Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Heroes of the Storm

Go To

"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) 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.

Even though MOBAs are deeply vulnerable to cries of "They Changed It, Now It Sucks!," Blizzard put a lot of variety into this title. Most of them speed up 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 (Dragon Shire), local pirates who can be bribed to rain cannonballs down on your enemy (Blackheart's Bay), etc—that can 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.

Some changes, however, change gameplay fundamentally, shifting the emphasis from The Ace (a single player who leads the team to victory) of other MOBAs to the Five-Man Band. Experience Points are accrued as a team, not as individual characters, allowing Blizzard to emphasize the importance of the Damager, Healer, Tank trio and introduce a much larger number of gimmick heroes which wouldn't work with single scaling. Likewise, "kills" and "assists" started out grouped together as "Takedowns" — and any ability which gets stronger every time it's used to score a kill is powered by Takedowns, making them much safer to invest in. 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; additionally, the existence of multiple maps (most MOBAs have two or less) adds an entirely new level to the Meta Game, since certain Heroes will inevitably be stronger or worse on certain maps. Talents only occur at certain levelsnote , resulting in very specific timings and power spikes that teams are encouraged to play towards and/or around. A number of Talents are Evolving Attacks: performing a specific action enough times unlocks new functionality. The fact that all stat bonuses and performance increases are via Talents, and only happen once a game (as opposed to a Gold & Item system, where a single player could conceivably get multiple copies of the Infinity +1 Sword), means Blizzard has total control over the maximum Power Level of any given character. And (with three exceptions) each character has two options for their Heroic Ability, of which they must choose one; 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.

Shortly after BlizzCon 2018, it became clear to Activision Blizzard's bank accounts that Heroes of the Storm was not pulling its weight financially. The game's professional circuit was ended and its programming team cut down (with many of them heading over to Diablo IV, which at the time needed as many hands as could be found). In July 2022, the game officially went into "maintenance mode", announcing all development for new future content was dropped. The game continues to be available to play, with a small and dedicated community who've made their own "home-grown" competitive scene.

    open/close all folders 


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 
    • Alterac Pass note 
  • Overwatch's Earth: note 
    • Hanamura Temple note 
    • Volskaya Foundry note 
  • Special: note 
    • Blackheart's Revenge note 
    • Braxis Alpha note 
    • Braxis Outpost note 
    • Checkpoint Hanamura note 
    • Deadman's Port note 
    • Industrial District 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 A.I.s 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.
  • Storm League contains tournament-style draft and ban gameplay as well as a fluctuating rank system and map rotation to keep the meta fresh. You can queue as a group of any size, and solo can choose to either be matched with groups of any size or guarantee you'll only match with other solo players.
  • ARAM or All Random All Mid, a gamemode featuring weekly rotating maps with no objectives and a single lane, themed after existing maps. Each player is given three random heroes and selects one in a blind draft at the start of the game.
  • 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.
  • Heroes Brawl was a unique game mode that changed weekly and contained unique and bizarre gameplay modifiers or maps. They were unofficially phased out in 2019, and officially replaced by ARAM mode in September 2020.

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, HeroStorm, 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 levelsnote . 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'!
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Not the models themselves, but the art used during the match loading screen is the same on both sides, just mirrored.
  • An Adventurer Is You: Heroes of the Storm has actually had two class systems.
    • The original system was "Assassin, Support, Warrior, Specialist." Unfortunately, this left plenty of room for ambiguity:
    • Eventually this was abandoned and replaced with greater differentiation:
      • Tank: Stone Wall. First to enter, last to leave, their job is to decide where and when their team takes fights, using Crowd Control spells to either pin a victim in place or arrest an ambush. Typically they have Hit Points, crowd control and nothing else.
      • Bruiser: Mighty Glacier. There is some lack of clear delineation between this and Tank; some Tanks can be used as Bruisersnote  and some Bruisers can be used as Tanksnote . Additionally, Bruisers don't have a unified game plan: they all have some form of Regenerating Health, but somenote  get their team ahead in levels by winning 1v1 duels, while others focus on a Herd-Hitting Attack that allows them to gain EXP faster. In general, though, Bruisers are played as solo laners, focusing on gathering experience away from the team while keeping themselves alive against the enemy Bruiser.
      • Melee Assassin: Fragile Speedster. Typically, they have some sort of Flash Step or Dash Attack that allows them to Attack! Attack! Attack!... and no way to get out again. In compensation, they hit hard. (This is the second-smallest class in the game.)
      • Ranged Assassin: The Glass Cannon and the Squishy Wizard. This is the largest class in the game, due to the sheer array of playstyles it encompasses. Individual Ranged Assassins can specialize in grinding enemies down with long-ranged basic attacks, blowing enemies up with huge bursts of spell damage, stacking lots of damage over time, or anything in between. The only common factor is a ranged basic attack and lots of damage output, making them the primary damage-dealers of most teams as they can engage much more safely than Melee Assassins.
      • Healer: Any character that can put health back on an ally goes here. Once again, however, this retains the problem of having the Red Mage is wedged into this category, regardless of whether their healing capacity is enough to keep allies topped up amidst a 5-on-5 brawl — and regardless of whether that's the best way for the character in question to be played.
      • Support: And the Rest. This catch-all category is for any Hero that supports in non-healing ways, such as adding Shields to an ally, providing global presence, rapidly soaking XP, and any combination therein. The only consistent thing is a heavy reliance on teammates. There are currently only four of them.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Other than gold, leveling 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. When the game entered into 2.0, new players are given 2000 gold, which the game suggests using on buying one of three hero packs that unlocks 20 heroes right away, packed with potent abilities for newbies and veterans alike.
