Stan

Senior Game Designer on Hero Fantasy

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Garrosh is hitting PTR later today and players have started to discuss how his kit doesn't fit into his fantasy. Senior Designer Matt Cooper has made a post on the official forums about Hero fantasy and kits and how the team doesn't consider Garrosh's fantasy as flawed.

The main issue discussed about Garrosh's fantasy is that in Heroes of the Storm he's a tank, whereas in World of Warcraft he was portrayed as an aggressive Arms / Fury Warrior, but it's too early for assumptions. We haven't tried out the Hero yet! The male Barbarian was considered as a skin option for Sonya at some point, but Blizzard later decided that wasn't the direction they wanted to pursue, but that doesn't mean that we will never see a male D3 barbarian in Heroes of the Storm.

Other discussed subjects are the Malthael & Probius fantasy, where Matt goes into detail regarding the decision-making process of their kits.

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I'd like to think this goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway just in case: when designing heroes we care very much about hitting their fantasy.

One reason a hero might deviate from what you expect them to do is the translation process into our game. We have to make the gameplay good first and foremost, and for one reason or another there will inevitably be something we can't include. 

As an example, during Malthael's development several people on the team expressed a desire to see moves from his D3 boss fight that didn't make it in. We see this a lot with boss fights, and the issue is usually that Boss abilities are specifically designed to be avoidable, so they tend not to fit into a PvP game. In Heroes I want my moves to be fairly reliable, at least enough that I can predict how my target will move and have a good chance of hitting them. And yes sometimes we can adapt these abilities to feel good in our game, but not always (ex: because they'd lose too much of what makes them cool, or would be identical to another ability in the game).

There are also issues like visual clarity to consider. When you have 10 heroes on the screen all using Heroic abilities, it's problematic to have one ability that floods the battlefield and requires all of your focus to deal with (as you would in a boss fight). We're also trying to be more careful about how many units a hero can summon, because while it's cool from a fantasy-perspective a swarm of HP bars on the screen can quickly destroy battlefield readability.

Finally and perhaps the biggest challenge we face (at least in terms of the passionate opinions about fantasy we see here) is that everyone has their own idea of what a hero's fantasy actually is. If I asked 100 of you to send me a design for Garrosh, I'd get 100 different responses, all with good reasons for why you feel he should be that way. We have our own vision that we come to after a lot of discussion within the team, and it's almost guaranteed that there will be people who disagree with it. The more iconic and memorable the hero, and the more different forms they can appear in throughout our games, the greater the chance this will happen.

One of the first things we have to figure out when we decide to make a hero is "which version are we doing?". Is Kael'thas the Warcraft 3 version? The Tempest Keep version? The Magister's Terrace version? Does he draw inspiration from all of them? Likewise with Garrosh, who appeared across 5 different WoW expansions, we talked about which version to draw primary inspiration from and which elements of others we might want to include. The result you see is what we felt like was the best version of Garrosh for our game.

You may not always agree with us when it comes to hero fantasy, and that's totally fair, but know that it's very important to us to do a hero's fantasy justice to the greatest extent that we're able within the framework of our game.

The D3 male barbarian was even in a lot of the early promotional stuff for HotS, including the main website for a really long time.

As far as I can recall Sonya has always been female, even in early development around the time Heart of the Swarm launched. We talked about the possibility of doing a gender-swap skin (affectionately referred to as "Bronya"), but at the time decided it wasn't the direction we wanted to pursue.

I totally get why you'd want a male Barbarian, and I don't think that's off the table. We may well explore this option in the future (either through a skin or a new hero entirely).

Matt, if the fantasy of the character is as important to you as you say it is, why did you guys choose to have Garrosh be a Tank, when he has never been a Protection Warrior in WoW or shown any desire to protect the weak?

He really doesn't play like a Prot Warrior, though. It's hard to get this across until you actually get to try him, but when you play him you feel like a big mean bully who's just exceptionally difficult to kill. It's less that you're protecting your team from the enemy, and more that you're so disruptive to the enemy that it's hard for them to kill anyone.

Basically, for anyone who's really concerned about this, I'd encourage you to give him a try first and then give us feedback based on that experience.

