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From Alarak and Zarya's abilities and talents to the Valla rework and other tidbits of info, here is everything you need to know about the future of Heroes of the Storm from Gamescom 2016!

Heroes of the Storm was the Blizzard game with the highest amount of announcements in this year's Gamescom. The Machines of War event is definitely something to look forward to, but that's not all! We had an interview with Kaéo Milker and Travis McGeathy, where they revealed - among other things - that there will be free heroes along with the StarCraft event. Travis gave some more details on this on Reddit:

Blizzard LogoBlizzTravis

Bit more detail that we've been sharing here at Gamescom:

Initial selection is Tyrande, Anub'arak, and Thrall. If you own one or more of those, there are three other heroes that will backfill in so you have options. If you own all 6, you'll get gold instead.

Applies to both new players and existing ones.

Usual caveat: until this is actually live it could still change.

(source)

Μoreover, Grubby tirelessly streamed the entire event and unveiled quite a lot of new features from what has come to be known as the "Gamescom patch". u/ThatRandomGuy42 transcribed the talents and the abilities of the two upcoming heroes, Alarak and Zarya. Here is Alarak, who will be a melee assassin:

Quote

Trait
Sadism: Alarak deals 100% Ability damage to Heroes.

Level 1
Without Effort (W)
Telekinesis no longer costs Mana

Power Conduit (E)
Reduces the Mana cost of Lightning Surge by 15

Applied Force (E)
Reduces the damage bonus of Sadism by 10%, but Telekinesis pushes 20% further

Wide Lighning (E)
Increases the width of Lightning Surge's beam by 50%

Level 4
Double Cross (Q)
Increases the range of Discord Strike by 25% and also hits in a line perpendicular to the forward strike.

Reckless Strike (Q)
Reduces the delay of Discord Strike by 0.25 seconds but if it hits an enemy you become Vulnerable, causing Alarak to take 25% damage for 2 seconds.

Cycle of Discord (Q)
Reduces the cooldown of Discord Strike by 2 seconds. If a Discord Strike hits no enemies, the mana cost is refunded and cooldown reduced by 3 seconds.

Extended Lightning (E)
Increases Lightning Surge range by 20%

Level 7
Chaos Reigns (Q)
! Quest: Each time Discord Strike hits a Hero, its damage increases by 3, up to 45.
! Reward: After hitting 15 Heroes, increase its damage by an additional 45.

Endless Energy (E)
! Quest: Heroes hit between you and the victim permanently decreases the cooldown of Lightning Surge by 0.2 seconds, up to 2 seconds.

Thunderstruck (E)
Reduces the damage bonus of Sadism by 10%, but Lightning Surge slows enemies hit between you and the victim by 70% for 1.5 seconds.

Level 13
Psychokinesis (W)
Increases the damage of Telekinesis by 100%

Pure Malice (Passive)
When a nearby Ally Hero dies, your Sadism bonus is increased by 8%, stacking up to 40%. This bonus Sadism cannot be consumed by Hasty Bargain and is lost on death.

Dissonance (Q)
Reduces the damage bonus of Sadism by 10%, but increases Discord Strike's silence duration by 0.75 seconds.

Hindered Motion (W)
Reduces the damage bonus of Sadism by 10%, but Telekinesis slows enemies by 40% for 1.5 seconds.

Level 16
Sustaining Power (E)
Increases the healing you receive from dealing damage to Heroes with Ligtning Surge by 30%.

Negatively Charged (E)
Increases damage dealt to enemies hit by the center beam of Lightning Surge by 100%, but does not generate any additional healing.

Quick Mind (W)
Reduces the damage bonus of 10% and the cooldown of Telekinesis by 6 seconds.

Projected Force (W)
Reduces the damage bonus of Sadism by 10%, but increases the range of Telekinesis by 25%.

Level 20
Counter-Strike/Deadly Charge
(Alarak gains the ultimate he didn't take at 10. The second Heroic will take over the Trait button)

Last Laugh (Active)
Cooldown: 20 seconds
Activate to remove all roots, slows, and damage over time effects and teleport to the chosen location. Activating Last Laugh will immediately reduce Alarak's Health to 1.

Hasty Bargain (Active)
Cooldown: 20 seconds
Activate to permanently reduce your Sadism bonus by 4% and reset the cooldowns of your Basic Abilities.

