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Heroes 2.0 Open Beta Patch Notes: Apr 17

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Genji and Hanamura are now live on Heroes 2.0 PTR. The newest patch contains many Hero changes and the long-awaited Uther rework.

We've previewed both Genji and the Hanumara Battleground in detail here. Don't forget that Heroes 2.0 goes live on April 25! Below are full patch notes.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Our latest update for the Heroes of the Storm 2.0 Open Beta brings a new Hero and Battleground, as well as a host of balance changes and bug fixes, to the Nexus!

New Hero: Genji

Once the carefree youngest scion of the Shimada clan, Genji was cut down by his own brother for refusing to take part in their illegal ventures. Grafted into a cyborg body by Overwatch, Genji walks his own path as one who fights for what’s right.

Trait

  • Cyber Agility (D)
    • Activate to jump to the target area.

Basic Abilities

  • Shuriken (Q)
    • Throw 3 Shuriken in a spread pattern, each damaging the first enemy it hits.
    • Stores up to 3 charges. Shuriken’s cooldown replenishes all charges at the same time.
  • Deflect (W)
    • Become Protected for 1.25 seconds. Any damage blocked during this period causes Genji to throw a Kunai toward the nearest enemy, prioritizing Heroes and dealing damage.
  • Swift Strike (E)
    • Dash forward, dealing damage to all enemies in a line. Enemy Heroes who die within 2 seconds after being hit by Swift Strike cause the cooldown and Mana cost to be refunded.

Heroic Abilities

  • Dragonblade (R)
    • Unleash the Dragonblade for 8 seconds. While active, Dragonblade can be reactivated to lunge forward and slash in a huge arc. If any enemy Heroes are killed within 2 seconds after being hit by Dragonblade, Swift Strike’s cooldown is reset.
  • X-Strike (R)
    • Perform 2 perpendicular slashes that deal damage and ignite after 1.25 seconds, dealing additional damage to enemies in their area of effect.

New Battleground: Hanamura

Objectives

  • Protected Cores
    • Both Cores are protected by a barrier that cannot be attacked by Heroes.
    • Payloads must be escorted across the Battleground in order to deal damage to the enemy Core.
  • Escort Payloads
    • The first set of Payloads spawn for each team after 2:30 into the match, and additional waves will periodically spawn throughout the rest of the game.
    • Stand near an allied payload to escort it. The more allies who are present to escort a payload, the faster it will move. This effect caps at 3 nearby allies.
    • Payloads that haven’t been escorted for a period of time will begin to slowly move backward.
  • Empowered Payloads
    • Destroying enemy Forts will cause the next allied Payload to deal additional damage when it arrives at its destination.
    • Destroying enemy Keeps will cause Sappers to spawn with allied Minion waves, which will fire on the Core upon reaching the end of their lanes.
    • Deal a total of 7 damage the opposing Core to claim victory!

Mercenary Camps

  • Three types of Mercenary Camps exist on Hanamura, and captured Mercenaries will not travel down a lane to attack enemies.
    • Instead, captured Mercenary Camps will each award one of three consumable power-ups.
    • Right-click a power-up to collect it, and then use the “Map Mechanic Ability” hotkey (Default: F) to activate it.
  • Recon Camp
    • Reward: Dragon Spirits
      • Release 3 Dragon Spirits that seek out enemy Heroes, who are then revealed for 5 seconds. Dragon Spirits are destroyed after finding enemy Heroes or after 10 seconds.
  • Fortification Camp
    • Reward: Turret
      • Place a Turret on the ground or on your team’s payload.
  • Support Camp
    • Reward: Healing Pulse
      • Restore 35% Health and 23% Mana to you and your allies over 15 seconds.
  • Mega Enforcer
    • Defeat the Mega Enforcer found at the center of Hanamura to fire 1 shot on the opposing Core.

Art

General

  • Visual effects that indicate Movement Speed bonuses have received updates.
  • Sprays have received additional polish that should help them feel more integrated with battleground environments.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Tassadar: Nullification (Talent) has received updated visual effects.

Collection

Open Beta Note

  • As a reminder, real-money purchases have been disabled in the Open Beta, and any items unlocked via Gold, Shards, Gems, or Loot Chests will not transfer to the live version of the game when Heroes of the Storm 2.0 is released.

