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Ranked Play & Balance & Matchmaking AMA Roundup: March 6th

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Heroes developers answered your questions about ranked, matchmaking, and balance yesterday and here's a summary of everything we've learned.

AMA Schedule (Source)

We'll have another AMA dedicated to Art & Design on April 4th followed by a Hero Design AMA on May 9th.

Subject Date
Ranked Play & Balance & Matchmaking AMA March 6th // 10:00 AM PST
Art & Design AMA April 4th // 10:00 AM PST
Hero Design AMA May 9th // 10:00 AM PST

Ranked Play & Balance & Matchmaking Highlights

  • The team's working hard on merging Hero and Team League. It will hit live servers with the next major patch. The first glimpse of the new League will come in as a Preseason, followed by the full roll-out after.
  • More XP changes will be announced in the near future.
  • The top priorities for the game right now are fix the broken AI and roll out Ranked Play improvements as soon as possible.
  • They're not particularly happy with the time it takes to fix the broken AI, but it needs proper testing and the hotfix must be made so that other things don't break.
  • They'd like to find a way to rectify long queues for new players.
  • The team hasn't still decided if they want to show MMR. Many developers are questioning the benefits, pros and cons still need to be discussed internally.
  • Call of the Nexus feature introduction led to increased queue times and match quality, but some players experienced a very significant increase. To solve this, the plan is to add a prioritization system for team compositions:
    • "While the matchmaker is determining a fair match up, it will try to enforce the team composition that launched with Call of the Nexus for a certain period of time. After a duration of time has passed, it will then allow the existing Quick Match Team Compositions." (Source)
  • Another idea they're evaulating is allowing the player to determine if they're willing to prioritize meta comps over queue times.
  • With the upcoming Ranked Play updates, you will be able to select your primary and secondary preferred roles (new roles + flex) on the Ranked screen during draft.
  • Loss Forgiveness has undergone significant development, but they still need to polish a specific scenario, where a player is disconnected for a significant portion of the match. It's not slated to come out in the next update though.
  • HGC termination led to more liberal balance changes.
  • Chen's rework is teased as "staggering". New trait, maybe?
  • No major Malthael reworks are planned, but Tormented SoulsTormented Souls could use a new functionality.
  • The team's closely watching the Esports scene, they're interested in finding ways to help promote and nurture it.
  • With combined Ranked, the plan is to restrict the queue to people who have 16 or more Heroes and are player account level 50. They're also enforcing restrictions on ranked spread in queue. For parties of 2, 3, and 4, they're limiting the party to a 2 league spread beween highest and lowest ranked player. For parties of 5, you can do what you like, but anyone that is more than 2 leagues lower than the highest ranked player will have their MMR and rank ignored for matchmaking purposes.
  • The role rework is finally coming in the next major patch.
  • Something's planned for ARAM, but they're not ready to reveal anything specific just yet.
  • Clans are still a very real possibility. It's just a matter of passion and prioritizing.
  • Still no details about a public API.
  • Tassadar will be reworked to match his Legacy of the Void opening cinematic fantasy, but it won't be that soon.
  • With the new single Ranked queue, they're looking to change the rewards structure for the first full Season.
  • Performance-based matchmaking won't return in the near future. They still want to use the gathered information to help inform players on areas where they are performing well or what they can focus on to improve.
  • In the new Ranked League, they plan to apply decay to all players regardless of whether or not they play. 
  • Valeera has a bunch of talents that focus on only 1 opener and that's not ideal. She will be reworked, but not anytime soon.
  • There are no plans to implement an Avoid Teammate feature.

All Posts

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

What is the current timeline and plan to merge TL and HL and how do you plan on generating the new rank / MMR of the combined mode?

Hello Jarnis!

Our feature team has been working crazy-hard to get the new combined Ranked mode stood up and ready to launch. I am extremely excited to say that the framework for it will be coming in our next major patch. That said, we have a lot more work to do in order to polish and get all of the additional features complete, so the first glimpse of this new League will come in as a Preseason, followed closely by the full roll-out soon after.

As for generating a player’s MMR, we plan on taking the highest Ranked Mode (Hero or Team League) MMR from your profile, normalizing and then clamping it in order to seed the new league with a good initial distribution of skill levels for all players. From here, we should have an accurate starting place for players to begin competing in the new Ranked Experience. For players that have never played any Ranked mode before, we will be using a skill estimate based on information we have about those players from other modes (if we have it) but it will also be clamped to a specific maximum division equivalent.

Its been said "the framework" for the new ranked exeperience will come this next patch. Can you confirm after 2019 Season 2 finishes in a few weeks will we go ahead and enter the preseason for the new combined ranked experience later this month? or will HL/TL standard 2019 Season 3 standard begin later this month?

The new combined Ranked Mode will come with the season roll in a few weeks ?

GGG is the #1 player in Team League right now with a 93% win rate because she plays with 4 other bronze smurfs. Therefore she tricks the system into matching her with silver/gold players. Do you have any plans on making it so we can only queue with players that are within our division?


I have answered a very similar question here, which I hope covers your concerns.

Are you looking at altering the XP changes at all? Would you ever consider reverting the XP changes, or even reverting the game back to 2017?

We've got some additional thoughts on it that we'd like to share with everyone shortly!

What are the highest priorities for the game right now?

We have some immediate things that we want to do to get the game stabilized, including fixing the AI that we broke recently and delivering the Ranked Play improvements being outlined by the team here today.  From there, our ongoing focus will continue to be around making improvements, changes, and additions to the game (design/balance/content/technology) that keep it feeling fresh and fun, as often as we can.  As the team settles and we get through some of these urgent endeavors, everyone on the team is empowered to be asking themselves what the most impactful thing they can do for the game and for our players is each day.  And we'll do as many of those things as we can, as quickly as we can.  Your input continues to be critical in our plans, so thank you for being a part of this, /u/czechonesauce!

It looks horrible that you have left the AI broken for so long. It makes it seem like HOTS is just not a priority for Blizzard - since clearly a bug that hurts gameplay so much would be fixed immediately in Overwatch.

Actions speak a lot louder than words. Or, lack of action in fixing this bug tell us more than carefully-written words in an AMA.

Please fix this soon, as it ruins so many games.

We agree that the way the AI broke is unacceptable and have been working very hard on a series of fixes that are in test. It's really important to us to fix this without introducing new issues or exacerbating the current issues, so the testing process is more involved than other changes that we make to the game. As you've probably seen from our past missteps, rollbacks and fixes are usually much faster and easier to turn around than this one, and we're really disappointed that things got to this state and are taking this long to rectify. We're eager to get this fixed - thanks for sharing your thoughts, /u/nonosam9.

How about remove new players matchmaking pool?

I heard that new player Quick Match queue time is so long.

Waiting long time for one match that's not good experience obviously. Also It makes very hard to start and learn the actual game.

If over 10 minutes queue time is actually happened, I would rather to just remove specialize player pool than long queue time than that.

Hello Narucy!

We are tracking queue times and match quality spread for our quick match queue and we have also noticed that newer players face longer wait times for their games due to our current game count rule. It is something we are looking to rectify and we have looked into ways of relaxing these restrictions. We want to make sure that new players have an easy and fast queuing experience, but we also are aware that there will be players with thousands of levels who would prefer to play with other players that have thousands of levels.

Hi and thank you for this AMA. Are you still planning to show mmr? Who would see it? What about merging mmr and rank? What are the pros and cons according to the team?

Hey there Neva_d!

Great question – in fact, it is so good I still don’t have a real answer for you! I am personally leaning towards showing MMR to players, but I have a very intelligent group of developers that are cautioning it and while we are very openly considering it, we still need time to discuss the pros and cons a bit more in-depth internally.

However, this is a major topic that I would love to hear the community’s thoughts on – should we show each individuals MMR and how would you want it to be exposed? What are your concerns about us potentially making this change?

So, a couple months ago you introduced a new quickmatch matchmaking, guaranteeing a tank, a healer and at least one ranged assassin in every match. Before christmas you (seemingly) reverted this, since it cause long long queue times for anything that wasn't a tank or healer.

