location for added mobility, best used for escapes but can be used to close in on a target.

Heroic Abilities

Wailing Arrow-This ability shoots a special arrow that explodes for heavy AOE damage and silences enemies for 2.5 seconds. It’s a flexible ability that can be used to clear waves, hunt down Heroes, and interrupt their channeled abilities.

Possession-This ability forces an enemy Minion or Mercenary to fight for you. Targets gain bonus health and deal more damage while serving the Banshee Queen. The more powerful the target you steal, the longer you’ll have to wait to use the ability again, so there’s strategy in who you recruit.


Game System Updates

There has been recent updates to the ui and game system. Cleaning up the ui has made the hero portrait more prominent, as well as emphasizing Account Level, Hero Level, Hero League Rank, and more. You can also see detailed contributions from each player in our Stats screen.

Upcoming Game Progression

Blizzard said they have been working very hard on improving Ranked Play and are actively working on Team League, which will premiere in the next major patch. In this mode you can create up to three teams with rosters of up to nine players each for 5v5. You can take turns playing with different teams as each team will have its own set of rankings. Team League is meant to be the extremely competitive and prestigious.

Upcoming Game Utilities

Browder also mentioned Blizzard’s acknowledgment that players would like to have the ability to have more enjoyable gameplay with others. In the near future, these features will be added:
  • Mute Allies-Allowing players to mute allied chat.
  • Clans-Providing players with a way to self-organize what kind of social group they want to be a part of to add to the gameplay experience.
  • Rating System-Although nothing is set in stone, it is actively being looked at by the developers.
Progression

Browder announced several progression updates that will be coming in future patches.
  • NEW 7 Day Stimpack at Account Level 10 – This reward will also be granted to players who have already reached Account Level 10.
  • NEW Hero Levels 11-20 – To encourage players to continue playing a Hero long after they have reached level 10.
  • NO Talent Gating at Account Level 30 – Once players reach Level 30, they will automatically unlock all available talents on their Heroes.

More Gold

Also announced, there will be more gold rewards made available in a future patch. These rewards will also be retroactive to players who already reached the level milestones.
  • 2,000 Gold at Account Levels 20, 25, 30, 35, 40
  • 1,250 Gold at Hero Level 15
  • 2,500 Gold at Hero Level 20


Heroes of the Dorm

Browder also announced the new collegiate event, Heroes of the Dorm, where college students can compete for paid college tuition. Five players will win tuition for their entire college career. The live finals will be held later this year in California. Anyone interested can sign up at HEROESOFTHEDORM.COM.

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