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Heroes of the Storm Patch Notes: Feb 21

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Blizzard implemented voice chat and applied balanced changes and various bug fixes in this week's patch.

Voice chat is now enabled on live servers and in addition to bug fixes, the following Heroes received balance changes:

  • Maiev: The latest changes are aimed at lowering her survivability and burst damage throughput.
  • Malthael: Healing from Soul RipSoul Ripping Minions decreased, Hero-only healing increased. Mana cost of Soul RipSoul Rip has been increased to 25.
  • Zeratul: Changes to basic & heroic abilities are meant to redistribute his damage, while giving the Hero a slight buff.
  • Xul: Base stats have been buffed and split-push potential has been toned down.
  • Sonya: Balance changes for Sonya were supposed to go live on January 24, but Blizzard's implemented them just now. The changes include a basic attack damage reduction, Poisoned SpearPoisoned Spear & Nerves of SteelNerves of Steel talent adjustments.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

We’ve just released a patch to the live servers in order to implement Voice Communication, as well as apply some balance updates and bug fixes.

General

Voice Communication

  • Voice Communication has been added to Heroes of the Storm! Read the Voice Communication blog for more information about how to use it in-game.

Heroes

Assassin

Maiev

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Stats

  • Health reduced from 2236 to 2150
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 4.66 to 4.48

Abilities

  • Vault of the WardensVault of the Wardens (Trait)
    • Cooldown increased from 8 to 9 seconds
  • Fan of KnivesFan of Knives (Q)
    • Damage reduced from 170 to 162

Talents

  • Level 16
    • Armored AssaultArmored Assault (Passive)
      • Damage bonus reduced from 25% to 20%
    • Vengeful KnivesVengeful Knives (E)
      • Bonus damage per Hero hit increased from 1% to 1.2%
Developer Comment: The changes we released on January 9 helped bring Maiev’s win-rate down to mortal levels, but she was still a bit too powerful, overall. Today’s changes are aimed at slightly lowering both her survivability and burst damage throughput. Our data is showing the majority of her Talents are in healthy spots, but we will keep an eye on them as players start adapting to certain playstyles.

Malthael

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Abilities

  • Soul RipSoul Rip (Q)
    • Mana cost increased from 20 to 25
    • Healing reduced from 36 to 25 per target hit
    • Healing from Heroic targets increased from 3% to 4% of the Hero’s maximum Health
  • Tormented SoulsTormented Souls (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 100 to 80 seconds

Talents

  • Level 4
    • Die AloneDie Alone (Q)
      • Damage bonus reduced from 75% to 50%
  • Level 16
    • Soul CollectorSoul Collector (Q)
      • Bonus range reduced from 50% to 25%
Developer Comment: Malthael was designed to be powerful in the solo lane, but his dominance in the game’s early laning phase was unrivaled. We’re reducing this by making him heal less when Soul RipSoul Ripping Minions, but increasing his Hero-only healing so that he can still keep himself alive in late-game team fights. We’re also reducing the power of Die AloneDie Alone and increasing his Mana tension to taper some of his early game power. By increasing Soul RipSoul Rip’s Mana usage, we’re also reducing some of the power Malthael had when double-soaking lanes (especially when combined with On a Pale HorseOn a Pale Horse), as he tends to use Soul RipSoul Rip twice as often when doing so. The overall goal is to reduce the power of a few particularly dominating builds, while making sure that he still feels powerful past the early game.

Thrall

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Abilities

  • Chain LightningChain Lightning (Q)
    • Bounce range increased by 20%

Zeratul

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Abilities

  • CleaveCleave (Q)
    • Damage increased from 200 to 212
  • Singularity SpikeSingularity Spike (W)
    • Damage increased from 228 to 240
  • Void PrisonVoid Prison (R)
    • Mana cost reduced from 100 to 80
  • Might Of The NerazimMight Of The Nerazim (R)
    • Basic Attack damage bonus reduced from 40% to 30%
Developer Comment: These tuning changes are meant to redistribute Zeratul’s damage while also giving him a slight buff. Zeratul should now be a bit stronger during the earlier portions of the game if he takes Might Of The NerazimMight Of The Nerazim, but should have less opportunity cost if he chooses to take Void PrisonVoid Prison, instead.

Specialist

Xul

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Stats

  • Health increased from 1900 to 2000
  • Health Regeneration increased 3.957 to 4.168
  • Basic Attack damage increased from 104 to 110

Abilities

  • Raise SkeletonRaise Skeleton (Trait)
    • Skeletal Warrior Health reduced from 240 to 225
    • Skeletal Warrior damage reduced from 23 to 21
  • Bone PrisonBone Prison (E)
    • Cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds
    • Mana cost reduced from 80 to 70

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Trag'Oul's EssenceTrag'Oul's Essence (Trait)
      • Mana restoration per Skeletal Warrior attack reduced from 0.5% to 0.2% of Xul’s maximum Mana
Developer Comment: We like that Xul is a strong pushing Hero who has an identity as a great duo-lane soaker, but believe that his identity has been pushed too far into this role, and we would like to see him have more presence in team fights. We’re making adjustments to push him in this direction by buffing his base stats and toning down his split-push potential.

Support

Tyrande

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Abilities

  • Light of EluneLight of Elune (Q)
    • Cooldown reduced from 12 to 11 seconds

Warrior

Sonya

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Stats

  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 88 to 84

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Poisoned SpearPoisoned Spear (Q)
      • Damage reduced from 125% to 100% of Ancient SpearAncient Spear’s damage.
  • Level 16
    • Nerves of SteelNerves of Steel (Active)
      • Duration reduced from 5 to 3 seconds
      • Shield amount reduced from 30% to 25% of Maximum Health
      • Cooldown reduced from 70 to 60 seconds
Developer Comment: We originally applied these adjustments in a patch on January 24, but Sonya was so eager to get back into battle that she forgot to take them with her. We're giving these changes back to the Barbarian, and have (politely) asked her to remember to bring them along the next time she leaps into the fray.

Bug Fixes

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Diablo: Lightning BreathLightning Breath sound effects will no longer stop playing before the Ability is finished channeling.
  • Junkrat: Heroes killed by Concussion MineConcussion Mine will no longer respawn at their death location and then slide across the Battleground.
  • Junkrat: Issuing movement commands during Rocket RideRocket Ride will no longer cause Junkrat to become separated from his Mount.
  • Junkrat: Movement commands that the player did not issue will no longer appear on the terrain in front of RIP-TireRIP-Tire’s model.
  • Junkrat: Targeting unpathable terrain with Rocket RideRocket Ride will no longer cause Total MayhemTotal Mayhem Grenades to visually persist on the Battleground.
  • Junkrat: Concussion MineConcussion Mine can no longer displace Leoric from Wraith WalkWraith Walk’s starting location if the Mine is detonated in the same moment that Wraith WalkWraith Walk ends.
  • Li Li: After learning the Lighting Serpent Talent, Cloud SerpentCloud Serpent attacks that are bouncing to additional targets when the Ability expires will now correctly deal damage.
  • Lt. Morales: The tooltip for the Healing BeamHealing Beam icon next to Lt. Morales’ in-game portrait will now correctly display the Ability’s cooldown duration.
  • Malfurion: An ally who is affected by multiple RegrowthRegrowths will now be correctly healed by MoonfireMoonfire and have Stuns, Roots, and Slows removed by Nature's CureNature's Cure.
  • Movement Abilities: Certain movement-based Abilities, like Greymane’s DarkflightDarkflight or Chen’s Flying KickFlying Kick, will no longer fail to move the Hero toward a target currently affected by Varian’s TauntTaunt or Garrosh’s Warlord's ChallengeWarlord's Challenge.
  • Sgt. Hammer: Can now correctly deploy Biotic Emitters on Volskaya Foundry while in Siege Mode.
  • The Butcher: Fixed an issue that prevented The Butcher from collecting Meat while piloting the Triglav Protector, Dragon Knight, or Garden Terror.

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I love how Tyrande keeps getting these tiny little buffs here and there.  +2 damage here, -1 second there.  I wish there was some commentary as to why these changes and why so minor and often they appear.

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58 minutes ago, Stan said:

Chain LightningChain Lightning (Q)

  • Bounce range increased by 20%

WTF just killed me intensifies. 

 

51 minutes ago, TSRD said:

I love how Tyrande keeps getting these tiny little buffs here and there.  +2 damage here, -1 second there.  I wish there was some commentary as to why these changes and why so minor and often they appear.

I like these little changes since Tyrande is one of my highest level heroes and changes like this literally make the difference between being a niche pick on a couple of maps to being able to off lane, clear camps earlier, push gate towers while healing the melee minions and so on. She's not the only hero who gets little touches here and there every now and then to see what happens, and what's most strange about this change is that it's an odd number... The HotS dev team really loves things rounded up or down by ten, or equal numbers. I suppose they felt on internal testing two seconds was too much and 0.5 was too little :D 

Zeratul b-buffed?! monkaS 

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1 hour ago, Stan said:

 

Bug Fixes

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Junkrat: Heroes killed by Concussion MineConcussion Mine will no longer respawn at their death location and then slide across the Battleground.

Aw man. I was having so much fun abusing this...

  • Sad 1

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7 hours ago, Plergoth said:

WTF just killed me intensifies. 

In the Garrosh nerf patch notes they talked about how they want to adjust some things that are cancer to play against and no this. WTF?!

1 hour ago, Valhalen said:

Been playing with Maiev since the hotfix. I don't think this second nerf hurt her that much.

Nothing really hurts her. Shes a lot like Genji. Its not the numbers that make her good. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Voice chat? ehh. No thx. 

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15 hours ago, Plergoth said:

She's not the only hero who gets little touches here and there every now and then to see what happens, and what's most strange about this change is that it's an odd number... The HotS dev team really loves things rounded up or down by ten, or equal numbers. I suppose they felt on internal testing two seconds was too much and 0.5 was too little :D

Exactly.  11 second cooldown seems so odd.  That and other minor buffs aren't really going to drastically change how she's played or viewed (and the change is too small to draw new players toward her to "test" the change since they know it's going to be a minor difference) so it's only minor win% changes that we're likely talking about here.  Makes me wonder if there is some specific win% they're trying to hit with her and they're just tapping her gently fraction of a percentage by fraction of a percentage toward that goal.

Edited by TSRD

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2 hours ago, TSRD said:

Makes me wonder if there is some specific win% they're trying to hit with her and they're just tapping her gently fraction of a percentage by fraction of a percentage toward that goal.

I think it's more along the lines to give experienced players on her a nudge to be more aggressive and bold with her, possibly even invading and stealing merc camps and either soloing or assisting them earlier and faster with one of her most unpopular talents, Huntress' Fury. On maps such as Haunted Mines, this strategy could work. 

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This nerf to Maiev was even lighter than the first nerf she got. After playing her more I have to say she's still one of the most powerful assassins in the game. Looks like she's remaining in prime tier, for now.

Another thing I've been seeing from hotslogs is more and more master players taking Elune's WrathElune's Wrath over Bonds of CorruptionBonds of Corruption. In fact, it is apparently the most picked talent on that tier for master players (Bonds is still picked more in other levels). I'm not certain why, but it might have something to do with the fact that many master players know how to avoid being pulled, and the fact that many will make sure to avoid letting her get into melee to get a tether. Another reason I think is valid is the synergy it has with Warden's CageWarden's Cage, since it makes it very easy to get multiple resets and therefore significantly increases her power when her allies back her up. 

Basically ever since I saw that it was picked more than Bonds; it's even used in an AA build, I've been confused as to which one has more power in teamfights and skirmishes, even if one is situational and reliant on you having good aim. 

Edited by Maxkitty

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1 hour ago, Maxkitty said:

This nerf to Maiev was even lighter than the first nerf she got. After playing her more I have to say she's still one of the most powerful assassins in the game. Looks like she's remaining in prime tier, for now.

Another thing I've been seeing from hotslogs is more and more master players taking Elune's WrathElune's Wrath over Bonds of CorruptionBonds of Corruption. In fact, it is apparently the most picked talent on that tier for master players (Bonds is still picked more in other levels). I'm not certain why, but it might have something to do with the fact that many master players know how to avoid being pulled, and the fact that many will make sure to avoid letting her get into melee to get a tether. Another reason I think is valid is the synergy it has with Warden's CageWarden's Cage, since it makes it very easy to get multiple resets and therefore significantly increases her power when her allies back her up. 

Basically ever since I saw that it was picked more than Bonds; it's even used in an AA build, I've been confused as to which one has more power in teamfights and skirmishes, even if one is situational and reliant on you having good aim. 

I don't know. Elune's WrathElune's Wrath seems so mediocre. I've tested it before and couldn't find it that useful compared to Bonds of CorruptionBonds of Corruption. Overall, I feel that talents that rely too much on Fan of KnivesFan of Knives aren't worth (except for Blade DanceBlade Dance and Bladed ArmorBladed Armor) since you need to hit at least 2 targets to proc their effects; and high-level players will avoid cluster to negate Maiev those chances.

Anyway, I don't think those minor nerfs will make her fall from her spot in the tier list; Maiev is Prime because of her utility and displacement, not because of raw numbers. Should Blizzard give her the Garrosh treatment and make Umbral BindUmbral Bind stun or slow opponents rather than pulling, then I can see her dropping in the Tier List.

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1 hour ago, Valhalen said:

I don't know. Elune's WrathElune's Wrath seems so mediocre. I've tested it before and couldn't find it that useful compared to Bonds of CorruptionBonds of Corruption. Overall, I feel that talents that rely too much on Fan of KnivesFan of Knives aren't worth (except for Blade DanceBlade Dance and Bladed ArmorBladed Armor) since you need to hit at least 2 targets to proc their effects; and high-level players will avoid cluster to negate Maiev those chances.

Anyway, I don't think those minor nerfs will make her fall from her spot in the tier list; Maiev is Prime because of her utility and displacement, not because of raw numbers. Should Blizzard give her the Garrosh treatment and make Umbral BindUmbral Bind stun or slow opponents rather than pulling, then I can see her dropping in the Tier List.

I agree about Bonds being superior. You are totally right. 

As for Maiev's place at Prime, I agree as well that it is partly due to her massive utility, but I have to point out that even with her damage output much lower than it was on release day, she still does very noticeable damage in teamfights. Fan of KnivesFan of Knives, despite doing 162 damage now in comparison to 180 on release, is still very powerful due to it's reset ability, and combined with Blade DanceBlade Dance is even more powerful. Naisha's MementoNaisha's Memento can hurt enemies significantly in a teamfight if you can reliably deliver AA's (I prefer this talent over Bonds of JusticeBonds of Justice, and according to hotslogs most of the high level players do too). Even Armored AssaultArmored Assault, being only about 60% as powerful as it was on release, is still by far the best talent on it's row, and still a great talent overall. And of course, the real spike in power for Maiev is when she takes Shadow Orb: HuntressShadow Orb: Huntress, which can allow her to dominate a teamfight quite easily if her allies are able to aid her. 

So far, the only talents I see that are really interchangeable, being close in power, are Bladed ArmorBladed Armor and Shadow ArmorShadow Armor. These talents both generally grant the same benefit, but they are also have quite different niches. Bladed ArmorBladed Armor is more suited for poking, and if you plan on stutter-stepping often. It's also easily the better choice in general if you aren't able to reliably land AA's or if the enemy team has heroes like Cassia or Lili who can blind you. I also find Bladed ArmorBladed Armor to be better for matches where you find yourself having to defend more, because you will often be poking the enemies and get full benefit from this talent. On the other hand, Shadow ArmorShadow Armor suits itself towards an "all-in" type playstyle. Because of this, it tends to gain more benefit when your team can initiate and dedicate themselves to staying in a fight for a long period of time. It also excels when you can reliably land many AA's, which is not very hard to do when the enemy team lacks blinds, and is made even easier if your team has good CC, a good tank, and a good healer. I personally tend to like Shadow ArmorShadow Armor more just because I find myself and my team generally being more aggressive when I play Maiev, and it helps significantly when I dive into the enemy team with my allies and go all in. Both are valid however, and are great talents for Maiev's kit. 

Edited by Maxkitty

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25 minutes ago, Maxkitty said:

 Naisha's MementoNaisha's Memento can hurt enemies significantly in a teamfight if you can reliably deliver AA's (I prefer this talent over Bonds of JusticeBonds of Justice, and according to hotslogs most of the high level players do too).

I'm still trying to get used to that talent, but I really can't, for the aforementioned reason it relies too much on Fan of KnivesFan of Knives resets; plus with Maiev no longer having her passive armor and less health, it becomes risky to use it. I like to do the Physical Damage build but picking Bonds of JusticeBonds of Justice instead; I overall get good results with it during teamfights (plus it is fantastic for waveclear once you get over 10 stacks).

Edited by Valhalen

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