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Heroes of the Storm Balance Update Patch Notes: November 27th

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A new Heroes of the Storm patch is now live with balance changes, bug fixes and Call of the Nexus. If you queue up for roles that are in short supply, you'll receive 50% bonus experience for being team players. There's a "Call of the Nexus" Bonus XP indicator above each Hero on the Hero Selection screen.

The patch also comes with Quick Match improvements mentioned in the 2019 Gameplay UpdateThe matchmaker now includes a Tank, Healer, and Ranged Assassin on each team. It's time to say goodbye to weird team comps!

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

We’ve just released a new Heroes of the Storm patch to apply a number of balance changes and bug fixes. 

General

Call of the Nexus

  • Players who queue for Quickmatch games using roles that are in short supply will receive 50% bonus experience for being team players. Just look for the “Call of the Nexus” Bonus Experience indicator located above each Hero when viewing the Hero Selection screen.
  • Quick Match will now prioritize creating teams with at least one Warrior, Support, and Ranged Assassin, and will enforce this rule for players queuing as parties of 3 or more as follows:
    • Parties of 3 must have at least one of the required Hero categories selected to queue.
    • Parties of 4 must have at least two of the required Hero categories selected to queue.
    • Parties of 5 are excempt from this rule.

Heroes

Assassin

Alarak

Divider_Hero_Alarak_crop.png

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Ruthless MomentumRuthless Momentum (Passive)
      • Health threshold for cooldown reduction reduced from 80% to 75%
  • Level 4
    • Show of ForceShow of Force (Trait)
      • Damage Increased from 77 to 80
  • Level 16
    • Mocking StrikesMocking Strikes (Passive)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 2.5 to 3 seconds 

Genji

Divider_Hero_Genji.png

Stats

  • Basic Attack range reduced from 5.5 to 4.5

Developer Comment: Genji continues to be an incredibly powerful force at the highest level of play. This change will force Genji players to put themselves at more risk when attacking enemy Heroes before they’re in his Swift StrikeSwift Strike’s execute range. If this change is not enough, we have some additional ideas to curb Genji’s dominance that we will explore in the future.

Hanzo

Divider_Hero_Hanzo_crop.png

Stats

  • Basic Attack damage increased from 188 to 198
 

    Talents

    • Level 7
      • Never OutmatchedNever Outmatched (W)
        • Cooldown reduction increased from 2.5 to 3 second per Basic Attack
        • Cooldown reduction only applies when hitting an enemy Hero with a Basic Attack
    • Level 16
      • Flawless TechniqueFlawless Technique (Passive)
        • Damage bonus increased from 25% to 30%
      • Giant SlayerGiant Slayer (Passive)
        • Damage increased from 1.5% to 2% of an enemy Hero’s maximum Health

    Developer Comment: We think that Hanzo is able to burst down bosses and map events too quickly, so we’re removing the synergy between Never OutmatchedNever Outmatched and Serrated ArrowsSerrated Arrows. We’re making a few other tuning adjustments to make other Talents more attractive picks, as well as compensating some of the lost PvE power with some more PvP power.

    Kerrigan

    Divider_Hero_Kerrigan_Crop.png

    Stats

    • Basic Attack damage reduced from 120 to 113

    Abilities

    • Impaling BladesImpaling Blades (W)
      • Damage reduced from 180 to 165
      • Mana cost increased from 75 to 80
    • Psionic PulsePsionic Pulse (E)
      • Explosion damage increased from 180 to 195
      • Mana cost increased from 60 to 65

    Talents

    • Level 1
      • Assimilation MasteryAssimilation Mastery (Trait)
        • Health and Mana regeneration increased from 100 to 150%
    • Level 4
      • Sharpened BladesSharpened Blades (Q)
        • Damage for killing Minions increased from .5 to 1
        • Maximum damage bonus increased from 50 to 75
    • Level 13
      • ChrysalisChrysalis (Active)
        • Cooldown reduced from 90 to 60 seconds
    • Level 16
      • Mounting PotencyMounting Potency (Q)
        • Spell Power duration increased from 4 to 5 seconds
      • Unbridled EnergyUnbridled Energy (Heroic)
        • Spell Power increased from 30 to 35%
    • Level 20
      • OmegastormOmegastorm (R)
        • Bonus duration increased from .188 to .25 seconds per tick

