Heroes of the Storm: Auriel and Energy

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen!

I feel like my post a few weeks ago, Traits that Dia-blow, may have had an air of saltiness to it. So, to clear the air, I shall discuss something actually pretty sweet. Auriel, a new Support hero representing the Diablo universe, was released on the Tuesday prior to my previous post. She has a unique kit, and an even more unique way of providing healing to her allies. In today’s post, I shall discuss her core support mechanic, and discuss an idea I have for stripping mana from several members of the Heroes of the Storm roster.

Logo - Heroes of the Storm

The Little Mermangel (of Hope)

Auriel enters the Nexus with a fairly varied toolkit. She can unleash a sweeping attack that deals greater damage to enemies caught in the center-most area. Auriel can knock an enemy away, stunning it should it collide with terrain, which is similar-ish to an ability used by Diablo. Her ultimate choices include a single target ressurect after a short (-ish) channel time, and an ability that encases an ally in a crystal, temporarily protecting them from damage before exploding. However, the core of Auriel’s gameplay stems from her trait, Bestow Hope, and accompanying support ability, Ray of Heaven.

HotS - Auriel Trait

Auriel’s trait.

Bestow Hope allows Auriel to generate a resource, referred to as energy, by dealing damage. She can even employ the services of a friendly player to aid her in generating this resource. Energy fuels Ray of Heaven, which restores health equal to 100% of the amount of energy stored. The rate at which energy is generated depends on how effective Auriel is with her primary damage ability, and upon whom she chooses to bestow hope. This is a mechanic that gives players something really compelling to pay attention to during a game, which may be a first for a support hero.

Resource Swapping

Now, I opened this post discussing Auriel’s core mechanic because it reminded me of an idea I had bouncing around in my head. There are a lot of heroes whose abilities are fueled by mana. However, it doesn’t make sense for some of these heroes to utilize that resource. From my perspective, mana is a resource commonly used by spell-casters and magic-users, not warriors, snipers, or tanks. This is primarily a gripe regarding the thematic use of mana for some of these heroes, but the thought process of how it could be changed led to a cool idea.

We’ve seen a few heroes in the past released with unique resources, like the aforementioned Mermangel of Hope. For instance, Sonya uses Fury to power two of her abilities. Additionally, Chen generates Brew (by drinking… heavily) so he can access his basic abilities. The similarity between these two resources is they both cap at 100, and they do not regenerate without an action being taken by the player (or some outside source in Sonya’s case). For some heroes, I want to replace mana with a resource that caps at 100, but naturally regenerates at a typically faster rate, and I was thinking of calling this resource Energy (segue!).

  • Energy
    Maximum: 100
    Regeneration: 4.0 – 12.0 (dependent on hero)

The purpose of introducing Energy to various characters is to add to their unique fantasy. If mana is a resource used primarily by spell-casters, then energy would be used by those who aren’t typically considered magical. However, introducing a new mechanic like this to so many characters would likely require some reworking of abilities and talents, especially if they interacted with mana previously. Now, the character’s role and playstyle wouldn’t have to change in any way, but the selected heroes would have to accommodate this new resource. I already have a few ideas of how to implement this mechanic.

The first hero I thought about when fleshing out the concept for Energy was Kerrigan and her Ravage ability. By default, the cooldown of Ravage resets if an enemy dies within 1.5 seconds of it dealing damage. I thought it would be interesting if Ravage cost 60 Energy, and instead of resetting its cooldown it would refund its Energy cost. Assuming Ravage had a much smaller cooldown than it has now (8 seconds), and a player made good use of this particular mechanic, Kerrigan would rarely be concerned with her Energy reserves. An interesting balancing act would be determining her base Energy regeneration rate because Ravage wouldn’t be the only ability she has that would consume Energy.

There are a number of other heroes I can imagine making use of this resource. Some will make sense to you, but others may not. It’s all about perspective. I won’t describe them all, but I will list the ones I believe make sense. Also, just for clarification, this concept for Energy is merely an idea, not something I actually expect to happen.

  • Diablo: Diablo, The Butcher, Valla
  • StarCraft: Artanis, Dehaka, Kerrigan, Nova, Raynor, Sgt. Hammer, Zeratul
  • Warcraft: E.T.C., Gazlowe, Greymane, Rexxar, Stitches

What do you think of my concept for Energy? How do you imagine the heroes from the list above might work differently? Have you played Auriel yet? What Blizzard characters are you looking forward to seeing in Heroes of the Storm? Join the discussion below.

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Thanks for reading to the end. I hope you’ll be back for the next one.

War Fist out.

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