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Heroes of the Storm Balance Update: Jun 6

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A new patch is now live with balance changes and various bug fixes.

  • Blizzard removed baseline Armor from multiple Heroes, because it was something difficult to communicate visually. Going forward, Armor should be tied to a window of time and have an obvious indicator on the Hero when it's active.
  • Experience from outer towers has been distributed amongst other Structures.
  • The team's satisfied with Lunara's rework and she received some tuning in the latest patch.
  • Diablo is underperforming since the rework and some of his talents have been buffed.
  • Zagara's talents have been updated with the goal to reduce her early-game laning presence and buff her late-game teamfight capability.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

User Interface

Main Menu
  • The region selector dropdown has been removed from the Main Menu (ESC) in order to help prevent edge-case issues that could affect other game features and result in a poor experience for the player.

Design

Armor
  • Baseline Armor has been removed from a number of Heroes. Please see the specific changes to individual Heroes below.
Developer Comment: We have experimented with baseline Armor on some of our Heroes for some time, but we’ve decided to remove this functionality for now. The problem with it that we’ve found over time is that baseline Armor was difficult to communicate visually. It therefore ended up being a largely hidden power that didn’t have any major changes on gameplay. Going forward, we’ll prefer to make Armor—and other mechanics that are effective against Heroes and damage types—more interesting when they are tied to game mechanics. To clarify, while we are removing baseline Armor from Heroes, we still like Armor that is tied to a window of time or has an obvious display on the Hero when it is active. Some examples include Greymane in Worgen form and Cho’gall’s Ogre hide.
Structures
  • Fort Tower experience reduced from 500 to 250.
  • Fort experience increased from 1,000 to 1,200
  • Keep experience increased from 1,650 to 2,050
  • Towers of Doom
    • Fort Tower experience reduced from 500 to 250.
    • Fort experience increased from 1,100 to 1,200.
    • Keep experience increased from 1,900 to 2,050.
      • Note: Towers of Doom Forts upgrade to Keeps when the Tunnels open, approximately 12 minutes into a match.
Developer Comment: We’re taking some of the experience offered by outer Towers and distributing it amongst other Structures in an effort to keep teams closer in levels for a little while longer. We still want to reward skillful play, but a team that completes the first objective is frequently able take out a lot of the opposing team’s outer Structures. Not only did this open up a strategic advantage (Healing Fountains get destroyed, Fortifications provide less safety), but it also pushes the winning team further ahead. Usually, this results in one team reaching level 10 before their opponents, allowing them to snowball to an even greater lead. We’d like to instead slow down early game leads, so that winning teams have to play well for a longer period of time.

Heroes

Assassin

Cassia

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Stats
  • Health increased from 1,660 to 1,840
  • Health Regeneration decreased from 4.0 to 3.828.
Abilities
  • AvoidanceAvoidance (Trait)
    • Physical Armor while moving unmounted decreased from 65 to 40.

Fenix

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Stats
  • Unit radius reduced from 1.25 to 1.125. Fenix’s radius now matches Heroes like Stitches and Ragnaros.

Genji

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Abilities
  • Cyber AgilityCyber Agility (Trait)
    • Cooldown increased from 12 to 15 seconds.
Talents
  • Level 1
    • Agile DismountAgile Dismount (Trait)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 7 to 10 seconds.

Kael'thas

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Stats
  • Unit radius reduced from 1.15 to 1.0. Kael’thas’ radius now matches Heroes like E.T.C. and Zagara.
Abilities
  • Living BombLiving Bomb (W)
    • Periodic damage increased from 40 to 42.
Developer Comment: After years of battling in the Nexus, Kael’thas finally learned the reason why puny interlopers could foil his clearly superior plans and went to the tailor to get his cape trimmed.

Maiev

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Abilities
  • Umbral BindUmbral Bind (W)
    • Cooldown increased from 12 to 14 seconds.
  • Spirit of VengeanceSpirit of Vengeance (E)
    • Cooldown increased from 10 to 13 seconds.
    • Damage increased from 100 to 180.
    • Adjusted functionality:
      • No longer deals bonus damage to Heroes.
      • Instead, if Spirit of VengeanceSpirit of Vengeance hits an enemy Hero, its cooldown is reduced by 4 seconds.
Talents
  • Level 4
    • Blade DanceBlade Dance (Q)
      • Area of effect reduced from 4 to 3.5.
Developer Comment: The cooldown increase for Umbral BindUmbral Bind will grant the Warden’s enemies a bit more of a reprieve between cases of being chained. We are also shifting some of the complexity of Spirit of VengeanceSpirit of Vengeance into cooldown reduction upon hitting a Hero, rather than providing bonus Hero damage. This increases Maiev’s capability for wave-clear, rewards players that use the ability to engage, and reduces its usefulness as an escape. Overall, Maiev’s kit is still slightly over-performing, and we’re hoping these changes will get her into a sweet spot.

