Stan

HotS: Matchmaking Improvements for Rank 1 Players

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Spyrian wrote about a new matchmaking rule for Rank 1 players that has been implemented as part of the matchmaking improvements. Games at Rank 1 will now be more competitive.

 

Blizzard improves their matchmaking system further with implementing several rules and restrictions to improve gameplay. Rank 1 players will from now on be more consistently matched with and against other players between Ranks 1 - 4.

 

Blizzard Icon Spyrian

We just released a two-part improvement for the Heroes of the Storm matchmaker that will help players near the top of the ranking system find competitive matches against other top players more consistently. Thanks in large part to player reports, we discovered an edge-case scenario in which those with very high matchmaking ratings could be matched with one or more lower-ranked players, and the first part of today’s change greatly limits the likelihood that this will occur in the future.

The other half of our improvement today adds a new rule to ranked matchmaking that’s intended to tighten up the range of skill that Rank 1 players can be matched with and against. With this rule, Rank 1 players will now be more consistently matched with and against others between Ranks 1 – 4.

As with many of our matchmaking restrictions, please keep in mind that this new rule can be relaxed under certain conditions. For example, it’s still possible that Rank 1 players will occasionally see allies and opponents between Ranks 5 – 7 in their games and, in rare cases, may even be matched with or against Rank 8+ players. However, situations like these should be infrequent after today’s update.

Rank 1 players – We’re eager to hear from you, so hop into Hero League and let us know how your matches feel after today’s change. As always, we’d like to thank everyone who continues to provide constructive feedback for the new matchmaking system. We’re still closely monitoring the matchmaker internally, and working hard to roll out additional improvements in future patches.

 

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    • By Stan

      The 2018 gameplay update is now live on PTR along with Hanzo, balance changes, a new map rotation for Ranked Play and various bug fixes.
      The latest Heroes of the Storm patch will be available for playtesting until December 11. The 2018 update was revealed at this year's BlizzCon. Stealth shader has been updated and many Heroes with Stealth received reworks, Artanis is down to 7,000 Gold and more.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Our next Heroes of the Storm patch has just hit the Public Test Realm and will be available for playtesting until December 11. During this time, we kindly request your assistance in trying out the new content before we officially release the patch. As always, if you encounter any bugs or other issues during your PTR play sessions, please stop by the PTR Bug Report forum to let us know about your experiences.
      General
      Performance-Based Matchmaking
      The matchmaking system has been updated to include a performance-based data-driven system, which takes individual player performance into account when determining MMR gains and losses. Under this new system, players will now reach their intended Matchmaking Rating quicker and more accurately. Read our recent blog about Performance-Based Matchmaking to learn more. Game Camera Height
      In-game Camera height has been significantly increased in order to provide more visibility of the battlefield. New Hero: Hanzo
      Once heir to the Shimada clan's criminal empire, Hanzo abandoned his birthright after he almost killed his younger brother. He now strives to perfect his skills as a warrior, and sees the Nexus and its endless conflict as the ideal training ground.
      PTR Note: In order to focus playtesting and feedback on the 2018 Gameplay Update and Stealth changes found in this patch, Hanzo will not be available for play on the Public Test Realm until the week of November 27.  Trait 
      Natural Agility (D) Target unpathable terrain or a Structure to jump to the other side of it. Basic Abilities
      Storm Bow (Q) Activate to charge an arrow that deals 270 damage to the first enemy hit. Storm Bow's range increases the longer it is Channeled. Reactivate to fire. Scatter Arrow (W) Fire an arrow that deals 85 to the first enemy Hero hit. Scatter Arrow can collide with terrain and Structures, splitting into 5 arrows that travel extra distance, ricochet up to 4 additional times, and deal 85 damage each to the first enemy hit. Sonic Arrow (E) Fire an arrow that grants vision in a large area 8 seconds. Enemies inside are revealed for 1 second. If Sonic Arrow lands directly on an enemy, it deals 150 damage to them and follows them as they move. Heroic Abilities
      Dragonstrike (R) After 1.5 seconds, summon a pair of Spirit Dragons which travel forward, dealing 52 damage every 0.25 seconds to enemy Heroes in its area. Enemies in the center take 150% damage. Dragon’s Arrow (R) Fire a missile that travels across the battleground. Explodes upon hitting an enemy Hero, dealing 100 damage to all nearby enemies and Stunning them for 0.5 seconds. After traveling a medium distance, the damage is increased to 200 and the Stun duration to 1.25 seconds. After traveling a long distance, the damage is increased to 350 and the Stun duration to 2 seconds. 2018 Gameplay Update
      Battleground Objectives
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      In-Game UI
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      Assassin