New Items

  • The items listed below have been added to the Collection, and will be available for Gem purchase for a limited time.
  • New Skins
    • Genji
      • Oni Genji, Vengeful Oni Genji, Moss Oni Genji
    • Auriel
      • Sakura Auriel, Spring Sakura Auriel, Scarlet Sakura Auriel
    • Zarya
      • Cyberdemon Zarya, Indigo Cyberdemon Zarya, Cyborgdemon Zarya
  • New Bundles and Skin Packs
    • Genji Heroic Bundle
    • Sakura Auriel Skin Pack
    • Cyberdemon Zarya Skin Pack
  • Much like new Heroes receive a Gold price reduction once they’ve been in the Nexus for a few weeks, new skins and mounts that are unlockable using Gems start at a higher than normal Shard price. These items will receive a Shard price reduction a few weeks after they are added to the game.
    • New items that are only unlockable via Loot Chests and Forging (such as a new version of an existing Skin) will not start at a higher Shard price, or receive a Shard price reduction.

User Interface

General

  • Attack Move Target Point
    • Attack Move Target Point has been added to the Gameplay Options menu.
      • If enabled, attack move (default: A + Left-Click) concentrates on the closest enemy to the target point.
      • If disabled, attack move concentrates on the closest enemy to your Hero.

Collection

  • Item borders have received updated art to make it easier to differentiate between owned and unowned items in your Collection.
  • Heroes
    • An “All Heroes” tab has been added to the Heroes page in your Collection.
  • Portraits
    • Selecting the Basic Portrait Border in your Collection will now display your current Player Level on loading screens, in the party panel, and the player’s profile.
    • All Player Level Progression Badge and Portrait Borders have received updated art.

Heroes Brawl

  • Completing matches in Heroes Brawl will now award Hero XP.
    • In cases where multiple Heroes are used during the same Heroes Brawl, the total XP earned will be divided evenly among them.
  • Completing the weekly Heroes Brawl quest will now award a Loot Chest, rather than a Portrait and Gold.

In-Game U.I.

  • The in-game Chat box has been slightly lowered to provide more visibility in the center of the screen.

Mastery Taunts

  • Issuing an in-game Taunt using a Hero who has reached level 15 or higher will now display unique “mastery” visual effects.
    • The Hero will also play its taunt animation and voiceover.
    • Issue an in-game Taunt using the radial emote menu (default: X), by pressing the Taunt hotkey (default: J), or by typing “/Taunt” into chat.
  • Additional Hero Mastery Taunts will be added to the game in future patches, unlocking at levels 25, 50, 75, and 100.
  • Read our recent blog on Mastery Taunts for more information.

Loot Chests

  • Upon re-rolling a Loot Chest that contains a Rare, Epic, or Legendary item, a warning dialog will now appear that asks the player to confirm whether or not they’d like to re-roll the chest.
    • Previously, this warning would only appear when re-rolling chests that contained Legendary Items. This will not occur for chests that only contain common items.

Score Screen

  • Lightning bolt visual effects will now display when leveling-up on the post-game Summary screen.

Heroes

Assassin

Cassia

Divider_Hero_Cassia.png

Abilities

  • Fend (E)
    • Cooldown decreased from 10 to 8 seconds
    • Mana cost reduced from 50 to 40
  • Ball Lightning (R)
    • Mana cost increased from 40 to 60
  • Valkyrie (R)
    • Cooldown decreased from 90 to 60 seconds
    • Mana cost reduced from 70 to 60

Talents

  • Level 1
    • True Sight (W)
      • Quest requirement reduced from 80 to 60 hits
      • Passive damage bonus against Blind targets increased from 10% to 15%
  • Level 7
    • Impale (E)
      • Health required to trigger bonus damage increased from 40% to 50%
    • War Traveler (Trait)
      • Movement Speed bonus increased from 3% to 4% per stack
    • Surge of Light (Trait)
      • Damage dealt on activation reduced from 250 to 225
  • Level 20
    • Infinite Lightning (R)
      • Cooldown reduction reduced from 4 to 3 seconds per bounce

Greymane

Divider_Hero_Greymane_crop.png

Abilities

  • Inner Beast (W)
    • Cooldown increased from 16 to 20 seconds
    • Every Basic Attack while Inner Beast is active now reduces its cooldown by 0.5 seconds
  • Cursed Bullet (R)
    • Damage increased from 35% to 40% of the enemy’s current Health

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Wolfheart (W)
      • Now increases the cooldown reduction per Basic Attack from 0.5 to 1 second while Inner Beast is active
  • Level 4
    • Insatiable (W)
      • No longer has a restriction on the amount of Mana that can be restored

Specialist

Nazeebo

Divider_Hero_Nazeebo_Crop.png

Abilities

  • Plague of Toads (E)
    • Damage increased from 126 to 140 over 6 seconds
  • Gargantuan (R)
    • Basic Attack damage reduced from 175.5 to 150
    • Health reduced from 2500 to 2300

