Odinn

Ranked Play Changes Inbound for Heroes of the Storm

Sign in to follow this  

1 post in this topic

12488-ranked-play-changes-inbound-for-he

 

In the latest 'Conversations Around the Community' spotlight, Trikslyr walks us through upcoming changes to Ranked Play in Heroes of the Storm. It further clarifies the methodology behind gaining or losing Rank Points (based on Match Points and Bonus Points), the new upcoming Grandmaster rank, the intention behind Ranked Play Seasons, and more.

 

Here is a quick summary of the information:

  1. 'Placement Phase' is being introduced to help players get seeded more appropriately into the Ranked Play system when they first start playing (beginning in the first official season of play - currently, we are in the 'Preseason'). Several games will be played with no rank prior to each player being given their starting rank based on their matchmaking rating.
  2. Rank Point gains and losses are calculated based on a Match Point gain or loss of 100, modified by personal MMR variance from the team's average MMR and your personal Bonus Points (beating a heavily favoured team, win streaks, etc.).
  3. Grandmaster rank is being introduced for top tier players (at or above Rank 1), in both Hero and Team Leagues.
  4. Seasons will run an estimated three months. A date for the start of the first official season has not been set. Ranked play seasonal finishes will be recognized in a Ranked Trophy Page to be added to player profiles in the future.
  5. All organized 5-player parties will be queued into Team League. Pre-made teams will retain their team rankings, while pick-up five player parties would have a separate Team League ranking from those organized teams.

The original post from the Heroes of the Storm blog:

 

We’d like to provide our perspective on some of the bigger topics we’ve seen discussed by the Heroes of the Storm community. In this blog, we’re going to focus on Ranked Play. We have a lot to cover, so let’s dive in.

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

WHERE WE ARE TODAY

 

Heroes of the Storm has several game play modes for different styles of play. This ranges from faster, more casual games in Quick Match to the competitive ranked modes—Hero League and Team League. While we’ve made a lot of progress, we realize that players still have lots of questions about how the system works and our future plans for the Ranked Play experience. We’d like to take this opportunity to clear up some of that confusion, and to discuss some of the improvements in the works.

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

RANKING

 

Let’s start by talking about how your rank is presented and what it means.

 

5J2EK959YVQ91432911250698.png

 

Each player (or team) is assigned a rank that is a visual representation of their skill in a particular game mode. The lowest rank is 50, while the current highest rank is 1. Each number indicates the approximate percentile rank you fit in compared to the rest of the population, with each rank accounting for roughly 2% of the population. For example, rank 1 is intended to represent the top 2% of players in the game for their region. Not all players can climb to the highest ranks. Players will need to improve in skill to be able to beat better opponents and climb the ranks.

 

However, the current ranking system includes a progression aspect where players initially start at Rank 50 and climb through the ranks until they reach a plateau that accurately reflects their skill. Under the current system, a player’s rank may not truly reflect their skill if they are still making progress. This system has caused some confusion around Ranked matchmaking modes.  While we like the idea of progression and ranking up each season, we do not want it to come at the cost of an accurate ranking. To improve the accuracy of a player’s rank, we are planning to introduce a set of placement matches that players will need to complete before they receive an official rank. During this phase, a player’s rank will not be assigned or displayed. Instead, other players will see the player is in their “Placement Phase.”

 

Once they have completed their placement matches, the player will be assigned a rank that more accurately reflects their skill. We are still determining the exact number of placement matches required before players are assigned a rank. Players exploring a ranked mode for the first time will have to complete a larger number of placement matches. With each new season, the system will have a much better understanding of each player’s skill and fewer placement matches will be required before new ranks are assigned. After placing into a rank, players will carry on as they do today. Players will compete against opponents of similar skill level and earn Rank Points to climb the ranks.

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

RANK POINTS

 

After each ranked match, players will gain or lose an amount of Rank Points. The total Rank Points earned at the end of a game are a combination of two different types: Match Points and Bonus Points.

 

Match Points are always gained or lost at the end of a ranked game based on whether you won or lost the game. The amount of Match Points your team gains or loses is dependent on the skill difference between the teams. An equally matched game will result in 100 Match Points being earned by the winning team, and 100 points being lost by the losing team. If the teams were not evenly matched skill wise (which hopefully should be rare), your team could potentially earn up to 200 Match Points for a win, or lose 200 Match Points following a defeat. All players on a given team earn or lose the same amount of Match Points for a game.

