Heroes of the Storm RSS Feed

by Published on 2020-08-19 09:07 PM

Heroes of the Storm Balance Patch Notes - August 19, 2020
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

Heroes of the Storm has just been updated with Hero balance changes! Read on for details.


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Heroes

Tank

Anub’arak

Talents
  • Level 13
    • Burning Rage [Passive]
      • Removed.
    • New Talent: Burning Beetles [Passive]
      • Deal 21 damage every second to nearby enemies. Beetles deal 7 damage to nearby enemies.

Developer Comment: We saw some feedback that Anub’arak’s Burning Rage could be better themed for the hero, and we agreed. We present to you, Burning Beetles!


Arthas

Base
  • Howling Blast [W]
    • Range increased from 8 to 9.

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Frost Presence [W]
      • Bonus range to Howling Blast reduced from 30% to 20%.
  • Level 20
    • Death’s Advance [Active]
      • Is now an E talent.
      • New functionality: Increase Movement Speed by 10%. Frozen Tempest’s maximum Slow and Attack Speed Slow increased from 40% to 60%.

Developer Comment: Howling Blast has been the same for a very long time, almost since the inception of our game. Many things have changed since then, and we believe a range increase is warranted due to how average ranges of various abilities and effects have changed since that time.


Blaze

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Endurance Stimpack [Active]
      • Shield amount increased from 480 to 530.
  • Level 4
    • Incinerator Gauntlets [Passive]
      • Bonus damage to Minons, Mercenaries, and Monsters reduced from 70% to 50%.

Developer Comment: While we achieved our previous goal of making Incinerator Gauntlets a powerful PvE option, we overshot a bit and are reducing its power to be more in line with what other Warriors can bring to the table in this area.


E.T.C.

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Guitar Hero [E]
      • Duration bonus increased from .25 to .5 seconds.
      • Healing reduced from 60% to 50% damage dealt.
  • Level 4
    • Crowd Surfer [Q]
      • Additional functionality: If Powerslide hits no enemies, then reduce its cooldown by 5 seconds and refund its Mana cost.
  • Level 7
    • Hammer-On [Passive]
      • New functionality: While Guitar Solo is active, Basic Attacks deal 30% bonus damage.
  • Level 13
    • Encore [W]
      • Additional functionality: Enemy Heroes knocked back by Face Melt or the Amp reduce E.T.C.’s Heroic cooldown by 8%.
  • Level 20
    • Crowd Pleaser [R2]
      • No longer reduces the cooldown of Stage Dive.
      • Additional functionality: Increase the Slow amount of Stage Dive by 30%.

Developer Comment: We were a little hesitant to make talent changes to E.T.C. due to how well he has been performing, even though we felt he could use some help in that department. We don’t believe that holding off indefinitely on needed talent improvements just because a Hero is performing well serves our Heroes in the best way over the long term, so we’re making these improvements and will adjust accordingly once we see how they settle.


Mei

Talents
  • Level 4
    • Crystallize [Trait]
      • Armor amount reduced from 50 to 40.
    • Cold Front [E]
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 7 to 8 seconds.
      • Mana return increased from 50 to 70.
  • Level 10
    • Avalanche [R1]
      • Cooldown increased from 70 to 90 seconds.
      • Mana cost increased from 70 to 80.
  • Level 13
    • Flurry [W]
      • Cooldown refresh rate increased from 75% to 100%.

Developer Comment: We are super happy with where Mei is sitting overall, but wanted to continue tuning some talents to help even things out. While doing so, we also increased the cooldown of Avalanche substantially, as it feels like she has too much up-time on its availability in team fights.


Muradin

Base
  • Storm Bolt [Q]
    • Quest completion also causes Muradin’s Basic Attacks to grant him 3 Mana.

Developer Comment: It was not our intention that Muradin have more Mana tension when his baseline quest for Storm Bolt was completed. Since Muradin already has a decent amount of Mana tension, we felt it was appropriate that this was lessened once he completes his quest.



Bruiser

Chen

Base
  • Breath of Fire [W]
    • DoT damage increased from 55 to 57.

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Freshest Ingredients [Trait]
      • Regeneration Globe duration increased from 100% to 150%.
  • Level 16
    • Celerity [E]
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 1.5 to 2 seconds.

Developer Comment: We’re giving Chen some small buffs that we believe are warranted to help out his ability to pressure enemies as well as beef up some underperforming talents. We don’t expect these changes to drastically change how he plays, but they should help him perform better in the laning phase and give him some extra power to look forward to in later parts of the game.


Deathwing

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Molten Blood [Trait]
      • Healing increased from .5% to .6% maximum Health.

Developer Comment: This talent change is meant to compensate for our earlier changes to Deathwing where we lowered his Health.



Healer

Deckard

Talents
  • Level 16
    • Safety in Numbers [Trait]
      • Required number of allied Heroes nearby to gain bonuses reduced from 3 to 2.
      • Armor bonus reduced from 15 to 10.

Developer Comment: We want Safety in Numbers to be a more consistent talent to get value out of, so we’re lowering the requirement for Deckard to be near only 2 friendly Heroes instead of 3, and slightly lowering its bonus to compensate.


Tyrande

Base
  • Light of Elune [Q]
    • Healing increased from 255 to 270.

Talents
  • Level 13
    • Harsh Moonlight [W]
      • Now applies its Slow and damage reduction to all targets hit, as well as visually shrinking them.
      • Damage reduction reduced from 40% to 35%.
      • Slow amount reduced from 40% to 35%.
    • Ranger’s Mark [Trait]
      • Cooldown reduction of Lunar Flare increased from 1.5 to 3 seconds.
  • Level 16
    • Empower [W]
      • Now deals bonus damage to all targets hit.

Developer Comment: We’re giving Tyrande a baseline Healing buff as well as making her W build more synergistically powerful. To compensate, we’re slightly reducing Harsh Moonlight’s power, though we still believe it will still be an incredibly strong talent, particularly when paired with Ranger at Level 1.


Uther

Base
  • Health reduced from 2000 to 1975.
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 4.17 to 4.11.
  • Holy Radiance [W]
    • Cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds.
    • Mana cost reduced from 70 to 55.
    • Healing amount increased from 177 to 194.

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Wave of Light [W]
      • Cooldown reduction reduced from 1 to .75 seconds.
  • Level 16
    • Beacon of Light [Q]
      • Adjusted functionality: Uther receives 100% bonus self-healing when healing others with Holy Light. This bonus is increased to 200% while he is below 50% Health.
    • Tyr’s Deliverance [W]
      • New functionality: Increase the damage and healing of Holy Radiance by 10%. Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes cause Uther’s next cast of Holy Radiance to have its damage and healing increased by an additional 10%, stacking up to 4 times.

Developer Comment: While Uther’s weakness to Poke and persistent AoE damage is intended, we feel he’s a little too sharp in this direction, which too often disincentivizes players from running him as a Healer on his team. We’re making him a bit better in this regard while also improving a couple of his Level 16 talents.



Melee Assassin

Illidan

Talents
  • Level 4
    • Rapid Chase [Q]
      • Additional functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Dive by 1 second when it deals damage to an enemy Hero.
  • Level 7
    • Hunter’s Onslaught [Trait]
      • Healing increased from 25% to 35% of damage dealt.
  • Level 16
    • Fiery Brand [Passive]
      • Attacks required to deal bonus damage reduced from 4 to 3.
      • Damage reduced from 9% to 7% maximum Health.

Developer Comment: We’re making some simple changes to underperforming talents that should make them more competitive.


Qhira

Talents
  • Level 7
    • The Thirst [Q]
      • Adjusted functionality: Carnage heals for 50% of the damage dealt to enemy Heroes. Anytime Carnage damages an enemy Hero, Qhira’s next Basic Attack within 4 seconds against an enemy Hero deals 15% additional damage, stacking up to 10 times.
    • Siphoning Link [E]
      • Additional functionality: Qhira heals for 20% of her damage dealt by Basic Attacks.
  • Level 16
    • Lingering Ailment [E]
      • Additional functionality: Enemy Heroes hit by Grappling Hook have their Armor reduced by 15 for 3 seconds.
    • Swing Life Away [E]
      • Cooldown recharge rate increased from 200% to 250%.

Developer Comment: We’re making some simple talent changes that should help Qhira’s tiers be more competitive. Siphoning link in particular should be a lot more attractive now that it provides a bonus that is not reliant on hitting her Revolving Sweep, which is on a fairly long cooldown.


Zeratul

Talents
  • Level 20
    • Unwavering Pressure [W]
      • Adjusted functionality: Remove the Mana cost of Singularity Spike. Basic Attacks against non-Heroic targets reduce the cooldown of Singularity Spike by 1.25 second, and by 2.5 seconds against enemy Heroes.
    • Shadow Stride [Passive]
      • Additional functionality: Casting Vorpal Blade grants Zeratul a Shield that absorbs 260 damage over 3 seconds.

