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Alarak Patch Is Live!

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A new patch went live earlier in the US and it is expected to be available later today in all other regions. It introduces the Machines of War event, the new hero Alarak, a new battleground and numerous balance updates!

The Alarak patch is live and Blizzard has prepared a dedicated blog post and a video for this new Assassin. Our guide for Alarak should be up soon! For now, you can watch the spotlight video:

The patch is one of the biggest in the history of Heroes of the Storm. It brings the Machines of War event to the Nexus, which in turn comes along with special event quests to keep us busy for the next month. Moreover, a new battleground is introduced: it is Braxis Holdout, which we have previewed in another article.  The battleground pool has been adjusted, so you can get Braxis Holdout more often, while new players will play their first five games in Cursed Hollow.

The MVP system is another new feature. Moreover, you will have the chance to get a free hero with this patch. Bear in mind that there is an ongoing issue: if you have all three free heroes offered, you cannot get the 4,000 gold at the moment. This will probably be resolved soon.

Lastly, there are tons of balance updates this time. The most notable changes are the Valla and Butcher reworks, as well as the Falstad and Zagara nerfs. Other than that, the patch notes are pretty much the same as they were in the PTR. We have included them below:

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment

 

General

New Special Event: Xel’naga Artifact Hunt

Xel'naga artifacts have begun to appear all across the Nexus, and SCVs are being deployed to collect them. Terminate these interlopers with extreme prejudice and collect artifact pieces to earn some sweet new rewards!

  • Daily Quest:
    • Collect 12 Artifact Pieces during a single game.
    • Reward: 1 Day Stimpack
  • Event Quest:
    • Collect 150 Artifact Pieces before the Machines of War liftoff from the Nexus on October 18, 2016.
    • Reward: Xel’naga Artifact Portrait
  • SCVs and Artifact Pieces will have a 50% chance to spawn at the start of a game if any players on the team have not yet completed their Artifact Hunt Daily Quest. This task will be difficult to accomplish alone! Teammates must work together to eliminate the SCVs and reclaim the Artifact Pieces before the game begins.

Free Hero for All!

After downloading today’s patch and logging into Heroes of the Storm, all players will be able to add a new Hero to their collections for free!

  • On login, players will be able to pick one of the following three Heroes: Anub’arak, Thrall, or Tyrande.
    • If any of those Heroes are already owned, they will be replaced by Nazeebo, Sonya, or Uther on the selection screen.
    • Players who already own all six of these Heroes will automatically receive 4,000 Gold instead.
  • Learn more by reading our recent blog post.

New Battleground, More Often

We are currently working to resolve an issue affecting the reduced Battleground pool, and New Player Battleground Progression rules mentioned below. During this time all players can be matched for games on any of the Battlegrounds that were available in matchmaking queues prior to today's patch. Click here for more information.

  • Starting today, the pool of Battlegrounds available in all modes, except Custom Games, will be temporarily limited to the following:
    • Braxis Holdout
    • Towers of Doom
    • Cursed Hollow
    • Sky Temple
    • Infernal Shrines
    • Tomb of the Spider Queen
  • This has been done to increase the frequency with which players encounter the new Battleground, Braxis Holdout.
  • During this time, players can still select and play on any Battleground they wish using Custom Games.
  • A second group of 6 Battlegrounds will replace those listed above during the week of September 26, and the reduced Battleground pool will remain in effect until the Machines of War event concludes during the week of October 17.

New Player Battleground Progression

  • New Heroes of the Storm players who enter matchmaking modes will initially only be matched for games on certain Battlegrounds. As they complete more games, new players will unlock additional Battlegrounds as follows:
    • 0 games played: Players will only receive matches on Cursed Hollow.
    • 5 games played: Players can now be matched on any of the Battlegrounds listed in the reduced pool mentioned above.

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New Hero: Alarak

Not all heroes are born of altruism. . . some, like Alarak, simply desire vengeance. As the new Highlord of the Tal’darim, Alarak leads his people to a destiny free of the corrupt influence of the fallen Xel’naga, Amon.

Trait

  • Sadism
    • You deal 100% bonus Ability damage versus enemy Heroes.

Basic Abilities

  • Discord Strike (Q)
    • After a 0.5 second delay, deals damage to enemies in front of you and silences them for 1.5 seconds.
  • Telekinesis (W)
    • Push yourself and any enemies hit from the targeted point toward the targeted direction. Enemies pushed by Telekinesis also take light damage.
  • Lightning Surge (E)
    • Deals damage to an enemy and all enemies between you and the target. You are also Healed for 75% of the damage dealt to Heroes.

Heroic Abilities

  • Counter Strike (R)
    • Become Protected and channel for 1 second. If you are attacked during this time, you will send a shockwave forward that damages enemies in its path.
  • Deadly Charge (R)
    • Channel and then charge in the targeted direction, dealing damage to all enemies in your path. Charge distance increases based on the amount of time spent channeling, up to 1.6 seconds.
    • While channeling, movement commands will cancel Deadly Charge at no cost. Taking damage will interrupt channeling.

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New Battleground: Braxis Holdout

The Dominion used the remote and hostile planet Braxis to conduct experiments on ways to turn the Zerg swarm into a weapon they could unleash on their enemies. Though the Dominion's main psi disrupter was destroyed, this space platform's beacons remain fully operational and ready to be used. Capture the beacons and watch what happens when a flood of weaponized Zerg ravages the battlefield.

Capture the Beacons

  • Two Beacons will periodically spawn near the center of the Battleground. Capture both to fill your team’s Holding Cell with Zerg over time.

Fill Holding Cells

  • The longer a team holds both Beacons, the stronger and more numerous their Zerg army will become. Once either team has completely filled their Holding Cell, both will open, unleashing Zerg forces into each lane.

Unleash the Swarm

  • Each team must decide whether to defend against the opposing Zerg rush, or push with their own to lay siege to all who stand in the way of the Swarm.

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Art

Battlegrounds

  • Several Battlegrounds have received additional optimization to help improve performance.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • The following Heroes have received new Talent icon tints to help players more easily differentiate between talents that modify the same Ability and exist on the same Talent tier:
    • Muradin
    • Tyrael
    • Zagara
  • The Butcher has received updated visual effects to coincide with his Talent rework.
  • Medivh’s Portals have received additional visual polish to make their presence on the battlefield more apparent to allies.
  • The Imposing Presence Talent has received updated visual effects to coincide with its new functionality.

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Shop

Bundles

  • New Bundles
    • Machines of War Bundle – Available starting September 13 until October 18, 2016.
    • Herald of N’zoth Alarak Bundle – Available until September 27, 2016.

New Hero

  • Alarak has been added to the in-game Shop.

Mounts

  • New Mounts
    • Ghost Speeder*
    • Obsidian Cyberwolf**
  • Returning Mounts
    • Demonic Hellsteed
    • Blackheart’s Doubloon
  • Removed Mounts
    • Cloud Serpent
    • Cyberwolf

Skins

  • Herald of N’zoth Alarak
  • Master Alarak
  • Queen of Ghosts Kerrigan*
  • Raider Rexxar*
  • The Butcherlisk*

* This item is exclusive to the Machines of War Bundle until it is officially released at a later date. Click here to view a full release schedule for Machines of War items.

** The Obsidian Cyberwolf Mount is exclusive to the Machines of War Bundle, but may return to the Nexus at a later date.

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Sound

General

  • Even the music of Heroes of the Storm has been invaded by the Machines of War!
    • Enable music in the Sound Options menu (or press CTRL+M) to listen as the sounds of the Koprulu Sector clash with those of the Nexus.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • All Heroes should now properly play voiceover lines when clicked repeatedly.
  • Medivh’s Portals have received some additional sound effect polish to make their presence on the battlefield more apparent to allies.
  • The Lost Vikings have received unique death notification sounds which should be a little less jarring for allies.
  • The Spell Shield and Imposing Presence talents have received updated sound effects to coincide with their new functionality.

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User Interface

General

  • The Breaking News icon will no longer display in the menus when there is no breaking news to read.

Color Blind Mode

  • The Health bar color for the player’s own hero has been changed from dark blue to yellow.
  • Neutral Mercenaries will now appear dark purple on portions of their models that use team colors. This should help players and observers better differentiate them from captured mercenaries.

Daily Quests

  • Any Hero selected during Ranked or Unranked drafts will now count toward progression of any role or universe-specific Daily Quest.
    • This has been done so that players can still complete their Daily Quests while picking the best Heroes for their team composition, rather than Heroes who satisfy a quest requirement.
  • Daily Quests are now available to all players, beginning at account level 1.
  • New Daily Quest: Play 3 games
    • Reward: 300 Gold
    • This is the only Daily Quest that level 1 players can receive and will only be available until account level 11. After reaching level 11, it will be replaced by the Play 8 Games quest.

 

MVP System and Commendations

  • Players can now show off their individual prowess on the field of battle via the MVP System and end of match commendations.
  • Five players will receive awards for their in-game performance and individual achievements at the end of every game played in any mode except Custom Games.
  • MVP and End of Match Awards
    • Each match will feature one MVP, or Most Valuable Player, and four other players will receive awards for specific in-game feats.
      • The MVP award is granted to the player who had the greatest overall impact on the match, which is determined by their performance across all in-game stats.
      • The remaining four match awards will be granted for a wide variety of achievements, such as top healing, longest killstreak, most Doubloons turned in on Blackheart’s Bay, and so on.
      • End of match awards, including MVP, can be granted to players on either team, regardless of victory or defeat.
  • Commendations
    • Once the awards have been given out, all ten players can then commend the award recipients to show appreciation for their in-game accomplishments.
      • Players who receive many commendations at the end of a match will also be rewarded with a little extra fanfare.
    • Award-specific icons will also appear on the end of game stats screen next to the name of each player who received an end of match award.
  • Click here to read our recent blog post on the End of Match Awards System.

