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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm hero rotation for April 8 - April 14

As occurs every week, the rotation of free-to-play characters in Heroes of the Storm has been updated. This week's heroes include: This rotation mirrors that of the week beginning March 14, which means we've made a full rotation through all currently available heroes. Unless the options are randomized, next week will likely include Arthas, E.T.C., Muradin, Tassadar, the Witch Doctor, and Zeratul. Four new heroes will be announced at PAX East according to Heroes community manager Katie Simpson. Depending on when those heroes will appear in-game, a wrench may be thrown into the rotation fairly soon.

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Breakfast Topic: Help us help you with Heroes of the Storm

While we're waiting for Warlords of Draenor, Heroes of the Storm is the new hotness. For a great number of you, anyway! I'm going to use today's Breakfast Topic as an opportunity to ask all of you what you want to know about Heroes. What's your level of knowledge with games of its genre? What do you know? What would you like to know?

So far, we've covered some of the basics with our Heroes of the Storm glossary and gone a little more in-depth with our series of hero guides which will be kept updated for the game's launch. We know we can do more, though. Tell us what you want. Tell us what you need. We're listening.

You World of Warcraft diehards out there, don't be afraid -- when Warlords of Draenor arrives on our doorstep, we'll be full steam ahead on that.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm hero rotation and Haunted Mines changes

It's a new week, which means a new rotation of free-to-play heroes in Heroes of the Storm's technical alpha. This week's heroes are as follows:
  • Barbarian (Sonya)
  • Illidan
  • Malfurion
  • Sgt. Hammer
  • Demon Hunter (Valla)
  • Tassadar
We've previously written a guide to playing Tassadar, and if you're interested in guides or previews for any of the above heroes, please let us know and we'll make it a priority! With this hero rotation, there were also balance changes to the Grave Golems of the Haunted Mines map announced. You can find those changes below.

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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Last Week in WoW: No April Fooling to be found here

Briefly, I considered using today's Last Week in WoW as the delivery mechanism for an April Fools' Joke. Rather than recapping the last week on the site, I was going to recap WoW Insider's entire existence, presenting links to everything we've ever posted in our history. This idea lasted no more than a few minutes, when the reality of the task settled in. Instead, I'll give you a few stats, which aren't jokes whatsoever. They're just interesting.

WoW Insider launched in November of 2005. Since then, we've published nearly 40,000 articles. Let's assume the average word count per article is 500 words -- it's likely more than that, given how many features we've run over the years and how much we like to talk, but let's say 500 anyway. That's 20,000,000 words. Twenty million. The average length of an adult fiction novel (not an erotic novel, but adult as opposed to young adult) is 100,000 words. Since November 2005, we've written 200 novels about World of Warcraft and Blizzard games in general.

So scrap the gag of linking you everything, because that's a Herculean task and I am no Hercules. Instead, let's stick with what happened this past week.

Most popular posts of the week
Follow along for Warlords news, WoW Insider features, editorials, and news from all other Blizzard titles.

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Filed under: News items, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone Insider

Heroes of the Storm: Stitches

At the end of our look at the Support hero Tassadar, I said we would likely look at Muradin next. I lied. Stitches came up in the Heroes of the Storm free-to-play rotation and I learned the meaning of true love. Stitches is a beefy member of the Warrior class, heroes that are typically low damage, high survivability. In many cases, the threat a Warrior poses is not in his or her ability to kill you -- but the fact that they're a nuisance, unkillable things that make a slow push into your territory and you must struggle to stop them.

While Stitches does have those qualities, I also like to think of him as something of an offensive Support character. Where most Support characters help your Heroes survive a battle, Stitches helps his allies murder the other team. He picks your enemies apart and holds them still while your assassins go to work.

