Having played Blizzard’s flagship free-to-play MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, off and on since early alpha, I can attest to how far the game has come. From new battlegrounds to slay your enemies in, to new heroes to do that slaying, Blizzard has done a great job pumping out new content. However, what Heroes always lacked was the final touches to make all those additions come together.
Enter Heroes 2.0.
At this week's Heroes of the Storm Media Summit, the word "relaunch" came up often when the dev team discussed Heroes 2.0, and for good reason. In short, Heroes 2.0 includes an overhauled progression system, Loot Chests, the ability to forge cosmetic items with Shards, new social and customization rewards, a new hero called Cassia, Gems to replace real-money currency, and much more.
Before we take a deep dive into all of this, let me first disclose that Blizzard flew me out to their event where all of this was announced and provided lodging while I was there. With that out of the way, let’s dive in to Heroes 2.0!
A much-needed progression overhaul
One of the reasons I quit playing Heroes of the Storm was the progression system. As a casual player, it was difficult to advance your account and get new heroes. All that changes with the new progression system. Heroes of the Storm’s level cap is no more, meaning the sky’s the XP limit.
Couple this with a newly refined XP curve and progression becomes more frequent. Were you tired of seeing your player level capped at 40? Well, now your player level is tied to the total of all Hero levels gained. This means that when you log into Heroes 2.0 beta, you might see that your player level is now much higher compared to where it was before. This also provides a more meaningful look at how knowledgeable a player might be, considering those who find joy in playing other heroes are more likely to be higher level.
Speaking of levels, what fun would progression be without rewards? Every time you level up, you’ll now get a Loot Chest (more on those in a moment). And remember those leveling milestones that Heroes 1.0 had? Those rewards are even bigger. This all encapsulates a progression system that’s more meaningful and rewarding.
Loot Chests filled to the brim
To provide more rewards to players, Blizzard has introduced Loot Chests. These packages are received through progression or purchase and contain four random items drawn from nearly every reward in the game, including playable Heroes and Loot Chest-exclusive items. There are different types of chests that you can receive. For every level you gain, you’ll receive a basic chest. However, for reaching specific milestones you can get rare, epic, and hero-specific Loot Chests. Each Loot Chest is guaranteed to drop at least one item of that chest’s rarity or higher. Plus, if you’re unlucky, Blizzard has included a reroll option in which a player can reroll a Loot Chest's contents using gold.
Loot Chests will contain a diverse amount of new cosmetic rewards. Taunt opponents with new Voice Lines, joke with teammates using hero emojis, or have your favorite hero call all the action in a match. Other new cosmetics found in Loot Chests include sprays so you can mark your territory, banners that allow you to express your dominance on the battleground, and portraits that show off your personality.
All of that wouldn’t fit well in the old in-game shop, so that’s been replaced by the Collection: a central location for purchasing new items, crafting cosmetics using Shards, and browsing and sorting through just about every item in the game. Like swapping your cosmetics often? Well, lucky for you there are now customizable loadouts to make things easier.
Updated currency system and collection
Alongside the Collection system comes an updated currency system to give Blizzard more flexibility with player rewards and progression. The currency I mentioned a moment ago, Shards, is used to forge the cosmetic rewards you’ve been dying to get, without having to deal with the almighty RNG god.
Gems have been introduced to replace real money and are used to buy heroes or items in the Featured Shop. The switch from real-money amounts is intended to give Blizzard another way to reward player progression. For example, reaching level 5 nets you a reward of 1,000 Gems. Gold can still be used to unlock new heroes but can now also be spent on re-rolling Loot Chests.
Blizzard has also altered how skin color variations work. In Heroes 2.0, skins are now split up into their separate color variations to make it cheaper and easier to get exactly what you want. And what would a big update like this be without a new skin to drool over? Blizzard thought of that too, which is why the Prime Evil Diablo skin is now a thing.
A new hero enters the Nexus
Now that you’ll be getting rewarded more frequently, there must be a new hero to spend that currency on, right? In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Diablo franchise, Cassia has been brought forth to conquer the battleground. Cassia is a highly aggressive ranged assassin who pays homage to the Diablo II Amazon. We’ll take a deeper dive with her in another article.
It’s not an overstatement to say this update is huge for Heroes of the Storm. From the progression system overhaul and Loot Chests which contain a lot of new customization rewards to Cassia and the new Diablo skin, there’s a little bit of everything in the relaunch of Heroes of the Storm. Heroes 2.0's Open Beta is live right now and the revamp will release late April. So, what are you waiting for? Enter the Nexus, Hero!