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Heroes Closed Beta Patch Notes - May 12, 2015

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Heroes of the Storm received what will be its final patch during the Closed Beta today. The patch includes the new Hero Kael'thas, numerous performance changes and bug fixes, art updates, and talent changes for several Heroes. The complete patch notes follow.

 

The full patch notes can be found below, but the highlights of this patch include:

  • Introduction of Kael'thas as a new Hero
  • Diablo and E.T.C. overhaul
  • Player level 25 unlocks all Heroic Abilities and Talents on all Heroes

Also, remember that the official beta period ends on June 1, 2015, which is the last opportunity to earn the Level 40 Beta portrait!

 

We’ve brought Heroes of the Storm offline for a period of extended maintenance today in order to bring you a brand new Closed Beta patch! Maintenance is ongoing, but don't worry; we'll let you know just as soon as the Nexus is back online. In the meantime, you can check out the complete patch notes below.

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GENERAL

 

Players that reached level 40 after the March 24 Closed Beta patch was released will now properly receive the associated portrait reward upon logging in to Heroes of the Storm.

  • Please note: In order to receive the portrait, players affected by this issue must log in to Heroes of the Storm before June 1, 2015. After that date, the portrait will no longer be awarded.

Performance

  • Improved Graphics Settings Auto-Detection
    • Several tweaks have been made to improve how Heroes auto-detects certain hardware configurations.
    • As a result of these improvements, all players’ default Graphic Settings will be re-detected and reset following today’s patch in order to provide better performance and play experiences across a wider range of hardware configurations.
  • Updated Performance Notification
    • The performance overlay (Ctrl + Alt + F) has been updated to track several additional metrics, which should help players better identify some common performance issues.
    • Several icons have been added, which will display in the performance overlay when the game client is experiencing certain types of significant performance issues.
  • Many additional performance improvements have been made across various aspects of the game, including reduced memory usage and fragmentation on all graphic settings.

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NEW HERO

 

Kael’thas Sunstrider has been added to Heroes of the Storm and is now available for play! Read on for a brief overview of this fiery new Assassin's Abilities.

Trait

  • Verdant Spheres (D)
    • Activate to make your next Basic Ability more powerful.

Basic Abilities

  • Flamestrike (Q)
    • After a short delay, deal damage in an area.
    • Verdant Spheres (Trait) -- Increases Flamestrike’s radius and damage.
  • Living Bomb (W)
    • Damages an enemy over a short time, after which the target will explode, damaging all nearby enemies. Casting a second Living Bomb on an enemy causes the first to explode immediately.
    • Verdant Spheres (Trait) -- Removes Living Bomb’s Mana cost and cooldown.
  • Gravity Lapse (E)
    • Stuns the first enemy hit.
    • Verdant Spheres (Trait) -- Causes Gravity Lapse to stun the first 3 enemies in its path.

Heroic Abilities

  • Phoenix ®
    • Launch a Phoenix to target area, dealing damage to enemies along the way. The Phoenix persists, attacking enemies, and dealing splash damage to those near its primary attack target.
  • Pyroblast ®
    • After a short delay, cast a slow-moving fireball that deals massive damage to an enemy, and medium damage to enemies near the target.

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ART

 

General

  • The Radial Ping Menu has received updated art, which more closely matches the appearance of pings issued in the game world.
  • Defeat, fidget, taunt, and victory animations have been added to a number of Heroes and summoned units.
  • Gazlowe, Illidan, and Kerrigan have received minor animation and pose updates on Hero Select.
  • Several Heroes have received polish on the animations that play when purchased in the Shop.

Battlegrounds

  • Various Battleground assets have received additional visual polish.
  • Various Battleground assets have received additional optimization to help improve performance.
  • The terrain surrounding the Core on all Battlegrounds has been changed to better indicate the Core’s attack range.
  • Siege Giant Mercenaries on Sky Temple and Tomb of the Spider Queen have received minor attack animation polish.
  • Water in enemy Healing Fountains will now appear red on all Battlegrounds.

Heroes, Abilities, Mounts, and Skins

  • Heroes
    • Cloth physics have been added to the following Heroes:
      • Malfurion
      • Sylvanas
    • The following Heroes have received facial animation improvements:
      • Gazlowe
      • Sonya
  • Hero Abilities
    • The following Heroic Abilities will now apply an Invulnerability overlay to the affected player’s screen for the duration of their effects.
      • Tyrael -- Sanctification ®
      • Uther -- Divine Shield ®
    • The following Heroes have received new Ability icon art:
      • Zagara
      • Zeratul
    • The following Heroes’ Ability icons have received updated art to make them easier to differentiate from one another:
      • Abathur
      • Kerrigan
      • Nova
      • Sgt. Hammer
      • Tassadar
    • The following Hero Abilities and Talents have received visual polish:
      • Blood for Blood (Talent)
      • Abathur -- Symbiote (Q) Abilities: Stab (Q), Spike Burst (W), Carapace (E); Monstrosity ®
      • Arthas -- Summon Sindragosa ®
      • Diablo -- Received updated art and visual effects to coincide with his Talent rework.
      • E.T.C. -- Received updated art and visual effects to coincide with his Talent rework.
      • Jaina -- Ring of Frost ® visual effects now more closely match the Ability’s duration.
      • Nova -- Anti-Armor Shells (Talent) target indicator
      • Raynor -- Raynor’s Raiders ® target indicator
      • Sonya -- Basic Attack
      • Sylvanas -- Withering Fire (Q) target indicator, Haunting Wave (E) reactivation
      • Zagara -- Mutalisk (Talent), Nydus Network ®
  • Mounts
    • Terror Charge has been added as a new Mount for Diablo, which will allow him to run across the battlefield on all fours.

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SHOP

 

Bundle Packs

  • New Bundles
    • The Stormpunk Kael’thas Bundle Pack has been added to the in-game Shop for a limited time.
  • Starter Bundle
    • The Starter Bundle has been updated to include a 7-day Stimpack in addition to its other content. The Bundle Pack’s price has not changed.
    • All players who previously purchased the Starter Bundle will also gain a 7-day Stimpack, which will activate shortly after the patch has been released in all Battle.net regions. Please see the official forums for more information.

Heroes

  • New Hero
    • Kael’thas Sunstrider has been added to the in-game Shop!

Price Changes

  • The Kandy King Muradin Skin’s real-money price has been reduced to $7.49 USD.
  • The price to create a new team for competition in Team League has been reduced to 500 Gold.

 

Skins

  • New Skins
    • A Master Skin has been added for Kael’thas.
    • The Stormpunk Kael’thas Skin has been added to the in-game Shop.

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SOUND

 

Battlegrounds

  • Battlegrounds have had their music playlists updated.
  • Voiceover that indicates when players rejoin, or disconnect from, a game will be played less frequently.

Heroes and Skins

  • The Pure Country E.T.C. Skin has received all new Ability sound effects.
  • The Lurkablo Diablo Skin has received a brand new voiceover set, which *MRGL! Mrglglbrlg rmgll MRGGLGLM! Mrrgrgbl…* 
  • Many Heroes have received additional sound effect polish.

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USER INTERFACE

 

Options Menus

  • Options menus have been cleaned up across the board, and a number of settings that were not applicable to Heroes of the Storm have been removed.
  • Social Options
    • An “Enable Allied Chat” checkbox has been added, which can be used to enable or disable in-game chat messages from teammates. This setting will be turned on by default.
  • Gameplay Options
    • A “Right-Click Through Minimap” checkbox has been added which can be used to toggle whether right-clicks will register on the minimap, or click through to the terrain underneath.
      • Please note that this is a first pass at implementation for this feature, and further improvements will be made with future updates.
  • An Observer and Replay Options tab has been added.
    • The “Save All Replays”, “Display Replay Time Info”, and “Observer Interface” settings have been moved from Gameplay Options into this new tab.

