I'm starting to feel like your accidental official Blizzard correspondent at the moment. I think it's because I've been playing a lot of Heroes of the Storm [official site] and Overwatch [official site] so both are in my brain when I'm scouting for news. When I have time I should really update my thoughts on both games, actually. I'll add that to the To Do scroll.
BEFORE THAT let us turn our attention to a piece of cross-over news. Tracer, the dual pistol-wielding, timey-wimey cockney from Overwatch will be joining the cast of Heroes Of The Storm this month and Blizzard have released a video to showcase her abilities and skins.
According to Blizzard:
Equipped with the chronal accelerator designed by her gorilla scientist pal Winston and a pair of deadly pulse pistols to match, this highly mobile ranged Assassin zips around the Battlegrounds of the Nexus, catching enemy heroes off guard and then vanishing before they have a chance to react.
Tracer brings a diverse set of unique abilities and talents into the Nexus. She can move while attacking—a first for a Heroes character—and has a single Heroic ability that she can customize by upgrading it in three different ways.
For a bit more detail, the hero's kit for HotS was intended to stick to her Overwatch abilities as accurately as possible while transplanting her from a first-person shooter to a top-down MOBA. In Overwatch she's this nimble assassin who can manipulate time so in HotS she's the only hero who can shoot and move at the same time. Instead of a mana bar she has a reload mechanic for her guns which you'll need to keep an eye on to maximise her damage output.
She also keeps the ability to triple-blink (it means she can do a fast short-range teleport in the direction of travel up to three times) and to rewind time, plonking her back where she was three seconds previously. Her ultimate - a pulse bomb - is of particular interest in terms of how HotS works because, rather than waiting until you've reached level ten and getting a choice of ultimates, she just has one ultimate which is available at level one and you then get options to refine it, altering its radius and effects as you progress through a match.
A SECTION OF FULLER DEETS FOR FELLOW NERDS:
D (Trait) - Reload
Tracer is able to execute Basic Attacks while in motion. Activate to reload all Ammo over 0.75 seconds. This trait activates automatically when player ammo reaches 0. Basic Attacks consume Ammo and add pulse bomb charges.
- You can attack 10 times over 1.25 seconds, draining Ammo with every shot. Reload sets your Ammo to full.
Q - Blink
Quickly dash toward target location. Includes 3 charges.
- 6 second cooldown per charge
W - Melee
Deal damage to an enemy, prioritizing the nearest enemy Hero. Hitting non-Heroes grants 5 Pulse Bomb charges. Hitting Heroes grants 10 Pulse Bomb charges.
- 8 second cooldown
Returns player to the position they were 3 seconds ago. Also refills Ammo and cleanses negative status effects.
- Comes with 1 second of invulnerability while it casts
- 24 second cooldown
R - Pulse Bomb
Attaches a bomb to the first target hit, dealing damage in an area, or 2x damage to the primary target.
- Dealing damage charges this ability
- Costs 100 charges to cast
- Holds maximum of 100 charges
Pulse Bomb is available to cast from level 1. Instead of a second heroic, at level 10, Tracer can pick talents to modify Pulse Bomb in the following ways:
[R1] Sticky Bomb: Increase the radius by 50%, and enemies hit are slowed by 60% for 3 seconds
[R1] Quantum Spike: Pulse Bomb no longer does damage in an area, but deals additional damage to a single target equal to 15% of their Maximum Health
[R1] Pulse Rounds: The range of Pulse Bomb is doubled, and Basic Attacks versus Heroes give 50% more charges to Pulse Bomb
If you're interested in playing Tracer in Heroes Of The Storm it works like this: She available from 19 April if you pre-ordered* the digital Overwatch: Origins edition for PC via Battle.net and she will be on sale from 26 April for everyone else. If you bought the Origins Edition on some other platform you'll get her from 24 May.
*You know how we feel about pre-ordering and the associated risks by now so just imagine I said it all again here.