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HartCrane's Guide To 4s RT
I'm going to assume you have a general knowledge of hotkeys + build orders (if you don't, you can watch replays or check the guides posted in the sidebar of this subreddit).
Understanding The Maps
From the load screen, you get three important pieces of information: your team (including the player levels + races), your opposing team (player levels + races) and the map. Assuming neither side got a troll or TKer, the map is the most important thing, and should dictate how the game is played.
There are currently 12 maps in the 4s RT pool, and you're only entitled one "thumbs down," so eventually you're going to have to be familiar with at least 11 of them. For the time being, we can simplify things by dividing those 12 maps into one of two categories: large maps vs small maps, or, even better, rush maps vs CC maps. I'm not the biggest fan of those names, but bear with me for the moment.
Rush maps have these characteristics:
- Expansions are easily contested by the opposing team, or extremely difficult to take
- A large center area, with valuable real estate (merc camps, gold mines, shops, fountains) that's easy for all the opposing armies to enter simultaneously
- A relatively short distance between enemy bases
- Fewer creeps, or a harder, more contestable creep route to get a level 3 starting hero
CC maps have these characteristics:
- Expansions are easy to take and easy to defend
- There's a large distance separating enemy bases
- It's easy and relatively safe to creep to level 3
Some of the best maps are a blend of these two archetypes. Market Square, for example, is a large map with enough gold mines to go around, but the outside bases on both teams can be extremely close together. Gold Rush has easily-protected outside mines, but much more contestable inside mines, and Blasted Lands has defensible expansions in the back and exposed expansions in the front, with a difficult path to get level 3 heroes.
Your Spawn Position
The other component to the map is spawn position. This is much more important on Rush Maps than it is on CC maps, since you might spawn extremely close to your opponents – in which case you should expect early harassment, or an early attack – or you might spawn very far from them.
If you're on the outside spawn, you'd be wise to get an arcane tower or early nerub (if you're Hu or UD), and to either harass yourself, or take a safe early creep route. If you're on the inside spawn, you can risk a faster tech or a more aggressive creep route, and even an expansion (on, say, Deadlock). Very bad players – or just players that don't pay attention to spawn positions – can often lose their team the game early on, either by fast-teching on the outside spawn (and getting murdered by early harassment) or by trying an overly aggressive creep or expansion (and getting murdered by harassment). Don't be this guy
I won't say much about heroes, since the "right" hero varies a lot by strategy, but here are some basics to keep in mind:
1) Not all heroes scale well. The Keeper of the Grove, for example, is a great early-game hero, because Entangle can almost guarantee unit kills, but he doesn't scale into the late game nearly as well, when his main spells are easily dispelled and he is easily nuked. Other heroes that don't scale well include the Naga, the Beastmaster, and the Firelord.
2) Some heroes scale really well. The Archmage, for example, is very useful early on, since WEs are powerful tanks, but gets incrementally more useful thanks to Brilliance aura. The Blademaster, DH and Mountain King are three popular solo heroes that scale well, but not extremely well, since all three deal direct dmg (MK's clap being the exception) and none of them have an aura. It's worth repeating: auras are extremely useful in 4s since they impact 4x as many unit as in solo.
3) Some heroes don't come into their own until level 3. If you're using a DK, for example, or a TC, or a Mountain King, you're probably much better off creeping lvl 3 ASAP than harassing at levels 1 and 2. Conversely, if you're vsing an opponent with one of these heroes, they are most vulnerable before they reach level 3.
If you know the above, you can pair this info with the map info in important ways. The KotG is very effective on rush maps, for example, since he can harass effectively early on, particularly in conjunction with other heroes, but he doesn't do nearly as well on CC maps, where it's much harder to harass, and where getting an early lvl 3 hero is easy.
Funnily enough, the only thing I really want to emphasize here is that units are extremely over-rated in 4s RT. In solo, you're almost locked in to specific units at specific timings, in game after game, and while that's probably somewhat true of a high-level 4s game, it's much, much less true of 4s RT. You can win with almost any unit. Timing, tactics and teamwork matter more than unit composition in 4s RT.
That having been said, some units are useless, or fall off very hard. Mountain Giants aren't great; ghouls can be strong early, but fall off hard – ditto hunts. And if you're going to do something out-of-the-box, like mass tanks, you owe it to your team to give them a heads up, since your strategy will be 100x more effective if you can coordinate your attacks with theirs (ie they attack one base while you send your tanks to another).
Just as in solo, scouting is extremely important, and it can give you a huge leg up to have early information on your opponents. Elf (wisps) and Hu (militia) have the best early game scouts, so if you are one of these races, consider doing your team a solid and sending an early scout. Orc and UD have great late-game scouting (witch doctor wards + shades), so they can repay the favor at that point.