End-of-Game Score Screen

  • Summary
    • A gold border has been added to Hero and Player Level progress bars.
  • Talents
    • The Talents tab has been enabled on end-of-game Score Screens. Click to view the Talents selected by each player during the previous game.

Hero and Player Progression

  • Player Level Rewards
    • Upon reaching Player Level 25, all Heroic Abilities and Talents will now be automatically unlocked for Heroes that have not yet progressed to Hero Level 4.
      • Kindly note that, for the time being, players at or above Player Level 25 may still receive Heroic Ability and Talent unlock notifications as their Heroes progress through levels 1 - 4. This is a visual issue that will be resolved with a future game update.

In-Game UI

  • Buffs and Debuffs
    • Many buff and debuff icons, which were previously displayed to the left of Heroes’ in-game portraits, have been removed.
    • Hero-specific buff icons (such as Valla’s Hatred) have been moved to the right of the Hero’s in-game portrait.
    • Hero nameplates will now display the following status effects: Blinded, Invulnerable, Rooted, Silenced, Stunned, and Unstoppable.
  • Chat
    • Whispers from non-friends will now cause a help message to display, which indicates that the Chat Privacy Social Setting is turned off.
  • In-game Score Screens
    • The in-game Talents Screen (TAB) has received updated art.
    • Counters for Battleground Objectives (such as Doubloons, Skulls, etc.) are now also visible on the Talents Screen.
    • Players may mute chat messages from individual teammates by clicking the speech bubble icons found on the far-right side of the in-game Score Screen (TAB).
      • Teammates muted in this way will no longer be automatically added to the muting player’s “Blocked Communication” list.
    • Gear icons have been added to the far-right side of the in-game Score Screen, which can be clicked to report individual teammates or block all communication with them.
    • XP gains are now tracked more accurately for each Hero on the in-game Score Screen.
      • XP gains for takedowns, destroying structures, capturing Mercenary Camps, and securing Battleground Objectives are now split between all Heroes that are within standard XP range.
        • If no Heroes are nearby, XP earned this way is split evenly amongst the team.
  • Radial Ping Menu
    • The Radial Ping Menu has received updated art which more closely matches the pings issued by players in the game world.
    • Issuing an “On My Way” ping will now display an arrow on the terrain that indicates which direction that player is approaching from.

Play Screen

  • Hero Select
    • The Party Panel at the top of the screen will now indicate when party members have clicked the Ready button.
  • Training Mode has been added to the Play Screen.
    • Use Training Mode to play with A.I. teammates against A.I. opponents. Uther will feel quite compelled to offer advice during games played in this mode.
    • Games completed in Training Mode will not award any Gold or Daily Quest progress.
  • Versus A.I.
    • Use this game mode to play with human or A.I. teammates against more difficult A.I. opponents than those found in Training Mode.
    • Use the “Versus A.I. Options” box found in the lower-left corner of the Versus A.I. Screen to toggle between human and A.I. teammates.

Player Profile

  • Portrait Tab
    • Portrait borders have been added which will indicate the player’s current Hero and Team League ranks.
    • Navigate to the Portrait tab in the Player Profile to switch among the Player Level, Hero League, and Team League portrait borders.

 

Ranked Play

  • Ranks
    • Hero and Team League rank icons have received new art, and will now update visually upon reaching ranks 40, 30, 20, 10, and 1.

Shop

  • A number of visual improvements have been made to item display and layout in the Shop.
  • Each of the Heroes, Skins, and Mounts tabs will now display a featured item.
  • Discounts are now called out more prominently on item preview images.
  • Heroes Tab
    • Hero Ability layout on Heroes’ About pages has been overhauled.
    • An Abilities page has been added to Hero pages.
    • The Talents page has received visual improvements, and now more closely matches the Talent pane found on the Hero Select Screen.
  • Skins Tab
    • Skins have been classified as Rare, Epic, or Legendary based on how they alter a Hero.
      • These classifications will be displayed on each Skin’s preview image in the Shop, and Master Skins are also called out in this way.
    • Skin About pages will now list which aspects of the Hero they modify: Altered Voiceover, Replaced Voiceover, Themed Abilities, Themed Animations, and Themed Mount.

Tutorials

  • A pop-up dialog has been added to help new players track their progress through the Tutorial Missions.
  • The Introduction, Basic, and Advanced Tutorial Missions will now award the player with Gold upon completion.
    • If any Tutorial Missions are skipped, players may return to complete them (and claim their Gold rewards) at any time by opening the Main Menu (F10) and clicking the “Tutorials” button.

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BATTLEGROUNDS

 

Sky Temple

  • Healing Fountains found near each team’s Fort in the center lane have been repositioned to prevent them from being attacking outside of tower range.

Tutorials

  • Basic Training
    • Core Health reduced from 14,000 (+400 per level) to 11,000 (+300 per level)
    • Core Shields reduced from 7,000 (+200 per level) to 5,500 (+150 per level)
    • Fort Health reduced from 9,000 to 7,000
    • Keep Health reduced from 13,000 to 10,000

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TALENTS

 

Clairvoyance

  • Now breaks units within its radius out of Stealth, rather than revealing them

Focused Attack

  • Bonus to Basic Attack damage increased from 50% to 75%

Follow Through

  • Bonus to Basic Attack damage increased from 25% to 40%

Healing Ward

  • Can now be struck by Area of Effect Abilities
  • Healing Wards now have 50 (+15 per level) Health

Ice Block

  • Ice Block can now be reactivated to cancel its effects early

Promote

  • Buff duration increased from 15 to 30 seconds

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HEROES

 

ASSASSIN

 

NOVA

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  • One in the Chamber (Talent)
    • Bonus to Basic Attack damage increased from 50% to 80%

    

RAYNOR

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  • Penetrating Round (Q)
    • Knockback distance increased by about 23%
  • Inspire (W)
    • Attack Speed bonus increased from 25% to 30%
      • Allied Attack Speed bonus increased from 12.5% to 15%
    • Mana cost reduced from 50 to 40
    • Cooldown decreased from 15 to 10 seconds
    • Duration decreased from 8 to 6 seconds
  • Raynor’s Raiders ®
    • New indicator art has been added that will highlight the Banshees’ current target.

 

SPECIALIST

 

ABATHUR

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  • Locust Strain (Trait)
    • Bombard Locusts (Talent)
      • Bombard Strain Locust attack range reduced by 30%
  • Symbiote (Q)
    • Stab (Q)
      • Damage increased from 44 (+9 per level) to 46 (+9.5 per level)

 

AZMODAN

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  • General of Hell (Trait)
    • Bound Minion (Talent)
      • Duration increased from 15 to 30 seconds

   

GAZLOWE

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  • Rock-it! Turret (Q)
    • Mana cost decreased from 70 to 60
    • Rock-It! Turret XL (Talent)
      • Now acquires targets in a cone rather than a circle
      • This change was made to prevent cases where bonus shots fire farther than the turret's indicated range.
    • Turret Storage (Talent) moved from Level 16 to Level 13
      • Maximum Turret charges reduced from 4 to 3
    • Long-Ranged Turrets (Talent)
      • Turret attack range bonus increased from 25% to 40%
  • Deth Lazor (W)
    • Damage gained per level reduced from 14 to 12
    • Mana cost decreased from 75 to 60
    • Cooldown decreased from 15 to 12 seconds, and now begins once Deth Lazor is fired
    • Damage now increases at 1.5 second, rather than 2 second, intervals while channeling, and reaches maximum damage at 3 seconds.
    • Maximum channel time decreased from 8 to 6 seconds
    • Goblin Fusion (Talent) moved from Level 16 to Level 4
      • Damage bonus reduced from 50% to 25%
    • EZ-PZ Dimensional Ripper (Talent)
      • Slow amount increased from 35% to 40%
  • Xplodium Charge (E)
    • Mana cost increased from 60 to 70
    • Kwik Release Charge (Talent) moved from Level 13 to Level 16
  • Grav-O-Bomb 3,000 ®
    • Triggers 0.1875 seconds sooner in order to better align with the Ability’s visual effects

MURKY

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  • Spawn Egg (Trait)
    • Murky now spawns into the game with an Egg automatically placed in the Hall of Storms.
    • If both Murky and his Egg are killed, a new Egg will be automatically placed in the Hall of Storms once he respawns.
    • Spawn Egg will not be placed on cooldown in either of the above scenarios.