 

Bonus Points may also be awarded to players at the end of the game. Bonus Points are awarded to individual players on the winning team  if their personal skill rating (MMR) is outpacing their visible ranking. This can happen if a player wins several games in a row and can help get them closer to an accurate ranking.

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

GRANDMASTER

 

While the goal of the ranking system is to have each rank represent approximately 2% of the population, rank 1 is currently an open ended rank for those who have reached a high level of skill. To recognize the best players in each region, we are planning to add a Grandmaster-equivalent rank above rank 1.

 

QS7VFWH2NK7N1432911246664.jpg

 

Players who are able to achieve this impressive level of play will be assigned a Grandmaster rank which shows the exact position of where they place amongst their fellow Grandmasters.  For those wanting to track the best players in their region, we’ll have a leaderboard available from within the game for all to see.

We are planning to have a Grandmaster rank for both Hero and Team Leagues.


19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

SEASONS

 

As previously mentioned, Heroes of the Storm will have regular seasons in all Ranked Play game modes. We are discussing having each season be about 3 months in duration. Currently we are in the Preseason of Ranked Play. We are planning to remain in Preseason and not hold the first official season until sometime after the launch of the game. This will allow new players who were not in the Closed Beta phase the ability to get up to speed with the game and to meet the various Ranked Play requirements. This will also give us the opportunity to make many of the improvements described in this post before the first official season.

 

When we do hold the first official season, all ranks will be reset and players will need to play through their placement matches as described above. Based on your prior season’s performance and how well you played in your placement matches, you’ll be placed in an appropriate rank that reflects your skill. In addition, we’ll be carrying over your internal skill rating (MMR) from the previous season to help ensure matches will be even and balanced.

 

Finally, you will be rewarded for your efforts! Make sure to try your hardest, as you’ll be awarded based on the highest rank you attained for the season. You’ll receive recognition for your achievement in your Ranked Trophy Page we will be adding to your profile.  This page will allow you to track your Ranked progress from season to season.

 

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

TEAM LEAGUE

 

Our latest addition to the Nexus, Team League, is a place for the most competitive and organized teams to battle in a Ranked Play experience. Since launching this feature, we have collected feedback internally and from the community. A few themes have really stuck out to us when processing this feedback:

  • It’s not always easy to group up with the same friends with different schedules.
  • As a result of fewer teams, games can be harder to find in Team League.
  • The 1000 gold cost of a team is too much.

We will be making a few changes to Team League to address these issues.

First, the gold cost to create a team was implemented to avoid a high level of team creation churn.We want teams to have a lasting identity that span across multiple seasons, but we don’t want teams to be unaffordable. To help with this, we’ve recently halved the team creation cost to 500 gold. We hope this change will help strike a balance between cost and low team churn.

 

Next, we are planning to remove five-player parties from Hero League and move them to Team League. After we make this change, if you have a party size of one to four, you can queue up for Hero League. If you have a full party of five (either as a pickup party, or a formal team with a name), you will queue up for Team League.

We believe this change will produce a number of benefits:

  • All five-player parties will be in the same queue, so we can create better quality matches in less time. Previously they were split between Hero and Team League.
  • All five-player teams will always face off against other five player teams. While our matchmaker already mostly enforced this, this change now guarantees it.
  • We’ll be able to apply different rules to Team League that are more applicable to five-player parties and teams. This means potential draft improvements like hero bans.

As for ranking, each pre-made team would still have a team ranking as they do today. We would have a separate Team League ranking for those who play with pickup parties of five.

 

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

IN CONCLUSION

 

We’re looking forward to constantly evolving Ranked Play into a fun and competitive experience that everyone can enjoy. The feedback and testing we’ve received during the Closed Beta has been incredibly helpful and we thank our testers for the time they’ve spent in Heroes over the last few months. Our plan is to continue to improve Ranked Play even after the official launch of the game. While we do not a have a timeline for when these changes will be released, we are actively working on them and will get them into the game as soon as they are ready. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on these changes in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

 

What are your thoughts on these changes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan

      The latest Heroes of the Storm patch includes Diablo/Lunara Hero reworks and Nexomania. Check out the full patch notes!
      Blizzard (Source)
      Nexomania has begun, bringing new quests and rewards, as well as many new skins and mounts to Heroes of the Storm! Read on for details, as well as more info about gameplay updates for Lunara and Diablo.
      NOTE: Orange text indicates a difference between the PTR and Live patch notes.
      Nexomania!
      Learn even more about Nexomania by visiting the official Heroes website!
      La Parca Lunara and La Pantera Sonya are looking to recruit new tag-team partners for Nexomania, a contest where Heroes battle it out to become the Champions of the Nexus! Choose your partner, train up, and conquer the competition to claim the spoils of victory before Monday, June 11. Each of the four-part quest chains below grant different rewards based on who you side with, and the quests must be completed in order. Choose your partner wisely, because once you’ve picked Lunara or Sonya, your decision cannot be undone!   La Parca Lunara Quest Chain and Rewards  Train Up, La Parca Style: Play 3 Games. Reward: Máscara de la Parca Portrait. Show Match, La Parca Style: Achieve 70 Takedowns in winning games. Reward: The Underworld Grip Spray. Climb the Ladder, La Parca Style: Win 6 games. Reward: Ojos de la Parca Animated Spray. Cage Match, La Parca Style: Achieve 100 Takedowns in winning games. Rewards: El Guapo Announcer and La Parca Lunara Portrait. La Pantera Sonya Quest Chain and Rewards Train Up, La Pantera Style: Play 3 Games. Reward: Máscara de la Pantera Portrait. Show Match, La Pantera Style: Achieve 70 Takedowns in winning games. Reward: The Panther Forearm Spray. Climb the Ladder, La Pantera Style: Win 6 games. Reward: Furia de la Pantera Animated Spray. Cage Match, La Pantera Style: Achieve 100 Takedowns in winning games. Rewards: El Guapo Announcer and La Pantera Sonya Portrait. Nexomania Loot Chests
      Starting the week of May 22, Loot Chests earned through progression (except Hero-specific Chests), Heroes Brawl, or by spending Gems will be Nexomania Loot Chests. These Loot Chests guarantee at least one item from the Nexomania or Sun’s Out, Guns Out events. Step into the ring and start leveling-up to pin down some loot before the competition concludes on June 11!
      Please Note: Loot Chests earned prior to the start of this event will not become Nexomania Loot Chests.
      Art
      Heroes, Abilities, and Talents Diablo: Diablo and Archangel Diablo’s Abilities have received updated visual effects to coincide with Ability and Talent changes. Garrosh: Garrosh’s Abilities have received updated visual effects. Malfurion: A new leaf icon and timer will now appear above Regrowth targets’ nameplates to indicate remaining Heal duration. The icon and timer will change color based on Regrowth’s remaining Heal duration: from green to yellow at 10 seconds remaining, and then to red during the last 5 seconds. User Inteface
      MVP Screen Players can no longer vote for themselves on the end of match awards screen. This should help encourage players to spread the love by commending others for their epic plays! The number of votes required to achieve epic and legendary commendations on the end of match awards screen have each been reduced by one vote. This has been done to account for the removal of self-voting. Previously, a self-vote could often make the difference for a player who was one vote shy of reaching epic or legendary status. Loot Chests The Loot Chest carousel on the Loot screen now automatically switches to a Loot Chest type the player already owns, rather than always defaulting to Rare Loot Chests. Design
      General Holding right-click and dragging the cursor to move is no longer interrupted when entering targeting mode prior to casting an Ability. Movement Speed Visual Effects Visual effects for Movement Speed bonuses and Slows will now only display on units whose Movement Speeds are being increased or decreased by more than 5%. Previously, a Hero could display these visual effects even if their Movement Speed hadn’t been significantly altered. This could occur as a result of multiple stacking Movement Speed bonuses and Slows, or due to a stacking Quest Talent. Battlegrounds
      Custom Games Hanamura has been temporarily removed from Custom Games. Mercenaries Infernal Shrines The Khazra at the southernmost Mercenary Camp on Infernal Shrines now move into lane once they are captured, rather than path around the lane to attack opposing structures directly. Heroes
      Assassin

