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Blizzard released a new balance patch today with changes for multiple Heroes and the Call for Help Nexus Anomaly.
Blizzard made some adjustments to the Call for Help Nexus Anomaly in the patch, claiming those were already committed for this patch before they asked for community feedback.
I think it's worth pointing out here that these changes for the Call for Help Anomaly were planned and committed for this patch before we went to the community for feedback (for some development cycle insight, patch changes generally take up to multiple weeks to implement, test, go through QA, then push to the final release client). Our next major patch is when you'll see the results of that feedback being taken into account. Check out the official patch notes below for more details. Note that Heroes tooltips are not working currently, and we'll update this post when they're fixed. Sorry about the inconvenience!
Heroes of the Storm has just been updated with Hero balance changes! Read on for details.
General Heroes Bug Fixes General
A Call For Help - Balance Update Tower, Fort, and Keep damage to enemy Heroes reduced by 10%. Maximum Armor reduction from Structures reduced from -40 to -20. Return to Top
TANK SUPPORT HEALER MELEE RANGED Anub'arak The Lost Vikings Lt. Morales Qhira Cassia Stitches Rehgar Zeratul Genji Tyrael Tyrande Gul'dan Uther Hanzo Whitemane Raynor Tracer Zagara Return to Top
Harden Carapace [W] Shield amount increased from 315 to 340. Talents
Level 7 Leeching Scarabs [Trait] Bonus attack damage increased from 20% to 30%. Return to Top
Health increased from 3060 to 3150. Health regeneration increased from 6.38 to 6.56. Talents
Level 4 Chop Chop [W] Adjusted functionality: Hitting an enemy Hero with Slam grants 25% increased Attack Speed for 3 seconds. Double the Attack Speed bonus and duration if they are hit by the inner impact area of Slam. Return to Top
Level 1 Salvation [W] Shield amount bonus increased from 25% to 40%. Level 4 Divine Vigor [E] Healing increased from 60% to 75%. Level 7 Purge Evil [E] Attack damage bonus increased from 55% to 60%. Level 13 Law and Order [Passive] Smite damage bonus increased from 25% to 35%. Return to Top
The Lost Vikings
Level 1 Olaf the Stout [Passive] Additional functionality: Increase Olaf’s Health by 20%. Spy Games [Passive] Additional functionality: After leaving Stealth, Erik gains 75% Basic Attack damage for 6 seconds. Viking Bribery [E] No longer causes camps to respawn 50% faster. Level 7 Baleog the Fierce [Passive] New functionality: Increase Baleog’s attack range by 2.5. While near Olaf and Erik, he becomes inspired by the power of teamwork and his Attack Speed is increased by 50%. Spin to Win! [Q] Damage reduced from 101 to 85. Additional functionality: Deals double damage against enemy Heroes. Norse Force! [Q] Cooldown reduced from 30 to 15 seconds. Level 10 Longboat Raid [R1] Health increased from 685 to 750. Health bonus per Viking increased from 171 to 185. Play Again! [R2] Cooldown increased from 80 to 100 seconds. Level 13 Nordic Attack Squad [W] Changed from a [W] to a passive talent. New functionality: While Olaf, Baleog, and Erik are near each of the other Vikings, their Basic Attacks deal bonus damage equal to 1.25% maximum Health to enemy Heroes. Return to Top
Level 4 Trauma Trigger [Passive] Cooldown reduced from 30 to 20 seconds. Level 7 Physical Therapy [W] Cooldown reduction increased from 2 to 3 seconds. Medi-Drone [W] Healing increased from 50% to 75%. Level 16 First Responder [Q] Energy requirement for bonus healing reduced from 70 to 60. Return to Top
Level 20 Farseer’s Blessing [R1] New functionality: After 1.5 seconds, Ancestral Healing is cast a second time on the same target. Allies near the target are healed for 590. Return to Top