 

SYLVANAS

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  • New Talent (Level 7): Remorseless
    • After using an Ability, the next Basic Attack within 3 seconds deals 25% additional damage.
    • This is a Sylvanas-specific replacement for the Follow Through Talent.

 

THE LOST VIKINGS

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  • Jump! (Talent) cooldown increased from 20 to 30 seconds
  • Longboat Raid! ®
    • The Lost Vikings will now become stunned for 1.5 seconds if the Longboat is destroyed before its duration ends.
  • Play Again! ®
    • All of the Lost Vikings are now restored to full Health upon casting Play Again!

 

 

ZAGARA

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  • Infest (Talent)
    • Duration increased from 15 to 30 seconds

 

SUPPORT

 

REHGAR

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  • Healing Totem (Talent)
    • Cooldown increased from 45 to 60 seconds
  • Farsight (Talent)
    • Now breaks units within its radius out of Stealth, rather than revealing them

 

TASSADAR

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  • Oracle (Trait)
    • Now reveals enemy units slightly faster

 

WARRIOR

 

ANUB'ARAK

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  • Scarab Host (Trait)
    • Beetle A.I. has received several improvements.
      • If Anub’arak is attacking an enemy when a Beetle is spawned, the Beetle will also attempt to attack that target.
      • If Anub’arak is not attacking anything when a Beetle is spawned, the Beetle will attempt to find a nearby target to attack.
      • Beetles will now attack and pursue a target found this way until that enemy dies, or the Beetles lose track of the target (through teleporting away, for example). Only then will the Beetles return to a lane.
  • Impale (Q)
    • Casting delay removed
  • Burrow Charge (E)
    • Casting delay significantly reduced

 

CHEN

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  • Chen’s Brew will now be fully restored after using Hearthstone (cool.png to return to the Hall of Storms.
  • Storm, Earth, Fire ®
    • Chen’s status bar will now be hidden during the period of invulnerability that occurs while casting Storm, Earth, Fire, in order to better communicate this state to players.

 

DIABLO

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  • Diablo has received significant updates.
  • Health decreased from 1060 (+260 per level) to 1050 (+250 per level)
  • Amplified Healing (Talent) removed
  • Relentless (Talent) removed
  • Storm Shield (Talent) removed
  • New Talent (Level 13): Life Leech
    • Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes deal bonus damage equal to 1% of that Hero’s maximum Health, and heals Diablo for the same amount.
  • New Talent (Level 20): Lord of Terror
    • Activate to steal 10% of the maximum Health of all nearby enemy Heroes
  • Black Soulstone (Trait)
    • Maximum Health gain changed from +5 per Soul to +0.15% per Soul
    • Endless Death (Talent) removed
    • Soul Feast (Talent)
      • Health Regeneration bonus increased from 2% to 3% per Soul
    • Siphon the Dead (Talent) moved from Level 7 to 13
      • Will no longer interrupt movement when activated
      • No longer consumes Souls upon activation, and Black Soulstone now heals 15% of Diablo’s maximum Health over 3 seconds
    • Soul Steal (Talent)
      • This Talent has been repurposed and now affects Diablo’s Black Soulstone Trait.
      • Now increases the maximum Health gained per Soul from 0.15% to 0.25%
    • New Talent (Level 4): Soul Catcher
      • Passively generates a Soul every 4 seconds
    • New Talent (Level 4): Essence of the Slain
      • Gain 10 Mana whenever a nearby enemy Minion dies
  • Shadow Charge (Q)
    • Mana cost increased from 50 to 60
    • Cooldown increased from 10 to 12 seconds
    • Diablo is no longer Unstoppable during Shadow Charge.
    • Stun duration when the target of Shadow Charge is knocked into a wall has been decreased from 1 to 0.75 seconds.
    • Crippling Shadows (Talent) removed
    • From the Shadows (Talent) has been redesigned
      • Moved from Level 13 to Level 7
      • Now increases Shadow Charge’s stun duration, inflicted when the target is knocked into a wall, by 0.5 seconds
    • New Talent (Level 1): Overwhelming Force
      • Increases the range and knockback of Shadow Charge by 25%
    • New Talent (Level 7): Devastating Charge
      • Shadow Charge reduces the duration silences, stuns, slows, roots, and Polymorphs against Diablo by 50% for 3 seconds.
  • Fire Stomp (W)
    • Swallowing Flames (Talent) removed
    • Molten Impact (Talent) removed
    • Fire Devil (Talent) moved from level 16 to level 4
      • Damage reduced from 12 (+3 per level) to 10 (+2 per level)
    • Firestorm (Talent) moved from level 16 to level 13
      • Damage bonus decreased from 150% to 125%
    • New Talent (Level 16): Rampage
      • Fire Stomp increases Diablo’s Movement Speed by 20% and Basic Attack damage by 50% for 2 seconds.
  • Overpower (E)
    • Mana cost increased from 50 to 60
    • Demonic Strength (Talent) has been redesigned
      • Now slows the target by 25% for 2 seconds once Overpower’s stun expires
    • New Talent (Level 16): Domination
      • Overpower reduces Shadow Charge’s cooldown by 8 seconds.
  • Apocalypse ®
    • Dying Breath (Talent)
      • Now also reduces Apocalypse’s cooldown by 20 seconds, in addition to its other effects

 

E.T.C.

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  • E.T.C. has received significant updates.
  • Scouting Drone (Talent) removed
  • Superiority (Talent) removed
  • Relentless (Talent) removed
  • Hardened Shield (Talent) removed
  • Follow Through (Talent) added at Level 7
  • Spell Shield (Talent) added at Level 13
  • Storm Shield (Talent)  added at Level 20
  • Echo Pedal (Talent)
    • Moved from Level 4 to Level 16
    • Pulse damage increased from 10 (+3 per level) to 30 (+5 per level)
    • The first pulse now fires immediately, and fires the follow-up pulse after 2 seconds in order to allow for more cohesion with Face Melt and Powerslide.
  • Rockstar (Trait)
    • No longer affects allied Minions or Mercenaries
    • Duration increased from 3 to 4 seconds
    • Rockin’ Out (Talent) removed
    • Uber Rockstar (Talent) renamed to Speed Metal
      • Moved from Level 13 to Level 16
      • Now lasts 2 seconds, separate from Rockstar
    • New Talent (Level 4): Hammer On
      • Increases Rockstar’s duration by 2 seconds, and reduces the cost of all Abilities by 10 Mana while Rockstar is active
  • Powerslide (Q)
    • Mana cost increased from 50 to 60
    • New Talent (Level 1): Rolling Like a Stone
      • Increases Powerslide’s range by 25%
    • New Talent (Level 4): Double-Necked Guitar
      • Increases Powerslide’s width by 100%, and speed by 30%
    • New Talent (Level 13): Show Stopper
      • E.T.C. gains Resistant, reducing all damage taken by 25%, for 4 seconds after casting Powerslide.
  • Face Melt (W)
    • Mana cost increased from 50 to 60
    • New Talent (Level 4): Mic Check
      • Hitting 3 or more targets with Face Melt reduces its cooldown by 4 seconds
    • New Talent (Level 4): Pinball Wizard
      • Face Melt deals an additional 50% damage to enemies recently affected by Powerslide.
    • New Talent (Level 16): Encore
      • Face Melt now leaves behind an Amplifier, which will knock enemies back again after 2 seconds.
  • Guitar Solo (E)
    • Mana cost decreased from 60 to 40
    • Pwn Shop Guitar (Talent) moved from Level 4 to Level 1
      • Mana cost reduction decreased from 50% to 40%
    • Groupies (Talent) moved from Level 4 to Level 13
      • Healing provided to nearby allied Heroes increased from 12 (+3 per level) to 30 (+6 per level) Health per second while active
    • Guitar Hero (Talent) has been redesigned
      • Now heals for 50% of damage dealt by Basic Attacks while Guitar Solo is active
    • New Talent (Level 1): Prog Rock
      • Permanently increases Guitar Solo’s healing per second by 2 for each Regeneration Globe picked up
    • New Talent (Level 7): Just Keep Rockin’
      • Reduces the duration of all silences, slows, stuns, roots, and polymorphs against E.T.C. by 50% while Guitar Solo is active
  • Mosh Pit ®
    • Death Metal (Talent) has been redesigned
      • Upon death, a ghost of E.T.C. will now cast Mosh Pit at his death location
      • This Talent may now be picked even if Stage Dive has been selected as E.T.C.’s Heroic Ability.
    • New Talent (Level 20): Tour Bus
      • Allows E.T.C. to cast Powerslide during Mosh Pit, and doing so increases Mosh Pit’s duration by 2 seconds
      • Additionally, casting Mosh Pit now refreshes Powerslide’s cooldown.
  • Stage Dive ®
    • Cooldown decreased from 100 to 75 seconds
    • Rock God (Talent) removed
    • New Talent (Level 20): Crowd Pleaser
      • Increases Stage Dive’s impact radius by 50%, and reduces its cooldown by 15 seconds for each enemy Hero hit

