Video Game / Heroes of the Storm

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"The Nexus. A conflux of time and space where heroes and worlds clash. Sounds like underwhelming science fiction. I mean really, are you even trying anymore?"
Alarak, giving the description of the game's "plot" in Blizzard's classic style of snark

Heroes of the Storm is a game in the MOBA genre (started by Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars) by Blizzard Entertainment. It features characters, locales and items from all of Blizzard's franchises, including Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and even The Lost Vikings.

Unlike most MOBA games, which are deeply vulnerable to cries of "They Changed It, Now It Sucks," Blizzard are putting a lot of variety into this title. Most of them increase the speed of matches: a flick of the button will increase movespeed by causing your hero to jump astride a horse or other mount of your choosing. All three basic skills (Q, W and E) are available from match start, turning even Level-1 team fights into incendiary affairs. Maps often involving secondary objectives—control points that turn your character into a temporary Physical God (Dragonshire), local pirates who can be bribed to rain cannonballs down on your enemy (Blackheart's Bay), etc—that provide a potent Comeback Mechanic. Neutral creeps, a staple of the genre since DotA, no longer provide passive powerups but instead join your cause and fight for your side (after you beat them up, of course). Items and attendant Gold have been removed entirely in favor of "Talents," a Skill Tree that is only unlocked at certain levels; you are provided a few options per tier and get to pick one. All defensive structures can run out of ammunition, which basically makes their destruction a matter of applying constant pressure.

Some changes, however, change gameplay fundamentally. Experience Points are accrued as a team, not as individual characters. By averting Can't Catch Up, Blizzard have been able to add an entire new category to the standard Warrior, Assassin, Support triangle: "Specialist," consisting exclusively of Mechanically Unusual Classes, generally focusing on lane-pushing, base destruction, or other abilities not covered by the other classes. The bonus objectives are too powerful to ignore—unlike in League of Legends or Dota 2, where they simply consist of Last Disc Magic you can waste, most HotS bonuses will apply damage directly to your opponent's structures—and they becomes a major focus of each match. Since Talents only occur at certain levelsnote , there are very specific timings and power spikes that teams are encouraged to play towards and/or around. And (with three exceptions ) each character has two options for their Heroic Ability; this, combined with the Talent system, allows you to adapt your Hero to the current game-state much more quickly than Gold and Items did.

Heroes of the Storm started out as Blizzard All-Stars, a Game Mod for Starcraft II; the game still uses that engine. As support for the title grew, it was renamed as Blizzard Dota, but this had to be abandoned due to trademark dispute from Valve Software (who are producing DotA 2) and was eventually replaced with the current title. Blizzard finally announced an open beta starting on May 19, 2015, with a release on June 2nd in "complete" form - like its sibling games, new content in the forms of heroes, official maps, cosmetics, and community tools are being introduced as the game ages.

In the wake of the Heroes 2.0 update, the progression and item systems were completely overhauled, implementing gems and shards as new in-game currencies and adding loot boxes that contain heroes, mounts, skins, portraits, shards, and stimpacks, as well as the all-new banners, sprays, emojis, announcers, and voice lines.

The game's playable Heroes from each franchise include:

The current roster of maps in the game are listed below by Realm:

  • King's Crest: note 
    • Dragon Shire note 
    • Garden of Terror note 
  • Luxoria: note 
    • Sky Temple note 
    • Tomb of the Spider Queen note 
  • Mistharbor: note 
    • Blackheart's Bay note 
  • Raven Court: note 
    • Cursed Hollow note 
    • Haunted Mines note 
    • Towers of Doom note 
  • Sanctuary: note 
    • Battlefield of Eternity note 
    • Infernal Shrines note 
  • The Koprulu Sector: note 
    • Braxis Holdout note 
    • Warhead Junction note 
  • Azeroth: note 
    • N/A
  • Overwatch's Earth: note 
    • Volskaya Foundry note 
  • Special: note 
    • Blackheart's Revenge note 
    • Braxis Outpost note 
    • Hanamura note 
    • Lost Cavern note 
    • Pool Party note 
    • Silver City note 

Heroes of the Storm currently contains six distinct game modes past the tutorial:
  • VS AI pits players against computer controlled enemies. This game mode comes in five different difficulties; Beginner, Recruit, Adept, Veteran, and Elite, which determine the intelligence of the enemy AI. The mode has 3 more distinct queue options: Co-Op, which has a full team of player-controlled heroes versus the AI; AI Teammates, which has the game fill in any empty slots on the player's team with AIs as well; and Training, which awards nothing but token amounts of XP, has tutorial tips, and is meant only for beginners.
  • Quick Match is the most basic game mode that pits players against each other in full teams without any special gimmicks. You choose your hero beforehand, meaning you're guaranteed to play whoever you want... but team comps can be desperately unbalanced (4 assassins is not uncommon) and you're at the mercy of random map selection in order to decide where you're playing.
  • Unranked can be played solo or in a party, and contains the draft-and-ban gameplay of ranked mode without the rank consequences.
  • Ranked contains tournament-style draft and ban gameplay as well as a fluctuating rank system, and comes in two distinct forms: Hero League, strictly for those solo queuing; and Team League, for player parties of 2, 3 or 5.
  • Heroes Brawl is a unique game mode that changes weekly and contains unique and bizarre gameplay modifiers or maps. Individual brawls are described per-map above. They are a good way to 1) gain Gold, 2) be forced to try new Heroes (your available choices are frequently heavily abridged) and 3) have fun.
  • Custom Games are player-run matches where players can set up either a standard or tournament-style match with player or AI run teams and have access to the entire map pool, in addition to Lost Cavern and that week's Heroes Brawl.

The game's official website can be found here. The game's trailer can be see here.

The inspiration for, but not to be confused with, Hero Storm, which is a parody web series.


List of Tropes in Heroes of the Storm:

  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: Before the update to 2.0, the maximum level a player's account could reach was 40. Leveling even half of the characters just to level 5 was enough to reach it.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: After the update to 2.0, a player's level is the sum total of all their character levels. It's not uncommon to see players with levels well above 300. Or 2000.
  • Abstract Eater: The tutorial has fun with the idea, putting the Sci-Fi universe Raynor against the aspect/human form of terror Diablo.
    Diablo: How tastes your fear, mortal?
    Raynor: I wouldn't know, I'm not sure you can actually taste fear.

    Diablo: I shall feast upon your terror!
    Raynor: Feast upon my terror? Now that's twice, man! Let me school you: you cannot eat 'fear' or 'terror'!
  • Action Bomb: Tyrael becomes one when he dies.
  • An Adventurer is You: Like many other games in the genre, there are numerous classes to play in Heroes.
    • Warrior: First to enter, last to leave, beefy characters that get in and cause a ruckus while the rest of their team deals damage.
    • Assassin: Quick, fast, painful, but cannot take a hit.
    • Support: Supports their team in any way they can, be it through healing, shields, or buffs in general. Anyone who can add Hit Points or shielding to an ally is classified a Support, even if they play more like "Some other class with a side of healing".
    • Specialist: This class applies to any character with an unusual or off-the-beaten-path playstyle. It includes heroes who outrange Towers and excel at pushing, heroes who have little-to-no direct attacks and affect the map or their allies globally in their own sneaky way, Mook Maker heroes and even a "hero" that is three characters at once.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Other than gold, levelling heroes just unlocks a loot box per hero level. These loot boxes contain a wide variety of cosmetic items, though on rare occasions they can unlock heroes immediately. At certain milestone levels per hero, a hero-specific loot box will drop that always contains an item specific to that hero.
  • Allegedly Free Game: Downplayed. If you want to play with more than a handful of characters right away, you'll need cash. Having said that, depending on your aptitude at the game, "a handful of characters" or even "just this one particular character I bought the moment I could" might be enough.
  • The All-Seeing A.I.: An amusing variation. A.I. bots know exactly where you are if you're cloaked note , but do not realize you're there if you're hiding in concealing terrain like tall grass. If you're cloaked and hiding in said terrain, the former overrides the latter and the A.I knows where you are.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Some character skins use this, having the associated character lifted from their home universe into a separate environment and role, but sometimes with crossovers with other skins (see below) and almost always at least one Mythology Gag. This is especially true for "Legendary" skins, who sometimes get quotes that lampshade it when someone mistakes them for their original self.
    Kerrigan: I am not your enemy, Tassadar. Things have changed.
    Mecha Tassadar: I do not know you, alien... creature... yet somehow, I doubt that!

    Kharazim: Is there no rest for you, mad king?
    Space Lord Leoric: I am not who you think I am, human. Consider yourself fortunate you do not know me.

