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PTR Patch Notes: February 6

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PTR is now live and you can log in and test out Lucio! The patch brings many Hero changes and a Murky rework.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment (Source)

General

“For Azeroth!” – Play Warcraft Heroes, Get Rewards!

With the arrival of today’s patch, until March 14, 2017, play Heroes of the Storm using Warcraft Heroes, while in a party with a friend, to earn rewards for both games!
  • Quest
    • Complete 15 Heroes of the Storm matches with a friend, while playing as Warcraft Heroes, before the event concludes.
    • Players who select Warcraft Heroes will still earn quest credit if their friends play using Heroes from other Blizzard universes. However, only the players who select Warcraft Heroes will earn quest credit.
    • Players do not need to complete all 15 matches with the same friend in order to complete the quest.
  • Rewards
    • World of Warcraft: Primal Flamesaber Mount
    • Heroes of the Storm: 10 day Stimpack
    • Heroes of the Storm: Flames of Judgement Charger Mount
  • PTR Note: While elements of this event may appear on the Test Realm, players will not be able to make progress toward quests or rewards until the patch is released to the live version of Heroes of the Storm next week.

Heroes Brawl

  • The reward requirements for the following Brawls have been reduced from 3 to 2 games:
    • Heroes of the Stars
    • Bloodlust Brawl
    • Mage Wars

New Hero: Lúcio

From the streets of Rio to the clubs on King’s Row, Lúcio’s beats bring the party to life, and drive the people to action. Now he’s on tour in the Nexus, ready to Break it down, and to continue fighting for what’s right.

Trait

  • Wall Ride (D)
    • When moving alongside impassable battleground terrain and Structures, Lúcio can walk through other units, and his Movement Speed is increased by 20%. This effect stacks with other Movement Speed bonuses.

Basic Abilities

  • Soundwave (Q)
    • Deal damage to enemies in a cone-shaped area and knock them back.
  • Crossfade (W)
    • Play one of two tracks that passively provide allied Heroes with either a Speed Boost or a Healing Boost in a large radius around you. Activate Crossfade to swap tracks.
      • Healing Boost: Restore a small amount of Health every second to Lúcio and nearby allied Heroes.
      • Speed Boost: Increase the Movement Speed of Lúcio and nearby allied Heroes by 15%.
  • Amp It Up (E)
    • Raise Lúcio’s Crossfade track volume for 3 seconds, amping Speed Boost to 45% increased Movement Speed, and significantly increasing the Healing rate of Healing Boost.

Heroic Abilities

  • Sound Barrier (R)
    • After 1 second, Lúcio and nearby allied Heroes gain a massive Shield that rapidly decays over the next 6 seconds.
  • Reverse Amp (R)
    • Blast Lúcio’s Crossfade track at enemy Heroes for 4 seconds, causing Healing Boost to inflict damage every second, and Speed Boost to Slow Movement Speed by 45%.
    • Passive: Increase Amp It Up’s duration to 4 seconds.

Art

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Murky has received updated icon art and visual effects that coincide with his rework.
  • The following Heroes, Abilities, and Talents have received updated visual effects:
    • Dream Genie Chromie: Time Trap (E) – The lamp spout on Time Trap’s model will now always spawn facing West.
    • Grunty Murky: Pufferfish (W) – Visual effects tweaks have been made in order to better distinguish between Pufferfishes and Tufferfishes.
    • Thrall: Earthquake (R) – The outer edge of Earthquake’s area of effect has been made more visually apparent. 

Shop

PTR Note: Many of the following changes will not take place in the Shop until the Public Test Realm is brought offline and the patch is officially released to the live version of Heroes of the Storm next week.

Bundles

  • New Bundles
    • Ribbit Lúcio Bundle – Available until February 28, 2017
    • 2017 Love is in the Air Bundle – Available until February 28, 2017
  • Returning Bundles
    • Classic Love is in the Air Bundle – Available until February 28, 2017
  • Removed Bundles
    • 2017 Lunar Festival Bundle
    • 2016 Lunar Festival Bundle

New Hero

  • Lúcio has been added to the in-game Shop

Mounts

  • New Mounts
    • Heart Stone – Available by purchasing the 2017 Love is in the Air Bundle
    • Flames of Judgement Charger – Awarded for completing the “For Azeroth!” event quest.
  • Returning Mounts
    • Amani War Bear
    • Cyber Ram
  • Removed Mounts
    • Magic Carpet
    • Marshal’s Outrider

New Skins

  • Ribbit Lúcio
  • Master Lúcio
  • Love Goddess Tyrande

Price Reduction

  • Kharazim's prices will be reduced to 7,000 Gold and $8.49 USD.
 

Heroes

Assassin

Falstad

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Abilities

  • Hinterland Blast (R)
    • Added functionality:
      • Cooldown is reduced by 25 seconds for every enemy Hero hit

Greymane

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Abilities

  • Marked for the Kill (R)
    • Renamed to Cursed Bullet
      • New Functionality:
        • Fires a bullet that hits the first Hero in its path, dealing 35% of their current Health as damage. Cannot hit Vehicles.
        • 30 second cooldown, costs 50 Mana.

Talents

  • Level 20
    • Gilnean Roulette (R)
      • New Functionality:
        • Causes Cursed Bullet to hit all enemies in its path, and reduces its cooldown by 5 seconds per Hero hit

Ragnaros

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Talents

  • Level 13
    • Resilient Flame (Passive)
      • Now has a 10 second cooldown between activations
      • A button has been added to the hotbar so the cooldown can be tracked

Thrall

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Abilities

  • Earthquake (R)
    • Earthquake will go off even if Thrall is interrupted during his cast animation
  • Sunder (R)
    • Sunder will go off even if Thrall is interrupted during his cast animation
Developer Comment:  Thrall’s two Heroics are overly sensitive to being interrupted, something that has been on our radar to fix for quite some time.