   

MURADIN

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  • Basic Attack damage gained per level increased from 8 to 9
  • Follow Through (Talent) removed
  • Skullcracker (Talent) moved from Level 4 to Level 7
  • New Talent (Level 16): Give ‘em the Axe!
    • Basic Attacks deal 75% additional damage against targets that are rooted, stunned, or slowed
    • This is a Muradin-specific version of the Executioner Talent.
  • Thunder Clap (W)
    • Reverberation (Talent)
      • Attack speed slow amount increased from 33% to 50%
      • Attack speed slow duration decreased from 3.5 to 3 seconds
    • Thunder Burn (Talent)
      • Movement Speed slow duration applied by Thunder Clap’s secondary explosion increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds
  • Dwarf Toss (E)
    • Landing Momentum (Talent)
      • Movement Speed bonus duration increased from 2 to 4 seconds
  • Haymaker ®
    • Cooldown decreased from 50 to 40 seconds

 

SONYA

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  • Follow Through (Talent) added at Level 7
  • Fury (Trait)
    • War Paint (Talent)
      • Heal amount per Basic Attack increased from 25% to 30% of damage dealt
    • Endless Fury (Talent)
      • Maximum Fury increased from 150 to 200
    • No Escape (Talent)
      • Movement Speed bonus increased from 20% to 25%
  • Ancient Spear (Q)
    • Boon of the Ancients (Talent) removed
    • Composite Spear (Talent) moved from Level 13 to Level 7
    • Poisoned Spear (Talent)
      • Bonus damage increased from 50% to 75%
    • Mystical Spear (Talent)
      • Moved from Level 16 to Level 13
      • Now permanently reduces Ancient Spear’s cooldown by 4 seconds in addition to its other effects
  • Seismic Slam (W)
    • Damage increased from 90 (+13 per level) to 100 (+16 per level)
    • Furious Blow (Talent) moved from Level 4 to Level 16
    • Shattered Ground (Talent) moved from Level 7 to Level 4
      • Splash damage bonus reduced from 100% to 75% of primary target damage
  • Whirlwind (E)
    • Fury cost reduced from 50 to 40
    • Duration reduced from 4 to 3 seconds
    • Cooldown reduced from 10 to 4 seconds, and now begins once Whirlwind completes
    • Heal amount reduced from 40% to 25% of damage dealt, this effect is doubled for damage dealt to enemy Heroes
    • Enduring Whirlwind (Talent) removed
    • Dust Devils (Talent) removed
    • Life Funnel (Talent)
      • No longer removes movement impairing effects
      • Bonus to Whirlwind healing reduced from +15% to +10% of damage dealt
    • New Talent (Level 4): Hurricane
      • Casting Whirlwind removes any active slows and roots affecting Sonya.
  • Leap ®
    • Leap has received responsiveness improvements.
    • Arreat Crater (Talent)
      • Crater duration increased from 4 to 5 seconds
  • Wrath of the Berserker ®
    • Anger Management (Talent)
      • No longer reduces Fury needed to prolong Wrath of the Berserker
      • Now increases all Fury generated while Wrath of the Berserker is active by 50%

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

BUG FIXES

 

General

  • Fixed a rare issue that could allow a Quick Match game to start with fewer than 10 players.
  • Closing the client during a match countdown will no longer occasionally cause the player to become unable to rejoin that game.
  • Fixed an issue, in which voice chat functionality that does not apply to Heroes of the Storm, could cause the player’s webcam to activate upon launching the client.
  • New SystemInfo.txt files will no longer be generated every time the Heroes of the Storm client is launched.
  • Several typos and tooltip errors have been corrected across various aspects of the game.

 

Art

  • Physics objects, such as ragdolls, can now be appropriately manipulated by Sonya and Gazlowe’s Abilities.
  • The Spider Emblem on the Tomb of the Spider Queen Battleground will no longer appear team-colored.
  • The color of Baleog and Erik’s Basic Attack projectiles will now appropriately match the selected Skin Variation.
  • The crystal at the end of Master Tassadar’s nerve cords is no longer flexible.
  • The visual effects for Flying Monkey Brightwing's Blink Heal now appropriately match the Skin.

 

Battlegrounds

  • Players will no longer enter an infinite rejoin loop if both Cores are destroyed simultaneously, and victory will be assigned to one team at random.
  • Alerts proclaiming that the Core is under attack will no longer play when an enemy Hero is within range of the Core before a Keep has been destroyed.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Mercenary Camps on the Dragon Shire Battleground to permanently vanish when the Dragon Knight is killed.
  • Heroes killed just before being struck by the Dragon Knight’s Savage Charge Ability will no longer fly to the location where they would have landed upon respawning.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the neutral Grave Golem in the Haunted Mines to drop Skulls outside the playable area.
  • Allowing a Temple to return to neutral ownership while it is firing its final 5 volleys will no longer generate error messages.
  • The Clear Cooldowns button in Try Me Mode will now properly reset the cooldowns for Tychus' Commander Odin and E.T.C.’s Mosh Pit Heroic Abilities.  

 

Sound

  • Fixed an issue that could cause Heroes’ “ready” voiceover to play repeatedly during Hero Select.
  • Sound effects for Diablo's Fire Stomp will no longer play if the Ability becomes interrupted during its casting time.

 

Heroes and Talents

  • Casting a targeted Ability on a Hero that is disappearing into the Fog of War will no longer cause the casting player’s Hero to become briefly unresponsive.
  • Abathur’s Bombard Strain Talent will no longer increase Locust Health.
  • Baleog and Erik can no longer walk through Nazeebo’s Zombie Wall.
  • Casting Diablo's Shadow Charge on a Structure at melee range will no longer move him to that Structure’s opposite side.
  • E.T.C.’s Rockstar Trait will no longer buff Gazlowe’s Scrap.
  • Illidan’s Hero model will no longer disappear when casting The Hunt immediately after Dive.
  • Fixed an issue which could allow Nazeebo to summon a second Gargantuan while the first was still alive.
  • Stitches’ Hook can no longer pull a Hero that is about to be consumed by Zagara’s Devouring Maw outside of the Ability’s area of effect.
  • Sylvanas can no longer cast a second Haunting Wave after the Windrunner Talent’s timer has expired.
  • Sylvanas' Wailing Arrow Heroic Ability is now properly placed on a reduced cooldown if it becomes interrupted during its casting time.
  • Tassadar’s Oracle properly reveals Zagara’s Creep Tumors once again.
  • Framerate drops that occur while Valla uses Strafe have been significantly reduced.

