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by Published on 2018-05-13 07:46 PM

Ranked Play Enhancements Coming With 2018 Season 3
Following last month's blog post on upcoming changes to the game, the first round of ranked play improvements are almost upon us. What you can expect from the next ranked season of the game includes:
  • Third round of bans
  • MMR/Rank Decay
  • Better seeding for placement matches...
  • ... and tigher overall matchmaking

The developer team need some extra time to implement these changes however, so the start of next season has been moved to the week of July 9th. Read on for more information and reasonings behind the upcoming changes.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

With 2018 Ranked Season 3, we’re planning to implement a number of the changes and improvements we proposed in last month’s Development Updates blog. Before we do so, we’ll need some additional development and testing time to ensure these changes will work as intended once we release them.
  • As a result, we’re pushing back Season 3’s start date from the week of June 11 to the week of July 9.

We understand this may be inconvenient for those of you who are eager to snatch up your end-of-season rewards, but we’re hopeful the changes we’re making will be well worth the wait. Additionally, we’re going to push back future seasons by about one month, rather than shorten them, in order to compensate for the length of Season 3. Read on for more details about the ranked improvements, and check out the Development Updates blog if you’d like to get some background on the reasoning behind them.

Third Ban During Drafts
  • We’re going to add a third ban for each team during draft mode’s existing initial-ban phase.

When we announced the addition of a third ban for draft mode last month, we initially proposed adding it to the mid-ban phase. A lot of players responded by saying they’d prefer to see it added to the initial ban phase, however. After considering your feedback, we’ve decided to move forward with this suggestion. We’d like to thank everyone who shared their thoughts with us; your feedback helped to shape this change, and we hope it’ll provide some additional strategic depth during your drafts!

MMR and Rank Decay
  • We’re introducing both matchmaking rating (MMR) and rank decay for inactive Diamond, Master, and Grand Master Hero League players.

Diamond, Master, and Grand Master Hero League players who have placed in the current season but haven’t completed any games in a while will have both their Ranked Points and their MMRs slowly adjusted downward to compensate. This should help Hero League players who may need a few games to shake off the rust and get back into fighting shape after taking a lengthy break from ranked play.

Each league has its own inactivity rules before decay begins. Once a player becomes “inactive,” they will receive a small amount of rank and MMR decay each day until they complete one Hero League match. Players will also be able to earn additional “grace period” days by regularly playing Hero League matches during the current season. To be considered active and avoid decay, all a player needs to do is play a single match of Hero League to completion.

League Inactive Days Before Decay Extra Grace Period Days
Diamond 20 10
Master 15 10
Grand Master 10 10

As an example, a Grand Master who has played very actively may be able to take a 20-day break from Hero League, for a vacation or otherwise, before suffering from decay. That player can still be passed by other active GMs in the interim, however.

We’ve mentioned this previously, but it’s very important to us that this decay rate is not overly punishing. We’d love to hear your feedback on the decay system once it’s in place so that we can make any necessary adjustments. All of the numbers in this system are easily tunable between seasons, so we’ll work to find the right spot for our community.

Placement Seeding and Re-seeding
  • Players who enter ranked play for the first time can no longer be seeded into placement matches higher than Gold 5.

Currently, players who enter ranked play for the first time can place as high as Diamond 3 after completing their placements. We recognize that being placed so highly can lead to some negative experiences for the new ranked player as well as their teammates. To help address this, we’re making Gold 5 the maximum placement seeding for new players. Additionally, since players can no longer rise or fall more than one full league (or five Divisions) during placements, Platinum 5 is now the highest rank a new Hero League player can achieve as a result of their placement matches.
  • Players who return to Hero League after an extended break will no longer be re-seeded into placements based on their performance in other modes.

Previously, a player could skip the current Hero League season entirely and attempt to increase their MMR by playing in other game modes. By doing so, they could gain more favorable placement match re-seeding at the start of the next ranked season. We’d prefer to see players progress through the ranking system naturally by competing in Hero League rather than using Quick Match or Unranked Draft to give a boost to their rankings. As a result, all returning Hero League players will now be re-seeded based on their most recent Hero League performance data, instead of their skill in other game modes. For Diamond, Master, and GM players, this performance data will be adjusted for any MMR and rank decay received during Hero League breaks.

