Blizzard has big plans to expand the Heroes of the Storm universe this year, beginning with the Dark Nexus content drop that's set to go live tomorrow. Ahead of that, game director Alan Dabiri and creative content lead Kevin Johnson got together to talk about what lies ahead for the Nexus, which will include an increased focus on the game's own unique setting.
Heroes of the Storm is known for bringing together characters from other Blizzard universes—it's a place where Deckard Cain can lay some whoopass on Junkrat and nobody thinks it's weird—but the Nexus itself hasn't really been explored in its own right. That's a shortcoming that Blizzard would like to address going forward.
"It will give us this foundation and this canvas to really bring content into the game in a cohesive way," Dabiri says in the video. "When we bring skin drops in, when we bring battlegrounds in, we can actually kind of tie it all together, which is a goal that we have for this year – to actually have this cohesive story that carries through the whole year."
That doesn't mean that Heroes of the Storm will be moving away from the current "playground" of Blizzard characters and settings. Dabiri said the goal is to expand the amount of "Nexus-born" content that appears in the game, potentially including content that doesn't originate from Blizzard universes. It's not just a "story thing," he explained: "This is also a visual identity, this is sound, this is cinematics, and comics"—including one released today, Rise of the Raven Lord, about the Realm Lord of Ravencourt.
External content like the comic is a big part of the plan, but the game itself, through skins, changes to battlegrounds, and changes to the UI, will also reflect that shifting focus toward Nexus-centric narratives. When the Dark Nexus skin drops arrive, for instance, the UI will be modified as well "to reflect the corruption that has happened as a result of the Raven Lord's actions in summoning them."
Those Dark Nexus skins, a couple of mounts, and the Rise of the Raven Lord comic cover can all be seen below.