  • The All-Seeing A.I.: An amusing variation. A.I. bots know exactly where you are if you're cloaked, 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 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.
  • The Artifact:
    • The game has gotten Denser and Wackier over the years leaving some Heroes looking plain by comparison and at worst having them be outclassed by the new Heroes. Blizzard has recently been trying to rework older Heroes to fix this problem.
    • Heroes sharing the same talents used to be far more common, but over the years Blizzard has removed shared talents from older Heroes (or replaced them with tweaked, personalized versions; Uther's version of "Cleanse", for instance, became one with a longer cooldown which is reduced every time Uther hits someone). There are still a few non-unique talents, though... and some of them stick out, like Malfurion using a StarCraft Scouting Drone, Nazeebo using a World Of Warcraft Ice Block, or the (Zerg) Abathur calling in a (Terran) MULE to fix structures.
    • The model quality has changed drastically over the years leaving older heroes looking a bit silly by comparison, Arthas being one of the worst examples.
    • Once you level a hero enough, you unlock that hero's Mastery Portrait. Prior to 2.0, this was also the level where that hero's Master Skin became available for purchase, so the portrait was a shot of that hero's skin. When the new system rolled out, Master Skins were removed but the portraits were not, with new heroes getting an alternate angle of them as their Mastery Portrait. This means that the majority of heroes have an unrelated skin as their special portrait.
    • The game's three-pronged logo was meant to emphasize that characters from all three of Blizzard's main franchises were involved. Then Blizzard launched their first new IP in 17 years.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • While the AI for the game is mostly quite streamlined, it does have occasional slip-ups. One of the most notable examples of this was the bots' tendency to attack D.Va's mech after she uses Self-Destruct, until they were eventually programmed to run the hell away from it.
    • The AI is also coded to avoid Area Effects like the plague, whether active or otherwise. Whilst this is generally smart and reasonable, it can be possible to 'block' them from passing through narrow spaces using things like Junkrat's Concussion Mine or Stukov's Lurking Arm; drop either on a gate and watch the AI run back and forth in utter confusion whilst your team attacks the towers unimpeded.
    • Bots have a complicated relationship with enemy forts. Occasionally, they'll somehow conclude that running under a fort is the best way to get from A to B, or attempt to take a half-health fort on their own with no minions around. These scenarios usually end exactly how you'd expect them to.
    • The AI will sometimes try to take fights without considering whether they have the tools to survive them (such as running back into a fight while their key defensive ability is on cooldown). This is frequently observed with Murky, who will use his Safety Bubble to run away, come back for more because he thinks he has enough health, and then promptly die.
    • Bots' performance tends to vary depending on what hero they're using. While heroes like Kel'Thuzad and Zarya can border on Perfect Play A.I., heroes like Deathwing and The Lost Vikings are extremely prone to feeding (the former by not taking into account his abilities' delays and failing to retreat half the time, while the latter will just Leeroy Jenkins themselves into enemies far above their weight class without trying to put up meaningful resistance).
  • Art Shift: Characters look like they do in their original franchises. Thus it's possible to have the battered Space Marine Jim Raynor, from the Used Future StarCraft, right next to the slasher-movie monster The Butcher, alongside green-haired, purple-skinned night elf Malfurion, healing the Pixaresque Tracer, who's fighting three cartoon Vikings, next to Real Is Brown Zerg Kerrigan who is riding a 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. To an even larger extent, Lt. Morales, Sgt. Hammer, and Blaze are all based entirely on mooks; besides their interactions with the other heroes, they barely even have characters beyond the generic stereotypes of their original unit type, and still manage to fight on par with the aforementioned poster-children.
  • Ascended Meme: They tend to do this with various skins.
    • Blizzard took the Azmodunk joke to its logical conclusion and made a fully-fledged Azmodunk skin.
    • During Kel'Thuzad's reveal, Blizzard took the 'Jaina is a Dreadlord' meme into a Dreadlord skin for Jaina.
    • Many people were annoyed when D.Va was revealed instead of the predicted Deathwing. Blizzard's response? Make a Deathwing skin for D.Va.
    • The "Crotchety Axe Guy" Warcraft portrait (an image of Durotan's belt) is based on this reddit thread where a user asked for the identity of the "spooky undead axe midget" on the Draenor loading screen.
      "That would be Durotan's crotch"
    • Carrying over from his home game, Genji's hero spotlight ends with him saying:
      "You need healing!"note 
    • Two of the announced cosmetics from BlizzCon 2018, namely Janitor Leoric and a Cloaken announcer, have been popular fan suggestions for years.
    • Kel'Thuzad's long list of titles in his hero spotlight and poke lines are a reference to said list being a Running Gag whenever someone would suggest him in the comments of Heroes of the Storm posts on social media.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: 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 various Blizzard games with a heavy metal riff and Ominous Latin Chanting 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, Road Boar, Orochi Hovercycle, or Busan Police Hovercycle mounts are available to anyone that can ride a mount. Meaning... Orcs on Motorcycles. Or Demons on Motorcycles.
  • Barrier Warrior: Medivh, Johanna, Zarya, Tassadar and Tyrael can create these as main skills. Other heroes with talents also can.
    • Downplayed with Kerrigan, who maintains the normal squishiness of a hard DPS but can generate absurd amounts of shield through her hero trait if left unchecked.
  • Bash Brothers: A lot of characters have custom dialogue before a match if they're on a team together.
  • Battle Couple: If they're in the same team, Raynor and Kerrigan. Also Malfurion and Tyrande.
  • 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. He can also summon a giant Laser Drill as a Heroic that is bigger than him.
    • 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.
    • Artanis' Purifier Beam is the end result of one of these being fired from orbit offscreen.
    • Fenix's Planet Cracker beam, which can reach from one end of the map to the other.
  • 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.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Any character who can add Shields to themselves or an ally simply adds on extra HP. This is distinct from "Armor," which adds Damage Reduction.
  • 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.
    • Block and Spell Shield and their variations are among the least flashy talents in the game, but they might just make the difference between you surviving long enough to take down the enemy's squishy Assassin and being ripped to shreds in the first two seconds of combat by said Assassin.
    • Raynor and Valla are among the cheapest heroes at only 2000 gold each. As Assassins, their damage output comes largely from their right-click autoattacks, and maybe some use of their Abilities. Both can dish out incredible amount of damage this way, and are in the top 25% of basic-attack DPS.
    • Though only released after the game's pro scene was discontinued, Anduin Wrynn is one of the safest, most reliable picks as a Healer. He has good burst healing, good follow-up CC and a number of Get Out Of Jail Free buttons — most particularly his Trait, Leap of Faith, which allows him to Vaudeville Hook an ally out of danger, saving overextended teammates or even facilitating dives. The Red Mage and Master of None of healers, there may not be a lot of times when he is the right choice for the job, but there is never a time when he's the wrong choice.
  • 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: Originally averted. Base defenses had limited, slowly regenerating ammunition from the launch until late 2017. As of the 2018 Gameplay Update, this is played straight since structures can no longer run out.
    • 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 recharges her gun when out of combat.
    • Junkrat uses an ammo system for his Frag Launcher ability, much like how he does in Overwatch, but he can still use basic attacks (which are visually identical to Frag Launcher) while he's reloading.
    • 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.
  • Chain Lethality Enabler:
    • Greymane's heroic Go For The Throat leaps on an enemy hero for massive damage. If it scores a kill, he gets a second cast of the ability for free within a short window (which does not trigger another recast). With his Storm Talent, Go For the Throat resets the cooldowns of all of Greymane's abilities including itself, making it great for cleaning up a weakened team.
    • Li-Ming's trait, Critical Mass, resets all of her cooldowns (basic and heroic) whenever she gets a takedown or assist. She's also a burst mage capable of killing most squishy heroes in one sequence of abilities... and you can see how that usually goes.
    • Downplayed with Kerrigan's Ravage. It lets her leap on an enemy, and refreshes its cooldown if it gets the killing blow. Against heroes, this almost never happens since the damage is low and its her main engage tool. Against minions however, it lets her jump between a weakened wave and clear the whole lane by itself.
    • Genji's Swift Strike ability refreshes its cooldown and refunds its mana cost if an enemy hero dies within 1.5 seconds of being hit by it. He can also pick up a level 20 talent that allows Dragonblade to refresh Swift Strike's cooldown if a hero dies within 1.5 seconds of being hit by it.
  • Character Select Forcing: Downplayed. About half the characters in the game are Assassins, and there are people in the other classes who are DPS in all but name. Consequently, drafting is often a matter of strategically playing and/or banning the best non-Assassins, 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.) Blizzard are finally addressing this in QM by being stricter in team comp requirements (with the end result that Assassins may have significantly longer queue times).
    • Downplayed in a different way. There used to be draft modes where players were required to draft in the order the screen listed them — which was something the game determined. If you were in the first two or three people to pick for your team, you had to make a safe, high-tier pick. If you wanted to play someone more conditional or funky, like Abathur or Kharazim or Chromie, you ran the risk of giving the enemy team well a large portion of their draft with which to exploit that character's weaknesses.
  • 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 biggest one is the Shared Team EXP Bar. In most other MOBAs, if the enemy team can identify which of your players is the weakest, they can exploit their poor play to get tons of kills, EXP and Gold; the victimized player, meanwhile, Can't Catch Up and is being forced into Throwing the Fight over and over again. HotS averts this with the shared-level mechanic: the victimized player is still Throwing the Fight, but at least their better-playing teammates can drag them into a better position first. (It also helps smooth over the wide variety of skill levels that tend to be assembled by the matchmaker. Of course, the flipside is that the Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy types can't show off by being miles ahead of everyone else in EXP... and while that may seem like a minor price to pay, it should be pointed out that a number of pro HotS players were dismayed at how few ways they could find to show individual skill.)
    • EXP gain from kills scales upward with hero level, as to death timers.
  • 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.
    • Kel'Thuzad is a fusion between his Warcraft III version, his Hearthstone version, and a bit of his World of Warcraft version. He's calm and collected most of the time like his depiction in WC III, but he tends to dip into the largest of hams when he gets excited, falling more into his Hearthstone and WoW version.
    • Anyone who doesn't have it visually usually has it in their kit. For example, Fenix is obviously a Dragoon, but he uses just as much Stalker abilities. And for a High Templar, Tassadar sure has a lot in common with a Sentry. Likewise, Warcraft heroes are rife with this, with class-based heroes often overlapping with several specs. It gets lampshaded a lot.
    Valeera: Specializations are more like suggestions. Personally, I think of myself as a Subtle Outlaw Assassin.
    Yrel: Am I dedicated to the Protection of my allies, or do I bring Retribution to our enemies? Honestly, I'm not that into labels.
  • Computers Are Fast: The AI has reaction times that simply wouldn't be possible for most people, especially on higher difficulties. You haven't seen fast until you've tried to dash away from Diablo on Genji only for the Diablo bot to grab you in mid-dash. Heroes like Raynor and Tychus can also reliably interrupt abilities a split-second before they go off, and playing against an AI Medivh can be frustrating to say the least due to his ability to block your biggest nukes at the last second every time. Similarly, landing area-of-effect abilities on bots can be quite tricky; as soon as they see the AOE indicator, they run.
