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Why I Think Blizzard Must Revert the Hero League Party Size Change

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Blizzard has now limited Hero League to solo players and parties of 2. Check out why we think this is a mistake here.

 

On September 2nd 2015, Blizzard announced their plans to limit the party size for Hero League to 2, effectively preventing groups of 3 or 4 players from queueing together (groups of 5 players hadn't been able to queue in Hero League since the August 18th patch). Despite a massive amount of negative feedback from the community to the September 2nd announcement (hundreds of comments to that post stand testament), the change finally went live with the patch introducing Rexxar, on the 8th of September.

 

In this article, I will go over my reasons for thinking that this change is not good for the future of the game, and I will make the case that Blizzard has to revert the change, or at the very least promptly offer new systems for parties of 3 and 4 players.

 

Refuting Blizzard's Arguments

 

In the September 2nd announcement, Blizzard provided 3 reasons for why this change was needed and/or a good idea.

 

  1. Players within a party (of 4 players, according to Blizzard, but presumably also of 2 or 3 players) can have varying skill levels. Blizzard claims that while these partied players are happy playing together despite differences in skill, the solo-queuing player on the team should not be forced to suffer this skill discrepancy.
  2. Parties of 4 (though, again, presumably also of 3) communicate internally and are inclined to exclude solo-queueing players from the strategy discussions, reducing the team's efficiency and causing frustrations for the solo players.
  3. There are far fewer parties of 3 and 4 players in Hero League than there are solo-queueing players or parties of 2. As a result, Blizzard felt comfortable removing the former from Hero League in order to improve Match Quality for the latter.

 

In the comments to Blizzard's announcement, which are brimming with outrage and disappointment, players were quick to point out the flaws in Blizzard's logic. I will limit myself to making the simplest cases against Blizzard's argument.

 

Argument 1

 

Argument 1 is Blizzard's strongest argument, on the face of it. Varying levels of skill within a Hero League team can lead to issues. Players who solo-queue end up being placed into a team with much stronger or much weaker players, who are only there to compensate for the skill levels of others in the party. Similarly, they may face much stronger or much weaker players on the other team for the same reasons.

 

An example of the problem (or a connected problem, anyway) is a Rank 1 Hero League player queueing together with several Rank 50 Hero League players. The opponents that the Matchmaking system finds for them will be stronger than the Rank 50 players, but so much weaker than the Rank 1 player that this player can overwhelm them and single-handedly win the game.

 

While this is indeed a real problem, Blizzard is applying a band-aid fix to it, one which causes a number of players to no longer be able to play the game with their friends (which will likely drive some of them not to play at all).

 

The obvious fix to this issue is for Blizzard to improve their matchmaking system. Dota 2, one of the greatest rivals to Heroes of the Storm, allows groups of 3 players and groups of 5 players to queue together. Their limitation only excludes groups of 4 players, but it is still much better than Blizzard's solution of locking out groups of 3, 4, and 5. Moreover, Dota 2 is a game in which individual players can have a greater impact on the outcome than in Heroes of the Storm (levels are not team-wide, there are no "map objectives" as such, Heroes can grow disproportionately strong through items). In other words, it is much easier for an exceptional player to carry in Dota 2 than in Heroes of the Storm.

 

Dota 2 solves the issue in part by having two separate MMRs for players. One is a solo MMR, and the other is a party MMR (in addition to which there is also a separate team MMR). This allows players to enjoy ranked games both solo and with their friends.

 

Another game with similar problems, albeit in a different genre, is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. There, players are not limited in the least for how they queue for competitive games (parties of 2, 3, 4, and 5 all work), and somehow Valve have managed to create a working matchmaking system to accommodate such parties. And what is true for Dota 2 is also true for Counter-Strike: individual players have a much greater impact on the outcome of a match than in Heroes of the Storm, meaning that rank discrepancies are even more problematic.

 

How the matchmaking algorithms of these two titles work I do not know, but it is obvious that you can have reasonably balanced games (no one claims, I believe, that the matchmaking in Dota 2 and CS:GO is without problems) without overly long queue times and without blocking entire segments of the playerbase from accessing the game.

