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Upcoming Hero Changes from Gamescom 2017

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Kel'thuzad is hitting PTR next week and Chromie, Jaina, Leoric & Morales are receiving reworks. Find out more about all Hero changes spotted by the community so far.

An in-development video will be published Wednesday (August 23).

Redditor ToastieNL compiled a list of all changes over at /r/heroesofthestorm. You can check the full article here. We'll be focusing on Hero changes in this article and report on new skins/sprays/announcers after the in-development video is live tomorrow.

Obey the Call Event

Kel'thuzad's patch brings new skins, bundles, sprays, announcers and event quests to the Nexus. All data was obtained from community contribution at /r/heroesofthestorm. Some changes may be innacurate and we'll have to wait until next week for full patch notes.

New Skins

  • Death Knight Sonya
  • Dreadlord Jaina
  • Crypt Queen Zagara

Hero Changes

The following Heroes will receive updates in next week's PTR patch. 

Chromie

  • Sand BlastSand Blast damage decreased. It's now a baseline quest. Every successful hit +5 damage permanently and at 80 hits, Past and Future MePast and Future Me activates.
  • Chromie has a hits counter with how many Q's you hit in a row. On two consecutive hits, Q deals double the damage, on 3 the damage is tripled.

Talent Changes

  • Compounding AetherCompounding Aether (Level 1 Talent) removed and replaced with a talent that makes Q deal triple bonus damage when you hit an enemy three times in a row.
  • Piercing SandsPiercing Sands (Level 4 Talent) removed. New talent: When Time TrapTime Trap is activated, the cooldowns of Sand BlastSand Blast and Dragon's BreathDragon's Breath is reset.
  • Reaching through TimeReaching through Time (Level 13 Talent) removed. There's a new spell allowing you to swap locations with a Sand Clone (Q baseline quest). Apparently, you can use your Hearthstone, teleport back to the base, replenish your Health/Mana & teleport back.
  • Past and Future MePast and Future Me (Level 20 Talent) became a baseline Q quest and got replaced with Piercing SandsPiercing Sands. It pierces through all enemies, but there are no quest procs for multiple hits.
  • LoopholeLoophole (Level 20 Talent) Temporal LoopTemporal Loop can be cast immediately one more time after it finishes.

Credits go to /u/StephOddish (Source)

Jaina

  • BlizzardBlizzard cooldown reduced to 14 sec.
  • Ice Block is now baseline and you will gain it upon dealing 15,000 Critical Damage (Trait). It's on a 40 second cooldown.

Talents

Level 1

  • Deep ChillDeep Chill (Level 1 Talent) removed. There's a new quest called Fingers of Frost that increases Mana regeneration per globe, capping at 20, when it increases damage bonus of her trait by 10%.

Level 7

  • FrostbittenFrostbitten (Level 7 Talent) removed. Replaced with Icefury Wand: Auto attacks deal 75% bonus damage to Chilled targets. Every auto attack reduces BlizzardBlizzard's cooldown by 1 sec.

Level 10

  • Summon Water ElementalSummon Water Elemental (Level 10 Heroic Ability): Cooldown decreased to 60 sec (down from 80 sec), Mana cost decreased from 75 to 60.

Level 20

  • Bolt of the Storm: Ice Blink & AoE Chill application.
  • Deep ChillDeep Chill: Slow stacks.
  • Ring of FrostRing of Frost (upgrade): reduces its cooldown by 10 sec per Hero hit in the center.

Leoric

  • Skeletal SwingSkeletal Swing (Q) cooldown increased to 14 seconds. has 7 sec. cooldown and 50% Mana refunded when hitting a Hero.
  • Drain HopeDrain Hope (W) baseline healing down to 20% (from 25%).
  • Every 1st / 2nd basic attack cleaves and the 3rd hits for double damage.

Talent Changes

Level 1

  • Consume VitalityConsume Vitality:  Drain HopeDrain Hope's cooldown reduced by 2 sec. Heal for 4% maximum Health per enemy hit with Skeletal SwingSkeletal Swing).
  • Fealty Unto DeathFealty Unto Death: Gain Health / Mana when minions die.
  • Ossein RenewalOssein Renewal: Heal 20% maximum Health over 4 sec.