      Lunara
      Catch additional details in our recent Lunara and Diablo Gameplay Updates Blog.
      Abilities Nature’s Toxin (Trait) Damage reduced from 34 to 30. Wisp (E) Mana cost removed. Wisp Movement Speed increased by 100%. Vision radius reduced from 7 to 6. Additional functionality: When a Wisp is in a bush for 2 seconds, its vision radius is increased by 75%. Talents Level 1 New Talent: Sentinel Wisp (E) When a Wisp is in a bush for 5 seconds, its vision radius is increased by 200% and reveals the surrounding area. Photosynthesis Removed. Cruel Spores (Q) Removed. New Talent: Hippity Hop (Z) After not Basic Attacking or taking damage for 5 seconds, increase the Movement Speed bonus of Dryad’s Swiftness by 10%. Level 4 Timelost Wisp (E) Removed. Skybound Wisp (E) Removed. Dividing Wisp (E) Removed. Blossom Swell (Q) Moved from Level 1. Additional functionality: Now also increases Noxious Blossom’s range by 25%. Siphoning Toxin (Trait) Moved from Level 7 Heal amount reduced from 18 to 9 Health per second. Additional functionality: When an enemy Hero has 3 stacks of Nature’s Toxin, this Healing increases to 28 per second. Nature’s Culling (Trait) Moved from Level 7. Level 7 Choking Pollen (Q) Moved from Level 16. Bonus damage reduced from 125% to 50%. Additional functionality: This damage bonus increases by an additional 50% against enemies who have 3 stacks of Nature’s Toxin. Level 13 Pestering Blossom Removed. New Talent: Endless Spores (W) Casting Crippling Spores while at least 2 enemy Heroes are afflicted with Nature’s Toxin reduces its cooldown by 3 seconds. Let Them Wither (W) Moved from Level 16 Adjusted functionality: No longer increases Crippling Spores’ Slow amount. Instead, increases Crippling Spores’ Slow duration by 1 second and causes it to no longer decay. Giant Killer Removed. Abolish Magic (Active) Moved from Level 20. Level 16 New Talent: Accelerated Contamination (Q) While at least 2 enemy Heroes are afflicted with Nature's Toxin, Noxious Blossom's cooldown recharges 100% faster. Invigorating Spores (W) Attack Speed bonus reduced from 50% to 30%. Additional functionality: Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes with 3 stacks of Nature’s Toxin deal damage equal to 1.5% of their maximum Health. Unfair Advantage (Trait) Moved from Level 13. Bonus damage increased from 50% to 60%. Now also deals this bonus damage to Rooted and Stunned Heroes. Level 20 Forest’s Wrath (R) No longer increases Thornwood Vine’s speed. Additional functionality: Thornwood Vine now applies 2 stacks of Nature’s Toxin. Boundless Stride (R) Additional functionality: Now also decreases the Leaping Strike’s cooldown by 5 seconds. New Talent: Intensifying Toxin (Trait) Nature’s Toxin deals 40% more damage to enemies afflicted with 3 stacks. LEVEL (TIER) LUNARA TALENTS 1 (1) Sentinel Wisp (E) Natural Perspective (Trait) Hippity Hop (Z) — 4 (2) Blossom Swell (Q) Siphoning Toxin (Trait) Nature’s Culling (Trait) — 7 (3) Splintered Spear (Q) Choking Pollen (Q) Wild Vigor (W) — 10 (4) Thornwood Vine (R) Leaping Strike (R) — — 13 (5) Endless Spores (W) Let Them Wither (W) Greater Spell Shield (Passive) Abolish Magic (Active) 16 (6) Accelerated Contamination (Q) Star Wood Spear (W) Invigorating Spores (W) Unfair Advantage (Passive) 20 (7) Forest’s Wrath (R) Boundless Stride (R) Intensifying Toxin (Trait) Galloping Gait (Z) (!) indicates a Questing Talent. Italic text indicates a NEW Talent. Underlined text indicates a MOVED Talent. Warrior