(source)

And here is Zarya, who will be a warrior with a lot of support options:

Quote

Trait
Energy: Each time Zarya's Personal Barrier or Shield Ally absorbs 11 damage, her Energy is increased by 1. Each point of Energy increases Zarya's damage by 2%. After 0.5 seconds, Energy decays by 3 per second.

Level 1
Feel the Heat (Passive) Zarya's Basic Attack deals 50% additional damage to enemies in melee range.

Maximum Charge (Passive) Regen Globes now instantly grant 20 Energy. ! Quest: Spend 120 seconds at or above 50 Energy. ! Reward: Gain an additional 25 maximum Energy.

Demolitions Expert (Q) ! Quest: Each 5 enemy heroes hit by Particle Grenade reduce its recharge rate by 0.25 seconds, up to 2 seconds. ! Reward: Once Particle Grenade has hit 40 enemy heroes, its radius is increased by 15%.

Together We Are Strong (E) Every 11 damage done by allies while under Shield Ally contributes 1 Energy, up to 25 Energy per shield.

Level 4
Give Me Twenty (E) ! Quest: Regeneration Globes increase Shield Ally absorb amount by 15, up to 300 permanently. ! Reward: After collecting 20 Regen Globes, permanently reduce the cooldown of Shield Ally by 3 seconds.

I Am The Strongest (W) Personal Barrier absorbs an additional 164 damage.

Defensive Shielding (Passive) Upon expiration or breaking, Personal Barrier and Shield Ally reduce the damage of the next 2 Hero Basic Attacks within 12 seconds by 75%.

Speed Barrier (E) Shield Ally increases the allied Hero's movement Speed by 25% for the duration.

Level 7
To The Limit (Passive) While above 50 Energy your Basic Attack size is increased by 35%.

Hit Me (Passive) Damage absorbed by Zarya's Shields contributes 20% more Energy.

Pinpoint Accuracy (Q) Particle Grenade deals 40% more damage to enemies hit by the center of the blast.

Explosive Barrier (W) Upon expiration or breaking, Personal Barrier explodes, dealing 127 damage to nearby enemies.

Level 10
Graviton Surge (R) Cooldown: 120 Seconds Launch a gravity bomb that detonates after 1 second and draws enemy Heroes toward the center for 2.5 seconds.

Expulsion Zone (R) Cooldown: 45 seconds Launch a gravity bomb that deals 184 damage and creates an expulsion zone for 3.5 seconds. Enemies who enter the affected area are knocked back and have their Movement Speed reduced by 50% for 1 second.

Level 13
Endurance Training (Passive) While at or above 75 Energy, Zarya gains Resistant, reducing all damage taken by 25%.

Unstoppable Competitor (W) Personal Barrier makes you Unstoppable for up to 1.5 seconds.

Spell Barrier (W) Upon expiration or breaking, Zarya gains a Spell Shield that reduces Ability Damage taken by 75% for 3 seconds.

Pain Is Temporary (Active) Cooldown: 30 seconds Activate to consume all Energy and gain a shield that absorbs 0.5% of Zarya's maximum Health per Energy consumed and lasts for 3 seconds. Zarya may only have one personal shield active on herself at a time.

Level 16
Born In Battle (Passive) While at or above 75 Energy, Zarya's cooldowns regenerate 25% faster.

Plasma Shock (Q) Particle Grenade slows Movement speed by 35% for 1 second to enemies near the center.

Cleansing Shield (E) Shield Ally removes all disabling effects and reduces duration of further disabling effects by 50% for the duration.

Gain Train (E) Shield Ally now grants an untalented shield to a nearby ally upon impact.

Level 20
Gravity Kills (R) Increases Graviton Surge duration by 1 second (and adds damage, 248 maybe?) [Could not get full text of this]

Clear Out (R) Increases Expulsion Zone's radius by 15% and Zarya's maximum Energy temporarily increases by 10 per enemy Hero hit for 10 seconds.

Grenadier (Q) All Particle Grenade charges are returned at once.

Unyielding Defender (Active) Cooldown: 45 seconds Activate to reset the cooldown of Personal Barrier and Shield Ally.