 

Argument 2

 

Argument 2 is based on a seed of truth, but its connection with the party size change is tenuous at best. Communication in Heroes of the Storm games (be they Quick Match or Hero League) is not strong. Many games go by with only a few map signals and little or no text chat. This much is true. However, I would argue that a Hero League team comprised of a party of 4 players and a solo player will have much better communication and teamwork, overall, than a party of 5 different solo players, or two parties of 2 players and a solo player. The notion that 5 solo-queuers placed in a game together will suddenly begin communicating and discussing strategy where a party of 3 and two solo-queuers were not is far-fetched.

 

In my personal experience, parties of 2 are often very detrimental to teamwork in general, because they have the ability to lane together and, for the most part, isolate themselves from the rest of the team. On the other hand, parties of 3 and 4 players are forced (with exceptions, of course) to cover different lanes and, as such, be involved in the team's actions over more of the map.

 

Moreover, while a solo-queueing player who is matched with a party of 4 may indeed feel somewhat left out as the 4-player party communicates over Skype or some other voice program, most players would be happy to suffer this loss in socialisation for the added benefit of having 80% of the team working together towards a common goal, therefore greatly increasing the chances of an enjoyable, coordinated game (if not of outright victory).

 

Bonus Tip: What Blizzard could do if they want to alleviate communication issues in the game is make communication easier! One obvious way of doing this is including voice chat in the game. When we asked Dustin Browder about this during our Gamescom interview, he said that it is a feature they are interested in but which they have no timetable for (read: it's not a bad idea but they have no plans to implement it).

 

At the very least, incentives could be given to players who communicate. A system that allows players to commend others for "good communication" and which offers soft rewards for a certain number of commendations (a mount, a player profile) might incentivize communication a lot more.

 

Argument 3

 

Argument 3 is perhaps the most non-sensical. The very idea that there are not many parties of 3 and 4 players in Hero League undermines Blizzard's original point. They claim that since there are few such parties, it is fine to remove them completely from Hero League. However, if there are few such parties to begin with, it means that they show up in few games and therefore also negatively affect the experience of equally few solo-queueing players. What we are left with, then, is the notion that Blizzard were happier removing players from the game completely instead of having a proportional amount of players have a less-than-optimal experience (an assumption which, as we pointed out just above, is very doubtful).

 

Regardless of the number of players affected by this change, the point stands that it is a change in the wrong direction. This is the first time that I can think of that Blizzard is actually pushing players away from playing one of their games. No matter how many parties of 3 and 4 players show up in Hero League, this solution is a poor one.

 

Suggested Alternatives

 

In a recent tweet from Dustin Browder, an Unranked Draft Mode was proposed as a solution. In addition to this, a number of community members have been quick to offer possible solutions. It is my opinion than none of these proposed solutions are viable, and that instead Blizzard must simply revert the party size limitation and improve their Matchmaking system.

 

Unranked Draft Mode

 

An Unranked Draft Mode is a solution put forward by those who think that the appeal of Hero League lies mainly (or exclusively) in the ability to draft Heroes for a known map, and counter-pick the other team. There is a strong probability that this Unranked Draft Mode will make it into the game, as Dustin Browder suggested on Twitter.

 

This would allow players to experience the drafting process without having Ranks to fight over (and for which the MMR system would need to account). It would be, in a way, like a parallel Hero League where there is no stake and no party limitations.

 

I believe that the end-goal of potentially reaching Rank 1 (or at least, a high rank) in Hero League is the main reason people choose to play in that format. The drafting process is a necessary requirement of any competitive match system, but it is not the main reason to play competitive matches.

 

The lack of stake in Unranked Draft Mode leads to a possibly extremely frustrating problem. Imagine that you and two friends queue into Unranked Draft Mode to get as close as possible to a "competitive" game feel. You sit through (and enjoy) the drafting process, you load into the map, and then you realize that your two teammates have either no idea how to play their Heroes or have no real interest in winning the game. Why? Because there is no more incentive to winning this game than there is to winning a Quick Match. Can the same happen in Hero League? Yes, but the incentive of ranks makes it much less likely.

