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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm bans on the way

The brawler/battle arena genre seems to attract an inordinate amount of poor behavior, perhaps a result of the highly-competitive environment. Heroes of the Storm isn't an exception, even in the game's alpha phase. Fortunately, Blizzard isn't willing to let such behavior slide. According to a post made by Community Manager Vaeflare, players "who have been found to be repeatedly AFKing, leaving games, or determined to be toxic" will be banned from Heroes of the Storm.

While AFKing through matches is bad enough as it is, we find it particularly absurd that some players are choosing to AFK in a game's alpha, where participation means testing the game's mechanics. The only thing you're testing by going AFK is how quickly Blizzard will remove you from participation.

Vaeflare's full post can be found below or on Battle.net.

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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

New Heroes of the Storm trailer for Li Li

Heroes of the Storm has just released a new trailer for this week's featured hero: Li Li Stormstout. You can read all about her history and her moves in the latest Heroes spotlight. Li Li is the niece of the legendary Chen Stormstout, a powerful martial artist in her own right and an avid explorer. In fact, Explorer Li Li is one of her skins--complete with bug net and pith hat.

Li Li's starting abilities are Healing Brew (heals allies), Cloud Serpent (summons a dragon to aid allies), and Blinding Wind (blinds enemies and blocks their auto attacks), and her Combat Trait is Fast Feet, which gains her movement speed after being struck by an enemy Hero. Judging by her abilities, Li Li seems like an interesting support character who may have a few good tricks up her sleeve. This week is her test week, so if you have access to the Heroes alpha, give her a whirl and see how she goes!

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm heads to Southeast Asia

We already knew Heroes of the Storm was heading to China, but now Blizzard has inked a deal to bring Heroes -- and possibly other games -- to more of Southeast Asia. Expanding on Blizzard's existing agreement with Asiasoft -- which currently distributes Diablo 3, StarCraft 2, and World of Warcraft in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore -- the deal now includes Heroes of the Storm and features distribution to the Philippines as well. Marketing and operation for the game in the Philippines will be handled by Asiasoft subsidiary Level Up! Inc.

No launch date has been set for Heroes of the Storm -- currently in technical alpha -- domestically or internationally, but we assume it will arrive on the traditional Blizzard schedule of "when it's ready."

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm heading to China

Blizzard has a troubled history with releases in China, but that isn't stopping them from bringing Heroes of the Storm to Chinese shores in partnership with NetEase. Currently, NetEase operates three Blizzard titles in China -- World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Hearthstone -- as well as Battle.net services. Heroes will face stiff competition from already established MOBA titles like League of Legends, but the popularity of Blizzard characters and properties on Chinese shores definitely suggests the game has star potential.

Heroes is currently in technical alpha, and the announcement gives no hint of a release date, domestic or international. But while waiting for release, interested parties can visit Heroes of the Storm's Chinese website for more info or sign up for the beta on Battle.net.

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm technical alpha patch notes

Heroes of the Storm's technical alpha has been down for extended maintenance today for its first significant patch since the alpha began. The patch notes have been released and include some much-needed balance changes. There have also been changes made to the questing system. This note stands out above the others:

Quests can now only be completed in Versus mode.

As someone who has spent a great deal of time playing the cooperative game mode, I appreciated that Heroes of the Storm treated that game mode as a valid choice. The MOBA genre is all about competitive PVP, so it's understandable that Heroes of the Storm would like to promote that aspect of the game, but the support for cooperative (PVE) play was a breath of fresh air. Personally, I wouldn't consider reducing the viability of playing Heroes of the Storm as a cooperative game a good thing.

You can find the full patch notes below.

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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm: First account wipe this Tuesday

The first account wipe for the alpha of Heroes of the Storm is coming this Tuesday, April 15. Players in the Alpha have received an email, which you can see after the break. It's working a little differently to the usual wipes, so let's lay out what you're losing and what you're keeping.
  • All purchases made with real money will be unaffected. This does not mean future wipes will be the same.
  • Your account will be reset to level 1
  • All experience points, all quest progress and leveling progress will be reset
  • All in-game gold you've earned, and purchases you've made with that gold, will be reset.
You will also receive some rewards for your hard work, to compensate you for what you're losing:
  • Starting after the wipe on Tuesday, April 15, all players will gain access to every single hero until Thursday, April 17 at 3:00 p.m. PDT.
  • You'll get in-game gold as a reward based on your leveling progress:
    • Levels 1 – 19: 10,000 Gold
    • Levels 20 – 39: 30,000 Gold
    • Level 40: 30,000 Gold and an exclusive Heroes of the Storm lanyard
Hit the break for the full email I received.

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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Four new Heroes revealed at PAX East

Heroes of the Storm's PAX East panel has unveiled four new heroes, from left to right, Brightwing, Zagara, Li li and Murky. There's already a trailer for Brightwing, and the Heroes of the Storm official post supplies more information on the new heroes.

While it's surprising that iconic characters which appear on the main screen of the game, such as Chen Stormstout, are not yet in the game, while these other heroes are. Nonetheless, they're really exciting additions, as the official post elucidates their roles in the game we can really see how interesting and varied the hero roles and abilities are thanks to the different playstyle.

Hit the break for their abilities and information.

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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

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