Radical changes will soon overhaul the system of leveling up a Hero, the rewards for doing so, currencies that can be used in the shop, what items are available in the shop, and will also add many new cosmetic features. Along with these changes, Blizzard has revealed the next new Hero as Genji from Overwatch, arriving in tandem with the new Hanamura battleground.
The biggest change coming with 2.0 is the new progression reward system. Now your account level will reflect your total combined Hero levels, which themselves have new, lower experience brackets and infinite growth. Every time you level up a Hero in 2.0, you will get a loot chest that contains four items, one of which is guaranteed to be of rare quality or higher (exactly the same as Overwatch so far). Heroes 2.0 will also add a number of possible rewards from loot chests including: voice lines, announcers, sprays, skins (all tints are now obtained individually), emojis, and banners that display when an objective or merc camp is claimed. Receiving additional copies of owned items will grant shards, which can be used to purchase cosmetics only. Heroes can be purchased with Gold, or the third new currency Gems, which can be purchased for real money and will also unlock stimpacks and additional Loot Chests. All items in the store, including Heroes and stimpacks, are also potentially available in Loot Chests or through occasional account leveling milestones.
When Heroes 2.0 goes live, players who have invested time in the old leveling system won’t be left wanting. Current Hero levels will transfer into the new system, rewarding the player with a loot chest for each one, and a special Epic Loot Chest for every 10 levels, up to 55 chests. As a special reward for long-time players, every 100 levels granted upon the release of Heroes 2.0 rewards a special Veteran Loot Chest up to 10 chests, which contains five items instead of four and guarantees at least one Legendary item. These Veteran Chests will not be attainable through progression – only through the initial conversion into 2.0. The new progression system is available on the PTR for beta testing, and various players have come up with converters to ensure maximum rewards upon release. Developers have reserved the right to fiddle with the numbers before the release, but have also admitted that these calculators are fairly accurate for current values.
Arriving along with the new progression and rewards systems are two recognizable Overwatch names – Genji and Hanamura. From a kit standpoint, Genji’s abilities are very true to form. Genji will be a highly mobile, backline-diving, short-ranged assassin capable of dueling until he either secures a kill or needs to escape. The new battleground Hanamura will be the most unique Battleground in Heroes of the Storm. Along with the brand new mechanic of Payload pushing, which is the only way to damage the enemy core, mercenary rewards are totally unique in Hanamura. Instead of pushing lanes, mercenaries reward your team with either an activatable healing pulse, a turret to be placed on the map temporarily, or an activatable missile that seeks out and reveals up to three nearby enemy Heroes. All of these new mechanics fit into a large two-lane map with a huge jungle to push payloads and collect mercs. Both Genji and Hanamura are available on the PTR along with the rest of the Heroes 2.0 Beta.
To see professional-level play on the newest Battleground, tune in to twitch.tv/blizzheroes on Tuesday, April 25 at 11:00 a.m. PDT for Blizzard’s official Heroes of the Storm 2.0 Launch Event. mYinsanity’s Khaldor will be casting a five-game exhibition match on Hanamura between FNATIC and Team Dignitas alongside Dreadnaught, and a new cinematic will premier which reveals the next new Hero after Genji. After the launch event wraps, check back here for an interview with the mYinsanity team about the new battleground and two new Heroes.