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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.

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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.

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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
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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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        We’ve considered some changes, but we’re going to sit on it for awhile longer before deciding on whether or not to pull the trigger on anything. Chen’s rework is still fairly fresh, and we would like to wait for a while to see how the talent’s pick and win rate settle over time as people get used to his new playstyle. Brewmaster's Balance has always been an incredibly strong talent, and even post-rework it’s still sitting as the highest win-rate talent on the tier, despite many initial claims that it’s “dead” now that it’s harder for Chen to be at 50 Brew.
        It also isn’t impossible or even that hard to get to the magical 50 Brew state, it just requires that Chen to also use his Flying Kick instead of only Keg Smash and Breath of Fire, which is what he does in most engages on enemies anyways. While we understand that it’s a change for players and makes it harder to get to exactly 50 Brew (for one he needs a nearby target for Flying Kick to reach the threshold), the talent was never intended to exist in such a way that its expected output was only around Chen being at exactly 50 Brew. If it was, then he would not gain any benefit when above or below that threshold. While some players greatly desire that it be super easy and simple to get both sides of the benefits, it’s not intended for Chen to always be at that threshold, and we think it’s a good thing if it’s a little harder to get there.
        Medivh's Dust of Disappearance was changed in the most recent balance patch to feature an increase duration - from 20 seconds to 40 seconds. This is a nice buff and all, but most other "active" Cloaks all have an additional feature that Medivh's Dust of Disappearance doesn't - for the first half-second or so of the Cloak, they also grant Unrevealable, which makes them actually super impactful during fights - like it's amazing on Brightwing's Invisible Friends, as it means they don't have a shimmer, so it's got incredible teamfight capability, and they also aren't uncloaked if they take damage during this time, making it even stronger.
        Also, Tyrande's Shadowstalk doesn't have this unrevealable either, but I think it'd be way too strong as something you can apply to an entire team with it, but that's not the case for Dust of Disappearance, which can only target one hero at once, and only stores two charges, which is more comparable to Brightwing's Invisible Friends.
        Good point, I'll make a note to investigate Dust of Disappearance and see if we want to make this happen.
        With the assassin Tassadar rework coming, what is happening with his autoattacks?
        Is he still using the stationary beam or are we going back to classic stutter stepping Tassadar? Why or why not?
        The current plan is that Tassadar keeps the channeled beam auto-attack, but it has a host of changes from its live version.
        I've mentioned a few times my desire to better capture the High Templar fantasy with this rework and speed is definitely a big 'texture' hit. High Templar in the Starcraft universe are slow and plodding and I think it's important for that to be reflected in Tass' kit. Giving him a passively reduced move speed would be disastrous, but building appropriate cast times and periods of immobility into the kit (and then riffing off those 'downsides' with talents!) gives him both a solid fantasy hit as well as the opportunity for a more unique play-style.
        It might sound all negative right now, but it will make much more sense in the greater context of his reworked kit. I think right now, his auto-attack talents work as their own cohesive build or as compliments to other builds.
        Smurf accounts continue to hurt the competitiveness and fairness of SL. Is there anything in the works to help curb this ongoing issue? I have mentioned a few possible fixes to consider in the past. Possibly looking at increasing the hero level requirement to play SL or greatly increase the MMR and rank points gained with the win rate is above a set threshold for a given rank (IE 65 or 70% win rate)
        This has always been a concern for us and we are always looking to find ways to make Storm League as competitive and fair as possible. However, we have to be careful because if we get too heavy-handed, it could hurt the experience for legitimate players.
        We have talked about increasing the account level needed in order to play Storm League and may do it with the next Season Roll. As for increasing MMR quicker for higher win-rates, we actually already do this in the form of Streak Bonuses - players just can't see that right now because MMR and Rank Points are not connected. Next season, this will no longer be the case ?
        Is it possible to add Kyle "The Blackthorne" Vlaros to the nexus finally?
        We have previously discussed Blackthorne coming into the Nexus and many on the team want to see him get in the game... Anything is possible in the Nexus?!
        I feel like Valla buffs made her go to the right direction, but imho Caltrops talent still cause incredible mana hunger, any plans on lower Vault cost?
        You make a good point. I made a note to myself to check it out and i'll see what I can do.
