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Heroes of the Storm Update: February 8th

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Production Director Kaéo Milker talks about improvements coming to the game in the near future. All skins will be purchasable individually with Gems and Lunar Festival has been reimagined as the Spring Event.

Highlights

  • The next Hero release is around the corner, but it seems Anduin is planned for later.
  • Spring Event is coming soon and it will be very similar to other events like Nexomania, The Fall of King's Crest in Fall, and the Toys. The team would like to explore more of these events and universes.
  • Reddit AMAs focusing on Quick Match and the Role Overhaul will be announced soon.
  • Beginning with the latest patch that hits next week, all skins in the Collection will be purchasable individually with Gems and Gold can be converted to Shards starting with the Spring Event patch.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Hi, Heroes!

I know we’ve been more quiet than usual the past few weeks, but it’s not because we’ve lost focus on the game. In fact, we’ve been working very hard behind the scenes to regroup as a team and align on our goals for 2019 and beyond. As I mentioned before, this process involved revisiting not only our existing plans, but also rethinking some of our approaches to core areas of the game and its development with our focus solely on creating the best experience possible for our players. It’s been a bunch of work and there’s still much more work ahead, but we’re finally ready to get back to talking about our plans and sharing some insight as to what our players can expect next.

We can’t talk about Heroes without talking about our awesome content. As you’ve seen so far this year, we released Imperius along with a flurry of impactful hero balance changes across the game. We also announced our Resistance themed event before bringing it to PTR this week, and we’re excited to deliver those fun skins for Hanzo, Deckard, and my BFF, Blaze, next week! While we have more balance changes coming at regular intervals, our next new hero is also right around the corner. There are some theories floating around as to who’s next, but we have a few more releases before they’ll be ready to see the light of day.

Speaking of our next few releases, you probably noticed that our Lunar New Year seasonal event hasn’t hit yet, but fear not – that’s just because we’ve reimagined it as our Spring Event. Last year we had a ton of fun with our unique seasonal events like Nexomania in Summer, The Fall of King’s Crest in Fall, and Toys in Winter, and we’d like to continue exploring fun new universes and themes to coincide with each season moving forward. Stay tuned for all the details on our Spring Event next month, and know that we’ll not only be bringing back our previous limited-time Lunar New Year content, but we’ll also unveil an exciting, all-new skin theme to round out this year’s event.

Let’s talk about features and systems. There’s been a lot of discussion both on the Heroes dev team and amongst our community regarding the state of Ranked Play, Quick Match, and matchmaking. The team’s made some decisions as a continuation of the plans we shared at BlizzCon and we have a schedule for a series of improvements we’ll be making across the next few patches and Ranked Seasons. Much like we did in our AMA’s last year, we’d like to have the developers responsible for those changes discuss these plans with you at our next Reddit AMA, tentatively planned for later this month. As part of that AMA, we’ll also dive into some thoughts surrounding our continued evolution of Quick Match and our upcoming completion of the Hero Role overhaul, so please join us for that discussion. We’ll share the upcoming Reddit AMA schedule soon!

Another thing I mentioned in my last post was that we’d be reevaluating not only our content and feature plans, but also taking another look at how players unlock the Collection. As part of looking back, we took stock of where we’ve been across the game’s lifespan. We recognized that Heroes 2.0 was an important step in our game’s evolution and brought a lot of very positive changes. It grew our audience, got more players earning or buying the stuff we loved creating, and most importantly – it uncapped progression and gave all Heroes players a chance to unlock content in the Collection for free by simply playing the game and earning Loot Chests. While we saw a lot of benefits from our Heroes 2.0 changes, they did come at the cost of taking away the ability to purchase most skins directly. I’m excited to say that we’ve decided to make some changes here based on player feedback.

Beginning with the Resistance patch that hits next week, all skins in the Collection will be purchasable individually with Gems. This is a change that many of our players have asked for, and we’re really happy to finally bring it to the game. Note that this goes beyond what we offered pre-Heroes 2.0, as every skin in the Collection will now have a Gem and Shard price individually, whereas before Heroes 2.0 skins were only available in bundles that included every color variation. Be sure to check out the patch notes next week for all the details and know that we have plans down the road to expand these offerings to the rest of the Collection. We hope this change helps give players the best option yet to get the exact content they’re most excited about.

We didn’t want to stop there, so we also looked deeper at ways we could provide more value and utility with Gold. As a result, we’re going to start allowing players to convert their earned Gold to Shards alongside the release of our Spring Event next month. This change combined with the Gem changes is intended to give all players maximum flexibility in how they unlock their favorite content, and the team is excited to provide these options.

So that’s a lot of stuff summarized at once here, and the team will be elaborating on it all as it unfolds across the next few patches. The past few months have been challenging for us, but the Heroes team is united with a passion for this game and all of you in our community. It’s been difficult to remain so silent while we unpacked all these changes, but we’re eager to get back to communicating regularly with you and talking about the game we all love. To that end, be on the lookout for our next few AMAs across February, March, and April and we’ll be striving to find more ways to get our developers involved in discussing the game with you.

