The big announcement this week for Heroes of the Storm at Gamescom 2016 was the Machines of War drop. Similar to the previous Diablo-themed event, this StarCraft-themed event brings a host of new features to the game, including battlegrounds, heroes, mounts, and skins. Check out the cinematic trailer below:
Braxis Holdout consists of two lanes, four mercenary camps and one boss located in the center of the map. The goal is to secure two beacons that are periodically activated. Once a team has both, their holding cell begins to fill with zerg; anyone familiar with StarCraft knows of the infamous “zerg rush” — and that’s exactly what happens once a holding cell is filled. The gates open, and a flood of zerg race towards the enemy base, laying waste to anything they encounter on the way.
Unlike Braxis Holdout, Warhead Junction has an additional lane and boss. Players get to run around the map snatching up nukes whenever they pop up. If they don’t use them right away, they can be stolen by other players. It looks like the nukes can only be used against fortifications.
Hailing from the StarCraft universe, Alarak is a fairly devious sort. Manipulative and cunning, this Protoss has overthrown several leaders in his time. He comes with a Discord Strike and Telekinesis, but his Lightning Surge looks like a signature ability. Deadly Charge allows him to dash through groups of enemies while causing damage, while Counter-Strike allows him to send a shockwave forward, provided an enemy hero attacks him while he is “protected.”
Zarya is only the second hero from the Overwatch world (the first being Tracer unless you count Nova’s Widowmaker skin). She is an exceptionally strong woman who carries a very large gun. Her main method of attack looks to be her Particle Grenade, a projectile that explodes, dealing area-of-effect damage. Similar to her Overwatch character, she comes with a personal shield (Personal Barrier) and is able to shield her allies. What makes her potentially fun to use — read: how to annoy the enemy — she has one ability that will suck all the enemies in range into one area to be attacked, while another ability does the opposite, preventing them from moving through a designated radius.
Two new mounts are coming with Machines of War. The first probably reminds anyone who looks at it of the light cycle in Tron. The base skin is a cool blue color; should players elect to purchase the new Kerrigan skin, they’ll get this mount with it. It seems it will also be purchasable separately, as well as part of the Machines of War bundle. It comes in a sickly green and a neon orange as well.
The second mount is the Obsidian Cyber Wolf. A robotic, orange wolf, it looks like this one will only be available while the Machines of War event is running.
Three existing heroes are receiving StarCraft-themed skins: The Butcher, Kerrigan, and Rexxar. While The Butcher has been transformed into one of the zerg, Rexxar comes with some cool looking armor for him and Misha, his pet bear. Honestly, he looks like an orc version of Batman. The slickest skin is Kerrigan’s, as the Queen of Blades will be transformed into the “Queen of Ghosts.” Ghosts, of course, are terran operatives known for their ability to cloak and their psionic powers.
Machines of War officially drops Sept. 13, 2016. For now, we’ll leave you with this sweet art of the Queen of Ghosts sitting astride her Ghost Speeder.