 

Finally, even if Blizzard begin working on an Unranked Draft Mode today, it will still probably take some time to make it into the game. Time during which segments of the player population are left without any viable option for competitive play (and which Unranked Draft Mode does not really solve, anyway).

 

Quick Match and Team League

 

Quick Match is often suggested as an alternative to players who want to play together as parties of 3 or 4. It can be an enjoyable experience, and indeed many players (even those over the level 30 required to access Hero League) only play this format. It is a good learning tool. It allows players to complete their quests or play new Heroes without too much pressure to perform on their shoulders. It allows experienced Heroes of the Storm players to bring their friends into the game without throwing them into a very tough, competitive environment.

 

But Quick Match also has a slew of problems. Because most people use Quick Match to complete quests with Heroes that they do not like to play, or to try out new Heroes, the overall quality of games suffers. Furthermore, since it is impossible to know what Battleground you will queue into or what composition the other team will have, ideas like countering the other team's Heroes or choosing a Hero that is strong on a given map are thrown out the window. These are aspects that add a lot of depth to Heroes of the Storm.

 

Quick Match games also often feature players who are trying out the game for the first time(s), and they have the potential of being mirror matches (which can be boring and, at any rate, reduce the immersion of players).

 

But the biggest problem with Quick Match is that there is nothing to play for. It has no stake. Most people who play Hero League do so not just for the increased level of competitiveness, but also because they want to improve their rank. They want to be able to quantify their improvement and their success. Even if most of them will never reach Hero League Rank 1, it is still a goal to aspire to which motivates players. Quick Match lacks such an end-goal, not to mention that it lacks the ability to pick and counter-pick Heroes based on Battleground and on the other team's Hero picks.

 

Team League is often touted as the go-to alternative for 3 and 4-player parties who cannot engage in Hero League. But this is not a viable solution either.

 

Chances are that groups of 5 or more friends are already playing Team League, provided that they can and want to play Heroes of the Storm together competitively. And if a group has fewer than 5 players, playing in Team League involves a number of things.

 

For one, 1-2 strangers must be found and then brought into the group of friends. Then, a schedule must be devised where all 5 players can now be online at the same time in order to engage in Team League games (and everyone knows how difficult synchronizing the schedules of 5 different people can be). Finally, the aspirations of the new recruit(s) must be appeased (these new players may not be satisfied with losing games, since they joined a team to perform well, and not to play with friends).

 

More than anything else, though, switching from a group of 3 friends to a team of 5 players (including 2 recruits) and using this team of 5 players to play exclusively against other 5-man teams considerably raises the intensity of the competitive level. Long gone are the relaxing 2-3 hour playing sessions after school or work; now you've got "team practice" and you had better not fail!

 

Mixed Hero League

 

This is a suggestion I have not seen thrown around very much, and which I have tentatively named "Mixed Hero League". I propose that this be implemented instead of "Unranked Draft Mode", and that it should essentially be a Hero League that is open to solo-queuers and parties of 2, 3, 4, and 5 players. Any solo-queuing players who do not want to participate here and instead only play against other solo-queuing players would have an option for "Solo queue only", which would instead place them in a sort of "Solo Hero League".

 

This would allow partied players to enjoy the game with their friends in any combination whatsoever, while still giving players the option to participate in a ranked environment where there are no parties. It is possible that not enough players would tick the "Solo queue only" option, of course, resulting in poor matchmaking and long queue times for these games, but this would speak volumes for the popularity of a Solo Hero League.

 

It has been pointed out that it is problematic to have so many parallel matchmaking queues running, but I fail to see how much of a difference there is between two ranked queues (Hero League and Team League) and 3, especially if you consider that both Quick Match and Unranked Draft Mode use MMR, even if this is not reflected in any visible ranks.

 

Reverting the Change

 

In my opinion, Blizzard have no choice but to revert this change and allow parties of 3 and 4 players back into Hero League. I would go so far as to say they should allow parties of 5 players in as well (as Dota 2 does). They must do this or else see a significant loss of interest from a solid chunk of their playerbase.

 

Not everyone who is playing in groups of 3 and 4 will outright quit Heroes of the Storm because of this, but some will. And why wouldn't they, when they can play together with their friends in any number of other online games.