      Nova

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      Stats
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      Valeera

      Abilities
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      Valla

      Abilities
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      Abilities
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      The Lost Vikings

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    • By Stan

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    • By Oxygen

      Our thirteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the Alexstrasza patch of November is here!
      We present our thirteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Alexstrasza patch of November 2017.
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      Using the list
      As stated above, tier lists are easy to mistake for gospel. As new strategies are discovered and experimented with, so changes the perception of the relative strengths of each hero. Tier lists still prove to be useful as a snapshot of player expectations in terms of drafting. Although it is generally considered preferable to focus on high tier heroes (Prime and Core tiers), it is important to note that Heroes of the Storm's wild character and map designs make it so that any given hero's tier position is prone to fluctuate depending on the situation at hand.
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      A ↑ next to a hero's name means its tier list position has increased since the previous month whereas a ↓ means just the opposite. Additionally, a + or - sign indicates short-to-medium term predictions (which is to say, about a month) for tier increase(s) or decrease(s), respectively. These are often updated after significant balance patches and/or when clear trends are emerging.
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      Current map rotation
       
      Prime Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Arthas Genji - - E.T.C. Greymane     Garrosh Malthael     Prime tier heroes are considered to be extremely strong in all situations, and show no obvious weakness. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most matches.
       
       
      Core Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Anub'arak↓ Falstad Brightwing Azmodan Dehaka Kerrigan↑ Lúcio+ Nazeebo↓ Diablo Li-Ming Rehgar↑ Sylvanas- Sonya+ Valla Tassadar↓-   Stitches Zeratul     Varian (Tank) Zul'jin↑     Core tier heroes are strong in a wide variety of situations and have few counter-picking possibility. They should form the core of your team, and be picked after Prime Tier heroes have been distributed.
       
      Viable Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Artanis Alarak Ana Abathur D.Va Cassia Auriel Murky Johanna Chromie Kharazim Probius Leoric Gul'dan Li Li Zagara Muradin+ Illidan Lt. Morales↓ Xul↓- Zarya Kael'thas Malfurion↓     Kel'Thuzad Stukov↓     Jaina↓ Tyrande     Lunara Uther↓     Ragnaros       Samuro↑       The Butcher       Tracer     Viable tier heroes are generally well-rounded that have either fallen out of favour, or, inversely, are on the rise in popularity, due to the current Prime tier contenders.
       
      Niche Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Chen Cho'gall Alexstrasza (new)- Gazlowe Cho'gall Junkrat   Medivh Rexxar Nova   Sgt. Hammer Tyrael Raynor       Thrall       Tychus       Valeera       Varian (Damage)     Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They are generally picked to "round out" your team composition when your team composition is missing out on key components, such as a "jungler" (mercenary camps), a solo laner, or solid waveclear.
       
      Bottom Tier
      The Lost Vikings Bottom tier Heroes are deemed to be either considerably weaker than the majority of other Heroes, or much more challenging to play properly. Although they may situationally shine, these Heroes are generally avoided by most players.
       