When I heard that they are bring a SC probe to the Nexus, I was so excited by the potential of doing a cannon rush or having pylons occasionally warp in some zealot minions.

Believe it or not we actually tried this sort of kit first, and it didn't work out very well. It was kind of like playing Abathur without his Q ability. It was cool for a couple of games, but the novelty wore off very quickly =(

I think what we ended up with gives him a much more active playstyle and lots of room for mastery, while still being very builder/setup focused. My one regret is that I think we were overly worried about similarity to Gazlowe and went too restrictive on his ability to build Cannons. I think this is something we could do more with once we have some time to update him.

I mean the fact that You were aware of him being flawed fantasy wise but pushed him anyway. There surely must be a way of designing builder hero to be satisfying but also not passive in playstyle. And even if not, aren't You allowed discard a hero if translation into moba doesn't work out?

We don't see his fantasy as flawed. When we realized the pure builder angle wasn't working out, we took a step back and approached him from a different perspective, and we're very satisfied with the result.

You may not feel the same way. Maybe the fantasy you expected for him was very different, or there's something you feel is very important that's missing, and that's totally fair! But that difference of opinion shouldn't lead to speculation that we must have been forced to release a hero we weren't happy with against our will. We stand by our work and are proud of every hero we release.

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1 hour ago, Stan said:

He really doesn't play like a Prot Warrior

I think this is the key argument. People are complaining he is a Tank in HotS, but just because he is a tank, it doesn't mean he is a Protection Warrior; this is explicitly evident by the fact he doesn't wield a shield. Likewise, you don't see people complaining about Muradin; he is a tank, with some Protection Warrior skills, and yet he doesn't wield a shield.

From my point of view, judging by his spotlight, Garrosh is more of a sturdy semi-bruiser (even though he deals low damage) than a full tank, especially given the fact he has low health for a Warrior. I hardly think he is solo tanking material, but I guess we'll have to see it today.

Edited by Valhalen
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It's true that, from watching the champion reveal video, he seemed somewhat flacid. His overall feel made me think of some passive tank who just moves key targets from point A to B without much weight to the actions.

Just so that I'm not misunderstood: Take, for example, Diablo. All his actions have weight to them, in that it feels like he's really aggressive with plenty of substance, throwing his weight around. Charging enemies, ploughing them in to the ground. Now if Garrosh did something similar (As in, animation not mechanically) to add some real meaty weight to his actions, it'd be perceived better. For now it looks like he gently lifts the target and then throws them like a Strongman in a circus, clearly intending to throw the person but keeping their landing in mind.

To me, Garrosh is a rage filled bundle of muscle, with little to no concern for anyone's well-being. For me, his current animations don't reflect that.

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If I asked 100 of you to send me a design for Garrosh, I'd get 100 different responses, all with good reasons for why you feel he should be that way. We have our own vision that we come to after a lot of discussion within the team, and it's almost guaranteed that there will be people who disagree with it.

"We do it our way and the fans don't matter."

I can't help but interpret this in this way. Expect the firebat, goliath, thor, carrier, peon, peasant, and butterfly witch before getting requested important lore characters from all franchises.

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8 hours ago, ScottHK said:

It's true that, from watching the champion reveal video, he seemed somewhat flacid. His overall feel made me think of some passive tank who just moves key targets from point A to B without much weight to the actions.

Just so that I'm not misunderstood: Take, for example, Diablo. All his actions have weight to them, in that it feels like he's really aggressive with plenty of substance, throwing his weight around. Charging enemies, ploughing them in to the ground. Now if Garrosh did something similar (As in, animation not mechanically) to add some real meaty weight to his actions, it'd be perceived better. For now it looks like he gently lifts the target and then throws them like a Strongman in a circus, clearly intending to throw the person but keeping their landing in mind.

To me, Garrosh is a rage filled bundle of muscle, with little to no concern for anyone's well-being. For me, his current animations don't reflect that.

I agree.  He does not look or act like Garrosh.  The mechanics don't fit with what he is in WoW.  He doesn't look rage filled.  I was expecting a melee assassin with mechanics simular to maybe a fury warrior, having rage as a resource.  Even as a tank he still doesn't feel rage filled.  His kit seems thoughtful and considerate.  He helps his team members out?  Not the Garrosh I fought. 

