Chromie Balance Update, Unranked Draft Mode

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Chromie Balance Update and Unranked Draft Mode coming to Heroes.

Unranked Draft Mode is Blizzard's response to players who want to play less random team compositions (Quick Match) without the pressure of Ranked.

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Unranked Draft Mode

Coming with our ranked revamp will be an Unranked Draft mode. With its own unique queue similar to Quick Match or Ranked modes, Unranked Draft will feature a pick and ban system similar to Hero League, no party restrictions, and its own unique MMR (Matchmaking Rating). Our hope is that Unranked Draft will be the preferred queue for players looking to draft with a few friends or play in a more structured environment than Quick Match but without the pressures of ranked play.


With this new game mode and the Ranked Play Revamp, we will also be implementing a couple of behind-the-scenes changes that should address some concerns regarding fair matches and immobility on the ladder.

MMR Normalization

Scary name, right? There’s no need to be scared, it’s actually a pretty simple concept. At the beginning of Season One, we will transfer all players’ current MMR into a cleaner, more accurate model for all game modes. We will be maintaining the current ordering, however, so you will still be matched with players of equal skill under this new system; we are simply adjusting our model to more accurately reflect the distribution of players. This means faster queue times at the high and low ends of the MMR spectrum, and more consistently fair games.

MMR Seeding

To make the matchmaking experience as smooth as possible with the introduction of new game modes and ranked systems in Season One, Unranked Draft Mode and Hero League will use a player’s Quick Match MMR as a guideline for players first entering these queues. Similarly, Team League will continue to use an average of all players’ Hero League MMRs as a guideline to determine how new teams will be matched. After Season One, the system will use Unranked Draft instead of Quick Match MMR as the guideline to determine a player’s initial Hero League matches.

Note: The Quick Match to Hero League seeding will not apply to players who are currently active in ranked play; in these cases, the system will use preseason Hero League MMR to determine their initial Season One matchmaking.

Uncertainty Boost

We touched on this briefly in the Ranked Revamp blog, but would like to reiterate what this change will mean for players at the beginning of Season One.

What is uncertainty?

Uncertainty represents how confident our system is in knowing that you belong at your current rank or rating. When you first started playing Heroes, your uncertainty was very high, since the game had no notion of your skill level. Winning or losing games meant significant leaps in your rating until you reached a point where you started to level out. Playing more games at this point and maintaining a fairly average win rate would then give the system more confidence that you belong at your rank/rating and lower your uncertainty.

What are we changing?

Over the past several months we have heard complaints that many players feel “stuck” at their current rank or rating. In an effort to alleviate some of these concerns in ranked play, the uncertainty of all players will be significantly raised during the Hero and Team League placement matches at the start of each season, allowing significant adjustments to be made to your MMR as you journey into ranked play.


Chromie Balance Update

Blizzard is releasing an update revolving around Chromie, buffing her Health & Regeneration to compensate for her lack of escapes. The developers estimate the Hero to have a lower than normal Win rate due to her high skill cap and players need to play around her poke style. Her damage has also been buffed.

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  • Health increased from 1128 (+4% per level) to 1260 (+4% per level)
  • Health Regeneration increased from 2.4296 (+4% per level) to 2.625 (+4% per level)

Basic Abilities

  • Sand Blast (Q)
    • Damage increased from 390 (+4% per level) to 400 (+4% per level)
    • Cooldown reduced from 3 to 2.5 seconds
  • Dragon’s Breath (W)
    • Damage increased from 440 (+4% per level) to 480 (+4% per level)
    • Cooldown reduced from 14 to 12 seconds


  • Level 6
    • Mobius Loop (W)
      • Cooldown reduction decreased from 50% to 40%
    • Chrono Sickness (E)
      • Slow increased from 40% to 50%
  • Level 15
    • Shifting Sands (Q)
      • Ability Power bonus per enemy hit reduced from 10% to 8%
      • Ability Power bonus cap reduced from 50% to 40%
    • Fast Forward (Q)
      • Sand Blast cooldown after hitting from long range reduced from 1 to .75 seconds
    • Quantum Overdrive (Active)
      • Ability Power bonus reduced from 25% to 20%
Developer Comments:  A Hero like Chromie is one that we would expect to come out with a lower than normal win rate.  She has many counters, has a high skill floor, and requires her teammates to play around her poke style.  Even anticipating the gradual increase in effectiveness as people figure her out, we think that she has room for buffs.

Chromie is the type of Hero who has high damage potential (and man, when she hits those home runs they’re a sight to behold), but is also very inconsistent.  She’ll always be that way to a degree, which is by design.  We’re attempting to buff her damage throughput to offset this inability to pick her targets, without making her “one shot” potential any scarier than it is.

We’ve increased her Health slightly as well so that she is a little more resistant to incidental damage.  If enemies find a way to close the gap and focus her down, her still relatively low Health and lack of escapes will allow teams to eliminate our terrifying gnome-dragon, as they should.

What do you thing about the Chromie buffs and Unranked Draft Mode?

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