Heroes of the Storm News

Blizzard downsizes Heroes of the Storm team, cancels esports plans

Blizzard is cutting back on Heroes of the Storm - shrinking the game's team and cancelling its big esports events.

Staff will be moved to other internal projects, Blizzard said in a blog post today. There's no word on how many people will be left working on the MOBA.

Blizzard said it was a hard choice - repeatedly, using the phrases "very difficult decision", "tough choice", and "we don't make these decisions lightly" - but the game's staff were now needed elsewhere.

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Blizzard announces November dates for this year's BlizzCon

Blizzard has announced that this year's BlizzCon will take place on November 2nd and November 3rd, with tickets scheduled to go on sale in May.

BlizzCon 2018 will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center, California, and will feature the usual array of developer panels, Q&A sessions, cosplay, and contests. Attendees will also receive a commemorative BlizzCon goody bag containing "a cache of loot based on their favourite Blizzard games".

Tickets for the two-day event cost $199 USD and will be released in two batches. The first batch goes on sale at 7 pm PT on May 9th (that's 3am on May 10th in the UK), and the second will be made available on May 12th at 10 am PT/6pm in the UK. You can buy them here.

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Heroes of the Storm's 2.0 update adds loot boxes and a familiar face from Diablo 2

Blizzard has announced Heroes of the Storm 2.0, an update for the free-to-play MOBA that introduces a new reward system, new currencies, new items and a new hero.

Both per-hero and account level caps are being removed and experience curves flattened out to offer much faster leveling overall. Every time you level up, you'll receive a loot chest which has a chance to contain any item in the game - including new heroes, although these will be rare. At specific intervals - every 10 hero levels, for example - players will also receive special chests with guaranteed rare drops for that hero.

"The progression system was one of the areas where we really felt that we could do better," senior game producer Tony Hsu said. "One of the things you encounter with progression, is it feels good until you hit the level cap.

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You can play Tracer in Heroes of the Storm before the Overwatch open beta

Pseudo-British Overwatch hero, Tracer will be playable in Heroes of the Storm a whole two weeks prior to the launch of Overwatch's open beta.

Heroes of the Storm players who pre-purchase a digital copy of the Overwatch: Origins Edition on PC will unlock Tracer from the 19th April, with everyone else being able to purchase her from the 26th.

Although Overwatch is currently running an invite-only beta, it doesn't expand to an open beta until the 3rd May.

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New player reporting tools headed to Heroes of the Storm

Silence penalties designed to reduce toxic behaviour in Blizzard's MOBA.

A new reporting system is to be introduced with the next patch for Heroes of the Storm, in an effort to curb abusive behaviour from the more negatively excitable members of the player community.

Blizzard announces Infernal Shrines map for Heroes of the Storm

Blizzard announces Infernal Shrines map for Heroes of the Storm

New Heroes Rexxar and Artanis are on their way too.

Blizzard has announced a new Heroes of the Storm battleground during its media briefing at Gamescom this morning.

As the name suggests, Infernal Shrines features a trio of shrines which summon skeletons over time. The first team that manages to kill 30 of these crusty old creatures will enjoy the benefits of a summoned character called a Punisher. The Punisher comes in a handful of flavours, and has a taste for stunning, then obliterating enemy Heroes.

On the subject of Heroes, two new playable characters were revealed for the game as well. Rexxar, Warcraft's Hunter extraordinaire, is a ranged Warrior who brings the benefit of a beast into battle. His pet Misha doesn't require any micro-management on the player's part, and will generally attack whatever they happen to be getting stuck into.

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Diablo 3's Skeleton King and Monk announced for Heroes of the Storm

Diablo 3's Skeleton King and Monk announced for Heroes of the Storm

New characters lead a focus on Diablo-themed expansions.

Heroes of the Storm's Eternal Conflict expansion, announced recently and due for release on June 30th, represents the start of a series of content updates for the game that are focused on the Diablo universe.

Two new Diablo 3 characters headed to Heroes were discussed at last night's PC Gaming Show: Leoric, the Skeleton King boss who features in the first Act, and the playable melee-orientated Monk class. The loot-spitting Treasure Goblins are also being added in due course, giving players the chance to hunt them down for bonus gold during the early, preparatory stages of the match.