Talents

  • Level 13
    • Superstition (Passive)
      • Spell Armor reduced from 50 to 40
  • Level 20
    • Humongoid (R)
      • Cooldown reduced from 45 to 40 seconds
    • Vile Infection (Trait)
      • Voodoo Ritual stacks required increased from 150 to 175

Probius

Divider_Hero_Probius_crop.png

Abilities

  • Photon Cannon (E)
    • Can now be self-cast

Support

Auriel

Divider_Hero_Auriel_Crop.png

Abilities

  • Sacred Sweep (Q)
    • Damage increased from 75 to 80
    • Center damage increased from 150 to 160
  • Detainment Strike (E)
    • Damage increased from 100 to 115
    • Terrain collision damage increased from 100 to 115
  • Resurrect (R)
    • New Functionality
      • Increased cooldown from 70 to 120 seconds
      • Reduced channel time from 3 to 0.5 seconds
      • Added a 5 second delay between finishing the cast and the Hero coming back to life

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Increase Clarity (Q)
      • Damage bonus for completing the quest increased from 120 to 150
    • Righteous Assault (Q)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 2 to 3 seconds per Hero hit
      • No longer has a cap
  • Level 4
    • Repeated Offense (E)
      • Quest reward damage bonus increased from 200 to 250
  • Level 7
    • Glimmer of Hope (Trait)
      • Energy cost reduction increased from 50% to 75%
    • Empathic Link (Trait)
      • Energy stored for damage taken by Bestow Hope’s target increased from 20% to 25%
  • Level 13
    • Blinding Flash (Q)
      • Blind duration reduced from 3 to 2.25 seconds
    • Piercing Lash (E)
      • Now also reduces the cooldown by 2 seconds for each enemy Hero hit
  • Level 20
    • Shield of Hope (Active)
      • Cooldown increased from 45 to 60 seconds
    • Light Speed (R)
      • New Functionality
        • Removed the increased Health upon reviving
        • Now causes the cooldown of Resurrect to recharge 100% faster while previous target is alive

Brightwing

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Abilities

  • Soothing Mist (Trait)
    • Now displays a range ring around Brightwing that conveys the radius of her heal. This is only visible to Brightwing.

Li Li

Divider_Hero_LiLi_Crop.png

Abilities

  • Blinding Wind (E)
    • Cooldown decreased from 10 to 8 seconds
    • Mana cost reduced from 40 to 30
    • Damage increased from 132 to 140

Tassadar

Divider_Hero_Tassadar_Crop.png

Stats

  • Basic Attack damage increased from 10 to 12

Abilities

  • Plasma Shield (Q)
    • Duration decreased from 5 to 4 seconds
    • Shield amount decreased from 550 to 475
  • Force Wall (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 10 to 8 seconds
    • Mana cost reduced from 30 to 25

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Khaydarin Resonance (Passive)
      • New functionality:
        • Quest: Regeneration Globes grant 50% more Mana to Tassadar
        • Reward: After collecting 15 Globes, increase the Shield amount of Plasma Shield by 15%
        • Reward: After collecting 30 Globes, increase the Shield amount by an additional 15%
  • Level 4
    • Khala’s Celerity (Q)
      • Movement Speed bonus reduced from 25 to 20%
      • Movement Speed bonus duration reduced from 5 to 4 seconds
    • Khala’s Embrace (Q)
      • Life steal increased from 50% to 60%
  • Level 20
    • Twilight Archon (R)
      • Updated functionality:
        • Basic Attacks while in Archon form increase Archon’s duration by 2 seconds

Uther

Divider_Hero_Uther_Crop.png

Stats

  • Removed passive Armor
  • Base maximum Health increased from 2054 to 2156
  • Health Regeneration increased from 4.28 to 4.49