Developer Comment: We missed the mark on our initial changes to Zeratul’s Level 20 talents. We’re beefing them up to be more competitive.



Ranged Assassin

Cassia

Talents
  • Level 7
    • Surge of Light [Trait]
      • Damage reduced from 285 to 250.
  • Level 16
    • Power Strike [Q]
      • Additional functionality:Heroes hit by Lightning Fury reduce its cooldown by 1 second.

Developer Comment: While more in-line after the past couple of balance changes, there were still a couple talents we wanted to address. Surge of Light is still slightly over-performing, while Power Strike needed something to give it a bit more punch. Lowering the damage of Surge of Light and giving a small cooldown reduction functionality to Power Strike should shift both talents into a better spot overall.


Chromie

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Deep Breathing [W]
      • New functionality: Quest: Every time Dragon’s Breath hits an enemy Hero, increase its damage by 1.5%, up to 30%. Reward: After hitting 20 Heroes, reduce the cooldown of Dragon’s Breath by 5 seconds and its Mana cost from 65 to 30.
    • Timewalker’s Pursuit [Active]
      • New functionality: Gain 15% Spell Power and reduce the arming time of Time Traps by .75 seconds. Activate to reveal the targeted area for 2 seconds. Enemies seen are revealed for 4 seconds. 25-second cooldown.
  • Level 5
    • Mobius Loop [W]
      • New functionality: Dragon’s Breath deals 50% bonus damage to enemies hit by its center. Enemy Heroes hit by its center are Slowed by 60% for 1 second.
  • Level 8
    • Slowing Sands [R1]
      • Slow amount increased from 7% to 10% per every .25 seconds.
  • Level 11
    • Here and There [Active]
      • Teleport range increased from 11 to 20.
  • Level 18
    • Unravelling [R1]
      • Spell Armor reduction increased from 5 to 7.
      • Spell Armor maximum stacks reduced from 6 to 5.
      • Additional functionality: Slowing Sands persists for 5 seconds after it is cancelled.

Developer Comment: Once Again the First Time is currently dominating Chromie’s Level 1 talents, which in turn greatly influences which talents Chromie players want to take on later tiers. The primary goal of these changes is to provide compelling, alternative ways to play her that can compete with what the talent currently offers.


Junkrat

Base
  • Basic Attack damage increased from 110 to 120.

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Extra-Wound Timers [Q]
      • Bonus damage on final grenade increased from 60% to 80%.
  • Level 13
    • Bombs Away [Q]
      • Bonus damage increased from 25% to 30%.
  • Level 20
    • I Hate Waiting! [Z]
      • Mount cooldown reduced from 12 to 8 seconds.

Developer Comment: Junkrat has fallen out of the meta a bit, and these changes are intended to help him be more competitive. His Basic Attack buff in particular should help him clear waves more effectively in the early game as well as serve as an extra incentive for players to try taking Bombs Away at Level 13.


Zul'jin

Talents
  • Level 20
    • New Talent: A Surprise For Ya [Passive]
      • Basic Attacks bounce to a nearby enemy for 50% damage, prioritizing enemy Heroes.

Developer Comment: As the talent states, We’ve got a surprise for ya! We’ve added Level 20 Basic Attack talent for Zul’jin that we think will be a fun, compelling option for aggressive players.


Bug Fixes

Heroes
  • Maiev
    • Fixed an issue where Pursuit of Vengeance could gain cooldown reduction when hitting non-Heroic targets.
by Published on 2020-07-17 06:59 PM

Heroes AMA July 16, 2020 - Recap

Heroes
  • D.Va's rework release schedule has moved from "Soon(TM)" to "Soon". Below are a few select details from the rework, but these are in no way comprehensive:
    • Mech is now only slowed while attacking or channeling.
    • Basic attack damage lowered, but now deals more damage to targets closer to the Mech.
    • Speed bonus and duration of Boosters slightly reduced, with cooldown slightly increased.
    • Re-target Defense Matrix while active, damage reduction reduced.
    • Call Mech/Self-Destruct now has slightly increased cast time and slightly reduced damage.
    • Big Shot is now baseline!
    • Bunny Hop no longer slows but instead stuns on every 4th hit.
    • New Heroic: Micro Missiles.
      • Fire a stream of 12 missiles in a target direction, hitting the first enemy in the long path. Upon impact, each missile deals a small amount of damage and slows in an area. Short cooldown, holds 2 charges.
        • Level 20 upgrade (Timing Attack) gives an additional charge and gives reduced cooldown for each Hero hit.
  • There are new heroes in the pipeline.
  • Uther is slated for a tune-up in the next balance patch.
  • Tassadar's level 20 Black Hole upgrade is being looked at.
  • Some of Mei's in-game artwork is placeholder and will be replaced by their final version in the near future.
  • Reinhardt was briefly in development, but translating his barrier ability into Heroes turned out to be too complicated and time-consuming at the current time. The hero is no longer in active development, but he's still on the wishlist.
  • There are not currently any new artillery mages in work.
  • The team are not entirely happy with Kael'thas' current talents but haven't arrived at better solutions yet.
  • Murky is not up for changes in the near future either, for similar reasons.
  • The team has a few ideas to adjust Li Li's Cloud Serpent + talents. They indicate that her "lack of viability" at higher ranks seems to be mostly a perception issue.

Maps
  • The team is looking at updating a few of the maps in the not-too-distant future. Haunted Mines has been mentioned!

Cosmetics
  • New unique themed events are in development.
  • Whitemane will not be receiving a new skin for this year's Fall event.

Game Features
  • Re-queue/ready-check are currently the highest tech-feature priority.
  • The team are looking into splitting ranks into solo- and team-ranks but need to do additional engineering work for this to happen.
  • Clans are not actively being worked on due to the sheer workload required.
  • A publicly-available map/hero editor is not currently in the works due to a lot of obstacles.
  • Adding more bans to the draft modes has a lot of side-effects, such as having to increase the owned-heroes requirement and additional engineering requests.
  • The hero-interaction system is being worked on and we're going to see results of that soon.
  • The team were playing around with adding sapper units to minion waves to make wave management more exciting, but it ended up being too stressful to deal with.

Design/Development
  • The patch/update cadence is typically decided more than a year in advance.
    • Next balance patch is currently slated for the week of August 10th.
  • The development team are unifying a lot of internal tools and processes to allow for faster content creation.
    • They are also currently hiring additional developers!
  • "Mega-bundles" don't help as much in attracting new players as many people think. A surprising amount of players start playing the game on their own every single day.
  • Early development of the game saw some crazy concepts, including a circular map, proper flying heroes, elevation, and other features that did not survive play-testing.
  • Leadership once pondered what it would take to import a World of Warcraft character to the game. The idea did not go far, although it is still brought up occasionally for a fun thought experiment.


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
**UPDATE: The AMA is now complete. Thank you everyone for participating!

*UPDATE: The AMA is NOW LIVE! Proof of Dev's:


Greetings, Heroes!

We’re going to host our next AMA on Thursday, July 16th, 2020, PDT.

The following Heroes developers will join the thread and answer your questions starting around 10:00 a.m. PDT (7:00 p.m. CET) until 12:00 p.m. PDT (9:00 p.m. CET).


When posting multiple AMA questions: Please make an effort to post one question per comment. This will make it easier for others to read through the thread, and will help the developers focus on one question at a time. However, please feel free to comment as many times as you'd like in order to get your questions posted.

You can start posting your questions right now, and we'll see you on Thursday!


What's the most radical thing you all have talked about doing with the game that you'd feel comfortable sharing with us in this AMA
Good afternoon kn0thing - it's good to see you!

Let me take you on a magical journey that originated seven years ago and still ruminates in the head of one of our Lead Engineers!

Right as we begun transitioning Blizzard All-Stars from a Starcraft II Map Mod to an entirely new game, one of our coworkers really loved the idea of being able to 'port' your World of Warcraft character into Heroes and do battle in the Nexus as them. At the time, I was still just a baby balance designer, trying to explain to Dustin why it was a bad idea to add different statistical bonuses to, at the time, a very different and rudimentary version of today's Talent Tree. Listening to leadership talk through what it would actually take to make that a reality still gives me a tinge of anxiety, especially since I was in charge of trying to balance the game. As you can imagine, at the end of the day, there was really no feasible way we could make that work without blowing out the scope of the game massively.

But...that idea still floats around in Pat's head and just a couple months ago, he was talking to us how he really wanted a logging-in player to create and customize an avatar, land in a 3-dimensional world (the Nexus), and socialize with other players (completing quests and feats of strength), all while forming parties and jumping into QM and SL game portals... (/u/Blizz_Daybringer)


I've got a tool of sorts [...] Is there any danger of players using this getting their account actioned on?
Hey, /u/Spazzo965! We’re always really impressed by your breakdowns of our game data changes each patch and the bugs that you preemptively call out – thanks so much for all your efforts there!

