Update March 8, 2017: Blizzard have put out a full preview for Probius, letting you see what his abilities are like in action.
Probius heads to Heroes of the Storm with his very own spotlight. Warp rifts explode, cannons are build and much more in the below reveal.
Choose the best MOBA for you.
Probius will enter the Nexus with the next patch, which is now available on the PTR. It brings with it an expansion of the armour system, the usual round of balance changes as well as a minor rework to Cho'gall and his two-in-one shenanigans. It's due out next week.
Original story March 4, 2017: While the community predicts great heroes of the StarCraft universe like Stukov and Karax, Blizzard were hard at work on the actual next Heroes of the Strom addition - Probius, the Protoss probe. Yesterday’s pylon teaser was far more literal than anyone predicted, as placing the Protoss field generators plays a large part of his gameplay. Ability summary below.
Now confirmed, Probius is the heroic probe from the opening cinematic of Legacy of the Void. The "bravest of probes" as Blizzard puts it. Hence why he's made his way to Heroes' rather aggressive nexus.
Of note, the numbers below are for the current version, just before Probius hits the PTR - they're likely to change in development.
- Pylon (Trait):
- Places a Pylon at target location. These can be targeted by enemies and are not very durable.
- While in a Pylon’s radius, Probius regenerates mana very fast (100% in roughly 7 seconds). Outside of this, he doesn’t regenerate mana at all.
- Only two Pylons may be active at once.
- Level 4: Shield Capacitor. Probius gains permanent Shields equal to 10% of his max Health. Shields regenerate quickly as long as he hasn't taken damage recently.
- Level 13: One of...
- Aggressive Matrix: Pylon's Power Field grants allied Heroes 20% increased Attack Damage.
- Power Overflowing: Pylon's Power Field grants allied Heroes 10% increased Spell Power and 2 Mana per second.
- Shield Battery: Pylon's Power Field grants allied Heroes 30 Shields per second, up to 120. Shields persist for 4 seconds after exiting a Pylon Power Field.
- Worker Rush (Z):
- Probius has no mount, but moves 10% faster naturally.
- Active increases this to 50%, lasting 5 seconds, cancelled by damage.
- 40 second cooldown.
- Level 4: Turbo Charged. Worker Rush grants an additional 10% passive Movement Speed while in a Power Field, and its cooldown is reduced by 20 seconds.
- Disruption Pulse (Q):
- A piercing, line-based skill shot that does 150 damage, will have talents to increase damage.
- Used to trigger Warp Rift (W)
- Level 1: Echo Pulse. Disruption Pulse now returns to Probius 1.25 seconds after reaching its target, dealing 75% damage on the return trip.
- Level 7: Particle Accelerator. Disruption Pulse deals 10% more damage for each enemy or Warp Rift hit, up to 40%.
- Level 20: Shoot 'Em Up. Hitting a Warp Rift with Disruption Pulse causes 4 additional pulses that deal 50% damage to be fired from the impact location in different directions. Additional Pulses do not benefit from Echo Pulse or Particle Accelerator.
- Warp Rift (W):
- A medium-sized area that slows all enemies in it by 20%. Big enough to cover a minion wave once it starts fighting. Takes 1.25 seconds to form.
- Lasts for 9 seconds, but can be popped by passing Disruption Pulse (Q) through the center.
- This explodes for 261 damage to anything inside. This increases massively over the game, and gets to be as powerful as Li-Ming's arcane orb according to producer Claudio Gentilini
- Two charges can be stored, meaning foolish pushers will be destroyed very easily. However, the two Warp Rifts cannot be in the exact same location.
- Level 1: Warp Resonance Quest. Reward: After hitting 10 Heroes with Warp Rift explosions, increase the explosion damage by 100. After 20, Warp Rift gains 1 additional charge.
- Level 7: Rift Shock. Hitting an enemy Hero with Warp Rift explosion increases Probius's damage against them by 20% for 10 seconds.
- Level 16: One of...
- Quantum Entanglement: Enemies continue to be slowed for 3.5 seconds after their last contact with a Warp Rift.
- Gravity Well: Enemies are slowed more the closer they are to the center of the Warp Rift, up to a maximum slow of 60%.