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1 hour ago, toyjazzer said:

"We do it our way and the fans don't matter."

I can't help but interpret this in this way.

That's not what he was saying and you know it.  People have different expectations and vision when it comes to translating a fictional character between mediums.  It's inevitable and (unless the character has been static for the majority of its existence) impossible.  Ask 100 people what they want out of a translation and you will indeed get 100 different answers.  Sure there will be common elements but the details will differ.  Now consider a HotS hero has only 4/5/6 skills (depending on trait and heroic abilities) and those are going to be the focus details and suddenly you need to crystallize a half dozen important details about the hero that speaks to those 100 different people (oh and make the character playable/fun within the framework of the game/class).  Just because he isn't rolling over and admitting defeat to a bunch of commenters (who haven't even played the character before making assumptions) doesn't mean he doesn't care about how people feel.

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Today I gave it a try at the PTR, and actually felt really happy with the character, it's true that we can expect a brutal charge from him or a bursty damage like sonya, but with his kit he is able to really get into the fight and make a huge mess,  throwing enemies around, attracting them to be burst down and becoming really tanky with his trait..
He is a bully, taunting enemies to fight him without any means to scape.. which I think is really accurate looking at him as a character.

I don't really like are his animations, but specially from the receptor side, of course, you can´t change the animation of every other character to look pretty when they are thrown away

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14 hours ago, Darkjester79 said:

His kit seems thoughtful and considerate.  He helps his team members out? 

I don't wish to be rude and I'm not going to get into details of whether they got Garrosh's fantasy exactly right... But I have to ask where you get this from. Have you actually played him yet? There's very little about Garrosh that is "considerate." No, his kit is all about chaos and aggressive disruption. Even his crowd control is aggressive: you're throwing enemies around, isolating them for your teammates to explode or you're chasing after opponents, applying slows and making sure your teammates can kill them. Perhaps that is "considerate" in so far as it's enabling your team's aggression.....

Also, his Decimate ult seems to be the more impactful of the two. At the very least it feels like it synergises with his playstyle and kit better than the AoE taunt -- because it's //aggressive//. Ponder that. 

I have to agree with Blizz: give him a try before dismissing him. Try him for a while, too, because what feels, to me at least, like his best playstlye wasn't obvious. It took a few games to discover Garrosh's unique "rhythm." And it's not what you think. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by WanYao
because reasons

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I know little to none about World of Warcraft characters and storyline. I had to look up Garrosh to see who he even is when they first announced him. One of the first image that came up of him for WoW was the one of him sitting in a orcish throne in the same outfit that he has on in HOTS. So that's good I think. Also he looks like a big beefy tanky badass Orc to me when I look at him. He looks like someone who can be hit over and over and just shout at you 'Come on! Is that all you got!?' and pound your head in some. So his kit and such fits that from what I can see as well.

And in terms of the game if he was an assassin instead... do I even have to say this guys... I mean seriously? Do you REALLY want ANOTHER f*cking assassin in the game THAT bad. We already complain about the fact that there's too many of them in the game as it is. And people are complaining because this new beefy orc isn't another damn assassin? Get a grip people.

I'm happy we finally got another warrior tank in the game that we can run into team fights with and are NOT likely to die before we can even do anything with them. I'm so sick of it always being my teammates going 'You're the tank! Get in there and do something!' Ok but I know how this is gonna go... *runs in to fight as asked* ...and I'm dead in 2 seconds... yep that's what I figured would happen... this is why I can't run in with most tanks and do their job other then Johanna. F*cking twin blades Varian feels like more of a tank then the actual tank heros most of the time when he's killing most of your team, tanks included, and not dieing for sh*t despite getting attacked by like 3 people at once. So 'yes, please' to a new hero built to be a solo tank for the team.

Edited by CyberDVonaven

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18 hours ago, CyberDVonaven said:

And in terms of the game if he was an assassin instead... do I even have to say this guys... I mean seriously? Do you REALLY want ANOTHER f*cking assassin in the game THAT bad. We already complain about the fact that there's too many of them in the game as it is. And people are complaining because this new beefy orc isn't another damn assassin? Get a grip people.

