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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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      Brightwing

      Abilities
      Arcane Flare (Q) Outer damage from 87 to 75 Inner damage from 260 to 180 Missile speed increased ~30% Added functionality: If an enemy Hero is hit by the center of Arcane Flare, instantly pulse a free Soothing Mist Polymorph (W) Duration from 1.25 to 1.5 seconds Cooldown from 10 to 12 seconds Pixie Dust (E) Range from 8 to 7 Phase Shift (Z) Cooldown from 55 to 60 seconds Added functionality: Heals the target for 20% of their maximum health Soothing Mist (D) Heal amount reduced from 115 to 105 Added functionality: Activate to instantly pulse a calming wave, clearing all Stun, Root, Slow, and Silence effects from nearby allies 120 second cooldown Emerald Wind (R) No longer grants passive healing to Soothing Mist Damage reduced from 303 to 225 Cooldown reduced from 60 to 50 seconds Talents
      Level 1 Greater Polymorph (W) Moved from Level 16 New functionality: Increase the cast range of Polymorph by 30%. Anytime a nearby enemy Hero is killed, reset the Cooldown of Polymorph Hyper Shift (Z) New functionality: Increase the heal amount of Phase Shift to 30% of targets max Health Every Minion killed near you lowers the cooldown of Phase Shift by 2 seconds Pixie Charm (1) New functionality: Every Minion killed near you grants you a Bribe Stack. Hitting an enemy with the center portion of Arcane Flare grants you 5 Bribe Stacks Level 4 Manic Pixie (E) Removed Unstable Anomaly (W) New functionality: Increase the slow amount of Polymorph to 40%. When it expires, it explodes dealing 2% of all nearby enemy Heroes max Health in damage Dream Shot (Q) Moved from Level 1 New functionality: Increase the range of Arcane Flare by 50%. If it hits an enemy Hero, lower the cooldown to 2 seconds. New Talent – Magic Spit (D) Increase your Basic Attack range by 20%. Attacks against Heroes reduce the cooldown of Soothing Mist’s active by 5 seconds Level 7 Mistified (D) Removed Cleanse (Active) Removed Phase Shield (Z) Removed Sticky Flare (Q) Moved from Level 13 New functionality: Arcane Flare slows Heroes by 20% for 3 seconds, or 40% if hit by the center of Arcane Flare Peekaboo! (Z) Moved from Level 4 Added functionality: Also grants the you and your target a temporary health Shield New Talent – Critical Mist (D) If Calming Mist removes a status effect from an ally, instantly heal them for 200 Level 13 Ice Block (Active) Removed Shield Dust (E) Removed Pixie Boost (E) Movement Speed decay duration increased from 1.5 to 3 seconds Movement Speed bonus reduced to 40% New Talent – Safety Dust (E) Increase the duration of Pixie Dust by 1 second. Healing dealt by Brightwing is increased by 25% on targets with Pixie Dust New Talent – Pixie Power (E) Lower the cooldown of Pixie Dust by 3 seconds and increase the Spell Armor it grants to 50 Level 16 Bouncy Dust (E) Removed Hardened Focus (Passive) Removed New Talent – Phase Out (Active) Activate to phase out and become invulnerable for .5 seconds 20 second cooldown New Talent – Hush (Q) Enemy Heroes hit with the center of Arcane Flare are Silenced for 1 second and deal 25% less damage for 3 seconds. Level 20 Double Wyrmhole (R) Removed Continuous Winds (R) Removed Revitalizing Mist (D) Removed Storm Shield (Active) Removed New Talent – Invisible Friends (R) Blink Heal grants you and the target stealth. They are unrevealable for .5 seconds. While under this effect, they regenerate 20 Health Per Second New Talent – Intensive Winds (R) Lower the cooldown of Emerald Wind to 3 seconds. It now costs 200 Mana New Talent – Faerie Protector (Active) Activate to instantly cast Pixie Dust on all nearby allied Heroes 60 second cooldown New Talent – Speedy Dragon (Passive) Gain 20% permanent movement speed Collection
      New Bundles
      The following new bundles are available for a limited time: Fall of King’s Crest Bundle Spectral Wyrm Alextrasza Skin Pack Spider Warden Maiev Skin Pack Cursed Witch Whitemane Skin Pack Phantom Knight Zarya Skin Pack New Announcers
      Queen Nightshade Blackheart Lady of Thorns New Skins
      Alexstrasza Spectral Wyrm Alexstrasza Infernal Wyrm Alexstrasza Phantom Wyrm Alexstrasza Brightwing Spectral Bewitching Brightwing Kerrigan Spectral Countess Kerrigan Maiev Spider Warden Maiev Forgotten Spider Warden Maiev Night Spider Warden Maiev Whitemane Cursed Witch Whitemane Forgotten Witch Whitemane Court Witch Whitemane Zarya Phantom Knight Zarya Infernal Knight Zarya Geist Knight Zarya New Mounts
      Redeemed Tombstone Corrupted Tombstone Copper Money Pig Pumpkin Eye Pad Sunny Side Eye Pad New Portraits, Sprays, and Emojis
      Several new emoji packs and portraits have also been added to the Heroes of the Storm Collection tab. Bug Fixes
      General
      Fixed several confusing or incorrect tooltips across all parts of the game. Drag Scroll: Fixed an issue that could occasionally cause the camera to jump in the direction of the cursor when using the drag scroll feature. Reconnect: Fixed an issue that could cause players to lose control of their Hero if they reconnect while piloting a vehicle. AI: A number of improvements have been made to AI Hero behavior. Art
      Chromie: Fixed an issue that caused Chromie’s hourglass to go missing during her Hearthstone animation. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      Abathur: Fixed an issue preventing Monstrosity from gaining damage when nearby enemy minions die. Alarak & Gazlowe: Fixed an issue that allowed Gazlowe and Alarak to cast charged abilities while time stopped. Ana: Fixed an issue that allowed Ana to used Eye of Horus shots between mine levels on Haunted Mines. Lúcio: Fixed an issue preventing Lúcio from issuing attack commands while silenced. Mephisto: Fixed an issue preventing the Static Barrier talent from granting Mephisto shields if damage was dealt to Shields or Protected Heroes. Raynor: Raynor's Raider will now clear attack or move order when entering or exiting the mines on Haunted Mines. Stealth: Fixed an issue that prevented Ping markers from being visible on clones if the clones were created after the ping was initiated. User Interface
      Fixed an issue that caused Garrosh’s Groundbreaker splat to appear under the wrong team color in observer mode. Fixed an issue that could cause Heroes to fail to play stun animations and effects if stunned twice in quick succession. Lúcio: Fixed an issue causing the UI displaying the number of allies in range of crossfade to stop working after Lúcio exits a vehicle. Brightwing and Kerrigan have been reworked along with Garden of Terror and Fall of the King's Crest event starts today!
    • By Stan
      Blizzard released the third Heroes of the Storm comic titled Fall of King's Crest.
      Issue #3 revolves around the conflict between the Lady of Thorns and the Raven Lord. The Horde unknowingly fought against Lady of Thorns in his name. Lady of Thorns awakens the Dragon Knight to help her defend her realm, but the Raven Lord controls him, forcing the Lady to kill the Dragon Knight. Ultimately, the Raven Lord claims the realm's singularity. Orphea did not participate in the battle. Later on, she blames herself for not doing anything.
      Fall of the King's Crest is an event that will go live in Heroes of the Storm this week. If you missed the previous two comics, you can find them below.
      Rise of the Raven Lord Comic (Issue #1) Secrets of the Storm Comic (Issue #2)
    • By Stan
      Free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of September 25.
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: September 25, 2018
      Malfurion Valla Gazlowe Johanna Thrall Dehaka Malthael Kharazim Zul'jin Fenix Illidan (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Rexxar (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Garrosh (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Sgt. Hammer (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)
    • By Stan
      Heroes of the Storm's third Ranked Play Season will go live next week along with the latest Brightwing/Kerrigan content update. Check out new rewards and changes to Team League coming this Season!
      Ranked Play Updates
      Team League now supports all party sizes, including solo players. All solo players will need to choose which League to play for the first time after the patch. Heroes devs also discussed other changes that they planned to implement this Season in the Ranked Play & Matchmaking AMA from August 9, but because they are not covered in this preview, we're not sure if they make it live.
      Ranked Play & Matchmaking AMA Changes
      Preventing returning ranked players from placing higher than Diamond 3 each season-roll after placement matches. Reduce the number of placement games required for returning ranked players. Separate out regional GM ladders to allow players to rank up within their local player base and matchmaking rulesets. Add draft swaps for Hero League. Extend the Rank Point Decay to affect more leagues. Blizzard (Source)
      Heroes of the Storm’s third 2018 ranked season is ending soon, and we’ve got a host of new rewards that you can earn just by playing ranked games in the coming months. Read on for details!
      Season Roll Dates
      2018 Season 4 will begin as soon as our next patch becomes available for download in each region. Check the season start and end dates below to make sure you’re able to dive into the rankings as soon as the season rolls:
      Event Date 2018 Season 4 Start Week of September 25* 2018 Season 4 End Week of December 14* *Exact date may vary slightly by region.
      Ranked Play Updates
      Team League Team League now supports all party sizes, including solo players. All solo players will need to choose which League to play for the first time after the patch. 2018 Season 4 Rewards
      Players who manage to brawl their way up through the leagues during the upcoming season can claim new portraits, mounts, and gold rewards for their achievements in Hero and Team League. Take a look at everything that’s up for grabs this season!
      Hero League Portraits
      Team League Portraits
      Mount Rewards

      Hero League Rank Rewards Bronze 500 Gold Bronze Hero League Portrait Silver 750 Gold Silver Hero League Portrait Gold 1000 Gold Gold Hero League Portrait Platinum 1250 Gold Season 4 Mount Platinum Hero League Portrait Diamond 1500 Gold Season 4 Mount Diamond Hero League Portrait Master 1750 Gold Season 4 Mount Epic Season 4 Mount Master Hero League Portrait Grand Master 2000 Gold Season 4 Mount Epic Season 4 Mount Grand Master Hero League Portrait Team League Rank Rewards Bronze 500 Gold Season 4 Mount Bronze Team League Portrait Silver 750 Gold Season 4 Mount Silver Team League Portrait Gold 1000 Gold Season 4 Mount Gold Team League Portrait Platinum 1250 Gold Season 4 Mount Platinum Team League Portrait Diamond 1500 Gold Season 4 Mount Diamond Team League Portrait Master 1750 Gold Season 4 Mount Epic Season 4 Mount Master Team League Portrait Grand Master 2000 Gold Season 4 Mount Epic Season 4 Mount Grand Master Team League Portrait If you’re ready to begin your Ranked Play journey in Heroes of the Storm but are unsure how, head over to our Ranked Play Guide to get started on the right foot. 
      Good luck and have fun during the upcoming ranked season!
    • By Stan
      Abathur and Sylvanas can be purchased at a reduced Gem price next week along with various skins and mounts.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Every Tuesday, we place a number of Heroes on sale, and swap a fresh set of cosmetics into the featured item rotation. Check out this week’s items and then head in-game to pick up anything that catches your eye.
      Heroic Deals: September 25 – October 2, 2018 
      Our next set of Heroic Deals will begin on Tuesday, September 25! Check out the list of upcoming featured items and Hero discounts below. Upcoming Hero Sales
      Sylvanas— Sale Price: 312 gems Abathur — Sale Price: 375 Gems The following skins and mounts will be added to the featured item rotation and will become purchasable with gems until this round of Heroic Deals comes to an end:
      Upcoming Featured Skins
      Skeletal Raven Sylvanas Ironclaw Rehgar Eternal Star Lich Kel’Thuzad Hellish Fallen Junkrat Upcoming Featured Mounts
      Horde Road Boar Penance Judgment Charger