    Dehaka: Queen of Blades! Looking forward to fighting with you again.
    Queen of Ghosts Kerrigan: No way! I know I would remember something as weird as you!
  • Announcer Chatter: The Realm Lords are the overseers of every map, and they also double as the default announcers (Blackheart on Blackheart's Bay, Raven Lord on Cursed Hollow, Gravekeeper on Haunted Mines, etc). Certain heroes also have announcer packs that players can use in their matches.
  • Anti-Grinding: Daily quests and gold rewards for leveling up both your player profile and the various characters will serve as the main source of your income; the gold income for winning or losing matches is so painfully low that you'll never get anywhere without relying on them.
  • Art Shift: Characters look like they do in their original franchises. Thus it's possible to have the battered Space Marine Jim Raynor, Main Character from the Used Future StarCraft, right next to Big Red Devil Diablo, alongside green-haired, purple-skinned Night Elf Malfurion Stormrage, next to Real Is Brown Zerg Kerrigan who is riding a white/rainbow unicorn.
  • Ascended Extra: Stitches, Murky, Samuro and Probius started out with VERY minor roles in their home games, compared to the lore juggernauts and Blizzard poster-children that comprise the rest of the cast.
  • Ascended Meme: Blizzard took the Azmodunk joke to it's logical conclusion and made a fully-fledged Azmodunk skin.
    • Likewise, during Kel'Thuzad's reveal, Blizzard took the 'Jaina is a Dreadlord' meme into a Dreadlord skin for Jaina.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Teams force mercenaries to work for them by beating the stuffing out of them and taking over their campsites.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: A good chunk of the in-game music is remastered music from Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, with a heavy metal riff thrown in for good measure. This was far more pronounced in Alpha. Compare the original Warcraft 2 music, to the heavy metal remix, with the final version resting somewhere in-between.
  • Badass Adorable: Li Li, Brightwing, Probius and Murky are all tiny "cute" characters that are still fully capable of taking down the likes of the Lord of Terror or the Lich King.
  • Badass Biker: The Vulture Mount is available to anyone that can ride a mount. Meaning... Orcs on Motorcycles. Demons On Motorcycles
  • Barrier Warrior: Medivh, Zarya, Tassadar and Tyrael can create these as main skills. Other heroes with talents can also.
  • Bash Brothers: A lot of characters have this feel if they're on a team together.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: Braxis Holdout has mercenaries that are infested Terran units. Defeating the mercenaries causes them to fight for you, and apparently cures them of the infestation as well.
  • BFG:
    • Tychus' minigun is almost as big as Tychus himself and must be windup in order to use it, much like a Team Fortress 2 Heavy.
    • Sgt. Hammer, the siege tank, almost by definition has one and can obtain another one, suitably named Blunt Force Gun.
    • Zarya's particle cannon, which was originally mounted on an assault vehicle.
    • Blackheart the pirate also has several on his ship. They are so big that they can only target buildings. And destroy them with a couple of hits.
  • BFS:
    • Sonya carries two of these.
    • Frostmourne, Arthas' sword.
    • El'Druin, Tyrael's sword.
    • Shalamayne, Varian's sword
  • Big "NO!": The Dragon Knight sometimes lets out an epic one when he's defeated.
    "I will not go back to that prison! NNNOOOOOOOOO!"
  • Blown Across the Room: Some skills carry knockback effect. Some heroes have an even bigger knockback effect. The Dragon Knight can Blow You Across The Screen.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Scouting Drone and Clairvoyance talents are often forgotten in favor of talents that aid combat directly. But as Dota2 could attest, the value of the advance warnings provided by Wards even if only by a second is invaluable and it's not an exaggeration to say it directly contributes to a favorable or poor engagements.
  • Book Ends: The Nephalems in this game began with someone from an existing short story of Diablo III, Valla, (though she comes with other 2 Nephalems, Sonya and Nazeebo, as the game's starting roster) and end with another character from another short story, Li-Ming. In between them are newer identities.
  • Bowdlerise: In the early stages of the Alpha, it could get pretty damn gory whenever you killed a minion or a mercenary. ESPECIALLY when you killed an ogre/troll, where you got to see the lovely image of their corpses rapidly decomposing in full HD glory. Now, however, there is next to no blood or gore when you kill mercenaries and minions and the troll/ogres instead turn into shattered stone when you kill them.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted, actually. Heroes of the Storm is so far the only MOBA where base defenses have limited, slowly regenerating ammunition. They can make short work of the first few creep waves and even low or medium level heroes, but doing so will eventually render them helpless.
    • Also averted by Tracer. In place of a mana bar, she has an ammo counter for her basic attacks that must be reloaded.
    • Raynor does have unlimited ammo, like every hero with a gun besides Tracer, but his attack animations occasionally include him slamming a new magazine into his rifle. Comparatively, Tychus may be knee-deep in brass, but never needs to hook a new belt to his minigun.
    • Zarya reacharges her gun when out of combat.
    • Zul'jin, who throws infinite axes, even lampshades this:
    Zul'jin: Where all de axes come from, anyway? I throw axe, I get new axe! Throw axe, new axe! Mmh. Dis some powerful voodoo.
  • The Cameo: During the promotional video of Eternal Conflict, you can see Auriel being featured in one of the book pages. Turns out to be an Early-Bird Cameo: Auriel was eventually released after Gul'dan.
    • During Tracer's trailer, Nova temporarily transformed into Widowmaker, the resident sniper from Tracer's origin. Nova also obtained a Widowmaker skin.
    • Gul'dan shows up at the end of Medivh's trailer. He was of course the very next hero.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Not in the typical sense; the various heroes are taken from different points in their home series' original timeline, and not everyone comes from the same period (certain characters, such as Raynor and Kerrigan, have lines with each other that reflect this). Skins take this a step further, offering the same character at different points in the timeline; for instance, Arthas before he became the Lich King.
    • Some heroes have quotes referencing what happens to them in the future: as examples, Thrall is taken when he's still the Warchief of the Horde circa Warcraft III, and Jaina is taken a point in time before Theramore was destroyed and she became more hostile to the Orcs. However their Stop Poking Me! quotes refer to Garrosh Hellscream being given the mantle of warchief by Thrall during Cataclysm and bombing Theramore in the run-up to Mists of Pandaria, thus causing Jaina's aformentioned shift in personality.
      • Indeed, most Warcraft heroes seem to be taken at a point when their personality was most popular. For instance, Kael'thas is depicted in the time before he became the polarizing mad prince in The Burning Crusade.
    • Some of it may be to prevent Trailers Always Spoil, since there is a chance that something big in the recent game get spoiled. The biggest examples here are Kerrigan, she appears more as the persona of 'Queen of Blades/Queen Bitch of the Universe' to hide her eventual significant Character Development and Heel–Face Turn throughout Heart of the Swarm followed by Tychus, where excepting his Infested skin, there's no mention that Raynor would shoot him dead in the end of Wings of Liberty and Artanis who still has his nerve cords despite commanding the Spear of Adun, to avoid spoiling Amon's corruption of the Khala in Legacy of the Void.
      • Nova is a weird example of this, in canon, she always stood in opposition of Raynor due to being a Punch-Clock Villain for Arcturus Mengsk, and him picking Tosh over her in Wings of Liberty. In this game, she's more designated as a heroic character, appearing at the 'hero' side for trailers (while Kerrigan in the villains' side, see above for why) or at worst a Punch-Clock Hero because of the lack of Arcturus Mengsk, implying that this Nova was picked from the B-canon where Raynor chose her over Tosh, in addition of some unused bits from Starcraft: Ghost, if that was ever released.
      • Diablo III Nephalem have it too; they are probably taken before the events of Reaper of Souls, where in the end, they became firmly convinced that the High Heavens are no better than the Burning Hells with Tyrael wondering that they can be tempted into evil. In here, they are still firmly good with little chance of temptation, and respect Tyrael as a friend and ally.
    • To follow up with Blizzard's (and the fans') distaste with this character, none of the Heroes linked with him make mention about Med'an. Medivh never commented about having a son with Garona Halforcen while Valeera took credit on dealing a meaningful blow on Cho'Gall in the comics without mentioning that she was helped by Med'an.
  • Canon Name: This game gave out these tropes for several Diablo heroes: Xul the Necromancer, Cassia the Amazon, Sonya the female Barbarian, Nazeebo the male Witch Doctor, Johanna the female Crusader and Kharazim the male Monk. Valla and Li-Ming already got them via the short stories and Blizzard was just re-using them instead of inventing new ones. It also gave one to Probius, the probe from the Legacy of the Void cinematic.
  • Character Select Forcing: downplayed. About half the characters in the game are Assassins, and there are people in both the Warrior and Support who are DPS In All But Name. Consequently, drafting is often a matter of strategically playing and/or banning the best Warriors or Supports, forcing the enemy to go with sub-optimal characters. Additionally, In Quick Match you can easily get into teams with four Assassins and one anything-else, as opposed to a composition that is even vaguely well-rounded. (Assassin Flood can absolutely work, depending on the skill of the players in question... but "skill" is not a dependable quality in a pick-up group.)
  • Cluster F-Bomb: In a Stop Poking Me! speech, Tychus delivers a pretty epic one in panic as he drops his cigar inside his suit.
