A major patch for Heroes of the Storm has hit, bringing with it Sylvanas Windrunner, the Tomb of the Spider Queen, and a bunch more additions and fixes.

Let’s talk Sylvanas first. She’s a high DPS/siege specialist hero, and the Banshee Queen’s passive trait, Black Arrows, has her basic attacks and abilities stun minions, mercenaries, and towers. That… sounds pretty great by itself.

Her three basic abilities are Withering Fire (shoot the closest enemy for 25 damage, preferring heroes; it stores five charges), Shadow Dagger (deals 10 damage and an additional 40 damage over two seconds to the target, with the effect spreading to nearby units), and Haunting Wave (deal 30 damage to all targets with a wave of banshees; can be reactivated to teleport Sylvanas to the banshees’ position).

Then there are her two Heroic abilities. Wailing Arrow fires an arrow that explodes for 200 damage and silences enemies for 2.5 seconds, and can be reactivated to detonate the arrow early. Possession, on the other hand, forces an enemy minion to fight for Sylvanas, with an extra 20% attack damage and health.

The other major addition everyone will see is the new map, the Tomb of the Spider Queen. It’s a three-lane map, and its gimmick is that Spider minions and enemy heroes drop Gems of Power upon death. Delivering these Gems to the Spider Queen’s Altars – located between the lanes – causes Webweavers to descend and start pushing the lanes, besieging the enemy team. And yes, you drop Gems on death, so you don’t want to take unnecessary risks while carrying an entire jewellery store.

What else? Well, the maximum Hero level is now 20 instead of 10, with more gold rewards at levels 15 and 20. New rewards have been added to the Player progression, too, and there’s now a ranked Team League mode available at level 40, letting you set up a team with a dedicated roster. Finally, there are a bunch of fixes to the UI, to optimisation, to some of the skins, to the in-game levelling curve, to map balance… and there are a bunch of balance fixes to heroes and abilities.

You can read the full patch notes over here. Heroes of the Storm‘s beta is currently only available if you buy in, or if you’re very lucky.

Tim McDonald


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