Blizzard announced that Heroes of the Storm is getting a new battleground called Alterac Pass and a fresh event called Echoes of Alterac. In addition to this, the game's developers also revealed Yrel, a Draenei paladin from World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor. She's dubbed as a "deliberate melee warrior" sporting a unique wind-up mechanic that rewards premeditation, useful in close range encounters. With a host of abilities that have you charging them up before they can be used such as Righteous Hammer and Avenging Wrath that knock back enemies and slow them down respectively, we wondered what inspired the Heroes of the Storm team to go with this kind of hero. It turns out the answer was closer to home that you'd think.
"In World of Warcraft you have these specs [character specialisations] that play with two-handed weapons, they have this very slow feel to them where they do this slow wind up and there's a big hit. We wanted to capture this feel that she's using this big two-handed hammer and we wanted to feel that this was your fighting style, that you're slow and deliberate and not just lashing out. It's that kind of style you want to feel while you're playing her and I think that style really captured it. The moment the designer got up and pitched it to the team, it was so exciting, just thinking how it would feel to play it. So I'm glad it worked out," says Lead Hero Designer Matt Villers. He further elaborated on how this charge mechanic works in-game along with some tips on how to play as Yrel.
"She's got all three abilities that have this mechanic. You want to make sure you're charging up the correct one at any given moment and that goes into a lot of your thought process. As far as like a sweet spot the scaling is linear so it's not 1.25 seconds is the right moment. But because enemies can interrupt it with crowd control there will be moments you decide to activate it early or it could be that you change your mind and charge other abilities, so that could be a case where you release it early."
"The cooldowns are pretty short and there's no penalty for not getting maximum efficiency at every time. She has a lot of talents that tie into getting the maximum charge but she has talents that reward her for using an ability there's a lot of cases where you do want to fire off an ability on a shorter cast time to get those benefits instead. So there's a lot of fun ways you can play around with the decision making process of how long you want to spend charging and its really up to you to read the situation and find what the sweet spot is for yourself," he says.
Earlier on, the Heroes of the Storm development team shed light on what characters you can expect next, what shape the game's narrative will take in the near future, and why it won't be borrowing one of Fortnite's more lucrative elements anytime soon.
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