        Any plans for mastery rewards for levels over 100? I'm nearing 200 on Kel'thuzad and am interested to see what you guys are going to add.
        We have been thinking about a few different options around what we can add into the game to allow players to display their mastery of a Hero in a cool way. This is something that is near and dear to our hearts as we have more than a few members on the team that are nearing Hero level ranges of 200-300. That said, we currently are exploring a few avenues of what this might be. Keep an eye out in the future ?!
        There seems to be a myth that performance based matchmaking was a "trainwreck" and "didn't work" so you guys "got rid of it". That myth is being perpetuated in this very thread.
        As someone who was there when it was released, I know for a fact that you guys turned it off because of a separate, unrelated issue with ranked, and stated that you'd bring it back.
        Since then, we've had numerous threads asking when it will come back, and zero word from you.
        Now that ranked queues are long and the community is dwindling, the quality of ranked games has dropped substantially. The matchmaking is so bad that it easily takes twice as many games to reach "the rank you should have been in the first place" (not to mention 5x the time). Now would be the perfect time to reintroduce performance based matchmaking so that players who are still interested in ranked, don't have to worry about the awful quality of current matchmaking every time the queue for a game.
        Do you have any plans to reintroduce it? And if not, why not? I'm tired of being told that "it's impossible to take my personal performance into account in any way, on any metric, even a tiny bit" for my personal rank.
        We are still very much looking to re-explore the performance based matchmaking and would love to be able to reintroduce it. I can't tell you when, as it has to be prioritized by the team first, but I do want to let you know it is up there and we haven't forgotten about it!
        Few months ago, you made the good call with removal the additionnal armor. To help the loss, you buffed the talents / abilities for somes heroes. But now, i think you forgot some talents / abilities.
        Again, it's just few examples like lvl 13 on Zarya with 20% armor. Brightwing with the E. Uther with the 7. Greymane with worgen's form. Valla with the 13. Cho'Gall with Cho's armor. Deckard's armor etc. Non exhaustive list but i think you have the point.
        We did a pass on everything that gives Armor in the game when we modified how Armor stacking worked, and individually made decisions on how to compensate each effect. Simply buffing the Armor values of every individual effect now that they can’t stack to “compensate” them would create a host of other balance issues, as not all Armor values were designed or balanced completely around the idea that they would be stacked in every scenario. For example, increasing Greymane’s Worgen Form Armor would be a significant buff to him in all games, whereas that specific case wasn’t causing the Armor stacking issues that we were trying to solve with our change.
        Going forward, we can and likely will over time buff or even nerf the cases you mentioned or others that we missed as general Hero balance updates.
        The Movement Speed changes will change how a lot of interactions work. Will you change these interactions to be how they were before?
        Firstly, the Movement Speed change was in fact intended to change the game and how many interactions work. This means that yes, many skillshots will be somewhat harder to hit (though you also can move into position quicker to hit them so it’s a little more complicated then that), and yes, some abilities will be relatively easier to dodge. This also means that rotations will be impacted and some maps will play differently. We intended for the Movement Speed changes to, well, change how the game played. If we compensated everything in the game to be how it was before, then it wouldn’t be much of a change. 
        We played with this change for a long time internally and felt like it didn’t have as much of an impact as the initial perception has been from players when we released the change. While we get that the sticker shock of the game moving 10% faster is significant, we believe that the change isn’t going to warp the game in a huge way that we can’t tune around. While we understand that there may be some fallout, we didn’t feel the need to pre-emptively change how 50+ Abilities and interactions work in anticipation of the changes coming, as it’s much riskier to do that than to see how the changes play out and react to the outliers.
        We were aware that there may be fallout with some heroes and abilities, such as Artanis’s Purifier Beam, Kel’Thuzad’s and Li-Ming’s Skillshots, and AoE abilities like Blizzard and Flamestrike, however we want to see if there are significant changes in the performance of these and other interactions before making adjustments. Going forward, we are keeping an eye on the performance of these and other heroes, and speeding up the speed of their abilities will be an arrow in our Balance quiver going forward.
        First and most importantly, Any plans to please add Kyle Vlaros the Blackthorne this year to mark this 25th Anniversary game release? (or any year soon really) You've teased him since 2013 and while the younger players could care less about him, us older players would really love to see more than just TLV from the old days.