      Metagame assessment
      Alexstrasza. She didn't feel great at all back at BlizzCon, and the following PTR saw no changes to her. I expected poor performance, but nothing quite as low as 41%. Where do I even begin? Dragonqueen is obviously powerful, but is gated behind a ridiculously long cooldown. Outside of Dragonqueen, she's just... really weak. I don't quite understand the concept behind Gift of Life, but it screams double healer to me, which is unfortunate for multiple reasons I won't elaborate on. Abundance heals for too little for how difficult it is to use, on top of putting a big obvious marks on where to shoot. I'm putting her as Niche(-) for now because I suspect most players don't play her all too well, but she's in dire need of buffs, and that was quite obvious 2 weeks ago.
      Anub'arak is losing some of his former popularity, though no nerfs were had for a few months. Although I can't explain exactly why, I suspect that tanks with more raw survivability and a bit more sustained damage potential are currently being prioritized. He's still not bad at all, especially with Cocoon to counter Genji's Dragonblade and Malthael's Tormented Souls. Give Locust Swarm a try if there are no valuable heroic abilities for you to lock down.
      Kerrigan has emerged as this month (and last month's) sleeper for ripping hero league wins away, and I suspect my shedding some light over her success may frustrate those whom have been exploiting her relative unpopularity to . Why is she doing so well, though? Assimilation's design makes it particularly difficult for double support teams to take her out. In essence, this trait gains more value the longer Kerrigan survives, which then translates into more damage, which then translates into more survivability... and so on.
      Zul'jin's most recent rework was certainly one of the most successful reworks to date. Although he wasn't bad to begin with, most of the changes ended up being buffs, contrary to what some players were claiming. To add to this, the meta is quite favourable to him; stacking up on Berserker (and keeping its effect active for the damage bonus) is pretty safe with more than one healer around. His trait also tends to favour longer fights, due to the stacking mechanic, allowing him to snowball. Guillotine is even starting to see more play, with Taz'dingo! feeling less and less necessary to deal with burst.
      Rehgar's changes, which I had mistakenly labeled as nerfs, ended up being positive. Turns out, area of effect healing is trendy. Now, why might Rehgar be doing so well? Simply put, versatility. With healers becoming more and more (over)specialized, this is certainly a respectable thing to have. He brings bits of waveclear, mercenary clearing, dueling, and of course, healing to the table. Lightning Bond is great for single-target damage as well, making Rehgar particularly strong on Battlefield of Eternity, and just as a general single-target damage dealer.
      Tassadar is also falling off quite dramatically. I think I may have overestimated just how unpopular he was in last month's list, but today's values are quite clear. As with Anub'arak, I'm not quite sure what happened, but most of the common Tassadar tag teams (besides Tracer, but she's a strange case) are below 50% winrate. Since the viability of such edge support heroes depend on the strength of what they support, I suppose we shouldn't be all that surprised for this. Force Wall could probably surprise quite a few opponents, as it is strangely unpopular nowadays.
      Nazeebo's October nerfs have struck home, although the current metagame state isn't helping either; chip damage isn't all that effective when it simply gets healed off. He still remains strong if you plan on taking it to the late game, but is nowhere near to being first-pick worthy.
      Samuro has always been in a strange place. Though the upcoming stealth changes are going to be extremely positive for him (BlizzCon spoilers!), I feel like his ability to split push, deal with mercenary camps extremely quickly, and single-out healers (or, anyone isolated, really) make him a sleeper. He's at his worse when Mirror Image get taken out quickly, but none of the top tier contenders are particularly heavy on area of effect damage. His winrate is currently the highest of the entire cast, yet his popularity is in the bottom 20. I suppose he requires quite a bit of decision making skills to make good use of. He's not all that flashy either, which may be contributing to his lack of popularity. Give him a try.
      Jaina is doing well, though feels a bit out of meta right now, as with most other casters. I suspect that nerfs to any of the Prime tier heroes will see her surge right back up. Generally seen as a 4th or 5th pick.
      Lt. Morales, Malfurion, Stukov, and Uther all feel extremely balanced right now, each hovering between healthy 49 and 50% winrates. They all have their niches (Morales on Braxis, for instance), and are generally picked as second healers when the Core tier contenders have been distributed.
      Xul, whom I may have overhyped recently, lost Blackheart's Bay and Garden of Terror, some of his favourite maps. To add to this, the tanks who tend to punish him the most are right at the top of the food chain. This is on top of August's pretty heavy-handed nerfs. Just to add insult to injury, he's just not all that great against double support either. Xul is now part of the bottom 10 and will probably stay there for a while.
    • By Damien
      This thread is for comments about our Tyrande build guide for Heroes of the Storm.
    • By Stan

      Black Friday is hitting the Nexus next week and while we do not have any specific details yet, the usual collection update will not happen.
      While we do not have any specific information regarding this year's Black Friday promotion, the usual collection update will not happen next week. In the meantime, you can check out this week's sale and we'll keep you updated as the Black Friday promotion draws closer.
      Black Friday 2016 (Source)
      Last year, Blizzard placed two Heroes and Legendary skins on sale during Black Friday, along with two Bundles and let's not forget the 360 day Stimpack that can now be purchased all year round for 9,000 Gems.
      Black Friday 2015 (Source)
      Two years ago, the promotion had epic proportions and got extended until December 8. All Heroes, mounts and skins were available at a 50% discount. A "Second Chance" Bundle was added to the Shop and featured retired items, such as mounts (Reigndeer, Nazeebra, Lunar Tiger, Magic Carpet) and skins (Winter Veil Jaina, Greatfather Winter Rehgar).
      What would you like to see this year? Everything purchasable with Gems or a flat % discount? Let us know in the comments!
      Blizzard (Source)
      Weekly Collection Update: Nov 21 – 28, 2017

      Due to the upcoming Black Friday promotion, our usual collection update will not happen for the week of November 21. Stay tuned for more info on our special sales during that period!