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Heroes of the Storm PTR Patch Notes: December 3rd

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The latest Heroes of the Storm patch is available for playtesting until December 10. Check out the official patch notes for details!

Patch Highlights

2019 Gameplay Updates

  • Armor has been redesigned to prevent stacking. Abilities will now only apply the highest or lowest amount of Armor to a Hero at any given time.
    • To account for this change, many abilities and talents that granted Armor have been updated on a per Hero basis (see below).
  • When a team destroys a Fort, they’ll gain a catapult in every 3rd minion wave.
  • The patch also comes with Experience changes outlined in the 2019 Gameplay Update.
    • Blizzard decided not to implement the laning Mercenary change.

Hero Reworks

Hitbox Stealth Update

  • Hero hit boxes have been reduced by up to 15%. We don't have any developer comments, but redditor lemindhawk came up with a list of specific changes and you can check them out here.

New Skins & Bundles

  • Stitches, Dehaka, Valeera, and Sylvanas received new limited-only skins and bundles.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Our next Heroes of the Storm patch has just hit the Public Test Realm and will be available for playtesting until December 10. As always, if you encounter any bugs during your PTR play sessions, please stop by the PTR Bug Report forum to let us know about your experiences.

Art

  • Stitches has received several updated effects and animations to match his gameplay updates.
  • Sylvanas has received several updated effects and animations to match her gameplay updates.

Design

Armor

  • 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. We've adjusted ability/talent Armor values on a per Hero basis to account for this change:
    • Anub’arak
      • Nerubian ArmorNerubian Armor (W)
        • New functionality:
          • Increase the Spell Armor granted from Harden Carapace by 20 (to 60)
    • The Butcher
      • EnragedEnraged (Passive)
        • Armor increased from 15 to 25
    • Chen
      • Purifying BrewPurifying Brew (Trait)
        • Spell Armor increased from 30 to 40
      • Untapped PotentialUntapped Potential (R)
        • Armor increased from 50 to 60
    • Diablo
      • Sacrificial SoulSacrificial Soul (Q)
        • Armor increased from 20 to 25
        • Armor at max Souls increased from 40 to 50
    • E.T.C.
      • RockstarRockstar (Trait)
        • Armor increased from 20 to 25
      • Show StopperShow Stopper (Q)
        • Armor increased from 15 to 35
    • Gazlowe
      • Robo-GoblinRobo-Goblin (R)
        • Armor increased from 30 to 40
    • Lt. Morales
      • SafeguardSafeguard (W)
        • Armor increased from 25 to 30
      • Trauma TriggerTrauma Trigger (Passive)
        • Armor increased from 30 to 40
    • Nova
      • Anti-Armor ShellsAnti-Armor Shells (Passive)
        • Physical Armor shred increased from 10 to 15
    • Raynor
      • Bounty HunterBounty Hunter (Trait)
        • Armor increased from 5 to 10
    • Rexxar
      • Hunter-GathererHunter-Gatherer (Passive)
        • Armor increased from 10 to 15
    • Tassadar
      • Khala's LightKhala's Light (Q)
        • Armor increased from 15 to 20
    • Tyrael
      • Defense of the AngelsDefense of the Angels (Active)
        • Armor increased from 40 to 50
    • Uther
      • DevotionDevotion (Trait)
        • Armor increased from 15 to 25
    • Valeera
      • Smoke BombSmoke Bomb (R)
        • Armor increased from 25 to 30
    • Zul’jin
      • Amani HideAmani Hide (Active)
        • Armor increased from 10 to 15

Catapults

  • When a team destroys a Fort, they’ll now gain a Catapult in every 3rd Minion wave.
    • NOTE: In order to keep early-game Catapults from being too devastating to defending teams, Catapult attack splash size, attack range, and damage/health will gradually increase as the game progresses.

Experience Changes

  • 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%
  • Laning Mercenary Experience
    • Defeating Laning Mercenaries will now grant 100% of Defending Mercenaries Experience.

Developer Comment: After listening to feedback, we have decided to pull back the laning Mercenary change outlined in our 2019 gameplay updates in order to give winning teams more opportunities to pull ahead.

Mercenaries

  • Boss Camps, Sentinel Camps (Hanamura Temple), and Support Camps (Volskaya Foundry) will now be flagged as Elite. 
    • Elite Mercenary Camps are Unstoppable & Unbribable

Unit Radii

  • The unit radius values for most Heroes has been reduced by 5-15%

User Interface

  • Armor, increased Healing, and decreased Healing healthbar indicators have received a visual update.

Heroes

Assassin

Fenix

divider_hero_Fenix.png

Abilities

  • Purification SalvoPurification Salvo (R)
    • Damage reduced from 86 to 79

Talents

  • Level 4
    • Inhibiting EnergyInhibiting Energy (W)
      • Now applies to all slows (except itself), and not just Plasma Cutter’s slows
      • Slow duration reduced from 4 to 3 seconds
      • Slow amount reduced from 35 to 30%
    • Warp ConduitWarp Conduit (E)
      • Removed
  • Level 7
    • Warp WarfareWarp Warfare (E)
      • Added functionality:
        • Now also resets the cooldown of Warp when Fenix gets a Hero takedown
    • Divert Power: WeaponsDivert Power: Weapons (Active)
      • New functionality:
        • Activate to gain 40% Basic Attack damage for 5 seconds. Basic Attacks against Heroes refresh this duration. When this damage bonus falls off, remove all of Fenix's Shields. 40 second cooldown.
  • Level 13
    • Dampening FieldDampening Field (Trait)
      • Spell Armor increased from 20 to 25
    • Auxiliary ShieldsAuxiliary Shields (Trait)
      • Shield amount increased from 20 to 40%
      • Health loss increased from 10 to 30%

Specialist

Sylvanas

Divider_Heroes_Sylvanas_Cropped.png

Stats

  • Health increased from 1425 to 1550
  • Health Regen increased from 2.969 to 3.23
  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 90 to 81