I think they are less complaining about him not being an assassin, and more looking at the reasoning behind why is he a true tank rather than a brawler, I guess. People probably were looking more towards a similarity with Sonya rather than Diablo/Muradin.

Personally, I'm OK with how he is. Maybe a slight change in animation, but otherwise I'm happy with him.

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On ‎8‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 10:27 AM, WanYao said:

 

I don't wish to be rude and I'm not going to get into details of whether they got Garrosh's fantasy exactly right... But I have to ask where you get this from. Have you actually played him yet? There's very little about Garrosh that is "considerate." No, his kit is all about chaos and aggressive disruption. Even his crowd control is aggressive: you're throwing enemies around, isolating them for your teammates to explode or you're chasing after opponents, applying slows and making sure your teammates can kill them. Perhaps that is "considerate" in so far as it's enabling your team's aggression.....

Also, his Decimate ult seems to be the more impactful of the two. At the very least it feels like it synergises with his playstyle and kit better than the AoE taunt -- because it's //aggressive//. Ponder that. 

I have to agree with Blizz: give him a try before dismissing him. Try him for a while, too, because what feels, to me at least, like his best playstlye wasn't obvious. It took a few games to discover Garrosh's unique "rhythm." And it's not what you think. 

 

 

 

 

His ability to throw people can be used to throw team mates in or out of fights.  He is played as a disruptor but ultimately a team player.  That is not Garrosh.  Garrosh was always brutal.  he rose to where he was by grabbing power from the weak.  His kit is all about re arranging his enemy across the field and letting his teammates finish them off because he does not have the attack power to do it himself.  Yes, I have played him on the PTR and I like the kit but not the character they gave it to.  I don't want him to be an assassin but more of a brawler that befits his canon in the Warcraft universe.  My issue with him is that unlike the vast majority of the other heroes, his moves do not fit him.  Tracer, Varian, Diablo, Murky etc...all look, and feel like those characters.  To me Garrosh does not.

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17 hours ago, Darkjester79 said:

To me Garrosh does not.

Were you expecting him to have a similar character style to that of Darius from LoL? The "I am the best, nobody can touch me" kinda thing?

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On ‎8‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 0:43 PM, Blainie said:

Were you expecting him to have a similar character style to that of Darius from LoL? The "I am the best, nobody can touch me" kinda thing?

No.  Darius is showy and a audience pleaser.  Garrosh is no nonsense brutality. He should be like Darius is or was (Been awhile since I have played LoL) tough but able to dish out damage.  Garrosh was leader of the Horde.  He has a massive Axe Gorehowl.  He is strong fierce and prideful. yet when I played him on the PTR, he did not feel anything like that.  His kit, to me, does not feel like it fits him.  The closest character that I can compare him to would be Dbo.  Dbo feels like a brute, his fire his pushing and grabbing.  Garrosh should feel just as brutal and again to me, he doesn't. 

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On 8/7/2017 at 7:39 PM, Darkjester79 said:

Garrosh should feel just as brutal and again to me, he doesn't. 

I see what you mean - you want to see Garrosh as the orcs were portrayed in WoW lore. That ruthless fighting style, where they can almost carve through an army of humans while laughing. It does seem like he is too "passive"

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14 minutes ago, Blainie said:

I see what you mean - you want to see Garrosh as the orcs were portrayed in WoW lore. That ruthless fighting style, where they can almost carve through an army of humans while laughing. It does seem like he is too "passive"

I think Garrosh's gameplay does capture his fighting style as something disruptive, as he can throw his enemies around like they were nothing. The "carve through an army" is pretty much how he works in HotS due his trait. You can't kill the dude! I don't think his trait makes him passive. If anything, it makes him more active, as he can simply shrug damage and stay in battle for longer than most tanks.

If we were to analyze, Stitches wouldn't fit in the fantasy because as a Stitches player you have to be patient and land those perfect hooks. Why would the "Terror of Darkshire" act like that?

I think people overanalyze (and complain) way too much, sorry.

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On 8/17/2017 at 0:25 PM, Valhalen said:

I think people overanalyze (and complain) way too much, sorry.