 

Hero Select

  • Hero Search
    • Searching for a Hero during Draft Mode or Hero Select will now sort the results first by the Hero whose name most closely matches the player’s search terms.
      • For example: Searching for “Diablo” will now show Diablo as the first result, followed by all other Heroes from the Diablo Universe.
  • Hero Sorting
    • New sorting buttons have been added to Hero Select and Draft Mode, and can be found next to the search field:
      • Toggle Favorites: Heroes who have been marked as favorites in the player profile will be sorted to the top of the Hero list.
      • A-Z: Sort Heroes alphabetically
      • XP: Sort Heroes by level

Ranked Play

  • Grand Master League
    • The maximum number of Hero League Grandmaster players has been reduced from 500 to 200. The Team League maximum remains at 100 players.
  • Promotion and Demotion Matches
    • Players will no longer receive a flat 250 ranked point adjustment after winning a promotion match or losing a demotion match. Instead, these matches will now award or remove the same amount of points as a normal ranked game.
    • Upon earning enough ranked points to reach a promotion match, any points earned beyond the 1,000 point division cap will now be stored and applied at the end of the promotion match.
      • Winning a promotion match will now award any excess points that were stored prior to that match in addition to the normal ranked points earned for the win.
      • Losing a promotion match will subtract the normal ranked points for a loss minus the number of excess ranked points that had been stored prior to the promotion match.
      • Demotion matches do not store lost ranked points, and losing a demotion match will only cause the player to lose the normal amount of ranked points.

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Design and Gameplay

Mounts

  • Movement Speed reduced from 40 to 30%

Regeneration Globes

  • Time before Globes despawn reduced from 8 to 6 seconds

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Battlegrounds

Mercenaries

  • Timing Changes
    • Previously all Mercenary camps spawned at 120 seconds. The following adjustments have been made to spawn times:
      • 90 seconds: Sappers, Doubloon Pirates
      • 120 seconds: Siege Giants (unchanged), Impalers (unchanged)
      • 150 seconds: Knights, Fallen Shaman
      • 180 seconds: Grave Golem (unchanged)
      • 300 seconds: Headless Horseman (unchanged)
  • Captured Mercenaries will no longer grant Experience when killed.
Developer Comments:  We started playtesting with staggered Mercenary Camp spawn times, and quickly began to realize that it added more strategic depth to the game, and coincided with some of our Battleground events. We have been happy with the changes overall, and are listening to any feedback you may have!

Try Mode

  • The following features have been added to Try-Me Mode:
    • Boss Camp
    • Ability to change the enemy hero
    • Ability to change the game speed

Towers of Doom

  • Headless Horseman
    • Attack damage increased from 145 to 158

Battlefield of Eternity and Infernal Shrines

  • Khazra Impaler
    • Captured Impaler attack damage increased from 40 to 46

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Talents

Imposing Presence (Active)

  • New functionality:
    • Heroes that attack you have their Attack Speed slowed by 20% for 2.5 seconds
    • Activate to Slow the Attack Speed of nearby Heroes and Summons by 50% and Slow their Movement Speed by 20% for 2.5 seconds
Developer Comments:  We did not like the power of the Attack Speed slow for Imposing Presence given how little counter-play there is. We’ve decided to move some power out of the passive portion of the Talent and give it a new activated effect in order to create some bigger moments for players who choose to take it.

Spell Shield (Passive)

  • Added functionality:
    • Spell Shield can now be toggled on or off to allow for better control of which Abilities you want to mitigate

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Heroes

Assassin Specialist Support Warrior
Falstad Azmodan Brightwing Anub'arak
Greymane Murky Kharazim Cho
Nova Nazeebo Li Li Diablo
Raynor Sgt. Hammer Lt. Morales E.T.C.
The Butcher Zagara Malfurion Johanna
Tychus   Rehgar Muradin
Valla     Stitches

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Assassin

Falstad

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Abilities

  • Tailwind (Trait)
    • Movement Speed reduced from 20 to 15%
  • Hammerang (Q)
    • Damage reduced from 132 to 121

 

Talents

  • Level 1
    • New Talent: Wingman (Active)
      • Enemy Minions killed near you grant a stack of Bribe. Use 20 stacks to Bribe a Mercenary, instantly defeating them and permanently increasing the damage of Lightning Rod by 5%. Does not work on Bosses. Maximum of 80 stacks.
    • Bribe (Active)
      • Replaced by Wingman
  • Level 4
    • Updraft (E)
      • Now also increases Shield duration by 40% (1.2 seconds)
  • Level 7
    • BOOMerang (Q)
      • Detonation damage reduced from 175 to 165
    • Charged Up (W)
      • Range bonus increased from 15 to 25%
  • Level 16
    • Aerie Gusts (Passive)
      • Movement speed bonus reduced from 30 to 25%
      • Cooldown reduction for Tailwind activation decreased from 4 to 3 seconds
Developer Comments:  In our ongoing pursuit to create meaningful and Hero-specific generic Talent choices, Bribe was a Talent that got caught in our crosshairs this patch. We have removed it from a few Heroes and have added new flavorful versions to a few others. We have always liked the design and gameplay behind the Talent, but also realize how much players had to give up in order to pick them. Wingman, Pixie Charm, and Covert Mission are being reintroduced to Falstad, Brightwing, and Nova, respectively, with design mechanics more suited to each Hero’s unique style of play.

Greymane

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Talents

  • Level 16
    • Relentless Predator (Trait)
      • Removed
Developer Comments: We’re removing the majority of our old Relentless-like Talents from the game, because we found that it wasn’t clear to the enemy team what was happening. Reducing the duration on very short disabling effects to begin with was hard to notice, and typically felt like a bug when it did happen. In some cases, we’re replacing these Talents with Hero specific ones that more clearly convey what’s happening, while fitting the gameplay of the Hero.

Nova

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Talents

  • Level 1
    • Advanced Cloaking (Talent)
      • Movement Speed while Cloaked reduced from 30 to 25%
  • Level 4
    • New Talent: Covert Mission (Active)
      • Enemy Minions killed near you grant a stack of Bribe. Hero Takedowns grant 10 stacks of Bribe. Use 25 stacks to Bribe a Mercenary, instantly defeating them. Does not work on Bosses. Maximum of 100 stacks. If a camp is defeated entirely with Bribe, the camp respawns 50% faster.
Developer Comments:  See Falstad’s comment for Bribe changes.

Raynor

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Talents

  • Level 1
    • Raynor’s Recruitment (Active)
      • Removed
  • Level 13
    • Relentless Leader (Passive)
      • Moved to Level 4
      • No longer reduces the duration of Stuns, Slows or Roots
      • New Functionality:
        • If you are Stunned or Rooted, all nearby enemies are knocked back and the cooldown of Adrenaline Rush is reduced by 15 seconds. Can only occur every 8 seconds
Developer Comments:  See Greymane’s comment for Relentless changes, and Falstad’s comment for Bribe changes.

The Butcher

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Stats

  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 169 to 140

Abilities

  • Fresh Meat (Trait)
    • New functionality:
      • Quest: Nearby Minions drop 1 Fresh Meat and Heroes drop 5 Fresh Meat when they die. You can pick up Fresh Meat to gain 1 Basic Attack damage per Meat. Can hold up to 125 Meat. You drop up to 10 Fresh Meat upon dying.
      • Reward: After acquiring 125 pieces of Fresh Meat, gain and additional 100 Basic Attack damage and 25% increased Attack Speed. You also no longer lose Fresh Meat on death.
  • Hamstring (Q)
    • Mana cost reduced from 50 to 40
  • Butcher’s Brand (W)
    • Base duration decreased from 5 to 4 seconds
    • Mana cost increased from 60 to 65
    • Added functionality:
      • Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes affected by Butcher’s Brand will increase the duration by .5 seconds
  • Ruthless Onslaught (E)
    • Slightly reduced the time between The Butcher hitting his target and his first Basic Attack

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Victuals
      • New functionality:
        • Every time a nearby Minion dies, regain 4% of maximum Health.
      • Moved to level 7
  • Level 4
    • Envenom (Active)
      • Removed
  • Level 7
    • Final Assault (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Abattoir (Trait)
      • Decreased the reduced amount of Meat lost on death from 10 to 5. Once you complete the Fresh Meat quest, Heroes will continue to drop Meat. This bonus Meat is not lost on death.
      • Moved to Level 1
    • Insatiable Blade (W)
      • Reduced the amount of bonus healing gained from 125 to 100%
      • New functionality:
        • While an enemy is affected by Butcher’s Brand, you move 20% faster towards them
    • New Talent: Meat Shield (E)
      • Hitting an enemy Hero with Ruthless Onslaught grants Spell Shield, reducing damage from enemy spells by 50% for 2.5 seconds
  • Level 13
    • Burning Rage (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Crave Flesh (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Spell Shield (Passive)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Cleaver (Passive)
      • Basic Attacks deal 35% of your Basic Attack damage to nearby enemies.
    • Brutal Strikes (Q)
      • New Functionality:
        • After using Hamstring, your next 3 Basic Attacks within 5 seconds deal an additional 15% bonus damage.
  • Level 16
    • Blood Frenzy (Passive)
      • New Functionality:
        • Basic Attacks against enemy heroes increase your Basic Attack and Movement Speed by 5% for 3 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.
    • Enraged (Passive)
      • No longer reduces the duration of disabling effects by 75%
      • Added functionality:
        • Now provides Resistant, reducing all damage taken by 25% for the duration of Enraged.
Developer Comments:  We’ve redefined The Butcher to have a more unique role as a powerful late-game hero who feeds on the flesh of his victims via his Fresh Meat Trait. His early game is weaker than before, but if he can complete his quest he will become an incredibly potent force that the enemy team must answer. We had a ton of fun testing him, and hope you all enjoy the new Butcher!