Abilities

  • Withering FireWithering Fire (Q)
    • Adjusted functionality:
      • Pressing Q once fires 5 Withering Fire arrows at the closest enemy
    • Mana cost increased from 0 to 25
    • Damage reduced from 48 to 39
    • Range increased from 6.25 to 8
    • Cooldown increased from 2 to 8 seconds
    • Cooldown now restores all charges
    • No longer gains charges on Minion kills
    • Nearby Heroes takedowns now refresh the cooldown of this ability
    • Fire rate reduced from .188 to .375 (50% slower)
    • Withering Fire cannot be cast while a previous cast of Withering Fire is still firing
  • Shadow DaggerShadow Dagger (W)
    • Adjusted functionality:
      • Shadow Dagger no longer spreads to nearby targets each time it does damage. 
      • Damage dealt by Sylvanas to the primary target of Shadow Dagger spreads its effect to all nearby enemies.
    • Mana cost decreased from 75 to 50
    • Duration increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds
    • Damage reduced from 37 to 29
  • Haunting WaveHaunting Wave (E)
    • Banshee travel speed increased by ~6%
  • Mind ControlMind Control (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 60 to 50 seconds
    • New functionality:
      • After a .25 second cast, launch a missile that impacts the first enemy Hero in its path.  Impacted Heroes are Silenced, Slowed by 30%, and forced to walk towards Sylvanas for 1.75 seconds.
  • Black ArrowsBlack Arrows (Trait)
    • New functionality:
      • Activate to cause all Basic Attacks and Abilities to Stun Minions, Mercenaries, and Structures for 3 seconds over the next 10 seconds. 40 second cooldown
    • New Passive functionality – Banshee’s Curse:
      • Basic Attacks infect enemies with Banshee’s Curse for 3 seconds.  Sylvanas deals 25% bonus damage to enemies with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Overflowing QuiverOverflowing Quiver (Q)
      • Removed
    • Dreadful WakeDreadful Wake (E)
      • Removed
    • Overwhelming AfflictionOverwhelming Affliction (Trait)
      • Moved from Level 16
      • Adjusted functionality:
        • Enemy Heroes with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse are slowed by 15%.  Basic Attacks against Slowed enemy Heroes deal 1% of their maximum Health in damage
    • New Talent: Unfurling Shadows (W)
      • Quest: Each time Shadow Dagger deals damage to enemy Heroes with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse, increase its damage by .5%
    • New Talent: Banshee’s Curse (Q)
      • Hitting an enemy Hero with Withering Fire increases Sylvanas’ Attack Speed and Ability Power by 5% for 6 seconds, stacking up to 5 times
    • Level 4
      • With the WindWith the Wind (Q)
        • Removed
      • Mercenary QueenMercenary Queen (Trait)
        • Moved from Level 1
        • Adjusted functionality:
          • Friendly non-Elite Mercenaries near Sylvanas deal 60% more damage.  Sylvanas Stuns and deals 30% additional damage to Mercenaries with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse.
      • PossessionPossession (Active)
        • Moved from Level 7
        • Now requires 3 charges to be used on Catapults
      • Unstable PoisonUnstable Poison (W)
        • Moved from Level 7
        • Damage increased from 116 to 130
        • Now triggers on enemy minions who are afflicted by Banshee’s Curse, Black Arrows, or Shadow Dagger
        • Radius increased from 2 to 2.5
    • Level 7
      • Barbed ShotBarbed Shot (Q)
        • New functionality:
          • Hitting the same enemy with 5 shots of Withering Fire causes the last shot to deal 350% bonus damage
      • Lost SoulLost Soul (W)
        • Moved from Level 4
        • Adjusted functionality:
          • Reduce Shadow Dagger’s cooldown by 1.75 seconds each time Sylvanas uses a Basic Attack on an enemy Hero with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse.
      • New Talent: Festering Wounds (E)
        • Haunting Wave deals 25% more damage and applies 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse. 
    • Level 13
      • Cold EmbraceCold Embrace (W)
        • Moved from Level 16
        • Duration increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds
        • Now also reduces the Armor of targets that Shadow Dagger spreads to by 10
      • Spell ShieldSpell Shield (Active)
        • Removed
      • RemorselessRemorseless (Trait)
        • Moved from Level 16
        • New functionality:
          • Increase Sylvanas’ Basic Attack range by 1.  Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse fire an untalented shot of Withering Fire.  This shot applies Banshee’s Curse.
      • WindrunnerWindrunner (E)
        • Adjusted functionality:
          • Teleporting with Haunting Wave resets the cooldown of Withering Fire.  Haunting Wave can be cast a second time for free within 5 seconds after teleporting
    • Level 16
      • Life DrainLife Drain (W)
        • Moved from Level 13
        • New functionality:
          • Dealing damage to enemies with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse heals Sylvanas for 15% of the damage dealt.  Doubled against Heroes
      • Evasive FireEvasive Fire (Q)
        • Adjusted Functionality:
          • Hitting enemies with Withering Fire grants Sylvanas 6% bonus Movement Speed for 2 seconds, stacking up to 30%.  Basic Attacks refresh this duration.
      • Will of the ForsakenWill of the Forsaken (Active)
        • Moved from Level 13
    • Level 20
      • Dark Lady's CallDark Lady's Call (R)
        • New functionality:
          • Reduce the cooldown of Mind Control by 30 seconds.  Heroes hit by Mind Control have their vision greatly reduced for 5 seconds. 
      • Withering BarrageWithering Barrage (Q)
        • Moved from Level 4
        • New functionality:
          • Hitting an enemy Hero with Withering Fire decreases its cooldown by .75 seconds

