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Heroes of the Storm PTR Patch Notes

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A Public Test Realm for the upcoming Eternal Conflict update to Heroes of the Storm is available for the next seven days prior to its release. Included in this post are its complete patch notes, as well as the Developer Insights to go with them from Matthew Cooper.

 

Blizzard Icon Heroes of the Storm PTR Patch Notes - June 23, 2015

 

The PTR has arrived!

 

We’ve enabled the Public Test Realm for the next seven days so that we can ensure the stability of our next Heroes of the Storm patch, as well as offer you a chance to test some of the new content and changes it contains before the update is released next week. There are several things you’ll want to understand about the PTR before you dive headlong into testing, so we kindly ask that you take a moment to review the items listed below:

  • Important Notes about the PTR
    • This iteration of the PTR is largely intended to make sure everything in the next Heroes patch is working correctly before it is released. While we continue to welcome player feedback during this PTR phase, we are largely focused on uncovering bugs, and changes based on feedback will likely not be incorporated  until future patches are released.
    • Any purchases you’ve made in the live version of the game will be available for use on the PTR, including your Heroes, Mounts, and Skins.
      • The same free-to-play Hero Rotation that’s available in the current version of the game will be available on the PTR.
      • However, please note that the in-game Shop has been disabled on the PTR, and no purchases can be made using real money or Gold.
      • The Butcher is not available for play or purchase during this PTR phase.
    • Your Hero and Player Levels, Gold, progression rewards, and any other content you’ve unlocked in Heroes of the Storm thus far will not transfer over to the PTR.
      • Additionally, Hero and Player Levels, Gold, rewards, and other content unlocks earned on the PTR will not transfer over to the current version of the game when the PTR is closed.
  • How to access the PTR
    • Players who wish to log in to the PTR can do so using the region selector found just above the big blue Play button on the Battle.net application.
      • Click the region selector to pull up the region list.
      • Select “PTR: Heroes of the Storm” from the region list, and then click Install.
      • Once your installation completes, simply click play to log in to the PTR.
    • Please note: Players must have installed Heroes of the Storm and logged in to the game at least once in order to gain access to the PTR. If the PTR is not available using the steps above, try logging in to Heroes, then close the game client, and attempt to launch the PTR again.
  • If you encounter any bugs while playing on the PTR, please head to the PTR Bug Report forum to share your experiences with us.
  • Complete patch notes, listing everything that’s available for testing right now on the Heroes of the Storm PTR, can be found below.

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GENERAL

 

Kill the Treasure Goblins!

 

It seems that mischievous Treasure Goblins have snuck into the Nexus alongside the arrival of the Burning Hells. These devious creatures are intent on pilfering as much gold as they can carry, and while their numbers are yet unknown, the fortunes they've scavenged must be returned! Adventurers that manage to slay any Treasure Goblins they encounter during the Eternal Conflict will be handsomely rewarded. A Treasure Goblin will do anything in its power to evade those it deems hostile, so dispose of these timid beings swiftly, lest they open a portal and slip away!

  • Players will receive a Special Event Quest titled: “Kill a Treasure Goblin!” each day during the Eternal Conflict event.
    • Before the start of a match, any players with an active Special Event Quest will cause a Treasure Goblin to spawn at a random location near their team’s Core.
    • Kill the Treasure Goblin before the pregame timer reaches 0, or it will open a portal and escape the Battleground.
    • Any players with an active Special Event Quest that manage to kill a Treasure Goblin before it escapes will receive 100 Gold for their efforts at the end of the match.
    • Treasure Goblins may spawn on any Battleground, in any matchmaking game mode (Versus A.I., Quick Match, Hero League, Team League).
    • This Special Event Quest is available to all players, whether or not they’ve unlocked Daily Quests by reaching Player Level 6.
    • While players are invited to kill as many Treasure Goblins as they can, this Special Event Quest can only be completed once per day. Incomplete Quests do not stack.

New Portrait Rewards

  • Facebook Portrait
    • The Heroes of the Storm Facebook Page has reached 1 Million Likes! To help celebrate this social media milestone, all players who log in to the game before our next major patch arrives will receive a new, Facebook-themed portrait. Thank you for your support!
  • Golden Tiger Portrait
    • Any players that redeem the Golden Tiger Mount key found in the Heroes of the Storm Starter Pack will receive an exclusive new Golden Tiger portrait.
      • This portrait will also be retroactively granted to players who redeemed their Golden Tiger Mount key prior to today’s patch.

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NEW BATTLEGROUND

 

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The conflict between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells has spilled into the Nexus, breeding a new Battleground that is equal parts righteous and wicked. Angels, Demons, and now Heroes clash in ceaseless combat in their struggle for dominance over the Battlefield of Eternity.

  • Battlefield of Eternity is a two-lane Battleground featuring two massive Immortals that battle endlessly at its center, and teams must compete to defeat the opposing Immortal.
  • Once its foe has been toppled, the victorious Immortal will be restored to full Health, and proceed to seek out enemy Structures, attacking down the lane with the most remaining defenses.
  • An attacking Immortal will also gain a Shield, proportionate to the amount of Health it had remaining at the end of the battle.
    • The Immortal will perform ranged attacks, which each consume a portion of its Shield. Taking damage will also drain the Immortal’s Shield.
    • Once its Shield has been expended, the Immortal will only attack at melee range.

New Mercenaries

  • Fallen Shaman
    • These malformed demons never stray too far from a pack of Fallen Hounds, and will quickly resurrect any Hounds that are killed in combat. Those who value their souls would be wise to first destroy the Shaman before targeting its Hound companions.
  • Khazra
    • The half human, half goat creatures that inhabit Battlefield of Eternity are tough, ranged attackers that won’t hesitate to rain spears on their foes. Defeat the Khazra at their camps to harness their destructive appetite before the enemy team.

New Battleground, More Often

  • Starting today, the pool of Battlegrounds available in all modes, except Custom Games, will be temporarily limited to the following:
    • Battlefield of Eternity
    • Sky Temple
    • Tomb of the Spider Queen
    • Cursed Hollow
  • This has been done to increase the frequency with which players encounter the new Battleground, Battlefield of Eternity.
  • During this time, players can still select and play on any Battleground they wish using Custom Games.
  • All Battlegrounds, including Battlefield of Eternity, will once again be made available for play in all matchmaking game modes on Tuesday, July 7.

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ART

 

General

  • Many Hero and Mount preview panels in the Shop have received updated camera angles, as well as additional lighting polish.
  • AOE Cursors have received additional polish.

Battlegrounds

  • Various Battleground assets have received additional visual polish.
  • Various Battleground assets have received additional optimization to help improve performance.
  • Lighting during the map event on Garden of Terror has been changed to improve overall visual quality and clarity.
  • The range indicator for the Dragon Knight’s Savage Charge has received visual polish.