Level 4

  • Ghastly ReachGhastly Reach: Increases the range of Skeletal SwingSkeletal Swing.
  • Paralyzing RageParalyzing Rage: Increases the Slow of Skeletal SwingSkeletal Swing.
  • Kneel, Peasants: Increases the damage of Skeletal SwingSkeletal Swing by 75% against PvE.

Level 7

  • Willing VesselWilling Vessel: Increases healing of Drain HopeDrain Hope by 5% and an additional 5% when you finish a full cast.
  • Drain MomentumDrain Momentum: Gain 30% Movement Speed for 4 seconds upon completion.
  • HopelessnessHopelessness: Drain HopeDrain Hope's range increased.

Level 10

  • EntombEntomb: Cooldown increased to 70 sec. (down from 50 sec.).
  • March of the Black KingMarch of the Black King: Damage per swing increased to 548 from 400 (at Level 20). Healing increased to 12% of maximum Health (up from 7%).

Level 13

  • Unyielding DespairUnyielding Despair: Reduces the cooldown of Drain HopeDrain Hope.
  • Hardened BonesHardened Bones: Gain Armor during and 3 sec. after Drain HopeDrain Hope.
  • Ominous Wrath: Increases the duration of Wraith WalkWraith Walk by 100%. Wraith Walk through enemies to reduce their damage by 50% for 4 sec.

Level 16

  • Royal FocusRoyal Focus: Your next Skeletal SwingSkeletal Swing deals 50% increaed. damage. Hitting Heroes reduces cooldown of Wraith WalkWraith Walk by 7 sec.
  • Crushing HopeCrushing Hope: Deal damage equal to 15% of an enemy's maximum Health when Drain HopeDrain Hope is cast for its full duration. Does not heal.
  • Mithril Mace: Increases Attack Speed by 20% + 3% per 10 minion kills or 1 Hero kill, capping at 50% total.

Level 20

  • Burning Despair: Deals 175% damage of Burning RageBurning Rage. AoE and damage is doubled when Drain HopeDrain Hope is active.
  • Spectral LeechSpectral Leech: Deals damage equal to 2.5 % of Leoric's maximum Health and heals Leoric for double. Heroes caught in EntombEntomb are now silenced.
  • Hardened ShieldHardened Shield removed, replaced with Shroud of the Dead King: Activate to gain Protected for 3 sec. (75 sec. cooldown).

Credits go to /u/Spazzo965 (Source), /u/Homicidal_HotS, /u/Ignisami & /u/m05513

Lt. Morales

  • Mana removed, replaced with Energy. 3 seconds after not using Healing BeamHealing Beam, Morales will regenerate 6 Energy every 1 sec. Using Healing BeamHealing Beam depletes 6 Energy every 1 sec.
  • Trait updated: Caduceus ReactorCaduceus Reactor now restores 2% maximum health every 1 sec. when channeling Healing BeamHealing Beam.
  • SafeguardSafeguard & Displacement GrenadeDisplacement Grenade are now CD-based.

Talent Changes

Level 1

  • Life Support: Gain 2 Energy (20 cap) each time SafeguardSafeguard reduces damage.
  • Caduceus Feedback: Auto attacks generate 1 Energy (4 Energy against Heroes).

Level 7

  • CleanseCleanse removed. Replaced with Vanadium Plating: Gain +25 Armor on Caduceus ReactorCaduceus Reactor and the duration of Caduceus ReactorCaduceus Reactor is extended when Stunned.
  • Physical Therapy: SafeguardSafeguard removes all Slow effects from the target. If SafeguardSafeguard removes a Slow from the target, the cooldown of SafeguardSafeguard is decreased by 4 sec.

Level 13

  • Second Opinion: Cooldown of Displacement GrenadeDisplacement Grenade is reduced to 1 sec if it hits at least 2 Heroes.
  • EMP Grenade: Deals damage to Shields and additional damage over 2 seconds.

Level 16

  • Extended Care: Healing BeamHealing Beam range increased by 40%.
  • First Responder: Healing BeamHealing Beam healing is increased by 25% if Morales is above 70 Energy.
  • Shield Sequencer: SafeguardSafeguard gains an additional charge.

Level 20

  • Caduceus ReactorCaduceus Reactor (Trait upgrade): Healing increased from 2% to 6% of maximum Health.
  • Medivac DropshipMedivac Dropship (upgrades):
    • Become Protected 2 seconds after exiting Medivac.
    • Create a check-in point at the spawn (B) area for teammates that aren't near you when using Medivac.

Credits go to /u/Ultrajante (Source) and /u/amitlevi45

Redditor Homicidal_HotS spotted differences between the live version of Blizzard's website and the current patch and he shared his findings.

Auriel

  • Bursting LightBursting Light (Level 7 Talent removed).
  • Detainment StrikeDetainment Strike damage was reduced when it does not stun an enemy and increased when it does.
  • Hope regeneration from hero damage was increased to 50% damage dealt (up from 40%).

Butcher

  • Meat gained from Hero kills was reduced to 20 (down from 25).
  • Meat lost upon death was increased to 15 (up from 10).

Garrosh

  • Warlord's Challenge (Heroic ability) taunt increased to 2 sec. (up from 1.5 sec.).

Lucio

  • Passive Crossfade - Healing BoostCrossfade healing increased from 16 to 25 Health per sec.

Uther

  • Armor gained from DevotionDevotion (Trait) reduced to 15 (down from 25).
  • Healing of Holy LightHoly Light (Q) was slightly increased.
  • Damage & healing of Holy RadianceHoly Radiance was slightly increased.

Don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments below!

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While I am glad they rework heroes that have got very old, not sure if this is a buff or a nerf.

And well, I'd get sad if my favorite Skeleton King got smashed to oblivion.

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18 hours ago, Stan said:

EntombEntomb: Cooldown increased to 70 sec. (down from 50 sec.). Damage per swing increased to 548 from 400 (at Level 20). Healing increased to 12% of maximum Health (up from 7%).

I think this refers to March of the Black KingMarch of the Black King, right?

Wow, those reworks, man. Chromie will be even more annoying. Godamn.

But I think the Leoric rework kinda made him worse in some ways. I liked the changes to basic attack dealing more damage and splash as baseline, as well the talent that increase attack speed per minion clear. All in all, his PvE seems better but his PvP slightly worse. I'm not sure if that is what he needed.

 

Now the Morales rework seems very very interesting. Mana Hunger no more! Thank god!

But I've spotted some minor errors with linking the abilities. I think the OP meant SafeguardSafeguard below instead of Caduceus ReactorCaduceus Reactor, correct?

18 hours ago, Stan said:

Life Support: Gain 2 Energy (20 cap) each time Caduceus ReactorCaduceus Reactor reduces damage.

 

18 hours ago, Stan said:

Physical Therapy: Caduceus ReactorCaduceus Reactor removes all Slow effects from the target. If Caduceus ReactorCaduceus Reactor removes a Slow from the target, the cooldown of Caduceus ReactorCaduceus Reactor is decreased by 4 sec.

 

18 hours ago, Stan said:

Shield Sequencer: Caduceus ReactorCaduceus Reactor gains an additional charge.

 

 

 

Edited by Valhalen
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Yay. my gnomie waifu gets an update :D Though sad we don't have a WC3 map . Maybe later in time, according to that Axolotl leak (bless that guy)

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1 hour ago, Stan said:

Thank you @Valhalen. Fixed. 

They've added some changes for Jaina. I think it's worth adding them here. =)

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Losing Burning Rage on Leoric will hurt him the most, despite the wide range of changes to his kit. He's a solo laner and a bruiser who does well against other high health tanks; getting it at level 20, even with the HUGE power increase it gets, is too late for most games, and will be overshadowed by Spectral Leech if I am reading the talents right and it rolls the Entomb silence on top of the passive. 

Any change to March of the Black King? If you still can't steer his movement, or if they didn't increase the radius of the swings, then it will remain a situational ult and feel awkward to play with. 

Edited by Plergoth

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MOST ALL CAPS

LUCIO WILL BE PLAYABLE AGAIN

CHROM8E GETTING EVEN BETTER!

Edited by 50m8r4
I rushed to type before match :>

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Kinda suprised no Johanna, hammer, varian skins, i thought they were chosen for the video because they would be made into creatures, cause well varian and johanna could have been ANY other hero in that video and it would have turned out the same.

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So, with only number tweaks on March of the Black King and no design changes, it is still a huge trouble to hit anything without a specific team comp. And even then, you think twice before grabbing it.

