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Blue Posts: Mount Speed, Party Size in Hero League, Undocumented Patch Notes

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We have an interesting selection of Heroes of the Storm blue posts with topics ranging from mount speed, party size and MMR in Hero League to undocumented patch notes, mostly concerning Auriel.

One of the most notable changes from the Gamescom build is that mount speed will be reduced from 40% to 30%. BlizzCooper explained the design process behind this change on the official forums:

Blizzard LogoBlizzCooper

Hey everyone,

We know there's been some discussion around the Mount Speed changes that were seen in the Gamescom build. In case you are not aware, we have reduced Mount Movement Speed from 40% to 30%, and also adjusted a number of equivalent powers. These changes will be coming into the PTR next week, and we're excited to see how you guys feel after playing with them.

We wanted to give you guys some insight into why we are making this change, so Alex Neyman, one of our Game Designers, wrote the following:

“Heroes of the Storm is a team brawler, and we aren’t trying to change that. From all of our internal testing, this change had a minor (healthy) impact on the number of viable strategic options and interesting choices that players can make during a game.

With that being said, our goals with reducing mount speed are:
Slowing down the 2-4 man early game gank squads on bigger maps

  • Hopefully this will allow prolonged 1v1 and 2v2 matchups when there are no battleground events up more often. You can still gank, it just won’t always be as effective, and therefore you’ll need to make harder decisions on whether it’s worth it or not.

Making map-wide team positioning matter more

  • If you commit resources to a Mercenary camp at the top of the map, you might be later to a Tribute spawn on the bottom. This will encourage more interesting strategic choices, forcing you to choose which of the minor objectives (like Mercenaries or Minion waves) are important, or potentially split up your team to get multiple done at once and still reach a map event on time.

Making recognition of the enemy team’s location on the map more significant

  • With slightly slower mounts, when an opponent disappears from view his radius of places he could potentially be is smaller, allowing more informed decisions. Which, ultimately, rewards better play and mastery of the game.

That’s briefly summarizing a few of the potential gains that slowing down mount Movement Speed should provide. It’s important to note that there are also downsides if we take it too far, but tuning Heroes’ capability to travel the map is an important part of balancing the game. Theoretically, saying “we’re reducing damage because we think burst is too high” doesn’t mean that we want to completely remove Assassin’s capability to kill someone. The same way, slowing down mounted movement speed slightly doesn’t mean that we don’t want you to quickly traverse the map. Just slightly slower! And we think that we’re getting closer to the perfect balance of the two.

Right now sticking together as 4 or 5 post level 10 is probably the correct decision 90% of the time. Our goal is to get this to maybe around 80%. Some concrete examples of the difference these mount changes make:

  • The time to run from Cursed Hollow’s top lane to bottom Tribute will be increased from 18.5 to 20 seconds while mounted, with a direct route.

  • The time to run from Sky Temple’s bottom lane to the top temple will be increased from 22 to 24 seconds while mounted, with a direct route.

To provide some insight into how we do design, sometimes we test extremes to see if the direction is even worth pursuing before settling on something that feels appropriately tuned. One such example was increasing the mounting cooldown from 4 seconds to 80 seconds, but the Movement Speed was increased from 40% to 80%. Ultimately we didn’t like the extreme change this made to Heroes of the Storm, but it make us think about where we were on the map more often. We really enjoyed that, so we wanted to bring a slightly tamer version of it to live.

We think that we’ll all still be enjoying those epic 5v5 brawls we’ve all come to love. We just might split up one or two more times between the big fights so that we can get all the minor objectives we’d like before the next big team event will start.”

(source)

This change has caused mixed reactions from the community. The discussion was taken to Reddit, where Community Manager Trikslyr had some clarifications to make.

Blizzard LogoTrikslyr

I wonder how will this affect the likes of Rehgar and such, since he can have 40% currently with the lvl 1 talent.

Many movement speed traits/etc, have been reduced to reflect the change. For example, Rehgar and Falstad have been tuned to make sure they are in line with the alterations. (source)


What about Brightwing and Dehaka? Even if you increase the cooldown, can they still teleport directly in from anywhere on the map?

In some cases, like Dehaka, there wasn't a change. He can still Brushstalk at the same rate of speed that we've all come to know. More details to come with the PTR, and you'll get to try out the changes for yourself.

The balance team took the time to dig through every interaction and make sure adjustments were made where needed. With that being said, if you do see something on the PTR that feels off, feel free to give us the feedback. We'll be keeping an eye out. (source)

Moving on to a different topic, MMR and party size in Hero League are two heavily debated topics among fans of Heroes of the Storm. The team has no plans to change party size in HL, but it still is an issue they are monitoring closely. Once again, the idea of MMR resets was shot down.

Blizzard LogoSpyrian

We know that party size in Hero League is a pretty heavily debated topic in the community. We've also had frequent and lengthy discussions on this internally. (The latest being as recent as last week!) In all cases there are those who passionately argue that Hero League should be limited to Solo Queue, but also those who would prefer to keep Duo Queues, or even expand the limit to three-player parties.

We don't currently have plans to make changes to the party sizes allowed in Hero League, but know that it's an active discussion we're monitoring both internally and in the community.

As far as MMR is concerned, we still have no plans to implement complete resets. However, we are still going to increase uncertainty with each new ranked season, much like we did for season 1.

(source)

Lastly, it looks like the team missed a couple of patch notes when they were drafting the August 24 balance update post. The expanded free hero rotation for Training and Versus A.I. games is no more. They also missed out changes to Auriel's level 4 talents; here they are:

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment

Level 4
  • Majestic Span (Q)
    • Radius increase reduced from 20 to 15%.
  • Heavy Burden (E)
    • Increased the Slow amount from 35 to 40%
  • Repeated Offense (E)
    • Reduced the number of hits required to complete the quest from 10 to 6
    • Bonus for quest completion increased from 100 to 140. The total bonus damage will remain at 200
(source)

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