This is a complicated area that involves lawyers and EULAs and we really can’t get into specifics on this in an AMA with such limited information. That said, THE FOLLOWING IS *NOT* ME GIVING MY OR BLIZZARD’S BLESSINGS IN ANY WAY…

What you’re describing sounds like a custom map/replay file and the visualization of data that already exists in our generated replay file. I don’t hear anything about modifying memory or our static game data files. In theory, viewing replays in that manner would not trigger any of our account actions, BUT you may be doing other things we can’t anticipate here and you may have unintended errors or consequences that we can’t condone or support that could result in things including, but not limited to, potential account actions.

Thanks for being such an active member of our community, and for always contributing to our AMAs! (/u/KaeoMilker)


Can we please get an announcement of the regular cadence to the balance patch schedule (i.e it will always be 2/3/4 weeks post patch), or at the very least get a post indicating "the balance patch will hit on XXX" a week ahead of release moving forward, similar to what team 5 does
Good morning krosber04!

First off, we absolutely love seeing the growing trend of grass-root tournaments and events! As for being more transparent about balance patch dates, I don't mind the community knowing them, but the problem comes when we are 'held' to those dates. A lot of work and time goes into each of our patches and while we have targeted dates (over a year in advance!), we also want to be agile enough to push them forward or backward if the landscape changes. We also need to make sure that we have enough space and flexibility to quickly insert any additional patches or hotfixes that may be needed.

That said our next balance patch is currently slated to hit the week of August 10th :) (/u/Blizz_Daybringer)


Do you have any plans to bring new players to the game? Why are Mega Bundles not featured more? Isn't it possible to have some smaller Mega Bundles featured whole year with rotating some heroes in and out to help new players get into the game?
Hi, /u/Saidet! A surprisingly large number of new players start playing the game every day organically, but you're asking about the ways we actively attract new players. Our current approach to this has been a combination of our new content/events, evergreen hero bundles, and these windows of time where we make all heroes free to play.

Ultimately things like mega bundles don’t move the needle as much as you’d think since most new players are interested in just a handful of heroes initially and we’re better served giving them ways to earn those specific heroes quickly while they’re onboarding – which is what the new user experience/boost/quests are intended to do.

We have some other stuff cooking that I can’t go into details on now, but look for some higher-visibility offers that should appeal to new players starting later this year. And if you have other ideas on cool ways to help new players jump in and have fun, we’re always interested in hearing them. Thanks! (/u/KaeoMilker)


You've made an amazing Tassadar rework. The only frustrating thing is his "blackhole" upgrade talent at lvl 20. Since damage from multiple storms doesn't stack, this upgrade is pointless. [...]
Hey Bellegar97, I agree. I keep reading this feedback and forgetting to put it on my list of things to look at for balance patches.

It's been added. (/u/BlizzAZJackson)


Are there any updates on the re-queue and/ or ready-check features to share?
Oh hi there, fishyPenguin! The only update I have on them is that they are currently the highest priority of our tech feature initiatives :) (/u/Blizz_Daybringer)


This is propably silly and also propanly won't get an answer but did you ever get any congratulations from the other dev teams for your work at HOTS? Like a WoW developer saying "Hey, your implementation of Deathwing is really doing him justice." or something along those lines?
There are many other devs on other game teams at Blizzard who regularly play Heroes on their lunch breaks – especially on the WoW team. We also have a company-wide chat channel for players looking to form a group where people play regularly, share feedback, and even sometimes jump into team playtests! We occasionally have full on tournaments with shout casters that have been streamed to twitch. Seeing the love for Heroes at Blizzard is greatest compliment we could get, I think. :) (/u/Blizz_Hankins)


Apparently, Mei still uses placeholders in place of some art assets. [...]
True. For some reason the intended artwork didn't get swapped in for the live patch. It's not the kind of thing we fix in balance patches because new art generally increases the potential for problems to arise in the QA and deploy process as well as bloating the patch size. And since the point of a balance patch is to respond to balance it doesn't fit with the goals of getting things out to the community asap. That's why it still hasn't been updated.

The character select screen and in game portrait on the top bar is currently fixed in the in house build. The loading screen has a bug for it. The Talent Icon is something that was lost in the shuffle to get out such a big content patch. We have a task in for it.

You should see these fixed in a future patch. (/u/Blizz_KinaBREW)


Any update on the Dva rework? Anything new you want to tease is about it??
Yes!

To start, this rework should be hitting soon. No ™, just actual, literal soon. Her new design is pretty much locked down at this point, so I think it’s safe to share some of the juicier details of the core kit changes. Keep in mind that this rework has been fairly involved and we’ve done a lot of power redistribution across her entire kit, so some changes that seem drastic/unwarranted will make more sense when you can look at the rework holistically. Please keep knees safe and away from sharp desk corners!

Mech Basic Attack:
Damage reduced, but enemies closer to the Mech take more damage.

This is a pretty close replication of the “shotgun” effects her weapons have in Overwatch and since D.Va is already heavily encouraged to get into people’s faces, it feels appropriate to reward her for doing so. There are a few talents that tie into this bonus area including healing, self-destruct charge, and even T H I C C er damage. Overall I feel she can put out more damage than before, but it requires a little more effort on the part of the player.

Boosters (Q):
Speed bonus and duration slightly reduced. Cooldown slightly increased.

One of the big points of frustration playing against D.Va was how slippery she could be against a majority of the Hero roster. This sort of playstyle is core to her being, but it felt appropriate to tone it down slightly. Keep in mind her passive move speed reduction is now only active when attacking or channeling an ability, so her overall mobility feels different. There’s a lot more power packed into Q talents too, so it’s not all negative!

Defense Matrix (W):
Can now be retargeted while active. Damage reduction reduced.

Similar to Q, this ability is core to her identity, but tuned a bit too high to where it can be very frustrating to play against. The retargeting mechanic makes this ability MUCH more generally usable and there’s a lot more power available in talents, so don’t worry too much about the numbers!

Call Mech/Self-Destruct (E):
Cast time slightly increased/Damage slightly reduced.

Like with the Q/W changes, some of these changes were to address the pain points of dealing with D.Va’s slipperiness. The impacts of these changes are tough to qualify though, because D.Va has a lot more tools to manipulate/restore her health across all talents. My experience in internal playtests is that, overall, it’s easier for D.Va to get Self-destruct charge, easier to keep yourself alive in Mech form, AND easier to get Mech charge back in Pilot form. So the way you want to think about consuming your E “resource” is fairly different than in the live version.

Bunny Hop (R1):
Cooldown reduced. Damage and radius slightly reduced. No longer slows on impact. Every 4th consecutive hits stuns and deals more damage.

This is probably going to be a bit controversial because the slow + unstoppable gave her a lot of zoning/soft CC potential, but trust me, it’s cool and feels good! It’s now a little easier to escape D.Va’s wrath, but the penalty for not doing so is much higher and it gives her some hard CC, which is usually something Bruiser type Heroes need to bring to the table to be effective.

(New) Micro Missiles (R2):
Fire a stream of 12 missiles in a target direction, hitting the first enemy in the long path. Upon impact, each missile deals a small amount of damage and slows in an area. Short cooldown, holds 2 charges.

This ultimate gives D.Va some “reach” that she didn’t previously have as well as some dependable soft CC. Its got a relatively low cooldown, so it should be thought of like a 4th ability more than an ultimate, similar to Garrosh’s Decimate. It’s really good in corridors and against tightly stacked teams, since you can throw out a ton of quick AoE damage and stall an advance/retreat. The level 20 talent (Timing Attack) gives her an additional charge and gives reduced cooldown for each Hero hit, giving her very scary late-game AoE potential.

I’m very excited to share the full details of the rework soon, cause there’s lots more than what you see here! :)
Is big shot just gone? That was one of the coolest parts of her kit.
Big Shot is now baseline! I should probably have recapped some of the info I had shared in past AMAs.

Do you mind answering if the implementation of Defense Matrix remains similar in that it's still a multiplicative modifier?
I'm fairly sure it's the same mechanically as live version, just adjusted numbers. It's been a hot minute since I touched that stuff, so it's not fresh in my mind. (/u/Blizz_DWarner)


In the most recent AMA, Kaeo described how the Heroes team is wanting to move towards a place where they want to be releasing more content year on year. Is there any way the community can help in moving towards that goal, or is it strictly an internal decision?
Hi, /u/jjp3! We're currently doing a bunch of work to unify and extend our art tools, and that's probably the biggest part of unlocking our ability to make more content. The community can always help Heroes of the Storm by continuing to do the things I called out in an AMA answer last year:

Play the game. Bring a friend or four. Try some healers and tanks more often, if you aren’t maining them already. Keep telling us what you love and, more importantly, what we need to do better. When we make something you think is awesome, spend your Gold or Shards or Gems on it. Be kind to each other and have fun together, because that’s what this is all about. Thanks!!
This sounds really interesting - any chance that you could further explain what kind of art tools you're speaking of and what they're supposed to do? Cheers!
Hi fishyPenguin, the best way to sum it up is empowering artists to use the right tool for the right job. To do that we're working to transforming our art production into a lightweight DCC-agnostic pipeline.