Warrior

Stitches

Divider_Hero_Stitches_Crop.png

Abilities

  • HookHook (Q)
    • Range reduced from 12.5 to 11
  • SlamSlam (W)
    • Cast time increased from .25 to .313
    • Cooldown reduced from 8 to 6 seconds
    • Range increased from 8 to 9.5
    • Mana cost reduced from 40 to 30
    • Added functionality:
      • Now has an Inner area that deals 40% Bonus Damage and applies a 40% slow for 1.5 seconds
  • DevourDevour (E)
    • Ability Effects now occur at the start of the ability's cast, rather than at the end
  • Vile Cleaver (Passive)
    • New Functionality:
      • Basic Attacks apply Vile Gas to nearby enemies, poisoning for 45 damage over 3 seconds. Re-applying Vile Gas increases its duration rather than resetting it, up to 10 seconds.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Chew Your FoodChew Your Food (E)
      • Removed
    • Dampen MagicDampen Magic (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Heavy SlamHeavy Slam (W)
      • Removed
    • Hungry for MoreHungry for More (Passive)
      • New functionality:
        • Quest: Regen Globes grant 30 permanent Health
        • Every 15 Regen globes, Stitches gains 5% permanent Movement speed up to a maximum of 20%
    • Savor the FlavorSavor the Flavor (E)
      • Moved from level 7
        • New Functionality:
          • Casting Devour on a Hero restores an additional 10% of maximum Health and Mana over 5 seconds and permanently increases Stitches’ health regeneration by 1.
    • New Talent: Patchwork Creation (Passive)
      • Increase all healing received by 15%.
      • Nearby Minion and Hero kills Heal Stiches (Minions for 30, Heroes for 300)
  • Level 4
    • Amplified HealingAmplified Healing (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Restorative FumesRestorative Fumes (Trait)
      • Removed
    • Putrid GroundPutrid Ground (W)
      • Removed
    • New Talent – Playtime! (W)
      • Heroes hit by Slam reduce the cooldowns of Stitches's other Basic Abilities by .5 seconds. This cooldown reduction is increased to 2 seconds for Heroes that are hit by Slam's inner impact area.
    • New Talent – Chop Chop (W)
      • Hitting a Hero with the inner area of Slam increases Stitches' Basic Attack Speed by 50% for 4 seconds.
    • New Talent: Serrated Edge (Q)
      • Hooking an enemy Hero deals 5% of their max life as damage and decreases Hook’s cooldown by 4 seconds.
  • Level 7
    • Last BiteLast Bite (E)
      • Removed
    • New Talent - Blight (Trait)
      • Vile Gas heals for 33% of the damage it deals. Activate to apply Vile Gas to all nearby enemies and reduce their healing taken by 20% for 5 seconds. 40 second CD
    • CannibalizeCannibalize (Passive)
      • Moved from level 20
      • New functionality:
        • Heroes hit by Basic Attacks and Slam’s inner area heal Stitches for 2% of his maximum health.
    • TenderizerTenderizer (Passive)
      • New functionality:
        • Basic Attacks slow the target by 25% for 2.5 seconds. If the target is afflicted with Slam’s Slow, refresh its duration.
  • Level 13
    • Flea BagFlea Bag (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Mega SmashMega Smash (W)
      • Removed
    • IndigestionIndigestion (E)
      • Removed
    • New Talent – Lacerate (W)
      • Slam afflicts enemies with Vile Gas and reduces armor by 10 for 4 seconds.
    • New Talent – Digestive Juices (E)
      • Devouring an enemy Hero reduces their damage dealt by 40% for 4 seconds.
    • New Talent – Gas Flare (Passive)
      • Stitches deals 16 damage per second to enemies around you. This damage is increased by 150% for 4 seconds after successfully Hooking an enemy Hero
  • Level 16
    • PulverizePulverize (W)
      • New functionality:
        • Slam slows all enemies by 75% for 1 second.
    • Shish KabobShish Kabob (Q)
      • Removed
    • Toxic GasToxic Gas (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Fishing HookFishing Hook (Q)
      • Range bonus increased from 40 to 50%
    • New Talent - Meat Hook (Q)
      • Hooking an enemy Hero restores 16% of maximum health over 4 seconds. For 4 seconds, Basic Attacks against the Hooked Hero will refresh the duration of this healing effect.
  • Level 20
    • New Talent – Second Helping (E)
      • Gain an additional charge of Devour. Devouring an enemy Hero reduces the cooldown of your Heroic ability by 5 seconds.
    • New Talent – Shambling Horror (Active)
      • Passive: Stitches is no longer affected by Slowing effects
      • Activate to gain 50 Armor for 4 seconds. 60 second CD.  

Collection

Many seasonal items have made their way back into the collection and will be available for crafting and in Loot Chests for a limited time!

New Bundles

  • The following new bundles are only available for a limited time!
    • Toy Heroes Bundle
    • Cuddle Bear Stitches Skin Pack
    • Cosmic Force Valeera Skin Pack
    • Dehakasaurus Rex Skin Pack

New Skins (Limited Time Only!)

  • Stitches
    • Cuddle Bear Stitches
    • Snuggle Bear Stitches
    • Honey Bear Stitches
  • Dehaka
    • Dehakasaurus Rex
    • Dino-Metal Dehakasaurus Rex
    • Playtime Dehakasaurus Rex
  • Valeera
    • Cosmic Force Valeera
    • Psionic Cosmic Force Valeera
    • Nega Force Valeera
  • Sylvanas
    • Mint Sugar Plum Sylvanas

New Mounts (Limited Time Only!)

  • Cosmic Lion
    • Psionic Lion
    • Nega Lion
  • Plush Unicorn
    • Plush Zombicorn
    • Pretty Plush Unicorn
    • Fuzzy Plush Unicorn
    • Honey Plush Unicorn

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 camera jumps and cursor resets when using drag scroll.
  • Made a number of improvements to AI behavior.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Brightwing: Fixed an issue preventing Brightwing from applying the Sticky FlareSticky Flare talent effect if it hit more than one target.
  • Brightwing: Fixed an issue preventing Brightwing from applying the Hush!Hush! talent effect if it hit more than one target.
  • Chromie: Dragon's BreathDragon's Breath’s warning splat will now display after the ability has been cast.
  • Deckard: Fixed an issue causing Deckard’s portal to be visible in Fog of War when using Hearthstone.
  • Leoric: Fixed an issue that allowed Drain HopeDrain Hope’s damage and healing to persist through time stop effects.
  • Lunara: Fixed an issue preventing Lunara from playing a voice line when she died.
  • Stukov: Fixed an issue causing Massive ShoveMassive Shove to remove Weighted PustuleWeighted Pustule from its target.