All in all, I feel the Leoric changes are more nerf than a buff. I see no point in making his PvE stronger, we have specialists for this, and his PvE did not need a buff as it was already decent for a bruiser. With Xul on the rise, I see no reason in picking the new Leo over him. 

I'm a bit sad, cause Leo is one of my favorite heroes.

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6 hours ago, Plaguestorm said:

Kinda suprised no Johanna, hammer, varian skins, i thought they were chosen for the video because they would be made into creatures, cause well varian and johanna could have been ANY other hero in that video and it would have turned out the same.

But then we wouldn't have seen Sgt. Hammer sucker punch Zagara right in her spider mandibles! 

My take on it is that they wanted a bit of a mirror here; Varian and Jaina were pretty tight in WoW and Johanna is about the most righteous and virtuous out of the Diablo heroes save for the angels themselves; a nice counterpoint to Death Knight Sonya, but coincidentally, Jaina vs Johanna is an extremely one sided affair in the mage's favour as well. 

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Unlike everyone seems to be pointing out, Leoric hasn't really been nerfed in my opinion. He just has more options now. True, Drain HopeDrain Hope doesn't heal as much and EntombEntomb has to be used more carefully now, but overall I wouldn't call it a nerf. For example, there's now a solid Skeletal SwingSkeletal Swing build, focusing on AoE damage, making Leoric stronger in team fights and giving him more waveclear. Previously, Leoric had to focus on mostly one target (usually the enemy tank), but now he'll be able to deal damage to a bunch of enemies at a time in addition to healing himself. Speaking of which, even though I'm a Leoric main all the way, I'm glad they nerfed his self-healing. It was pretty ridiculous how you could walk into a crowd of at least 3 players and get out without a care in the world. And Shroud of the Dead King will be the most ridiculous thing when you couple it with one of the best escape methods in the game, Wraith WalkWraith Walk

Chromie is easier to play, yay! Butcher doesn't snowball the game in 12 minutes flat now, double yay! Morales no longer runs out of mana every 10 seconds, triple yay! Uther doesn't make people invincible any more, quadruple yay! Lucio is a viable healer again, mega yay! 

Edited by Fliits
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Jaina rework?? IS THIS REAL LIFE???? 

Now I just need one for Tyrael (and some others :p) and Fenix added and I can die happy

Edited by SteveFrost

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12 hours ago, SteveFrost said:

Jaina rework?? IS THIS REAL LIFE???? 

Now I just need one for Tyrael (and some others :p) and Fenix added and I can die happy

Can't just leave her to rot after giving he such a pretty skin!

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6 hours ago, Blainie said:

Can't just leave her to rot after giving he such a pretty skin!

If a Hero who (objectively) needs a rework has to wait for a meme skin to get it; gg... And she got plenty of b00tyful skins before that (her Master still remains my favorite; maybe because I did all the grind; on 2 accs. It does look awesome tho; and she's so purty :3).

And to me, she looks more like Illidan rather than a dreadlord there lul

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27 minutes ago, SteveFrost said:

If a Hero who (objectively) needs a rework has to wait for a meme skin to get it; gg... And she got plenty of b00tyful skins before that (her Master still remains my favorite; maybe because I did all the grind; on 2 accs. It does look awesome tho; and she's so purty :3).

And to me, she looks more like Illidan rather than a dreadlord there lul

Her Post-Theramore skin is amazing, though. I wonder if she will have different lines in that skin. Her expression doesn't look as broken as she is now  WoW.

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3 hours ago, SteveFrost said:

And to me, she looks more like Illidan rather than a dreadlord there lul

Probably because they had to keep that very "humanoid" form rather than make her full-on dreadlord, since it's only a skin!

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On 22.8.2017 at 10:37 PM, Stan said:

Consume VitalityConsume Vitality:  Drain HopeDrain Hope's cooldown reduced by 2 sec. Heal for 4% maximum Health per enemy hit with Skeletal SwingSkeletal Swing).

Are you sure it's supposed to say Drain HopeDrain Hope?

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18 hours ago, Valhalen said:

Her Post-Theramore skin is amazing, though. I wonder if she will have different lines in that skin. Her expression doesn't look as broken as she is now  WoW.

