This week is Tychus week in Heroes of the Storm! Blizzard released an awesome trailer introducing him to the Storm. He is a ranged/assassin hero who can commandeer the Odin as one of his potential heroic abilities and gaining a whole new set of abilities, the other being more stationary in the Drakken Laser Drill. His trait is interesting in that he charges up his weapon and then has the fastest attack speed in the game. He certainly has a fun skillset, and I’m sure I’ll pick him up at some point (most likely as Abathur’s Ultimate Evolution, though I’m sure I’ll pick him up in free rotation to begin with).
- Overkill (Q): Focus Tychus’ minigun on the target, dealing 3760 (720 + 160 per level) damage to the target over 5 seconds. Other targets in the cone take 940 (180 + 40 per level) damage. Can retarget while casting.
- Frag Grenade (W): Tychus lobs a grenade that explodes for 560 (85 + 25 per level) damage. Enemies hit are pushed away from the explosion’s epicenter.
- Run and Gun (E): Charge forward and instantly wind up Tychus’ minigun.
- Drakken Laser Drill (R): Summons a Laser Drill that deals 155 (22 + 7 per level) damage per second.
However, if you pick the Odin as his heroic ability (R), you lose the Drakken Laser Drill, and gains a second health pool and reducing all Crowd Control effects by 50%. Basic Attacks in the Odin do heavy damage and no longer require a windup. Tychus gains the ability to fire Ragnarok Missiles and Annihilate to devastate a large area:
- Annihilate (Q): Tychus fires the Odin’s cannons in a straight line, dealing 20 damage to everything in its path.
- Ragnarok Missiles (W): Tychus launches missiles at everything in a radius around him, dealing 20 damage to each target.
- Nuclear Blast (E): Tychus calls down a nuke at a target location. After a short delay, the target area explodes for 200 damage.
We also see the first major patch of the alpha, bringing massive changes all round (over 9000 changes, according to object strings and game strings) though changes to heroes can be found here! In addition, earlier on last week we received news that the technical alpha has been released, with a few lucky people in the US being able to access the game to test out how it works on different machines and internet connections, to make sure that it’s stable across a spectrum of different players. Today however, Reddit users have posted that these invites are also being sent to the EU now too!
The best part about this alpha? There is no NDA! What this means is that people are free, once the alpha goes live, to share images, videos, blog posts, podcasts to talk about what’s happening within the game and how it plays! This is a first for Blizzard, considering past alphas have generally been for friends and family of Blizzard only, and have also been under the NDA. However, I’m sure Blizzard knows the strong competition within the genre they’re entering, and want to be able to build up as much hype as they can about the game, so this may be why they’re changing their stance for Heroes at least in terms of alpha. Whether we’ll see the same for Warlords of Draenor is a different matter entirely, but it’ll certainly be interesting to keep an eye on.
As a final note, it’s interesting to see Blizzard hashtagging #TychusWeek. Does this imply a new hero each week now that alpha is starting? I guess we’ll find out in due course!
In related Heroes of the Storm news, Blizzard have also released a new blog post (these updates are coming out like wildfire now!) concerning some of the major systems within the game and how it will work. You can check out there entire blog post here, though I will briefly summarise what has been announced so far to round out this blog post. Please note that when talking about levels in this summary, we’re talking about your Heroes of the Storm level, not the level of your hero in matches:
- Every Tuesday (maybe Wednesday for EU, but we’ll assume it’s Tuesday globally for now) we get a new rotation of free heroes to try out. Before you hit level 7, this will be restricted to five heroes. Once you hit level 7, this increases to six heroes for free each week.
- At level 5, you can begin to earn gold as a currency, that increases in quantity the more you level up. This gold can be used to purchase heroes so they’re in your rotation permanently.
- At level 6, daily quests can be completed for more gold. Though only one new quest will appear each day, you can have up to three in your quest log at any time.
- You can test out heroes whether or not they’re on free rotation in a closed bot match called “Try Me” mode, away from other players, so you can get a feel of how a hero plays if you’re thinking of investing into a purchase of them.
- If you can’t wait to get to level 5, you can also buy the heroes for real money. People who pre-order Diablo III: Reaper of Souls get a free unlock of the Demon Hunter, Valla.
- In addition, heroes will have unlockable skins with three or more tints (colour variations) to choose from – one base tint that comes free, and two more that are unlockable.
- The first unlockable tint is available at the second Hero Quest, the second tint at the fourth Hero Quest.
- Some skins will be able to be purchased with real money, others from events, and some from a hero’s sixth Hero Quest. All of these additional skins will have three or more tints to choose from.
- Mounts are used instead of boots found in other MOBAs, and everyone gets a free standard horse. More mounts can be unlocked with real money, and a special one will be unlocked for those making purchase in the alpha/beta stage of the game. Each of these mounts also have three tints to choose from, unlocking the final two at the hero’s fifth Hero Quest.
- Increasing your out-of-match and gaining experience for it is done in matches by completing quests, playing with Battle.net friends, achievements earned in matches as well as a win bonus for the winning team.
- Hero Quests are available at level 10, allowing you to complete three special challenges for a hero.
- Once you hit level 20, you can dig even further into a hero and complete three more Epic Hero Quests.