We live streamed some Heroes of the Storm games today! The first two games were ridden with lag for Mezzy so sadly they were not very good with disconnects. However after some changes the last two games went allright, so check them out below!
Blizzard also released a video with a preview for some master skins for the starcraft heroes!
Raid testing starts on Monday! Heroic modes will be tested first. Keep in mind that WoD heroics are current game normal modes.
Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below on all Beta servers.
Monday, July 21
The Butcher – Heroic Highmaul
13:30 PDT (16:30 EDT, 22:30 CEST)
Gruul – Heroic Blackrock Foundry
16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)
As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the boss being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.
Important Testing Notes
Q: How do I get into the raid zone?
A: In Stormwind, Orgrimmar, and your garrison, you may speak to Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade in order to teleport into the raid zone while it is open for testing. (The option to teleport into a zone will not be available when the zone is not open for testing.)
Q: What character should I use to test the raid?
A: Whichever you prefer. We will be scaling players’ effective level to 100 for raid testing, and their item level to an appropriate threshold for the encounter(s) being tested.
Blizzard released a new beasts of the savage lands preview and an announcement about changes to the heroes of the storm reward system! Check them both out below.
The lush Shadowmoon Valley appears peaceful and idyllic, lulling many would-be adventurers into a false sense of security as they explore its rolling hills and violet forests. But countless hidden perils lie waiting behind the tranquil façade, and only those well-armed with knowledge can hope to survive. What dangers lurk in the shadows?
Adventurers are often misled by the seemingly docile riverbeasts. Though slow to anger, once disturbed, a charging riverbeast is a ferocious sight: 4,000 pounds of fat and muscle storming toward its target like a runaway tram. Roaming draenei rangari have long been astounded by how much damage a rampaging riverbeast can take before it’s brought down, and draenei children are taught to keep a wide berth of shallow waters. Riverbeasts are characterized by their rock-like skin, likely developed during the early days of Draenor’s prehistory, when creatures of stone dueled for supremacy against the chaotic flora. Those looking to take a riverbeast as a trophy should take note of their durable armored flesh and tendency to charge unexpectedly.
A number of Draenor’s indigenous species blur the line between plant and animal, and the so-called podlings are the most vicious and chaotic of their ilk. Small and seemingly harmless, they work together to capture their prey, attacking only when they have numerical superiority. Explorers who pay attention to the color of podlings’ flowering buds can ascertain whether they favor poison, ensnaring, or physical attacks to incapacitate their victims. Once podlings have overwhelmed their quarry, they will drag the unlucky creature down into the weeds to fertilize a new generation. The clear lesson for adventurers: looks can be deceiving!
The majestic elekk graze contentedly across the grassy plains of Draenor, relying on their huge size and the support of the herd to keep predators at bay. Draenei explorers have determined that the animals pose no threat, as long as their young aren’t endangered or their water supply jeopardized. With the endurance to cover great distances and the ability to defend themselves by ramming or stomping attackers, these beasts have emerged as the draenei transport of choice. Explorers should take note of persistent draenei rumors that the Thunderlord Clan orcs torment and twist terrified elekk into vicious weapons of war, covering them in armor plating and inciting them to rampage when turned loose on their foes. Beware!
It was only very recently that draenei rangari managed to communicate with these enormous sentient trees, but wildly different ways of life—not to mention a completely different perception of time—have made further interaction difficult. The ancients get their name from their analogues on Azeroth; they are tied closely to a prehistoric plant lineage that unites much of Draenor’s flora and places them in opposition to the creatures of stone. These enigmatic ancients remain in the same area for hundreds of years and are reluctant to move unless their home is threatened. Adventurers should be cautious when harvesting the valley’s lumber, as they may find the forest fighting back.
Shadowmoon Valley is a dangerous place, but there are many deadly threats still to be discovered across the savage world of Draenor. Until next time, stay alive . . . if you can.