The Butcher Talents

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Level (Tier)        
1 (1) Invigoration (Q) Block (Passive) Chop Meat (Q) Abattoir (Trait)
4 (2) Flail Axe (Q) Unrelenting Pursuit (E) Cheap Shot (Q)
7 (3) Insatiable Blade (W) Victuals (Passive) NEW: Meat Shield (E)
10 (4) Furnace Blast (R) Lamb to the Slaughter (R)
13 (5) NEW: Cleaver (Passive) Savage Charge (E) Brutal Strike (Q)
16 (6) Crippling Slam (Q) Enraged (Passive) Blood Frenzy (Passive)
20 (7) Fires of Hell (R) Slaughterhouse (R) Nexus Blades (Passive) Bolt of the Storm (Active)

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  • (!) indicates a Questing Talent.
  • Italic text indicates a NEW Talent.
  • Bold text indicates a MOVED Talent.

Tychus

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Talents

  • Level 7
    • Relentless Soldier (Passive)
      • New functionality:
        • Stuns and Roots grant Resistant, reducing damage taken by 25% for 3 seconds.
Developer Comments: See Greymane’s comment for Relentless changes.

Valla

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Stats

  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 94 to 75

Abilities

  • Hatred (Trait)
    • Damage increase per stack increased from 3 to 8%
    • After 6 seconds without landing a Basic Attack, lose all stacks of Hatred
  • Hungering Arrow (Q)
    • Cooldown reduced from 14 to 10 seconds
    • Range increased by roughly 10%
    • No longer tracks to nearby units if Hungering Arrow does not directly impact a target
    • Initial damage reduced from 167 to 140
    • Bounce damage reduced from 84 to 80
    • Bounces now prefer Heroic targets
  • Multishot (W)
    • Cooldown increased from 8 to 12 seconds
    • Mana cost increased from 60 to 75
    • Damage increased from 148 to 165
  • Vault (E)
    • Mana cost reduced from 75 to 50
    • New Functionality:
      • Casting Vault causes your next Basic Attack to deal 50% additional damage
  • Rain of Vengeance (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 90 to 60 seconds
    • Damage reduced from 350 to 225
    • Mana cost reduced from 100 to 50
    • New functionality:
      • Now has two charges. Each charge will cast one wave of Rain of Vengeance
  • Strafe (R)
    • Damage reduced from 68 to 60

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Cost Effective Materials (Q)
      • Renamed to Monster Hunter
      • Added functionality:
        • Now also causes Hungering Arrow to deal 100% bonus damage to Minions, Monsters, and Mercenaries
    • Siphoning Arrow (Q)
      • Moved to level 13
      • Heal amount increased from 50 to 75% of damage dealt to Heroes
    • Composite Arrows (W)
      • Removed
    • Rancor (Trait)
      • Moved to level 20
      • New functionality:
        • Gain 2% attack speed per Hatred stack. When at 10 or more Hatred stacks, gain an additional 30% attack speed
    • Punishment (Trait)
      • Moved to level 4
      • New functionality:
        • Multishot deals an additional 5% damage for every stack of Hatred you currently have
  • Level 4
    • Vigorous Assault (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Manticore (Passive)
      • Moved to level 16
      • New functionality:
        • Every third Basic Attack against a Hero deals an additional 5% of that Heroes maximum Health in damage
    • Puncturing Arrow (Q)
      • New functionality:
        • Quest: Each time a Hero is directly hit with Hunger Arrow, increase the initial damage by 5
        • Reward: Upon hitting 100 damage, increase the initial damage by an additional 50 and the number of bounces by 1
    • Arsenal (W)
      • Moved to level 7
      • Grenade damage increased from 84 to 120
      • Grenade speed increased to more closely match Multishot
      • Added functionality:
        • Now also lowers the cooldown of Multishot by 3 seconds for every Hero hit by a grenade
    • New Talent: Creed of the Hunter (Trait)
      • Passively gain 10% attack speed
      • Quest: After attacking enemy Heroes 100 times, increase your Hatred Basic Attack damage bonus per stack by 2%
  • Level 7
    • Caltrops (E)
      • Moved to level 1
      • Caltrop slow duration decreased from 2 to 1 seconds
      • Caltrop slow amount decreased from 30 to 20%
      • Added functionality:
        • Quest: After spending 180 seconds at 10 Hatred, reduces the cooldown of Vault by 5 seconds
    • Hot Pursuit (Trait)
      • Added functionality:
        • Now also grants 4 Mana per second when you have 10 or more stacks of Hatred
    • Searing Attacks (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Death Dealer (E)
      • Increase the bonus damage granted by Vault from 50 to 100%. If this shot kills your target, refund the mana cost and cooldown of Vault
  • Level 13
    • Giant Killer (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Tempered by Discipline (Trait)
      • New functionality:
        • When at 10 or more stacks of Hatred, gain 25% life steal on Basic Attacks
    • Spell Shield (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Frost Shot (W)
      • Moved to level 16
      • Slow amount reduced from 30 to 25%
      • Added functionality:
        • Now also increases the range of Multishot by 20%
    • New Talent: Gloom (Active)
      • Passively grants 20% damage reduction from abilities
      • Activate to consume all Hatred stacks. For each stack lost, reduce all ability damage by an additional 3% for 5 seconds. This ability has a 5 second cooldown.
  • Level 16
    • Tumble (E)
      • Removed
    • Executioner (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Blood for Blood (Active)
      • Removed
    • Stoneskin (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Seething Hatred (Trait)
      • Basic Attacks now grant 2 stacks of Hatred and the time before Hatred expires is increased by 2 seconds.
  • Level 20
    • Vengeance (R)
      • Added functionality:
        • Heal for 25% of the damage dealt by Strafe
    • Storm of Vengeance (R)
      • New functionality:
        • Basic Attacks against Heroes reduce the cooldown of Rain of Vengeance by 5 seconds
    • Nexus Frenzy (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Bolt of the Storm (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Farflight Quiver (Passive)
      • Increase Basic Attack range by 40%
Developer Comments:  We realize this rework may come as a bit of a surprise to our community, especially since Valla’s Talent diversity has always been pretty good. The roots of the redesign have been floating around the design bullpen for 6+ months, and after some initial testing we felt like we had to pull the trigger and get it out to you.

Similar to Zagara and our other large reworks, we didn’t want to change the ‘feel’ of the Hero —Valla users should still feel completely at home while playing her. Our main goal was to increase the potential for amazing Valla players to differentiate themselves from the mediocre ones and aimed the majority of these changes toward lifting her skill-ceiling. We believe that players will still be able to build Valla very similarly to the ways they have in the past, but with more interesting and potentially powerful payoffs. We are excited to bring the new Valla to our community and look forward to hearing what you all think!

Valla Talents

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Level (Tier)        
1 (1) Monster Hunter (Q) (!) Caltrops (E) Hot Pursuit (Trait)
4 (2) (!) Puncturing Arrow (Q) Punishment (W) NEW: (!) Creed of the Hunter (Trait)
7 (3) Arsenal (W) NEW: Death Dealer (E) Repeating Arrow (E)
10 (4) Strafe (R) Rain of Vengeance (R)
13 (5) Siphoning Arrow (Q) Tempered by Discipline (Trait) NEW: Gloom (Active)
16 (6) Frost Shot (W) NEW: Seething Hatred (Trait) Manticore (Passive)
20 (7) Vengeance (R) Storm of Vengeance (R) Rancor (Trait) NEW: Farflight Quiver (Passive)

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  • (!) indicates a Questing Talent.
  • Italic text indicates a NEW Talent.
  • Bold text indicates a MOVED Talent.

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

Specialist

Azmodan

MPC0MT16C6I91417483333902.png

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Taste for Blood (Q)
      • Duration in which enemy deaths will permanently add to Globe of Annihilation damage increased from 1 to 1.5 seconds.
    • Bribe (Active)
      • Removed
  • Level 13
    • Relentless (Passive)
      • Removed
Developer Comments:  See Greymane’s comment for Relentless changes, and Falstad’s comment for Bribe changes.

Murky

ALZFYULQAD0J1417483334906.png

Abilities

  • Octo-Grab (R)
    • Murky is now Unstoppable while casting Octo-Grab
    • Killing Murky now immediately cancels the Octo-Grab effect

Nazeebo

O8ZNMK9MAPYM1417483334973.png

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Bribe (Active)
      • Removed
Developer Comments:  See Falstad’s comment for Bribe changes.

Sgt. Hammer

3448NN16TK6K1417483335280.png

Abilities

  • Siege Mode (E)
    • Sgt. Hammer can no longer enter Medivh's Portals while in Siege Mode (without the Hover Siege talent)

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Resistant (E)
      • New functionality:
        • If you are Stunned or Rooted while in Siege Mode, gain 50% damage resistance for 3 seconds
  • Level 7
    • Slowing Mines (Q)
      • Removed
  • Level 16
    • Mine Field (Q)
      • Moved to Level 7
Developer Comments:  See Greymane’s comment for Relentless changes.

Zagara

Divider_Hero_Zagara_Crop.png

Stats

  • Attack Damage reduced from 86 to 82

Abilities

  • Creep Tumor (Trait)
    • Movement Speed on Creep bonus reduced from 20 to 15%
  • Baneling Barrage (Q)
    • Damage reduced from 91 to 86
  • Hunter Killer (W)
    • Damage reduced from 68 to 62
  • Infested Drop (E)
    • Damage reduced from 155 to 147

Talents

  • Level 16
    • Mutalisk (W)
      • Duration reduced from 60 to 45 seconds
  • Level 20
    • Endless Creep (Passive)
      • Movement Speed reduced from 40 to 30%

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

 

Support

Brightwing

PI2CATL8H1IZ1417483333975.png

Talents

  • Level 1
    • New Talent: Pixie Charm (Active)
      • Each time Soothing Mist heals an allied Hero, excluding yourself, gain a stack of Bribe. Use 20 stacks to Bribe a Mercenary, instantly defeating them. Does not work on Bosses. Maximum of 80 stacks.
    • Bribe (Active)
      • Replaced by Pixie Charm
Developer Comments:  See Falstad’s comment for Bribe changes.

