Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sollosi's Most Wanted Heroes in Heroes of the Storm

Here is the third (but *maybe* not final) part to my Heroes of the Storm blog post series.  Here I get theoretical as I name ten heroes that I would love to see enter the Nexus in the near future. 

If you're interested in reading my prior two posts on Heroes of the Storm,  they're right here:

An explanation of MOBAs, Heroes of the Storm in particular

My favorite heroes in Heroes of the Storm

Moreso than any other game with the exception of Super Smash Bros., Heroes of the Storm encourages baseless theorycrafting for its future cast.  Drawing from Blizzard's rich lore of hundreds of characters from WarCraft, StarCraft, Diablo, and "classic Blizzard," HotS has a hugely varied cast that will slowly expand for years and years (hopefully).  So naturally fans are speculating who comes next, and I join the HotS fantasy-bookers enthusiastically. 

Including the brand-new Cho'gall (and counting them as two characters), Heroes of the Storm has a cast of 45 playable heroes, with three more confirmed (Greymane and Lunara from WarCraft, and Tracer from OverWatch).  This is how these 48 characters break down:

WarCraft: 25 heroes
StarCraft: 11 heroes
Diablo: 10 heroes
Classic Blizzard: 1 hero
OverWatch: 1 hero

Speaking to my specific preferences, I want more Diablo heroes, ASAP.  Diablo is my favorite Blizzard series by a longshot, and the thought "Heroes of the Storm needs more Diablo characters" was a major motivating factor for me to write this list.  But I still enjoy WarCraft and StarCraft, and most of all I want Heroes of the Storm to have a diverse, entertaining cast and not just more of my favorite Diablo characters.  Thus, the list below isn't 100% Diablo, it's 50% (could've easily been 80%).  Just admitting I have a bias.  Also, I haven't played StarCraft II and only know a bit about World of WarCraft (played plenty of WC2, SC1, and WC3), so there's that. 

My considerations for the list aren't, uh, very well-defined.  Some are there because I wanted a certain kind of underrepresented character (either visually, thematically, or in gameplay) included.  Others are just character designs that I think are pretty awesome.  One character is in there (even though I've barely played his game) because I wanted a second "classic Blizzard" hero in there.  But that's enough background, here's the list:

Sollosi's Top Ten Most-Wanted Heroes in Heroes of the Storm

OverWatch heroes
Role: Multiple

This is being categorized as "unreleased" only because OverWatch is in beta.  I'm not in the OverWatch beta and honestly I'd prefer to see the game receive an official release before OverWatch heroes are included in Heroes of the Storm.  But with all that said, look at all these crazy cats! Levitating monk droid! Gorilla in space armor! Cyber-ninja!  SEVERAL giant robots!  Most of this cast looks dope, and I'm all for character diversity.  Bring on the OverWatch toons... after the Diablo representation increases a bit. 

Number Ten
Kyle Blackthorne
Role: Assassin

Early Blizzard was a pretty interesting game developer: you have the colorful and over-the-top Rock 'n Roll Racing; the cartoony puzzle-platformer The Lost Vikings; and then the "cinematic platforming shooter" Blackthorne.  Blackthorne's interesting as one of the first games to introduce a duck-behind-cover mechanic, but otherwise resembled a slow-paced Contra, with a human commando liberating his space-kingdom from aliens.  I think.  Anyhow, the title character of Blackthorne is little more than "dude with a shotgun" but I think that the Vikings need a buddy in the Classic Blizzard category in Heroes of the Storm and Blackthorne is by far the best candidate.  Blizzard's main challenge would be, uh, not to make him too similar to Raynor in gameplay. 

Number Nine
Role: Assassin or Specialist

The final boss of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, the Angel of Death seems like a no-brainer addition.  His boss battle has him summoning reaper super-ghosts, creating whirlwinds of death, launching all manner of unholy projectiles, and employing those dual sickles to great effect.  Surely a Heroes of the Storm kit could be derived out of all that.  Sure, his design is overly grim-dark and he resembles like fifteen other Blizzard characters, but I think Malthael would be a great addition, either as a hero-killing assassin or a lane-clearing specialist. 

Number Eight
Grom Hellscream
Role: Warrior

Grom Hellscream is the most awesome orc in WarCraft history, and one of the coolest WarCraft characters not yet in the Nexus.  He was a powerful Orc unique unit in WarCraft II, he had a strong presence and surprisingly emotional character arc in WarCraft III, and he even resurfaces as a major character in the alt-history WoW expansion Warlords of Draenor.  If that wasn't enough, Grom's son Garrosh becomes a major player in the Horde years after Grom's death.  Now, it's unclear if Grom or Garrosh is the more likely candidate to be the next orc hero in Heroes of the Storm, but I'm really pulling for Grom.  My heart's in WarCraft II and III. 

Number Seven
Role: Assassin

Blizzard mentioned that part of why Greymane and Lunara are the next Heroes of the Storm characters are because they wanted to see greater diversity in ranged assassin heroes in use - you'll usually see at least 2/3 of Valla, Jaina, and Kael'thas played in a given Hero League game.  So here's another mage assassin for you, Diablo III's Wizard.  Fire, ice, lightning, and arcane magic, the classic Slow Time spell for dampening projectiles, teleporting, transforming into a powerful Archon, there is so much cool stuff in the Wizard's kit that they could focus on any five of the Wizard's 30+ skills and have a damn good ranged assassin hero.  I would love to be able to play as all six Diablo III Nephalem characters in Heroes of the Storm, and the Wiz is the only one we need for a full set. 

Number Six
Role: Warrior or Assassin

Flamethrower-wielding pyromaniacs acting as Terran's melee infantry, Firebats were a key part of any Terran ground force in StarCraft, especially since they were so good for mopping up Zerglings.  I don't think there are any unique Firebats in StarCraft game lore, so you'd have to go the newly-made-character route like Sgt. Hammer or Lt. Morales.  A short-range channeled flamethrower would be awesome for a warrior or melee assassin build, especially if you paired it with a Terran stim pack and some type of engage or escape skill.  I don't know what StarCraft 2's interpretation of the Firebat is, but it's definitely the Terran unit I'd be most interested to see enter the Nexus. 

Number Five
Role: Support or Specialist

I love WarCraft trolls.  They look cool, have some really fascinating voodoo-inspired mysticism to their culture, and race lore suggesting an inferiority complex that makes me want to root for them.  If I had ever played WoW (and I've thought about it many times), I feel like I would've gone for Troll Warlock or Troll Shaman.  But there aren't any trolls in Heroes of the Storm yet!  Of the prominent Trolls in WarCraft, I'd pick Vol'jin over Zul'jin because his priest-ish Shadow Hunter kit is more interesting to me than Zul'jin's likely ranged assassin setup; and despite my preference for WC3 over WoW, Vol'jin is a much more prominent and important Shadow Hunter troll than Rokhan.  I mean, currently Vol'jin is the damn Warchief and that sounds pretty important. 

Number Four
Role: Assassin

Why do I have the Diablo II Sorceress ranked fourth and the Diablo III Wizard ranked seventh, when they would play the same role and the Wizard has a more diverse moveset?  Telekinesis.  Fireballs and Firewalls.  Frozen Orb + Meteor together.  A wider selection of lightning skills.  To me, the Sorceress and her spells are an iconic part of Diablo II's frenetic demon-murdering.  She has a great look, and a surprising place within the Diablo III story, as her ghost (named Isendra) communicates with the Wizard character during Act V.  I feel like the Diablo II Sorceress has as much, if not more, build potential than a WoW-style mage, and I really hope that she makes an appearance in 2016. 

Number Three
Role: Specialist

Belial is a manipulator, using guile and illusion to trick the denizens of Caldeum and seek out the Black Soulstone.  His plan fails and he falls to the Nephalem (of course), but he still stands out as a memorable villain. In Heroes of the Storm, Belial would naturally be a specialist that uses summons, illusions, and misdirection (somehow) to affect the entire map.  I'm talking decoys of every allied hero, messing with enemy fog of war, like some kind of Abathur-Azmodan combo with a dash of Nova.  Whatever.  If Belial ever makes it in, I'd love to see what twisted nonsense Blizzard comes up with. 

Number Two
Role: Warrior or Specialist

Fenix is one of the most memorable characters in StarCraft, a mighty Protoss warrior that dies in battle, only to be revived in a Dragoon armored pod.  Dragoons are crazy-cool Protoss cavalry units and Fenix is the signature Dragoon in StarCraft's story.  It's hard to say what exactly would be the best implementation for Fenix, because he's definitely a warrior in lore and attitude, but does the Dragoon unit fit a specialist style better?  My guess is that Blizzard would balance sustained ranged damage with heavy armor and a quick-revive mechanic (maybe similar to Diablo or Leoric, but not as extreme as Murky?).  Regardless, Fenix would be a fabulous addition to Heroes of the Storm. 

Number One
Role: Specialist

Probably the most popular Diablo II playable character, the Necromancer had really impressive build variety.  Skeleton summoning, golem summoning, bone-mancer, poison-mancer, ten different curse spells (but only three or four that people actually used), and classic Corpse Explosion Fishymancer.  There's so much potential for a Necromancer kit in Heroes of the Storm that I wouldn't know where to start.  It would have to involve summons somehow, so I'd classify a Necro as a specialist, but there are so many cool angles that I wouldn't know where to begin.  Probably a bone spell, a curse, and Corpse Explosion as QWE with skeleton summoning as his trait, a stronger summon for his R1, and a powerful bone-mancer spell for his R2.  Or something.  Haven't thought much about that (I am lying in the prior statement).  Damn. A 2015 version of the Diablo II Necromancer would be SO GREAT. 


I thought about doing a "bonus five" for this list like my prior Heroes of the Storm post, but no thanks.  Nothing really came to mind.  Characters from other game universes I want to see in HotS?  Waste of time, as Blizzard has enough characters to keep HotS Blizz-only for years.  Activision characters that might appear in HotS?  Not sure I can name five.  Favorite maps in HotS?  Meh. I like Dragon Shire and Sky Temple and don't like Garden of Terror or Haunted Mines; done. I'm going to keep this post a little less sprawling than my last two.  It's for best for everyone involved. 

This will probably be my last Heroes of the Storm post in awhile.  I had a lot of fun writing lists about HotS things for a few weeks, but now it's back to writing reviews!  Hopefully.  Maybe.  Probably.  ...I really need to get back on top of things.... 

No comments:

Post a Comment