User Interface

  • Fixed a number of tooltip issues and inaccuracies across the game.
  • Fixed an issue causing Hero models to prevent players from pressing the Ready button in the queue screen.
  • Fixed an issue causing grandmaster numbers of 3 digits to extend beyond portrait frames while in a party.
  • Kel’Thuzad: Added a quick-cast option for Glacial SpikeGlacial Spike.
  • Zul’jin: Added a quick-cast option for Amani RageAmani Rage.

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Goddammit.   I knew the Stitches "rework" would be a smokescreen for them to nerf the slam build, AGAIN.    Sigh.   So now he's a squishie but self healing more than before tank, but his utility of being able to build for aoe is gutted.

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1 hour ago, Migol said:

Goddammit.   I knew the Stitches "rework" would be a smokescreen for them to nerf the slam build, AGAIN.    Sigh.   So now he's a squishie but self healing more than before tank, but his utility of being able to build for aoe is gutted.

What are you talking about? They increased baseline Slam size and damage, reduced its baseline CD, kept the 75% slow from Pulverize and added several talent combos, such as Pulverize+Tenderizer keeping targets permanent 75% slowed. Not to mention his AA splashes, and he can increase its speed. They didn't remove any of his health or talents that increased his "tankiness", only added more sustain options. Hook's range was reduced, true, but by less than 10%, while giving us half a dozen utility talents for it AND keeping the ridiculous long range option of Fishing Hook. The only thing really removed was Shish KabobShish Kabob. He plays much better on PTR, and can be built to be a frontliner with amazing sustain, a bully bruiser or a traditional fisherman. Kudos to the devs. Notparadox's review show and explain his new options.

Sylvana's is also looking great. I was more afraid of them messing up too much with her and losing her flavor, but she is truly scary now. Both the sustained damage and burst build are amazing, and probably need to be nerfed. Her basic abilities require a bit more juggling now, but reward much more. Specially the way her talents can improve Shadow Dagger and  Withering Fire. I was also a bit skeptic abut the new skill shot Mind Control, but it feels great to not self stun yourself in the middle of a team fight. And she can even shred tanks with a %hp damage AA talent on lvl 1. Again, I point to Notparadox's video for some better explanations.

Hyped for these reworks, will probably go back to playing both our forsaken heroes next week.

@Edit: Sylvannas also got a very cool new hearthstone animation, based on the BfA cinematic I presume.

Edited by lChronosl
  • Like 1

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Oh god, it will be tanks every where in 2019, this is crazy buffs for the tanks. I dont understand stacking armor, the only ones that kan stack armor is morales and uther, I have never seen or felt supports and tanks stacking armor together and only cause of this they have to buff every tank. Atleast put some armor reduction in this game then.    

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Too bad they nerf the stitches Amplified Healing , this is one the most important talent for stitches to keep tank when heal by healer.

From 30% to 15% plus dunno regeneration still take in or not. Then put it in talent 1 which also got other talent very useful at there.

The reduce of size of hit box will give a lot of problem to skill shot hero such as KTZ, orphea, stitches hook,.....

Dunno why suddenly reduce size of hit box without any reason.

Sylvanas not bad, good in push, disable building when push with boss/elite, good in dmg heroes plus reduce armor, got movespd, fast cooldown of mind control (and also better than hook as hook will be block by minion/merc) and still can convert catapult (1st/2nd wave convert 6 units then 3rd wave convert catapult. every 3 wave still have 6 units and 1 catapult to push). Good in push and still able to do obj on time with giving pressure lane to opponent. Should be high pick/high ban soon.

 

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  • Removed all Experience earned from destroying a Fort or Keep
  • Decreased Experience earned from destroying Towers by 50%
  • Passive Experience gain increased by 15%

I mean meta was not strong on pushy specialists before, now they become even closer to completely irrelevant?

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2 hours ago, Koxsos said:

I mean meta was not strong on pushy specialists before, now they become even closer to completely irrelevant?

The main reason is that objectives, especially when they are based on shots, always grant a huge portion of Experience because of the XP gained from buildings. It decreases the snowball potential from objectives. BHB might be more enjoyable and fair now.

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30 minutes ago, Alkasar said:

The main reason is that objectives, especially when they are based on shots, always grant a huge portion of Experience because of the XP gained from buildings. It decreases the snowball potential from objectives. BHB might be more enjoyable and fair now.

Indeed, it was the worst, especially after losing a team fight - winning side gets XP, fort gets destroyed, even more XP gained. Suddenly, there is 2-3 level advantage, much worse when there are enough coins to pay for next, so it either forces other side into another team fight that they can't win or just give up and try pushing, while enemy easily gets more XP. BHB is due for a rework, at least minor one regarding coins (perhaps none from camps or they get destroyed if person carrying them is killed).

Edited by Arcling

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15 hours ago, lChronosl said:

What are you talking about? They increased baseline Slam size and damage, reduced its baseline CD, kept the 75% slow from Pulverize and added several talent combos, such as Pulverize+Tenderizer keeping targets permanent 75% slowed. Not to mention his AA splashes, and he can increase its speed. They didn't remove any of his health or talents that increased his "tankiness", only added more sustain options. Hook's range was reduced, true, but by less than 10%, while giving us half a dozen utility talents for it AND keeping the ridiculous long range option of Fishing Hook. The only thing really removed was Shish KabobShish Kabob. He plays much better on PTR, and can be built to be a frontliner with amazing sustain, a bully bruiser or a traditional fisherman. Kudos to the devs. Notparadox's review show and explain his new options.