     Return

Kharazim

ZNF0FO7V6W8J1439221492354.png

Talents

  • Level 13
    • Relentless (Passive)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Sixth Sense (Passive)
      • Stuns and Roots against Kharazim grant 50% damage reduction from Basic Attacks for 4 seconds.
Developer Comments:  See Greymane’s comment for Relentless changes.

     Return

Li Li

AVO3T8MOM0SM1417483334438.png

Talents

  • Level 16
    • Shake it Off (Passive)
      • New functionality:
        • Stuns and Roots against Li Li grant Resistant, reducing all damage taken by 25 for 3 seconds. Cannot occur more than once every 10 seconds.
Developer Comments:  See Greymane’s comment for Relentless changes.

     Return

Lt. Morales

YDNL0OKJTAHV1445037034465.png

Abilities

  • Displacement Grenade (E)
    • Displacement Grenade no longer explodes on contact and passes through everything. After a 0.0625 second delay, players can now re-activate the Grenade causing it to explode on command, damaging and displacing enemies. Displacement Grenade automatically explodes if it reaches max range.

Talents

  • Level 4
    • Upgraded Ballistics (Passive)
      • Removed
Developer Comments:  We have been looking for ways to add gameplay to our Supports, and believe that Lt. Morales’s Displacement Grenade is a place where we could give her more control. We’re hoping that this gives players an opportunity to make bigger plays by having more control of where they want the enemy hero to move with the Grenade’s knockback

     Return

Malfurion

1JZXW9JSV6ZW1417483334684.png

Talents

  • Level 16
    • Hindering Moonfire (Passive)
      • Now only slows Heroic units

     Return

Rehgar

HM0ECRA7F3U91417483335126.png

Abilities

  • Ghost Wolf (Trait)
    • Movement Speed reduced from 30% to 20%

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Wolf Run (Talent)
      • Movement Speed reduced from 40 to 30% while in Ghost Wolf
Developer Comments:  Alongside the adjustments to Mount speed, we’re also reducing the Movement Speed bonus offered by Rehgar’s Ghost Wolf Trait.

     Return

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

 

Warrior

Anub'arak

V0TGBEY50T4F1417483333676.png

Abilities

  • Burrow Charge (E)
    • Anub'arak is no longer Invulnerable when Burrow Charging, and is now only Unstoppable
Developer Comments:  When looking at Burrow Charge, we liked that this Ability provided an immense amount of mobility and allowed Anub’arak to dive the back line, but we didn’t like that he had an Invulnerability on a 16 second CD. Essentially, Anub’arak could hold this to completely nullify a Pyroblast or any huge damage source, which is not intended. By changing this to Unstoppable, we still allow Anub’arak to be very slippery and get out of bad situations quickly.

     Return

Cho

6SJU0GPK7SNW1452704274380.png

Talents

  • Level 13
    • Surge of Stamina (Q)
      • New functionality:
        • Using Surging Fist grants Resistant, reducing all damage taken by 25% for 3 seconds.  Reduces the cooldown of Surging Fist by 4 seconds if it hits an enemy Hero.
Developer Comments:  See Greymane’s comment for Relentless changes.

     Return

Diablo

W74UW0BVVWY41417483334083.png

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Devastating Charge (Q)
      • New functionality:
        • Shadow Charge grants Resistant, reducing all damage taken by 25% for 4 seconds.
Developer Comments:  See Greymane’s comment for Relentless changes.

     Return

E.T.C.

6L0DECUU5AUA1417483334095.png

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Just Keep Rockin’ (E)
      • Removed
Developer Comments:  See Greymane’s comment for Relentless changes.

     Return

Johanna

CL282YHEXJD81453761576243.png

Abilities

  • Condemn (W)
    • Added functionality:
      • Now deals 200% increased damage to Minions and Mercenaries

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Knight Takes Pawn (W)
      • Removed
Developer Comments:  As our heroes develop over time, we often find niches for their roles that are only available via Talents. While we love that our Talents augment our Heroes in interesting ways, we are wary when a Hero is picked specifically for a role that they are given via a Talent. We did a pass on our current roster and found a couple of these cases in Johanna and Muradin. We like how Johanna is seen as a warrior with good wave clear, and how Muradin is seen as an anti- auto-attacker. We’ve decided to make these features part of their base kits, and will be keeping an eye on others in the future.

     Return

Muradin

TM8DLIER5QEH1417483334689.png

Abilities

  • Thunder Clap (W)
    • Added functionality:
      • Now also slows enemy Attack Speed by 25% for 2.5 seconds

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Reverberation (W)
      • Moved to Level 4
      • New functionality:
        • Increase Thunder Clap’s Attack Speed slow to 50% and increase the duration of Thunder Clap from 2.5 to 3 seconds
  • Level 4
    • Third Wind (Trait)
      • Moved to Level 1
    • Thunder Burn (W)
      • Now also applies the 25% Attack Speed slow with the second activation of Thunder Clap.
Developer Comments:  See Johanna’s comment.

Stitches

PEX1HU1XRW0G1417483335311.png

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Relentless (Passive)
      • Removed
  • Level 13
    • New Talent: Flea Bag (Passive)
      • Whenever Stitches is Stunned or Rooted, reduce basic ability cooldowns by 3 seconds.
Developer Comments:  See Greymane’s comment for Relentless changes.

19RBT3IUQUYB1403137112368.png

Bug Fixes

General

  • Corrected a number of typos and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game.
  • Repeatedly changing Region and Language settings to and from Chinese will no longer limit region selection to China on the login screen.
  • Fixed an issue that was preventing a small number of players from rejoining games.

Art

  • Core: Fixed a bug in which Shield impact effects on the Core were not displaying when struck by some Abilities.
  • Keep: Flags will no longer appear detached from a Keep’s model when it is heavily damaged.
  • Artanis: Activating Twin Blades just as Hearthstone completes channeling will no longer cause Artanis to stand while Mounted.
  • Rehgar: The Totemic Projection Talent now uses the correct icon tint.

Battlegrounds

  • Tomb of the Spider Queen: Medivh will now properly fly over the Spider Queen’s Altars while in Raven form, rather than path around them.
  • Towers of Doom: Sappers can sometimes stop attacking their targets and start following enemy Heroes.
  • Try Mode: Brightwing can now properly Phase Shift to the Healing Dummy.
  • Try Mode: Helping Hand is no longer removed from Stitches’ Ability bar after clicking Reset Talents.
  • Try Mode: Repeatedly casting Stitches’ Gorge on the Target Dummy will no longer prevent it from leashing back to its spawn location.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Fixed several bugs in which splash damage from Basic Attacks could still deal damage while the attacking player was Blind or the target was Evading.
  • Heroes can no longer push captured Mercenaries by walking into them.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Tyrael, Uther, and Gall players to incorrectly receive AFK Warnings due to the combination of their post-death effects and lengthy death timers at later levels.
  • Abathur: Monstrosity can no longer push Minions or captured Mercenaries by walking into them.
  • Anub'arak: Beetle damage listed in the Scarab Host Trait tooltip will now update correctly when Anub’arak levels up.
  • Auriel: Sacred Sweep’s increased range, gained by learning the Majestic Span Talent, will now correctly benefit from the Righteous Assault Talent.
  • Chromie: Temporal Loop’s clock graphic will no longer disappear if the target becomes polymorphed.
  • Dehaka: Isolation’s parasite will no longer visually persist until death on a target that was simultaneously hit by Isolation and Chromie’s Time Trap.
  • Diablo: Overpower’s target will no longer be stunned for the Ability’s full duration if Diablo is interrupted by a knockback at the same time Overpower is cast.
  • Diablo: Apocalypse will now correctly target enemies trapped by Anub’arak’s Cocoon.
  • E.T.C.: Rockstar’s Attack Speed bonus will now be properly applied when E.T.C. casts Stage Dive.
  • Gall: An icon has been added to the buff bar for the Dark Descent Talent, and the icon’s tooltip will track Runic Blast damage bonuses earned via Hero Takedowns.
  • Gul'dan: Learning the Health Funnel Talent and using Drain Life to kill a Hero with a post-death effect, such as Uther, will now properly reduce Drain Life’s cooldown.
  • Johanna: Condemn will now be correctly interrupted when Johanna becomes Polymorphed.
  • Kerrigan: Using the Overdrive Talent will no longer remove the Energizing Grasp Talent’s Mana cost reduction for Primal Grasp.
  • MULE: Will now properly acquire a new repair target if the Structure it is actively repairing is destroyed.
  • Murky: The camera will no longer automatically snap to Murky’s Egg location if he is killed with camera follow enabled.
  • Nazeebo: Zombie Wall will no longer attack Murky’s Pufferfish.
  • Li Li: The Shake it Off Talent will no longer reduce the duration of the Garden Terror's Queen's Curse Ability.
  • Lunara: Fixed a rare issue in which casting Leaping Strike toward terrain could cause Lunara to run back to her original location after landing.
  • Lunara: Will no longer receive the “Stuck” notification when a Wisp is stuck by Tracer’s Pulse Bomb.
  • Rexxar: Misha’s Basic Attack target can now correctly be switched by right-clicking as long as she did not already have an order to Focus on a particular target.
  • Rexxar: Misha can now push Minions and allied Mercenaries, but will not push enemy or uncaptured Mercenaries.
  • Uther: The tooltip for the Gathering Radiance Talent will now properly indicate the amount of bonus Healing and Damage earned after multiple nearby Allies are hit by Holy Radiance.
  • Sgt. Hammer: Basic Attack range indicators should now appear consistent while Sgt. Hammer is in both Tank and Siege Modes.
  • Stitches: Vile Gas applied by a Retchling after learning the Restorative Fumes and Indigestion Talents will now properly Heal Stitches, rather than the Retchling.
  • Tychus:  Attack commands should no longer automatically switch targets after using Run and Gun.
  • Xul: Skeletal Warriors will no longer attack Murky's Pufferfish if it is in their path.
  • Zagara: After learning Medusa Blades, Zagara will now deal the correct amount of damage to her secondary Basic Attack targets.
  • Zeratul: Void Prison will no longer cancel Rehgar’s Feral Lunge or Olaf's Charge as long as the target of either Ability is still in range when Void Prison ends.