Of the many things you can notice from an early scout, here are a few particularly useful ones:
- Is there a hu or UD on the outside of a rush map? These two races, in particular, are easy to harass early game.
- Is there a fast-techer on the outside of a rush map? Punish him.
- Is someone's base layout so poor that you can tell, right away, that they're an inexperienced/weak player? Harass them.
- Is someone, or multiple people, making more than one starting barracks? Expect an all-out rush.
Divide the map up, in your head, into thirds. There is allied territory, neutral territory, and enemy territory. The best possible fight you can take is on your territory: you have access to your base defenses (militia, blight, burrows, towers, wisp detonates) and your shops, and your allies can port in at a moment's notice. Moreover, when your replacements spawn, they spawn into the fight.
In neutral territory, neither side has an obvious advantage: you're equidistant from each other's bases. There are map elements that can sway the fight one way or another, though: merc camps to hire an army; shops to buy scrolls/potions; fountains to heal or regen mana.
In enemy territory, you're fighting an uphill battle, against all of the aforementioned advantages.
So many 4s RT games are won or lost because of something as simple as taking a bad fight. If you have a mild advantage, you're often better off establishing map control (by creeping a difficult camp, or securing a contested expansion, or monopolizing shop items) than you are by attacking. If you have a big advantage, then you can attack.
On the other hand, if you're out on the map and notice the enemy armies coming towards you, looking to fight, don't do them the favor of fighting outside of your base. Retreat, even if you have to town portal, and force them to fight on your terms.
Securing An Advantage
There are many ways to get a lead, or increase a lead, in WC3, and not all of them involve attacking. If you fend off a rush, for example, it might be good to counter right away (especially on Rush maps), but it might be better to consolidate your lead. If your enemies TP'd out of a fight, and you have a long way to walk to attack them, chances are they will be healed and replenished by the time you get to their base, and your big lead might dwindle into a smaller one. So, instead of attacking, you can:
- Creep a red camp, for the high exp + powerful item
- Secure a contested expansion
- Buy the important shop items (heal scrolls/invul pots)
Lastly, a side note about ITEMS.
Unlike the solo maps, which have been meticulously balanced over the years, the 4s RT maps can drop some insane items. A DH with a Mask of Death wont easily die; a Blademaster with an Orb of Frost is killing anything it attacks; and the insane summon items, from the Infernal to the Demonic Figurine, are basically like adding a temporary hero with Chaos dmg.
Even lesser items, like Healing Wards, the Book of the Dead, and the Wand of the Wind, can have a huge impact in early fights, so it's wise to figure out where these drop and prioritize those creep camps.
Lastly, a few 4s maps (such as Twilight Ruins and Deadlock) have a Market Place, and since it's extremely common to have thousands of gold in 4s RT, you can go crazy pimping up your heroes with powerful, stat-boosting items.
If you're an especially good teammate, you can give your allies items that might benefit their heroes more than your own. Find a claws+9 or agility-boosting item? An Orc with Blade will thank you. Got a ring of protection on a ranged hero? Hand it to your ally's TC or MK or DK.
Recovering From A Disadvantage
One of the most fun and exciting aspects of 4s is that the games can be so unpredictable. You might be killing one of your opposing team's main bases, thinking you've won the game, when in fact their superior tech is just coming into play, and all of a sudden your strong tier-2 army has to face more powerful t3 armies. Or maybe you've taken out their main, but not before their team's expansions have kicked in.
If you find yourselves down, whether a little or a lot, here are a few things that can tip the scales back in your favor.
1) Kill a Starting Hero
This is especially true in 4s, where you can focus a ton of dmg + stun on a hero in a short amount of time. Hex, stomp, storm bolt, coil+nova, impale – whatever. The dream scenario is that you kill his hero while his allies are porting, leaving his army stranded and vulnerable.
2) Force a Town Portal
If you find yourself down, and especially if you know that your team is about to be attacked, you can walk over to the enemy base and start killing workers/burrows/halls. Anything to force them to TP and buy your own team some precious time.
3) Catch Them 4vs1, or 4vs3, or 3vs2, or 2vs1
Self-explanatory, but a great way to even the odds. On larger maps, it's relatively easy to find straggling armies, especially if your scouting is good. Even if they ultimately TP, those few seconds where you have a numerical advantage are enough to deal serious damage to their army.
4) Sacrifice a Base
Sometimes this is necessary, and the only way to turn a losing game around. Let's say your teammate's base is being attacked. If you, or you and your other allies, have been banking gold and/or climbing the tech ladder for some godly t3 units, it might be better to sacrifice your ally's base to buy your team the time it needs to take advantage of its resource/tech advantage. This is especially ideal if your ally's army can TP out of his main base, or if the ally being attacked also has an expansion somewhere, and can continue to feed your team gold.