15 hours ago, Blainie said:

Probably because they had to keep that very "humanoid" form rather than make her full-on dreadlord, since it's only a skin!

If they really wanted to cater to the partucular meme fans, they could have done better imho. Oh well... It certainly looks eerie and creepy though (which is why I dislike it; ruining my waifu like that... >.<)

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On 8/25/2017 at 6:34 AM, Fliits said:

Are you sure it's supposed to say Drain HopeDrain Hope?

Error in the post, I believe!

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On 8/25/2017 at 8:21 AM, SteveFrost said:

If they really wanted to cater to the partucular meme fans, they could have done better imho. Oh well... It certainly looks eerie and creepy though (which is why I dislike it; ruining my waifu like that... >.<)

It's what I love most about it! I think it's such a perfect skin - I'm getting it ASAP :D

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      Health increased from 1425 to 1550 Health Regen increased from 2.969 to 3.23 Basic Attack damage reduced from 90 to 81 Abilities
      Withering Fire (Q) Adjusted functionality: Pressing Q once fires 5 Withering Fire arrows at the closest enemy Mana cost increased from 0 to 25 Damage reduced from 48 to 39 Range increased from 6.25 to 8 Cooldown increased from 2 to 8 seconds Cooldown now restores all charges No longer gains charges on Minion kills Nearby Heroes takedowns now refresh the cooldown of this ability Fire rate reduced from .188 to .375 (50% slower) Withering Fire cannot be cast while a previous cast of Withering Fire is still firing Shadow Dagger (W) Adjusted functionality: Shadow Dagger no longer spreads to nearby targets each time it does damage.  Damage dealt by Sylvanas to the primary target of Shadow Dagger spreads its effect to all nearby enemies. Mana cost decreased from 75 to 50 Duration increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds Damage reduced from 37 to 29 Haunting Wave (E) Banshee travel speed increased by ~6% Mind Control (R) Cooldown reduced from 60 to 50 seconds New functionality: After a .25 second cast, launch a missile that impacts the first enemy Hero in its path.  Impacted Heroes are Silenced, Slowed by 30%, and forced to walk towards Sylvanas for 1.75 seconds. Black Arrows (Trait) New functionality: Activate to cause all Basic Attacks and Abilities to Stun Minions, Mercenaries, and Structures for 3 seconds over the next 10 seconds. 40 second cooldown New Passive functionality – Banshee’s Curse: Basic Attacks infect enemies with Banshee’s Curse for 3 seconds.  Sylvanas deals 25% bonus damage to enemies with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse. Talents
      Level 1 Overflowing Quiver (Q) Removed Dreadful Wake (E) Removed Overwhelming Affliction (Trait) Moved from Level 16 Adjusted functionality: Enemy Heroes with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse are slowed by 15%.  Basic Attacks against Slowed enemy Heroes deal 1% of their maximum Health in damage New Talent: Unfurling Shadows (W) Quest: Each time Shadow Dagger deals damage to enemy Heroes with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse, increase its damage by .5% New Talent: Banshee’s Curse (Q) Hitting an enemy Hero with Withering Fire increases Sylvanas’ Attack Speed and Ability Power by 5% for 6 seconds, stacking up to 5 times Level 4 With the Wind (Q) Removed Mercenary Queen (Trait) Moved from Level 1 Adjusted functionality: Friendly non-Elite Mercenaries near Sylvanas deal 60% more damage.  Sylvanas Stuns and deals 30% additional damage to Mercenaries with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse. Possession (Active) Moved from Level 7 Now requires 3 charges to be used on Catapults Unstable Poison (W) Moved from Level 7 Damage increased from 116 to 130 Now triggers on enemy minions who are afflicted by Banshee’s Curse, Black Arrows, or Shadow Dagger Radius increased from 2 to 2.5 Level 7 Barbed Shot (Q) New functionality: Hitting the same enemy with 5 shots of Withering Fire causes the last shot to deal 350% bonus damage Lost Soul (W) Moved from Level 4 Adjusted functionality: Reduce Shadow Dagger’s cooldown by 1.75 seconds each time Sylvanas uses a Basic Attack on an enemy Hero with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse. New Talent: Festering Wounds (E) Haunting Wave deals 25% more damage and applies 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse.  Level 13 Cold Embrace (W) Moved from Level 16 Duration increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds Now also reduces the Armor of targets that Shadow Dagger spreads to by 10 Spell Shield (Active) Removed Remorseless (Trait) Moved from Level 16 New functionality: Increase Sylvanas’ Basic Attack range by 1.  Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse fire an untalented shot of Withering Fire.  This shot applies Banshee’s Curse. Windrunner (E) Adjusted functionality: Teleporting with Haunting Wave resets the cooldown of Withering Fire.  Haunting Wave can be cast a second time for free within 5 seconds after teleporting Level 16 Life Drain (W) Moved from Level 13 New functionality: Dealing damage to enemies with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse heals Sylvanas for 15% of the damage dealt.  Doubled against Heroes Evasive Fire (Q) Adjusted Functionality: Hitting enemies with Withering Fire grants Sylvanas 6% bonus Movement Speed for 2 seconds, stacking up to 30%.  Basic Attacks refresh this duration. Will of the Forsaken (Active) Moved from Level 13 Level 20 Dark Lady's Call (R) New functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Mind Control by 30 seconds.  Heroes hit by Mind Control have their vision greatly reduced for 5 seconds.  Withering Barrage (Q) Moved from Level 4 New functionality: Hitting an enemy Hero with Withering Fire decreases its cooldown by .75 seconds Warrior

