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Reddit Q/A Recap: Oct 13

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Blizzard hosted a Q/A on reddit related to the newest Samuro content patch. A lot of interesting questions have been answered and here's a recap.

Reddit Q/A Recap: October 13

As reported earlier, Blizzard has been answering your questions on reddit for a few hours. As the thread is somewhat long, I've highlighted the most interesting questions.

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Lots of people have been playing Brawl on PTR this week and having a blast. One thing that has repeatedly come up is the wish that the fountain was invulnerable. Is this something the design team would consider changing before going live?

We won't be making the change before Brawl goes live. We are listening to the feedback and made a few adjustments that will alleviate it a bit. Our formula for siege heroes was too high on PTR and you'll see a reduced amount moving forward.

In our internal testing we discussed this topic a few times, but found as players learned how to maximize their advantage on the Arena's objective it often could cost you more then you gain for removing a fountain. 

We will keep watching and listening.

Do you have any plans to add PvE type contents to Heroes Brawl, such as 10-player Co-op experience against powerful Bosses, Tower Defense-type game mode to defend the Core or specific areas from enemy waves, Marathon, and Escort?

We have been discussing this internally quite a bit, but do not have a concrete plans as of yet. We definitely like the idea and have had some fun discussing some crazy ideas.

How do you decide how fast/at what rate a quest progresses and consequently at what level it should be finished?

We'll playtest a lot, honestly. We have been very broad in how we've done various questing talents to try to discover what the right range is. We have some that are very easy to complete (Arthas), and others that take longer to complete (Regen Master). We have been looking for player feedback on which types they like, et cetera, to inform future quest designs, and any live-reactions we should make!

How do you choose between a progressional only reward (like Taste for Blood), a completion only reward (like Gul'Dans Echoed Corruption) or a mix of both?

We like to do a mix of both! We're still exploring this! Some quests lend themselves to being fine with having no progression growth, while others feel brutal if there's no power granted while making progression.

How do you decide whether questing progress should be lost on death?

This one is a little more controversial, and is more of a feel thing. If we feel the talent is high-stakes enough, then a punishment mechanic can add a lot of flavor and gameplay to the talent! It can be especially helpful if the counterplay feels lacking.

How do you choose the quest talents? E.g., why is Auriels Increasing Clarity a quest talent, but Righteous Assault isn't?

We're still trying to identify the right amount of quest talents. We don't want to do an entire tier of talents that are all Quest talents, so players can opt into/out of doing a quest. Further, some talent designs seem to lend themselves more conveniently to quest design, and other's don't.

During Hero iterations, have you tried putting a normal talent on a lower tier as a quest talent to improve talent diversity on that tier?

I don't think that specific case has happened, but we do a LOT of iteration on talents, and sometimes will move a talent from tier to tier to give that tier a healthier set of choices.

Do you think there might be a quest heroic some day?

Quest Heroic! Sounds awesome! Love the idea!

Do you have a favorite Quest talent?

I do! But it's super secret, so I can't talk about it yet :-D

Thank you for these questions! They were great, and definitely encourage me to go back to the team and try to crystallize the knowledge better so we can make better quest talents for the game as time goes on!

Infernal Shrine is the only map where the map objective is always at 100% power(of the diablo maps). Team have discuss about removing 2.5% HP per each skeletons collect by the team that didnt got the Punisher? because right now if you lose 39 skeletons vs 40 skeleton, you basically wasted a lot of time nd resource because your skeleton dont count for anything, even when on BoE damage to you count for aweakest immortal...

For Infernal Shrines we've done lots of dialing of health and power of the Punisher and wouldn't want to add a mechanic that makes him feel weaker. If we did, we would have to increase his power over all and 40 to 0 events will be very devastating.

This is why we've upped the skeleton health, added anti-clumping AI and increased the count from 30 to 40. All this is to help give both sides enough time to respond to the event and we are happy with the way it is playing.

In the end, we also like how Battlegrounds have different behaviors and require different thought exercises from our players to play it correctly. If you can't contest the event players have lots of other options, getting mercenaries, pushing forts/keeps and soaking multiple lanes to catch up in experience.

