Lt. Morales, a character inspired by the famously sultry StarCraft Terran unit The Medic, is the next up for release in Blizzard's MOBA Heroes of the Storm. She looks like a strong and adept healing-friendly support. But what I'm really excited about is her ult.
"Ult" is MOBA-speak for "super powerful game-changing ability." They're the ones each character in Heroes and its close brethren League of Legends and Dota 2 unlock last as they level up over the course of a match. Heroes in HOTS have two different ults to choose from, and one of Morale's really stands out. It's called "Medivac," and is based on another Terran unit -- this one an air vessel that can heal surrounding allies and transport ground units over hazardous terrain.
Blizzard has adapted the StarCraft Medivac into an ult by making it something like Tahm Kench's in League of Legends. Kench, you might recall, is a gigantic man-eating catfish who can swallow an ally:
...and then zoom to another point on the map with his teammate in tow -- dropping in to surprise enemies or maybe escape from a tense fight:
The main difference between Kench and Morales is that Kench can only swallow and then travel with one teammate. Staying true to StarCraft tradition, the Medivac can transport multiple units -- i.e., an entire team.
Early Medic adopters who've been playing around with her in Heroes of the Storm's public beta have quickly realised how nuts it is that you can transport your whole friggin' team across the map in an instant, making for some downright silly moments and advanced tactics. You can, for instance, take a ride on the Medivac straight to the enemy's core and start hacking away at it to try and close out a game all of a sudden, like YouTuber BlinkHotS tried to do -- though it didn't work out all that great in this clip:
Or you can use it to zoom across the map and create a sudden ambush for some poor, unsuspecting enemy. Like this Valla:
Jeeeesus. That Valla just had her day ruined.
As a diehard Zeratul player, I already thoroughly enjoy sneaking up on Valla and taking her out when she least suspects it. But Morales takes ganking the crap out of people to a whole new level.
I'm excited and also more than a little scared.
Also, just as a side note, I love the animation that the Morales players get to see when they go into Medivac mode -- it makes the screen look like the vehicle's cockpit for a few seconds:
These are the sorts of details that make HOTS such a treat.