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heroes Heroes of the Storm - PTR Patch Notes (Aug 10, 2015)

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The next major Heroes of the Storm patch is slated to drop next week, and the changes it will include are available to investigate on the Public Test Realm for the week leading up to it! Learn more about the new Battleground, Infernal Shrines, as well as the new Monk Hero, Kharazim, as well as all of the significant changes to existing Heroes and abilities!

 

You can find the full patch notes below, but here are some highlights:

  • The new Malthael's Phantom mount will be awarded to all players who reach Level 70 with a Seasonal character in Diablo 3.
  • Kharazim, the Monk - and the first Diablo universe support - is now in the game!
  • The ability to report players for Abusive Chat, AFK/Non-Participation, and Intentional Feeding is included in this patch.
  • All Hero League ranks will be reset when the patch is deployed live.
  • Many core talents, such as Bolt of the Storm, Cleanse, Gathering Power, Imposing Presence, etc. have been modified (generally slightly nerfed).
  • Kael'thas, Kerrigan, Azmodan, and Nazeebo have seen significant changes. Minor tweaks were made to many other Heroes (especially their Heroic abilities - see Tyrael and Falstad, especially!).

Here are the patch notes:

 

Blizzard Icon Heroes of the Storm PTR Patch Notes -- August 10, 2015

 

Our next major Heroes of the Storm patch has just arrived to the Public Test Realm and will be available for playtesting for the next seven days. During this time, we kindly request your assistance in trying out some of the new content and balance changes it contains before we officially release the patch to the live version of Heroes next week. Just like last time, if you encounter any bugs or other issues during your PTR play sessions, please stop by the PTR Bug Report forumto let us know about your experiences. Complete patch notes for our impending Heroes of the Storm update, as well as improvements we've made for the PTR since our previous testing phase, can be found below.

 

Additionally, Game Designer Matt Cooper stepped in to provide some additional insight from the design team about many of the changes found in today's PTR update. Read through his comments in the DesignBattlegroundsTalents, and Heroes sections of the patch notes if you'd like to learn more about why we made each of these changes.

 

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GENERAL

 

Public Test Realm

  • Items may now be purchased from the PTR Shop using real money.
    • Items purchased on the PTR using real money will transfer to the live version of Heroes of the Storm.
      • Prior to making a transaction on the PTR, players may select which region they’d like their items to transfer to using the new PTR Purchase Region dropdown that has been added to the Language and Region tab in the Options menu.
      • The PTR Purchase Region dropdown will default to each player’s home Battle.net login region. Players may choose a different region if the default selection does not match the region that they normally log into for play.
    • Before a real-money transaction can be completed on the PTR, players will be required to confirm which Battle.net login region they’d like that item to transfer to.
    • New items that are only purchasable in the PTR Shop will not be available for play outside of the PTR until they are added to the live version of Heroes with the impending patch.
    • Please Note: Gold purchases are not supported on the PTR.
  • Battleground Pool
    • Infernal Shrines will be the only playable Battleground on the PTR in all modes except Custom Games during this phase of PTR playtesting.
    • Please note: Infernal Shrines is available for playtesting on the Public Test Realm, but will not be added to the live version of Heroes of the Storm immediately on patch day.

Diablo III Rewards

  • Add Diablo to Your Hero Collection
    • Diablo III and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls players who log in to Heroes during the three weeks following the release of the upcoming patch will permanently receive Diablo in Heroes of the Storm.
  • Malthael's Phantom
    • Starting with Season 4, Diablo III players who reach level 70 with a Seasonal character will receive Malthael’s Phantom in Heroes of the Storm.
  • Portrait Border & Pennant
    • Diablo III players who reach Player Level 12 in Heroes of the Storm will receive a new Heroes-themed Portrait Border and Pennant in Diablo III.

Kill 50 Treasure Goblins!

  • A new Special Event Quest has been added: Kill 50 Treasure Goblins
    • Any player who manages to rid the Nexus of 50 pesky Treasure Goblins during the Eternal Conflict event will receive a special portrait reward for their heroism!
    • Treasure Goblins killed on the PTR will only count toward Special Event Quest progress on the PTR. Progress for this Quest will start from zero in the live version of Heroes once the patch is officially released.

New Portrait Rewards

  • Many new portrait rewards have been added! Unlock them by reaching Hero Level 10 with the following Heroes:
    • Diablo Villain Collection – Diablo, Leoric, The Butcher
    • Diablo Heroes Collection Series 1 – Nazeebo, Sonya, Valla
    • Diablo Heroes Collection Series 2 – Johanna, Kharazim
    • StarCraft Rebels Collection – Kerrigan, Raynor, Tychus
    • Swarm Evolution Collection – Abathur, Zagara
    • Night Elf Betrayer Collection – Illidan, Malfurion, Tyrande
    • Reign of Chaos Collection – Arthas, Jaina, Thrall, Uther
    • Stormstout Collection – Chen, Li Li
    • Undercity Collection – Stitches, Sylvanas

 

NEW BATTLEGROUND

 

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Infernal Shrines

  • This three-lane Battleground features three Infernal Shrines that will periodically gather power. Only one Shrine will gather power at any given time, and either team can activate it to unleash its might.
  • Once activated, the Shrine’s Guardians will pour forth in waves to defend it. The first team to kill 30 Guardians will summon a devastating Punisher to fight for their cause.
  • A Punisher is a powerful boss that will attack down the lane that corresponds with the Shrine it was summoned from. Punishers will hunt down any nearby enemy Heroes that cross its path, and can spawn with one of three deadly affixes:
    • Arcane – The Punisher summons beams of arcane energy which rotate in a circular motion, and deal massive damage to enemy targets they pass through.
    • Frozen – The Punisher calls forth frigid ice shards, which explode after a short delay, dealing damage and freezing enemies in place for a short time.
    • Mortar – The Punisher launches a stream of firebombs high into the air, which explode and deal damage to any enemies they strike upon landing.

