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Kaiju Diablo and Roller Skate Nova show Heroes of the Storm's weird side

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Bringing together the varied sci-fi and fantasy worlds of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft may seem like a peculiar move for Blizzard Entertainment, but according to Heroes of the Storm game director Dustin Browder, that's just the beginning of how weird things are going to get. "The rails are off," he said. Perhaps nothing illustrates that more clearly than some of the first character skins revealed at BlizzCon.

While some of the character variations make a little more sense, like the two versions of Warcraft's Arthas Menethil and Illidan Stormrage, Blizzard is clearly having some fun with other characters. Coming to Heroes of the Storm will be weird skins like a kaiju version of Diablo, Jim Raynor doing his best Captain America impression, a glam rock Elite Tauren Chief and Starcraft ghost Nova wearing roller skates.

The current version of the game on display at BlizzCon includes 18 characters from the Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft franchises. Browder says the team has an additional "six or seven back at the studio that are in pretty decent shape," as well as another 10 "on paper," but wasn't sure just how many characters Heroes of the Storm would ultimately ship with.

Heroes of the Storm, a free-to-play game coming to Mac and Windows PC, is planned to go into beta in the first half of 2014.

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