We're well on the way, and we are looking for a technical artist to join us to make awesome things: https://careers.blizzard.com/global/...rtist-Pipeline (source)


You had mentioned needing to do more to educate players. What is currently in the works? Can we hope to get an actual tutorial to guide new players?
I personally think that experience collection is extremely important information that is often overlooked by players, so I've been working on a way to surface some statistics related to how/where experience is coming from. What I’ve done so far is made a system that tracks which lane each source of experience originated from and whether that source was collected or not. This lets us do some boring mathy stuff that we can turn into useful information for players and potentially turn into automated alerts or pings or something when a certain threshold of experience goes uncollected or a specific lane goes unattended for too long. It’s all very rough so far, so I don’t have any concrete details to share, but that’s the basic idea.

I would actually be very interested in hearing what the community thinks they would like to see about this topic, so hit me with your thoughts! (/u/Blizz_DWarner)


Any plans for Cho'Gall being able to carry the Pegasus mount?
The team is currently looking into it :) (/u/BlizzDorothy)


In recent interview, /u/Blizz_Daybringer said you guys had some issues with Reinhardt's barrier. Can you explain what exactly were they? Because it's a pretty common skill mechanism with most of other MOBAs including mobile ones. Even SC2 using the same engine with HOTS has skills like Point Defense Drone which negates enemy projectiles.
Hi sonyagod! Thanks for the question :)

Reinhardt presents several challenges to the team that we haven't been able to cleanly solve in a way we are happy with.

The first of these is of course, his barrier. Blocking projectiles isn't a huge problem, but blocking AOE abilities is! I think everyone would expect basic attacks or abilities like Frostbolt and Hungering Arrow to be blocked but what about abilities like Cone of Cold or Multishot? Then of course there's the case of abilities like Flamestrike simply being able to be cast behind Reinhardt's barrier. Should basic attacks like Tassadar's beam be blocked by the shield if the targeted hero moves behind it? At the end of the day, we felt there would just be a ton of confusion as to which abilities pass the shield and which shouldn't, plus the fact that it would be a massive amount of work to do a sweep through the game and add special cases for all of the things that shouldn't bypass the shield as well. We wouldn't be able to dedicate a lot of Reinhardt's power pie to his shield which is unfortunate because that's one of the most unique aspects of his overall kit.

Next is the rest of his kit. His charge is very similar to Diablo's charge or Stukov's heroic Massive Shove. His projectile attack is nearly identical to Varian's Q ability, Lion's Fang. We would have to put a lot of work into redesigning his kit or making it feel uniquely different from other heroes we already have in the game.

Because of these and several other factors, we ultimately came to the decision that Reinhardt would simply be too much work and require too much engineering time to make everything work the way we wanted it to and in a reasonable time frame. That being said, the team has a long list of Heroes that we would love to bring to the game, so while we are working on new Heroes we'll definitely keep Reinhardt in mind. It's not uncommon to have Heroes on the backburner until we get the right inspiration or ideas to make them the best they can be for Heroes! (/u/BlizzKyle)


Can you PLEASE give us a Fenix skin, in which he has Matt’s ABSOLUTELY AMAZINGLY BADASS DANCE MOVES?
Can't guarantee anything but this animation looks amazing! (/u/BlizzDorothy)


For the latest few releases, you haven't added new Emblems for events or new heroes. Those Emblems do exist! They appeared on Twitter icons, so... why weren't they added to the game?
Hey! Our awesome community team creates those emblems, so they don’t always get created in a timeline that allows them to get into the game immediately. We will be adding Mei and Deathwing’s emblems into an upcoming patch, though! As for sprays and banners, we got a lot of cool suggestions for banners from the last AMA and are taking that into consideration for future content drops. If you have any suggestions for Overwatch sprays we’d love to hear them!
Any thoughts on adding some missing Hearthstone portraits? Especially some newer ones like kaelthas. A lot of these heroes don't have much.
Yep, that's actually something I've been looking into recently! (/u/Blizz_Hankins)


At some point you mentioned that you are searching for ways to create more content in less time (I assumed through new technology and not through hiring). How's that going?
Hey -Duality, thanks for being so active in the community!

We are actively working on it - and it's honestly going very well, thanks for asking! We are actually trying to tackle this through multiple means but the most impactful is deep in phase 2 of 3 (opening up technology pipelines to help us scale animation and FX support). (/u/Blizz_Daybringer)

Hi -Duality, your assumption is partially correct, as we are hard at work improving our technology to create more content more efficiently. But we can’t do that without the right people, and we’re looking for an additional technical artist to help us do just that:

Come help us make awesome things! (/u/Blizz_MarkPetro)


I know this probably isn't something that can properly be answered in case they get revisited down the line, but what are some different battleground mechanics that have been explored throughout the years?
Hey Spazzo965! I’m happy to answer this, going down memory lane is really fun for me.

We had a map that I believe was called Crazy Town, where Heroes spawned in the center of the map on the middle left and right sides, and the map was one giant lane that went around the center area like a race track. I think the Kings Cores were in the left and right corners? It was absolutely wild and resulted in really crazy games.

We had multiple 4-lane maps in development for quite a long time. They had some issues but definitely felt different to play on due to how lane transitions and matchups worked.

We had truly flying heroes in the game for quite awhile, I remember both Broody the Broodlord (who would later become Falstad), and Tyrael could passively fly over terrain. As you can imagine, this was less than ideal for Melee heroes to deal with, but was really cool.

We had elevation in the game for quite awhile. Heroes like Sgt. Hammer could rain fire down from on high onto enemy towns.

One of the more unique maps we had was the Dragon Gate map. The map essentially had 3 lanes and a Dragon boss in the center, with two gates on either side of it spaced pretty far out. If a team killed the dragon, the gates would connect and the enemy team wouldn’t be able to pass through the area anymore (think of how the front walls work right now on forts/keeps). You’d have a teamfight around the area then all of the sudden one team would get split in half and have to run around this gate or kill the dragon again to be able to move around the map.

We had multiple small vehicles that were part of towns that players could get into. A Brett favorite, the Trebuchet, was a very slow, super long-range AoE damage vehicle that could bombard enemy towns from across the map. I remember Brett very often cackling out of his mind when he found a spot to hide with it and would kill an enemy town while the rest of us were busy actually playing the game.

There's a lot more fun mechanics/memories/stories I could tell from those early days. It was a magical time that I in many ways miss. These experiments were what led us to the game that we have today, and for me the ride getting there was as great as the result. (/u/BlizzAZJackson)


Have you considered giving each players two diffrent ranks, one solo-rank and one team-rank, while still having all players in the same queue? This could make solo-rank a bit more meaningful while still allowing all players to play with their friends.
Hi Simsala91, We have indeed considered this and it is on our list of things to explore further. There are some technical hurdles and engineering work to be done before we can add it, but it is definitely on our radar (/u/Blizz_Daybringer)


Is there any desire to revisit the artillery mage archetype?
Good morning PygmyBBQ! We don’t have anything in flight right now in regards to revisiting artillery mages. As you pointed out, they archetype is incredibly hard to balance and make fun for players on the receiving end due to issues related to counter-play. I don’t think it’s impossible, and if we get a great idea I think it’s something that we can revisit someday. (/u/BlizzAZJackson)


Do you have a plan for the clan system?
Hey there Valadran! Our entire team is right there with you! Over the years, we have created multiple different system designs trying to identify what a Clan System would look like in Heroes. Unfortunately we never got a chance to break-ground on any of them. One of the trickiest things about game development is managing the scope of the feature you are designing. Looking back at what we had planned, I feel like one of the major reasons we never started on them was due to their sheer size. As for where we head now, I have been talking with a couple of our Engineers and I think there are ways we could approach this that could bring a robust Clan System to the game in smaller, more digestible waves, but as you are probably very used to hearing, we have to prioritize it against all of the other amazing things that the team wants to do for the game. (/u/Blizz_Daybringer)


Are we getting new demonic skins or diablo/warcraft thematic skins for any characters that can't fit this fantasy style as of now, such as Tychus or most Overwatch characters? [...]
Glad you like Greed, we were super excited to be able to get that one into the game! When we’re planning new themes for upcoming skins, we try to balance silly vs. serious so we can make sure that we’re giving all different types of players something they can enjoy. We’re big fans of the Blizzard-specific themed skins as well, and we’re definitely taking into consideration players like you who want to see more of that! I can’t get into more details yet but we’re working on a few things right now that I think you’ll be excited about. (/u/Blizz_Hankins)


It is exciting to see that Blizzard are hiring developers to contribute towards a shared game engine across all their games. Are there any plans to tinker with the underlying game engine in Heroes?
Hey there jjp3 - thanks for the question. It is SUPER exciting, but also a massive undertaking. As far as tinkering with the Heroes engine, we have done that from day one. As most know, the underlying engine was originally built for Starcraft II, but over the past 7 years has been adapted and tweaked heavily in order to better serve Heroes' development. Honestly, while the roots are the same, the Heroes engine has grown into a very different beast. And, as chance may have it - we are actively looking for another tinkerer to continue helping us improve it :)

Come join us! (/u/Blizz_Daybringer)


Is there any chance that we might see a quicker response to heroes that are over-performing by a huge margin?
Hey Dark_Polaroid! I don’t think the chances are high that you’ll see faster response times than what we have, unless there is either a critical bug that is causing the hero to break the game, or they are wildly overpowered (somewhere around the 62-68+ percent range). We currently patch every 3-4 weeks which is already a whole lot.