  • Comeback Mechanic: The exp you gain from low level heroes during early game ganks is minuscule, and a few successful lategame gank can easily make up for a disastrous 15-0 early-mid game stomp. Further, the death timer gets longer the higher your level, and level difference matters; if the level difference gets too much, your enemies will respawn way faster than you and give a pittance of exp when killednote . Meanwhile, you become an exp pinata, and every team death will cost your team more than it cost theirs. Add the various optional but extremely powerful secondary objectives, and the Unstable Equilibrium so prevalent in the genre is averted.
  • Composite Character: Sometimes.
    • Tyrael and Diablo look like they did in Diablo II, the former a hooded angel with wings and gold and white armour and the latter a Big Red Devil covered in Spikes of Villainy, and they're clearly lifted from that point in the Diablo-verse timeline (Tyrael is still the Archangel of Justice, while Diablo references the Prime Evils being separate entities). However, clearly both are also aware of the events of Diablo III and the parts they played in it, as shown by their interactions with heroes who represent the playable classes of III. On one hand, they are happy to fight beside Tyrael, just as he's happy to fight beside them, and they call him friend as he does them; on the other, they share a mutual animosity with Diablo, who is clearly still bitter about them defeating him, and it's made apparent that they'd all dearly like to go back to being enemies.
    • Jaina self-evidently comes from before the events of Tides of War, as she's not anti-Horde or on a rampage to wipe out its members and remains friends with Thrall. However, one of her warcries references the mage organisation she now rules, the Kirin Tor, even though she technically stopped being an ongoing member of theirs after she travelled to Kalimdor during the Third War. Some speculate that this Jaina comes from an Alternate Universe where she became part of the Kirin Tor again without Theramore being destroyed, either because Garrosh Hellscream's plan to bomb her city was stopped, he was divested of the mantle of Warchief before it happened or he simply became a Reasonable Authority Figure and decided to leave Theramore alone.
    • Gul'dan takes inspiration from his Warcraft II incarnation as well as the alternate universe version in World of Warcraft. His colour scheme matches his sprite while his body shape and face are more like how he appears currently. His quotes make it clear that he's the one from the original world, but he also references some of new Gul'dan's lines (there's something of a running joke with him trying to get people to drink demon blood). Finally, the spikes on his back are made of bone like Draenor's Gul'dan due to The Corruption, whereas in the original game they were part of his robes.
    • Kerrigan likes to remind the player that she is still the self-appointed "Queen Bitch of the Universe" as she was in Brood War, and the Protoss heroes either distrust her (Artanis, Tassadar) or outright HATE her (Zeratul); but her interactions with Raynor indicate that she's actually the Primal Zerg Queen from StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and thus she's her much kinder Anti-Hero self, rather than her completely villanous Queen of Blades persona.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: The Lich King can team up with the Queen of Blades and the Lord of Terror to fight against the greatest heroes of each franchise! What's not to like?
  • Crosshair Aware: Some skills, usually AoE, gives off an indication where they will land. Problem is, both you and your enemy can see it, so more mobile heroes such as Illidan can be a challenge to hit with such skills. Hope you're good with Lead the Target...
    • Averted with Chromie's Dragon's Breath. The entire point of the spell is that it gives enemies no indication of where it will land.
  • Crossover: Not only does the game include characters from throughout Blizzard's existing properties, but there are plenty of skins for certain characters which involve a crossover between two separate Blizzard game universes — and some with the realms in the Nexus itself. The most major crossovers include:
    • A Kaiju universe featuring Diablo as a giant monster called "Kaijo" whose appearance is a Shout-Out to Godzilla then Anub'arak, Tassadar and Dehaka as robotic versions of themselves called "Cyb'arak", "Mecha Tassadar" and "Mecha Dehaka".
    • A another crossover with the realm of Luxoria, in which Tassadar is Pharaoh Ta-sadar, a ruler of the realm who apparently used his powers to draw Luxoria into the Nexus to save it from destruction, Xul is his Treacherous Advisor, Serpent King Xul, and Zagara is the queen and apparently broodmother of the Scorpid Swarm, a clear Zerg Swarm counterpart, Desert Queen Zagara. Brightwing, an Original Generation character technically native to the Warcraft universe, has a skin imitating flying monkeys who apparently stalk the marketplaces.
    • A crossover with the realm of Raven Court in which Kerrigan is a Caligula-like vampire countess who rules the realm with a bloodthirsty iron fist as Countess "von" Kerrigan; Arthas is her consort, Crimson Count Arthas; Valla is a vampire hunter allied with a resistance group fighting against her rule and Nazeebo is a sinister harlequin who performs necromantic tricks for his countess' amusement.
    • Although not directly stated to be in the same universe, many Warcraft characters have skins portraying them as Starcraft Terran units — Uther as a Medic, Illidan as a Spectre, Rexxar as a Marine and Muradin as a Marauder. Tracer also gets a Spectre and a Ghost skin.
    • Diablo and Azmodan both take sojourns into the Warcraft universe in turn, Diablo appearing as an overgrown murloc called Lurkablo, Lord of the Deep who swims in Stormwind's moat and Azmodan making an offer to the Old Horde mirroring the Blood Offering given by Mannoroth, offering his own blood as a second source of demonic empowerment, starting with Gul'dan. Leoric followed suit — one of his skins is him as a Vrykul. Sonya, meanwhile, went adventuring and found some Warcraft weapons and armor at some point. Lt. Morales has a skin that makes her part of the Forsaken Royal Apothecary Society, while Kerrigan has one that makes her the Queen of Suffering, a ruler of the Sayaad, the race of succubi demons from the Warcraft universe.
    • Space Lord Leoric and his Eternal Empire want to conquer the Earth. Only Star Princess Li-Ming and her allies — Knight Owl Medivh, the last Prophet of Kharazania whose warning about the Eternal Empire's invasion came too late, Eagle Eye Tyrande, who came to Earth after the Eternal Empire destroyed her home world and found herself in New York — can stop him. Also involved is Super Sonya, a time-travelling gladiatrix without a way home, who now protects New York's street from invaders like Mad Martian Gazlowe.
    • Lt. Morales embodies all of the franchises with her default skin's tints. The first turns her into a Stormwind soldier, while the second makes her an angel. In 2.0, she got a special 4th tint, which makes her into Mercy.
  • Curse: The main objective in the Cursed Hollow is to collect tribute so that the Raven Lord will inflict this on the opposing team. The curse in question reduces all the team's minions' health to one and prevents forts and towers from firing back.
  • Curse Cut Short: In the trailer.
    Raynor: *runs out of ammo* Aw, shi-
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Some of the character trailers show the heroes doing things that are just not doable in the actual game, most egregiously with Chromie summoning her Alternate Selves and create a massive nuclear explosion. Lampshaded by Chromie herself, who notes it'll get nerfed before she's released.
    • Maybe topped by Probius, who is seen summoning a field of Pylons and Photon Cannons to obliterate the entire enemy team, while in-game he can only have a max of three Pylons (and only two until level 20) and can usually only summon a single cannon.
  • Cycle of Hurting: Nope. The Unstable Equilibrium so prevalent in the genre is averted, as the team with higher level gets longer death timer and gain less experience from killing the under-leveled team. It's very possible to overcome an early-mid game 15-0 stomp with only a few successful late game ganks due to the exp difference, and it's relatively common that both teams are only 1-2 levels difference in late game even with such stomp. There's also the primary map objectives which can really shake things up, that its completely possible nor uncommon for a team to keep losing team fights, yet winning in the end due to them keep capturing the objectives.
  • Damage Reduction: The game's armor system, with each point in armor reducing incoming damage by 1%. This can further be divided into Physical Armor and Spell Armor, which only reduce damage from attacks and abilities respectively. While most sources of armor are Status Buffs from abilities and talents, some heroes (such as Arthas and Uther) have innate armor. Most Damage-Increasing Debuffs in the game use the same system by decreasing the target's armor and thus amplifying incoming damage by a corresponding percentage.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Lampshaded in a Sonya Stop Poking Me! quote (and later Johanna's); it can be a minor annoyance for people used to Diablo III controls to make the switch.
  • Dark Action Girl: Kerrigan and Sylvanas. The other females are traditional Action Girls.
  • Dead Weight: Beside Stitches, there are also the Grave Golems.
  • Death from Above: Comes in many flavors.
    • Blackheart will fire cannon shots for any team who brings him enough coins. The shots fly high enough to qualify for the trope and they only target buildings.
    • Raynor can summon his Cool Ship Hyperion or a couple of Rescue Banshee gunships to rain shots on target.
    • Nova can paint a target for a Kill Sat.
    • Tychus' Humongous Mecha, Odin, can launch a nuke.
    • Valla can summon Shadow Beasts to ram everything in their way.
    • Li Li can summon a water dragon to divebomb on the nearest enemy hero.
    • Sgt. Hammer can launch a napalm strike.
    • Zagara can summon a Zerg Drop Pod.
    • Arthas can summon his pet undead dragon, Sindragosa.
    • E.T.C. can leap onto any area on the map and create a giant shock-wave when he lands.
    • Illidan can similarly pounce onto a targeted hero with one of his ultimate abilities - with its level 20 enhancement, he can do this from anywhere on the map.
    • Artanis' both Heroics come from his Flagship, "The Spear of Adun", and have global range: "Supression Pulse" is a large AOE blind effect and "Purifier Beam" is a single target ...beam that follows the target.
    • Ragnaros rains meteors from the sky in both regular mode and Molten Core. One of his Heroics also involves him tossing his hammer up and crushing anything it hits.
    • And while it doesn't go very high, Falstad's mount replacement, effectively a massive range teleport, fulfills the spirit of it by allowing him to jump into the fight from nearly anywhere on the map.
  • Death Is Cheap:
