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Balance Update: January 27

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A new balance update was pushed bringing bug fixes, balance tweaks and Rooster Race changes.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment (Source)

General

Rooster Race Adjustments

  • The Rooster Race event will now always appear whenever any player in the match has not yet completed their quest for the day.
  • Rooster Race duration increased by 3 seconds.
  • Players will now receive a Movement Speed bonus while carrying a Lunar Festival item.
  • The area in which Lunar Festival items will spawn has been reduced across all Battlegrounds.
  • The Rooster will no longer consume Lunar Festival items other than the type specified at the top of the screen.

Heroes

Assassin

Ragnaros

Divider_Heroes_Kaelthas_Cropped.png

Stats

  • Base Maximum Health reduced from 2100 to 2000
  • Base Health Regen reduced from 4.4 to 4.2 per second

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Sulfuras Hungers (Q)
      • Quest completion damage bonus reduced from 120 to 100
  • Level 4
    • Catching Fire (Active)
      • Health Regeneration bonus reduced from 2 to 1.5 per regen globe gathered
  • Level 13
    • Cauterize Wounds (Q)
      • Healing reduced from 60 to 50% of damage dealt

Thrall

Divider_Hero_Thrall_Crop.png

Abilities
  • Earthquake (R)
    • Slow amount reduced from 70 to 50%
  • Sundering (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 80 to 60 seconds
Developer Comments:  These changes are a continued effort to bring Thrall's two Heroics closer in line with each other. We realize that these are not the only pick-rate issues he has and are excited to look at him in more depth soon.

Zul'jin

Divider_Hero_Zuljin_Crop.png

Abilities

  • Twin Cleave (W)
    • Mana cost reduced from 60 to 50
  • Guillotine (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 45 to 30 seconds

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Boneslicer (Q)
      • Damage bonus increased from 15 to 20%
    • Arcanite Axes (W)
      • Cooldown reduction per Hero hit increased from .5 to .75 seconds
    • You Want Axe? (Passive)
      • Damage bonus per stack reduced from 1.5 to 1.25
  • Level 4
    • Let the Killing Begin (Passive)
      • Buff duration reduced from 15 to 12 seconds
  • Level 7
    • Wrong Place Wrong Time (W)
      • Damage from 140 to 150
  • Level 13
    • Voodoo Shuffle (Active)
      • Cooldown reduced from 45 to 30 seconds
  • Level 16
    • Ferocity (Trait)
      • Attack speed bonus reduced from 40 to 35%
Developer Comments:  Our data shows a solid win-rate for Zul'jin's Basic Attack build (I guess enemies really don't want axe!) while his ability-supporting talents are slightly under-performing. These changes look to slightly help that while we continue to explore the flood of incoming data.

Specialist

Zagara

Divider_Hero_Zagara_Crop.png

Abilities

  • Creep Tumor (Trait)
    • Movement Speed bonus from 15 to 20%
    • Cooldown from 20 to 18 seconds
  • Hunter Killer (W)
    • Base damage from 62 to 65
    • Damage scaling from 3.5 to 4%

Talents

  • Level 20
    • Endless Creep (Trait)
      • Movement Speed bonus from 15 to 10%

Support

Uther

Divider_Hero_Uther_Crop.png

Stats

  • Now has 10 Armor
Developer Comments:  This is the first of a few changes we want to make to Uther. We're attempting to ensure that he has a distinctive niche beyond bringing Divine Shield. This is the first step in the direction of making him a tankier healer.

Warrior

Artanis

Divider_Hero_Artanis_crop.png

Talents

  • Level 4
    • Shield Surge (Trait)
      • Bonus shield amount reduced from 80 to 75%
  • Level 7
    • Chrono Surge (Q)
      • Duration of Attack Speed increased from 4 to 5 seconds
  • Level 13
    • Templar's Zeal (Q)
      • Cooldown recharge rate increased from 100 to 150%
    • Graviton Vortex (E)
      • Cooldown reduction decreased from 6 to 5 seconds
  • Level 16
    • Titan Killer (W)
      • Damage reduced from 2.5 to 2% of enemy Hero's maximum Health
    • Plasma Burn (Trait)
      • Damage increased from 50 to 55 
Developer Comments:  We're glad to see the Hierarch as a powerful entity in the Nexus! As players are growing more proficient with his new kit, he's becoming increasingly more powerful than his competition. We're using this time to adjust a few of the over performing Talents as a means of toning him down slightly, as well as creating more compelling choices.

Diablo

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Abilities

  • Lightning Breath (R)
    • Increase turn rate by 25%
    • Damage reduced from 100 to 50
    • Damage effects per second increased from 2 to 4

Talents

  • Level 4
    • From the Shadows (Q)
      • No longer grants additional stun time.
      • Additional range increased from 33 to 40%
  • Level 13
    • Fire Devil (W)
      • Bonus attack damage reduced from 25 to 20%
    • Hellfire (W)
      • Bonus damage from Heroes hit increased from 10 to 12%
      • Max damage value increased from 100 to 120%
  • Level 16
    • Domination (E)
      • No longer grants cooldown reduction on Overpower
  • Level 20
    • Hellgate (Active)
      • Cooldown increased from 90 to 120 seconds
Developer Comments:  It's nice to see the Lord of Terror running amok inside the Nexus once again. These changes are targeted at talents that are slightly over or under tuned and should help equalize some of his Talent tiers.

Sonya

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Abilities

  • Whirlwind (W)
    • Damage increased from 339 to 441 over 3 seconds
    • Healing increased from 20 to 25% of damage done (tripled versus Heroes)

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Poisoned Spear (Q)
      • Damage increased from 100 to 150% of Ancient Spear
      • Duration increased from 4 to 6 seconds
  • Level 13
    • Life Funnel (E)
      • Healing increased from 30 to 35% to correspond with base Whirlwind changes
Developer Comments:  Sonya has steadily been dropping to the bottom of our Hero winrates, primarily because a lot of Heroes fulfill her role slightly better. The focus of these buffs is to improve her winrate, but also to solidify the reason to take Sonya: when you can get a lot of value out of Whirlwind because of the map mechanic, an abundance of Mercenaries, or an enemy team that consistently groups up.

Stitches

Divider_Hero_Stitches_Crop.png

Stats

  • Health increased from 2738 to 2900
  • Health Regeneration increased from 5.7 to 6 per second
Developer Comments:  Stitches come back to play! Stitches big scary monster, don't need Armor, has lots of Health!

Zarya

Divider_Hero_Zarya_crop.png

Stats

  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 21 to 20 

Abilities

  • Particle Grenade (Q)
    • Damage reduced from 74 to 71

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Maximum Charge (Trait)
      • Energy gain from Regeneration Globes reduced from 20 to 15
Developer Comments:  We're pretty happy with Zarya's gameplay and how often we're seeing her, but we think toning down her damage slightly is in order to keep her in line.

Bug Fixes

General

  • Rooster Race: Turning in the final Lunar Festival item required just before time expires will now properly grant credit for completing the Rooster Race.

A.I.

  • General: Error messages will no longer display on-screen when A.I. players use Abilities.
  • Try Mode: Fixed an issue causing Abathur to behave strangely when chosen as an ally in Try Mode.

Art

  • Samuro: Monkey King Samuro’s Mirror Images will no longer use a different skin variation than the real Samuro.

Battlegrounds

  • Battlefield of Eternity: Tyrael’s Holy Ground and Zagara’s Devouring Maw can no longer be used to displace the opposing Immortal while the Immortals are fighting.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Chromie: Timewalker’s Pursuit quest rewards will no longer be granted immediately upon selecting the Talent.
  • Dehaka: Essence Devourer will now grant the intended amount of Essence per Regeneration Globe collected before and after completing its quest.
  • Dehaka: Bonus Essence granted by Regeneration Globes after completing the Essence Devourer quest will now properly grant credit toward Enhanced Agility and Tissue Regeneration quests.
  • Greymane: Marked for the Kill now correctly reduces the target’s armor by 25, increasing their damage taken.
  • Ragnaros: Fixed an issue that made it possible for Empower Sulfuras to occasionally deal double damage.
  • Rexxar: After learning Thrill of the Hunt, Misha’s Basic Attacks will no longer provide Rexxar with a Movement Speed bonus.
  • Stitches: The Hungry for More talent will now correctly grant maximum Health bonuses after collecting Regeneration Globes.
  • Stitches: Savor the Flavor no longer grants bonus Health Regeneration after using Devour on non-Heroic targets.
  • Tassadar: Fixed an issue causing damage absorbed by Plasma Shield to display as double on the tab/score screen.
  • Tassadar: Khala’s Light will no longer grant Armor to Structures affected by Plasma Shield.
  • Tassadar: Fixed an issue in which Basic Attacks did not always count toward Templar’s Will quest progress.
  • The Lost Vikings: Fixed an issue causing the Viking Hoard talent to fail to grant bonuses to Health Regeneration.
  • Tychus: Fixed an issue causing Overkill to deal less damage than expected.
  • Valeera: Dealing Shield damage to a Stealthed Valeera after the Unrevealable phase of Vanish has expired will now properly reveal her.
  • Valla: Hungering Arrows after the first will no longer fail to deal damage when cast multiple times on the same target.
  • Zeratul: Bonus Ability Power granted by Grim Task is now properly removed on death.
  • Zeratul: Fixed an issue in which Vorpal Blade could fail to teleport Zeratul the full distance to his target.

User Interface

  • Draft Mode: Fixed an issue that prevented players from selecting the Lunar Rooster and Festive Treasure Goblin Mounts in Draft Lobbies.

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God Bless these changes to the Lunar Festival. It was nearly impossible to complete the races, specially when people either didn't help gathering the items or brought the wrong item.

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Love the rooster changes. Curious to see if they can ever rebuilt sonya to be stronger than the newer heroes. I don't know if it will be possible. Varian can just be built to heal more, has better ultimate options, and can dive just as hard on back line. I don't know if it's even possible. The other changes all seem like some minor but nice alterations.

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As someone that solo AI's like a friendless scrub I welcome these rooster changes. I've failed at pleasing him so many times.

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4 hours ago, Laragon said:

Love the rooster changes. Curious to see if they can ever rebuilt sonya to be stronger than the newer heroes. I don't know if it will be possible. Varian can just be built to heal more, has better ultimate options, and can dive just as hard on back line. I don't know if it's even possible. The other changes all seem like some minor but nice alterations.

I feel you. I was expecting to see major changes in Sonya to make her more useful. She still deals a lot of damage and can mitigate a shitload of damage if proper talents are picked, but she still falls behind Fury Varian.

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1 hour ago, Valhalen said:
5 hours ago, Laragon said:

Love the rooster changes. Curious to see if they can ever rebuilt sonya to be stronger than the newer heroes. I don't know if it will be possible. Varian can just be built to heal more, has better ultimate options, and can dive just as hard on back line. I don't know if it's even possible. The other changes all seem like some minor but nice alterations.

I feel you. I was expecting to see major changes in Sonya to make her more useful. She still deals a lot of damage and can mitigate a shitload of damage if proper talents are picked, but she still falls behind Fury Varian.

I think these are band-aid fixes until an eventual (and, let's face it, probably long way off) full rework. Sonya's kit is frankly super old feeling right now and I think it needs to be re-thought from the ground up so that she's more unique and it isn't always going to boil down to "whose numbers are tuned better, Sonya or Varian?"

 

personally I think they could play around with the rage mechanic a bit more to make her more unique - her Q as an ability is just so blah it seems like they could do something - anything - more interesting that that to differentiate her from other, currently similar heroes.

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10 hours ago, Voltorocks said:

I think these are band-aid fixes until an eventual (and, let's face it, probably long way off) full rework. Sonya's kit is frankly super old feeling right now and I think it needs to be re-thought from the ground up so that she's more unique and it isn't always going to boil down to "whose numbers are tuned better, Sonya or Varian?"

 

personally I think they could play around with the rage mechanic a bit more to make her more unique - her Q as an ability is just so blah it seems like they could do something - anything - more interesting that that to differentiate her from other, currently similar heroes.

Some changes they could make to improve Sonya, in my opinion:

- Make her D usable by default to generate 50 Rage, like Shot of Fury; then keep Shot of Fury as a talent that increases her rage cap but now makes D generate 100 Rage.

- Adding more talents to improve her Trait, such as granting her Armor whenever she is at full Fury, or something similar to Chen's Brewmaster's Balance: a buff when she has over half Fury and another buff when she has less than half.

- Increase the Rage generation from Basic Attacks. It takes forever to build rage by hitting things. Which makes squirmishes and Team Battles very annoying. 

- Make her Ancient Spear to naturally pull Sonya forward even if no target is hit, like in her Mystical Spear talent; then Mystical Spear could instead have another additional function aside from just cooldown reduction in Ancient Spear (or just further increase the CD reduction).

- Improve her talents for Seismic Slam and Whirlwind with quest talents, so they slowly build over time and get a big buff when completed.

- Adding a Talent which lets her dump all her Rage in a single Slam, with additional damage per point of Rage, would be very interesting to make her a one-shot Hero. Maybe add the talent in the number keys so it can activated and deactivated at will.

- Make her overall more mobile than Varian (which she already is). Whirlwind should either move faster or have a talent that slows enemies hit by it, making Sonya a deadly chaser.

- Sonya's self sustain is also awful when compared to Fury Varian. They already tweaked the healing from Whirlwind, but in my opinion it should heal even more, to make Whirlwind a threatening attack that shouldn't be ignored. Sony used to be one of the best mercenary clearers in the game, but Fury Varian stole the spotlight.

- Drastically reduce the CD and damage of Leap, so it becomes a more interesting Heroic to compete with Wrath of the Berserker. This could essentially turn Sonya into a Leapquake Barbarian (or a Muradin). Maybe it could have a mechanic where Basic Attacks reduce it's cooldown.

These are my thoughts so far. I really like the idea of Sonya being somewhat an Assassin disguised as a Warrior, being a more bruiser-type that can deal and mitigate insanes amount of damage if well talented. But currently there are a lot of Heroes that can easily outperform her in many occasions (she has one of the worst win ratios in the game alongside Stitches). She is one of my favorite Warriors to play as, and for that reason I'd love to see her getting a full revamp.

Edited by Valhalen

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