That's it for now. I'll probably update in future. Happy 4sing!
Murky – Character, Abilities, and Quotes Lore
«They destroyed our village. Ripped the scales from our backs. Tore eyes from our sockets. They were monsters! Now I will dispense justice! I will have my vengeance! I... Am... MURKY!»Mglrmglmglmgl, folks! Today's post concerns
— Heroes of the Storm: Murky Trailer
For official information on Murky, see the Hero Week and Designer Insights blog posts on the official site.
All previous "Lore of" episodes
Concerning MurlocsThe origins of murlocs are veiled in mystery, mainly due to the fact that they pass down their history through oral tradition, with their language of Nerglish being considered incomprehensible to most outsiders, and due to the fact that they tend to shun other races. Although a relatively recent arrival on Azeroth's shores, murlocs are believed to actually be a very ancient people, their ancestors having dwelled in the ocean depths and thus remaining unknown to early land-dwelling races. The intrepid dwarven explorer Brann Bronzebeard (younger brother of Muradin) has theorized that murlocs are descended from gorlocs, a primitive race of arctic murloc-like creatures found in the continent of Northrend. Brann further speculates that much like many other animal-like races of Azeroth, the gorlocs may in turn be descended from one of the animalistic demigods known as the Ancient Guardians - specifically a so far undiscovered frog-like one. For the moment, however, this is only a theory.
Ever since they first appeared on shorelines, murlocs have been steadily moving inland, even adapting to freshwater lakes and rivers. Several clues indicate that this infiltration may be a coordinated effort; some have speculated that the reemergence of the serpentine naga in the aftermath of the Third War has forced the murlocs to migrate out of the oceans onto dry land, while others believe the murlocs to be working in concert with the naga.
As indicated by their fighting abilities and use of weaponry, and confirmed by Brann Bronzebeard and the disguised night elf calling himself "King Mrgl-Mrgl", murlocs are far more intelligent than most other races believe. They are also capable of casting potent elemental spells, whereas they were previously thought to only have mastery over the most basic of magic. Another, more disturbing detail has also been brought to light by recent murloc observations. The fish-men had previously been known to worship enigmatic sea-deities (sometimes including the naga), and at least one tribe (the Rockpool) revere Neptulon, the Elemental Lord of water, as a deity. However, several indicators point to the possibility that the murlocs are worshippers or servants of one or several nightmarish horrors that lie lurking at the bottoms of Azeroth's oceans, and that the murlocs' emergence onto land is an indication of these deep-sea monstrosities' impending awakening.
In any case, murlocs congregate along coasts, lakes, and rivers in tribes and villages. They are highly social creatures, and when one murloc is attacked, they tend to retreat towards an even larger group of their fellows, who will in turn not hesitate to retaliate against the attacker, overwhelming them with an assault of spears, slimy limbs, fishy breath, and elemental magic. This has granted murlocs an infamous, almost legendary, reputation among Azeroth's adventurers, who shudder at the thought of the fish-men's horrific, gurgling battlecry: RwlRwlRwl!
Murlocs are found on or near every known Azerothian continent and have often served as a nuisance to nearby, more "civilized" races. Shortly prior to the Third War (Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos), murlocs unwittingly caused the Darkspear tribe of trolls to join Thrall's Horde. For some time, the murlocs had killed and sacrificed many trolls dwelling on the Darkspear Islands as a way to honor the naga sea witch Zar'jira. Shortly after Thrall and his orcs arrived and made friendly contact with the trolls, the murlocs appeared and imprisoned the trolls and orcs in underground caverns. Thrall managed to break his way free and liberate many of the captives, but he was too late to save the troll chieftain Sen'jin from being sacrificed. Thrall avenged the old the troll by killing many of the murlocs before taking his people and the trolls - including Sen'jin's son, Vol'jin, who would become the new Darkspear chieftain and one day Warchief of the Horde - back onto the Horde ships to escape from the islands, which had begun to collapse into the sea.
There are several notable offshoots of the main murloc race: the months prior to the Third War saw the emergence of so-called mutant murlocs, corrupted by some unknown sinister force beneath the Maelstrom. Mur'gul, though not a true subrace, were murlocs that were used as slave labor and soldiers by the naga in the aftermath (Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne) of the Third War. Mur'ghoul are murlocs that have been raised into undeath by the Undead Scourge; so far they have only been found on the western coast of the Howling Fjord in Northrend. Deep sea murlocs resemble humanoid anglerfish and are mainly found dwelling in the ocean depths of sunken Vashj'ir. Finally, in ancient times, one group of murlocs came to dwell near the enchanted pools of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms in the land that would later be known as the southern continent of Pandaria. The energies in the Vale's waters uplifted these murlocs' forms, transforming them into the jinyu: tall, intelligent beings resembling humanoid fish. The jinyu once ruled parts of Pandaria in an empire of their own before being subjugated by the tyrannical mogu alongside the pandaren and other non-mogu races. To this day, long after the mogu were overthrown, the jinyu are considered wise and revered allies of the pandaren, with their ability to speak to the very rivers and streams of Pandaria having allowed them to provide sage counsel to many a pandaren emperor.
