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Heroes of the Storm 2019 Gameplay Updates

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An overview of gameplay changes coming to the game in 2019.

2019 Gameplay Update Highlights

  • Blizzard's changing the way they reward players who prioritize push strategies to gain experience and power advantages and they want to accomplish this with the following changes:
    • Experience
      • All experience earned from destroying a Fort or Keep is being removed.
      • Experience earned from destroying Towers will be reduced by 50%.
      • Passive experience gains will be increased by 15%.
      • Experience gained by defeating defending Mercenaries will be increased by 100%.
        • Defeating Laning Mercenaries will grant 100% of Defending Mercenaries experience.
    • Catapuls
      • When a team destroys a Fort, they'll gain a Catapult in every 3rd Minion wave.
    • Armor Revamp
      • The game will now apply only the highest (or lowest) amount of Armor to a Hero at any given time.
      • There's a new user interface element to make Armor easily readable.
    • Matchmaking Improvements
      • The matchmaker will include a Tank, Healer, and ranged Assassin on each Quick Match team.
      • Players who queue up for roles that are in short supply will receive bonus experience for being team players.
    • Stimpacks Reworked to Boosts
      • All players ona  team will receive a 5% increase to experience for each active Boost at the end of each match (up to 45% XP bonus if all 10 players have a Boost active).

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

The only thing that’s constant in the Nexus is change. As mentioned at BlizzCon 2018, in the coming months we’re bringing you gameplay and matchmaking changes, feature updates, and a whole new way to earn experience with Boosts! Read on for more information.

Experience a New Experience… Experience:

One of our major goals with the 2019 updates is to implement gameplay changes that encourage closer matches and avoid the dreaded “snowball” effect. After careful design, implementation, and iteration, we felt that this best way to accomplish this goal was to slow down the “snowball effect” just as it starts to come into play. In short, we’re changing the way we reward players who prioritize push strategies to gain experience and power advantages. While we still want to reward players for pushing, we’re focused on removing the direct power advantage we give to these teams and will instead reward them with a strategic advantage. To accomplish this, we’re making the following changes:

Structure Adjustments:

Previously, we granted a great deal of experience to players for destroying structures. In order to help us accomplish the goals we described above, we’ve redistributed how Experience is earned across a few parts of a match, as detailed here:

  • Removed all Experience earned from destroying a Fort or Keep
  • Decreased Experience earned from destroying Towers by 50%
  • Passive Experience gain increased by 15%
  • Increased Experience gained by defeating defending Mercenaries by 100%
    • Defeating Laning Mercenaries will now grant 100% of Defending Mercenaries Experience

To ensure that teams were still rewarded and encouraged to take down key structures, we are also changing how catapults (and their Battleground-specific equivalents) are awarded. Here’s how:

Catapulting Heroes into 2019:

Catapults.gif

When a team destroys a Fort, they’ll now gain a Catapult in every 3rd Minion wave. This allows consistent (but not constant) pressure in a lane that enemies will have a hard time ignoring. This change also introduces a secondary form of snowball prevention that is not as obvious—a team that’s ahead will have more pressure in lanes, pushing Minions (and Experience) towards their opponents, allowing them easier and safer ways to regain a foothold in the match. As a note, killing a Keep will result in Catapults with every wave, which is identical to the current live functionality.

  • NOTE: In order to keep early-game Catapults from being too devastating to defending teams, you will also notice some new scaling changes that will gradually increase the size of their area attack, attack range, and damage/health as the game progresses.

Armor Revamp:

SpellArmor.jpg        Armor.jpg

In addition to updating Experience and Catapult mechanics, we’re also unifying the Armor system. Gone are the days of bringing multiple Heroes that grant Armor and stacking them to absurd levels. Our live design team has been watching those strategies rise in competitive play and is taking the opportunity now to make proactive changes for the health of the game at all levels of play. Now, just like Movement Speed modifiers, the game will apply only the highest (or lowest) amount of Armor to a Hero at any given time. To cap it off, we’ve created a new user interface element that will give on-the-fly information to players about how much (and what kind) of Armor Heroes have.

Matchmaking Improvements:

Know Your Role:

To create a more consistent Quick Match experience, the matchmaker will now prioritize including a Tank, Healer, and ranged Assassin on each Quick Match team—unless you’re in a group of five, in which case, no restrictions will apply!

Call of the Nexus:

Players who queue for roles that are in short supply will receive bonus experience for being team players. Just look for the Bonus Experience icon located above each Hero when viewing the Hero Selection screen.