Sylvana's is also looking great. I was more afraid of them messing up too much with her and losing her flavor, but she is truly scary now. Both the sustained damage and burst build are amazing, and probably need to be nerfed. Her basic abilities require a bit more juggling now, but reward much more. Specially the way her talents can improve Shadow Dagger and  Withering Fire. I was also a bit skeptic abut the new skill shot Mind Control, but it feels great to not self stun yourself in the middle of a team fight. And she can even shred tanks with a %hp damage AA talent on lvl 1. Again, I point to Notparadox's video for some better explanations.

Hyped for these reworks, will probably go back to playing both our forsaken heroes next week.

@Edit: Sylvannas also got a very cool new hearthstone animation, based on the BfA cinematic I presume.

Yes, they "changed" it, and some of those changes are buffs.    However, the removal of the level one talent Heavy Slam alone is a big counterweight nerf to those buffs, instead of +40% damage off the bat for the entire slam radius, you only have the small inner (read:melee range) damage boost, IE you can't waveclear or  hit multiple heroes at once with slam anymore.   

This is why they said in the previous post they were buffing his trait to "help with waveclear" which had stitches players scratching their heads since the slam build was already very good at waveclear (you couldn't kill things with one slam but it took a sizeable chunk of health).

They also removed Putrid Ground at level 4 (sort of moved and renamed it to Lacerate at level 13).    This is again a big blow to the early slam build.    You can get it back at 13 now...but they also removed Mega Slam there, which was a big boost to the area effect range of slam.   

The other "Slam buffs" are actually buffs to stitches' other abilities when using Slam, IE other things go off cd faster after a slam, buff to melee after a slam, etc.     But the "Slam Build" was basically gutted here, you only get the full damage at melee range (making it essentially a cleave move instead of an aoe) and you can't use it as an aoe damage build anymore.

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The Fenix changes are interesting. Slight nerfs to plasma cutter build and buffs to basic attack build. Warp Warfare is where my biggest interests lie now. The reason you didn't want warp warfare was because it was risky and it's less so now but even with that Divert Power has almost 0 risk anymore since the shield cut is after the damage. Oh hey they buffed Chen. Sylv and Stiches got some changes too, I guess.

Edited by Twych

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      HEROES DISCOUNT PRICE Tracer 750 375 Gems Blaze 750 375 Gems Featured Skins and Mounts
      The skins and mounts that we’ve added to the featured item rotation are available for gem purchase for a limited time.
      SKINS MOUNTS Ghost Tracer Fel Reaver Blaze Skin Pack Road Chariot Sidewinder Ana Darkspear Sapper Junkrat STORM Strider Shogun Artanis     We hope you enjoy your new Heroes, skins, and mounts as you conquer your next challenge in the Nexus! Be sure to head to the Heroes of the Storm website every week to check out our latest round of Heroic Deals.
    • By Stan
      After a week of testing on Public Test Realms, the latest patch with Sylvanas and Stitches reworks is now live.
      Patch Highlights
      The recently-announced Experience changes made it live in a slightly different form after community feedback has been submitted on reddit and the official forums. Destroying Forts or Keep will now gain your team a stacking 20% increase in passively-gained Experience. Destroying a Fort or Keep will now provide your team with a stacking 20% increase in Passively-earned Experience NOTE: Towers of Doom is exempt from all Experience and Catapult changes. Sylvanas and Stitches received gameplay updates. New skins, portraits, mounts, and rewards await in the Winter 2018 event. Blizzard (Source)
      The newest Heroes of the Storm patch is now live featuring the Toys event, Sylvanas & Stitches gameplay updates, and more! Read on for more details.
      NOTE: Text in ORANGE indicates a change between the PTR and Live notes.
      General
      Toys Event Quest Roll dice, complete quests, and join “The Kid” on a board game adventure in the Nexus for awesome rewards! Art
      Stitches has received several updated effects and animations to match his gameplay updates. Sylvanas has received several updated effects and animations to match her gameplay updates. Battlegrounds
      Volskaya Foundry
      Channelling to enter the Triglav Protector is no longer interrupted by damage. NOTE: This change has been live as of the week of November 19 Design
      Armor
      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. We've adjusted ability/talent Armor values on a per Hero basis to account for this change: Anub’arak Nerubian Armor (W) New functionality: Increase the Spell Armor granted from Harden Carapace by 20 (to 60) The Butcher Enraged (Passive) Armor increased from 15 to 25 Chen Purifying Brew (Trait) Spell Armor increased from 30 to 40 Untapped Potential (R) Armor increased from 50 to 60 Diablo Sacrificial Soul (Q) Armor increased from 20 to 25 Armor at max Souls increased from 40 to 50 E.T.C. Rockstar (Trait) Armor increased from 20 to 25 Show Stopper (Q) Armor increased from 15 to 35 Gazlowe Robo-Goblin (R) Armor increased from 30 to 40 Lt. Morales Safeguard (W) Armor increased from 25 to 30 Trauma Trigger (Passive) Armor increased from 30 to 40 Nova Anti-Armor Shells (Passive) Physical Armor shred increased from 10 to 15 Raynor Bounty Hunter (Trait) Armor increased from 5 to 10 Rexxar Hunter-Gatherer (Passive) Armor increased from 10 to 15 Tassadar Khala's Light (Q) Armor increased from 15 to 20 Tyrael Defense of the Angels (Active) Armor increased from 40 to 50 Uther Devotion (Trait) Armor increased from 15 to 25 Valeera Smoke Bomb (R) Armor increased from 25 to 30 Zul’jin Amani Hide (Active) Armor increased from 10 to 15 Catapults
      When a team destroys a Fort, they’ll now gain a Catapult in every 3rd Minion wave. NOTE: In order to keep early-game Catapults from being too devastating to defending teams, Catapult attack splash size, attack range, and damage/health will gradually increase as the game progresses. Experience Changes
      Removed all Experience earned from destroying a Fort or Keep Destroying a Fort or Keep will now provide your team with a stacking 20% increase in Passively-earned Experience NOTE: Towers of Doom is exempt from all Experience and Catapult changes. Decreased Experience earned from destroying Towers by 50% Passive Experience gain increased by 15% Increased Experience gained by defeating defending Mercenaries by 100% Hanamura Temple and Volsksaya Foundry Item Camps are excluded from this change. Laning Mercenary Experience Defeating Laning Mercenaries will now grant 100% of Defending Mercenaries Experience. Mercenaries
      Boss Camps, Sentinel Camps (Hanamura Temple), and Support Camps (Volskaya Foundry) will now be flagged as Elite.  Elite Mercenary Camps are Unstoppable & Unbribable Unit Radii
      The unit radius values for most Heroes has been reduced by 5-15% User Interface
      Armor, increased Healing, and decreased Healing healthbar indicators have received a visual update. Heroes
      Assassin

