Heroes of the Storm 'Eternal Conflict' update will add the Butcher and Diablo-themed map

Heroes of the Storm is about to rummage through the world of Diablo, with Blizzard adding one of the series' most fearsome creatures, as well as a new Diablo-themed battleground later this month. Shacknews recently had the opportunity to go hands-on with both.

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Heroes of the Storm launched earlier this week, with Blizzard bringing along a new character for the ride. Johanna carried over her crusade from the depths of Sanctuary, but she's definitely not the last character that's joining the roster. In fact, Blizzard has more to add from the world of Diablo, detailing some new additions in the form of the hideous beast known as the Butcher and a whole new Diablo-themed battleground called the Battlefield of Eternity. They'll come as part of one massive update, titled the Eternal Conflict.

Long-time Diablo fans will remember the nightmare fuel that the Butcher brought to the classic dungeon crawler. For those that don't remember, this was an extremely powerful demon, coated in the blood of his victims. He would wield a giant cleaver and relentlessly pursued players, with his guttural war cry of "Fresh meat!" If the Butcher caught a player, it would mean certain death, as the demon would hack away mercilessly with his cleaver.

Heroes of the Storm will keep the Butcher's reputation intact by making him an extremely formidable melee assassin, who can add to his attack power by consuming the blood of his victims. His main trait is called "Fresh Meat," which will allow him to pick up the blood of any characters he kills to increase his attack power. Fresh Meat can greatly enhance the Butcher's abilities, which include:

  • (Q) Hamstring - Deal damage and slow enemies in his area.
  • (W) Butcher's Brand - The Butcher's signature attack and one that anyone using this character must seek to master. The Butcher's Brand ability damages an enemy and leaves them with a demonic mark. When the Butcher attacks any marked target, he will leave damage, as well as heal for 75 percent of the damage inflicted. That amount is doubled against Heroes for a whopping 150 percent heal rate, which means the Butcher can go toe-to-toe with just about anybody and win nearly all one-on-one situations.
  • (E) Ruthless Onslaught - Taking a page from his Diablo days, the Butcher will slowly charge towards any enemy Hero, causing stun damage when he catches his target.
  • (R1) Lamb to the Slaughter - The Butcher will raise a pole at a targeted area, which will then latch itself to the nearest enemy Hero. The enemy will then be tethered to that pole, making it impossible to escape. Even Zeratul and Muradin's abilities cannot escape this Ultimate.
  • (R2) Furnace Blast - The Butcher will take three seconds to prepare a massive blast of fire. Any opposing team member caught over the newly-created furnace grate will get caught in a giant blast and suffer major damage.

The Butcher is extremely fun to play with. He's a lumbering brute, which is meant as a total compliment. He easily makes up for his lack of speed with his trait, which only allows him to grow more powerful. Because of his dependency on his trait, it's all the more crucial that the Butcher be kept alive. If he falls in battle, his attack damage resets and he'll have to start collecting meat all over again. In the hands of a skilled player, the Butcher can be any team's ace in the hole, especially since his Lamb to the Slaughter ability can prevent foes from escaping.

As long as he's kept in one-on-one scenarios, the Butcher will thrive. With that said, his biggest weakness is that he's very limited if the numbers game doesn't go his way. He can only use the Butcher's Brand on a single target, so if the Butcher gets ambushed by two or more Heroes, he'll go down quickly.

The other major reveal for the Eternal Conflict update is a whole new battleground called Battlefield of Eternity. This is a two-lane map set in an area reminiscent of Sanctuary, with high heavens and deep hell coming together in a single world. In the center of the map, two immortals (an angel and demon) will be locked in battle. The immortals will be in something of a stalemate, which is where the Heroes come in. Teams can help turn the tide of this battle by assisting their immortal and taking the fight directly to the enemy. Conversely, they can also try and take out the other team to prevent them from doing the same. Whichever team can push its immortal to victory will get its invaluable assistance in pushing down one of the two lanes.

Mercenary camps will also work in a slightly different way in the Eternal Conflict. Not only can they help out with the fight against the immortals, but there's a camp that includes hordes of the Fallen. They'll have a pack of hounds with them and if any of the hounds die, the Fallen mercenaries will simply resurrect them. They'll be valuable when pushing either of the two lanes, especially since towers will most likely aim for the hounds first.