MurkyMuch like his people as a whole, Murky's history is shrouded in mystery. His hero trailer presents him as a member of a murloc tribe that has been massacred by adventurers. As such, he seeks revenge for his tribe as well as for all murlocs that have been slaughtered by players over the years.
Murky's Hero Week article presents a somewhat more enigmatic image of him:
Like the enigmatic origins of the murloc race, Murky’s past is also veiled in a variety unanswered questions. Who is he? Where does he come from? He dies again and again, and yet each time, returns to life from his egg. Stranger yet, when he emerges, he looks and sounds precisely the same. Does he possess unspeakable powers? Could he be immortal?The name "Murky" was first used for a baby murloc pet given out to attendees of the first-ever BlizzCon in 2005. The official description of the pet presents a similar origin story to that which would be presented for the Heroes of the Storm version of Murky years later, discussing how many murloc eggs and young have been orphaned as a result of adventurers' ceaseless slaughter of the fish-men and their villages and pleading for adventurers to adopt the baby murlocs. Murky would be the first in a long line of murloc-themed BlizzCon pets, pretty much all of which have so far been named some variation of "Murky".
The world may never know.
A character also by the name of Murky was introduced in World of Warcraft: Legion, two real-world years after the introduction of Heroes of the Storm's Murky. WoW's Murky has the same abilities as the Heroes version but appears to be decidedly less angry and has a fairly different story. On the northern coast of the region of Highmountain, players may find King Mrgl-Mrgl, a night elf druid disguised as a murloc who is concerned with the preservation of murloc populations (he made his first appearance in Wrath of the Lich King a few expansions earlier). Mrgl-Mrgl is distressed at the cruel, murderous behavior of the local Swamprock tribe of murlocs, but instead of the standard procedure of simply sending adventurers to massacre the tribe, the night elf has instead opted to mentor a new leader - Murky - in the hopes that he will be able to teach the Swamprock tadpoles to be better than their elders. Through a series of quests, players help the young Murky learn new abilities, recruit the tadpoles to his cause, and gradually grow stronger. This effort culminates in the player "mindmelding" with Murky's egg to briefly control the young murloc's actions and help him clear out a nearby cave of hostile makrura, after which Mrgl-Mrgl rushes into the cave with the tadpoles and declares that the place now belongs to the "Murkloc tribe". As Murky continues to train his new people, Mrgl-Mrgl decides to stick around in the cave to observe the new Murkloc tribe's development.
This Murky also later appears in several World Quests across the Broken Isles where players again mindmeld with him to complete various tasks, but I haven't done any of those quests and they haven't yet been fully documented on Wowpedia, so I unfortunately can't comment on them or their content.
Adding to the confusion of multiple possibly connected characters having the same names, the 2016 book World of Warcraft: Traveler features a young murloc also named Murky. The book takes place some time during or after Mists of Pandaria (in other words, a few years prior to Legion), but it's highly unclear if Traveler's Murky is meant to be the same character as the BlizzCon pet, the Heroes of the Storm hero, the Legion character, or a completely separate character altogether. Due to this uncertainty, I won't go into detail on this Murky or the events of Traveler.
- D: Spawn Egg - In Murky's Designer Insights article, Kent-Erik Hagman discusses how Murky's playstyle came to be, describing how, since murlocs identify as being weak but persistent in the Warcraft universe, it made sense to make Heroes of the Storm's resident murloc an annoying, persistent presence that dies a lot but keeps going regardless, slowing, irritating, and demoralizing enemy ranks. According to his Hero Week article, Murky's "uniquely persistent presence" is due to the fact that murlocs evolved to survive in Azeroth's dangerous aquatic environments.
- Q: Slime - In World of Warcraft: Legion, King Mrgl-Mrgl sends players to feed Murky by swimming through so-called "Slimeweed" while accompanied by the baby murloc them. After this quest is completed, Mrgl-Mrgl remarks that Murky seems to have gained a powerful slime ability as a result of eating the slimeweed. When players later mindmeld with Murky, he has a Slime ability that deals damage and applies slime to nearby enemies for 8 seconds, slowing and damaging them.