    • Like most MOBA's, characters resurrect a few seconds or minutes after being killed. Blackheart in Blackheart's Bay references this most directly:
    Blackheart: So you're dead. You'll get over it.
    • Not that it makes it any less unpleasant for the characters...
      Raynor: There is 'no' getting used to that.
      Tychus: Damn... that sure does smart...
    • This is pretty much Murky's whole gimmick. As long as his egg is alive, he can come back from the dead in 8 seconds, which is only beat in the first minute of the match and can reach up to a tenth of the normal respawn in longer games. In exchange, he has the health of a minion.
    • Diablo can come back quickly to if he has enough soulstones (100; in the past, it could be reduced to 60 with talents). In fact, many Diablo strategies exist around this power.
    • D.Va can have the illusion of never dying. If her mech is broken, she can escape on foot and summon a new one after a cooldown, never needing to respawn. Doing this does give 50% of a normal kill though (killing the pilot gives the other 50%).
    • Note, however, that your respawn time is directly proportional to your level (i.e. the higher your level is, the longer it takes to respawn), and especially in the endgame, every second is precious.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: In most maps note , clearing a lane of both its Fort and Keep will spawn ballistas for the attackers. If left unchecked, these ballistas will eventually bunch up, and can do heavy damage to the core.
  • Decapitated Army: Destroy the enemy core and victory is yours, even if your own core is on the verge of falling over if someone so much as sneezes on it.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Defeating neutral mercenaries causes them to fight for your team.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Subverted in the trailer. Although the line-up has Nova on the same lane as Kerrigan, Nova ends up fighting Arthas and bailing out Raynor with a nuke, while Kerrigan goes Air Jousting with Tyrael.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: All characters have some "in a team with someone they don't like" generic voicelines, which can lead to things like Rehgar telling Ragnaros to "deal with it or shut up."
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Some heroes (like Abathur) are intended to be this.
  • Divided We Fall: For MOBA standards, the game bashes the player on the head with this. The team has a collective experience bar, and gains levels as a team. A good player can drag a poor team to victory, but it is more common to see teams who can coordinate well win the match. New players are often advised, "Better to make a stupid play together as a team than do the 'right' thing by yourself."
    • It's even worse during a team-wide fight. The rule of thumb in this game is that if you have the same number of people in the fight as your opponent, they outnumber you, and attempting to outflank just means that you've isolated yourself from the herd and can be killed at their leisure.
  • Dual Wielding: Illidan, Malthael, Muradin, Sonya, Valla, Zul'jin, Tracer, Xul, The Butcher, Valeera, and Varian (with Twin Blades of Fury).
  • Double Unlock: Master skins used to be unlocked at hero level 10, but still had to be purchased with gold. Heroes 2.0 update removed this problem, making them available in loot boxes without any additional conditions.
  • Dramatic Irony: Happens sometimes in some characters' Stop Poking Me! quotes.
    • Kael sarcastically asks if the blood elves are going to become part of the Horde, in such a way that he implies it'll never happen. Um... about that, Kael...
    • Jaina notices a strand of white hair and hopes it's not a sign of things to come; she also muses about how the death of her brother at the hands of Old Horde orcs drove her father to eternal hatred of orcs beyond all reason, and says she wonders how she would handle a loss like that while hoping she never has to find out. If she knew about the events of Tides of War, she would have answers to both those questions.
    • Queen of Ghosts Kerrigan quips about how she keeps switching between a human and a Zerg, then sarcastically adds "What's next, a Xel'naga?."
  • Easter Egg:
    • It's nice that you can look at the character models in the shop, even better that you can spin the model around to see more than one angle of it. Now try spinning the character really fast, the result is... priceless.
    • During the Kharazim patch, if you click on a certain middle tree, then suddenly a bird flies out and you are treated to play a mini-game to shoot down the bird, in a similar manner to Duck Hunt. Miss, and the Treasure Goblin will laugh at you like that goddamn dog.
    • And right clicking the Treasure Goblin whenever you have a special quest to kill one to get 100G will treat it like you just punched that goblin in the face, must be very satisfying with how many times he likes to run off with those nifty loots...
    • Clicking on the lens flare seen on the menu during the Probius patch caused a pirate who was riding a unicorn which was riding a poptart to fly through space in the background. Hilariously, the pirate turned out to be the then-unannounced Cassia, specifically, one of her skins.
    • A literal one appears in the shop's "Try" mode if you kill the practice dummy.
  • Elite Mook: Mercenaries are this. Siege Giants outrange towers, while Knights and the Grave Golem are tough enough to tank shots from them.
  • Elseworld: Certain skins come from What If?-type Alternate Universes. What if Zeratul was the High Templar, Tassadar the Dark Templar? What if Tyrael was an Aspect of Sin, the Lord of Pride, and Diablo was one of the Archangels? What if Illidan was the Archdruid (with Maiev as his High Priestess), Malfurion the one who became the Betrayer and Tyrande his Warden? What if Nova joined her then-boyfriend Tosh and became a Spectre rather than a Ghost? What if Arthas was called into the Nexus before he became a Death Knight proper? What if Uther came from our world and was a Mighty Lumberjack?
  • Empty Levels: player-account levels, and by extent the level to which you have gotten your favorite characters, are basically this. They really only measure how much time you've spent on the game, and do not unlock anything that make your characters stronger in gameplay. And while it is safe to assume that someone at Account Level (say) 150 is a better player than someone at 50, it is not safe to assume how much better they are, since "time spent" is not an accurate way to measure "skill gained".
  • Enemy Mine: Due to the nature of the game, this is inevitable; there are even unique dialogues for certain matchups on the same team, such as Arthas and Uther, or Raynor and Kerrigan.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Certain heroes have talents that allow them to bribe mercenaries. These talents gain stacks through various means, and with enough stacks, that hero can instantly "convert" (read: kill it to make it easier to take the merc camp) a mercenary to fight for your side.
  • Evil Laugh: Several heroes do this in place of a battle cry at the start of a new match. Surprisingly, the award for best evil laugh goes not to Diablo, but to Sgt. Hammer.
  • Excuse Plot: A bunch of Blizzard characters were kidnapped/offered a portal and ended up in the Nexus fighting each other. The tutorial even lampshades this, with Raynor asking why they're doing all this and Uther telling him he thinks too much. Thrall is annoyed about it as well.
    Thrall: Wait, what? What do you mean there's lore in this game? You guys actually paid someone to write a story about Raynor meeting Diablo? Isn't this precisely what fan-fiction is for? I didn't approve any of this!
  • Fast Tunnelling: Abathur and Dehaka can tunnel underground and arrive at their destination instantaneously. Apparently digging underground is easier for them than traveling above it. Same goes for the secret tunnels on Towers of Doom and Zagara's Nydus worms.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three classes, Warriors are fighter, Assassins are thief, and Support are mage. The Specialists can be one or two of the three classes.
    • Each universe also fulfill a certain archetype. Diablo, with its high proportion of burly and/or melee heroes are generally expected to jump into the fray and survive out of it, and is thus the Warrior. Starcraft heroes tend to be squishier, but they have a high proportion of ranged heroes who rely on keeping the enemy at bay while poking them to death. Uniquely, they also have the highest proportion of stealth and/or sneaky heroes, thus they are the Thief. Warcraft heroes tend to have one form of magic or another, and they also boast a high proportion of some of the most powerful in-lore mages in their roster, making them the Mage. The Lost Vikings are the only Blizzard Classic characters so far, and fit into the thief role. Overwatch characters also fit the Thief role, since all their heroes attack from range and tend to be highly mobile.
    • Additionally, each role has at least two subdivisions:
      • Warriors can be Tanks, Stone Walls who tend to have diversionary crowd-control abilities, and Bruisers, who trade durability for damage. The former is capable of forcing the enemy into disarray, but rarely gets kills; the latter can definitely get kills but can also be easily focused down by an enemy team that keeps its cool.
      • Assassins either do Sustained damage (a Gradual Grinder) or Burst damage (a few abilities that hit like freight trains but have serious cooldowns). Sustained characters are able to play it safer (they are often Long-Range Fighter types) but rely on assistance from their allies to keep their targets pinned down. Burst characters are great for confirming kills; they are either Squishy Wizards with powerful spells but little-to-no mobility and defense, or melee-ranged types who need to pounce on the enemy to be effective, and often lack any means of retreating.
      • Supports come in two flavors: Healers can restore a lot of Hit Points, while Supports can restore a little bit of Hit Points in addition to providing other abilities that support their team; they're essentially Assassins who happen to have a heal spell on the side. Almost every character with a healing spell also has some sort of Crowd Control, so in the end Supports sacrifice better healing for, well, basically nothing, and rarely see play. But if a team is built to take advantage of their abilities (and already has a Healer), they can be absolutely decisive; one of the original Game-Breaker combos involved chained stuns from Diablo (a Tank) and Tyrande (a Support).
  • Floating Continent: Sky Temple and by extension the Tomb of the Spider Queen and the Lost Cavern takes places in one.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • For a brief period of time during the closed beta, there was a bug ivolving Anub'arak's Web Blast and Diablo's Overpower that would result in a hero being permanently removed from a single game. Observe it here.
