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New hero and battleground available now in Heroes of the Storm's latest patch

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The latest patch for Heroes of the Storm is now in the game's public test realm, and it brings a new hero, a new battleground, some incentives for Diablo 3 players, and a slew of changes, balances, fixes and other alterations.

Leading the list is the introduction of Kharazim, a character first announced a week ago at Gamescom. He is a support character based on the monk class from Diablo 3. He comes with one of three traits players may choose, plus the standard menu of basic and heroic abilities.

He will be joined by Rexxar, from Warcraft, and Artanis, from StarCraft, at a later date.

Kharazim comes to Heroes of the Storm under the ongoing Eternal Conflict campaign cross-promoting Heroes of the Storm with Diablo 3, and it offers some extra goodies for those who have the latter game. Players of Diablo 3 and Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls who log into Heroes of the Storm over the first three weeks of the patch will permanently receive Diablo in the game. Other goodies are being offered for Diablo 3 players, more can be seen in the patch notes.

The new battleground is called Infernal Shrines, and it features three lanes and three shrines, all of them alternately gathering power. Either side can trigger a shrine to release waves of guardians to defend it. Killing 30 guardians summons a punisher to fight for that team. Punishers are big bosses that go tromping down the lane to attack any enemies of the team that summoned it.

The rest of the patch notes are very lengthy and explain changes in gameplay ranging from shortened cooldown times for certain abilities, damage increases or decreases and the like, as Heroes of the Storm continues to refine its balance. There also are a long list of bug fixes, so if one has been particularly nagging, check there to see if it has been addressed.

For more on Heroes of the Stormread Polygon's review of the game from when it launched in June.

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