Heroes of the Storm Details Mephisto and Reworked Hanamura

The Lord of Hatred from the Diablo universe is coming to the Nexus. Heroes of the Storm has officially confirmed its latest Assassin Mephisto with the usual in-depth look on the game’s website and in video form.

mephisto

Mephisto is a ranged Assassin character who excels in putting out sustained AoE damage to multiple targets while also being able to evade CC abilities. His latent trait, Lord of Hatred, decreases the cooldown of all of his skills with every target hit, which links nicely into the fact that all of his attack abilities do something bad to everything nearby.

As for CC avoidance, that’s where his Shade of Mephisto Heroic ability comes into play. This basic ability teleports Mephisto to a targeted location, deals damage in a small PBAoE burst, and creates a Shade that he ports back to after 2.5 seconds. Mephistot will even return to his Shade’s location if he is stunned or incapacitated.

Of particular note among Mephisto’s Talents is Shade Lord, which provides a significant upgrade to Shade of Mephisto, adding every level 7 Talent to the ability. This means Shade of Mephisto will slow enemies and grant Mephisto himself added armor and speed.

In addition, Heroes of the Storm has offered a breakdown of updates to the Hanamura map, which was pulled from the game for a bit of tinkering. These tweaks include a single payload among other changes, which are outlined in this video. You can also get a closer look at Mephisto’s abilities at either his hero page or in the spotlight video below.

Our Thoughts

Mephisto absolutely looks like one of the more aggressive members of the Assassin roster, so we suspect locking him down before he can disrupt multiple targets will be key. As for Hanamura, we hope these new changes will make the map more appealing to players of the MOBA.

Source: YouTube

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Wrecking Ball Crashes into Overwatch

One of the most talked-about hero arrivals to Overwatch in some time has officially landed on the active roster. Yep, the Wrecking Ball character launch has come, bringing his unique design and kit of tanking tools to the team-based shooter. Whether anyone likes it or not.

wrecking ball character launch

Wrecking Ball’s aggressive kit includes quad cannons and a personal shield, along with a minefield that can cover an area in explosives for some zone denial. The party piece of the new character, however, is his ability to roll into a ball for mobility and deploy a grappling hook that causes him to swing in ball form, using the mech’s body as a weapon when it hits speed to smash unaware targets or slam into the ground from the air with his Piledriver move.

In celebration of Wrecking Ball’s arrival to Overwatch, Twitch Prime members are able to claim two Wrecking Ball loot boxes for free through September 3rd. Twitch Prime members can also claim an additional gold loot box in September and October with their membership.

A full breakdown of Wrecking Ball’s abilities and more can be found on his hero page, while a trailer full of hamster-piloted mechanical mayhem is below.

Our Thoughts

He’s definitely a thing, folks. A wonderful, random, madcap, violent, destructive, adorable and deadly thing. We are definitely going to take this new tank character for a spin or two soon as well as pat ourselves on the back for not making any Miley Cyrus references.

Sources: press release, Twitch Prime website

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Overwatch’s Next Hero is a Hamster

There’s really no way to sugar-coat that headline, friends. Turns out the ball-shaped 28th Overwatch hero wasn’t just a round robot, but a hamster ball. With guns. And it also appears that Hammond isn’t the chimpanzee many perhaps thought he was, making monkeys of us all in the process.

28th overwatch hero

The latest video from the Overwatch Twitter doesn’t really tease things so much as essentially whips the cover off of the 28th roster addition, with the round robot stopping in its tracks long enough to demonstratively open fire and reveal the pilot within.

The tweet also mentions that “the champion” is revealed, likely providing a little nod to the previously mentioned clue of the Junkertown advert where a round robot was declared the champion of a mechanical gladiator event.

That’s about all we’ve got for now, so we’ll just go ahead and embed the tweeted video below and let you take it in.

Our Thoughts

Oh gosh, doesn’t he look so pleased with himself, though?? Now that we think about it, Hammond makes an astonishingly good name for a hamster. Further, Overwatch is not the first game to consider murderous, technologically advanced hamster people in its canon. So all that remains is to learn all of the specific details, which are likely coming soon.

Source: Twitter

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Overwatch Possibly Teases Hero 28

Well, we were pretty right in that the wall from the previous tease was full of red herrings. Overwatch Hero 28 might have been teased by the game’s Twitter account with a surprising arrival.