    • Ever since the beta, there is a bug that makes the game handles wireless connections poorly. You may be playing perfectly fine one day, only for your game to have almost constant freezes/deconnections-reconnections from the following day onward. Blizzard's solution? Use a wired connection.
  • Game Mod: The whole game was originally just a really fancy custom map for StarCraft II intended to show what was possible with said game's Level Editor. Still runs on the same engine, albeit heavily modified.
  • Gatling Good: Tychus, unless he's riding his Odin.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid:
    • Tassadar tries for this trope by calling on the player to send Protoss units to back him up. Unfortunately, it doesn't work out — see Mythology Gag for why.
    • Multiple heroes have a talent that lets them call down a M.U.L.E. to repair and rearm standing structures.
  • Guns Akimbo: Valla, only with Automatic Crossbows instead of firearms.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: Standard fare of the genre, but Jaina and Kael'Thas are the best at this. The two of them can utterly melt the entire enemy team if they're not careful.
  • Humongous Mecha: One of Tychus's heroic abilities is to summon the Odin, which gives him devastating new attacks. The Archangel boss on Braxis Holdout also counts.
  • Immune to Bullets: Raynor fights Diablo in the cinematic trailer. Diablo seemed more annoyed than actually hurt and Raynor eventually ran out of ammo. If it wasn't for Nova pulling a Big Damn Heroes with a nuke, he might have bought the farm.
    • Happens again in Hanamura Showdown. Genji's shurikens don't seem to be doing much to Diablo. It takes another Big Damn Heroes moment, this time from D.Va, to defeat him. That said, even D.Va's guns don't seem to do much more than tickle the guy.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. LiLi and Murky are, respectively, a little pandaren girl and a baby murloc and both of them die like any other character in the game. LiLi lampshades it on revival by complaining about people who hit little girls. Amusingly, Murky is designed as a Suicide Attack / Zerg Rush character: he leaves an egg on the map and can very quickly respawn so long as no hero destroys it. His early alpha kit made him a suicide siege character able to tear apart bases by constantly charging in and dying after blowing all his abilities. Revamps have made him more of an attrition-based Glass Cannon, very easy to kill but will wear you down if you keep sparring with him.
  • Insistent Terminology: As per the early marketing (this was dropped later): it isn't a MOBA, it's a Hero Brawler. Lampshaded by the Lost Vikings.
    Erik: Seventeen years of nothin', and they bring us back for a MOBA. Heh, figures.
    Baleog: It's not a MOBA, it's a Hero Brawler!
    Olaf: Hero Brawler - (Viking gibberish) - you made that up!
    Erik: No. But Blizzard sure did!
    Baleog: Uhh, you guys are so getting us fired, you know that!
  • Invisibility: Nova and Zeratul become invisible when out of combat. Tyrande, Tassadar, Valeera, and some other characters can also cause invisibility with skills and/or talents. Invisible characters can be detected by dealing damage, or by certain skills. They also all have a tell-tale shimmer, making them not truly invisible.
  • Involuntary Dance: E.T.C.'s heroic ability, Mosh Pit, once channeled, will lock all nearby enemies in place while he jams his guitar.
  • Kill Streak: Gaining a killstreak without dying will cause the announcer to declare after 5, 10, 15, and 20 kills respectively: Killing Spree, Mayhem, Untouchable, and Hero of the Storm. Getting a bunch of kills quickly after one another has the announcer declare the following: Double Kill, Triple Kill, Quad Kill and Mega Kill. There are certain heroes like Li-Ming that has abilities or passives that is designed to have bonuses upon gaining kill streaks.
  • Killer Rabbit: Brightwing is a cute little faerie dragon. And pretty ruthless. Some of its unit quotes include phrases like "You sure are good at murder!" and "This will only hurt until you die" in the most adorable voice you've ever heard.
    • Same goes for Murky; an adorable baby murloc out for bloody vengeance on the entire world. While he's The Unintelligible, whatever he says apparently freaks out Kerrigan and Diablo.
  • Large and in Charge: Warrior heroes in general are bigger than other heroes, which helps with body-blocking. While they may not be leaders lore-wise, they often lead the charge and initiate team fights thus qualifying for this trope.
  • Large Ham: Many stage announcers. Especially Blackheart. The Dragon Knight can get in on the fun, too.
  • Lemony Narrator: Many stage announcers like to have fun at your expense, especially the Raven Lord.
    Raven Lord: (After watching you die) Might I suggest dodging?
    • This is also true with certain custom announcers introduced in 2.0.
    Gazlowe: (On your death) It's okay, just run back to your corpse and - oh, oh my god, it's GONE! Guess you'll have to wait!
  • Lighter and Softer: Considering that this is from a company with a boner for Crapsack Worlds, Fallen Heroes and Downer Endings (bittersweet at best), this game is pretty much this. The good Warcraft characters are not burdened with the more questionable decisions that made Azeroth a worse place (see Author's Saving Throw, especially on Thrall and Jaina), the Fallen Hero characterization is only when they're iconically established as such (eg: Arthas) whereas the Diablo villains (especially Diablo himself) don't come off as a bunch of Invincible Villains with Joker Immunity (you can kick their asses good). Then there's The Lost Vikings, who are from a totally lighthearted game.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Most Warrior heroes are this; tough, deals good damage, and mobile enough to jump into the fray or prevent escapes.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Downplayed. Unlike Dota2, Mage-type heroesnote  can be relevant at all stages of the game. That said, they excel at Herd-Hitting Attack contrary to the archetypal Assassin, allowing them to wipe the entire enemy team in moments if they're not careful.
    • Li-Ming actually inverts this trope. Her abilities scale at 3.5% per level, while everything else scales at 4%. She's a mage who actually becomes less powerful as the game goes on. Her gimped scaling is to balance out her Trait, Critical Mass, which resets all her cooldowns upon participating in a kill.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: One of the powers Tychus gets while riding the Odin.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: What happens when you have Diablo versus StarCraft and/or Overwatch. Warcraft has already been doing this within its own setting.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • Certain heroes are more talent-reliant than others, and experience a major power boost in the late game.
    • Almost every hero has one or more optional "Quest" talents, which require them to complete certain tasks (like hitting set amount of heroes with a skill) and provide little to no bonus initially, but give a larger-than-usual upgrade once the quest is completed.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: When Sgt. Hammer gets hit, she often yells "Stop that!" or just "Uh-oh!" with a greater or lesser degree of inflection. Justified; she's in a tank, so it's more "Watch the Paint Job!" than anything else.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: The worlds of Azeroth, The Koprulu Sector and Sanctuary mashing up into one Dota-style game. Blizzard has stated they also plan to include their older franchises — among them The Lost Vikings, Rock 'N Roll Racing and Blackthorne— at a later date as well. The Lost Vikings were confirmed by trailers prior to the beta launch and have since made it into the game. Overwatch got in on the fun with Tracer's announcement, followed by Zarya, Lucio, Genji, and D.Va.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class:
    • First of all, the Specialists, who are described as 'rule breakers and masters of unconventional warfare', although in practice they are siege heroes best in taking down enemy fortifications and creep waves. They tend to have a certain gimmick to their playstyle, like Sgt. Hammer's long range siege capability, Murky's quick respawn, Gazlowe's turrets or Sylvanas' fortification-disabling abilities.
    • The Lost Viking are 3 heroes in one package, thus requiring superior micromanagement skills (like Meepo). Unfortunately, their pittance of health makes them relatively unsuited to manfight enemy heroes head to head. Fortunately, that doesn't reduce their effectiveness in taking down fortifications, and what they lack in hit points they make up in speed to quickly disengage or chase down fleeing enemy heroes. They also only count as a quarter of a hero each when they die.
    • Abathur is considered one of the most mechanically unusual hero across the genre. First of all, he doesn't have any direct combat capability whatsoever, what with his low health and damage. What he offers though, is sheer map presence by deploying mines that act as early advance warning, sending in locusts periodically to help the creep wave grind down enemy fortification, and providing Symbiotes to aid allies in engagements.
    • Cho'Gall is a single hero requiring to be controlled by two players. On the downside, this means your team is short by one body and killing Cho'Gall is worth twice the experience point for the enemy team. The fun part is that he is both a Warrior and an Assassin in one package, with ridiculous damage potential and staying power. A well-played Cho'Gall will give the enemy a Sadistic Choice: either focus fire the high-health monstrosity and let his teammates rain hell on you, or ignore the high-damage monstrosity and let him rip your team a new one.
  • The Medic: Supports that use heal spells. All at the moment except Tassadar can do this with basic abilities. Lt. Morales is an actual Terran Combat Medic.
  • Medium Awareness: The heroes are well aware they are in a video game, and respond accordingly if you poke them enough.
  • MST3K Mantra: Invoked in the tutorial when Raynor questions, "Why are we doing this again?"
    Uther: You really shouldn't think so hard about such things.
  • Mooks: The non-player units are this, either enemies to be cut down, creeps who can be recruited through shows of force, or allies created through the map's mechanics.
  • More Dakka: Tychus epitomizes this; his minigun deals much lower damage than any other character's weapon per shot, but fires extremely fast (after a short wind-up period, that is.) Talents can up his fire rate further, and his Overkill ability really makes the Dakka even Dakkaier, flinging bullets everywhere to hit enemies in a cone.