Lunara

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Talents
  • Level 4
    • Nature's CullingNature's Culling (Trait)
      • Bonus damage reduced from 150% to 125%.
  • Level 7
    • Choking PollenChoking Pollen (Q)
      • Bonus damage against enemies who have 1 stack of Nature's ToxinNature's Toxin increased from 50% to 75%.
      • Bonus damage against enemies who have 3 stacks of Nature's ToxinNature's Toxin increased from 100% to 125%.
Developer Comment: Lunara’s rework has put her pick rate, win rate, and Talent pick rates in a pretty good spot. These changes are to address Talent outliers, which we’ll continue to keep an eye on going forward.

Multiclass

Varian

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Stats
  • Health increased from 1,924 to 2,116.
  • Health Regeneration increased from 4.001 to 4.406.
Abilities
  • TauntTaunt (R)
    • Passive Armor bonus removed
    • Passive maximum Health bonus increased from 25% to 30%.

Specialist

Zagara

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Abilities
  • Creep TumorCreep Tumor (Trait)
    • Health reduced from 150 to 125.
    • Health scaling increased from 3% to 4% per level.
  • Hunter KillerHunter Killer (W)
    • Health decreased from 471 to 420.
    • Health scaling increased from 3.5% to 4.5% per level.
    • Damage scaling increased from 4% to 5% per level.
    • Movement Speed increased by 4%.
  • Infested DropInfested Drop (E)
    • Impact damage scaling increased from 3% to 4% per level.
    • Roachling Health reduced from 346 to 328.
    • Roachling Health scaling increased from 3% to 4% per level.
    • Roachling Damage scaling increased from 3% to 4% per level.
  • Devouring MawDevouring Maw (R)
    • Damage increased from 80 to 88.
  • Nydus NetworkNydus Network (R)
    • Health reduced from 664 to 550.
    • Health scaling increased from 3% to 4% per level.
Developer Comment: The Nexus has changed a lot since Zagara first arrived. Originally, she was the ultimate lane bully, known for pushing enemies out of lane with Hunter KillerHunter Killer and draining tower ammo with her summons. The arrival of new solo-laners who can challenge her power, combined with the removal of tower ammo, has made this part of her identity less special. The goals of these changes are twofold: first, to slightly reduce her early-game laning presence, largely by reducing the early-game Health of Hunter KillerHunter Killer. Our second goal is to buff her late-game teamfight capability, which we’re doing by improving the scaling on her abilities. Our general thinking is that she is mostly frustrating to lane against during the early game, and then she falls off in power and has less impact in teamfights, which results in allies relying on her to split-push instead of playing with her team. We’re hoping that with these changes she will be a more standard Hero in team compositions, and can be played as a solid backline damage dealer.
Talents
  • Level 1
    • Corpse FeedersCorpse Feeders (E)
      • Damage reduction from non-Heroic sources increased from 40% to 50%.
  • Level 16
    • Brood ExpansionBrood Expansion (W)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 6 to 7 seconds.
      • Now also reduces Hunter KillerHunter Killer’s Mana cost by 30.
    • Corrosive SalivaCorrosive Saliva (W)
      • Damage increased from 2% to 2.5% of the target Hero’s maximum Health.

Support

Auriel

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Stats
  • Health reduced from 1,758 to 1,700.
  • Health regeneration reduced from 3.66 to 3.54.
Abilities
  • Sacred SweepSacred Sweep (Q)
    • Outer area damage reduced from 57 to 45.
    • Inner area damage increased from 171 to 180.

Brightwing

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Abilities
  • Soothing MistSoothing Mist (Trait)
    • Heal amount increased from 109 to 112.
  • Blink HealBlink Heal (R)
    • Heal amount increased from 192 to 200.

Stukov

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Abilities
  • Bio-Kill SwitchBio-Kill Switch (Trait)
    • Amount Healed after detonating a Healing Pathogen increased from 435 to 450.
  • Healing PathogenHealing Pathogen (Q)
    • Healing per tick increased from 35 to 37.

Warrior

Anub'arak

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Stats
  • Base Spell Armor removed.
  • Health increased from 1,925 to 2,100.
  • Health Regeneration increased from 4.012 to 4.375.
Abilities
  • Harden CarapaceHarden Carapace (W)
    • Mana cost reduced from 30 to 25.
    • Additional functionality:
      • Now also grants 40 Spell Armor while active.

Arthas

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Stats
  • Base Physical Armor removed.
  • Health increased from 2,524 to 2,650.
  • Health Regeneration increased from 5.258 to 5.52.
Talents
  • Level 1
    • RimeRime (Passive)
      • Physical Armor bonus increased from 60 to 75.