That looping short video is what we’ve got this time around, as the wall from the prior reveal seems to indicate that the next piece of Overwatch content isn’t a map but just a backdrop for the game’s next hero, who is apparently capable of turning into a giant metal ball and rolling around the map.

Prevailing speculation seems to be that this next hero will be Hammond, the missing Experiment 28 from the Horizon Lunar Colony. Supporting this theory is an update to the in-game map of the same name that now lets players into Hammond’s room for the first time, which houses within some blueprints for a spheroid escape pod.

Additionally, an advertisement poster from inside the Junkertown map makes reference to a mech called Wrecking Ball, declaring it the champion of a mech gladiatorial event of some sort. Whether this means this roly-poly new hero is this Wrecking Ball, or if Hammond spent some time fighting in this pit using a modified escape pod as a suit of armor is up for all sorts of speculation.

Our Thoughts

Sources: Twitter, Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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StarCraft’s Fenix is on Heroes of the Storm PTR

Another character of a particularly popular Blizzard title has often said that heroes never die. That certainly would extend to StarCraft character Fenix, the Protoss Templar whose slain body was implanted into a Dragoon and is now spider-walking his way onto the Heroes of the Storm PTR.

fenix

Fenix is a ranged Assassin character that excels in sustained damage. He has passive shielding that takes damage before he does directly and features plasma blasts that can switched on the fly to either a fast-firing single-target Repeater Cannon or a heavy-hitting Phase Bomb with greater range and splash damage.

Fenix’s other abilities include a circular attack that slows enemies it strikes, the ability to Warp a short distance in any direction, and Heroic Abilities that either lock on to multiple targets in a wave in front of him or fires a massive column of plasma in a straight line across the entire battlefield.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of Fenix’s Talents below:

Tier 1

  • Advanced Targeting (Quest): Hitting enemy Heroes with Plasma Cutter permanently increases Fenix’s Basic Attack damage by 1, up to 80. Reward: After hitting 30 Heroes, Plasma Cutter circles an additional time.
  • Arsenal Synergy: After hitting enemy Heroes with Basic Attacks 3 times while Repeater Cannon is active, the next Basic Attack while Phase Bomb deals 100% more damage and splashes in a 50% larger area
  • Mobile Offense: After moving unmounted, Fenix’s next Basic Attack deal s35% more damage to Heroes

Tier 4

  • Target Acquired: Basic Attacks against Slowed Heroes with Repeater Cannon active grants 10% Movement Speed for 4 seconds up to 40%
  • Inhibiting Energy: While Phase Bomb is active, Basic Attacks against Heroes Slowed by Plasma Cutter Slow all enemies in the area by 35% for 4 seconds.
  • Emergency Protocol (Trait): When Shield Capacitor’s Shield becomes depleted, gain 30% Movement Speed for 5 seconds
  • Warp Conduit: Hero Takedowns reset Warp’s cooldown.

Tier 7

  • Combat Advantage: Plasma Cutter deals 50% more damage to Slowed targets
  • Warp Warfare: After arriving with Warp, gain 125% Attack Speed for 4 seconds while in Repeater Cannon mode.
  • Divert Power: Weapons: Activate to instantly drain Shield Capacitor’s Shield, but increase Basic Attack damage by 80% of the Shield drained for 5 seconds.

Tier 10

  • Purification Salvo: Channel for 1.5 seconds, sweeping a laser in front of Fenix that locks onto enemy Heroes. Once Channeling finishes, fire 5 missiles at each locked Hero, dealing 86 damage each. Deals 50% increased damage to Slowed targets.
  • Planet Cracker: After 0.5 seconds, Channel a powerful beam that spans across the battleground for 4 seconds, dealing 122 damage every 0.25 seconds to non-Structure enemies hit.

Tier 13

  • Adamanium Shell: After arriving with Warp, gain 40 Armor for 4 seconds
  • Dampening Field (Trait): Fenix gains 15 Spell Armor while he has a Shield from Shield Capacitor
  • Rapid Recharge (Trait): Whenever Fenix is healed, Shield Capacitor’s Shield recharges for 20% of the healing received.
  • Auxiliary Shields (Trait): Permanently reduce Fenix’s maximum Health by 10% but increase Shield Capacitor’s Shield by 20%. Basic Attacks regenerate Shields equal to 20% of the damage dealt.