I dont play much HL, but could be nice if we can see Hero League Border (the one with the ranks) on the draft screen. This have been discuss by the UI team ?

Showing portrait borders while drafting is something we've talked about but we have to be careful what information we reveal about players during the Draft phase so I wouldn't expect any immediate changes.

Is there any plans add a more detailed profile section where we have more statistics, ability to customize heroes in draft queues, etc etc?

The UI Team is discussing ways to increase customization options for players but don't have anything to share yet. On a personal note I'm a fan of information design so I'm always looking for ways to provide more cool/useful data.

The character home screens are always so great and so is the music that comes with them are amazing. But it's kind of a shame that the art becomes useless after a new hero comes out. Is there any plans to allow us to customize our home screens with old hero splash pages? It would make use of already created content, add another possible good sink, and allow more customization and personalization to the players.

That's an interesting idea, we don't have anything planned for this but it's something to take into consideration.

And lastly, is there any plans for custom in-game UI with themes (ex Zerg, Protoss, Horde, Alliance, Heaven, etc etc) similar to what DotA2 offers?

No plans for this at the moment.

It’s all random in Heroes Brawl on choosing heroes, which means players might choose the same heroes. Will it trigger some special conversations when players just pick the same heroes, such as Muradin and Magni Muradin? The dialogue may go like: “It’s good to fight with you again, my brother!”

It's not completely random all the time. Hero duplicates are an amazing feature and would be a great polish task to add unique VO for when that happens.

I'm curious about Samuro's Mirror Image ability. As Samuro was being developed, it must have been noticed that players would want to be able to choose where the real Samuro appears after casting it.

However, the placement of the real Samuro appears to be completely random. Why is that?

Was it too powerful to let Samuro choose where to appear? Did it lead to gameplay that didn't fit the character?

There were a handful of reasons for this, but one of the primary was ease-of-control, and allowing a player to be able to immediately create their images with a single button press, no mouse invovlement.

What hero or ability will be forever left on the cutting room floor? Whose design, after some playtesting, won't ever be used? I'm aware you guys like to repurpose design, but surely there was something you tested that won't ever see the light of day, for sure. What is that thing?

Ooooh i'll take the bait! I'll take the bait!

Okay. So story time. Once upon time there was a Banshee. Well, before that, she was a High Elf named Sylvanas Windrunner, Ranger-General of Silvermoon! Until that dirty traitor, Arthas Menethil, under the influence of Frostmourne, destroyed her army, and wasn't content with simply killing Sylvanas, turned her into a Banshee. After recovering her body, she became the leader of the Forsaken, broken free from the Lich King's control!

One day, this Banshee-Queen found herself in the Nexus! She encountered an enemy Hero, and immediately tried to take control of an enemy Hero, and use their abilities! But try and try as she might, she found the world, the engine, of the nexus, of this game (for which she has no time!! ... but always finds herself in...), couldn't handle the thought of her having control of an enemy Hero, using their abilities, changing their allegiance, even temporarily!

And thus the Nexus exerted its control over the Banshee Queen, limiting her powers. Having been reminded of the dread of being under the Lich King, this very same Sylvanas now secretly fights to break out of this "Nexus", and be her true self!

None shall survive!

What 5v5 Mirror match did you personally enjoy the most in a Brawl Arena?

I love 5v5 Nova. Trying to see through all the clones and all the shimmers is a really unique experience. We liked it so much we even made a Brawl around it!

Are there any plans to add the option of a second hero to assist the enemy bot hero in try mode? I would like to try a hero against 2 opponents.

We are in a very early, exploratory, pre-production, <insert-non-committal adjective here>, potential phase of doing some radical stuff with the things that Try Me mode brings. I can't promise anything, but we'd like to let players be able to do more with those tools.

Another question is about Nexus Blades. This is one of my favorite generic talents, but new heroes (Samuro, Alarak) have different albeit interesting options. Are there any plans to give older heroes other options that complement their talents? (Looking at Illidan, Zeratul and Thrall) ( Nexus Blades suits Illidan, though)

As we go over old heroes, we'll look at all the talents in their tree, including ones like Nexus Blades, and make sure they all fit, and if they don't, find better options!

