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Orphea Is ‘Heroes of the Storm’s’ Latest Character

Developer Blizzard Entertainment unveiled the latest character coming to its multiplayer online battle arena game “Heroes of the Storm” during the BlizzCon 2018 opening ceremony on Friday.

Orphea is the heir of the Raven Court and daughter of the Raven Lord, one of “Heroes” villains, and she utilizes dark magic for her attacks and abilities. Unlike most of the game’s characters, she was born in the Nexus, the realm that serves as the battleground for all of “Heroes” disparate characters.

She’ll be available in the first major patch after BlizzCon 2018, which runs from Nov. 2-3, Blizzard said. Show attendees and virtual ticket holders will gain access to her for free once she goes live in-game. Attendees and ticket holders are also getting a set of exclusive Nexus Razorgrin-themed items.

Blizzard also outlined other changes coming to “Heroes of the Storm” next year. It wants to encourage closer matches and avoid the dreaded “snowball” effect, it said.

“After careful design, implementation, and iteration, we felt that this best way to accomplish this goal was to slow down the ‘snowball effect’ just as it starts to come into play,” it said. “In short, we’re changing the way we reward players who prioritize push strategies to gain experience and power advantages. While we still want to reward players for pushing, we’re focused on removing the direct power advantage we give to these teams and will instead reward them with a strategic advantage.”

To accomplish this, Blizzard said it’s redistributing how experience is earned across parts of a match. Forts and keeps will no longer grant XP, while passive experience gain is increasing by 15%. Towers will offer 50% less XP when they’re destroyed, and XP for defeating mercenaries is being doubled.

In addition, Blizzard said it’s unifying the Armor system so players won’t have to bring multiple heroes that grant armor and stack it to absurd levels. The studio is also tweaking matchmaking. Hero roles will be prioritized when looking for teammates, and players who queue for scarce roles will get bonus experience.

Finally, Stimpacks will now be called Boost, and they’ll give teammates a 5% increase in experience for each one active at the end of a match.

Blizzard expects to implement these changes sometime in 2019.

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