Today, during the “Mayhem Begins” event put on by Blizzard, the company announced a whole lot of new content for Heroes of the Storm. As the Heroes of the Storm launch happened on June 2nd to lukewarm reviews, it looks like Blizzard intended to wow us with a much better live stream, and they’ve accomplished just that. Along with showing us some high-quality competitive games, they brought out interesting interviews and incredible reveals.
The reveal of the newest hero to Heroes of the Storm – The Butcher – came gradually, as we periodically came to watch one of the Heroes of the Storm artists draw in more and more details to him in a portrait. Just before he was shown off in his entirety, we were blown away with a fully rendered version of the battleground teased with concept art during Blizzcon 2014. All in all, Blizzard is attempting to remind us all that launch is just the beginning, and more content is going to be flooding into the game now.
The new Heroes of the Storm character is The Butcher, the boss from Act 1 of Diablo 3. The Butcher is a melee assassin, like some of the Heroes of the Storm mainstays like Zeratul and Illidan, however he focuses not on agility or stealth, but on an ability to steal life and farm damage with his passive trait. This trait, called “Fresh Meat”, is the thing that makes the Butcher one of the most unique character thus far in Heroes of the Storm, making him very much like the Shadow Fiend in DotA 2. When killing minions and heroes, enemies drop fresh meat, which can be picked up – giving the Butcher 1% additional attack damage (capping at 25). These stacks, however, will all drop upon death. The introduction of this new sort of melee assassin seems to be part of Heroes of the Storm’s never-ending battle to fill all of the spaces in their hero roster, trying to make something to fit each playstyle.
Along with this new hero, we’re seeing the first battleground in the series of battlegrounds called “Eternal Conflict,” a series where they intend to inject more Blizzard IP’s into the battlegrounds of Heroes of the Storm, showing us a very Diablo-styled heaven versus hell map. With one side designed with angels in mind, and the other being designed with demons, this two-lane map brings to the table a unique objective, and new minion designs. The objective for this map is something not seen yet in Heroes of the Storm – an angel and a demon will spawn in the center of the map, and the teams need to assist their respective angel/demon in that fight. When one of the two dies, the survivor will take on a shield and push your opponent’s weakest lane.
This new map fills a gap that the game has desperately needed, in the way of a second two-lane map. Not only that, but it gives us something asymmetric and frankly beautiful to look at. This eternal conflicts series is the start of something that really gets to the heart of what Heroes of the Storm is about: showing off the very best of Blizzard IP’s. Soon enough, I bet we’ll be seeing a Starcraft and Warcraft battleground to compliment this new addition. Whatever they end up doing, it’ll be fantastic – this is the start of a bright future for Heroes of the Storm fans.