    Nova

    Divider_Hero_Nova_Crop.png

    Talents

    • Level 7
      • Perfect ShotPerfect Shot (Q)
        • No longer grants an additional stack of SnipeSnipe for hitting enemy Heroes
        • New functionality:
          • Hitting enemy Heroes now refunds the Mana cost of SnipeSnipe
    • Level 13
      • Psionic EfficiencyPsionic Efficiency (Q)
        • Hitting enemy Heroes no longer refunds the Mana cost of SnipeSnipe
        • New functionality:
          • Now grants an additional stack of SnipeSnipe for hitting enemy Heroes

    Developer Comment: We are switching some of the bonuses from Perfect ShotPerfect Shot and Psionic EfficiencyPsionic Efficiency to better align their rewards and to make the SnipeSnipe build friendlier to players earlier on in the game. Most notably, players who pick Perfect ShotPerfect Shot will no longer have to worry about running out of Mana quickly due to landing multiple Snipes in a teamfight.

    Orphea

    divider_hero_orphea.png

    Stats

    • Basic Attack Damage increased from 80 to 88

    Abilities

    • Shadow WaltzShadow Waltz (Q)
      • Damage increased from 150 to 165
    • Crushing JawsCrushing Jaws (R)
      • Cooldown increased from 50 to 70 seconds

    Talents

    • Level 1
      • En PointeEn Pointe (Q)
        • Damage bonus increased from 50 to 75%
    • Level 16
      • Lurking Terror (W/E)
        • Now shares a cooldown with Chomp (W)

    Developer Comment: The first Nexus-born Hero has arrived and is showing a bit of teeth, especially in the burst department. The combination of a high-stacked Ravenous HungerRavenous Hunger combined with double-Chomps with Lurking TerrorLurking Terror was a bit over-the-top, especially since she could set everything up fairly safely with Crushing JawsCrushing Jaws. We have taken the bite out of that combo by linking the cooldowns of ChompChomp and Lurking TerrorLurking Terror. We are offsetting this loss of burst by increasing her sustained damage potential and will continue to closely monitor. We realize that the loss of her blow-up potential will make Lurking TerrorLurking Terror a much less exciting talent to pick and have future design ideas on how to spruce it up.

    Specialist

    Abathur

    Divider_Hero_Abathur_Crop.png

    Talents

    • Level 1
      • Regenerative MicrobesRegenerative Microbes (E)
        • Healing reduced from 68 to 62

    Developer Comment: Regenerative MicrobesRegenerative Microbes is dominating Abathur’s Level 1 talent tier, as well as causing issues at the pro level of play. We are taking a look at Abathur to see what improvements can be made, but wanted to get this change out sooner rather than later while we iterate on him.

    Azmodan

    Divider_Hero_Azmodan_Crop.png

    Talents

    • Level 7
      • BombardmentBombardment (Q)
        • Range bonus decreased from 2 to 1.5
    • Level 20
      • PridePride (Q)
        • Damage bonus reduced from 125 to 100

    Support

    Ana

    Divider_Hero_Ana.png

    Abilities

    • Healing DartHealing Dart (Q)
      • Base Heal amount decreased from 215 to 205

    Deckard 

    divider_hero_deckard.png

    Abilities

    • Healing PotionHealing Potion (Q)
      • Cooldown increased from 3 to 4 seconds
      • Mana cost increased from 20 to 25
      • Healing increased from 219 to 240

    Developer Comment: We agree with the feedback that games play out better when there are windows of time to take advantage of enemy cooldowns, particularly when it relates to Supports. This change is intended to reduce Deckard’s ability to keep himself or his allies alive when multiple enemies dive onto them. Going forward, we will be looking at ways to increase counter-play by adding these windows of time for players to take advantage of each other’s cooldowns.

    Stukov

    Divider_Hero_Stukov.png

    Abilities

    • Lurking ArmLurking Arm (E)
      • Range increased from 10 to 11

    Developer Comment: Stukov’s changes a few months ago were intended to create new build paths while also reducing the dominance of his Lurking ArmLurking Arm build. While this had the effect we intended, Lurking ArmLurking Arm is now a much more risky ability to use for the majority of the game, whether or not he takes talents related to improving the ability. This change is intended to round this out a bit by letting Stukov use Lurking ArmLurking Arm a little more safely.