    • Tracer manages to one-up Tychus in the Dakka department by going through her entire clip in one second. Each of Tracer's attacks consume 2 ammo and she carries a 20-round clip, translating into ten attacks per second.
  • Musical Assassin:
    • E.T.C. Not only can his notes kill you, his guitar has an axe's edge to hack you with.
    • Just like his own game, Lucio's technology allows him to fire off lethal sound blasts. Unique to this game is an ultimate ability that turns his Crossfade into a weapon that harms and slows any enemies in his surrounding area.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Done in the trailer for "The Machines of War" event. It showcases upcoming Starcraft hero Alarak, Starcraft-based maps, Starcraft-based skins... and then Zarya at the very end.
  • Mythology Gag/Shout-Out: Most of the characters who come from the RTS games use the exact same (though obviously revoiced) lines they used when selected or ordered around in their original games. That aside, most of the unit quotes and Stop Poking Me! quotes are littered with them.
    • Abathur's says perfection is able to be pursued, but not obtained, 'like the Ashbringer.'note 
    • He also paraphrases one of his lines from Heart of the Swarm to express exactly what he thinks of your incessant poking:
    "Anger product of adrenaline, stress response, clicking. No clicking, no anger."
    • Raynor:
      • He jokes that whenever there's a split decision in his life, the first one is usually the canonically correct one.note 
      • One of his skins bears a marked resemblance to Captain America's costume.
    • Uther:
      • He laments that back in his day, they only had one type of paladin, and they only went up to level ten! note 
      • He also complains about the icon of this game and remarks that it's weird to have an organization called "Order of the Weird Space Triangle Thing".note 
      • He knows what you blood elves are planning to do to his grave... and he is not happy about it.note 
    • Tassadar:
      • One of his annoyed quotes is "And you thought orcs had large shoulder pads."note 
      • He's also somehow several steps behind in the unit development of his race, seeing that he's dead before the second game rolls in. Thus, he's shocked that there's no Dragoon or Reavers, and wonders what the heck is a 'Void Ray'.
      • Mecha Tassadar's Force Wall heroic looks suspiciously like a certain Fin Funnel Barrier.
    • Nova jokes everyone would know she isn't Kerrigan if she had her own game. note 
    • Muradin:
      • He tells the player not to worry if Blizzard kills their favourite character, assuring them that said character will probably come back alive in an expansion or two — and he should know!note 
      • Killing Tassadar with Muradin also results him quoting the Dwarven Mortar Team from Warcraft III: "Clearly Tassadar has... failed!" note 
      • He asks The Lost Vikings if they've ever been to the Badlands...note  which prompts them to joke that they haven't been to many good lands. The Vikings themselves make a reference to that as well in their Stop Poking Me! quotes.
    • Illidan:
      • He misses Chaos Damage. note 
      • He's also appalled Blizzard added Monks instead of Demon Hunters as a class in World of Warcraft. note 
      • Humorously, he tries using the Skull of Gul'dan (an artifact which turned him into a half-demon hybrid) for a Hamlet impression.
      • In his dating app profile, he wrote that he hates "crazy chicks who wants to lock you up for thousands of years." note  He's worried that said crazy woman is right behind him.
      • He gets in on the Running Gag with the phrase "Darkness calls":
    *phone buzzes* Illidan: Hold on. Darkness just texted me. note 
    • E.T.C.: 'Wherever I go is the cow level!' note 
    • Thrall, Warchief of the Horde, has several:
      • His first joke line is confusion as to what's going on, before remembering that it's the "joke thing", which he hasn't done in a while. He then reminisces about the RTS days and the grand scale of them... but he doesn't miss the poking. note 
      • He jokes that in a few Heroes expansions he'll be replaced by Garrosh Hellscream. note 
      • He checks out his abilities to see what they gave him this time...then apologizes to Rehgar for "getting all the good stuff". note 
      • And he comments disparagingly on the game's "plot", claiming that he didn't approve any of it.note 
    • Tyrande:
      Tyrande: It's been a while since I used this bow.
      • She grumbles that when the Night Elf women ruled Kalimdor, they experienced an era of peace... until the men woke up.
      • She also wonder where her sabertooth tiger went, mention not having seen it in a while, and try calling it back. note 
    • Sonya:
      Sonya: You! Death by Snu-snu!
    • Malfurion reminds you that he's an archdruid, not a prophet.note 
    • Jaina:
      • She can recite "Azrath Metrion Zinthos".
      • She tries to defy making a Frozen reference, telling the player to "let it go"... then realises she just made one by accident. She gets over it, and if she kills an enemy Jaina she happily snarks, "The cold never bothered me anyway!"note 
      • When ordered to dance, she would execute the animation of Crystal Maiden doing Freezing Field note 
      • She can also find a white hair, hoping it's not a sign of bad things to come. note 
    • Valla:
      • Notes that she wouldn't have to respond to the player clicking on her if she were back in Diablo III,note 
      • Pretends she doesn't have enough Hatred to pull off an attacknote 
      • Asserts that Hatred must be tempered by Disciplinenote 
      • And says that things would be a lot easier if she had a follower, wondering aloud where Kormac's got to.note 
    • Azmodan:
    • The Lost Vikings:
      • One of their skills is named after League of Legends famous meme "Spin To Win!"
      • Olaf's shield in one of the color variations for the Viking's Master skin bears a striking resemblance to a shield wielded by a certain captain.
      • Baelog has a few Shout-Out quotes under his belt.
      Baelog: [after reviving] I'm back, baby!
      Baelog: [when ordered to attack] It's clobbering time!
      • When using "Jump!", Erik does the same animation as when he jumped in their game, and Olaf holds his shield above himself, which he could do in their game to float in midair.
    • Upon killing Nova, Stitches declares he's not afraid of no ghost.
    • Sylvanas:
      • If you keep poking her, she'll quote her sister Alleria: "Do that again and you'll pull back a stump."
      • She also mentions that she has never been a night elf. note 
      • And for the record: no, she won't sing a song for you. She's a heartless undead banshee, not a music box.note 
    • Anub'arak:
      • He pokes fun at how he's the king of the nerubians, who are Spider People, but looks more like a giant beetle himself.
      • He's driven to fury at the mention of the word 'raids'note , even mentioning Paragon, the first raiding guild who slew him as a raid boss, by name.note 
      • He also lampshades the questionable logic behind enrage timers.
    Anub'arak: Ten more minutes of this abuse and I will go berserk!
    • Arthas:
      • He asks the player if they ever feel like they're Hearing Voices.note 
      • He jokes that no man could defeat him, but 10 or 25 could do it.note 
    • Nazeebo:
    • Kael'thas has a skill in which he sends in a tornado to keep the enemy afloat and when upgraded, can hit and send multiple enemies afloat. This brings in mind for a certain spell from Invoker: Tornado/Wes-Quas-Wex. note 
    • Rehgar jokes that he could get used to this "video game" thing.note 
    • Arthas is now friends with Darkness. note 
    • Diablo:
      Diablo: You ever heard that one about the warrior who thought he could put a soulstone in his head? It's an enthralling tale!
      • One of Diablo's Stop Poking Me! lines is demonic-sounding Black Speech. When played in reverse, he's saying "Good children look both ways before crossing the street." This is similar to the original Diablo when he had a similar backwards line about eating vegetables and going to bed.
    • Rexxar needs all the loot for "hunter reasons". note 
      • He never gets lost in Desolace. Except when... well... actually, he takes that back. note 
      • He enjoys a bit of Hearthstone in his spare time. Oh, and every time you lost to a hunter? That was him. note 
      • Last time he accidentally summons a cow, a deer, a bear and a rat whenever he says their species name, now he summons in a horse, a bull, a monkey and a swine.note 
    • Lunara makes a reference to a rather well-known generic Dryad poke quote "I'm so wasted! I'm so wasted!" if poked enough. Also she appreciates it if you don't call her 'Mylune'.
    • Li-Ming admits something about her master Isendra having no cooldowns in her Teleport. note 
    • If Xul kills Azmodan, the former compares the latter unfavorably with his fellow Lesser Evil (who looks like a giant maggot) Duriel.note 
    • Medivh has a few:
      • He muses on the concept of an upside-down version of Karazhan underneath the tower, but dismisses it as something only a madman would come up with. note 
      • If you never get the event you want in the Karazhan opera house, don't worry. Neither does Medivh.
      • In his day, heroes only had one ultimate to choose from, and they were grateful for it!note 
    • Varian also comes with a lot of these:
      • He admits of still watching 3v3 Arena matches, and though a bit biased, his favorite setup is 'Warrior-Druid-Rogue'. note 
      • He knows about Hearthstone and thought it was 'too fantastic' for him, noting how absurd it is that Garrosh Hellscream of all people can order him around. note 
      • He advises the player to never trust anyone named Prestor, saying "It's always a dragon, always.". Katrana Prestor was the human disguise of Onyxia, while her father Deathwing passed himself as Daval Prestor.
    • Genn:
      • He wonders if "those Defias fellows" would agree to rebuild Gilneas. They most probably wouldn't note 
    • Lúcio:
      • He actually DOES like the Hasselhoff music Reinhardt listens to, he just doesn't want to admit it around him. note 
      • Click him enough times and he'll ask if anyone's up for a game of Lucio Ball. He then clarifies that he's not the one who named it. note 
    • Genji
      • His new Heroic skill, X-Strike, had him yell out "Ryuugekiken!!"note 
    • Kel'Thuzad's reveal trailer depicts all four Undead heroes from Warcraft III with the aforementioned hero and the three alternate skins shown. Jaina is the Dreadlord, Sonya represents the Death Knight, Zagara represents the Crypt Lord, and Kel'Thuzad is naturally the Lich.
