Heroes of the Storm has built up a roster of dozens upon dozens of beloved characters from the Blizzard Entertainment pantheon. But inevitably, as the game changes, as new maps and mechanics are introduced, and as new concepts are trotted out, certain characters are left sitting on the sidelines. With that in mind, Blizzard has been looking to give some of these lesser-played characters a new lease on life by offering up some reworks. The two latest characters set to receive changes are Overwatch's Junkrat and World of Warcraft's Whitemane.
Blizzard revaled the changes on the Heroes of the Storm website earlier this week. In an effort to make Junkrat a little more appealing, while sticking to his identity as an explosive wildcard, Blizzard has outlined three new talents for this character:
- Blow 'Em Up! (Level 1): Junkrat receives a 25 percent damage increase to basic attacks and basic abilities for six seconds after hitting an enemy Hero with his Concussion Mine or Steel Trap.
- Dirty Trickster: If Junkrat gets Stunned, Rooted, or damaged while under 50 percent health, his Total Mayhem trait will activate, dropping a multitude of explosive grenades.
- I Hate Waiting! (Level 20): Junkrat's standard Mount is replaced by his Rocket Ride, which moves 150 percent faster, albeit with a higher cooldown.
Here's what Blizzard is aiming for with Junkrat, taken verbatim from the aforementioned blog post:
"Overall, we want to preserve Junkrat's general gameplay identity while significantly increasing his talent choices and allowing for multiple build paths. We've focused on promoting a healthy balance of damage and carry capabilities for Junkrat while ensuring he’s not frustrating to play against. Junkrat's new and reworked talents are more powerful as a whole, but to compensate for that increase, we've reduced the damage on his baseline Basic Attack and Frag Launcher. The changes we made to Steel Trap—by tuning and adjusting functionality on its associated talents—should make it a more attractive option. Finally, Rocket Ride's marginal pick rate prompted us to up its steer speed and introduce a powerful level 20 upgrade."
Whitemane is set to receive some major changes, the biggest one being that her baseline Mana ability costs will be reduced across the board. She's also getting a handful of talent and ability changes:
- Inquisitor's Prayer (Quest): This will lead to Searing Lash (E) permanently increasing Health and Mana whenever it hits a Hero.
- Divine Reckoning (R2): Whitemane's second Heroic Ability will now returned 25 percent of damage dealt to Heroes as Mana.
- Fanatical Power (Level 20): Whitemane can cast Desperate Plea (Q) once for free, granting a targeted ally permanent Zeal.
Here's what Blizzard had to say about Whitemane's upcoming changes:
"We're hoping these changes will secure Whitemane a strong, healthy spot in the meta. After multiple rounds of feedback, tuning passes, and adjustments during our internal playtests, she's sitting at a new level of power without having sacrificed her identity. That new power has been injected into her talent tree in the form of various Mana-return options, baseline Clemency, and a multitude of Basic Attack talents that reward players for having strong Zeal management. We hope you enjoy all the new synergies we've added to Whitemane’s talent tree!
If you're running the Heroes of the Storm PTR, the Junkrat and Whitemane changes are available to try out. They'll hit the main version of the game soon. And they'll likely hit just in time for the next big Heroes of the Storm seasonal event, The Scarlet Heist. That event is set to begin on September 24.