Additionally, I don’t think we would gain much by patching more often, unless the hero was so far out of bounds that it was breaking the game in all modes. None of the heroes you listed that have been super meta this year have hit that threshold, they have just been what has been considered meta for the last few patch cycles.

There will always be a group of meta heroes for each role that is considered the strongest in the game at any point and time. Oftentimes, they aren’t even what is winning the most, it is just what the community believes is the safest, most consistently powerful pick at that time. I think accepting this fact and slowly bringing them down to the power of other heroes while also bringing alternative choices up is a more healthy way to balance the game than slamming the currently overpowered heroes down in a huge patch, which always results in players being sad when their hero is completely removed from the meta and just causes another hero to rise on top. This method also has a much higher chance for more volatility, which would result in more problematic hero changes that we would then be pressured to also quickly fix. As long as a single hero isn’t dominating the meta for an extended period of time, I’m totally OK with some heroes like Cassia or Xul having some time in the spotlight. I think it adds variety to what’s normally acceptable to be seen very often, and also brings freshness to the game. (/u/BlizzAZJackson)


You guys gave up on banners? I really loved them.
Hi Vulnero666, thanks for asking!

Banners are an area of hero loadouts that we agree could be more meaningful. Myself and the rest of the design team have been discussing ways we could create more uses for banners to make them feel as important to hero selection as the other choices like your skin, mount, voice line, etc... We also got a bunch of feedback from our last AMA on what banners players were excited to see (and of course your hope of a Warsong banner!) and we are taking that into consideration as well! Nothing solid to share about what the specifics of any of those changes are but I just wanted to chime in to mention it is on our radar and the team is passionate about improving this system. (/u/BlizzKyle)


What is stopping you from making the Murky model the same size as Deathwing?
Nothing really. But when you increase the size of a character the walk cycle can get disjointed from the ground which means he would need to be reanimated or the animation speed would need to be changed which could cause weird stuttering or make it look choppy. (/u/Blizz_KinaBREW)


The decay system is often abused to refresh the smurfyness of smurfs, boosters, and climbing accounts. Do you have any thoughts on the pros and cons of the system? And is there any initiative to review the system or improve it?
Hi BigMcLargeHugs, The goal of the whole MMR system is to represent player's skill numerically as accurately as possible. Decay follows the same purpose: adjusting the MMR to what we expect to be the player's skill after a long break. That's an upside. A downside is: our confidence in the decayed MMR value is lower, since it's no longer purely based on player's actual win rate. And win rate isn't the perfect skill estimate to begin with.

So all and all, we believe the existing decay system is an acceptable compromise. It's by no means ideal though, so we will be reviewing and improving it. There's no exact plans to share just yet though. (/u/Blizz_SMorozov)


Uther received some nerfs to bring his winrate down [...]
Hey -Duality! I have recently put some cycles into thinking on Uther, and I believe he’s in a very weird place that makes him difficult to balance. Right now in compositions where he’s not taken as a tank or a second Healer, he is performing very well, to the point that in this patch he’s the second highest winning Healer behind Rehgar. However, the community believes that he’s not powerful due to his intended weakness to being poked down. I believe that just buffing him would only result in him dominating the meta again and, at higher level play, being used the same way he was last time, which is in those kinds of compositions and would only further promote that that’s the only place where he is useful. Based on his power level he really should just be nerfed, but the perception is obviously that that’s not what he needs, and I don’t think it would make him a healthier hero anyways.

We normally don't share this kind of stuff this early (heck, I haven't even told the other designers yet!), but for transparency, I have already had some changes planned for the next balance patch for Uther, with the goal of making him less sharp in his weakness to sustained healing while also keeping his win rate in check and not promoting him more as a tank or double Healer. These changes aren’t guaranteed to happen, but they are what I currently have papered out for the next balance patch:

Base
Health reduced from 2000 to 1975
Health Regeneration reduced from 4.17 to 4.11

Holy Radiance [W]
Cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds Mana cost reduced from 70 to 55 Healing amount increased from 177 to 190

Talents

Level 1
Wave of Light [W]
Cooldown reduction reduced from 1 to .75 seconds

Level 16
Beacon of Light [Q]
Adjusted functionality: Uther receives 100% bonus self-healing when healing others with Holy Light. This bonus is increased to 100% while he is below 50% Health

Tyr’s Deliverance [W]
New functionality: Increase the damage and healing of Holy Radiance by 10%. Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes cause Uther’s next cast of Holy Radiance to have its damage and healing increased by an additional 10%, stacking up to 4 times (/u/BlizzAZJackson)


Who does the concept art now? I love your concept art but now there is no visible concept artist like Oscar Vega used to be.
I'm really lucky to work with an awesome team of artists on Heroes. We have super talented people that work behind the scenes who aren't as visible on reddit or the forums like I am. Florencia Kristiani does amazing concept work and you guys have most recently seen her work with the new Nexomania II content.

Also if you have specific problems or call outs, please head to our forums or post here on reddit. We regularly read both and are happy to jump in! (/u/Blizz_KinaBREW)


Map/hero editor?
Hi lemindhawk, we are always looking for ways improve our tools and process to develop new content. Right now there's a lot of hurtles with bringing our tooling to the community, but anything is possible in the Nexus.

While I can't promise anything, out of curiosity I have some questions for you and the rest of the community:
  • What would you expect to see in a hero editor?
  • What features would be most important in a hero editor?
  • Are there any specific examples what would like a hero editor to be? (/u/Blizz_MarkPetro)


Can we expect the developer team to grow again and therefore more (frequent) content?
Hi Faquizm, we love making new content, and we hope to keep making a lot more of it. To do that we need smart and talented people to help us craft it!

Right now we're looking for another technical artist to join myself and u/BlizzDorothy to help bring new content to the Nexus. If you like making art work(pun intended), and like making artists even better, come join us!
https://careers.blizzard.com/global/...rtist-Pipeline (/u/Blizz_MarkPetro)


Anything coming up regarding Murky's talent diversity?
Hey azmodanfan! Sadly nothing is coming in the near future, but I have had a note for a few patch cycles to do something with Murky’s level 1’s. I’ve spent some time thinking on it every patch recently, but haven’t found any solutions that I’ve been particularly happy about. Murky is in a uniquely difficult place to make changes due to how well he’s performing combined with his level 1 talents being fairly thematic while also not giving him direct power, which makes creating alternatives difficult to do. I think to do any real meaningful changes, I would like to make changes to how Pufferfish works at a base level to make it less about split pushing and hoping your opponent can’t kill it, and more about being a more generally useful ability. This rabbit hole leads to a much larger suite of changes though, which is why I haven’t committed to any specific changes yet. (/u/BlizzAZJackson)


Will you ever bring back haunted mines?
Hi Zockmeister! Thanks for the questions.

The team would love to bring back Haunted Mines at some point in the future. As we mentioned in our forum post ( https://us.forums.blizzard.com/en/he...-anomaly/40990 ) we will be looking at ways to update the design of some maps. Please stay tuned! (/u/BlizzKGu)


Braxis was a hard map to play when it first came out, but when the change was made that the point is contested just by standing on it the map became amazing. That change was unfortunately reverted, but I really felt it made that map. Is there any chance for that game play to be added back to Braxis?
Hello and thanks for the question! For the Braxis part, the team is currently happy with the way the mechanics of Braxis work and have no plans on changing any of that at the moment.
I love the hero interactions with voice lines in the game. Are there any plans to increase the occurrence of those? (and let Li-Ming call out her kill streaks again?)
For the second part, the team loves hero interactions as well and we are working on improving the hero interaction system and are going to get some of these changes in your hands soon! One of the changes coming will increase the frequency of hero specific kill lines. I would also love to revisit the Li-Ming kill streaks again and see what can be done there to bring them back but haven't had an opportunity to check that out yet. (/u/BlizzKyle)


What is your opinion on recent skin concept contest? Is there a possibility that skins that didn't win the first place will be put into consideration too?
First off. We love that our community is so passionate about creating art and ideas for skins. You inspire us. <3

I wouldn't rule it out. Just because the concept didn't get a majority support the idea could be really strong and that hero might need a skin. We Sometimes that idea will spark an entire themed hero pack which makes it a much larger idea. This means it needs to be placed into an event slot and we might be scoped out for a year plus. The other option is that we do a smaller pack which we fit in between the larger events like the Altered fates pack we just dropped. All of this requires scheduling and ironing out the kinks of development.