    Tyrande

    Divider_Hero_Tyrande_Crop.png

    Abilities

    • Light of EluneLight of Elune (Q)
      • Charge cooldown increased from 15 to 16 seconds

    Talents

    • Level 1
      • All Level 1 Talents have been moved to Level 7
    • Level 7
      • All Level 7 Talents have been moved to Level 1

    Developer Comment: The healing rework to Tyrande has made her a formidable force as of late and with this round of changes we think she will sit in a great spot. The swap of her level 1 and 7 talent tiers should open some new early-game decision-making while pushing back her cleanse mechanic a bit further into the game. We are still evaluating Celestial AttunementCelestial Attunement on the design side and may make larger changes at a later date.

    Whitemane

    Divider_Hero_Whitemane_crop.png

    Abilities

    • Desperate PleaDesperate Plea (Q)
      • Cooldown increased from .3 to .5 seconds

    Warrior

    Blaze

    Divider_Hero_Blaze.png

    Abilities

    • Bunker DropBunker Drop (R)
      • Allies now have to channel for .5 seconds to enter the Bunker

    Talents

    • Level 4
      • Feeding the FlameFeeding the Flame (Q)
        • Cooldown reduction decreased from 2.5 seconds to 2 seconds
        • Additional functionality:
          • Now also refunds 5 Mana each time Flame Stream damages an enemy Hero
      • Oil DispersalOil Dispersal (W)
        • No longer increases the Slow amount of Oil Spill
      • MeltdownMeltdown (Trait)
        • Damage reduction increased from 5 to 7% per stack
        • Maximum Stack Count reduced from 6 to 5
        • Maximum damage reduction increased from 30% to 35%

    Developer Comment: These changes are intended to better round out Blaze’s Level 4 talents, as well as to address the disparity in his power between casual and pro play. Bunker DropBunker Drop in particular has been used to great effectiveness at higher level play to avoid nearly all damage from enemy teams with little risk due to the ability to instantly get in and out of the Bunker. While players will still be able to avoid large amounts of burst damage with the Heroic, they will no longer be able to easily go in and out of the Bunker without putting themselves at risk.

    Mal'Ganis

    Divider_Hero_Malganis_Crop.png

    Stats

    • Basic Attack damage reduced from 105 to 100

    Abilities

    • Fel ClawsFel Claws (Q)
      • Cooldown increased from 8 to 9 seconds
    • Carrion SwarmCarrion Swarm (R)
      • Damage reduced from 66 to 63

    Talents

    • Level 7
      • Will of TichondriusWill of Tichondrius (Q)
        • Damage reduced from 4 to 3% of maximum Health

    Yrel

    divider_hero_Yrel.png

    Talents

    • Level 1
      • Maraad's InsightMaraad's Insight (Passive)
        • Now only applies the buff when hitting an enemy Hero with a Basic Ability

    Bug Fixes

    General

    • Fixed a number of tooltip issues across the game.

    Heroes

    • Lt. Morales: Fixed an issue causing SafeguardSafeguard to grant an incorrect amount of Armor.

    User Interface

    • Fixed an issue causing the discount amount displayed over Boosts to appear in the wrong place.
    • Thanks 1
    • Haha 1

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    QM will finally become less of a mess. Not that I play it much, anyway, but...

    Most hero changes are promising, but I don't understand Deckard and Whitemane's. And Yrel will now have significantly less sustain outside of TF or skirmishes.

    • Like 1

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    What are they doing with Genji?  They nerf his dive, give him better AA, now they nerf his attack range?   He already has a bad win rate.

    Edited by ArtVandelay

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    So Mal'ganis still tanks nerfs without being changed enough to not be the best character. Neato.

     

    The lurking terror nerf makes me sad. Orphea is still gonna be even more mediocre. 

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    Overall, I really like these changes. Genji nerf (yay, but I still firstban him), Hanzo got a buff while also nerfing the broken part of his kit (yay), lots of needed tweaks scattered around (yay) and QM changes (yay, even if I don't play QM that much).

    The only thing I don't really like is the Mal'ganis nerf. Not because he did not need a nerf, but because these are tiny tweaks to a character that is like 50% stronger than the norm. The tweaks also fail to touch the main problem (his E, which is completely broken). His Health Swap ult is also untouched, which allows him to break any form of unorganized play in half (lower leagues, Quick Match).

