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Probius Hero Reveal & Patch Preview

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Enough teasing! The latest Hero to join the Nexus is Probius! The next patch brings huge improvements to the game's UI, allowing faster game reading. Party frames now offer real-time information. 

New Hero Probius

Blizzard unveiled a new Hero today at IEM Katowice. It's Starcraft's Probius! Abilities and partial talents have been published here. The introduction trailer can be watched below.

Since his activation, Probius has always wanted to prove himself. He may be small, but he made a big difference by warping in a critical pylon during the retaking of Aiur. As the bravest of probes, Probius is eager to fulfill his purpose in the Nexus.

Probius in Action

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Patch Preview

The forthcoming Heroes of the Storm patch brings a lot of UI improvements providing players with real-time information during matches, allowing to read the game more easily. The way how killstreaks and takedowns are announced has been improved. The look and feel of death recap tab was also updated. Heroes receiving reworks are Arthas, Anub'arak, Cho'gall and Gazlowe.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment (Source)

We’ve been working on a slew of updates for Heroes of the Storm’s in-game UI, and we’re very excited to announce that everything we’re unveiling today will come to the game in our next patch! Read on as we break everything down. 

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Keep Your Friends Close...

If you’ve ever watched one of your replays, or tuned in to any Heroes Global Championship broadcasts, then our new Party Frames UI may feel familiar already. We like how our observer interface communicates the status of individual players during replays, and feel that bringing this aspect of the interface into live Heroes matches will help players more easily read the current state of a game at any given moment.

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A quick glance at the top of the screen is all you’ll need to immediately see which players are alive or dead on either team, how much time is left before a player respawns, and even which Heroic Abilities each player has picked.

Better yet, Party Frames offer a ton of real-time information about your allies:

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As you can see above, Party Frames display each teammate’s current health and mana, animate whenever an ally is channeling Hearthstone, and display cooldown timers for their Heroic Abilities. Ideally, you’ll always have the right info when it comes time to decide whether to pick a fight with the enemy team or spend more time in lanes soaking up that sweet XP.

You may notice that we’ve condensed the center area of the interface that displays team levels, XP, and the game timer. While these elements are now more compact, they’ll communicate even more information than before:

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We’ve added an indicator next to each XP bar that will blink as teams approach their next talent tier. Additionally, if either team gains a talent tier over the other, their team level will be engulfed in flames to better signify that they have a talent advantage.

Don’t Stop Now, You’re On FIRE!

If you’ve been a Heroes of the Storm player for a long time, you may remember killstreak flames. Players who scored lots of takedowns would see their heroes’ nameplates erupt in flames and sparks to indicate that they were “on fire”.

We eventually removed killstreak flames, due in part to the visual clutter they brought to the game space, but we liked how they gave us another way to celebrate high-performing players. However, we also felt that there was much more to individual achievement than takedowns alone. With these things in mind, we completely overhauled the system and will be bringing it back in a different form:

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Rather than place fiery effects on nameplates, we’ve moved them to three different locations:

  • Party Frame hero portraits at the top of the screen
  • The stats tab on the in-game score screen
  • Your hero portrait in the bottom-left (so long as you are on fire, of course)

With the prior system, players could only tell who had earned killstreak flames when those players were on screen. Now, you can always see who the top performing players are at any given time by checking Party Frames, or the Stats screen.

Up to three of the ten players in a game can be “on fire” at any one time, and the better they perform compared to everyone else, the more intensely the flames around their portraits will glow. Don’t get discouraged if you’re not one of the first players to earn flames during a match! The game is constantly re-evaluating everyone’s performance, and just a few great plays can help you quickly snatch some fire for yourself. A single death will immediately snuff out your fiery highlights, so stay sharp once you’ve claimed your flames.

Show ‘Em How It’s Done

With our upcoming patch, we’ve revamped the way killstreaks and hero takedowns are called out in-game. Once in-game, you’ll find that we’ve added a new element to the left side of the screen that will give you even more opportunity to show off your battlefield prowess: The Kill Feed.

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Any time a player on either team scores a takedown, a notification will pop up in the kill feed on the left side of the screen. These notifications stack on top of one another, and have team-colored visual effects, so it’s easy to see exactly what went down during your last team fight.

