Heroes Of The Storm Adding Two Diablo Spellcasters

At some point, one has to wonder how many heroes could possibly be hidden inside a single tempest. I’m no meteorologist, but my suspension of disbelief is starting to strain here.

Case in point: Blizzard announced two new characters for Heroes of the Storm [official site] this week, both lifted from the Diablo universe—Li-Ming the Wizard and Xul the Necromancer. They’ll bring the Heroes roster up to 48 different characters, by my count [49 by mine! -unhelpful ed.].

You can read MetaBomb’s interview with Dustin Browder for more information, but the Wizard is essentially a high-skill cap assassin while the Necromancer summons spooky skeletons.

Four of them, to be exact. The Necromancer summons up to four skeletons from the corpses of dead minions, and can also lay down curses to slow enemy attack speed and imprison enemy heroes. Also he looks like Riff-Raff from Rocky Horror Picture Show (with a kick-ass scythe):

And then there’s Li-Ming, who has the age-old Magic Missile spell for a skillshot—and every time she contributes to a kill, her skill cooldowns decrease. You can also build her to teleport around the battlefield on a short cooldown, which Browder describes as “a little bit more scary.”

“It involves…taking your vulnerable glass-cannon wizard and teleporting right into the heart of the action, then blowing everyone up with all kinds of teleport-orientated attacks,” says Browder.

Interesting additions, overall. Li-Ming sounds particularly important, adding yet another high-skill character to a game that focused—at least at launch—on catering to accessibility. And as for Xul…well, skeletons.

The two newcomers are due “in the upcoming weeks”, along with a load of new mounts and skins also shown in this video, according to Blizzard.

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10 Comments

  1. Freud says:

    A lot of us have very fond memories from D2 and are excited about he necro. I’m glad Blizzard has decided to not just add D3 characters but also D2 ones. There are some good ones: Baal, Mephisto, druid and amazon.

    • Rizlar says:

      Wizzard looks pretty badass as well, had a lot of fun playing her in D3. Not so sure about the slutty Necro, my D2 character was more of a thin white duke.

  2. Premium User Badge

    liquidsoap89 says:

    It’s interesting that they seem to have captured what made those characters interesting in their transition to HotS. Necro curses were a staple of Necro builds, and summon Necros were NATURALLY the coolest version you could make (if -arguably- not particularly useful). And while runewords eventually turned every class in to a teleporting Baal run bot, the Sorceress and here tele was the OG!

  3. mouton says:

    I never thought I would get into a MOBA. And here I am, playing this game for half a year now and still enjoying it a lot.

  4. Geewhizbatman says:

    Sooo–This was a weird feeling I had while watching the game footage of Li-Ming but she feels a bit westernized. Which I know is a super awkward thing for everyone. Blizzard can’t just turn her into a panda, since they’ve already done that, but I thought her D3 design was fine. Maybe it’s just the hair. I get that they like things to be a bit bigger for visual clarity but it wasn’t like they gave Valla a giant head. I wish they had kept the sleeker look than make it seem like a blast from the 80’s Jaina cosplaying as a D3 wizard.

    Which is more than just quibbles over visuals. Blizzard already has a bit of Star Trek Race Syndrome happening in that humans are all white and everything that isn’t from medieval europe is dipped in saturated color and made into an exotic fantasy race. The D3 wizard was a nice design in that she was clearly not white but nothing about it seemed forced. That they weren’t able to bring that small step forward into Heroes seems a shame.

    Not that people seem to care much about whitewashing in their MOBAs much anymore since at least League threw in a couple darker shades into their skin tinting mechanics, but still I found it striking when I played the video to see her changed into a He-Man villain all of a sudden.

    • mouton says:

      Didn’t notice the trend in HotS, but you are right.

      It is kinda sad, many characters could be easily non-white, but everyone who isn’t an elf or a demon is basically caucasian. I suppose it is just lack of imagination of the creators and defaulting to what is familiar. A pity.

  5. Michael Anson says:

    Star Trek Race Syndrome? You mean, the series that included a very multiracial cast in its first incarnation? The series that persisted in showing people of all backgrounds in just about every major position?

    As far as fantasy races go, until D3 came along there weren’t really very many defined cultures, let alone races. Ascribing a particular culture to a character because of a few shared characteristics, particularly in a fantasy setting, is lazy reading, and where it actually occurs, lazy writing.

    • Michael Anson says:

      Welp, this was intended as a reply to geewhizbatman. Curses, foiled again!

      • Geewhizbatman says:

        That’s alright, the lack of a edit button comes to get us all one day. But yeah, I mean the series that–while it is true it employed other ethnicities during a time in television where that was simply not done–also created the Freegan, what have often been pointed to as every offensive Jewish stereotype turned into a Space reality and the Klingon which, while all darker skin, are known for how outlandishly violent they are. Then of course there is all the mixed-Asian symbolism used for the Vulcans who are known as highly intelligent but devoid of what other races would consider empathy.

        This wasn’t really supposed to become a conversation about Star Trek, but such is the internet. I love Star Trek and think that is has always done as well as any show that is meant to make money and appeal to a Western audience can do. It actively deals with these issues in its show/s—but that doesn’t mean it always does things well. If you look through the non-white characters of the Star Trek series you’ll see that they do indeed make it to all sorts of positions within the power systems set up there…and then mind controlled, turning out to be evil, or are entirely subservient to the 99% white federation system and then somehow passed over for big chair positions when the time comes. It’s no more odd than how Seinfeld featured almost no black characters despite being set in New York, but is one of those unfortunate side effects of its progressive attitude. The more it brings attention to racial inequality in its universe, the more striking the set up of its own central characters become.

        It isn’t some terrible, racist plot nor am I or many others who wants to look beyond internal lore and into its actual presentation by writers would try to suggest. It also spans across several decades and their own, entirely unaffected by Star Trek lore, changes in attitude. But that doesn’t make it beyond analysis or reproach for its decisions.