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by Published on 2020-04-05 09:27 PM

April 5th Teaser
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
This will be interesting.

by Published on 2020-04-01 07:42 PM

All Heroes Free Until April 13th
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
All Heroes will remain free until April 13th!

by Published on 2020-03-19 04:57 PM

Greek Gods Event Sneak Peek
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

Heroes artists discuss their process… and manage to leak this year’s Greek Gods event

“Brew is awesome. Brew is amazing,” says Trevor Jacobs.

“I’m OK,” says Andrew Kinabrew, sitting back in his chair with a slight smile and arms folded.

“He’s amazingly OK,” says Jacobs.

Interviewing Jacobs and Kinabrew—Heroes of the Storm Assistant Art Director and Senior Artist, respectively—is like interrogating two giddy suspects who can’t get their story straight, except they’re riffing off of their own jigsaw-fitted dynamic so well that you almost don’t care what you pulled them in for anyway. Their crime, in this case? Creating hundreds of accessories for in-game murder. We sat down with the artists to find out what exactly has been going on behind the scenes of their criminally creative skin pack concoctions.

First: Some background on our suspects. The awesome, amazingly OK Kinabrew started at Blizzard eight years ago on the project that would soon become Overwatch. After a year he switched onto Heroes of the Storm and has been working with Jacobs ever since.

Jacobs, a Blizzard veteran of 24 years, worked on a range of projects, from Warcraft II and III to the original StarCraft, before coming to Heroes, where he says he’s found his passion project.

“Heroes gets to do so much fun stuff,” Jacobs says. “It’s like being a kid with this huge toy box. You get to play with everything. Selfishly, I feel like any dreams we have, we get to do.”

Well, a kid with a toy box doesn’t sound so dastardly after all.


The Toys in the Toy Box

So where exactly do these dreams start, and what’s the process of bringing them to completion in-game? As it turns out, skin concepts come from a diverse number of places. Some skins are drawn from the artists’ life experiences, or their fond memories of Blizzard IPs and pop culture during their childhood, inspiration from the community, jammed out during the annual team-wide Hackathon, and probably more. (It would be foolish to assume kids want to share all their toys in the box with you.) The nesting ground for these ideas is the art team’s backlog of over 200 skin concepts, where skins develop their own stories and mythos to surround them over the course of years. Making it off the backlog is no easy task: it means the skin probably combines several of the influences listed above, and it’s garnered enough admiration from the rest of the team to have accomplices to allow for its escape into the Nexus.

Nexomania's El Chamuco Diablo skin, which remained on the backlog for two years, was one such example, and we shudder to think of the sheer volume of player lives it’s claimed since its release.

Kinabrew, who created the original concept for the Legendary Mariachi Reaper skin in Overwatch, came up with a Luchador Diablo concept shortly after joining the Heroes team. He believed the skin could be part of a greater event and championed it internally for years, working to convince others, too. Finally, the Luchador Diablo domino elbow-dropped: others started to embrace and pursue the idea. A design manager used his previous experience writing for a wrestling game to help brainstorm wrestling moves. Another artist who grew up watching lucha libres with his family made concepts for other Nexomania skins.

“The animators came up with really cool poses. And then our community team made cool luchador masks for us,” says Jacobs. “Even getting an announcer, which is usually a pain because you have to do it in every language—people we didn’t expect to become advocates were championing [the event] with us.”

The event inspired everyone to add a little bit of themselves to its creation. Kinabrew, who is originally from New Mexico, adds that it was his opportunity to represent his home and family in one of his favorite games.

“[In New Mexico] we have a lot of Latino influence. My wife is Mexican-American,” he says. “It just reminds me of home."


My Big Fat Greek Leak

Nexomania wasn’t the only event that arose from the toy box like a plushy brought to life by a precocious child’s unconditional love. Let’s not forget why we pulled these two villainously artistic minds into interrogation in the first place—we have a lead on a new criminal plot in the works.

“I’m trying to think what we can leak. The Greek God stuff is pretty fun, right?” Jacobs says, looking sidelong at Kinabrew.

Kinabrew chuckles nervously, eyebrows threatening to leap off his face.

“Greek Gods was another idea we’d been mulling over for years,” Jacobs says.

The Myth skin pack, a subevent coming later in the year, also came together thanks to a diverse set of influences and several years on the backlog. A community skin for Uther, called “Uthor” after the Nordic God Thor, was part of the inspiration. But once the team translated the concept to Cassia with a lightning bolt for a weapon, the full event was finally born.

