Both of the new Heroes of the Storm characters revealed at BlizzCon were exciting ones. Varian is the game’s first multi-class character, able to serve as either as an Assassin or Warrior. But to me, Ragnaros is the far more exciting one, thanks to his ability to turn into an immobile giant–one who even towers over things like the Dragon Knight.
Blizzard today released a new video (solitaire yukon) showcasing Ragnaros in-depth, and he continues to look incredibly intriguing. A lot of this stems from the aforementioned ability, which comes from his trait, Molten Core. Activating this allows him to take over any friendly or destroyed fort, turning him into a larger version of himself with modified abilities. Any damage done to him while Molten Core is activated prevents it from being done to the fort–allowing it to be used for offensive or defensive purposes. He’s not able to do this indefinitely: His health drains while in this form, and when he runs out, he returns to his previous state.
Empower Sulfuras is his first ability, causing his next attack to be instant, do area damage, and heal him for 20 percent of the damage dealt. While in Molten Core, this becomes Molten Swing, which does a wide swing that damages and stuns everyone hit.
Living Meteor summons a meteor that moves in a selected direction, dealing damage. Molten Core turns this into Meteor Shower, which summons multiple meteors that land in a specified direction, doing damage and slowing enemies.
Blast Wave is a buff that can be placed on either Ragnaros or one of his teammates. This increases the target’s movement speed for a brief time and then, after wearing off, explodes for damage in an area. Molten Core turns this into Explosive Rune, which causes damage in a designated area after a brief delay.
Finally, there are his two Heroic abilities. Sulfuras Smash launches Sulfuras into the air and then comes down at a selected area, dealing damage; targets in the middle take three times as much and are stunned. While in Molten Core, its range increases greatly.
What’s much cooler-looking is Lava Wave. This takes some time to take effect, presumably due to the sheer amount of damage it does. Activating it causes a huge wave of lava to move through an entire lane, starting at your core, killing all enemy minions and doing heavy damage to players. Molten Core apparently doesn’t buff this any further.
While still without an official release date, Ragnaros launches on the game’s public test realm later today. That indicates a full launch is not far away.
For more, check out our interview with Blizzard about seeing how far it can go with character design.