Ranked Matchmaking Improvements
  • We are hardening Hero League matchmaking rules to enforce higher-quality matches over reducing queue times.

Currently, the longer players wait in the Hero League queue, the looser our match quality restrictions become in order to get players into games as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, decreasing wait times can come at the expense of match quality. When this occurs, players can find themselves in games that include allies and enemies outside of their skill range, which is especially noticeable at the highest skill levels. Given the feedback we’ve read from many of you in the Heroes community, we believe we’ve been favoring shorter queue times a little too much. When Season 3 begins, we’re going to firm up these rules in Hero League in order to enforce higher-quality matches. As a result, higher-skilled players may see longer queue times in exchange for more evenly-matched games.

While these rule changes are specific to Hero League right now, the next set of matchmaking improvements we’re planning to implement will be targeted at Quick Match. While we aren’t ready to announce a date just yet, we’ll have more details to share with you later this summer.

We hope you’re as excited for these ranked play enhancements as we are! Since we’ve covered so much in this blog, we’d like to remind you that 2018 Ranked Season 3’s start date is moving to the week of July 9. Until then, we’ll see you in the Nexus!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Lunara Rework
Thornwood Vines still applies Nature's Toxin, the level 20 upgrade makes it apply an additional stack. (u/BlizzNeyman)

Ranked Season Enhancements
does the lack of mentions about PBMM [performance-based matchmaking] & Visible MMR mean that they have been scrapped from the plans for the next ranked season?
Sadly we won't be shipping PBMM in Season 3. We've made some exciting progress with it internally, but I'd rather give it the soak time it deserves than rush it out alongside the features we mentioned above. This also affords us the opportunity to measure the impact of these Season 3 changes before making another big move. In the interim PBMM is collecting data on player performance that continues to help us validate the model.
What about visible MMR. Is that tied ot PBMM somehow?
It is at the moment. If something unforeseen takes place during PBMM development that would throw us off course than we would decouple that aspect of it from the rest of PBMM and ensure it gets to live as its own standalone feature.

Decoupling it however would not have allowed us the time needed to ship it for the Season 3 start date. I'll be sure to update the community once we have a firm date in mind for PBMM or otherwise. (u/Blizz_Joe)

It is kinda disappointing honestly, most of those changes coming in mostly affect high ranked players ... PBMM could have helped us tremendously with our "low rank peasants" issues
I understand where you're coming from with these concerns. PBMM is a feature we think is going to help capable players move through ranks a little more easily, but it's important to release it when it is ready. (u/Blizz_Joe)

Unranked Draft will also received third ban. (u/Blizz_Joe)

Heroes Learning Video
The third video in a series of learning videos from the Heroes of the Dorm casters is here, and it centers around making the proper call on whether you should go for the core or not.

by Published on 2018-05-11 05:18 PM

Lunara Rework Spotlight
Looks like Lunara will be getting a rework at the same time as Diablo!

Heroes Learning Videos
Three of the Heroes of the Dorm casters took some time out of their schedule to provide a couple of helpful videos on topics that many may struggle with in the game.

Blue Posts
Following yesterday's reveal that Diablo is getting a rework with the next big update, Live Designer Alex Neyman took to reddit to answer questions.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
No lightning breath change?
Lightning Breath now has a ramping slow effect on it as well. (u/BlizzNeyman)

but what about Lunara
Soon. (u/BlizzNeyman)