    • In a non-hero example, the Swarm Host bosses on Warhead Junction take their attack patterns from Slivan, a boss from Heart of the Swarm, albeit greatly watered down (because no one needs to constantly deal with twenty Banelings at once in this game).
  • Necessary Drawback: As befitting the genre, disables are very powerful that they tend to make or break engagements. As such, most disables are skillshots which need careful aim, Lead the Target and a bit of luck on the enemy's reflex for them to hit. A scant few are fire-and-forget types, but these tend to come with other drawbacks such as delayed effect (Xul's Bone Prison) or a heroic (Murky's Octo-Grab, Anub'Arak's Web Blast). One particular exception is Brightwing's Polymorph, which is not only a fire-and-forget, but is also a basic ability and locks down almost everything, which makes it an incredibly powerful disable.
  • Neutral No Longer: Every map has a powerful entity near the center who will periodically offer a chance to earn their allegiance, providing a significant advantage temporarily, although some of them aren't entirely willing allies.
  • One-Man Army: Averted. No matter how good you are, stat and ability increases are relatively linear, and there won't be too big a discrepancy in power. Which means, even if you are lvl 15 and your enemies lvl 10, you will still lose when they gang you up 5 on 1 simply from raw stats. Specialists who can easily solo mercs camps are probably the closest to this; They can operate on their own to defeat mercenaries that otherwise require several heroes to defeat.
  • Panda-ing to the Audience: The game features both Chen Stormstout and his niece, Li Li.
  • Pet the Dog: It can be quite jarring to hear Diablo or Arthas telling you to retreat and heal yourself. You'd expect them to say something more towards You Have Failed Me or You Have Outlived Your Usefulness instead. They also thank you for healing them. Of course, the other implication is that they expect you to be healthy to be actually of use to their plans. And their thank-yous are kind of jerkish.
    Diablo: Heal yourself, minion! / Your healing is serviceable!
    Arthas: Go heal... before it's too late! / Excellent heal, minion!
  • Percent Damage Attack: Unusually plentiful for the genre.
    • Multiple heroes (usually Assassins) can take the Giant Killer talent, removing 1.5% of a target hero's hit points with every basic attack.
    • Tychus' trait causes his attacks to hit for 2.5% of target's health for few seconds. He attacks 4 times per second.
    • Diablo can steal 1% of a target's hit points on every hit with a mid-game talent; Leoric can steal 5% with a late-game one.
    • Certain abilities can also remove 10%, 20-30%, or even 49-77% of a target's hit points. All this in a game where one hero can have as much as five times the hit points of another...
    • Malthael is this trope taken to its Logical Extreme. His trait, Reaper's Mark, marks enemy non-structures he damages with basic attacks, causing them to take an additional 2.5% of their max health in damage every second for 4 seconds. And one of his heroic abilities, Last Rites, deals extra damage based on missing HP, making it a Finishing Move if the target has less than 33% of their max Hit Points remaining.
  • Play Every Day: The game has daily quests, which, due to the Anti-Poop Socking, are your main source of gold. The questing system is identical to Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (except you can't reroll quests), so you can stockpile up to three quests at any given time.
  • Portal Crossroad World: The Nexus can be interpreted as this, due to the battlegrounds are treated as Pocket Dimensions, even from different universes like Diablo and StarCraft.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: The trailer has Badass Normal Jim Raynor going up against the Big Red Devil Diablo, for starters...
    • Even beyond that, the map's event characters are somehow much more powerful than the heroes, especially jarring with Illarian and Beleth being more powerful than Tyrael and Diablo, or the Gravekeeper's undead being more powerful than those summoned by Arthas.
  • Power-Up Mount: Mounts are available to heroes to get them across the map fast. Certain heroes don't get mounts and instead have a special ability to move across the map.
  • Ragdoll Physics: Can lead to amusing moments when characters almost hit the screen, or piles of bodies fly everywhere.
  • Roller Derby: One of Nova's alternative costumes is a surprisingly accurate rollergirl outfit (with athletic shorts and full pads).
  • Running Gag: If a character from Azeroth was included and Arthas has done something horrible to them, then you can be assured that their introductory trailer will involve kicking his ass. Or even if they haven't, it's still quite likely. Diablo hasn't suffered such thing yet...
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: By taking control of two shrines on the opposing sides of the Dragonshire map, a team may free the Dragon Knight to temporarily rampage through the enemy base.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Mostly Averted. Support heroes here are quite tanky and hard to take down, or come with powerful abilities that punish such attempts, so trying to focus on them during teamfights might as well be as useful as focusing on their tank. KILL THE MEDIC. See how it turns out. To list the supports which it is generally a bad idea to focus:
    • Auriel: Congratulations. You've just dogpiled an invulnerable crystal which is about to explode, and you're likely in the middle of the enemy team. Not to mention, Auriel already boats incredible damage for a support, meaning she might just duel and kill you if you give chase.
    • Brightwing: A passive heal, a unit-targeted polymorph, and a speed boost that also blocks basic attacks make Brightwing infuriatingly hard to bring down. Then you add her heroics which either forces you away from her, or teleports her to an ally with no delay.
    • Kharazim: With two instant-speed dashes and a movement speed boost, you might have a hard time catching him. If you do get in a fight, be prepared for a flurry of AA damage befitting a melee Assassin, and his choice of either a get-out-of-jail-free auto-revive or a tank-melting AoE as a heroic.
    • Li Li: Don't be fooled by the child. Li Li is one of the tougher heroes to pin and take down due to her very short cooldown heals, her passive that boosts her movespeed, and her 3rd skill making you miss some of your attacks. And then she gets a level 20 talent that lowers her cooldowns when she's hit, which will just make her heal more.
    • Lt. Morales: If your enemies know what they're doing, they'll be playing 'protect the medic no matter the cost' - if you manage to catch Morales out, great. But otherwise Shoot the Mage First and use plenty of Herd-Hitting Attack.
    • Malfurion: On top of his rooting spells making him a hard target to stick to, one of his two heroics (Twilight Dream) will absolutely wreck your team if you try to dogpile him. His healing is also almost entirely done as healing-over-time, so if he has cast his heals, disabling him will do little good.
    • Rehgar: With his slows, ghost-wolf movement speed, decent healing, and damage to be reckoned with, you really want your entire team focusing him to bring him down. Trust us when we say that before he was nerfed even that wasn't always enough.
    • Stukov: That mutant arm of his hits like a cement mixer, letting him punish would-be pursuers with surprise burst damage. Add in a big heal for him and his team, a hefty slow, and a silencing AoE, and you're in for a bad day. Finally, either of his heroics can counter ganks, with Flailing Strike keeping away dogpiles and Massive Shove shrugging off a single diver.
    • Tassadar: One of his abilities outright ensures his escape by making him invisible, invulnerable, and not bothered by unit collision. Then add either a wall-creating ability to prevent you from getting to him, or a Super Mode which MASSIVELY boosts his combat potential.
    • Uther: On top of being tanky as all hell with plenty of self healing and a possible invulnerability heroic, his trait ensures he will stick around and heal allies as a spirit even if you do bring him down. If a certain talent is chosen at level 20 he will then return to life when the trait would normally expires, forcing you to kill the tanky Uther again.
    • Shoot the Mage First: It is more beneficial to crowd control the Support and kill the squishier Assassins while the Support is unable to save them. If you see a AoE mage-ish Assassin that has little mobility (e.g: Jaina and Kael'thas), they'd be the primary target because of their squishy nature making them very difficult to keep alive, and the capability to melt down oppositions immediately if left unchecked.
  • Side Quest:
    • In Heroes of the Storm, taking down neutral creep and going off the lanes can be beneficial to fulfill the map's secondary objectives which may help in winning the match, or at least to hire those neutral creeps for extra fire power.
    • Some revamped talents become this. Complete the condition, and get an additional bonus. For instance, Mana Addict grants Arcane Barrier after 25 stacks in addition to the extra mana. You can also keep stacking the extra mana bonus after getting the ability.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The cheapest heroes cost only 2000 goldnote  are very newbie friendly, but in the hands of a veteran these heroes can utterly decimate the enemy team. Special mention to ETC's Mosh Pit heroic, which has the potential to disable the entire enemy team for an unhealthy 4 seconds. They also tend to lack any glaring weaknesses, making them very solid choice in most cases.
  • Skill Gate Character: Nova and Zeratul, and anything involving invisibility, really. Unlike Dota2, you can see invisible heroes sneaking around, courtesy of Visible Invisibilitynote . Learning to see the invisible is essential to be a better player, and these heroes then become more manageable. Zeratul downplays the trope somewhat, as even without his invisibility, he can still be tricky to catch and remain a somewhat capable combatant, and having a high utility powerful Heroic (Void Prison). Of course, those who plays Nova can still be a dangerous foe when they don't just rely on invisibility, but instead mind-games, getting strategic positions, or utilizing bushes (you'll have a harder time spotting an invisible character standing on bushes)
  • Some Kind of Force Field: Storm Shield, a trait available to certain heroes, creates a shield around them and their allies worth 20% of their maximum health to protect them for three seconds.
  • Summon Magic: Several heroes can bring additional units to the fray: Arthas and his ghouls, Kerrigan and her Zerglings or Ultralisk, Nazeebo and his zombies etc. Special mention to Zagara, whose entire ability set is summoning Zerg units to attack for her.