Fighting in the Battlefield of Eternity is fast-paced and frantic, especially when teams are focusing on the clash of the immortals in the center of the map. Interestingly, I was able to cheese my way through this with the Butcher by putting the Butcher's Brand on an immortal and relentlessly slashing away, recovering health as quickly as I was losing it. Not sure if this was an intended functionality, but I wasn't about to pass up that kind of advantage, because the immortals can pack a heavy punch.

This is a small sample of what's to come in the future, with Blizzard noting that additional Diablo-themed content is on the way. In the meantime, look for the Eternal Conflict update to hit the PTR servers on June 23. The Butcher and the Battlefield of Eternity will then become available to all players on June 30.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
    • reply
      June 6, 2015 1:16 PM

      IDGI. It's pudge but they didn't give him hook? When league copied pudge they had the sense to copy hook too.

      • reply
        June 6, 2015 1:37 PM

        they have stitches (pudge) already

        • reply
          June 6, 2015 1:53 PM

          I didn't mention this, but most of my deaths as the Butcher came at the hands of Stitches. Make of that what you will.

      • reply
        June 6, 2015 3:00 PM

        The only thing League copied from Pudge is the hook, everything else about Blitzcrank has nothing to do with Pudge. Stitches (HotS hero) looks a lot more like Pudge, the model, the hook and the AoE sludge/gas.

      • Zek
        reply
        June 6, 2015 3:02 PM

        Stitches = Pudge, the Butcher is an assassin character.

        • reply
          June 7, 2015 7:48 AM

          No no no, Stitches is the son that Pudge wishes never broke through the condom. Pudge gone missing strikes fear in the hearts of players, Stitches is just annoying and an eternal disappointment.

      • reply
        June 7, 2015 3:53 AM

        All this talk of copying is kinda funny. All DOTA and DOTA-alikes owe a lot to original Warcraft characters, and in turn that franchise owes a lot to Warhammer. Which owes a lot to Tolkien. Who owes a lot to European mythology.

        Even so, we wouldn't have MOBAs without Blizzard, so "copying" seems like a kinda strong word to level at them.

    • reply
      June 6, 2015 1:53 PM

      this new map looks cool as shit

    • reply
      June 7, 2015 1:45 AM

      Nice. I wonder if we'll see a support class hero from the Diablo universe.

      • reply
        June 7, 2015 1:56 AM

        It's been over a year since they added a support to the game, if you can believe it. Skeleton King is the only other character that Blizzard has shown, most recently in the artwork for the new map, and he could be a support, but it seems unlikely. I think Monk is most likely to be the first D3 support.

        • reply
          June 7, 2015 2:06 AM

          Monk is a really good support candidate

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            June 7, 2015 2:48 AM

            Yeah maybe. The only real support class I remember from the Diablo universe is the paladin from D2. But since they already included the D3 crusader (Johanna), I doubt he'll make an appearance. I can't remember what the D3 monk does. Does he have some kind of group buffs? The Barbarian has war cries which can buff up the group, but Sonya already exists in HotS as an assassin.

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              June 7, 2015 2:51 AM

              Monk has auras similar to paladin, summons that give group buffs, and blinding effects as pretty core abilities, IIRC.

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              June 7, 2015 3:28 AM

              Heals and AOE buffs are a big part of the Monk's kit

        • reply
          June 7, 2015 2:14 AM

          Sorry, not over a year. Rehgar was added last July. So, only 11 months.

      • reply
        June 7, 2015 2:38 AM

        Would like to see that!

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        June 7, 2015 6:50 AM

        It'll be Deckard Cain. :)

        • reply
          June 7, 2015 8:30 PM

          that'll be great. hope his ultimate has him say "stay a while and listen"

    • reply
      June 7, 2015 8:30 PM

      wonder if we see some Starcraft related maps too. Also I'm waiting for the addition of the blackthorne character

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        June 7, 2015 10:11 PM

        Yea, since they added The Lost Vikings I always hoped for Blackthorne.

    • reply
      June 7, 2015 10:13 PM

      I'll be honest, i'm not sure why they haven't been adding maps from their properties since the beginning, but i'm happy they are.