Angels and Demons
The newest patch for Heroes of the Stormhas hit the public test realm (PTR), which includes a number of character changes and reworks, in addition to the big piece of new content set to hit next week — theBattlefield of Eternity map. The Butcher is also set to arrive on June 30, but was not part of this testing session.
Fortunately, I had a chance to play the new arena yesterday, and I’m really excited for it to be a part of the normal rotation.
The layout is extremely simplistic. It’s the game’s only other two-lane map, in addition to Haunted Mines, and sports a few extra hallways for mercenary creeps, as well as its main event in the middle (which I’ll get to later). In short, I’m happy to see another smaller map in the fray, as Heroesis built on short matches and fast, frantic team fights even towards the beginning of the game. New minion and creep skins make everything feel fresh, as does the Heaven vs. Hell theme which permeates throughout the entire arena, and differentiates both sides more than any MOBA I’ve seen. Random Treasure Goblin events (which can happen on any map) featuring Deckard Cain as a guest announcer only drive this point home.
The main gimmick (objective) is flashier for sure. In short, two immortals will be locked in battle after a certain period of time passes, and it’s up to both teams to tip the scales in their favor. While your respective God is fighting, you can either defend it, or go after your rival, which will test your teamfighting mettle right off the bat. You’ll have to do this while the other immortal is occasionally stopping to attack your team, so it can be a really risky affair (much like the Grave Golem) — but it’s worth it not only for the reward, but to see the badass animations that the immortals boast while fighting at certain intervals.
It’s a thrill, to say the least. Unlike some other objectives it feels paramount to help your God out, and constantly keeps you entertained. After destroying the other God your ally will jump into a lane and help you push, which usually destroys an encampment as long as most of your team is there to assist. The key is that the skirmishes feel like they matter, but they don’t completely determine the flow of the game — you can win some, and lose some. Another main reason why the immortals are a good idea is because they don’t take you out of the game or force new players to learn a new strategy, like the Garden Terror and Dragon Knight do.
Really though, it’s just great to have another Blizzard franchise properly represented in Heroes of the Stormwith an original work. Many complaints were levied against the current maps for being “Heroes of Warcraft”-esque, so adding in one that helps balance the scales a bit is a good move. It will be available on June 30, and a smaller map rotation will be implemented until July 7 so you have a higher chance to get Battlefield of Eternity.