Heroes, Abilities, Mounts, and Skins

  • Heroes
    • Brightwing’s in-game Hero portrait has received animation polish.
  • Hero Abilities
    • Various Hero Abilities have received additional optimization.
    • Brightwing has received updated art and visual effects to coincide with her Talent rework.
    • The range indicator art for several Hero Abilities and Talents have received visual polish:
      • Azmodan – March of Sin (Talent)
      • Falstad – Lightning Rod (W)
      • Rehgar – Earthbind Totem (E)
      • Tychus – Drakken Laser Drill ®
      • Uther – Blessed Champion (Talent)
      • Valla – Strafe ®

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SOUND

 

General

  • Even the music that plays while viewing the out of game menus has taken a foreboding turn with the Eternal Conflict’s fierce arrival to Heroes of the Storm.
    • Enable music in the Sound Options menu (or press CTRL+M) to listen as the sounds of Sanctuary clash with those of the Nexus.

Battlegrounds

  • New music has been added for the Battlefield of Eternity Battleground.
  • In-game music for the Sky Temple, Tomb of the Spider Queen, and Garden of Terror Battlegrounds has been updated.

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USER INTERFACE

 

General

  • Notifications that appear near the top-right corner of the out-of-game menus, such as party invitations and promotional rewards, have received updated art.

Hero Progression

  • Several Hero Level rewards have been slightly altered:
    • Hero Level 9 -- A new 750 Gold reward has been added.
      • This Gold reward will also be retroactively granted to players for each Hero that reached level 9 prior to today’s patch.
    • Hero Level 15 -- Reward reduced from 1,250 to 1,000 Gold
    • Hero Level 20 -- Reward reduced from 2,500 to 2,000 Gold
      • Players will not lose any Gold that had already been earned by reaching Hero Levels 15 or 20 prior to today’s patch.

In-Game UI

  • Tab Score Screen
    • The Healing column on the in-game Stats Screen (TAB) has been reworked, and renamed to the Role column.
      • The Role column will track healing done by Support Heroes, as well the total amount of damage taken by Warriors during a game.
    • The Siege Damage column will no longer track damage dealt to uncaptured Mercenaries or other neutral units.

Quest Log

  • A Special Event Quests section has been added to the Quest Log.
    • When a Special Event is taking place, any available Special Event Quests will appear in this section of the Quest Log.
    • Special Event Quests will display any requirements needed to complete them in the Quest Log.
    • Much like a normal Daily Quest, players will be notified when they complete a Special Event Quest on the end-of-game Score Screen.
  • In order to better support Special Event Quests, the Quest Log has been enabled for all Heroes of the Storm players, whether or not they’ve unlocked Daily Quests by reaching Player Level 6.
    • Daily Quests will remain disabled for players that have not reached level 6, but they can still click the Quest Log to view an active Special Event Quest, or their player progress.

Rejoin System

  • Players will no longer receive notifications via chat messages or announcer voiceover when an enemy disconnects from, or rejoins a game in any matchmaking mode.
    • However, players in Custom Games will still be notified when enemies disconnect or rejoin.
    • Players will still be notified when an ally leaves or rejoins a game, though notification frequency has been reduced in situations where a teammate repeatedly disconnects and rejoins a game.

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DESIGN & GAMEPLAY

 

General

  • The difficulty ratings for many Heroes have been updated to better reflect their ease of play.
  • The rings found under Heroes in-game have been scaled to more closely match their hitboxes.
  • Skillshots and Abilities that use an arc pattern will now display their range when hovering the cursor over the associated button on the Ability hotbar.
  • Several Abilities were unintentionally providing brief moments of Unstoppable behavior during use. The following Abilities no longer provide Unstoppable:
    • Chen -- Flying Kick (Q)
    • Falstad -- Barrel Roll (E)
    • Illidan -- Dive (Q)
    • Illidan -- Sweeping Strikes (with the Unbound talent) (W)
    • Kerrigan -- Ravage (Q)
  • A number of Hero Abilities were not intended to completely Stun enemy targets. In these cases, Stuns have been converted to Dazes, which act similarly, but will no longer interrupt Abilities that can be channeled while the Hero is moving.
    • For example: Dazing Valla will not stop her from channeling Strafe.
    • The following abilities will now Daze, rather than Stun, enemy Heroes:
      • Brightwing -- Emerald Wind ®
      • Chen -- Wandering Keg ®
      • Johanna -- Condemn (W)
      • Diablo -- Shadow Charge (Q)
      • E.T.C. -- Face Melt (W)
      • Falstad -- Mighty Gust ®
      • Kerrigan -- Primal Grasp (E)
      • Raynor -- Penetrating Round (Q)
      • Sgt. Hammer -- Concussive Blast (W)
      • Thrall -- Sundering ®
      • Tychus -- Frag Grenade (W)

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TALENTS

 

New Talent: Vampiric Strike

  • This is a new version of Vampiric Assault
    • Basic Attacks heal for 25% of the damage dealt to the primary target
    • Vampiric Assault has not been changed

Blood for Blood

  • No longer slows the target
  • Damage decreased from 15% to 10% of the target’s maximum Health
  • Heal amount increased from 100% to 200% of damage dealt

Conjurer’s Pursuit

  • Initial +0.5 Mana Regeneration removed
  • Each Health Globe now grants +0.1 Mana Regeneration

Envenom

  • Duration increased from 5 to 10 seconds, but damage has not been changed

Promote

  • Minions no longer gain 300% increased Health and 100% increased damage
    • Instead, the targeted Minion now takes 75% reduced damage from non-Heroic targets, and deals 100% bonus damage to non-Heroic targets

Protective Shield

  • Now Shields for 15% of the target’s maximum Health

Regeneration Master

  • Initial +4.0 Health Regeneration removed
  • Each Health Globe now grants +1.5 Health Regeneration

Spell Shield

  • Duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds

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HEROES

 

ASSASSIN

 

ILLIDAN

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  • Metamorphosis ®
    • Radius decreased by 25%
    • Damage decreased from 200 (+10 per level) to 20 (+4 per level)

 

JAINA

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  • Sprint (Talent) removed
  • Water Elemental ®
    • Can now be re-targeted after Jaina is killed

 

KERRIGAN

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  • Ultralisk ®
    • Can now be re-targeted after Kerrigan is killed

 

NOVA

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  • Holo Decoy (E)
    • Nova’s allies will now see Minion-sized Health bars for her Holo Decoys

 

RAYNOR

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  • Raynor’s Raiders ®
    • Can now be re-targeted after Raynor is killed

 

TYCHUS

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  • Basic Attack range increased to match that of other ranged Heroes
  • Frag Grenade (W)
    • Melting Point (Talent)
      • Damage changed from 120 (+50 per level) to 200 (+30 per level)
  • Drakken Laser Drill ®
    • Can now be re-targeted after Tychus is killed

 

ZERATUL

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  • Vampiric Strike (Talent) added at Level 4
  • Vampiric Assault (Talent) removed

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SPECIALIST

 

ABATHUR

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  • Symbiote (Q)
    • Carapace (E)
      • Networked Carapace (Talent)
        • Carapace now always Shields nearby Minions and Mercenaries, regardless of Symbiote’s target

 

AZMODAN

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  • General of Hell (Trait)
    • Bound Minion (Talent)
      • The targeted Minion no longer gains 300% increased Health and 100% increased damage
      • Instead, the Minion now takes 75% reduced damage from non-Heroic targets, and deals 100% bonus damage to non-Heroic targets   