Level 1 Ranger [W] Moved from level 4. No longer has an activated ability to make the next Sentinel pierce all Heroes hit. New functionality: Sentinel pierces the first enemy Hero hit. Lunar Blaze [E] Moved from level 4. Trueshot Aura [Active] Moved from level 4. Level 4 Everlasting Light [Q] Moved from level 1. Bonus Healing increased from 60% to 80%. Mark of Mending [Trait] Moved from level 1. Elune’s Chosen [Active] Moved from level 1. Level 7 Huntress’ Fury [Trait] Adjusted functionality: Basic Attacks only splash to nearby enemy Heroes. Basic Attacks that splash from Huntress’ Fury also give cooldown reduction to Light of Elune. Level 16 Darnassian Archery [Passive] Duration reduced from 6 to 4 seconds. No longer loses its bonus when attacking non-Heroes. Return to Top
Level 20 Bulwark of Light [R1] Adjusted functionality: Divine Shield is also applied to all nearby Heroes near its initial target and lasts 1 second longer. Divine Protection [Trait] Armor amount increased from 40 to 50. Return to Top
Level 1 Righteous Flame [E] New functionality: Increase the damage of Searing Lash by 25%. If the second strike of Searing Lash hits an enemy Hero, the bonus damage is increased to 50% and grants Whitemane 25% increased Attack Speed for 4 seconds. Level 7 Saintly Greatstaff [E] Moved from Level 13. Level 13 Scarlet Wrath [Trait] Moved from Level 7. Additional functionality: Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes reduce Zeal’s cooldown by 1 second. Level 16 Radiance [Q] Additional functionality: If Zeal is cast while Whitemane has 3 stacks of Desperation, then instead of reducing Whitemane’s Armor it instead increases her Armor by 10. Return to Top
Health increased from 1950 to 2000. Health regeneration increased from 4.06 to 4.17. Talents
Level 1 Fatal Wounds [W] Bonus damage to enemy Heroes below 50% Health reduced from 40% to 30%. Finishing Touch [Passive] Basic Attack damage bonus increased from 15% to 20%. Basic Attack damage bonus to enemy Heroes below 50% Health increased from 15% to 20%. Level 4 Ensnaring Swing [E] Primary target Slow increased from 30% to 40%. Level 10 Unrelenting Strikes [R1] Cooldown reduced from 75 to 60 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 60 to 50. Final Stun duration increased from 1 to 1.5 seconds. Level 16 Swing Life Away [E] Cooldown reduction increased from 150% to 200%. Spell Armor duration increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds. Level 20 Silent Killer [R1] No longer Silences enemy Heroes on its initial cast. Additional functionality: Enemy Heroes who are hit by Unrelenting Strikes are Silenced for .5 seconds. Return to Top
Level 20 Gift of the Xel’Naga [R2] Removed. Nexus Blades [Passive] Removed. New talent: Unwavering Pressure [W] Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes who are marked or Slowed by Singularity Spike reduce the cooldown of Singularity Spike by 1.25 seconds. New talent: Shadow Stride [Passive] Reduce the cooldown of Vorpal Blade by 10 seconds. Return to Top
Vitals Health increased from 1510 to 1700. Health regeneration increased from 3.15 to 3.54 per second. Weapon Damage from 122 to 130. Attacks per second from 1 to 1.11. Lightning Fury [Q] Damage from 150 to 165. Mana cost from 25 to 20. Avoidance [Trait] Now works while Mounted. Adjusted functionality: After remaining stationary for .75 seconds the Armor is rapidly lost over .5 seconds. Talents
Level 1 Thunderstroke [Q] No longer grants Avoidance Armor. Quest damage per Hero hit from 1 to 1.5. Level 7 Debilitating Thrusts [E] Name changed to Grounding Rod. New functionality: Enemies hit by Lightning Fury or Fend are Slowed by 20% for 2 seconds. Level 16 Martial Law [Passive] Adjusted functionality: Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes deal 1% maximum Health as damage. This is increased to 3% maximum Health against Heroes who are Stunned, Rooted, or Slowed. Return to Top
Health increased from 1620 to 1675. Health regeneration increased from 3.38 to 3.49. Cyber Agility [Trait] Cooldown increased from 15 to 20 seconds. Talents
Level 1 Agile Dismount [Trait] Cooldown reduction increased from 10 to 14 seconds. Level 7 Augmented Guard [W] Shield amount increased from 75% to 100% of damage blocked. Cyber Shield [Trait] Spell Armor duration increased from 2.5 to 4 seconds. Level 10 X-Strike [R2] Cooldown reduced from 80 to 60 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 90 to 70. Level 13 Double Jump [Trait] Removed. New talent: Way of the Shimada [Passive] Increase Genji’s Basic Attack range by 1. Each time Genji hits an enemy Hero with a Basic Attack, increase his Basic Attack damage by 1% for 3 seconds, stacking up to 15%. Level 20 Living Weapon [R2] Cooldown reduction reduced from 12 to 10 seconds. Return to Top