Thank you for bearing with us as we adapt to these changes, and we can’t wait to share more of the awesome things we’re working on with you in the coming weeks and months! In the meantime, please keep that feedback coming!

Kaéo

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That sounds actually great, being able to finally unlock everything with shards or gems (I guess this also applies getting previous gem-only hero launch skins with shards?), as well as converting gold to shards. Makes sense, since with slowing down hero releases, unlocking new ones will become trivial and having very little else to spend gold on. Curious what theme they are going to choose for spring event, something totally silly or another lore event? And we all know who's going to be the next hero. 👑

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Personally liking what I'm reading. Especially about the skins being buyable for gems and shards, without having to buy an entire bundle. I have always liked the Alexstrasza skin pack for example, but refused to get the entire thing as five tints were useless to me. This here's Way better, since now I can just get the one tint I want. (The green one)

Future's looking good for HotS, though I do hope they continue skin themes, and don't make new ones every time. Nexomania, Dark Nexus and the Toy event gave some excellent skins with a theme that's wide open for new inclusions. Especially the plush Mephisto and Dark Nexus Dehaka.

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1 hour ago, Arcling said:

That sounds actually great, being able to finally unlock everything with shards or gems (I guess this also applies getting previous gem-only hero launch skins with shards?), as well as converting gold to shards. 

I was thinking that too. Hopefully it does include current gem only skins, but we'll have to see 

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Finally! Depending on how this rolls out, I might even buy some of them with gems.

And I knew the Lunar New Year would be part of the Spring Event. I wonder if we will get any new Lunar Skins, since we "technically" didn't get any Christmas themed skins with the Toys event.

Edited by lChronosl

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4 hours ago, Stan said:

 

There are some theories floating around as to who’s next, but we have a few more releases before they’ll be ready to see the light of day.

see what you did there blizz

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Aside from #2 those 3 sets were some of the best skins so far. Though the mad max one was cool for the hype video, the azmo skin was a dissapointment in game.

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12 hours ago, Maxkitty said:

I was thinking that too. Hopefully it does include current gem only skins, but we'll have to see 

Yeah, at least that's how I understood it, splitting former bundles, so you can buy individual tints (being treated the same as any other skin, purchasable with shards and gems both).

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Long overdue.

I thought it was very challenging to learn as a new player why there were 3 currencies and what could be used for what.

It’s one step to lessen the learning curve and reward long term players who have all the toons and stacks of gold with nothing to spend it on.

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On 2/8/2019 at 8:41 PM, Stan said:

As I mentioned before, this process involved revisiting not only our existing plans, but also rethinking some of our approaches to core areas of the game and its development with our focus solely on creating the best experience possible for our players.

Now I understand that the gaming industry is an industry and these companies not only have the right, but are duty bound, to make a profit and stay afloat. However. Blizzard always felt like it put the customer experience first and as a result, made their profit because people loved their games and their company. It’s nice to see that this ethos still shines through now and again, if only when the Activision part of the company decides to pull the plug on a product.

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On 2/9/2019 at 7:44 PM, Brutalis said:

It’s nice to see that this ethos still shines through now and again, if only when the Activision part of the company decides to pull the plug on a product.

More so it's because the Activision appointed CFO for Blizzard finally left. So now they aren't having someone from 'corporate' over there shoulder while they do anything and everything telling them what they 'should be doing'. Yeah know doing things like, umm... I don't know, convincing them that putting their new Diablo Mobile game as their keynote at Blizzcon is a GREAT idea. Cause corporate minded people like those are mostly only thinking of what will look great to their investors and stockholders at presentations like those. And to them mobile games are cheaply made big money makers so therefor the best thing to show off. So yeah... makes me SO glad that that CFO from Activision left Blizzard a month or so ago. A few days after they left was when they put out that announcement from the team that they're still here and not going anywhere and layed out a few of their plans for the future and all.

Anyhow... This is a great update message :).

Edited by CyberDVonaven

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Also I'm thinking maybe gold to shards ratio will be every 10 gold = 1 shard. And maybe convert them in amounts of 100 or 1000 minimum gold amount. So 10 or 100 shards minimum conversion. I'd think the 1000 gold at a time seems more likely. Since it would be far more tedious to do it in gold amounts of 100 at a time. Just my guess.

Edited by CyberDVonaven

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15 hours ago, CyberDVonaven said:

Also I'm thinking maybe gold to shards ratio will be every 10 gold = 1 shard. And maybe convert them in amounts of 100 or 1000 minimum gold amount. So 10 or 100 shards minimum conversion. I'd think the 1000 gold at a time seems more likely. Since it would be far more tedious to do it in gold amounts of 100 at a time. Just my guess.

I was thinking about this this morning and that was my guess for the conversion rather from gold to shards too. 

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