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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.
In the Deckard Cain Meta Tier List made by @Oxygen, @MagikMurlok asked if someone could compile a list of Heroes that have strong self-sustain that can be viable in matches that features no Supports. I decided to help.
I ended making a list of all non-Healer Heroes that have any form of self-healing. Took me around 6 hours to compile every single nook and cranny (with all the revisions and edits), so here it is! I hope this help. Any feedback is welcome.
I've also included a suggested build for each character to use in the event that there is no Healer in the team, aimed at maximizing survivability.
Special thanks to @ExorionAether for the help with talents and Heroes I missed, forgot or did not include originally for other reasons.
Heroes are organized in alphabetical order. Press the "reveal hidden content" button to reveal the lists.
TOP 10 BEST PUBSTOMPERS WITHOUT HEALER
Deathwing: since he cannot be targeted by buffs and heals from his allies nor debuffs from his enemies, Deathwing is a powerful candidate for teams without healers. All his level 1 talents are aimed at self sustain, and he also has some few other defensive talents; while you'll be sacrificing damage for survivability, Deathwing will still pack a punch. Fenix: as long his Shield doesn't drop completely, he has one of the most powerful lane presences in the game, essentially having two healthbars. And if losing his Shields he can simply retreat and let them replenish again. Just be careful with hard engages, stuns and damage-over-time (as each tick will put Shield Capacitor on cooldown). Malthael: ridiculous sustain that allows him to 1v2 or even 1v3 under the right circumstances. Make sure to hit as many opponents as possible with Basic Attacks to maximize his sustain. Dehaka: incredibly sticky and slippery, with a global presence that allows him to engage and disengage at ease. His trait combined with Adaptation makes him really hard to kill. Blaze: powerful lane presence and one of the best self-sustains in the entire game. Diablo: his recent rework made him absurdly resilient, with a self-sustain that can surpass Blaze's under the right circumstances. Sonya: still one of the strongest solo laners in the game, with reliable self-sustain, great damage overall, and strong engage potential. Medivh: with a very versatile kit, he can provide damage, mobility, vision, crowd-control and most importantly, damage immunity and healing. ANY team without a Healer greatly benefits from Medivh. Yrel: the only non-Healer in the game that can directly heal other characters with Gift of the Naaru and Word of Glory, making her a powerful emergency off-healer. ANY team without a Healer greatly benefits from Yrel, assuming she picks those aforementioned talents. Thrall: very strong on really long matches, as his most powerful quest talents require a lot of farming. At the endgame he deal eye-watering damage while healing for huge chunks of health. THE TOP 5 BEST SELF-SUSTAIN TEAM COMBINATIONS
Deathwing, Medivh, Stitches, Kel'Thuzad, Kael'thas. Deathwing, Medivh, Garrosh, The Butcher, Kel'Thuzad. Deathwing, Medivh, ETC, Fenix, Kel'Thuzad. Deathwing, Medivh, Johanna, Cassia, Fenix. Deathwing, Medivh, Yrel, Raynor, Thrall.
As a Ana enthusiast (she pratically became my main over Deckard and Auriel, specially after the rework), I absolutely love trying out combos with Nano Boost. In a similar fashion to my Auriel's Best Hope Bearers topic, this list aims to rank my personal experiences with Nano Boost (as well Nano Infusion) and the best Heroes to use it with.
Heroes that already have some sort of cooldown-reduction talent will often work wonders with Nano Boost, as their effects stack.
This guide will be updated constantly as new Heroes are launched and/or existing Heroes are reworked in a way that affects their DPS.