- W: Pufferfish - Murky's Hero Week article mentions that the pufferfish is his favorite snack and also makes for a dangerous weapon. In Legion, King Mrgl-Mrgl sends adventurers to gather pufferfish eggs for Murky, saying that the fish and their eggs have the impressive ability of exploding and would thus make a "good resource" for Murky. When players later mindmeld with Murky, the murloc has gained a Pufferfish ability that works pretty much identical to the Heroes version. Murky apparently isn't the only one to use pufferfish in this way: through the Fishing profession, players in Legion can also fish up pufferfish from the waters around the Broken Isles, with the flavor text of the Mountain Puffer stating that it is revered by the murlocs of Highmountain, while the flavor text of the Seerspine Puffer specifically mentions that on rare occasions, murlocs have been known to use pufferfish as weapons.
- E: Safety Bubble - Similarly to Slime and Pufferfish, Safety Bubble appears as one of Murky's abilities in Legion, where it makes him invulnerable for 3 seconds and heals him for 50% of his health, but also makes him unable to attack or use abilities for the duration.
- R1: March of the Murlocs - This ability appears to represent World of Warcraft's murlocs' infamous tendency to quickly attract large numbers of their brethren to overwhelm any players that dare to attack them. March of the Murlocs is also one of Murky's abilities in Legion, where it works similarly but deals instantaneous, rather than gradual, damage to any enemies caught in the path of the summoned murlocs.
- Level 1: Fish Eye - A fisheye lens is a type of camera lens.
- Level 1: Egg Hunt - An egg hunt is a game mostly played during Easter in which children compete to find hidden eggs.
- Level 4: Slime Time - World of Warcraft: Legion features a quest where players are tasked with gathering weeds for Murky to gain a sliming ability similar to his Heroes of the Storm counterpart. The quest is named "Slime Time", possibly in reference to this talent. Alternatively, the Heroes and WoW devs just came up with the talent and quest names independently because it rhymes, I guess.
- Level 7: Black Lagoon - Likely a reference to the 1954 American monster film Creature from the Black Lagoon, which features a fish-like humanoid creature called "Gill-man" as the main antagonist.
- Level 7: Slippery When Wet - "Slippery when wet" is a message commonly seen on cautionary wet floor signs. It's also used as the name of several songs and albums by different artists.
- Level 7: Time to Krill - Pun on "kill" and "krill", a type of small crustacean found in oceans all over the world.
- Level 13: Fish Tank - "Fish tank" is another name for cube-shaped aquariums.
- Level 16: Fish Oil - Fish oil is, well, oil extracted from fish, generally used for medical or dietary purposes.
- Level 16: Wrath of Cod - Pun on cod, the common name for a number of fish species, and the Biblical expression "wrath of God".
- Level 20: Big Tuna Kahuna - Pun on tuna, a tribe of saltwater fish, and "big kahuna", an idiomatic term for a boss or leader derived from the Hawaiian word kahuna, meaning a priest, sorcerer, or an expert in a profession.
Poke quotesLike most murlocs, Murky exclusively speaks in Nerglish, a language that is also spoken by the lobster-like makrura. Nerglish is a garbled, guttural tongue that most famously consists of the murlocs' infamous battlecry. The language is considered impossibly difficult to understand by most non-murlocs, though some individuals such as Thalyss Greyoak and apparently Lunara have been known to learn to speak it fluently. Conversely, there are a few rare murlocs that have also learned to fluently communicate with outsiders, including Sir Finley Mrrgglton, Neptool, and the unnamed Murloc Sorcerer from The Frozen Throne, although Murky is evidently not one of these. According to his Hero Week article, Murky can apparently write English, but he can't speak it.
Interaction quotesMurky is somewhat unique in that almost every single other hero in the game has at least one interaction quote with him. However, most of these are simply variations of the same few similar statements: wondering what a murloc is, expressing confusion or frustration over being partnered with a fish-frog thing, wondering how a murloc wound up in the Nexus, stating that they don't understand Murky's speech, or remarking on Murky's extreme hatred and his desire for vengeance. To avoid repetition, I've only included quotes that have some sort of story relevance or other things I can comment on.
Abathur: "Question unintelligible. Illogical sentence structure." - Says the zerg who apparently doesn't despise anything quite as much as pronouns.
Alarak: "Hah! I believe I like you, fish-creature. Come, we shall claim our vengeance together!" / Samuro: "Hm, your words are muddled, but your desire for vengeance is clear!" - Alarak, Murky, and Samuro are all in search of vengeance; Alarak and his Tal'darim seek revenge against the xel'naga Amon, Murky seeks vengeance for the countless murlocs slaughtered by adventurers over the years, and Samuro seeks to redeem the Burning Blade clan's honor and claim vengeance in their name. Protoss communicate through psionics, meaning they hear the thoughts and emotions of a creature rather than their speech, which is why Alarak understands Murky's speech; Murky's Hero Week article mentions that "the Protoss are the only ones who understand Murky. Literally. You have to be a mind reader to translate the gurgling."