Tier 16

  • Photonic Weaponry (Trait): Fenix deals 15% more damage while he has a Shield from Shield Capacitor
  • Offensive Cadence: Every 3rd Basic Attack against Heroes while Repeater Cannon is active deals an additional 6% of the target’s maximum Health as damage.
  • Arsenal Overcharge (Passive): Fenix’s Basic Attacks reduce his Ability cooldowns by 0.5 seconds

Tier 20

  • Secondary Fire: Hitting an enemy Hero with Plasma Cutter fires a Purification Salvo missile at them after 0.5 seconds, dealing 86 damage. Deals 50% increased damage to Slowed targets.
  • Singularity Charge: Repeater Cannon grants 200% more Attack Speed, and Phase Bomb grants 2.5 more range.
  • Unconquered Spirit (Trait): Upon taking fatal damage, Shield Capacitor regains 600 Shields. This effect has a 120 second cooldown.

You can also watch more of Fenix in action in the Hero Spotlight video below.

Our Thoughts

Fenix could definitely be a potent piece of harassing assault for Heroes of the Storm and the fact that he gets some shielding seems to be pretty handy…provided he doesn’t get focused down himself. Are you intrigued by any of this new arrivals tools?

Source: press release

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Brigitte Arrives to Overwatch on March 20

We’ve been delighted at the techno-paladin’s initial reveal and now we’re going to see her land on the roster properly next week. Overwatch has confirmed the Brigitte launch date of Tuesday, March 20th, which we will now officially call “PallysDay” because we can.

brigitte launch date

With the recent wrap-up of testing on the PTR, it looks like the new Support hero is ready for primetime. The most recent posting for the patch offered a few tweaks to Brigitte, including an adjustment to her Shield Bash ability and an increase in cost to her Rally Ult.

Until Brigitte makes her way into the game entirely, the devs have offered a blog post featuring community artist Kim-Seang “Nesskain” Hong and his commissioned piece of Birgitte art. There’s also a new video featuring Overwatch character artist Ben Zhang talking about the creation of the character’s look in both her regular and alternate skins, which you can see below.

Happy early PallysDay, everyone!

Our Thoughts

It’s no doubt that Brigitte’s look is already having an impact with fans of Overwatch, but we’re also interested in seeing what sort of impact the new character will make to gameplay, both in Arcade and Competitive. Are you looking forward to stepping into the armor of Brigitte, or do you think she’s not going to be that big of a deal? Feel free to share your own impressions below.

Sources: Twitter, official forums

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Overwatch Officially Reveals Brigitte

Yep, we (and likely everyone else) have figured out the 27th Overwatch hero’s identity. It is, indeed, Brigitte Lindholm. And sure enough, she’s totally going to wield a rocket flail and a shield into battle because the game could absolutely use a techno-paladin.

brigitte

Described as “a valiant squire who battles on the front lines to protect her allies”, Brigitte is the youngest of Torbjorn’s daughters and can be found fighting alongside her godfather Reinhardt. Previously, she mostly focused on repairing Reinhardt’s armor, but decided that fixing equipment can only be so helpful and has created her own gear to take the more direct approach.

As a Support hero, Brigitte uses hits from her flail to draw away enemies and issue a passive healing aura that helps nearby allies with every strike. Brigitte can also issue a shield in front of her to offer limited protection to allies behind her and shield bash the first enemy in front of her to stun them, or deploy Repair Packs to heal wounded allies or offer armor to fully healthy allies. Finally, her Ultimate ability, Rally, grants a large armor boost to her team and ramps up Brigitte’s movement speed.

Brigitte is currently available to play on the PTR right now. You can learn more about each of her abilities on her hero page and check out her backstory in the video below.

Our Thoughts

Another Support hero! We most definitely didn’t expect this. We have to admit, a lot of Brigitte’s kit definitely sounds like an interesting avenue to being a healer, granting players the opportunity to help out their friends while not hiding in the back line. Consider us intrigued.

Source: official site

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Overwatch Continues the Hero 27 Breadcrumb Trail

When we first reported on the starting clues leading to an Overwatch Hero 27 reveal, we sort of figured that maybe the Turkish-born Emre Sarioglu was a bit too on-the-nose but also possibly the new roster add. Looks like that might be a red herring as some new posts seem to indicate Torbjorn’s daughter, Bridgette, will be the next roster addition. Maybe.

overwatch hero 27

The first clue leading in this direction was shared on the 24th of February, which provided a lore link to a letter penned by Torbjorn to his wife Ingrid after the ambush in Turkey. In the letter, Torbjorn mentioned offering to let Reinhardt name his then-unborn daughter if it would shut him up from recounting their rescue.