 

MURKY

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  • Living the Dream (Talent)
    • Initial Ability Power bonus decreased from 10% to 5%
  • Slime (Q)
    • Damage increased from 55 (+6 per level) to 56 (+6.2 per level)
  • Pufferfish (W)
    • Damage increased from 130 (+35 per level) to 134 (+36 per level)

 

NAZEEBO

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  • Corpse Spiders (Q)
    • Leaping Spiders (Talent)
      • Improvements have been made which will help Corpse Spiders better leap to their targets, as well as stick to their targets more effectively

 

SYLVANAS

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  • Black Arrows (Trait)
    • Unstable Poison (Talent)
      • Players can no longer be damaged by multiple instances of Unstable Affliction that are inflicted at the same time
  • Possession ®
    • Possession’s functionality has been reworked
    • Possession now has 7 charges, with a 12 second recharge time
    • Converting a normal Minion consumes 1 charge, and Catapults consume 5 charges
    • Minions affected by Possession no longer gain bonus Health
    • Dark Lady’s Call (Talent) has been reworked
      • Now increases the maximum number of charges by 3, and decreases the recharge time by 4 seconds
      • Converting enemy Mercenaries costs 5 charges
  • Wailing Arrow ®
    • Damage decreased from 200 (+20 per level) to 140 (+18 per level)

 

THE LOST VIKINGS

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  • The Lost Vikings have received significant Talent changes.
  • Olaf’s out of combat healing reduced from 10% to 5% of his Health per tick.
  • Erik’s Movement Speed reduced by approximately 5%
  • Fast Restart (Trait) removed
  • New Trait: Viking Hoard
    • Gather Regeneration Globes to permanently increase The Lost Vikings' Health Regeneration by 0.5 per second
  • Go Go Go! (Z)
    • Movement Speed reduced from 40% to 30%
  • Longboat Raid ®
    • Duration increased from 12 to 15 seconds
    • Damage per second reduced from 30 (+14 per level) to 25 (+11 per level)
    • Mortar (Q)
      • Will no longer instantly explode when self-cast, or when cast very close to the Longboat
  • Talents
    • Level 1
      • Viking Hoard has been removed and repurposed as The Lost Vikings’ new Trait.
      • Spy Games
        • Time needed to enter Stealth reduced from 5 to 3 seconds
      • New Talent (Level 1): Explosive Attacks
        • Baleog’s Basic Attacks deal 100% splash damage to non-Heroic targets
      • New Talent (Level 1): Viking Bribery (E)
        • The Lost Vikings earn Viking Bribery charges from nearby Minion deaths, up to a maximum of 100
        • Use 40 charges to order the nearest Viking to bribe a Mercenary
        • All Vikings can earn charges, but each Minion death only grants 1 charge
    • Level 4
      • Hardheaded Redhead removed
      • Pain Don’t Hurt
        • Healing received is now doubled for damage dealt against Heroes
      • It’ a Sabotage!
        • Erik’s Basic Attacks also deal 100 (+10 per level) damage over 10 seconds against Structures; this effect does not stack
      • Spin to Win! (Q) moved from Level 4 to Level 7
        • Cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds
        • Damage reduced from 50 (+10 per level) to 42 (+9 per level)
    • Level 7
      • Erik the Swift moved from Level 7 to Level 4
        • Now also increases Erik’s base Movement Speed by 10%.
      • Jump! (W) moved from Level 7 to Level 13
    • Level 13
      • Speedrun! removed
      • Impatience Is a Virtue moved from Level 13 to Level 16
      • New Talent (Level 13): Nordic Attack Squad (W)
        • Activate to cause each Basic Attack to deal 1% of an enemy Hero’s Health as damage for 5 seconds. 30 second cooldown
    • Level 16
      • Executioner added at level 16
      • 64 KB Marathon
        • No longer causes The Lost Vikings to become Unstoppable during Go Go Go!, and instead removes Slows and Roots
        • Movement Speed bonus decay rate reduced from 10% to 5% per second for 4 seconds.
      • Norse Force! (Q) moved from Level 16 to Level 7
        • The Hotkey for this Ability has been changed from E to Q
        • Duration reduced from 7 to 4 seconds
        • Cooldown reduced from 60 to 30 seconds
        • Shield amount reduced from 100 (+20 per level) to 40 (+10 per level)
    • Level 20
      • The Sequel
        • Now reduces The Lost Vikings' death timers by 50%

 

ZAGARA

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  • Infest (Talent)
    • The 400% damage bonus now only applies to the targeted Minion’s attacks against non-Heroic targets

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SUPPORT

 

BRIGHTWING

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  • Brightwing has received significant updates.
  • Scouting Drone (Talent) removed
  • Envenom (Talent) removed
  • Promote (Talent) removed
  • Protective Shield (Talent) removed
  • Calldown: Mule (Talent) removed
  • Sprint (Talent) removed
  • Soothing Mist (Trait)
    • Regenerative Rains (Talent) has been removed
    • Gust of Healing (Talent) has been removed
    • New Talent (Level 1):  Unfurling Spray
      • Increases Soothing Mist's range by 33%
    • New Talent (Level 7):  Mistified
      • Each Basic Ability cast reduces Soothing Mist’s cooldown by 1 second
    • New Talent (Level 20):  Revitalizing Mist
      • Healing with Soothing Mist increases the Healing from the next Soothing Mist by 25% for 6 seconds; stacks up to 3 times
  • Phase Shift (Z)
    • Phase Shield (Talent) moved from Level 13 to Level 7
      • Duration increased from 3 to 20 seconds
    • New Talent (Level 1):  Hyper Shift
      • Every time Soothing Mist Heals an allied Hero, Phase Shift’s cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds.
    • New Talent (Level 4):  Peekaboo!
      • Teleporting to an ally using Phase Shift grants vision and reveals Stealth in a large area for 6 seconds.
  • Arcane Flare (Q)
    • Range reduced from 9 to 8
    • Inner area damage changed from 70 (+16.5 per level) to 80 (+11 per level)
    • Outer area damage changed from 35 (+10.75 per level) to 40 (+8 per level)
    • Arcane Precision (Talent)
      • Inner area damage bonus increased from 33% to 50%
    • Sticky Flare (Talent)
      • Slow amount increased from 30% to 40%
    • New Talent (Level 4):  Arcane Barrage
      • Increases Arcane Flare’s range by 50%
    • New Talent (Level 7):  Dream Shot
      • Reduces Arcane Flare’s cooldown by 1 second for each enemy Hero hit by the outer radius, and 3 seconds for each hit by the inner radius
  • Polymorph (W)
    • Duration reduced from 2 seconds to 1.5 seconds.
    • Damage removed from the base Ability
    • Now also slows the target’s Movement Speed by 20%
    • Sticky Powder (Talent) has been removed
    • New Talent (Level 4):   Unstable Anomaly
      • When Polymorph ends, deal 60 (+10 per level) damage to the target and all nearby enemies
    • New Talent (Level 16):  Greater Polymorph
      • Increases Polymorph’s duration by 1 second
  • Pixie Dust (E)
    • Anti-Magic Powder (Talent) has been removed
    • Shield Dust (Talent) has been redesigned
      • Moved from Level 1 to Level 13
      • Pixie Dust now reduces incoming Ability damage by 50%
    • New Talent (Level 4):  Manic Pixie
      • When Soothing Mist heals an ally that is affected by Pixie Dust, that ally is healed for an additional 30 (+10 per level) Health over 4 seconds
    • New Talent (Level 13):  Pixie Boost
      • Pixie Dust now grants a 50% bonus to Movement Speed, decaying to 20% over 1.5 seconds
    • New Talent (Level 16):  Bouncy Dust
      • Pixie Dust bounces to another nearby ally upon impact
  • Blink Heal ®
    • Ysera's Blessing (Talent) removed
    • New Talent (Level 20):  Double Wyrmhole
      • Blink Heal can be cast a second time on a different target within 2 seconds without consuming a charge