  • The Computer Shall Taunt You: Some announcers comment on your performance in a dismissive or taunting manner. The equipable Alarak announcer goes out of his way to do this, taunting over the player's mistakes and criticizing their accomplishments.
  • Continuity Nod: Artanis was automatically unlocked for any account that purchased Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void. His default skin shows him as he appeared at the start of the campaign. An unlockable skin shows him at the end of Legacy of the Void, nerve cords severed, covered in blood, and wielding Zeratul's blade.
  • 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 Zul'jin's Guillotine heroic. You cannot see where it will land.
    • (Formerly) Averted with Chromie's Dragon's Breath, as well, until the Whitemane patch reworked her so that enemies can see it a little bit after it's cast.
  • 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; Valeera is a traitor vampire siding with Valla; Greymane is a scientist who turned himself into a monster to combat Kerrigan; and Nazeebo is a sinister harlequin who performs necromantic tricks for his countess' amusement. With the exception of Nazeebo, all of them are fittingly Halloween-exclusive.
    • 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, and D.Va gets a Goliath 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. The Alterac patch added skins for Garrosh, Varian, Muradin, Rehgar, Valeera, Auriel, Johanna and Junkrat, the descritptions of which imply they're from an alternate universe where Varian's father didn't die, Garrosh didn't Jump Off The Slippery Slope.
    • Star Lich Kel'Thuzad and his dragon Space Lord Leoric rule The Eternal Empire and 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.
  • 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 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.
    • Alexstrasza can take the skies and rain down fireballs with Cleansing Flame.
    • 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...
      Chromie: I know that was supposed to happen, but I still hate it!
    • 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 too 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 any map where Heroes can attack the Core directly note , clearing a lane of both its Fort and Keep will spawn ballistas or catapults for the attackers. They do splash damage; more importantly, they outrange the Core, as well as all minions. If the defending team does nothing to stop it, even one wave can easily push all the way to the core and the little damage the catapult actually does will take it down surprisingly quickly.
    • On a meta level, this is the main point of several "sustain damage" heroes, like Illidan and Genji, who excel at dealing out a lot of hits quickly and being able to chase after enemies that try to flee when they realize dueling one of them is a non-option.
  • 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.
  • Developer's Foresight: Every match starts with an exchange between your hero and another. Some are generic where there isn't anything for the two to talk about, some are based on the heroes' relationship, some are even altered slightly depending on the skin of one or both. Then, you have a few basically secret lines that only come out when both heroes have a unique, related skin; Space Lord Leoric and Star Princess Li-Ming, for example. The chances of one of these happening accidentally are slim to none.
  • 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. In fact, Abathur and The Lost Vikings have ignored the usual rules for Hero price reductions specifically to disincentivize players from purchasing them until they've gotten fairly far into the game.
    • Many characters have abilities that function this way as well. Falstad's Mighty Gust is a huge Knock Back that instantly pushes the entire enemy team half the map away. This can be a superb tool if your team is losing a fight... and a massive hindrance if your team was winning the fight. Of course, it can also be used to displace the enemy team directly into yours... Which can be a superb tool if your team is ready, and a massive hindrance if your team was not. Learning when to Gust, and in what direction, takes almost as much time as learning all the character's other buttons.
  • Dispel Magic: Anyone with "Cleanse" and its variants, which makes an ally "Unstoppable" (IE immune from crowd control) for a few seconds. Most Supports used to have this, but it's been slimmed down as time passes... mostly because, if a Support had it, they would take that Talent about 193% of the time.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: This is basically the Talent system in a nutshell. Because Mirror Matches aren't allowed in most modes, you'll rarely see the most blatant form of the trope, but the Talent system allows characters to evolve differently across matches. A Valla who emphasizes her Automatic Crossbows and takes Talents mostly related to her Trait will function quite differently than one who emphasizes her Hungering Arrow ability, and both are different from one who emphasizes the Multishot ability. (And yes, you can mix-and-match, but you get better Min-Maxing if you stick to one ability.)
  • 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-Edged Buff:
    • Whitemane can activate her trait "Zeal" to give herself 25% increased spell power but also lower her armor by 15 for a few seconds. Given her role as a Combat Medic, this increases both her healing and damage output, but only if she's willing to take a risk.
    • Fenix can pick up the Divert Power: Weapons talent, which gives him a massive damage boost but instantly destroys his innate shield when the buff runs out. Fenix is normally Armored But Frail, making this potentially quite risky to use.
    • Mal'Ganis can use the talent Blind as a Bat to temporarily remove the cooldown and mana cost of Fel Claws, but also set his vision range to 0 and remove the ability to see allied vision for the duration. This can be very powerful if you know where your enemies are but can also make you look silly swiping at absolutely nothing for six seconds.
  • 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'thas 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?"
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Some heroes appeared as announcers, poke quotes, or background characters in trailers before entering the Nexus properly.
  • 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, and they'll get dizzy, complete with Circling Birdies. The only exception is Deathwing, who's permanently Unstoppable even in the Shop.
    • The shop search bar is full of Easter Eggs. Typing in any specific game or even expansion will bring up characters who appeared in that game. You can also filter characters by faction, class, or species. Some characters even have specific secret search options, like "chapeau" for Whitemane or "dreadlord" for Jaina.
    • 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.