Artanis: "What zerg abomination is this?!" / Maraudin' Muradin: "Never seen a zerg like you before." / Maraudin' Muradin: "Somethin' tells me you're even worse than the zerg!" - Since fish-people don't exist in StarCraft, Artanis and Maraudin' Muradin assume that the tiny, resilient, egg-spawning creature is a member of the Zerg Swarm.
Arthas: "Perhaps I will turn you into a mur'ghoul." / Sylvanas: "You would make a fine mur'ghoul, wouldn't you?" - "Mur'ghoul" (a portmanteau of "murloc" and "ghoul") is the term used to refer to murlocs that have been turned into undead.
Crown Prince Arthas: "A murloc ally? What, were all the furbolgs busy?" - Furbolgs are a race of primitive bear-like humanoids that dwell in the forestlands of Kalimdor. Though originally noble, most furbolg tribes have since been corrupted by demonic energies and are now extremely hostile to all outsiders. Furbolgs serve a similar role to murlocs in that they are primitive, tribal, animal-like humanoids that oftentimes serve as disposable mobs for players to slaughter.
Azmodan: "You sound like a Fallen One." - Fallen Ones are diminutive demons in service to Azmodan, encountered in all three Diablo games. They speak in crude, high-pitched voices somewhat similar to those of murlocs.
Cassia: "A Frog Demon. How did you escape the jungles of Kehjistan?" - Frog Demons are hostile creatures encountered in the jungles of Kehjistan in Act III of Diablo II. Resembling large frogs with rows of spikes running along their backs, the poisonous Frog Demons are one of many results of the jungles' inhabitants becoming mutated due to magical energies. They bear some resemblance to Warcraft's murlocs, who are mostly described as looking like humanoid frogs or fish.
Diablo: "Oh, what an evil thing to say!" - Apparently Murky is diabolical enough for the Lord of Terror himself to take notice.
Lurkablo has a unique interaction with Murky - the only hero with which he has a specific interaction, which makes sense as Lurkablo is based on the appearance of deep sea murlocs. If I were to attempt a transcription of what he says to Murky, it'd be something like "Ahh, blwhl fhllgl!"
Prime Evil Diablo: "Hm... such anger. You could make for a powerful host." - In the Diablo universe, the Great Evils (the seven main demon lords) have frequently been known to possess mortals for extended periods of time. The mortal host, in turn, also tends to have an influence on the demon's physical appearance, behavior, or abilities.
E.T.C.: "Death will rise from the tides!" - Reference to the chorus of "I Am Murloc", an Elite Tauren Chieftain song that made its debut at BlizzCon 2007 and which celebrates the murlocs' ferocious nature.
Garrosh: "The Alliance is so weak. They can't even deal with you murlocs permanently!" / Greymane: "I hear Stormwind considers your kind a menace." / Varian: "A murloc? Is not even the Nexus safe from your vile kind?!" - Murlocs are a frequent nuisance to the inhabitants of several Alliance nations, mainly Elwynn Forest, Westfall, and the Redridge Mountains in Stormwind (humans), Loch Modan and the Wetlands in Khaz Modan (dwarves and gnomes), and parts of the Azuremyst Isles (draenei). They are particularly problematic in Stormwind, which is the nation that Varian is the ruler of.
Gul'dan: "There is much hatred in you, but you could be so much more. Drink, Murky, embrace your destiny!" - In the main universe, Gul'dan bound the orc clans into the service of the demonic Burning Legion by having them drink the blood of the demon Mannoroth. In the alternate universe, he wasn't quite as successful due to the interfering shenanigans of a time-traveling Garrosh, but that didn't stop the warlock from constantly trying to persuade the uncorrupted orcs of the Iron Horde to partake in consuming the demonic blood.
Illidan: "Oh, for the love of..." - In World of Warcraft: Legion, it is revealed that Illidan dislikes murlocs and doesn't understand why some people like them. Since Legion was released long after Illidan, Murky, or the interaction between the two was added to Heroes of the Storm, this is likely either just a coincidence or a case of Warcraft referencing Heroes rather than the other way around.
Jaina: "Hm... If one murloc is here, there are more nearby, aren't there?" - Murlocs are highly social creatures and are almost never seen alone. When one murloc is attacked, it will oftentimes run away towards its brethren, who will then swiftly retaliate by ganging up on the attacker, a phenomenon that many players in World of Warcraft are painfully familiar with.