Does anyone know if they're keeping [[From the Shadows]] with this update? I felt like it was problematic on current Diablo, and with the new movespeed it kinda gives him some insane mobility.
From the Shadows is gone, but part of that range was put into the base Shadow Charge. We felt the ability felt bad to use without the Talent, but the increasing the range any more started to feel unfair to play against. (u/BlizzNeyman)
Isn't that exactly what you did with Chromie? Almost every time you have done a talent that increases an ability's range, that talent dominates. There are many exceptions, but a lot of these exceptions are for abilities that were never meant to have long ranges anyway.
Yeah, we try to be cognizant of when adjusting someone's range goes beyond adding gameplay, but drastically reducing counterplay or making an ability feel completely different. Sometimes it's okay (like Jaina), sometimes it's better to come up with something else (like Chromie). (u/BlizzNeyman)

"each can damage a single target like a shotgun, piercing through them" This is not like shotguns I've used.
The shotgun comment was mostly meant to highlight the fact that multiple flame waves can damage the same Hero, so if you hit someone up close with all 5 flame waves, the ability will do 5x damage and healing (also true on the return). (u/BlizzNeyman)

Quick questoin they didnt show his AOE stun ulti at all which makes me assume its the exact same but any proof for it being untouched? Firebreath thing looked untouched to but just want to double check.
Lightning Breath has a slow and increased range, Apocalypse was unchanged (though the 20 is slightly different). (u/BlizzNeyman)

Why would you rework Diablo when he was already seeing top tier level play? I would have thought a hero like Raynor, who is literally so bad he can only lane, would have priority..?
We're also working on Raynor, these things just take time. (u/BlizzNeyman)

HGC 2018 - Top 5 Plays - Phase 1 Crucible
With the HGC Crucible having come to an end, Blizzard put together a short compilation of last weekend's best plays:

by Published on 2018-05-10 05:33 PM

Diablo Rework Spotlight
The next update to Heroes, coming "Soon(TM)", will feature a rework of the Lord of Terror! This includes a full talent overhaul, and some functionality changes to Fire Stomp to make it a frontal cone.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Sad thing is, even though we are seeing paintings of all these possible new skins, I wouldn't be surprised if some of them aren't actually going to be added.
All of the skins shown in these posters will be available in-game (@BlizzHeroes)
Does that include the chihuahua?
Yup, as a new mount! (@BlizzHeroes)

After extensive testing, it seems that Second Wind's tooltip might be a bit inaccurate. Basic attacks actually heal for more than Varian's 1% maximum health, in fact they heal for about 1.15% of his max health (given any heroic - scaled for health). Can anyone confirm this for me?
This was indeed set for 1.17% of maximum Health, because at the time of the Talent's creation that was the smallest we could get with rounding for percentage healing effects. We've since updated the engine to support smaller healing percentages, and we've fixed Second Wind's healing to be exactly 1%. This will go live in a future patch (alongside the next major Hero release). (u/BlizzNeyman)

The Journey To My Uninstall
Hey Lightning, sorry to hear about this. I personally lost my Master promo 6 times before finally getting there, in some cases to experiences like what you describe here, so I feel your pain on this one. We've heard your and the community's feedback when it comes to frustrations with ranked matchmaking, and while we can't control for every variable, we do feel like there are things we can improve on.

You may have seen in our blog post last month the announcement that we're actively working on a Loss Forgiveness feature for precisely the scenario you're describing - https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/hero...-april-12-2018

This is a high priority for us and will initially apply when a player on your team fails to participate, with later support being added for AFK players and those found to be dying intentionally.

We're also working on upgrades to our penalty system so we can more quickly and reliably identify problematic players and apply appropriate penalties, including suspensions and bans. While these changes won't entirely prevent players from doing this sort of thing, it should make it less common and more importantly make you less likely to be penalized when it happens outside your control.

Win/Loss streaks are a natural and unavoidable part of any matchmade multiplayer game, and the focus for us in the context of Heroes is doing our best to make sure those games feel as fair as possible. That's another front on which we've heard player feedback, and we're actively working on improvements including adjusting matchmaking (especially at higher skill levels) to favor more higher & more consistent match quality even if it means longer queue times in some cases.