    • Almost every map has an Easter Egg somewhere. Some are background events, and some can be found by clicking a hidden thing or clicking something repeatedly:
      • One of the statues on Dragon Shire has a placard that can be hovered over to display the message "The Little King - D1rewo1f". This is a tribute to a fan who had passed away.
      • There are subtle hints on Garden of Terror that the map is actually Dragon Shire in the distant future (and shifted slightly to the south). Namely, the Moon Shrine is visible in the middle lane jungle, covered in vines and obscured by the surrounding wall. Prior to the map's revamp, the Dragon Knight itself could also be seen in the top lane in a similar condition.
      • There are two hanging sharks near Blackheart on Blackheart's Bay. Clicking them makes them wriggle, and clicking them enough causes them to break free and jump back into the ocean.
      • In Tomb of the Spider Queen, there's a jewel that can be knocked off the wall near the boss by repeatedly clicking it. Once you do, Harrison Jones will climb down the wall to collect it.
      • Sky Temple has a twofer. Firstly, if you pay attention to aqueducts that run along the outside of the map, you can occasionally catch a glimpse of a shark chasing somebody through it. Additionally, the Harrison Jones Easter Egg from TotSQ is continued, where breaking open a well near the bottom lane will cause Harrison to emerge will the jewel in hand and fly off on a Magic Carpet.
      • Clicking a special weapon rack enough times on Battlefield of Eternity and Infernal Shrines drops the sword Quel'Serrar or the Butcher's cleaver respectively. If you do this, a treasure goblin steals all of the loot that pops out of the core at the end of the match.
      • While you're dead on Towers of Doom and Alterac Pass, a spirit healer becomes visible in graveyards. Hovering over it displays the same text that talking to the spirit healer in WoW does.
      • There's an arcade above the left team's top fort on Braxis Holdout. Clicking the arcade titled "Samuro Shodown" pops up a holographic fight between Samuro and Sammyro. This also counts as an Early-Bird Cameo for Samuro, who wasn't yet released when this map was.
      • Warhead Junction has two: One of the pools of sludge between mid and top lane will occasionally have an eyeball in it. Clicking the eye causes the trash compacter monster from A New Hope to emerge. Additionally, hovering over one of the marines that overlooks the Swarm Host arena will display "Papa Cosplay", the name of the winner of the 2015 Blizzcon Cosplay Contest.
    • 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. 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.
  • Egg-Laying Male: Murky is a male frog-like thing called a murloc. His main mechanic is the ability to place eggs on the battlefield that he will then respawn at if he dies, circumventing both the usual respawn timer and lowering the xp enemies earn from killing him. The game does acknowledge and mock both the fact that he somehow lays eggs and that he can spawn from his own eggs.
  • 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.
  • Essence Drop:
    • Killing the wizards that spawn with each minion wave creates a regen globe that restores a bit of health and mana. Each globe starts locked to one team, but eventually turns neutral before expiring, letting you steal enemy globes if you can zone them out of lane.
    • Some heroes have this as a main mechanic. Diablo drains souls and Dehaka gathers actual essence from slain enemies, both of which automatically go flying into them if they're in range. The Butcher gets fresh meat, but has the physically walk over the corpse to pick it up. Gazlowe gets scrap from destroyed buildings and his own turrets, which restores mana.
  • 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!
    • Notably averted as of 2018. The team began a project to actually work a story into the game. They began a series of webcomics centered on the Nexus-original characters, which would come with tie-in skins, in-game events that included full UI changes, cinematics, all culminating in the release of Orphea. While you can definitely still skip the story, its more prominent, treated more seriously, and has more effect on the actual game.
  • 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: Of the original classes, Warriors are fighter, Assassins are thief, and Support are mage. The Specialists can be one or two of the three classes, but tend to be either Mage or Thief. As of the role rework, this was distilled further (see "An Adventurer Is You" above).
    • 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.
  • Floating Continent: Sky Temple and by extension the Tomb of the Spider Queen and the Lost Cavern takes places in one.
  • Foil: Illidan and Genji. Both are mobile Assassins excelling in diving the enemy while delivering Death of a Thousand Cuts; both possess a dash move while dealing damage on enemies caught in the way,* a terrain-bypassing ability,*, and a short-duration ability to avoid damage*. That said, Illidan is a Walking Shirtless Scene melee hero with a Jerkass attitude, while Genji is fully encased in robotic exoskeleton ranged hero who is a Nice Guy.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Stitches' default skin is naked, including a butt crack and visible toes.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • For a brief period of time during the closed beta, there was a bug involving 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.
  • Geo Effects: The third Nexus Anomaly (the one added with Mei) features weather that happens randomly on certain maps. Rain periodically grants heroes a Lightning Shield, snow gives everyone a small shield, and fog grants stealth after hiding in a bush.
  • 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.
    • Abathur has a talent that lets them call down a M.U.L.E. to repair standing structures.
  • 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.
    • The main objective for Volskaya Foundry to fight over gaining control of one. It's so big that two Heroes have to ride in it in order to use its full suite of abilities.
  • Immortality Field:
    • The Nexus supposedly doesn't let the Heroes die permanently so that they can be forced to battle for eternity note , if its description as a "limbo" of clashing universes is an indication.
    • Tyrael's first Heroic can create a sanctified ground that makes all allies invulnerable while they remain inside.
  • 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.
  • 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 with Drawbacks: 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 silhouette, making them not truly invisible. Played straight if you stand still long enough—your character becomes truly invisible—no shimmer, no silhouette, nothing unless you move or take damage.
  • 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. Physical size also tends to denote how many Hit Points the character has. The three highest-HP Heroes in the game—Cho'Gall, Stitches, and Deathwing—are all gigantic (especially Cho'Gall, since his gimmick is that he's played by two people). By comparison, Chromie, Erik (of the Lost Vikings), and Murky are all tiny with HP pools to match.