      Fenix
      Abilities
      Purification Salvo (R) Damage reduced from 86 to 79 Talents
      Level 4 Inhibiting Energy (W) Now applies to all slows (except itself), and not just Plasma Cutter’s slows Slow duration reduced from 4 to 3 seconds Slow amount reduced from 35 to 30% Warp Conduit (E) Removed Level 7 Warp Warfare (E) Added functionality: Now also resets the cooldown of Warp when Fenix gets a Hero takedown Divert Power: Weapons (Active) New functionality: Activate to gain 40% Basic Attack damage for 5 seconds. Basic Attacks against Heroes refresh this duration. When this damage bonus falls off, remove all of Fenix's Shields. 40 second cooldown. Level 13 Dampening Field (Trait) Spell Armor increased from 20 to 25 Auxiliary Shields (Trait) Shield amount increased from 20 to 40% Health loss increased from 10 to 30% Specialist

      Sylvanas
      Stats
      Health increased from 1425 to 1550 Health Regen increased from 2.969 to 3.23 Basic Attack damage reduced from 90 to 81 Abilities
      Withering Fire (Q) Adjusted functionality: Pressing Q once fires 5 Withering Fire arrows at the closest enemy Mana cost increased from 0 to 25 Damage reduced from 48 to 39 Range increased from 6.25 to 8 Cooldown increased from 2 to 8 seconds Cooldown now restores all charges No longer gains charges on Minion kills Nearby Heroes takedowns now refresh the cooldown of this ability Fire rate reduced from .188 to .375 (50% slower) Withering Fire cannot be cast while a previous cast of Withering Fire is still firing Shadow Dagger (W) Adjusted functionality: Shadow Dagger no longer spreads to nearby targets each time it does damage.  Damage dealt by Sylvanas to the primary target of Shadow Dagger spreads its effect to all nearby enemies. Mana cost decreased from 75 to 50 Duration increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds Damage reduced from 37 to 29 Haunting Wave (E) Banshee travel speed increased by ~6% Mind Control (R) Cooldown reduced from 60 to 50 seconds New functionality: After a .25 second cast, launch a missile that impacts the first enemy Hero in its path.  Impacted Heroes are Silenced, Slowed by 30%, and forced to walk towards Sylvanas for 1.75 seconds. Black Arrows (Trait) New functionality: Activate to cause all Basic Attacks and Abilities to Stun Minions, Mercenaries, and Structures for 3 seconds over the next 10 seconds. 40 second cooldown New Passive functionality – Banshee’s Curse: Basic Attacks infect enemies with Banshee’s Curse for 3 seconds.  Sylvanas deals 25% bonus damage to enemies with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse. Talents
      Level 1 Overflowing Quiver (Q) Removed Dreadful Wake (E) Removed Overwhelming Affliction (Trait) Moved from Level 16 Adjusted functionality: Enemy Heroes with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse are slowed by 15%.  Basic Attacks against Slowed enemy Heroes deal 1% of their maximum Health in damage New Talent: Unfurling Shadows (W) Quest: Each time Shadow Dagger deals damage to enemy Heroes with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse, increase its damage by .5% New Talent: Banshee’s Curse (Q) Hitting an enemy Hero with Withering Fire increases Sylvanas’ Attack Speed and Ability Power by 5% for 6 seconds, stacking up to 5 times Level 4 With the Wind (Q) Removed Mercenary Queen (Trait) Moved from Level 1 Adjusted functionality: Friendly non-Elite Mercenaries near Sylvanas deal 60% more damage.  Sylvanas Stuns and deals 30% additional damage to Mercenaries with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse. Possession (Active) Moved from Level 7 Now requires 3 charges to be used on Catapults Unstable Poison (W) Moved from Level 7 Damage increased from 116 to 130 Now triggers on enemy minions who are afflicted by Banshee’s Curse, Black Arrows, or Shadow Dagger Radius increased from 2 to 2.5 Level 7 Barbed Shot (Q) New functionality: Hitting the same enemy with 5 shots of Withering Fire causes the last shot to deal 350% bonus damage Lost Soul (W) Moved from Level 4 Adjusted functionality: Reduce Shadow Dagger’s cooldown by 1.75 seconds each time Sylvanas uses a Basic Attack on an enemy Hero with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse. New Talent: Festering Wounds (E) Haunting Wave deals 25% more damage and applies 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse.  Level 13 Cold Embrace (W) Moved from Level 16 Duration increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds Now also reduces the Armor of targets that Shadow Dagger spreads to by 10 Spell Shield (Active) Removed Remorseless (Trait) Moved from Level 16 New functionality: Increase Sylvanas’ Basic Attack range by 1.  Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse fire an untalented shot of Withering Fire.  This shot applies Banshee’s Curse. Windrunner (E) Adjusted functionality: Teleporting with Haunting Wave resets the cooldown of Withering Fire.  Haunting Wave can be cast a second time for free within 5 seconds after teleporting Level 16 Life Drain (W) Moved from Level 13 New functionality: Dealing damage to enemies with 3 stacks of Banshee’s Curse heals Sylvanas for 15% of the damage dealt.  Doubled against Heroes Evasive Fire (Q) Adjusted Functionality: Hitting enemies with Withering Fire grants Sylvanas 6% bonus Movement Speed for 2 seconds, stacking up to 30%.  Basic Attacks refresh this duration. Will of the Forsaken (Active) Moved from Level 13 Level 20 Dark Lady's Call (R) New functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Mind Control by 30 seconds.  Heroes hit by Mind Control have their vision greatly reduced for 5 seconds.  Withering Barrage (Q) Moved from Level 4 New functionality: Hitting an enemy Hero with Withering Fire decreases its cooldown by .75 seconds Warrior

