While we always tell ourselves that skins have no real gameplay value, we know that's not true. A cool skin for your favorite hero can make you feel awesome (and maybe even alleviate a little of the guilt over the money you spent), and it's common knowledge that feeling good about yourself can make you play better. With that in mind, here a few of the new...confidence boosters that Blizzard has slated for upcoming release.
"The Iron Demolisher is the pride of the orcish war machine. Sgt. Grimina Doomhammer was given the honor of piloting it in recognition of her years of service in the Arathi Basin battlefield."
I've always been partial to the Horde aesthetic of tusks, spikes and wolves - and this new model utilizes all of these to look amazing. Not only that, all her spell effects have been altered to fit the Warcraft universe - her heroic fires an iron star, her mines are barrels, and her napalm is horde-themed. I've never played her but I just might after seeing this new skin for Sgt. Hammer.
The weight of the world hangs upon the Aspect of Earth, a burden no mortal can bear. As Thrall embraced its power, he was consumed by living rock and forever changed.
All but one of his abilities match his theme - chain lightning has been changed to fire, windfury gives a burning aura, and the wolf spirit is outfitted in armor of molten rock. The earthquake heroic gives a different symbol as well, but Sundering couldn't really be changed for obvious reasons.
However, it's the lore that makes this skin so compelling for me. Presumably, this is what Thrall would look like had he taken Deathwing's place as the Aspect of Earth, flat out joined Deathwing, or simply gone too far with his shamanic bonding with Azeroth.
While I would normally be leery of two "evil" skins in a row (as much as I love them and think every character should have one), this was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. Plus he's one of Blizzard's most iconic "good guys", so re-imagining him as a villain won't get old any time soon.
Despite surviving Arthas's brutal assault, Uther was unable to prevent Lordaeron's fall. Now under Varian's banner he leads the Silver Hand into Northrend to mete out justice.
For our next alternate universe (or Altered Fates, as they have been called officially) we have bitter, defeated, and possibly crazy Uther, wearing decidedly villainous looking armor. This skin was actually teased way back in the game's Alpha phase, but never materialized. It was displayed on the game's official site for the longest time before being replaced, suggesting it had been scrapped. It's quite nice to be wrong, because as I said in the last slide, every hero should have a skin with a darker leaning.
His abilities now have a more martial tone - the holy light being more in line with holy fire and his Divine Storm replaced with a sword instead of hammers.
For our last previewed skin, we don't yet have a backstory - but it's clear he's supposed to be a frost giant of some kind. His abilities have taken on a northern theme to match.
In a game like Heroes of the Storm, with characters from a variety of franchises, skins are all the more intriguing for being able to take what we know of these classic characters and turn that on its head. The result is usually more interesting than the standard "joke" skins, since the mental dissonance of seeing Thrall as a Fel orc or Malfurion as the Betrayer is actually greater than Stiches in a bathing suit....
What skin are you most excited about? Are there any alternate universe skins you'd like to see in the future? Let us know in the comments!