(source)

Following the revamp of many vanilla heroes with the Gul'dan patch (most notably Kerrigan and Zagara), Valla is the next in line to get a major rework. Here is a breakdown of the 'new' Valla by u/Bali4n:

Quote

Basic attack damage: Valla's Basic Attack got a huge nerf! Looks like she now deals ~62 damage at level 1, compared to ~98 before. That is around ~37% less damage.

With full Hatred stacks, she now deals ~111 damage on level 1, compared to ~127 damage with 10 stacks before. So around ~13% less Basic Attack damage with full stacks.

Updated trait: Basic attacks grant a stack of Hatred. Each Hatred stack increases her basic attack damage by 8% (up from 3%), 10 stacks max. Also increases movespeed by 1% per stack (same as before).

Stacks no longer decay one by one! You lose all Hatred stacks at once now.

New Vault: Dash is unchanged. Now also increases the damage of your next Basic Attack by 5% for each Hatred stack. Mana cost reduced from 75 to 50.

Level 1

  • Cost-Effective Materials: Reduces Q mana cost by 30 and also increases it's range by 25%

  • Caltrops: Quest: Drop 3 Caltrops while Vaulting. Caltrops deal 45 and slow enemies by 25% for 1 seconds. Reward: After spending 180 seconds at 10 Hatred stacks, Vault's cooldown is reduced by 5 seconds

  • Hot Pursuit: While at 10 Hatred stacks, increases your movespeed by 20% and gain 4 mana / second

Level 4

  • Improved Hatred: Passive: increases attack speed by 10%. Quest: after hitting 100 Basic Attacks against heroes, your Hatred gains an additional 2% Basic Attack damage per stack.

  • Puncturing Arrow: Quest: hitting heroes with your Q increases it's damage by 5, up to 100. Reward: at 100 bonus damage, gain 50 more bonus damage and Q bounces to an additional target

  • Punishment: Multishot deals 5% more damage for each Hatred stack

Level 7

  • Tempered by Discipline: While at 10 Hatred stacks, return 25% of your Basic Attack damage back as healing.

  • Siphon Arrow: Q returns 75% of the damage dealt as health

  • Spell Barrier: Passive: Reduces Ability damage taken by 20%. Active: Consume Hatred stacks to reduce ability damage taken by additional 3% for each stack, lasts 5 seconds.

Level 10

  • Strafe seems to be unchanged

  • Rain of Vengeance: Launches 1 wave of shadow beasts. Now has 2 stacks, each costing 50 mana.

Level 13

  • Arsenal: Multishot also fires grenades (same as before), but each hero hit by a grenade also reduces Multishot cooldown by 3 seconds.

  • Lethal Shot: Increases the bonus damage by Vault from 5% to 10%. If this attack kills it's target, mana cost and cooldown of Vault are returned.

  • Repeating Arrow: Unchanged, but moved from lvl 7 to 13.

Level 16

  • Frost Shot: Increases Multishot range by 20% and slows by 25% for 2 seconds

  • Manticore: Every 3rd Basic Attack against heroes now deals and additional 5% of their maximum health as damage

  • Seething Hatred: Basic Attacks now grant 2 stacks of Hatred, and Hatred starts to decay after 6 seconds instead of 4

Level 20

  • Vengeance: Same as before, but now also returns 25% of Strafe damage as health

  • Storm of Vengeance: Basic attacks reduce the cooldown of Rain of Vengeance by 5 seonds

  • Rancor: Every stack of Hatred increases attack speed by 2%. At 10 stacks, additional 30% attack speed increase.

  • Lightweight Bolts: Increases Basic Attack range by 40%

No more bolt of the storm!

(source)

Another hero will be getting a rework in the future. Who do you think it's going to be? Bear in mind that Raynor and Sgt. Hammer are also going to receive a very minor update.

Blizzard LogoBlizzClaudio

Thanks for the kind words, I know the team appreciates them. We're glad you guys are jazzed about all the changes as much as we are!

There's even another big talent update coming for a hero that didn't make the GamesCom build. :)

mic drop, walks away

(source)

Lastly, other upcoming changes include the reduction of mount speed from 140% to 130%, an MVP voting system after the end of each game (like Overwatch) and improvements to Spell Shield.

Stay tuned, because we expect a lot more Heroes of the Storm news this fall!

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