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by Published on 2018-04-29 05:46 PM

Heroes Of The Dorm - Heroic Four "Pick 'em" Challenge
As this year's Heroes of the Dorm is nearing its conclusion, four teams have made it to the semi-finals. And you get to bet on the outcome and have a chance to win some loot boxes! Here's how it works:

  • Log in on on the Heroes of the Dorm website with your Battle.net account
  • Select which of the four qualified teams you believe will win the Grand Finals
  • Watch the action unfold live on May 12th
  • ???
  • Profit with 1 loot box for participating, and an additional 5 loot boxes if your selected team wins!

For more information on Heroes of the Dorm, click the banner below:



Heroes Brawl of the Week, April 27, 2018: Temple Arena
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
This week’s brawl is the Temple Arena! Harness the power of the Alligator, Cobra, and Jackal Temples to destroy the enemy Core!



Rules:

  • Choose from one of three randomly selected Heroes before entering the Arena. Be quick about it though, you only have 30 seconds to choose!
  • Everyone will begin the round at level 10 and will be asked to choose a Heroic Ability. No other talents will be available.
  • During each round, slay the enemy team’s Heroes and capture the Temple Shrines to take shots at their Core!
    • The Core for each team will have set amounts of health based on the number of active Shrines.
    • Each round can have 1-3 active Shrines.
    • The first team whose Core reaches 0 health will lose the round.
  • Be the first team to win 2 rounds and claim victory!

Rewards:
  • Complete three matches of the Temple Arena to earn a Loot Chest!

Find out more about the Heroes Brawl game mode on our Heroes Brawl site; and as always, you can find more information on this week’s Brawl by clicking the Brawl Info button at the bottom of the play screen when preparing to queue for the Brawl game mode.

HGC 2018 - Top 5 Plays - Phase 1 Week 10
While the play-offs for the Mid-Season Brawl continue later today, Blizzard put together at few clips showing the top plays from last week's games:

by Published on 2018-04-26 07:19 PM

A Look Back - Deckard Cain
Blizzard posted a short video to Twitter for those who may not be familiar with Deckard Cain's origins in the Diablo universe.


Blue Posts
A few players were disappointed to see that Deckard Cain's healing potions don't turn purple when you pick the Rejuvenation Potion talent, prompting a couple of developer responses on the subject.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Please turn Deckard Cain's potions purple when you select the Rejuvenation Potion talent at level 4. This was an iconic part of D2. Thank you, Blizzard.
It's something we wanted because we love the purple Rejuvenation potions but "game play first." Purple is reserved for neutral elements like health globes that can be picked up by both sides and merc camps that can be captured by both sides. (u/Blizz_KinaBREW)

but the potions are red now, and red is usually for the enemy team...
More like, we made concessions for the lore of diablo. Could have been green and there are still some who want them to be green. Gotta pick your battles. (u/Blizz_KinaBREW)

I might just be blind to this merc camp statement, but those appear as yellow on the Mini-map. Do they change to purple on the minimap if the mercs are killed but not capped?
But the units themselves are adorn with purple. (u/Blizz_KinaBREW)

HGC Minute - Episode 9
Developer Lana Bachynski returns for this week's Heroes Global Championship recap and provides updates on how the various regions have progressed.

by Published on 2018-04-24 05:52 PM

Heroes of the Storm Patch Notes – April 24, 2018
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

Deckard Cain has joined the Nexus with our latest Heroes of the Storm patch! Read on to learn more about the new Support Hero, as well as a number of new balance changes, skins, mounts, and more.

NOTE: Orange text indicates a difference between the PTR and Live patch notes.


Quick Navigation:


General

Home Screen Rework
  • Heroes of the Storm’s Home Screen has received significant improvements.
    • A secondary navigation bar has been added near the top of the Home Screen, beneath the existing Play, Collection, Loot, and Watch buttons.
      • Click each tab on the Home Screen navigation bar to switch among different categories of Heroes-related news.
      • Home Screen tabs will be updated regularly, and will commonly include information about the latest Hero, the current in-game event, Heroes Esports, and more.
    • Each Home Screen tab features additional news items near the bottom of the screen, which can be clicked to find out more details about that topic.
      • For example: Home Screen buttons may link to Heroes and other items in the Collection, the latest Hero Spotlight Video, the Heroes Global Championship Schedule, and more.