      Stitches
      Abilities
      Hook (Q) Range reduced from 12.5 to 11 Slam (W) Cast time increased from .25 to .313 Cooldown increased from 6 to 7 seconds Range increased from 8 to 9.5 Mana cost increased from 30 to 35 Added functionality: Now has an Inner area that deals 40% Bonus Damage and applies a 40% slow for 1.5 seconds Devour (E) Ability Effects now occur at the start of the ability's cast, rather than at the end Vile Cleaver (Passive) New Functionality: Basic Attacks apply Vile Gas to nearby enemies, poisoning for 45 damage over 3 seconds. Re-applying Vile Gas increases its duration rather than resetting it, up to 10 seconds. Talents
      Level 1 Chew Your Food (E) Removed Dampen Magic (Passive) Removed Heavy Slam (W) Removed Hungry for More (Passive) New functionality: Quest: Regen Globes grant 30 permanent Health Every 15 Regen globes, Stitches gains 5% permanent Movement speed up to a maximum of 20% Savor the Flavor (E) Additional heal over time effect duration reduced from 5 to 4 seconds. Moved from level 7 New Functionality: Casting Devour on a Hero restores an additional 10% of maximum Health and Mana over 5 seconds and permanently increases Stitches’ health regeneration by 1. New Talent: Patchwork Creation (Passive) Increase all healing received by 15%. Nearby Minion and Hero kills Heal Stiches (Minions for 30, Heroes for 300) Hero takedown heal amount reduced from 300 to 240 Level 4 Amplified Healing (Passive) Removed Restorative Fumes (Trait) Removed Putrid Ground (W) Removed New Talent – Playtime! (W) Heroes hit by Slam reduce the cooldowns of Stitches's other Basic Abilities by .5 seconds. This cooldown reduction is increased to 2 seconds for Heroes that are hit by Slam's inner impact area. New Talent – Chop Chop (W) Hitting a Hero with the inner area of Slam increases Stitches' Basic Attack Speed by 50% for 4 seconds. New Talent: Serrated Edge (Q) Hooking an enemy Hero deals 5% of their max life as damage and decreases Hook’s cooldown by 4 seconds. Cooldown reduction decreased from 4 to 3 seconds. Level 7 Last Bite (E) Removed New Talent - Blight (Trait) Vile Gas heals for 33% of the damage it deals. Activate to apply Vile Gas to all nearby enemies and reduce their healing taken by 20% for 5 seconds. 40 second CD Cannibalize (Passive) Moved from level 20 New functionality: Heroes hit by Basic Attacks and Slam’s inner area heal Stitches for 2% of his maximum health. Healing reduced from 2 to 1.75% of maximum health Tenderizer (Passive) New functionality: Basic Attacks slow the target by 25% for 2.5 seconds. If the target is afflicted with Slam’s Slow, refresh its duration. Level 13 Flea Bag (Passive) Removed Mega Smash (W) Removed Indigestion (E) Removed New Talent – Lacerate (W) Slam afflicts enemies with Vile Gas and reduces armor by 10 for 4 seconds. New Talent – Digestive Juices (E) Devouring an enemy Hero reduces their damage dealt by 40% for 4 seconds. New Talent – Gas Flare (Passive) Stitches deals 16 damage per second to enemies around you. This damage is increased by 150% for 4 seconds after successfully Hooking an enemy Hero Damage per second reduced from 16 to 15 Level 16 Pulverize (W) New functionality: Slam slows all enemies by 75% for 1 second. Slow duration reduced from 1 to .75 seconds. Shish Kabob (Q) Removed Toxic Gas (Passive) Removed Fishing Hook (Q) Range bonus increased from 40 to 50% New Talent - Meat Hook (Q) Hooking an enemy Hero restores 16% of maximum health over 4 seconds. For 4 seconds, Basic Attacks against the Hooked Hero will refresh the duration of this healing effect. Level 20 New Talent – Second Helping (E) Gain an additional charge of Devour. Devouring an enemy Hero reduces the cooldown of your Heroic ability by 5 seconds. New Talent – Shambling Horror (Active) Passive: Stitches is no longer affected by Slowing effects Activate to gain 50 Armor for 4 seconds. 60 second CD.   Collection
      Many seasonal items have made their way back into the collection and will be available for crafting and in Loot Chests for a limited time!
      New Bundles
      The following new bundles are only available for a limited time! Toy Heroes Bundle Cuddle Bear Stitches Skin Pack Cosmic Force Valeera Skin Pack Dehakasaurus Rex Skin Pack New Skins (Limited Time Only!)