      Diablo
      Catch additional details in our recent Lunara and Diablo Gameplay Updates Blog.
      Abilities Shadow Charge (Q) Range increased from 7 to 8.5. Mana cost increased from 60 to 70. Damage reduced from 75 to 40. Terrain collision damage reduced from 150 to 120. No longer grants Armor. Now also increases Movement Speed by 15% for 2 seconds. Fire Stomp (W) Now unleashes fire waves in a large cone in the chosen direction, rather than a 360° area around Diablo. Number of fire waves reduced from 8 to 5. Multiple fire waves can now hit the same target. Cooldown increased from 6 to 8 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 40 to 30. Outgoing fire wave damage reduced from 54 to 12. Returning fire wave damage reduced from 81 to 36. Damage dealt by returning fire waves now counts as critical damage. Now Heals Diablo for 125% of the damage dealt to Heroes. Overpower (E) Mana cost reduced from 60 to 40. Lightning Breath (R) Range increased from 10.5 to 12. Each tick of Lightning Breath damage now also Slows enemies hit by 5% for 2 seconds, up to a maximum of 50%. Talents Level 1 New Talent: Feast on Fear (Passive) Stunning an enemy Hero with Shadow Charge or Overpower Heals Diablo for 15% of his maximum Health over 4 seconds. Soul Shield (Active) Moved from Level 7. New functionality: Activate to gain Spell Armor equal to 25 plus 50% of Diablo's current Souls for 4 seconds. 60 second cooldown. Every time Diablo damages an enemy Hero, reduce this cooldown by 1 second. Bulwark (Q) Removed. Level 4 New Talent: Sacrificial Soul (Q) Stunning an enemy Hero with Shadow Charge grants 5 Souls and 15 Armor for 4 seconds. While at 100 Souls, increase this Armor to 30. New Talent: Souls to the Flame (W) Fire Stomp grants 1 Soul every 3 times it damages an enemy Hero and Heals for an additional 1.25% of its damage dealt per Soul. Life Leech (Passive) Moved from Level 1. New functionality: Diablo gains 1 Soul and Heals for 1.5% of his maximum Health for every Basic Attack against an enemy Hero. While at 100 Souls, increase this Healing to 3% of his maximum Health. From the Shadows (Q) Removed. Speed Demon (Passive) Removed. Demonic Strength (E) Removed. Level 7 New Talent: Eternal Flames (W) When Diablo Stuns an enemy Hero with Overpower or Shadow Charge, Fire Stomp’s cooldown is reset. Malevolence (Passive) Using Basic Abilities causes Diablo’s next Basic Attack within 6 seconds to deal an additional 100 Spell Damage. Stores up to 2 charges. Soul Feast (Trait) Removed. Diabolical Momentum (Passive) Basic Attacks now also reduce Fire Stomp’s cooldown. Cooldown reduction granted per Basic Attack decreased from 1.5 to 0.75 seconds. Level 13 Devastating Charge (Q) Adjusted functionality: Now increases Shadow Charge’s terrain collision damage by 100%, rather than a percentage of the target’s maximum Health. Quest: Each time an enemy Hero takes terrain collision damage, increase this bonus by 15%, to a maximum of 75%. New Talent: Cruelty (Passive) Stunning an enemy Hero with Shadow Charge or Overpower increases Diablo's Attack Speed by 50% for 5 seconds, up to 100%. Hellfire (W) New functionality: Each enemy Hero hit by Fire Stomp grants 2% Spell Power for 10 seconds, up to 30%. Fire Devil (W) Removed. Level 16 Debilitating Flames (W) New functionality: Enemy Heroes hit by Fire Stomp are Slowed by 5% for 4 seconds, up to 50%. Heroes Slowed 25% or more by Debilitating Flames deal 50% less damage. New Talent: Overpowering Nightmare (E) Gain 2 additional charges of Overpower, with a 2 second cooldown between uses. Fearful Presence (Active) Removed. Level 20 Dying Breath (R) Now reduces Apocalypse’s cooldown by 20 seconds per enemy Hero hit (to a minimum total cooldown of 5 seconds), rather than reducing its cooldown by a static amount. Hellstorm (R) No longer increases Lightning Breath’s range. Bonus duration increased from 50% to 200%. Lord of Terror (Active) Now also grants 5 Souls per enemy Hero hit. LEVEL (TIER) DIABLO TALENTS 1 (1) Feast on Fear (Passive) Devil’s Due (Trait) Soul Shield (Trait) — 4 (2) Sacrificial Soul (Q) Souls to the Flame (W) Life Leech (Passive) — 7 (3) Eternal Flames (W) Malevolence (Passive) Diabolical Momentum (Passive) — 10 (4) Apocalypse (R) Lightning Breath (R) — — 13 (5) Devastating Charge (Q) Cruelty (Passive) Hellfire (W) — 16 (6) Domination (E) Debilitating Flames (W) Overpowering Nightmare (E) — 20 (7) Dying Breath (R) Hellstorm (R) Lord of Terror (Active) Hellgate (Active) (!) indicates a Questing Talent. Italic text indicates a NEW Talent. Underlined text indicates a MOVED Talent. Collection