Dreadlord Jaina: "Murlocs. Unwitting servants of the Old Gods." - This quote is rather interesting. The Old Gods are a group of extremely powerful eldritch horrors that frequently attempt to influence Azeroth and its inhabitants, attempting to break free from their prisons and bring about the end of all things. It had previously been rumored in-universe that the seemingly unassuming murlocs may worship or serve "deep-sea monstrosities" that lie sleeping or waiting in the depths of the ocean, a descriptor that seems notably similar to the Old Gods, particularly the enigmatic N'Zoth, who is believed to lie imprisoned under the Great Sea. The murloc tribe known as the Blindlight are known worshippers of the Old Gods, dwelling alongside the sinister Twilight's Hammer cult in the Blackfathom Deeps, and the design of the murlocs themselves seem to be at least partially inspired by the sinister Deep Ones from H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, the main inspiration for Warcraft's Old Gods.
Johanna: "Have you reconsidered my offer, Murky? I could use a good apprentice." - Johanna's hero trailer reveals that she is currently in search of an apprentice. In the trailer, she also extends her offer of apprenticeship to a group of heroes consisting of Tychus, Gazlowe, Jaina, and Murky. Murky did apparently later take up Johanna's offer, as seen by the Sir Murkalot skin (more on that below).
Kel'Thuzad: "Your curiosity will be the death of you, Murky! Over and over again." - Reference to the famous Kel'Thuzad quote "Your curiosity will be the death of you", first spoken in the Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos mission The Cult of the Damned and later repeated in the patch trailer for World of Warcraft's Patch 1.11: Shadow of the Necropolis.
Kharazim: "What creature is this? Hm, perhaps you are from Skovos?" - In the Diablo universe, the Skovos Isles are a tropical island chain located in the Twin Seas of central Sanctuary. The isles are the homeland of the Askari, or Amazons (represented in Heroes through Cassia and Novazon).
Li-Ming: "What kind of monster are you? Do you have affixes?" - In Diablo III, Champion, Rare, Unique, and Minion monsters are given special traits, typically called "affixes" by the community, that give them a variety of powerful effects.
Lt. Morales: "Wait a second, these readouts say you're male. Uhh... wh- how do you lay eggs?!" - Good question, Rosa. Good question. (Now, one could argue that murlocs may be hermaphrodites and that murloc females don't actually exist, but the Murloc Female Mask - which just looks like an orange version of the blue Murloc Male Mask - in World of Warcraft seems to suggest otherwise, as does the presence of the Hydrologist in Hearthstone, which is, however, non-canon).
Lunara: "Ah, uhm... I'm so out of practice... mrgrl?" / Lunara: "Mrgrl. Mrgrlrwl." - Lunara, like most dryads, is allies with all creatures that dwell in the forests, so it follows that she'd learn to communicate with said creatures. Apparently her Nerglish is a bit rusty, however.
Malthael: "You understand my great work? ... Curious." - Murky's quest for vengeance is somewhat similar to Malthael's quest to destroy all of humanity, which he perceives as being tainted by demonic corruption due to their half-angel, half-demon heritage.
Muradin: "[shudders] That sound still gives me the heebie-jeebies." - Murlocs are mainly associated with a distinct battlecry which sounds when a player aggros a murloc in World of Warcraft.
Genji: "I can never eat sushi again." / Nova: "[sigh] I hate sushi." / The Lost Vikings (Olaf): "Ohh, wow... Will you be my pet, sweet little sushi?" - Sushi is a popular Japanese dish consisting of specially prepared vinegared rice combined with various ingredients, commonly in the form of raw fish. Since Murky is rather fish-like, he reminds Genji, Nova, and Olaf of sushi.
Ragnaros: "Run back to Neptulon!" - Neptulon the Tidehunter is the Elemental Lord of Water, just as Ragnaros is the Elemental Lord of Fire. As master of all of Azeroth's waters, Neptulon is naturally associated with various creatures of the sea, and at least some murloc tribes are known to worship him as a deity.
Rexxar: "A little far from the Echo Isles, aren't you?" - The Echo Isles are a small, tropical island chain just south of Durotar which serves as the home of the Darkspear trolls. In the bonus campaign for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Rexxar and his companions briefly visited the Echo Isles and came across a number of murlocs and other aquatic creatures; apparently Rexxar hasn't had much experience with murlocs since and thus primarily associates them with that specific island chain.
The Lost Vikings (Baleog): "Have I fought one of your relatives before?" - Murky's infantile appearance is similar to the rather cutesy appearance of many of the enemies encountered in the The Lost Vikings games.
The Lost Vikings (Erik): "Hm... are you related to Aftiek?" - In the original The Lost Vikings, Aftiek is a diminutive alien that helps the three Vikings escape from Tomator's ship in the first world.
The Lost Vikings (Erik): "How did a sea serpent end up here? And such a tiny one, too!" - Sea serpents are snake- or dragon-like sea monsters described in the folklore and mythology of various cultures, particularly in Scandinavia where real-world Vikings are from; Norse mythology tells of Jörmugandr, or the "Midgard Serpent", a creature so enormous that its body encircled the entirety of the mortal realm of Miðgarðr. Murlocs could arguably be said to look a little bit like stunted, squashed-together sea serpents with arms and legs... sort of.