Yesterday, a new image was shared on Twitter of a weapon schematic along with a possible new voice line for the character. The mace has component names in what looks to be both German and Swedish and could almost be considered a merging of Reinhardt’s hammer and Torbjorn’s forge hammer, inspired by the heroism of both Bridgette’s father and the man who saved her father’s life.

Once more, though, this is all wild assumption. Still fun, though.

Our Thoughts

Okay, so Emre isn’t it. Or maybe this is a weapon made for Emre to wield? Ah, we’re not very good at these guessing games, clearly. Of course, we’ll be sure to keep waiting for new clues arise for the next Overwatch hero and likely leave the Sherlock’ing to those who are more clever.

Sources: official site, Twitter

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Overwatch Begins to Tease a Potential New Hero

Here we go once again! The potentially long and bumpy ride to the reveal of the 27th Overwatch hero has begun, starting off with a tweet of a fictional debriefing from one of the game’s existing heroes that might offer a clue on who’s next…or at least can let one’s gears turn.

27th overwatch hero

The tweet provides a quick look at a write-up from Ana Amari in reference to Operation: White Dome. In the report, Ana recounts an ambush that she and her team survived after deployment to deal with omnic resistance in the outskirts of Istanbul, Turkey. The report offers several names, including Reinhardt, Torbjorn, and one PFC Emre Sarioglu.

The sleuthy fans of Overwatch are on the case after this teaser, with at least one person assuming that the ambush in question hints at the next Uprising event. The same fan also believes that “White Dome” could refer to a mosque in Istanbul, that Torbjorn suffered his arm and eye injuries during the ambush in question, and that Sarioglu, a native of Turkey, will be the next hero – quite possibly a tank, inspired by the heroism of Reinhardt which saw the strike team through the attack.

Naturally, none of this has been officially tied down yet, but hey, it’s fun to kind of ponder things, wouldn’t you agree?

Our Thoughts

A named individual certainly seems a little too on-the-nose…but then again, considering the rest of the report was discussing what happened to Reinhardt and Torbjorn specifically, it also doesn’t quite seem like a red herring. We’re just going to have to sit and wait and wonder…or talk among ourselves with our own best theories in the comments below, of course.

Sources: Twitter, Overwatch subreddit

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Heroes of the Storm Adds Maiev and the Lunar Festival

The latest PTR patch to Heroes of the Storm is a pretty loaded one this time around, with the MOBA getting another addition to the Assassin roster and the start of a Heroes of the Storm Lunar Festival event full of seasonal treats for players.

heroes of the storm lunar festival

Maiev Shadowsong, the doggedly determined Warden, has released to HotS. A melee-based Assassin character, Maiev has a variety of skills that allow her to evade enemy attacks while hindering targets from fleeing. Her trait, Vault of the Wardens, allows Maiev to leap into the air and become completely immune to all damage for just under a full second, while her Spirit of Vengeance ability allows her to throw out a shadow of herself for a short distance and then Blink to its location if she so chooses.

Maiev’s Heroic lockdown abilities are particularly impressive, with a Containment Disc that Time Stops an enemy and completely blocks their vision for four seconds, while Warden’s Cage creates a ring of allies that will shove surrounded enemies back to the center of the ring at least one time.

For everyone else (or those who don’t particularly care to play Assassins), there’s the Lunar Festival as well, which offers up new skins and mounts along with seasonal sprays and portraits. The event also has a Lunar Rocket Racing mini-game that has players riding on top of giant firework rockets and collecting power-ups through a seven-lap race course.

The update also has a number of features including a new target info panel and some adjustments to Malthael, Greymane and Tyrael. HotS is also introducing a new voice chat feature, though that function is currently only available on PTR, with release to the live servers to be included at a later date.

Patch notes are available here, details on the Lunar Festival are here, and Maiev’s Hero Spotlight is below.

Our Thoughts

We really love Maiev’s set of tools. Of course, she’s not a hard counter against all characters, but her lockdown skills could prove suitably disrupting and her penchant for attacking multiple enemies at once could make herding foes deadlier. But in the meantime, we’re looking forward to racing on the top of huge firework rockets.

Sources: official site 1, 2

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