 

LI LI

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  • Kung Fu Hustle (Talent)
    • Cooldown reduction lowered from 200% to 150%
  • Blinding Wind (E)
    • Affected targets now miss all Basic Attacks throughout Blinding Wind’s duration.
    • Duration reduced from 4 to 2 seconds
    • Lingering Blind (Talent)
      • Now increases Blinding Wind's duration by 50%

 

MALFURION

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  • Malfurion has received significant updates
  • Conjurers Pursuit (Talent) removed
  • Protective Shield (Talent) removed
  • Healing Ward (Talent) removed
  • Battle Momentum (Talent) removed
  • Cleanse (Talent) added at Level 7
  • Elune’s Grace (Talent) moved from Level 7 to Level 4
    • Now increases the range of each Basic Ability by a flat 30%
  • Innervate (D)
    • Time during which Mana Regenerates reduced from 10 to 5 seconds
    • Now Regenerates 15% of the target’s maximum Mana, rather than a flat amount
    • Shan’do’s Clarity (Talent) moved from Level 4 to Level 1
      • No longer increases the target’s Mana Regeneration rate
    • Versatile (Talent) functionality reworked
      • No longer increases the target’s Attack Speed
      • Increases Innervate’s Mana return from 15% to 25%
  • Regrowth (Q)
    • Mana cost decreased from 75 to 60
    • Healing increased by 5%
    • Harmony (Talent) has been redesigned
      • If Moonfire hits a target, Regrowth's Mana cost is reduced by 10. This effect stacks, but cannot reduce Regrowth's Mana cost below 0
    • Life Seed (Talent)
      • Cooldown for passive Healing increased from 15 to 20 seconds
    • New Talent (Level 4): Rampant Growth
      • Increases Regrowth’s initial Heal amount by 20%
  • Moonfire (W)
    • Moonburn (Talent)
      • Bonus damage against non-Heroic targets increased from 30% to 100%
      • No longer affects Structures
    • Full Moonfire (Talent)
      • Area of effect bonus increased from 50% to 60%
    • Hindering Moonfire (Talent)
      • Slow amount increased from 20% to 25%
    • Lunar Shower (Talent)
      • Bonus damage per stack increased from 10% to 15%
  • Entangling Roots (E)
    • Cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds
    • Mana cost reduced from 75 to 65

 

REHGAR

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  • Rehgar has received significant updates
  • Battle Momentum (Talent) removed
  • Focused Attack (Talent) removed
  • Searing Attacks (Talent) removed
  • Berserk (Talent) removed
  • Cleanse (Talent) added at level 7
  • Farsight (Talent) moved from Level 4 to Level 7
  • New Talent (Level 7): Forward Momentum
    • Basic Attacks reduce Basic Ability cooldowns by 1 second.
  • Ghost Wolf (Trait)
    • Feral Heart (Talent)
      • Health and Mana Regeneration bonuses reduced from 100% to 75%
    • Shadow Wolf (Talent) moved from Level 7 to Level 4
      • Stealth duration increased from 2 to 4 seconds
  • Chain Heal (Q)
    • New Talent (Level 16): Tidal Waves
      • Reduces Chain Heal’s cooldown by 3 seconds if 3 Heroes are healed
      • Can now bounce to full Health allies, but will always prefer Allies that are missing Health
  • Lightning Shield (W)
    • Empowering Charge (Talent)
      • Basic Attack damage bonus increased from 25% to 30%
    • Reactive Spark (Talent) moved from Level 4 to Level 13
      • Now also reduces Lightning Shield’s cooldown by 3 seconds
    • Earth Shield (Talent)
      • Shield amount reduced from 100 (+21 per level) to 75 (+18 per level)
    • Stormcaller (Talent) moved from Level 13 to Level 4
      • No longer reduces Lightning Shield’s cooldown
      • Now increases Lightning Shield’s duration by 2 seconds
      • Mana cost reduction lowered from 50% to 40%
  • Earthbind Totem (E)
    • Slow now applies and fades faster, which should help it feel more responsive to players in the Totem’s area of effect
    • Lightning Totem (Talent) removed
    • Colossal Totem (Talent)
      • No longer increases Earthbind Totem’s Health
      • Now also increases cast range by 50%
    • Earthgrasp Totem (Talent)
      • No longer increases cast range
  • Ancestral Healing ®
    • Cooldown increased from 60 to 70 seconds

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WARRIOR

 

ANUB'ARAK

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  • Scarab Host (Trait)
    • Beetle Movement Speed reduced by approximately 16%
    • Beetle damage reduced from 8 (+2 per level) to 7 (+1.8 per level)
  • Locust Swarm ®
    • Damage reduced from 20 (+8 per level) to 16 (+6.4 per level)

 

JOHANNA

7ZK2EBJRP1ZG1434674893747.png

  • Shield Glare (E)
    • Affected targets now miss all Basic Attacks throughout Shield Glare’s duration.
    • Blind duration reduced from 4 to 1.5 seconds

 

STITCHES

ZEOLHHWJ9DIF1417483335223.png

  • Slam (W)
    • Mana cost reduced from 55 to 45
  • Devour (E)
    • Mana cost reduced from 75 to 65
    • Cooldown reduced from 30 to 24 seconds

 

TYRAEL

MUSK7R1KG1O11417483335506.png

  • Vampiric Assault (Talent) removed
  • Vampiric Strike (Talent) added at Level 4
  • Judgment ®
    • Can no longer be cast on non-Heroic targets

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

BUG FIXES

 

General

  • Fixed a bug in which certain ranged attacks were not dealing damage to Heroes that entered Stealth after the projectile was already in flight. In these cases, damage will now be properly dealt, and the Hero will be revealed, thus resetting the time needed to re-enter Stealth.
  • Heroes will now cancel movement commands much more quickly if they are unable to reach the final destination.
  • Mounted and non-mounted Heroes will no longer experience sudden slowdowns or hang-ups in movement when pathing around Structures or terrain obstacles.
  • The Countess Kerrigan and Mecha Tassadar Skins will now default to their unique Mounts in regular games after they are purchased.
    • Please note: Players may still choose another Mount for these Skins during Hero Select.
  • Graphic settings for the Mac Mini using an ATI 6630M graphics card will now default to Medium, with a 1280x720 resolution.
  • Several typos and tooltip errors have been corrected.

Art

  • Visual effects for Abathur’s Spike Burst Ability have been appropriately scaled up when cast while using Symbiote on a mechanical spider Minion.
  • Structures disabled by Arthas’ Summon Sindragosa will now properly retain frozen visual effects for the full duration.
  • Fixed a visual issue that could occur when Mecha Tassadar self-casts Plasma Shield while in Mecha Mount form.
  • Corrected a texture issue on the Spectre Illidan Skin.

Battlegrounds

  • Tornadoes cast by the Boss on Sky Temple can no longer push trapped Heroes out of Zagara’s Devouring Maw.
  • Fixed an issue that could prevent Mercenary Camps from respawning appropriately after turning in enough Gems to summon Webweavers on Tomb of the Spider Queen.

Heroes and Talents

  • Abathur's Toxic Nests once again display activation and expiration timers.
  • Brightwing Soothing Mist will no longer heal her for double the intended amount.
  • Fixed several issues affecting Diablo’s Overpower Ability that could cause Heroes to fly out of the Battleground's playable area.
  • Corrected an issue that could cause Heroes to fly back to their death location upon respawning.
  • Brightwing's Polymorph now properly interrupts Gazlowe's Deth Lazor.
  • Using Brightwing’s Phase Shift just as a Core is destroyed will no longer cause the game camera to become stuck at Brightwing's intended destination.
  • Diablo’s Fire Stomp can now properly damage and reveal Zagara’s Creep Tumors.
  • Using Diablo’s Shadow Charge on Raynor’s Banshees near the edge of a Battleground will no longer cause Diablo to leave the playable area.
  • Fixed an issue that could prevent Murky’s Egg from being placed on diagonal paths.
  • Erik will no longer enter Stealth immediately upon respawning after learning the Spy Games talent.
  • Lost Vikings that die while casting Longboat Raid will no longer respawn at their death locations.
  • Fixed an issue that could allow Rehgar to repeatedly cast Feral Lunge.
  • Sgt. Hammer’s Blunt Force Gun will no longer be placed on reduced cooldown when coming under the effects of Anub’arak Web Blast during Blunt Force Gun’s casting time.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Sylvanas’ Wailing Arrow to unintentionally be placed on reduced cooldown under certain circumstances.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the Mana costs for Uther’s Basic Abilities to permanently increase under certain circumstances.
  • Uther’s Holy Radiance will now properly damage Abathur’s Toxic Nests and Zagara’s Creep Tumors.

Sound

  • Abathur once again plays a digging sound when using his Deep Tunnel.
  • Allies will no longer hear Mad Martian Gazlowe’s voiceover globally.
  • Johanna's death audio will no longer play globally.

User Interface

  • Fixed an issue that could cause players to search for a match in a game mode other than the one they selected.
  • Fixed an issue that could occasionally cause Mount models to appear in a game lobby.
  • Players that attempt to purchase a Hero while searching for a match in Hero League will now be warned prior to finalizing the transaction that the purchased Hero will not be usable during the upcoming match.
  • Players that are already in a game can no longer be invited to join a party until that game concludes.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Ability hotkeys to temporarily stop functioning under certain circumstances with Quick Cast set to “On Release”.
  • Clicking near a Hero’s in-game portrait will no longer center the game camera on the Hero.
  • The end of game Score Screen will now display an accurate game time if a match lasts longer than an hour.

In addition, Matthew Cooper today provided some information as to why these changes are being made in the newest Developer Insights:

 

Blizzard Icon Developer Insights: Patch Preview 6/23/2015

 

With this episode of Developer Insights, game designer Matthew Cooper is here to chat about a few of the changes you’ll be seeing to balance and hero functionality in the near-future. Let’s dive right in and see what’s coming to the Nexus.

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

HERO AND TALENT REWORKS

 

XTXII3XK20WS1417483334636.png

 

We have a number of Talent reworks coming to Heroes of the Storm with our next patch. Malfurion, Brightwing, Rehgar, and the Lost Vikings will be receiving significant changes. These changes coincide with our trend of diversifying our characters and offering new talent builds. Do note that the Lost Vikings have a high win rate, so their incoming changes are intended to result in a lower win rate, alongside the goal of greater talent diversity.

 

Promote

 

We’ve heard a strong amount of feedback, specifically from the competitive scene, about the Promote talent. We like that Promote offers an early game lane advantage, but it can be a problem as players start spending an exceedingly long time killing a Promoted enemy Minion. We’re changing Promote to affect PvE only, meaning a promoted Minion will do increased damage to enemy Minions and structures, and take reduced damage from these same sources. However, their new combat abilities will have no impact on other Heroes, allowing for players to quickly clean up a Promoted Minion wave.

 

Daze Tech

 

We are changing the way many of the knockbacks in Heroes of the Storm currently work. Previously, the majority of abilities that moved an enemy character also applied a stun during the movement. This means abilities like Tychus’ grenade or Raynor’s Penetrating Round would double as a Stun for channeled abilities. With this new tech, many of these knockback abilities will no longer stun mobile channeling abilities including Tychus’ Overkill, Li Li’s Jug of 1000 cups, Sonya’s Whirlwind, and Valla’s Strafe. Knockback effects that we’d like to apply a stun, Muradin’s Haymaker for example, will keep the stun, but it will be explicitly part of the ability and called out in the tooltip. As an added note, stationary channels such as Mosh Pit and Ravenous Spirit will still be interrupted by a knockback effect.

JE4LEZAXC5VM1430419017464.png

Simply put, Possession is the least-picked Heroic ability in the game right now, and we’re excited to try out some changes to make the Heroic an enticing choice. There have been a number of great suggestions from the community on how to give this ability a makeover, and we’ve elected to run with a player-suggested alteration. Possession will now be a charge-based Heroic ability. Players will have 7 charges of Possession, allowing them to take control of an entire enemy Minion wave.

 

At level 20, you’ll have the option to receive charges more frequently, have a higher maximum charge count, and also be able to spend several charges on an enemy Mercenary. We’re excited to see what you guys think of these changes, and hope to see continued feedback after you’ve had a chance to try it out. We expect that Wailing Arrow will still be the primary Heroic as it is highly impactful in team fights, but anticipate that some split push builds will be able to utilize Possession effectively.

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

BALANCE CHANGES

 

V0TGBEY50T4F1417483333676.png

 

Before our latest patch, Anub’arak wasn’t seeing a lot of play and there were complaints surrounding his Beetle AI logic. While improving the Beetle AI, we also removed some small pre-cast delays making Anub’arak more responsive and fun to play. We expected the alterations to increase Anub’arak’s win rate but we were not expecting him to shoot to the top of our win charts. To bring Anub’arak’s balance back in line, we are tweaking his Beetles and reducing damage from Locust Swarm. The beetles will keep the improved AI functionality, but they will have reduced damage and move slower. We like how Anub’arak is playing now, so we are taking a conservative approach to these changes. We will continue to make further changes if more tuning is needed.

 

NG985DA0UWLQ1417483334267.png

 

Illidan has been a popular balance topic for a while, but we’ve held off on making changes as Illidan’s win rate isn’t exceedingly high. Across all matches, Illidan is near the middle of the pack but starts to rise as we look at higher-skilled matches. In these particular matches we commonly see Illidan paired with a Rehgar or Abathur, helping to unlock his maximum potential. At these higher-skilled matches we also see a significant increase in Metamorphosis play.

 

To address these balance issues while also increasing Heroic Ability diversity, we’re looking to make some changes to Metamorphosis. Right now, it’s simply doing too many things too well. Metamorphosis damage is similar to The Hunt at level 20 and is often hitting multiple targets, so we’re reducing its damage significantly. Metamorphosis will keep a trivial amount of damage so it’ll continue to reveal cloaked heroes, dismount characters, etc. Along with the reduced damage, we’re also decreasing the impact area size, making it more difficult to hit an entire enemy team. With these changes, The Hunt becomes the better Heroic for isolating a single enemy hero, and Metamorphosis becomes primarily about repositioning and survival.

 

AVO3T8MOM0SM1417483334438.png

 

With the new Daze Tech described above, Li Li’s Jug of 1000 Cups will become more powerful as fewer abilities will be able interrupt the Heroic. We are also changing the way blinds, or blinding attacks, work. Currently, being blinded prevents your next X attacks, and a secondary Y duration before falling off is enforced in case you don’t auto-attack for a long period of time. With this patch, we are removing the X hits and going purely with the Y duration, although these blind abilities will be tuned to have much shorter durations than the current iteration. Overall, the changes will be a solid buff to blind abilities against rapid auto-attackers like Illidan or Valla, but a nerf against enemies with slower attacks. For this reason, characters with blinds should become a more significant auto-attack counter.

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

LATEST HERO: KAEL’THAS

 

Balance wise, Kael’thas has a win rate near the middle of our Assassins and has an appropriate impact on the game. In the future we’d like to provide Kael’thas players with more diverse talent options instead of the single build most players are selecting now. There will be no Kael’thas changes in this patch, but adjustments to address talent diversity will probably hit in the near future.

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

And that about does it for this Patch Preview. Thanks to Matt Cooper and the design team for chatting with us about the content coming in the next update. Let us know what you’re most looking forward to in the comments below, and we’ll see you in the Nexus!

 

Are these changes going to improve the game in your opinion? Let us know what you think.

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      What plans do you think will be implemented this season? Next season?
      The Season 3 patch included a ton of changes to Hero League, though not all of them are player-facing. We're still planning on making improvements to matchmaking rules, but right now, we're focused on fixing bugs, and improving our matchmaking data collection. For example, while investigating reports of rainbow matches in Hero League, we uncovered an issue where players will very rarely incorrectly ping lower to a region outside their own when they have "best site" selected in their options menu. When this issue occurs, a player will make matches on that server, which may have different matchmaking rules that allow for rainbow matches to occur. We're currently in the process of resolving this issue, which takes priority over feature development.
      For Season 4, 2018 we plan to continue examining the quality of matches as well as the end of season impact of Rank Decay. Our feature development efforts have primarily been focused on hardening the Quickmatch matchmaking experience. We're also deep into development on a Loss Forgiveness feature that will prevent point/MMR loss for players who were stuck with a leaver while also punishing frequent leavers.
      Here's a quick list of some of the changes we're considering for the future:
      Preventing returning ranked players from placing higher than Diamond 3 each season-roll after placements. Reducing the number of placement games required for returning ranked players. Separating out the regional GM ladders to allow players to rank up within their local playerbase and matchmaking rulesets. Adding draft swaps for Hero League. Further extending the Rank Point Decay to affect additional leagues. Creating more incentive for Team League a topic that U/BlizzCooper is posting about separately in a moment. It's been shown that people remember negatives over positives.
      That leaves videogames, like HOTS, in a tough spot.
      Statistically, if someone plays enough matches they should end up at their proper rank regardless of the "stubbed toe" matches (leaver, troll, etc).
      However, it's entirely possible that someone may play only a handful of matches a week. And if I play five games with two stubbed toes that looks awful.
      Given that the perception is so negative, is there anything that can be done (it might be impossible for all I know) to address the stubbed toe problem from a matchmaking perspective?
      This touches on a lot of the things we are currently working on to make the experience better for everyone:
      Loss Forgiveness
      It sucks when you lose a game because someone disconnected and never came back and you had to play with the AI and the AI did things that aren’t becoming of a Diamond 3 player and now your Core is on fire and your team is sad and that player who left is sitting on a beach somewhere and you wish all their books became the Twilight series (or whatever kinds of books you don't like).
      Our aim with this is to make those games not count against you anymore, so you are not punished for having to complete a game in that situation, which should lessen the negativity felt for it (you still had to play it, which is a tough situation, but the result of that has been negated, and the leaver suitably punished).
      Hero League
      This kind of perception also extends to the matchmaker, when players ask, “Why am I playing a game in high GM with this low Master’s player?” This usually happens when their MMR has diverged from their rank. As we work towards switching to showing MMR for some or all our leagues, this should remove that negative perception, too.
      Quick Match
      When people are given quick match games which are 5v5 assassins, or games that feel like the balance of the players or heroes is off, this can reduce enjoyment as well, so we are working towards hardening the criteria for team composition to make the mode feel both more enjoyable and more like our other queues.
      Are there any plans to tighten the MMR differences GM players experience in their teams? Currently you can see #1GM players getting matched with 200 points masters/placements and i suspect the difference in MMR is quite big. Also showing MMR would shed a lot of light and transparency on how we are matched. Thanks.
      Currently we observe there are a small percentage of players whose MMR and Rank Points have diverged. As a result, these players end up in matches like the one you described. However, it is important to note that both MMR and Ranked Points are used when determining which players get placed into a game. Because of the divergence previously mentioned, GM players may see a lower ranked master player in their game when, in reality, that player has a higher MMR than his current rank. We are investigating potential solutions for how to reduce this divergence. In regards to displaying MMR to the player, please refer to the following reply that has more details: 
      I play in high diamond / low masters mmr in HL. My queue times are hitting 10+ minutes some nights (usually playing 9pm-12AM EST). The game quality seems worse this season then any other season. Are the matchmaking changes this season being reviewed as an improvement on your end? I'm used to 2-5 minute queue's max in previous seasons.
      First of all, congratulations on your ranking in Hero League! The match quality is something we are actively iterating on. We track numerous parameters for each match and monitor them actively. When comparing some of these parameters against last season across the entire population, we have seen a significant reduction in the difference between the highest and lowest MMR within a game, as well as the difference between the highest and lowest rank within a game. However, we still observe some outliers and it is something we are monitoring. Something to note about playing at the high diamond/low masters level is that for larger game servers the matchmaker now enforces a maximum of a one division spread for Master/GM players. As a result, if you end up with Master players in your game, you should only have Diamond 1's or GM's in the game, but never both. This can result in higher queue times. For smaller game servers, the rules are less aggressive (resulting in a slightly more broad MMR\Rank spread) in order for players to get into games within a reasonable period of time while maintaining the best quality the matchmaker can for the given players in the queue.
      When will we have quick match matchmaking where there will always be a tank and a healer?
      Sometime this fall, coming to a quick match near you:)
      Are you aware of the problems with game mode(TL/UD) populations in minor regions?
      When and how do you plan to fix them?
      Hi camerontenten! Thank you for your questions. You've touched on a few different topics so I'll do my best to try and address each of them. We are currently aware of the challenges that minor regions experience and are investigating ways to create additional incentives for players to participate in these modes that are facing challenges.
      Being able to queue for multiple modes is an interesting idea and compelling. However, there are many challenges that come with that. For example, when a player is eligible for matches in different queues, what happens? Is it a first come first serves? What happens to the other 9 players in a match you choose to not go into? We have a holding mechanic that allows players of higher ratings to place a hold on players they feel they could make a match with in the near future (whoa...psychic). A change like this would have far reaching impacts across numerous game modes and potentially create scenarios where all game modes would have a degraded performance. Don't get me wrong, I love this idea and it has been discussed within the team. However, when we make changes to the matchmaker, we validate our changes across historical data for the the population to understand the impact of the changes. With a change as complex as this we would have to verify that all game modes observed a net positive in terms of quality of games as well as queue times.
      In terms of duo queuing: 
      I agree, the game is very enjoyable with friends and I assure you we are very much invested in trying to improve the experience for our minor region heroes...of the storm:)
      How do you feel about the current state of "solo laners" and how do you feel about the current state of pocket picks like Murky?
      Hey Parrot_on_ROIDS, thanks for the question and love the name ?
      Solo laners create an interesting dynamic that is influenced a lot by the battleground you’re playing on. For the most part, we think this is an interesting role for the team and as these are typically bruiser characters, they fit well into many team compositions providing a second frontline character. In general, we see a decent variety of viable solo laners, but there is a lack of ranged character involvement. This is mostly okay but seeing a wider variety of heroes involved would probably be an improvement and something we can chase on the design and balance side.
      In terms of pocket pick characters, I think these are fine if they’re seen occasionally and in the right situation. We definitely don’t want to see the game become a “Murky meta”, but having the occasional Murky pick is fine. A general rule of thumb here would be that the more a hero forces the other 9 players in a match to drastically change their play, the more cautious we are about that hero being overly common. Murky of the old days typically meant he would split push the entire match, forcing his own team to fight in a lot of 4v5 situations which wasn’t fun for them. On the flip side, the 5-player team also had to babysit against Murky which also wasn’t fun. Assuming Murky is playing a bit more of a ‘standard’ game and participating with his teammates, then I think the situation is more enjoyable for everyone… sorry, bit of a tangent but hopefully still relevant ?
      Can we expect to see dedicated roles in QM soon (tank/healer/dmg per team)
      We are working currently on hardening the rules for roles in Quick Match. We are implementing ways in which we can make sure that people who are picking roles with low demand are more effectively informed that there are roles in demand right now that they could fill.
      Question about matchmaking in master hl. How matchmaking works currently in master? Because i have feelings that before grandmasters are up, it was different. In 2 first weeks of season I was matched with 5-9k players having 3k and then when grandmasters were announced i was started getting 0-1,5k master players having 5k points. And quality of matches were much lower. Does this work on purpose because of lower playerbase in master and harsher requirements for grandmaster players?
      Hi Ynous, thank you for your question. Whenever Master players are considered, the matchmaker will first try to make a game with players from one division, before expanding the search to the adjacent ones. It won’t let Master players be in a game that has more than one division spread (e.g. Diamond 1 and Masters are OK, Diamond 2 and Masters are not OK). This spread will only be allowed if all players to be put into a match have waited in the queue for at least 4 minutes. From matchmaker’s perspective Masters and GMs are considered to be different divisions, so when GMs were formed that player pool became separated from Masters by a wait time barrier in addition to all the other rules. In any case, for both Masters and GMs matchmaker is looking to not only make a fair game but to keep player’s MMRs as close as possible – with allowed MMR spread growing slowly over the first 15 minutes of wait time. Currently, the amount of rank points a player has inside a single division are not taken into account by HL matchmaker, so the games you have described were formed based on the MMR of the players involved. In your case, my guess is you probably were a lower MMR player in the matches before GMs were up, and now you’re probably a higher MMR player in those matches as there are fewer high-MMR players (as in, they are more likely to be in GMs now, which is a separate division).
      Would it be possible to steal the ear-destroying Dota2 ready sound? I get tired of losing 600 points and having to play low-priority. ?
      I’m not sure Valve would be too happy with that, but we are in discussions about a form of ready check. Personally, I would go with Murky’s March of the Murlocs horn or Whitemane’s laugh as a ready sound!
      1. Why is Hero League seeded from Quickmatch, when they are fundamentally different game modes?
      This has led to all kinds of abuse over the years with people purposefully cheesing QM for a higher HL rank, as well as being basically the sole reason for the common complaints of a feeling of inconsistency in the "game knowledge" of teammates at any given rank in HL.
      QM is a fundamentally randomized and unpredictable environment. As such, it gives players a warped sense of what balance is, how to form a team comp, and the meta. What makes that a good seed for HL?
      Is it unreasonable to just make Unranked Draft the only seed? UD is fundamentally much closer to HL in terms of the skillset and game knowledge required for success, so it is an infinitely better predictor of how someone will perform in the HL environment.
      2. What is the current form of decay supposed to accomplish?
      For one, it doesn't kick in until you've finished your placements, so people can just wait and do their 10 matches at the end of the season to avoid decay entirely.
      And two, It's not aggressive enough for how short our seasons are. Playing one extra match every 20 days is nothing when the seasons are only a few months long to begin with.
      One of HL's biggest issues over the years has been that the "bare minimum" of matches you can play to keep your rank is just too low, and this doesn't really solve that problem.
      Thank you for your question. Generally when you begin playing HL in a new season, there are 2 cases. In the first scenario, a player has played HL in previous season, in which case we will use your rating from that season. In the second scenario, the player has not played in the last season. Previously when confronted with the second situation, the game would look at other queues to try and use more recent information to estimate the player’s skill. The order in which we would look at the queues is: TL is seeded from HL, HL is seeded from UD, UD is seeded from QM. We changed the algorithm with the last season roll. Going forward, we will only use another queue’s information to seed a player in new season if they have never played enough HL games in any of the previous seasons to place into a definitive rank, and if they did - we will ignore other queues for seeding purposes. In other words, the issue described in the post you have linked should be resolved.
      Do you plan to make the term of MMR & RANK Decay shorter? The decay standard now seems to be a bit long.
      Hello! We are always looking to iterate on changes we make to Rating and Ranked Decay. We are monitoring the impact Ranked Decay is having on Hero League. The decay timers may be adjusted as a result. However, we won't be making any changes to the decay timers in the middle of a season as we want to ensure all players are aware of such changes before they play their placement matches (which is when the decay timers get initialized).
      Are there any plans to add a an AFK check to the start of drafts like many other MOBAs? Losing a game because one player is AFK and gets randomly assigned a hero that’s bad in the map/team comp is incredibly frustrating and honestly it feels like it could be easily avoidable.
      Hello Ankoria! This suggestion is actually something we have been considering for some time now. You can find an answer to a similar question here: 
      Have You guys considered to cover the AMA online in the future? Like Ion & Josh from WoW?
      Hi, ErothTV! We’ve approached answering questions about Heroes development many different ways over the years – from livestream or video Q&A’s with our team leaders, to reddit, forum, and social media posts by individual team members - and we will continue to try different things moving forward. We’re currently focusing our reddit AMAs on this format where we pick a specific area of the game and bring in the developers who work on that area to answer questions directly. I’ve been enjoying the way these have been going and think the individual developers being involved leads to more in-depth discussion, but please let us know if you have feedback on it or ideas on other ways we can continue improving our communication with the Heroes community. Thanks!!
      The biggest problems that occur with matchmaking seem the be around the "failure mode"s, where the matchmaker fails to find an appropriate match in the required time, and makes a wildly inappropriate match right now. Is there work on the way in degrading that more gracefully?
      Previously, the matchmaker search criteria would degrade gracefully to a cutoff point (for the party/player with the longest wait time), and then make the best match it can at that cutoff point. This would result in sometimes you being pulled into these matches being made at another players cutoff point. That is probably what you were experiencing, and we agree that this wasn't the best experience for the player. As a result we have made some improvements to it this season for Hero League. Each player now has their own search criteria. The players search criteria will degrade gracefully and only when players fit each others search criteria will they be placed together into a game—whereas previously it was based purely on the party/player search criteria who had the longest wait time. However, there is still a maximum cutoff of 15 minutes before the matchmaker makes the best possible match it can. This is currently live in Hero League and we are monitoring the experience.
      1. Replay system is so uncomfortable. Advance of replay system will make Ranked players more skillful. I heard in past interviews that the system is being improved, how long has it been?
      2.And the reconnecting system so! The reconnecting time so boring. ? 
      Hi 6igbear, thank you for your question. We think improving actual gameplay experience is higher priority than upgrading replay system. We have talked about these issues before: 
      Since then, we’ve been doing research in how networking model implementation affects player experience. While some of the improvements stemming from this research are still in progress, we have made a few fixes which are already live. Most recently, with the Whitemane patch, we were able to improve efficiency of how the game is sending user input over the network. This resulted in ~2x-3x reduction of bandwidth consumption, improving gameplay experience for players with challenging network conditions as well as speeding up ‘rejoin in progress’ for cases when network was a limiting factor. A nice by-product of that is that replay files are smaller in size as well.
      With voice comms it feels like the main disadvantage of duo queue has been eliminated. Have you considered adding duo queue back to HL?
      This is something we've discussed internally. We think there is value in ensuring players can play with friends and make new ones in Hero League. There are complications, and many differing opinions, but it's something we're considering for next year.
      Why are new heroes allowed in ranked as soon as they come out? When Alterac Pass was introduced it was delayed from rank for a week or two so people could get used to it. Shouldn't heroes be treated the same?
      Allowing new heroes in day of forces people to misuse bans because they might think someone is OP or they are afraid they're UP and a teammate with instalock them. Theres also people who go straight into ranked and mandate they have to play a hero regardless of skill/team comp. Seems like waiting a little bit is a good fix.
      Hi AlexRain1, There’s two main reasons that we allow new heroes into ranked modes immediately.
      1. It’s actually really critical for our team to collect lots of data and make meaningful balance decisions quickly. We believe that our balance patches that come two weeks following a new hero release provides a really good update cadence for the game. For those balance patches, we are able to use about a week of data from live matches to inform our decisions internally, implement and validate our changes, etc. While we absolutely do look at QM and all data available, being able to utilize data from higher level HL matches is much more meaningful. Even the fact that ranked matches require a player to be level 5 on a character first helps to validate this data further, and of course seeing pick and ban rates, is useful data in itself.
      2. The other angle is from a perspective that new and updated content is the lifeblood of this game. From reworks and significant balance changes, to of course new heroes – these are all opportunities to shake up the meta and create new strategies. The game is constantly evolving, and this can help to even resurface older heroes that may now present new synergies or counters.
      For Alterac Pass specifically, we discussed it quite a bit, but felt that having this new battleground enter ranked modes right at the end of the ranked season wasn’t the best experience. We instead wanted to create an interesting moment where the next ladder season would utilize this battleground for its entirety.
      Why Matchmaking changes are taking forever to be done ? We see new events and skins very often, are you investing more resources to make the game "prettier" instead of better ?
      We do have separate, dedicated teams focusing on each area of the game, so releasing a new Hero or a new skin does not take away attention from matchmaking or other feature work. It's critical that we continue making content while also making the game better - these things are equally important to us, and our team structure reflects that. The sensation that we move faster on content is really speaking to a different thing - content changes are more visible and tangible.
      Matchmaking is an area of game development that is incredibly challenging and perpetually evolving, not just for Heroes of the Storm, but for all games. There is no perfect matchmaking; it's always a series of trade-offs where we're striving to get the highest quality matches for the largest percentage of players in the most reasonable timeframes, all while attempting to balance an ever-increasing number of extremely impactful variables.
      Over the past 5 years, we've invested heavily in the ongoing quest to improve the Heroes matchmaking experience across the game and have made great strides along the way with changes that have been behind the scenes as well as public-facing. We've also developed tools that strengthen our ability to predict and understand the far-reaching implications of the changes that we want to make. Through all of this, we've been able to consistently improve the matchmaking experience for the vast majority of Heroes players. And while we've had setbacks, bugs, and fringe cases negatively impact some players as we've evolved the system, we believe matchmaking is one of the cornerstones of our game and will continue to dedicate a significant amount of time and resources to improving it forevermore. Speaking of which - we're always looking to hire talented Server Engineers to join the Heroes team and help support matchmaking as well as other feature development. Please apply!
      Hi, when can we expect some “balance” changes for Tassadar? He has been dangling at the bottom for months, and he is in a really akward and near unplayable spot. In Quickmatch you get matched against Global healing and splitpushing Slugs 99% of the time (why is this seen as a fair match up?). In draft you get reported for even hovering him, or if you are luckily you are not reported.. but solo supporting. I would love to play some Tassadar without trolling my team or getting split push stomped ❤️ Thanks for your time
      Hi IAreNoMonkey,
      Tassadar is someone the balance team has talked about. He could likely use some balance changes to address some of your concerns, but he may also need a larger update to better position him into a definitive role for the team. We do find that his role as an enabler for specific characters is pretty unique and can have a significant impact when paired with someone like Tracer. Whether he stays in this ‘enabler’ role or shifts to a more pure Assassin or Support is still up for debate.
      As far as matching Tassadar in QM games, we do have some changes to QM coming this fall that will help ensure games have a Tank, Healer & Ranged Assassin. This means you may still run into Tassadar vs. Abathur scenarios, but each team should also have a healer to minimize any disadvantage Tassadar may have in this specific matchup.