Wrath of Heroes' upcoming beta session will be bringing back some crowd favorites from previous sessions, including Felicia the Overpowered and Glowgob. However, we'll also get to run with some new heroes during this test run. PC Gamer's Lucas Sullivan gives us the scoop on two new champions playable next week - Aessa the White Lion and Gromki the Rune Priest.
These two heroes should be familiar archetypes to anyone with some experience in the fantasy franchise, as they are based on Warhammer units and playable classes in the fledgling MMO, Age of Reckoning.
Aessa the White Lion
Aessa plays as a melee-oriented character with light support duty. While she certainly appears to pack a punch straight-up, she also has two abilities that can come in handy for your squishier compatriots. The first, Zealous Protector, increases your critical hit chance as your teammates take damage. The second, Elite Bodyguard, has you taking some of your allies' damage for them. You also have Pounce, a charge and snare ability, and two direct damage abilities.
Bioware Mythic writes in the article that they had noticed imbalances with melee-oriented support characters. Based on our experiences, we'd agree - Conrad is quite an underwhelming healer, Kaelin was not played very often, and Volrik was nerfed crippingly for the last week or two of the previous beta. Aessa's big ability will prove valuable for melee-based teams - it allows your team to last a bit longer - which can mean victory or defeat in these brawls. Zealous Protector allows her to use her damage abilities to really whale on her targets and her pounce also helps keep stragglers from evading your friends in melee. Unfortunately, she will not be bringing her War Kitty to the fray with her, but she could be a very fun character to play.
Gromki the Rune Priest
Bioware Mythic has taken my advice to heart by adding more Dwarfs to the lineup, it appears. Filling a ranged support role, Gromki comes to the fight with an assortment of debuffs that don't expire, and will leave your opponents ripe for the killing. These debuffs, or runes, reduce healing received and armor, and also increase damage taken by your target. Gromki also has a spell that consumes any debuffs he's placed on the target in exchange for dealing a big chunk of damage. While his runes don't expire with time, they will fade when you place them on another target.
Gromki's effectiveness relies on teamwork and some degree of protection. Like other support heroes, his lineup of damaging spells is rather short - reducing his effectiveness as a one-on-one fighter. Without an ability to heal himself or reduce incoming damage, either, he wouldn't last long in a stand-up fight. However, if you can convince your team to focus on your targets, and find a few taller teammates to sneak behind, you will become indispensable to your warband.
You will get a chance to play these two new champions, as well as some older ones, from 11/24 through 11/27 for beta session 3. Though you might also have a chance to stress test The Old Republic servers as well. Decisions, decisions....