I think that's completely fair, as well. It's not meant to be lore-specific, the idea of the nexus itself is pretty ridiculous in regards to lore. There are skins that make no sense, but they look amazing, so who cares? I'm just trying to empathise with people, since I imagine I'd probably be peeved if I found out my favourite lore hero was introduced and wasn't what I was hoping for! :p

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5 hours ago, Blainie said:

I think that's completely fair, as well. It's not meant to be lore-specific, the idea of the nexus itself is pretty ridiculous in regards to lore. There are skins that make no sense, but they look amazing, so who cares? I'm just trying to empathise with people, since I imagine I'd probably be peeved if I found out my favourite lore hero was introduced and wasn't what I was hoping for! :p

Indeed, I try to empathise as well, but I don't think I know a single WoW player, even a Horde one, that says "Garrosh is my favorite character", lol.

Regardless, I think the fantasy aspect of his gameplay was well incorporated with interesing mechanics.

Sorry if I sounded rude there.

Edited by Valhalen
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On 8/18/2017 at 2:12 PM, Valhalen said:

Indeed, I try to empathise as well, but I don't think I know a single WoW player, even a Horde one, that says "Garrosh is my favorite character", lol.

You'd be surprised! A fair few people like Garrosh pre-corruption, since he was a perfect representation of that harsh, brutal Orcish way of life. Broxigar was probably fairly similar before his personality changed by meeting Tyrande etc. in the WoTA.

