Blizzard has been teasing something new for Heroes of the Storm for the last couple of days (a little of which leaked earlier, as our news team picked up on). Now it's official: The next hero to enter the nexus will be Chromie, a gnome dragon from the Warcraft universe, who will appear later this month followed by Medivh and a completely revamped ranked system in June. I got chance to play both of them at a preview event earlier this week, and they’re some of the trickiest heroes yet.
Chromie is a long range assassin whose abilities are all sand and time themed. While she can turn into a dragon in World of Warcraft, she surprisingly doesn’t have any sort of transformation abilities—instead spending the whole match as a gnome. All of her abilities hit hard, but come with long cast times, so the good Chromies will be separated from the great based on how well they can chain those abilities together.
Medivh, a Magus who has been around since the very first Warcraft, also might suprise a few people as he’s not an assassin. In fact, he barely deals any damage at all. Blizzard said the HotS Medivh is based on his appearance in Warcraft 3, and is a high utility specialist. He’s got a low-cooldown shield that negates all damage an ally would take, a long-range portal that can quickly move his team around, and the ability to turn into a raven and safely scout anywhere on the map. There’s such a shocking amount of utility in his kit that he could very well bend the meta around his very presence in the game. Check out my longer impressions of Medivh here, because this hero is nutty.
And finally Blizzard announced that it would be overhauling the current ranked system, to the point where it’s pretty much unrecognizable. Where you previously just ranked up from 50 to 1, with the player base being split evenly across those numbers, Heroes will now be using a league and tier system similar to StarCraft 2. Leagues are split up into Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster, with the last comprised only of the top 500 players in the region. Each league has five tiers, and a you’ll have to work your way up to tier one and win a promotion match to reach the next league.
Blizzard said it wanted rank to more accurately represent player distribution, which is a bell curve rather than the straight line of the previous system, with most players now expected to fall into the Gold to Silver range. It also wanted to make the process of ranking up more rewarding, with end-of-season rewards including gold, portraits, and even mounts based on your highest rank achieved. Season one will start June 14th and last 8-12 weeks, which will be adjusted going forward based on community feedback. You can read all the details here.