New Hero: Deckard

An avid scholar, Deckard Cain has dedicated his life to the pursuit of knowledge. He has been an advisor, storyteller, and friend to Sanctuary’s greatest heroes, guiding them through peril time and again. When Deckard speaks, it’s wise to stay awhile and listen.

Trait
  • Fortitude of the Faithful
    • When at least 1 other allied Hero is nearby, Deckard gains 10 Armor and his Basic Abilities recharge 50% faster.

Basic Abilities
  • Healing Potion (Q)
    • Toss a Healing Potion on the ground that heals the first allied Hero that comes in contact with it for 230.
    • Limit 5 active Potions.
  • Horadric Cube (W)
    • Throw the Horadric Cube, dealing 80 damage to all enemies in the area and Slowing them by 40% for 1.75 seconds.
  • Scroll of Sealing (E)
    • Unfurl an enchanted scroll, forming a triangle that deals 150 damage to enemies inside and Roots them for 1.5 seconds.

Heroic Abilities
  • Stay Awhile and Listen (R)
    • After 1 second, Channel for 3 seconds, putting enemy Heroes in front of Deckard to Sleep while Channeling, and for 2 seconds after.
    • Enemies can only be put to Sleep once per cast, and Sleep’s effects end instantly if they take damage.
  • Lorenado (R)
    • Vector Targeting.
    • Create a swirling lorenado that travels in the targeted direction, continually knocking away any enemies that come into contact with it.


Art

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
  • Gul’dan: Has received updated visual effects to make his Abilities easier to spot during battle.


User Interface

Draft Mode
  • Hero portraits in Draft Lobbies will now use 2D Base Hero art rather than animated 3D Hero Skin models in order to help make Hero picks easier to differentiate from one another at a glance.
    • For example: It should now be easier to tell whether a teammate has selected Falstad or Muradin during a draft.


Design
Quests
  • Skillshots, as well as other Abilities and Talents that search for targets, will now pass through Invulnerable targets without granting quest progress.


Battlegrounds

Warhead Junction
  • Neutral Swarm Host Boss
    • Will no longer burrow while defending its camp.
    • Slime Pods
      • Pod impact locations will now display warning indicators on the terrain.
      • Pods now explode immediately on impact, and no longer spawn Podlings.
      • Increased the number of Pods launched per cast.

  • Captured Swarm Host Boss
    • All of the above changes also apply to captured Swarm Hosts.
    • Slime Trail
      • Removed.
    • Slime Pods
      • Pods can now target Structures.

Developer Comment: We believe the Warhead Junction boss is a cool variant of the standard golem boss found on most maps, but it had some inconsistencies that needed addressing. These changes essentially make the boss a better version of itself—its neutral and captured versions are closer in power, and its Slime Pods create a cooler moment than its Podlings did previously.


Heroes

Assassin

Cassia


Talents
  • Level 7
    • Surge of Light (Active)
      • Now has a 0.25 second cooldown between uses.


Fenix


Talents
  • Level 1
    • Mobile Offensive (Passive)
      • Now grants its Basic Attack damage bonus after any movement, rather than only after unmounted movement.


Genji


Stats
  • Health increased from 1550 to 1620.
  • Health Regen increased from 3.2304 to 3.3750.
  • Basic Attack damage increased from 42 to 44.

Abilities
  • Cyber Agility (Trait) (D)
    • Cooldown increased from 10 to 12 seconds.
  • Swift Strike (E)
    • Range reduced from 14 to 12.
  • Dragonblade (R)
    • Damage increased from 220 to 240.
    • Removed functionality:
      • Killing an enemy Hero who was recently hit by Dragonblade no longer resets Swift Strike’s cooldown.

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Agile Dismount (Trait)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 5 to 7 seconds.
  • Level 13
    • Double Jump (Trait)
      • No longer increases Cyber Agility’s cooldown.
  • Level 20
    • The Dragon Becomes Me (R)
      • Additional Functionality:
        • Now also resets Swift Strike’s cooldown if an enemy Hero dies within 2 seconds after being hit by Dragonblade.