 

User Interface

  • Fixed an issue which could cause players to search for a match in a game mode that they did not intend to enter.
  • Heroes that have progressed beyond Hero Level 4 will no longer occasionally load into games with locked Talents.
  • Inviting a player to join a party while viewing tutorial help tips will no longer cause the user interface to become unresponsive.
  • During Training Mode games, Uther will no longer prompt players to use a Mount when they are controlling the Dragon Knight.
  • During Training Mode games, Uther will no longer prompt Illidan players to use a Mount when already Mounted in Demon Form during Training Mode games.
  • The Quest Log’s clickable area now more closely matches its appearance.
  • The error message displayed when multiple party members attempt to queue for matchmaking using the same Hero, at the same time, will now indicate the cause for the error.
  • The ability hotkey for Kerrigan's Primal Grasp is now properly displayed in her Abilities tab on the Hero Select screen.
  • Items that players do not own will no longer appear purchasable during Draft Mode.
  • In-game Score Screen sorting options no longer prevent players from using the block communication function.
  • The in-game Score Screen (TAB) will now properly display the total number of Gems being carried by all three of The Lost Vikings on the Tomb of the Spider Queen Battleground.
  • Pressing the Escape key will now properly open the Main Menu when Heroes of the Storm is disconnected from the internet.
    Hovering the cursor over other players on the end-of-game Stats tab will now properly indicate their current online statuses.
  • The preview image displayed when selecting Tomb of the Spider Queen Replays now properly displays the Battleground’s loading screen art. 

 

You can see Blizzard's original post here.

 

What changes are you most excited for?

