Not worth the wait, yet
Heroes of the Storm‘s development is winding down, but as of now, new characters are still arriving.
We can likely expect this cadence throughout the year as heroes who were previously in development need to see the light of day, but after that: who knows what will happen.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at Imperius.
Imperius has a simplistic bruiser kit that’s more like an amalgamation of existing Assassins and Warriors: a dash stun (Q), a line skillshot (W) and an area-of-effect flame (E) that also heals. As you can imagine his Q alone can successfully pull off sniped ganks from hidden bushes, while his E helps him sustain himself in lane.
Sometimes, if Imperius is allowed to run wild (which he often is in casual quick matches), he can stomp. If people take the time to work around him and kite (lead) him, or your teammates don’t bother to secure kills you set up, he can fail miserably. Thus is the conundrum of Imperius on top of a kit that doesn’t feel particularly fun to play in any given moment (using his Q just made me want to swap to Sonya). We’ve even seen the “mark enemies with basic attacks and do increasing amounts of damage to them” concept before.
Angelic Armaments is a utilitarian heroic/ultimate in practice (he pops a shield, which can be re-casted as a damage ability if it lasts three seconds), but it lacks impact and flair. His other heroic (Wrath of Angiris) while a MOBA staple, is really satisfying to pull off. In short Imperius grabs an enemy hero, goes up into the heavens, and slams them down after aiming a circular reticle. It’s a lot like the existing off-screen flying mechanics such as Alexstrasza’s Cleansing Flame, but can secure kills if your team is paying attention. Cool, but familiar.
Another underwhelming aspect of Imperius is his model. While Blizzard did right by the Angel of Valor and increased his wing size before launch (he had baby wings in the PTR, or, public test realm staging ground), he still looks a bit odd in the Heroes style. His imposing Diablo demeanor doesn’t really come across here, and this is one character you don’t really want to compromise on.
The Heroes team has knocked it out of the park more often than not, but this time I think I’m fine letting this do-gooder sit on the sidelines. Imperius can easily be patched to feel more exciting as time goes on: this is a MOBA after all.