Tracer: "Winston's an odd one, but you're a whole other level!" - Winston is a super-intelligent, genetically engineered gorilla scientist, a close friend of Tracer, and a playable character in Overwatch. Apparently Tracer still doesn't think that's quite as weird as a tiny frog-man wielding a fish.
Valla: "And I here I thought Goatmen were strange..." - Khazra, or "Goatmen", are hostile demonic creatures seen in all three Diablo games. They are the results of humans being mutated by demonic energies, becoming monstrous, goat-like creatures.
Varian: "Oh, sure, that's cute now, but I know what happens when you grow up!" - Baby murlocs (or "tadpoles") are harmless, playful creatures that speak in high-pitched gurgling voices, are often kept as pets by other races, and are generally friendly towards outsiders (well, except for Murky, that is). Adult murlocs are... slightly less welcoming.
Zul'jin: "Hmm. A little small for good eatin'. Maybe I throw you back, huh?" - Trolls often eat fish, same as other humanoid cultures. Trolls are also notorious cannibals that consume the flesh of both their own kind and that of other humanoid races, so the idea of them eating murlocs isn't too surprising.
Killing Murky quotesDehaka: "Collected essence, but it remains. Must try again." - Dehaka seeks to collect so-called "essence" (genetic material) from his foes so that he can evolve by incorporating their traits into himself, but of course Murky can just keep repeatedly spawning from his egg. Still, Murky grants the same amount of essence as a regular hero when killed by Dehaka in Heroes of the Storm.
E.T.C.: "I am murloc!" - Another reference to the Elite Tauren Chieftain song "I Am Murloc" (2007).
Dreadlord Jaina: "Not even nathrezim are so persistent." - Demons such as dreadlords have souls that are bound to the chaotic dimension known as the Twisting Nether. If killed outside of it, the demon's spirit will simply return to the Nether to regenerate. Thus, the only way to permanently destroy a demon's spirit is to slay it inside the Nether itself, in a place where the Nether bleeds into mortal worlds, or in a location in the physical universe that's been heavily inundated with demonic energy. While this is a trait inherent to all demons, it was, for most of World of Warcraft's history, mostly associated with nathrezim (dreadlords). Here, Dreadlord Jaina is comparing her own people's regenerative abilities to those of Murky.
- Funny Bunny - This skin is themed around Noblegarden (the WoW and Heroes equivalent of Easter), and its description mentions Bunny Island, an obscure location first featured in "Funny Bunny's Egg Hunt", one of the official multiplayer bonus maps for Warcraft III. The map features players being transformed into humanoid bunnies by "Funny Bunny", the namesake of the Murky skin, before competing in an egg hunt across Bunny Island. All the while, players are chased by the "evil bunnies" and their leader, the vicious Bunnylord.
- Grunty - This skin is based on Grunty, a World of Warcraft murloc pet that was given out to attendees of BlizzCon 2009 and who is themed around Terran Marines from StarCraft, complete with power armor, a rifle, and several StarCraft-themed pet battle abilities. The Zergling pet (obtained from the World of Warcraft Collector's Edition) will kill Grunty on sight. Grunty's Pet Journal entry in WoW suggests that the murloc obtained his high-tech equipment by crossing dimensional barriers into the Koprulu Sector before returning to Azeroth.
- Fire-batty - This skin is based on the Firebat, a type of terran infantry equipped with flamethrowers and who also happens to be one of the more commonly requested heroes for Heroes of the Storm.
- Heavenly Grunty - This skin's color scheme and symbols are based on those of the High Heavens, the realm of the angels from the Diablo universe (represented in Heroes through Auriel, Malthael, and Tyrael).
- Sir Murkalot - This skin is based on Murkalot, a murloc pet that was given out to attendees of BlizzCon 2013 and which is based on the Crusader class from Diablo III. In Heroes of the Storm, Sir Murkalot is the result of Murky becoming the apprentice of Johanna, who represents D3's Crusaders. It should also be noted that the Murloc Knight card in Hearthstone is visually based on Murkalot.
- Scarlet Sir Murkalot - Possibly based on Warcraft's Scarlet Crusade, a fanatical and hostile religious organization which primarily consisted of paladins. As the name suggests, the Scarlet Crusade is primarily associated with a color scheme of crimson and white. Or, alternatively, this skin is just named after the color scarlet and doesn't have anything to do with the Warcraft organization.
MiscellaneousThe music heard in the background of Murky's hero trailer from 0:25 onwards is from the Elite Tauren Chieftain song "I Am Murloc".
EDIT: On second thought, I might not be able to put together a decent post in time, so I might end up skipping next week.