 

I would argue that the proposed benefits of this limitation (improving the experience of solo players and improving team communication) are not worth excluding parties from Hero League, and are also probably not even attainable by excluding these parties from Hero League.

 

Instead of having these limitations, Blizzard must simply improve the matchmaking system of Heroes of the Storm and provide players with the tools and the incentives to promote communication and teamwork.

 

What is your opinion? Are you happy that solo-queueuing players no longer have to be paired with and against groups of 3, 4, and 5 players? If you are playing in a group of 3 and 4, will you switch to Team League? Quick Match? Unranked Draft Mode? Or will you give up altogether?

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So much truth in this post.

I was so dissapointed with these changes, because I was just about to start playing hero league with my friends, and then this happens. HoTS does have alot of potential, the game is fun and all that, but this is just isn't healthy for the game anymore.

The fact that this game is supposed to be heavily based on team work to accomplish your goals, and instead they're pushing us more to queing solo. Just plain ridiculous.

I pretty much agree with your point of fixing the matchmaking system, it still isn't working as it should. Fixing that would solve most of the problems this game has.

Adding voice chat also seems like a good idea, since stopping to write is mostly too slow. In case you're playing in a group of 4 friends, and the 5th one being solo, you can easily share your strategy with him/her with in-game chat, while using skype etc. With your friends to goof around or something similar :D Of course there should also be the option to toggle it off, in case you don't want to use it.

I'm also one of those that would prefer to get rid of random team comps and add drafting in quick match too (it isn't that quick anymore though :D) Sometimes you'll just get so bad team comps that some matches become unwinnable only because of that. This is just my opinion. It wouldn't be that bad to add un-ranked draft mode in the future, when the most problematic things have been solved.

I won't give up on this game yet, as I said, this game does have alot of potential. Blizzard just has to listen to the feedback they're given, especially when the recent changes have left majority of the fans unsatisfied.

