By oliviadgrace on 2014/04/11 at 11:25 AM Pacific
Heroes of the Storm PAX Feature Trailer
A Note About the Alpha
We do not have a date for the Heroes Beta yet. We're still working hard to test and level up our technology to be sure we can continue to expand the playerbase without encountering major issues. On that note, we’ve been adding players to the Tech Alpha on a weekly basis, and if you’d like to sign up to be invited, make sure you’ve opted in to Heroes testing on your Battle.net account’s Beta Profile Settings.
That said, there are no keys! Be wary of phishing attempts and anyone offering to give you Heroes of the Storm access. The only way to be sure you’ve received a legitimate invitation is to check your Battle.net account for a Heroes of the Storm game license.
What's Cool About Heroes of the Storm?
Dustin went on to give the audience an introduction to Heroes of the Storm by describing a few of the game’s aspects that we think make it very fun to play.
We have many incredible heroes we can draw from that you've come to know and love in our other game universes. There’s rich lore and history behind our characters, and we think it's awesome to see them all interacting and doing battle with each other. Because this game represents a collision of all our universes, we can introduce heroes from any of our other games, past, present, and future.
Original Hero Design
We're trying to be creative with the types of heroes we bring into the game. We want them to be able to interact with the battlegrounds in very unique ways, and play like nothing you’ve seen before in our other titles. Abathur was among the first of these very different heroes. He can’t really get into the fight himself, but instead sits behind the lines of battle and infests his allies to help them out from the sidelines.
Battlegrounds are more than just maps. Each is designed to be different from the others, with unique objectives and focal points that can change your strategies and swing the tide of the game in your favor.
As an example, let's take a look at Blackheart's Bay:
We currently have four Battlegrounds in the Tech Alpha, and have plans to add many more in the future so that you can change up how you play, as well as use different strategies to succeed from one game to the next.
Following Dustin’s overview, Phill picked up the mic for a peek into what the Heroes of the Storm Art Team has been up to lately.
When we started to really ramp up Heroes development we were initially focused on standing up art and models for as many of our heroes as we could. While we managed to get a lot of heroes into the game, we wanted to continue iterating on them until each one really lived up to the fantasy behind their character.
We've put a lot of work into improving the appearances of our heroes and skins since we first revealed Heroes of the Storm at BlizzCon last year, and have put a lot of time into adding more details to their faces and character models over the last few months.
Kaeo Milker then took the stage to show off some of the new skins that we'll be releasing in the future.
Skins are an exciting way for us to really dig into the lore and flavor of each hero, and we always have a lot of fun coming up with our next great idea. Through skins, we can show off looks we’ve come to love. We can also explore a variety of different appearances for each hero, including looks that cross into our other game universes.
Heroes of the Storm has a rather lighthearted nature, which allows us to add in humorous skins as well, such as Stitches in a bikini, or Abathur in pajamas. That's right -- Pajamathur is no longer just an April Fool's joke, and will be added to the game!
In addition to all of the skins we have available in the shop, we’ve also got a ton of skin variations that you can unlock for free, simply by playing with a particular hero frequently. Skin variations not only work for your base hero skin, but once unlocked, they’ll work for all future skins you buy for that hero, as well.
We didn’t want to stop with variations, though, so we decided to create what we’re calling “Ultimate Skins.” Ultimate skins are the complete realization of the fantasy for each hero in the Nexus, and are free to unlock, just like skin variations. We want you have a lot of freedom in how you can show off your favorite heroes in-game, and feel that all the skins we have to offer help accomplish this for players who want to really dig deep into a specific hero.
New Heroes - We've just announced that Brightwing, Zagara, Murky, and LiLi are our newest Heroes!
As we mentioned previously, we’re working hard to create heroes that feel and play very differently than anything we've done in the past, and we have a few examples for you today:
Once the presentation wrapped up, Dustin fielded questions from the live audience. Read on to get the full Q&A Session breakdown.
Q: Is there any opportunity to see Heroes on other platforms, such as mobile or console?
A: We haven’t really worked on that and it could be a lot of work considering we’d have to take controls into account. At one point Kaeo did manage to hook up an Xbox controller to his home computer and play using that.
Q: Balance aside, which hero would you like to see in the game?
A: The hardest heroes for us to do are the really huge ones. We’ve talked about Deathwing as a hero we’d really like to put in, but he’d have to be very big. We’ve found heroes like this to be really challenging to make so far.
Q: Do you think you’ll eventually run out of existing Blizzard characters to use as heroes?