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      Game design: Why can't Catapults be blinded, when Siege Giants (similar projectile) and Minions (same classification) can?
      Hey Zanzure!
      This was a bug that has been fixed in the Kerrigan\Brightwing rework patch. You should see the change to address this go live next week sometime.
      What proportion of Heroes are flagged as needing a rework a la Kerrigan and Brightwing, and can the team share the list of Heroes who make up this proportion?
      Great question JimmyTurx!
      The short answer is that it varies. There was a point last year where we had almost 5 Hero reworks in flight at the same time (boy, that was crazy). Since then, we have gone into a much more stable timeline for them and normally have Live Designers working on about 2 at any given time. We normally have a rotating list of about 8 to 10 that we want to work on, but there are many times where someone not on that list sneaks in (Tyrande for example).
      There is (IMO) a lack of frontline supports in HotS. Not necessarily supports trying to be a pseudo-dps, but someone who isn’t afraid to fight alongside their frontline with strong defensive tools. The roster overwhelmingly leans toward fragile, divable heroes, and we only have three genuine melee supports in Kharazim/Uther/Rehgar. This is why I believe people are still upset about no self-casting Ancestral; because Rehgar is one of the few supports who shouldhave a resilient/aggressive playstyle, but was deliberately hamstrung. 
      Is there any chance we will see more supports that can stand up with the frontline, or have mechanics added to require/encourage that gameplay (similar to Insight/Transcendence Kharazim, or Malf/Whitemane but melee)? A great example of what I’m describing would be Brigitte from OW.
      You mean you don't play Deckard as a frontliner? >_>
      Kidding aside, I think this is fair feedback and that there's definitely room in the roster for more of these types of heroes. I'll defer to the Live Design team when it comes to our plans for existing supports, but in general our philosophy has moved toward increasing emphasis on interactive & skill-based gameplay for support heroes, and frontline supports feel like a natural fit for that type of gameplay.
      There are many factors we consider when deciding which heroes to add to the game so I can't make any immediate promises, but we'll be keeping this in mind as we look to add more support heroes in the future.
      I have a question about the state of Mana:
      New heroes normally dont have mana issues if they have mana at all (Genji, Hanzo, Tracer,Maiev,Deckard, Yrel, Whitemane,Fenix,Junkrat). Older heroes like Rehgar or Uther are out of mana after the first mid lane brawl. 
      Is this discepancy intentional or do you want to close this Mana cost gap?
      Thank you for the question Kallesin.
      This is actually a very hot topic right now among us. We have an hour long meeting this week to align ourselves with what Mana means to our game and what direction we want to move towards. 
      While it is a very powerful tool from a balance design perspective, it is not really 'fun' to run out of Mana. Since our game is fast paced and 'brawly', I think we need to be a little on the forgiving side when it comes to Mana tension.
      As more heroes enter the Nexus, knock backs and displacements in the game are increasing. Will dazes/knock backs ever become keywords and have talents that interact with them?
      For example, supports have ways to give armor or interact with stuns/silences/slows, but the only way to deal with knock backs is Cleanse, or other Unstoppable effects. Will this continue as is, or will there be other ways to counter play?
      Hey USSKorolev, thanks for the question.
      Just to clarify for some readers, we have a number of displacement abilities that also have stuns tied to them. For example, Johanna’s Condemn, Garrosh’s Wreckling Ball, or Junkrat’s Concussion Mine. One of the key reasons to have these stuns is to break moving channeled abilities such as a Li Li’s Jug of 1,000 Cups. Another core reason is that the stun can help to add “weight” to the ability and make it feel a lot better to use. Without the stun on Condemn, heroes would immediately start moving following the initial displacement, often due to previously queued up move orders, and the ability just wouldn’t feel right. That pause helps players to recognize the impact and allows Johanna a small opportunity to capitalize on this ability.
      There are of course a number of displacement abilities that do not have this stun which we refer to as “dazes”, including ETC’s Face Melt and Falstad’s Mighty Gust. I’m not sure we have discussed adding a new keyword to interact with these abilities specifically, although it’s an interesting thought.
      We’re always interested in giving players counterplay options, so it is something we will talk about internally. I do think there are a few issues though which I’ll go through: 
      First off, most knockbacks happen extremely quickly, too quickly for you to react once they occur in many cases. Take the ETC Face Melt example, you’d basically have to preemptively use your counter to avoid the displacement – which gets into the territory of pre-cleansing and Unstoppable effects, which we already have. If we said this new counter was always on and waited for a displacement effect to hit you (i.e. Spell Shield), then I’m not sure how fun that would be to play against. If you see someone with Spell Shield, you can often try to poke this off with a weaker ability, but you may not have a secondary displacement effect that you can use to remove this new buff.
      Another thought is, we must be careful about how niche we make talents or abilities. Pointing a talent towards a very specific use case will often go unpicked and we will end up adding secondary effects to the talent for it to become an attractive option. In a lot of cases, those secondary effects can overshadow the original design and that becomes why you pick the talent. As an example, take Ana’s level 13 talents, one is for Stuns while the other is to counter Slows and Roots. We ended up having to put secondary effects on these talents to make them useful in more cases, and now those secondary effects have become the primary reason to pick these talents in a lot of cases (i.e. more healing vs. armor).
      On map design
      It seems like there is a shift towards maps with a single must-win objective (e.g. Hanamura rework). Some players find this is good, as the simplification requires less strategic thought and team coordination. By and large, it simply involves making sure you are at least on even level tiers and win the team fight to get the objective. 
      For other players, this simplification goes a little too far. There is really only "one way" to win the match, especially with the recent nerfs to other map strategies such as split pushing (for better or worse). I was wondering what your map design principles are and whether the team is fine with having one straightforward and clear method of winning, or are there plans to create more strategic depth to maps, whether this is adding new map mechanics or enabling different team comp metas. 
      On a personal note, I would love to see more map mechanics added to some maps as it would open up more macro play options and increase the replay value of those maps.
      We purposefully crafted our battleground design principles so they do not steer us toward a specific type of map objective. Instead, they focus on driving the game forward, managing emotional tension, and providing mechanical and visual variety (among others). There’s no principle that tells us to collapse players into a small area for a highly impactful, centralized objective. It’s true that we’ve been doing that more than usual recently (Volskaya Foundry and Hanamura Temple for sure, Alterac Pass and the Garden rework to some extent) but this is not the new standard.
      General: Frequently Blizzard will include very small numbers changes that don't appear to be intended to seriously shift a heroes power level. Are these intended as signals to the player base to rethink how they're approaching the hero or are you using data to tell you to do those very fine tuned changes?
      Hey ChaosOS!
      First off let me say - "Thank you so much for all of your work and passion for the Heroes community!"
      Now, to address your question: Small number tweaks are normally done when a Hero or Talent is just slightly off-balance. While losing 2 Basic Attack damage is pretty minor for most Heroes, Raynor might see a slightly larger shift since the vast majority of his damage output comes from there. 
      For a different example - there are a lot of times where we may see a vast difference in pick rates between talents on a tier, but parity between win-rates. Sometimes we might do a slight nudge to the under-picked talent in order to get players to reevaluate it. Sometimes it takes multiple nudges before the community starts using and respecting it (Mighty Gust for example).
      What's the great plan for illidan? Why not just buff his 10.
      Any insight on that? He does not need a rework just specific 10 buffs, Hunt back to 60~75 sec CD and moving some 20 demonic form buffs to 10 IMO.
      Hey TheGameOn, thanks for your question about The Betrayer. He's one of my personal favorite Heroes.
      Right now Illidan primarily takes The Hunt because it offers unique and fun gameplay, so we aren't all that upset that it's the more commonly picked Heroic ability. That being said, Metamorphosis is being chosen 40% of the time in higher level Hero League, though it doesn't always feel like it. It isn't winning nearly as much though, so there might be room for improvement.
      Illidan isn't seen all that often partly due to this being an unfavorable metagame for him. With a bruiser-heavy meta, not only is there a lot of crowd control to deal with him, but also fewer squishy targets for him to chase down. Just a year ago Illidan was very meta, and hasn't seen many changes since, so we're confident that maybe small tuning changes combined with a more favorable meta will allow him to fulfill his niche in the game again.
      Why do you prefer slower, larger scale reworks over smaller, more abandunt changes?
      We see time and time again heroes get ignored for months/years and they slowly devolve into a critical state requiring a full on rework like raynor, kerrigan, vikings, chen. 
      We have other heroes that are at a decent winrate with low use/unused talents that havent been changed for a while, making for a 1-dimensional talent builds and overall less compelling interactivity and gameplay, yet these issues go seemingly ignored for an incredible amount of time.
      Hey Dreadnought7410!
      We don't prefer to do slower, larger scale reworks over small changes--they both have their uses. We've released balance patches regularly with many changes to multiple heroes over time, and generally save large reworks for heroes who need more sweeping changes.
      There are advantages and disadvantages to smaller balance tweaks and large rework changes. I went over many of these specifics in our last AMA, but some things we think about are:
      The larger the rework, the greater the risk of hurting the hero's core identity. Even if you make a slam dunk design, it will not have as great a chance of being widely accepted if it significantly alters the hero's fantasy.
      As you mentioned, more abundant changes means that the game is fresher for more people, and fewer heroes are left alone for less time.
      Small number or functionality tweaks can make talent builds feel fresh, which in turn makes the hero feel new and exciting without the need for a major rework.
      That said, large reworks are sometimes necessary. Some examples of why this happens are:
      To update older heroes and bring them in line with current design philosophies. To carve out a role for heroes who have fallen out of use relative to other heroes currently favored in the game. To solve fundamental design issues with their kits. Going forward, you can expect to see us make numerous smaller changes to improve hero and talent pick/win rates. For example, today we just released a balance patch with changes for 17 different heroes.