Upon logging in to Heroes of the Storm once our next Tech Alpha patch is released, you’ll immediately notice that the Leveling System progress bar and reward icons have been removed from the home screen. Never fear, they haven’t gone far! They’ve just found a new home in the freshly revamped Player Profile screen. Access your Player Profile by clicking the Hero portrait found in the top right corner of the home screen. Once you do, you’ll see your current player level and Hero portrait are now located at the top of the profile screen, and several tabs have been added to the left-hand side which can be used to navigate the your profile. Hero Progress Use this tab to track of the Experience Points and Rewards you’ve earned by playing games with each Hero. Rewards Here, you’ll be able to see which Leveling System Rewards you’ve earned, as well as those you have yet to unlock. Daily Quests Select this tab to keep an eye on which Daily Quests are currently available to you. Profile Summary and Match History Have been disabled during Tech Alpha testing.
Hero Progress and Rewards
|1||Heroes Start Here|
|2||Second Heroic Ability|
|3||Six Additional Talents|
|4||All Remaining Talents|
|6||Hero Portrait / Mount Variation 1|
|7||Skin Variation 1|
|8||Skin Variation 2|
|9||Hero Master Portrait / Mount Variation 2|
|10||Master Skin Unlocked|
</center> There’s quite a bit of information there, so let’s break down a few rewards that you may not be familiar with yet: Heroic Ability Following the patch, each Hero will begin with one Heroic Ability, and the second can be unlocked by reaching Level 2. Talents Talents are no longer completely unlocked for all Heroes at once by achieving player level 8. Instead, each Hero begins with two Talent choices available at each tier of in-game Talent selection. Six additional Talents, one for each tier, can be unlocked by reaching Hero Level 3. All of a Hero’s remaining Talents will become available at Hero level 4. Hero Portraits Hero Portraits are now unlocked on an individual basis by reaching level 6 with each Hero. Upon reaching Level 9, you’ll unlock that Hero’s Master Portrait, which features a shiny golden border. Skin Variations At levels 7 and 8, you’ll unlock Skin variations. With these, each Skin you own (including a Hero’s base model) offers three different options for customizing the look of your Hero in-game, for free! Mount Variations Mount variations will unlock at Hero levels 6 and 9. Much like Skin variations, Mount variations allow you to customize the steeds you ride into combat. Master Skin At level 10, you’ll unlock the ability to purchase a Hero’s Master Skin with Gold, which you can use to show off your prowess with that Hero in-game. Just like other Skins, a Master Skin features two variations, which you’ll have already unlocked by reaching level 10. This means that once you’ve purchased a Hero’s Master Skin, you’ll immediately be able to use its variations in-game. It is also important to note that any Hero Quests which are completed prior to our next patch will count toward Hero Levels, but partial Hero Quest progress will be lost.
- For example, if a Hero’s first Quest is already complete prior to the patch, that Hero will begin at level 2. If all six of a Hero’s Quests are completed, that Hero will begin at level 7.
- Additionally, if a Hero’s second Quest was only halfway complete prior to the patch, progress will be reset, and that Hero will begin at level 2.
Leveling System and Rewards
- For example, if you were halfway toward reaching player level 21, you will be reset back to the start of level 20 following the release of our next patch.
Let’s take a look an exciting new way to earn Gold in the next Tech Alpha patch.
Daily Quests and Gold
End of Game Screen
- All of the experience points and Gold you earned from your most recent match, as well as any rewards you’ve unlocked, will be counted up and detailed for you in the center of the screen.
- The large blue progress bar keeps track of your Hero’s current level, the XP you earned toward the next Hero level, and displays your next Hero level reward to the right.
- Similarly, the purple progress bar tracks your current player level, the XP you’ve earned toward your next level, and displays your next player level reward to the right.
- If you’re ever curious about which reward is coming up next, hover the mouse over the reward icons to the right of each progress bar to get a brief description.
Stats The Stats page is essentially the end-of-game Score Screen you’ve become familiar with in previous Heroes of the Storm builds. Much like before, you’ll still be able to see Takedowns, Deaths, Battleground Mechanic scores for each player, as well as elapsed game time, and XP earned during the previous match. Quests The Quests page offers another a look at all of the Daily Quests that are currently available to you in case you’d like to quickly check out which Quest to complete next before hitting the Play Again button in the lower left corner of the screen. Rewards The Rewards page displays all of the rewards you earned during the previous match.