Abilities

  • Holy Light (Q)
    • Healing amount reduced from 427 to 380
    • Now also heals Uther for 190 if cast on an ally
  • Holy Radiance (W)
    • Healing amount reduced from 219 to 160 (now matches damage)
    • Mana cost reduced from 65 to 60
  • Eternal Devotion (Trait)
    • Added Functionality:
      • When Uther heals anyone with a Basic Ability, they gain 25 Armor for 2 seconds.  This effect does not stack with itself.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Conjurer’s Pursuit (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Wave of Light (W)
      • No longer has a cap on the Mana return and Cooldown Reduction amounts
      • Now grants the benefits when enemy Heroes are damaged
      • Increased the amount of Mana returned from 8 to 10
      • Added a quest component:
        • !Quest: Heal or damage 60 Heroes with Holy Radiance
        • !Reward: Increase the duration of Eternal Devotion’s Armor effect to 3 seconds
    • Hammer of the Lightbringer (E)
      • New functionality:
        • Uther’s Basic Attacks restore 1.5% of his maximum Mana
        • !Quest: Hit 75 enemy Heroes with Basic Attacks
        • !Reward: Basic Attacks also reduce the cooldown of Hammer of Justice by 1 second
    • Fist of Justice (E)
      • Removed
    • (New) Silver Touch (Q)
      • !Quest:  Reduce damage taken from Heroes using Eternal Devotion's Armor effect
      • !Reward:  After reducing 40 sources of Hero damage, reduce the Mana cost of Holy Light by 20
      • !Reward:  After reducing 80 sources of Hero damage, reduce the Mana cost of Holy Light by an additional 20 and increase the cast range by 50%
  • Level 4
    • Beacon of Light (Q)
      • Moved to level 16
      • New functionality:
        • While below 50% Health, Uther receives 200% more self-healing when healing others with Holy Light
    • Boundless Conviction (W)
      • Removed
    • Protective Shield (Active)
      • Removed
    • (New) Pursuit of Justice (E)
      • Casting Hammer of Justice increases Uther's Movement Speed by 20% for 3 seconds
  • Level 7
    • Burden of Guilt (E)
      • Removed
    • Holy Fire (Passive)
      • Moved to level 4
      • Damage reduced from 18 to 16 per second
    • Cleanse (Active)
      • Removed
    • (New) Armor of Faith (Trait)
      • Holy Light recharges 100% faster for 6 seconds when Uther is Stunned, Rooted, or Silenced
    • (New) Guardian of Ancient Kings (Trait)
      • Healing a Stunned, Rooted, or Silenced Hero with a Basic Ability increases the Armor bonus of Eternal Devotion from 25 to 75
    • (New) Hand of Protection (Active)
      • Activate to make target ally Unstoppable for 1 second.  Cannot be cast on yourself.  90 second cooldown.  Basic Attack reduce this cooldown by 5 seconds.
  • Level 13
    • Blessed Champion (Q)
      • Healing from Basic Attacks reduced from 20% to 15% of Holy Light, but is calculated from the combined total of Holy Light’s Ally and self heal
    • Holy Shock (Q)
      • Moved to level 4
      • No longer increases the value of Uther’s next Holy Light, but instead refunds 45 Mana when cast on an enemy
        • Holy Shock still heals Uther for 200 if cast on an enemy
    • Shrink Ray (Active)
      • Removed
    • (New) Well Met (E)
      • Hammer of Justice also reduces enemy Hero Movement Speed by 25% and damage by 25% for 3 seconds
  • Level 16
    • Hardened Focus (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Righteous Defense (Q)
      • Removed
    • Gathering Radiance (W)
      • Removed
    • (New) Tyr's Deliverance (W)
      • Hitting an allied Hero with Holy Radiance increases their healing received by 40% for 6 seconds
  • Level 20
    • (New) Divine Protection (Trait)
      • Eternal Devotion's Armor can now stack twice. Each new application will refresh the duration of both armor effects
LEVEL (TIER)   UTHER TALENTS    
1 (1) (!) Silver Touch (Q) (!) Wave of Light (W) (!) Hammer of the Lightbringer (E)  
4 (2) Holy Shock (Q) Pursuit of Justice (E) Holy Fire (Passive)  
7 (3) Armor of Faith (Q) Guardian of Ancient Kings (Trait) Hand of Protection (Active)  
10 (4) Divine Shield Divine Storm
13 (5) Blessed Champion (Q) Well Met (E) Spell Shield (Passive)  
16 (6) Beacon of Light (Q) Tyr's Deliverance (W) Benediction (Active)  
20 (7) Bulwark of Light (R) Divine Hurricane (R) Redemption (Passive) Divine Protection (Passive)
  • (!) indicates a Questing Talent.
  • Italic text indicates a NEW Talent.
  • Bold text indicates a MOVED Talent.

Warrior

Anub'arak

Divider_Hero_AnubArak_Crop.png

Abilities

  • Burrow Charge (E)
    • Hovering over this ability will now show the range indicator for distance traveled, as well as the area affected when he emerges from burrow
  • Locust Swarm (R)
    • Damage per second reduced from 60 to 55
    • A range indicator will now appear to Anub’arak while Locust Swarm is active

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Subterranean Shield (E)
      • Shield amount reduced from 365 to 345
  • Level 13
    • Urticating Spines (W)
      • Hovering over the ability button after selecting this talent will now show a range indicator
  • Level 16
    • Epicenter (E)
      • Cooldown reduction decreased from 2 to 1.5 seconds per Hero hit

E.T.C.