 

NEW HEROES

 

Kharazim has been added to Heroes of the Storm and is now available for play! Read on for a brief overview of this new Support Hero’s Abilities.

Trait

  • Pick Your Trait
    • Learn Transcendence, Iron Fists, or Insight using the Talents panel to select your Trait.
      • Transcendence
        • Every third Basic Attack heals the lowest nearby allied Hero.
      • Iron Fists
        • Every third Basic Attack deals 100% bonus damage.
      • Insight
        • Every third Basic Attack restores Mana.

Basic Abilities

  • Radiant Dash (Q)
    • Jump to an ally or enemy. Enemies are immediately hit with a Basic Attack. Stores up to two charges. 12 second cooldown per charge.
  • Breath of Heaven (W)
    • Heal nearby allied Heroes, granting them a 10% Movement Speed bonus for 3 seconds.
  • Deadly Reach (E)
    • Your next Basic Attack increases your Attack Speed and Attack Range by 100% for 2 seconds.

Heroic Abilities

  • Seven-Sided Strike ®
    • Become Invulnerable, striking 7 times over 2 seconds in a large area. Each strike deals 7% of the target’s maximum Health as damage, and prioritizes the Hero with the highest remaining Health.
  • Divine Palm ®
    • Protect an allied Hero from death. The next source of fatal damage within 3 seconds is prevented, and the target is instead healed for a large amount.

 

ART

 

General

  • Several Heroes and Skins in the Shop have received additional visual polish.

Heroes

  • Ancients rejoice! Sonya has received a dance animation.
  • The following Heroes and Skins have received visual improvements:
    • Tychus, Master Tychus Skin, and all Skin Variations
    • Murky, all Murky Skins, and all Skin Variations
  • The following Heroes have received updated facial animations:
    • Sgt. Hammer
    • The Butcher
    • Tychus

Hero Abilities

  • Various Hero Abilities have received additional optimization.
  • The following Hero Abilities and Talents have received new art or additional visual polish:
    • Brightwing – Revitalizing Mists (Talent), Spell Block (Talent), Unstable Anomaly (Talent)
    • Illidan – Sweeping Strike (W), Metamorphosis ®
    • Tyrael – Judgment ®, Sanctification ®

Skins

  • The Demonic Tyrael Skin has returned to the Nexus!
    • After visiting the top smith that the Burning Hells have to offer, Demonic Tyrael has strapped into an intimidating new set of armor, imbued El’Druin with corruption, sprouted two wicked pairs of horns, and donned a crown worthy of his title as the Lord of Pride.
    • Demonic Tyrael now also features updated Ability art, which much more closely matches his theme.
  • Blood Elf Tyrande has also returned to the Nexus, and now sports updated Ability art, which much more closely matches her theme.
  • War World Sgt. Hammer has received updated Ability art for Napalm Strike, which more closely matches her theme.

 

SHOP

 

Bundles

  • Dynamic Bundles have arrived to the Heroes of the Storm in-game Shop! Learn more about Dynamic Bundles by reading the User Interface section of the patch notes.
    • Please note: Dynamic Bundles are not currently available on the PTR.
  • New Bundles
    • Jade Dragon Kharazim Bundle - Available for a limited time.
    • Prisoner Tychus Bundle - Available for a limited time.
    • Conquest Bundle
    • Domination Bundle
  • Bundle Removals
    • The Nexus Bundle will be removed from the Shop one week following patch day, but will remain purchasable as a Dynamic Bundle until that time.

Heroes

  • Kharazim has been added to the in-game Shop!

Mounts

  • New Mounts
    • The Treasure Goblin Mount has been added for a limited time, and is exclusively available for purchase using Gold.
    • Malthael’s Phantom has been added and will become available exclusively to Diablo III players who reach level 70 with a Season Character, starting with Diablo III Season 4.
  • Mount Removals
    • The Nazeebra Mount, which is exclusive to the Nexus Bundle, will be removed from the Shop one week following patch day. During that time, players will still be able to purchase the Nexus Bundle to obtain the Nazeebra Mount.

Price Changes

  • Brightwing’s prices have been reduced to 7,000 Gold and $8.49 USD.

Skins

  • New Skins
    • Jade Dragon Kharazim
    • Kharazim Master Skin
    • Prisoner Tychus
  • Returning Skins
    • Demonic Tyrael
    • Blood Elf Tyrande

 

SOUND

 

Battlegrounds

  • Additional new music tracks have been added for the Infernal Shrines Battleground.

Heroes and Skins

  • Tyrael’s Sanctification and Judgment Heroic Abilities have received updated sound effects.

 

USER INTERFACE

 

Dynamic Bundles

  • Please note: Dynamic Bundles are not currently available on the PTR.
  • Bundles that contain three or more items are now listed as Dynamic Bundles in the Shop.
    • A Dynamic Bundle’s price will be automatically reduced if the player already owns one or more of the items that are part of that Bundle.
    • Two-item Bundles are not dynamic, and players will be unable to purchase a two-item Bundle if they already own one of the items it contains.
  • Check out our recent blog on Dynamic Bundles to learn more about this new feature.

In-Game UI

  • Ability & Activated Talent Hotbars
    • The Ability Hotbar has received new art, and is now more visually compact.
    • The Activated Talent Hotbar has received new art, and its buttons are now slightly larger.
  • Nameplates & Status Bars
    • Hero nameplates will now display the following status effects: Polymorphed, and Stasis
    • Hero Status Bars have received additional polish and improvements.
      • The color of allied Health bars has been changed from green to blue.
      • Hero Health bars now more clearly denote 1,000 and 250 Health segments.
      • Shields will now appear white, rather than blue, on Hero Health bars.
      • Damage, damage over time, and quick Healing effects are now much easier to distinguish on Health bars.