“We were thinking, wouldn’t it be cool to see Cassia with a Zeus skin? Because her kit is all lightning. And then it started hitting like ‘what if we added this character? Or that character?’” Jacobs says, punctuating each sentence with a snap of his fingers, reminiscent of a lightning bolt striking earth.



The bolt of inspiration started from Thunder Goddess Cassia electrified the team to create a Hermes-inspired Tracer skin, a Cerberus mount, and a Pegasus mount—all of which the team can’t wait to unleash onto the live server.









The skins are in the pipeline now; Kinabrew recently finished his “consistency pass,” to make sure the whole pack is visually consistent. Soon, he and Jacobs will be on to the next project. On the Heroes art team, there’s always another dream to explore.
by Published on 2020-03-11 10:34 PM

Heroes of the Storm Balance Patch Notes - March 11, 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
  • Brawl
    • Varian is now able to be selected in ARAM games.


Heroes

Tank

Arthas


Base
  • Health increased from 2782 to 2860.
  • Health Regeneration increased from 5.80 to 5.96.

Talents
  • Level 7
    • Rune Tap [Passive]
      • Healing increased from 4% to 5% maximum Health.
  • Level 10
    • Army of the Dead [R1]
      • Tooltip now states how much damage Ghouls do.
  • Level 20
    • Legion of Northrend [R1]
      • Additional functionality: Increase Ghoul Basic Attack damage by 50%.
    • Absolute Zero [R2]
      • Root duration increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds.
      • Slow duration increased from 3.5 to 4 seconds.
    • Death’s Advance [Active]
      • Active Movement Speed bonus duration increased from 3 to 5 seconds.
    • Anti-Magic Shell [Active]
      • Duration increased from 3 to 4 seconds.

Developer Comment: Arthas is slightly underperforming compared to other Warriors, so we’re giving him a small baseline Health buff which we feel is appropriate since he doesn’t have the mobility that a lot of other Warriors bring to the table. We’ve also taken a look at his Level 20 talents and beefed them up all be much more epic.


Diablo


Base
  • Devastating Charge [Q]
    • Damage when hitting enemies into terrain increased from 120 to 130.

Talents
  • Level 7
    • Diabolical Momentum [Passive]
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 1.25 to 1.5 seconds.

Developer Comment: Since we changed Devastating Charge Diablo has fallen off a bit. While we believe he’s in a more healthy spot overall, we understand how players miss the unique role he had as a tank who had the ability to burst down enemies who are out of position. We’re giving a little bit of that back in the form of a baseline buff to Shadow charge so that he can have some of that fantasy back no matter how players choose to build him.


Tyrael


Talents
  • Level 20
    • Defense of the Angels [Active]
      • Cooldown reduced from 120 to 60 seconds.

Developer Comment: Now the Defense of the Angels no longer has a cooldown reduction component, we’re reducing its cooldown to be more in line with similar effects.


Bruiser

Imperius


Talents
  • Level 1
    • Impaling Light [Q]
      • Damage bonus increased from 100% to 125%.
  • Level 4
    • Battle Hunger [Trait]
      • Healing bonus increased from 60% to 70%.
    • Press Forward [Passive]
      • Additional functionality: While Imperius is being healed by a Regeneration Globe, he gains 10 Armor.
  • Level 7
    • Blaze of Glory [W]
      • Damage increased from 125 to 135.
  • Level 13
    • Pathetic Mortals [Q]
      • Damage reduction increased from 40% to 50%.
  • Level 20
    • Unrelenting Descent [R2]
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 5 to 10 seconds.
    • Brand of Solarion [Trait]
      • Duration increased from 3 to 5 seconds.

Developer Comment: We’re giving Imperius a slew of buffs to underperforming talents, which we believe will push him into being a more stable pick on most maps.


Rexxar


Base
  • Basic Attack damage increased from 125 to 134.
  • Misha Health reduced from 1620 to 1520.
  • Misha Health Regeneration reduced from 3.38 to 3.17.
  • Mend Pet [E]
    • Mana cost increased from 60 to 70.