      Stitches
      Abilities
      Hook (Q) Range reduced from 12.5 to 11 Slam (W) Cast time increased from .25 to .313 Cooldown increased from 6 to 7 seconds Range increased from 8 to 9.5 Mana cost increased from 30 to 35 Added functionality: Now has an Inner area that deals 40% Bonus Damage and applies a 40% slow for 1.5 seconds Devour (E) Ability Effects now occur at the start of the ability's cast, rather than at the end Vile Cleaver (Passive) New Functionality: Basic Attacks apply Vile Gas to nearby enemies, poisoning for 45 damage over 3 seconds. Re-applying Vile Gas increases its duration rather than resetting it, up to 10 seconds. Talents
      Level 1 Chew Your Food (E) Removed Dampen Magic (Passive) Removed Heavy Slam (W) Removed Hungry for More (Passive) New functionality: Quest: Regen Globes grant 30 permanent Health Every 15 Regen globes, Stitches gains 5% permanent Movement speed up to a maximum of 20% Savor the Flavor (E) Additional heal over time effect duration reduced from 5 to 4 seconds. Moved from level 7 New Functionality: Casting Devour on a Hero restores an additional 10% of maximum Health and Mana over 5 seconds and permanently increases Stitches’ health regeneration by 1. New Talent: Patchwork Creation (Passive) Increase all healing received by 15%. Nearby Minion and Hero kills Heal Stiches (Minions for 30, Heroes for 300) Hero takedown heal amount reduced from 300 to 240 Level 4 Amplified Healing (Passive) Removed Restorative Fumes (Trait) Removed Putrid Ground (W) Removed New Talent – Playtime! (W) Heroes hit by Slam reduce the cooldowns of Stitches's other Basic Abilities by .5 seconds. This cooldown reduction is increased to 2 seconds for Heroes that are hit by Slam's inner impact area. New Talent – Chop Chop (W) Hitting a Hero with the inner area of Slam increases Stitches' Basic Attack Speed by 50% for 4 seconds. New Talent: Serrated Edge (Q) Hooking an enemy Hero deals 5% of their max life as damage and decreases Hook’s cooldown by 4 seconds. Cooldown reduction decreased from 4 to 3 seconds. Level 7 Last Bite (E) Removed New Talent - Blight (Trait) Vile Gas heals for 33% of the damage it deals. Activate to apply Vile Gas to all nearby enemies and reduce their healing taken by 20% for 5 seconds. 40 second CD Cannibalize (Passive) Moved from level 20 New functionality: Heroes hit by Basic Attacks and Slam’s inner area heal Stitches for 2% of his maximum health. Healing reduced from 2 to 1.75% of maximum health Tenderizer (Passive) New functionality: Basic Attacks slow the target by 25% for 2.5 seconds. If the target is afflicted with Slam’s Slow, refresh its duration. Level 13 Flea Bag (Passive) Removed Mega Smash (W) Removed Indigestion (E) Removed New Talent – Lacerate (W) Slam afflicts enemies with Vile Gas and reduces armor by 10 for 4 seconds. New Talent – Digestive Juices (E) Devouring an enemy Hero reduces their damage dealt by 40% for 4 seconds. New Talent – Gas Flare (Passive) Stitches deals 16 damage per second to enemies around you. This damage is increased by 150% for 4 seconds after successfully Hooking an enemy Hero Damage per second reduced from 16 to 15 Level 16 Pulverize (W) New functionality: Slam slows all enemies by 75% for 1 second. Slow duration reduced from 1 to .75 seconds. Shish Kabob (Q) Removed Toxic Gas (Passive) Removed Fishing Hook (Q) Range bonus increased from 40 to 50% New Talent - Meat Hook (Q) Hooking an enemy Hero restores 16% of maximum health over 4 seconds. For 4 seconds, Basic Attacks against the Hooked Hero will refresh the duration of this healing effect. Level 20 New Talent – Second Helping (E) Gain an additional charge of Devour. Devouring an enemy Hero reduces the cooldown of your Heroic ability by 5 seconds. New Talent – Shambling Horror (Active) Passive: Stitches is no longer affected by Slowing effects Activate to gain 50 Armor for 4 seconds. 60 second CD.   Collection
      Many seasonal items have made their way back into the collection and will be available for crafting and in Loot Chests for a limited time!
      New Bundles
      The following new bundles are only available for a limited time! Toy Heroes Bundle Cuddle Bear Stitches Skin Pack Cosmic Force Valeera Skin Pack Dehakasaurus Rex Skin Pack New Skins (Limited Time Only!)
      Stitches Cuddle Bear Stitches Snuggle Bear Stitches Honey Bear Stitches Dehaka Dehakasaurus Rex Dino-Metal Dehakasaurus Rex Playtime Dehakasaurus Rex Valeera Cosmic Force Valeera Psionic Cosmic Force Valeera Nega Force Valeera Sylvanas Mint Sugar Plum Sylvanas New Mounts (Limited Time Only!)
      Cosmic Lion Psionic Lion Nega Lion Plush Unicorn Plush Zombicorn Pretty Plush Unicorn Fuzzy Plush Unicorn Honey Plush Unicorn 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 camera jumps and cursor resets when using drag scroll. Made a number of improvements to AI behavior. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      Brightwing: Fixed an issue preventing Brightwing from applying the Sticky Flare talent effect if it hit more than one target. Brightwing: Fixed an issue preventing Brightwing from applying the Hush! talent effect if it hit more than one target. Chromie: Dragon’s Breath’s warning splat will now display after the ability has been cast. Deckard: Fixed an issue causing Deckard’s portal to be visible in Fog of War when using Hearthstone. Leoric: Fixed an issue that allowed Drain Hope’s damage and healing to persist through time stop effects. Lunara: Fixed an issue preventing Lunara from playing a voice line when she died. Stitches: Slam will now reveal its impact area and targets. Stitches: Serrated Edge no longer deals bonus damage to friendly targets when using Helping Hand. Stukov: Fixed an issue causing Massive Shove to remove Weighted Pustule from its target. User Interface
      Fixed a number of tooltip issues and inaccuracies across the game. Fixed an issue causing Hero models to prevent players from pressing the Ready button in the queue screen. Fixed an issue causing grandmaster numbers of 3 digits to extend beyond portrait frames while in a party. Kel’Thuzad: Added a quick-cast option for Glacial Spike. Zul’jin: Added a quick-cast option for Amani Rage. The latest Heroes of the Storm content patch with Stitches & Sylvanas updates is now live.
    • By Oxygen
