Heroes of the Storm‘s Machines of War event has kicked off with a patch that introduces new hero Alarak, a new Battleground, and more. Additionally, every player gets a free hero or 4,000 Gold.
Once the patch is downloaded, all you have to do to claim your free hero is log into Heroes of the Storm. You can pick either Anub’arak, Thrall, or Tyrande, but if you own any of them, they’ll be replaced by Nazeebo, Sonya, or Uther in that order. If you already happen to own all of the aforementioned heroes, you’ll get 4,000 Gold instead.
Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void‘s Alarak is now available to purchase in the shop. His Discord Strike ability allows you to silence enemies at short-range, Lightning Surge deals damage to every enemy between you and its target, and Telekinesis lets you push enemies around. You can read more about him here.
Alarak comes with the new Battleground, Braxis Holdout. It’s a Starcraft-themed map that requires you to capture two beacons that periodically spawn near the map’s center. The longer your team is in control of the beacons, the more you fill your holding cells with Zerg. Finally, you can then unleash your Zerg swarm on the enemy. The pools of Battlegrounds has been decreased for the time being to increase the frequency of Braxis Holdout showing up.
There’s also a special event going right now called the Xel’naga Artifact Hunt, where players will have to take out SCVs to collect artifact pieces. The daily quest requires you to get 12 in one game, which will reward you with a 1 Day Stimpack. Collecting 150 before October 18 will get you a Xel’naga Artifact portrait. SCVs and Artifact Pieces will spawn at a 50 percent chance if any of your teammates haven’t completed the daily quest.
A bunch of stuff has been added to the in-game shop as well. In addition to Alarak, there’s a Machines of War bundle that features all of the event’s Starcraft-themed items. These include heroes Alarak, Kerrigan, Rexxar, and The Butcher; new event-focused skins; and two new mounts, Obsidian Cyberwolf and Ghost Speeder. The bundle is available now until October 18. The Obsidian Cyberwolf is exclusive to the bundle, but Blizzard notes that it may return in the future.
On top of the new bundle, the Demonic Hellsteed and Blackheart’s Doubloon mounts have returned, while the Cloud Serpent and Cyberwolf have been removed.
The update also makes numerous fixes to gameplay, Battlegrounds, and the user interface. You can read the full patch notes here.