Valeera

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Stats

  • Basic Attack damage increased from 75 to 79
  • Health increased from 1950 to 2047
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 4.54 to 4.26

Abilities

  • Ambush (Q)
    • Energy cost reduced from 20 to 10
  • Garrote (E)
    • Silence duration increased from 2 to 2.25 seconds
    • Impact damage reduced from 75 to 20
    • Damage over time reduced from 175 to 140
  • Cloak of Shadows (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 18 to 15
    • Duration increased from 1 to 1.5 seconds

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Crippling Poison (Active)
      • Duration increased from 3 to 5 seconds
  • Level 4
    • Wound Poison (Active)
      • Duration increased from 4 to 5 seconds
  • Level 7
    • Assassinate (Q)
      • Distance between enemy Heroes reduced from 5 to 4 range
  • Level 13
    • Death From Above (Q)
      • Teleport range increased from 5 to 7
  • Level 16
    • Rupture (E)
      • Added functionality: Basic Attacks against Garroted enemies also increases the damage over time effect by 5%, stacking up to 30%
Developer Comments:   We feel that Valeera needs a small increase in power to help her overall win rate, but are hoping to do so without adding much more burst damage or disabling effects. The changes to her Health and Basic Attack damage should give her a boost, while the changes to Talents, Ambush, and Garrote should create harder decision making for the Rogue. While we were looking at her Health Regeneration, we noticed that it was actually higher than intended (most Heroes take 480 seconds to regenerate their entire Health pool), which is why we reduced it slightly. We’ve increased the duration on Cloak of Shadows so that predicting Abilities is easier to accomplish. We want it to be a rewarding, high skill-cap ability, but with the old tuning it struggled to compete with Smoke Bomb.

Zul'jin

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Talents

  • Level 4
    • Headhunter (Active)
      • Will no longer dismount Zul'jin when it is activated while mounted

Multi-class

Varian

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Talents

  • Level 13
    • Banner of Stormwind (Active)
      • Moved to level 16
    • Banner of Ironforge (Active)
      • Moved to level 16
    • Banner of Dalaran (Active)
      • Moved to level 16
  • Level 16
    • Juggernaut (E)
      • Moved to level 13
    • Mortal Strike (Trait)
      • Moved to level 13
    • Shattering Throw (Active)
      • Moved to level 13
Developer Comments:  We like that Mortal Strike and Shattering Throw are great counter options for certain team compositions, but thought they came just a little too late to draft Varian specifically for them.

Specialist

Abathur

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Abilities

  • Stab (Q)
    • Damage increased from 113 to 119
  • Spike Burst (W)
    • Damage increased from 111 to 116
  • Carapace (E)
    • Shield amount increased from 150 to 157

Murky

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Stats

  • Base Maximum Health increased from 635 to 761

Abilities

  • Spawn Egg (D)
    • Resurrect time while Murky's Egg is active increased from 5 to 8 seconds
  • Slime (Q)
    • Slow amount increased from 20 to 25%
  • Pufferfish (W)
    • Now deals 50% damage to Structures
    • Pufferfish can now be targeted by Structures
    • Pufferfish now has 225 Health and takes damage from Abilities
    • Explosion radius increased by 50%
  • March of the Murlocs (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 100 to 80 seconds
    • Increased the Movement Speed of the tiny murlocs by 30%

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Fish Tank (Passive)
      • Moved to level 13
      • Redesigned: Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes grant Murky 75 Basic Attack Armor for 2 seconds
    • Bubble Breeze (E)
      • Renamed to Slippery When Wet
      • Moved to level 7
      • Increased the Movement Speed bonus from 20% to 35%
      • Now also allows Murky to pass through enemies while Safety Bubble is active
    • Assault Egg (D)
      • Renamed to Fish Eye
      • Bonus Health reduced from 150% to 100%
      • Sight Radius bonus increased from 150% to 200%
      • Now reveals Stealthed enemies
      • Now increases Murky's Mounted Movement Speed to 45% for 5 seconds after spawning
    • Bribe (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Egg Hunt (Active)
      • Activate to place a fake Egg.  If the fake Egg dies, it casts Slime.  Maximum 3 fake Eggs.  6 second cooldown
      • Upon spawning from an Egg, Murky is Stealthed for 5 seconds
    • New Talent: A Fishy Deal (Active)
      • Killing an enemy Minion with Pufferfish grants 1 stack of Bribe.  Use 5 Bribe stacks to capture a single Mercenary. Maximum of 20 stacks
  • Level 4
    • Bigger Slime (Q)
      • Moved to level 7
      • Renamed to Black Lagoon
    • Tufferfish (W)
      • Redesigned:  Now causes Pufferfish to deal 35% more damage to Slimed targets, and it gains 50 Spell Armor
    • Envenom (Active)
      • Removed
    • Living The Dream (Passive)
      • No longer passively grants Ability Power
      • Instead of granting 1% Ability Power every 5 seconds, now grants 5% Ability Power every 15 seconds. Max 15% bonus Ability Power.
    • New Talent: Slime Time (Q)
      • Quest: Slime enemy Heroes that are already Slimed
      • Reward: After Sliming 15 Slimed Heroes, increase Slime's bonus damage by 125
      • Reward: After Sliming 30 Slimed Heroes, increase Slime's slow amount to 35%
  • Level 7
    • Slime Advantage (Q)
      • Removed
    • Hindering Slime (Q)
      • Removed
    • Compressed Air (W)
      • Removed
    • Clairvoyance (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Time to Krill (Passive)
      • Basic Attacks against Heroes deal an additional 8 damage per second and Slow the target’s Movement Speed by 10% for 5 seconds. This effect can stack up to 5 times
  • Level 13
    • Continuous Slime (Q)
      • Renamed to Making Inky
      • Moved to level 20
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 1 to 2 seconds
    • Wrath of Cod (W)
      • Moved to level 16
      • New Functionality:
        • Pufferfish deals bonus damage to Heroes equal to 10% of their maximum Health over 5 seconds
    • Bubble Machine (E)
      • Removed
    • Hidden Assault (D)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Egg Shell (D)
      • Respawning from an Egg grants Murky a Shield equal to 100% of his maximum Health. This Shield lasts indefinitely
  • Level 16
    • Slimy End (Q)
      • Removed
    • Rejuvenating Bubble (E)
      • Moved to level 13
    • Blood for Blood (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Toxic Buildup (Q)
      • Attacking an enemy Hero 3 times causes a Slime to cast from their position
    • Slimy Pufferfish (W)
      • Renamed to Fish Oil
  • Level 20
    • Rewind (Active)
      • Removed
    • Bolt of the Storm (Active)
      • Removed
    • Never-Ending Murlocs (R)
      • Redesigned:  March of the Murlocs can now be channeled indefinitely
    • New Talent: Big Tuna Kahuna (Trait)
      • Murky's maximum Health and Egg respawn times are doubled.
Developer Comment:  : Mrrgrgrlgrl! Rise my brother murlocs! Mrrrgrgrlrlgrl! Vengeance will be ours! In examining Murky, his original health and egg timers are vestiges of a different time, created before even Jaina entered the Nexus. We wanted to give him more base health to make him a little harder to burst down, but traded it for a little longer time to respawn from his Egg. This has the added bonus of allowing a bit more counter-play to hunting our fishy friend. We also wanted to adjust Pufferfish, as an increasingly high amount of the roster could immediately explode it. Finally, his talent tree has been updated to come in line with our new philosophies. We’ve not only found this Murky much more fun to play as, with some exciting talents in each tier, but also more fair to fight against! Mrrgrgrlgrl!
LEVEL (TIER)   MURKY TALENTS    
1 (1) Fish Eye (Trait) Egg Hunt (Active) A Fishy Deal (Active)  
4 (2) (!)Slime Time (Q) Tufferfish (W) (!)Living the Dream (Passive)  
7 (3) Black Lagoon (Q) Slippery When Wet (E) Time to Krill (Passive)  
10 (4) March of the Murlocs (R) Octo-Grab (R)
13 (5) Rejuvenating Bubble (E) Fish Tank (Passive) Egg Shell (Trait)  
16 (6) Toxic Buildup (Q) Fish Oil (W) Wrath of Cod (W)  
20 (7) Never-Ending Murlocs (R) ...And a Shark Too! (R) Big Tuna Kahuna (Trait) Making Inky (Q))
  • (!) indicates a Questing Talent.
  • Italic text indicates a NEW Talent.
  • Bold text indicates a MOVED Talent.

Nazeebo

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Abilities

  • Plague of Toads (E)
    • The targeting indicator now more accurately reflects the Toads’ travel path

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Dead Rush (W)
      • Cancelling Zombie Wall will now also provide up to 5 uprooted Zombies

Support

Lt. Morales

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Abilities

  • Displacement Grenade (E)
    • Will now reveal a small area around the grenade as it travels

Warrior

Muradin

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Talents

  • Level 4
    • Crowd Control (W)
      • Now has a 7 second cooldown reduction maximum
  • Level 13
    • Thunder Strike (W)
      • Icon color swapped to blue
    • Healing Static (W)
      • Icon color swapped to green

Zarya

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Talents

  • Level 1
    • Feel the Heat (Passive)
      • Basic Attacks that deal bonus damage in Melee range will now show a Crit indicator

Bug Fixes

General

  • Mac: Launching the Heroes client on a Mac will no longer automatically increase mouse acceleration.
  • Corrected the scaling damage caps for several Talents that deal damage based on a percentage of the target’s maximum Health, including:
    • Gall: Giant Scorcher
    • Rehgar: Hunger of the Wolf
    • Ragnaros: Giant Scorcher
    • Tracer: Quantum Spike
    • Xul: Backlash, Giant’s Curse
  • A number of typos and tooltip errors have been corrected across several aspects of the game.

Art

  • Nova: Nova’s status bar will no longer pop above her head while running.
  • Samuro: Monkey King Samuro will now correctly play his victory animation after destroying the enemy Core.
  • Tracer: Hologram visual effects will now correctly display on Master Tracer’s model while using Recall.
  • Sky Temple: Fixed an issue in which Temple attacks could briefly appear to fire beyond the Core.

Battlegrounds

  • Braxis Holdout: Fixed an issue that could cause Zerg units to become stuck in the walls of their pens.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Anub'arak: Chitinous Plating will now correctly reduce the cooldown for Harden Carapace.
  • Chromie: After completing Deep Breathing’s quest, its buff bar tooltip will now display the correct number of Heroes hit.
  • E.T.C.: If Stage Dive’s landing location is blocked, E.T.C. will now land as close as possible to the intended area rather than returning to his original casting location.
  • Medivh: Will now properly benefit from Regeneration Globes while transforming into Raven Form.
  • Ragnaros: Will now properly benefit from Hand of Sulfuras when Empower Sulfuras scores a killing blow after striking multiple enemy Heroes.
  • Ragnaros: Lava Wave's cooldown will now be paused during Zeratul’s Void Prison.
  • Rehgar: Will no longer be pulled out of Ghost Wolf form upon dealing damage via an allied Ragnaros’s Blast Wave.
  • Rexxar: Spirit Swoop will now correctly deal damage to Monsters.
  • Samuro: Fixed an issue that could refresh the duration of Advancing Strikes after landing a critical strike.
  • Samuro: Shift-queueing Hearthstone will no longer break Stealth until Hearthstone begins casting.
  • Samuro: Burning Blade area of effect damage will now properly benefit from bonus damage granted by Way of Illusion.
  • Samuro: Bladestorm will no longer occasionally fail to activate after casting Mirror Images and Bladestorm in rapid succession.
  • Samuro: Fixed an issue in which the Score Screen could display an incorrect number of Gems for Samuro if he collected them while Mirror Images were active on Tomb of the Spider Queen.
  • Thrall: Fixed an issue in which Feral Spirit could fail to trigger Follow Through after earning Seasoned Marksman stacks.
  • Valeera:  Rupture and Hemorrhage no longer benefit from another Valeera’s Garrote.
  • Valla: Killing enemy Heroes who have post-death states, like Tyrael and Leoric, after learning Death Dealer will now correctly refresh Vault’s cooldown.
  • Zul'jin: Fixed an issue causing Zul’jin to have a slightly higher Health Regeneration rate than intended.

Sound

  • Illidan: The Hunt voiceover will no longer play slightly early.
  • Zarya: Graviton Surge and Expulsion Zone voiceover will no longer play slightly early.

 

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The Murky rework is quite nice, even though I don't really like playing as Murky. However, I feel that they could have reworked Heroes with a lower win-rate, like Cho'gall, Stitches and Sonya.

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Murky was abismal. Hopefully this makes him at least niche tier. I don't like any hero that's main ability is to be okay dying.

That Falstad buff is sneaky strong on some maps (like haunted mines or cursed hollow) with good choke points. Hard to beat his clean disengage, but this might have a chance in good combos.

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8 hours ago, Valhalen said:

The Murky rework is quite nice, even though I don't really like playing as Murky. However, I feel that they could have reworked Heroes with a lower win-rate, like Cho'gall, Stitches and Sonya.

Sonya is noticeably improved since her buffs, but could do with more talent diversity. Murky was most definitely at the bottom of the pile (most tier lists have him so low that the trash tier was literally called Murky Tier as he was the only hero in that position) so I guess they've started in the right place. 

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20 minutes ago, Plergoth said:

Sonya is noticeably improved since her buffs, but could do with more talent diversity. Murky was most definitely at the bottom of the pile (most tier lists have him so low that the trash tier was literally called Murky Tier as he was the only hero in that position) so I guess they've started in the right place. 

The minimal buffs to Whirlwind on last patch didn't really improve much. It is still bad on team fights. I think they have to either rework her as a proper assassin or make her sturdier to kill (since her damage reduction talents only come much later in the game).

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3 hours ago, Plergoth said:

Sonya is noticeably improved since her buffs, but could do with more talent diversity. Murky was most definitely at the bottom of the pile (most tier lists have him so low that the trash tier was literally called Murky Tier as he was the only hero in that position) so I guess they've started in the right place. 

Sonya has improved indeed but there still issues with her talent tree and general survivalness. Contrary to the tier lists, I've always found it difficult to find a Murky that played badly or did badly. I feel that he does get very underrated and I generally see players do really well with him (myself included) because people don't really know how to deal with him or feel he's not worth bothering with. More so than Murky, I think Nova needs a huge rework. But hopefully, this rework will stop the instant reports that happen when I choose Murky in draft (unranked at that).

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7 hours ago, MurkyFelix said:

Contrary to the tier lists, I've always found it difficult to find a Murky that played badly or did badly. I feel that he does get very underrated and I generally see players do really well with him (myself included) because people don't really know how to deal with him or feel he's not worth bothering with. More so than Murky, I think Nova needs a huge rework. But hopefully, this rework will stop the instant reports that happen when I choose Murky in draft (unranked at that).

What really kills murky is how many competitive heroes get a bonus when an enemy dies, and he is going to die. Especially Li-Ming which is really common in draft, will get an auto-reset every team fight and leave a team 4v5. Murky can still be really bad for a team even if he's played well.

Also if anyone with a slightly quick auto attack pays attention you can completely shut out his puffer and consequently +/-50% of his damage. He can't really push at all without minion or merc support. Any hero can be used, but he needs so much help to be even effective it's sad. Hopefully this helps that issue.

Nova also needs some work, but she has a lot of use. Far more than Murky current state. Triple shot is great at taking out a single target or forcing the other team to alter their positioning in reaction and precision strike is great at team fight and global zone denial. Let alone her possible gank kit against low health heroes (I.E. Murky...)

 

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13 hours ago, Laragon said:

What really kills murky is how many competitive heroes get a bonus when an enemy dies, and he is going to die. Especially Li-Ming which is really common in draft, will get an auto-reset every team fight and leave a team 4v5. Murky can still be really bad for a team even if he's played well.

Also if anyone with a slightly quick auto attack pays attention you can completely shut out his puffer and consequently +/-50% of his damage. He can't really push at all without minion or merc support. Any hero can be used, but he needs so much help to be even effective it's sad. Hopefully this helps that issue.

Nova also needs some work, but she has a lot of use. Far more than Murky current state. Triple shot is great at taking out a single target or forcing the other team to alter their positioning in reaction and precision strike is great at team fight and global zone denial. Let alone her possible gank kit against low health heroes (I.E. Murky...)

