'Heroes of The Storm' To Add Deckard Cain To Roster, But Why?

Blizzard's pantheon of immortal icons are among the most recognizable faces in gaming. From the Lich King, who controls a surging army of zombies from a frozen wasteland, to Tracer, a British pilot who can blink through time, there's an armada full of fantastical wonders to discover. Heroes of The Storm, Blizzard's foray into the multiplayer online battle arena, takes these champions of lore and throws them onto the battlefield to fight for the Nexus, where realities collide. The newest member of the tribe is Deckard Cain, Diablo 's antiquated scholar who doesn't seem like he'd put up much of a fight. The game's developers beg to differ.

"Deckard is this very iconic character for Diablo," Matt Viller, Lead Hero Designer on Heroes of the Storm told Newsweek at PAX East in Boston. "He's with you the whole time, helping you with the story and is one of the first characters that pop into your head when you hear about Diablo. We've been wanting to bring him into Heroes of the Storm for a while now."

Deckard Cain Heroes of the Storm
I asked for this to get drawn, it was the only I way I could handle writing about Caindy cane. Newsweek

My relationship with Deckard is long and complicated. My original exposure to the world of New Tristam was Diablo III, where I experienced mindless grinding glee for the very first time. My girlfriend was my barbarian partner-in-crime as we fought through all five acts and collected every sparkly drop we could find. That meant listening to the lore as told by windy old "deck of cards" Cain dozens of times over multiple playthroughs. Like Navi in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, I resented the in-game guide more than any foe I faced. His boring, dragging diatribe about the Nephalem and demons rang in my ears. I wanted to never hear his dialogue again, but Blizzard wouldn't let me.

"The big thing with Heroes, of course, is that we try to have something for everyone," Villers assured me as I mocked the latest hero he's spent months refining. "The flip side of that is that there will be someone that they dislike, which is totally okay."

Designing abilities that make a bookish old man useful to a space marine with flamethrowers and a demon hunter wasn't easy. About a year ago, the HoTS developers started to take the idea of Cain as a hero seriously, but figuring out how to make him "fun and interesting" was a challenge. The team wanted to incorporate books and scrolls, but paper is a poor match for an Archanite war axe. Shifting the focus away from his physical traits, the HoTS team created a kit that spammed healing potions and shot slowing cubes to turn him into a backline support.

Cain and Lynch's third ability, Scroll of Sealing, marks a triangular area on the ground, rooting every enemy caught inside. In his original kit, Cain would throw the parchment like a skillshot and then walk around enemies to seal them in. "It was super cool and different," Viller said. "It just didn't make sense on Deckard since he wasn't a fast-moving character and would have to run into the enemy team to complete the triangle." Cain hobbles with a cane, so the idea was shelved for later heroes.

The team even incorporated Cain's most annoying trait, his affinity for rambling lore tales, into his kit. One of his ultimate abilities, "Stay Awhile And Listen," puts enemies to sleep while he reads from his tome of knowledge. Players trapped by his alluring voice will hear a fully-voiced story. There were multiple different voice lines recorded, with each cast generating another random snoozefest.

Deckard Cain will be available to play in Heroes of the Storm sometime in the near future, the devil be damned.