Divider_Hero_ETC_Crop.png

Stats

  • Health increased from 2100 to 2180
  • Health Regeneration increased from 4.375 to 4.543

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Guitar Hero (E)
      • Healing increased from 40% to 50% of damage dealt by Basic Attacks
  • Level 4
    • Speed Metal (Passive)
      • Movement Speed increased from 10% to 15%
  • Level 7
    • Pinball Wizard (W)
      • Damage increased from 200% to 300%
    • Hammer-On (Passive)
      • Damage increased from 30% to 35%

Stitches

Divider_Hero_StitchesPatched_Crop.png

Stats

  • Health increased from 2900 to 3000
  • Health Regeneration increased from 6.043 to 6.25

Abilities

  • Slam (W)
    • Damage increased from 96 to 104

Zarya

Divider_Hero_Zarya_crop.png

Abilities

  • Energy (Trait)
    • Rate of decay increased from 2.5 to 3 per second
  • Graviton Surge (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 100 to 80 seconds

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Demolitions Expert (Q)
      • Cooldown reduction decreased from 0.5 to 0.4375 seconds per 5 Heroes hit, up to 3.5 seconds
    • Together We Are Strong (E)
      • Damage needed per point of Energy gained reduced from 9 to 6
    • Maximum Charge (Trait)
      • Energy gained from Regeneration Globes increased from 15 to 20
  • Level 4
    • Give Me Twenty (E)
      • Cooldown reduction granted upon completing the quest decreased from 3 to 2 seconds
    • Speed Barrier (E)
      • Movement Speed bonus increased from 35% to 50%
  • Level 16
    • Cleansing Shield (E)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 2 to 3 seconds
    • Plasma Shock (Q)
      • Slow duration increased from 1.5 to 2 seconds
  • Level 20
    • Gravity Kills (R)
      • Damage increased from 140 to 175 over the duration
    • Clear Out (R)
      • Bonus maximum Energy increased from 10 to 15 per Hero hit

Bug Fixes

General

  • Mac: Launching Heroes of the Storm using the Mac 10.12 OS will no longer adjust the player’s mouse acceleration setting.

Battlegrounds

  • Battlefield of Eternity: Fixed a rare issue in which an Immortal could be awarded to the wrong team if both Immortals were killed at nearly the same time.
  • Haunted Mines: The terrain surrounding Sapper Merc Camps will now correctly block vision of the camp.
  • Haunted Mines: Leoric will no longer fail to respawn properly after being killed via damage dealt by a nearby spawning Grave Golem.
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen: Webweavers will no longer become distracted by Summoned units.
  • Try Mode: The Complete Quests button will now correctly set Zul’jin’s You Want Axe quest to 120 attacks, rather than 500.
  • Try Mode: The Reset Talents button will now correctly remove bonus Hungering Arrow strikes earned by previously completing the Puncturing Arrow quest.
  • Try Mode: Tassadar’s Oracle cooldown will now be correctly reduced by 15 seconds when completing the Mental Acuity quest via the Complete Quests button.

