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At PAX East 2015, Blizzard revealed their next steps for growing Heroes of the Storm. Soon the MOBA will be receiving a new character and a new Battleground.
The new character joining the roster is the undead queen Sylvanas. She was previously confirmed at BlizzCon but now Blizzard has shared information on how she'll fit into the game along with a gameplay trailer.
Sylvanas looks just like Drow Ranger from Dota 2 but she's actually a bit different. Her passive trait allows her to shut down minions, towers and forts with auto-attacks. Withering Fire is a five-charge ability that automatically fires arrows at the nearest enemy target. She can use it on the run to inflict damage on enemy she's pursuing or running from. Shadow Dagger causes damage over time to a single target and also spreads to other nearby enemies. Hunting Wave summons a wave of banshees to hit all enemies in their path. If the abilities is used twice in close proximity, Sylvanas is teleported to the banshee's location.
Her default Heroic ability is "Wailing Arrow," an attack that causes heavy damage in an area and also silences any enemies there for 2.5 seconds. This makes the ability great for teamfights or simply pushing back minions. "Possession," the alternate Heroic ability, lets her convert an enemy Minion or Mercenary to her team. The converted enemy will have boosted health and damage while the ability is in effect. In an interesting twist, the cooldown of the ability depends on how powerful of a minion you last cast it on.
Heroes of the Storm will soon be adding a similarly bleak Battleground: Tomb of the Spider Queen. This is a smaller Battleground which Blizzard likens to "a knife fight in a closet."
"The next new Battleground coming to the Nexus is Tomb of the Spider Queen—a small map that feels like a knife fight in a closet. It’s a dark and moody interior space where you destroy enemy minions to claim the gems they drop. Turning these gems in will summon a powerful wave of Webweavers to attack your enemies. You drop any gems you’re carrying when you die, but while your enemies can’t pick them up, savvy opponents may deny your teammates the opportunity of retrieving them."
Blizzard hasn't mentioned when Sylvanas or Tomb of the Spider Queen will be added to the game. Both the character and Battleground look like they're close to completion, though, so we shouldn't have to wait long.
Heroes of the Storm is currently in closed beta. Blizzard is continually adding beta testers who opted in through their Battle.net account. You can also get into the test through a giveaway or by purchasing the Founder's Pack. Current testers will soon get invites to share with friends as well.