     

    Edited by Aasgier

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    5 hours ago, Gildomari0 said:

    i dont understand orphea and hanzo buffs '-'

    orphea is nerf not buff. See properly. buff Q abit but nerf ulti and then the most important is W chomp get nerf with sharing cooldown.

    Suppose her brust come with that for double chomp in short time but now they nerf it make you able to chomp once only for that teamfight time. The buff of Q cannot compete with double chomp dmg in short time.

     

     

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    7 hours ago, Migol said:

    Sadathur.

    ^

    Regenerative Microbes is the top choice because it is the only choice that makes sense. His Symbiote and Microbes makes him a mobile support specialist. Everything else is sub par to other characters. Yes, the damage from Stab and Spine Burst is useful when the team is split fighting, but in 5 on 5 fights it loses a lot of it's strength from lack line of sight blockers. The solution is the lessen the choice without giving other options?

    Sadathur indeed.

    As for Azmodan. Ah Poo. Stupid winrate. Though the range reduction makes no sense. Seems like more people will just move to Art of Chaos in a Gluttony build even more now, which is the best overall build for Azmo anyways. So why nerf Greed and Wrath?

    Pride makes sense, kinda, if you want less people to use it. Which seems to be odd way of balancing things. Here's an idea! If talents are always chosen, maybe fix the weaker and broken ones! Eureka!

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    I'm honestly a bit surprised that Maiev wasn't nerfed. She may be balanced in the hands of your average player, but for people who have spent time mastering her, she's easily one of the best heroes in the game, and certainly top tier in the hands of a good Maiev player. Most of the pro players have been saying the same thing lately (rich especially) and I agree, myself being a Maiev main. Her damage is astronomical if you are good at consistently getting Q resets, her waveclear is great, she's able to solo merc camps with Naisha's, her mobility is great, and she has exceptional utility, in addition to an incredibly useful imminuity trait. Personally, I think that warrants at least a slight nerf. Though I gotta admit, Blizzard does a great job at nerfing heroes to the point where they are deemed useless, so I can't help but worry that'll be the case with Maiev if/when she gets nerfed.

    • Confused 1

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    6 hours ago, Maxkitty said:

    I'm honestly a bit surprised that Maiev wasn't nerfed.

    She got nerfed several times in the past already. I do agree that she's super deadly at high lvls of play though or even reasonably good players too really. It's so painful to be fighting against one that's good. There's Maiev alone get her! ...annnnnd... O_O!?! we're dead o_O!? 😞

    Edited by CyberDVonaven
    • Haha 1

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    2 hours ago, CyberDVonaven said:

    She got nerfed several times in the past already. I do agree that she's super deadly at high lvls of play though or even reasonably good players too really. It's so painful to be fighting against one that's good. There's Maiev alone get her! ...annnnnd... O_O!?! we're dead o_O!? 😞

    She's still super powerful though and can easily carry most games in the right hands. I guess it's a bit difficult though, considering she has one of the highest skill caps in the game.

