Stan

Ana PTR Patch Notes: Sep 18

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The latest patch is now available for testing on PTR. A few balance tweaks were applied in this build. Blizzard added a sandbox version of Volskaya Foundry to Custom Games (similar to Cursed Hollow) and updated the map rotation in Ranked.

This patch also contains changes that will be deployed to live realms later this week. You can find those notes here.

Ranked Map Rotation

After the patch goes live (week of September 25), Ranked map rotation will be as follows:

  • Battlefield of Eternity
  • Cursed Hollow
  • Dragon Shire
  • Haunted Mines
  • Infernal Shrines
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen
  • Towers of Doom
  • Volskaya Foundry
  • Warhead Junction

Many Heroes received tactical AI improvements. Full patch notes can be found below.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

General

New Special Event: Pachimari Mania

  • Open Loot Boxes and be the first team to find the Golden Pachimari!
    • At the beginning of a match, Loot Boxes will spawn around your starting area. Open as many as you can, and try to find the legendary Golden Pachimari!
      • Opening a Loot Box will grant you a movement speed boost, enabling you to open even more boxes.
      • The player to open the most Loot Boxes on each team will be announced when the event ends, so be sure to always try your best!
    • The first team to find the Golden Pachimari will win the event and earn credit toward their Pachimari Mania quest progress!
  • Quests and Rewards
    • Pachimari Mania is a four-part quest chain. All quests must be completed in order, and only one quest will be active at a time.
      • Part 1: Find 2 Golden Pachimaris to earn a set of Pachimari in-game Emojis
      • Part 2: Find 5 Golden Pachimaris to earn a Pachimari-themed Banner
      • Part 3: Finding 8 Golden Pachimaris will unlock the Golden Pachimari spray
      • Part 4: Finding 10 Golden Pachimaris will unlock the Pachimari Portrait
  • PTR Note: While elements of this event may be visible on the Public Test Realm, any progress or rewards earned during PTR testing will not transfer to the live version of the game when this patch is officially released next week.

New Hero: Ana

As a founding member of Overwatch and one of the world's best snipers, Ana Amari uses her skills to protect the innocent. Though she went MIA after losing her eye, Ana's sense of duty and responsibility has brought her back to the fight.

Trait

  • Shrike
    • Basic Attacks apply a Dose to non-Structure enemies, dealing an additional 44 damage over 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.

Basic Abilities

  • Healing Dart (Q)
    • Fire a dart which heals the first allied Hero hit for 250 Health.
  • Biotic Grenade (W)
    • Toss a Grenade at the target area. Allied Heroes hit are healed for 175 Health and receive 25% increased healing for 3 seconds. Enemies hit take 60 damage and receive 100% less healing for 2 seconds.
  • Sleep Dart (E)
    • Fire a dart that Sleeps the first enemy Hero hit, rendering them unable to act for 3 seconds. Sleep’s effects end instantly if the target takes damage after the first 0.5 seconds.
    • Cannot be used on Vehicles.

Heroic Abilities

  • Nano Boost (R)
    • Instantly boost an allied Hero, restoring 200 Mana. For the next 8 seconds, they gain 30% Spell Power and their Basic Ability cooldowns recharge 150% faster.
    • Cannot be used on Ana.
  • Eye of Horus (R)
    • Assume a sniping position, gaining the ability to fire up to 8 specialized rounds with unlimited range. Rounds hit the first allied or enemy Hero or enemy Structure in their path. Allies are healed for 300 and enemies are damaged for 175. Deals 50% damage to Structures.
    • Ana is unable to move while Eye of Horus is active.

Battlegrounds

New Battleground: Volskaya Foundry

  • Objective
    • Control Points
      • Throughout the match a Control Point will activate at one of three locations, beginning in a neutral capture state.
      • Once a player stands on the control point without any enemies, they gain control progress for their team at a steady rate.
      • If an enemy enters the point, the point becomes contested and will not gain or lose control progress.
      • When a team's control progress hits 100, they gain control of the point.
      • As long as a team has control of the point, they gain victory progress at a steady rate.
        • Victory progress does not decay for any reason.
      • Overtime: When a point is at 99% victory progress about to tick over to 100%, it will stay at 99% and enter the overtime state if there are any enemy heroes on the point or the point just flipped from the enemy's control.
      • When a team's victory progress hits 100%, they win the event. The control point deactivates and a two-person Triglav Protector spawns on the point for the winning team after a short delay.
    • Triglav Protector
      • Pilot Abilities
        • Charge (Q)
          • After .5 seconds, charge to the target unit's current location and deal damage in an area.  Deals double damage to structures and minions. 8 second cooldown
        • Rocket Fist (W)
          • Launch a Rocket Fist that impacts the first Hero or Structure hit.  Roots Heroes for 1 second.  Disables Structures for 2 seconds.  Destroys all minions in its path. 14 second cooldown.
        • Shield Emitter (E)
          • Grants 25 armor to vehicle and grants a Shield to all nearby allies equal to 25% of their maximum health. 16 second cooldown.
      • Gunner Abilities
        • Particle Cannon (Q)
          • Enables the Particle Cannon ability and increases its range over 3 seconds. Reactivate to launch an orb dealing damage in an area. 5 sec cooldown.
        • Gatling Cannon (W)
          • Fires a barrage of cannon fire at the location of your cursor for 4 seconds. 11 second cooldown.
        • Scorching Laser (E)
          • A laser quickly cuts a line across the terrain dealing light damage. A secondary explosion triggers 0.75 seconds later for heavy damage. 10 second cooldown.

New Sandbox Custom Game: Volskaya Foundry

  • A sandbox version of Volskaya Foundry has been added to Custom Games.
    • Much like Sandbox version of Cursed Hollow, this Battleground allows up to 10 players at once to use a variety of “cheats” to test the limits of their Heroes, and the Battleground.
    • Sandbox Volskaya Foundry also features a “Triglav Protector” button, which allows a player to immediately spawn a Protector at their Hero’s location.

Vehicles

  • All vehicles, including the Dragon Knight, Garden Terror, and Triglav Protector are now Unstoppable.

Ranked Battleground Rotation Update

  • Added to Rotation
    • Volskaya Foundry
    • Haunted Mines
    • Towers of Doom
  • Removed from Rotation
    • Blackheart’s Bay
    • Braxis Holdout
    • Sky Temple
  • The full Ranked Battleground Rotation is now as follows:
    • Battlefield of Eternity
    • Cursed Hollow
    • Dragon Shire
    • Haunted Mines
    • Infernal Shrines
    • Tomb of the Spider Queen
    • Towers of Doom
    • Volskaya Foundry
    • Warhead Junction

AI

General

  • AI Heroes will now perform more dynamic strategies.
  • Many Heroes have received tactical AI improvements, including:
    • Anubarak
    • Arthas
    • Azmodan
    • Brightwing
    • The Butcher
    • Falstad
    • Illidan
    • Kael’Thas
    • Kerrigan
    • E.T.C.
    • Li Li
    • The Lost Vikings
    • Malfurion
    • Muradin
    • Nazeebo
    • Raynor
    • Stitches
    • Sylvanas
    • Thrall
    • Uther
    • Valla
    • Xul
    • Zul’jin
  • Read our recent blog, “Under the Hood: AI” for an in-depth look at these and upcoming AI improvements.

Sound

Voice Lines

  • Voice lines that have been selected for use in players’ Loadouts have had their volume increased in-game.
  • Now have a larger 3D falloff, increased sound exclusivity, and can interrupt other voice lines.

User Interface

In-Game UI

  • Banners
    • Banners that are placed after completing an objective, capturing Mercenaries, etc., will now display the name of the player who owns that Banner.
  • Healing Indicators
    • Increased and Decreased Healing indicators have been added and will now appear next to Heroes’ healthbars when they are affected by healing modifier effects, such as Ana’s Biotic Grenade.
  • Minimap
    • Hero icons on the Minimap now indicate which direction that Hero is facing.

Daily Quests

  • A new “Play 2 Games as an Overwatch Hero” Daily Quest has been added.

Social

  • Players under level 5 can no longer whisper non-friends using chat channel player lists.
  • However, players under level 5 who receive a whisper from a non-friend can whisper that player back.

Collection

  • It should now be easier to differentiate between Owned and Unowned Items in your Collection.
    • Additionally, item prices are now always displayed on unowned items.
  • Item backgrounds and borders have received visual improvements and rarity coloring to help players more easily distinguish between items of different rarities.

Heroes

Assassin

Chromie

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Abilities

  • Time Trap (E)
    • Now has a unique minimap icon.

Falstad

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Miscellaneous

  • Flight (Z) will now go on a 10 second cooldown when interrupted by enemy or allied abilities, including self-cancelling.
  • Flight (Z) now has an allied chat announcement upon activation. 

Nova

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Abilities

  • Holo Decoy (E)
    • Sight range increased from 6 to 12 (now matches Heroes)

Talents

  • Level 4
    • Remote Delivery (E)
      • Removed
    • Holo Stability (E)
      • New functionality:
        • Increases the cast range, sight range, and duration of Holo Decoy by 100%
  • Level 7
    • Anti-Armor Shells (Passive)
      • Added functionality:
        • Basic Attacks also decrease the physical Armor of your target by 10 for 3 seconds
  • Level 13
    • Psionic Efficiency (Q)
      • Range increase from 10 to 15%
Developer Comment:  We made a few changes to our resident Ghost - mostly targeted at fixing some under-performing talents. Alongside that, we figured that we may as well point Anti-Armor Shells, you know, into a direction more befitting its name.

Specialist

Abathur

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Miscellaneous

  • Deep Tunnel (Z) will now go on a 10 second cooldown when interrupted by enemy or allied abilities, including self-cancelling.
  • Deep Tunnel (Z) now has an allied chat announcement upon activation. 

Support

Brightwing

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Miscellaneous

  • Phase Shift (Z) will now go on a 10 second cooldown when interrupted by enemy or allied abilities.
  • Phase Shift (Z) now has an allied chat announcement upon activation. 

Kharazim

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Abilities

  • Breath of Heaven (W)
    • Cooldown increased from 8 to 10 seconds
    • Mana cost increased from 60 to 65

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Transcendence (Passive)
      • Healing increased from 73 to 96 per 3 Basic Attacks
    • Insight (Passive)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 1 to 1.5 seconds per 3 Basic Attacks
  • Level 16
    • Dash of Light (Q + W)
      • Increased bonus healing from 50% to 75% for dashing to an ally
Developer Comment:  These changes are designed to increase the power of Insight and Transcendence by shifting more of Kharazim's healing power pie into them. We want to encourage the same active gameplay that Iron Fist Kharazim's have, but increasing healing and utility instead of damage when the other Talents are chosen.

Rehgar

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Abilities 

  • Chain Heal (Q)
    • Cast range reduced from 8 to 6
    • Bounce range reduced from 8 to 7
    • Primary target healing reduced from 334 to 250
    • Secondary bounce healing increased from 167 to 250
Developer Comment:  We'd like to make positioning for Rehgar's Chain Heal matter more, so that we reward players and teams that can get the most of it. To do this we're reducing the range and radius of the heal, while also making the jumps a greater portion his overall healing.

Warrior

Dehaka

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Miscellaneous

  • Brushstalker (Z) will now go on a 10 second cooldown when interrupted by enemy or allied abilities.

Johanna

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Abilities

  • Falling Sword (R)
    • Mana cost reduced from 100 to 90
    • Damage reduced from 365 to 183
    • Added functionality:
      • Now applies a 50% slow for 2.5 seconds after enemies are knocked into the air.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Laws of Hope (Active)
      • Moved from Level 4
        • Health Regeneration reduced from 10 > 1.5
        • Heal increased from 20% > 30% Maximum Health
        • Cooldown reduced from 60 > 40 seconds
    • Regeneration Master (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Righteous Smash (Q)
      • Removed
    • Hold Your Ground (D)
      • Moved from Level 13
      • No longer requires Iron Skin’s shield to be broken for the 4-second cooldown reduction
  • Level 4
    • Conviction (W)
      • Moved from Level 7
    • Sins Exposed (E)
      • Moved from Level 7
      • Damage increased from 68 > 90
    • Eternal Retaliation (W)
      • Cooldown reduction decreased from .75 seconds to .5 seconds 
  • Level 7
    • The Crusade Marches On (D)
      • Removed
    • (New Talent) Zealous Glare (E)
      • Increases the Blind duration of Shield Glare by .5 seconds. Your auto-attacks against Blinded heroes increases their Blind duration by 1 second, up to a maximum of 3 seconds 
    • Subdue (Q)
      • Moved from Level 13
        • New functionality:
          • Hitting 2 enemy Heroes with Punish causes the slow to be increased to 80% and no longer decay.
          • !Quest: Hit 4 enemy Heroes with a single cast of Punish. !Reward: Punish now always slows enemies by 80% and no longer decays.
  • Level 13
    • Roar (Q)
      • Moved from Level 4
      • Damage bonus reduced from 50% > 25%
      • Additional Functionality:
        • Punish deals 125% increased damage if it hits 2 or more enemy Heroes
    • Burning Rage (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Blessed Hammer (Active)
      • Moved from Level 16
        • New Functionality: Activate to create 2 hammers that spiral around Johanna. Hitting enemy Heroes with Shield Glare reduces the cooldown of this ability by 8 seconds. 30-second cooldown
        • Damage increased from 41 to 80
    • (New Talent) Holy Fury (W)
      • Deal damage to enemies around you. Each enemy Hero hit by Condemn increases the damage by 40% for 5 seconds
  • Level 16
    • Fanaticism (D)
      • Additional Functionality: Now also increases the duration of Iron Skin by 2 seconds
  • Level 20
    • Heaven’s Fury (R)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 2 to 3 seconds
    • Indestructible (Passive)
      • Duration reduced from 5 to 4 seconds
    • Storm Shield (Active)
      • Removed
    • (New Talent) Blinded by the Light (Active)
      • Activate to grant nearby allies a shield equal to 25% of their maximum Health for 3 seconds. Hitting enemy Heroes with Shield Glare reduces this cooldown by 8 seconds. 60-second cooldown
Developer Comment:  To her credit, Johanna has not needed many changes since she was first released into the Nexus. Her talent pick and win rates have been fair compared to most heroes, and she has almost always had a place in the meta. While she is not in dire need of changes, we saw an opportunity to spruce up her talent tree and give her some more interesting options to choose from on various tiers.

Collection

Collection Adjustments

  • Loot Chests
    • Loot Chests purchased via the Loot tab will now only grant Rare Loot Chests, rather than Normal Loot Chests.
      • Please note: This only applies to Loot Chests purchased after this patch is applied to the live version of the game in each region. Normal Loot Chests the player already owns will not convert to Rare Loot Chests.
  • Rewards
    • The Celestial Steed Mount has been removed and replaced by the Celestial Raptor as a reward for purchasing Loot Chests.
    • The 1,000 Gem reward for reaching level 5 has been removed.
      • Please note: Veteran players who have not logged in following the release of Heroes 2.0 earlier this year will no longer be able to claim this reward once this patch is applied to the live version of the game in each region.
  • Bundles
    • The Welcome Bundle has been removed from the Collection.

New Skins

  • Ana
    • Midnight Ana
    • Burnished Ana
    • Sunset Ana
    • Twilight Ana
    • Medic Ana
    • Shrike
      • Agent Shrike
      • Aquamarine Shrike
      • Rescue Shrike
      • Stealth Shrike
  • Varian
    • Commandant Varian
    • Grand Commandant Varian
    • Recon Commandant Varian
    • Stealth Commandant Varian
    • Tundra Commandant Varian
  • Anub’arak
    • Deatholme Underking Anub’arak
  • Auriel
    • Kuroi Sakura Auriel
    • Sora Sakura Auriel
  • Azmodan
    • Lucky Azmodunk
  • Cassia
    • Aranoch Warmatron Cassia
    • Askari Warmatron Cassia
  • Dehaka
    • D.Haka
  • D.Va
    • Camo D.Va
    • Global Pro D.Va
    • Perfect Pro D.Va
    • X-Treme D.Va
  • Lúcio
    • Prime Ribbit Lúcio
    • Rosa Ribbit Lúcio
  • Nova
    • Moonlight Widowmaker Nova
  • Tracer
    • Hot Rod Turbo Tracer
  • Valeera
    • Emerald Bloodfang Valeera
    • Moonstone Bloodfang Valeera
  • Zarya
    • Golden Cyberdemon Zarya
    • Restored Cyberdemon Zarya

Mounts

  • Illidan’s Nightmare
    • Wretched Illidan’s Nightmare
    • Crimson Illidan’s Nightmare
  • Invisible Horse
  • Celestial Raptor – As mentioned above, this Mount is awarded upon purchasing Loot Chests with Gems.

Bug Fixes

General

  • Fixed a number of typo and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game.

Art

  • Zeratul: Zeratul’s mask will no longer stretch and bend oddly during Hero Select or in the Collection on low graphic settings.

Battlegrounds

  • Blackheart’s Bay: Fixed an issue that could allow Medivh and Falstad to enter and stand in certain areas inside the enemy Hall of Storms.
  • Haunted Mines: The right-side team’s top Keep can no longer hit enemy Heroes who path into the Gate.
  • Try Mode: The You Want Axe? Talent will now correctly grant bonus Basic Attack range after using the Complete Quest button.
  • Try Mode: Garrosh will no longer continue to benefit from the Warbreaker Talent after clicking Reset Talents.
  • Try Mode: Toggling off Minion spawns will no longer cause AI Heroes to wait at their Fort Gates indefinitely.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Alarak: Rite of Rak’shir will no longer be placed on a dead target if it was cast just as that target took fatal damage.
  • Diablo: Fixed an issue that could prevent Diablo from traveling with his Shadow Charge target if another Hero stood between Diablo and his target.
  • D.Va: Using Boosters to smash destructible barrels on Blackheart’s Bay will no longer place the Ability on full cooldown.
  • D.Va: Fixed an issue that could cause D.Va to inconsistently activate Healing Wells while using Boosters.
  • D.Va: Dying while casting Call Mech will no longer create an untargetable Mech that persists until D.Va respawns.
  • D.Va: Mech deaths that occur while no enemy Heroes are nearby will now correctly grant XP and update D.Va’s death count on the in-game score screen.
  • D.Va: A Nuke’s area of effect indicator will no longer disappear if D.Va finishes channeling Nuke in the same moment that her Mech is destroyed.
  • Garrosh: Wrecking Ball will no longer end Rehgar’s Ghost Wolf.
  • Garrosh: Using Body Check with the Brute Force Talent on a Boss no longer causes the Healing debuff icon to appear next its Health bar.
  • Garrosh: Bloodthirst will no longer cause Garrosh to automatically retarget his Basic Attacks to the closest enemy.
  • Garrosh: Into the Fray will no longer place targeting indicators on attacking Hydralisks on Braxis Holdout.
  • Genji: Fixed an issue that could prevent Fort attacks from Slowing Genji if he has Dodge charges remaining, and there is another Genji on the opposing team.
  • Genji: Fixed an issue that could cause Dodge to behave inconsistently against Sylvanas’ and Lunara’s Basic Attacks.
  • Illidan: Abilities that can interrupt Dive, like Li-Ming’s Wave of Force, will no longer cause Illidan to become briefly unresponsive.
  • Jaina: Fixed an issue that prevented Jaina from casting Water Elemental if unpathable terrain existed between Jaina and the desired casting location.
  • Jaina: Fixed a typo in the Icy Veins tooltip which incorrectly stated that the Talent provided a 300% cooldown recharge rate , rather than 200%. This only affected the tooltip, and the Talent's functionality has not changed.
  • Johanna: Abilities that block pathing, such as Sonya’s Arreat Crater and Tassadar’s Force Wall, will no longer block Johanna’s movement during Falling Sword.
  • Leoric: Fixed an issue that could prevent the Mithril Mace Talent from granting bonus Attack Speed for Minion and Hero kills.
  • Leoric: Percentage damage dealt by the Spectral Leech Talent will now properly count as Ability damage rather than Basic Attack damage.
  • Probius: Floating Combat Text will now indicate the amount of Shields granted to Probius by a Pylon after learning Shield Battery, rather than displaying zero for each tick.
  • Stukov: Abilities that move Heroes, like Alarak’s Telekinesis and Stiches’ Hook, no longer remove Weighted Pustule from the affected Hero.
  • Sylvanas: Withering Fire can no longer target destructible barrels on Blackheart’s Bay.
  • The Lost Vikings: Can no longer clip into Gates on Braxis Holdout during the pre-game countdown.
  • The Lost Vikings: Casting Longboat Raid immediately after one of the Vikings is killed will no longer prevent the player from using Mortar during the Heroic Ability’s duration.
  • Tychus: The That’s the Stuff! Talent’s Heal indicator will no longer disappear if Tychus stops attacking before Minigun expires.
  • Tyrande: Sentinel can no longer leave the starting zone during the pre-game countdown.
  • Valla: Enemy Heroes who were broken out of Stealth by Hungering Arrow can now correctly be hit by subsequent Hungering Arrow strikes.
  • Valla: Caltrops dropped by the Vault Talent will no longer display Health bars, and are no longer selectable.
  • Zagara: Creep Tumors no longer exhibit a short delay before granting vision of the area affected by Creep.

Sound

  • Li-Ming: Templar Li-Ming will now correctly play death sounds when killed.
  • Valeera: Enemy Heroes will no longer hear when Valeera primes her activated Talents, like Crippling Poison, when she is Stealthed.

User Interface

  • Hotkeys: The Dragon Knight and Garden Terror will now correctly follow Force Move commands.

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37 minutes ago, Stan said:

 

Vehicles

  • All vehicles, including the Dragon Knight, Garden Terror, and Triglav Protector are now Unstoppable.

Honestly surprised it took them this long to make this a thing.

Edited by Fliits

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19 minutes ago, Fliits said:

All vehicles, including the Dragon Knight, Garden Terror, and Triglav Protector are now Unstoppable.

I'm not sure I like it. On the one hand, it means that heroes like Arthas don't have an immediate and powerful advantage over other picks, but on the other, it also means that they have even more of a potential to go stompy stomp stomp through to early keeps or at least gates. Out of all of them, the Dragon Knight feels the most balanced but no other changes to reflect this buff for them? Wasn't all cc halved by 50% enough, or was it too hard to make things like Diablo's Overpower work with them? 

Also curious if Void Prison will work on them still? 

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Developer Comment:  To her credit, Johanna has not needed many changes since she was first released into the Nexus. Her talent pick and win rates have been fair compared to most heroes, and she has almost always had a place in the meta. While she is not in dire need of changes, we saw an opportunity to spruce up her talent tree and give her some more interesting options to choose from on various tiers."

This seriously tilts me. "We have a hero that is reasonably balanced, and always has a place in the meta. So we changed her just because she was in line to do so." I really hope this "sprucing up" which looks like a massive adjustment doesn't hurt her.

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The change from normal to rare loot boxes when purchasing chest was about time, it was barely worth to buy loot chests :D

I wonder why they will remove the Welcome Bundle.

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1 hour ago, Stan said:

All vehicles, including the Dragon Knight, Garden Terror, and Triglav Protector are now Unstoppable.

I'm not sure if like this or not.

 

1 hour ago, Stan said:

(New Talent) Zealous Glare (E)

  • Increases the Blind duration of Shield Glare by .5 seconds. Your auto-attacks against Blinded heroes increases their Blind duration by 1 second, up to a maximum of 3 seconds 

 

I like this! Now Johanna will synergize even better with Cassia and Li Li.

Her overall changes seems really nice. They merged some talents, removed the never used. It is a nice cleanup.

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8 hours ago, Stan said:

Indestructible (Passive)

  • Duration reduced from 5 to 4 seconds

 

:'(

(New Talent) Holy Fury (W)

  • Deal damage to enemies around you. Each enemy Hero hit by Condemn increases the damage by 40% for 5 seconds

:)

Edited by Fransoa
  • Like 1

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This will make the Vehicles sure feel more.. significant and formidable. Still, out of everyone, Dragon Knight (casters always say Dragonite lul) feels at a loss compared to others imho and this saddening to me cause he's my favorite. I guess maybe cause Dragon Shire is a really straightforward map.

Mages will sure love first Ana Heroic. Nice seeing new Heroes not only bringing something new themselves but also enabling different strategies.

I loved Johanna from the get go; her teaser and spotlight were solid 5/7. And I liked how she was such a strong tank with the option to make her even more tanky via talent selection. I dislike the nerf to Laws of Hope passive regen (it's one of my favorite talents in the entire game); it allowed you to not be so reliant on a healer and do stuff like roam, help with merc camps etc. They also gave her an Alarak-like quest which is kinda impossibru to get unless vs Samuro clones lul. The other changes seem nice- particulary the ones to Blessed Hammer, it was one of my favorite talents on her, but kinda unreliable, seems much better now.

"Until our Faith is pure." <3

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Also, the Nova changes do little to nothing to address her still "feast or famine" gameplay imho...

Edited by SteveFrost

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 Didn't the Garden Terror/Dragon Knight automatically reduce CC duration by 50%? It should get a new trait now which wasn't stated here.

Edited by Xaethron
Wrong thread

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On 9/19/2017 at 12:19 PM, SteveFrost said:

Also, the Nova changes do little to nothing to address her still "feast or famine" gameplay imho...

I think someone that has such a hard kill-focused gameplay will unfortunately always have this, unless they add CC to her. But then you essentially just have a ranged Valeera.

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On 23/9/2017 at 3:32 PM, Blainie said:

I think someone that has such a hard kill-focused gameplay will unfortunately always have this, unless they add CC to her. But then you essentially just have a ranged Valeera.

They said her 'rework' was supposed to make her 'healthier' to play and less around the edges. I'd say it miserably failed for that. And she's only gotten number tweaks since that (and a change Snipe Master should have already)-which, while I certainly do appreciate, they still leave her way below average compared to most of the roster. Hope she'll get some bigger love soon (not tm) cause she clearly needs it imho

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3 hours ago, SteveFrost said:

They said her 'rework' was supposed to make her 'healthier' to play and less around the edges. I'd say it miserably failed for that. And she's only gotten number tweaks since that (and a change Snipe Master should have already)-which, while I certainly do appreciate, they still leave her way below average compared to most of the roster. Hope she'll get some bigger love soon (not tm) cause she clearly needs it imho

I'm hoping she's on their to-do list, but what they look at in regards to judging these things may be completely different from what we expect/see, unfortunately.

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On 24/9/2017 at 8:25 PM, Blainie said:

I'm hoping she's on their to-do list, but what they look at in regards to judging these things may be completely different from what we expect/see, unfortunately.

Yeah, I hope they won't just leave her like that and just keep making skins for her (cause she's an obvious favorite)...

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    • By Oxygen

       
      We present our twelfth&nbsp;Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Junkrat patch of October 2017.
      Our twelfth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of October 2017 is here!
      Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Junkrat patch. The goal if of this list is to try and detail game's current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame). Although tier listings are generally the product of balance, many factors come into play when discussing the relative perceived strengths of heroes, including player regions, maps, play style, skill level, and, of course, personal perception. As such, any tier list—including this very one—should never be interpreted as gospel, but rather, as a guide to better grasp what to expect with regards to typical drafting experiences. One useful application of such lists is to allow you know which heroes to look out for in terms of practice and counterplay, ultimately improving your knowledge of the game.
      Using the list
      As stated above, tier lists are easy to mistake for gospel. As new strategies are discovered and experimented with, so changes the perception of the relative strengths of each hero. Tier lists still prove to be useful as a snapshot of player expectations in terms of drafting. Although it is generally considered preferable to focus on high tier heroes (Prime and Core tiers), it is important to note that Heroes of the Storm's wild character and map designs make it so that any given hero's tier position is prone to fluctuate depending on the situation at hand.
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    • By Oxygen

       
      Oxygen goes over some of Heroes of the Storm's features that most need improvement.
      BlizzCon 2017 will be Heroes of the Storm's 4th showing at our favourite yearly event. Since Blizzard has certainly delivered on the esports side of the game with HGC, I thought I'd share my thoughts on some of the game's systems. Here it is, then: Six aspects of Heroes of the Storm that need improvement.
       
      I) The Class System
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      Not my most memorable performance. Or match.
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      This ties in nicely with my next point: Quick Match, as the most played game mode by far, and the “logical” introductory step to PvP, ill-prepares players for drafting. It makes little sense to me to, on one hand, have a well-defined class system around which the game is designed, to then have a game mode that essentially throws the concept of team composition right out the window. As it turns out, tanks and healers are less popular than assassins, which often forces the matchmaking system to deal with an unevenly distributed population of players. It then has to make a choice between creating irregular team compositions, or to keep players waiting for an indefinite amount of time. I’ll also argue that Quick Match, in its current form, tends to put players into an “I play what I want when I want” mindset that translates poorly into other game modes. This would be fine if the natural progression was not Quick Match into Unranked Draft into Ranked Draft, but it is. When you design a game around team play, you need to groom your players into becoming team players from the get-go.
      If Blizzard is bent on keeping its current role system, Quick Match mode simply cannot continue to exist in its current form. The solution is rather simple: Just like the World of Warcraft dungeon system, and, more closely related, League of Legends’ Draft Pick system, players should simply select the role they wish to play before a given match, and not the hero itself. Enforce a basic 1-tank, 1-healer, 3-assassins/specialists rule. If there aren’t enough tank or healer players around to make queue times reasonable, incentivize players to switch to these roles with gold and experience bonuses that scale directly with how many players for roles are necessary to regulate said queue times. This would have the positive side effect of pushing players towards experimenting with new, different roles, potentially increasing hero purchases, and giving players a better understanding of the game as a whole. The same system should certainly be introduced to non-Team-League-Draft modes as well.
      For the record, changes to the class system were announced recently. I’m certainly looking forward to attending BlizzCon and reporting on those changes.
      tl;dr: Heroes of the Storm’s class system puts an inordinate amount of importance on drafting a basic, functional team composition, as individual matches come apart at the seams by design when tanks or healers are not present. The importance of such roles puts a huge amount of pressure on players playing these roles, making them less popular and generally more punishing to experiment with. Quick Match ill-prepares its players for mid- and high-level drafting experiences.
       
      II) Lack of Transparency
      It’s no secret that the MOBA genre is extremely competitive from a business standpoint. Two extremely well established giants – DotA and League of Legends – are estimated to hold over 80% of the genre’s market shares, and have accustomed players to a number of transparent systems.
      Heroes of the Storm features several systems that could benefit from improved transparency. One of the most broadly discussed subjects in this regards has been the nonexistence of an API for the game. Such a system would essentially allow third parties to use Blizzard’s data to disseminate information about a wide variety of game-related statistics, such as player performance information. This might include information such as experience level and win rates.
      While alternative ways of obtaining this information do exist as of today, they must rely on clunky user-submitted replay scraping to gather said information, meaning that their success depends directly upon the goodwill of players to feed the system. This presents several problems. First, it is difficult for newer websites to compete fairly with older monopolies, as good data depends on quantity. Second, statistics at different skill levels may be misleading due to low and otherwise uneven player contributions. Third, the ability to “rig” one’s performance by uploading only desirable replays may skew data. Furthermore, some of the more well-known Heroes statistics websites have been notoriously poorly managed and come under fire like clockwork. Whether ill-intentioned or not, this poor management ends up hurting the integrity of the game.
      Still, I must hold back a bit and admit that I’m thankful – not only as a player, but also as a guide writer – to have a way of accessing such data at all. If it weren’t for third parties, we’d be left in complete darkness with regards to any of the aforementioned information.
      Could we live without having data about, say, individual hero win rates or talent pick rates? Of course; and we did for a long time. However, I’ll be capricious and quote myself here: “Two extremely well established giants have accustomed players to a number of performance-related information systems.” When trying to create a name for yourself, you need to offer more than the established standard, not less. Regardless of the state of Heroes of the Storm, I feel that having an API or an equally transparent system is extremely important to make your typical MOBA contender feel like a complete game.
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      Information also empowers players in another markedly different way that I might call watchdogging. Without basic data such as win and pick rates, players would never be able to meaningfully criticize the state of the game’s balance. Blizzard developers are known to use individual hero and talent win rates to dictate at least some of their balance changes, as they so often comment. We cry out when things feel poorly tuned or unappealing because we love Heroes of the Storm. But without data, we are left relying on subjective and ineffective hunches to discuss balance; with it, we can support our assertions, and be proactive when things aren’t moving. Having access to exact player statistics also allows players to track and compare their progress, instills players with a sense of competition, and allows for watchdogging of the matchmaking system.
      I feel I must insist on how difficult proper design- and system-related criticism is to produce without data at our disposal. Transparency might mean exposing yourself to scrutiny, Blizzard, but it also means significantly improving your image, and providing yourself with an effective way of self-regulating. I suppose this is where I mention that the company has been displaying questionable transparency as of late; Overwatch doesn’t have an API either (though it is regularly discussed by Blizzard staff, and scraping websites do exist as well), and Hearthstone players can’t see their win rates or match history. By contrast, Warcraft III still lets you browse its ladder.
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      tl;dr: Heroes of the Storm lacks the basic level of transparency other similar games have accustomed players to having. This lack of transparency makes it difficult to assess the quality of the matchmaking system and of balance and design changes. The reliance upon third-party websites for such basic data creates a number of ethical issues.
       
      III) The Reconnection System
      If I were asked to point out the most frustrating element in Heroes of the Storm, this might just be it. If you’ve never experienced being dropped out of match before, for whatever reason – crashes, connection or computer issues, and so on – here’s how it goes: after obviously relaunching the game, you are treated to a screen inviting you to rejoin your game in progress. There are no other options here, not even an exit button; you either hit “Rejoin” to, well, attempt to rejoin the match, or ALT+F4 your way out of Heroes of the Storm. That’s fine; it incentivizes players to not purposefully disconnect from their matches to go and play another match right away. For some obscure reason, however, this screen doesn’t always appear. I’m not sure what triggers this problem, but if this happens to you, you’re done. There’s no rejoining that game, and you’ll be awarded a loss, your rating will feel the consequences of a left game (that’s 600 points – or 3 wins worth of points, on average) regardless of the match’s outcome. You might also earn yourself a leaver status, on top of potential player reports. This is a rather rare occurrence, however.
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      Well, is it? Where'd the game go?

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      I feel like I need to reiterate here that I don’t claim understand how the system works. What I do know is that this is the most frustrating reconnection system I have ever experienced, in any game. There’s no sugar coating this one: The process simply needs to become faster; the dreaded “Reconnection Successful” screen has to go. Players need a way to force the system to put them back into matches if the Rejoin screen fails. AI-controlled heroes need to stop picking talents for you; have we considered implementing a shared unit control system instead?
       
      IV) The Replay System
      Heroes of the Storm’s replay system shares its biggest issue with the reconnection system: Skipping through replays also happens to be an awfully slow process. Jumping to the end of a 16 minutes game took about 2 minutes of loading time, leading me to believe that replays can’t “seek” any faster than their 8x maximum play speed. Thankfully, scanning only has to be performed once; subsequent skipping is much faster. This lengthy initial loading time can still certainly turn off content producers from browsing replays to create highlight reels or showcase certain aspects of the game if they have a number of replays to go through. This also disincentivizes players from reviewing their matches to go over specific events or study certain strategies. Other than that, the replay system is functional, but very bare bones. Blizzard is obviously aware of this because they’ve officially promoted Ahli’s work on a better replay interface. But even with these enhanced features, the system’s polish and features pale in comparison to DotA II’s and League of Legends’ own.
       
      V) The Queue System
      Although I find queues to be on the long side of things, I can at least understand how the system would struggle to find an appropriate match for players with unusually high win rates, let alone 5 of us – and especially when considering that the game’s population is split across six different game modes. What I do find completely unacceptable, however, is receiving the all too familiar “A player you were matched with has disconnected or left the service” message followed by the need to go through the entire queue again. My group typically has to wait between 8 and 10 minutes to find Quick Match and Unranked matches, and often twice as long for Team League matches. Forcing 9 people to go through the entire process is both insulting and inefficient; if the system has found a match, why not just toss all 9 of us back into the queue and just look for one more instead of wasting some 90 minutes of collective time? Again, I don’t claim to understand the system, but other games do it, and for good reasons. This behavior is considered baseline, not exceptional.

      Awfully typical.
       
      VI) The Drafting System
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      While we’re at it, I’d also like to quickly touch on the horror that is giving AFK players a random hero instead of outright removing them from the game at hand. I don’t really have an argument for that one; it’s just annoying, and players who are serious about playing should be present for the drafting process.
       
      VII) Bonus Comments About Other Systems
      Here are some other thoughts that I feel don’t really need a dedicated paragraph to be taken into consideration. In no particular order:
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      Conclusion
      Heroes of the Storm is relatively feature-rich as far as modern MOBAs go. Unfortunately, many of these features and systems feel unpolished or underexplored when compared to the game's competitors. While it's difficult to tell just how much they affect the game's popularity, Blizzard has a history of continuously improving and supporting its games over their extensive lifetimes. Furthermore, many developer comments hint at improvements for some of the topics underlined in this article to be announced no later than this BlizzCon, making me excited about what's to come. I'll be there in person to report everything, so stay tuned!
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      Previous Episodes
      WTF Moments Episode 92 WTF Moments Episode 91 WTF Moments Episode 90 WTF Moments Episode 89