8 skins we wish were in Heroes of the Storm
Heroes of the Storm has a wide breadth of available skins for most of its characters, but there’s always room for more. And we have some ideas. Boy, do we ever have ideas. Here’s just a handful of the skins we’d like to see make their way into Heroes one day.
Rocker Li Ming
Believe it or not, I’ve wanted a Punk/Rocker Li Ming skin even before the above art made its debut with Heroes of the Storm‘s just-for-fun unofficial soundtrack. Once upon a time, when you used your hearthstone on Li Ming, the associated animation was decidedly out of character: she performed a little twirl and sang/yelled into her wand as if it was a microphone. It fit Li Ming’s diva personality, but this was her basic Diablo skin. As far as we know, Sanctuary doesn’t have pop stars, let alone microphones. A cute touch, but out of place, and the animation was eventually changed.
Given the context of Heroes of the Storm, I immediately wanted a scenario where it did make sense. Why couldn’t we have a pop star Li Ming? And then the art scene above surfaced, which made me believe exactly such a skin would soon be on its way … yet it never materialized. I’d still like to see it and think it could be a lot of fun — especially if you extended it to another realm/universe within Heroes of the Storm. Why not a running theme of Blizzard characters as musicians? Characters like E.T.C. and Lucio could fit right in already and there are plenty of fun possibilities. Death Metal Butcher? Rap God Deckard Cain? Europop Tracer? A Taylor Swiftian Jaina, perhaps? Definitely want that Li Ming skin, though.
I live in the land of Harley-Davidson, and every year around Labor Day, the entire city rumbles as bikers descend upon it for Harley’s anniversary celebrations. My experience with bikers leaves me with no doubt: Uther Lightbringer would ride a Harley. Let’s be real, here. He fits the demographic. Uther would spend his twilight years clad in leather, astride the burliest hog he could get his hands on. Get with it, Heroes of the Storm. Give Uther a leather jacket over a white tee with a tuft of grey chest hair sticking out over the neckline, a skullcap, and a pair of orange-lensed performance shades. The game already has the Road Boar mount for him to ride.
I doubt anyone would complain if you pushed him into Leather Daddy territory, either. (They probably would, but do it anyway.)
Royal Apothecary Deckard Cain
Crossover skins within Blizzard’s established universes are some of my favorites. Alternate interpretations of characters are always awesome, but there’s something special about seeing a character reimagined in another established universe. Maraudin’ Muradin is one of my favorite skins for this reason, likewise with Spectre Tracer and Legion Mistress Kerrigan. Deckard Cain’s aesthetic seems uniquely suited to a total character flip: Turning him into a morally questionable member of the Royal Apothecary Society from World of Warcraft. His old man shamble already translates to the hunchbacked Forsaken and the potions he slings around could become gnarly flasks. The only reason to avoid this one is if Blizzard is planning to have an actual member of the Royal Apothecary Society in the game one day.
Don’t abandon old themes
This isn’t a specific desire, but rather an overall hope Heroes of the Storm doesn’t abandon some of its alternate universes. Low-key some of the best content in the game is the alternate universes they build up through flavor text for new skins. There’s a universe where StarCraft is an actual Western rather than a Space Western. There’s a Victorian Horror universe. There’s a universe where all of Blizzard’s characters are comic book superheroes and supervillains, and a universe where they’re all pirates and sailors. There’s a Pajama Party universe! Come on, now! We need more nighties and boxer shorts and onesies.
These are all really cool but tend to fall out of favor after awhile; at the very least, those universes don’t get very many new additions. Even event-related themes are starting to be retired: last summer, we had the Gun’s Out event full of beachwear. This year, the event was replaced with Nexomania. While Nexomania is itself intensely cool, abandoning Sun’s Out means we don’t get things like Lifeguard Johanna, Landshark Dehaka, or Retired Uther in a Speedo With a Metal Detector. And that’s a real shame.
For the sake of curiosity, I’d love to see Heroes of the Storm inject characters from other universes into Overwatch. We’ve had it the other way around — Tracer has a StarCraft skin, D.Va has both a StarCraft and a Warcraft skin, and Zarya has a skin that could be interpreted as a Warcraft skin. But what about the other way around? What’s the unifying aesthetic of Overwatch? I’d love to see Blizzard attempt something like this in a way that doesn’t involve turning one character into another like they did with Nova becoming Widowmaker. Does Overwatch have a strong enough world aesthetic to inject, say, Valeera into the universe in a recognizable way? A Protoss character? Someone like The Butcher or Stitches?
They tried it once with Commandant Varian, who is technically supposed to be a security officer from Volskaya, but I’m not sure how well it work. He just looks like … a guy. And maybe that’s the problem with Overwatch crossovers: Overwatch is just Earth and these people are just people. I’d like to see them try, anyway. Besides, Warcraft characters in plain ol’ modern Earth fashion would actually be pretty cool in itself.
Iron Horde Zarya
These next few skins are some of my favorite community creations over the years — they’re all so good, I can’t help but feel the game is lesser without them. The first of those is Iron Horde Zarya — or as World of Warcraft trucks along, simply Mag’har Zarya. This skin turns her into an orc, trucking our Warlords of Draenor-era Iron Horde armaments. Created by Noah Warner, inspired by concept art by Blizzard concept artist Ryan Metcalf, this skin idea is just cool as hell. With the upcoming release of an orcish Johanna who already looks incredible, I can’t help but want more lady orcs in the game to balance out all of the burly orcish fellas.
Head over to Noah Warner’s ArtStation for a full look at his skin concept.
The Lost Gangsters
The Lost Vikings haven’t received a new skin… well, ever, other than those they launched with. They’re not a highly played hero, and the nature of The Lost Vikings means creating three new models instead of one, so it’s somewhat understandable. Still, a new skin would be nice for those of us who do play them, and reddit user imperfecti proposed a great one over three years ago. Inspired by community chatter, imperfecti reimagined the Vikings as 1920s gangsters and it’s pure gold. Another user, who has since deleted their account, suggested turning Olaf’s shield into a torn-off car door, and I think that’s brilliant.
The full image is still on imgur along with a concept of what the Gangsters’ ultimate could look like.
Before Azmodunk was officially added to Heroes of the Storm, he was a community meme for ages. But he is in the game now, and the community has moved on to bigger and better things: Janitor Leoric. Originally created by a Taiwanese fan of the game, the community has latched on to this beautiful skin concept, even coming up with voicelines that Blizzard probably can’t use without getting their pants sued off. All shall Swiffer!
Janitor Leoric would also open up an amazing theme Blizzard could run with: high school staff, anyone? The community has already suggested ideas such as Gym Teacher Sonya and Lunchlady Butcher, but you could go anywhere with it, really. Kel’thuzad would make for a terrifying school principal and there are plenty of middle-aged men in Blizzard games to come up with a football coach. Jaina Proudmoore would probably be the straight A student with a crisp uniform, while Sylvanas is gothing it up out back and smoking cigarettes.
If we’re being honest, most of these skin ideas seem pretty unlikely, even considering the wide variety of skins in Heroes of the Storm. Still, I want every single one of them, and I’d spend money on any of them in an instant. What about you? Are you a fan of these ideas? Have any of your own?
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