      New Bundles Sun’s Out, Guns Out event items have returned for the duration of the Nexomania event! Add them to your collection by opening Nexomania Loot Chests or purchasing the Sun’s Out 2017 Bundle. The following new bundles are available for a limited time! Hell’s Screamers Bundle Match of the Century Bundle Sun’s Out 2017 Bundle New Announcer El Guapo New Skins
      Diablo El Chamuco Diablo Underworld Chamuco Diablo Hell’s Screamer Diablo E.T.C. El Mariachi E.T.C. Underworld Mariachi E.T.C. Festival Mariachi E.T.C. Garrosh El Jefe Garrosh El Fuego Garrosh Underworld Jefe Garrosh Kharazim Dropkick Kharazim Champion Dropkick Kharazim Dropdead Kharazim Lunara La Parca Lunara La Catrina Lunara Los Muertos Lunara Sonya La Pantera Sonya La Pantera Dorada Sonya Underworld Pantera Sonya New Mounts
      Luchihuahua Hell's Screamer Luchihuahua Underworld Luchihuahua Pigñata Hell's Screamer Pigñata Lucha Pigñata Bug Fixes
      General Fixed a number of typo and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game. A.I. General: After casting Hearthstone, A.I. Heroes will now wait in the Hall of Storms to restore most of their Health and Mana before leaving. D.Va: Fixed an issue that prevented A.I. D.Va from casting Boosters. Deckard: Learning Bottomless Flask no longer causes Allied A.I. Heroes to remain near a Healing Potion’s location indefinitely. Sgt. Hammer: A.I. Sgt. Hammer will no longer become stuck in a Vent behind the opposing bottom-lane Fort on Battlefield of Eternity. The Butcher: Fixed an issue in which A.I. Butcher would repeatedly cast and then cancel Ruthless Onslaught. The Butcher: Fixed an issue that prevented A.I. Butcher from casting Butcher’s Brand. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      Artanis: The Target Purified Talent no longer causes Purifier Beam to acquire Invulnerable targets after its initial target dies. Chromie: Time Traps revealed by Abilities like Tassadar’s Oracle can now be correctly auto-acquired as Basic Attack targets. Fenix: The Talent tooltips for Singularity Charge and Mobile Offense now correctly append to the Ability tooltip for Weapon Mode: Phase Bomb. Garrosh: Casting Into the Fray on Abathur now correctly interrupts Symbiote Channeling. Genji: A damage over time preview now correctly appears in Genji’s Health bar when affected by Lunara’s Nature’s Toxin. Johanna: Can no longer escape Zagara’s Devouring Maw early if Iron Skin expires while inside the Maw. Junkrat: Can now move himself while he is Unstoppable by detonating a nearby Concussion Mine. Malfurion: Reduced Healing applied by Strangling Vines now correctly lasts for its full 3 second duration, even if Entangling Roots expires or its Root effect is removed. Medivh: Dying while attempting to redirect Ley Line Seal after learning Medivh Cheats! no longer causes its targeting indicator to visually persist on the terrain. Nova: Fixed an issue that could cause Holo Decoys to stop attacking nearby targets. Nova: Fixed an issue in which Holo Decoys would not Basic Attack enemy Heroes if Nova did not have enough Mana to cast any of her Abilities. Nova: Armor reductions granted by Anti-Armor Shells and Crippling Shot now stack correctly when applied to the same target. Sonya: Battle Rage no longer grants bonus damage versus Monsters. Tassadar: Plasma Shield Healing done after completing the Khaydarin Resonance quest is now correctly tracked on the in-game stats screen (TAB). Tassadar: The Talent tooltip for Khala’s Light now correctly states that only Heroes will gain Armor when Plasma Shield expires or breaks. This was only a tooltip correction; functionality has not been changed. Thrall: Invulnerable Heroes who are within bounce range after casting Chain Lightning on a nearby target will no longer grant Crash Lightning quest progress. The Lost Vikings: Casting Spin to Win! no longer causes offscreen Vikings to play false “under attack” voice lines. Zul’jin: Using Guillotine with the Buzzsaw Talent to kill Nova’s Holo Decoys or Samuro’s Mirror Images no longer grants Healing. Sound
      Lt. Morales: Replaced incorrect voice processing for voice lines used by the base Lt. Morales and First Lt. Morales skins. Volskaya Foundry: Achieving victory will now correctly cause Overwatch-themed music to play. User Interface
      Loadouts: The Hero’s name at the top of the Loadout pane will now update correctly when switching among Heroes during Hero Select. Collection: Fenix now correctly appears when using the terms “Protoss” and “Dragoon” to filter the Hero roster.  
      Head to the official Heroes of the Storm forums to discuss this post with other players.
    • By Stan