Game Server Selection

  • Players may now select which game server they’d like to play on by selecting it from the Preferred Game Server dropdown on the Language and Region options menu.
    • This setting will default to Best Match, but players may wish to change this if they notice connection issues when playing on a specific server.
      • Please note: As we continue to improve and expand our game sites, Best Match will provide the best play experience for most players. If you are not experiencing issues, it is highly recommend that you leave this set to Best Match.
    • If players in a party have conflicting server preferences, the server that is most commonly selected among the party’s members will be used.

Player Reporting

  • New Report Categories
    • Reporting Options have been reworked, and now include categories for Abusive Chat, AFK/Non-Participation, and Intentional Feeding.

Ranked Play

  • Hero and Team League are no longer separated in the out-of-game menus, and can now be found using the new Ranked page on the Play screen.
  • Placement Rank
    • All players’ Hero and Team League ranks have been reset with today’s update.
      • Please Note: Matchmaking ratings have not been reset.
    • A new placement system has been added
      • All players must now play 20 placement matches in order to receive an initial ranking for Hero League or Team League.
    • Read our recent blog on Ranked Play Updates to learn more about Placement Matches.
  • Hero League
    • Hero League is now limited to a maximum party size of four players.
  • Team League
    • Five-player parties will now be automatically queued for Team League when attempting to find a Ranked match.
    • The ability to create a named team has been removed, while this feature undergoes additional review.
      • Players who have spent Gold to create named teams in the past will have that amount of Gold returned to them in the days to come.
    • Team League draft lobbies will still use the First Come First Served draft format.
    • Team League will still use a separate matchmaking rating (MMR) from Hero League.
      • However, because Team League parties do not have static rosters, Team League MMR will now functions much like it does for Hero League. This means that each player’s Team League MMR is based on their own individual performance in Team League matches.
  • Read our recent blog on Ranked Play Updates to learn more about Placement Matches, as well as Hero and Team League updates.

Versus A.I.

  • A difficulty dropdown has been added to the Versus A.I. screen, which can be used to switch among five different A.I. difficulty settings: Beginner, Recruit, Adept, Veteran, and Elite.
    • Please note: Elite A.I. development is not yet complete, and improvements are slated to arrive with a future game update.
    • A.I. teammates will mirror the difficulty selected for A.I. opponents.
    • When playing in a party, only the party leader may change the A.I. difficulty setting.
  • When attempting to find a Versus A.I. game with human allies, the matchmaker will work to find other players who have selected the same A.I. difficulty level.
    • If it takes too long to find a suitable match, the matchmaker will expand its search to include difficulty levels above and below the player’s selection.
    • If the human players on a team had selected a variety of A.I. difficulties, an A.I. opponent of each selected difficulty will be used for that game.
      • For example: If two players selected Adept A.I. and three selected Veteran, the game will be filled with two adept and three veteran A.I. opponents.

 

DESIGN & GAMEPLAY

 

Ability Power Gains

 

Developer Comments: This change was aimed at removing odd gameplay where an Abathur player may actually want to sacrifice his Monstrosity or a Gargantuan for a more powerful one. This occurred if players kept summons alive for a very long time and gained several levels, as these levels were not reflected in the Summon’s Ability Power. For short term Summons, players will rarely gain a level or more while that Summon is alive, so we made these snapshot instead. With snapshotting, players can use a temporary power boost, such as Overdrive or Arcane Power, to create a more powerful summon.

  • To clarify the rules for temporary Ability Power gains, the following rules have been added:
    • For permanent or very long duration pets or persistent effects, their damage and maximum Health will now update dynamically when Ability Power or Hero levels are modified.  This includes:
      • Abathur's Monstrosity
      • Nazeebo's Gargantuan (with the Humongoid Talent)
    • For short duration pets or persistent effects, their damage and maximum Health should snapshot based upon the Ability Power/level of the character when they are cast.  This includes:
      • Jaina's Water Elemental
      • Sgt. Hammer's Blunt Force Gun
      • Tychus' Drakken Laser Drill

Bonus Effects from Kills

 

Developer Comments: This change will not have a major impact on today’s gameplay and was mostly done for consistency  on how these type of talents worked. In the future, it may allow us to develop Battlegrounds with many small minions (think Haunted Mines) and not have to worry about special casing Seasoned Marksman so it doesn’t get out of control. 

  • Talents and Abilities that gain bonus effects from kills will now only trigger from Minions and Mercenaries, and will no longer gain benefit from killing neutral Mercenaries, map event creatures, summoned units, etc.

 

BATTLEGROUNDS

 

Battlefield of Eternity

  • When Immortals that are battling at the center of the Battleground swap locations for the first time, the Heaven Immortal will now always travel to right, and the Hell Immortal will always travel to the left.

Tomb of the Spider Queen

 

Developer Comments: A small number of Tomb games tend to run significantly longer than intended, so we altered the scaling of the Spider mechanic to prevent drawn out stalemates in the late game. Our hope is to see shorter matches overall.

  • Increased the damage and Health scaling of Webweavers and their minions by 50% past the 15 minute mark.

 

TALENTS

 

Bolt of the Storm

 

Developer Comments: We love this talent and think it can create a lot of really interesting moments, but the cooldown was just too short. At 70 seconds we think this talent is still a great level 20 pick, but now players will have to be more strategic with how they use it. Forcing someone to use their Bolt to avoid a gank can now be a meaningful moment with this increased cooldown. We hope this also entices players towards choosing their Heroic upgrades instead of Bolt when the situation calls for it.

  • Cooldown increased from 40 to 70 seconds

Cleanse

 

Developer Comments: We didn’t like the gameplay of casting Cleanse preemptively on a target that is about to be CC’ed. For example, you see Butcher charging your Valla, and right before impact you use Cleanse on Valla, allowing her to immediately Vault away. The change also prevents healers from cleansing themselves preemptively, providing a guaranteed target if the opposing team has only secured one Cleanse. As a side note, the original reason the Unstoppable functionality was available in the first place, was to help alleviate some persistent CC effects like Putrid Bile. We didn’t want you to cleanse a Putrid Bile only to have the slow immediately reapply.

  • No longer makes the target Unstoppable for 1 second
  • Now adds Relentless to the target for 2 seconds (50% shorter CC duration)

Focused Attacks

 

Developer Comments: This could be viewed as a buff or nerf depending on how players perceive it. You can still reduce the cooldown by attacking Minions, but won’t accidently waste a burst of damage on an unintended target. This talent will no longer be as effective at sieging, but it should be significantly better at harassing in lane. We will continue to monitor the talent, and tune as necessary.

  • The increased damage effect will now only trigger when hitting Heroes

Gathering Power

 

Developer Comments: Gathering Power was simply too good and was considered, by many, a mandatory pick on certain characters, which often lead to snowballing. We liked the ‘quest’ aspect of this talent, but it was far too easy to reach the cap and the quest didn’t feel meaningful to complete. Now, choosing this talent should no longer be mandatory, and the quest is much longer. Player’s will keep half of their stacks upon dying, which will help act as a ‘check point’.

  • The 5% starting Ability Power has been removed
  • Percentage gain from killing a Hero reduced from 2% to 1%
  • Instead of losing all stacks on death, players will now only lose half their stacks (rounding up)

Imposing Presence

 

Developer Comments: Statistically, it was almost never wrong to choose Imposing Presence. With this nerf, it’s still a great counter in the right situation, and as a result, we’re hoping we’ll see more play from our Basic Attack assassins.

  • Attack Speed slow reduced from 50% to 40%
  • The Attack Speed slow will now be removed when attacking a target that has not learned the Imposing Presence Talent

Mercenary Lord

 

Developer Comments: We’ve combined the talent Superiority into Mercenary Lord, and removed the damage reduction from structures to prevent degenerative backdoor strategies. The combination of the damage reduction vs. Mercenaries and the ability to empower these Mercenaries felt like a logical pairing. We hope incorporating the two talents into one will make this level 4 choice an enticing one, as the two talents separated had a low pick rate. 

  • The functionality of the Superiority Talent has been rolled into Mercenary Lord, which is now available to the following Heroes at Level 4:
    • Anub'arak, Arthas, Azmodan, Gazlowe, Nazeebo, Sonya, Stitches, and The Lost Vikings
  • New combined functionality reads:  Non-Boss Mercenaries near your Hero deal 50% more damage. Reduces damage taken from Minions and Mercenaries by 50%.

Seasoned Marksman

 

Developer Comments: Overall, we like the way Seasoned Marksman is playing but wanted to tune up its effectiveness to reward those able to secure a healthy number of takedowns, while simultaneously tuning the talent up due to prior changes. Ideally, this will become a great talent pick when facing The Lost Vikings or Murky players.

  • Stacks earned by killing enemy Heroes increased from 2 to 3
  • Only Minions, captured enemy Mercenaries, and Heroes will grant stacks upon death

Spell Shield

 

Developer Comments: We’ve been seeing Kael’thas and Jaina as dominate damage dealers for teams. We feel like part of this is because the only real counter to their damage is Spell Shield, and currently, Spell Shield is under tuned. Increasing the duration from 2 to 3 seconds is a small and conservative change, but we want to see how the adjustment plays out. Ideally when you are against a couple heavy burst damage characters such as Nova, Jaina, or Kael; Spell Shield becomes a great counter pick. This is similar to our philosophy with Imposing Presence.

  • Duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds

Superiority

  • This Talent has been removed, and its functionality has been rolled into the revamped Mercenary Lord Talent

 

HEROES

 

ASSASSIN

 

FALSTAD

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Developer Comments: Mighty Gust can be a great disengagement tool, but it is often outshined by the pure power of Hinterland Blast. We feel we can bring this Heroic into play more often with some simple tuning changes. Internally, it’s been much more powerful and can even be used as a counter to a hard engagement or aggressive dive teams.

  • Mighty Gust ®
    • Cooldown decreased from 50 to 40 seconds
    • Slow duration increased from 2 to 5 seconds

JAINA

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Developer Comments: The Jaina changes are a result of her being too powerful right now, and we have a secondary goal of increasing the play of Ring of Frost. By reducing the impact of summoning a Water Elemental, Jaina loses some of her burst potential unless she chooses Ring of Frost. Water Elemental is now more focused on producing sustained damage.

  • Ring of Frost ®
    • Cooldown decreased from 100 to 80 seconds
  • Water Elemental ®
    • No longer deals damage or Chills at the Water Elemental’s spawn location

KAEL'THAS

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Developer Comments: Prior to these changes, Kael’Thas had a high win rate, but his win rate wasn’t alarming. Instead, we’re focusing on Kael’thas’ current gameplay, as it feels very set in stone and we’d like players to have the option to be creative. We’re smoothing out his power curve and making Pyroblast a more enticing choice.

  • Spell Shield (Talent) removed
  • Arcane Barrier (Talent)
    • Shield duration increased from 3 to 6 seconds
  • Verdant Spheres (Trait) (D)
    • Sunfire Enchantment (Talent)
      • Damage increased from 78 (+16 per level) to 85 (+18 per level)
  • Flamestrike (Q)
    • Damage increased from 74 (+20 per level) to 80 (+22 per level)
    • Mana Tap (Talent)
      • Now restores 5% Mana per target killed, rather than a flat amount
    • Ignite (Talent) removed
    • New Talent (Level 16): Fury of the Sunwell
      • Casting Flamestrike will cause a second Flamestrike to be cast 1 second after the first explodes
  • Living Bomb (W)
    • Damage over time increased from 60 (+18 per level) to 60 (+22 per level)
    • Explosion damage increased from 30 (+9 per level) to 30 (+11 per level)
    • Fission Bomb (Talent)
      • Damage bonus reduced from 75% to 30%
      • Now also increases the explosion radius by 30%
    • Pyromaniac (Talent)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 1 to 2 seconds per tick
    • Backdraft (Talent)
      • Slow amount increased from 40% to 50%
      • Slow duration reduced from 2.5 to 2 seconds
  • Gravity Lapse (E)
    • Range increased by 25%
    • Gravity Throw (Talent) moved from Level 16 to Level 13
  • Pyroblast ®
    • Range increased by 20%

KERRIGAN

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Developer Comments: These changes are intended as a slight buff overall, and to provide Kerrigan with more options. Her level 1 range increase talent was almost always picked, so we made that baseline. Several new talents and mana alterations should allow Kerrigan players to try out some Ravage and Trait based builds.

  • Seasoned Marksman (Talent) removed
  • Focused Attack (Talent) removed
  • Sprint (Talent) removed
  • Blood for Blood (Talent) removed
  • New Talent (Level 13): Queen’s Rush
    • Activate to increase Movement Speed by 25% for 4 seconds. Hero Takedowns automatically activate this effect.
  • New Talent (Level 16): Essence for Essence
    • Activate to steal 10% of an enemy Hero’s Health, and gain twice that amount as Assimilation Shields
  • Assimilation (Trait)
    • Lingering Essence (Talent)
      • Assimilation Shield duration increased from 12 to 20 seconds
  • Ravage (Q)
    • Damage increased from 50 (+20 per level) to 60 (+22 per level)
    • Mana cost decreased from 75 to 50
    • Clean Kill (Talent)
      • Now also increases the damage dealt by Kerrigan’s next Ravage by 20%
    • Adaptation (Talent)
      • Half of Ravage’s Mana cost is now refunded when jumping to an ally
    • Eviscerate (Talent)
      • Range bonus increased from 25% to 40%
  • Impaling Blades (W)
    • Mana cost increased from 60 to 75
  • Primal Grasp (E)
    • Range increased by 20%
    • Mana cost increased from 50 to 60
    • Cooldown increased from 8 to 10 seconds
    • Damage decreased from 50 (+13 per level) to 40 (+10 per level)
    • Sweeping Grasp (Talent) removed
    • Psionic Pulse (Talent)
      • Damage per second increased from 12 (+2.4 per level) to 15 (+3 per level)
    • New Talent (Level 1): Energizing Grasp
      • Refunds 10 Mana per enemy hit, up to a maximum of 60
  • Maelstrom ®
    • Damage per second increased from 25 (+2.5 per level) to 30 (+3 per level)
    • Cooldown reduced from 120 to 100 seconds
    • Duration reduced from 9 to 7 seconds
  • Ultralisk ®
    • Cooldown now begins once the Ultralisk is killed
    • Torrasque (Talent)
      • Ultralisk can now be reborn more than once, so long as the egg isn’t destroyed within 8 seconds of the Ultralisk’s death

RAYNOR

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Developer Comments: Overall Raynor’s win rate is low and using Inspire can feel clunky as it resets your Basic Attack period. These changes should help Raynor feel more responsive to play, while also making him a bit more powerful. We also did a pass at shuffling around and tuning up some of his least picked talents.

  • Basic Attack damage increased from 35 to 40
  • Mercenary Lord (Talent) removed
  • Puttin’ on a Clinic (Talent) moved from Level 13 to Level 7
  • Relentless Leader (Talent) moved from Level 16 to Level 13
  • A Card to Play (Talent)
    • Cooldown reduction per Hero killed increased from 10 to 15 seconds
  • Penetrating Round (Q)
    • Cluster Round (Talent)
      • Damage bonus per target hit increased from 10% to 20%, up to a maximum of 100%
    • Bullseye (Talent)
      • Bonus damage removed
      • Stun duration increased from 1 to 1.5 seconds
  • Inspire (W)
    • No longer places Raynor’s Basic Attack on cooldown
  • Adrenaline Rush (E)
    • Cooldown reduced from 45 to 40 seconds
    • Activated Rush (Talent) removed
    • Fight or Flight (Talent)
      • Now also allows manual activation of Adrenaline Rush
      • No longer removes movement impairing effects, and instead reduces damage taken by 25% for 4 seconds after activating Adrenaline Rush

THRALL

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  • Thrall’s Basic Attacks have received improvements in responsiveness, especially when stutter-stepping
  • Thrall’s first Basic Attack after Windfury ends will no longer have an abnormally long weapon period

 

SPECIALIST

 

ABATHUR

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Developer Comments: We’ve tuned up some of his weaker talent picks to make them more viable. We really like the level 20 Hivemind talent, but it can feel clunky to use as when allies move out of range, you have to decide whether to cancel and recast it, or stay focused on only a single target. With these changes, Hivemind will be much more fluid to play with and consistent in its effectiveness.

  • Volatile Mutation (Talent)
    • Damage increased from 36 (+7 per level) to 50 (+10 per level)
    • Damage radius increased by 20%
  • Locust Strain (Trait)
    • Survival Instincts (Talent)
      • Locust Health bonus increased from 30% to 50%
  • Symbiote (Q)
    • Carapace (E)
      • Regenerative Microbes (Talent)
        • Healing per second increased from 7 (+2 per level) to 9 (+3 per level)
    • Hivemind (Talent)
      • Now searches for a new Hivemind target every second, rather than only on the first cast
      • The secondary Symbiote target’s Stab and Spike Burst deal half their normal damage, and Carapace grants half its normal Shield amount
  • Toxic Nest (W)
    • Cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds
    • Envenomed Nest (Talent)
      • Bonus damage increased from 50% to 75%

AZMODAN

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Developer Comments: Right now, Azmodan has one competitive build at high levels of play where he stacks Globe of Annihilation (Q) talents. We think this build is a ton of fun, so we didn’t want to negatively impact this build. Instead, we wanted to give Azmodan some other build options. Right now, it’s almost always a mistake to summon one of his Demons and waste your mana. With the new tuning, and the talent changes, the Demons become a legitimate option to use. The Demons start with much more damage than previously, but scale close to what they use to be at higher levels. For players who still plan to go the (Q) build, it’s mostly the same, but we’ve offered a few additional talent choices to make options that best fit your play style. Finally, we are removing some of the Support nature of Healing Ward and Storm Shield from Azmodan. It makes more sense for him to be a greedy character, not someone who can become a hybrid support in the right situation.

  • Healing Ward (Talent) removed
  • Superiority (Talent) removed
  • First Aid (Talent) removed
  • Storm Shield (Talent) removed
  • Mercenary Lord (Talent) moved from Level 7 to Level 4
  • New Talent (Level 4): Sin’s Grasp
    • Activate to deal 115 (+19 per level) damage over 6 seconds to the target enemy Hero; can be cast while channeling All Shall Burn
    • Minion kills each reduce Sin’s Grasp’s 100 second cooldown by 5 seconds
  • New Talent (Level 7): Gluttonous Ward
    • Activate to place a ward that restores 25% of Azmodan’s maximum Health and Mana over 10 seconds
  • General of Hell (Trait) (D)
    • Bound Minion (Talent) moved from Level 4 to Level 7
    • New Talent (Level 20): Forced Recruitment
      • Reduces General of Hell’s cooldown from 30 to 20 seconds
      • Allows Azmodan to store up to two General of Hell charges
  • Globe of Annihilation (Q)
    • New Talent (Level 13): Hedonism
      • Reduces Globe of Annihilation’s Mana cost from 60 to 30
  • Summon Demon Warrior (W)
    • Demon Warrior damage changed from 20 (+3 per level) per second to 40 (+2 per level) per second
    • Enduring Warriors (Talent) removed
    • Blazing Demons (Talent) removed
    • Army of Hell (Talent)
      • No longer increases maximum Demon charges
      • Now increases Demon Warrior damage by 20%, and reduces Demon Warrior's Mana cost from 40 to 20
    • Hellforged Armor (Talent)
      • Now also causes Demon Warriors to deal 10 (+1 per level) damage per second to nearby enemies
  • All Shall Burn (E)
    • Spare Nothing (Talent) removed
    • Master of Destruction (Talent) moved from Level 7 to Level 1
      • Now also increases damage against Structures by 25%
    • New Talent (Level 7): Infused Power
      • All Shall Burn gains an additional charge-up level, increasing its damage by 25%

NAZEEBO

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Developer Comments: We looked at tuning up talents that wouldn’t impact his core Spider build. We’ve reverted some of the Ravenous Spirit nerfs as we saw a large shift from Ravenous to Gargantuan and wanted to see a better mix of the two.

  • M.U.L.E. (Talent) removed
  • Clairvoyance (Talent) removed
  • Sprint (Talent) removed
  • Stoneskin (Talent) removed
  • Hardened Focus (Talent) added at level 16
  • Gidbinn (Talent)
    • No longer increases the Plague of Toads explosion radius
    • Zombie Wall and Corpse Spider duration bonuses increased from 25% to 33%
  • New Talent (Level 13): Thing of the Deep
    • Increases the range for all of Nazeebo’s Basic Abilities by 25%
  • Voodoo Ritual (Trait)
    • Blood Ritual (Talent)
      • Health and Mana restoration bonuses increased from 100% to 125%
  • Zombie Wall (W)
    • Fresh Corpses (Talent)
      • No longer increases Zombie damage
      • Now permanently reduces Zombie Wall’s cooldown by 4 seconds
    • Dead Rush (Talent)
      • Now also increases Zombie damage by 50%
  • Plague of Toads (E)
    • Toads of Hugeness (Talent)
      • Now also increases Toad explosion radius by 20% each time they hop
    • New Talent (Level 7): Toad Affinity
      • Each enemy hit by Plague of Toads restores 5 Mana and reduces its cooldown by 1 second
  • Gargantuan ®
    • Gargantuan Stomp ®
      • Animation duration reduced from 1 to 0.5 seconds
      • Hovering the cursor over Gargantuan Stomp on the Ability Hotbar will now display a range indicator
  • Ravenous Spirit ®
    • Damage changed from 30 (+8 per level) to 25 (+9 per level)
    • Damage radius increased by approximately 22%

SGT. HAMMER

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Developer Comments: Hammer is one of our lowest win rate characters so we looked at some easy buffs we could make. We feel like she has a great playstyle and wanted to highlight her fantasy more. The increased health will let you be a bit more aggressive and the increased damage will better reinforce her long range, high damage capabilities. Finally, her Siege Mode can be used much more frequently and with less emphasis on securing the perfect location. It’s okay now to Siege up, get a couple shots in, and then get out of danger. 

  • Health increased from 720 (+140 per level) to 740 (+150 per level)
  • Artillery (Trait)
    • Damage bonus against distant targets increased from 20% to 30%
  • Siege Mode (E)
    • Cooldown decreased from 5 to 2 seconds
    • Mana cost reduced from 40 to 20

SYLVANAS

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  • Mercenary Lord (Talent) removed

 

SUPPORT

 

BRIGHTWING

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Developer Comments: We like a lot of what the rework did for Brightwing, but overall her healing output went down more than intended. This change will give her back a big portion of the lost healing and should increase her total healing output (tab screen wise) by about 15-20%.

  • Soothing Mist (Trait)
    • Healing increased from 25 (+7.5 per level) to 30 (+9 per level)

MALFURION

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Developer Comments: Player feedback brought to our attention that this particular level 4 talent on Malfurion was an obvious trap at 20%. While we don’t want to give Malfurion a solid burst healing option, we agreed and have tuned this talent up to 50%. At 50%, and in a vacuum, this talent may still be undertuned, but it eventually adds up to a decent additional amount of healing. Over a sustained period of time, this additional 50% outpaces Protective Shield, for example.

  • Regrowth (Q)
    • Rampant Growth (Talent)
      • Initial Heal bonus increased from 20% to 50%

REHGAR

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Developer Comments: Bloodlust is rarely picked right now, but we feel like both Heroics are extremely powerful. Without changing anything massive, we’re simply reducing the CD of Bloodlust so it can be used more frequently. We believe if Basic Attack based heroes become more prevalent in the Meta, this Heroic could become dominant, so we’ll be taking a cautious approach.

  • Bloodlust ®
    • Cooldown decreased from 120 to 90 seconds

TASSADAR

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  • Spell Shield (Talent) removed
  • Oracle (Trait) (D)
    • Cooldown increased from 30 to 40 seconds
    • Mental Acuity (Talent)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 15 to 20 seconds
  • Plasma Shield (Q)
    • Mana Cost decreased from 60 to 50
    • Minion Bulwark (Talent) removed
    • Reinforce Structure (Talent) moved from Level 4 to Level 1
  • Psi-Storm (W)
    • Mana Cost decreased from 65 to 50
    • Psi-Infusion (Talent)
      • Mana returned per target hit reduced from 7 to 5

WARRIOR

 

CHEN

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  • Flying Kick (Q)
    • Flying Kick is now much more accurate and will hit enemies much more consistently.

LEORIC

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  • Undying (Trait)
    • Many of Leoric’s healing effects during Undying are now half as effective
    • Reanimation (Talent)
      • Health regeneration during Undying decreased from 1.5 to 0.75 Health per second
    • Ossein Renewal (Talent)
      • Heal amount during Undying reduced from 20% to 10% of Leoric’s maximum Health
    • Ghastly Swing (Q)
      • Consume Vitality (Talent)
        • Healing reduced during Undying from 2% to 1% of Leroic’s maximum Health per target hit, capping at 5%
    • Drain Essence (W)
      • Now restores up to 12.5% of Leroic’s maximum Health during Undying, rather than a flat amount (was approximately 10%)
      • Willing Vessel (Talent)
        • Now also increases Drain Essence’s healing to 15% during Undying
  • Skeletal Swing (Q)
    • No longer deals 100% increased damage to structures

SONYA

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Developer Comments: Overall, we’re looking to tune Sonya up slightly. With the health increases, she’ll be a bit more tanky. Previously, Whirlwind could be very frustrating to lane against if you didn’t have a stun. With the shift of less healing from minions and more from heroes, this will make Sonya less of a lane bully and more of an effective skirmisher.

  • Health increased from 930 (+210 per level) to 950 (+220 per level)
  • Fury (Trait)
    • Shot of Fury (Talent)
      • No longer dismounts Sonya on activation
  • Whirlwind (E)
    • Healing reduced from 25% to 20% of damage dealt
    • Healing for damage dealt to Heroes has increased from double to triple

TYRAEL

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Developer Comments: Overall, our goal was to make Sanctification a viable Heroic for players. We increased its effectiveness and fixed a few bugs to make the ability more consistent. With the changes, Sanctification can become extremely powerful at countering Wombos or Hard Engage teams, making it an enticing choice over Judgement in certain situations.   

  • El’Druin’s Might (Q)
    • After throwing El’Druin, a timer bar will now display on screen to indicate how much time remains before El’Druin’s Might expires
  • Sanctification ®
    • No longer requires Tyrael to channel the Ability. All Heroes, including Tyrael, will be invulnerable while within Sanctification’s area of effect
    • Now has a 0.5 second cast time
    • Cooldown increased from 50 to 70 seconds
    • Area of effect radius reduced by approximately 53%
  • Judgment ®
    • Casting time increased from 0.5 to 0.75 seconds
    • Judgment’s target is now briefly revealed upon casting
    • New art has been added that will better notify the target of an incoming Judgment
    • The distance that an enemy targeted by Judgment must travel beyond the Ability’s maximum cast range in order to interrupt it has been increased by 66%

 

BUG FIXES

 

General

  • The Wonder Billie Mount can now be properly selected for use in Hero League and Custom Games.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could sometimes cause matchmade games to start with fewer than 10 players.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause French AZERTY and German QWERTZ keyboards to revert to using QWERTY keyboard hotkeys.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause a noticeable gamma change for some Mac users. 

Art

  • The visual effects preceding Furnace Blast’s explosion will now remain visible while The Butcher is affected by Brightwing’s Polymorph.

Battlegrounds

  • Heroes that are near a Dragon Knight when it is killed will no longer exhibit unexpected movement behavior. 
  • Battlefield of Eternity Minions affected by Sylvanas’ Possession will now properly grant vision to the controlling team.
  • Captured Bruiser Mercenary Camps on Battlefield of Eternity will now properly display their respawn timers when mousing over them on the minimap.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could cause Mercenary Camps to permanently vanish on Battlefield of Eternity.
  • Visual effects from Basic Attacks and Hero Abilities against an Immortal are no longer visible through the fog of war.
  • Fixed an issue in which certain movement-based Abilities, such as Kerrigan’s Ravage or Chen’s Flying Kick, could not target the Doubloon Chests on Blackheart’s Bay, or Plant Terror Overgrowths on Garden of Terror.
  • Enemy Heroes within a Dragon Knight or Garden Terror will no longer become unresponsive if that vehicle is killed by Sylvanas’ Unstable Poison. 

Heroes and Talents

  • Abathur’s Evolve Monstrosity cooldown will no longer begin counting down when Abathur is killed while a Monstrosity remains alive.
  • Fixed an issue that could allow Abathur to become permanently invulnerable under certain circumstances.
  • Abathur’s Stab and Spike Burst Abilities will now deal the proper amount of damage to Promoted Minions.
  • After learning the Evolution Complete Talent, Abathur’s Monstrosity will no longer retain some of the Minions Absorbed stacks earned by a previous Monstrosity.
  • Casting Abathur’s Ultimate Evolution on Tyrael just as Tyrael is killed will now properly place Ultimate Evolution on a reduced cooldown.
  • Anub’arak’s Web Wrap and Stitches' Gorge will now work properly when used against Unstoppable targets, which is consistent with Zagara's Devouring Maw.
  • Chen’s Flying Kick will now be properly canceled when cast on an enemy that is transitioning between levels on the Haunted Mines. 
  • Illidan will no longer fly to the enemy Hall of Storms if the target of The Hunt is killed before the Ability completes.
  • After learning the Wintermute Talent, Jaina’s Water Elemental will now properly mirror her Blizzard casts.
  • Kerrigan's Aggressive Defense Talent now correctly increases the Assimilation Shield amount gained from Basic Attacks and Abilities by 100% when paired with her Fury of the Swarm Talent.
  • Li Li's Cloud Serpent will now attack at the proper speed whether Li Li is moving or standing still.
  • Malfurion's Tranquility will no longer heal him for double the intended amount.
  • Nazeebo’s Gargantuan Stomp tooltip now properly reflects a 5 second Ability cooldown for the Ability.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the Gargantuan Stomp button to persist on Nazeebo’s Ability Hotbar after his Gargantuan had been killed.
  • Fixed an issue in which Ability effects, such as Giant Killer, Focused Attack, and Zagara’s Envenomed Spines, could be applied while Blinded.
  • Fixed an issue that could prevent Abilities like Brightwing's Soothing Mist or Malfurion's Life Seed from auto-casting during Iceblock, or periods during which players are stunned or silenced.
  • Leoric’s Reanimation Talent will no longer allow him to benefit from enemy Regen Globes during Undying.
  • Fixed a bug that could allow Leoric’s Consume Vitality to heal him for more than the five target maximum during Undying.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause Leoric’s Consume Vitality to trigger multiple times after striking a single target.
  • Murky can no longer use Pufferfish to permanently reveal parts of the fog of war before the match starts.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Stitches’ Hook to become visually stuck to an enemy Hero and fail to pull the target under certain circumstances.
  • The Butcher’s Savage Charge Talent will now properly apply its damage bonus when using Ruthless Onslaught on an enemy Hero that has less than 50% Health remaining.
  • Ruthless Onslaught will no longer cause The Butcher to continue searching for the target even after losing vision of that Hero.
  • Minions affected by Sylvanas’ Possession will no longer occasionally appear to attack one another.
  • Right-clicking Tassadar as he begins using Dimensional Shift will no longer cause the auto-attack reticule to appear while he is invisible.
  • Tyrael will no longer fly to the enemy Hall of Storms if his Judgment target is killed before the Ability completes.
  • Fixed an issue that could occasionally cause Tyrael's Judgment to fail to cast properly on the intended target.
  • Tyrael's Judgment will no longer affect Heroes inside Zagara's Devouring Maw.
  • Heroes that are struck by Tyrael’s Judgment and another knockback effect, such as The Butcher’s Ruthless Onslaught, in rapid succession will no longer be pushed farther than intended.
  • Fixed an issue in which the following Abilities and Talents were not damaging or destroying Zagara's Creep Tumors:
    • Brightwing's Peekaboo, Diablo's Firestorm (returning fireballs), Johanna's Blessed Hammer, Leoric's Buried Alive, Nova's Railgun, Sgt. Hammer's Napalm Strike (impact damage) and Tychus' Big Red Button (the nuke portion)
  • Casting Zeratul's Void Prison on Forts or Keeps should no longer cause targeting issues for Blackheart’s cannons.

Sound

  • Entering Void Prison while using The Butcher’s Ruthless Onslaught will no longer cause Ruthless Onslaught’s sound effects to loop. 

User Interface

  • Takedown and Death counters in Player Profiles have been updated with totals from all previous patches, and will no longer reset with each Heroes patch.
  • The recipient for an incomplete chat message will no longer switch back to Allies upon re-opening the chat box.
  • Most Takedowns As, Most Deaths As, and Games Played statistics will now update correctly when a Hero in the Top 3 is replaced.

 

Big changes in this update! Anything you're particularly excited for?

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Great summary, Odinn! 

 

I'm particularly looking forward to the talent changes. Bolt of the Storm needed a higher CD, Cleanse felt too strong as well. Blizzard definitely takes a giant step in the right direction with this upcoming patch! 

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Great summary, Odinn! 

 

I'm particularly looking forward to the talent changes. Bolt of the Storm needed a higher CD, Cleanse felt too strong as well. Blizzard definitely takes a giant step in the right direction with this upcoming patch! 

 

The Cleanse nerf definitely hurts, but also makes engaging to take out a support substantially more meaningful.

 

Bolt being slightly weaker to make the tier 2 ultimates more attractive is actually awesome, in my opinion. Very few non-Support Heroes were ever taking anything other than Bolt or Nexus Blades, but I really like the game play that some of the upgraded ultimates provide!

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