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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This article was originally published in forum thread: Weekly Hero Rotation/Sales, Blue Posts, HeroStorm started by Nerraw View original post

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