Art

  • Cyber Ram: Fixed an issue in which the Cyber Ram’s hind legs appeared slanted.
  • Gazlowe: Restored missing visual effects during Gazlowe’s transformation into Robo-Goblin form.
  • Greymane: Restored missing visual effects during Go for the Throat.
  • Rexxar: Misha, Focus! now uses the same Ability icon in-game as it does on Rexxar’s detail page in the Collection.
  • Valla: Strafe visual effects will no longer continue to play after the Ability expires.
  • Varian: Will no longer appear scaled-down on the Ranked Play screen.
  • Xul: Will no longer appear offset on the Ranked Play screen.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Quest Talents: Fixed a bug that caused quest talents that track every second to ping continuously. They will now only ping every 5 seconds as intended.
  • Regeneration Globes: Will now play an animation upon expiration rather than suddenly disappearing.
  • Spell Shield: Toggling Spell Shield will no longer cancel an active Hearthstone channel.
  • Abathur: Heroes can no longer push a player-controlled Monstrosity by walking into it.
  • Auriel: Detainment Strike will now correctly stun enemies who collide with corners of terrain.
  • Auriel: Fixed an issue that could cause Resurrect’s revive message to appear on the MVP screen.
  • Chen: Freshest Ingredients will no longer grant 3 Health Regeneration stacks for Regeneration Globes collected during Storm, Earth Fire.
  • Diablo: Fixed an issue preventing Diablo from using Basic Attacks against his Overpower target if Overpower was interrupted by Zeratul’s Void Prison.
  • Cho: Twilight Hammer will now deal damage to Murky’s Pufferfish.
  • Gall: Fixed an issue that could cause Gall to use his base skin on the MVP screen despite using an alternate skin during the match.
  • Gazlowe: Can now correctly issue commands to active Rock-It! Turrets while dead.
  • Illidan: Fixed an issue that could cause Illidan to respawn at his death location if he cast Sweeping Strikes in the same moment that he was killed.
  • Murky: Can no longer call down a Nuke during Safety Bubble on Warhead Junction.
    Nazeebo: Corpse Spiders will no longer prioritize Kharazim’s Air Ally or Lúcio’s Boombox over enemy Heroes.
  • Probius: Pylons and Photon Cannons will no longer be affected by Power Overflowing when Probius is not inside a Pylon’s Power Field.
  • Samuro: Way of Illusion will no longer continue to generate quest progress icons after its quest is complete.
  • Tassadar: Prismatic Link will no longer cause Basic Attacks to continue to hit the tertiary target if the primary and secondary targets move out of range of one another.
  • The Butcher: Victuals will no longer stop functioning after completing Fresh Meat’s quest.
  • The Butcher: Butcher’s Brand visual effects will no longer persist on a Punisher until it is killed.
  • The Butcher: Will now properly receive Healing for Basic Attack damage dealt to a Punisher affected by Butcher’s Brand.
  • The Lost Vikings: Fixed an issue causing Olaf to begin attacking the nearest enemy after using Charge, rather than the intended target.
  • Tracer: After using Blink, Tracer will now correctly continue to walk in the direction she was originally moving prior to the cast.
  • Tyrael: Fixed an issue that could cause Archangel’s Wrath to immediately explode on death, and prevent Tyrael from respawning.
  • Varian: After learning Second Wind, Varian will now correctly earn bonus Healing for bonus damage dealt by Shattering Throw against a Shielded target.
  • Zagara: Damage dealt by Hunter Killer and Roach summons will no longer be reduced by Armor.
  • Zeratul: A revealed icon will no longer appear above enemies hit by Rending Cleave.
  • Zul’jin: Taz'dingo! Will now correctly prevent Zul’jin from dying when cast at the same moment that he would have taken fatal damage.

Sound

  • E.T.C.: Enemies affected by a Mosh Pit that was cast from inside of a bush or vent will now correctly hear the Ability’s sound effects.

User Interface

  • Hotkeys: Control group hotkeys in the default Standard for Lefties profile now correctly mirror the Standard profile, with the first slot bound to the 7 key.
  • Heroes Brawl: Brawls that only require completion of 2 matches will no longer state that 3 matches are needed in order to earn rewards.
  • Kill Feed: The Kill Feed will no longer display blank portraits for Heroes who are killed by an Immortal while the Immortals are dueling on Battlefield of Eternity.

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Not sure about Uther, need to see it in action. Most things look ok and reasonable but does anyone know why they nerf Tassadar so deep into the ground that he could be mistaken with a hole?

Edited by Caldyrvan
  • Like 1

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They must have gotten SUPER high to think ETC needed a buff. Also, Valeera nerf when?

Edited by PumpkinRow

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2 hours ago, Caldyrvan said:

does anyone know why they nerf Tassadar so deep into the ground that he could be mistaken with a hole?

Because he was still a complete auto-ban in high-level team league play. The nerf might finally allow him to be played again, but his vision and choke point poke is still so damn good I'm not sure it will.
 

1 hour ago, PumpkinRow said:

They must have gotten SUPER high to think ETC needed a buff. Also, Valeera nerf when?

ETC buff isn't even much of a change, he still can't solo tank, but can at least not get blown up as hard since he is required to dive deep to be even useful.

I'm not even sure Valeera needs nerfs. Yeah, she's powerful if someone is good with her, but so is zeratul or probius or chromie or... point is a lot of heroes can be game changing if played at a really high level. She still has her hard counters and if you catch her out of stealth she can be dropped. Only nerf that might need to happen is to cloak of shadows because it makes it super high survivablity, but that would just be cooldown based if anything.

