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Heroes of the Storm patch sees Kharazim join the fight

Heroes of the Storm Kharazim

Blizzard has rolled out a new Heroes of the Storm patch that drops the monk Kharazim into the action, makes changes to Ranked Play, brings Dynamic Bundles to the shop, and incorporates numerous design and balance tweaks. There's also a spot of information about a new Battleground that will be unveiled next week.

For the next three weeks, Diablo III players who log into Heroes of the Storm will be given the Diablo Hero, and beginning with Season 4, Diablo 3 players who reach level 70 with a Seasonal character will also be given Malthael’s Phantom. Those who reach Player Level 12 in the game will also receive a new Heroes of the Storm-themed portrait border and pennant in Diablo III. Numerous new portrait rewards have been added, and there's a new Special Event Quest that will award a special portrait to any player who kills 50 Treasure Goblins.

All that Diablo III stuff comes about thanks to D3 bruiser Kharazim, the Monk of Ivgorod. His addition to the game was actually announced at the PC Gaming Show in June, although it wasn't until earlier this month that we got a closer look at what he brings to the party. Several other Heroes and Skins have been given "additional visual polish," and the Demonic Tyrael and Blood Elf Tyrande skins are also back in the shop.

Changes to Ranked Play, first mentioned during Gamescom, have also been made: Hero and Team League are no longer separate on out-of-game menus, and it's no longer possible to create named teams; players who spent gold to create named teams in the past will have it returned.

It's a big update all around, with a significant number of changes made to gameplay elements as well as individual Heroes. Fortunately, Game Designer Matt Cooper peppered the patch notes with "insights" into why Blizzard opted to go in one direction or another. If you're a Heroes player, you'll want to read the whole thing, which you may do at Battle.net.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.