Everyone did an awesome job with this contest and you should all be proud. (/u/Blizz_KinaBREW)


Are we gonna get more new seasonal events? Not more Nexomania X,Toy event X etc.
Hiya! We always look to do a balance of brand new ideas and bringing back old favorites. We have a couple new themes that we’re working on right now that we think you’re all going to like very much. (/u/Blizz_Hankins)


As of the past few hero releases and skin releases since Anduin you guys have stopped putting talking animations on heroes in the shop, is this intentional or will they be getting fixed?
Unfortunately character lip sync requires a large amount of development time and resources. with our goal of bringing as much awesome new content into the game as we can, we have decided that those development resources and time would be better served working on bringing you guys awesome new skins, mounts, and more! (/u/BlizzDorothy)


Can you share if there are any new heroes in the pipeline?
Of course! (/u/Blizz_DWarner)


Any chance we could see some updates to Kael?
Greetings Sumadin! We don’t have any changes in flight for Kael’thas, but I have had him on my list of heroes to look at for quite some time. He’s in a similar place as Maiev, where his talents are largely in a pretty good place, but there’s one talent on almost every tier that isn’t picked. His Level 1 talents also could use some work, though at every level outside of the highest level of play Convection and Fel Infusion are actually being picked and performing at a reasonable level compared to Mana Addict.

I’ve never been super happy with how his trait talents worked out (and I designed them!), but every time I’ve spent time thinking on it I haven’t found alternative solutions that I’ve been happy with. I think there’s something there, and am open to ideas from you all for talent adjustments/replacements for them. (/u/BlizzAZJackson)


Are you planning any changes to Valeera and/or Nova (especially talents)?
Hi Lucas_Trask, thanks for the question.

I can speak a bit about Nova and my thoughts on where she is and how I would adjust her. Thematically, Nova is sneaky, bursty, but fragile, perfect for a Ranged Assassin. However, I agree with your statement that she is being pushed out of a team slot because other heroes can probably be more effective.

Here are some areas I think we could improve.
  • Lack of Wave Clear - Even though she excels at taking down Heroes, lack of waveclear can still be a reason Nova is left behind during hero select. I think there's room in either her base kit or talents that can give her a moderate amount of wave clear. She doesn't need Gul'dan levels of minion smashing, but any waveclear would be fine, right??
  • Lack of Hard Crowd Control (interrupt) - This is another deficiency that prevents Nova from being a viable pick for the valuable Range Assassin team slot. This is also tricky to address without falling too deep into powercreep. I think it would be fair to say that if she were to receive more powerful crowd control, it will have to be very carefully and deliberately with plenty of counter play.
  • Talent Philosophy - While effective, I think Nova's talents could use some more interesting mechanics. I think it would be worthwhile to look at her basekit and heroics as well.
  • Frustration Factor (AKA Salt Wall) - Finally, it's always tricky when thinking about making changes to a hero with salt inducing mechanics like Cloaking, especially when a hero is made to be a decloak -> slow -> blow you up -> run away. It will be more important than ever to make sure that opponents can respond to any new power Nova could receive.

Hope this was helpful, have a great day! (/u/BlizzKGu)


Can we see concept art for the Grave Keeper? I love seeing concept art for the different HotS characters!
The original concept art was done by our very own Samwise Didier. I had a quick chat with him about it. This is what he said.

I was listening to a lot of Doom Metal at the time and created this image based off the music from Gates Of Slumber's new band Wretch. I ended up using the art for the Grave Keeper since it was cool looking and was already done. And this is why I always say to artists, ABC, Always Be Creating, One never knows when some image created for fun, can turn into something millions will see.

These are the two images that inspired the final version.

https://imgur.com/a/21RMsxn (/u/Blizz_KinaBREW)


I think draft takes too long especially for ban phase though we need more bans since we have more heroes and now we're getting balance patches with longer cycle. So how about implementing 10 bans(1 ban per 1 player) at the start of the draft? It would make more bans, less ban time, but not too many bans (because there will be likely 2-3 duplicates).
Hey sonyagod, This is a great idea but there are some challenges that would have to be overcome (as well as new engineering requests), one the major ones is having to substantially increase the number of owned Heroes to enter Storm League. That said, I think it could be interesting to explore and will talk to some of the engineers to get a better grasp on the actual development cost of something like this :) (/u/Blizz_Daybringer)


A while back (over a year and a half ago) myself and some friends (namely ChaosOS) had proposed a concept for the mage minions to be changed to sapper minions to help increase the offlane meta and encourage engagement there. I was wondering if you could share if that was ever iterated on internally and what the results on that ended up being.
Hi krosber04! Great question, and I'll start off by saying that we actually did implement this idea and tested it for a while.

Overall, we weren't too happy with how it was working out. Sappers are actually a very powerful mechanic and it essentially meant that missing a wave of two of soak would end up causing devastating damage to your wall or potentially even taking the entire fort as well. Combined with well timed merc pushes, it was incredibly powerful.

Going forward with this would have required us to do a massive balance pass on all merc camps, minions, tower and fort damage, etc. While it was fun for a while, it added a high level of stress and responsibility to the lanes that just felt like too much, especially when combined with already being punished for missing out on soak and any structure damage you take from the minion wave.
(/u/BlizzKyle)


Do you plan to buff or change Li Li so she may become more playable at higher ranks?
I have some ideas I want to try to make Cloud Serpent and its talents a little more interesting, but nothing concrete to share at the moment. I think the idea that Li Li isn't viable in high level play is mostly a perception problem, the statistics don't support the claim ;) (/u/Blizz_DWarner)


Will we be seeing another Whitemane skin this upcoming Halloween? Since her release, Whitemane has gotten a new skin every Halloween and I'd hate to see the tradition end.
We're giving Whitemane a break for this Fall patch. We do have some pretty fun skins that we are excited about coming. (/u/Blizz_KinaBREW)


Is there any chance Ragnaros' level 7 talent Molten Power gets a new functionality? On a sidenote: Blistering Attacks has a bug in that the cooldown reduction doesn't trigger when Empower Sulfuras hits non-heroes.
Hey SleepingVulture, Regarding Blistering Attacks, I'll investigate that interaction shortly. Thanks for forwarding that along! (/u/BlizzKofalt)

Hey SleepingVulture! I agree, Molten Power is in a bit of an awkward place. It’s been on my list of things to look at for a bit now and am still thinking on a good solution (I’ve spent some time on it in the last few balance patch cycles but couldn’t find something that I was happy with). I’m open to ideas and suggestions on what you think would work here! (/u/BlizzAZJackson)


There was a recent update to the Starcraft 2 editor that now allows for terrain cliff layers to be stacked up to 15 times. I know there are other map additions, but does this tie into your plans to update the design of our battleground maps? Is there room for multiple cliff layered areas?
Hey RamenEmp1re, thanks for the question.

It's really cool tech, but there are a couple of issues with elevation in Heroes of the Storm. First, and most importantly, adding elevation would likely go hand in hand with a hit/miss mechanic that gives players on higher elevation the advantage. RNG mechanics like this often do not feel fair to play against. Finally, missiles and splats do not play well with elevation changes. More specifically, missiles can travel in unpredictable ways when changing elevation and can no longer appear to match their corresponding search effects.

A bit of trivia: many of the first maps that the team created for Heroes featured elevation changes. But due to the issues mentioned above, map creation philosophy was adjusted and elevation changes on maps were phased out.

Have a great day! (/u/BlizzKGu)
by Published on 2020-07-15 09:19 PM

Heroes of the Storm Balance Patch Notes - July 15, 2020
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

Heroes of the Storm has just been updated with Hero balance changes! Read on for details.


Quick Navigation:



General
  • Nexus Anomaly - Climate Phenomena
    • The Climate Phenomena Anomaly has been disabled.


Heroes

Tank

Blaze

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Adrenaline Stimpack [Active]
      • Additional functionality: While Blaze has over 80% Health, gain 25% bonus Attack Speed and 10% bonus Movement Speed.
    • Endurance Stimpack [Passive]
      • Cooldown reduced from 40 to 30 seconds.
      • Adjusted functionality: When damaged while below 30% maximum Health, Endurance Stimpack will automatically cast if it is not on cooldown.
    • Neural Stimpack [Active]
      • Mana restoration increased from 30 to 40.
  • Level 4
    • Incinerator Gauntlets [Passive]
      • Moved from Level 7.
      • No longer causes Basic Attacks to light Oil Spills.
    • Meltdown [Trait]
      • Damage reduction increased from 7% to 8% per stack.
  • Level 7
    • Adhesive Petroleum [W]
      • Moved from Level 4.
      • Slow amount increased from 30% to 35%.
      • Slow duration increased from 2.5 to 3 seconds.
      • Additional functionality: Now also causes Basic Attacks to light Oil Spills.

Developer Comment: We’re changing up many of Blaze’s early game talents to have some more unique use cases and to generally improve diversity. We’re also giving him some more reliable early-game wave clear by moving Incinerator Gauntlets to an earlier level and removing the effect of causing Basic Attacks to light Oil Spills and adding it to Adhesive Petroleum.