Diablo

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Stats
  • Health increased from 2,567 to 2,618.
  • Health Regeneration increased from 5.3515 to 5.4542.
  • Basic Attack speed increased from 0.91 to 0.95.
Abilities
  • Fire StompFire Stomp (W)
    • Healing increased from 125% to 130% of the damage dealt.
Talents
  • Level 1
    • Feast on Fear (Q/E)
      • Healing per second increased from 3.75% to 4%.
      • Duration reduced from 4 to 3 seconds.
    • Devil's DueDevil's Due (Trait)
      • Regeneration Globe and Healing Fountain bonuses increased from 2% to 2.25% per Soul.
    • Soul ShieldSoul Shield (Active)
      • Cooldown reduced from 60 to 45 seconds.
  • Level 4
    • Sacrificial Soul IconSacrificial Soul (Q)
      • Armor increased from 15 to 20.
      • Armor granted after gathering 100 Souls increased from 30 to 40.
    • Souls to the Flame (W)
      • Healing increased from 1.25% to 1.3% per Soul.
  • Level 13
    • Devastating ChargeDevastating Charge (Q)
      • Initial damage bonus reduced from 100% to 80%.
      • Quest damage bonus increased from 15% to 20% per stack.
      • Maximum quest damage bonus increased from 75% to 120%.
Developer Comment: Diablo is underperforming since his recent rework, so we’ve increased his baseline survivability. We expect him to rise as players settle into new builds and playstyles, but there was still room to buff the Lord of Terror. We’ve also addressed a few of the Talents that weren’t as strong as their counterparts. Additionally, we’ve reduced the duration of Feast on Fear, but increased its healing per tick, so Diablo players can get more value out of a few healing ticks before overriding it.

Garrosh

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Abilities
  • GroundbreakerGroundbreaker (Q)
    • Cooldown increased from 7 to 8 seconds.
  • Wrecking BallWrecking Ball (E)
    • Cooldown increased from 12 to 14 seconds.
Talents
  • Level 16
    • Mortal ComboMortal Combo (Q)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 7 to 9 seconds.

Johanna

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Abilities
  • Base Physical Armor removed.
  • Health increased from 2,350 to 2,540.
  • Health Regeneration increased from 4.895 to 5.289.
Talents
  • Level 1
    • ReinforceReinforce (Passive)
      • Armor bonus increased from 50 to 75.

Bug Fixes

General
  • Addressed an issue that could cause the game client to crash on startup.
Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
  • Cassia: Fixed an issue causing Cassia’s Health Regeneration to be higher than intended.
  • Diablo: Lightning Breath’s visual effects can no longer be right-clicked.
  • Diablo: The visual effects that display within Diablo’s Hero ring after he has collected 100 Souls will no longer appear underneath Vehicles that Diablo is piloting, such as the Dragon Knight.
  • D.Va: Fixed an issue in which Defense MatrixDefense Matrix’s search area could become disjointed from the Ability’s visual effects.
  • Lunara: Fixed an issue in which the Blossom SwellBlossom Swell Talent granted more bonus area to Noxious BlossomNoxious Blossom than intended.
  • Lunara: The Hippity Hop Talent no longer grants more Movement Speed to Dryad’s Swiftness than intended.
  • Muradin: Placeholder art will no longer appear after casting Haymaker.
User Interface
  • Brawl Screen: Event-themed Loot Chest models now correctly appear centered within the reward panel on the Brawl screen.

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Armor is a cool mechanic. But I can see that it is a problem to properly show them on screen. The Armor Icon next to the Health Bars is supposed to show temporary Armors. Instead of having that display all the time for the basic Armor Heroes, I think it is better to change it into extra health.

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9 minutes ago, Sombra said:

stukov buff ? wutt ?

He's been under performing a fair bit since the nerfs he got, although he still seems to be the most popular support

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The Stukov buff is pretty nonsensical indeed. Sure his winrate is lower than that of other supports but he has a very high pickrate still... Though it may not be a bad idea to buff his healing a bit (as this patch has done) and nerf his Silence pool instead on a future patch.

Edited by Aasgier

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14 minutes ago, lChronosl said:

So that armor removal means I am to expect a Johanna chain mail bikini skin incoming?

No, but we might get Arthas in a mankini.

  • Like 2

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6 hours ago, lChronosl said:

So that armor removal means I am to expect a Johanna chain mail bikini skin incoming?

If anything I wanna see a Kael'thas bikini skin

  • Like 1

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10 minutes ago, ShadowerDerek said:

Is Diablo really that weak that they have to buff every single Lv 1 talents? Like as if Devil's Due isn't OP enough.

It just felt weaker in general post rework than it did before. Plus he was lacking overall so they buffed him quite a bit.

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A big problem with Dibbles is that people played him like the melee assassin he used to be in the past even past his nerfs. And he can no longer do that.

For those that played Dibbles like a tank, Dibbles probably only needed minor buffs around his survivability.

This being said, the Devil's Due buff is total nonsense and I don't really like the Devastating Charge buff either.

Edited by Aasgier
  • Like 1
  • Sad 2

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11 hours ago, DimensionDerper said:

But what about Anub'arak in a... um... beetlekini?