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      Diablo
      Catch additional details in our recent Lunara and Diablo Gameplay Updates Blog.
      Abilities Shadow Charge (Q) Range increased from 7 to 8.5. Mana cost increased from 60 to 70. Damage reduced from 75 to 40. Terrain collision damage reduced from 150 to 120. No longer grants Armor. Now also increases Movement Speed by 15% for 2 seconds. Fire Stomp (W) Now unleashes fire waves in a large cone in the chosen direction, rather than a 360° area around Diablo. Number of fire waves reduced from 8 to 5. Multiple fire waves can now hit the same target. Cooldown increased from 6 to 8 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 40 to 30. Outgoing fire wave damage reduced from 54 to 12. Returning fire wave damage reduced from 81 to 36. Damage dealt by returning fire waves now counts as critical damage. Now Heals Diablo for 125% of the damage dealt to Heroes. Overpower (E) Mana cost reduced from 60 to 40. Lightning Breath (R) Range increased from 10.5 to 12. Each tick of Lightning Breath damage now also Slows enemies hit by 5% for 2 seconds, up to a maximum of 50%. Talents Level 1 New Talent: Feast on Fear (Passive) Stunning an enemy Hero with Shadow Charge or Overpower Heals Diablo for 15% of his maximum Health over 4 seconds. Soul Shield (Active) Moved from Level 7. New functionality: Activate to gain Spell Armor equal to 25 plus 50% of Diablo's current Souls for 4 seconds. 60 second cooldown. Every time Diablo damages an enemy Hero, reduce this cooldown by 1 second. Bulwark (Q) Removed. Level 4 New Talent: Sacrificial Soul (Q) Stunning an enemy Hero with Shadow Charge grants 5 Souls and 15 Armor for 4 seconds. While at 100 Souls, increase this Armor to 30. New Talent: Souls to the Flame (W) Fire Stomp grants 1 Soul every 3 times it damages an enemy Hero and Heals for an additional 1.25% of its damage dealt per Soul. Life Leech (Passive) Moved from Level 1. New functionality: Diablo gains 1 Soul and Heals for 1.5% of his maximum Health for every Basic Attack against an enemy Hero. While at 100 Souls, increase this Healing to 3% of his maximum Health. From the Shadows (Q) Removed. Speed Demon (Passive) Removed. Demonic Strength (E) Removed. Level 7 New Talent: Eternal Flames (W) When Diablo Stuns an enemy Hero with Overpower or Shadow Charge, Fire Stomp’s cooldown is reset. Malevolence (Passive) Using Basic Abilities causes Diablo’s next Basic Attack within 6 seconds to deal an additional 100 Spell Damage. Stores up to 2 charges. Soul Feast (Trait) Removed. Diabolical Momentum (Passive) Basic Attacks now also reduce Fire Stomp’s cooldown. Cooldown reduction granted per Basic Attack decreased from 1.5 to 0.75 seconds. Level 13 Devastating Charge (Q) Adjusted functionality: Now increases Shadow Charge’s terrain collision damage by 100%, rather than a percentage of the target’s maximum Health. Quest: Each time an enemy Hero takes terrain collision damage, increase this bonus by 15%, to a maximum of 75%. New Talent: Cruelty (Passive) Stunning an enemy Hero with Shadow Charge or Overpower increases Diablo's Attack Speed by 50% for 5 seconds, up to 100%. Hellfire (W) New functionality: Each enemy Hero hit by Fire Stomp grants 2% Spell Power for 10 seconds, up to 30%. Fire Devil (W) Removed. Level 16 Debilitating Flames (W) New functionality: Enemy Heroes hit by Fire Stomp are Slowed by 5% for 4 seconds, up to 50%. Heroes Slowed 25% or more by Debilitating Flames deal 50% less damage. New Talent: Overpowering Nightmare (E) Gain 2 additional charges of Overpower, with a 2 second cooldown between uses. Fearful Presence (Active) Removed. Level 20 Dying Breath (R) Now reduces Apocalypse’s cooldown by 20 seconds per enemy Hero hit (to a minimum total cooldown of 5 seconds), rather than reducing its cooldown by a static amount. Hellstorm (R) No longer increases Lightning Breath’s range. Bonus duration increased from 50% to 200%. Lord of Terror (Active) Now also grants 5 Souls per enemy Hero hit. LEVEL (TIER) DIABLO TALENTS 1 (1) Feast on Fear (Passive) Devil’s Due (Trait) Soul Shield (Trait) — 4 (2) Sacrificial Soul (Q) Souls to the Flame (W) Life Leech (Passive) — 7 (3) Eternal Flames (W) Malevolence (Passive) Diabolical Momentum (Passive) — 10 (4) Apocalypse (R) Lightning Breath (R) — — 13 (5) Devastating Charge (Q) Cruelty (Passive) Hellfire (W) — 16 (6) Domination (E) Debilitating Flames (W) Overpowering Nightmare (E) — 20 (7) Dying Breath (R) Hellstorm (R) Lord of Terror (Active) Hellgate (Active) (!) indicates a Questing Talent. Italic text indicates a NEW Talent. Underlined text indicates a MOVED Talent. Collection
      New Bundles Sun’s Out, Guns Out event items have returned for the duration of the Nexomania event! Add them to your collection by opening Nexomania Loot Chests or purchasing the Sun’s Out 2017 Bundle. The following new bundles are available for a limited time! Hell’s Screamers Bundle Match of the Century Bundle Sun’s Out 2017 Bundle New Announcer El Guapo New Skins
      Diablo El Chamuco Diablo Underworld Chamuco Diablo Hell’s Screamer Diablo E.T.C. El Mariachi E.T.C. Underworld Mariachi E.T.C. Festival Mariachi E.T.C. Garrosh El Jefe Garrosh El Fuego Garrosh Underworld Jefe Garrosh Kharazim Dropkick Kharazim Champion Dropkick Kharazim Dropdead Kharazim Lunara La Parca Lunara La Catrina Lunara Los Muertos Lunara Sonya La Pantera Sonya La Pantera Dorada Sonya Underworld Pantera Sonya New Mounts
      Luchihuahua Hell's Screamer Luchihuahua Underworld Luchihuahua Pigñata Hell's Screamer Pigñata Lucha Pigñata Bug Fixes
      General Fixed a number of typo and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game. A.I. General: After casting Hearthstone, A.I. Heroes will now wait in the Hall of Storms to restore most of their Health and Mana before leaving. D.Va: Fixed an issue that prevented A.I. D.Va from casting Boosters. Deckard: Learning Bottomless Flask no longer causes Allied A.I. Heroes to remain near a Healing Potion’s location indefinitely. Sgt. Hammer: A.I. Sgt. Hammer will no longer become stuck in a Vent behind the opposing bottom-lane Fort on Battlefield of Eternity. The Butcher: Fixed an issue in which A.I. Butcher would repeatedly cast and then cancel Ruthless Onslaught. The Butcher: Fixed an issue that prevented A.I. Butcher from casting Butcher’s Brand. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      Artanis: The Target Purified Talent no longer causes Purifier Beam to acquire Invulnerable targets after its initial target dies. Chromie: Time Traps revealed by Abilities like Tassadar’s Oracle can now be correctly auto-acquired as Basic Attack targets. Fenix: The Talent tooltips for Singularity Charge and Mobile Offense now correctly append to the Ability tooltip for Weapon Mode: Phase Bomb. Garrosh: Casting Into the Fray on Abathur now correctly interrupts Symbiote Channeling. Genji: A damage over time preview now correctly appears in Genji’s Health bar when affected by Lunara’s Nature’s Toxin. Johanna: Can no longer escape Zagara’s Devouring Maw early if Iron Skin expires while inside the Maw. Junkrat: Can now move himself while he is Unstoppable by detonating a nearby Concussion Mine. Malfurion: Reduced Healing applied by Strangling Vines now correctly lasts for its full 3 second duration, even if Entangling Roots expires or its Root effect is removed. Medivh: Dying while attempting to redirect Ley Line Seal after learning Medivh Cheats! no longer causes its targeting indicator to visually persist on the terrain. Nova: Fixed an issue that could cause Holo Decoys to stop attacking nearby targets. Nova: Fixed an issue in which Holo Decoys would not Basic Attack enemy Heroes if Nova did not have enough Mana to cast any of her Abilities. Nova: Armor reductions granted by Anti-Armor Shells and Crippling Shot now stack correctly when applied to the same target. Sonya: Battle Rage no longer grants bonus damage versus Monsters. Tassadar: Plasma Shield Healing done after completing the Khaydarin Resonance quest is now correctly tracked on the in-game stats screen (TAB). Tassadar: The Talent tooltip for Khala’s Light now correctly states that only Heroes will gain Armor when Plasma Shield expires or breaks. This was only a tooltip correction; functionality has not been changed. Thrall: Invulnerable Heroes who are within bounce range after casting Chain Lightning on a nearby target will no longer grant Crash Lightning quest progress. The Lost Vikings: Casting Spin to Win! no longer causes offscreen Vikings to play false “under attack” voice lines. Zul’jin: Using Guillotine with the Buzzsaw Talent to kill Nova’s Holo Decoys or Samuro’s Mirror Images no longer grants Healing. Sound
      Lt. Morales: Replaced incorrect voice processing for voice lines used by the base Lt. Morales and First Lt. Morales skins. Volskaya Foundry: Achieving victory will now correctly cause Overwatch-themed music to play. User Interface
      Loadouts: The Hero’s name at the top of the Loadout pane will now update correctly when switching among Heroes during Hero Select. Collection: Fenix now correctly appears when using the terms “Protoss” and “Dragoon” to filter the Hero roster.  
      Head to the official Heroes of the Storm forums to discuss this post with other players.
    • By Stan