Fel Flame [Q] Damage increased from 200 to 210. Talents
Level 7 Curse of Exhaustion [W] Slow reduced from 50% to 40%. No longer requires enemies to be afflicted by Corruption for the bonuses to take effect. Level 13 Dark Bargain [Passive] Additional respawn time reduced from 15 to 10 seconds. Return to Top
Level 10 Dragonstrike [R1] Damage increased from 78 to 84. Level 13 Mounted Archery [Passive] Additional functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Summon Mount by 2 seconds. Level 16 Flawless Technique [Passive] Storm Bow and Basic Attack damage bonuses increased from 30% to 40%. Return to Top
Level 1 Exterminator [Passive] Bonus damage to Minions, Mercenaries, and Monsters reduced from 75% to 50%. Return to Top
Reload [Trait] Healing from Basic Attacks reduced from 15% to 10%. Talents
Level 13 Untouchable [Q] No longer increases Tracer’s Blink range. New functionality: After using Blink, Tracer’s Movement Speed is increased by 20% for 2 seconds. Telefrag [E] Cooldown reduction on Recall increased from .1875 to .25 seconds. Return to Top
Level 16 Jagged Barbs [Trait] Attack range bonus increased from 10% to 20%. Return to Top
Watching replays from previous versions of the game will no longer crash the client. Heroes
Chromie Every talent that is affected by Sand Blast correctly references 'Primary Sand Blast' or references Sand Blasts 'from Chromie or her Echoes' that matches its functionality. Deathwing Updated a tooltip for Bellowing Roar's Fear to correctly state its duration as 1.5 seconds. Garrosh Helping Hand and Into the Fray no longer can be cast on Turrets placed by themselves or allies. Kael'thas Both Fel Infusion and Sunfire Enchantment now properly increase Kael'thas' healing from Fel Infusion. Mal'ganis Spreading Plague's duration is now set to 5 seconds when Mal'ganis basic attacks an enemy Hero, which is its full duration. Orphea Shadow Waltz now refunds mana cost equal to its cast. Ragnaros Sulfuras Smash now has the same cooldown and effect when Ragnaros casts it during Molten Core. Tracer Bullet Spray's range now increases 30%, and a tooltip description has been updated to match it as well. Heavy Handed's armor debuff is now properly applied after Melee damage. Battlegrounds
Dragon Shire The Dragon Knight's Savage no longer interrupts missile movers of targets that are Unstoppable, but continues to properly interrupt missile movers of targets that are not Unstoppable. Hanamura Temple The Sentinel's Warning Splat for Horizontal Slash properly matches its searches. Return to Top
The latest patch brings changes for the Call for Help Nexus Anomaly and several Heroes.
The Heroes Design team is looking for feedback on the latest Nexus Anomaly, the current thinking is to keep the Core changes permanently because they add unique flavor and cool moments to games, and this post focuses on the more controversial changes that have gone live for Structures, mainly Tower aggro.
The team initially decided to pull out all of the Tower aggro changes in preparation for the next Anomaly, as they didn't think they were right for the game. Once they removed the system, they started receiving feedback from across the team that this was the wrong decision, and that Tower aggro changes made the game feel better. Left undecided, the Design team is currently looking for feedback, because they need to make a call soon, but they are not 100% sure what to do now. Would you like the Tower aggro changes permanently added to the game?
Hello fellow Heroes!
The Heroes Design team has been hard at work on our next seasonal content, including deciding what to do with the Call for Help Nexus Anomaly. We’re looking for feedback, and we wanted to take the time to give you some heavy insight into our thoughts, so strap yourselves in, this is going to be a doozy!