Developer Comment: We’re making some changes to Genji to try and make him less frustrating to play against and give opponents more options with which to counter him. While we think resetting Swift Strike’s cooldown after killing enemy Heroes with Dragonblade made for cool, flashy plays, it shut down too many other Heroes too often. It also caused too many games to become about how much value Genji was able to get out of Dragonblade and little else. We like the flashiness that Dragonblade resets can provide, so we’re keeping that functionality, but we’re now adding it to his Level 20 Storm Talent version of the Heroic. We’re also increasing his Health and Basic Attack damage, reducing the range of Swift Strike, and increasing the cooldown of Cyber Agility to reduce his mobility while boosting his base stats to compensate.


Specialist

Sylvanas


Abilities
  • Shadow Dagger (W)
    • Shadow Dagger now briefly reveals enemies upon spreading to them.


Zagara


Abilities
  • Nydus Network (R)
    • The player can now exit Nydus Worms in a direction of their choosing by right-clicking.


Warrior

Blaze


Abilities
  • Bunker Drop (R)
    • Players can now exit Blaze's Bunker in the direction of their choosing by right-clicking.
    • The Bunker’s hitbox has been adjusted to more closely match its model. This should reduce situations in which players could unintentionally enter Blaze’s bunker when clicking nearby.


Collection

New Bundles
  • The following new bundles are available for a limited time! Be sure to check out the latest In-Development blog for more details.
    • Deckard Heroic Bundle
    • Nephalem Bundle

New Announcers
  • Deckard
  • Raven Lord
  • Grave Keeper

New Skins
  • Deckard
    • Afflicted Deckard
    • Angelic Deckard
  • Wastewalker Deckard
    • Diesel Wastewalker Deckard
    • Scourged Wastewalker Deckard
  • Cassia
    • Soaring Cassia
  • Johanna
    • Nephalem Johanna
  • Kharazim
    • Nephalem Kharazim
    • Northern Kharazim
  • Li-Ming
    • Nephalem Li-Ming
  • Malthael
    • Sinuous Grave Warden Malthael
  • Nazeebo
    • Nephalem Nazeebo
    • Ceremonial Nazeebo
    • Rain Nazeebo
    • Sunrise Nazeebo
  • Sonya
    • Nephalem Sonya
  • The Butcher
    • Petrified Butcher
  • Valla
    • Nephalem Valla

New Mounts
  • Road Chariot
    • Exalted Road Chariot
    • Hoarfrost Road Chariot

Mount Removal
  • Lucky Piggy Bank

New Portraits and Sprays
  • We've once again teamed up with Carbot Animations to add even more HeroStorm-themed portraits and sprays in their signature art style! Catch a preview in the latest In-Development blog.


Bug Fixes

General
  • Fixed a number of typo and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game.

A.I.
  • Hanzo: Fixed an issue that could cause A.I. Hanzo to repeatedly Channel and cancel Storm Bow.

Art
  • Blaze: Icon art has been swapped for the Adhesive Petroleum and Oil Dispersal Talents.
  • Lunar Sylvanas: Fixed an issue causing Lunar Sylvanas to play an incorrect animation on the Most Played screen.