Wouldn't that just be called Beekini?

  • Haha 2

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3 hours ago, Aasgier said:

A big problem with Dibbles is that people played him like the melee assassin he used to be in the past even past his nerfs. And he can no longer do that.

Yeah, I miss that so damn much. I'd rather Blizzard reworked him as a Melee Assassin instead. It was way more fun. He really felt like the "Lord of Terror" because he could kill you in a single rotation as long there were any walls nearby. Now he feels so bland and boring to play; just another Tank with self-sustain.

Edited by Valhalen

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4 hours ago, Valhalen said:

Yeah, I miss that so damn much. I'd rather Blizzard reworked him as a Melee Assassin instead. It was way more fun. He really felt like the "Lord of Terror" because he could kill you in a single rotation as long there were any walls nearby. Now he feels so bland and boring to play; just another Tank with self-sustain.

Diablo would probably lose about half of his survivability in the process, so while he would do more damage than he does now, I think it'd be overall actually a much bigger nerf.

Let's face it, there are very few melee assassins that see actual play at higher levels of Hero League, let alone HGC.

Maiev, Samuro, Thrall (which has Poke Lightning) and Greymane (which also has a ranged attack)... then what?!

 

 

Edited by Aasgier

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12 minutes ago, Aasgier said:

Diablo would probably lose about half of his survivability in the process, so while he would do more damage than he does now, I think it'd be overall actually a much bigger nerf.

Let's face it, there are very few melee assassins that see actual play at higher levels of Hero League, let alone HGC.

Maiev, Samuro, Thrall (which has Poke Lightning) and Greymane (which also has a ranged attack)... then what?!

I wouldn't mind them cutting Diablo's health in half while giving him those buffs for survivability he got in that rework. Would be fun to have that explosive high-risk, high-reward gameplay style that currently only The Butcher has.

A pro Alarak can do some nasty shit. Same as The Butcher (if he is a last pick). However, the problem with Melee Assassins is their squishness, which makes much safe to just play Ranged. They're still fun pubstompers, though.

Edited by Valhalen

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22 hours ago, lChronosl said:

So that armor removal means I am to expect a Johanna chain mail bikini skin incoming?

21 hours ago, Aasgier said:

No, but we might get Arthas in a mankini.

20 hours ago, DimensionDerper said:

But what about Anub'arak in a... um... beetlekini?

15 hours ago, Maxkitty said:

If anything I wanna see a Kael'thas bikini skin

8 hours ago, VegaPl said:

Wouldn't that just be called Beekini?

More like, make Jaina-kini, Nova-kini, Kerri-kini (you get the point) skins. A guy needs his eye candy, don't judge me.

1 hour ago, Aasgier said:

Let's face it, there are very few melee assassins that see actual play at higher levels of Hero League, let alone HGC.

Maiev, Samuro, Thrall (which has Poke Lightning) and Greymane (which also has a ranged attack)... then what?!

 

 

Zera can very much still still see play imho has the potential for flashy blow-ups and Mending StrikesMending Strikes makes you a sustain beast. Illi maybe too since he can take camps from rather early without needing to take talents specifically for that, tho he needs a lot of enabling (HGC is all about coordination ofc)

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Valhalen said:

I just want this skin for Deckard Cain.

image.thumb.png.e190c3ff7e37bff2cd5e5fbeede39582.png

To be true to the source material, it should have an altered VO where he hits on every female he sees... literally 

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35 minutes ago, SteveFrost said:

To be true to the source material, it should have an altered VO where he hits on every female he sees... literally 

Including Li Li and Zagara?

Also, make everybody refuse his request - while Azmodan asks him on a date instead.

14 hours ago, SteveFrost said:

More like, make Jaina-kini, Nova-kini, Kerri-kini (you get the point) skins. A guy needs his eye candy, don't judge me.

Yes, I understand.

But not every gamer is a straight male (or lesbian female). Personally, I don't really care about a half-naked skin that much unless for comedy value (which both Tychus and Stitches have, for different reasons) and Tracer is also an odd one out because her bikini skin is probably less sexualized than the playsuit she wears by default🤣

14 hours ago, SteveFrost said:

Zera can very much still still see play imho has the potential for flashy blow-ups and Mending StrikesMending Strikes makes you a sustain beast. Illi maybe too since he can take camps from rather early without needing to take talents specifically for that, tho he needs a lot of enabling (HGC is all about coordination ofc)

Fair enough. It's just that most of the Zerathul I see are complete and utter dogshit 😛

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3 hours ago, SteveFrost said:

To be true to the source material, it should have an altered VO where he hits on every female he sees... literally 

As well this dance:

3 hours ago, Aasgier said:

But not every gamer is a straight male (or lesbian female). Personally, I don't really care about a half-naked skin that much unless for comedy value (which both Tychus and Stitches have, for different reasons) and Tracer is also an odd one out because her bikini skin is probably less sexualized than the playsuit she wears by default

Kerrigan is already naked, so having her with a bikini is pretty much covering her scaly tits.