      The free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of May 22.
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: May 22, 2018
      Malfurion Valla Gazlowe Johanna Thrall Dehaka Blaze Lt. Morales Li-Ming Gul'dan Tyrande (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Sylvanas (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Junkrat (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Chen (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)
    • By Oxygen
        
      Our nineteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the month of May is here!
      We present our nineteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of May 2018.
      Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the May 9 patch. The goal of this list is to try and detail game's current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame). Although tier listings are generally the product of balance, many factors come into play when discussing the relative perceived strengths of heroes, including player regions, maps, play style, skill level, and, of course, personal perception. As such, any tier list—including this very one—should never be interpreted as gospel, but rather, as a guide to better grasp what to expect with regards to typical drafting experiences. One useful application of such lists is to allow you know which heroes to look out for in terms of practice and counterplay, ultimately improving your knowledge of the game.
      Using the list
      As stated above, tier lists are easy to mistake for gospel. As new strategies are discovered and experimented with, so changes the perception of the relative strengths of each hero. Tier lists still prove to be useful as a snapshot of player expectations in terms of drafting. Although it is generally considered preferable to focus on high tier heroes (Prime and Core tiers), it is important to note that Heroes of the Storm's wild character and map designs make it so that any given hero's tier position is prone to fluctuate depending on the situation at hand.
      One classic example of such is that of Kerrigan on the Infernal Shrines map. Although we currently judge her to be a mid-tier hero, her drafting priority shoots up to first-pick or first-ban material on this specific map due to the nature of its objective. Certain heroes also synergise so well with each other that the sole fact of having the opportunity of drafting them together is generally enough to increase their potential. Tassadar and Tracer, for instance, are generally nightmarish to deal with for many. There are too many examples of these interactions to reasonably produce here, but we invite you to consult our guides to know exactly where and when each hero shines. The guides have been linked in the lists below for your convenience - just click any of the hero names to access them.
      A ↑ next to a hero's name means its tier list position has increased since the previous month whereas a ↓ means just the opposite. Additionally, a + or - sign indicates short-to-medium term predictions (which is to say, about a month) for tier increase(s) or decrease(s), respectively. These are often updated after significant balance patches and/or when clear trends are emerging.
      If you're newer to the game, also consider visiting our glossary for a comprehensive list of discrete Heroes of the Storm terms.
      Current ranked mode map rotation
       
      Prime Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Diablo Genji Malfurion - E.T.C. Fenix  Stukov   Garrosh↑ Maiev-     Sonya Thrall     Prime tier heroes are considered to be extremely strong in all situations, and show no obvious weakness. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most matches.
       
      Core Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Arthas Falstad Alexstrasza Abathur Blaze   Greymane Deckard (new) Azmodan Dehaka Hanzo↓ Li Li Nazeebo Johanna Jaina Lt. Morales Sylvanas- Muradin Junkrat Lúcio  Zagara Stitches Li-Ming Uther   Varian (Taunt) Malthael       Tracer     Core tier heroes are strong in a wide variety of situations and have few counter-picking possibility. They should form the core of your team, and be picked after Prime Tier heroes have been distributed.
       
      Viable Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Anub'arak Alarak Auriel Gazlowe↑ Artanis Cassia Brightwing- Medivh+ D.Va Chromie Kharazim Murky Leoric Gul'dan Rehgar Xul Tyrael  Kael'thas Tyrande-   Zarya Kel'Thuzad+       Kerrigan       Lunara       Nova       Ragnaros       Samuro       The Butcher       Tychus+       Varian (Colossus Smash)↑       Valla       Zeratul       Zul'jin     Viable tier heroes are generally well-rounded that have either fallen out of favour, or, inversely, are on the rise in popularity, due to the current Prime tier contenders.
       