Battlegrounds
  • Checkpoint: Hanamura (Brawl): The Brawl Info tooltip now correctly states that Health Packs restore 35% Health and Mana.
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen: The left-side team’s bottom Fort can no longer attack enemy Heroes who are just beyond the Gate.
  • Try Mode: Tychus’ Dash Talent now correctly grants its Movement Speed reward after using the Complete Quests button.
  • Try Mode: Uther’s Silver Touch Talent now correctly grants its second Mana cost reduction reward to Holy Light after using the Complete Quests button.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
  • Abathur: The number of Minions Absorbed stacks no longer appear inconsistent in the Buff bar after Abathur dies while a Monstrosity is active.
  • Abathur: Fixed an issue causing Spike Burst’s visual effects to appear much larger than intended when cast while targeting a Mercenary with Symbiote.
  • Alarak: Free Lightning Surge casts granted by the Lightning Barrage Talent now correctly display its cast range indicator.
  • Ana: Nano Boost’s duration bar now appears next to, rather than replaces, any existing Ability duration bars for the targeted Ally, like Sonya’s Whirlwind.
  • Brightwing: Can now correctly cast Blink Heal on Turrets and Biotic Emitters that were placed by Brightwing herself.
  • Cho: Entering a Stasis effect, like Zeratul’s Void Prison, while Surging Fist is charging no longer places Surging Fist on full cooldown.
  • Fog of War: Hitting an enemy with certain targeted, ranged Abilities, like Sylvanas’ Shadow Dagger, just before the target enters Fog of War or a Line of Sight Blocker now correctly reveal that enemy.
  • Fog of War: Fixed an issue in which attempting to cast a targeted Ability through the Fog of War on a snapshot of a unit that no longer exists could cause the Hero to path into the terrain and become stuck.
  • Greymane: Partial progress earned toward the Wizened Duelist Talent’s next attack damage bonus will no longer persist after dying.
  • Hanzo: Natural Agility now activates correctly after being hit by Phase Prism near a tower.
  • Illidan: Can now correctly cast Dive on Ragnaros in Molten Core form.
  • Kel’Thuzad: Phylactery can no longer be activated before its animation completes.
  • Li-Ming: Spell Armor granted by the Force Armor Talent is now correctly consumed when hit by Ability damage from non-Heroic sources.
  • Rexxar: The tooltip for Misha, Focus! no longer lists a cooldown.
  • Rexxar: Switching seats in a Triglav Protector no longer causes Rexxar to become unresponsive.
  • The Lost Vikings: Stealth granted by the Spy Games Talent is now correctly applied for 3 seconds after Erik moves.
  • Thrall: Killing Minions who were hit by Chain Lightning now correctly causes Echo of the Elements quest progress visual effects to appear near Thrall, rather than allies.
  • Uther: Fixed an issue in which Uther could briefly use activated Talents after death, but prior to entering Eternal Vanguard form.
  • Uther: The Silver Touch Talent’s quest rewards no longer incorrectly benefit Flash of Light.
  • Zagara: The Infest Talent now correctly boosts nearby Ranged Minion damage by 100%.
  • Zeratul: After death, Zeratul’s body will no longer teleport to the location of his last Vorpal Blade target.

Sound
  • Gul’dan: The voiceover line that plays while idling on Gul’dan’s Hero page in the Collection no longer ends early.

User Interface
  • Pings: Fixed an issue in which muting a player would not prevent icons related to that player’s pings from appearing.
  • Hotkeys: Fixed an issue that could occasionally cause Heroes to ignore Force Move commands.
by Published on 2018-04-23 07:17 PM

Weekly Hero Rotation
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: April 24, 2018
  • Raynor
  • Muradin
  • Sonya
  • Nazeebo
  • Uther
  • Jaina
  • Lúcio
  • Arthas
  • Ragnaros
  • Diablo
  • Kerrigan (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5)
  • Chromie (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10)
  • Kel'Thuzad (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15)
  • Sgt. Hammer (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20)

Weekly Sales
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Our next set of Heroic Deals will begin on Tuesday, April 24! Check out the list of upcoming featured items and Hero discounts below.

Upcoming Hero Sales
  • Auriel — Sale Price: 375 gems
  • Chen — Sale Price: 312 Gems

The following skins and mounts will be added to the featured item rotation and will become purchasable with gems until this round of Heroic Deals comes to an end:

Upcoming Featured Skins
  • Archangel Auriel
  • Frosty Brewmaster Chen
  • Timelost Corruptor Cho’gall
  • Tempest Regalia Jaina
  • Primal Tiger Kharazim
  • Sgt. Doomhammer
  • Wild Betrayer Malfurion
  • Blessed Judgment Uther

Upcoming Featured Mounts
  • Big Top Ringmaster’s Pride
  • Rainbow Unicorn

Blue Posts
User OrangeJuice on the official forums created a thread about mana and resource usage that caught the attention of developer Matt Villers.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
This is a great topic! I don't have a ton of time to go in-depth on it right now, but I did want to touch on a couple points.
  • I'm glad you like Alexstrasza's E! I also like that mechanic and I think it'd be cool to use it in more places.
  • I think there are many different ways to play with mana and make it feel engaging, and they don't all have to be an accuracy test. For example, I'd say Probius has a very compelling mana mechanic that has nothing to do with landing his abilities.
  • I personally dislike a lot of our mana talents. Often you'll see a hero with harsh baseline mana tension, and then if they do have mana talents those almost feel mandatory over non-mana choices. This is something we've been trying to address as we do Hero reworks.
  • One example where I do like "resource" talents is Alexstrasza's Level 7. There you have an entire resource-focused tier as a power spike & gain additional gameplay around managing your resource. You may see that on other Heroes in the future.