  • Large Ham: Many stage announcers. Especially Blackheart. The Dragon Knight can get in on the fun, too.
  • Legion of Doom: Based on the various hero trailers, these frequently form between the various villains, monsters and antiheroesnote , even if normally they likely wouldn't stand each other's presence. Kel'Thuzad has seemingly forming one of his own in the shadows, including Crypt Queen Zagara, Dreadlord Jaina and Death Knight Sonya. And of course, players can form this in-game as well due to their number of possible 'villain' team compositions.
  • 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: The Bruiser Hero's hat; tough, deals good damage, and mobile enough to jump into the fray or prevent escapes.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Unlike Dota2, this is played straight. Health, attack damage, and spell damage all scale by percentages (the default being 4% per level), so a spell that deals 300 damage is going to scale much better than one that does 100 damage. This system means that mage-type heroes can be relevant at all stages of the game since they tend to have very high spell damage. They also 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. There are a handful of exceptions, though: Li-Ming only scales by 3.5% per level to balance out her Trait, Critical Mass, which resets all her cooldowns upon participating in a kill, while Chromie's Sand Blast only gains 3% per level to offset her baseline quest, which increases its damage every time she lands a hit.
  • 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. Varian is probably the biggest example, as he can be played as either a tank or an Assassin, but isn't good at either until he gets his Heroic and a few other talents.
    • 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.
    • A few heroes, like Nazeebo, The Butcher, or Kel'Thuzad, are entirely built on this. They start weak, but their traits allow them to build up power as the game goes on.
  • 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, and have continued to be added since.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class:
    • First of all, the former Specialists, who are described as 'rule breakers and masters of unconventional warfare', (although in practice they were siege heroes best in taking down enemy fortifications and creep waves). They tended 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. While the role doesn't exist anymore, they're still some of the most unique heroes.
    • 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 heroes 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 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 Tank 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.
    • Tracer is a direct port of her Overwatch kit, which isn't even part of the same genre. Her trait lets her attack while moving, and unlike D.Va and Lucio, her AAs hurt. Instead of choosing a heroic, she starts the game with it, and it must be charged by dealing damage instead of having a cooldown. She even gets to melee enemies with her W ability. Other Overwatch heroes are kept similar, but Tracer gets props for being an incredibly faithful translation.
    • Deathwing is a playable Raid boss in every sense. He's immune to all crowd control, but also can't be healed or buffed by his allies or even the spawn. His model is enormous and, unlike Alexstrasza or Ragnaros, he's always that big. His unique mount lets him leave the map entirely, and he can do a Dynamic Entry at any point his team has vision. Even the little things are quite unique - he has Energy instead of Mana, he starts with his sole heroic out the gate, and he even has a Stance System for separate physical and ranged attacks.
  • 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.
  • Meta Twist: The character of Orphea is a major departure for this video game. She isn't from an established Blizzard Intellectual Property... or rather, she is, but that IP is Heroes of the Storm itself. This also had major implications on her design. Previous Heroes were created "top-down," as Magic: The Gathering's designers like to say it: Blizzard started with the flavor, the fantasy, of the character, and crafted a kit to match.note  Since Orphea has no pre-established play identity, she got to have a "bottom-up" design, with her kit solidified first and her personality & flavor tailored to match.
  • 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 1.25 seconds. Each of Tracer's attacks consume 2 ammo and she carries a 20-round clip, translating into eight 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.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Illidan upon killing Tyrande (whom he loves and is his sister-in-law), who immediately suffers a mental breakdown from what he just did.
  • 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.
  • Non-Indicative Difficulty: For most of the game's lifespan, a hero's difficulty rating was based mostly on their mechanical complexity, so "Easy" heroes tended to have relatively simple mechanics while "Very Hard" ones often involved juggling more variables between using your kit and being aware of your allies. However, this often did not translate to how easy or hard it was to actually play a character in practice; E.T.C. and Malfurion, for example, were listed as "Easy" heroes because their abilities were simple to use and understand on their own, but required a lot of careful timing and micromanagement in practice, making them actually rather difficult to play well. It wasn't until early 2024 that this was properly addressed with heroes' difficulties being revised to more appropriately reflect their gameplay difficulty rather than complexity (with both of the aforementioned heroes being revised from "Easy" to "Hard", just as two examples).
  • 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.
  • One-Steve Limit: While no two heroes or announcers share names (in fact, the Grave Keeper was renamed from "the Necromancer" to accommodate the introduction of Xul the Diablo II Necromancer), abilities and talents often recycle names:
    • One of Medivh's abilities shares a name with one of Artanis's talents: Force of Will.
    • Artanis, Tassadar, and Probius all have a talent named Shield Battery. Not to be confused with the Protoss building in StarCraft also called a Shield Battery.
    • One of Varian's talents shares its name with Muradin's trait; Second Wind.
    • Nova and Zeratul both have Permanent Cloak as their trait. Prior to the stealth rework, they were also functionally identical, although Nova's now gives a speed boost.
    • Speaking of Zeratul, he also shares a skill name with Tracer; Blink. Justified in that they're both named after skills from their respective franchises.
    • Illidan and Kharazim have two unrelated talents that share the name Sixth Sense.
    • Deathwing and Malthael share the title 'Aspect of Death' in their respective universes. It's used as Malthael's official title in-game, while Deathwing uses it as the name of his trait.