Firstly, we have already decided that we like what the changes to the Kings Core have brought to our game, and we want to keep those. We believe they give our maps a unique flavor and they add some cool moments to games. This article will be focused solely on the more controversial changes that were made to Towers, Forts, and Keeps in regards to how they interact with enemy Heroes. We think a good place to start is with what our goals were when we changed the Tower Aggro system.
We had two major goals with the system:
We wanted players to feel like their Towers were “smart” about how they tried to protect members of their team. We have heard lots of feedback over the years that it’s frustrating that Towers will prioritize a nearby minion while an allied Hero is being attacked, and that this felt unintuitive, resulting in players being upset with their own structures for not helping them out.
We wanted to create more interesting back and forth gameplay between Heroes in both Tower diving and town defense situations. Before this change, the defending team’s counter-play was to try to cast AoE abilities on enemy Minions so that they would die, effectively enabling their Towers to target the diving Heroes and protect them.
We want to also point out that while the first point may not seem like much, it is a fairly big deal, and was the initial primary motivator for changing Tower aggro. It’s important when playing games that they “feel” right, and when they don’t it can be a big deterrent to player enjoyment. It’s why we spend a lot of time and effort on high quality visual effects, sound effects, models, animations, and creating counter-play through proper design. It’s all related, and we believe that games become great works of art when things feel like they’re all working together in a cohesive and awesome way.
Where We Are
Let’s talk about how we feel about where things currently stand. We had recently made the decision to pull out all of the Tower aggro changes, and our recent playtests have had them removed in preparation for the next Anomaly. The team didn’t feel that it was a clear enough win due to some design concerns which we will discuss later, and due to how controversial the changes have been overall. We’re committed to only keeping Anomalies that we truly believe are better for the game as a whole, and since we were also incredibly torn on this issue, we had decided to remove it.
Then something interesting happened. Once we had removed the system, we started getting feedback from across the team that this was the wrong decision, and that the Tower aggro changes, although they had some issues, made the game, overall, feel much better. We ourselves also noticed that the games just felt better with the system on, which caused us to go back and ask ourselves: “are we making the right decision by taking this away?”
After lots of debate, we’re still torn on the how we want to proceed. We need to make a call soon, so we’re asking for some feedback from you to help us decide. In the next and final section of this post, we’re going to outline what we like about the current system, what we don’t like, and some proposed changes to improve the system if we decide to keep it.
What We Like
We believe we succeeded in Towers feeling smarter as a defending player. They “feel” like they’re doing what they should be
We believe we’ve created cool, high-tension moments when enemy Heroes dive under a Tower. We also like how attackers have some ability to manipulate who gets the Tower aggro to make intelligent, coordinated plays. We believe this can be even better with improvements in the future
The combination on our end of being able to manipulate Tower damage and the stacking Armor debuff gives us a lot of room to manipulate exactly how we want these interactions to feel going forward, and gives us good tuning knobs to decide how much defensive power is from the Tower itself or from the nearby enemy Heroes who are there to defend it
Issues With The Current System
We believe Towers are currently too punishing to consistently create the cool, high-tension moments we described above. They currently hit too hard to make those moments happen as often or as long as we’d like them to
Many players don’t like how much they have to change their behavior when near enemy Towers, particularly the ones near the Gates, mainly due to splash damage inadvertently causing Towers to attack them
A lot of the map is now more dangerous than before, making it less possible to fight enemy Heroes, particularly in the early game. This exacerbates issues we already have with our desire to make the laning phase of the game more interesting
When too powerful (which we believe it currently is), it disincentivizes players from pushing with their map objectives, which can make those moments feel less awesome
Some players just like the way things have been for years, and don’t want such a large change to a fundamental aspect of the game. While not a commanding reason to never make changes, it is something we always try to keep in mind, and why we think the bar needs to be high in order to keep these kinds of fundamental changes to game systems
Now that we’ve covered where we’re at, here are some potential ideas that we have been debating to help make things better if we decide to keep the changes. We could end up doing none of these or all of them, and we’re open to other ideas from you!