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ETC is in dire need of a buff because he got ultra nerfed losing his trait to get a complete shit trait (4 seconds aoe buff to 2 seconds crappy armor on self that other heroes ,namely Johanna, have with 100% uptime baseline), and lv 7 talent got nerfed so hard to levels of tassadar auto hits so at least with this buff you can take Pinball Wizard to replace the deceased Echo Pedal (killed by blizz).

Tassadar level of joke is beyond limit... now his shield last less than what was when he coulda cast it every 5 sec...just delete that hero then so i stop get this garbage in quick match when enemy has real supports.

Uther finally got rid of those generic talents and got his abilities buffed that was what he needed to return in the game (still waiting Tyrande rework that has still the generics infesting talents...)

Zarya RIP... now is back to 3 per second decay that was when she got released and was so bad that got even buffed in 2 days from release... wondering why make same mistake twice... 3 per seconds doesn't work is too much unless you dance under enemy forts you can't keep high energy with that insane decay.

Auriel got a new R that seems relevant now you don't have to suicide to resurrect something and also the other buffs will make her much more appealing than before since now you aren't forced to take the aegis when it has close to zero value because the other R was like saying hey guys i'm resurrecting this enemy you just killed but hey i take 3 seconds afk here so if you wanna nuke me you've all the time you need.

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7 hours ago, Hanz39 said:

ETC is in dire need of a buff because he got ultra nerfed losing his trait to get a complete shit trait (4 seconds aoe buff to 2 seconds crappy armor on self that other heroes ,namely Johanna, have with 100% uptime baseline), and lv 7 talent got nerfed so hard to levels of tassadar auto hits so at least with this buff you can take Pinball Wizard to replace the deceased Echo Pedal (killed by blizz).

Tassadar level of joke is beyond limit... now his shield last less than what was when he coulda cast it every 5 sec...just delete that hero then so i stop get this garbage in quick match when enemy has real supports.

Uther finally got rid of those generic talents and got his abilities buffed that was what he needed to return in the game (still waiting Tyrande rework that has still the generics infesting talents...)

Zarya RIP... now is back to 3 per second decay that was when she got released and was so bad that got even buffed in 2 days from release... wondering why make same mistake twice... 3 per seconds doesn't work is too much unless you dance under enemy forts you can't keep high energy with that insane decay.

Auriel got a new R that seems relevant now you don't have to suicide to resurrect something and also the other buffs will make her much more appealing than before since now you aren't forced to take the aegis when it has close to zero value because the other R was like saying hey guys i'm resurrecting this enemy you just killed but hey i take 3 seconds afk here so if you wanna nuke me you've all the time you need.

ETC definitely became mid to low tier after nerfs, but still was playable, just not a faceroll tank anymore. His current armor trait is really good, adds significant survivability if you pay attention to your trait uptime and save guitar solo to refresh its duration instead of mindlessly spamming it instantly after using powerslide and face melt. Still considering that he was definitely not super high tier after nerfs, the buffs were nice. The original trait's range was actually so short most AA heroes couldn't benefit from it just because they would need to literally hug you to proc the effect; the trait was only really op in racing PvE creeps like on Battlefield of Eternity. Echo pedal was way too strong, as it was basically an improved burning rage but on lv7 instead of lv13, and was gloriously overpowered in both split-pushing with stage dive and getting quick kills after locking enemies down. Now you have to choose at lv7 if you want to either have blowup potential (pinball wizard) or waveclear and split push potential (echo pedal), as there isn't a clear cut choice at lv7 anymore.

Tassadar wasn't a real support ever, and especially after his initial rework he was defined as a pseudo support, as original khala's embrace was removed. The nerfs hurt QM definitely, but in competitive gamemodes, especially in higher levels of play, Tassadar was way too strong of a character and needed some kind of nerf.

Uther's rework is something we all have been waiting for, really hoping he will now have a real niche where he is playable, the lv1 mana cost reduction quest seems like one of the most solid foundations of a talent build we have had in a long time, and hopefully the new build eliminates some of the structural flaws that have hindered Uther's performance since... forever.

Zarya is same deal as Tassadar, a hero that becomes significantly more powerful in coordinated environment and needed something to make her less oppressive in high level meta. Hoping she (and Tassadar) will still remain playable in lower tier play too. Both of those heroes are both able to do significant damage (Tassadar with his Archon, Zarya with auto-attack and Q) and dictate damage trades very efficiently with low cooldown shielding as well as enable numerous carry heroes like Illidan, Valla or Tracer to become huge threats to the enemy team.

Auriel changes are nice, glad to see that Blizzard tries to make both heroics of a hero playable, like they did with Greymane. Auriel was in a fine spot pre-nerf, and hopefully will now become a staple, i kinda like that hero actually.