Move over Stimpacks, Here come Boosts:

Boost_NoText.jpg

What was once called a Stimpack is now a Boost, and in addition to buffing your XP and Gold gains, all players on a team will receive 5% bump in experience for each active Boost at the end of each match. That mean players can receive up to a 45% XP bonus if all 10 players in game have a Boost active! In addition to these stacking Boost XP buffs, you’ll also be able to retroactively Boost your Gold and XP gains at the end of a match by applying a Boost 

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Nice changes overall. I am a bit confused about the armor changes, will we only have access to separate Physical and Spell armor from now on, since they showed two different symbols?

Could anyone on the show floor test it up, if it is available there yet? ( @Oxygen maybe?)

Edited by lChronosl
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The fact they want to fight snowballing makes me happy. Usually, it's way too easy. My big question though is does this make winmore talents better?

Boosts are cool.

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Oh lords... Activision must have demanded more 'player choice' microtransactions money from Blizzard. So dropping per day stimpacks for 'more choice' boosts PER MATCH microtransactions. And in addition based off of how many people in each individual match have one on so it 'pushes' everyone to want to buy them so they can 'maximize' your xp gain as much as possible. Gotta get that 'min-max' leveling right?

I'm sure 'Corporate Commander' is rubbing his hands together in anticipation for this 'lovely' new change.

3.png

When 'Boosts' hits live servers

6e0.png

Edited by CyberDVonaven
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At first, I absolutely abhor the xp changes, specifically the removal of xp gain from forts, as it completely nullifies the skillsets of split pushers, like Zagara and Xul. The changes do improve the importance of a solo lane role, as retrieving camps will now be mandatory for a boost in xp gain, and defending against them will finally have a reward for doing so, which is nice. The addition of Catapults in every third lane will be massive in taking down keeps, however I think the importance of taking down keeps will be heavily reduced, as we won't gain xp from it and they will already be constantly pressured by catapults. The armor changes brought simple labeling for Physical and Spell armor, however what I'm intrigued by is "maximum and minimum armor". Will every hero have a set maximum and minimum? Or will they each have their own specific maximum and minimum amount of armor? Overall, they're nice changes, need some looking into first, because I immediately hated almost all the changes, but after more reading and thinking, they're mostly addressing a lot of the minor problems the game is facing, especially the armor issue they addressed.

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On the one hand, I see the motivation behind this exp change, they want to create more opportunities for comebacks and reduce snowballing and one sided games. On the other hand, such game design seems quite bad because it either punishes you or does not reward you enough for your success in the match. Like, you have nothing for destroying a fort, but instead an enemy has another minion to gain exp from and a means to stall the lane de-push. Not so enthusiastic about that.

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I like the idea behind all of this, though I think people watch the boosts wrong.

I'm not saying they aren't encouraging more to get them. That's obvious, and what you'd expect from this sorta thing, but it isn't forcing anyone to get it. It's more of a small bonus to others that play with you, in addition to what you're already getting. If it were forced, they'd make it so that one those who had a boost on would get the stacking bonus EXP.

Of course  I know the drill with this. A small bonus for others, will end up being turned into a nightmare during events, when the... Morally challenged people, will say that it's either a boost on, or you're getting a kick. A sad side effect, though hopefully it can be tinkered with a bit more in some way to discourage that.

In any case, I like what I'm seeing, though as always #ReworkTLV and #GiveRagnarosSkins

Why TLV was not the rework instead of someone who were not in need of it, like Sylvanas, I really don't get.

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On 11/2/2018 at 6:45 PM, CyberDVonaven said:

Oh lords... Activision must have demanded more 'player choice' microtransactions money from Blizzard. So dropping per day stimpacks for 'more choice' boosts PER MATCH microtransactions. And in addition based off of how many people in each individual match have one on so it 'pushes' everyone to want to buy them so they can 'maximize' your xp gain as much as possible. Gotta get that 'min-max' leveling right?

I'm sure 'Corporate Commander' is rubbing his hands together in anticipation for this 'lovely' new change.

3.png

When 'Boosts' hits live servers

6e0.png

 

Blizzard Entertainment is not a non-profit organization genius..

 

So you must think the customers are reasonable when they ask why you're trying to make money of them for offering services. 

 

How are you still alive? 

Edited by greatCraft
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On 11/11/2018 at 4:08 AM, greatCraft said:

Blizzard Entertainment is not a non-profit organization genius..

So you must think the customers are reasonable when they ask why you're trying to make money of them for offering services. 

the TL:DR of this whole comment

I'm glad to see that Boosts are just Stimpacks with more XP. And to greatCraft's comment I have no problem with Blizzard making money from microtransactions as long as it's not at the expense/detriment to itself by predatory exploitation of it's player base. Which I'm happy this turned out definitely wasn't/isn't. 