      Stitches Cuddle Bear Stitches Snuggle Bear Stitches Honey Bear Stitches Dehaka Dehakasaurus Rex Dino-Metal Dehakasaurus Rex Playtime Dehakasaurus Rex Valeera Cosmic Force Valeera Psionic Cosmic Force Valeera Nega Force Valeera Sylvanas Mint Sugar Plum Sylvanas New Mounts (Limited Time Only!)
      Cosmic Lion Psionic Lion Nega Lion Plush Unicorn Plush Zombicorn Pretty Plush Unicorn Fuzzy Plush Unicorn Honey Plush Unicorn New Portraits, Sprays, and Emojis
      Several new emoji packs and portraits have also been added to the game. Bug Fixes
      General
      Fixed an issue causing camera jumps and cursor resets when using drag scroll. Made a number of improvements to AI behavior. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      Brightwing: Fixed an issue preventing Brightwing from applying the Sticky Flare talent effect if it hit more than one target. Brightwing: Fixed an issue preventing Brightwing from applying the Hush! talent effect if it hit more than one target. Chromie: Dragon’s Breath’s warning splat will now display after the ability has been cast. Deckard: Fixed an issue causing Deckard’s portal to be visible in Fog of War when using Hearthstone. Leoric: Fixed an issue that allowed Drain Hope’s damage and healing to persist through time stop effects. Lunara: Fixed an issue preventing Lunara from playing a voice line when she died. Stitches: Slam will now reveal its impact area and targets. Stitches: Serrated Edge no longer deals bonus damage to friendly targets when using Helping Hand. Stukov: Fixed an issue causing Massive Shove to remove Weighted Pustule from its target. User Interface
      Fixed a number of tooltip issues and inaccuracies across the game. Fixed an issue causing Hero models to prevent players from pressing the Ready button in the queue screen. Fixed an issue causing grandmaster numbers of 3 digits to extend beyond portrait frames while in a party. Kel’Thuzad: Added a quick-cast option for Glacial Spike. Zul’jin: Added a quick-cast option for Amani Rage. The latest Heroes of the Storm content patch with Stitches & Sylvanas updates is now live.
    • By Oxygen
      Find out more about how the recently-announced 2019 gameplay changes will affect Heroes of the Storm in the long run.
      Just over a year ago, in preparation for BlizzCon 2017, I produced a lengthy article outlining some of Heroes of the Storm's most important issues. Notable among these was that of Quick Match team compositions. To me, Heroes of the Storm had always been clearly designed and balanced with tanks and healers in mind. As such, failing to enforce team compositions that included these classes caused a number of important problems across the game.
      Following disappointing BlizzCon 2017 announcements on the matter (class changes were discussed briefly, but composition changes were not), a reddit post and a blog post published six months later would confirm that changes to Quick match team compositions were indeed in the works, though no ETA was given. BlizzCon 2018 was a pretty safe bet that would turn out to be accurate.
      So, what's the big deal?
      As Heroes of the Storm's introductory - and most popular - game mode, Quick Match must absolutely accomplish two things: Groom its player base for improvement and present Heroes of the Storm in the best light possible.
      Year after year, however, the Quick Match system has continued to fail on both counts completely, discouraging new players and veterans alike with frustrating matches that taught bad habits and ultimately hindered the growth of the player base's skill level. How can players learn to follow up without a tank to initiate? How can they possibly internalize what their reasonable survivability is like against five other assassins? The answer is simple: They can't, because these situations are nonsensical and for the most part subpar in any remotely competent environment. Fortunately, this will soon be a thing of the past.
      Placing players in a tank-healer environment - around which the game was designed - leads me to believe that player base's skill level to improve across all game modes. Drafting skill is likely to improve as well, leading to fewer draft infighting situations. Further, it  will reduce the frustration caused by unreasonable team compositions to ultimately better retain new players, whom will get to experience the game as it was meant to be played as opposed to this rather ridiculous game mode.
      Needless to say, I think this is one of the best BlizzCon announcements to date, though I must still question what took so long. The most educated guess I can produce has to do with fearing longer queue times, but here's to hoping the "Call of the Nexus" incentive will be enough to entice players into checking out classes they haven't tried out just yet. A strong enough incentive could have the positive side effect of allowing players to develop a better global understanding of the game through approaching roles they're less used to.
      Classy new classes
      The new class system builds on the old system simply by further specializing the existing classes and removing specialists. Reworking the class system was necessary to allow team compositions to be reworked themselves.
      Heroes in the old warrior class were divided into the tank and bruiser classes, with tanks now being mandatory for Quick Match team compositions. This makes sense, as many bruisers were typically unable to fulfill the role of true tanks completely, which is to reliably initiate and peel. Allowing the warrior class to continue existing in its current state would have created the kind of lopsided team composition problems we experienced back when Varian was treated as a damage dealer.
      Heroes in the support class were divided into pure healers and support heroes, which is just a way of identifying heroes who do not use healing as their primary means of assisting teammates. Given that healers must now be included in team compositions to the same extent as tanks, this change also makes sense.
      The specialist class was merged with the assassin class because it hadn't made sense in a long time to treat them any differently; most of them were simply fancy damage dealers. The assassin class itself was split up into melee and ranged assassins.
      If you've been keeping up with some of the more recent versions of my tier lists - I don't blame you if you haven't - you'll note that I had already opted to further divide the classes, with a focus on play style rather than role a few months ago. Specifically, melee assassins are divided into fighters and stalkers, and ranged assassins into marksman and casters. My system has the advantage of being a bit more flexible for edge cases such as Genji and Tracer, who play more like melee assassins yet were labeled as ranged by Blizzard. Still, this distinction is of little relevance to most players.
      Conclusion
      Short conclusions mean I am happy with things.
      Oxygen discusses why the announced changes might just be the best thing to happen to HotS.
    • By Stan
      A shroud of uncertainly looms over the future of HGC and Heroes Esports as a whole due to the lack of HGC updates for the upcoming year and many pro players as well as casters are either done with the game or transferring to other games.
      Gillyweed (HGC Caster)
      The well-known female HGC caster is moving to Rocket League in 2019.
      Placeholder for tweet 1070532465503088640 Trikslyr (HGC Caster)
      Tim announced he won't be casting HGC in 2019 and he plans to make streaming his major focus.
      Placeholder for tweet 1071925490473152518 Tetcher (HGC China Caster)
      Chris voiced his uncertainty on Twitter today, following the lack of HGC information.
      Placeholder for tweet 1072029712514510849 We're going to closely monitor any announcements, so keep an eye out on the Heroes news section!
    • By Stan
      Free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of December 11.
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: December 11, 2018
      Raynor Muradin Sonya Nazeebo Uther Jaina Zarya Li-Ming Deckard Blaze Yrel (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Junkrat (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Tychus (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Whitemane (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)