      General: What does the process for building a balance patch look like? How do you decide what issues to tackle, how do you test ideas in terms of doing what you want them to do, and when are things locked in for implementation and bugtesting?
      Hey ChaosOS!
      Every week the members of the balance team meet to talk about the state of the game. One of the things we do during this meeting we all bring up individual changes/heroes/issues that we would like to see addressed in the upcoming balance patch.
      In regards to how we decide what issues to tackle, there isn’t a single method, as our decisions can come from various sources. Some of these are:
      We have a lot of data that we can look through to find anomalies. We can see hero and talent win/play rates across various filters to see if something is over/underperforming.
      We watch pro play and have discussions about what is happening there.
      We all play the game regularly, and use our personal experience to see where we can make improvements for the average player.
      We look at heroes who haven’t been tweaked in awhile to see if there’s any room to make changes.
      We make the actual changes the week before the patch releases so that we have time for QA to check the changes and fix bugs.
      Sometimes for larger balance changes, for example Artanis’s changes that came out in a balance patch, we will test the changes for weeks/months in advance and merge them into the next balance patch once we’re confident in the design.
      I am curious, which hero did you think would be extremly OP on release, yet turned out to be very weak.
      Vice versa, which hero did you feel was UP, but turned out to be overtuned on release?
      Hey SeeALot, great question.
      Lunara was a character we thought would be OP on release and we were a little worried about, however she ended up being really low initially and needing lots of buffs.
      Malthael is an opposite example where the balance team felt he was fairly solid overall but the larger development team thought he was going to be really weak. Malthael ended up completely crushing the solo lane and being extremely powerful upon release.
      Thoughts on heroes who almost always only has a single talent in certain tiers? examples being garrosh picking into the fray, dehaka picking feeding frenzy, ana picking sleep dart quest
      We put a lot of work into building out talent tiers and trying to offer players interesting choices, so when a single talent ends up dominating a tier it's pretty disappointing.
      The Hero Design team does the initial work of designing talent trees for all new heroes, and most of the time we can recognize and prevent these cases early so that the Live Design team never has to worry about it. This is something I feel we're getting even better at as we learn from previous talents like Into the Fray or Glacial Spike, and even from Heroic abilities like Cleansing Flame that end up as one-sided choices.
      When lopsided talent tiers do make it out the door, it forces us to think very carefully about how we want to bring them back in line. Usually the reason these talents are so popular is that they're very fun to use or provide key utility a hero doesn't otherwise have - so simply removing or weakening them may not be the way to go. In that case we can either-
      A: Make the effect baseline (as with Glacial Spike on Kel'thuzad) and reshuffle other talents accordingly
      or
      B: Revisit the talents on that tier and try to make the other two choices feel just as impactful (as with Holy Ground on Tyrael)
      Which of these options is preferable varies case-by-case, but the most important value is not to undermine what's cool and enjoyable about a hero with whatever changes we decide to make. Given the choice between having uneven talent picks, or making a hero less fun overall, we'd prefer to wait on changing the talents until we're confident that our changes will have the desired effect.
      Hi homer12346,
      We do review talent trees to make sure there is some diversity in options. The goal would be that every talent is viable in some situations and your talent selection can feel fluid based off the match state, team compositions, etc. If there are two solid talent options at a tier that garner the majority of picks and a third lesser chosen one, this can still be okay as long as there is some scenarios where this third (or fourth) talent can be viable. Sometimes it’s purely a personal playstyle preference for why players pick certain talents, other times it can be different skill bands where some players may simply avoid active talents all together.
      Funny enough for Feeding Frenzy, while it is the most picked talent, Symbiosis does still see around 20% of the picks and has an overall higher win rate. ?
      Xul: As you have noticed, he became a maintank in certain comps (shown in the HGC). Are you happy about this and do you have plans for him, either making him a real maintank (like changing his role from assassin to Tank) or tune him more into the assassin role wih removing some survivability?
      Hey Elegostelkai!
      Right now we're pretty happy to see Xul in HGC, and in general we like to see weird/wacky comps have their time in the spotlight. A core tenet of our design philosophy is that we want to push the boundaries of what a conventional MOBA is, and as such we're excited when our players do the same.
      That being said, if an off-meta strategy becomes too powerful and dominates pro-play for too long, it can be a problem if it drastically warps the fundamentals of our game and take it to places where there isn't enough interaction between both teams. 
      We don’t currently have any plans to change Xul due to his recent games in pro play. We’ll be keeping an eye on it, but for now, we’re cool with it.
      How are you guys reacting to the pushback against the mobility Overwatch heroes have brought into HotS? By that I mean, is this feedback you've listened to and found yourselves agreeing with, which you will apply for future hero releases or do you feel different, and if so how/what?
      Tracer and Genji's translation into the game has really shaken up the game and the community, given that their kits and mobility break a lot the core mechanics and penalties of the genre. Combining high damage with ranged attacks, while being able to apply it on the move. Mages and older HotS heroes, in particular, adhere to these limiters and have to sacrifice mobility or expose themselves in order to apply their damage. Tracer and Genji have an easy time getting in and out of combat while being nigh impossible for most heroes to shake off while taking very significant damage. 
      Very frustrating, being killed by heroes which do not adhere to the moba mechanical rulesets which restrain most other heroes. Especially by characters from a new Blizzard universe which after 3 years is still struggling to establish itself. (We've embraced the characters, but there's still no real plot or enough world building for it to currently stand next to IPs such as Diablo, Warcraft and Starcraft. Though I understand that they can bring interesting new mechanics and gameplay to the game.
      Hey Mozerath, thanks for your question! Mobility in Heroes is something that we've been watching for a long time.
      To start with, we've always pushed the boundaries with Hero Design in HotS; we think that it's one of the things that makes Heroes of the Storm special. We have characters like Cho'gall, Abathur, or The Lost Vikings that really "break the rules" of traditional character design. The key to these characters is adjusting their power the appropriate amount while keeping these unique traits in mind.
      The great mobility offered by Tracer and Genji is another one of these unique traits, though not as flashy as a two-headed ogre. We knew that during development they would need to be balanced around it (in fact at one point Tracer had so little Health that she was being one-shot by Nova). We didn't anticipate how much we would need to tune them down though, so unfortunately they've been steadily nerfed (for the most part) since their release. We think they're much healthier than they started in terms of balance at this point, though we're always looking to make further tuning adjustments when we think the time is right.
      We do have other characters in the game with high amounts of mobility (as has been pointed out in this thread). Illidan, Zeratul, and Lucio are good examples. The biggest difference between them and Tracer or Genji is that their mobility has more conditions. These include target selection (Illidan's Dive), range limitations (Zeratul's Blink), or inability to travel over terrain (Lucio's Movement Speed). These added forms of counterplay make these abilities feel better to play against than they would otherwise, and allow us to really push the envelope with them.
      At this point, we think that the low-condition mobility from Tracer and Genji makes them special, and we likely won't add more characters with this level of mobility without conditions. But we do think that mobility is a great way to allow players to make flashy plays and has a high skill cap, so you'll likely see more forms of it with added counterplay in the future.
      Some heroes have heroic abilities with extremely low pick/win rate. For example: Lili's Dragon, Kelthuzad's Frost Blast, Mephisto's Durance and Guldan's Rain.
      Are there any plan for changing how these skills work fundamentally beside number tweaks?
      Hello blacktiger226,
      We are always looking to bring both win and pick rate parity to all Heroics. The reality is that it is actually very difficult sometimes without making sweeping changes. Some of the examples you list above fit that bill and will most likely see changes if and when they are looked at for reworks ?
      On developing new heroes, I wonder if we will have heroes of the Heroes of the Storm universe or if all the heroes will be from other Blizzard universes
      One of the many amazing things about Heroes of the Storm is that ANYTHING is possible in the Nexus!
      I feel like there's a lot of controversy around Garden of Terror and a lot of people saying it lost it's identity mainly (including myself unfortunately). That said, what are your guys plans for other maps like Blackhearts Bay? I think it would be good if the team communicated more with the community before putting so much effort into a map redesign.
      The Garden of Terror rework was done in response to years of consistent player feedback (in community discussion and in our own user experience research) saying Garden was among the least-loved maps in the game. Our goals for the rework were to preserve the map's thematic elements (seeds, shamblers, terrors, weather effects) while removing the elements that made so many players sigh when they saw the loading screen (chasing a vehicle around, eternal night phase, zero sum double vehicle phases, vehicle time-out).
      We iterated on the Garden rework several times internally. First we tried small changes like repositioning/renumbering shambler camps, changing timers, and changing the vehicle's abilities and spawn point, but none of those changes made the map notably more fun or interesting. The map still had the same problems it did on live servers. Then we went wild for a bit with experimentation - at one point we had a completely new layout and a "siege vehicle" objective reward that could dig in, spawn bushes around it, spawn shamblers to push in a direction, and shoot out burrowing seed bombs that detonated for aoe damage. We tried a "gauntlet" type design where we spawned a series of seeds, one at a time, all over the map, and the first team to gather three won the objective. Those were interesting experiments, but they each had their own fatal problems. Ultimately, we found that the version on PTR right now provided the most fun we've ever had on Garden. The story might not be over, though. We're confident that this version of Garden will do much better than its original version, but if we're wrong, we'll do what we need to do.
      As for Blackheart's Bay, we do plan on adjusting the map, but we currently do not expect a complete mechanical overhaul like the Garden rework.
      Any plans on having shuffle pick be an option in custom games? (instead of forcefully enabled for ARAM?)