I want to stress that for us, making a fun experience is and always has been the most important thing. That value is what made me a fan of the company and ultimately made me want to work here. Keeping our players happy is the one and only way we get to keep doing the jobs we love to do, so we have tremendous incentive to make enjoyable gameplay our number one priority. (MattVi)

Heroes of the Dorm Reminder
The grand finals of Heroes of the Dorm are fast approaching, which means that your chance to win additional loot boxes is running out. Be sure to log in at the Heroes of the Dorm website and pick which team you think will take the cake.

Not sure what Heroes of the Dorm is all about? Click below to find out:

by Published on 2018-05-09 05:48 PM

Nexomania Teaser
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Coming soon to the Nexus

Heroes of the Storm Patch Notes – May 9, 2018
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

We’ve just released a new Heroes of the Storm patch to apply a number of balance changes and bug fixes.

Quick Navigation:




  • Health reduced from 1200 to 1140.
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 2.50 to 2.38.
  • Shields reduced from 800 to 760.
  • Shield Regeneration reduced from 80 to 76.

  • Weapon Mode: Phase Bomb (W)
    • Basic Attack range bonus reduced from 1.5 to 1.25.
  • Warp (E)
    • Cooldown increased from 15 to 17 seconds.
    • Range reduced from 11 to 9.


  • Level 1
    • Glyph of Drain Life (W)
      • Removed.
    • Chaotic Energy (Passive)
      • Adjusted functionality:
        • Increases Drain Life’s range by 25%.
        • Regeneration Globes restore 50% more Health and Mana.
        • Reward: After collecting 20 Regeneration Globes, reduce all Mana costs by 20.
  • Level 4
    • Health Funnel (W)
      • Additional functionality:
        • Drain Life’s cooldown recharges 100% faster while it is active.
  • Level 7
    • Devour the Frail (W)
      • Removed.
    • Curse of Exhaustion (E)
      • Adjusted functionality:
        • When Drain Life is cast on an enemy who is affected by Corruption, it deals 50% increased damage and Slows the target by 25%.
  • Level 20
    • Haunt (R)
      • Armor reduction amount decreased from 25 to 20.

Developer Comment: Our resident warlock has been in and out of the meta a couple times since his epic release and his Talent tree has become a bit lopsided. We began these changes by looking at Rain of Destruction (even going as far as testing the Ability without a channel!) but quickly realized that we would need more than just a balance patch to appropriately address the Heroic. We were, however, able to make some Talent adjustments that will hopefully give players fun new ways to drain the life from their opponents!


  • Basic Attack range decreased from 7.5 to 6.5.

  • Natural Agility (Trait)
    • Range decreased from 10 to 9.
  • Level 4
    • Explosive Arrows (Q)
      • Area of effect damage reduced from 100% to 75%.

Developer Comment: These changes require Hanzo to put himself at greater risk to deal the considerable amount of damage that he can dish out over the course of a game. While we believe Hanzo has a unique place as an Assassin who specializes in using his superior range to kite enemies, he was able to do so too safely, which was crowding out other ranged Assassins.


  • Level 4
    • Energy Roil (E)
      • Additional functionality:
        • Passively reduces the Mana cost of Gravity Lapse by 70.
  • Level 7
    • Sunfire Enchantment (Trait)
      • Spell Damage reduced from 165 to 115.
      • Number of empowered Basic Attacks increased from 1 to 2.
      • If both empowered Basic Attacks hit enemy Heroes, gain 15% Spell Power for 10 seconds.
  • Level 13
    • Pyromaniac (W)
      • Cooldown reduction applied per tick of Living Bomb damage decreased from 1 to 0.5 seconds.
  • Level 16
    • Arcane Dynamo (Passive)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Ignite (Q)
      • Flamestrikes that hit enemy Heroes also afflict them with Living Bomb.
      • Only 1 Living Bomb can be applied per Flamestrike cast.
  • Level 20
    • Presence of Mind
      • Hitting enemy Heroes with Pyroblast no longer reduces its cooldown.
      • New functionality:
        • Heroes who are hit by Flamestrike or have Living Bomb spread to them reduce the cooldown of Pyroblast by 10 seconds.
Developer Comment: We’re taking passes at some older Talent trees that, while not in need of a full rework, could use some design tweaks. The changes to Kael’thas in particular went through quite a bit of iteration. We’re happy to report that, unlike some of the insane Talents we tried internally, we managed to re-imagine and restore the power of Ignite!