I need to head out for now, but if I get some time next week I'll try to stop by this thread again. At the very least I'm interested to hear other peoples' thoughts! (MattVi)


Ok got a bit more time, and wanted to jump back in for a bit since this is a good discussion. I won't go into the balance tuning of any individual Hero because that falls into the realm of our Live Design team, but I would like to share some of my own thoughts about how different types of Heroes should interact with Mana.

Here are some of the roles that Mana can fill in our game as I see it. Note that this is a non-exhaustive list and doesn't necessarily cover every Hero, but hopefully offers some insight into our thinking and helps inform further discussion.

1. Mana is a limiting factor for self-sustain
Any hero who can use abilities to recover their own Health quickly, without taking risks, should generally be limited by Mana. This helps ensure that damage enemies deal to them actually matters and isn't just magically erased at no cost. Requiring Mana for HP sustain makes it possible to win wars of attrition and is one way to keep game length from spiraling out of control.

Heroes who don't require Mana for sustain generally "pay" for their sustain in other ways (such as Auriel who relies on aggression to generate Energy), or have more modestly-paced sustain with adequate counterplay (such as Muradin, Illidan, Sonya).

2. Mana is a limiting factor for harassment
I love playing ranged Mages with powerful harassment abilities, like Li-Ming, Jaina, Kael'thas, etc. Something they all have in common is that they each have at least one long-range, high damage ability that can be used to wear down enemies before committing to a fight. At the same time, those abilities are packaged with significant Mana costs and/or Cooldowns that really give them weight - the cost of missing is not trivial, so it feels really good when you hit.

On the flipside, playing against those abilities is a challenge. It can be tiring to avoid a never-ending barrage of fire, ice, and explodey purple things. With that in mind, it's important that something limits the frequency with which those abilities are used, and that enemies feel like dodging those abilities is meaningful.

However, if you have to hold every ability and wait for just the right moment, the game can end up feeling really passive. This is something we've tried to avoid in part by how we tune Mana regeneration, and in part by also offering ranged Mages (and "poke" oriented Heroes in general) a low-CD, Mana-efficient ability that they can use more freely but isn't as impactful as their "big" damage button. In the Li-Ming/Jaina/Kael example, these are Magic Missiles, Frostbolt, and Living Bomb respectively.

One place where this gets more complicated is for Heroes like Hanzo and Chromie whose "use more freely" ability (Storm Bow, Sand Blast) ends up being a relatively large part of their power pie compared to their "big damage" ability (Scatter Arrow, Dragon's Breath). This is of course something we take into account when tuning these Heroes, but we're conscious of player feedback here and it's something we'll continue to evaluate going forward.

Another thing worth calling out is that we tend to be less cautious about this limitation for melee Heroes or even ranged who have to get pretty close to deal damage, because their damage inherently comes with greater risk (and we can't forget that Health is also a resource which must be managed). Some Heroes (like Illidan, Samuro) don't have a resource bar at all and it still works out well because managing Health is so important to them.

3. Mana can be a very flexible resource
One cool thing about Mana is that you have a pretty deep pool and you can make a lot of decisions about how you spend or save it beyond just "is this button available? If yes then press". Used properly, it forces you to think about your ability use in more of a long-term perspective beyond just "spam on CD".

It can also serve as a limiter in cases where Cooldowns don't really factor in, such as Li-Ming's trait reset rampages. Interestingly, the degree to which Li-Ming burns her Mana before resets kick in ends up affecting how crazy she can go with those resets, so how you choose to spend your resources in that case has a big impact.

I think we have a lot of design space to explore this type of thing further, and I'd like us to release more Heroes in the future that actively engage with and make decisions around how they use their Mana.

------
I'll leave it at that for now because this is already getting super long. I may try to write up something more exhaustive when time allows, but in the meantime I look forward to reading more of your thoughts and feedback on the subject! =) (MattVi)

HeroStorm Episode 39 - AFK
Carbot Animations has released a new HeroStorm episode. This one deals with something that we all know and love: AFK'ing and the reconnect system.


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