"M-move"! Will we ever get a command to move and not attack (even after the move completes)? Or have basic attacks only occur when given orders rather than passively?

Both would be wonderful additions to the game, give more control, and slightly raise ability to skillfully play many heroes. (Especially heroes that store crits or any heroes that are trying to navigate around large models that block nearby terrain e.g. BoE immortals!) 

I'd also love to see AA'ing just not be automatic -period- as a slight skill dependence increase in the game that increases the value of initiative in engagements and combos interestingly with abilities like Last Laugh -- though I'm guessing that's less likely to happen.

It's on our radar to get a Force Move command keybind in the game, so that players that want that can use it!

I don't think we'd implement a huge change to the way right-clicking auto-attacks works though, as it'd a fundamental controls change!

I think it will be difficult to fine-tune Hero balance in Heroes Brawl; could you tell us about your design philosophy on balancing in Heroes Brawl? Also, how do you plan to tune some Heroes whose playstyles change drastically with Talent selections, and some Talents/Abilities that seem not effective in Brawl environment, such as The Butcher’s Fresh Meat and Health and Mana granting effect of Nazeebo’s Voodoo Ritual?

We are relying on our standard hero balance for this mode a lot. That means there will be some heroes that are stronger and weaker. I would argue this happens on some Battlegrounds and we like that it creates a unique Hero meta for that Battleground.

Though typically we don't interfere, a great example where we do is Kharazim on Arena maps. We give him a level 1 talent trait based on which heroic he picks. If he takes Divine Palm he gets the healing trait for example.

Would you guys ever consider allowing matches in brawl to some how grant experience?

We currently award account experience for Brawl, but do not have plans for granting Hero experience. Because of the differences in Brawl modes (some are short games, some can be longer, multiple heroes, etc.), we felt it was better to give a large gold reward plus a portrait instead of having a variety of different rules around how much Hero experience is awarded.

Will popular community-created Brawl ideas/suggestions taken into consideration on Brawl designing process? Do you have any plans to host Brawl creation contest to allow players to actively participate in Brawl designing process?

We don't have any current Brawl creation contests planned, but it sounds like a fun way to get some ideas. That being said we are constantly reading forums and reddit for fun Brawl pitches. Often pitches never survive completely intact, but are great inspiration for new and exciting Brawls.

Some heroes have talents which can be strengthen by the quest completion. What is your solution to make these heroes as strong as other heroes without quest talents?

It's really much less about the power of that Hero, but much more about the power of that talent as it relates to the Hero's other talents at that Tier.

For instance, in hearthstone, you need to compare a card against other cards with the same mana cost, as they use the same slot in your deck.

Likewise, a talent needs to be on a similar powerlevel of other talents at that tier, as those are the other options for that Hero.

What hero playtested the worst in determining who to use for single hero 5v5's (ie 5 Johannas vs 5 Johannas)

5We've identified what's going on with this bug (activating W during a backswing) and how to fix it. I believe we've got the fix implemented, but i'm not sure which branch of the codebase it's in, so not sure if the fix will be live when he ships! But it will be soon!!!v5 Johannas was sooooooooooooooooo looooonnnng! It got to that point where it felt like someone does a really bad joke for so long that it turned funny. Also any 5v5 support felt really bad on Temple Arena. Imagine 5v5 Morales .... /shudder.

Are you planning to release more “Having fun” themed maps in the future? For instance, choosing five same heroes and conducting the team deathmatch or tower defense, just like what we did back in the good old days in WarCraft III?

Absolutely! That is the whole point of Heroes Brawl. We will be making lots of fun maps and crazy ideas moving forward.

Will Samuro be playable in the Blizzcon tournament?

Samuro will not be playable at the Blizzcon tournament. A hero needs to be in the wild for two weeks before it's playable in tournaments.

What do you think about having a few maps available for brawl each week instead of having just one? I suppose many players will be bored at the end of the week with one map available.

Our current goal is to offer a fun break from the regular game and feel a single Brawl a week hits the mark. We might be wrong but that's what we are going to try! This feature is aimed at supplementing standard heroes and offer that much needed break after a series of competitive games.

Lately, there has been a surge of hard/high skill cap heroes (like Samuro, Medivh, Tracer, Alarak etc). While I do agree that high skill-cap and micromanagement abilities benefit the game, I wonder if there's still space for easier heroes for the schmucks like myself that couldnt micro if my life was depending on it. So: are we gonna see some more easy heroes on the future, or is it all over-9000-APM from now on? Also: can i haz mefistow? :D

Over in Hero Design we like to make a variety of Heroes! A long while ago, we felt the game was missing these types of Heroes, thus we were welcoming to hero designs like those to open up more playmaker options!

But, we still want some heroes that are a bit more straightforward, and someone like Zarya can fit that bill. While there's still lots of skill growth for the character (landing Qs, your R's, getting high energy), it's relatively easy to shield yourself or shield an ally. Or even hit someone with a Q since you have 4 charges!

Thank you for the feedback! It's great to hear this, as oftentimes we only hear the audience side that says "Skillcap!" and it is important to remember that there's another audience that, while loving those heroes, also wants heroes they can feel comfortable playing!

With Brawl, the MVP system, the ranked update, the Lost Caverns, and the Machines of War update there has been a ton of content added in 2016. We are in October and I'm incredibly happy with the game and can't imagine what lies ahead. With Blizzcon coming up, and without spoiling anything, is there any announcements beyond new heroes that we can look forward to?

Absolutely, we are always working on cool stuff. We just can't share any of it currently. :) We also have some fun releases coming post Blizzcon but before next year as well.

Can you make Samuro’s “jump slam” attack animation to proc every time he deal a Critical Strike, similar to Warcraft III?

So fun story! That awesome jump attack animation (i think there's 2 variations?? maybe more? unsure!) has a big windup to it. However, we wanted Samuro's attacks to be quick and snappy, and so they only are allowed to have a extremely short duration windup. Further, if you activate Critical Strike, it resets their weapon's cooldown, causing the attack to happen instantly.

So as a result, we only can safely play that animation when Samuro is about to Critically Strike from Wind Walk, when we can be relatively sure that there's some time to do that windup.

Draft system used in Punisher Arena is really cool. It solves problems that ARAM community have with "randomness" of random pick feature that screw some of the comps. Could we get an option to pick this draft mode on the custom Lost Cavern?

We've been calling this new draft system Shuffle Pick. Currently no plans to add it to Lost Cavern, but we can discuss this with the team. Thanks for the question!

Samuro's enable/disable AI doesn't appear to work properly at all. 

(e.g. MI created images show hybrid AI behavior whether it is enabled or disabled (act based on AI on creation then stop after completing an order) and both settings prevent Kawarimi created images from completing Sam's last action either by following Sam around or just standing there (en/dis, respectively))

Will this likely be fixed before release or, like Rexxar, are these technical issues that we'll have to live with for awhile?  Not trying to rake you guys over the coals just honestly want to know what we should expect. <3

Okay, i have some news from our awesome devs! Yay!

"The behavior of the Mirror Images completely changes when you take Illusion Master. They stop having laning-minion AI and instead just do periodic searches around them for targets, so if you don’t give them orders or there’s no enemies around, they’ll stand around doing nothing.

Additionally, regardless of the AI being toggled off or not, when the Mirror Image ability is used, both Samuro and his Images will do a search and get an attack order to enemies nearby. This is done so that the Samuro player can always play a fresh game of Three Card Monte with his opponents by pressing Q and then letting their hands off the keyboard, as Samuro will act identically to his Images at first.

Sounds like there might be a bug with Kawarimi, though, we'll investigate!!"

Following up on this, players have pointed out a number of QoL-type issues with Samuro such as activating W "wasting" the ability if pressed mid-swing before a previous Critical Strike's animation completes. Which, if any, of these is the team working on, and which are getting highest priority for a fix before live?

We've identified what's going on with this bug (activating W during a backswing) and how to fix it. I believe we've got the fix implemented, but i'm not sure which branch of the codebase it's in, so not sure if the fix will be live when he ships! But it will be soon!!!

What do you think about the brawl where players have to kill each other? No core, no events, pure PvP.

This current Brawl is pretty close to just fighting without objectives. The Punishers are in the fights to help discourage teams from avoiding fights and playing passively. Simsala91 gives a good example of a situation where it is beneficial to not engage on the enemy team.

What kind of matchmaking is in place for Brawl? I know on the PTR matchmaking is totally wack because of inconsistent player skill/levels, but in the live game will there be MMR based off of QM or HL? or none at all?
Brawl has its own MMR that is tracked separately from the other modes. It is seeded from Quick Match. Even though there is an MMR for Brawl, we favor faster matches for Brawl because it is not a competitive mode.

When you play custom games ( such as brawl on ptr) when the game end, please make the game go back to the lobby instead of kicking everybody.

it was/is INSANELY frustrating ( and needlessly time consuming) to keep spamming [ lobby] for players, just because we couldnt keep the last gang together.

Great suggestion. That's actually something we're not happy with as well. We've had discussions about rematch functionality internally, but we don't have any concrete plans to share at this time.

What went in the decision to make Samuro manaless? He seems like he has the potential to be very very strong and it seems like mana would have helped limit how dominating he can be.

So this one is really simple...but not immediately obvious!

But it's because of his Images! With all those extra Player Nameplates running around, hurting gameplay clarity by obscuring things in-game, we cut mana so that his nameplate would be thinner, adding less weight in-game.

We even contemplated giving him and his images a completely different nameplate that was unique to them, but ultimately went with what we've got!

Is there any MMR at work when matchmaking in a Brawl? Where does this MMR come from?

Edit: Oh, that's been asked. Uh, different question then! Did you consider having the PTR cycle through Brawls faster like the Overwatch Beta did when it first got Brawls? It seems a missed opportunity that only one Brawl was tested in the PTR.

We always like getting more testing and player feedback, but we decided against it in this case because we didn't want to spoil the surprise of the upcoming brawls.

Are there plans for a brawl with all players as punishers?

We've discussed this idea and many similar style Brawls. We don't have any concrete plans on shipping one as of yet, but they are a fun idea.

Would Blizzard ever change existing hero abilities to make room for new heroes? This is specifically in reference to bringing in Overwatch heroes. For example, would Valla's Strafe ever be replaced by another heroic so that Reaper could then be brought in with his Death Blossom?

It's highly unlikely! it could be very upsetting for a significant section of the playerbase if we took away an ability they loved on a kit it made sense for.

Then again, never say never. Just highly hesitant!

No other Warcraft 3 hero has captured their kit from that game as closely as Samuro does in HotS. Did you feel it was particularly important for this character to feel very close to his origin?

Ya i thought it was pretty important! Blademaster is a beloved War3 Hero, and as it turned out, his kit transitioned over really smoothly!

You said that you had to limit Nova's Decoys when doing her rework because of Samuro. is that something we might see again, removing talents of an old hero because of an upcoming hero with similar abilities (for example, is there a danger of Zeratul losing some Cleave or Blink talents because of a possible future Maiev release?)
also, as Nova's Decoy build is so limited now, is it possible for her to get buffs in some other part of her kit so as to make her competitively viable (it's sad that she was only briefly competitive only because of the Covert Ops bug)?

it might happen again in the future, but it's not very likely.

i'll ping the live/balance team on nova!

I'm a UI/UX web designer, it's quite different from game UI design so I would love to hear some anecdotes or insight on how you guys work from sketch to final UI. Before you decide on a design (for example the brawl hero picker), do you work with interactive prototypes and preview animations in AE and then work side by side with programmers? or does it get coded directly in the game to be tested and iterate upon it?

