The Nexus Breaker Patch: 14.4
Let's get the big one out of the way,
NEW HERO: CHO'GALL!
Announced at Blizzcon, Cho'gall might very well be the most unique hero to be released thus far. Before we get into that though, here are some initial details you should know:
Cho'gall will not be available for initial purchase with either gold or with real money. Instead, players that purchased Blizzcon Tickets or Virtual Tickets and had those accounts linked to their Battle.net accounts will receive Cho'gall on the 17th of November. A two player hero, both players will select one of the heads, either Cho or Gall, and play as that hero, each with their own unique and differing playstyle. Players that do not have him but are in a party with somebody who does will be able to select either of the heads. If they win two games playing as Cho'gal, they will permanently own the character and he will be deposited into their account. So, to summarize, during the Cho'gall Buddy Brawl event, you can obtain Cho’gall by completing the quest, random seeding at the start of the event, or a BlizzCon loot code. After the event, you will be able to purchase Cho'gall from the in-game store.
Onto the hero him... their...self? ONTO CHO'GALL.
As previously mentioned, Cho'gall is a two person hero. One person controls Cho, and the other person plays Gall. The player who controls Cho is also the person who controls where the hero goes, so his is the primary responsibility of positioning and angles. Cho starts with three basic abilities:
SURGING FIST: Wind up for at least 1 second temporarily slowing yourself, then reactivate to charge in a direction. Enemies in your path are knocked aside and take moderate damage. This ability can act as an initiation technique, or as an escape technique, and does moderate damage.
CONSUMING BLAZE: Ignite nearby enemies, dealing moderate damage over 4 seconds. If this hits an enemy, gain a large amount of health over 4 seconds. This ability only gains HP for Cho'gall if it affects enemy heros, not minions.
RUNE BOMB: Roll a bomb dealing moderate damage to enemies in its path. Gall can use Runic Blast to detonate it and deal massive area damage. Both players must be actively paying attention, because if Gall does not detonate Rune Bomb, it does almost no damage at all.
Cho's ultimate abilities are quite potent, and are:
HAMMER OF TWILIGHT: Passively increases Basic Attack damage by 25%. Activate to swing the Hammer and deal massive damage, push enemies away, and stun for 0.75 seconds. Combined with Cho's already potent basic attack damage, this ability hits like a truck to those who are victims of his swings.
UPHEAVAL: After 1 second, pull enemies toward you, slowing them by 25% for 3 seconds and dealing moderate damage. Think of it as being similar to Kerrigan's AoE grab ability, only with a much wider AoE.
Gall, on the other hand, does not control the direction of the character, but is far more capable of dealing massive amounts of damage to all players who cannot evade his wrath.
SHADOWFLAME: Deal heavy damage to enemies in the area. Very similar to Abathur's poison spike, only stronger and strikes all enemy in a line.
DREAD ORB: Throw a bomb that will bounce three times, dealing heavy damage to enemies. Very powerful ability, but also very easy to dodge if the enemy has any mobility.
RUNIC BLAST: Detonates Cho's Rune Bomb ability.
Gall's ultimate abilities are incredibly powerful, and are:
TWISTING NETHER: After 1 second, nearby enemies are slowed by 40% while you channel, up to 5 seconds. Activate to deal massive damage. Combine this with Cho's Upheaval ability, and everybody around you will most certainly be dead or one foot in the grave.
SHADOW BOLT VOLLEY: Unleash 20 Shadow Bolts over 4 seconds, each dealing heavy damage to the first target hit. The bolts fire towards your mouse pointer. This ability does VERY heavy damage, has great range, and is VERY hard to dodge.
Alright, now we've covered Cho'galls abilities. Let's talk about his strengths and weaknesses.
STRENGTHS: Cho'gall has immense HP. Stacked with two heroes, he starts with almost double the base HP of any other hero in the game. There is very little any other hero can do against Cho'gall in what is, basically, a 2v1 fight. Any player that attempts to solo you 1v1 will mostly certainly regret that decision. Additionally, any buffs that affect Cho also affect Gall, including Abathur hats.
WEAKNESSES: Quite similarly to his buffs, anything that effects Cho also affects Gall. If you use crowd control abilities on Cho, it also affects Gall. And, more importantly, killing one also kills the other, and grants double the player kill XP.
In summary, Cho'gall is a small raid boss in the game, but poor play can really set your team back, or give you an advantage if you exploit his weaknesses.
GAME MECHANIC CHANGES
Alright, this is a big, fat change ladies and gentlemen, so this will give the best explanation possible in the simplest terms.
What you're reading basically states that dying early in the game will be significantly more punishing, as respawn timers will be longer up until level 10, when they will even out with what you are currently used to.
To quote Blizzard,
In the current version of Heroes, game levels 1-14 had a very large stat difference from one level to the next. In an attempt to mirror the late game, Blizzard has flattened out the earlier levels to be more in line with how Heroes operates towards the late game. As an example, the difference between levels 17 and 19 is now very similar to the difference between level 7 and 9, when analyzing pure stats within the heroes themselves. This change means that even if you have lost mercenaries, tributes or towns, you can still afford to try to team fight early in the game when you and your team find yourself behind. This does not, of course, change the danger of team fighting if you are behind by a talent level, which can be considered to still be very dangerous.
Alongside the overall stat changes, we’ve taken the additional stats you’d earn from leveling and directly ingrained the numbers straight into the heroes themselves. These changes will go a long way in helping heroes feel more appropriate in the roles they were designed for. Assassins, for example, output much more damage but are easier to pick off with their low health pools.
There is however, as put by Grubby, "A possible unintended side-effect so far, is that every Hero's strength against minion waves has been changed from what it is currently. Enemy fortifications also hit Heroes weaker, right from the get go at level 1. In the new patch, you can easily take several tower shots without going into lethal range in a 1v1, whereas before that was suicide."
That's it for now, Ladies and Gentlemen. I hope to see you in the future. Until then,