  • Health reduced from 2150 to 2021.
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 4.48 to 4.21.
  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 150 to 145.

  • Vault of the Wardens (R)
    • Cooldown increased from 12 to 13 seconds.


  • Chain Lightning (Q)
    • Damage reduced from 178 to 162.
    • Bounce damage reduced from 89 to 81.

  • Level 1
    • Rolling Thunder (Q)
      • No longer increases Chain Lightning’s range.
      • New functionality:
        • Hitting a marked enemy restores 2.5% of Thrall’s maximum Health.
  • Level 4
    • Frostwolf Pack (W)
      • Quest requirement reduced from 7 to 6 Hero hits.


  • Recall (E)
    • Tracer’s Recall destination is now visible to enemies.


  • Overkill (Q)
    • Cooldown reduced from 13 to 12 seconds.
    • Mana cost reduced from 65 to 60.

  • Level 4
    • Fully Loaded (Trait)
      • Removed.
    • The Bigger They Are (Trait)
      • Additional functionality:
        • Reduces Minigun's cooldown by 2 seconds.



  • Level 7
    • Arcane Explosion (W)
      • Bonus area of effect damage reduced from 100% to 50% of the damage prevented by Force of Will.



  • Shrike (Trait)
    • Now Heals Ana for Dose damage dealt to all enemies, rather than only the damage dealt to Heroes.
  • Healing Dart (Q)
    • Mana cost reduced from 15 to 10.
  • Nano Boost (R)
    • Cooldown increased from 60 to 70 seconds.

  • Level 1
    • Detachable Box Magazine (Passive)
      • First reward removed
      • Second reward requirements reduced from 15 to 12 maximum Dosage stacks.
  • Level 7
    • Debilitating Dart (Active)
      • Reduced damage duration decreased from 4 to 3 seconds.
      • Additional functionality:
        • Also Slows the target by 50%.

Developer Comment: While Ana is showing a positive win rate, we’re still not seeing her picked up in the solo-Support position as often as we’d like. These changes should allow her to stick around longer in fights and limit wear and tear on your Hearthstone hotkey.


  • Bestow Hope (Trait)
    • Energy stored when Auriel hits non-Heroes increased from 5% to 10% of the damage dealt.
  • Level 4
    • Repeated Offense
      • Additional functionality:
        • Increases Detainment Strike’s knockback distance by 25%.
  • Level 13
    • Repelling Strike (E)
      • Removed.
  • Level 20
    • Diamond Resolve (R)
      • Armor granted upon Crystal Aegis expiration increased from 60 to 75.


  • Lorenado (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 45 to 40 seconds.

  • Level 1
    • Sapphire (Active)
      • Bonus Slow amount increased from 25% to 30%.
  • Level 4
    • Ruby (Active)
      • Lesser Healing Potion Heal amount increased from 190 to 205.
  • Level 13
    • Ancient Blessings (Active)
      • Damage reduced from 76 to 72.
      • Healing reduced from 114 to 106.
  • Level 20
    • Bottomless Flask (Q)
      • Healing Potion recharge rate increased from 5 to 6 seconds.

Developer Comment: Deckard’s foray into the Nexus has been incredibly successful from a balance perspective. He’s sitting at a healthy win rate of anywhere between 47% and 51% in high level play, depending on the experience of the Deckard player. Many of his Talents are also looking to be in good shape. We’re making some tuning changes intended to adjust under and overperforming Talents without impacting his overall win rate too much.

