Bear is driving! How can that be?
Heroes of the Stormis stepping away from the Diabloevent as of today, and is focusing more on Warcraft and Starcraftin the coming months. The Treasure Goblins are out, and Rexxar, the half-orc half-ogre is in, with his partner Misha the bear (albeit with some launch issues for some).
Here’s some quick thoughts on whether or not he’s worth your 15,000 gold.
Rexxar is a warrior, so it’s important to note outright that he’s going to be a bit more tanky than you’d expect, and doesn’t pack as much of a punch as an assassin. As a ranged character with a semi-microable pet, he’s a very good choice for newcomers, as he isn’t nearly as complicated as The Lost Vikings or Abathur. Think of Misha as more of an extension of Rexxar, and less of its own entity.
From both an aesthetic and gameplay perspective, I really like how Misha is designed. She’s always with you, and can run in even if you’re still mounted — so she doesn’t feel like a tacked-on summon. Additionally, she’s surprisingly aggressive for an AI, and I’ve seen her chase down enemies for a full 30 seconds. I also love her versatility, in that I can basically sacrifice her for a dive kill or to save my own skin, or even take camps by myself early game. If Misha dies, she’ll simply respawn (at first, within 14 seconds, with a more lengthy timer as the game goes on). It’s important to just note callously throw Misha to the wolves, as she does count as one fourth of a kill. It seems like, for now, that she cantake objectives, which is interesting.
Your actual abilities as Rexxar involve a Q line skillshot that slows enemies, a W that sends Misha forward to stun foes in a line, and an E that heals his pet. As you can probably tell with a slow and a stun (as well as any number of modifications as you level), Rexxar is very handy at chasing down foes, locking down healers, and running away, despite the fact that he himself doesn’t have a real escape. While his passive (the power to call Misha by his side or have her act offensively) and E aren’t all that exciting, the auto-attacks from his pet ensure that he rarely runs low on mana. As long as he’s being healed, he rarely every needs to go back to base.
As for his ultimate, you can take Bestial Wrath (a temporary buff for Misha) or Unleash the Boars (a short range homing attack that reveals and slows for five seconds), but I have a feeling that the former is going to be the most popular because it’s straight-forward, and highly effective. Like Johanna’s Blessed Shield, the boars are mostly situational and will require more coordination than a typical Quick Match allows.
Overall I’m pretty impressed with Rexxar and what he’s capable of, provided that you have the damage on your team to take advantage of his slows, stuns, and great initiation. It’s exciting that Blizzard is bringing a more streamlined pet class into the game, as most of the micromanaging is off-putting to new players. While I would love a fully autonomous Misha personally, I can deal with this.