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Blizzard tweaking Heroes of the Storm's bonus XP with Underdog Bonus

Heroes of the Storm developer Blizzard Entertainment is experimenting with the way bonus experience works in the game: The studio is shelving "trickle XP" in favor of an "Underdog Bonus" in the next patch, it announced today.

According to Heroes of the Storm community manager Spyrian, Blizzard has received "a lot of positive feedback" about trickle XP, as well as "quite a few comments" from players who aren't thrilled with its current implementation. So the studio is trying a different tack by replacing trickle XP with the Underdog Bonus.

Standard trickle XP isn't going away completely; both teams will still earn a small amount of XP at the same rate over the course of a match. But as of the upcoming patch, the rate won't increase for teams who are behind by three or more levels.

Teams that are behind by any number of levels will now receive a different boost, the "Underdog Bonus." Starting at a gap of one level, the losing squad will earn bonus XP — "a little more XP than it would at even levels," said Spyrian — for each enemy hero that is killed. And conversely, the team that is ahead will earn fewer XP for killing opposing heroes.

The XP bonus or reduction, as the case may be, will scale depending on the difference in levels between the two teams, and the amount will be capped when they're four levels apart. Heroes of the Storm will keep up the XP changes until the two squad are at even levels.

Blizzard expects that the Underdog Bonus will initially raise the number of games with four- and five-level differences, but that should level out over time. And the studio is already working on a "more refined version of the system" that it plans to release in a future update.

For more on Heroes of the Storm, check out our making-of report.

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