  • Pain & Gain:
    • Zul'jin is all about being at low health to gain bonuses. His trait Berserker passively increases his attack speed the lower his health is, and one of his heroic abilities lets him throw a gigantic axe that deals damage based on how much health he's missing. This pairs nicely with the rest of his kit, which is all about spending his health to power himself up as well as several ways to heal himself or prevent himself from dying.
    • Garrosh has a low health pool for a tank, but his trait Armor Up gives him 1 Armor for every 2% of his health that he's missing, which decreases the amount of damage he takes. Ideally, Garrosh wants to be at a medium amount of health so he can absorb high-damage abilities instead of his teammates, nullifying a lot of the damage in the process.
  • Painted CGI: The trailer for the MechaStorm event depicts an impressively animated high-octane fight scene as Mecha Tyrael and Mecha Rehgar square off against Xenotech Abathur. Unlike the game's other trailers (which use either in-game models or traditional 2D animation), the MechaStorm trailer uses cel-shaded models animated in a low framerate, combined with dynamic camerawork and a plethora of hand-drawn effects to replicate the look of a 2D anime.
  • 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. However, percentage-based damage has a hard cap to prevent heroes like Malthael from trivializing high-HP map objectives.
    • 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 1.75% 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 as a Boss: When Blizzard brings boss battles as playable heroes, a large part of their design is making sure you still feel like the end boss. Many of them do this by being imposing tanks or having insane damage, but a few go for a more unique way of integrating this.
    • Cho'gall is the complete package, bringing ridiculous health and incredible damage to the team. It's suicide to 1v1 him, meaning you need to take him down as a group. Of course, this is balanced by the fact that he's a two-player hero, and cuts his team down to only four bodies.
    • Ragnaros isn't usually this (being a Glass Cannon as far as Bruisers go), but he becomes one during Molten Core. He gets ridiculous damage and range, but is also a stationary Pivotal Boss for the duration.
    • Deathwing evokes a Raid Boss in every sense. He has Contractual Boss Immunity as a trait, meaning you can't slow him down with crowd control at all. All of his abilities are very powerful, but they all come with a wind-up, just like regular bosses. His main weakness is the fact that he cannot be healed or buffed by his allies at all.
  • 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. (Albeit admittedly, he's going for quantity over quality).
  • 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.
  • Randomly Generated Quests:
    • Daily quests are chosen at random, with the only restriction being you can't have two of the same one at the same time. Quest are split into 200 gold for playing two games as heroes from a specific franchise, 300 gold for playing three games as a specific role, 600 gold for winning three games, and 800 gold for playing eight games.
    • Some events have their own set of quests. The Toys event has a gameboard with special quests, which you have to complete to advance forward. Every few quests you complete earns you a common loot chest, and doing a full lap is worth a rare.
  • 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.
  • Self-Deprecation: Alarak has two Stop Poking Me! quotes that openly mock the game's premise and the free-to-play business model respectively:
    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?
    Free-to-Play is a delusion granted to the weak by the strong. Or so I've heard.
  • Ship Sinking: Jaina once and for all makes it clear that she and Thrall are only friends. Right now, she prefers to be a Celibate Hero, so anyone who tries to court her would only be a Hopeless Suitor.
    Jaina: I'm sorry, what? Thrall and me? Ugh, who keeps spreading that filthy rumor? Besides, everyone knows I prefer blue over green.note  Not to mention the last two men who sought my attentionnote  both tried to take over the world... yeah. I think I'd rather just study.
  • 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 (which is 15 out of 16 Supports so far):
    • Alexstrasza: On top of generous ranges on her spells making it difficult to get to her in a fight, she's also literally the Queen of dragons. You're better off using Herd Hitting Attacks on her teammates and preventing them from standing in the healing circle than you are dogpiling her, especially since her most oft-chosen heroic makes her take to the skies to rain Death/Healing (to her enemies and allies, respectively) while being untargetable.
    • Ana: Even though her only escape is her sleep dart, her abilities have all very long range so she stays in the backline, and life leech with her basic attacks.
    • Anduin: His only escape may be a slow moving root, but his Divine Star can do a surprising amount of healing on its way back, specially if it hits enemy heroes, he amy also gets Holly Bomb, which give him (or any ally he applies it on) a big shield based on how many enemy heroes the initial stun hits.
    • 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, and if killed she may just resurrect herself.
    • 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.
    • Deckard: With 10 armor and an endless supply of potions to chug, focusing on Deckard isn't going to get you far. In fact, try diving in on him and see what his Scroll of Sealing can really do. Even if you do catch him out of position, his healing conga line and CC can keep him going until his teammates bail him out.
    • 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.
    • Lúcio: Have fun chasing the master of marathon runs. With a permanent movement boost, extra boosts from grinding on walls, and a knockback boop for safety, you're not catching up to him. And if you do? He can just as easily swap to Healing Boost and Amp It Up. Goodbye, damage!
    • 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.
    • Tyrande: Even though she has no escape, her damage potential is very high and may just kill you in 1 vs 1, also her basic attacks reduces the cooldown of her heals.
    • 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 expire, forcing you to kill the tanky Uther again and endure the spirit-phase again. It's telling that he has the 'Damage Taken' stat, a statistic normally reserved for Warrior Heroes.
  • Shoot the Mage First: It is more beneficial to crowd control the Support and then 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. Additionally, several characters have stacking Quest talents that lose some or even all of their stacks on death (Medivh's The Master's Touch; Greymane's Wizened Duelist); The Butcher as a character. Resetting their Magikarp Power can be extremely beneficial.
  • 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.
