Gul'dan PTR Testing, Free-to-Play Hero Rotation, Weekly Sales, Support Talks

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Gul'dan will be available for testing starting July 5, in addition, both the Free-to-Play rotation as well as Weekly Sales have been updated for this week and BlizzCooper shares his thoughts about Supports.

Gul'dan PTR Testing

Heroes of the Storm PTR returns July 5 and you will have the opportunity to test out Gul'dan before he's going live according to a Tweet.

Placeholder for tweet 749682881316786176

Free-to-Play Hero Rotation (July 5th)

A new week is ahead of us and here's the updated rotation:

  • Li Li
  • E.T.C.
  • Li-Ming
  • Sgt. Hammer
  • Johanna
  • Greymane
  • Kharazim (5)
  • Tychus (7)
  • Illidan (12)
  • Tracer (15)


Weekly Sales (July 5th)

The following Heroes have been added to this week's weekly sales:

  • The Butcher — 4.19 EUR // 3.19 GBP //  $4.24 USD
  • Iron Butcher Skin —  3.69 EUR // 2.70 GBP //  $3.74 USD
  • Commander Raynor Skin — 3.69 EUR // 2.70 GBP //  $3.74 USD


BlizzCooper Talks Supports

One of the subjects being talked about recently are supports. Players have shared their opinions and views on the official website and here's what BlizzCooper had to say.

Blizzard LogoBlizzCooper

Hello all,

In case you missed our previous discussion, feel free to check out the threadhere. In this thread I introduced myself and we had an in-depth discussion about health sustain in Heroes of the Storm.

Thanks to all your feedback, it was clear many players wished to have a discussion about Support characters. So, lets dive right into this next discussion topic: Supports.

We’ve heard feedback from the community that our Supports feel like heal-bots. Let’s briefly explore this:
  • Healing is a big part of what makes Support characters feel powerful and fun to play in Heroes of the Storm. These are some of our favorite characters, and we are not looking to drastically change the way they play.
  • Not all characters are going to fit your playstyle. It’s okay that Li Li is more straight forward to play, whereas Rehgar has an aggressive playstyle.
  • Additional depth and complexity can come in the form of talents. Uther’s base kit is quite simple. However, at a highly competitive level, ‘Piano-Uther’ is seen as the optimal way to play, adding another layer of depth.

All of this being said, we agree that there is room for improvement. If most of your power comes from standing in the backline and not paying attention to enemy heroes, then this is an area we definitely want to improve. We think we can tackle this through some base kit changes, and future talent redesigns. We will also keep this in mind when designing future support heroes.

We’ve also heard from the community that our Supports are not play-makers, so let’s discuss:

We agree that Support players should have the ability to make big plays, and this is likely an area we can improve. However, lets define what this means: 
  • Supports are not Assassins. We do not plan to push Supports in a direction that allows them to quickly mop up an enemy team or secure a bunch of kills.
  • Supports bring a ton of value in ‘supporting’ their allies. This often occurs through healing, but could be through a movespeed buff, a well-timed CC, vision, etc.
  • Many Heroic abilities including a well-timed Ancestral Heal, a perfectly placed Force Wall, or a clutch Divine Shield can all change the outcome of a team fight.

We think we can address this feedback with some simple base kit changes. With Lt. Morales, we’re currently exploring changing the way her Displacement Grenade functions; Instead of automatically detonating on the first enemy hero, we’ve changed it so the player chooses when the detonation occurs along its path, exploding automatically at maximum range. Simple changes like this could allow a skilled Lt. Morales player to choose if knocking away the enemy or pushing them toward your team is the correct call.

Other thoughts:
  • We want a flexible ‘meta’. We want the meta to vary over time and change based off the map. We like that the current meta allows for 1-2 Support characters per team - we feel this offers a lot of variety in team composition and play experience. We would occasionally like to see some 0 support team compositions, but very rarely.
  • It is not off the table for us to retune the total healing output of Support characters. For example, we could decrease healing by 30% and increase health pools by 30%. A change like this likely means that a healer is more about mitigating immediate loss in a team fight, and less capable of constantly topping off their team. While this is a perfectly viable direction for us to explore, I don’t think it addresses either of the core concerns we’ve been hearing regarding making big plays or being considered heal bots.

The floor is now open, please add any thoughts you have below. I’d be really curious to hear where you think we’re currently succeeding with Supports, and where we should be looking to improve and focus our efforts. As always, thanks for your time and help.


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