 

I know what you mean, if he even gets touched by Arcane Orb there goes most of his health. People doing the Seasoned Marksman quest as well get a lot of go on that just from Murky. I'm not saying he's brilliant, just a bit underrated in general, esp on maps like Dragon Shire where he can push easily when the knight is active (obviously if your team have the knight) and BattleField of Eternity. It should probably be noted that my experiences are based mostly on non-HL games (thought I have used him serveral times on it and only a handful of them went horribly) but anyway, the rework does look nice ;3 

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I know that Valeeras overall win rate is not great, but does she really need a buff? Or was the purpose of these changes to try and get people to go Ambush build more often? Either way, I have felt like she is already pretty OP in the right hands and doesn't need any buffs.

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1 hour ago, mellomike said:

I know that Valeeras overall win rate is not great, but does she really need a buff? Or was the purpose of these changes to try and get people to go Ambush build more often? Either way, I have felt like she is already pretty OP in the right hands and doesn't need any buffs.

Ive grinded her to lvl 12 and dont think she needs any buff at all. She has to be played well though. At lower levels of play shes a beast. At higher (or with Tassadar on enemy team) needs to be played similar to Alarak I think. Standard melee assasin who will start out of stealth and set up kills mid fight.

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1 hour ago, Thorgal2226 said:

Ive grinded her to lvl 12 and dont think she needs any buff at all. She has to be played well though. At lower levels of play shes a beast. At higher (or with Tassadar on enemy team) needs to be played similar to Alarak I think. Standard melee assasin who will start out of stealth and set up kills mid fight.

 

I agree that I don't think she needed a buff, she was good the way she was. A good assassin with a high skill cap for sure but I never played her as a standard melee assassin and never played her similarly to how I would play Alarak. Not saying your way is wrong or anything just different builds probably, but whenever I would play Val I will stealth in open in someone, get the combo points and get an eviscerate off and then run away and wait until vanish is up to engage again. 

 

This I think though is ultimately another reason why she didn't really need to be changed, because she had several builds that were definitely viable.

 

But I guess in the end I love Valeera and don't really mind these changes.

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Dunno if either of you have played much Valeera in hero league, but in that setting the need for a buff is much more apparent; against coordinated opponents it's a lot harder to find good openings for a stealth move (she is very easily revealed and has very little defensive mobility for after she's caught out) and I think these changes may make her better during the in-and-out brawling phase of a team fight 

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10 hours ago, mellomike said:

I agree that I don't think she needed a buff, she was good the way she was. A good assassin with a high skill cap for sure but I never played her as a standard melee assassin and never played her similarly to how I would play Alarak. Not saying your way is wrong or anything just different builds probably, but whenever I would play Val I will stealth in open in someone, get the combo points and get an eviscerate off and then run away and wait until vanish is up to engage again. 

 

Yes, the way you play her is correct in most situations. But it requires you to be stealth when you approach your victim. Higher level players can see you easly and it wont be so easy and Tasadar in enemy team can break that plan. Thats where you need to adapt. "Mid combo" as I call it is devastating mid fight and works similar to Artanis combo used the way pros do it. Not use it on cooldown so the opponent knows u dont have it but held it so they will play more defenisevely feared u will use it.

As for my build I usually use Q build. And I agree: U want buff one of my new favourite character? Bring it on! :)

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17 hours ago, Voltorocks said:

Dunno if either of you have played much Valeera in hero league, but in that setting the need for a buff is much more apparent; against coordinated opponents it's a lot harder to find good openings for a stealth move (she is very easily revealed and has very little defensive mobility for after she's caught out) and I think these changes may make her better during the in-and-out brawling phase of a team fight 

 

She is easily revealed and easily countered but most heroes could be countered with a team working together if they know what they are doing, of course Valeera is more prone to that because of her low health pool and lack of mobility (especially if you go Mutilate). But if you time it right (against any hero even a hard counter to Valeera) you can come in clutch with those crucial stuns and being able to burn down choice targets really quick, which is really the point of her character.

 

Not that I don't agree that it is hard to play Valeera against a coordinated, because it is. But a hero that can take down one target so easily should be hard to play. 

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On 2/9/2017 at 11:49 AM, mellomike said:

Not that I don't agree that it is hard to play Valeera against a coordinated, because it is.

Right, and this is really what I was speaking to with my post - even though she's fine (and in some settings, more than fine) I think they're tuning up her kit mostly to help in the team league or upper league setting where she's struggling a bit right now dealing with coordinated opponents. 

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    • By Oxygen

       
      Oxygen goes over some of Heroes of the Storm's features that most need improvement.
      BlizzCon 2017 will be Heroes of the Storm's 4th showing at our favourite yearly event. Since Blizzard has certainly delivered on the esports side of the game with HGC, I thought I'd share my thoughts on some of the game's systems. Here it is, then: Six aspects of Heroes of the Storm that need improvement.
       
      I) The Class System
      This point is extremely complex to discuss because it directly criticizes one of the core aspects of the game, and cannot be separated from resulting issues. I’ll try and break it down as simply as I can.
      The premise of this discussion point is a firm belief in the following statement: Heroes of the Storm was designed to be played with team compositions that include at least one tank, and at least one healer.
      I’ll develop this point further, but I’d first like to draw a parallel with World of Warcraft’s 5-player dungeons. In World of Warcraft, dungeons are specifically designed with parties composed of 1 tank, 1 healer, and 3 damage dealers in mind. You are allowed to twist party compositions at your own risk, if you can field 5 players willing to partake to the experiment, but the automatic group finding tool will never deviate from the established “1-1-3” norm. Why? Because these dungeons are designed, and tested that way. The damage taken output is normalized for a single healer to handle; the kill timers are made for 3 competent damage dealers to handle; no tank-switching mechanics are present, and so on.
      I understand that the normalized team composition statement is very bold for Heroes of the Storm because we have all experienced those matches where the above rules were all but respected. But, you may have observed that matches involving irregular team compositions were either extremely long or extremely short, or that they featured absurdly high or absurdly low kill counts. Why do such extremes occur?

      Not my most memorable performance. Or match.
      Tanks and healers are what I might call “inhibitors”; they inhibit kills. The sheer resilience of tanks – which is generally about 3 to 4 times that of your typical assassin or support hero – and general access to long-range mobility allows them to scout with relative safety to contribute to the own safety of teammates. Their access to reliable crowd control allows them to protect teammates as well. On the flip side, this crowd control also punishes poor positioning dearly… which is where healers intervene.
      Healers’ ability to undo damage contributes to safely capturing certain objectives, razing structures, closing out games, and, of course, making mistakes less impactful. Have you ever tried sieging a guarded core without a healer? Unless your team has a 3-man advantage or the help of a map objective, and assuming relatively competent players, this is generally unreasonable to pull off. Structures hit hard in this game, and minions die very quickly.
      Actually, everything hits hard; most assassins can kill each other in less than 5 seconds; heroic ability combos are devastating and almost always lead to kills. But tanks and healers help reduce these outcomes drastically; they create breathing room, partly due to their defensive nature and utility, and partly due to the fact that they generally have limited or otherwise very situational sustained damage outputs.
      6 paragraphs in, and I have yet to explain why this is problematic. Here it is, then: in essence, I feel that matches where tanks or healers are absent are too different from so-called “normal” matches. Lacking either role closes off several strategic options for your team; the game loses strategic depth, and often breaks down to which team fields the greatest abilities to quickly wrench kills away – usually through raw combat mobility or long range poke which makes retaliation difficult. This is not a problem (beyond design intent) when the playing field is even, of course; when both teams do feature irregular compositions, but the playing field is seldom even in this respect. Why? Two reasons, both related to drafting.
      The first reason deals with player preferences and proficiencies. The tank and healer roles are essential, but by design, less represented in any given team composition. Due to their importance, the skill disparity between two opposing tanks or healers may be felt more strongly than for assassins; in other words I feel it is much less punishing to have to handle a poor assassin player, as team compositions generally feature at least one or two more. This is especially true when considering that tanks and healers tend to require more knowledge and practice to play well. In a random drafting environment, you may find yourself in a situation where neither you nor any of your teammates are proficient at either role versus players that do display proficiency in these roles. Of course, it makes sense to reward players that master multiple roles, but the set drafting order, inability to trade hero picks, and questionable ability to blanket-block all forms of communication with teammates makes coordinating a messy business. This contributes to making the drafting process random at best, and toxic at worst. How? Nobody likes being forced into playing a role they do not wish to play, especially if they know they might perform poorly. But, nobody likes having a sub-par team composition either, nor tilting teammates before a given match has even begun. After all, specializing one’s hero pool and role is the norm for the MOBA genre, not the exception. If a player is stuck playing a role they do not wish to play due to the game’s design heavily promoting specific team compositions, they may set their team at a disadvantage. Would you rather risk something unconventional, or stick to one of your weaker or less interesting roles? In both cases, you are setting yourself up for a potentially frustrating match.
      The second reason has to deal with drafting and in of itself; what if, for whatever reason, your team did not manage to secure either role? Most players are used to having a certain stability, and while I do not doubt that many would not mind experimenting, not everyone is capable of nor open to doing so. As I see it, the role system exists to guide players very strongly towards what the developers had in mind. We simply need to remember the Varian debacle to see what happens when the intended system fails to function properly. For those of you who weren’t around back then, here’s a recap: Varian, as a multiclass hero that can elect to become a tank or an assassin, used to be considered an assassin for matchmaking purposes. This left Quick Match players in a situation where they were consistently matched against a tank without one of their own. Blizzard addressed the situation by making him a tank for Quick Match-making purposes.
      This ties in nicely with my next point: Quick Match, as the most played game mode by far, and the “logical” introductory step to PvP, ill-prepares players for drafting. It makes little sense to me to, on one hand, have a well-defined class system around which the game is designed, to then have a game mode that essentially throws the concept of team composition right out the window. As it turns out, tanks and healers are less popular than assassins, which often forces the matchmaking system to deal with an unevenly distributed population of players. It then has to make a choice between creating irregular team compositions, or to keep players waiting for an indefinite amount of time. I’ll also argue that Quick Match, in its current form, tends to put players into an “I play what I want when I want” mindset that translates poorly into other game modes. This would be fine if the natural progression was not Quick Match into Unranked Draft into Ranked Draft, but it is. When you design a game around team play, you need to groom your players into becoming team players from the get-go.
      If Blizzard is bent on keeping its current role system, Quick Match mode simply cannot continue to exist in its current form. The solution is rather simple: Just like the World of Warcraft dungeon system, and, more closely related, League of Legends’ Draft Pick system, players should simply select the role they wish to play before a given match, and not the hero itself. Enforce a basic 1-tank, 1-healer, 3-assassins/specialists rule. If there aren’t enough tank or healer players around to make queue times reasonable, incentivize players to switch to these roles with gold and experience bonuses that scale directly with how many players for roles are necessary to regulate said queue times. This would have the positive side effect of pushing players towards experimenting with new, different roles, potentially increasing hero purchases, and giving players a better understanding of the game as a whole. The same system should certainly be introduced to non-Team-League-Draft modes as well.
      For the record, changes to the class system were announced recently. I’m certainly looking forward to attending BlizzCon and reporting on those changes.
      tl;dr: Heroes of the Storm’s class system puts an inordinate amount of importance on drafting a basic, functional team composition, as individual matches come apart at the seams by design when tanks or healers are not present. The importance of such roles puts a huge amount of pressure on players playing these roles, making them less popular and generally more punishing to experiment with. Quick Match ill-prepares its players for mid- and high-level drafting experiences.
       
      II) Lack of Transparency
      It’s no secret that the MOBA genre is extremely competitive from a business standpoint. Two extremely well established giants – DotA and League of Legends – are estimated to hold over 80% of the genre’s market shares, and have accustomed players to a number of transparent systems.
      Heroes of the Storm features several systems that could benefit from improved transparency. One of the most broadly discussed subjects in this regards has been the nonexistence of an API for the game. Such a system would essentially allow third parties to use Blizzard’s data to disseminate information about a wide variety of game-related statistics, such as player performance information. This might include information such as experience level and win rates.
      While alternative ways of obtaining this information do exist as of today, they must rely on clunky user-submitted replay scraping to gather said information, meaning that their success depends directly upon the goodwill of players to feed the system. This presents several problems. First, it is difficult for newer websites to compete fairly with older monopolies, as good data depends on quantity. Second, statistics at different skill levels may be misleading due to low and otherwise uneven player contributions. Third, the ability to “rig” one’s performance by uploading only desirable replays may skew data. Furthermore, some of the more well-known Heroes statistics websites have been notoriously poorly managed and come under fire like clockwork. Whether ill-intentioned or not, this poor management ends up hurting the integrity of the game.
      Still, I must hold back a bit and admit that I’m thankful – not only as a player, but also as a guide writer – to have a way of accessing such data at all. If it weren’t for third parties, we’d be left in complete darkness with regards to any of the aforementioned information.
      Could we live without having data about, say, individual hero win rates or talent pick rates? Of course; and we did for a long time. However, I’ll be capricious and quote myself here: “Two extremely well established giants have accustomed players to a number of performance-related information systems.” When trying to create a name for yourself, you need to offer more than the established standard, not less. Regardless of the state of Heroes of the Storm, I feel that having an API or an equally transparent system is extremely important to make your typical MOBA contender feel like a complete game.
      The first reason is about being able to find concrete information about the metagame. MOBAs are – at their core – complex strategy games; thousands upon thousands of strategic choices and permutations are open to players. Even though outstanding websites do exist to help players out, the complexity and highly competitive nature of MOBAs makes them particularly cutthroat for beginners. Having access to detailed and accurate statistics allows content creators to provide new players with the information they need to get off on the right foot. Veterans, too, can make use of such data to analyze, adapt to, and potentially exploit metagaming trends to their own benefit. Ultimately, information is power for all players, and power is player retention.
      Information also empowers players in another markedly different way that I might call watchdogging. Without basic data such as win and pick rates, players would never be able to meaningfully criticize the state of the game’s balance. Blizzard developers are known to use individual hero and talent win rates to dictate at least some of their balance changes, as they so often comment. We cry out when things feel poorly tuned or unappealing because we love Heroes of the Storm. But without data, we are left relying on subjective and ineffective hunches to discuss balance; with it, we can support our assertions, and be proactive when things aren’t moving. Having access to exact player statistics also allows players to track and compare their progress, instills players with a sense of competition, and allows for watchdogging of the matchmaking system.
      I feel I must insist on how difficult proper design- and system-related criticism is to produce without data at our disposal. Transparency might mean exposing yourself to scrutiny, Blizzard, but it also means significantly improving your image, and providing yourself with an effective way of self-regulating. I suppose this is where I mention that the company has been displaying questionable transparency as of late; Overwatch doesn’t have an API either (though it is regularly discussed by Blizzard staff, and scraping websites do exist as well), and Hearthstone players can’t see their win rates or match history. By contrast, Warcraft III still lets you browse its ladder.
      The creation of an API is not the only way Blizzard can improve its transparency, however. In fact, an API might not even be necessary if all desirable information was simply given to us somewhere or in some form. Some of it is available, such as individual player statistics, but remains hidden behind a clunky, hermetic system that requires you to work through the chat or friends list system to use. In other words, if you want to look a specific player up, they need to be in a chat room with you (general channel, in-game, and so on) or on your friends list. No ladder exists outside of the Grandmaster ladder and unofficial ladders spawned by data websites. The match history log makes no listing of who played with you. There’s no way to see anyone’s mmr (matchmaking rating), including your own, so you can never tell if you’re being matched with and against players of your skill level. And to this I must ask a resounding “Why?”
      tl;dr: Heroes of the Storm lacks the basic level of transparency other similar games have accustomed players to having. This lack of transparency makes it difficult to assess the quality of the matchmaking system and of balance and design changes. The reliance upon third-party websites for such basic data creates a number of ethical issues.
       
      III) The Reconnection System
      If I were asked to point out the most frustrating element in Heroes of the Storm, this might just be it. If you’ve never experienced being dropped out of match before, for whatever reason – crashes, connection or computer issues, and so on – here’s how it goes: after obviously relaunching the game, you are treated to a screen inviting you to rejoin your game in progress. There are no other options here, not even an exit button; you either hit “Rejoin” to, well, attempt to rejoin the match, or ALT+F4 your way out of Heroes of the Storm. That’s fine; it incentivizes players to not purposefully disconnect from their matches to go and play another match right away. For some obscure reason, however, this screen doesn’t always appear. I’m not sure what triggers this problem, but if this happens to you, you’re done. There’s no rejoining that game, and you’ll be awarded a loss, your rating will feel the consequences of a left game (that’s 600 points – or 3 wins worth of points, on average) regardless of the match’s outcome. You might also earn yourself a leaver status, on top of potential player reports. This is a rather rare occurrence, however.
      Under normal circumstances, the Rejoin screen will appear, and you’ll hit rejoin, naturally. If the game you’re trying to rejoin is in the process of ending, however (in the Defeat/MVP screens), you’ll be stuck on this screen for an indefinite period of time and have to reboot the game. Again, you’ll be awarded a leave & loss. If the Rejoin button does work, you’ll have to go through the classic Loading screen. Once this is done, you hop right back into the match and get the full control of your Hero and, ready to make a comeback. At least, that's what you'd expect from playing League of Legends, DotA II, or Smite.
      No. After this short loading period, you’ll experience one of the most bizarre and scary things in Heroes of the Storm: The “Reconnect Successful” screen. It looks like this:

      Well, is it? Where'd the game go?

      I’m not certain why it exists, and I certainly don’t claim to understand the underlying systems, but this screen might be best described as some kind of limbo where you hear every sound (including death “bings”) in the match and see every shattered screen from the AI controlling your hero’s inevitable, repeated deaths, in a fast forward kind of replay. As the image above shows, during this time, you’re trapped “catching up” because “the server is X minutes ahead” of you. The quirkiest part of this strange experience, however, is that the time it takes you to reconnect is directly proportional to the current length of the match. On average, you can divide this length by four and end up with a pretty good guess of how long it’ll take you to actually successfully reconnect. Since most Heroes of the Storm matches last between 15 and 20 minutes, disconnecting at any point after 12 minutes means you’ve probably lost, or at least made the match excessively difficult (and more importantly, frustrating) for your teammates. If you do manage to finally reconnect, you’ll have to deal with the AI’s suboptimal talent choices, just to add insult to injury. As it stands, disconnections simply end up being too impactful. Nobody likes their losses (and victories, for that matter) to be defined by outside factors. Online tournaments, too, are affected by this, as thousands of viewers often end up held hostage by the system.
      I feel like I need to reiterate here that I don’t claim understand how the system works. What I do know is that this is the most frustrating reconnection system I have ever experienced, in any game. There’s no sugar coating this one: The process simply needs to become faster; the dreaded “Reconnection Successful” screen has to go. Players need a way to force the system to put them back into matches if the Rejoin screen fails. AI-controlled heroes need to stop picking talents for you; have we considered implementing a shared unit control system instead?
       
      IV) The Replay System
      Heroes of the Storm’s replay system shares its biggest issue with the reconnection system: Skipping through replays also happens to be an awfully slow process. Jumping to the end of a 16 minutes game took about 2 minutes of loading time, leading me to believe that replays can’t “seek” any faster than their 8x maximum play speed. Thankfully, scanning only has to be performed once; subsequent skipping is much faster. This lengthy initial loading time can still certainly turn off content producers from browsing replays to create highlight reels or showcase certain aspects of the game if they have a number of replays to go through. This also disincentivizes players from reviewing their matches to go over specific events or study certain strategies. Other than that, the replay system is functional, but very bare bones. Blizzard is obviously aware of this because they’ve officially promoted Ahli’s work on a better replay interface. But even with these enhanced features, the system’s polish and features pale in comparison to DotA II’s and League of Legends’ own.
       
      V) The Queue System
      Although I find queues to be on the long side of things, I can at least understand how the system would struggle to find an appropriate match for players with unusually high win rates, let alone 5 of us – and especially when considering that the game’s population is split across six different game modes. What I do find completely unacceptable, however, is receiving the all too familiar “A player you were matched with has disconnected or left the service” message followed by the need to go through the entire queue again. My group typically has to wait between 8 and 10 minutes to find Quick Match and Unranked matches, and often twice as long for Team League matches. Forcing 9 people to go through the entire process is both insulting and inefficient; if the system has found a match, why not just toss all 9 of us back into the queue and just look for one more instead of wasting some 90 minutes of collective time? Again, I don’t claim to understand the system, but other games do it, and for good reasons. This behavior is considered baseline, not exceptional.

      Awfully typical.
       
      VI) The Drafting System
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      VII) Bonus Comments About Other Systems
      Here are some other thoughts that I feel don’t really need a dedicated paragraph to be taken into consideration. In no particular order:
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      Conclusion
      Heroes of the Storm is relatively feature-rich as far as modern MOBAs go. Unfortunately, many of these features and systems feel unpolished or underexplored when compared to the game's competitors. While it's difficult to tell just how much they affect the game's popularity, Blizzard has a history of continuously improving and supporting its games over their extensive lifetimes. Furthermore, many developer comments hint at improvements for some of the topics underlined in this article to be announced no later than this BlizzCon, making me excited about what's to come. I'll be there in person to report everything, so stay tuned!
    • By Oxygen

       
      We present our twelfth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Junkrat patch of October 2017.
      Our twelfth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of October 2017 is here!
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      Using the list
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      Prime Tier
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      Core Tier
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      Viable Tier
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      Niche Tier
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      Bottom Tier
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      Metagame assessment
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    • By Stan

      The free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of October 24.
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: October 24, 2017
    • By Stan

      Heroes of the Storm Highlights are back with the 93rd episode of WTF Moments.
      If you have any interesting replays to share, you can submit them here, but don't forget to include a time stamp!
      Previous Episodes
      WTF Moments Episode 92 WTF Moments Episode 91 WTF Moments Episode 90 WTF Moments Episode 89