Hold on to your Murlocks because Heroes of the Storm is about to change drastically. The upcoming Heroes of the Storm 2.0 update is going to be the biggest renovation to Blizzard’s MOBA since the ranked overhaul last year. In addition to a new hero, Cassia the Javazon, Heroes of the Storm 2.0 is putting an emphasis on progression and customization. Even though the new system won’t be fully integrated into the live client until later this year, it should be available on the test server starting today.
Out With the Old
Let’s face it, the current progression system in Heroes of the Storm is boring. Hitting the account level cap of 40 doesn’t take much time and the hero leveling system is based on the antiquated talent gating mechanic, which isn’t even in the game anymore. Furthermore, once you hit level 10 with any hero progression basically becomes a standstill for all but the most dedicated players.
Thankfully, the Blizzard developers know this as well and the entire system is getting a rework. In Heroes of the Storm 2.0 there will be a new progression system that closely resembles the one in Overwatch. First of all, level caps are being removed from the game and account levels will now reflect a player’s combined hero level.
Additionally, the leveling curve has been tweaked to allow heroes to rank up more quickly, and the experience requirement will plateau at level 12. Finally, all current hero levels will be converted to the new system without experience loss. The most dedicated players could login and find their account level to be in the hundreds or even thousands.
But why does this matter? In addition to a new leveling system, there will also be new rewards. When players rank up they will continue to receive gold and portraits, but they will also collect Loot Chests. Player will receive a common Loot Chest at every level and Rare, Epic, and Hero-specific chests for reaching certain milestones.
Even common chests have the potential to contain nearly every item in the game including heroes, but higher quality chests will contain at least one item that reflects their rarity. Furthermore, gold can be used to re-roll Loot Chests, but the cost will increase with each attempt on a single chest. There will also be items exclusive to Loot Chests including the Prime Evil Diablo skin, which looks awesome by the way!
The Collection System
Real money transactions are being removed from the game and there will now be three currencies: Gold, Gems and Shards. Gold will continue to be used to unlock heroes. Gems will be the premium currency that players can purchase with real money and can be used to buy heroes, Stimpacks and Loot Chests. There will be a reward of 1000 Gems at account level 5 and smaller quantities will be rewarded at varies levels of Account progression. Finally, Shards will be obtained from loot chests or receiving duplicate items and can be used to forge cosmetics.
The Shop itself will be replaced with the ‘Collection’ tab to better represent the wide variety of items present and the customization that players will have with their heroes. In addition to Heroes, Skins, Mounts, and Portraits there will be a variety of new vanity items added in Heroes of the Storm 2.0 including: Banners, Sprays, Announcers, Voice Lines and Emojis.
Want to show off how awesome you are? Your equipped banner will crash down onto the battlefield whenever you take a fort, mercenary camp or other key objective. Sprays can be placed across the battleground to mark your territory or simply make a point. Want to listen to an entire game announced by Abathur? Me neither, but now there’s that option, along with many other characters from the various Blizzard franchises.
And if you want to do the talking, each hero now has a set of voice lines to choose from that can be used to taunt the enemy team. For even more expression, there will be hundreds of emojis to pick from to show exactly how you’re feeling at any given moment.
The Death of Dyes
Individual dyes will no longer exist in Heroes of the Storm 2.0. Instead, each dye will represent an entirely new skin that can be crafted separately. No need to panic just yet. Skins that players have already unlocked will transfer and include each of the colored variants.
In exchange for removing the dyes and requiring each skin be crafted separately, crafting prices have been kept relatively low. Plus this means that if you truly hate a specific color combination then it never has to enter your collection (unless you unlock it via a Loot Chest). The level requirement to craft Master Skins is also being removed and they will now be treated like standard skins.
With all of the awesome mounts and skins currently available, having to pick just one standard loadout for each hero can be a drag. No longer will that be a problem. With the launch of Heroes of the Storm 2.0, players will gain access to three separate loadout options for each hero they have unlocked. These loadouts will include: Skin, Mount, Banner, Spray, Announcer and Voice Lines. Basically, everything previously available and newly added to the game can be customized in the loadout screen. The exception will be emojis, which will be bound to accounts instead of hero loadouts.
From what we got to test out at the Heroes Summit, the new loadout system is a major improvement over the current design and adds a lot more personality to the cosmetic system. Having a choice of three loadouts per hero is a much needed addition, and the new progression system will add a lot more incentive to play the game and level up different heroes.
Unfortunately, the Loot Chest system wasn’t implemented in the test build, but if it’s anything like Overwatch I’m sure it’ll be well received. I’m definitely looking forward to the Heroes of the Storm 2.0 update and hopefully I’ll see some of you in the Nexus.Related: Blizzard Entertainment, Heroes of the Storm, Heroes Summit, MOBA, Preview