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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm: Senior Designer talks Tyrael

Tyrael, Archangel of Justice, is under the spotlight for Heroes of the Storm this week. Senior Game Designer Richard Khoo sat down with Community Manager Trikslyr to discuss this Hero's not-so-angelic leanings. It's a great interview, touching on the importance of using the Heroes game world and mechanics to create a hero that fits with the traits and feel of well-known lore figures.

Tyrael, as the Archangel, is a hybrid between a warrior and a support class, meaning he can charge in and flatten his foes, but also assist his allies with powerful shields, even sacrificing his own health to help them. The designers felt this was fitting with his righteous, angelic qualities in the Diablo universe. He also caters to the angelic "speed of light" idea with his teleportation abilities that base themselves off his sword. They also comment on the post-mortem gameplay that Tyrael, along with a couple of other heroes, features.

Hit the break for the full interview!

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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm Balance Updates and Hero Rotation

This week, in celebration of the launch of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, two new skins have been added -- demonic Tyrael and Angelic Valla. What's more, the free-to-play hero rotation has some of the most exciting heroes available for free to players, including the recently added Tychus. The rest of the heroes are as follows:
Week of Tuesday, Mar. 25 – April 1, 2014:
  • Tyrande
  • Stitches
  • Diablo
  • Tychus
  • Kerrigan
  • Nova
Along with the latest free-to-play hero rotation, we're getting some balance changes to certain heroes. There aren't a huge number of changes but many are significant, including a lot of nerfs to Uther! Hit the break for all the changes.

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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm: Tassadar

So far in this series we've looked at an Assassin and a Specialist, Falstad and Abathur respectively. Today we look at a member of the Support class, StarCraft's high templar Tassadar. The Support class is, effectively, Heroes of the Storm's equivalent of a healer. In Tassadar's case, you could draw a comparison to the Discipline Priest. Rather than directly healing his allies, he places protective bubbles on them to absorb damage. Other varieties of bubbles exert some control over the flow of battle.

Tassadar is a character that doesn't perform well on his own. He shines when attached to an ally. When partnered up with a beefy tank character, he can make his lane partner nigh unkillable.

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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm: Abathur

If Falstad is one of the easier characters to master in Heroes of the Storm, Abathur is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Playing Abathur well is quite difficult and he's unlike any other hero in the game. He relies on knowledge of the maps themselves as well as every other hero in the game. Abathur's personal presence on the battlefield is minimal. He stays as far away from the fight as possible. He fights through your allies, empowering them and protecting them with his Symbiote ability and maintaining control of the map through laying Toxic Nests (landmines) from a distance.

Abathur falls into the category of "Specialist." The Specialist designation is given to those characters that aren't easily categorized. They aren't nimble, deadly Assassins. They aren't beefy, tanky warriors. Support is closer to what Abathur does, but support characters tend to have a physical battlefield presence. In short, Specialists are weird.

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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm glossary

Heroes of the Storm is not categorized as a MOBA by its creators, but as a Hero Brawler, and there are definitely big differences between Heroes and other popular MOBAs. Nonetheless, a lot of the players you're going to be seeing in-game will have played MOBAs before, and thanks to the similarities to MOBA play, you're going to be seeing a lot of MOBA jargon. And you might not understand it all, but we're here to help. We're not going to go into every individual phrase that might ever be uttered, but we're going to spell out some of the more common ones.

Let us know if there are other things you've heard that you haven't understood, and hit the break for the Glossary!

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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm dev Q&A

The latest Heroes of the Storm dev Q&A is here, and you can watch it above when it goes live at 11am Pacific. This week, as the Tech Alpha runs on, the developers are talking about the talent system. Joining Kevin Johnson this time, we will have Dustin Browder, Game Director, Richard Khoo, Senior Game Designer, and Matt Cooper, Game Designer.

As the talent system is a key part of the game that separates it from the Item Shop methodology of other MOBAs, it will be interesting to see the insights and design challenges that the developers have faced. You can send in your questions to the developers on Twitter at @BlizzHeroes by using the hashtag #HeroesQA.

