Blizzard wraps up the Heroes Tech Alpha and lays down the red carpet for Closed Beta.
We approach the end of an era as the Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha comes to a close in order to make way for the next stage of the game's development. Blizzard has temporarily halted the drums of war – and the insane Abathur lane pushing – in order to lay down the red carpet for the Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta phase.
Whether you've been a part of the action or you're fresh blood for the Nexus, we have all of the latest information you need in order to get caught up to speed and steel yourself for what's to come! Before we dive headfirst into patch notes, Blizzard was kind enough to give players a visual guide to some of the upcoming features and changes they can expect to see with this new phase of testing.
Take a look!
As mentioned in the video above, one of the first major additions coming along with in this patch, is none other than the Orc hero, Thrall. Thrall is classified as a Melee Assassin and is able to dish out heavy damage to enemies, while also providing helpful crowd control for his allies to take advantage of.
His abilities include:
- Chain Lightning: Blasts 3 enemies with lightning
- Feral Spirit: Releases a fiery wolf spirit to burn enemies and root Heroes
- Windfury: Increases attack and movement speed
- Trait (Frostwolf Resilience): Casting abilities on enemies grant charges that heal you
- Earthquake: Persistently slows enemies in a massive area
- Sundering: Sunder the earth in a line, damaging and stunning enemies in its path
After having made its first debut at BlizzCon 2014, Sky Temple is finally installing itself into the Nexus as the latest Heroes of the Storm three lane map.
Following the trend of other available maps in the game, this majestic floating temple comes with its own unique secondary mechanic which challenges Heroes to capture and defend the ancient temples against the opposing team and giant sand guardians alike. If your team manages to drive off any immediate threats and hold the objective, the temple itself will begin its devastating onslaught against the enemy base.
Ranked Play is also being implemented with this latest patch and, when fully implemented, will come in the forms of Hero League and Team League. While Team League is still under development and set to release with a future patch, Hero League will be playable as a solo-ranked mode for players who are account level 30 with at least 10 unique heroes unlocked (free week heroes not counted).
All players participating in Hero League will be ranked individually, starting at Rank 50. Players will need to win games in order to earn points that count toward your next ranked promotion (up to a maximum of Rank 1). Similarly, losing games will cause you to lose points, potentially knocking your rank down to a minimum of Rank 50. Any player that leaves an in-progress Hero League or Quick Match will not be allowed to queue for Ranked Play until a new Quick Match game is completed. Leaving a Hero League game during Draft Mode will cost you 300 points, in addition to the previously mentioned penalty.
Along with Ranked Play, Draft Mode will be implemented as a new form of Hero select. This mode is designed to let players from both teams take turns choosing a Hero in an effort to counter the opponents' team composition. It's important to note that duplicate Heroes are not allowed in this mode.
Beginning with today's big update, weekly sales will be coming to the Heroes of the Storm Shop. Three items per week will be placed on sale beginning on Mondays at 2:30 PST. At that time on the following Monday, the items from the previous sale will go back to being normal price and three new items will take their place.
Initially, Weekly Sales will take on one of two forms:
- One Hero and one Hero Skin
- One Hero, one Skin, one Mount
Additionally, the following Bundle Packs have been added to the Shop:
- Hellhammer Thrall Bundle
- Luxoria Skin Bundle
- Luxoria Complete Bundle
The following Bundle Packs have been removed from the Shop:
- Altered Fates Skin Bundle
- Altered Fates Complete Bundle
- Winter Veil Jaina Bundle
- Winter Veil Complete Bundle
UI Updates, Hero Balancing, Alpha Tester Icons, Client Optimization & More!
In addition to the aforementioned features and updates, the Heroes team has continued making improvements to the UI, Hero traits and abilities, as well as quality of life features and bug fixes. If you're itching to dive into the nitty-gritty changes, or if you're eager to see whether or not your Hero successfully avoided the nerf bat this time around, be sure to check out the full list of Closed Beta Patch Notes and don't forget to opt into the beta if you have yet to set foot in the Nexus.
For all of your Heroes of the Storm needs, be sure to keep it locked to Heroking and ZAM for the latest news, information and updates surrounding the Heroes Closed Beta and beyond.
We'll see you in the Nexus!
Corey "Cyglaive" Jenkins
Follow Corey on Twitter @Cyglaive