      Find out more about how the recently-announced 2019 gameplay changes will affect Heroes of the Storm in the long run.
      Just over a year ago, in preparation for BlizzCon 2017, I produced a lengthy article outlining some of Heroes of the Storm's most important issues. Notable among these was that of Quick Match team compositions. To me, Heroes of the Storm had always been clearly designed and balanced with tanks and healers in mind. As such, failing to enforce team compositions that included these classes caused a number of important problems across the game.
      Following disappointing BlizzCon 2017 announcements on the matter (class changes were discussed briefly, but composition changes were not), a reddit post and a blog post published six months later would confirm that changes to Quick match team compositions were indeed in the works, though no ETA was given. BlizzCon 2018 was a pretty safe bet that would turn out to be accurate.
      So, what's the big deal?
      As Heroes of the Storm's introductory - and most popular - game mode, Quick Match must absolutely accomplish two things: Groom its player base for improvement and present Heroes of the Storm in the best light possible.
      Year after year, however, the Quick Match system has continued to fail on both counts completely, discouraging new players and veterans alike with frustrating matches that taught bad habits and ultimately hindered the growth of the player base's skill level. How can players learn to follow up without a tank to initiate? How can they possibly internalize what their reasonable survivability is like against five other assassins? The answer is simple: They can't, because these situations are nonsensical and for the most part subpar in any remotely competent environment. Fortunately, this will soon be a thing of the past.
      Placing players in a tank-healer environment - around which the game was designed - leads me to believe that player base's skill level to improve across all game modes. Drafting skill is likely to improve as well, leading to fewer draft infighting situations. Further, it  will reduce the frustration caused by unreasonable team compositions to ultimately better retain new players, whom will get to experience the game as it was meant to be played as opposed to this rather ridiculous game mode.
      Needless to say, I think this is one of the best BlizzCon announcements to date, though I must still question what took so long. The most educated guess I can produce has to do with fearing longer queue times, but here's to hoping the "Call of the Nexus" incentive will be enough to entice players into checking out classes they haven't tried out just yet. A strong enough incentive could have the positive side effect of allowing players to develop a better global understanding of the game through approaching roles they're less used to.
      Classy new classes
      The new class system builds on the old system simply by further specializing the existing classes and removing specialists. Reworking the class system was necessary to allow team compositions to be reworked themselves.
      Heroes in the old warrior class were divided into the tank and bruiser classes, with tanks now being mandatory for Quick Match team compositions. This makes sense, as many bruisers were typically unable to fulfill the role of true tanks completely, which is to reliably initiate and peel. Allowing the warrior class to continue existing in its current state would have created the kind of lopsided team composition problems we experienced back when Varian was treated as a damage dealer.
      Heroes in the support class were divided into pure healers and support heroes, which is just a way of identifying heroes who do not use healing as their primary means of assisting teammates. Given that healers must now be included in team compositions to the same extent as tanks, this change also makes sense.
      The specialist class was merged with the assassin class because it hadn't made sense in a long time to treat them any differently; most of them were simply fancy damage dealers. The assassin class itself was split up into melee and ranged assassins.
      If you've been keeping up with some of the more recent versions of my tier lists - I don't blame you if you haven't - you'll note that I had already opted to further divide the classes, with a focus on play style rather than role a few months ago. Specifically, melee assassins are divided into fighters and stalkers, and ranged assassins into marksman and casters. My system has the advantage of being a bit more flexible for edge cases such as Genji and Tracer, who play more like melee assassins yet were labeled as ranged by Blizzard. Still, this distinction is of little relevance to most players.
      Conclusion
      Short conclusions mean I am happy with things.
      Oxygen discusses why the announced changes might just be the best thing to happen to HotS.
    • By Stan
      A shroud of uncertainly looms over the future of HGC and Heroes Esports as a whole due to the lack of HGC updates for the upcoming year and many pro players as well as casters are either done with the game or transferring to other games.
      Gillyweed (HGC Caster)
      The well-known female HGC caster is moving to Rocket League in 2019.
      Placeholder for tweet 1070532465503088640 Trikslyr (HGC Caster)
      Tim announced he won't be casting HGC in 2019 and he plans to make streaming his major focus.
      Placeholder for tweet 1071925490473152518 Tetcher (HGC China Caster)
      Chris voiced his uncertainty on Twitter today, following the lack of HGC information.
      Placeholder for tweet 1072029712514510849 We're going to closely monitor any announcements, so keep an eye out on the Heroes news section!
    • By Stan
      Free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of December 11.
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: December 11, 2018
      Raynor Muradin Sonya Nazeebo Uther Jaina Zarya Li-Ming Deckard Blaze Yrel (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Junkrat (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Tychus (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Whitemane (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)