Your hero portrait will appear on the left side of kill feed notifications when you score takedowns, and the heroes who were killed will appear on the right. As before, killing an enemy hero kicks off a killstreak timer. The more takedowns you participate in while the timer is active, the more enemy portraits will be added across from yours in the kill feed, and the more intense your on-screen killstreak callouts will become.

The Finer Things

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Since we were already working on all of the elements mentioned above, we also decided that the time was right to give the rest of the in-game UI a bit of a tune up. In our next patch, we’ve updated ability hotbars, the hero portrait, as well as health, mana, and buff bars to make them all a bit slimmer and sleeker. Additionally, we’ve polished up the stats and talents tabs on the in-game score screen, and completely updated the look and feel of the death recap tab.

We can’t wait to bring you all of this and more with our next Heroes of the Storm patch, which will hit the Public Test Realm next week. Check back on the official Heroes website in the next few days for more information about the upcoming patch, and be sure let us know what you think of all the new goodies after you’ve had the chance to try them out on the PTR.

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LOVE ALL OF THIS! Love when the heroes come out of left field and catch us off guard. Lucio did that some, but a probe?! YES PLEASE. Really curious to see how he pushes. Maybe Abathur style of generating minions? Vision and defense is clear.

Also, that UI looks slick. Clearly stolen from broadcasts and Overwatch, but the old adage "you know a really good idea when you want to steal it" is true.

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He is adorable as a Wall-E character. I loved his kit, seems very unique and fun to use.

But I'm mostly hyped about the Cho'gall rework. It's something they need A LOT.

Edited by Valhalen

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Very pretty, UI improvements are so nice to have. Been looking for this kind of display for quite a while now, and the streak / fire effects does keep in line with the faster pace on average HotS has over it's competition. 

Was really hoping for some more word on Uther and Tyrande, but hey, bringing Cho'gall and Arthas up to date is fine by me as well. 

Edited by Plergoth
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22 minutes ago, Plergoth said:

Was really hoping for some more word on Uther and Tyrande, but hey, bringing Cho'gall and Arthas up to date is fine by me as well. 

I wonder if Arthas will have a full rework or simply some tweaks, since he had a rework not long ago.

Still, I hope that at least Gazlowe and Cho'gall are getting full reworks. I'll be really pissed if they get some silly tweaks like Abathur on last patch (negligible buff to Symbiote damage).

Edited by Valhalen
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Ayy all interesting stuff! The only thing is I wonder if the UI will put more stress on the machine and work on lower settings. Probably negligible worries to most but to financially stretched and nubby peeps like me, it means a whole ton! Also new hero and possible Arthas buffs hurray! 

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4 hours ago, Valhalen said:

I wonder if Arthas will have a full rework or simply some tweaks, since he had a rework not long ago.

Still, I hope that at least Gazlowe and Cho'gall are getting full reworks. I'll be really pissed if they get some silly tweaks like Abathur on last patch (negligible buff to Symbiote damage).

agreed.  Both of them have been needing reworks for awhile now.

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Honestly, as a big protoss fan, this reveal is a bit disappointing.  I was hoping for an old favorite like Fenix, or perhaps Karax, or even Selendis (the player character from Brood War) over...well, some random probe.

Heck, aren't probes supposedly nonsentient, according to Starcraft lore? I seem to remember that, but I haven't been able to keep up with how radically Blizzard rewrote the lore when they made SC2. 

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36 minutes ago, FirstBlood said:

Honestly, as a big protoss fan, this reveal is a bit disappointing.  I was hoping for an old favorite like Fenix, or perhaps Karax, or even Selendis (the player character from Brood War) over...well, some random probe.

Heck, aren't probes supposedly nonsentient, according to Starcraft lore? I seem to remember that, but I haven't been able to keep up with how radically Blizzard rewrote the lore when they made SC2. 

I feel you, but let's think outside of the box a bit. Probius' gameplay and mechanics look very unique and experimental, something Specialists are usually known for. Blizzard is trying to implement new things so we don't end up with a roster like LoL and DotA, where there are too many characters that do pretty much the same thing.

Also, many of the aspects of Fenix (who was in fact one of the very first characters from Starcraft pitched to be in HotS) were incorporated into Artanis, so I don't think they will bring him to the game so soon. Now Selendis and Karax... Let's hope.

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10 hours ago, Valhalen said:

I wonder if Arthas will have a full rework or simply some tweaks, since he had a rework not long ago.

He still fulfils a niche rather well, and his pressure and control as a front line bruiser / tank is great, but he looks like a pixelated mess as one of the older Heroes, and some of the mechanics he has are just downright strange. My main gripe is the Death Coil self heal if you talent for it; to receive the healing from it, you have to literally wait for the missile to fly back to you for it. That's unreliable to say the least. 

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I know Icy Veins is not a dedicated Starcraft resource, but I should tell this story to uninitiated, because it's way too much KreyGasm for me to handle.

This announcement has been made on March 3, right? You know what also happened on March 3? A very big event for Starcraft Brood War. 10 years ago, on March 3, 2007, a Korean legend Bisu has revolutionized PvZ matchup for years to come. More story here, courtesy of Team Liquid guys. 

For those who have no clue, Bisu is famous for his outstanding Probe micro. He almost singlehandedly made Probe the most op unit in the game, (I'm dead serious, google any video named "Bisu Probe Micro"), so it only makes sense Blizzard add it to HotS like that. 

I can't even explain how much I'm pumped, being an avid Starcraft fan for all my life, pretty much. Is it a coincidence? I hope not. 

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23 hours ago, Laragon said:

Mighty protoss comp: Artanis, Alarak, Zeratul, Tassadar, Probius.

MY LIFE FOR AIUR!

I've certainly been waiting for an all-protoss comp, but I was thinking it'd be with a Karax or a Fenix (Dragoon Fenix could give it some much-needed ranged damage) rather than a non-entity.

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      Chromie has traveled to the future, and as such, will learn her Talents 2 levels earlier than her teammates! Detonate Time Trap Detonates active Time Traps. Basic Abilities
      Sand Blast [Q] (Mana: 20, Cooldown: 3 seconds)
      After 0.5 seconds, fire a missile that deals 280 damage to the first enemy hit. Deals 50% damage to Structures. Casting Sand Blast leaves an Echo behind that mimics Chromie's Sand Blast and Basic Attack, dealing 50% damage. Maximum of 1 Echo active at a time. Dragon's Breath [W] (Mana: 75, Cooldown: 15 seconds)
      Vector Targeting Launch 3 blasts into the air that land every 0.75 seconds towards the targeted direction, dealing 195 damage each. Time Trap [E] (Mana: 30, Cooldown: 15 seconds)
      Place a Time Trap that arms and Stealths after 2 seconds. Chromie's Trait can be activated to detonate the trap, placing all nearby allied or enemy Heroes in Time Stop for 2 seconds. Maximum of 1 trap active at a time. Heroic Abilities
      Slowing Sands [R1] (Mana: 4 per second, Cooldown: 5 seconds)
      Summon a sand vortex that Slows enemies by 5% every 0.25 seconds, up to 70%. Temporal Loop [R2] (Mana: 60, Cooldown: 50 seconds)
      Choose an enemy Hero. After 3 seconds, they are telported back to the location where Temporal Loop was cast on them. Basic Abilities recharge 500% faster for 3 seconds after casting Temporal Loop. Talents
      Level 1
      Once Again the First Time [Q]
      Quest: Hit 40 Heroes with Sand Blast. Reward: Increase the maximum number of active Echoes to 2. Deep Breathing [W]
      Quest: Every time Dragon's Breath hits a Hero increase its damage by 2, up to 50. Reward: After hitting 25 Heroes, increase its damage by an additional 50 and also increase Chromie's vision radius by 100%. Timewalker's Pursuit [Active, Cooldown: 25 seconds]
      Quest: Gather 15 Regeneration Globes. Reward: After gathering 15 Globes, Chromie gains 5% Spell Power and her Mana Regeneration is increased by 1. Level 2
      Chronic Conditions [E]
      After its Time Stop ends, enemies affected by Time Trap are Slowed by 25% or 3 seconds and allies gain 25% Movement Speed for 3 seconds. Time Troubles [E]
      After its Time Stop ends, enemies affected by Time Trap lose 20 Armor for 3 seconds and allies gain 20 Armor for 3 seconds. Andorhal Anomaly [E]
      Increases the charges and maximum active Time Traps to 3, and reduce its cooldown by 5 seconds. Level 5
      Bronze Talons [Q]
      Hitting a Hero with Sand Blast grants 30% additional Basic Attack damage for 5 seconds. Mobius Loop [W]
      Hitting a Hero with Dragon's Breath reduces its cooldown by 1.5 seconds and restores 40 Mana. A Proper Greeting [Passive]
      Damaging a Stunned, Rooted or Slowed enemy Hero grants 25% additional damage for 5 seconds. Level 8
      Slowing Sands [R1] (Mana: 4 per second, Cooldown: 5 seconds)
      Summon a sand vortex that Slows enemies by 5% every 0.25 seconds, up to 70%. Temporal Loop [R2] (Mana: 60, Cooldown: 50 seconds)
      Choose an enemy Hero. After 3 seconds, they are telported back to the location where Temporal Loop was cast on them. Basic Abilities recharge 500% faster for 3 seconds after casting Temporal Loop. Level 11
      Gnome Speed Ahead! [Q]
      After casting Sand Blast, Chromie gains 20% Movement Speed and 200% inreased Health and Mana Regeneration for 3 seconds. Here and There [Active, Cooldown: 30 seconds]
      Activate to teleport to an area near an Echo, swapping it with Chromie's previous location. Time Out [Active]
      Activate to place Chromie in Stasis and gain Invulnerability for up to 5 seconds. Can be reactivated to end the effect early. Level 14
      Shifting Sands [Q]
      Hitting an enemy Hero with Sand Blast grants 8% Spell Power for 10 seconds, up to a maximum of 40%. The duration is refreshed whenever an enemy is damaged by the primary Sand Blast. Fast Forward [Q]
      If Sand Blast travels at least 70% of its base distance and hits a Hero, its cooldown is reduced to 0.75 seconds. Quantum Overdrive [Active, Cooldown: 30 seconds]
      Activate to increase Spell Power by 25% for 10 seconds. Level 18
      Unraveling [R1]
      Every 0.25 seconds, enemy Heroes Slowed by Slowing Sands have their Spell Armor reduced by 2 up to 30. Stuck in a Loop [R2]
      Temporal Loop teleports the target a second time after the first, and Basic Abilities continue recharging for an additional 3 seconds Piercing Sands [Q]
      Sand Blast now pierces all enemies hit. Blessing of the Bronze [Passive]
      While Chromie is alive, her all allied Heroes gain 10% Movement Speed and their Basic Abilities recharge 30% faster. Lucio
      Trait
      Push Off [D]
      While moving alongside terrain, activate to slide towards a targeted location. Enemies hit take 100 damage and are Slowed by 75% for 1 second. Basic Abilities
      Soundwave [Q] (Mana: 30, Cooldown: 7 seconds)
      Deal 105 damage to enemies in an area and knock them back. Crossfade [W]
      Play one of two music tracks for Lucio and his allies. Crossfade - Healing Boost: Passively heal Lucio and nearby allied Heroes for 15 health per second. Crossfade - Speed Boost: Increase the Movement Speed of Lucio and nearby allied Heroes by 10%. Amp It Up [E] (Mana: 90, Cooldown: 13 seconds)
      Raise Lucios Crossfade track volume for 3 seconds, amping Healing Boost to 112 health per second and Speed Boost to 30% increased Movement Speed. Heroic Abilities
      Sound Barrier [R1] (Mana: 100, Cooldown: 80 seconds)
      After 1 secnd, Lucio and nearby Allied Heroes gain a 1296 point Shield that rapidly decays over 6 seconds. High Five [R2] (Mana 50, Cooldown: 15 seconds per ally)
      Quickly skate to an allied Hero. Upon arrival, the ally is granted Unstoppable for 1 second and is healed for 250. Talents
      Level 1
      Party Mix [W]
      Quest: Play Lucio's Crossfade tracks to nearby allies for a total of 8 minutes. Multiple allies provide additional time. Reward: Permanently increase Crossfade's range by 20%. Accelerando [Z]
      Wall Ride's Movement Speed bonus gradually increases to 40% over 4 seconds while Lucio maintains its effect. Smooth Moves [Z]
      While Wall Ride is active, Basic Attacks heal for 30% of the damage dealt and restore 0.5 Mana. Passive: Increase Wall Ride duration by 1 second. Level 4
      Subwoofer [Q]
      Enemies within the first half of Soundwave's range are knocked back 75% further. Quest: Hit 3 enemy Heroes with a single Soundwave. Reward: Increase Soundwave's arc by 50% and its range by 20%. Off the Wall [Q]
      Hitting an enemy with Soundwave while Wall Ride is active reduces its cooldown by 3 seconds. Supersonic [D]
      While Wall Ride is active, Push Off's cooldown recharges 100% faster. Level 7
      Good Vibrations [Q]
      Hitting an enemy with Soundwave grants Lucio a 35 Shield for 7 seconds. Hitting enemy Heroes grants 3 times this amount. Reverse Amp [W]
      Blast Lucio's active Crossfade track at enemy Heroes. While Amp It Up is active, Healing Boost deals 50 damage per second and Speed Boost Slows by 20%. This ability is unaffected by Crossfade talents Boombox [Active, Cooldown: 20 seconds)
      Place a boombox that plays Lucio's active Crossfade track for 30 seconds. Its volume adjusts with Amp It Up. Crossfade tracks do not stack. Level 10
      Sound Barrier [R1] (Mana: 100, Cooldown: 80 seconds)
      After 1 secnd, Lucio and nearby Allied Heroes gain a 1296 point Shield that rapidly decays over 6 seconds. High Five [R2] (Mana 50, Cooldown: 15 seconds per ally)
      Quickly skate to an allied Hero. Upon arrival, the ally is granted Unstoppable for 1 second and is healed for 250. Level 13
      All Together [W]
      For each ally affected by Crossfade, Lucio gains 5% Movement Speed that stacks with other bonuses. Heavy Casters [D]
      Push Off no longer Slows enemies, and instead Stuns them for 0.5 seconds. Slip [Z]
      While Wall Ride is active, passing near an enemy Hero increases its Movement Speed bonus to 40% for 1 second. Passive: Wall Ride grants 20 Armor. Level 16
      Rejuvenescencia [E]
      While Amp It Up is active, Crossfade's Healing Boost heals for an additional 2.5% of the target's maximum Health each second.
      Up the Frequency [E]
      Hitting enemy Heroes with Basic Attacks reduces the cooldown of Amp It Up by 0.45 seconds. Passive: Wall Ride increases Basic Attack range by 2.2. Up To Eleven [Active, Cooldown: 60 seconds]
      Activate to extend the duration of Amp It Up by 2 seconds. Level 20
      Boss Nova [R1]
      Reduce the cooldown of Sound Barrier to 30 seconds, but the Shield now decays over 4 seconds. Mixing Fire [R2]
      High Five can now be cast on enemy Heroes, dealing 225 damage and reducing all healing received by 50% for 3 seconds. Passive: Increase the duration of Amp It Up by 1 second. House Party [W]
      For each ally affected by Crossfade, Lucio gains 10% increased healing. Summer Anthem [Active, Cooldown: 75 seconds]
      Activate for all other allies affected by Crossfade to become Unkillable for 1.5 seconds.
    • By Stan
      The Heroes team recently talked about Loss Forgiveness, Storm League seeding, and solo queue in a series of blue posts on Reddit.
      Loss Forgiveness Clarifications
      Loss Forgiveness was discussed during the Ranked & Balance & Matchmaking AMA of March 6. The new feature is there to help soften the impact of a team with a player missing a significant portion of a match which contributes to a potentional loss. We learned that it has undergone significant development and the team still plans to implement it to the game. Yesterday, however, the Heroes team informed us that there are still some edge cases that impact the release of Loss Forgiveness. The tricky portion of the feature is to truly determine, whether a player has connection issues or is disconnecting on purpose.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Do you plan to implement a loss forgiveness mechanic for being matched with AFK/Disconnected players in ranked?
      Hello Midnight7_7:) Firstly I'd like to let you know that the The Loss Forgiveness feature has undergone significant development, and is something we still plan on delivering. However, there are quite a few edge cases that we need to consider when developing this feature in order to make sure it provides the best experience for you, the player.  Let's break this question down into a few scenarios: 
      A game completes while a player is disconnected: A leaver penalty is already applied to the account and the user is no longer able to participate in ranked matches until they have played the required amount non ranked matches. This scenario is already handled. 
      A player is disconnected for a significant portion of the match: This is the Loss Forgiveness feature that we would like to polish.
      Update Posted on March 18th
      Hey folks,
      I'd like to bring some clarity to the second point that was intentionally left vague as we are working around some of the edge cases that impact the release of this feature.
      The Loss Forgiveness feature is designed to help soften the impact of a team with a player missing a significant portion of a match which contributes to a potential loss. Ideas that that we've considered and are still polishing up are:
      The amount of time a player needs to be absent for before they significantly lessen the chance for their team to win. If the team who experienced the absent player wins - still award the win. If the team who experienced the absent player loses - forgive the loss. If the offending player has a frequent history of being absent for significant portions of a match, apply a stricter penalty that impacts their rank. The duration of time the player will be flagged as a frequent deserter will be for the remainder of the season. The tricky situation around the polish of Loss Forgiveness is determining if a player truly disconnected or is experiencing (potentially widespread) connectivity issues outside of their control. In the event the player is experiencing connectivity issues, we feel it may be unfair to apply a stricter penalty that impacts their rank. On the other hand, for players who are intentionally frequently absent from a game, the stricter penalty needs to be applied otherwise the system can be exploited.
      I hope this brings some additional clarity around some of the misunderstandings.
      Using Team League MMR to Seed Storm League & Single Queue
      Hero and Team League will be merged into Storm League, a single Ranked queue, in the latest content patch that arrives on live servers next week. The starting MMR in Storm League will be taken from a player's last highest MMR from Hero or Team League, whichever is higher. One reason why the Heroes team is okay with that, despite the unbalanced Team League, is because they plan to cap everyone at Diamond 5, so boosted players will have to fight their way up the ranks.
      They're also internally considering the return of Solo Queue (being matched with other solo players), but it won't ship with the new Season.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Blizzard, it is no secret that TL is a highly unbalanced mess where ranks are made up and points don't matter. I assume you don't want to completely ostracize players that exclusively play TL, but I would highly recommend you ignore TL entirely when it comes to seeding Storm League. If you do not I fear the clown fiesta that Ranked is now will only be enhanced and your new mode will be DOA.
      Good afternoon Reddit friends,
      We have been hearing this feedback loud and clear, and have talked about it internally a lot. We understand your feelings about this and are working very hard to make sure that Storm League is fun, competitive, and inviting to all players interested in it.
      The major reason we are okay with taking the highest between both current Leagues is because we plan to 'clamp' the high-end of the player base. The exact clamp position is still subject to change, but we are currently targeting an MMR equivalent of Diamond 5. This means that even players that were previously 'boosted' in TL games, will have to fight their way back into higher rankings. 'Boosted' players that don't actually deserve their current MMR should fall to where they belong over time, and with the incoming decay changes, will not be able to place high and then just quit.
      We are still very hard at work on a lot of this stuff, so please continue to give your feedback and discuss all of the stuff you are looking forward to, as well as the things you would like to see changed!
      Have a wonderful PTR day!
      Thank you for the reply. Could you tell us if there will be a solo queue only possibilty? Like to only queue vs other solo players?
      We have talked about this internally and think it's a great idea. We also bounced-around the idea of each player having two visible MMR's as well (solo and group).
      The chance of it shipping with the first season is very small though, as we still have a huge amount of work to finish the current scope.
      So correct me if I'm wrong. What you're saying is that the highest rank anyone will be able to achieve when Storm league goes live is (for now)D5? Is it for TL MMR only or both?
      For both - but again, that is still subject to change as we continue fleshing out the full feature.