I agree with you. I don't think it IS necessary to have skins with sexy appeal just for the sake of it (like LoL does). LoL pretty much does that because their characters are uninteresting and bland on their own, so they need that extra fanservice.

Having sexy skins with a comedy value is much more interesting, like the ones you pointed out.

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I've been a day one critic of armor (and most things!) being added to the game. This patch is an unexpected surprise.

Baseline armor adds a lot of hidden, passive, and hard-to-exploit power to heroes. Exceptions, such as Cassia, are fine (well, that's also up to debate, see above parenthesis), though that's niche and not entirely mindless.

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Uncommon Patron

I see that Blizzard is trying to make a lot of things skill based and situational. They removed baseline armor and incorporated into talents; reworked Diablo and Lunara by adding requirements to talents. They probably don't want general heroes anymore and are trying to rise the niche ones into the spotlight.

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2 hours ago, Oxygen said:

I've been a day one critic of armor (and most things!) being added to the game. This patch is an unexpected surprise.

Baseline armor adds a lot of hidden, passive, and hard-to-exploit power to heroes. Exceptions, such as Cassia, are fine (well, that's also up to debate, see above parenthesis), though that's niche and not entirely mindless.

Cassia is a special case because her shield glows while she moves, which is a huge visual indicator, plus basic attacks done against her also have a different sound effect, which is additional cue. Her passive armor is the basis for her kit, so I don't think it adds a "hidden power", unlike passive armor for tanks just for the sake of it.

Edited by Valhalen

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      Tyrande
      Talents
      Level 1 Ranger [W] Moved from level 4. No longer has an activated ability to make the next Sentinel pierce all Heroes hit. New functionality: Sentinel pierces the first enemy Hero hit. Lunar Blaze [E] Moved from level 4. Trueshot Aura [Active] Moved from level 4. Level 4 Everlasting Light [Q] Moved from level 1. Bonus Healing increased from 60% to 80%. Mark of Mending [Trait] Moved from level 1. Elune’s Chosen [Active] Moved from level 1. Level 7 Huntress’ Fury [Trait] Adjusted functionality: Basic Attacks only splash to nearby enemy Heroes. Basic Attacks that splash from Huntress’ Fury also give cooldown reduction to Light of Elune. Level 16 Darnassian Archery [Passive] Duration reduced from 6 to 4 seconds. No longer loses its bonus when attacking non-Heroes. Return to Top
      Uther
      Talents
      Level 20 Bulwark of Light [R1] Adjusted functionality: Divine Shield is also applied to all nearby Heroes near its initial target and lasts 1 second longer. Divine Protection [Trait] Armor amount increased from 40 to 50. Return to Top
      Whitemane
      Talents
      Level 1 Righteous Flame [E] New functionality: Increase the damage of Searing Lash by 25%. If the second strike of Searing Lash hits an enemy Hero, the bonus damage is increased to 50% and grants Whitemane 25% increased Attack Speed for 4 seconds. Level 7 Saintly Greatstaff [E] Moved from Level 13. Level 13 Scarlet Wrath [Trait] Moved from Level 7. Additional functionality: Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes reduce Zeal’s cooldown by 1 second. Level 16 Radiance [Q] Additional functionality: If Zeal is cast while Whitemane has 3 stacks of Desperation, then instead of reducing Whitemane’s Armor it instead increases her Armor by 10. Return to Top
      Melee Assassin
      Qhira
      Base
      Health increased from 1950 to 2000. Health regeneration increased from 4.06 to 4.17. Talents
      Level 1 Fatal Wounds [W] Bonus damage to enemy Heroes below 50% Health reduced from 40% to 30%. Finishing Touch [Passive] Basic Attack damage bonus increased from 15% to 20%. Basic Attack damage bonus to enemy Heroes below 50% Health increased from 15% to 20%. Level 4 Ensnaring Swing [E] Primary target Slow increased from 30% to 40%. Level 10 Unrelenting Strikes [R1] Cooldown reduced from 75 to 60 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 60 to 50. Final Stun duration increased from 1 to 1.5 seconds. Level 16 Swing Life Away [E] Cooldown reduction increased from 150% to 200%. Spell Armor duration increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds. Level 20 Silent Killer [R1] No longer Silences enemy Heroes on its initial cast. Additional functionality: Enemy Heroes who are hit by Unrelenting Strikes are Silenced for .5 seconds. Return to Top
      Zeratul
      Talents
      Level 20 Gift of the Xel’Naga [R2] Removed. Nexus Blades [Passive] Removed. New talent: Unwavering Pressure [W] Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes who are marked or Slowed by Singularity Spike reduce the cooldown of Singularity Spike by 1.25 seconds. New talent: Shadow Stride [Passive] Reduce the cooldown of Vorpal Blade by 10 seconds. Return to Top
      Ranged Assassin
      Cassia
      Base
      Vitals Health increased from 1510 to 1700. Health regeneration increased from 3.15 to 3.54 per second. Weapon Damage from 122 to 130. Attacks per second from 1 to 1.11. Lightning Fury [Q] Damage from 150 to 165. Mana cost from 25 to 20. Avoidance [Trait] Now works while Mounted. Adjusted functionality: After remaining stationary for .75 seconds the Armor is rapidly lost over .5 seconds. Talents
      Level 1 Thunderstroke [Q] No longer grants Avoidance Armor. Quest damage per Hero hit from 1 to 1.5. Level 7 Debilitating Thrusts [E] Name changed to Grounding Rod. New functionality: Enemies hit by Lightning Fury or Fend are Slowed by 20% for 2 seconds. Level 16 Martial Law [Passive] Adjusted functionality: Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes deal 1% maximum Health as damage. This is increased to 3% maximum Health against Heroes who are Stunned, Rooted, or Slowed. Return to Top
      Genji
      Base
      Health increased from 1620 to 1675. Health regeneration increased from 3.38 to 3.49. Cyber Agility [Trait] Cooldown increased from 15 to 20 seconds. Talents
      Level 1 Agile Dismount [Trait] Cooldown reduction increased from 10 to 14 seconds. Level 7 Augmented Guard [W] Shield amount increased from 75% to 100% of damage blocked. Cyber Shield [Trait] Spell Armor duration increased from 2.5 to 4 seconds. Level 10 X-Strike [R2] Cooldown reduced from 80 to 60 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 90 to 70. Level 13 Double Jump [Trait] Removed. New talent: Way of the Shimada [Passive] Increase Genji’s Basic Attack range by 1. Each time Genji hits an enemy Hero with a Basic Attack, increase his Basic Attack damage by 1% for 3 seconds, stacking up to 15%. Level 20 Living Weapon [R2] Cooldown reduction reduced from 12 to 10 seconds. Return to Top
      Gul'dan
      Base
      Fel Flame [Q] Damage increased from 200 to 210. Talents
      Level 7 Curse of Exhaustion [W] Slow reduced from 50% to 40%. No longer requires enemies to be afflicted by Corruption for the bonuses to take effect. Level 13 Dark Bargain [Passive] Additional respawn time reduced from 15 to 10 seconds. Return to Top
      Hanzo
      Talents
      Level 10 Dragonstrike [R1] Damage increased from 78 to 84. Level 13 Mounted Archery [Passive] Additional functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Summon Mount by 2 seconds. Level 16 Flawless Technique [Passive] Storm Bow and Basic Attack damage bonuses increased from 30% to 40%. Return to Top
      Raynor
      Talents
      Level 1 Exterminator [Passive] Bonus damage to Minions, Mercenaries, and Monsters reduced from 75% to 50%. Return to Top
      Tracer
      Base
      Reload [Trait] Healing from Basic Attacks reduced from 15% to 10%. Talents
      Level 13 Untouchable [Q] No longer increases Tracer’s Blink range. New functionality: After using Blink, Tracer’s Movement Speed is increased by 20% for 2 seconds. Telefrag [E] Cooldown reduction on Recall increased from .1875 to .25 seconds. Return to Top
      Zagara
      Talents
      Level 16 Jagged Barbs [Trait] Attack range bonus increased from 10% to 20%. Return to Top
      Bug Fixes
      General
      Watching replays from previous versions of the game will no longer crash the client. Heroes
      Chromie Every talent that is affected by Sand Blast correctly references 'Primary Sand Blast' or references Sand Blasts 'from Chromie or her Echoes' that matches its functionality. Deathwing Updated a tooltip for Bellowing Roar's Fear to correctly state its duration as 1.5 seconds. Garrosh Helping Hand and Into the Fray no longer can be cast on Turrets placed by themselves or allies. Kael'thas Both Fel Infusion and Sunfire Enchantment now properly increase Kael'thas' healing from Fel Infusion. Mal'ganis Spreading Plague's duration is now set to 5 seconds when Mal'ganis basic attacks an enemy Hero, which is its full duration. Orphea Shadow Waltz now refunds mana cost equal to its cast. Ragnaros Sulfuras Smash now has the same cooldown and effect when Ragnaros casts it during Molten Core. Tracer Bullet Spray's range now increases 30%, and a tooltip description has been updated to match it as well. Heavy Handed's armor debuff is now properly applied after Melee damage. Battlegrounds
      Dragon Shire The Dragon Knight's Savage no longer interrupts missile movers of targets that are Unstoppable, but continues to properly interrupt missile movers of targets that are not Unstoppable. Hanamura Temple The Sentinel's Warning Splat for Horizontal Slash properly matches its searches. Return to Top
      The latest patch brings changes for the Call for Help Nexus Anomaly and several Heroes.
    • By Stan
      The Heroes Design team is looking for feedback on the latest Nexus Anomaly, the current thinking is to keep the Core changes permanently because they add unique flavor and cool moments to games, and this post focuses on the more controversial changes that have gone live for Structures, mainly Tower aggro.
      Main Highlights
      The team initially decided to pull out all of the Tower aggro changes in preparation for the next Anomaly, as they didn't think they were right for the game. Once they removed the system, they started receiving feedback from across the team that this was the wrong decision, and that Tower aggro changes made the game feel better. Left undecided, the Design team is currently looking for feedback, because they need to make a call soon, but they are not 100% sure what to do now. Would you like the Tower aggro changes permanently added to the game?
      (Source)
      Hello fellow Heroes!
      The Heroes Design team has been hard at work on our next seasonal content, including deciding what to do with the Call for Help Nexus Anomaly. We’re looking for feedback, and we wanted to take the time to give you some heavy insight into our thoughts, so strap yourselves in, this is going to be a doozy!
      Firstly, we have already decided that we like what the changes to the Kings Core have brought to our game, and we want to keep those. We believe they give our maps a unique flavor and they add some cool moments to games. This article will be focused solely on the more controversial changes that were made to Towers, Forts, and Keeps in regards to how they interact with enemy Heroes. We think a good place to start is with what our goals were when we changed the Tower Aggro system.
      We had two major goals with the system:
      We wanted players to feel like their Towers were “smart” about how they tried to protect members of their team. We have heard lots of feedback over the years that it’s frustrating that Towers will prioritize a nearby minion while an allied Hero is being attacked, and that this felt unintuitive, resulting in players being upset with their own structures for not helping them out.
      We wanted to create more interesting back and forth gameplay between Heroes in both Tower diving and town defense situations. Before this change, the defending team’s counter-play was to try to cast AoE abilities on enemy Minions so that they would die, effectively enabling their Towers to target the diving Heroes and protect them.
      We want to also point out that while the first point may not seem like much, it is a fairly big deal, and was the initial primary motivator for changing Tower aggro. It’s important when playing games that they “feel” right, and when they don’t it can be a big deterrent to player enjoyment. It’s why we spend a lot of time and effort on high quality visual effects, sound effects, models, animations, and creating counter-play through proper design. It’s all related, and we believe that games become great works of art when things feel like they’re all working together in a cohesive and awesome way.
      Where We Are
      Let’s talk about how we feel about where things currently stand. We had recently made the decision to pull out all of the Tower aggro changes, and our recent playtests have had them removed in preparation for the next Anomaly. The team didn’t feel that it was a clear enough win due to some design concerns which we will discuss later, and due to how controversial the changes have been overall. We’re committed to only keeping Anomalies that we truly believe are better for the game as a whole, and since we were also incredibly torn on this issue, we had decided to remove it.
      Then something interesting happened. Once we had removed the system, we started getting feedback from across the team that this was the wrong decision, and that the Tower aggro changes, although they had some issues, made the game, overall, feel much better. We ourselves also noticed that the games just felt better with the system on, which caused us to go back and ask ourselves: “are we making the right decision by taking this away?”
      After lots of debate, we’re still torn on the how we want to proceed. We need to make a call soon, so we’re asking for some feedback from you to help us decide. In the next and final section of this post, we’re going to outline what we like about the current system, what we don’t like, and some proposed changes to improve the system if we decide to keep it.
      What We Like
      We believe we succeeded in Towers feeling smarter as a defending player. They “feel” like they’re doing what they should be
      We believe we’ve created cool, high-tension moments when enemy Heroes dive under a Tower. We also like how attackers have some ability to manipulate who gets the Tower aggro to make intelligent, coordinated plays. We believe this can be even better with improvements in the future
      The combination on our end of being able to manipulate Tower damage and the stacking Armor debuff gives us a lot of room to manipulate exactly how we want these interactions to feel going forward, and gives us good tuning knobs to decide how much defensive power is from the Tower itself or from the nearby enemy Heroes who are there to defend it
      Issues With The Current System
      We believe Towers are currently too punishing to consistently create the cool, high-tension moments we described above. They currently hit too hard to make those moments happen as often or as long as we’d like them to
      Many players don’t like how much they have to change their behavior when near enemy Towers, particularly the ones near the Gates, mainly due to splash damage inadvertently causing Towers to attack them
      A lot of the map is now more dangerous than before, making it less possible to fight enemy Heroes, particularly in the early game. This exacerbates issues we already have with our desire to make the laning phase of the game more interesting
      When too powerful (which we believe it currently is), it disincentivizes players from pushing with their map objectives, which can make those moments feel less awesome
      Some players just like the way things have been for years, and don’t want such a large change to a fundamental aspect of the game. While not a commanding reason to never make changes, it is something we always try to keep in mind, and why we think the bar needs to be high in order to keep these kinds of fundamental changes to game systems
      Now that we’ve covered where we’re at, here are some potential ideas that we have been debating to help make things better if we decide to keep the changes. We could end up doing none of these or all of them, and we’re open to other ideas from you!
      Change all structures to prioritize Map Objectives before anything else Pros
      It would fix players not wanting to push with Map Objectives Cons
      It adds another rule that can be unintuitive for the defending players since they will not always be defended by their Towers, only most of the time, which can be confusing and goes against the primary goal of Towers “feeling” smart in how they work
      Towers don’t defend their teammates in the moments of the game when they need them most
      Change Tower aggro so that the front Towers prioritize Minions, but the Forts, Keeps, and Kings Core prioritize Heroes who attack other Heroes Pros
      The early game would better reward aggression and pushing, and less of the map would be as dangerous as it currently is with the new system Players could attack gates without feeling like their splash damage could get them into trouble Cons
      It adds complexity to the game with two different Aggro rules depending on the Structure
      Lower the damage that Structures do to Heroes Pros
      Towers won’t be as directly threatening themselves, which mitigates the issue of them being too punishing in the early game Players will have more time to be aggressive with Tower diving and less immediately punished when Towers initially start to shoot them It puts the onus of properly defending towns more on the defending team, which incentivizes interaction between heroes Cons
      It makes Towers weaker, which could result in Tower diving being too prevalent.
      These are our thoughts on the current Anomaly. Thanks again for taking the time to read through our ideas. We’re now looking for feedback on how you feel about the current system, whether or not you would like to go back to the old system and why, or other ideas on how to improve the current one. We want to make a choice in the near future about what to do, so please be a Hero and give us your feedback – it will greatly help us in our tireless pursuit of constantly improving this game that we all love playing together.
    • By Stan
      While there are no plans to bring back Haunted Mines at this time, reddit user RockNerd33 did a drum cover of the original Haunted Mines soundrack for everyone to enjoy.
      For illustration, here's the original Haunted Mines Soundtrack if you haven't heard it yet.
      (Source)
    • By Oxygen
      Our twenty-ninth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the month of December is here!
      The latest meta tier list for December 2019 is here!
      Welcome to another Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the December 3 patch. The goal of this list is to try and detail game's current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame).
      Using the list
       
      Current ranked mode map rotation
       
      Current anomaly
      Experience Globes. For more information about this Anomaly, simply refer to our Anomaly guide.
       
      Meta picks
      Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer — Deathwing (new) (ban) — — — — — —  
      High-tier generalists
      Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer E.T.C. (ban) — Alarak (ban) Zeratul — Jaina Abathur (ban) Ana↓ (ban) Diablo (ban)   Qhira      Kael'thas (ban)   Anduin (ban) Garrosh (ban)         Sylvanas   Uther↑ (ban) Johanna (ban)                
      Mid-tier generalists
      Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer Anub'arak↓ Artanis Kerrigan Tracer Cassia Azmodan  Medivh Alexstrasza Arthas Chen↓ Maiev   Falstad Chromie Zarya Auriel Blaze Dehaka Malthael   Fenix Gul'dan   Brightwing↓ Mal'Ganis Imperius↓ Ragnaros   Greymane Junkrat    Deckard↓ Muradin Sonya Thrall   Hanzo Kel'Thuzad   Kharazim Stitches Yrel Varian   Lunara Li-Ming   Li Li Varian   Varian   Raynor Mephisto   Lt. Morales         Tychus Nazeebo   Lúcio         Valla Orphea   Malfurion         Zul'jin Zagara   Rehgar                 Stukov               Tyrande               Whitemane↑  
      Low-tier generalists
      Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer — D.Va Gazlowe Genji↓ Sgt.Hammer↓ Probius — —     Murky Valeera             The Butcher            
      Situational picks (map, team composition, or counterpick)
      Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer Cho'gall Leoric Illidan Nova — Cho'gall Tassadar — Tyrael Rexxar Xul Samuro     The Lost Vikings    
      Meta heroes define the metagame. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most drafts and matches.
      Generalists form the core of your team and are generally picked after Meta picks have been distributed. They tend to work on most maps, and as part of and against most team compositions. Since this group includes most heroes, I elected to split it into three tiers. High-tier rankings are a result of performance (i.e. win rates) and popularity (i.e. pick and ban rates). This means that heroes with high win rates can be set in low tier; the opposite may also be true.
      Situational picks shine on specific maps or as part of specific team compositions.
       
    • By Stan
      Blizzard released two new skins for Cassia and Tracer yesterday, but that did not stop community members from submitting their own skin concepts that are very well worth checking out! Here's Messenger Kharazim and Hades Ragnaros.

      Messenger Kharazim by Yasemin Baran (Source)

      Hades Ragnaros by Evangelos Callow (Source)
      Latest Heroes of the Storm News
      Heroes of the Storm Balance Patch: May 6th Mythic Pantheon Skins Now Live
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