  • Stomach of Holding: Stitches' heroic ability, Gorge.
  • Stop Poking Me!: Par for the course in a Blizzard game.
  • Taking You with Me: Tyrael, when killed, becomes a living bomb that detonates after a short time, damaging any enemies around him. Gall can pick up a talent that lets him keep casting spells on death, including his Heroics if they're off cooldown.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Many characters express distaste for being paired up with villains and monsters. You can cut Sgt. Hammer's disapproval of The Butcher with his own cleaver.
    Sgt. Hammer: Oh. GREAT. It's you...
    (The Butcher growls)
  • Theme Music Powerup: The Lost Vikings' Longboat Raid heroic ability plays their theme music.
  • Title Drop: You'll be rewarded with one from the announcer if your team scores 20 kills without anyone dying.
  • Token Evil Teammate: The heroes team includes Nova, who is not exactly evil, but a Punch-Clock Villain and a loyal subordinate to Arcturus Mengsk, Raynor's Arch-Enemy.
  • Token Good Teammate: The tutorial mission had Nazeebo, the Diablo III Witch Doctor Nephalem, being on the bad guy side along with Arthas, Stitches and Diablo himself. It's pretty clear, however, that he was just playing along — his game opener quotes indicate he's still batting for the good guys.
  • Total Party Kill: "Enemy Team Dominated!" And if your team got inflicted with this trope, one of your allies may say some lamentation or encouragement line.
    Kael'thas: This.. is not a defeat.. It is merely a setback.
    Alarak: Ugh! You are all unworthy of my leadership!
    Nova: Well that sucks.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Although the trailer/opening cinematic shows Diablo as seen in Diablo III, the version that appears in game is based on the one from Diablo II. Averted as of 2.0, which added Prime Evil Diablo as a skin.
  • Units Not to Scale: It's a Blizzard game, so that's to be expected especially when you consider some of the StarCraft units to others: Sgt. Hammer is smaller than a dwarf and a pandaren child outside of her Siege Tank, and the two Banshees Raynor can summon for his second Heroic are so tiny that their pilots clearly represent the Lollipop Guild, to say nothing of the Odin, which barely works as a second suit of power armor, let alone a multi-story nuke-totting mecha.
  • Unlockable Content: In addition to the randomly-received items from loot chests, it's possible to obtain character portraits for reaching levels 5 and 15 with a given hero.
  • Unstable Equilibrium:
    • Averted by MOBA standards. There is no gold in this game, so EXP is all you will get from killing enemy heroes. But the EXP you get/give at low level is much smaller compared to the EXP you get/give at later levels. So while a team that steamrolls the opposition during the early game can win by keeping the pressure, it is just as common that a few successful ganks or teamfight during late game can make up for the difference and let the enemy turn the table.note 
    • Averted on an individual level, as well; exp earned is shared equally between the entire team, everyone levels up at the same time, and as there is no item system and everyone earns Talents at the same rate, players will never run into a situation where they're miles behind and dragging their team down because of it.
    • Having said that, the secondary map objectives, which seem to be the ultimate Comeback Mechanic, are actually ways of enforcing Unstable Equilibrium. You have to be careful taking them because taking them requires you to be physically present — IE, not dead — and the enemy team can thus interfere very directly. If your team can't take the objectives, you can just push normally... but the objectives are always more efficient at demolition than your characters are, meaning that the enemy team will still come out ahead. The secondary objectives may seem like a way to bypass teamfights and outplay your opponents strategically, but the truth is that force the two teams to fight each other... and, thus, one of them to lose. This design philosophy has reached its (current) culmination on Towers of Doom and Hanamura maps, where the enemy core, normally destroyed by your hero's weapons, can only be damaged by shots fired from... the secondary objectives.
    • Also played straight with Heroics- since all players level up at the same time and get their Heroic abilities at level 10, if one team gets to that much significantly faster than their opponents, their entire team becomes temporarily almost twice as powerful as their opponents until they catch up, which can be quite difficult with them using their Heroics to blow the enemy off the map. This also happens with the "Storm talents" at level 20, and to a lesser extent with all talent break points that happen every 3 levels or so, with the team in the lead getting a small power spike every time they reach one.
  • Victory Pose: The winning team will perform one at the end of each match. Each pose per hero varies, from Raynor doing a fist pump, to Brightwing and Nazeebo doing backflips, to Sylvanas doing her Sarcastic Clapping, Malfurion twirling his staff, and many more. Inversely, there were only a few defeat poses, the majority of the heroes don't have it. Such as Nova facepalming and shaking her head, and Stitches crying.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Unlike most other MOBAs, if you heal an ally, you will hear said allied hero actually thanking you for the heal, no matter how small. Yes, even Diablo, Azmodan, Kerrigan and Arthas.
    • But not Alarak who will say things along the lines of knowing better healers or degrading your healing as insufficient.
  • Videogame Settings: The following main maps in the game are based on the following:
  • Visible Invisibility: You can see the slight distortion invisible characters cause as they move around. Now would be a good time to use your Detection ability or aim at their general direction.
  • When Trees Attack: In the Garden of Terror map, the special objective enemies are living plants that drop seeds when attacked and slain. Collecting 100 seeds allows your team to summon a giant plant of your own that can bind and damage enemy buildings with giant roots, and drop spores to turn enemy heroes into harmless plant creatures temporarily. Malfurion also can summon one with a talent to the Entangling Roots skill.
  • Wild Card: The keepers of many of the map objectives, both in function and personality. The map objectives involve earning their trust so they will help you destroy the enemy's base, such as gathering doubloons for Blackheart in Blackheart's Bay, or tribute for the Raven Lord in Cursed Hollow. The only problem is they're more than willing to do the same for your opponents if they meet the requirements first. The keepers' dialogues range from finding the conflict amusing, to being dismissive and saying they're just doing their job, to outright admitting they're willing to help whoever so long as they get what they want.
  • Worth It: Various heroes say a variation of this if they managed to kill an enemy hero, but died in the process.
    Abathur: Equal exchange.
    Diablo: I claim victory from death!
    Artanis: No victory without risk.
    Ragnaros: EVEN IN DEATH, THE LIVING FLAME CONSUMES ALL!
    Kael'thas: Your death was entirely worth it.
    Nova: Got it anyway!
    Tyrande: A worthwhile exchange.
    Zagara: Victory in death!
    Li-Ming: Ha, got you! Never mind the rest.
    Rehgar: Ha! You thought you could best me?!
    Alarak: Even in death I am the victor!
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: There's No Fourth Wall in this game — almost everyone knows that they're in a game and most are aware of the player controlling them. However, some people think the conglomerate of worlds they've been called to function on the same principles as the world (and games, for that matter) they were lifted from. Among them...
    • Diablo: The Nephalem appear to think it uses the Diablo Money Spider system; Sonya complains that nobody drops loot after she kills them and the game makes no sense to her, while Valla muses on how many more people she has to kill before one of them drops a Legendary item. That said she later averts it by pointing out if this were Diablo, she wouldn't have to respond when clicked on.
    • Retro: Baelog from The Lost Vikings asks how many Video Game Lives they've got left after he revives, and taunts enemies he kills by asking if they wrote down the level's password, even though neither are used here.
    • Starcraft: When Uther welcomes him to the Nexus during the introductory tutorial, Raynor asks if it's a Protoss Nexus like the ones from his home 'verse, and he, Tychus and Nova apparently think the healing magic that keeps their health up is the same as Starcraft Medic technology. Ironically, a Medic Hero has since been released into the game. Meanwhile, Tassadar thinks the game is a custom Starcraft map and that the Protoss tech tree still operates the way it did when he was alive.
    • Warcraft: Kael'thas apparently thinks all demons are composed of fel energy (see when he kills Diablo). He may be interested to know what happened to the last person subsumed in Diablo's essence; she didn't find it very fun. Meanwhile, Chromie notices how Heroes is an Endless Game thinks she's stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop.
    • Overwatch: Zarya doesn't understand why she can't jump in the Nexus and wonders if it's because the gravity is really high. D.Va thinks she's in Fighters of the Storm 2, and wants to play as Garrosh.
  • You Nuke 'Em: The map objective of Warhead Junction is to collect warheads to lay waste to the enemy structures. Or, if you're feeling vindictive, the enemy team.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: Several heroes have abilities used to keep others from escaping them.
    • Stitches has a hook to pull people in.
    • Diablo has a skill that flips the target from in front to behind of himself.
    • Kerrigan has a skill that drags people in. She also has a jumping skill which can be used to catch an escaping enemy.
    • The Butcher's heroic ability can summon a pole which chains an enemy hero, preventing them from escaping. With the appropriate talent, it can chain all heroes in range.
  • Zerg Rush:
    • Murky, with its constant respawning from an egg, is meant to evoke this.
    • With Zagara and Abathur, both Zerg minion-spawners you are able to do this one literally.
    • This is literally the map objective for the Braxis Holdout battleground.
    • One complaint about the game in general is that forming heroes into a big ball and running over anything/anyone they come across is often a successful way to play the game. Then again, this game is billed as Hero Brawler.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm