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Stan

Balance Update Patch Notes: Aug 23

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A new patch was released in order to apply balance changes and bug fixes. Some of them were spotted by redditor Homicidal_HotS yesterday in a post about upcoming Hero changes. We'll need to wait two more weeks for Jaina, Leoric , Lt. Morales & Chromie reworks.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Assassin

Alarak

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Talents

  • Level 4
    • Negatively Charged (E)
      • Damage bonus increased from 3 to 5%
  • Level 13
    • Blade of the Highlord (Passive)
      • Bonus Sadism increased from 6 to 7%. Cap increased from 30 to 35%

Illidan

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Abilities

  • The Hunt (R)
    • Cooldown increased from 60 to 100 seconds

Developer Comment: With his built-in cooldown reduction from Betrayer’s Thirst, we wanted to give his enemies a bit more time to prepare – I’ll bet he didn’t see that coming.

Kerrigan

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Abilities

  • Ravage (Q)
    • Damage reduced from 228 to 210
  • Impaling Blades (W)
    • Damage increased from 251 to 261
  • Primal Grasp (E)
    • Damage increased from 110 to 114

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Energizing Grasp (E)
      • Removed
  • Level 7
    • Adaptation (Q)
      • Removed

The Butcher

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Stats

  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 130 to 125

Abilities

  • Fresh Meat (Trait)
    • Meat from Hero kills reduced from 25 to 20
    • Meat lost on death increased from 10 to 15

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Insatiable Blade (W)
      • Adjusted functionality:
        • Removed the bonus healing
        • Increased movement speed bonus from 20 to 25%
    • Victuals (Passive)
      • Heal increased from 4 to 5% per minion death
  • Level 16
    • Crippling Slam (Q)
      • Bonus duration increased from 25 to 30%
    • Enraged (Passive)
      • Armor bonus reduced from 25 to 15

Developer Comment: May his enemies rest in fewer pieces.

Thrall

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Abilities

  • Chain Lightning (Q)
    • Mana cost reduced from 45 to 40

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Crash Lightning (Q)
      • Damage per stack increased from 10 to 12
    • Rolling Thunder (Q)
      • Mana return per attack increased from 12 to 15
  • Level 4
    • Mana Tide (Trait)
      • Mana return reduced from 20 to 15
  • Level 16
    • Thunderstorm (Q)
      • Added functionality:
        • Damage from final quest reward now also applies to Chain Lightning bounces

Zul'jin

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Talents

  • Level 1
    • Boneslicer (Q)
      • Bonus damage increased from 20 to 30%

Specialist

Xul

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Abilities

  • Raise Skeleton (Trait)
    • Skeleton health reduced from 270 to 240
  • Skeletal Mages (R)
    • Cooldown increased from 70 to 90 seconds

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Trag’Oul’s Essence (Trait)
      • Healing reduced from 1% to .5% per Skeleton Basic Attack
      • Mana return increased from .4% to .5% per Skeleton Basic Attack
  • Level 13
    • Echoes of Death (Q)
      • Damage reduced from 70 to 60% of Spectral Scythe’s damage

Zagara

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Talents

  • Level 16
    • Mutalisk (W)
      • Duration reduced from 45 to 30 seconds

Support

Auriel

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Abilities

  • Bestow Hope (D)
    • Hope generation ratio from hitting Heroes increased from 40 to 50%
  • Sacred Sweep (Q)
    • Outer damage reduced from 80 to 60
    • Center damage increased from 160 to 180
  • Detainment Strike (E)
    • Initial damage reduced from 115 to 58
    • Stun damage increased from 115 to 174
  • Resurrect (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 120 to 100 seconds

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Bursting Light (W)
      • Removed

Developer Comment: These changes are designed to reduce the reliance that Auriel has upon a hyper-carry style character to be an effective healer.  By increasing the amount of Hope that she can generate but removing Bursting Light and its ability to reduce the cooldown of Ray of Heaven, Auriel will have more consistent healing output regardless of who is currently Bestowing Hope.  We’re also reducing the damage that Auriel does on average by gating it behind getting the most of her Basic Abilities.  By reducing the synergy that Auriel has with a single massive source of damage and reducing her damage output, we hope to make her less common in double support team compositions.

Lúcio

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Stats

  • Base Maximum Health increased from 1380 to 1518
  • Health Regen increased from 2.86 to 3.16

Tassadar

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Stats

  • Basic Attack Damage reduced from 15 to 14
  • Based Maximum Health reduced from 1426 to 1355
  • Health regen reduced from 2.97 to 2.8

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Khaydarin Resonance (Passive)
      • Bonus Mana from Regen Globes increased from 50 to 100%

Tyrande

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Talents

  • Level 4
    • Celestial Attunement (Q)
      • Added functionality:
        • Also removes Silences
    • Kaldorei Resistance
      • Max Spell Armor stacks reduced from 4 to 3
  • Level 13
    • Empower (W)
      • Added functionality:
        • Also lowers the base cooldown of Sentinel by 4 seconds
    • Harsh Moonlight (W)
      • Slow amount reduced from 30 to 25%
      • Damage reduction amount from 30 to 25%

Uther

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Abilities

  • Eternal Vanguard (Trait)
    • Armor for healing allies with Basic Abilites reduced from 25 to 15
  • Holy Light (Q)
    • Healing increased from 360 to 380
    • Self-healing increased from 180 to 190
  • Holy Radiance (W)
    • Healing and damage increased from 160 to 185

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Wave of Light (W)
      • Bonus duration to Armor buff on Quest Completion reduced from 1 to .5 seconds
      • Mana return reduced from 8 to 5 per Hero hit
  • Level 4
    • Holy Fire (Passive)
      • Damage reduced from 16 to 14 per second

Developer Comment:  We’ve found that by increasing the niche of Uther, players could easily build teams with 2 Supports that were incredibly difficult to counter, thereby creating a slow gameplay trend that could be frustrating to play against.  We think it’s great to see double support every once in a while, but Uther enabled it too well when paired with almost any other healer.  By reducing the Armor he grants via his Trait and getting a little more healing throughput, Uther should feel slightly more well-rounded.

Warriors

Chen

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Stats

  • Base Maximum Health reduced from 2550 to 2473
  • Health regeneration reduced from 5.31 to 5.15

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Refreshing Elixir (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Purifying Brew (Passive)
      • Moved from Level 20
      • Cooldown increased from 10 to 45 seconds
  • Level 16
    • Flying Leap (Q)
      • Bonus range reduced from 20 to 15%

Garrosh

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Abilities

  • Warlord's Challenge (R)
    • Taunt duration increased from 1.5 to 2 seconds

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Unrivaled Strength (E)
      • Increased throw range from 20 to 30%, and bonus damage from 100 to 125%
  • Level 4
    • In for the Kill (W)
      • Increased bonus damage from 60 to 70%
  • Level 7
    • Into the Fray (Active)
      • No longer costs Mana

Bug Fixes

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Auriel: Resurrecting Uther before Eternal Vanguard expires will no longer prevent him from respawning.
  • Cassia: Casting Fend on a target who is near a wall will no longer cause her to path in unintended directions before the Ability fires.
  • Genji: Fixed an issue that prevented Fort attacks from slowing Genji’s Movement and Attack Speeds if he had Dodge stacks remaining.
  • Kharazim: Fixed an issue that could cause Kharazim to dash to unexpected locations after casting Radiant Dash.
  • Tassadar: Fixed an issue causing some Attack Speed modifier effects, such as Xul’s Cursed Strikes, to persist indefinitely if the effect expired during Dimensional Shift.
  • Xul: Waiting 4 or more seconds to attack after activating Cursed Strikes will no longer cause the Ability’s visual effects to out of sync with Xul’s attack animations
  • Tychus: In the Rhythm Talent will now correctly display quest progress on the in-game Score Screen’s Talents tab.

User Interface

  • Emojis: Sending an “Embarrased” Emoji (:oops:) as Garrosh, or while he is selected for play, will now correctly display the Garrosh Embarrased Emoji if the player owns the corresponding Emoji pack.

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Lucio's healing wasn't buffed...

 

 

 

Never mind, Alarak got buffed and The Butcher is no longer the noobs tool for ridiculous triple kills!

Never thought Auriel was that good, then again I've never seen one in a double support team play well, neither have I seen Uther in a double support team, but the ban hammer had been definitely hanging over Uther's head for a long time.

Kerrigan is greater, Xul is no longer the bane of the Bay and Thrall is now Emperor Palpatine's favourite hero. There are some questionable buffs and nerfs, like nerfing Chen and buffing Garrosh. In my opinion it should have been the other way, but I don't work at Blizzard so who am I to judge.

Then there's the obligatory changes that don't affect the meta in any meaningful way (Zul'jin, Zagara, Tassadar, Illidan) and lastly Tyrande is stronger again, since no one under the sun (moon?) was able to play her without resorting to playing her like an AA assassin, so now she's more like one? Why is she still then classified as a support? Blizzard please, decide what you're going to do with her already. 

Edited by Fliits
  • Like 2

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whewww this patch, Get Nerfed Supports :DD

3 hours ago, Stan said:

Cassia: Casting Fend on a target who is near a wall will no longer cause her to path in unintended directions before the Ability fires.

I'm so glad they fixed this, it was frustrating me so much.

3 hours ago, Stan said:

Level 1

  • Unrivaled Strength (E)
    • Increased throw range from 20 to 30%, and bonus damage from 100 to 125%

 

Really, now Garrosh will throw people into the core with this

 

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9 minutes ago, MvonTzeskagrad said:

Mind telling me why has Chen been nerfed?

It makes no sense.

Most of the other changes make sense.

Chen was op man, best counter for Zagara

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I'm so glad Garrosh didn't get nerfed.  Instead they buff one of my favorite talents on him.

An even better In For The Kill?  IMO his best talent at level 4 already? Yes please.

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1 hour ago, Anastriana said:

Aww.. no more Falstad/Kerrigan taxi service. :<

I'm surprised it took Blizzard this long to remove that talent.

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1 hour ago, Valhalen said:

I'm surprised it took Blizzard this long to remove that talent.

They are very slow for many things. Keep in mind they spent entire months nerfing Ragnaros until it stopped to be broken.

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16 hours ago, Valhalen said:

Godamnit those Auriel nerfs. There was no reason to do so. At least they increased the Hope Generation.

You can thank pro players for that. Generally, the #1 reason something is nerfed or removed altogether is because it is spammed in comp play (near perma pick/ban status), which in turn causes many others to... "adopt" it (Copycats of the Storm). To me personally, it doesn't seem like she was hit that hard (could be wrong ofc). I never really understood why they ALWAYS went with Bursting LightBursting Light in tournaments; both Energized CordEnergized Cord and Empathic LinkEmpathic Link were always much better and all-around choices imho. Oh well...

If anything, I believe Uther was hit rather hard (another victim of "being too meta"). The Armor from his Trait seems rather insignificant now and won't make much of a difference imho (deja vus of when Khala's LightKhala's Light was the go to talent pick for Tass, they decreased it to 15 and since then, it was sent to oblivion)

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23 minutes ago, SteveFrost said:

I never really understood why they ALWAYS went with Bursting LightBursting Light in tournaments; both Energized CordEnergized Cord and Empathic LinkEmpathic Link were always much better and all-around choices imho. Oh well... 

I've always preferred Energized Cord as well. I'm bummed with the nerfs to her damage output from her two other skills.

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16 hours ago, Fransoa said:

I'm so glad they fixed this, it was frustrating me so much.

It was pretty funny though, seeing cassia running against EntombEntomb walls at light speed.

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18 hours ago, Fransoa said:

Really, now Garrosh will throw people into the core with this

I'm 100% prepared to rage.

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21 hours ago, Fliits said:

There are some questionable buffs and nerfs, like nerfing Chen and buffing Garrosh. In my opinion it should have been the other way,

My thoughts exactly ;)

 

15 hours ago, Valhalen said:

I'm surprised it took Blizzard this long to remove that talent.

And that is why ?
You have to be extremely good with her to utilize her full potential but when that happens you don't pick Adaptation lol. AND even then she is still excluded from any high level team compos. Not to mention pro scene... So yeah - lets make normal/weak chars even weaker - especially for newer/worse players.

Edited by Godeyes

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2 hours ago, Godeyes said:

And that is why ?
You have to be extremely good with her to utilize her full potential but when that happens you don't pick Adaptation lol. AND even then she is still excluded from any high level team compos. Not to mention pro scene... So yeah - lets make normal/weak chars even weaker - especially for newer/worse players.

I just said that because of that exploit with Falstad. The talent itself was very useful for those clutch moments where you need that quick escape.

Sadly, Kerrigan is one of those Heroes that will always be in a Niche Tier because she requires very specific compositions to be really good. She is hard to balance without making her overpowered, but I wouldn't say she is weak at all.

Edited by Valhalen

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10 hours ago, SteveFrost said:

You can thank pro players for that. Generally, the #1 reason something is nerfed or removed altogether is because it is spammed in comp play (near perma pick/ban status), which in turn causes many others to... "adopt" it (Copycats of the Storm). To me personally, it doesn't seem like she was hit that hard (could be wrong ofc). I never really understood why they ALWAYS went with Bursting LightBursting Light in tournaments; both Energized CordEnergized Cord and Empathic LinkEmpathic Link were always much better and all-around choices imho. Oh well...

The thing with auriel is that, having a good battery like Valla or Guldan actuallly fills her energy bar reaaaally quick so the lower cd on the healing is really rewarding, specially if the players are good, the high ranks (GMs and Master) been really tilted about this kind of comps and yeah Blizzard is responding on that, I actually think is accurate.

Auriel might be really weak on QM or disorganized teams without a proper battery but with a capable one is really hard to play against and really easy to play with.

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8 hours ago, Wolke said:

The thing with auriel is that, having a good battery like Valla or Guldan actuallly fills her energy bar reaaaally quick so the lower cd on the healing is really rewarding, specially if the players are good, the high ranks (GMs and Master) been really tilted about this kind of comps and yeah Blizzard is responding on that, I actually think is accurate.

Auriel might be really weak on QM or disorganized teams without a proper battery but with a capable one is really hard to play against and really easy to play with.

Pros do practice veeeery specific stuff and hang on to them. The issue is, reduced cd on W won't help that much if said battery can't Bestow Hope (Valla for example can be easily jumped on, chain cc'ed etc or just blinded). While it was the 'standard' build in comp play, I did see some.. deviations sometimes. And it didn't reassure that Auriel & her team would do well.

And that's why the other 2 aforementioned talents are better overall choices imho; if you can keep the Hope generation up, you don't really have to worry about having a reliable battery or not. You just keep throwing the heals in. W's cd is already not that big imho.

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      Base
      Vitals Uses Scrap instead of Mana, max of 10 Scrap. Base Health increased from 1826 to 2275. Health regen increased from 3.8046 to 4.74. Basic Attack Damage from 95 to 100. Trait Renamed to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. New Functionality: Regenerate 1 Scrap every 4 seconds. Destroyed Rock-It! Turrets drop 1 Scrap, pick up dropped Scrap to regain it. Activate to destroy a target Rock-It! Turret. Scrap Scrap pick up range increased from 1.25 to 1.5. Spawn pick up delay reduced from 0.45 to 0.0 seconds. Rock-It! Turrets [Q] Costs 4 Scrap. Base damage decreased from 62 to 36. Base Health reduced from 593 to 510. Health scaling increased from 4% to 5%. Duration decreased from 30 to 15 seconds. GCD decreased from 2 to 0.5 seconds. Placement range increased from 2 to 3. Adjusted weapon range icons to be less noisy. Prioritizes nearest enemy Hero when first created. Deth Lazor [W] No longer has a cost. Cooldown decreased from 12 to 8 seconds. Damage increased from 137 to 174. Range increase from 6 to 10. Width increased from 2 to 2.5. Adjusted Functionality: After 0.65 seconds, deal 208 damage to enemies in a line. Heal 25% of damage dealt, this effect is increased to 75% against Heroes. Xplodium Charge [E] No longer has a cost. Cooldown decreased from 20 to 12 seconds. Damage reduced from 233 to 155. Missile travel speed increased substantially. Search area reduced from 3 to 2.85. Range decreased from 9.5 to 7. Explosion delay decreased from 2.5 to 1.25 seconds. Stun duration decreased from 1.75 to 1 second. Talents
      Level 1 Extra TNT [E] Removed. Scrap-o-matic Smelter [Trait] Removed. Break it down [Trait] Removed. Goblin Repairs [Passive] Removed. (New) Rocket Boots [E] Increase the cast range of Xplodium Charge by 30% and its damage by 20%. Hitting a Hero increases movement speed by 20% for 3 seconds. (New) One Man Wrecking Crew [Passive] Casting Basic Abilities cause Gazlowe’s next Basic Attack within 6 seconds to deal 45% more damage. Stores up to 2 charges. (New) Big Game Hunter [Passive] Dealing damage with Basic Attacks to Heroes, Mercs or Monsters reduces the cooldown of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by 2 seconds. Increase maximum Scrap by 2. Level 4 Clockwerk Steam Fists [Q] Removed. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle [Trait] Removed. Hired Goons [Passive] Removed. (New) Rock It Sock It [Q] Placing a Rock-It! Turret grants Gazlowe a 215 point Shield for 2.5 seconds. Hyperfocus Coils [W/E] Moved from level 7. Adjusted Functionality: Heroes hit by Deth Lazor and Xplodium Charge take an additional 2% of their maximum Health in damage. Gazlowe is healed for 150% the amount. Crit kicker added. EZ-PZ Dimensional Ripper [Active] Moved from level 13. New Functionality: Cooldown: 40 seconds. Activate to gain 35 Armor for 3 seconds, reducing damage taken by 35%, and reduce damage dealt of all nearby Heroes and Summons by 50% for 3 seconds. Level 7 Rock-It! Turret XL [Q] Removed. Engine Gunk [Q] Removed. Goblin Fusion Moved from level 13. Adjusted Functionality: Generate 3 Scrap for each Hero hit by Deth Lazor. (New) Overload [W] Deth Lazor can now store up to 2 charges. Each enemy Hero hit by Deth Lazor reduces the cooldown of Deth Lazor by 0.5 seconds. (New) Master Blaster [E] Deth Lazor and Xplodium Charge Slow by 35% for 2.5 seconds. Rock-It! Turret Basic Attacks extend the duration by 0.25 seconds. Level 10 Robo-Goblin [R1] New Functionality: Activate to become Unstoppable for 1.5 seconds. Passive: Basic Attacks deal 80 bonus damage over 5 seconds, stacks up to 3 times. Grav-O-Bomb 3000 [R2] Cooldown decreased from 90 to 60 seconds. Damage reduced from 251 to 220. Added Functionality: Basic Abilities deal 30% more damage for 5 seconds after casting Grav-O-Bomb 3000. Level 13 X-Tra Large Bombs [E] Removed. (New) Positive Reinforcement [Q] Primary Turret attacks against Heroes increase Gazlowe’s Attack Speed by 40% for 3 seconds. (New) Superior Schematics [Q] Moved from level 16. Adjusted Functionality: Rock-It! Turrets attack up to 2 additional target for 75% damage and have 50% increased range. (New) Overcharged Capacitors [Q] Gazlowe gains 5% Spell Power for each active turret, up to a maximum of 15%. Dealing Basic Attack damage extends the duration of Rock-It! Turrets by 1.5 seconds. Level 16 Turret Storage [Q] Removed. Kwik Release Charge [E] Removed. Firin’ Mah Lazorz [W] Moved from level 20. Damage increased from 102 to 125. Ark Reaktor [E] Moved from level 4. Adjusted Functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Xplodium Charge by 3 seconds. Using Xplodium Charge creates 3 Rock-It! Turrets that last for 3 seconds. These Turrets do not drop Scrap or benefit from other Talents. (New) Overklock [Passive] Hitting enemy Heroes grants 15% bonus Movement Speed for 2 seconds. Hitting enemy Heroes with Basic Attacks causes them to take an additional 2.5% of their maximum Health in damage. Level 20 Mecha-Lord [R1] Adjusted Functionality: Basic Attacks increase Gazlowe’s Armor by 10 for 10 seconds, up to a maximum of 30. Basic Attacks deal 50% more damage to Stunned or Slowed targets. Miniature Black Hole [R2] Added Functionality: Each enemy Hero hit reduces the cooldown of Grav-O-Bomb by 12 seconds. It’s Raining Scrap [Q] Adjusted Functionality: Reduce the Scrap cost of Rock-It! Turrets by 1. Regain 2 Scrap for each Scrap pickup. (New) Bomb Toss [E] Xplodium Charge launches 2 more bombs when it detonates. Return to Top
      Heroes
      Alarak
      Base
      Health increased from 1900 to 1950. Health Regeneration increased from 3.96 to 4.06. Talents
      Level 4 Negatively Charged [E] Initial damage bonus increased from 150% to 175%. Cassia
      Talents
      Level 7 Surge of Light [Active] Damage reduced from 250 to 240. Damage taken amount required to activate increased from 500 to 650. Chromie
      Talents
      Level 1 Deep Breathing [W] Damage bonus reduced from 1.5% to 1% per stack. Cooldown reduction upon quest completion reduced from 5 seconds to 4 seconds. Mana cost upon quest completion changed from 30 to 40. Level 5 Mobius Loop [W] Damage bonus reduced from 50% to 30%. Slow duration reduced from 1 second to .75 seconds. Deckard
      Talents
      Level 4 Ruby [Active] Cooldown increased from 10 to 20 seconds. E.T.C.
      Talents
      Level 13 Encore [W] Heroic cooldown reduction reduced from 8% to 6%. Imperius
      Talents
      Level 7 Flash of Anger [Q] Damage reduced from 180 to 165. Shield amount reduced from 300 to 275. Orphea
      Talents
      Level 1 Ancestral Strength [Trait] Bonus damage reduced from 20% to 15%. Level 7 Mind Devourer [E] Damage per enemy Hero hit increased from 4 to 5. Maximum bonus damage reduced from 160 to 150. Heroes hit required for quest completion reduced from 40 to 30. Level 13 Abyssal Symbiosis [W] Shield amount reduced from 180 to 170. Level 16 Dead Magic [Trait] Damage reduced from 95 to 90. Stitches
      Base
      Slam [W] Bonus damage to Minions and Mercenaries increased from 50% to 60%. Tassadar
      Talents
      Level 1 Static Charge [Q] Maximum damage bonus reduced from 250 to 200. Level 10 Archon [R1] Shield amount reduced from 30% to 25% maximum Health. Basic Attack damage reduced from 150 to 140. Basic Attack splash damage reduced from 75 to 70. Yrel
      Talents
      Level 1 Dauntless [Passive] Physical Armor amount reduced from 40 to 35. Return to Top
      Bug Fixes
      Fixed an issue where Mercenaries would not be Stunned by Haunting Wave when the Mercenary Queen and Festering Wounds talents were taken. Fixed an issue where Executor's Will did not have a buff bar. Fixed an issue where Trauma Trigger did not have a button. Toy Train Mount - Metamorphosis Illidan, Dragonqueen Alexstrasza, Odin Tychus, and Archon Tassadar can no longer mount as a caboose on the Toy Train. Return to Top
      The latest content patch with D.Va & Gazlowe reworks, ARAM Mode, and a brand new Nexus Anomaly is live.
    • By Stan
      Blizzard Press Center has been recently updated with new skins coming in the latest patch, Enforcer tints, and the Tamed Ravasaur mount which will be rewarded from winning 35 games in Ranked Play in the new Season.
      The CraftWars and Hero Reworks entry in the Press Center requires a login, but Redditor Gnueless found out that you can simply scroll down the page and see everything.
      Anduin

      Rexxar/Misha

      Artanis

      Arthas

      Blaze + Bunker

      D.Va Micro Missiles

      Gazlowe

      Illidan

      Invincilisk Mount

      Kul Tiras Iron Kite Mount

      Mei

      Murky

      Uther

      Most of the new skins will arrive with the latest patch, but there are also three interesting Enforcer tints for the existing skins, these include:
      Bionic Enforcer Johanna

      Russet Watchdog Greymane

      Neon Paramedic Morales

      Tamed Ravasaur Mount
      You can get the following mount as a reward in the upcoming Season.



    • By Stan
      Heroes of the Storm Senior Game Designer David Warner talks about the D.Va rework coming in the next patch.
      (Source)
      What do you get when you mix a professional gamer from the future, energy drinks, a huge mech, and tabletop roleplaying game archetypes? According to David Warner, senior game designer on the Heroes of the Storm team, the outcome of this amalgamation is the brand-new D.Va rework, releasing with Heroes of the Storm’s upcoming patch.
      We caught up with Warner to hear more about everyone’s favorite MEKA pilot and what it’s like to rework heroes.
      For Warner, game design is like a constantly-changing jigsaw puzzle with an unknown number of parts. Trying to suss out the best direction to take a design is a point of frustration, but when all of the pieces seamlessly connect, it brings him an unparalleled feeling of fulfillment.
      “Personally,” Warner says, “the best feeling is when you finally get all the segments of a particular build in place and you start getting feedback about how fun and cool it is from people that don’t normally play that character. Nothing means more than getting an email after a rework talking about how cool X and Y were and how they can’t wait to try Z next game!”
      The team carefully considers each piece of the hero rework puzzle as they flesh out a character to have more diversity and synergy while preserving their core gameplay. After they decide which hero to revamp, the team digs in to identify which areas need the most TLC. While it’s easy enough to look at the pick-win rates of heroes’ talents and their success with various matchups to pinpoint issues, what is and isn’t working about a hero’s fulfillment of player fantasies and their identity as a unique character is harder to recognize and define than the ones and zeros of statistical game data.
      “While I consider both data and hero identity for a rework, I usually start by digging into lore, which almost always yields some gameplay angles to pursue,” says Warner. “For example: with D.Va it was obvious there needed to be a talent that involved shooting your pistol at your Mech with Big Shot because that was an unforgettable moment from her Overwatch cinematic. This cool lore moment became the Nuclear Option talent at level 4, which drastically changed the availability of Self-Destruct, effectively creating a whole new build path by itself.”

      Warner also looks at what he calls the memetic identity of the game’s heroes, looking at how they’re perceived by the community to see what sorts of reactions they elicit and memes they generate. “D.Va is a pro gamer, but she’s also got this over-the-top ‘gremlin’ meme identity that took on a life of its own where she’s hopped up on energy drinks and Doritos,” says Warner. “It might sound stupid, but all of the ridiculous memes I saw led to the Liquid Cooling and Timing Attack talents and levels 1 and 20 respectively because I thought to myself, ‘If this meme were a talent, what would it look like?’”
      While exploring the memes D.Va spawned provided valuable insight and aided the team in reworking her identity and skills to give them unique flavor, the extreme gamer energy and empty drink cans comprise only a part of who she is. To figure out other aspects of her character and gameplay, Warner swapped his perspective to that of a Dungeon Master.
      “Pen-and-paper game archetypes have been explored and iterated upon for decades, and I find them tried and true,” says Warner. “I view D.Va as an amalgam of the Berserker and Knight archetype. She wants to get in your face and expend health for bursts of offensive power like a Berserker while also being a defensively oriented anchor point for your team, like an archetypical Knight would. So how does that translate, gameplay-wise? An example is the Full Metal talent at level 1 being more of a Berserker option, since it expands and rewards your ability to get in close melee, while Pro Moves is more of a Knight option because it encourages you to stick close to the team and soak damage. That line of thought continues throughout the talent tree, allowing D.Va to flex or sharpen either of these roles as she sees fit.”
      The team approached D.Va’s rework with three main goals in mind: to make her talent choices more compelling and meaningful, to help her become a traditional ‘bruiser’ and give her more of an edge against solo laners, and to avoid pigeonholing players into having to choose either a Mech or Pilot Heroic. Some of the goals proved more difficult than others to accomplish, leading to rounds of tinkering and design iteration that made D.Va a bigger project than most other hero reworks.
      “The hardest part was balancing the relationship between her offensive strength and defensive strength,” says Warner. “It’s very easy for D.Va to hit the ‘salt wall’ and make other players angry because of the combination of being highly mobile, having massive damage reduction, and having multiple regenerating health bars. All of these things are easy to exploit by D.Va players and have low potential for counter-play by many other Heroes in the roster. It took a lot of tinkering to balance these vectors.”
      Now, with her rework complete, D.Va emerges from her Dorito-dusted chrysalis and takes flight once more in her refurbished Mech, ready to mow down enemies and flaunt her KDA in style.
      As one of the least played Heroes in the roster, Warner hopes that her rework will change players’ perceptions of her being a “wasted” pick. “She’s got a unique playstyle and has more versatility talentwise, so I hope she’ll find a permanent place in the meta,” says Warner. “I think die-hard D.va fans are going to enjoy finally having multiple builds to choose from as well as new tools that increase her skill ceiling.”
    • By Stan
      In the latest patch, Blizzard has reworked D.Va and Gazlowe. A new Nexus Anomaly allows everyone (except for Deathwing and Gall) to become Unstoppable for 1 second on a 5-minute cooldown, and new "Worlds Collide" skins were added.
      The patch will be available for testing for one week. Check out the full patch notes for more details.
      (Source)
      Our next Heroes of the Storm patch has just hit the Public Test Realm and will be available for playtesting until the week of September 7, PDT. As always, if you encounter any bugs during your PTR play sessions, please stop by the PTR Bug Report forum to let us know about your experiences.
      Quick Navigation:
      Nexus Anomaly General Collection Storm League Heroes Rework: D.Va Heroes Rework: Gazlowe Heroes Bug Fixes Nexus Anomaly
      New Nexus Anomaly - Gladiator's Medallion Heroes now start the game with a new item on their action bar, the Gladiator's Medallion. The Gladiator's Medallion can be activated to become Unstoppable for 1 second. The cooldown is 300 seconds (5 minutes). Deathwing and Gall do not start with a Gladiator's Medallion. All 3 of The Lost Vikings gain the effect of the Medallion when activated. Return to Top
      General
      Introducing ARAM Mode With the Patch H.52, we're replacing Heroes Brawl mode with the new ARAM - All Random All Mid mode. ARAM mode key features: The map pool for ARAM mode consists of four one-lane maps. There are no additional objectives on the ARAM maps: destroy the enemy's Core to win. As match starts, every player must pick one out of three randomly selected heroes. Think fast: you have only 30 seconds! Hearthstones are disabled, and starting area does not regenerate health. Unlike Heroes Brawl, there's no dedicated Weekly Quest exclusive to this mode. Instead, ARAM games contribute to Daily Quests and Special Event Quests progress. Return to Top
      Collection
      Many seasonal items will be returning to the collection, and will be available for crafting and in Loot Chests for a limited time!
      New Bundles (Limited Time Only!) Worlds Collide Bundle Interdimensional Fusion Bundle Terran Alliance Bundle Draenei Executor Artanis Skin Pack King of Blades Arthas Skin Pack Mineral Harvester Gazlowe Skin Pack Necrotoplogist Mei Skin Pack Invincilisk Bundle Returning Bundles (Limited Time Only!) Baby-Face Orphea Bundle Big Shot Sgt. Hammer Bundle Getaway Sidecar Bundle Raccoon Bundle Showstopper Whitemane Bundle Wiseguy Junkrat Bundle New Skins King of Blades Arthas Venomous King of Blades Arthas Lavawrought King of Blades Arthas Draenei Executor Artanis Royal Draenei Executor Artanis Darksteel Draenei Executor Artanis Emperor of the Dominion Anduin Glorious Emperor of the Dominion Anduin Studious Emperor of the Dominion Anduin Necrotopologist Mei Frostbitten Necrotopologist Mei Devilish Necrotopologist Mei Mineral Harvester Gazlowe Firebat Mineral Harvester Gazlowe Rich Mineral Harvester Gazlowe Galvanic Fel Reaver Blaze Angelic Medic Uther Angelic Raider Rexxar Acid Apothecary Morales Earthy Grunty Murky Scorch Spectre Illidan Shining D.Va New Mounts Invincilisk Slimeheart Invincilisk Sulphurous Invincilisk Iron Kite Stormgarde Iron Kite Kul Tiras Iron Kite New Content Several new Portraits, Sprays and other items have been added to the Collection! Return to Top
      Storm League
      Seasonal Quest Line win requirements have been reduced in Season 4.
      Steps and Rewards in Season 4 of 2020 5 Wins: Craft Wars Chest 10 Wins: Rare Craft Wars Chest 20 Wins: Epic Craft Wars Chest 35 Wins: Tamed Ravasaur Mount 35 Wins: Eligibility for End of Season 4 Rewards and Grand Master Leaderboards Storm League Reward Mounts The final reward of the 2020 Season 4 Questline will be the Tamed Ravasaur Mount, which will be awarded after winning 35 games in Ranked Play. Return to Top
      Heroes Rework: D.Va
      Base
      Mech Mode Health increased from 2150 to 2250. Health Regeneration increased from 4.48 to 4.69. Base damage reduced from 26 to 23. Added functionality: Enemies close to D.Va’s Mech take 50% bonus damage. Pilot Mode - Big Shot Ability now available baseline. Cooldown increased from 4 to 6 seconds. Call Mech cooldown reduction reduced from 8 to 5 seconds. Damage reduced from 200 to 150. Added Functionality: Enemy Heroes hit are slowed by 25% for 1.5 seconds. Mechanized Walker [Z] New Functionality: D.Va’s Mech can move while attacking. While attacking or channeling an ability, the Mech’s speed is quickly reduced by 25%. Boosters [Q] Cooldown increased from 9 to 10 seconds. Duration decreased from 2 to 1.75 seconds. Speed bonus decreased from 125% to 115%. Area reduced from 1.5 to 1.375. Defense Matrix [W] Damage reduction reduced from 75% to 50%. Added Functionality: Can now be retargeted while active. Self-Destruct/Call Mech [E] Charge earned per 100% maximum life damage taken reduced from 33% to 25%. Maximum damage reduced from 1,200 to 1,100. Talents
      Level 1 Rush-Down [Q] Moved to level 4. New Functionality: Boosters steals 4% of maximum health from enemy Heroes and deals 100% increased damage to non-heroic enemies. Hit the Nitrous [Q] Moved to level 7. New Functionality: The initial speed bonus of Boosters is increased to 300%, decaying to normal speed over .5 seconds. During this time, Boosters stuns for .5 seconds. Crash Course [Q] Removed. Pro Moves [Trait] New Functionality: Each time D.Va’s Mech takes damage, its movement speed is increased by 2% and gains 2 Armor, stacking up to 10 times. A stack of this effect decays every .5 seconds. Basic Attacks in Pilot Mode against enemy Heroes reduce the cooldown of Call Mech by 1 additional second. (New) Liquid Cooling [Active] When used in Mech Mode, the cooldown of Healing Fountain is decreased to 50 seconds and it lasts 25% longer. Activate to gain Healing Fountains effects and incur the reduced cooldown. 50 second cooldown. Level 4 Diverting Power [W] Moved to level 16. New Functionality: Drastically increases Defense Matrix’s area and each time it reduces damage D.Va’s mech is healed for 35. Fusion Generator [W] Moved to level 7. Maximum Self-Destruct charge gained per cast increased from 15 to 20. Added Functionality: While at full Self-Destruct charge, Fusion Cannons’ bonus damage is increased to 75%. Bring It On [E] Removed. Level 7 Coming Through [Q] Removed. (New) Get On The Point! [Q] Casting Boosters grants nearby allies 20% movement speed for 2 seconds. After being out of combat for 3 seconds, Boosters’ cooldown refreshes 100% faster. Aggression Matrix [W] Moved to level 4. New Functionality: Basic Attacks against Heroes reduces the cooldown of Defense Matrix by .125 seconds. Enemy Heroes in your Defense Matrix receive 30% less healing. Dazer Zone [W] Removed. Nuclear Option [E] Moved to level 4. New Functionality: [Passive] Each time Fusion Cannons deals bonus damage to a Hero, gain .25 Self-Destruct Charge. Hitting your self-destructing Mech with Big Shot causes it to self-destruct 40% faster. Level 10 Bunny Hop [R1] Cooldown reduced from 100 to 80 seconds. Damage reduced from 60 to 52. Radius reduced from 5 to 4.5. New Functionality: Every 4th consecutive hit deals 100% increased damage and stuns for .5 seconds. (New) Micro Missiles [R2] After .375 seconds fire a stream of 12 missiles in a target direction. Upon impact, each missile deals a small amount of damage and slows in an area. Missiles deal 35 Damage and apply a 35% slow for 2 seconds. 12 range. Holds 2 Charges. 20 second charge cooldown with a 5 second cooldown between charge uses. Level 13 Ablative Armor [Passive] Moved to level 20. New Functionality: 45% of Ability damage taken by D.Va’s Mech is returned as Health over 4 seconds. Emergency Shielding [Trait] Moved to level 16. Cooldown increased from 15 to 30 seconds. Shield increased from 210 to 280. Duration reduced from 6 to 4 seconds. Expensive Plating [Passive] Moved to level 1. Renamed to “Full Metal”. No longer increases the cooldown for Call Mech. Bonus Mech Health reduced from 20% to 10%. Added Functionality: Fusion Cannon bonus damage heals for 20% of the damage dealt. (New) Target Locked [W] Enemy heroes that remain in Defense Matrix for 1.5 seconds have their armor reduced by 15 and are slowed by 25% for 3 seconds. (New) Good To Go [Pilot Active] Unlock the Torpedo Dash and Concussive Pulse abilities while in Pilot Mode. Torpedo Dash [Pilot Mode Q] Travel distance decreased from 6.75 to 4.5. Travel speed reduced from 17.5 to 14. Now has a .75 second coolup when exiting Mech Mode. Cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds. Concussive Pulse [Active] Cooldown increased from 7 to 10 seconds. Damage reduced from 141 to 120. Knockback distance reduced by 40%. Level 16 GG, WP [Trait] Removed. Nanoweave Suit [Trait] Removed. Suppressing Fire [Trait] Removed. (New) In For The Kill [Q] Casting Boosters grants a shield equal to 10% maximum health for 2.5 seconds. Each enemy Hero hit by Boosters increases your Basic Attack damage by 10% for 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. Level 20 Stop And Pop [R1] New functionality: While D.Va is stationary, Bunny Hop’s duration is paused. Pew! Pew! Pew! [R2] Moved to Level 13. Damage per shot increased from 50% to 75%. MEKA Fall [Trait] Removed. (New) Timing Attack [R2] Micro Missiles gains an additional charge. Each time Micro Missiles deals damage to a Hero, reduce its cooldown by .5 seconds and its charge cooldown by .25 seconds. (New) Headshot! [R2] Big Shot’s damage is increased by 75% and its cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds. Return to Top
      Heroes Rework: Gazlowe
      Base
      Vitals Uses Scrap instead of Mana, max of 10 Scrap. Base Health increased from 1826 to 2275. Health regen increased from 3.8046 to 4.74. Basic Attack Damage from 95 to 100. Trait Renamed to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. New Functionality: Regenerate 1 Scrap every 4 seconds. Destroyed Rock-It! Turrets drop 1 Scrap, pick up dropped Scrap to regain it. Activate to destroy a target Rock-It! Turret. Scrap Scrap pick up range increased from 1.25 to 1.5. Spawn pick up delay reduced from 0.45 to 0.0 seconds. Rock-It! Turrets [Q] Costs 4 Scrap. Base damage decreased from 62 to 36. Base Health reduced from 593 to 510. Health scaling increased from 4% to 5%. Duration decreased from 30 to 15 seconds. GCD decreased from 2 to 0.5 seconds. Placement range increased from 2 to 3. Adjusted weapon range icons to be less noisy. Prioritizes nearest enemy Hero when first created. Deth Lazor [W] No longer has a cost. Cooldown decreased from 12 to 8 seconds. Damage increased from 137 to 174. Range increase from 6 to 10. Width increased from 2 to 2.5. Adjusted Functionality: After 0.65 seconds, deal 208 damage to enemies in a line. Heal 25% of damage dealt, this effect is increased to 75% against Heroes. Xplodium Charge [E] No longer has a cost. Cooldown decreased from 20 to 12 seconds. Damage reduced from 233 to 155. Missile travel speed increased substantially. Search area reduced from 3 to 2.85. Range decreased from 9.5 to 7. Explosion delay decreased from 2.5 to 1.25 seconds. Stun duration decreased from 1.75 to 1 second. Talents
      Level 1 Extra TNT [E] Removed. Scrap-o-matic Smelter [Trait] Removed. Break it down [Trait] Removed. Goblin Repairs [Passive] Removed. (New) Rocket Boots [E] Increase the cast range of Xplodium Charge by 30% and its damage by 20%. Hitting a Hero increases movement speed by 20% for 3 seconds. (New) One Man Wrecking Crew [Passive] Casting Basic Abilities cause Gazlowe’s next Basic Attack within 6 seconds to deal 45% more damage. Stores up to 2 charges. (New) Big Game Hunter [Passive] Dealing damage with Basic Attacks to Heroes, Mercs or Monsters reduces the cooldown of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by 2 seconds. Increase maximum Scrap by 2. Level 4 Clockwerk Steam Fists [Q] Removed. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle [Trait] Removed. Hired Goons [Passive] Removed. (New) Rock It Sock It [Q] Placing a Rock-It! Turret grants Gazlowe a 215 point Shield for 2.5 seconds. Hyperfocus Coils [W/E] Moved from level 7. Adjusted Functionality: Heroes hit by Deth Lazor and Xplodium Charge take an additional 2% of their maximum Health in damage. Gazlowe is healed for 150% the amount. Crit kicker added. EZ-PZ Dimensional Ripper [Active] Moved from level 13. New Functionality: Cooldown: 40 seconds. Activate to gain 35 Armor for 3 seconds, reducing damage taken by 35%, and reduce damage dealt of all nearby Heroes and Summons by 50% for 3 seconds. Level 7 Rock-It! Turret XL [Q] Removed. Engine Gunk [Q] Removed. Goblin Fusion Moved from level 13. Adjusted Functionality: Generate 3 Scrap for each Hero hit by Deth Lazor. (New) Overload [W] Deth Lazor can now store up to 2 charges. Each enemy Hero hit by Deth Lazor reduces the cooldown of Deth Lazor by 0.5 seconds. (New) Master Blaster [E] Deth Lazor and Xplodium Charge Slow by 35% for 2.5 seconds. Rock-It! Turret Basic Attacks extend the duration by 0.25 seconds. Level 10 Robo-Goblin [R1] New Functionality: Activate to become Unstoppable for 1.5 seconds. Passive: Basic Attacks deal 80 bonus damage over 5 seconds, stacks up to 3 times. Grav-O-Bomb 3000 [R2] Cooldown decreased from 90 to 60 seconds. Damage reduced from 251 to 220. Added Functionality: Basic Abilities deal 30% more damage for 5 seconds after casting Grav-O-Bomb 3000. Level 13 X-Tra Large Bombs [E] Removed. (New) Positive Reinforcement [Q] Primary Turret attacks against Heroes increase Gazlowe’s Attack Speed by 40% for 3 seconds. (New) Superior Schematics [Q] Moved from level 16. Adjusted Functionality: Rock-It! Turrets attack up to 2 additional target for 75% damage and have 50% increased range. (New) Overcharged Capacitors [Q] Gazlowe gains 5% Spell Power for each active turret, up to a maximum of 15%. Dealing Basic Attack damage extends the duration of Rock-It! Turrets by 1.5 seconds. Level 16 Turret Storage [Q] Removed. Kwik Release Charge [E] Removed. Firin’ Mah Lazorz [W] Moved from level 20. Damage increased from 102 to 125. Ark Reaktor [E] Moved from level 4. Adjusted Functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Xplodium Charge by 3 seconds. Using Xplodium Charge creates 3 Rock-It! Turrets that last for 3 seconds. These Turrets do not drop Scrap or benefit from other Talents. (New) Overklock [Passive] Hitting enemy Heroes grants 15% bonus Movement Speed for 2 seconds. Hitting enemy Heroes with Basic Attacks causes them to take an additional 2.5% of their maximum Health in damage. Level 20 Mecha-Lord [R1] Adjusted Functionality: Basic Attacks increase Gazlowe’s Armor by 10 for 10 seconds, up to a maximum of 30. Basic Attacks deal 50% more damage to Stunned or Slowed targets. Miniature Black Hole [R2] Added Functionality: Each enemy Hero hit reduces the cooldown of Grav-O-Bomb by 12 seconds. It’s Raining Scrap [Q] Adjusted Functionality: Reduce the Scrap cost of Rock-It! Turrets by 1. Regain 2 Scrap for each Scrap pickup. (New) Bomb Toss [E] Xplodium Charge launches 2 more bombs when it detonates. Return to Top
      Heroes
      Alarak
      Base
      Health increased from 1900 to 1950. Health Regeneration increased from 3.96 to 4.06. Talents
      Level 4 Negatively Charged [E] Initial damage bonus increased from 150% to 175%. Cassia
      Talents
      Level 7 Surge of Light [Active] Damage reduced from 250 to 240. Damage taken amount required to activate increased from 500 to 650. Chromie
      Talents
      Level 1 Deep Breathing [W] Damage bonus reduced from 1.5% to 1% per stack. Cooldown reduction upon quest completion reduced from 5 seconds to 4 seconds. Mana cost upon quest completion changed from 30 to 40. Level 5 Mobius Loop [W] Damage bonus reduced from 50% to 30%. Slow duration reduced from 1 second to .75 seconds. Deckard
      Talents
      Level 4 Ruby [Active] Cooldown increased from 10 to 20 seconds. E.T.C.
      Talents
      Level 13 Encore [W] Heroic cooldown reduction reduced from 8% to 6%. Imperius
      Talents
      Level 7 Flash of Anger [Q] Damage reduced from 180 to 165. Shield amount reduced from 300 to 275. Orphea
      Talents
      Level 1 Ancestral Strength [Trait] Bonus damage reduced from 20% to 15%. Level 7 Mind Devourer [E] Damage per enemy Hero hit increased from 4 to 5. Maximum bonus damage reduced from 160 to 150. Heroes hit required for quest completion reduced from 40 to 30. Level 13 Abyssal Symbiosis [W] Shield amount reduced from 180 to 170. Level 16 Dead Magic [Trait] Damage reduced from 95 to 90. Stitches
      Base
      Slam [W] Bonus damage to Minions and Mercenaries increased from 50% to 60%. Tassadar
      Talents
      Level 1 Static Charge [Q] Maximum damage bonus reduced from 250 to 200. Level 10 Archon [R1] Shield amount reduced from 30% to 25% maximum Health. Basic Attack damage reduced from 150 to 140. Basic Attack splash damage reduced from 75 to 70. Yrel
      Talents
      Level 1 Dauntless [Passive] Physical Armor amount reduced from 40 to 35. Return to Top
      Bug Fixes
      Fixed an issue where Mercenaries would not be Stunned by Haunting Wave when the Mercenary Queen and Festering Wounds talents were taken. Fixed an issue where Executor's Will did not have a buff bar. Fixed an issue where Trauma Trigger did not have a button. Toy Train Mount - Metamorphosis Illidan, Dragonqueen Alexstrasza, Odin Tychus, and Archon Tassadar can no longer mount as a caboose on the Toy Train. Return to Top
      D.Va and Gazlowe have been reworked in the latest Heroes of the Storm content update.
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