Corporal Miles Lewis, better known to StarCraft fans as the veteran Firebat "Blaze," is now live in Heroes of the Storm. Blaze is a ranged tank who literally puts the fire in firefight, but he can also deploy bunkers that provide him and his teammates with a handy place to hide and heal.
"Blaze is really effective at pushing the fight, his Jet Propulsion makes him potent at engaging the enemy team and when he lights his Oil Spills on fire his sustain can be very hard to deal with," hero designer Jade Martin told us last week in our up-close look at the newcomer. "So naturally he does well with heroes who are good at staying in fights."
The spotlight trailer provides a good rundown of Blaze's abilities, and his hero page is live if you'd like to dig a little deeper.
The Blaze update also makes a number of changes to the base game, including a rework of Malfurion, balance changes to Nova and Hanzo, and adjustments to towers that will restore some of their punch. "As expected, our gameplay update for 2018 resulted in large changes to many of our game systems. While we’re overall happy with the direction of the update, there have been some unintended side effects that we’re hoping to remedy," Blizzard said in the patch notes.
"We overestimated how much more powerful unlimited ammo would be for Structures, and as a result pushing mechanics have become too strong, resulting in lower game times on nearly all maps. We’re giving our towers some of their teeth back with this update, which should help teams hold pushes from Mercenary Camps and map events."
Mercenary camps have also been tweaked, Hellbats and Knights have been nerfed, the Warhead Junction boss has been dialed back, and Regeneration Globe power has been reduced. "These are some hefty changes, and it’s likely that there will be more needed to be done over time as things continue to settle," Blizzard said. "We’ll be keeping an eye on things, and are prepared to make more updates as they’re needed."
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.