        The second would be, with the new speed increase, is it possible to redo some of Valeera's kit or improve her stealth to a place closer to where it used to be pre stealth nerf? If you play against AI, they act like they can't see her in stealth, but since the stealth nerf she is so obviously there now to real players, that the point of her stealth becomes pointless. Perhaps an improved stealth ability to make her a little more transparent?
        Third, Would you Consider moving Kharazim's [[Echo of Heaven]] ability from 16 to say 13? I am noticing when Kharazim goes with [[insight]] at 1 he can only really become a late game healer after 16 giving other healers a big advantage over their output performance. Typically he is only played in certain niches.
        Is there any chance of adding more than just the 3 loadout customizations? I'd be happy with 4 or 5 total.
        Finally, Can we get any new skins or color variants for Ragnaros?
        We have talked a lot about potentially bringing Kyle to the Nexus and a lot of the team is excited about the opportunity to get more classic style Heroes into the game.
        It is completely possible for us to redo some of Valeera's kit. I think we have a lot of room to improve her (and all of our Stealth Assassins) but I don't think we need to blow up her current design to do so.
        We currently like where Kharazim is sitting, especially for being a bit of a hybrid style Hero. I will bring it up with Adam, but normally when we shift talents like you suggest, it opens up a bit of a rabbit's hole that we end up going down.
        We have discussed adding more load-out slots but it is not a high priority right now.
        I know that Art has been looking into a new skin for Ragnaros, but there are some challenges when it comes to performance. They would know a lot more and this is a great question to bring up in the next Art AMA!
        You have been and still are removing or editing neutral talents like Cleanse, MULE, bolt etc. Can you further explain your problems with these talents? And also why for instance, you edit bolt for each character and have it stay in the game that way but sprint is no longer in the game and MULE is only on Abathur? Thanks in advance, it is very much appreciated that you take feedback like this.
        Our philosophy is that if we should try to incorporate generic talents to fit a hero's kit and fantasy so that those talents feel more unique and exciting. I think Diablo's Hellgate is a perfect example.
        Sprint no longer exists because it was OP on the heroes who had them, like Jaina and Kerrigan. We now provide movement speed via other talents, where appropriate.
        I recently played a lot of ARAM with friends and I have some suggestions about it :
        - It would be really nice and more fair if the core in ARAM had a shield like in classic games. Backdoor is very frustrating and unteresting for both team I think.
        - Healers are very important I think to have interesting ARAM matches. What do you think about a minimum of healers proposed in the 15 heroes selection ? (2 or 3 for instance). I had some ARAMs where no player is proposed a healer, and it was boring I feel when this happens.
        - It would be good to remove Vikings to this game mode, because they are not equipped for this.
        I will say that we're currently exploring some minor changes to ARAM mode to help soften some of the rougher edges of the format. One problem with ARAM (from a design perspective at least) is that everyone has a different expectation of what ARAM should be. Some people like the sheer chaos of 5 assassin bloodbaths, some prefer the more traditional tank/healer/3 fill teams. Neither of these opinions is 'wrong', they're just different!
        The lack of shields on the core was done intentionally because of the format's reduced hero death timers. With a shield and short timers, it becomes very difficult to end a game unless you're absolutely stomping the opponent. Without it, you can at least make incremental progress. Back-dooring can certainly be obnoxious, but it's usually counter-able with vigilance and strategic game-play.
        It's very likely that we will prevent the Vikings from showing up in this format. Additionally, we'd like to re-introduce some of the characters we've restricted (like Chromie, Azmodan, etc), perhaps with some pick weighting to prevent them from appearing in a majority of games. We're not 100% sure yet but we're working on it!
        The recent balance patch changed 5 talents on Orphea, and 4 of those changes were to replace one number in the talent with a slightly-better number. Why such a simple approach?
        Does it really help a talent to upgrade a very short cooldown to an even shorter cooldown, when the spell is limited by casting animation?
        There are a lot of tools that we have to change the balance of a Hero or talent, and two people will rarely agree on what the perfect change is. Each tool has advantages and disadvantages which may not be super apparent to everyone. As a super simple example, one tool we have to fix a talent that’s not being picked is to redesign the talent, however one side-effect is that it usually results in alienating the small percentage of players who really like that talent.