      The free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of May 22.
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: May 22, 2018
      Malfurion Valla Gazlowe Johanna Thrall Dehaka Blaze Lt. Morales Li-Ming Gul'dan Tyrande (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Sylvanas (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Junkrat (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Chen (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)
    • By Oxygen
        
      Our nineteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the month of May is here!
      We present our nineteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of May 2018.
      Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the May 9 patch. The goal 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 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 ranked mode map rotation
       
      Prime Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Diablo Genji Malfurion - E.T.C. Fenix  Stukov   Garrosh↑ Maiev-     Sonya Thrall     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 Arthas Falstad Alexstrasza Abathur Blaze   Greymane Deckard (new) Azmodan Dehaka Hanzo↓ Li Li Nazeebo Johanna Jaina Lt. Morales Sylvanas- Muradin Junkrat Lúcio  Zagara Stitches Li-Ming Uther   Varian (Taunt) Malthael       Tracer     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 Anub'arak Alarak Auriel Gazlowe↑ Artanis Cassia Brightwing- Medivh+ D.Va Chromie Kharazim Murky Leoric Gul'dan Rehgar Xul Tyrael  Kael'thas Tyrande-   Zarya Kel'Thuzad+       Kerrigan       Lunara       Nova       Ragnaros       Samuro       The Butcher       Tychus+       Varian (Colossus Smash)↑       Valla       Zeratul       Zul'jin     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 Chen Cho'gall Ana Probius Cho'gall Illidan↓ Tassadar Sgt. Hammer Rexxar Raynor       Valeera       Varian (Twin Blades of Fury)     Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They may also 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.
       
      Lost Vikings Tier
      The Lost Vikings The Lost Viking 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, this notoriously poorly designed trio is generally avoided by most players.
       
      Metagame assessment
      Tanky meta featuring a tonne of crowd control. Most fights come down to who gets caught out of position first. The natural counters to a tanky meta is typically a double support meta, but Blizzard's recent crusade against support heroes and general design trend embracing overspecialization (i.e. healers can't deal damage or have waveclear, with Deckard being the pinnacle of such) makes this unlikely to happen unless there are more radical changes inbound. In other words, I feel like we may be stuck with what we see.
      Deckard: Fits right in the current metagame with outstanding follow up to any initiation in the form of Scroll Of Sealing, high healing (though weak against displacement effects), great adaptive talents (notably, Emerald against any burst target and Kanai's Cube as a counter to burst) and armor to make him surprisingly difficult to kill. His biggest weakness might be lacking a Cleanse equivalent, though this is becoming more and more common.
      Garrosh: Doesn't do well against Diablo, but wreaks havoc against many other tanks. Particularly strong right now due to being more or less unburstable on top of bringing his super reliable cleansing effect in Indomitable. High high armor works well with sustain healers who basically populate the two highest tiers of healers, bar Uther.
      Hanzo: Excessive basic attack range allowed him to overshadow every other attack-based assassin bar Fenix. Reducing his range by about 15% puts him in right in range of a number of several movement abilities on top of giving him less breathing room against casters. This results in either reduced survivability or damage dealing potential, and in the inability to attack turrets without retaliation. His waveclear and evasiveness were also hit for good measure (through Explosive Arrows damage and Natural Agility range nerfs, respectively). He remains a fine hero, though nowhere near as oppressive, and nowhere near as safe for newer players. I don't expect him to do well in lower leagues.
      Illidan: A feast-or-famine design that feels outdated in terms of depth, overshadowed in the face of rampant mobility creep, and out of meta versus so much crowd control. This will remain the case as long as he is balanced so tightly around using Betrayer's Thirst.
    • By Stan

      Heroes of the Storm Highlights are back with episode 109 of WTF Moments.
      The latest episode starts off with a Hook & Wrecking Ball combo, executed six times in the same match. Poor Alexstrasza and Blaze! Next, we have an unlucky Fenix that gets tossed by the Dragon Knight straight into Gazlowe's Deth Lazor. Definitely check out the insane Genji gameplay at the end of the video (08:50)!
      Let us know your favorite moments in the comments below and don't forget to submit your replays here for a chance to be featured in an upcoming episode of the series.
      Previous Episodes
      WTF Moments Episode 108 WTF Moments Episode 106 & 107 WTF Moments Episode 105
    • By Stan

      The Combat Medic and the Dark Prelate will be on sale next week for 375 Gems and Abyssal Deathbringer Sonya joins the fray for the first time!
      Blizzard (Source)
      Heroic Deals: May 22 – 28, 2018 
      Our next set of Heroic Deals will begin on Tuesday, May 22! Check out the list of upcoming featured items and Hero discounts below.  Upcoming Hero Sales
      Zeratul — Sale Price: 375 Gems Lt. Morales— Sale Price: 375 Gems The following skins and mounts will be added to the featured item rotation and will become purchasable with gems until this round of Heroic Deals comes to an end:
      Upcoming Featured Skins
      Night Ronin Zeratul  Prototype Love Doctor Morales  Abyssal Deathbringer Sonya*  Dreambreaker Thrall  Cruel Queen of Ghosts Kerrigan  Kandy King Muradin  Overqueen Zagara  Elite Agent Nova  * First time featured item!
      Upcoming Featured Mounts
      Hunter Felsaber Demon  Hellboar