    • Heroes with a Questing trait have this essentially built in to them. The Butcher's quest is to stack meat, Kel'Thuzad's quest is to land CC effects, Zul'jin's quest is to land AAs, ect.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The cheapest heroes cost only 2000 goldnote  are very newbie friendly but remain viable picks no matter your level. They also tend to lack any glaring weaknesses, making them very solid choice in most cases. Valla, Malfurion and ETC in particular are seen quite frequently in tournaments: Valla provides safe, reliable damage and can "hyper-carry" her team; Malf has solid healing, alongside roots, reconnaissance, a potential silence (depending on which Heroic you pick) and the only spell in the game that restores Mana Points; and ETC's Mosh Pit heroic has the potential to inflict Involuntary Dance on the entire enemy team (if you catch them all properly) for an unhealthy 4 seconds.
  • Skill Gate Characters: 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).
    • Less conventional examples include heroes like Abathur and Auriel. Abathur is an all-or-nothing Hero because he doesn't do any of the conventional Hero things—laning, teamfights, contesting objectives, getting camps, etc—instead relying on pushing with self-generated minions and putting temporary buffs on allies. Auriel is an unconventional healer who can only charge her spell if she and/or an ally of her choice inflicts combat damage. It's very easy to take both heroes out of their comfort zone because they are relying on you, not them, to play to their fullest extents. The end result are heroes that the entire team has to play, not just the person who happens to be sitting at the controls. If they do, of course, said team has a good chance of just steamrolling the opposition.
  • 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.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Crossover:
    • As of writing, there are 17 Starcraft heroes, 18 Diablo heroes, 9 Overwatch heroes, two Original Generation heroes, one (or rather, three) "Classic" game heroes, and 42 Warcraft heroes. Of course, given that Warcraft's cast of notable characters dwarfs that of Blizzard's other franchises to the degree where they're having to resort to well-known boss fights and promoted mook units for Diablo and Starcraft respectively, and Warcraft has more RTS units than Starcraft and more dungeons than Diablo has bosses to boot, it's difficult to concieve of a release schedule that could be more even without running dry of compelling non-Warcraft heroes.
    • Additionally, many of the game's core concepts are clearly Warcraft-inspired, including Mounts, Hearthstones, Healing Fountains (clearly based on the Moonwell structure from Warcraft III), and the name of the respawn area, the Altar of the Storm, named after the Orcish hero structure, also from Warcraft III. Even the coloration of the health and mana bars remain distinctly Warcraft Green Health, White Shields, and Blue Mana, as opposed to Starcraft's Green Health, Blue Shields, and Purple "Energy", Diablo's Red Health and Blue Mana, and Overwatch's White Health and Blue Shields.
  • Summon Magic: Several heroes can bring additional units to the fray: Arthas and his ghouls, Kerrigan and her Ultralisk, Nazeebo & Zul and their zombies, Jaina and her water elemental, Azmodan and his demons, etc. Special mention to Zagara, whose entire ability set is summoning Zerg units to attack for her.
  • Stomach of Holding: Stitches' heroic ability, Gorge. Also the Mega Enforcer boss on Hanamura.
  • 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. Additionally, the level 10 and 20 talents are called "Heroic" and "Storm" talents respectively.
  • Token Evil Teammate: The heroic team in the opening cinematic 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 Banshee Raynor can summon for his second Heroic is so tiny that its pilot 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.
    • Displayed egregiously on the Braxis Holdout map. Near your spawn point, SCVs can be seen mining minerals. The "Space Construction Vehicle" is an exosuit not unlike the Power Loader from Aliens, large enough to enclose an entire person, and they are to scale with the Heroes of the Storm (IE, significantly larger than them). Then the map's objective — a Zerg Rush — spawns, and the Ultralisks — canonically about 20x larger than SCVs — are the same size as the Heroes.
  • 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: Zigzagged Trope.
    • Averted by the removal of Gold; 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 just one successful 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 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 in levels and dragging their team down because of it. (They can still play that way, but that's another matter.)
    • Enforced by the secondary map objectives. 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 the perfect Comeback Mechanic, allowing you to bypass teamfights and outplay your opponents strategically, but the truth is that they force the two teams to fight each other... and, thus, force one of them to lose. This design philosophy has reached its culmination on Towers of Doom, 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 Talent tiers. Every time a team gets one, they spike in Power Levels, with Heroic Abilities being the worst (making your team almost twice as powerful as they were). With your new edge, you can bully your opponents out of lane, slow down their Level Grinding, and pull further ahead.
  • 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, or Imperius, who scoffs at the idea of thanking a healer for doing what they're supposed to do.
  • Visible Invisibility: You can see the partly-transparent silhouette of an "invisible" character (previously displayed as only a slight distortion prior to being nerfed for balance reasons). 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.
  • Who Will Bell the Cat?: A key element of the Ghost Protocol brawl. Everyone is Nova, a hero who enters stealth when out of combat, and the Snipe ability is an instant kill. Therefore, it's very likely that whichever player decides to reveal themselves first will end up dead- but it's a necessary sacrifice to draw out the enemy team.
  • 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.
    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!
    Zul'jin: Maybe I die. Maybe you die too.
  • 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.
    • Most assassins have some form of movement ability meant to help them chase down weak targets. Illidan is the absolute master of this; if he gets within range, all he needs to do to stick to you is alternate his abilities and pull one or two auto attacks between each use, to make sure the next one is available when he needs to use it. The only escape you have is to stand and kill him or run behind towers.
  • 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.


Video Example(s):


Deathwing Reveal Trailer

Various heroes are running in terror or being blasted away by something off screen... which is revealed to be Brightwing dressed as Deathwing. And then she gets stomped on by the actual Deathwing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / DoubleSubversion

Media sources: