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heroes Reddit Q/A Recap: Oct 13

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Blizzard hosted a Q/A on reddit related to the newest Samuro content patch. A lot of interesting questions have been answered and here's a recap.

Reddit Q/A Recap: October 13

As reported earlier, Blizzard has been answering your questions on reddit for a few hours. As the thread is somewhat long, I've highlighted the most interesting questions.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment

Lots of people have been playing Brawl on PTR this week and having a blast. One thing that has repeatedly come up is the wish that the fountain was invulnerable. Is this something the design team would consider changing before going live?

We won't be making the change before Brawl goes live. We are listening to the feedback and made a few adjustments that will alleviate it a bit. Our formula for siege heroes was too high on PTR and you'll see a reduced amount moving forward.

In our internal testing we discussed this topic a few times, but found as players learned how to maximize their advantage on the Arena's objective it often could cost you more then you gain for removing a fountain. 

We will keep watching and listening.

Do you have any plans to add PvE type contents to Heroes Brawl, such as 10-player Co-op experience against powerful Bosses, Tower Defense-type game mode to defend the Core or specific areas from enemy waves, Marathon, and Escort?

We have been discussing this internally quite a bit, but do not have a concrete plans as of yet. We definitely like the idea and have had some fun discussing some crazy ideas.

How do you decide how fast/at what rate a quest progresses and consequently at what level it should be finished?

We'll playtest a lot, honestly. We have been very broad in how we've done various questing talents to try to discover what the right range is. We have some that are very easy to complete (Arthas), and others that take longer to complete (Regen Master). We have been looking for player feedback on which types they like, et cetera, to inform future quest designs, and any live-reactions we should make!

How do you choose between a progressional only reward (like Taste for Blood), a completion only reward (like Gul'Dans Echoed Corruption) or a mix of both?

We like to do a mix of both! We're still exploring this! Some quests lend themselves to being fine with having no progression growth, while others feel brutal if there's no power granted while making progression.

How do you decide whether questing progress should be lost on death?

This one is a little more controversial, and is more of a feel thing. If we feel the talent is high-stakes enough, then a punishment mechanic can add a lot of flavor and gameplay to the talent! It can be especially helpful if the counterplay feels lacking.

How do you choose the quest talents? E.g., why is Auriels Increasing Clarity a quest talent, but Righteous Assault isn't?

We're still trying to identify the right amount of quest talents. We don't want to do an entire tier of talents that are all Quest talents, so players can opt into/out of doing a quest. Further, some talent designs seem to lend themselves more conveniently to quest design, and other's don't.

During Hero iterations, have you tried putting a normal talent on a lower tier as a quest talent to improve talent diversity on that tier?

I don't think that specific case has happened, but we do a LOT of iteration on talents, and sometimes will move a talent from tier to tier to give that tier a healthier set of choices.

Do you think there might be a quest heroic some day?

Quest Heroic! Sounds awesome! Love the idea!

Do you have a favorite Quest talent?

I do! But it's super secret, so I can't talk about it yet :-D

Thank you for these questions! They were great, and definitely encourage me to go back to the team and try to crystallize the knowledge better so we can make better quest talents for the game as time goes on!

Infernal Shrine is the only map where the map objective is always at 100% power(of the diablo maps). Team have discuss about removing 2.5% HP per each skeletons collect by the team that didnt got the Punisher? because right now if you lose 39 skeletons vs 40 skeleton, you basically wasted a lot of time nd resource because your skeleton dont count for anything, even when on BoE damage to you count for aweakest immortal...

For Infernal Shrines we've done lots of dialing of health and power of the Punisher and wouldn't want to add a mechanic that makes him feel weaker. If we did, we would have to increase his power over all and 40 to 0 events will be very devastating.

This is why we've upped the skeleton health, added anti-clumping AI and increased the count from 30 to 40. All this is to help give both sides enough time to respond to the event and we are happy with the way it is playing.

In the end, we also like how Battlegrounds have different behaviors and require different thought exercises from our players to play it correctly. If you can't contest the event players have lots of other options, getting mercenaries, pushing forts/keeps and soaking multiple lanes to catch up in experience.

I dont play much HL, but could be nice if we can see Hero League Border (the one with the ranks) on the draft screen. This have been discuss by the UI team ?

Showing portrait borders while drafting is something we've talked about but we have to be careful what information we reveal about players during the Draft phase so I wouldn't expect any immediate changes.

Is there any plans add a more detailed profile section where we have more statistics, ability to customize heroes in draft queues, etc etc?

The UI Team is discussing ways to increase customization options for players but don't have anything to share yet. On a personal note I'm a fan of information design so I'm always looking for ways to provide more cool/useful data.

The character home screens are always so great and so is the music that comes with them are amazing. But it's kind of a shame that the art becomes useless after a new hero comes out. Is there any plans to allow us to customize our home screens with old hero splash pages? It would make use of already created content, add another possible good sink, and allow more customization and personalization to the players.

That's an interesting idea, we don't have anything planned for this but it's something to take into consideration.

And lastly, is there any plans for custom in-game UI with themes (ex Zerg, Protoss, Horde, Alliance, Heaven, etc etc) similar to what DotA2 offers?

No plans for this at the moment.

It’s all random in Heroes Brawl on choosing heroes, which means players might choose the same heroes. Will it trigger some special conversations when players just pick the same heroes, such as Muradin and Magni Muradin? The dialogue may go like: “It’s good to fight with you again, my brother!”

It's not completely random all the time. Hero duplicates are an amazing feature and would be a great polish task to add unique VO for when that happens.

I'm curious about Samuro's Mirror Image ability. As Samuro was being developed, it must have been noticed that players would want to be able to choose where the real Samuro appears after casting it.

However, the placement of the real Samuro appears to be completely random. Why is that?

Was it too powerful to let Samuro choose where to appear? Did it lead to gameplay that didn't fit the character?

There were a handful of reasons for this, but one of the primary was ease-of-control, and allowing a player to be able to immediately create their images with a single button press, no mouse invovlement.

What hero or ability will be forever left on the cutting room floor? Whose design, after some playtesting, won't ever be used? I'm aware you guys like to repurpose design, but surely there was something you tested that won't ever see the light of day, for sure. What is that thing?

Ooooh i'll take the bait! I'll take the bait!

Okay. So story time. Once upon time there was a Banshee. Well, before that, she was a High Elf named Sylvanas Windrunner, Ranger-General of Silvermoon! Until that dirty traitor, Arthas Menethil, under the influence of Frostmourne, destroyed her army, and wasn't content with simply killing Sylvanas, turned her into a Banshee. After recovering her body, she became the leader of the Forsaken, broken free from the Lich King's control!

One day, this Banshee-Queen found herself in the Nexus! She encountered an enemy Hero, and immediately tried to take control of an enemy Hero, and use their abilities! But try and try as she might, she found the world, the engine, of the nexus, of this game (for which she has no time!! ... but always finds herself in...), couldn't handle the thought of her having control of an enemy Hero, using their abilities, changing their allegiance, even temporarily!

And thus the Nexus exerted its control over the Banshee Queen, limiting her powers. Having been reminded of the dread of being under the Lich King, this very same Sylvanas now secretly fights to break out of this "Nexus", and be her true self!

None shall survive!

What 5v5 Mirror match did you personally enjoy the most in a Brawl Arena?

I love 5v5 Nova. Trying to see through all the clones and all the shimmers is a really unique experience. We liked it so much we even made a Brawl around it!

Are there any plans to add the option of a second hero to assist the enemy bot hero in try mode? I would like to try a hero against 2 opponents.

We are in a very early, exploratory, pre-production, <insert-non-committal adjective here>, potential phase of doing some radical stuff with the things that Try Me mode brings. I can't promise anything, but we'd like to let players be able to do more with those tools.

Another question is about Nexus Blades. This is one of my favorite generic talents, but new heroes (Samuro, Alarak) have different albeit interesting options. Are there any plans to give older heroes other options that complement their talents? (Looking at Illidan, Zeratul and Thrall) ( Nexus Blades suits Illidan, though)

As we go over old heroes, we'll look at all the talents in their tree, including ones like Nexus Blades, and make sure they all fit, and if they don't, find better options!

"M-move"! Will we ever get a command to move and not attack (even after the move completes)? Or have basic attacks only occur when given orders rather than passively?

Both would be wonderful additions to the game, give more control, and slightly raise ability to skillfully play many heroes. (Especially heroes that store crits or any heroes that are trying to navigate around large models that block nearby terrain e.g. BoE immortals!) 

I'd also love to see AA'ing just not be automatic -period- as a slight skill dependence increase in the game that increases the value of initiative in engagements and combos interestingly with abilities like Last Laugh -- though I'm guessing that's less likely to happen.

It's on our radar to get a Force Move command keybind in the game, so that players that want that can use it!

I don't think we'd implement a huge change to the way right-clicking auto-attacks works though, as it'd a fundamental controls change!

I think it will be difficult to fine-tune Hero balance in Heroes Brawl; could you tell us about your design philosophy on balancing in Heroes Brawl? Also, how do you plan to tune some Heroes whose playstyles change drastically with Talent selections, and some Talents/Abilities that seem not effective in Brawl environment, such as The Butcher’s Fresh Meat and Health and Mana granting effect of Nazeebo’s Voodoo Ritual?

We are relying on our standard hero balance for this mode a lot. That means there will be some heroes that are stronger and weaker. I would argue this happens on some Battlegrounds and we like that it creates a unique Hero meta for that Battleground.

Though typically we don't interfere, a great example where we do is Kharazim on Arena maps. We give him a level 1 talent trait based on which heroic he picks. If he takes Divine Palm he gets the healing trait for example.

Would you guys ever consider allowing matches in brawl to some how grant experience?

We currently award account experience for Brawl, but do not have plans for granting Hero experience. Because of the differences in Brawl modes (some are short games, some can be longer, multiple heroes, etc.), we felt it was better to give a large gold reward plus a portrait instead of having a variety of different rules around how much Hero experience is awarded.

Will popular community-created Brawl ideas/suggestions taken into consideration on Brawl designing process? Do you have any plans to host Brawl creation contest to allow players to actively participate in Brawl designing process?

We don't have any current Brawl creation contests planned, but it sounds like a fun way to get some ideas. That being said we are constantly reading forums and reddit for fun Brawl pitches. Often pitches never survive completely intact, but are great inspiration for new and exciting Brawls.

Some heroes have talents which can be strengthen by the quest completion. What is your solution to make these heroes as strong as other heroes without quest talents?

It's really much less about the power of that Hero, but much more about the power of that talent as it relates to the Hero's other talents at that Tier.

For instance, in hearthstone, you need to compare a card against other cards with the same mana cost, as they use the same slot in your deck.

Likewise, a talent needs to be on a similar powerlevel of other talents at that tier, as those are the other options for that Hero.

What hero playtested the worst in determining who to use for single hero 5v5's (ie 5 Johannas vs 5 Johannas)

5We've identified what's going on with this bug (activating W during a backswing) and how to fix it. I believe we've got the fix implemented, but i'm not sure which branch of the codebase it's in, so not sure if the fix will be live when he ships! But it will be soon!!!v5 Johannas was sooooooooooooooooo looooonnnng! It got to that point where it felt like someone does a really bad joke for so long that it turned funny. Also any 5v5 support felt really bad on Temple Arena. Imagine 5v5 Morales .... /shudder.

Are you planning to release more “Having fun” themed maps in the future? For instance, choosing five same heroes and conducting the team deathmatch or tower defense, just like what we did back in the good old days in WarCraft III?

Absolutely! That is the whole point of Heroes Brawl. We will be making lots of fun maps and crazy ideas moving forward.

Will Samuro be playable in the Blizzcon tournament?

Samuro will not be playable at the Blizzcon tournament. A hero needs to be in the wild for two weeks before it's playable in tournaments.

What do you think about having a few maps available for brawl each week instead of having just one? I suppose many players will be bored at the end of the week with one map available.

Our current goal is to offer a fun break from the regular game and feel a single Brawl a week hits the mark. We might be wrong but that's what we are going to try! This feature is aimed at supplementing standard heroes and offer that much needed break after a series of competitive games.

Lately, there has been a surge of hard/high skill cap heroes (like Samuro, Medivh, Tracer, Alarak etc). While I do agree that high skill-cap and micromanagement abilities benefit the game, I wonder if there's still space for easier heroes for the schmucks like myself that couldnt micro if my life was depending on it. So: are we gonna see some more easy heroes on the future, or is it all over-9000-APM from now on? Also: can i haz mefistow? :D

Over in Hero Design we like to make a variety of Heroes! A long while ago, we felt the game was missing these types of Heroes, thus we were welcoming to hero designs like those to open up more playmaker options!

But, we still want some heroes that are a bit more straightforward, and someone like Zarya can fit that bill. While there's still lots of skill growth for the character (landing Qs, your R's, getting high energy), it's relatively easy to shield yourself or shield an ally. Or even hit someone with a Q since you have 4 charges!

Thank you for the feedback! It's great to hear this, as oftentimes we only hear the audience side that says "Skillcap!" and it is important to remember that there's another audience that, while loving those heroes, also wants heroes they can feel comfortable playing!

With Brawl, the MVP system, the ranked update, the Lost Caverns, and the Machines of War update there has been a ton of content added in 2016. We are in October and I'm incredibly happy with the game and can't imagine what lies ahead. With Blizzcon coming up, and without spoiling anything, is there any announcements beyond new heroes that we can look forward to?

Absolutely, we are always working on cool stuff. We just can't share any of it currently. :) We also have some fun releases coming post Blizzcon but before next year as well.

Can you make Samuro’s “jump slam” attack animation to proc every time he deal a Critical Strike, similar to Warcraft III?

So fun story! That awesome jump attack animation (i think there's 2 variations?? maybe more? unsure!) has a big windup to it. However, we wanted Samuro's attacks to be quick and snappy, and so they only are allowed to have a extremely short duration windup. Further, if you activate Critical Strike, it resets their weapon's cooldown, causing the attack to happen instantly.

So as a result, we only can safely play that animation when Samuro is about to Critically Strike from Wind Walk, when we can be relatively sure that there's some time to do that windup.

Draft system used in Punisher Arena is really cool. It solves problems that ARAM community have with "randomness" of random pick feature that screw some of the comps. Could we get an option to pick this draft mode on the custom Lost Cavern?

We've been calling this new draft system Shuffle Pick. Currently no plans to add it to Lost Cavern, but we can discuss this with the team. Thanks for the question!

Samuro's enable/disable AI doesn't appear to work properly at all. 

(e.g. MI created images show hybrid AI behavior whether it is enabled or disabled (act based on AI on creation then stop after completing an order) and both settings prevent Kawarimi created images from completing Sam's last action either by following Sam around or just standing there (en/dis, respectively))

Will this likely be fixed before release or, like Rexxar, are these technical issues that we'll have to live with for awhile?  Not trying to rake you guys over the coals just honestly want to know what we should expect. <3

Okay, i have some news from our awesome devs! Yay!

"The behavior of the Mirror Images completely changes when you take Illusion Master. They stop having laning-minion AI and instead just do periodic searches around them for targets, so if you don’t give them orders or there’s no enemies around, they’ll stand around doing nothing.

Additionally, regardless of the AI being toggled off or not, when the Mirror Image ability is used, both Samuro and his Images will do a search and get an attack order to enemies nearby. This is done so that the Samuro player can always play a fresh game of Three Card Monte with his opponents by pressing Q and then letting their hands off the keyboard, as Samuro will act identically to his Images at first.

Sounds like there might be a bug with Kawarimi, though, we'll investigate!!"

Following up on this, players have pointed out a number of QoL-type issues with Samuro such as activating W "wasting" the ability if pressed mid-swing before a previous Critical Strike's animation completes. Which, if any, of these is the team working on, and which are getting highest priority for a fix before live?

We've identified what's going on with this bug (activating W during a backswing) and how to fix it. I believe we've got the fix implemented, but i'm not sure which branch of the codebase it's in, so not sure if the fix will be live when he ships! But it will be soon!!!

What do you think about the brawl where players have to kill each other? No core, no events, pure PvP.

This current Brawl is pretty close to just fighting without objectives. The Punishers are in the fights to help discourage teams from avoiding fights and playing passively. Simsala91 gives a good example of a situation where it is beneficial to not engage on the enemy team.

What kind of matchmaking is in place for Brawl? I know on the PTR matchmaking is totally wack because of inconsistent player skill/levels, but in the live game will there be MMR based off of QM or HL? or none at all?
Brawl has its own MMR that is tracked separately from the other modes. It is seeded from Quick Match. Even though there is an MMR for Brawl, we favor faster matches for Brawl because it is not a competitive mode.

When you play custom games ( such as brawl on ptr) when the game end, please make the game go back to the lobby instead of kicking everybody.

it was/is INSANELY frustrating ( and needlessly time consuming) to keep spamming [ lobby] for players, just because we couldnt keep the last gang together.

Great suggestion. That's actually something we're not happy with as well. We've had discussions about rematch functionality internally, but we don't have any concrete plans to share at this time.

What went in the decision to make Samuro manaless? He seems like he has the potential to be very very strong and it seems like mana would have helped limit how dominating he can be.

So this one is really simple...but not immediately obvious!

But it's because of his Images! With all those extra Player Nameplates running around, hurting gameplay clarity by obscuring things in-game, we cut mana so that his nameplate would be thinner, adding less weight in-game.

We even contemplated giving him and his images a completely different nameplate that was unique to them, but ultimately went with what we've got!

Is there any MMR at work when matchmaking in a Brawl? Where does this MMR come from?

Edit: Oh, that's been asked. Uh, different question then! Did you consider having the PTR cycle through Brawls faster like the Overwatch Beta did when it first got Brawls? It seems a missed opportunity that only one Brawl was tested in the PTR.

We always like getting more testing and player feedback, but we decided against it in this case because we didn't want to spoil the surprise of the upcoming brawls.

Are there plans for a brawl with all players as punishers?

We've discussed this idea and many similar style Brawls. We don't have any concrete plans on shipping one as of yet, but they are a fun idea.

Would Blizzard ever change existing hero abilities to make room for new heroes? This is specifically in reference to bringing in Overwatch heroes. For example, would Valla's Strafe ever be replaced by another heroic so that Reaper could then be brought in with his Death Blossom?

It's highly unlikely! it could be very upsetting for a significant section of the playerbase if we took away an ability they loved on a kit it made sense for.

Then again, never say never. Just highly hesitant!

No other Warcraft 3 hero has captured their kit from that game as closely as Samuro does in HotS. Did you feel it was particularly important for this character to feel very close to his origin?

Ya i thought it was pretty important! Blademaster is a beloved War3 Hero, and as it turned out, his kit transitioned over really smoothly!

You said that you had to limit Nova's Decoys when doing her rework because of Samuro. is that something we might see again, removing talents of an old hero because of an upcoming hero with similar abilities (for example, is there a danger of Zeratul losing some Cleave or Blink talents because of a possible future Maiev release?)
also, as Nova's Decoy build is so limited now, is it possible for her to get buffs in some other part of her kit so as to make her competitively viable (it's sad that she was only briefly competitive only because of the Covert Ops bug)?

it might happen again in the future, but it's not very likely.

i'll ping the live/balance team on nova!

I'm a UI/UX web designer, it's quite different from game UI design so I would love to hear some anecdotes or insight on how you guys work from sketch to final UI. Before you decide on a design (for example the brawl hero picker), do you work with interactive prototypes and preview animations in AE and then work side by side with programmers? or does it get coded directly in the game to be tested and iterate upon it?

From a UI Art perspective, we generally start with wireframes that detail out the functional elements that need to exist during the experience. Then we move to creating art mockups, this helps prove out layouts/ideas or sometimes sparks a whole new idea that changes the direction. Once things are in a stable art state and if there's time, I personally like to do a heavy pass on a motion comp (using After Effects for more effects heavy comps or Flash for functional prototypes) moving through the entire flow showing all the details, from button clicks, transitions, effects, timings and general feeling of the feature. Motion comps are extremely valuable, as they provide clarity, helping everyone involved understand the entire vision. Once everything in the motion comp is good, implementation starts with the engineering team. During implementation we iterate even more as we uncover limitations, bugs, oversights, new ideas. I'd argue that implementation is the most important phase of development since it's the only player facing element.

Have you ever think to add talent presets to chose before round, not only ultimate abilities. Or generaly to add some useful talents to hero, and balance heroes like that.

We have discussed this before and found it to be a really big rabbit hole to go down. It doesn't really fit the goals of our system of an easy game mode for players to hop into and have fun! I don't mind revisiting it at some point, but we have no current plans.

Why neither Xul nor Azmodan are available in Brawl? Their traits need creeps but they can still be useful without them.

It's not that they need creeps to be effective, but it's that we don't have proper AI support to support the demons/skeletons. We will constantly be reevaluating and trying to include as many heroes into a Brawl as possible.

Are there going to be Holiday specific events for Brawls? Also, how hard is it to try and come up with Brawl ideas.
While I can't provide any details, we've definitely been discussing how we can celebrate various holidays through Brawls.
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Do you have any plans to add PvE type contents to Heroes Brawl, such as 10-player Co-op experience against powerful Bosses (...)?

OH SHIT YES, we need this.

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On 10/14/2016 at 3:01 AM, Valhalen said:

OH SHIT YES, we need this.

After experiencing similar things now in Dota, TF2 and OW, I'm so down with this.

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      Heroes Brawl is an action-packed new game mode that breaks all the rules and offers a fresh take on Heroes of the Storm's gameplay each week. Learn more by visiting the Heroes Brawl website.
      The Basics Heroes Brawl offers three distinct match types, with endless possibilities for twisted rulesets and wild mechanics each week: Arenas: Pick one of three randomly selected Heroes, and then duke it out against the enemy team to complete objectives. The first team to complete the objective twice will claim victory. Mutators: Wild rulesets and unique mechanics change the way you play on Battlegrounds you’re already familiar with. Single-Lanes: One-lane Battlegrounds with no objectives, Mercenaries, or Hearthstone to distract you from destroying the enemy Core. Click the Brawl Info button in the lower-left corner of the screen to learn detailed information about the currently active Brawl. How to Brawl
      Find Heroes Brawl in-game by heading to the Play screen, click Brawl on the far left side of the navigation bar, then queue up and have a blast! Anyone can dive into the action! Heroes Brawl is not restricted by account level or the number of Heroes owned, and you can queue up alone or in a party of any size. The current weekly Brawl will also be available through Custom Games - though replays, observer mode, and score screens may not function as expected for some of the unique Brawl types. Heroes Brawl custom games will also discard Hero drafts and pre-selections once players enter the match. Reap the Rewards
      Participate in three Brawls each week to receive in-game rewards! Hover the cursor over the Weekly Rewards icon in the lower-left corner of the Brawl screen for a breakdown of the available rewards each week. ART
      The following Heroes have received additional facial animation polish: E.T.C. Illidan Valla Diablo has received additional idle animation polish. Battlegrounds
      Core attacks have received update visual effects in order to better visually indicate that they deal splash damage. Cannonballs that fire on the minimap for Blackheart’s Bay have received visual effects polish. Sky Temple has received additional optimization polish. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      The following Heroes have received custom Hearthstone animations: Diablo E.T.C. The following Heroes, Abilities, and Talents have received updated visual effects: Cleanse (Talent) Gul’dan: Fel Flame (Q), Corruption (E) Illidan: Evasion (E) Lunar Illidan: The Hunt (R) SHOP
      New Bundles Hellblade Samuro Bundle – Available until November 1, 2016 Hallow’s End 2016 Bundle – Available from October 25 until November 8, 2016 Hallow’s End 2016 Ultimate Bundle – Available from October 25 until November 8, 2016 The following Bundles will be added to the in-game Shop on October 18 and have no planned end-date: Nexus Challenger Bundle Nexus Conqueror Bundle Removed Bundles The following bundles will be removed from the in-game Shop on October 18: Starter Bundle Triumph Bundle New Hero 
      Samuro has been added to the in-game Shop. Mounts