      It makes doing, for example, 1 versus 1 battles on the same hero impossible on Lost Cavern since you are forced into a new hero upon game start.
      Adding a Shuffle Pick option to the custom games screen (with some additional buttons and levers to customize it further) would be cool, I agree.
      You recently vastly improved the reconnect feature. Will a spectate feature ever be added?
      Hi, reddituser25987! We continue to improve the rejoin functionality and while doing so are touching areas of the game that could, eventually, make spectating a possibility...
      HOWEVER, while we'd love to watch HGC games live in client or check out our friends playing while waiting to party up, we have no plans to prioritize a spectate feature above the myriad of core game systems and features that we want to keep improving at this time.
      Tooltips are very inconsistent. 
      [[Archon]] states its splash radius. [[Fury of the Swarm]] doesn't say what the splash radius is.
      [[Water Dragon]] lists the range in which it summons. [[Divine Reckoning]] doesn't list its radius.
      [[Maelstrom]] says "per second" while dealing damage every 0.25s, while [[Fend]] states its tick rate (every 0.25s).
      [[Varian/Charge]] can target structures. [[Colossus Smash]] can not. It's impossible to know cases like these from the tooltip.
      Generally, information seems to be extremely lacking in tooltips.
      Also, summon descriptions are nearly always extremely lacking. They sometimes state health, sometimes state attack speed and usually damage. Why are they not always mentioned? For example:
      [[Abathur/trait]] lists the Locust's health, but most others don't (say, [[Ultralisk]]). Right now on the PTR Ultralisk now doesn't even state its attack damage (only the skillshot's damage, and that it splashes for 50% when attacking). [[Gargantuan]] doesn't even mention the stomp's damage, or the fact that it slows!
      Writing good tooltips is a really important and often underappreciated skill in game design. It becomes particularly challenging when you have a really big game being made by many people, and a ton of heroes made over several years alongside and evolving design philosophy.
      You're totally on the mark that our tooltip consistency could be better and it's something we've been gradually working to improve. I don't think we'll do one "huge" update in a single patch per se, but we regularly revisit our tooltips (especially during hero reworks) and plan to continue those efforts going forward. If you see anything that looks particularly off, bringing it to our attention as you've done here is also great.
      That said, one thing I'll add is that consistency is only one of many values we employ when writing tooltips. Technically most abilities in the game have a 0.125 second cast time, but we don't actually put that in the tooltip for the sake of readability. It may not seem like a big deal for one tooltip, but every hero in the game has dozens and dozens of tooltips, so readability ends up driving many of the decisions we make around how to present information. However this is something we're very open to feedback on as there may be places where something is off (like your Varian example), and we greatly appreciate players bringing cases like this to our attention. Thanks!
      When is the Chen rework coming?
      Chen is the 3rd least picked hero behind Lost Vikings and Probius. His winrate is awful. There's zero way at this point that the balance team can claim he's "balanced" at this point. Take a look at the info that jhow provided in the solo lane matchup. He has very few positive matchups. He needs fixed in a bad way. This is very frustrating for people who love the brewmaster. I've running with the #FixChen hashtag on twitter for a while now. Almost over a year now at this point. Please save us. At least give us a timeline at this point. ?
      Hi Zexerous, glad to hear you’re a Chen fan and hopefully we can make some changes in the future that will help address some of those concerns.
      To touch on his win rate quickly, depending on the filters I’m looking at (HL vs QM, MMR bands, games played as Chen, etc.), he is sitting around 47-49%. This does put him on the lower spectrum of hero win rates, but it’s still not that far off.
      We made some talent adjustments to Chen a few months back, but we will revisit him at some point – I think it’s clear that he’s not a tank with his current kit (having to constantly stop and channel in fights), but we haven’t fully embraced him as a Bruiser either. We will likely look towards that direction in the future. 
      I’m not able to provide a timeline at this point, only that a major Chen update won’t be happening in the next few months. While not part of your primary question, we do also want to look at Probius, Lost Vikings, and other low play rate heroes as well.
      Lastly, I'd like to ask if some skins or Heroes make it forbidding for other Heroes to come in the game. Widowmaker from Overwatch can never come due to Widowmaker Nova existing? Mercy because of Auriel? Kaldalis because of Artanis? 
      I really hope they don't come as skins cause that would be terrible and huge disrespect to those characters imho.
      Cheers and thank you for your time, God bless.
      Hi BertRaccoonGR!
      Making skins that have crossover with existing heroes does not necessarily mean we won’t add those heroes in the future. An example of this is with the Novazon skin which was clearly inspired by the Amazon from D2. Even with this skin, we knew we wanted to do a D2 Amazon and we’re super excited to bring Cassia to the Nexus ?
      Would the team at Blizzard ever consider more instant point and click crowd control (a la Brightwing and Medivh polymorph)? I don’t feel like there are enough reliable ways to shutdown mobility and am often frustrated by this in QM.
      We have a handful of these, the ones you call out and others like Varian’s Taunt. In general, we’re trying not to introduce a ton of new hard-CC that is targeted as these are not very skillful to execute well (you clicked on the enemy), and have low counterplay options (the enemy clicked on you). It’s likely over time that a few of these will trickle in on new heroes though.
      Is it possible to see other heroes in the Multiclasses category, besides the Varian, or the Blizzard Classics, in addition to the Lost Vikings?
      Hey Zequi21, good question.
      For the Multiclass category, we’re planning to remove that with our eventual role update. Varian would most likely fit into a couple of the newer categories, Tank and Bruiser. There would be a few other heroes who would also hit multiple categories such as Zarya in Support and Bruiser. Overall, the multiclass role wasn’t very clear to players and often you couldn’t play Varian the way you wanted due to your team’s composition.
      For Blizzard Classics, I would love to explore some of these characters in the future. There’s so many awesome characters we want to add, so it’s a question of when they make the most sense and when is the right time. There’s other things we of course need to consider like making sure they’re bringing fun new mechanics and playstyles as well.
      Chromie was designed as an artillery mage. The recent rework did away with that role completely changing her playstyle to a hybrid auto attack spell caster and many players were not fond of it which was reflected by the fall of her pick and win rates. Would you ever consider reverting the rework and adjusting her numbers which many Chromie mains had requested?
      Hey Demon_Ryu, thanks for the question.
      Through reworks and balance updates we’ve pushed Chromie out of the artillery mage role. Overall this is a playstyle we weren’t happy with as it didn’t feel great to play against. To touch briefly on a few points:
      -Her abilities were extremely long range (artillery design), but that meant that she was often off-screen from an enemy perspective and you didn’t have a lot of control over her damaging you. Basically, just keep in perpetual motion and hope she misses.
      -Because her abilities were fairly hard to land, the damage they dealt had to be cranked up to extreme levels to keep her win rate and effective damage output in a reasonable spot. Essentially, if she only lands 20% of her abilities, then those abilities have to be extremely impactful when the hit. This could lead to her 1-shotting enemies which again is not fun to play against.
      -She was extremely hard countered by certain enemies. I don’t believe we’ve really addressed this point, but it is something we’d like to soften. 
      -She has a ton of CC between her Time Trap and both Heroic abilities. In general, multiple CC effects can be frustrating to play against and she brought more than many characters. This combined with the above points was just not a great spot for her to be in. This CC also made the rest of her kit much easier to use and much more consistent which was a challenge to tune around and make feel fair.
      As for the future, we will likely make more Chromie changes and potentially even reimagine what her core playstyle should be, but its unlikely we will go back to that long-range artillery mage style.
      Tassadar-
      From what I understand the lifesteal component to Tassadar's shields has been a problem with his balance for a long time, initially only being a talent option then becoming baseline with a talent to increase it. Has the dev team considered eradicating lifesteal from his base kit and talent tree to balance him better for pros and non-pro play as a pure utility support? (There is also the matter of lifesteal not fitting Protoss from a SC gameplay/lore perspective.)
      Hello T-280_SCV!
      Tassadar has definitely been a unique challenge for us the balance side. I think we have learned a lot of valuable lessons from him, though, and we'll definitely be taking a look at him to see how we can improve.
    • By Stan
      Blizzard is currently working on a new Heroes of the Storm forums with brand-new features including new notification features, real-time updates, and a new flagging system to foster more engaging conversations. The current forums is hosted on a different platform so older posts will not be migrated over to the new forums.
      Old posts will be in a read-only mode after the transition. We don't know if the revamp only targets the Heroes of the Storm forums. The post also mentioned Overwatch before it was edited out. It would, however, make perfect sense to update the platform on all game forums in the future.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Hey everyone,
      Over the past years, we’ve seen your suggestions on how to level up the forums and ensure your time in our community stays positive. We know that currently the forums can be difficult to navigate, sometimes posts you want to see get buried, and reporting doesn’t always appear to lead to action. On that note, we’re excited to announce that we will be launching the new Heroes of the Storm forums starting soon. With a streamlined look and new features to match, this change will provide a better experience for the Heroes of the Storm community. Brand-new notification features will help you keep on top of your posts and real-time updates ensure that you don’t miss any of the conversation. Additionally, we have replaced the previous report function with a new flagging feature to help keep the forums a place to foster more engaging conversations. These are just a couple of the changes that will be coming soon to the Heroes of the Storm forums which we can’t wait for you to use. 
      Please keep in mind that the current forums will be hosted on a different platform so older posts and threads will not be migrated over to the new forums. These will be available in a read-only state for a short period of time after the transition. As such, be sure to save your favorite conversations elsewhere if you plan to revisit old memories in the future. New posts will automatically be directed to the new forums.
      Stay tuned and get ready for the new forum experience!
    • By Stan
      BlizzCon 2018 rewards have been added to the game in the latest content update. Virtual Ticket holders will receive a mount, spray, banner, and portrait this year.
      Nexus Razorgrin Mount

      BlizzCon 2018 Banner

      BlizzCon 2018 Portrait

      BlizzCon 2018 Spray (Cartoon Nexus Razorgrin)