From a UI Art perspective, we generally start with wireframes that detail out the functional elements that need to exist during the experience. Then we move to creating art mockups, this helps prove out layouts/ideas or sometimes sparks a whole new idea that changes the direction. Once things are in a stable art state and if there's time, I personally like to do a heavy pass on a motion comp (using After Effects for more effects heavy comps or Flash for functional prototypes) moving through the entire flow showing all the details, from button clicks, transitions, effects, timings and general feeling of the feature. Motion comps are extremely valuable, as they provide clarity, helping everyone involved understand the entire vision. Once everything in the motion comp is good, implementation starts with the engineering team. During implementation we iterate even more as we uncover limitations, bugs, oversights, new ideas. I'd argue that implementation is the most important phase of development since it's the only player facing element.

Have you ever think to add talent presets to chose before round, not only ultimate abilities. Or generaly to add some useful talents to hero, and balance heroes like that.

We have discussed this before and found it to be a really big rabbit hole to go down. It doesn't really fit the goals of our system of an easy game mode for players to hop into and have fun! I don't mind revisiting it at some point, but we have no current plans.

Why neither Xul nor Azmodan are available in Brawl? Their traits need creeps but they can still be useful without them.

It's not that they need creeps to be effective, but it's that we don't have proper AI support to support the demons/skeletons. We will constantly be reevaluating and trying to include as many heroes into a Brawl as possible.

Are there going to be Holiday specific events for Brawls? Also, how hard is it to try and come up with Brawl ideas.
While I can't provide any details, we've definitely been discussing how we can celebrate various holidays through Brawls.
 
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Do you have any plans to add PvE type contents to Heroes Brawl, such as 10-player Co-op experience against powerful Bosses (...)?

OH SHIT YES, we need this.

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On 10/14/2016 at 3:01 AM, Valhalen said:

OH SHIT YES, we need this.

After experiencing similar things now in Dota, TF2 and OW, I'm so down with this.

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      This week’s Heroes Brawl is Silver City! Battle against the enemy team on this single-lane Battleground featuring a familiar design straight out of the High Heavens, Mercenary Camps ready to be swayed to your team’s favor, and tons of action. Queue up, choose your hero, and try your best to send the enemy team to the Burning Hells!
      Rules:
      Shuffle pick - Choose from one of three Heroes before entering the battle. Standard play - no talent or level restrictions. The first team to destroy the enemy Core wins! Rewards:
      Complete three matches of the Silver City Brawl to earn a Loot Chest! Find out more about the Heroes Brawl game mode on our Heroes Brawl site; and as always, you can find more information on this week’s Brawl by clicking the Brawl Info button at the bottom of the play screen when preparing to queue for the Brawl game mode.
    • By Stan
      Team Octalysis' flex player Francisco "Goku" Avalos talks about how to make the best use of your time while the enemy team's dead in the fourth installment of Midgame Moves.
      Midgame Moves
      Part One: Map Pressure & Camp Timings Part Two: Boss Control Part Three: How to Recover from a Lost Fight Blizzard (Source)
      How to Push Your Advantage to the Max
      It’s Midgame Moves week for Heroes of the Storm! It’s time to continue the educational content series that kicked off 2018 featuring some of the smartest personalities in the scene. Midgame Moves is focused on the meaty middle portion of a competitive game! We’ve touched on map pressure, boss control, and recovering from a lost team fight. Today, we will learn about how best to press your advantage.
      You’ve successfully navigated a team fight and there are multiple Heroes dead on the enemy team now. What is the best use of your time while those enemy death timers tick down? Team Octalysis’ flex player Francisco "Goku" Avalos is on hand to help you understand how best to further your lead.
      Take Everything in Close Proximity
      Pushing your advantage is entirely dependent on the situation you find yourself in. Usually, the best call is to push a nearby structure, but if the fight ended on top of a camp it will only take a few moments of your time to capture that as well. Perhaps splitting the team up and clearing waves to get ahead in soak is the best call. There are multiple considerations, and time is of the essence.
      “The amount of travel time is very important,” Goku said. “If you're top and you win a fight, it's not worth it to travel all the way down to take camps on bottom. [The other team will] be back up soon, and they might be able to defend against you. You usually want to take whatever you're close to after you've won the fight—it’s best to press your advantage wherever you're at.”
      Experience leads come and go, lanes get pushed back and forth, and dead players respawn—remember that structure damage is permanent (unless you’re playing against an Abathur with M.U.L.E). Taking a structure after winning a fight typically yields far more value than doing a Mercenary camp.
      “I think a lot of people make the mistake of doing camps just for the sake of doing camps,” said Goku. “Ask yourself what you can do with a camp when you take it. Try and play in the mindset of a 6v5, your Mercenary camp is another player slowly pushing in.”
      Avoid Wasting Time
      There are a few common traps that players fall into once they feel like it’s time to capitalize on their winning position in the game. The first would be assuming that an early game objective is going to set you up for success.
      “If you complete the objective very early, most of the time it's not going to get much done,” said Goku. “The first set of Web Weavers on Tomb of the Spider Queen are very easy to clear, and an early Curse on Cursed Hollow isn’t that impactful. A good rule of thumb is to just try to obtain as much soak as possible after you've taken an early objective. Then you're setting yourself up for the next team fight, and it becomes more difficult for the enemy team to bounce back.”
      The second mistake Goku points to is the immediate call to do a Boss after a fight has been won. This commonly happens on Sky Temple after the level 10 fight on bottom Temple. “I think it's like a 7- to 8-minute Boss at that point, which doesn't do much,” said Goku. “It's just way better to push bottom or middle lane. You can also take their Siege camp instead.”
      Set Yourself Up for The Next Fight
      When you’ve won a fight, do whatever you can to bolster your odds of winning the next fight. If that means taking an enemy Well near a future objective spawn or stealing a camp to deny your opponents a way back into the game, remember that the last fight is inevitably the only one that truly matters.
      It’s best to not get overly ambitious with shot calling in these situations. “If their death timers are around 40 seconds and you still must go through a Fort and a Keep, then it's better to play around the map and try to get a level advantage for the next fight instead. If you're close to their Keep and you have most of your team alive then it's probably best to push,” said Goku.
      How do you know if it’s safe to push or not? “Ask yourself: Who on the enemy team is still alive? For example, if a mage is still up and they still have a Support—that is still a solid defense," said Goku. "But if it's a Warrior or an off-laner, then that's easily your best chance to try and push or end the game.”
      Snowstorm
      “The best Hero for 'snowballing' would be Jaina in my opinion,” said Goku. “The burst she provides demands a constant response from the enemy team. if she gets a level lead it's even more devastating what she’s capable of. Being a talent tier down on Jaina doesn't feel quite as good but you can comeback—one good Ring of Frost or one decent flank can turn the game around.”
      Now that you understand the basics and some of the common mistakes players make when attempting to retain their lead, hopefully you’ll find yourself prepped and ready for the next team fight after winning the last one. Midgame Moves Week continues tomorrow with a guide to scaling featuring Fnatic’s Warrior player Pontus "Breez" Sjögren.
    • By Stan
      In the third installment of Midgame Moves, Team Dignitas' Vilhelm “POILK” Flennmark details how to recover from a lost battle and get back into the game.
      Midgame Moves
      Part One: Map Pressure & Camp Timings Part Two: Boss Control Blizzard (Source)
      How to Recover from a Lost Team Fight
      It’s Midgame Moves week for Heroes of the Storm! It’s time to continue theeducational content series that kicked off 2018 featuring some of the smartest personalities in the scene, now focusing on the meaty middle portion of a competitive game. On day one we explored map pressure and mercenary camp timings, while yesterday we emphasized boss control. Today, we learn about safe rotations and trade pushing!
      You’ve just lost a team fight and things are looking bleak; something needs to change to turn the tides. Team Dignitas’ Vilhelm “POILK” Flennmark is on hand to help you navigate to victory from the backfoot.
      Attitude is Everything
      “You should focus on what you can do, instead of what has happened,” said POILK. “You can’t change what has happened and what set you back, but you can look for things to do that will help you get back into the game.”
      Do your best to be a part of the solution when it comes to mounting a comeback. “Instead of having that little argument in chat, talk about what you can do instead,” he added.
      Playing Safe is the Only Option
      Soaking experience is of paramount importance—it’s the only way you’ll return to even footing. To ensure that you aren’t staggering more deaths in the process, watch your pathing between lanes. “If you know where the enemy is then there is no problem taking the aggressive path between lanes,” POILK said. “It's when you don't know where they are that you should fear doing aggressive rotations because they could very likely be hiding in that bush between the lanes.”
      It’s common for teams to set up with the intention of pouncing on any enemy Hero that walks by. “If you're leading on Cursed Hollow, you can take the aggressive rotation from middle to bottom where you pass the bush. I would recommend checking bushes with spells. If you’re behind, you can dodge the bush completely by taking a less direct route.”
      Stop the Bleeding, Start the Trade Push
      Before course-correcting a game gone sideways, you must stop the bleeding. “If something goes wrong and the fight starts badly, you just want to back off and avoid losing more people,” POILK said. “You always want to gain something in exchange for losing the objective, even if it's just catching some soak from waves.”
      Enter ‘trade pushing’. A trade push is essentially giving up the objective on purpose in exchange for making progress elsewhere on the map. “Trade pushing during an objective you can't contest is a key part of returning to even footing,” POILK said.
      To understand trade push, you must first comprehend the cardinal rule. “Soaking experience is the most important part of Heroes of the Storm, especially in the early and midgame,” POILK said. “If your opponent commits five people to do the middle Shrine but you get soak and structures on both top and bottom, that is a lot of experience gained. After level 20, soak is not that important.”
      Structures are not Everything
      Only one team is destined to destroy the Core, but there will be several small windows in which your team can safely soak and siege without fear. “The objectives don't really get super-strong until the late game,” POILK said. “The second Punisher on Infernal Shrines usually just gets a fort. With a coordinated team you could easily get a fort on your own with the amount of time the enemy team spends doing the objective.”
      The 'Rage Push' Play
      We covered the Hail Mary Boss play yesterday, but there is a dire play to be made in every situation. “A desperation play you'll see on Dragon Shire is where the team that is hopelessly behind will take the Siege Giants and bottom Knights to mount one last rage push. That’s what Team Dignitas calls it. You're hoping for a lucky pick and some structure damage to get back into the game that way. Sometimes just brute forcing is the best chance you'll have to get back in the game. Those circumstances are rare though.”
      Fighting for the objective is often the most straightforward path to victory, but when you’re trying to come from behind you want to minimize your exposure to the enemy team. "On Infernal Shrines, it is very common for the experience levels to be 13-12 when the second Shrine spawns,” POILK said. “For whatever reason the losing team always makes the mistake of forcing a fight during this. If the second Shrine spawns top, you want to hide from the map before pushing bottom lane with your minion wave. This forces the enemy team to choose between pushing with the Punisher and defending, which usually gives you enough time to catch up in levels.”
      Never Give Up; Never Surrender!
      Team Dignitas mounted a comeback of their own against Gen.G Esports in the grand finals of the Mid-Season Brawl. POILK recently played a pretty major role in a great example of running back a game that looked all but over. “Our shot calling is very good—we are always looking for a way back into any game we might be losing,” he said.
      In their match against Gen.G Esports on Towers of Doom, Team Dignitas did just that—patiently waiting for their Storm Tier Talents to even the playing field before wiping their Korean rivals. “I don't really remember what the coms were, but I know we weren't totally sure we could end. I said I could take bottom Fort, Wubby said he could do the Sappers, Zaelia said he could take mid Fort and Snitch was already on his way to top lane. It was like, everyone saw a thing they could do on their own. Everyone just knew exactly what they needed to do.”
      While you shouldn’t expect to have the same coordination as one of the best teams in the world, that’s inspiring nonetheless—and acts as a great segue into tomorrow’s Midgame Moves article on pushing your advantage to the max, featuring Francisco "Goku" Avalos from North America’s Team Octalysis!