The worlds in Blizzard's universes collide chaotically and without logic in the developer's upcoming multiplayer online battle arena game, Heroes of the Storm. The game features a varied cast composed of characters from the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo franchises, with a possible nod to The Lost Vikings on its way.
Although Blizzard has teased several possible future additions to the playable cast of characters, several established figures remain in the shadows. Delving into each universe's storied past reveals a number of characters who are capable of being called to arms in Heroes of the Storm. Who do you think deserves to be fighting alongside the chosen ones?
The events of 1994's Warcraft: Orcs & Humans were initiated by a powerful human mage who opened a portal which brought the orcish race to Azeroth, sparking a confrontation that would serve as a focal point for future conflict in the Warcraft series. His name was Medivh, and although he was eventually killed for his acts, the mage returned from the dead in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos to save Azeroth as a means of atoning for his grave deeds against humanity.
Medivh's history saw him consorting with demons, granting this mage access to a repertoire of dark magic that would be put to good use should he make another ghostly return to the battlefield in Heroes of the Storm. Additionally, his ability to transform into a large crow could double as a mounted form, allowing him to traverse between fights by taking to the air.
Pit lords stood out among the demonic races of Warcraft largely due to their immense equine bodies and flightless wings. As the demon king of pit lords, the ruthless Mannoroth clashed with players in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and showcased his ability to summon destructive minions and cast earthquake-based spells, in addition to wielding a large two-bladed sword.
Even in death he was formidable; his body exploded into fiery flames upon his demise, killing his opponent. Possessing an arsenal of fiery talents and the ability to call upon minions to do his bidding, Mannoroth has the potential to wreak chaos in battles with a skill set as disruptive as it is destructive. Thanks to his sheer body mass, the pit lord could serve in a damage-absorbing role while summoning minions and breaking through enemy lines with his array of spells.
To the uninitiated, murlocs in Warcraft are described as a race of humanoid creatures who sport reptilian features and reside in environments close to water. Mmmrrrggglll can be interpreted as the sound murlocs are known to make upon attacking enemies, and is also the name of this infamous murloc chieftan.
Mmmrrrggglll wielded a spear and was able to cast multiple damaging shaman spells, most of which you would have encountered in the launch of World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade. These same abilities would potentially serve to make Mmmrrrggglll a pure damage dealer in Heroes of the Storm. With his vibrant appearance and unique vocal cries, the murloc Mmmrrrggglll would brighten up the battlefield and fit in with the humour exhibited in Heroes of the Storm.
The hybrid was the result of experiments which combined zerg and protoss DNA, producing units that had both psionic abilities and strong physical attacks. It has been hinted that hybrids will have a critical role to play in the future of the StarCraft universe, particularly in the upcoming expansion.
Perhaps the most notable were the hybrid dominators, who fought protagonist Kerrigan in Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm. Although mostly zerg-like in appearance, the hybrids have displayed access to a repertoire of protoss-exclusive skills in addition to possessing a strong physical defense. These traits mark the hybrid as potentially suitable for the position of a carry in Heroes of the Storm, dishing out damage and soaking attacks with its zerg-carapace armour.
Loyal to his commander until death, vice admiral Alexei Stukov exhibited proficient combat and leadership skills throughout the events of StarCraft: Brood War and more recently in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm.
With a backstory that cycled through his demise, his resurrection, a zerg infestation, being cured of infestation, and enduring a second zerg infestation, Stukov demonstrated himself to be capable of throwing out skills enhanced by the results of his zerg infestation while retaining human-level intelligence.
Stukov showed his enhanced abilities in Heart of the Swarm, which, if carried over to Heroes of the Storm, would allow him to deal massive amounts of damage in short bursts. The health regeneration granted by his zerg DNA could perhaps help to sustain health during battles, giving him more survivability.
One of the Lesser Evils in the Diablo series, Belial is no less formidable. As the Lord of Lies, Belial was capable of taking on different forms to deceive his enemies, an ability he employed to great effect in Diablo III. Add the massive claws and ability to spout flames and the Lord of Lies would bring a frightening amount of damaging skills onto the battlefield.
Belial's crafty nature could serve well to cause confusion in Heroes of the Storm; he can take on a variety of disguises to confuse the opposing team. If he's positioned correctly behind enemy ranks, his affinity for summoning fire could be useful. This Lesser Evil would need to tread carefully, however, lest he be discovered and slain once again.
The archangel of hope, Auriel is one of the angels who voted in favour of saving humanity. Her vote eventually resulted in her continued existence as she was rescued by players during the events of Diablo III.
Auriel handles a whip-like weapon with multiple functions. Named Al'maiesh, the Cord of Hope, the weapon is able to burn opponents and can be used to bind enemies. Auriel also uses the weapon to heal allies and grant clarity of thought by wrapping it around them, exhibiting her affinity for healing as much as destruction. These same abilities would be useful in providing utility support to allies in Heroes of the Storm, be it in the form of buffs or powerful heals.
Heroes of the Storm brings with it the chance to draw upon a wealth of lore and bring old characters into a new age. With the game currently in technical alpha, there still remains an opportunity for old favourites to make a triumphant return.