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Health Sustain in Heroes of the Storm

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During the past few days, the team has been looking into health sustain and has presented some proposals on it, asking for the community's feedback.

A discussion on health sustain was initiated four days ago in the official forums by a member of the balance team of Heroes of the Storm. Here is why they are looking into health sustain and what their proposed ideas and changes for it are.

Blizzard LogoBlizzCooper

Hey all,

My name is Matt and I am a member of the balance team for HOTS.

I’ll be coming to the forums occasionally to highlight different areas of the game that we are currently examining. With this, I’ll be looking to get your feedback, but also provide the community with additional insight into why we are investigating something and what the goals we are trying to accomplish are.

While I won’t be able to respond to every question or comment, please know that our team is listening to your feedback!

So, without further ado, the first topic: Health sustain.

This includes all sources of healing available including passive Health Regeneration, collection of Regeneration Globes, using a Healing Fountain, and a wide range of sustain talents such as Regeneration Master or Laws of Hope. Of course let’s not forget those pesky Support characters who can quickly top you off, or even returning to your Hall of Storms for a full heal.

Why are we looking at sustain, and what are we trying to accomplish?

Well, here are a few things:

• Poke heroes such as Chromie or Lunara can have much of their damage output invalidated by the constant uptick of health. This is partially why Chromie’s damage is tuned so insanely high, she essentially sits in burst territory.
• High sustain limits the reward of outplaying an opponent in a small skirmish fight. Your skillshots and those ‘small wins’ you get don’t ultimately matter that much unless you can get a kill.
• With the exception of a major lane bully like Zagara, it can be very difficult to decisively win a lane and force an opponent out. The reward for denying Regeneration Globes in lane also doesn’t end up meaning much.
• In team fights, high sustain can create somewhat passive skirmishes. Unless you have the burst damage to immediately destroy an enemy, most of your damage isn’t meaningful. This is partially why Burst Damage & CC are so prominent.

While the above is an oversimplification of a large system in the game, hopefully this provides some food for thought for your discussion.

Ultimately, we’ve experimented and discussed this internally a lot. There often isn’t a ‘Silver Bullet’ in design, and this area is no exception. There isn’t even necessarily a consensus amongst the design group of if this is even a problem or what the right solve may be.

With that all in mind, here is where we are currently leaning:

Regeneration Globes: We’re actually looking to tune these up, while also cleaning up the math on these a bit. The hope is that denying opponents access to Regeneration Globes while securing your own ends up being a more meaningful event. The math on these in the live game is awkward right now, but it works out to be roughly 6.2% of your max health and 32 mana. We’ve been playtesting with a change that increases this to 12% of your max health and 8% of your max mana.
Healing Fountains: We wanted to make using your Healing Fountain a bigger moment. A crazy first idea we had was to increase the CD on these from 100s -> 300s (and buffed accordingly). With such a long CD, it would become a huge moment and extremely deliberate of when to use a Healing Fountain. After much testing we are leaning towards a smaller change though. We’ve been playing with increasing CD from 100 -> 120s which feels meaningful but familiar. There are additional moments where that added 20s is enough to force you back to the Hall of Storms. We’ve also increased the mana provided from 20% -> 30% but kept the health the same. This ends up being an overall reduction in the HPS that these can provide.
Passive Health Regeneration: While we’ve tested quite a few variations here, one interesting test we did was simply turning off Passive Health Regeneration and not allowing players to pick any sustain talents like Regeneration Master or First Aid. This change meant that taking damage from an Abathur Mine or a Tyrande Owl was now ‘permanent’. You had to take some sort of action to remove this lost health instead of getting it back for ‘free’ over time. This change was pretty heavily contested internally so it’s not something we’re currently planning on shipping but it’s potentially something we will explore more in the future. I’m really curious what you guys think about this idea.
Support Characters: While I think we can all agree that Support heroes are a huge part of sustain, I wanted to exclude them from this initial conversation as I feel that this will overpower the discussion. Know that we are looking at Supports though, and hopefully that can be a future thread.

Please share any thoughts you have on the content above! I look forward to reading your discussions! :)

(source)

BlizzCooper returned with a summary of where the design team is at after all the feedback. The team will stick with their idea of having 12/8 Regeneration Globes and they will also try out making them time out faster. There were other ideas associated with Regeneration Globes (like having them grant XP or stats) which the team is still discussing.

As far as Healing Fountains are concerned, the community felt that their current state is fine as it is. The team would still like to test increasing their cooldown by 20 seconds, along with increasing their mana return. Moreover, the community didn't want to see changes in passive regeneration (like turning it off completely for some Heroes) and/or sustain talents; the team heard these concerns and they won't be changing anything on them. Lastly, they are aware that these changes might affect Quick Matches with no Support heroes and they will be paying close attention to them.

Lastly, it was promised that there will be a discussion about Support heroes soon. The community has various concerns on Support heroes, ranging from the need to add more of them up to how powerful they are.

What is your opinion on health sustain in HotS? Would you like to see more discussions like this one?

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