Blizzard started their Gamescom 2016 reveals by dropping a whole bunch of new content announcements on their fans. One of these is the Starcraft-themed Heroes of the Storm Machines of War event, which will launch on September 13 and bring new heroes, maps, quests, rewards, skins and mounts to the Nexus. Fans will be overjoyed to hear that the newest additions to the roster are Zarya and Alarak, both popular figures among Overwatch and Starcraft players respectively.
Alarak will be available on September 13 when the Machines of War event goes live. He is a melee assassin whose abilities count a melee attack Discord Strike, a single character displacement ability Telekinesis, and a ranged attack Lightning Surge. His two choices of heroic abilities are Deadly Charge, a powerful AoE charge attack, and Counterstrike, which reflects an enemy’s attacks back at the attacker.
Zarya will not enter battle until September 27, but she brings a great set of abilities for a warrior hero. She will have a ranged attack called Particle Grenade, a Personal Barrier, and the Shield Ally ability which applies a barrier to a friendly hero. Her two ultimates revolve around either attracting or repelling her enemies within a certain area. Graviton Surge, works just like her Overwatch ultimate: it creates a temporary gravity surge that pulls in all nearby enemy heroes while dealing damage over time to them. The alternative is Expulsion Zone, which does the exact opposite of Graviton Surge by creating a circular barrier on the ground that expels enemies from that zone.
The announcement trailer shows off the Queen of Ghosts Kerrigan skin from the very beginning, as well as her confrontation with the new hero Alarak. She really steals the spotlight, but the second reveal trailer, featured below, shows us in more detail the other new hero skins coming to the Nexus.
The second trailer unveiled gives us a more in-depth look into Zarya and Alarak’s abilities as well as an overview of some new hero skins and their themed abilities. It also showcases the Ghost Speeder mount, which perfectly matches a ghost’s outfit.
The event would not be complete without two new themed battlegrounds. These are Braxis Holdout and Warhead Junction.
Braxis Holdout will feature only two lanes, four mercenary camps, and one boss in the center of the map. The primary team objective is to capture beacons around the map which fill your teams holding cells with armies of Zerg minions. Once either one of the cells are filled, both open and unleash waves of unrelenting minions at each team’s base, in a true invasion of the swarm.
Warhead Junction is more of a typical three-lane map with four mercenary camps and two bosses. Throughout the fight, multiple Warheads will spawn across the battleground map. Any player can collect the Warhead, which will activate a Nuke and “call down the thunder” on the enemy’s teams forts, however if a player is killed before using the Warhead, it will be dropped.
Before starting a match, players will be able to engage in the Xel’Naga Artifact hunt. The hunt to collect pieces and restore artifacts will be the subject of a daily quest, similarly to the treasure goblins’ encounters during the Diablo-themed event earlier this year.
Finally, purchasing the Machines of War bundle will give players access to all the StarCraft II themed skins and mounts in this update as well as the heroes Kerrigan, The Butcher and Rexxar.
We’re still not over the Queen of Ghosts Kerrigan skin to be honest, but otherwise this is a great chance for players to earn new rewards while enjoying a good old Starcraft-style brawl. We can’t wait to unleash the swarm on our enemies and relive the glory of so many zerglings crashing into the enemy base.
Will you participate in the Machines of War event? What are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!
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