Change all structures to prioritize Map Objectives before anything else Pros
It would fix players not wanting to push with Map Objectives Cons
It adds another rule that can be unintuitive for the defending players since they will not always be defended by their Towers, only most of the time, which can be confusing and goes against the primary goal of Towers “feeling” smart in how they work
Towers don’t defend their teammates in the moments of the game when they need them most
Change Tower aggro so that the front Towers prioritize Minions, but the Forts, Keeps, and Kings Core prioritize Heroes who attack other Heroes Pros
The early game would better reward aggression and pushing, and less of the map would be as dangerous as it currently is with the new system Players could attack gates without feeling like their splash damage could get them into trouble Cons
It adds complexity to the game with two different Aggro rules depending on the Structure
Lower the damage that Structures do to Heroes Pros
Towers won’t be as directly threatening themselves, which mitigates the issue of them being too punishing in the early game Players will have more time to be aggressive with Tower diving and less immediately punished when Towers initially start to shoot them It puts the onus of properly defending towns more on the defending team, which incentivizes interaction between heroes Cons
It makes Towers weaker, which could result in Tower diving being too prevalent.
These are our thoughts on the current Anomaly. Thanks again for taking the time to read through our ideas. We’re now looking for feedback on how you feel about the current system, whether or not you would like to go back to the old system and why, or other ideas on how to improve the current one. We want to make a choice in the near future about what to do, so please be a Hero and give us your feedback – it will greatly help us in our tireless pursuit of constantly improving this game that we all love playing together.
While there are no plans to bring back Haunted Mines at this time, reddit user RockNerd33 did a drum cover of the original Haunted Mines soundrack for everyone to enjoy.
For illustration, here's the original Haunted Mines Soundtrack if you haven't heard it yet.
Our twenty-ninth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the month of December is here!
The latest meta tier list for December 2019 is here!
Welcome to another Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the December 3 patch. The goal of this list is to try and detail game's current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame).
Using the list
Current ranked mode map rotation
Experience Globes. For more information about this Anomaly, simply refer to our Anomaly guide.
Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer — Deathwing (new) (ban) — — — — — —
Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer E.T.C. (ban) — Alarak (ban) Zeratul — Jaina Abathur (ban) Ana↓ (ban) Diablo (ban) Qhira Kael'thas (ban) Anduin (ban) Garrosh (ban) Sylvanas Uther↑ (ban) Johanna (ban)
Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer Anub'arak↓ Artanis Kerrigan Tracer Cassia Azmodan Medivh Alexstrasza Arthas Chen↓ Maiev Falstad Chromie Zarya Auriel Blaze Dehaka Malthael Fenix Gul'dan Brightwing↓ Mal'Ganis Imperius↓ Ragnaros Greymane Junkrat Deckard↓ Muradin Sonya Thrall Hanzo Kel'Thuzad Kharazim Stitches Yrel Varian Lunara Li-Ming Li Li Varian Varian Raynor Mephisto Lt. Morales Tychus Nazeebo Lúcio Valla Orphea Malfurion Zul'jin Zagara Rehgar Stukov Tyrande Whitemane↑
Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer — D.Va Gazlowe Genji↓ Sgt.Hammer↓ Probius — — Murky Valeera The Butcher
Situational picks (map, team composition, or counterpick)
Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer Cho'gall Leoric Illidan Nova — Cho'gall Tassadar — Tyrael Rexxar Xul Samuro The Lost Vikings
Meta heroes define the metagame. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most drafts and matches.
Generalists form the core of your team and are generally picked after Meta picks have been distributed. They tend to work on most maps, and as part of and against most team compositions. Since this group includes most heroes, I elected to split it into three tiers. High-tier rankings are a result of performance (i.e. win rates) and popularity (i.e. pick and ban rates). This means that heroes with high win rates can be set in low tier; the opposite may also be true.
Situational picks shine on specific maps or as part of specific team compositions.
Blizzard released two new skins for Cassia and Tracer yesterday, but that did not stop community members from submitting their own skin concepts that are very well worth checking out! Here's Messenger Kharazim and Hades Ragnaros.
Messenger Kharazim by Yasemin Baran (Source)
Hades Ragnaros by Evangelos Callow (Source)
Latest Heroes of the Storm News
Heroes of the Storm Balance Patch: May 6th Mythic Pantheon Skins Now Live