- Repulsor: Enemies hit by a Warp Rift explosion are knocked away from the center.
- Interference: Enemy Heroes hit by Warp Rift detonations have their Spell Power reduced by 35% for 3 seconds.
- Level 20: Probius Loop. Whenever a Rift explosion hits 2 or more enemy Heroes, create a new Warp Rift in the same location.
- Photon Cannon (E):
- Places a Photon Cannon, but can only do so near Pylons. Deactivated - but not destroyed - if depowered.
- Another zoning tool, with a DPS of 95 to its target.
- Level 1: Gather Minerals Quest. Enemy Heroes and Minions drop Minerals when killed. Collect them to increase the Health of Photon Cannons by 8, up to 560. After collecting 70 Minerals, Photon Cannons deal 25% more damage, can see over obstacles, and reveal nearby Cloaked units.
- Level 4: Photon Barrier. While a Photon Cannon is alive and powered, Probius gains 30 Spell Armor.
- Level 7: Tower Defense. When Photon Cannon damages an enemy Hero, its cooldown is reduced by 1.25 seconds.
- Pylon Overcharge (R1):
- All Pylons get larger power fields and attack enemies within for 110 DPS. Lasts 10 seconds.
- Also passively gives all Pylons 50% additional health as shields.
- Level 20: Construct Additional Pylons. Probius can now have up to 3 active Pylons, and increase the damage of Pylon Overcharge by 25%.
- Null Gate (R2):
- Creates a field roughly the width of a lane, in any direction within a certain range.
- This slows enemies by 80% when they pass through, doing 64 DPS to anything standing inside it.
- Lasts 4 seconds.
- Level 20: Gate Keeper. Null Gate lasts indefinitely if either end is within a Power Field. Only one Null Gate may be active at a time.
Here's how all that looks in motion:
Clearly, Probius is a master of space control. Slow opponents with W, blow them up with Q or simply hold a lane with a few cannons. All buildings can be placed in brush or behind walls to protect them or surprise opponents, so pushing into the little guy is going to be a challenge.
“He is absolutely devastating in chokepoints,” explains Sam Braithwaite, eSports lead on Heroes. “Any time you have the opportunity to sandwich a character, it does very well. One of the fun interactions is Zarya, where if she uses her expulsion zone to cut off an area so [enemies] can’t leave and then Probius is just raining down lasers on people - it’s great.
“We also see it picked up a lot on Braxis Holdout. We have an interesting meta where it’s always warrior vs. warrior in the top lane and then you have a 4v4 at bottom. Probius gives some flexibility where maybe he has that opportunity to dominate that top lane where a squishier ranged hero would have been able to in the past.”
Of course, that will all change once pro players get their hands on the probe. As Braithwaite puts it, Blizzard do the best testing they can, but only the pros can truly figure it out. After all, strong static defensive power is useful, but not as good in the hyper-coordinated games played at the highest level.
Game producer Claudio Gentilini, who got to announce Probius on stage, explains how his non-defensive builds have worked out internally:
"He's a good split pusher. He doesn't have any capability to heal, but his self-sustain from his mana regen is insane. There are some talents that give him shields if he's in range of pylons, so if he's getting poke damage from Lunara or something, so long as it's not going through his shield he can keep sustaining in lane.
"He has such massive wave clear from his combo that it's very difficult to push in. But it also makes pushing out very easy, so long as your pylons are in good positions too. Then imagine you're an enemy and you're being sieged by a team of a few people and he throws one of those warp rifts down under your gate, do you really want to come through the gate and get slowed by it, knowing he can just blow it up for this huge point of damage then get you jumped on by a Muradin or something, stunned and just fall?"
That's his strengths, but it's balanced out with extremely low health. "If he doesn't get his worker rush off and speeds away, if you get your hands on him, super fragile," points out Gentilini. "Not like Murky fragile, but [he's a] very fragile hero, he doesn't have anti-stun mechanics or anything like that. He can throw Warp Rifts in defense, like if he's retreating he can put one behind him, [but] they take a little bit of time before they warp in and start slowing and be exploded. So yeah, if you get your hands on him he's done, he's gone."
Probius will hit the PTR next week, along with the latest, massive patch. After the standard testing period of a week or so, the lil’ Protoss lad will then go to live.