That just about does it for our Progression System and reward changes in the next patch. Thank you once more for helping us test during this phase of the Tech Alpha. Your constructive input over the past few weeks has gone a long way toward helping us shape the changes we made for the impending patch. If you’d like to share more of your thoughts with us, be sure to drop by the Heroes forums and contribute there. Stay tuned right here at HeroesoftheStorm.com over the next few days to catch more exciting information about what’s coming to the Technical Alpha. Finally, don’t forget to drop by our live Developer Insights broadcast, starting at 11:00 a.m. PDT on Tuesday, July 22. If you’d like to submit a question for the Q&A portion of the show, kindly submit your queries to @BlizzHeroes using #HeroesQA on Twitter.
The patch notes for the beta have also been updated! Although not much seems to have changed, you can check out the full update here.
A few highlights:
- The human racial, The Human Spirit has been redesigned. It now increases Versatility, scaling with character level.
- Hunter Chimera Shot has been renamed Chimaera Shot. It is now a two-headed shot that hits two targets, and deals Frost or Nature damage. It no longer heals the Hunter.
- Death Knight Rune Tap has been redesigned. It now reduces all damage taken by 50% for 3 seconds. It also now has 2 charges, with a 40-second recharge time
- Mage Ignite now deals the same total damage with a 1 second period (down from 2 seconds). Base duration changed to 5 seconds so that duration when refreshed remains 6 seconds.
As three new zones hit the beta servers the third preview was just released by blizzard!
Built upon the remnants of an ogre civilization, Ashran looks deceptively like a nice enough island just off the coast of Tanaan Jungle. And it probably would be a lovely place to visit if not for the never-ending tug-of-war between the Horde and Alliance taking place in the central region of the zone. Then again, this might just be just your kind of excursion.
Ashran offers tons of opportunities for players to engage in a variety of activities, whether they want to go it solo or join a group, slay monsters, or engage in PvP with their rival faction.
Building World PvP into Ashran
Over the years, players have been asking for more opportunities to engage in world PvP, and we’ve experimented with a variety of approaches to that in places like Halaa and Wintergrasp. Creating opportunities for unscripted, unexpected skirmishes might seem simple on the surface, but they’re often difficult to engineer without sacrificing the unpredictable nature of these encounters. In its purest form, world PvP means no boundaries or limitations on when skirmishes break out. When creating areas specifically designated for PvP encounters, gameplay objectives will always have an impact on how people play and engage with each other. In the end, many will choose the path of least resistance to achieve their faction’s win condition, and sometimes that path involves simply ignoring other players.
In order to create the type of atmosphere that encourages more free-form world PvP in Ashran, we decided to apply lessons we’ve learned from the Timeless Isle. By giving players more personal goals and opportunities—such as killing creatures—players are more likely to find themselves spontaneously engaging in PvP to compete for them. We want players to get caught up in the moment and become emotionally invested in the outcome of each new encounter, whether it’s just getting the drop on a member of the opposite faction player or getting revenge for a stolen kill. While Ashran still has plenty of objective-based conflict (more on that in a bit), if you want that distinctive flavor of world PvP, the island has that for you too.
This Island is No Fantasy
Located off the coast of Tanaan Jungle, Ashran is a large, open PvP zone for players who have reached the max level of 100, and it offers a little something for everyone. Players can reach the island easily a few different ways, including using a flight path or by unlocking quick access within their Garrison once it reaches Tier 3. The more daring—or foolhardy—adventurers could also try doggy paddling to the island, but we don’t recommend it. (Seriously, we wouldn’t try it if we were you. You’ve been warned. In a world where pretty much everything wants to kill you, you’re best off traveling to an island of pure conflict the safest possible way. We really wouldn’t steer you wrong on this one.)
