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Exclusive Blackfire Pass Preview

Suzie Ford Posted:
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Bioware and the Wrath of Heroes team want to give fans a lot to be thankful for this holiday weekend with four full days of MOBA action. Beginning on Wednesday, November 23rd, WoH fans will want to apply their beta keys and head into the game. According to devs, players will be able to access up to fifteen heroes during this particular play session and are also tempting players with a brand new map, Blackfire Pass. Blackfire Pass is a brand new, never revealed scenario that the team has built from the ground up.

Here’s the official word on Blackfire Pass and what players will be facing:

Blackfire Pass features three towers, one per team, and each containing a Dwarf statue holding a single rune. At the center of the map is an open plaza where a fourth rune spawns at the beginning of the game.

The main challenge of the map is to capture and hold three runes at your team’s tower. The longer you hold all three, the more points your team gets! Bonus points are also awarded for killing enemy players, but that’s a slow route to victory. The first team to amass 250 points or the team with the most points after 15 minutes wins the game.

I had the opportunity to play with seventeen members of the development team in Blackfire Pass. We played at least five matches together and it was a lot of fun. Of course some of that fun was at my totally non-PvPer expense but that’s OK. I learned fast. *evil grin*

Once three teams of six are in place, players are sent to the hero selection screen to choose from any one of the fifteen available. Some heroes that have been taken out of earlier beta sessions have been brought back and have been reworked skills-wise according to devs. There are ranged specialists, sneaky rogues, casters, healers, and tanks. In short, you can find just about anything that strikes your fancy. What makes Wrath of Heroes so compelling is that there won’t ever be a way to come up with a flavor of the week type team that will take down all others. Every time a player dies, he or she can choose a completely different hero on respawn. I found this totally awesome as I well remember those old Guild Wars days of whole-Monk teams that could take down all comers. With the ability to literally change a team on the fly, it will be difficult to stick to a single approach.

As said above, when the match begins, the goal is to collect as many of the runes as possible. Generally, most of the time, we launched ourselves at the rune in the center of the map…and so did the other two teams which meant utter and complete chaos that didn’t end until the match ended.

Everyone dreams of being in the spotlight and Bioware has taken this to heart…but maybe not in the way that players would hope. When players capture a rune, a spotlight from heaven immediately snaps on and tracks players as they sprint for the safety of their team’s tower. It gives a whole new meaning to having a magnetic personality.

Stealing runes isn’t a picnic either. To steal a rune, players have to stand by an opposing team’s enemy for five seconds before the rune ends up in their possession. Now, five seconds doesn’t seem like much until you’re in a game with three enemy team members whaling away on your while you can only stand there.

If and I do mean IF players are successful stealing a rune, they immediately start hoofing it to their home tower, hopefully with other teammates in hand to protect them. Placing the rune in your dwarf statue’s hands is much simpler. Just stand by “Shorty” and he takes it. No fuss. No muss.

The action in Blackfire Pass is fast, furious and brutal. There is hardly a moment to catch one’s breath except on death which happens a LOT. No one is immune from dying, that’s for sure. I mean, I played with the guys who made the game and they died often and liberally. Teamwork and voice chat is going to be essential for success for those who are driven to strive for the top of the ladders.

As with all beta weekends, BioWare is looking for player feedback on the heroes they play as well as on the maps that will be included. They’re anxious to see what works and what the community wants. In fact, the ultimate goal is to use player feedback to drive content development.

This new beta session is expected to kick off on Wednesday, November 23rd at 4:00 p.m. EST and will run through the very early hours of Monday, November 28th. That’s a lot of game time to try out this unique and F-U-N Blackfire Pass map. You won’t be sorry.

If this sort of three-team PVP mayhem strikes your fancy, you’re in luck!  We have a code directly from BioWare Mythic and EA that will give the first 5,000 redeemers access to the upcoming beta test of Blackfire Pass!  Click the link below to go claim your beta access!

Warhammer: Wrath of Heroes – Beta Key Giveaway


Suzie Ford

Suzie is the former Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom