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Introducing Heroes of the Storm 2.0

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Plenty of changes are coming to the game on all levels. There's a new progression system, better rewards, new Heroes and much more. 

Game Designer Alan Dabiri talks about unique Hero designs, such as Cho'gall and Ragnaros, Heroes esports evolving and at the same time, introducing a new era known as Heroes of the Storm 2.0. It all starts today on PTR.

Progression 2.0

  • There's no cap on Hero levels and the account level will now be a summary of all your Hero levels. More details available in the progression spotlight below.

Progression Preview

A quick look at the new progression system.

Reward Changes

  • Loot chests that can contain almost any item in the game, will be added to the game and you get them as you level up Heroes. They contain Legendary skins and even Heroes themselves.
  • You can purchase featured items with Gems, a new currency that replaces real money. You purchase Gems with real money and you get some of them when you reach Level 5 to get you started.

New Customizations

  • More customization is coming, Blizzard is adding announcers, banners, sprays, emojis and voice lines into the game. These will also be available from loot chests.

Shards

  • A new forge currency for cosmetics is being added and you can get them either from loot chests or by receiving duplicate items. 
  • Allow unlocking of a cosmetic item simply by playing the game.

Collection Tab

  • Quick access to everything you unlocked in the game. You can set loadouts there.

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I'm pretty stoked for this, there's a lot of characters that have a bunch of different skins I want.

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Ability to get paid skins for free is the first thing that comes to mind with this, which for a free to play player like me is a wonderful introduction to the game. Will make the people who value vanity and pimping their heroes spend more, which gives Blizzard more money. Unless there are some subtle changes that i am not aware of, this sounds like a perfect patch for Heroes to become more appealing for everyone and gain some of that very expensive on the MOBA scene, as it has been dominated by League and DOTA for so long. Probably wont be that big spike to the appeal of the game, but large enough.

Cant wait for this to get to the live server, the beta is up already as far as I know.

By the way do you guys know if the Crates will give you skins of heroes you already don't own? They should give them, with all common sense applied, although Blizzard's logic has been questionable so many times i'm not even 100% sure anymore.

(Edit, also don't even think that ETC change did anything. Its basically just the same hp counting you get decent armor uptime and echo pedal doing same amount to minions as before and half damage to heroes as before, sounds like something but the talent was only picked for waveclear anyways. Also the show stopper nerf is nothing because ETC has 2 other OP lv16s too)

(Another edit, sorry, brain is dead today. The removal of attack speed buff actually is pretty big, makes him not super OP anymore on BoE for exemple)

Edited by BrightwingMain

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Oh boy, oh boy. Now I can obtain that precious Demonic Helsteed, the only item I ever needed in HotS.

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When I first saw this in the official HotS YouTube I thought it was an April Fools joke. I'm so surprised and hyped about all those changes. This just show how much Blizzard actually cares into making solid content instead of manipulating the fan base to fill their pockets.

I really hope we get The Lost Vikings as announcers.

Edited by Valhalen

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I'm extremely excited to get skins. I am curious though, is this replacing the traditional method to unlock heroes? 

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I am super excited! These changes look like they bring what we've been hoping for - a F2P way to obtain those cool-looking skins. Finally I'll be able to get all the Illidan skins (even though I suspect it will take me ages).

I am confused about Blizzard's strategy now. They make a greedy move, then they follow up with a generous move and repeat. I am more than happy to see that the generous move was a huge one. 

What items are you going to save up your shards for?

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This looks cool. Finally I'll be able to actually level up heroes again, they're stuck on 8-9 for the ones I play consistently. It's a bit strange that they're adding gems though, but I don't pay money so I don't mind. The shards will be really good. I wonder if people who are level 40 will get the new rewards when this is implemented or are they gonna move the level back down

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3 hours ago, positiv2 said:

I am confused about Blizzard's strategy now. They make a greedy move, then they follow up with a generous move and repeat. I am more than happy to see that the generous move was a huge one. 

What items are you going to save up your shards for?

Maybe it is because they realized it works very well for Overwatch.

I think I'll save Shards for the Lil Ragnaros, Storm Mantle Malfurion, Bucaneer Falstad and Vrykul Leoric. But we seriously need The Lost Vikings announcers.

Edited by Valhalen

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Why do I feel like this might well be one big April Fool's joke from Blizzard? o_O? I hope it's not, cause it does look really cool for the most part.

BUT here's my worry...

From watching Nubkeks video about it he says that the loot chest cap for all your current level progress at the change over will be 70 loot chest. Which is pretty damn sh*tty considering you would get 1 chest per character level and your character level is equal to your total in hero levels.

So if you have all 65 heroes leveled to, let's say, at LEAST lvl 6 (since they all start at lvl 1 that lvl doesn't count) then you would be lvl 325.  You chest at the rate of an Epic every 25 lvls. Rare every 5 lvls. And a regular loot chest every lvl. So now let's assume that chest cap of 70 is for each type of chest. Then you'll get 13 Epic chest, 65 Rare chest, and ONLY 70 regular loot chest cause of the cap. So you'd be completely screwed out of an additional 255 regular loot chest because you've played the game so much and got all the heroes to at least lvl 6 for the gold and their portrait.

THAT seems pretty damn sh*tty for all of us that put in all that time playing and loving their game and they say 'Oh sorry you're just gonna have to eat those extra 250 or so loot chest you would have got. I guess you shouldn't have played and enjoyed our game so much.' In-fact with 65 heroes in the game now you would have had to basically just started even playing the game and only lvled every character to lvl 2 or 3 to get below or just have meet that low of a chest cap. Hell let's say you only started playing the game like 2 or 3 weeks ago for the WoW mount quest that just ended. You really liked HOTS and have kept playing it too. Then you're still almost sure to have gotten up enough hero lvls to already have met and exceeded that 70 loot chest cap for lvls by then too. Even if you only played against AI for a hour or two a day to finish the 'For Azeroth!' event and do daily quest too.

And IF that 70 chest cap is right then I would really just prefer they let us keep playable the heroes we already unlocked BUT start all our heroes back at lvl 1 when this goes live so we don't get screwed on all those free loot chest we would have got with all that stuff in them. Especially since it looks like so many other things are changing skins and such wise too.

So yeah... Honestly, other then the possibility of it being an April Fool's Day joke on us all, that's my biggest issue/worry with this whole HOTS 2.0 thing. Well that and constant shitty emote and spray crap in almost every damn loot box you open like in Overwatch. And of course the usual 'gems' microtransaction sh*t like in every cell phone game these days too doesn't sound fun, but at least it looks like you get a fair bit of gems and stuff from just playing all the time even without spending real money.

And it is nice (if this is real) that you can FINALLY get all the other mounts for gold/shards rather then paying F**KING $10 for just one single mount. Mounts that they only had up for sale for like 2 weeks before they pull it down for 3 months or just never let you get it again unless it's in some $30-$75 bundle bullsh*t. But I digress. I've talked too much... someone else talk now :p

Edited by CyberDVonaven
Wanted to add a few things

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4 hours ago, positiv2 said:

What items are you going to save up your shards for?

Hmm... well assuming this is real, then from the looks of it I'll be saving up to get some of this Announcer packs. The Brightwing one sounds adorable. 'You have died :( ... I will give you a hug!' Would make me feel a bit better when I die all the time :p. Yaaayyy Brightwing hugs! :D <3 Adorable. I imagine her also saying something at the 20 kills 'HERO OF THE STORM!!!!' would be more like 'You're the bestest hero ever! I love you!' <3<3<3 :D Super cuteness

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1 hour ago, CyberDVonaven said:

From watching Nubkeks video about it he says that the loot chest cap for all your current level progress at the change over will be 70 loot chest. Which is pretty damn sh*tty considering you would get 1 chest per character level and your character level is equal to your total in hero levels.

I would get over 500 loot chests. But honestly, getting so many chests instantly takes the fun out of the new system. I would most likely get everything I don't have yet and then the whole system becomes pointless. However the level scaling has been optimized so we can still get tons of chests from our heroes.

The riot about the amount of chests is a bit too much. 70 chests are still a lot. I guess players are as greedy as Blizzard.

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I assume they figure out a good way to be (or seem) generous to their customers as well as still making enough money out of the game. The cap for chests is indeed no fun, not because I am greedy, because players love progression and a stop in progression takes out some of the fun but this is the point where Blizzard tries to make you(us) pay real money again, I guess :D

/Edit: I guess I misunderstood it a bit. The 70 chests cap is just for start for those who already have leveled a lot so far, but since there is no longer a limit to leveling and a consistent and lower xp requirement for higher hero levels you will keep getting chests, so nothing wrong with that ^^

Edited by Caldyrvan

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7 hours ago, CyberDVonaven said:

Why do I feel like this might well be one big April Fool's joke from Blizzard? o_O? I hope it's not, cause it does look really cool for the most part.

It's usually bad form to do an Aprils fools' joke before the 1st. Also, Blizz have just been too quiet lately. Like yeah, there's new heroes, but they were probably made months ago. I feel like this has been in the works for a while and there was a deadline rush after Machines of War because that was the last major thing (kinda neglecting Brawls since they would be simple enough to implement)

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7 hours ago, Alkasar991 said:

I would get over 500 loot chests. But honestly, getting so many chests instantly takes the fun out of the new system. I would most likely get everything I don't have yet and then the whole system becomes pointless. However the level scaling has been optimized so we can still get tons of chests from our heroes.

The riot about the amount of chests is a bit too much. 70 chests are still a lot. I guess players are as greedy as Blizzard.

You're right. Considering they removed the level cap, it makes sense we'll continue earning more chests.

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I personally don't believe it's an april fool's joke. They usually do minor funnies for that case, just like this Loganzim skin from the comment above.

 

So looking forward to seeing this HotS 2.0.

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11 hours ago, Alkasar991 said:

I would get over 500 loot chests.

With your current total hero level or your total hero level after 2.0 goes live (which will be a lot more)? :D or will all levels remain the same, I think I was only reading you will not lose levels.  But if high level heroes remain the same it will be a lot of hard grinded XP lost.

Edited by Caldyrvan

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5 hours ago, Jonar said:

I personally don't believe it's an april fool's joke. They usually do minor funnies for that case, just like this Loganzim skin from the comment above.

 

So looking forward to seeing this HotS 2.0.

Except that this skin will be in the game. It will be called Berserker Kharazim. I wish he was using a different costume though. 

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21 hours ago, CyberDVonaven said:

From watching Nubkeks video about it he says that the loot chest cap for all your current level progress at the change over will be 70 loot chest. Which is pretty damn sh*tty considering you would get 1 chest per character level and your character level is equal to your total in hero levels.

So if you have all 65 heroes leveled to, let's say, at LEAST lvl 6 (since they all start at lvl 1 that lvl doesn't count) then you would be lvl 325.  You chest at the rate of an Epic every 25 lvls. Rare every 5 lvls. And a regular loot chest every lvl. So now let's assume that chest cap of 70 is for each type of chest. Then you'll get 13 Epic chest, 65 Rare chest, and ONLY 70 regular loot chest cause of the cap. So you'd be completely screwed out of an additional 255 regular loot chest because you've played the game so much and got all the heroes to at least lvl 6 for the gold and their portrait.

THAT seems pretty damn sh*tty for all of us that put in all that time playing and loving their game and they say 'Oh sorry you're just gonna have to eat those extra 250 or so loot chest you would have got. I guess you shouldn't have played and enjoyed our game so much.' In-fact with 65 heroes in the game now you would have had to basically just started even playing the game and only lvled every character to lvl 2 or 3 to get below or just have meet that low of a chest cap. Hell let's say you only started playing the game like 2 or 3 weeks ago for the WoW mount quest that just ended. You really liked HOTS and have kept playing it too. Then you're still almost sure to have gotten up enough hero lvls to already have met and exceeded that 70 loot chest cap for lvls by then too. Even if you only played against AI for a hour or two a day to finish the 'For Azeroth!' event and do daily quest too.

And IF that 70 chest cap is right then I would really just prefer they let us keep playable the heroes we already unlocked BUT start all our heroes back at lvl 1 when this goes live so we don't get screwed on all those free loot chest we would have got with all that stuff in them. Especially since it looks like so many other things are changing skins and such wise too.

I see what you mean and they do seem to be favouring new players but at the same time, the chest cap isn't that bad because they're probably accounting for the fact that a lot of vets might have the stuff that's been released up until now and to avoid overloading them with shards. They may have come up this cap as a sort of average to give each current player a fair chance at getting the new stuff as well as stuff they mightn't have. So yeah, you're getting cheated out of some chests, but for long terms players, they'd have more "loot" than the new news

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10 hours ago, Caldyrvan said:

With your current total hero level or your total hero level after 2.0 goes live (which will be a lot more)? :D or will all levels remain the same, I think I was only reading you will not lose levels.  But if high level heroes remain the same it will be a lot of hard grinded XP lost.

We will all have more levels than before if we have some heroes above 5 :) Looking at the new XP curve, it shows that I might get 3 extra levels for each level 10 hero. But I don't want to do the maths right now haha.

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But I am still curious but not sure, a) do your higher level heroes get levels (due to the lower xp curve)? and b) are the number of chest thrown out at you on patch day calculated based on your current or your new total hero level? If it is the later case, a lot of ppl will get the 70 chest, if it is the first case, you would need to have all heroes at level 12-13 to reach the chest cap.

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7 hours ago, Caldyrvan said:

But I am still curious but not sure, a) do your higher level heroes get levels (due to the lower xp curve)? and b) are the number of chest thrown out at you on patch day calculated based on your current or your new total hero level? If it is the later case, a lot of ppl will get the 70 chest, if it is the first case, you would need to have all heroes at level 12-13 to reach the chest cap.

For the first part, I'm sure I read on the announcement page (the proper one) that since they're reducing the xp needed to reach higher levels, heroes at level 20 who are still played a bit could go up to level 50. So I think the way they're doing it is that if your heroes is of a certain xp, they'll put them at the level that xp would get them in the new curve. But this is increase only, if you were to lose a level (the example they use is if you're halfway to level 4) then you'd just retain the fraction you were at (so on patch day you'd still be halfway to level 4, but you would need more xp to reach level 4 than before patch). 

 

For the second part, I dunno

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Thank you. I am still new (more or less) to HotS but if that's the way the 70 chests should be possible :D

Edited by Caldyrvan
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      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
      Although Heroes of the Storm heavily touts itself as a team-oriented game, I find it rather strange that we still do not have access to a draft hero trading system. I say “still” here because, as with the above features, hero trading is considered commonplace in the MOBA genre. My guess is that, at this point, there was an active decision to not include one. If this is the case, I must protest: On top of promoting draft interactions, hero trading reduces the impact of randomness in picking order. In other words, the system allows specialized late-pick players to focus on their role, and early-pick flex players to cover a broader variety of roles without feeling forced to play high priority heroes, regardless of the randomized picking order. Imagine yourself in a situation where your tank player might be the 4th or 5th player to pick on your team, in a metagame environment where tanks are generally prioritized. As the 1st pick, would you push your dedicated tank player’s away from their role so as to secure heroes considered high tier? As I mentioned earlier in this article, specializing one’s role is the norm, not the exception; the flexibility of this system is needed to reduce the randomness of drafting. I will mention that about a year ago, there were talks of adding such a system to the game. Here’s to hoping the upcoming BlizzCon will bring us good news about this. If the system does end up implemented, blanket chat blocks will have to be reworked to exclude lobbies. Or, at the very least, an indicator should show who isn’t receiving messages so that attempts at communicating aren’t in vain.
      While we’re at it, I’d also like to quickly touch on the horror that is giving AFK players a random hero instead of outright removing them from the game at hand. I don’t really have an argument for that one; it’s just annoying, and players who are serious about playing should be present for the drafting process.
       
      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:
      I’d like to be able to check out mounts in Try Mode. I wish I could use my Stimpacks whenever I please. As it stands, I don’t open Loot Chests unless I know I’ll be playing for a while, and if I do open a Stimpack by accident, I just ALT+F4 my way out of the game to preserve it. I would love to have an item gifting feature for my teammate’s birthday. I don’t particularly care for the forced MVP cut scene after every single match. I rarely see more than 2 people vote anyway; let’s at least have the option to opt out of it. I’d like to be able to check out anyone’s profile, at any time, if I happen to know their BattleTag. I wish my heroes were available across other regions. Players who opt out of receiving messages from non-friends probably shouldn’t be able to whisper other players.  
      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&nbsp;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!
      Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Junkrat patch. The goal if of this list is to try and detail game's current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame). Although tier listings are generally the product of balance, many factors come into play when discussing the relative perceived strengths of heroes, including player regions, maps, play style, skill level, and, of course, personal perception. As such, any tier list—including this very one—should never be interpreted as gospel, but rather, as a guide to better grasp what to expect with regards to typical drafting experiences. One useful application of such lists is to allow you know which heroes to look out for in terms of practice and counterplay, ultimately improving your knowledge of the game.
      Using the list
      As stated above, tier lists are easy to mistake for gospel. As new strategies are discovered and experimented with, so changes the perception of the relative strengths of each hero. Tier lists still prove to be useful as a snapshot of player expectations in terms of drafting. Although it is generally considered preferable to focus on high tier heroes (Prime and Core tiers), it is important to note that Heroes of the Storm's wild character and map designs make it so that any given hero's tier position is prone to fluctuate depending on the situation at hand.
      One classic example of such is that of Kerrigan on the Infernal Shrines map. Although we currently judge her to be a low-to-mid-tier hero, her drafting priority shoots up to first-pick or first-ban material on this specific map due to the nature of its objective. Certain heroes also synergise so well with each other that the sole fact of having the opportunity of drafting them together is generally enough to increase their potential. Tassadar and Tracer, for instance, are generally nightmarish to deal with for many. There are too many examples of these interactions to reasonably produce here, but we invite you to consult our guides to know exactly where and when each hero shines. The guides have been linked in the lists below for your convenience - just click any of the hero names to access them.
      A ↑ next to a hero's name means its tier list position has increased since the previous month whereas a ↓ means just the opposite. Additionally, a + or - sign indicates short-to-medium term predictions (which is to say, about a month) for tier increase(s) or decrease(s), respectively. These are often updated after significant balance patches and/or when clear trends are emerging.
      If you're newer to the game, also consider visiting our glossary for a comprehensive list of discrete Heroes of the Storm terms.
      Current map rotation
       
      Prime Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Anub'arak- Genji Tassadar- Nazeebo↑ Arthas Greymane     E.T.C.↑ Malthael     Garrosh↑               Prime tier heroes are considered to be extremely strong in all situations, and show no obvious weakness. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most matches.
       
      Core Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Dehaka Falstad Brightwing Azmodan↑ Diablo Jaina Lúcio+ Sylvanas Sonya+ Li-Ming Malfurion Xul Stitches↓ Valla Stukov-   Varian (Tank) Zeratul Uther↓-       Lt. Morales↑   Core tier heroes are strong in a wide variety of situations and have few counter-picking possibility. They should form the core of your team, and be picked after Prime Tier heroes have been distributed.
       
      Viable Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Artanis Alarak Ana Abathur Chen Cassia Auriel Murky D.Va Chromie Kharazim Probius- Johanna Gul'dan Li Li Zagara Leoric Illidan Rehgar   Muradin Kael'thas Tyrande   Tyrael Kerrigan     Zarya Lunara       Ragnaros       The Butcher       Tracer       Zul'jin       Kel'Thuzad     Viable tier heroes are generally well-rounded that have either fallen out of favour, or, inversely, are on the rise in popularity, due to the current Prime tier contenders.
       
      Niche Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Cho'gall Cho'gall - Gazlowe Rexxar Nova   Medivh   Raynor   Junkrat (new!)-   Samuro   Sgt. Hammer   Valeera       Thrall       Tychus       Varian (Damage)     Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They are generally picked to "round out" your team composition when your team composition is missing out on key components, such as a "jungler" (mercenary camps), a solo laner, or solid waveclear.
       
      Bottom Tier
      The Lost Vikings Bottom tier Heroes are deemed to be either considerably weaker than the majority of other Heroes, or much more challenging to play properly. Although they may situationally shine, these Heroes are generally avoided by most players.
       
      Metagame assessment
      Junkrat felt quite undertuned on the PTR, yet suffered little more but nerfs to what was arguably his best heroic ability option, Rocket Ride. You  may have noticed that I labeled him as a specialist, and that's because he feels like one. I can't stop drawing parallels between Gazlowe and him, which are limited sustained area of effect damage and zone control. Heck, Grav-O-Bomb 3000 is just a RIP-Tire that pulls instead of knocking back, is it not? Junkrat's winrates are hovering around some 42% as it stands, making him one of the worst heroes in the game. On one hand, my PTR gut feeling seemed accurate. On the other hand, I think he's excessively difficult to play, but has potential, meaning that I think he will get a bit better over time, winrates-wise. Still, buffs are needed, and we're talking ~15-20% cooldown reductions and damage increases across the board. I would usually never dare suggest something as drastic, but Junkrat feels way off. Niche, probably bottom.
      E.T.C. has finally ascended to metal godhood, potentially as a response to Garrosh's popularity, or possibly because healers can't really shred him off due to Guitar Solo's near-infinite self-sustain and just enough basic attack damage to be threatening.
      Garrosh is now the most popular (and banned) hero in the game. The way armor works in conjunction with healing makes him ridiculously hard to kill in this healer-heavy metagame, while one good Wrecking Ball is often enough to secure a kill, granted you're not throwing E.T.C. Warlord's Challenge also happens to be a pseudo Mosh Pit that can't be interrupted and on a much shorter cooldown, which is really good for ripping kills away while healers can't... well, heal.
      Nazeebo's late game power was recently redefined (read: improved), and Gargantuan is a nightmare to deal with when disengaging or killing it is impossible. As it turns out, healers tend to lack the damage to quickly focus the thing down. In general, I feel that specialists begin to shine in such metagames, where proper waveclear and sieging tend to be rarer. This also means slightly longer games, which translates into more Voodoo Ritual stacks.
      Stitches is falling out of favour as blowup comps are. His lack of CC and single target damage are just what you don't want your tank to lack right now. Still, he's not bad by any means; simply falling out of favour.
      Uther no longer prime? What's going on! As stated for Stitches, blowout team compositions are a thing of the past. Uther's niche is just that: countering such blowouts with his burst healing and armor buffs, and setting up or following up with Hammer of Justice. These things aren't particularly useful in a sustain-oriented metagame. If Tyr's Deliverance wasn't such a late game talent, Uther may work, but it isn't.
      Lt. Morales is pretty much the polar opposite of Uther; high sustained healing, little burst, zero follow up potential, thrives in extended fights, and so on. Although she was slightly nerfed recently, it wasn't really enough to seriously affect her performance.
      Azmodan is rising for the same reasons Nazeebo is: waveclearing and sieging are in high demand right now, and massive health pools can become a problem, especially for teams that might run two low damage and waveclear support heroes such as Ana and Lúcio.
    • 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