Developer Comment: Rexxar’s ability to win the laning phase on point control maps is a little too powerful, so we’re nerfing his ability to keep Misha alive. To compensate him for this nerf, we’re increasing his Basic Attack damage, which will both help him in latter parts of the game and make the early game more about how well he can work with Misha to outtrade the enemy Hero. We’re hoping that this leads to more interaction in the laning phase, with fewer instances of Misha being able to stand on a point for prolonged periods of time while the opposing hero is unable to push her off. We know there is a fine line between keeping his unique role on these maps and feeling too oppressed when playing against him, so we’ll be keeping an eye on these changes and will tune as necessary going forward.


Xul


Base
  • Health increased from 2000 to 2200.
  • Health Regeneration increased from 4.17 to 4.58.
  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 110 to 100.
  • Spectral Scythe [Q]
    • Damage reduced from 240 to 210.
    • Additional functionality: Hitting enemy Heroes spawns a Skeletal Warrior.
  • Bone Prison [E]
    • Now also causes nearby Skeletons to focus their target after the target is rooted.
  • Raise Skeleton [Trait]
    • Skeletal Warrior Health increased from 225 to 240.
    • Skeletal Warrior Health lost per second increased from 15 to 20.
    • Skeletal Warrior duration reduced from 15 to 12 seconds.
    • Maximum Skeletal Warriors spawned from Minions reduced from 4 to 3.
    • Skeletal Warriors now explode, dealing 50 damage to nearby enemies when they die.

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Shade [Passive]
      • Bone Armor cooldown increase reduced from 20 to 10 seconds.
  • Level 4
    • Reaper’s Toll [Q]
      • Quest component removed.
      • Cooldown reduction reduced from 3 to 2 seconds.
      • Mana cost reduction reduced from 20 to 15.
    • Grim Scythe [W]
      • Additional functionality: Increase Xul’s Basic Attack damage by 15%.
  • Level 7
    • New Talent: Wall Of Bones [Trait]
      • Increase the Shield amount of Bone Armor to 35% of Xul’s maximum Health, and Xul gains 20 Spell Armor for its duration.
  • Level 10
    • Poison Nova [R1]
      • Damage increased from 57 to 63.
  • Level 13
    • Executioner [Passive]
      • Removed.
    • Amplify Damage [E]
      • Moved from Level 16.
      • Duration increased from 1.75 to 2 seconds.
      • Additional functionality: Increase the duration of Bone Prison’s Root by .25 seconds.
  • Level 16
    • Corpse Explosion [Trait]
      • Removed.
    • New Talent: Decrepify [Q]
      • Enemy Heroes who are damaged by Spectral Scythe or Skeletal Warriors are Slowed by 40% for 2.5 seconds.
    • Weaken [W]
      • Moved from Level 7.
      • New functionality: Enemy Heroes who are damaged by Cursed Strikes or Skeletal Warriors deal 40% less damage for 3 seconds.
  • Level 20
    • Andariel’s Visage [R1]
      • No longer increases the damage of Skeletal Warriors.
      • Additional functionality: Increase the duration of Poison Nova by 50%.
    • Cold Hand of Death [R2]
      • No longer causes Skeletal Warriors to Slow enemies.
      • Additional functionality: Every 5th Spectral Scythe that hits enemy Heroes spawns a Frost Mage instead of a Skeletal Warrior at their location.
    • Kalan’s Edict [Trait]
      • New functionality: Each time Skeletal Warriors deal damage, reduce the cooldown of Bone Armor and Xul’s Heroic Ability by 1.5%.

Developer Comment: Xul’s rework has arrived! Our goal with these changes is primarily to make him feel more like a Diablo Necromancer, and to make his Skeletons a larger part of his kit outside of their pushing potential. Xul now has the ability to spawn Skeletal Warriors in combat via Spectral Scythe, and they now explode for damage when they die, giving enemy Heroes a reason to stay away from them while they mow them down. We also updated Xul’s talents to embrace this fantasy, with many options to use Skeletons as a mechanism to deliver various buffs to Xul and debuffs to the enemy team. We had a blast testing him, and hope you enjoy him as much as we have!


Healer

Anduin


Base
  • Chastise [E]
    • Damage increased from 145 to 155.

Talents
  • Level 1
    • Pursued By Grace [Passive]
      • Healing increased from 33 to 35.
  • Level 7
    • Binding Heal [Q]
      • Healing amount increased from 104 to 115.
    • Divine Star [W]
      • Shield amount increased from 172 to 185.
  • Level 16
    • Evenhanded Blessings [Q]
      • Additional functionality: If Flash Heal is cast on a different target than its last, it heals for 20% more.
  • Level 20
    • Light of Stormwind [R1]
      • New functionality: While inside Holy Word: Salvation, Anduin’s allies are Invulnerable.

