What We've Learned From PAX East
After an awesome weekend, PAX East has finally come to a close, and we've learned quite a bit of new information about Heroes of the Storm. It is very important that we mention there is no release date for beta currently available and you should avoid sites which are claiming to giving out beta keys. If you get into Alpha or Beta, you will be given access directly onto your Battle.net account.
There were some screenshots available from the PAX East press kit which have some pretty interesting interface changes from the live client. We don't know if these will be making it to live, but it's definitely worth checking out. It looks like the questing system may be getting a huge overhaul in the coming patches.
- Level 1: "Quests" removed from UI
- Level 7: Wording changed from "Free to Play Hero" to "Hero Rotation Slot"
- Level 10: Now "Hero Progression" instead of "Hero Quests"
- Level 20: Now "Ranked Play" instead of "Epic Hero Quests"
- Level 30: New! "Ranked Play" (Yep, it's on here twice)
- Mounts navigation moved to the second tab, from the third.
- The skins navigation has been removed.
- A new bundles tab has appeared. Is this the skins tab replacement?
- Custom Games tab is active. Currently, it is not available for alpha.
- The Quests icon at the top right corner of the client has been removed.
Previously, we had released datamined information on Heroes that were likely to show up in the game and released a full list of unreleased Hero abilities that we obtained. As it turns out, we had some pretty great data from the client that Blizzard poorly hid from us and we knew about the four announced Heroes before PAX. Say hello to Brightwing, LiLi, Murky, and Zagara! Brightwing and LiLi will be available for play this Tuesday.
In addition to these four Heroes which we will be seeing soon, we were given a sneak peak at another three, who funny enough, we have some data for too! Chen, Kael'thas, and Sylvanas will have more information at a further date. Check out their unreleased abilities!
The only Heroes which we have information on but Blizzard has not publicly address are: Anub'arak, Azmodan, Blademaster, Cho'gall, Jaina, Mekkatorque, Mengsk, Rexxar, and Thrall. We'll keep our eyes open for more information on these heroes.
New Hero Models and Skins
Blizzard is going to be updating the Hero models of Uther, Barbarian, Arthas, Diablo, Falstad, Kerrigan, Nova, Tassadar, and Tyrande, to increase their quality. All the updated models have removed the glowing eyes that Heroes have been equipped with since the start.
On the skins side of things, we're going to see seven new skins introduced into the game, two of which are for new Heroes (LiLi and Brightwing). In addition to these skins, new ultimate skins are going to also make an appearance and will be rewarded to players who prove themselves with their Heroes. The ultimate skins are upgrades to the normal base skins which make them look more epic.
Developer Interview by BlizzPro
Stephen Stewart of BlizzPro interviewed Heroes' Game Director, Dustin Browder, and Senior Artist, Phil Gonzales, to discuss the new information from PAX. We've recapped got the important things from the interview below, and to see the interview in its entirety, you can watch it below.
Quote from Dustin Browder and Phil Gonzales
- Brightwing and LiLi will be playable this Tuesday.
- Current plan with Ranked Mode is to know which map you will be playing on before you pick your Hero.
- You may be able to see what the enemy team is picking in Ranked, but they haven't come to a conclusion yet; the mode is still heavily in development.
- Gold earning rates are not set in stone, the team is still looking at feedback.
- The real money price structure is still pretty incomplete and they're reviewing feedback. Currently, the most reoccurring feedback from players is heroes are generally too expensive.
- They're mainly making sure that purchasing actually works in-game right now.
- The team wants to get Bundles into the store. (Bundles Tab UI screenshots!)
- They don't have an upper limit of Heroes they want to add in the game, but will keep adding Heroes until it feels like the right number. Most importantly, they want to keep Heroes unique.
- They want modifications to the game to be at least as good as they can be in Starcraft II.
- Hero Quests are very much a work in progress.
- Ultimate Hero Skins should be rewarded for completing the Epic Hero Quests.
- They want to reward players who not only win, but just play games.
- They do not want to add a concede feature to the game, but will evaluate if snowballing gets out of control.
- They don't have plans right now with a traditional achievements system.
- Tech Alpha = Lets make sure our servers work. Stuff is definitely not working correctly. Revisions will be made.
- HUD, Minimap, Talent UI is all going to be redone.
- No alpha keys. The current plan going forward is manual flagging of accounts only. (Opt-in here!)