        In Orphea’s case, I wanted to try number tuning some of her talents before doing a bunch of functionality changes. I agree that she has a relatively unique limitation in her casting animations, but even so her cooldowns being reduced still has significant value (as an example think if her Q didn’t have any cooldown reduction at all in any way. The ability would feel much different than it does now).
        If the number tuning doesn’t work, then we can go into more functionality changes.
        I suppose the crux of what I’m getting at is that there is a lot of thought that gets put into these things, but that doesn’t mean that they will always work out. Even so, I would rather try something and it not work out perfectly than be too afraid to make changes or only make the changes that we are 1000% confident in (spoiler alert, that almost never happens). The beauty of working on a Live game like this is that we can always go back and iterate more if things don’t go exactly as we hoped they would.
        Are there any plans to continue balancing Samuro in balance patches?
        Even though last AMA we finally learned (and sadly so) that Samuro is neither getting Illusion Master baseline nor a talent rework in the near future, the hero still has some balance problems that I'm hoping will be addressed within coming balance patches
        I'll take the chance to talk about some different talent issues and how they can be fixed to open up more talent choices and as a result more play styles
        Way of the Wind is an awesome talent, but the issue it has that makes it almost unpickable in current Meta is that without a damage talent at level 1, Samuro deals almost no actual damage, which severely impacts the talents usability while it leaves a bittersweet taste of "I can finally chase this tracer around (kinda) but I don't have enough damage to kill her". The only fix I can think for this is to buff Samuro's baseline damage and adjust the other level 1 talents, this would also be a buff to Crushing Blows, which right now suffers from being out damaged by other level 7 options
        Like I said above, Crushing Blows and also Kawarimi suffer from being mathematically inferior or too clunky to use, respectively, I made a post about them and how to fix here.
        Finally, Samuro's level 20 tier suffers from zero choice, absolutely nothing ever competes with Three Blade Style, and it's not because it's "too good", because it isn't, it's more of an issue that the other choices are pretty bad, like really bad in comparison. heck the only talent in the tier that has the power level of what a level 20 talent should have, is TBS. A buff is needed here, plain and simple.
        Here is some more discussion on possible ways to help balance Samuro more, for any who care to read
        We have some changes to Samuro that we’re testing internally. Without going into too much detail since we’re still iterating, we are currently testing a change where Samuro’s clones have a much shorter duration, but it’s increased whenever he or they attack an enemy Hero. This greatly limits his split-pushing potential, and enables us to give him some cool, new stuff when team fighting.
        We don’t like the popular idea of giving his Clones a leash range or Samuro a teleport range. It results in a lot of user frustration where players can’t do things that they want to do, or Clones don’t behave in the way that the user expects them to (ex. With a teleport range Samuro suddenly can’t teleport to certain clones that are off-screen, which is fatal when he’s in a bind).
        Also, as a no-context teaser to wet your appetite, currently in our playtests Bladestorm’s cooldown is 20 seconds ?
        Voicelines for missing enemies and "attack here" have been gone since at least the Anduin patch. Any plan to bring them back?
        I just had a conversation with someone about this last week. It's something we are looking into.
        What's up with Galls's Mastery Taunt, or lack thereof?
        The design team is definitely aware of it and will have a chat about allowing you to show off your mastery with the brains of the two-headed ogre ?
        Do you prefer changing Dva to make her become a Bruiser and Solo Laner or change her to Support and Flex?
        In the upcoming rework she will still be classified under the 'Bruiser' category, but her talents should allow her to fill a more traditional solo-lane role or a team-support role.
        Personally, I love playing her as a 2nd front-line in a support role. She's got a lot of new tools to shutdown picks or engages, which can really swing the momentum of games. We've had quite a few internal games where D.Va has paired up with squishy melee assassins and functioned as an almost-tank, with very good results.
        Does new Dva still have situations where it is simply better to be a pilot than a mech? For example, in the current version if you're trying to stop a boss from getting your keep, the pilot is over twice as good.
        D.Va's pilot mode still generally offers higher single-target DPS than her Mech mode.
        Is there any chance for other heroes to get the ability to repair structures? Can Abathur lose his MULE? Or do you think things are okay as they are?
        We've discussed this internally and we are happy with MULE being only available to Abathur. Like you said, it fits his playstyle and it's a great reason to pick Abathur over another Hero. Historically, MULEs have caused pacing issues because they can stall lanes and inflate game times. That being said, though, anything can happen in the Nexus!