      Niche Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Chen Cho'gall Ana Probius Cho'gall Illidan↓ Tassadar Sgt. Hammer Rexxar Raynor       Valeera       Varian (Twin Blades of Fury)     Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They may also picked to "round out" your team composition when your team composition is missing out on key components, such as a "jungler" (mercenary camps), a solo laner, or solid waveclear.
       
      Lost Vikings Tier
      The Lost Vikings The Lost Viking are deemed to be either considerably weaker than the majority of other Heroes, or much more challenging to play properly. Although they may situationally shine, this notoriously poorly designed trio is generally avoided by most players.
       
      Metagame assessment
      Tanky meta featuring a tonne of crowd control. Most fights come down to who gets caught out of position first. The natural counters to a tanky meta is typically a double support meta, but Blizzard's recent crusade against support heroes and general design trend embracing overspecialization (i.e. healers can't deal damage or have waveclear, with Deckard being the pinnacle of such) makes this unlikely to happen unless there are more radical changes inbound. In other words, I feel like we may be stuck with what we see.
      Deckard: Fits right in the current metagame with outstanding follow up to any initiation in the form of Scroll Of Sealing, high healing (though weak against displacement effects), great adaptive talents (notably, Emerald against any burst target and Kanai's Cube as a counter to burst) and armor to make him surprisingly difficult to kill. His biggest weakness might be lacking a Cleanse equivalent, though this is becoming more and more common.
      Garrosh: Doesn't do well against Diablo, but wreaks havoc against many other tanks. Particularly strong right now due to being more or less unburstable on top of bringing his super reliable cleansing effect in Indomitable. High high armor works well with sustain healers who basically populate the two highest tiers of healers, bar Uther.
      Hanzo: Excessive basic attack range allowed him to overshadow every other attack-based assassin bar Fenix. Reducing his range by about 15% puts him in right in range of a number of several movement abilities on top of giving him less breathing room against casters. This results in either reduced survivability or damage dealing potential, and in the inability to attack turrets without retaliation. His waveclear and evasiveness were also hit for good measure (through Explosive Arrows damage and Natural Agility range nerfs, respectively). He remains a fine hero, though nowhere near as oppressive, and nowhere near as safe for newer players. I don't expect him to do well in lower leagues.
      Illidan: A feast-or-famine design that feels outdated in terms of depth, overshadowed in the face of rampant mobility creep, and out of meta versus so much crowd control. This will remain the case as long as he is balanced so tightly around using Betrayer's Thirst.
    • By Stan

      Heroes of the Storm Highlights are back with episode 109 of WTF Moments.
      The latest episode starts off with a Hook & Wrecking Ball combo, executed six times in the same match. Poor Alexstrasza and Blaze! Next, we have an unlucky Fenix that gets tossed by the Dragon Knight straight into Gazlowe's Deth Lazor. Definitely check out the insane Genji gameplay at the end of the video (08:50)!
      Let us know your favorite moments in the comments below and don't forget to submit your replays here for a chance to be featured in an upcoming episode of the series.
      Previous Episodes
      WTF Moments Episode 108 WTF Moments Episode 106 & 107 WTF Moments Episode 105
    • By Stan

      The Combat Medic and the Dark Prelate will be on sale next week for 375 Gems and Abyssal Deathbringer Sonya joins the fray for the first time!
      Blizzard (Source)
      Heroic Deals: May 22 – 28, 2018 
      Our next set of Heroic Deals will begin on Tuesday, May 22! Check out the list of upcoming featured items and Hero discounts below.  Upcoming Hero Sales
      Zeratul — Sale Price: 375 Gems Lt. Morales— Sale Price: 375 Gems The following skins and mounts will be added to the featured item rotation and will become purchasable with gems until this round of Heroic Deals comes to an end:
      Upcoming Featured Skins
      Night Ronin Zeratul  Prototype Love Doctor Morales  Abyssal Deathbringer Sonya*  Dreambreaker Thrall  Cruel Queen of Ghosts Kerrigan  Kandy King Muradin  Overqueen Zagara  Elite Agent Nova  * First time featured item!
      Upcoming Featured Mounts
      Hunter Felsaber Demon  Hellboar