Heroes of the Storm characters have all the time been migrated over from Blizzard’s most iconic universes. Overwatch’s cheeky Brit Tracer is in there, ferocious orc warchief Thrall from World of Warcraft too, and Diablo’s undead skeleton king Leoric.
You can select from a roster of over 80 Blizzard characters to brawl it out within the multiverse of the Nexus. That’s so much. Which is why it’s stunning it has taken till now, three years because the game launched in 2015, for Blizzard to introduce a totally authentic character.
The floating gothic murderer, Orphea, is the primary character to be born from throughout the Nexus – the primary Heroes of the Storm character created from scratch.
“Being able to build our own hero, story wise and design wise, everybody was so excited,” idea artist Peter Lee says. “We love bringing in more heroes from different universes but we have to stay true to the original design. With Orphea, we had almost total freedom, and it gave us a lot of design opportunities.”
To create this primary authentic character, the Heroes of the Storm staff needed to return to the foundations of the game, delving into the lore of the Nexus universe. “We’ve covered every IP of Blizzard’s universes and that gave us motivation to go back to the original roots of the game,” Lee explains. The staff determined to strategy this from the character of the Raven Lord Oberon, who’s the announcer for 2 of the game’s battlegrounds, Cursed Hollow and the left facet of the Towers of Doom.
“We gravitated towards the Raven Lord as one of these iconic announcers that everyone had been hearing from the very beginning on Cursed Hollow,” manufacturing director Kaeo Milker says. “This idea started floating around where we talked about the Raven Lord’s daughter – something that we just kept talking about.”
Milker explains that the design for Orphea got here from idea artist Oscar Vega. Once the staff noticed it they immediately fell in love with the type. “It really captured all of our imaginations,” Milker says. “This combination of this this graceful dancer and this giant gothic box on her back, and then this dark monster beast thing kind of floating around her, it just grabbed us. I don’t think we ever looked back from that.”
Orphea’s story focuses on her anger at Oberon for his wrath over the Nexus and her resolution to show in opposition to him to cease his reign. Her playstyle and skills come from a mixture of her gothic appears to be like and her potential to drift and dance across the battlefield. “We played with the dancer animation” Lee says. “Graceful and very agile, but it also has some style to do with the monster in the closet. That was something that everybody feared when they were a kid.”
Orphea’s skills mix her supple dancing strikes together with her monster companion – as she strikes, enemies are swiped at by an enormous claw or chomped by an enormous set of enamel. Her assaults have a excessive injury depend, too, and this contributes to a trait referred to as Overflowing Chaos, which, when stacked, can improve her injury output and be used to self-heal.
Even although the staff has created this primary playable character from throughout the Nexus universe, Milker says any future heroes added to the game will come from Blizzard’s IPs, at the least for now.
“Being able to create everything from the ether, to take take this journey with Orphea and take her wherever we want to, is awesome,” Milker says. “But I think we will continue to focus on Blizzard characters. It’s just a question of if, and when, we do another Nexus born character, but you’ll have to wait and see.”