Like every over character in Heroes of the Storm, Leoric gains access to two Heroic Abilities as he levels up in each fight. The first of these is called Entomb, and allows you to throw a walled area at your opponent, trapping them temporarily as you march towards them. This can be useful for finishing off a straggler who's attempting to flee, or if you just want to isolate a priority target for your team to get stuck into.

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Blizzard announces Eternal Conflict expansion for Heroes of the Storm

Blizzard announces Eternal Conflict expansion for Heroes of the Storm

Take a butcher's at the upcoming new content.

Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm may only have just come out of beta, but there's already a new content expansion planned for the company's modern-day MOBA. Themed around the Diablo universe, Eternal Conflict introduces a new map to the game - Battlefield of Eternity - as well as two new characters.

The new battleground features a central combat arena with two surrounding lanes. Once spawned, each team will have to defend their own Immortal character, while at the same time attempt to take down the opposing team's. The victorious Immortal then commences to march along towards the losing team's defences, smashing anything in its path to pieces.

Johanna, the female fighter from Diablo 3's Crusader class, was released last Tuesday with the game's official launch, but the next content drop will also add The Butcher to the roster of Heroes. In Diablo 3 he's one of the meatier monsters you face off against as you make your way through the main story. In Heroes of the Storm he's an Assassin class character, one capable of dishing out sustained damage by gobbling up what's left of his previous victims. Nice.

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Heroes of the Storm enters open beta

Heroes of the Storm enters open beta

Blizzard celebrates with a new trailer.

Heroes of the Storm, the new MOBA starring characters from Blizzard's game franchises, has shifted from closed beta to open beta status ahead of its expected 2nd June launch.

To celebrate, Blizzard has released a new trailer which looks a lot like this:

Christian sat down with game director Dustin Browder back in January to find out what will make Heroes of the Storm different to the other MOBA titles jostling for attention. "One of our goals in this game is to have it keep reinventing itself for years and years and years," Browder explained. "We have this goal, I'll tell guys: Look, I want you to imagine yourself sitting in the same chair five years from now. Is it still fun?"

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Heroes of the Storm gets release and open beta dates

Blizzard's multiplayer online battle arena game Heroes of the Storm will be released this summer, 2nd June.

It's in closed beta at the moment - we're currently giving away keys - but open beta will begin 19th May.

The target player roster for launch is "more than 30 heroes", and there will be seven Battlegrounds. In HOTS these maps are better thought of as unique levels with themes and mechanics rather than as mere scene changes.

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Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm enters closed beta with big improvements

Blizzard's free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game Heroes of the Storm enters closed beta this evening with a raft of improvements.

The technical alpha version of the game goes offline this morning in order for Blizzard to apply a new patch. HotS is expected to come back online in closed beta form around 7pm UK time.

In the video, below, Blizzard's Kevin "Cloaken" Johnson runs through the update. There's a new and improved tutorial, which should help newcomers get into the game. But the headline addition for players familiar with HotS is ranked play, which arrives as part of the hero league (you need a level 30 account to take part). And the new draft mode means players can take turns picking and counter-picking heroes before a match begins.

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Heroes of the Storm closed beta date announced

Heroes of the Storm closed beta date announced

New characters, skins and game modes revealed for the upcoming MOBA.

Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard's first foray into the hyper-competitive world of the Mutliplayer Online Battle Arena [MOBA], will enter closed beta on January 13th 2015.

The news was revealed during the opening ceremony for the company's annual BlizzCon fan convention in Anaheim, California.

In addition to the closed beta date, Blizzard also revealed a number of new characters and cosmetic skins for the game.

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Beta sign-ups for Heroes of the Storm go live

Beta sign-ups for Heroes of the Storm go live

Blizzard re-unveils its MOBA.

Beta sign-ups for Heroes of the Storm go live this evening, Blizzard has announced.

Game director Dustin Browder took to the stage at BlizzCon to re-unveil the multiplayer online battle arena - but didn't announce a release window.

We saw a brief gameplay trailer showing battlegrounds, described as worlds with their own characters and ways to play.

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