Fresh off Heroes of the Storm’s Americas Championship games that went down this past weekend, Blizzard teased out some fresh
MEAT content coming into the MOBA. Seems to me like the developer has really stepped up its game for alternate character skins lately.
First they gave a sneak peek at the next two upcoming heroes—Artanis, a Protoss warrior, and Lt. Morales, the official name for a support toon drawn from StarCraft’s Medic unit.
They didn’t show anything to do with either hero’s ability kit (though they’ve previously described the Medic’s, which you can read about here), but they did show their in-game looks, which are very snazzy. Morales, for instance, has a color variation for her master skin that makes her look an awful lot like a certain Nintendo character who’s been sadly...underrepresented as of late:
Artanis also comes in with another installment in the HOTS Killzone-lookalike skin line:
...or maybe a Decepticon? A Michael Bay Decepticon, at least. UPDATE: Anime noob that I am, I didn’t realize that the Artanis skin is a pretty clear reference to Unit 01, a character from the classic series Evangelion:
Either way, he’s an awesome complement to Tassadar’s Autobot-esque skin:
As well as Anub’arak’s:
And that’s not even my favorite stuff. Hand and pirate hook down, the best new skin has to be this swashbuckling version of the flying Warcraft dwarf assassin Falstad:
Buccaneer Falstad shoots cannonballs instead of throwing hammers:
And throws anchors instead of...more hammers:
Then there’s the Wild Wild West version of StarCraft’s iconic Terran hero Raynor:
He reminds me of the shotgun-wielding champion Graves from League of Legends:
...which makes a lot of sense, considering that Raynor is the closest thing HOTS has to an ADC-type character (ADC is a well-populated and popular position in League that hasn’t really transported over to HOTS...yet).
Marshal Raynor’s themed abilities are pretty subtle. Though, really, it’s always the little details that make MOBA skins stand out. He fires a shotgun blast that drops shells, for instance:
...plus his healing and area-wide team buff abilities show adorable little sheriff stars:
Then come the mounts—the mighty steeds that Heroes characters ride into battle in-game. There are a few rejiggered versions of the standard HOTS horse, which are fine I guess. One completes Marshal Raynor’s non-outlaw look, at least:
There’s also a Tron-ified version of the game’s default “battle beast” mount, which I found notable mostly because the trailer makes it look like Murky is either in absolute agony or total ecstasy while half-riding, half-humping the thing:
But the really cool ones are the two new StarCraft mounts. There’s the “void speeder,” based off Zeratul’s ship “void seeker”:
In a nice touch, the Diablo III Monk character Kharazim hovers above the void speeder whilst perched in his lotus position:
How zen of you, Tin Man!
Then there’s the classic Terran vehicle, the Vulture, which is pretty much the perfect option for a fan-servicey HOTS mount:
It looks even better with shirtless Tychus riding on top:
(Thankfully, he’s still wearing pants.)
Blizzard didn’t give clear release dates for the new stuff, but based on the regular Heroes schedule, I’d expect to see all the rad new skins and mounts (and characters!) drip their way into the game over the next few weeks.
CORRECTION (9/22/15): An earlier version of this article misidentified Lt. Morales as a Sergeant Morales. This was inaccurate; Morales’ comrade Sgt. Hammer is the one Terran unit in Heroes of the Storm that holds the rank of Sergeant. We sincerely apologize for breaking the StarCraft ranks in such an insubordinate, borderline mutinous fashion.
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