User Interface

  • Color Blind Mode: Fixed an issue which caused damage and Heal over time effects in Hero Health bars to display in red and green while Color Blind Mode was enabled.
  • Death Recap: Zagara’s Healing received from the Hydralisk Transfusion Talent will now be correctly displayed in her Death Recap.
  • Draft Mode: Fixed an issue that could cause the draft interface to become unresponsive if the player’s game client was minimized while entering draft mode.
  • Replays: Pausing a replay prior to opening the Talent Panel (TAB) will no longer prevent Quest Talent progress from displaying.
(source)
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      Good morning Lorhand - great question!
      While we do read quite a bit of criticism about baseline quests, typically pointing at the feast-or-famine nature of them, there are also a lot of players that enjoy the thrill of chasing power. At the end of the day, a quest (be it baseline or a talent) is all about adding asymmetrical power spikes to an otherwise fairly static power curve.
      The Heroes you listed above all bring a unique playstyle to the Nexus that I think is actually very fun for a large number of players. I personally love designing and playing with quests that are uncapped, because every game starts out with a chance to become 'infinitely' powerful. That said, the reality is that we know the average stacks that a player gains in a game, and at what time they are unlocking the rewards behind them. Ultimately, we still like these types of quests because they make for increased variability between games--sometimes a player feels like a God, and sometimes not so much. If you think about the 'carry' role in other mobas, it is very similar. Many of us love that feeling of a really good game - one where everything just clicks. This makes up for those games where maybe you're not playing at your best and can find areas to improve your game. While we don't want to push this philosophy towards ALL of our Heroes by any means, I think we definitely have room for a few of them.
      Lastly, it is important to know that we are always actively looking at a lot of the quests in the game. We went through a period where we tried to add as many of them as possible, which actually ended up creating a lot instances where you needed to play less than optimally in order to stack quickly. Your example of Tyrande is actually perfect - I originally created the baseline Sentinel quest, and although a lot of players enjoyed it, when working on her recent rework, I knew I needed to remove it. We still have quite a few quests in the game that do this and we will continue to either remove them or change them in ways that reward you for using them correctly.
      The next PTR patch seems to bring us back into a direction where mana is a real, present, limiting factor on the sustain of powerful heroes (thinking of Blaze and Yrel changes in particular). Many recent heroes such as Fenix or release Yrel have either no mana or no meaningful mana costs. Where is the dev/balance team at on mana in terms of the fun factor versus usefulness in creating balance?
      Hi Hermitpurplerain!
      We have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow to talk about this exact issue. I can’t give any specifics in regards to what changes we’re looking to make, but I wanted to let you know that it’s on our mind.
      Regarding Matchmaking, especially at the top end. 
      What is in the works to correct the issues in master/GM right now. queue times are getting worse, game quality continues to decline, and high profile streamers/pros that should be ambassadors for the game continue to be displeased. 
      What Matchmaking updates can we anticipate in the future to re-gate the top end and ensure better match quality.
      I have been summoned.
      Following the release of the matchmaking updates in H35, we've seen a dramatic overall increase in match quality as a result of our prediction rates tightening significantly. Since then, we've also seen longer queue times, particularly during off-peak hours. We've also seen some situations recently where players have had their MMR dramatically diverge from their rank. This makes it even harder for those players to find matches over time, as we're typically looking for matches that band them nearer to their rank in order for that player to more easily move into the appropriate league and division. If a bronze player with a high MMR keeps getting matches with platinum players, that doesn't help that player leave bronze, and the platinum players tend to get tilted because they don't think bronze players belong in their games.
      First, we're working on adding dynamic matchmaking restrictions that scale based on the number of players in the queue. If you're playing during off-peak hours. you may end up with the occasional rainbow game--but you'll find games.
      Second, we're looking into situations in which players are having a hard time finding games due to their MMR and rank points being too divergent. This is unacceptable and we're going to resolve the situation.
      Lastly, we're taking a long, hard look at the entire ranked play system. Removing queue restrictions from Team League is a small step towards larger changes. We think it's time to take a step back and take a look at our existing ranked play framework and ensure that it's the right fit for Heroes of the Storm today.
      Low-hanging fruit solution: get rid of rank? Only have MMR, and matchmake off that alone. Could still have "Leagues", but all they denote is what percentile your MMR falls in.
      We're discussing getting rid of points actually and mapping MMR bands directly to a more granular rank system. That said, this is all early and we'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.
      Has there ever been thought of completely revamping a hero’s role with a rework? (Ie turning Xul into a tank, or Tassadar into a complete assassin)
      Hey Sprinklings, thank you for the question!
      The short answer is yes! In fact we just did something similar with Tyrande. While a lot of players loved her hybrid Support/Assassin playstyle, she was having a hard time finding a solid spot in the meta. Since her rework last year, we have read a lot of feedback saying that our support players really missed playing her as a healer. When starting her most recent rework, we took the opportunity to shift her role and rebuilt her talent tree and kit around embracing that.
      As for the future, I can honestly tell you that we have heard your feedback about Tassadar, and when his time comes, we will be having a lot of discussions about potentially shifting him towards the High Templar you all want and deserve - En Taro Tassadar!
      Since Malthael's latest rework, Tormented Souls has become very redundant with his cleaving auto-attacks and is rarely ever picked (along with Last Rites' flaws also being addressed and making it feel a lot better). Are there any changes to Tormented Souls currently in the works to make it more viable in any way?
      Hey maguszeal, thanks for the question.
      It's true that the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction for Tormented Souls after the changes giving Malthael cleaving attacks. We've toyed around with the idea of making some changes to make sure that it's still an attractive pick that offers something useful (and unique), but we don't have anything ready to share right now. It's likely that whatever will be done would focus on dealing spread damage, as well as enhancing Reaper's Mark-focused gameplay.
      Anecdotally, when we were working on Malthael's cleaving changes, we knew that there was a possibility that Tormented Souls would lose value so we experimented with a few changes to it then. One of them was trying to make it deal flat damage that was increased by enemies affected by Reaper's Mark, but we decided to shelve the idea because it felt pretty similar to Kerrigan's Maelstrom.
      It's something that we might revisit soon, since we think having an AoE-focused Heroic for Malthael is good design space to explore.
      Any news regarding the Role Rework?
      Hello, Gnueless! I'm excited for the role changes and yes, we've been preparing for them with some shifts in surrounding areas. We don't have a solid release date as of yet, but if all goes well, we hope to roll out the update later this year. 
      So...Soon™ to Soonish™.
      Are there any plans to continue to release "quirky" heroes in the future? (Similar to Abathur, Cho'gall, Murky) I always felt like that was HotS' niche was that they weren't afraid to create heroes that were very unique in their play. Lately it seems the development team has focused on more traditional playstyles rather than quirky ones.
      The short answer is "yes, we'd like to", but I also want to share some of our philosophy.
      The biggest hurdle to making heroes that break fundamental game rules is that it's not good enough to just make them fun to play -- they also have to be fun to play alongside and against. If a hero is extremely fun, but your teammates groan when you lock them in, it's fair to say that's not a satisfactory place for that hero to be in. I think it's cool to have heroes that are a little more niche and don't show up as often, and do unique things because it makes the games where they do show up more special. They're awesome when they work out.
      Currently I'd say Abathur is a great example of what we want to see from these types of heroes. He's relatively rare, but shows up in games often enough that players are familiar with who he is and what he does. Players generally recognize what a good Abathur is capable of and how to adapt their play when he's on their team. Most importantly of all, our game is very much about team fights, and despite his weirdness Abathur has a clear and reliable way to contribute that doesn't leave his team feeling like they're fighting 5v4.
      We want to make more heroes that fit in that space and continue to explore ideas. We originally wanted to do Ragnaros as a "core replacement" hero who would sit in your base in all his raid boss glory and command fiery minions on the battlefield. We ultimately decided not to do this for fantasy reasons (it just didn't feel like Ragnaros if you couldn't smite insects with your own two fiery hands), but the gameplay is still promising and we want to revisit it at some point with a more appropriate hero.
      We also try varying levels of wacky ideas on almost every new hero we make. There were points in development where Stukov could revive dead heroes as Zerg constructs with unique abilities, Alexstrasza could heal enemies, Mephisto could make enemy heroes hostile to each other... We have good reasons for why we didn't end up implementing those examples, but the point is we're not afraid to try new things and look for ways to surprise our players that are both fun and make sense within the context of our game.
      Put simply, we want to make heroes that are unique, AND that players are still excited to play and play with 3, 6, and 12+ months after they come out. This is a very difficult standard to achieve when it comes to truly rule-breaking heroes, but it's something we're excited to keep chasing.
      Ana
      Ana’s Detachable box magazine has been left untouched after quick emergency change. Does the team has any play on this talent?
      Will Ana receive her update to make her basic kit interact like Overwatch too? i.e. heal pass through full health.
      Does the dev have plans on updating Eye of Horus to increase its attractiveness as well as aim down sight and custom optic?
      Thank you.
      Good morning Boom0128!
      I will try to answer all three questions for you - I think the fantasy and reward for Detachable Box Magazine are awesome and would like to keep these. However, the way it is unlocked could probably be tweaked in the future.
      Ana's Healing Dart will indeed be gaining the functionality to pass through full life Heroes in a future patch!
      As for updating Eye of Horus and Aim Down Sights - these will most likely be addressed when we get ready to do a full pass on her talent tree (potentially a rework).
      Game design: Why can't Catapults be blinded, when Siege Giants (similar projectile) and Minions (same classification) can?
      Hey Zanzure!