Unlike previous PvP zones, such as Tol Barad or Wintergrasp, no raid group is required to take part in the excitement, and the zone will cap out at approximately 100 players per side, opening the door to some truly epic-sized confrontations. To keep the action amped up, the same large group of regular realms will feed into the zone, so it’s likely you’ll run into some familiar faces whenever you visit, both friend and foe. There will be plenty of room to roam, as Ashran measures approximately the size of the Isle of Thunder. The intention is to provide as much of a true world PvP experience as we possibly can to those who choose to frequent the island. The odds may not always be in your favor, but with so many places to hunker down to either hide or lie in wait, there are plenty of opportunities to achieve whatever goals you’ve set forth for yourself.
The Lay of the Land
At each end of the island, separate from the conflict enveloping the isle, players will find a small sanctum of relative safety. Full-sized Horde and Alliance hubs sit behind each faction’s base, offering pretty much everything a regular city would.
Ready to dive into the fray? One main artery runs through the center of the zone, and it’s here that you’ll engage in an endless faction tug-of-war. At opposite endpoints, Horde and Alliance bases wait to be captured, and you’ll be fighting for control of five additional capture points as you make your way down the lane. Capturing these points along the way will push you and your faction toward the enemy base, making it possible to take the battle all the way to the opposing faction’s base. To effectively hamstring your opponents and hobble their efforts for a time, you’ll just need to take down their General within their base. Doing so will not only garner you bragging rights, but will also deny the opposing faction access to their General, who serves as a Conquest vendor.
At the central hub, the Ogre King stands waiting, flanked by his two bodyguards. Engaging one of the bodyguards and proving your worth in combat will win the Ogre King to your faction’s side, and he will fight for you for a time. But beware! His endurance is limited, and the longer he goes undefeated, the more susceptible to damage he becomes.
As in many Battlegrounds, each faction will have a Resource count available to them. Once a faction’s Resources drop to 100, they’ll get a little extra help via a randomly spawning Captain who will begin to fight for their side. Many of these will bear familiar names such as Swifty, who will fight for the Alliance, or Talbadar, who will fight for the Horde. There’s no guarantee who will ultimately come to your aid, however. Each time a side reaches this Resource count, a new random captain will join the fray.
Beyond the Tug-Of-War
There’s more to Ashran than the conflict in the central lane. Around Ashran there are additional points of interest (POIs) and monsters to slay. The various POIs offer a variety of random events which will allow players to win awards for the Horde or Alliance. Buffs can also be earned by killing other players or NPCs. There are currently seven POIs set around the edges of Ashran—we’ll go into detail on each of these later on down the line.
As you make your way around Ashran, you’ll be collecting currency from other players and from monsters you’ve slain. This currency can then be turned in at your base for additional bonuses for your faction, such as Mage Portals or a Warlock Gateway. Or you can choose to summon a random—and truly epic—NPC to join in the fight. You’ll want to take care, though, and plan your turn-ins accordingly. One losing encounter with a player of the opposite faction can strip you of your hard-fought treasure and have it wind up in their pockets instead.
You’ll also be able to collect zone-bound items (usable only on the island) to give yourself a little extra advantage as you take on the various challenges around Ashran.
For those looking for the next step in gear, Ashran will provide access to Conquest-quality gear that is unavailable elsewhere.
Building on lessons learned from the Timeless Isle and Alterac Valley, we want players who make their way to Ashran to always have something exciting to do, and to offer them a true world PvP experience. Whether your aim is to engage in PvP or take on the various points of interest, there’s bound to be something to get your adrenaline going.
Our perilous journey through Draenor now takes us into the treacherous jungles and unforgiving canyons of Gorgrond, where opposing primeval forces are locked in an eternal battle. We sat down with Senior Game Designer Steve Burke, Associate Game Designer Zachariah Owens, and Game Designer Ryan Shwayder to find out more of what this savage land has in store.
Located in northern Draenor, Gorgrond is where heroes either rise up and persevere or fall and become carrion for rylaks. After your initial confrontation with the Iron Horde (in Shadowmoon Valley for the Alliance or Frostfire Ridge for the Horde), this brutal, beautiful land divided by ancient hostilities is your next destination.
Zone Music Piece: The Foundry by Eimear Noone
At this point in our journey, players have survived the rigors of Tanaan Jungle and journeyed through either the majestic forests of Shadowmoon Valley or the icy expanse of Frostfire Ridge. What brings them to Gorgrond, and what’s the story waiting for them to discover there?