A: Our library of Blizzard characters is pretty massive. We’ve got a very long list of potential heroes that we’d like to implement, and we do want to add many more heroes to the game than are present right now. We’re ready to do more. There may be a few heroes who you might not entirely familiar with if you haven’t played the game they’re from (Stitches from World of Warcraft, for example,) but we can dip into all of our universes to continually create new heroes.
Q: Will there be more high-risk, high-reward Talents added to the game?
A: We’re constantly talking about Talents -- what to add, and what to change. For example, Zagara’s talents are kind of insane right now. One idea, which Matt Cooper proposed, was to double the range of her Baneling ability, and I really hope that one will stick around. We’re continuing to evolve the Talent system to add more customization, more options, and more ways for you to play your favorite heroes how you’d like.
Q: Originally Heroes was going to be part of the StarCraft II Arcade. Is Heroes still based off the StarCraft II Editor, or has it changed?
A: Yes, it’s still based on the StarCraft II Editor, but it has changed a bit. We want to get to a place where we can make the map editor available for Heroes, as well.
Q: With regard to new characters, are there any hopes for seeing heroes from older blizzard games?
A: You mean like Rock N’ Roll Racing, or the Lost Vikings? Yes, we’d definitely love to look into creating Heroes from our older titles. I can’t make any promises right now, but we will certainly work on it.
Q: With so many unique characters and ways to play, how do you balance the game?
A: We get this question a lot. It’s going to be a lot of work for us, but we have a team of balance guys working on this night and day, and we’re pretty confident at the moment. We’re not afraid to admit when we’re wrong, see what the community has to say, and make changes. The editor also lets us make changes on a hero by hero basis. For example, the way Sgt. Hammer roots herself basically attracts skillshots from her enemies. If we need to fix something about that, we can adjust her talents to give her more survivability while she’s sieged up.
There's more to come as Blizzard storms Pax East 2014, so stay tuned for updates today, and all weekend long!
Hearthstone’s highly anticipated single player Adventure Mode has been officially announced today at PAX East: Curse of Naxxramas, A Hearthstone Adventure!
The Curse Comes!
The ancient necropolis Naxxramas, a base of operations for the powerful lich Kel’Thuzad and his plague-bearing undead host, comes to Hearthstone in a single player PvE Adventure that anyone can undertake! Progress through one of the five unique wings of the dungeon and gain new cards for your Hearthstone collection by defeating the iconic bosses that you’ll face along the way – the oversized arachnid Maexxna, the fungal horror Loatheb and the shambling abomination Patchwerk are just a few of the horrors that await your challenge. Each boss has their own unique cards and Hero Powers at their disposal to challenge even the most seasoned of card-slinging adventurers!
Progressing through Curse of Naxxramas and overcoming the challenges that lurk within will reward you with all new Hearthstone cards! Once you earn these cards, you can start playing with them in your decks right away. A total of 30 new cards will be added with Curse of Naxxramas - Check out a few of the shambling creatures of the undead that are just dying to be a part of your collection below!
Peer Into the Plague Quarter
One of the bosses you’ll be pitted against within the Plague Quarter is the devious plague cauldron master Heigan the Unclean! His Eruption spell will put your minion’s dancing skills to the test, and Mindpocalypse will make you think you’ve got the upper hand! Speaking of hands, Heigan definitely never washes his. Gross.
Defeating Heigan will net you a brand new card to add to your collection, and the completion of each wing will reward you with a guaranteed new Legendary card!
All New Game Board!
Curse of Naxxramas will have its own unique game board Hearthstone players battle on while they are in the adventure, complete with brand new interactive corners! What could possibly lurk within that quivering mass of eggs? Do you really want to find out?
Test Your Might with Class Challenges!
On top of all of that, nine unique Class Challenges lie in wait within Curse of Naxxramas. These challenges put a difficult twist on existing encounters within the adventure and will put your Hearthstone skills with a specific class to the test! If you’re able to overcome the Class Challenges that face you, you’ll be rewarded with new class-specific cards to add to your collection.
Make Tracks to Naxx!
Curse of Naxxramas will open its gates to challenge Hearthstone players over the course of 5 weeks, opening wing by wing. The first wing of Curse of Naxxramas, The Arachnid Quarter, will be available free for all Hearthstone players. If players wish to venture further into Naxxramas to collect all of the new cards for their collection, each wing besides the Arachnid Quarter can be purchased with in-game gold OR real money. As each wing is released, the cards available in each wing will also show up in your Arena picks, even if you have not earned them for your personal collection yet!
Beware the Necropolis!
We hope you enjoyed this first look into Curse of Naxxramas, A Hearthstone Adventure. Curse of Naxxramas is planned to release simultaneously for PC, Mac and iPad. A release date will be announced at a later time.