      This was a bug that has been fixed in the Kerrigan\Brightwing rework patch. You should see the change to address this go live next week sometime.
      What proportion of Heroes are flagged as needing a rework a la Kerrigan and Brightwing, and can the team share the list of Heroes who make up this proportion?
      Great question JimmyTurx!
      The short answer is that it varies. There was a point last year where we had almost 5 Hero reworks in flight at the same time (boy, that was crazy). Since then, we have gone into a much more stable timeline for them and normally have Live Designers working on about 2 at any given time. We normally have a rotating list of about 8 to 10 that we want to work on, but there are many times where someone not on that list sneaks in (Tyrande for example).
      There is (IMO) a lack of frontline supports in HotS. Not necessarily supports trying to be a pseudo-dps, but someone who isn’t afraid to fight alongside their frontline with strong defensive tools. The roster overwhelmingly leans toward fragile, divable heroes, and we only have three genuine melee supports in Kharazim/Uther/Rehgar. This is why I believe people are still upset about no self-casting Ancestral; because Rehgar is one of the few supports who shouldhave a resilient/aggressive playstyle, but was deliberately hamstrung. 
      Is there any chance we will see more supports that can stand up with the frontline, or have mechanics added to require/encourage that gameplay (similar to Insight/Transcendence Kharazim, or Malf/Whitemane but melee)? A great example of what I’m describing would be Brigitte from OW.
      You mean you don't play Deckard as a frontliner? >_>
      Kidding aside, I think this is fair feedback and that there's definitely room in the roster for more of these types of heroes. I'll defer to the Live Design team when it comes to our plans for existing supports, but in general our philosophy has moved toward increasing emphasis on interactive & skill-based gameplay for support heroes, and frontline supports feel like a natural fit for that type of gameplay.
      There are many factors we consider when deciding which heroes to add to the game so I can't make any immediate promises, but we'll be keeping this in mind as we look to add more support heroes in the future.
      I have a question about the state of Mana:
      New heroes normally dont have mana issues if they have mana at all (Genji, Hanzo, Tracer,Maiev,Deckard, Yrel, Whitemane,Fenix,Junkrat). Older heroes like Rehgar or Uther are out of mana after the first mid lane brawl. 
      Is this discepancy intentional or do you want to close this Mana cost gap?
      Thank you for the question Kallesin.
      This is actually a very hot topic right now among us. We have an hour long meeting this week to align ourselves with what Mana means to our game and what direction we want to move towards. 
      While it is a very powerful tool from a balance design perspective, it is not really 'fun' to run out of Mana. Since our game is fast paced and 'brawly', I think we need to be a little on the forgiving side when it comes to Mana tension.
      As more heroes enter the Nexus, knock backs and displacements in the game are increasing. Will dazes/knock backs ever become keywords and have talents that interact with them?
      For example, supports have ways to give armor or interact with stuns/silences/slows, but the only way to deal with knock backs is Cleanse, or other Unstoppable effects. Will this continue as is, or will there be other ways to counter play?
      Hey USSKorolev, thanks for the question.
      Just to clarify for some readers, we have a number of displacement abilities that also have stuns tied to them. For example, Johanna’s Condemn, Garrosh’s Wreckling Ball, or Junkrat’s Concussion Mine. One of the key reasons to have these stuns is to break moving channeled abilities such as a Li Li’s Jug of 1,000 Cups. Another core reason is that the stun can help to add “weight” to the ability and make it feel a lot better to use. Without the stun on Condemn, heroes would immediately start moving following the initial displacement, often due to previously queued up move orders, and the ability just wouldn’t feel right. That pause helps players to recognize the impact and allows Johanna a small opportunity to capitalize on this ability.
      There are of course a number of displacement abilities that do not have this stun which we refer to as “dazes”, including ETC’s Face Melt and Falstad’s Mighty Gust. I’m not sure we have discussed adding a new keyword to interact with these abilities specifically, although it’s an interesting thought.
      We’re always interested in giving players counterplay options, so it is something we will talk about internally. I do think there are a few issues though which I’ll go through: 
      First off, most knockbacks happen extremely quickly, too quickly for you to react once they occur in many cases. Take the ETC Face Melt example, you’d basically have to preemptively use your counter to avoid the displacement – which gets into the territory of pre-cleansing and Unstoppable effects, which we already have. If we said this new counter was always on and waited for a displacement effect to hit you (i.e. Spell Shield), then I’m not sure how fun that would be to play against. If you see someone with Spell Shield, you can often try to poke this off with a weaker ability, but you may not have a secondary displacement effect that you can use to remove this new buff.
      Another thought is, we must be careful about how niche we make talents or abilities. Pointing a talent towards a very specific use case will often go unpicked and we will end up adding secondary effects to the talent for it to become an attractive option. In a lot of cases, those secondary effects can overshadow the original design and that becomes why you pick the talent. As an example, take Ana’s level 13 talents, one is for Stuns while the other is to counter Slows and Roots. We ended up having to put secondary effects on these talents to make them useful in more cases, and now those secondary effects have become the primary reason to pick these talents in a lot of cases (i.e. more healing vs. armor).
      On map design
      It seems like there is a shift towards maps with a single must-win objective (e.g. Hanamura rework). Some players find this is good, as the simplification requires less strategic thought and team coordination. By and large, it simply involves making sure you are at least on even level tiers and win the team fight to get the objective. 
      For other players, this simplification goes a little too far. There is really only "one way" to win the match, especially with the recent nerfs to other map strategies such as split pushing (for better or worse). I was wondering what your map design principles are and whether the team is fine with having one straightforward and clear method of winning, or are there plans to create more strategic depth to maps, whether this is adding new map mechanics or enabling different team comp metas. 
      On a personal note, I would love to see more map mechanics added to some maps as it would open up more macro play options and increase the replay value of those maps.
      We purposefully crafted our battleground design principles so they do not steer us toward a specific type of map objective. Instead, they focus on driving the game forward, managing emotional tension, and providing mechanical and visual variety (among others). There’s no principle that tells us to collapse players into a small area for a highly impactful, centralized objective. It’s true that we’ve been doing that more than usual recently (Volskaya Foundry and Hanamura Temple for sure, Alterac Pass and the Garden rework to some extent) but this is not the new standard.
      General: Frequently Blizzard will include very small numbers changes that don't appear to be intended to seriously shift a heroes power level. Are these intended as signals to the player base to rethink how they're approaching the hero or are you using data to tell you to do those very fine tuned changes?
      Hey ChaosOS!
      First off let me say - "Thank you so much for all of your work and passion for the Heroes community!"
      Now, to address your question: Small number tweaks are normally done when a Hero or Talent is just slightly off-balance. While losing 2 Basic Attack damage is pretty minor for most Heroes, Raynor might see a slightly larger shift since the vast majority of his damage output comes from there. 
      For a different example - there are a lot of times where we may see a vast difference in pick rates between talents on a tier, but parity between win-rates. Sometimes we might do a slight nudge to the under-picked talent in order to get players to reevaluate it. Sometimes it takes multiple nudges before the community starts using and respecting it (Mighty Gust for example).
      What's the great plan for illidan? Why not just buff his 10.
      Any insight on that? He does not need a rework just specific 10 buffs, Hunt back to 60~75 sec CD and moving some 20 demonic form buffs to 10 IMO.
      Hey TheGameOn, thanks for your question about The Betrayer. He's one of my personal favorite Heroes.
      Right now Illidan primarily takes The Hunt because it offers unique and fun gameplay, so we aren't all that upset that it's the more commonly picked Heroic ability. That being said, Metamorphosis is being chosen 40% of the time in higher level Hero League, though it doesn't always feel like it. It isn't winning nearly as much though, so there might be room for improvement.
      Illidan isn't seen all that often partly due to this being an unfavorable metagame for him. With a bruiser-heavy meta, not only is there a lot of crowd control to deal with him, but also fewer squishy targets for him to chase down. Just a year ago Illidan was very meta, and hasn't seen many changes since, so we're confident that maybe small tuning changes combined with a more favorable meta will allow him to fulfill his niche in the game again.
      Why do you prefer slower, larger scale reworks over smaller, more abandunt changes?
      We see time and time again heroes get ignored for months/years and they slowly devolve into a critical state requiring a full on rework like raynor, kerrigan, vikings, chen. 
      We have other heroes that are at a decent winrate with low use/unused talents that havent been changed for a while, making for a 1-dimensional talent builds and overall less compelling interactivity and gameplay, yet these issues go seemingly ignored for an incredible amount of time.
      Hey Dreadnought7410!
      We don't prefer to do slower, larger scale reworks over small changes--they both have their uses. We've released balance patches regularly with many changes to multiple heroes over time, and generally save large reworks for heroes who need more sweeping changes.
      There are advantages and disadvantages to smaller balance tweaks and large rework changes. I went over many of these specifics in our last AMA, but some things we think about are:
      The larger the rework, the greater the risk of hurting the hero's core identity. Even if you make a slam dunk design, it will not have as great a chance of being widely accepted if it significantly alters the hero's fantasy.
      As you mentioned, more abundant changes means that the game is fresher for more people, and fewer heroes are left alone for less time.
      Small number or functionality tweaks can make talent builds feel fresh, which in turn makes the hero feel new and exciting without the need for a major rework.
      That said, large reworks are sometimes necessary. Some examples of why this happens are:
      To update older heroes and bring them in line with current design philosophies. To carve out a role for heroes who have fallen out of use relative to other heroes currently favored in the game. To solve fundamental design issues with their kits. Going forward, you can expect to see us make numerous smaller changes to improve hero and talent pick/win rates. For example, today we just released a balance patch with changes for 17 different heroes.
      General: What does the process for building a balance patch look like? How do you decide what issues to tackle, how do you test ideas in terms of doing what you want them to do, and when are things locked in for implementation and bugtesting?
      Hey ChaosOS!
      Every week the members of the balance team meet to talk about the state of the game. One of the things we do during this meeting we all bring up individual changes/heroes/issues that we would like to see addressed in the upcoming balance patch.
      In regards to how we decide what issues to tackle, there isn’t a single method, as our decisions can come from various sources. Some of these are:
      We have a lot of data that we can look through to find anomalies. We can see hero and talent win/play rates across various filters to see if something is over/underperforming.
      We watch pro play and have discussions about what is happening there.
      We all play the game regularly, and use our personal experience to see where we can make improvements for the average player.
      We look at heroes who haven’t been tweaked in awhile to see if there’s any room to make changes.
      We make the actual changes the week before the patch releases so that we have time for QA to check the changes and fix bugs.
      Sometimes for larger balance changes, for example Artanis’s changes that came out in a balance patch, we will test the changes for weeks/months in advance and merge them into the next balance patch once we’re confident in the design.
      I am curious, which hero did you think would be extremly OP on release, yet turned out to be very weak.
      Vice versa, which hero did you feel was UP, but turned out to be overtuned on release?
      Hey SeeALot, great question.
      Lunara was a character we thought would be OP on release and we were a little worried about, however she ended up being really low initially and needing lots of buffs.
      Malthael is an opposite example where the balance team felt he was fairly solid overall but the larger development team thought he was going to be really weak. Malthael ended up completely crushing the solo lane and being extremely powerful upon release.
      Thoughts on heroes who almost always only has a single talent in certain tiers? examples being garrosh picking into the fray, dehaka picking feeding frenzy, ana picking sleep dart quest
      We put a lot of work into building out talent tiers and trying to offer players interesting choices, so when a single talent ends up dominating a tier it's pretty disappointing.
      The Hero Design team does the initial work of designing talent trees for all new heroes, and most of the time we can recognize and prevent these cases early so that the Live Design team never has to worry about it. This is something I feel we're getting even better at as we learn from previous talents like Into the Fray or Glacial Spike, and even from Heroic abilities like Cleansing Flame that end up as one-sided choices.
      When lopsided talent tiers do make it out the door, it forces us to think very carefully about how we want to bring them back in line. Usually the reason these talents are so popular is that they're very fun to use or provide key utility a hero doesn't otherwise have - so simply removing or weakening them may not be the way to go. In that case we can either-
      A: Make the effect baseline (as with Glacial Spike on Kel'thuzad) and reshuffle other talents accordingly
      or
      B: Revisit the talents on that tier and try to make the other two choices feel just as impactful (as with Holy Ground on Tyrael)
      Which of these options is preferable varies case-by-case, but the most important value is not to undermine what's cool and enjoyable about a hero with whatever changes we decide to make. Given the choice between having uneven talent picks, or making a hero less fun overall, we'd prefer to wait on changing the talents until we're confident that our changes will have the desired effect.
      Hi homer12346,
      We do review talent trees to make sure there is some diversity in options. The goal would be that every talent is viable in some situations and your talent selection can feel fluid based off the match state, team compositions, etc. If there are two solid talent options at a tier that garner the majority of picks and a third lesser chosen one, this can still be okay as long as there is some scenarios where this third (or fourth) talent can be viable. Sometimes it’s purely a personal playstyle preference for why players pick certain talents, other times it can be different skill bands where some players may simply avoid active talents all together.
      Funny enough for Feeding Frenzy, while it is the most picked talent, Symbiosis does still see around 20% of the picks and has an overall higher win rate. ?
      Xul: As you have noticed, he became a maintank in certain comps (shown in the HGC). Are you happy about this and do you have plans for him, either making him a real maintank (like changing his role from assassin to Tank) or tune him more into the assassin role wih removing some survivability?
      Hey Elegostelkai!
      Right now we're pretty happy to see Xul in HGC, and in general we like to see weird/wacky comps have their time in the spotlight. A core tenet of our design philosophy is that we want to push the boundaries of what a conventional MOBA is, and as such we're excited when our players do the same.
      That being said, if an off-meta strategy becomes too powerful and dominates pro-play for too long, it can be a problem if it drastically warps the fundamentals of our game and take it to places where there isn't enough interaction between both teams. 
      We don’t currently have any plans to change Xul due to his recent games in pro play. We’ll be keeping an eye on it, but for now, we’re cool with it.
      How are you guys reacting to the pushback against the mobility Overwatch heroes have brought into HotS? By that I mean, is this feedback you've listened to and found yourselves agreeing with, which you will apply for future hero releases or do you feel different, and if so how/what?
      Tracer and Genji's translation into the game has really shaken up the game and the community, given that their kits and mobility break a lot the core mechanics and penalties of the genre. Combining high damage with ranged attacks, while being able to apply it on the move. Mages and older HotS heroes, in particular, adhere to these limiters and have to sacrifice mobility or expose themselves in order to apply their damage. Tracer and Genji have an easy time getting in and out of combat while being nigh impossible for most heroes to shake off while taking very significant damage. 
      Very frustrating, being killed by heroes which do not adhere to the moba mechanical rulesets which restrain most other heroes. Especially by characters from a new Blizzard universe which after 3 years is still struggling to establish itself. (We've embraced the characters, but there's still no real plot or enough world building for it to currently stand next to IPs such as Diablo, Warcraft and Starcraft. Though I understand that they can bring interesting new mechanics and gameplay to the game.
      Hey Mozerath, thanks for your question! Mobility in Heroes is something that we've been watching for a long time.
      To start with, we've always pushed the boundaries with Hero Design in HotS; we think that it's one of the things that makes Heroes of the Storm special. We have characters like Cho'gall, Abathur, or The Lost Vikings that really "break the rules" of traditional character design. The key to these characters is adjusting their power the appropriate amount while keeping these unique traits in mind.
      The great mobility offered by Tracer and Genji is another one of these unique traits, though not as flashy as a two-headed ogre. We knew that during development they would need to be balanced around it (in fact at one point Tracer had so little Health that she was being one-shot by Nova). We didn't anticipate how much we would need to tune them down though, so unfortunately they've been steadily nerfed (for the most part) since their release. We think they're much healthier than they started in terms of balance at this point, though we're always looking to make further tuning adjustments when we think the time is right.
      We do have other characters in the game with high amounts of mobility (as has been pointed out in this thread). Illidan, Zeratul, and Lucio are good examples. The biggest difference between them and Tracer or Genji is that their mobility has more conditions. These include target selection (Illidan's Dive), range limitations (Zeratul's Blink), or inability to travel over terrain (Lucio's Movement Speed). These added forms of counterplay make these abilities feel better to play against than they would otherwise, and allow us to really push the envelope with them.
      At this point, we think that the low-condition mobility from Tracer and Genji makes them special, and we likely won't add more characters with this level of mobility without conditions. But we do think that mobility is a great way to allow players to make flashy plays and has a high skill cap, so you'll likely see more forms of it with added counterplay in the future.
      Some heroes have heroic abilities with extremely low pick/win rate. For example: Lili's Dragon, Kelthuzad's Frost Blast, Mephisto's Durance and Guldan's Rain.
      Are there any plan for changing how these skills work fundamentally beside number tweaks?
      Hello blacktiger226,
      We are always looking to bring both win and pick rate parity to all Heroics. The reality is that it is actually very difficult sometimes without making sweeping changes. Some of the examples you list above fit that bill and will most likely see changes if and when they are looked at for reworks ?
      On developing new heroes, I wonder if we will have heroes of the Heroes of the Storm universe or if all the heroes will be from other Blizzard universes
      One of the many amazing things about Heroes of the Storm is that ANYTHING is possible in the Nexus!
      I feel like there's a lot of controversy around Garden of Terror and a lot of people saying it lost it's identity mainly (including myself unfortunately). That said, what are your guys plans for other maps like Blackhearts Bay? I think it would be good if the team communicated more with the community before putting so much effort into a map redesign.
      The Garden of Terror rework was done in response to years of consistent player feedback (in community discussion and in our own user experience research) saying Garden was among the least-loved maps in the game. Our goals for the rework were to preserve the map's thematic elements (seeds, shamblers, terrors, weather effects) while removing the elements that made so many players sigh when they saw the loading screen (chasing a vehicle around, eternal night phase, zero sum double vehicle phases, vehicle time-out).
      We iterated on the Garden rework several times internally. First we tried small changes like repositioning/renumbering shambler camps, changing timers, and changing the vehicle's abilities and spawn point, but none of those changes made the map notably more fun or interesting. The map still had the same problems it did on live servers. Then we went wild for a bit with experimentation - at one point we had a completely new layout and a "siege vehicle" objective reward that could dig in, spawn bushes around it, spawn shamblers to push in a direction, and shoot out burrowing seed bombs that detonated for aoe damage. We tried a "gauntlet" type design where we spawned a series of seeds, one at a time, all over the map, and the first team to gather three won the objective. Those were interesting experiments, but they each had their own fatal problems. Ultimately, we found that the version on PTR right now provided the most fun we've ever had on Garden. The story might not be over, though. We're confident that this version of Garden will do much better than its original version, but if we're wrong, we'll do what we need to do.
      As for Blackheart's Bay, we do plan on adjusting the map, but we currently do not expect a complete mechanical overhaul like the Garden rework.
      Any plans on having shuffle pick be an option in custom games? (instead of forcefully enabled for ARAM?)
      It makes doing, for example, 1 versus 1 battles on the same hero impossible on Lost Cavern since you are forced into a new hero upon game start.