Developer Comment: While decently popular, from a win rate perspective Anduin has been underperforming compared to other Healers, so we’re giving him some buffs largely to underperforming talents to help him out.


Kharazim


Talents
  • Level 20
    • Peaceful Repose [R1]
      • Additional functionality: Increase the healing of Divine Palm by 75%.

Developer Comment: We felt that Peaceful Repose could add something to Kharazim players who are good at proccing Divine Palm, so we’re greatly increasing its Healing when he does get a successful proc.


Rehgar


Talents
  • Level 4
    • Feral Heart [Z]
      • Mana restoration when hitting enemy Heroes increased from 4% to 5%.
  • Level 10
    • Bloodlust [R2]
      • Life Steal amount increased from 30% to 40% of damage dealt.
  • Level 20
    • Gladiator’s War Shout [R2]
      • New functionality: Increase the range and duration of Bloodlust by 100%.

Developer Comment: We’re giving Gladiator’s War Shout a fairly substantial buff to make it more powerful and interesting, and as a result also buffing Bloodlust. We’re hoping this opens up an alternative playstyle for Rehgar that can compete better with Ancestral Healing.


Stukov


Base
  • Health increased from 1765 to 1850.
  • Health Regeneration increased from 3.68 to 3.85.
  • Weighted Pustule [W]
    • Damage when expiring increased from 80 to 88.

Developer Comment: Stukov is underperforming a bit compared to other Healers, and his talents are in a fairly good place right now. To help him out, we’re beefing up some of his base stats, which should allow him to better trade with enemy Heroes and apply more pressure to the enemy team.


Melee Assassin

Kerrigan


Talents
  • Level 13
    • Psionic Barrier [E]
      • Additional functionality: Hitting an enemy Hero with Primal Grasp also grants Kerrigan 4% Movement Speed for 4 seconds, stacking up to 20%.
    • Chrysalis [Active]
      • Chrysalis is now able to be cancelled early.

Developer Comment: We’ve heard feedback from Kerrigan players for some time that they would like to have the ability to cancel Chrysalis early. We originally intended it to be this way to separate it a bit from other similar mechanics and to give opponents a reliable way to counter it, but found that it ended up being less fun and interesting overall. Because of this, we’re adding the ability for Kerrigan to cancel the effect early.


Samuro


Talents
  • Level 20
    • Dance of Death [R1]
      • Required Heroes hit to reset cooldown reduced from 25 to 20.

Developer Comment: Dance of Death was a little too hard to proc, so we’re lowering its requirement so that players can get resets more often from the Heroic upgrade.


The Butcher


Base
  • Ruthless Onslaught [E]
    • Duration before the ability can be cancelled after charging reduced from 1 to .75 seconds.

Developer Comment: We’re making this change to reduce the amount of time that The Butcher has to commit to a charge before he can cancel it. Currently there is an awkward time where he charges and may want to cancel it as soon as possible, but he is forced to move a fair amount forward before he can cancel his charge. To make this feel more responsive, we’re reducing this window of time.


Ranged Assassin

Mephisto


Talents
  • Level 1
    • Malicious Intent [E]
      • Number of enemy Heroes required to hit for the Spell Power duration bonus reduced from 20 to 18.
  • Level 7
    • Trickery [E]
      • Number of enemy Heroes required to hit to reset the cooldown of Shade of Mephisto reduced from 20 to 18.

Developer Comment: Malicious Intent and Trickery are getting their additional procs slightly less often than we would like, so we’re reducing the requirement.


Raynor


Talents
  • Level 1
    • Ace in the Hole [Passive]
      • Damage bonus reduced from 15% to 10%.

Developer Comment: Our thinking with our Raynor changes in our previous patch was to solve a design problem with Ace in the Hole’s mandatory synergy with Unstable Compound, while simultaneously giving him a bit of a buff overall by making his other two talents measure up to its new power. While this was largely successful, we underestimated how much more powerful Ace in the Hole would become compared to the new, buffed alternatives. We’re lowering its damage a bit to compensate for the Slow that it gained, which should make the tier more even overall.


Bug Fixes

General
  • Mac
    • Fixed a Mouse confinement issue when selecting higher resolutions.

Heroes
  • Fenix
    • Fixed an issue where Emergency Protocol's passive movement speed could be always active.
  • Tyrael
    • Fixed an issue where Defense of the Angels could last longer than intended time.

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