Cho

Talents
  • Level 1
    • The Will of Cho [Trait]
      • Moved from Level 20.
      • New functionality: Killing enemy Minions grants 1 stack of The Will of Cho, and Hero Takedowns grant 10 stacks. Gain 1 Armor for every 30 stacks of the Will of Cho, up to a maximum of 10 Armor. This Armor bonus stacks with Ogre Hide.
  • Level 4
    • Uppercut [Q]
      • Damage reduced from 7% to 5% maximum Health.
      • Additional functionality: Each Hero hit by Surging Fist reduces its cooldown by 5 seconds.
    • Seared Flesh [Passive]
      • Adjusted functionality: Attack damage bonus is kept when attacking different Heroic targets, and is only lost after 5 seconds or when a non-Heroic enemy is attacked.
  • Level 7
    • Power Surge [Q]
      • New functionality: Enemy Heroes who are hit by Surging Fist are Slowed by 30% for 2.5 seconds. Gain 15% Movement Speed while charging Surging Fist and for 2.5 seconds after casting the Ability.
  • Level 16
    • Runed Gauntlet [Passive]
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 5% to 6%.
  • Level 20
    • Fuel for the Flame [Passive]
      • Moved from Level 1.
      • New functionality: Basic Attacks against enemies cause them to explode, dealing 21 damage to them and 45 damage to nearby enemies. This damage is doubled against enemy Heroes.

Developer Comment: We’re making some of Cho’s talents more usable and experimenting with moving The Will of Cho to be a Level 1 questing talent. We like the talent, but it was coming online late into the game where he often couldn’t get much value out of it. We believe this iteration will give it more use cases, particularly when matched against the other talents on the tier.


Diablo

Base
  • Shadow Charge [Q]
    • Cooldown reduced from 13 to 12 seconds.
    • Mana cost reduced from 70 to 65.
  • Overpower [E]
    • Cooldown reduced from 13 to 12 seconds.
    • Mana cost reduced from 40 to 35.

Talents
  • Level 4
    • Life Leech [Passive]
      • Healing increased from 1.5% to 2% maximum Health when not at full Souls.
      • Healing increased from 3% to 4% maximum Health when at full Souls.
  • Level 13
    • Hellfire [W]
      • Damage per second to nearby enemies increased from 15 to 17.

Developer Comment: Diablo is slightly underperforming compared to other Warriors, so we’re giving him some small base kit and talent buffs.


E.T.C.

Base
  • Face Melt [W]
    • Cooldown increased from 10 to 12 seconds.
    • Mana cost increased from 50 to 55.

Developer Comment: Due to its high number of use cases and ability to almost universally get E.T.C. out of sticky situations, we’re increasing the cooldown of Face Melt to give players a larger window of time to take advantage of after E.T.C. uses the ability.


Garrosh

Base
  • Bloodthirst [W]
    • Ability Effects now occur at the start of the Ability’s cast, rather than at the end.

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Body Check [Active]
      • Cooldown reduced from 16 to 15 seconds.
      • Slow duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds.
  • Level 16
    • Mortal Combo has been reclassified as an [E] talent.
    • Rough Landing [Q]
      • Removed.
    • New Talent: Seasoned Soldier [Passive]
      • Gain 5% maximum Health, increase Groundbreaker’s Slow duration by 1 second, and Bloodthirst gains an additional charge.
  • Level 20
    • Death Wish [R1]
      • Additional functionality: Increase the duration of Warlord’s Challenge by .5 seconds.
    • Deadly Calm [R2]
      • Damage reduction increased from 25% to 40%.
    • Inner Rage [Active]
      • No longer causes the cooldown of Body Check to recharge faster.
      • Additional functionality: Increase the healing reduction of Body Check by an additional 45%.

Developer Comment: We’ve had some feedback that many of Garrosh’s late-game talents aren’t impactful enough and we agreed, so we’re making some improvements in this area.


Johanna

Base
  • Iron Skin [Trait]
    • Cooldown increased from 20 to 25 seconds.

Talents
  • Level 20
    • Radiating Faith [R2]
      • Blessed Shield Stun duration against all targets reduced from 2 seconds to 1.75 seconds.

Developer Comment: Similar to E.T.C., we’re increasing the cooldown of Iron Skin due to its ability to get Johanna out of a host of bad situations. This should give enemy teams a bigger window of time to plan and play around Iron Skin’s cooldown.


Mal'Ganis

Talents
  • Level 4
    • Echo of Doom [W]
      • Damage increased from 54 to 60.
  • Level 10
    • Dark Conversion [R2]
      • Cooldown reduced from 80 to 60 seconds.
      • Mana cost reduced from 70 to 60.
  • Level 13
    • The Night Beckons [E]
      • Slow duration increased from 2.5 to 3 seconds.

Developer Comment: Overall Mal’Ganis is doing well, but we saw an opportunity to adjust a few of his talents to be more competitive.


Mei

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Heavy Pack [Q]
      • Cooldown reduction increased from .125 to .25 seconds.
  • Level 4
    • Crystallize [Trait]
      • Cooldown reduction reduced from 15 to 10 seconds.
      • Duration of Spell Armor after Cryo-Freeze ends reduced from 2 to 1 second.
  • Level 10
    • Avalanche [R1]
      • Cooldown increased from 65 to 70 seconds.

    • Ice Wall [R2]
      • Cooldown reduced from 90 to 70 seconds.
  • Level 20
    • Cascade [R1]
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 25 to 30 seconds.

Developer Comment: Mei’s introduction to the Nexus has been very cool. Her crisp performance has solidified her as a powerful member of any team. She is doing well but is not showing signs of being too strong just yet, so we are primarily adjusting her talents to be in a more solid place.


Muradin

Base
  • Thunder Clap [W]
    • Movement and Attack Speed Slows increased from 25% to 30%.

Developer Comment: For a long time Muradin has been a staple Warrior at nearly all levels of play, acting as a powerful front line for his team. Recently he has fallen off a bit compared to his peers, but we don’t believe he is too far off. We think he can benefit from a buff to Thunder Clap’s ability to control the fight for his team, which should set up for easier Storm Bolt hits as well as allow him to better counter enemies who rely on Basic Attacks for effectiveness.


Stitches

Base
  • Health reduced from 3150 to 3060.
  • Health regeneration reduced from 6.56 to 6.38.
  • Hook [Q]
    • Range increased from 11 to 12.
  • Slam [W]
    • Mana cost reduced from 40 to 35.
    • Additional functionality: Deals 50% bonus damage to Minions and Mercenaries.

Talents
  • Level 13
    • Fishing Hook [Q]
      • Bonus range reduced from 50% to 40%.

Developer Comment: For a long time we have held to the belief that one important aspect of what makes Johanna special is her ability to provide more wave clear for her team compared to other Warriors. While this is true, it has gotten to the point that it has begun to limit what kinds of effective team compositions can be made, as any team that wants to run heroes that don’t have a lot of wave clear really need Johanna to be competitive. To help open up more possible team compositions and to give Stitches a needed buff, we’re experimenting with giving him comparable wave clear, which also has the side effect that he should be able to land more Hooks due to the enemy Minions dying faster. We’re also removing our last Health buff that we gave him, as we believe leaning into this direction of giving him more wave clear and buffing his Hook range are more unique ways to bring Stitches to the forefront of Warriors that players want to bring to their team.


Bruiser

Xul

Base
  • Spectral Scythe [Q]
    • Damage reduced from 200 to 190.
  • Raise Skeleton [Trait]
    • Damage done when Skeletal Warriors die reduced from 46 to 40.

Talents
  • Level 4
    • Jailors [Trait]
      • Movement and Attack Speed bonuses reduced from 30% to 25%.
  • Level 16
    • Weaken [W]
      • Damage reduction reduced from 40% to 35%.

Developer Comment: Xul is still a bit too powerful, so we’re reducing his overall effectiveness when it comes to his base kit and to overperforming talents.


Yrel

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Light of Karabor [Q]
      • Healing bonus when hitting one enemy Hero increased from 40% to 45%.
      • Healing bonus when hitting more than one enemy Hero increased from 80% to 90%.
    • Dauntless [Passive]
      • Physical Armor reduced from 50 to 40.
    • Maraad’s Insight [Passive]
      • Healing increased from 128 to 135.

Developer Comment: Yrel’s level 1 talent pick has over time become dominated by Dauntless since we buffed it many patches ago. To better even out the talents, we’re reducing its power and increasing the effectiveness of the other options on the tier.


Healer

Kharazim

Base
  • Breath of Heaven [W]
    • Healing increased from 276 to 285.

Developer Comment: Kharazim’s healing output is a little lower than other Healers, and we believe it could use a small increase. We don’t expect this to change too much about how he plays, but it should better reward Kharazim players and teams who are good about grouping around him to receive Breath of Heaven.