      Adding a Shuffle Pick option to the custom games screen (with some additional buttons and levers to customize it further) would be cool, I agree.
      You recently vastly improved the reconnect feature. Will a spectate feature ever be added?
      Hi, reddituser25987! We continue to improve the rejoin functionality and while doing so are touching areas of the game that could, eventually, make spectating a possibility...
      HOWEVER, while we'd love to watch HGC games live in client or check out our friends playing while waiting to party up, we have no plans to prioritize a spectate feature above the myriad of core game systems and features that we want to keep improving at this time.
      Tooltips are very inconsistent. 
      [[Archon]] states its splash radius. [[Fury of the Swarm]] doesn't say what the splash radius is.
      [[Water Dragon]] lists the range in which it summons. [[Divine Reckoning]] doesn't list its radius.
      [[Maelstrom]] says "per second" while dealing damage every 0.25s, while [[Fend]] states its tick rate (every 0.25s).
      [[Varian/Charge]] can target structures. [[Colossus Smash]] can not. It's impossible to know cases like these from the tooltip.
      Generally, information seems to be extremely lacking in tooltips.
      Also, summon descriptions are nearly always extremely lacking. They sometimes state health, sometimes state attack speed and usually damage. Why are they not always mentioned? For example:
      [[Abathur/trait]] lists the Locust's health, but most others don't (say, [[Ultralisk]]). Right now on the PTR Ultralisk now doesn't even state its attack damage (only the skillshot's damage, and that it splashes for 50% when attacking). [[Gargantuan]] doesn't even mention the stomp's damage, or the fact that it slows!
      Writing good tooltips is a really important and often underappreciated skill in game design. It becomes particularly challenging when you have a really big game being made by many people, and a ton of heroes made over several years alongside and evolving design philosophy.
      You're totally on the mark that our tooltip consistency could be better and it's something we've been gradually working to improve. I don't think we'll do one "huge" update in a single patch per se, but we regularly revisit our tooltips (especially during hero reworks) and plan to continue those efforts going forward. If you see anything that looks particularly off, bringing it to our attention as you've done here is also great.
      That said, one thing I'll add is that consistency is only one of many values we employ when writing tooltips. Technically most abilities in the game have a 0.125 second cast time, but we don't actually put that in the tooltip for the sake of readability. It may not seem like a big deal for one tooltip, but every hero in the game has dozens and dozens of tooltips, so readability ends up driving many of the decisions we make around how to present information. However this is something we're very open to feedback on as there may be places where something is off (like your Varian example), and we greatly appreciate players bringing cases like this to our attention. Thanks!
      When is the Chen rework coming?
      Chen is the 3rd least picked hero behind Lost Vikings and Probius. His winrate is awful. There's zero way at this point that the balance team can claim he's "balanced" at this point. Take a look at the info that jhow provided in the solo lane matchup. He has very few positive matchups. He needs fixed in a bad way. This is very frustrating for people who love the brewmaster. I've running with the #FixChen hashtag on twitter for a while now. Almost over a year now at this point. Please save us. At least give us a timeline at this point. ?
      Hi Zexerous, glad to hear you’re a Chen fan and hopefully we can make some changes in the future that will help address some of those concerns.
      To touch on his win rate quickly, depending on the filters I’m looking at (HL vs QM, MMR bands, games played as Chen, etc.), he is sitting around 47-49%. This does put him on the lower spectrum of hero win rates, but it’s still not that far off.
      We made some talent adjustments to Chen a few months back, but we will revisit him at some point – I think it’s clear that he’s not a tank with his current kit (having to constantly stop and channel in fights), but we haven’t fully embraced him as a Bruiser either. We will likely look towards that direction in the future. 
      I’m not able to provide a timeline at this point, only that a major Chen update won’t be happening in the next few months. While not part of your primary question, we do also want to look at Probius, Lost Vikings, and other low play rate heroes as well.
      Lastly, I'd like to ask if some skins or Heroes make it forbidding for other Heroes to come in the game. Widowmaker from Overwatch can never come due to Widowmaker Nova existing? Mercy because of Auriel? Kaldalis because of Artanis? 
      I really hope they don't come as skins cause that would be terrible and huge disrespect to those characters imho.
      Cheers and thank you for your time, God bless.
      Hi BertRaccoonGR!
      Making skins that have crossover with existing heroes does not necessarily mean we won’t add those heroes in the future. An example of this is with the Novazon skin which was clearly inspired by the Amazon from D2. Even with this skin, we knew we wanted to do a D2 Amazon and we’re super excited to bring Cassia to the Nexus ?
      Would the team at Blizzard ever consider more instant point and click crowd control (a la Brightwing and Medivh polymorph)? I don’t feel like there are enough reliable ways to shutdown mobility and am often frustrated by this in QM.
      We have a handful of these, the ones you call out and others like Varian’s Taunt. In general, we’re trying not to introduce a ton of new hard-CC that is targeted as these are not very skillful to execute well (you clicked on the enemy), and have low counterplay options (the enemy clicked on you). It’s likely over time that a few of these will trickle in on new heroes though.
      Is it possible to see other heroes in the Multiclasses category, besides the Varian, or the Blizzard Classics, in addition to the Lost Vikings?
      Hey Zequi21, good question.
      For the Multiclass category, we’re planning to remove that with our eventual role update. Varian would most likely fit into a couple of the newer categories, Tank and Bruiser. There would be a few other heroes who would also hit multiple categories such as Zarya in Support and Bruiser. Overall, the multiclass role wasn’t very clear to players and often you couldn’t play Varian the way you wanted due to your team’s composition.
      For Blizzard Classics, I would love to explore some of these characters in the future. There’s so many awesome characters we want to add, so it’s a question of when they make the most sense and when is the right time. There’s other things we of course need to consider like making sure they’re bringing fun new mechanics and playstyles as well.
      Chromie was designed as an artillery mage. The recent rework did away with that role completely changing her playstyle to a hybrid auto attack spell caster and many players were not fond of it which was reflected by the fall of her pick and win rates. Would you ever consider reverting the rework and adjusting her numbers which many Chromie mains had requested?
      Hey Demon_Ryu, thanks for the question.
      Through reworks and balance updates we’ve pushed Chromie out of the artillery mage role. Overall this is a playstyle we weren’t happy with as it didn’t feel great to play against. To touch briefly on a few points:
      -Her abilities were extremely long range (artillery design), but that meant that she was often off-screen from an enemy perspective and you didn’t have a lot of control over her damaging you. Basically, just keep in perpetual motion and hope she misses.
      -Because her abilities were fairly hard to land, the damage they dealt had to be cranked up to extreme levels to keep her win rate and effective damage output in a reasonable spot. Essentially, if she only lands 20% of her abilities, then those abilities have to be extremely impactful when the hit. This could lead to her 1-shotting enemies which again is not fun to play against.
      -She was extremely hard countered by certain enemies. I don’t believe we’ve really addressed this point, but it is something we’d like to soften. 
      -She has a ton of CC between her Time Trap and both Heroic abilities. In general, multiple CC effects can be frustrating to play against and she brought more than many characters. This combined with the above points was just not a great spot for her to be in. This CC also made the rest of her kit much easier to use and much more consistent which was a challenge to tune around and make feel fair.
      As for the future, we will likely make more Chromie changes and potentially even reimagine what her core playstyle should be, but its unlikely we will go back to that long-range artillery mage style.
      Tassadar-
      From what I understand the lifesteal component to Tassadar's shields has been a problem with his balance for a long time, initially only being a talent option then becoming baseline with a talent to increase it. Has the dev team considered eradicating lifesteal from his base kit and talent tree to balance him better for pros and non-pro play as a pure utility support? (There is also the matter of lifesteal not fitting Protoss from a SC gameplay/lore perspective.)
      Hello T-280_SCV!
      Tassadar has definitely been a unique challenge for us the balance side. I think we have learned a lot of valuable lessons from him, though, and we'll definitely be taking a look at him to see how we can improve.
    • By Stan
      Blizzard is currently working on a new Heroes of the Storm forums with brand-new features including new notification features, real-time updates, and a new flagging system to foster more engaging conversations. The current forums is hosted on a different platform so older posts will not be migrated over to the new forums.
      Old posts will be in a read-only mode after the transition. We don't know if the revamp only targets the Heroes of the Storm forums. The post also mentioned Overwatch before it was edited out. It would, however, make perfect sense to update the platform on all game forums in the future.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Hey everyone,
      Over the past years, we’ve seen your suggestions on how to level up the forums and ensure your time in our community stays positive. We know that currently the forums can be difficult to navigate, sometimes posts you want to see get buried, and reporting doesn’t always appear to lead to action. On that note, we’re excited to announce that we will be launching the new Heroes of the Storm forums starting soon. With a streamlined look and new features to match, this change will provide a better experience for the Heroes of the Storm community. Brand-new notification features will help you keep on top of your posts and real-time updates ensure that you don’t miss any of the conversation. Additionally, we have replaced the previous report function with a new flagging feature to help keep the forums a place to foster more engaging conversations. These are just a couple of the changes that will be coming soon to the Heroes of the Storm forums which we can’t wait for you to use. 
      Please keep in mind that the current forums will be hosted on a different platform so older posts and threads will not be migrated over to the new forums. These will be available in a read-only state for a short period of time after the transition. As such, be sure to save your favorite conversations elsewhere if you plan to revisit old memories in the future. New posts will automatically be directed to the new forums.
      Stay tuned and get ready for the new forum experience!
    • By Stan
      BlizzCon 2018 rewards have been added to the game in the latest content update. Virtual Ticket holders will receive a mount, spray, banner, and portrait this year.
      Nexus Razorgrin Mount

      BlizzCon 2018 Banner

      BlizzCon 2018 Portrait

      BlizzCon 2018 Spray (Cartoon Nexus Razorgrin)