TL: DR

All changes have reasoning and all were more or less needed on the long run to balance out the game.

Still waiting for Arthas nerfs tho.

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5 hours ago, BrightwingMain said:

ETC definitely became mid to low tier after nerfs, but still was playable, just not a faceroll tank anymore. His current armor trait is really good, adds significant survivability if you pay attention to your trait uptime and save guitar solo to refresh its duration instead of mindlessly spamming it instantly after using powerslide and face melt. Still considering that he was definitely not super high tier after nerfs, the buffs were nice. The original trait's range was actually so short most AA heroes couldn't benefit from it just because they would need to literally hug you to proc the effect; the trait was only really op in racing PvE creeps like on Battlefield of Eternity. Echo pedal was way too strong, as it was basically an improved burning rage but on lv7 instead of lv13, and was gloriously overpowered in both split-pushing with stage dive and getting quick kills after locking enemies down. Now you have to choose at lv7 if you want to either have blowup potential (pinball wizard) or waveclear and split push potential (echo pedal), as there isn't a clear cut choice at lv7 anymore.

Tassadar wasn't a real support ever, and especially after his initial rework he was defined as a pseudo support, as original khala's embrace was removed. The nerfs hurt QM definitely, but in competitive gamemodes, especially in higher levels of play, Tassadar was way too strong of a character and needed some kind of nerf.

Uther's rework is something we all have been waiting for, really hoping he will now have a real niche where he is playable, the lv1 mana cost reduction quest seems like one of the most solid foundations of a talent build we have had in a long time, and hopefully the new build eliminates some of the structural flaws that have hindered Uther's performance since... forever.

Zarya is same deal as Tassadar, a hero that becomes significantly more powerful in coordinated environment and needed something to make her less oppressive in high level meta. Hoping she (and Tassadar) will still remain playable in lower tier play too. Both of those heroes are both able to do significant damage (Tassadar with his Archon, Zarya with auto-attack and Q) and dictate damage trades very efficiently with low cooldown shielding as well as enable numerous carry heroes like Illidan, Valla or Tracer to become huge threats to the enemy team.

Auriel changes are nice, glad to see that Blizzard tries to make both heroics of a hero playable, like they did with Greymane. Auriel was in a fine spot pre-nerf, and hopefully will now become a staple, i kinda like that hero actually.

TL: DR

All changes have reasoning and all were more or less needed on the long run to balance out the game.

Still waiting for Arthas nerfs tho.

I think that ETC's change on his trait was indeed for the better. Considering the current explosive bursty meta, and how you literally have to hug ETC in order to benefit from the small attack speed buff, adding more survivability for him is much better. In my eyes ETC still is one of most versatile tanks in the game, and if he were to be released today, in the current state of the game, he would be considered overpowered, since he has engage and escape tools, stuns, knockback, self heal and global presence (with Stage Dive). I think the tweaks are slowly giving him shape, and I really like that. He still is a very disruptive character that can fit into any team composition, even better now with his new trait.

Much like you said, Tassadar was never a true Support; if anything, his niche falls in the Specialist department. Back when he was released, Blizzard was still unsure how to handle the Specialist class, but they changed it when Medivh was introduced, and later the even changed the Specialist icon to better reflect their versatility; before that Specialist were know as "Heroes that attack structures". I think Blizzard should just change Tassadar to a Specialist so people stop saying he is a bad Support. Even with the nerfs he is still very strong.

Uther will finally have his spotlight as a Support; those changes were awesome. I hope Tyrande is the next on the line. Although I think that Li Li could also get a few tweaks.

Zarya is one of those problem-Heroes: it is very easy to make her absurdly overpowered, so Blizzard have a hard time balancing her. Under the right circumstances she was way too powerful for a Warrior, so I think this small tweak might be a small push in the right direction. I think Blizzard will soon revert some of those nerfs, though.

As an Auriel main, I'm quite surprised (and very happy) with the changes. I wasn't expecting Blizzard to tamper with her again so soon, and I'm so glad it was a majority of buffs. The changes to Righteous Assault now rivals Increasing Clarity in terms of utility, which will be great when facing groups of melee Heroes. I'm a bit sad with the small nerfs to Blinding Flash and Shield of Hope, but oh well.

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    • By Oxygen

       
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    • By Oxygen

       
      Oxygen goes over some of Heroes of the Storm's features that most need improvement.
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      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.
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      Not my most memorable performance. Or match.
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      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.
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      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
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      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.
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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.
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      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 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