Cho'gall: unsurprisingly, Cho'gall is arguably the best candidate for Nano Boost as it affects both Cho AND Gall, meaning they can use their already low cooldown abilities much faster, and with greater impact. Under the effects of Nano Infusion, Cho'gall is pratically unkillable, specially if Gall has picked Shadow Bolt Volley with the Shadowfury upgrade, resulting in a massive self-sustain. Malthael: given Soul Rip's very low cooldown, Malthael can madly spam it while under the effects of Nano Boost, melting everything. He can become pratically unkillable by using Tormented Souls (with Reaper of Souls) combined with Nano Infusion, with an uptime almost matching Nano Boost itself (even more if he manages to kill Heroes while under it, thus resetting the duration). Jaina: can annihilate the entire enemy team with Nano Boost in mere seconds, specially when combined with Icy Veins and Ring of Frost. Chromie: with Nano Boost, Chromie can destroy even high health tanks with her combo combining Temporal Loop and Blessing of the Bronze, allowing her the to achieve the highest cooldown-reduction rate in the entire game. Kael'thas: in a similar fashion to Jaina, he can deal nasty damage with Nano Boost, particularly with Living Bomb. Pyroblast can one-shot low health Heroes while Nano Boosted. Kel'Thuzad: can one-shot most enemies with his combo when Nano Boosted. If the conditions are right, he can use his combo up to two times before Nano Boost ends. Sonya: has a lot of potential under Wrath of the Berserker, which, combined with Nano Boost AND Nano Infusion, can make her more destructive than Malthael. However, Sonya requires to be really close to deal damage consistently, and unfortunately she can be kited easily, which is why she ranked lower than Malthael. Tassadar: following his rework, he became a powerhouse, being able to deal absurd amounts of damage with Shock Ray, and if built into it, he can use it even more consistently through Nano Boost. Sylvanas: after her rework, Sylvanas became a deadly mid-range Assassin that can deal surprisingly high burst damage with the proper build, making her a fantastic candidate for Nano Boost. Genji: even after the nerfs to this combo a long time ago, it still is a very powerful one, assuming Genji has enough crowd-control by his side to make the fullest of Dragonblade. Greymane: can deal massive damage regardless of his build. Nano Infusion also provides Greymane with very needed self-sustain, which is his greatest weakness. Gul'dan: can spam Fel Flame like crazy under the effects of Nano Boost. If the circumstances are right, he can use Corruption up to three times or more before Nano Boost ends; assuming Bound by Shadow is taken and he hits as many enemies as possible with Fel Flame. Valla: being a hybrid of basic attacker and spell damage dealer, she can deal surprisingly high damage under the effects of Nano Boost regardless of her build, although her Hungering Arrow can be relatively easy to avoid. Cassia: can make a mess with Nano Boost regardless of her build, although she is particularly more effective with the Lightning Fury build with Ball Lightning. Zeratul: absurdly high burst that becomes even more insane under the effects of Nano Boost. Not ranked as high as other Assassins because he requires a LOT of skill to make the fully use of Nano Boost. Li-Ming: innate cooldown resets upon takedowns combined with already low cooldowns makes Li-Ming a beast under the effects of Nano Boost. If the circumstances are right, she can spam her abilities like crazy. However, her skillshots are relatively easy to avoid. Mephisto: innate cooldown reduction on his abilities due to his trait, Lord Of Hatred, makes him a fantastic candidate to Nano Boost. However, much like Li-Ming, he is ranked lower than the other "mages" because he can not guarantee to get many resets in succession. On the other hand, Consume Souls (with Consumed by Hatred) can potentially wipe the entire enemy team. Orphea: quick resets on Shadow Waltz combined with strong sustained damage makes her a good candidate for Nano Boost, however she falls in a similar category as Li-Ming, since her skillshots are relatively easy to avoid; plus she is a mid-range "mage", which makes approaches harder. Qhira: can deal a huge burst damage with Blood Rage and either Heroic Ability, making her a viable candidate for Nano Boost. Azmodan: when fully stacked, Azmodan can decimate the entire enemy team with a Black Pool-infused Globe of Annihilation while under the effects of Nano Boost. He is not ranked so high, however, because his cooldowns are very long, resulting on him not making full potential of the 8 second duration of Nano Boost, even with 150% recharge rate. Kerrigan: in a similar fashion to Greymane, can deal massive damage in seconds, and Nano Infusion makes her even more durable. However, she is ranked lower than him because her combo requires proper setup to work. Thrall: he falls in a similar category as Sonya, as he can deal a lot of damage but can be relatively easy to kite, making his usefulness under Nano Boost not the best one, but still very powerful, specially with the Chain Lightning build. Alarak: low cooldowns and obscene damage output with high stacks of Sadism makes Alarak a fantastic candidate for Nano Boost, allowing him to deal eye-watering damage. Junkrat: with the Frag Launcher build, Junkrat can deal A LOT of damage when Nano Boosted. He is ranked low, however, because his grenades are easy to avoid. On the other hand, RIP-Tire can really make a mess. Ragnaros: much like Kerrigan and Sonya, he must be really close to deal proper damage, but can deal a lot if given the chance, making him a potential candidate for Nano Boost. He cannot be Nano Boosted while on Molten Core, and will not retain its effects if he gets Nano Boost and then activates Molten Core. Zul'jin: with the Twin Cleave + Guillotine build, he can deal a LOT of damage in quickly succession. However, given the high cooldowns of both abilities, as well the condition of requiring lower health to deal maximum damage with Guillotine, he doesn't work as good under Nano Boost compared to other characters. Maiev: while she has a lot of potential under the effects of Nano Boost because of her Fan of Knives resets, she needs to hit at least two Heroes with it, making the combo more situational. Fenix: while being mostly a basic attacker, he can deal surprisingly high damage with Plasma Cutter, and both his Heroic abilities become even more dangerous with Nano Boost. Murky: can become ridiculously hard to kill with the Slime build + Living the Dream + Fish Tank. Combine that with Nano Infusion, and the murloc can go on a rampage! Not ranked so high because of his low health.