 

 

First off, I was wrong about the way boosts were going to work.

Blizzard's comments about it in their original 'upcoming gameplay changes' poorly explained it. It gave the impression they were taking away Stimpacks so they could bring it something that would be more match by match focused.

 Turned out it's just a name change and a visual look change. Other then that it's just Stimpacks with an added bonus of more XP per person who has one in each match. Their starting statement about it of 'Stimpacks are gone. Now we have Boosts' was a misleading one. It left me (and I imagine others too) to speculate that it was likely to be a more predatory form of microtransactions. Fortunately this was not the case AT ALL. It's just Stimpacks, but a little better :).

NOW on to your comment to me, greatCraft...

At no point in my comment did I say or insinuate anything like 'HOW DARE BLIZZARD FOR TRYING TO MAKE MONEY OFF THIS GAME!!!' as you are acting like I did. So no I don't think people that act like that are being reasonable. 

I was saying how it seemed like from what they had said that they were changing something to become a more microtransaction heavy version of XP boosts that would be per match (or perhaps per hour) rather then per day. Which if had turned out to be the case would have been a slap in the face value wise compared to stimpacks. And something I would expect from EA & WB Games. And something that is present in other Activision games like the Call of Duty series of games. As well as Destiny 2 (which is hosted by battle.net servers.) So it seemed very possible that the lords on high from the Activision side of the company were giving orders for such things here too.

I was VERY relieved when I got on the PTR last Tuesday to see that my fears (and comments about it) were for naught.

Just to clarify for you, I have no problem with Blizzard making money. In fact I'm glad to see reports that they are making good money with an increase in income (I believe HOTS is included in the 'battle.net' portion of the earnings report. Without that good income we wouldn't still have the games to play that we all love.

My issue, as I said, would have been a more predatory form of microtransactions. It's nice to see that Blizzard hasn't allowed Activision to get them to do such things in their mainline games. And has opted to just make mobile versions of them to satisfy Activision in these sort of matters. Which I feel is a perfectly responsible way to go with it. And one that we should be happy they are doing. As it means that they only need far more relatively small teams to work on mobile projects. And even smaller Blizzard teams if they just outsource the majority of work like they have for the Diablo Mobile game. Also they can do far more microtransactions in them as it's the expected norm in the mobile market. And is accepted by the player base as a whole (for the most part) on that platform. Which even then I'm sure it won't be as bad as some games on mobile have done it (like EA did with Dungeon Keeper for example). Or even as bad as they do in games under King like the Candy Crush series.

So to bring it back to my original point. I'm glad the Boosts are just Stimpacks with more XP. And to greatCraft's comment I have no problem with Blizzard making money from microtransactions as long as it's not at the expense/detriment to itself by predatory exploitation of it's player base. Which I'm happy this turned out definitely wasn't/isn't. 

Edited by CyberDVonaven

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      Abilities
      Healing Dart (Q) Heal reduced from 205 to 195 Shrike (Trait/D) New Active - Aim Down Sights No longer grants Sight or Attack Range Cooldown from 3 to 4 seconds Self-slow increased from 20 to 25% New functionality: While active, Sleep and Healing Dart ranges are increased by 25% and pierce one target Eye of Horus (R) Heal reduced from 285 to 225 Damage reduced from 166 to 135 Added functionality: Shots now pierce all targets (but still impact and cease on structures) Talents
      Level 1 Piercing Darts (E) Removed Grenade Calibration (W) Removed Contact Healing (W) Moved from Level 16 New Talent – Slumber Shells (E) If an enemy is affected by Sleep Dart, Ana gains 25% movement speed New Talent – Vampiric Rounds (Trait) Quest: Each time you stack max Doses on a target Hero, increase Shrikes self-heal by 1.5% Level 4 Air Strike (Active) Removed Aim Down Sights (D/Trait) Removed (New Trait Addition) Debilitating Dart (Active) Moved from Level 7 New Talent – Biotic Enhancements (W) Increase the bonus healing duration of Biotic Grenade by 50% and reduce its cooldown by 4 seconds Level 7 Temporary Blindness (E) Removed New Talent – Anti-Healer (W) Biotic Grenades area is increased by 100% and the duration of the Healing debuff is increased by 25% New Talent – Night Terrors (E) When a Slept target wakes up, they are dealt 8% of their maximum Health in damage. If they are woken up early, reduce the cooldown of Sleep Dart by 7 seconds Level 16 New Talent - Active Reload (Active) Activate to gain 3 charges of Healing Dart (60 second CD) Level 20 Ballistic Advantage (R) Removed Dynamic Shooting (Passive) Removed Somnolent Doses (Trait) Removed Custom Optics (Trait) Removed New Talent – Dead-Eye (R) The healing and damage of Eye of Horus is increased by 4% for every Hero hit. This resets after all shots have been fired. New Talent - Armored Stance (D/Trait) Increase Shrike’s damage by 50%. Gain 25 Armor while Aim Down Sights is active. New Talent – Dynamic Optics (D/Trait) While Aim Down Sights is active, increase the range of your Basic Attacks by 4. Each attack increases your Attack Speed by 10% for 3 seconds (up to 50%)
      Rehgar
      Abilities
      Ancestral Healing (R) Rehgar can now self-cast Ancestral Healing
      Whitemane
      Talents
      Level 4 High Inquisitor (W) Mana return per stack reduced from 75 to 50 Collection
      New Bundles
      The following new bundles are only available for a limited time! Join the Resistance Bundle Viper Returns Bundle Firestorm Blaze Skin Pack Deckard Pain Skin Pack Delta Hanzo Skin Pack New Skins
      Firestorm Blaze Red Hot Firestorm Blaze Atomic Firestorm Blaze Deckard Pain Infiltrator Deckard Pain Desert Ops Deckard Pain Delta Hanzo Blackout Delta Hanzo Veteran Delta Hanzo Badlands Imperator Stukov Badlands Sidewinder Ana Badlands Deathfang Genji Cryo Imperator Stukov Cryo Sidewinder Ana Cryo Deathfang Genji Paramour Pajamathur Abathur New Mounts
      D.E.R.P.A. Commando D.E.R.P.A. Desert D.E.R.P.A. Badlands Viper Dominator Flirty Cloud New Portraits, Sprays, and Emojis
      Several new emoji packs and portraits have also been added to the game. Bug Fixes
      General
      Fixed an issue causing Shields applied to non-Heroes to be applies towards Healing Score. Super Cleanse effects (Abolish Magic) will no longer remove delayed damaging effects (Consume Souls, Last Rites) Fixed an issue causing Time Stop and Stasis effects to remove Armor Vulnerability effects. Fixed an issue that could cause a player’s ready state to become locked if Ready and Cancel were pressed in rapid succession. Fixed an issue that could occasionally prevent players from pressing the ready button when using the Call of the Nexus Quick Match system. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      Ana: Fixed an issue allowing cooldowns to tick down during Time Stop if the Hero is affected by Nano Boost. Cassia: Fixed an issue causing Lightning Fury to be invisible if it pierced a Hero at melee range. Cassia: Fixed an issue causing Fend to immediately cancel if cast immediately after Lightning Fury. Chromie: Slowing Sands will no longer slow Battleground vehicles (Dragon Knight, Triglav Protector). Deckard: Fortitude of the Faithful’s range indicator now matches the actual range of the ability. Deckard: Fixed an issue with how Potion of Revival benefits from spell power. (should now heal for more) Kerrigan: Fixed an issue preventing Sharpened Blades from granting kill credit against Heroes with post-death effects. Li Li: Fixed an issue that caused healing from Cloud Serpent to temporarily fail if the Blessing of Yu’lon talent was chosen while a Cloud Serpent was active. Maiev: Fan of Knives will now refund the correct amount of Mana. Maiev: Fixed an issue with Blade Dance’s visual effects blocking command inputs. Muradin: Fixed an issue preventing Thunder Burn from creating the secondary thunder clap if it lands the killing blow on the affected Hero. Nova: Fixed an issue causing Holo Decoy’s Snipe projectile to be destroyed mid-flight if the Decoy died. Nova: Triple Tap will now immediately cancel if the target becomes invalid immediately after starting the Triple Tap cast. Ragnaros: Fixed an issue allowing Ragnaros to immediately complete the Catching Fire quest if it was chosen during Molten Core. Rexxar: Fixed an issue preventing Rexxar from controlling Misha while silenced. Stitches: Fixed a number of issues caused by using Helping Hand on an allied Hero using a Channeled ability that grants Unstoppable. Stitches: Fixed an issue that could prevent Stitches’ Hook from landing at point blank range. Tyrande: The Shooting Star talent will no longer attempt to target Sand Tornadoes created by the Boss. User Interface
      Fixed an issue preventing critical healing effects from showing the Crit UI indicator. Adding and Removing favorite emojis will no longer cause the chat panel and emoji picker to close.
    • By Stan
      This week's Hero rotation includes Orphea, Probius, and Imperius.
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: February 12, 2019
      Raynor Muradin Sonya Nazeebo Uther Jaina Whitemane Tyrande Fenix Gul’dan Stitches (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Orphea (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Probius (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Imperius (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)