        Which heroes would you give MULE to?
        What are your plans for Tyrande's talent tree? Elune's Chosen is a must pick, Lunar Blaze is a must pick, Celestial Attunement is a must pick.
        Adam had responded to a thread the other day, but he plans on making some changes to help address a lot of your concerns here - Elune's Chosen and Celestial Attunement are specifically on his radar!
        I know there is bad luck protection for getting legendaries in loot boxes, but if I get a duplicate legendary and I choose to reroll it, is my bad luck protection reset or because I rerolled it is still in play? Thanks.
        If you get a Legendary (or any rarity outside of common) and you elect to reroll the loot box, there is no guarantee that you will receive that same level rarity in that new loot box that you rerolled for. So, if you were to get a Legendary in a loot box and choose to reroll the loot box, that next loot box could have all commons in it. Hopefully this answers your question sufficiently ?!
      • By Stan
        This week's brawl is Industrial District, a single-lane Overwatch-themed battleground with standard play and shuffle pick. The main goal is to destroy the enemy Core. Play 3 games to earn a Mecha Chest.
        Blizzard (Source)
        This week’s Heroes Brawl is Industrial District! Slide around and slug it out in the heart of Volskaya in this Overwatch-themed, single-lane Battleground featuring lots of conveyor belts and tons of action.
        Rules:
        Shuffle pick - Choose from one of three Heroes before entering the battle. Standard play - no talent or level restrictions. The first team to destroy the enemy Core wins! Rewards:
        Complete three matches of the Industrial District Brawl to earn a Loot Chest! Find out more about the Heroes Brawl game mode on our Heroes Brawl site; and as always, you can find more information on this week’s Brawl by clicking the Brawl Info button at the bottom of the play screen when preparing to queue for the Brawl game mode.
      • By Stan
        The Heroes team is hosting an AMA on tomorrow related to the recent Hero Movement Speed changes that went live in the latest patch and Hero balance.
        Feel free to submit your questions here. The devs will start answering them starting at 10:00 a.m. PDT (7:00 p.m. CEST). We'll be back with a recap shortly after the AMA is over.
        Blizzard (Source)
        Greetings, Heroes!
        We’re going to host a Hero Balance & Hero Movement Speed Change AMA right here on /r/heroesofthestorm on Thursday, July 18, 2019! The Heroes devs will join the thread and answer your questions starting around 10:00 a.m. PDT (7:00 p.m. CEST) until 12:00 p.m. PDT (9:00 p.m. CEST).
        We have the following developers on hand answering questions:
        Alex Neyman (/u/BlizzNeyman) Sergey Morozov (/u/Blizz_SMorozov) Adam Z. Jackson (/u/BlizzAZJackson) Kevin Gu (/u/BlizzKGu) David P Warner (u/Blizz_DWarner) Steven Jaquith (/u/Blizz_Steve) Brett Crawford (/u/Daybringer) Shane Miller (/u/Blizz_Shane) Kyle Dates – (/u/BlizzKyle) When posting multiple AMA questions: Please make an effort to post one question per comment. This will make it easier for others to read through the thread, and will help the devs focus on one question at a time. However, please feel free comment as many times as you'd like in order to get your questions posted.
        You can start posting your questions right now, and we'll see you on Thursday!
      • By Stan
        Heroic Deals for this week include Chromie, Lucio, Stitches, and two Mecha skins.
        Click here to check out this week's Free-to-Play Hero rotation!
        Hero Sales
        Heroes Old Price New Price Chromie 750 Gems 375 Gems Lucio 750 Gems 375 Gems Stitches 625 Gems 312 Gems Skins
        Dark Mecha Rehgar -- 900 Gems // 1,800 Shards Dark Mecha Tyrael -- 1,125 Gems // 2,400 Shards
        Mounts
        Fel Razorgrin and Great Razorgrin mounts can be purchased for 10K Gold. The Seraph Wing Bundle can be purchased for 1,260 Gems.
      • By Stan
        Free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of July 16 and includes Alarak, Zarya, Abathur, and more.
        Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: July 16, 2019
        Malfurion Valla Gazlowe Johanna Thrall Dehaka Greymane Xul Lucio Falstad Alarak (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Zarya (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Tyrande (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Abathur (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)
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