Li Li

  • Level 1
    • Wind Serpent (W)
      • No longer reduces Cloud Serpent's cooldown.
    • Eager Adventurer (Trait)
      • Fast Feet duration bonus increased from 50% to 100%.
      • Mana regeneration bonus reduced from 150% to 100%.
  • Level 4
    • Safety Sprint (Trait)
      • Additional Functionality:
        • Passively increases Fast Feet's base Movement Speed bonus from 10% to 15%.
  • Level 16
    • Blessings of Yu’lon (W)
      • Healing reduced from 1.5% to 1.25% of maximum Health.

Lt. Morales

  • Level 4
    • Trauma Trigger (Passive)
      • Cooldown reduced from 60 to 30 seconds.
  • Level 16
    • Extended Care (Q)
      • Range bonus reduced from 40 to 30%.


  • Health reduced from 1598 to 1525.
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 3.33 to 3.18.

  • Moonfire (W)
    • Healing reduced from 135 to 130.
  • Twilight Dream (R)
    • Damage reduced from 355 to 310.


  • Bio-Kill Switch (Trait)
    • Healing reduced from 475 to 435.
  • Lurking Arm (E)
    • Cooldown increased from 8 to 10 seconds.

  • Level 1
    • Growing Infestation (E)
      • Additional cooldown duration increased from 4 to 5 seconds.
  • Level 4
    • One Good Spread (Q)
      • Mana restoration reduced from 30 to 10.
  • Level 7
    • It Hungers (E)
      • Mana restoration increased from 5 to 10.



  • Groundbreaker (Q)
    • Stun duration reduced from 0.75 to 0.5 seconds.
    • Slow amount increased from 35% to 40%.

  • Level 16
    • Rough Landing (Q)
      • Bonus Slow amount reduced from 15% to 10%.

Developer Comment: These changes are meant to make the immediate aftermath of being thrown by Wrecking Ball a little less punishing for Garrosh’s opponents, particularly when he throws an enemy Hero and then Stuns them with Groundbreaker. We’re slightly reducing Groundbreaker’s Stun duration so that enemy Heroes can more quickly pop defensive cooldowns to try to survive. We’re also compensating Garrosh with a slight increase to Groundbreaker’s Slow. This way, he can still reliably catch enemies if he starts with Groundbreaker and wants to close in for a throw.


  • Level 4
    • Hurricane (W)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 1 to 2 seconds.
    • Shot of Fury (Trait)
      • Moved from Level 7.
  • Level 7
    • Battle Rage (Active)
      • Moved from Level 4.
  • Level 13
    • Mystical Spear (Q):
      • New functionality:
        • Ancient Spear always pulls Sonya to the target location even if it doesn’t hit an enemy. When used this way, its cooldown is reduced by 5 seconds.

Developer Comment: Battle Rage is proving to be the dominant pick on its Talent tier and provides a lot of generic power to Sonya’s kit. Rather than nerf it, we're placing it against stronger Talents at Level 7 to lessen the amount of generic power she can get overall. Similarly, Mystical Spear at 13 is giving a bit too much raw power in addition to its utility. It should now be more in-line with the more situational Talents at that tier.

Bug Fixes

  • Dragon Shire: When attempting to capture a Dragon Knight, Channeling is now correctly paused when hit by a Time Stop effect, like Zeratul’s Void Prison.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
  • Deckard: Non-Hero allied units no longer receive area of effect Healing from the Potion of Revival Talent.
  • Falstad: Lightning Rod cooldown reduction applied by the Wingman Talent now correctly appends to both Lightning Rod’s Ability tooltip and Wingman’s Active Bar tooltip.
  • Fenix: Purification Salvo Channeling can no longer be interrupted by displacement effects, like Raynor’s Penetrating Round.
  • Hearthstone: Fixed an issue in which certain Hero Abilities would not interrupt Hearthstone Channeling.
  • Ice Block: Fixed an issue in which certain Abilities remained castable during Ice Block.
  • Li Li: Upon activating Safety Sprint, Fast Feet now correctly persists for its full 3 second duration.
  • Stukov: The It Hungers Talent no longer grants cooldown reduction to Lurking Arm if the Ability is cast without hitting any enemy Heroes.

Deckard Cain Price Reduction
Deckard Cain's gold price has been reduced to 10000.

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