At Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm Spring Summit this past Monday, the developer revealed some significant changes that will be coming to the MOBA game in the 2.0 update. These changes include an overhauled progression system, the addition of loot chests, tons of new cosmetic items, and a new character named Cassia.
Heroes of the Storm will be getting rid of level caps after the 2.0 update. Player progression is currently capped at level 40 and individual heroes at level 20. These two systems will be combined so that the player level is the sum of hero levels gained. All previous XP gained will carry over to the update, so if you happen to play beyond the progression caps, you will be leveled accordingly.
XP gaps between each level will also be reduced to make for faster, more frequent progression. This comes in addition to the level cap being removed, and is due large in part to the rewards that will be tied to player progress.
Each level will now grant the player a loot chest. Heroes 2.0 guarantees a basic loot chest, which rare and epic loot chests are rewarded for reaching specific milestones. A chest of certain rarity is guaranteed to drop at least one item of that rarity, and there is a chance of dropping items of higher rarity. You can use Gold to reroll loot chests as well.
Each chest will contain four items which can consist of playable heroes, portraits, voice lines, and announcer packs. Heroes 2.0 also introduces new types of items including banners, emojis, and sprays.
Emojis will be part of in-game chat and hero-specific emojis are unlockable. Sprays let you tag the battleground. Banners are flags that can be dropped on the battleground. Additionally you can organize and package cosmetics into loadouts so you can enter a match with specific skins, mounts, banners, and sprays. Each character can have up to three loadouts.
The in-game shop will also be renamed Collection, which will include a crafting mechanic using a new item called Shards. Crafting with Shards is another way to obtain cosmetic items instead of progressing or using real money. The currency system will also now include Gems, which will now act as real money. Gems can be obtained with real money or through progression, and players get 1000 gets for hitting level 5.
A new hero, Cassia, also arrives with this update, her abilities are as follows:
- Avoidance (Trait) – Grants her 65 physical armor when moving unmounted, meaning she’ll take 65 percent less damage against basic attacks.
- Lightning Fury (Ability) – A javelin projectile that splits into two bolts that can hit nearby enemies.
- Blinding Light (Ability) – An area-of-effect (AoE) ability that blinds enemies in its target area for two seconds. It takes 0.5 seconds to activate. Cassia also deals 15 percent extra damage to blinded enemies.
- Fend (Ability) – Cassia charges with a flurry attack that damages targets every 0.25 seconds for 1.5 seconds. Multiple targets can be hit within a small range, but Cassia is immobile for the duration of Fend.
- Ball Lightning (Heroic Ability) – A projectile that can bounce around enemies up to six times, dealing damage with every hit.
- Valkyrie (Heroic Ability) – Summoning a Valkyrie will pull and damage the first enemy hero hit and stun them for 0.5 seconds. Enemies in the path will be knocked back. This ability takes 0.75 seconds to activate.
Open beta for Heroes of the Storm 2.0 starts today and it will officially launch at the end of April. Additional content for Heroes 2.0 will be revealed in the coming weeks as well.