      New Mounts Hellboar Eye Pad – Available exclusively with purchase of either Hallow’s End 2016 bundle. This mount may return to the game as an individual item at a later date. Returning Mounts Marshal’s Outrider Removed Mounts Crimson Hare Skins
      Hellblade Samuro Master Samuro Scarecrow Xul – Available starting October 25 Deputy Valla – Available starting October 25 Price Reductions
      Greymane’s prices have been reduced to $8.49 USD and 7,000 Gold. Rexxar’s prices have been reduced to $6.49 USD and 4,000 Gold. SOUND
      New voiceover lines have been added that will play when a player is promoted into a new League Tier. Draft Mode
      Sound effects and voiceover will now play when entering Lost Cavern Draft Mode via Custom Games. USER INTERFACE
      A “New Player Chat” channel has been added. New players will automatically join this channel upon logging into Heroes of the Storm until they reach account level 20. Daily Win Bonus
      The first game that players win each day will now award 50% bonus XP and Gold for that match. This bonus applies to all game modes except Brawl, Custom Games, and Training. A First Win of the Day icon has been added to the top navigation bar, which will activate whenever a First Win of the Day bonus is available. In-Game UI
      Hover the cursor over the VS icon found in the top-center of the screen to display the amount of XP earned by each team from various sources, including: Takedowns, Mercenaries, Structures, and more.  XP Bonuses
      Friend Bonus Playing Heroes with a friend will now award 25% bonus XP. Party Bonus  The XP bonus earned by playing in a party now scales based on the number of party members: 2 Players: +25% 3 Players: +33% 4 Players: +42% 5 Players: +50% Game Mode Bonus Playing ranked games will now award an XP bonus: Hero League: +25% XP Team League: +50% XP XP Bonuses Stack Additively Playing in a party with one friend will still award a total of 50% bonus XP, just as it did before, but playing with additional party members will now award even more XP. Playing Team League in a full party with at least one friend and an active Stimpack will now award a total of 225% bonus XP. The “Available XP Bonuses” icon in the top navigation bar will activate when players are receiving any of the bonuses mentioned above. Hover the cursor over this icon to display a tooltip that offers a full breakdown of all active and inactive XP bonuses. Play Screen
      Hovering the cursor over each game mode on the Play Screen navigation bar will now display a tooltip that briefly describes that mode. Versus A.I. Training mode has been moved into Versus AI on the Play screen. A “Versus A.I. Options” interface has been added to the left side of the Versus A.I. screen. Use the buttons to switch between Training, A.I. Teammates, or Co-op modes. Use the Difficulty Slider to select the desired skill level of A.I. allies and opponents in A.I. Teammates and Co-op modes. Training mode A.I. difficulty is set to beginner, and cannot be changed. Suggested Play Mode The Play Screen navigation bar will now suggest a game mode to new players. Level 1 – 10: Versus A.I. Level 11 – 20: Quick Match Level 20+: Heroes Brawl (If the weekly rewards have not yet been earned.) Hover the cursor over the suggested mode icon to display a tooltip that explains why a mode is suggested. Profile
      Match History The Match History tab can now be filtered by Heroes Brawl matches using the dropdown menu in the upper-right corner. Each game in the Match History list will now display Hero names and portraits for each Hero selected during that game. Profile Summary Heroes Brawl stats have been added to the Profile Summary screen that will track the number of Brawls won and weekly rewards earned. Statistics The Statistics tab can now be filtered by Heroes Brawl stats using the dropdown menu in the upper-right corner. MVP and Commendations
      MVP and Commendations can now be skipped using the new Exit button added to the lower-left corner of the screen. The duration of the MVP and Commendations screen now lasts 50 seconds. A timer has been added to the lower-right corner of the screen that will count down the final 10 seconds of the MVP and Commendations screen. Commendations Bulwark will now take the number of deaths into account in order to focus this Commendation on the efficiency of damage soaked, rather than total damage taken. The tooltip for Bulwark will now display the player’s total deaths during the match in addition to damage soaked. Slight adjustments have been made in order to better balance the Dominator and Painbringer Commendations. Abathur was previously a little too likely to receive the MVP award. Slight adjustments have been made to bring him in line with other Heroes. BUG FIXES
      Corrected a number of typos and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game. A.I.
      Medivh: Enemy AI players will now avoid teammates that are under the effects of Medivh’s Polybomb. Lt. Morales: Can now properly detonate Displacement Grenade near enemies. Art
      Chen: Keg models that appear when casting Storm, Earth, Fire using any of Chen’s Skins are no longer missing certain visual effects. Illidan: The visual effects for The Hunt will now properly display on the Ability’s target during replays. Greymane: The Worgen model will no longer remain on screen while viewing end-of-game Stats and Talents pages. Battlegrounds
      Braxis Holdout: Neutral Raven Mercenaries will no longer clip into the terrain after being knocked back. Braxis Holdout: Fixed an issue in which Zagara’s Mutalisk could cause a captured Archangel to exhibit pathing issues. Braxis Holdout: Fixed an issue in which a captured Archangel could target enemy Heroes with its Bullet Storm Ability. Garden of Terror: Shielding a Structure will no longer prevent a Garden Terror's bonus siege damage from being applied. Infernal Shrines: Fallen Shaman Mercenaries will now prioritize attacking enemy Structures over Walls. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      Damage Reduction: When two damage reduction effects, such as Resistant (25%) and Hardened Shield (75%), are simultaneously applied to a Hero, the larger effect will no longer be overridden by the lesser effect. Anub'arak: The Cocoon overlay will now display correctly for enemies affected by Cocoon. Auriel: The Piercing Lash Talent tooltip now correctly states that Detainment Strike will only pierce Heroes, rather than all enemies. Auriel: Enemy Heroes will no longer occasionally be Stunned by Detainment Strike when knocked away from terrain. Auriel: Quest progress for the Repeated Offense Talent will now be correctly tracked in the Stats panel. Azmodan: Globe of Annihilation’s range indicator is now visually consistent with indicators used by other long-range Abilities. Greymane: The Go for the Throat indicator will no longer visually persist above Heroes who have post-death forms, such as Uther or Leoric, after they are killed. Illidan: Fixed an issue that could occasionally cause Illidan to fly back to his death location if he was killed while using Dive. Kharazim: Will no longer automatically resume attacking enemies after using Radiant Dash to dive to an ally. This fix also applies to Illidan’s Friend or Foe and Kerrigan’s Adaptation Talents. Leoric: Minions will no longer path around Leoric when he is in Undying form. Medivh: The damage over time effect from Xul’s Poison Nova will no longer be visually removed from Medivh’s Health bar after traveling through a Portal with the Mage Armor Talent. Rexxar: A delay will no longer occur between repeated Misha, Focus! casts. Sgt. Hammer: Re-casting Orbital BFG just as the first missile re-enters the Battleground will no longer cause the new missile to follow the previous path. Sylvanas: The Death Recap tooltip for Wailing Arrow now correctly displays the Ability’s description. The Butcher: Hamstring will now correctly deal bonus damage to non-Heroic targets after learning the Cheap Shot Talent. Zagara: The Stasis overlay will no longer appear on the screen when Zagara’s Mutalisk enters Zeratul's Void Prison. Sound
      Illidan: Voiceover that plays while casting The Hunt is now only audible for Illidan and his target. Illidan: High pitched ambient sounds that play while casting The Hunt are no longer audible for the target’s allies. Lower-pitched ambient sounds will still play for all players and observers. User Interface
      Death Recap: Fixed an issue in which a Heal effect could occasionally appear to be the killing blow in Death Recap notifications. Replay: Selecting a Hero during a Replay will no longer prevent the Hero Portrait and Status Bars from switching correctly when attempting to view a different Hero’s perspective using hotkeys. Observer: Warhead counters will now update properly in the Observer interface on Warhead Junction. (Source)
      Let me know how you like Samuro & Heroes Brawl so far!
    • By Stan
      Remember the European Nexus Games 2016 Infographic from a week ago? Tempo Storm created one for North America.
      Astral Authority are the winning team and there are some interesting facts about the tournament, such as shortest match duration, Hero popularity, ban rate and maps played.