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      Trait [D]
      Cryo-Freeze Mei encases herself in ice, gaining a rapidly decaying Shield that absorbs up to 1104 damage. While active, this Shield grants Unstoppable and restores up to 35% maximum Health. Cooldown: 40 seconds. Basic Abilities
      Snow Blind [Q] Throw a snowball that hits all enemies in an area. Enemies hit take 70 damage, are Slowed by 35%, and are Blinded for 1.5 seconds. Cost: 35 Mana. Cooldown: 10 seconds. Blizzard [W] Command Snowball to create a blizzard at the target location for 2 seconds. Enemies within the blizzard take 13 damage every .25 seconds and are Slowed by 7%, stacking up to 35%. When the blizzard ends, enemies within its area take an additional 75 damage and are stunned for 1.25 seconds. Cost: 70 Mana. Cooldown: 14 seconds. Icing [E] Slide quickly in the targeted direction. When this effect ends, enemies near Mei are knocked back, take 52 damage, and are Slowed by 80%, rapidly decaying over 1.5 seconds. Cost: 70 Mana. Cooldown: 14 seconds. Heroic Abilities
      Avalanche [R1] After .5 seconds, roll a massive snowball that consumes enemy Heroes in its path. At the end of its path, the snowball crumbles, releasing the consumed Heroes, dealing 220 damage and stunning them for .5 per Hero consumed. Cost: 70 Mana. Cooldown: 65 seconds. Ice Wall [R2] After a .75 second delay, create an impassible wall that traps enemy Heroes hit for 2.5 seconds. When the wall expires, trapped Heroes are slowed by 75% decaying over 3 seconds. Cost: 60 Mana. Cooldown: 90 seconds. Talent
      Level 1 Heavy Pack [Q] Increases the duration of Snow Blind’s Slow by 100%. Each time Blizzard damages an enemy Hero, reduce the cooldown of Snow Blind by .125 seconds. Ice Storm [W] Every 3rd hit of Blizzard against enemy Heroes deals an additional 45 damage. Blizzard’s final stun damage is increased by 125% against all enemies. Heat Transfer [Passive] Basic Attacks against Rooted, Stunned, or Slowed Heroes deal 33% more damage. Each time Mei Stuns or Slows an enemy Hero she heals for 18 Health. Level 4 Slushball [Q] Snow Blind deals 50% increased damage and Structures hit are disabled for 3 seconds. Cold Front [E] If Mei enters her own Blizzard while Icing is active, the cooldown of Icing is reduced by 7 seconds and she gains 50 Mana. Crystallize [Trait] Reduce the cooldown of Cryo-Freeze by 15 seconds. Mei gains 50 Spell Armor while Cryo-Freeze is active and for 2 seconds after. Level 7 Induce Hibernation [W] Enemy Heroes inside of Blizzard’s area have their damage dealt reduced by 40%. When Blizzard ends, enemy Heroes within its area gain this effect for an additional 4 seconds. Skating Away [E] When Icing ends, grant Mei and nearby allies 20% Movement Speed and 50 Physical Armor for 3 seconds. Backup Battery [Active] Activate to remove all Roots and Slows and regenerate 20% of maximum Health over 2 seconds. The cooldown of this ability is reduced by 10 seconds each time Mei picks up a Regeneration Globe. Level 13 Flurry [W] While in her own Blizzard, Mei gains 50% increased attack speed and Blizzard’s cooldown refreshes 75% faster. If Mei is in her own Blizzard when it ends, gain these bonuses for 3 additional seconds. Cooling Servos [Trait] Basic Attacks Slow their target by 20% for 1.5 seconds. While Cryo-Freeze is active, Mei’s Basic Ability cooldowns recover 200% faster. Polar Vortex [Passive] Using an ability causes Mei to deal 24 damage a second to nearby enemies for 4 seconds. Enemy Heroes damaged by this effect also have their movement and attack speed Slowed by 20%. Level 16 Fresh Powder [Q] Snow Blind gains an additional charge and its range is increased by 33%. Black Ice [E] Icing’s Slow effect no longer decays over its duration. Icing deals 300% more damage to enemies very close to Mei. Acclimation [Passive] Each time Mei Slows or Stuns an enemy Hero, the damage she deals and healing she receives is increased by 1%, stacking up to 20 times. While at maximum stacks, Mei also gains 10 armor. Lasts 8 seconds. Level 20 Cascade [R1] Reduce the cooldown of Avalanche by 25 seconds. While traveling, Avalanche constantly launches a volley of untalented Snow Blind snowballs ahead of itself. Shatter [R2] When Ice Wall expires, trapped enemy Heroes hit take 210 damage and have their Armor reduced by 25 for 5 seconds. The Big One [Q] Every 15 seconds, your next Snow Blind has 66% increased area and 200% increased damage. Flash Freeze [Trait] Upon taking fatal damage, Mei instantly gains Cryo-Freeze. This effect has a 180 second cooldown. Return to Top
      Nexus Anomaly
      A Call For Help New Nexus Anomaly - Climate Phenomena Strange weather disturbances have been spotted across the Nexus, with realms experiencing rain storms, snow flurries, and foggy mists! Mei's arrival is just in time to help analyze and study these strange weather conditions that have begun occurring. Climate Phenomena is our newest Nexus Anomaly, bringing a variety of fun weather effects to the game. Each battleground has a specific type of weather event that will occur every 4 minutes, with the first event starting at the beginning of the match. Each weather event lasts for 2 minutes before clearing up. This cycle will repeat periodically until the game ends. While these weather events are active, Heroes can gain a unique buff based on the type of active weather. These buffs are:
      Rain Storms Periodically Strike all heroes with lightning every 25-40 seconds, increasing Movement Speed and granting a Lightning Shield that damages nearby enemies. Movement Speed increased by 15%. Damage nearby enemies for 46 damage per second. Buff lasts 8 seconds. Snow Flurries Heroes accumulate a small shield over time while out of combat. Heroes gain 28 Shields every 0.5 seconds, stacking up to 224 (8 stacks total). Shield lasts until destroyed or until the Snow stops falling. Foggy Mists Allows Heroes to gain Stealth after standing in shrubs for a few seconds. After standing in a shrub for 1.5 seconds, Heroes gain Stealth. Stealth lasts 40 seconds or until attacking, taking damage, using an ability, or until the Foggy weather dissipates. Weather events will be active on these Battlegrounds:
      Rain Storms Garden of Terror Sky Temple Warhead Junction Braxis Holdout Dragon Shire Blackheart's Bay Snow Flurries Cursed Hollow Infernal Shrines Volskaya Foundry Alterac Pass Foggy Mists Tomb of the Spider Queen Battlefield of Eternity Hanamura Temple Towers of Doom All other Battlegrounds will use a random weather, including Brawls mode. Return to Top
      General
      A.I. The maximum follow distance for A.I. agents has been increased from 5 to 7. This will allow melee Heroes who are following ranged Heroes to attack targets at maximum range. Favorite Talents New hotkey named "Quick Talent Selection Favorite (Ctrl + `)" has been added under the Hero Management section in Advanced Hotkey settings. You can press this hotkey to select the favorite talent you prepicked when the quick talent selection panel is open. If the prepicked talent is disabled or a future tier is selected, pressing this hotkey will have no effect. Return to Top
      Event
      Nexomania II Event Quests Nexomania II is the summer event for Heroes of the Storm running from the week of June 23 to week of September 7, PDT. One of the most prestigious stops on the Nexomania circuit is the Intermultiversal Nexoweight Championship: No rules, no mercy, just nonstop, bicep-busting carnage. This time, many fans expected Mal’gaucho Mal'Ganis to win it all. The Swingin’ Scourge of Stratholme tore a bloody path through his side of the bracket, burying opponents beneath a deluge of demonic blows. But on the other side of the bracket, a mysterious upstart known only as La Gata de Batalla has proven herself a worthy challenger, defeating foes many times her size en route to the championship match. The arena is packed, with Nexomania legend MC Tombstone roaring away on the mic, and the final battle is about to begin. Whose side are you on? Loot Chests During the Nexomania II event, all Loot Chests you earn through progression, Heroes Brawl, or by spending gold will be Nexomania II Loot Chests. (Except Hero-specific Chests, which will remain unchanged.) Most limited-time items shown above have a chance to drop from Nexomania II Loot Chests only. You can also score Items from previous years’ summer events limited-time loot chests! Note: Loot Chests earned prior to the start of this event will not become Nexomania II Loot Chests. Return to Top
      Collection
      Many seasonal items will be returning to the collection, and will be available for crafting and in Loot Chests for a limited time!
      New Bundles (Limited Time Only!) Pajama Party Mei Heroic Bundle Nexoweight Championship Bundle Mal'gaucho Mal'Ganis Skin Pack El Bandido Imperius Skin Pack Gata de Batalla Li Li Skin Pack Nexomania Best Bros Bundle Nexomania Bitter Rivals Bundle Pumped up Pato Bundle New Skins Renowned Mei Vanguard Mei Pajama Party Mei Panda Pajama Party Mei Gnoll Pajama Party Mei Mal'gaucho Mal'Ganis Nemesis Mal'gaucho Mal'Ganis Underworld Mal'gaucho Mal'Ganis El Bandido Imperius El Fuego Imperius Sinister El Bandido Imperius Vigilante El Bandido Imperius Gata de Batalla Li Li Comeback Gata de Batalla Li Li Underworld Gata de Batalla Li Li Hulking El Chamuco Diablo Pink Singlet El Chamuco Diablo El Festejo Garrosh El Jefe Amarillo Garrosh La Medianoche Lunara La Rosa Lunara La Campeona Sonya Pink Pantera Sonya Championship El Mariachi E.T.C. El Cielo E.T.C. New Mounts Ratón de Batalla Comeback Ratón de Batalla Underworld Ratón de Batalla Pumped Up Pato Pumped Up Swan Underworld Pumped Up Pato Championship Luchihuahua Festive Luchihuahua Wild Pigñata Festive Pigñata Thraller Bill New Announcer Mei Announcer New Content Several new Portraits, Sprays and other items have been added to the Collection! Return to Top