Lt. Morales

Base
  • Safeguard [W]
    • Armor amount increased from 30 to 35.

Developer Comment: Safeguard’s benefit has largely diminished over time due to a combination of various Heroes being able to gain Armor in the 20-25 range and our change to make Armor not stack anymore. To make it stand out more and to give Lt. Morales a needed buff, we’re increasing its Armor amount so that it can be used more often to benefit members of her team.


Rehgar

Talents
  • Level 10
    • Bloodlust [R2]
      • Duration reduced from 8 to 6 seconds.
      • Healing from Basic Attacks reduced from 40% to 30%.

Developer Comment: While we got Bloodlust in a good place in regards to its pick rate, it is too strong compared to Ancestral Healing, so we’re nerfing its life leech and duration. We think this will give enemy teams a larger opportunity to play around its powerful buff, as it makes effects like Stuns, Blinds, and Attack Speed Slows more significant when it comes to surviving the burst of power that it gives to his team.


Melee Assassin

Maiev

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Pursuit of Vengeance [W]
      • Additional functionality: Each Hero hit by Spirit of Vengeance reduces the cooldown of Umbral Bind by 1 second.
  • Level 7
    • Bonds of Corruption [W]
      • Additional functionality: Enemy Heroes pulled by Umbral Bind have their Movement Speed reduced by 20% for 4 seconds.
  • Level 10
    • Containment Disc [R1]
      • Cooldown reduced from 50 to 40 seconds.
      • Mana cost reduced from 60 to 50.
  • Level 16
    • Vengeful Knives [Q]
      • New functionality: Dealing damage to enemy Heroes causes the next cast of Fan of Knives that hits enemy Heroes to deal 1% maximum Health as bonus damage, up to 5%.

Developer Comment: Maiev’s talents are largely in a pretty good place, but there’s generally 1 talent on most tiers that is not favored compared to its counterparts. We’re making some adjustments to these talents in hopes that players will consider them more equal to their peers.


Ranged Assassin

Cassia

Base
  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 130 to 125
  • Health reduced from 1700 to 1660
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 3.54 to 3.46.

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Charged Strikes [Passive]

      • Bonus Attack Speed reduced from 20% to 15%.
      • Bonus Basic Attack damage reduced from 20% to 15%.
  • Level 4
    • Plate of the Whale [Trait]
      • Bonus Health Regeneration reduced from 7 to 6.
      • Bonus Health Regeneration when fully charged reduced from 14 to 12.
  • Level 7
    • Surge of Light [Trait]
      • Damage reduced from 300 to 285.

Developer Comment: Cassia shot up in effectiveness a little too much after our last round of buffs to her. These changes are intended to slightly tone both her and some of her more powerful talents down to more appropriate levels.


Gall

Talents
  • Level 4
    • Double Back [W]
      • Removed.
    • Rising Dread [W]
      • Moved from Level 13.
      • Additional functionality: Re-activate Dread Orb to reverse the third bounce.
  • Level 13
    • Psychotic Break [Passive]
      • Moved from Level 20.
      • Additional functionality: Increase Gall’s damage to enemy Heroes by 10%.
  • Level 20
    • New Talent: Twilight Frenzy [Active]
      • Activate to reduce the cooldown of Shadowflame and Dread Orb to 2 seconds for the next 6 seconds. 30 seconds Cooldown.

Developer Comment: We’re making some changes related to Gall’s W talents to help streamline the build, which should help with some awkwardness when choosing between Rising Dread and Twilight Nova.


Greymane

Talents
  • Level 10
    • Cursed Bullet [R2]
      • Damage reduced from 40% to 35% maximum Health.

Developer Comment: We’re toning down Cursed Bullet’s damage due to it being tuned so high to the point that it is shutting down many Warriors from being able to do their job of being the front-line members of their team, particularly at higher levels of play.


Mephisto

Base
  • Lightning Nova [W]
    • Damage reduced from 45 to 43.

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Furious Spark [W]
      • Damage reduced from 72 to 65.
  • Level 13
    • Abhorred Skull [Q]
      • Spell Power bonus increased from 20% to 25%.

Developer Comment: Mephisto is generally performing a little bit too well, particularly when it comes to playing with Furious Spark at Level 1. We’re making some small nerfs to him to bring him in line with other casters.


Tassadar

Talents
  • Level 7
    • Beam Alignment [Q]
      • No longer increases Tassadar’s Basic Attack range.
      • Additional functionality: Reduce the Mana cost of Shock Ray from 55 to 45.
    • Arc Discharge [Passive]
      • Additional functionality: While Resonance Beam is fully charged, increase Tassadar’s Basic Attack range by 1.
  • Level 10
    • Archon [R1]
      • Shield amount reduced from 40% to 30% maximum Health.

Developer Comment: Tassadar is in a fairly good place, but Archon is a little too powerful compared to Black Hole, largely due to its ability to allow Tassadar to effectively get around one of his main weaknesses, which is being vulnerable to dive. We’re reducing its power in this aspect, as well as making some small adjustments to his Level 7 talents in order to make Arc Discharge more competitive.


Tychus

Talents
  • Various talents have been reordered to follow normal convention [Q, W, E, etc.]
  • Level 7
    • Relentless Soldier [Passive]
      • Armor amount increased from 25 to 30.
  • Level 13
    • Spray ‘n’ Pray [Q]
      • Additional functionality: Overkill also Slows enemy Movement Speed by 25%.
    • Neosteel Coating [Active]
      • Duration increased from 3 to 4 seconds.
  • Level 16
    • Lead Rain [Q]
      • Removed.
    • Sizzlin’ Attacks [Passive]
      • Moved from Level 20.
    • Armor Piercing Rounds [Q]
      • New functionality: Each time Overkill hits an enemy, its damage against them is increased by 15%, stacking up to 60% bonus damage.
    • Titan Grenade [W]
      • Additional functionality: Each enemy Hero hit by Frag Grenade reduces its cooldown by 1 second.
  • Level 20
    • New talent: Can Do This All Day [Q]
      • Reduce Overkill’s cooldown by 4 seconds. While Channeling Overkill, Tychus gains 40 Armor.

Developer Comment: Many of Tychus’s late-game talents aren’t as exciting as we would like, and we believe we can do better in regards to giving him a meaningful power spike. We’re giving him loads of compelling options, which we think will give players something better to look forward to as they progress through their games.


Bug Fixes

Heroes
  • Ana
    • Fixed an issue where Ana could get quest progress with Vampiric Rounds through Blinds and Evasion.
  • Artanis
    • Fixed an issue where Phase Prism had an incorrect Mana cost when cast during Blade Dash.
  • E.T.C.
    • Fixed an issue where Guitar Hero's cooldown effect was active without the talent needing to be taken.
  • Tassadar
    • Fixed an issue where Oracle did not reveal Creep Tumors.
  • Whitemane
    • Fixed an issue where Saintly Greatstaff worked on non-Heroic targets.
by Published on 2020-07-15 04:21 PM

Update on Climate Phenomena Anomaly
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Hello fellow Heroes!

After reading through your feedback and deliberating amongst ourselves, we have decided to remove the Climate Phenomena anomaly from the Nexus. While this was not an easy decision to make, we feel it is the right thing to do for the game. We also wanted to take this time to more clearly define the purpose of our Nexus Anomalies, and our plans for them going forward.

Nexus Anomalies were intended to serve two functions:

  1. We wanted to distribute our annual gameplay updates throughout the year, giving us the freedom to try exploratory changes that we weren’t committed to if they ended up not working out. Previously, we introduced all our gameplay updates each year around BlizzCon. These updates were usually fairly impactful, and many players had trouble adjusting to the large amount of sudden change.
  2. We wanted Heroes to have an exciting, fun change for players to look forward to every season.

As far as what exactly each Anomaly would entail, we did not have too many set rules, largely to ensure that we had the creative freedom to try bold ideas. So far, we believe our Anomalies have largely been successful, particularly after we had some time to iterate on them.

With Climate Phenomena, we wanted to play with two ideas. The first was introducing a new Hero to the Nexus with an accompanying theme, and the second was the prospect of changing game states throughout a match, with a minor impact on gameplay. Unfortunately, we’ve found that these changes were too disruptive to the normal flow of the game, and they didn’t add enough fun factor to account for how much they impacted the player experience. Some players also reported frame-per-second (FPS) issues due to the Anomaly, which we found to be unacceptable.

Moving forward, we intend to finish the year with one more Anomaly, released alongside the final season of 2020. After that, we have decided that we will not be pursuing Anomalies at a set cadence like we did this year. We still plan on regular gameplay updates, and will continue to experiment with ways to make Heroes a better game, so you can count on that still happening. In the future, we want to take a bit more time and release updates only when we feel they are in a more polished state, and we want to give the members of the Development Team the freedom to explore certain longstanding issues that we think are important to the community. For example, we’re considering large updates to maps that we feel could use some design improvements.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read through our thoughts, and for the years playing this game, which we love so much, alongside us. We’ll see you… in the Nexus!

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