Steve Burke: After withstanding the Iron Horde’s initial assault, you’ll make your way into Gorgrond with a handful of allies to try to discover the Blackrock orcs’ intentions and find a way to thwart any plans the Iron Horde may have. It’s a perilous recon mission. Gorgrond is a land of giants embroiled in an epic struggle between creation and destruction. It’s the kind of place you avoid unless you have a death wish.
Gorgrond is a land of giants embroiled in an epic struggle between creation and destruction.
If you’re an Alliance player, you’ll enter the zone from the eastern coast, where you’ll get your first taste of things to come. You’ll immediately encounter an elite group of draenei known as the Rangari holed up in a hidden encampment, fighting for their lives against vicious plant-like creatures. When the dust settles, your group will join the Rangari survivors and make a retreat to a clearing deeper in the zone.
Horde players will enter the zone from the west, where you’ll encounter the Laughing Skull clan. These maniacal orcs are volatile and bloodthirsty, capable of extreme brutality—and as you experience Gorgrond for yourself, you’ll begin to understand why. The Laughing Skull orcs are struggling to maintain their ancestral territory, but the brutality of being constantly assaulted by the warring factions of the zone has forged them into bloodthirsty savages.
How would you describe the zone’s ambience? What’s it like?
Steve Burke: Gorgrond consists of two distinct regions, each reflecting the nature of its inhabitants. The eastern portion of the zone is filled with lush plant life and shimmering pools. It seems idyllic until you realize looks aren’t everything. The northwest region couldn’t be more different. It’s a dry, barren wasteland, but with a beauty of its own. Fantastic rock formations mixed with geysers and sulphur pools create an unconventionally vibrant environment.
Zachariah Owens: The forested region definitely isn’t what it seems. The creatures here are merciless in seeking out anyone who enters their territory. They will capture them, kill them, and then infest their corpses with plant life or mulch them into fertilizer. Basically, everything in this zone wants to kill or eat you—in that order, if you’re lucky.
Basically, everything in this zone wants to kill and/or eat you —in that order, if you’re lucky.
Which locations would you say are some of your favorites?
Steve Burke: Personally, I love the steam pools and geysers. They remind me of my visits to Yellowstone as a kid. I really like the level design of the whole zone. It does a great job at setting the scene for the events that take place.
Zachariah Owens: For me, it’s Evermorn Springs. The rainbow, the pristine lake, and the botani homes are a beautiful contrast to the decaying bones and corpses the grove rests upon. The majestic botani move here and there tending to the grove while their infested denizens patrol like mindless guards ready to attack anyone who would threaten the bloom.
Ryan Shwayder: Most of the zone has a really expansive feel to it, but two places in particular always grab my attention. The first is Gronn Canyon. It is filled with dangerous monsters and is a barren wasteland, but it’s also somehow incredibly beautiful. And the name is a pun, which automatically makes me like a place more. The second is Tangleheart, a lush jungle where botani are working to raise new ancients for their armies. The ancients here have fiercely embraced their susceptibility to fire . . . but you’ll have to delve into the jungle see how.
What outposts will players be able to build in Gorgrond, and how do they impact the Garrison?
Steve Burke:The outposts you build shortly after arriving in Gorgrond will provide a preview of a building you might want to include in your own Garrison. In this zone, you’ll make a meaningful choice between building a Lumber Mill and a Sparring Arena.
The Lumber Mill will grant access to the shredder, a vehicle you can summon throughout the zone. The shredder will grant powerful abilities and allow you to cut your way to otherwise inaccessible treasures and areas.
The Sparring Arena will provide a gladiator who will fight alongside you and bestow a buff that will increase in power based on your prowess. If you do the entire quest line, you will free up to five gladiators, each with their own distinct buffs.
Your choice of outpost will also determine which region of the zone you’re directed to quest through and have an impact on how you’ll assault the Iron Horde.
There’s lots left to discover on our journey through Draenor—be sure to check back for more zone previews soon.