Heroes of the Storm‘s first major event is underway, opening the gates of hell and spewing forth all kinds of Diablo-related stuff into Blizzard’s excellent MOBA.
The Eternal Conflict event adds three new playable characters to the existing lineup of Heroes, to be rolled out gradually over the next few weeks: The Butcher, Leoric and the Monk. The former two are classic villains from Blizzard’s ARPG franchise, while the Monk is one of Diablo 3‘s playable character classes.
First up, the Butcher. The fat, greedy demon – a staple of the Diablo series – fills the unlikely role of an Assassin class Hero. The Butcher is able to gain additional strength by gathering “fresh meat” from the bodies of fallen enemies, while his Brand ability debuffs enemies so that he gains health with each attack. Finally, his Lambs to the Slaughter ability chains enemy players to a post for 4 seconds – a near-certain death sentence in a game as fast-paced as HotS.
Leoric, better known as the Skeleton King from Diablo 3, a Warrior class Hero who rises from the dead as a wraith whenever he is slain. In this form, his attacks slow down enemies while speeding up his return to life, whereupon he will take corporeal form again at the location of his wraith.
The final Hero to be added to the game this month, the Monk is a Support Hero who is adept at healing allies, but at the moment Blizzard isn’t revealing much more. Players are directed to keep an eye on the game’s official website over the coming weeks in order to learn more as it’s made available.
Aside from the new heroes, a number of Diablo-themed skins and mounts are added to the game, along with two new battlegrounds, the first of which is the Battlefield of Eternity. You can check out the Battlefield of Eternity in the video below.
Lastly, during the event Treasure Goblins will randomly spawn during a match. Killing these critters will award in-game gold to Heroes.
“We’re excited to bring the world of Diablo deeper into the Nexus and introduce our first Battleground based on an existing universe,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard. “Players are in for a hellishly good time with the Butcher and other Heroes on the Battlefield of Eternity, and we can’t wait to add more Diablo-themed content to Heroes of the Storm as the Eternal Conflict wages on.”
Brian Kale reviewed Heroes of the Storm for Continue Play and was impressed, awarding Blizzard’s answer to DotA a “great” score of 8/10. “If you find the time investment needed to learn a MOBA intimidating, or the mechanics too daunting, Heroes of the Storm could serve as the perfect entry point into the genre,” Brian wrote in his Heroes of the Storm review. “Heroes continues the polish that has become something of a Blizzard trademark; it’s great in short bursts, and about as accessible you’re likely to find in such a notoriously inaccessible genre.”
For more Diablo-related stuff, why not check out our Reaper of Souls review? And if you’re a fan of the Butcher, Joe Yang wrote a lengthy retrospective looking back at the original Diablo game and the first encounter with the iconic monster. Take a look.