Blizzard announced a bunch of new goodies that are coming to its fresh-faced MOBA Heroes of the Storm today at PAX East. Another map, which looks very cool, is being added to the game. More importantly, however, there's a rad hero character incoming: Sylvanas.
Here's her official trailer, assuming you're into that sort of thing:
Ok, but let's be real: who gives a shit about the story in a MOBA? The really good stuff is in this ability video:
In Blizzard's PAX presentation and a related blog post, Heroes developers described Sylvanas as a "siege character" who excels at dealing lots of damage in short bursts thanks to her special super-sneaky abilities. Let's take a closer look at those.
Her Q, "Withering Fire," shoots a phantom out of her backside to attack enemies behind her. This looks like a great way to defend yourself against incoming bad guys while simultaneously keeping your focus on the target at hand:
Her W, "Shadow Dagger," eats away at its target (or targets) over time, which makes it great for crowd control — i.e., getting rid of a handful of minions at once:
"Haunting Wave," her E, looks like it will be my favourite Sylvana ability. Using it shoots out a bunch of creepy cloudy-looking phantoms, which she can then transport over to. This makes for some great tactical moments, like tricking out an opposing hero:
As for her ult? She can possess enemies. That sounds like something that would definitely come in handy, especially for all those tense moments when there's one stubborn holdout keeping you from taking full control of a lane:
Ok, onto the map. Blizzard described "Tomb of the Spider Queen" as "a small map that feels like a knife fight in a closet." Creepy! The developer continued:
It's a dark and moody interior space where you destroy enemy minions to claim the gems they drop. Turning these gems in will summon a powerful wave of Webweavers to attack your enemies. You drop any gems you're carrying when you die, but while your enemies can't pick them up, savvy opponents may deny your teammates the opportunity of retrieving them.
Here's a short video of it in action:
As always, the real fun will begin once players get their hands on the new stuff and start figuring out what it's really capable of.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said that Blizzard had announced two new maps for Heroes of the Storm, not one. Many helpful readers quickly pointed out that the map "Sky Temple" is already in the game. For whatever reason, Blizzard spoke about Sky Temple and Tomb of the Spider Queen in a similar way in their announcements today. I apologise for the error. The post has been updated with the correct information.