Deckard Cain slowly shuffles into Heroes of The Storm

Heroes of The Storm

If this had been announced just a few days earlier, I’d have assumed it was an April Fools gag, but Blizzard are (mostly) deadly serious here: Diablo’s crumbly old sage Deckard Cain is the latest addition to their fast and accessible MOBA Heroes of The Storm, and he’s quite unlike any other character in the game, or many other MOBAs for that matter.

In most other games in the genre, a character like Deckard Cain – an almost entirely non-combat, pure support character – just wouldn’t be viable. He can’t jungle, he can’t grind, he can’t zip in for a quick spike of damage to finish off an enemy, so he can’t level up by himself. What he can do is support and buff and heal and slow the enemy team down, and thanks to Heroes of The Storm having your entire team share level progression, that’s just fine and dandy for the wizened old lorekeeper.

While he has the ability to bash people with his staff for a little bit of damage (and what looks like a fair bit of knockback in the video above), his primary role is keeping his team in the fight. The more teammates he’s near, the more resistant to damage he becomes and the faster his abilities recharge. In the middle of a full pack, he becomes frustratingly hard to put down, making him a less appetizing target than most. While hanging out with his friends, his primary abilities involve throwing healing potions onto the battlefield that injured teammates can pick up at will, and throwing out the Horadric Cube in order to slow and debuff enemies.

Making him a far less combative character than most has given Blizzard the opportunity to be a little bit tongue-in-cheek with his skills. His primary Ultimate skill is (as you would expect) Stay A While And Listen, a big conal ‘attack’ where he pulls out a book and recites such a thrilling tale to the enemy team that any foe within earshot is put to sleep. Even his more aggressive alternate Ultimate, Lorenado, deals little to no damage, instead focusing on knocking the enemy team back and interrupting skills.

The only thing missing from his repertoire is his legendary rapping skills, although I’m sure that’s just an oversight and will be patched in soon. Deckard Cain will officially be arriving in Heroes of The Storm sometime this month, after he gets the worst of his arthritic kinks out on the public test server. The game itself remains free to play.

15 Comments

  1. Freud says:

    That healing potion sound is so familiar, years after playing D2.

  2. Throwback says:

    Definitely not as unique as I was expecting based on the beginning of the article.

    It would be pretty cool if his job was to avoid combat situations rather than get in them as much as possible (obviously with some motivation to put himself in dangerous locations).

    Also I feel like he should be slow.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      They could have gone a little bit further by making him stay back at base, but that would have made him almost never at risk, rather than just being highly death-resistant.

      The fact that he does next to no damage in a genre traditionally about levelling and doing as much damage as possible (even as support characters) does make him stand out somewhat though.

      • Throwback says:

        Avoiding combat is not the same as staying in base. As i said, there could be a design that requires you to get into dangerous locations while generally wanting you to avoid combat. Kind of like jungling but without doing camps.

      • Kulantan says:

        But not as unique as the ones already in Heroes. For instance Abathur, Cho’Gall, TLV and Murky

      • Herring says:

        Like Abathur maybe but encouraging to move around. Maybe he could town portal people to him? So he’d need to be at risk. His ultimate could port ALL the team to him so you’d need to be careful about ganking him…

        Also disappointed his ultimate isn’t calling his “niece” for help ;)

  3. ashleys_ears says:

    Greetings! Stay awhile, and listen!

  4. int says:

    His walk animation is gonna look so funny when speed boosted by someone like Lucio.

  5. spacejunkk says:

    He has quite a treasure there in that Horadric Cube.

  6. Samudaya says:

    Thanks to the success of Overwatch and Hearthstone this game doesn’t really matter to Blizzard anymore. They just wanted income other than WoW and they got it. Heroes of the Storm certainly never came close to LoL or even Dota and it won’t anymore. There are some fundamental design decisions that were meant to make this game more accessible and different from the alternatives that backfired completely.

    • Herring says:

      I don’t know, it’s got a nice niche for me as a MOBA where I don’t need to invest years of my life before becoming competent AND I’ve got a decent chance of not being subjected to the 5-minute hate for every game.

    • Moraven says:

      It fits that niche actually well, being more accessible. Dota/LoL playerbase was already huge and they seem to not wanting to go back from last hitting, gold/item management, more than 1 map, etc.

    • Freud says:

      Just because the game isn’t as big as LoL and Dota 2 doesn’t mean it’s a failure. It’s got a healthy player base and has carved out a space for itself with lots of different maps (12-13 battlegrounds), shorter games (20 minutes on average) and more focused on teamfights instead of single players being carries.

  7. shoptroll says:

    Someone did tell Blizzard that April Fool’s Day has already passed right?