Following the dev Q&A, there'll be a live match, shoutcasted by Dustin Browder and Kevin Knocke.

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm: Falstad

Editor's Note: Heroes of the Storm is currently in a technical alpha phase. All information contained within is subject to change.

My experience playing games in Heroes of the Storm's genre is limited. I've played a few rounds of League of Legends. That's it. When I opened Heroes for the first time, I relied on my knowledge that ranged classes tend to be a safer choice for the inexperienced. In the opening week of the Heroes alpha, the ranged options available for free were Raynor, Gazlowe, and Falstad. The tutorial gave me a taste for Raynor, so I gave Falstad a shot -- a choice I do not regret. I've since tried all of the free characters and Falstad remains my favorite.

Falstad is labeled a Ranged Assassin. He isn't built to tank. He's built to get his licks in and keep moving.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Heroes of the Storm

Breakfast Topic: Which WoW characters belong in Heroes of the Storm?

As you might have heard, Heroes of the Storm has landed in technical alpha. So go over to your Battle.net account page and make sure you're flagged for the Heroes beta if you're interested -- once you've signed in, click on Beta Profile Settings on the summary page -- because this definitely means we'll be seeing more of Heroes sooner rather than later. Once you've done that, come back here and we'll talk.

Okay, set for getting into the beta when it arrives? Good. Now let's talk about the Warcraft heroes that grace Heroes of the Storm. Warcraft has an entire world's worth of characters begging to be added -- which begs the question of which ones ought to find their way into Heroes.

So tell us, readers: which Warcraft heroes do you most want to see in HotS? And which characters will you play when you jump into the game?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm tech alpha walkthrough

The tech alpha must be close to starting, as we've seen talk of emails being received, and now a new video has appeared on the Heroes of the Storm YouTube channel. The video shows Senior Community Manager Kevin "Cloaken" Johnson running the would-be player through the various elements of the game. While a lot of what we're seeing is replicated in the article created by Vaeflare, but there is some new information.

For starters, we can see the Try Me mode in action. It looks great, as buying a hero without ever getting to give it a go is not something you want to do, and waiting for your hero to appear in the free rotation could be really tiresome. Another interesting thing to note is the real-money cost of some items. While they say it may well change, there's a $7.49 or 5,500 gold price tag on Diablo, which seems alright for a hero, although more expensive than a lower-end League of Legends hero bought for RP. However, $14.99 seems a bit pricey for a Tassadar skin. There's also huge differences in the gold costs of the heroes, varying from 2,000 to 10,000 gold. Again, they do clarify that these prices may change.

We also see the talents tab, the leveling systems, and more explanation of the tints, quests, and much more! We can't wait for the Tech Alpha to get started.

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm: Heroes, gold, skins, mounts and more

Blizzard Community Manager Vaeflare has posted an excellent and highly informative blog over on the Heroes of the Storm official site, covering various aspects of the game from the player's angle. As ever, you can see the full blog after the break, but we're going to sum up a few of the key points here:
  • Leveling up your account will give you access to new rewards, such as game modes, additional talents, hero quests, and more
  • There will be a Free-to-play hero rotation of five heroes per week, updated every tuesday, increased to six when you hit level seven
  • You can also try any hero at any time before buying it in a private map "try me" mode which allows you to fight minions, forts, and generally have a go with talents and abilities.
  • Heroes will be purchased using gold, which you can earn in-game, starting from level five, or with real money.
  • Levels are gained from XP, which is earned by playing and achieving things in-game, winning, playing with battle.net friends, completing daily and hero quests, and later, epic hero quests.
  • You can also buy various skins. All skins come with two further tint slots. A hero's original tint is immediately available, and each of the two additional tints can be unlocked for individual heroes through Hero Quests.
  • Every player will start with a basic Horse mount, all mounts but that one have the same tint system as with skins
  • Skins and mounts are not purchasable with gold earned in-game, only with real money or via other means.
Hit the break for the full post.

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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

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