BlizzCon was a busy week for Blizzard Entertainment, but it was also an opportunity for Shacknews to learn about what's next for their marquee franchises. This includes Heroes of the Storm, which debuted its first original character with Orphea. To learn more, Shacknews spoke to Lead Systems Designer Joe Piepiora and Lead Live Designer Brett Crawford.
Piepiora and Crawford go into Orphea's origins, as well as more details of the Heroes of the Storm lore, in general. They detail the cinematic and the inspirations that helped make it happen. They also detail some of the big changes coming to Heroes of the Storm as a whole, including changes to Quick Match through the upcoming Call of the Nexus update.
"Quick Match is our most popular mode in Heroes of the Storm," Piepiora told Shacknews. "Right now, players can play against AI-controlled opponents, they can play in the Quick Match format, and they're playing in our Ranked Play modes, Hero League and Team League. Quick Match is, by far, our most popular at the moment and we love it because it's a casually competitive mode, like you mentioned. Our player can dive right in, they don't need to worry about a pick phase or a draft phase, they just get to play the character they want, the moment they want. And that's really great! We love that aspect of Heroes of the Storm, obviously, and you sometimes want to come and play Sylvanas and at that point, you want to play Sylvanas.
"That said, that does end up in a lot of situations in Quick Match where you'll have a team with two ranged assassins and two melee assassins and you don't have anybody to really... heal you, to keep your team sustained if you want to stay in the fight. It just makes for bad matches across the board. Whether they're quick or not, that's not really the point, so to address the point you brought up earlier in the interview, we mentioned that we remember trying to improve a lot of the core aspects of gameplays in Heroes of the Storm, between XP changes and otherwise. For Call of the Nexus, what we're trying to do is make sure that we have, again, a tank, a healer, and a ranged assassin in every match on both sides when you're playing in the game. We're doing that by basically providing a new incentive."
The team goes into the Quick Match team building incentives, as well some of the other features set to hit the Call of the Nexus update. That update is set to arrive soon, roughly two weeks after next week's Orphea update. For more, be sure to read through our interview with game designer Jade Martin and artist Oscar Vega. And for more interviews like this, be sure to subscribe to Shacknews and GamerHub.TV on YouTube.
Orphea is currently available on the Heroes of the Storm PTR.