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A closer look at Heroes of the Storm's StarCraft-inspired medic

Heroes of the Storm revives a Brood War classic

Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard's multiplayer online battle arena-style franchise mashup, has new characters on the way. As revealed during Gamescom 2015 earlier this summer, StarCraft characters such as Artanis and a newcomer inspired by StarCraft: Brood War will join the game.

Blizzard offered a more in-depth look at Lt. Morales, a new support character hitting the public test realm (Update: Blizzard has since amended this timeframe from today to "coming soon"). Morales is a medic whose traits include health regeneration, while other abilities allow her powers such as healing, transporting comrades to safety with a Medivac and knocking enemies away with grenades.

Heroes of the Storm lead artist Phil Gonzales said that bringing character like Morales into the game is more of a challenge than introducing an already established one — perhaps even more so than a character like Artanis, who has a long history with the franchise. Players already know what Artanis does; a new medic, however, presents a kind of "wild west" for the team, he said.

Heroes of the Storm

"When it's completely unique, all the sudden the sky's the limit," Gonzales said. "We start getting ideas, and we want to consider everything. We could really push her into a mama bear role, where she's assertive but she cares about her crew, so it's a lot of tough love. What if we go more Brood War direction, where she was kind of cheeky, like, 'Does someone need a bandaid?'"

The team classifies Morales as an assertive character — "she's guarding all of these teammates with her life," Gonzales said. "'I'm not pulling any punches, cut the crap.'"

Gonzales added that for every new character brought into Heroes of the Storm, the goal is to avoid redundancies; each hero should feel "as unique as possible." With Morales, Blizzard is bolstering its options for players who want to explore support roles.

Heroes of the Storm will continue to get more new characters from Blizzard's many universes, though Gonzales could only offer vague hints on where they might go next.

"We do have some other stuff that might be quickly spinning up from other universes that we said we weren't going to visit soon, but we might be visiting them sooner," he said. "We have some classic characters that are getting a bit more heat. We have a BlizzCon character who has a very unique control feature coming up."

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