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        This led us to making Qhira untargetable during her Revolving Sweep -- if she can't be targeted then no other Heroes can use weird movement abilities on her and none of this will happen, right? Well, no. In the rare case that Chen kicks Qhira while she is casting Revolving Sweep, the same problem will happen. Ok, no big deal, we can stun the target too, that way it knocks them out of any kind of movement ability they're doing! Except for if they... are unstoppable. So in that case, the best thing to do is just not let her Revolving Sweep hit an unstoppable target.
        We explored many different solutions to this problem. We tried changing the way her movement worked, we tried adding special cases for all of the major movement issues that we could find (a very time consuming process I might add), but ultimately there would always be additional bugs and problems that would appear as a result of those changes. Each hero had a different special case that had to be setup in a different way. We found that the simplest and least bug-prone way of fixing Revolving Sweep was to do exactly what I described above. Become untargetable, stun the target, and pass through unstoppable targets.
        This actually meant we had to make significant balance changes to the rest of her kit to compensate for this huge power that was just added to this ability. In the end, we felt that since Revolving Sweep is Qhira's most awesome ability in the first place, it was ok for us to make these power adjustments and balance around it in other places. We also felt that becoming Unstoppable added a level of counter-play to the ability that was somewhat lacking before, as well.
        Any plans to release Official API? If you're going to make big game-changing patch like Nexus Anomaly a regular thing, players should be able to see exactly how it affects the game and how the meta changes accordingly from an accurate source.
        We’ve been talking about a data API for Heroes for YEARS and at times have even made strides on bringing it to you. Unfortunately, those initiatives hit hurdles with everything from data compliance complexities (GDPR has been fun!) to prioritization against other game features and have lost steam over the years.
        In the absence of the actual API, we’ve discussed exposing official winrates and stats alongside updates that are more balance- and gameplay-centric, and that is something I’d still be open to exploring if you think it gives you a portion of what you’re looking for?
        When a Hero is killed while a Damage Over Time effect is on them, could the Death Recap be updated to feature the total potential damage that could have happened to them?
        This is something we can definitely look into doing. Thanks for the suggestion. ?
        It has been nearly 2 years since Kaeo has stated that performance based MMR is something targeted to return when the time is right. Is this still a possibility or has that project been sidelined into oblivion at this point?
        That Kaéo guy!! So where we last left this system is that it’s still on in the background gathering data about player performance. What we really want to do with it is use that data to power a post-game scorecard feature that gives players detailed info on how they played their hero, on that map, vs. other players of similar skill in an attempt to highlight not only areas that they are performing well, but more importantly areas that they should focus on improving (and how). We have some really cool designs for this and would love to bring the feature to the game, but don’t currently have an ETA for it.
        What to you is the ultimate goal behind balance patches?
        With the balance patch changes over the last year or so, I’ve had a pretty strict philosophy to them that I’m fairly passionate about. Here are some of the major things that we strive for with every balance patch:
        1. The ultimate goal of the balance patches is to make the game more fun. This sounds like a very basic concept, but there’s a lot of specific actions that we take to make this happen. When it comes down to deciding between two difficult choices, asking this basic question is a guiding star for decision making.
        2. Buffs and design changes are more fun than simple nerfs. As much as possible, we try to make heroes feel better when changing them, not worse.
        3. In every patch we try to put in at least 1-2 design changes that are super crazy/exciting. There should be something in each patch that you read the note and go “no way that’s so busted, I’m going to break the game with this”.
        a. This has been a change from how we used to do things. We didn’t really used to do this due to the fear of making something incredibly unbalanced, but nowadays we have more embraced the view that it’s better to create more exciting changes to the game than to never try, and if we mess up then we’ll fix it down the road. So far this has worked very well, as we haven’t had any huge blowouts due to changes in balance patches over the last year.
        4. Hitting the right balance between player perception and reality is important.
        a. If Hero A is being picked and banned in every game and the playerbase is begging for changes to them, but is at a 46% win rate, and Hero B is totally under the radar but is at a 58% win rate, it can be easy to fall into the trap of buffing Hero A and nerfing Hero B by balancing strictly on win rates. The real situation is much more nuanced than that, and in these situations we look for design-related solutions.
        What was the craziest thing you tested/developed, and then scrapped before us players got to see it?
        1.
        In one of the the first iterations of Chromie she had a heroic ability that slowed time for every other unit in the game. It was pretty wild.
        In general it isn't uncommon to create and discard 10 or more abilities before landing on the final kit. Same goes for talents. It's a lot of work, but it's my favorite part of the process.
        2.
        My favorite was when we had the Hero Buyback system.
        This was wayyyyyyyyy back in the day, pre Alpha, when we had Gold, before the talent system that we have today.
        Basically you could spend a relatively small amount of Gold, and at any time during the game you could completely switch your hero.
        Entire metas were based around this, where, for example, you could play as Zagara in the beginning stages of the game to bully your opponent, then switch to Valla or Zeratul midway through for a power spike, then in the end game go to someone tanky like Arthas for the final few teamfights.
        Entire metas were developed around this, and we actually had it in for a long time. It was wild.
        Edit: Oh, and we once had a map that was entirely circular, with both Cores in the middle left and right parts of the map. It was appropriately called Crazy Town.
        I wanted to ask you guys about the recent Deathwing spotlight. Was this something that you guys brought Cloaken in for specifically? I know a lot of folks were even guessing that it may have been pre-recorded. Any plans to work with Cloaken again in the future?
        We love Kevin. We were super happy to be able to ask him to reprise his beloved role as the voice of our spotlight videos. We're happy that he said yes. We would love for him to do it again.
        Experience globes significantly encourage "freezing" lanes to deny experience. How does the team feel about this becoming a common strategy due to this Nexus Anomaly? Is it good, is it bad, is it different, what's up?
        Great question. I think the answer is a bit complicated, so I’ll try to give my views on it in as simple of a way as possible. Hopefully nothing gets misinterpreted!
        I’ll start with a few declarative statements. I’ll clarify that these are just my point of view, and not necessarily those of everyone on the team, so I wouldn’t take this as gospel:
        1. I think lane manipulation is and always has been a part of our game, particularly at the higher levels. There are micro instances where it’s a good idea to let enemy minions hit you in front of your tower to make the waves crash near your tower in order to gain advantages like enabling a gank by a nearby teammate or to soak safely in a bad match up.
        2. I don’t believe that being encouraged to freeze a lane ever is a terrible thing for the game. However, I do believe that if this is happening all the time at all stages of the game that it is a problem, largely due to encouraging too much passive play when we want our game to be about aggression.
        3. In our experience, the experience globes haven’t universally motivated passive play. In general, they have motivated more aggressive play and more interesting combat, as both sides are trying to get a better position so that they can collect the experience globes for themselves.
        4. Our game is very differently paced from other MOBAS due to a variety of factors. I’ve seen the narrative that two people are just going to sit near their minions and do nothing while they collect XP, but, at least in my mind, our games just don’t play out that way. We have multiple 2, 3, and 4 man rotations on nearly all of our maps happening at different points of the game, we have map objectives that heavily encourage teams to fight 4v4 or 5v5 depending on the map and game state, and we have mercenary camps that add another layer of depth to where heroes should be positioned on the map at any given point and time. All of these factors heavily disrupt the idea of being able to sit in a lane for multiple minutes on end while doing nothing but soaking XP. Because of this, I don’t believe that due to this change that the optimal play for all 5 members of each team is going to be to sit near minions and collect globes. If I’m wrong and this kind of passive play does dominate proper gameplay, then we would make changes to ensure that it isn’t the case anymore.
        Overall I would say that yes, this is a big change to the game, and it’s something that we are going to iterate on, and, like all changes to our game, it’s something that we can remove, keep, or only keep the best parts depending on how it pans out.
        Can you share any information about your plans for ARAM?
        The team has been discussing replacing the existing Brawl mode with dedicated ARAM queue (random ARAM map rather than weekly map rotation). That would mean reworked rewards, ARAM games will likely to contribute towards daily and special events quests credit, and probably some improvements to the hero selection screen (swaps or rerolls maybe?).
        Does this mean we would not be seeing any of the other previous Brawls or would those make a return?
        Sadly, non-ARAM Brawls are pretty expensive to maintain. We'd love to keep the Brawl mode hidden, and set up something fun there, for a week or two, on special occasions, such as seasonal events.
        Aside of improving the AI, there are any plans to implement any loss forgiveness/safe abandonments features for matches with leavers, specially at draft modes?
        I agree, there's hardly anything as frustrating as losing Ranked game 4v5. Handling AFK/desertions in Ranked has been a hot topic for years, and we have done a lot of research on that. Loss forgiveness doesn't play along with the current leaver penalty system too well though. We'd like to rework the ranked penalty system at some point, and that will get us into a better spot for adding some insurance against leavers.
        Why was Deathwing gold cost increased to 20k instead of 15k? I wanted to get him on day one so I saved up 15k. Now I have to go farm another 5k to even get him.
        Hi, /u/f....yeah! This was something we planned from early in his development to recognize that Deathwing is something truly special in the game on many fronts. Giant Raid Boss! Two ability kits!! DEATHWING!!! For those reasons and many more, the original intention was actually for him to be our first Mythic hero. Those plans happened long ago and got a little lost across his development even internally, so I understand how people feel disappointed that they didn't have the opportunity to save enough gold for him in advance. We should have set that expectation at his announcement and I'm sorry about that. We'll do better communicating about one-offs like this in the future.
        Can you shine some light on how the Tass and DVa rework are coming along?
        Both are coming along nicely! Tass recently got some of his new art FX (courtesy of /u/Blizz_Thomas) and we're pretty much finalizing his balance/design changes. He should be in your hands soon™. Dva is still a ways off, but we're working hard on it!
        Why did Deathwing have no skin at release?
        His skin wasn't ready for this year. We have something really cool planed for him though. This is what I'm personally working on at the moment. Please accept The Destroyer Brightwing skin in the meantime as a peace offering.
        Have you thought of making a weird map, like a single-lane map with a real objective (so not just an aram)? Or 5 lanes, to go silly in the other directions?
        Yes! Very early in development we experimented with a lot of different map types like 4 lane maps, giant maps with huge jungles and only 2 lanes, etc etc. We learned a lot about how easily macro play could become the dominant strategy and how mount speed/globals should be tuned.
        I vaguely remember a map that had "waygates" on either side of the map which let you instantly teleport between the two if your team had control of both. We learned very quickly that giving your entire team a Zagara Nydus Canal was a bit OP.
        Not really an important issue, but as a D.Va main across both games it always sort of bothered me how in Overwatch D.Va's mech shoots alternating spread shots, like two shotguns, while in Heroes it is animated more like two chainguns, constantly firing projectiles rather than staccato bursts. Is there a technical / design / deliberate reason for this? Not a big problem, I've always just been curious.
        That fantasy/mechanical mismatch is something we will be addressing in her upcoming rework ?
        Lilith is clearly the most hyped character from Blizzard IPs right now. She got great introduction followed with perfect visual design. It's going to take years before we see her in Diablo 4.
        Since hots already introduced decent amount of diablo lore, how insanse is the idea of having Lilith in hots before D4 is released?
        Lilith is awesome and though we would love to bring her to the Nexus, we think it would be best for the Diablo team to show her off in their game first. Sorry guys, gonna have to wait on that one for a bit.
        You undoubtedly have lots of internal statistics on which you based your hero balancing. Would you mind sharing these statistics? It does not have to be something fancy - for example just posting a spreadsheet here on the subreddit. I might be useful to see how i.e. hero winrates differ from the data available to community through replay analysis.
        We do use a lot of statistics when looking at balance. However, at this time we don’t have plans to share them publicly.
        I do share statistics from time to time, but am wary of showing something like a whole spreadsheet of win rates on some specific date. The main reason is because statistics can and almost always are misinterpreted to fit a certain narrative, and it takes lots of stats from different places to put together a complete picture about what’s going on.
        For example, in regards to purely win rates the game has almost always been in an excellent spot across the board, yet that hasn’t always felt like the case with player feedback, nor with what they are picking and banning at various levels of play. If we balanced the game purely based on win rates alone, you would see a whole lot of changes that seem to make no sense at all, because they don’t reflect the reality of what players are experiencing.
        I can give some broad points about our statistics over the years that I’ve observed:
        1. Win rates across the board, especially for talents, are almost always very close. I would say about half the time is the most picked talent the one that’s actually winning the most often.
        2. Niche heroes tend to have much higher win rates than others. This is even more impressive if you think about how they often have a negative stigma for not being strong, yet they still win despite that team morale hit that often happens when they are taken.
        3. Hero pick and ban rates rarely reflect what’s actually winning, and more often reflect community sentiment on what they believe is strong, or is something that players more generally just don’t want to play against.
        Can we get a look under the hood at the Match Point breakdown? as in how does one person get 15 points and the other 26 points in the same Bronze 5 win
        Hi there!
        There are a couple of factors involved with this:
        - Uncertainty: The more time between games, the less confidence the matchmaker has in your skill rating and so the more it is adjusted
        - Dampening: At extreme ratings, we limit the ability to move in a particular direction. This is so we don't get people off in Narnia without the ability to play with anyone
        - Bronze 5 Hugeness: Bronze 5 covers a large skill rating and has its own dampening in it as well, so while you are moving the same rating, you might not be moving the same ranked points until you get to Bronze 4.
        This last point is something we're taking very seriously and investigating what to do about it.
        Why don't you update all Regions at the same time? I'm just curious!
        We want to make sure the game is available to the maximum number of players the maximum amount of time, so we try to make sure we take each region down when the lowest number of players would be playing. When the US has the most people online, Europe has the least and vice versa. There are other factors that affect the time, but that is far and away the biggest reason.
        I am clearly biased when I ask this, but are there any plans to retune Butcher into baseline Ranked viability whilesimultaneously nerfing his snowball potential (so he doesn’t simply break QM completely, especially for new players)?
        We're currently taking a holistic look at Butcher, focusing especially on ways to make him more "generally" usable and reducing some of the pain points with his baseline quest ?
        Is it intended that Death wing can be stopped by void prison?
        Yes, this is intended. For most enemy interactions, think of Deathwing as a Johanna who always has her trait up.
        Since we got ARAM, both Chromie and Azmodan got reworked. Would you consider enabling them for ARAMs in their current state?
        Good news! Azmodan and Chromie are available in ARAM as of the Deathwing patch ?
        I'll bring up the Varian question in our next design meeting.
        Malthael is considered by most to have pretty poor talent diversity. And his trait build is lacking at the moment. Is this something you see with the data on your end and are you planning on giving a once over to some of the bigger offenders?
        After digging into the data, Malthael is still one of the best heroes in our game in regards to talent diversity. That narrative simply isn’t reflecting the reality of his talent choices. As an example, at Level 1, 40.3% of people are picking On a Pale Horse, 40% of people are picking Fear the Reaper, and 19.7% of people are picking Death’s Reach, with all 3 of them having similar win rates.
        That being said, like every hero in our game, I don’t believe his talents are perfect, and he can definitely still use improvements.
        We've heard many times how remaking Arthas's model is a large undertaking that, art-wise, is basically an entire new hero. How much work is just a new set of animations? 
        So, it's hard to say exactly how long just re-animating Arthas would take but generally it takes us about 20ish weeks to fully animate a hero start to finish. So, somewhere in that range. I can't give a specific range because every hero takes more or less time depending on their complexity. A simple biped like Raynor could take half the time to animate in comparison to someone like Deathwing who has 4 legs, wings, and a tail. All those extra bits really add up and extend animation time. Kit complexity, extra models, and stuff like that also add to animation time. We also have to consider what state Arthas is under the hood in terms of rig and data set up. Having extra issues to deal with on top of just doing the animating work can really slow down the whole process. Ultimately, slowing down the whole process impacts all of the cool new stuff we're currently working on too so it's a tough trade off.
        With Overwatch 2's recent reveal, will the artists and dev team be collaborating with the OW team to create new skins/ integrating talents for the existing roster of heroes perhaps during a rework?
        I don't believe there's any plans to update current heroes talents based on the OW2 reveal, however it's certainly possible in the future once the game is released. On the art side we always want to be sensitive to the source material for our content and if we decide to make a new hero or skin we would certainly collaborate with the OW team to build the best version possible.
        Good morning. when are you going to buff to tracer ?
        We do have plans to liven things up for Tracer, but we're not ready to share details quite yet ?
        When will quick match be removed from the game? Or at least fixed? Quick match's current incarnation being a problem has been common knowledge for years, but nothing has been done to address it, despite quick match being any new player's first experience with the game.
        Quick Match has been a topic that has blighted my dreams, affected my relationships, altered my gravitational pull with the Earth, caused many discussions in the office, and largely just followed me around like a shadow made of tears and frustration.
        From issues stemming from New Heroes being 2/3rds of the queue for the first week or so of a hero's release (seriously, how do you expect us to be able to matchmake that?), or issues with Call of the Nexus, or to the time it broke for 3 days and made any match it wanted to, Quick Match has kept me awake when I would rather be asleep for far too long.
        However, what can we do with it? It's our most popular game mode and we are, I think, the only MOBA that allows you to pick a hero before entering matchmaking. We are Just. That. Nice.
        So, what do we do with it?
        - Nothing: You can just play it as is, get some amazing games, get some... other games, play the newest and shiniest hero... eventually?
        - Blind Pick/All Pick: We become more like other MOBAs and you can pick your hero in turn and do/don't get to see what your opponents pick until the timer is up, and then the guy that didn't get what he wanted leaves the game and overall sadness goes up in the world by 0.002%
        - ANARCHY: We just turn all the Quick Match rules off and hope the problem solves itself!
        As us Brits like to say: Answers on a Postcard addressed to the Nexus and I'll collate the responses.
        Arams are amazing is there a plan to add a ranked version of it? This might add some sort of strategy to the mode.
        While that sounds like a nifty idea, we don't have any plans to add a ranked mode for ARAM at this time.
        I'd have a few concerns with doing it - primarily that ARAM is intended to be a fun, wacky mode where you can kind of wind down and relax. If we turn it into a competitive thing, a lot of that spirit can easily be lost in the name of created a better ranked experience.
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