      Storm League
      With the upcoming third Season of 2020, we wanted to make some changes to the reward structure of Storm League.
      Replacing Gold Rewards Starting with Season 3 of 2020, we are removing all Gold rewards from Storm League, End of Season prizes and Seasonal Questlines. This will also affect Season 2 rewards. The new Seasonal Questline reward structure is as follows: a Nexomania II Chest after 5 wins, a Rare Nexomania II Chest after 15 wins, and an Epic Nexomania II Chest after 30 wins. Storm League Reward Mounts Since the inception of Storm League, we have received a lot of feedback about the retirement of Ranked Play reward Mounts. We have heard you and are extremely happy to announce the return of exclusive Storm League Mounts starting next season. The ultimate and final reward of the 2020 Season 3 Questline will be the Regal Tiger Mount, which will be awarded after winning 50 games in Ranked Play. As of Season 3, you won't have to wait for the end of the Season to claim your well-earned Regal Tiger. It will become available as soon as you complete the four-step Storm League Quest Line. The mount only requires you to win 50 games and will be granted to players in all Leagues and Divisions. As usual, we're happy to listen to your feedback. Please share your thoughts with us, so we can continue to adjust and evolve the Storm League rewards further. Return to Top
      Heroes Rework: Mal'Ganis
      Base
      Vitals Health reduced from 2500 to 2450. Health Regeneration reduced from 5.21 to 5.11. Basic Attack Basic Attack damage reduced from 100 to 92. Fel Claws [Q] Damage reduced from 69 to 63. Talents
      Level 1 Vampiric Aura [Trait] Additional functionality: Mal'Ganis heals for 30% of Physical Damage dealt. Time to Feed [Passive] Healing reduced from 52 to 44. Additional functionality: If Mal'Ganis damages a nearby enemy Hero with Fel Claws, double this healing. Level 4 Fueled by Torment [W] Bonus Healing against enemy Heroes increased from 15% to 20%. Might of Sargeras [W] No longer reduces the duration of Necrotic Embrace. Echo of Doom [W] Explosion damage increased from 50 to 54. No longer increases the duration of Necrotic Embrace when its explosion damage hits enemy Heroes. Additional functionality: Gain 5 Mana and reduce the cooldown of Necrotic Embrace by .75 seconds for each enemy Hero hit by its explosion damage. Level 7 Nightmare Fuel [E] Removed. Black Claws [Q] Additional functionality: Basic Attacks after hitting enemy Heroes with Fel Claws also reduces their Armor by 15 for 2 seconds. Will of Tichondrius [Q] New functionality: Each enemy Hero hit by the first 2 slashes of Fel Claws causes the final slash to steal 1% maximum Health, up to 4%. If Mal'Ganis hits at least 4 enemy Heroes with the first 2 slashes of Fel Claws, then the final slash Stuns enemies for an additional .25 seconds. Spreading Plague [E] Adjusted functionality: Spreading Plague’s effect now starts when Mal'Ganis begins using Night Rush instead of when Night Rush expires. Level 13 The Night Beckons [E] Additional functionality: Basic Attacks deal 200% more damage to Sleeping targets. Level 16 Frenzied Assault [Passive] New functionality: Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes with a higher Health percentage heal for an additional 50% of damage dealt. Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes with a lower Health percentage grant 35% Attack Speed for 2 seconds. Blind as a Bat [Active] Additional functionality: Enemy Heroes hit by the final slash of Fel Claws reduces the cooldown of this Ability by 5 seconds. Level 20 Vanquish the Weak [Q] Slow amount increased from 15% to 25%. Alone in the Dark [E] Additional functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Night Rush by 4 seconds. Return to Top
      Heroes
      Murky
      Base
      Spawn Egg [Trait] Health increased from 324 to 420. Health Scaling changed from 30 to 4% per level. Return to Top
      Bug Fixes
      General
      Fixed an issue where Toys 1 Event reward Portraits could not be equipped for those who had earned them in Toys 1 Event in 2018. Heroes
      Anduin Anduin's Light of Stormwind now correctly removes damage over time effects. Murky Murky's Egg Health now properly scales at 4% per level. Stitches Fixed an issue where Slam would go on cooldown when Stitches was interrupted during its initial cast. Tassadar The Ranged Assassin tooltip at the bottom is now properly displaying for Tassadar. Return to Top
      A new Hero, Nexus Anomaly, and Nexomania II await in the Nexus!
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