What are your thought about these changes in hindsight? Were they mistakes? What would you change about them, if you wanted to reintroduce them?

Hello! Great question! When we released the Call of the Nexus feature, we knew that queue times would increase as our simulations demonstrated this. However, match quality went up for almost the entire Quick Match population. It's also important to note that majority of our players did not experience a large increase in queue times, however those that did, experienced a very significant increase. Since the community was asking for the Matchmaker to ensure Quick Match had better team compositions, we felt this was a good trade off. I wouldn't say these changes were a mistake as it addressed what the community was currently reaching out to developers for. We are still planning to bring this back and are considering some additional changes. 

A prioritization system for team compositions: While the matchmaker is determining a fair match up, it will try to enforce the team composition that launched with Call of The Nexus for a certain period of time. After a duration of time has passed, it will then allow the existing Quick Match Team Compositions.
Putting the control in the players hand: Another idea we are considering is allowing the player to determine if they are willing to prioritize meta composition over queue times. 

Ranked: Do you think it could be useful to have roles icon near our names in draft to show what we are willing to pick during draft?

Thank you for the question, Elitesparkle. This is a great idea and we're excited to share a good news with you. The team has been exploring some ideas to enhance the drafting experience. With first come first serve pick mode, pre-pick communication has become more important than ever. And yet, lots of players are still shy about expressing their preferred picks. With the upcoming ranked mode update, you'll be able to select your Primary and Secondary Preferred Roles on the Ranked screen, which will be visible to your team mates on the draft screen. I hope that this feature help the players initiate the conversation and pave the way for their great victory!

This sounds great! What roles did you make available for that, main tank, solo lane, assassin and support? Or the roles from the new role system?

You will be able to choose among new roles plus Flex. 

Are there any plans to give Unranked the same draft format as Team League?

We can certainly discuss it. I believe providing similar experience in Unranked draft is important so that players can practice in the same way as Ranked draft. On the other hand, I know some people prefer to pick in order. What do you think? Would there be any downsides of using first come first serve mode in Unranked mode?

When the initial matchmaking fails, it would be nice to automatically rejoin the queue, and not having to manually do it. This is especially important with longer queue times for matchmaking.

Is this QoL feature in the works?

Hey Konokrad, thanks for addressing one of the bugs we also find frustrating!

The engineering group has a large list of tech improvements we would like to make and this issue is on there. While I can't give you a date, it is on our radar and we hope to get it fixed.

Seriously though, how can we help?

Fitting name, /u/Altruism7! There's a lot you can do to help.

Play the game.  Bring a friend or four.  Try some healers and tanks more often, if you aren’t maining them already.  Keep telling us what you love and, more importantly, what we need to do better.  When we make something you think is awesome, spend your Gold or Shards or Gems on it.  Be kind to each other and have fun together, because that’s what this is all about.

Thanks for your support!

Do you plan to implement a loss forgiveness mechanic for being matched with AFK/Disconnected players in ranked?

Hello Midnight7_7:) Firstly I'd like to let you know that the The Loss Forgiveness feature has undergone significant development, and is something we still plan on delivering. However, there are quite a few edge cases that we need to consider when developing this feature in order to make sure it provides the best experience for you, the player.  Let's break this question down into a few scenarios: 

A game completes while a player is disconnected: A leaver penalty is already applied to the account and the user is no longer able to participate in ranked matches until they have played the required amount non ranked matches. This scenario is already handled. 

A player is disconnected for a significant portion of the match: This is the Loss Forgiveness feature that we would like to polish.

The current version has too many ranged mage heroes. A large proportion of the total damage output is of ability damage. Now the DPS contest is more like an exchange of abilities. Valla, Tracer, Greymane and other heroes become less playable, and they require much resources from the supports. Is there any plan to adjust this in the future?

This is a fantastic question. Honestly we haven’t discussed the parity between Basic Attack heroes vs. ability based heroes at length recently, and I think it is a discussion worth having. I cannot promise any changes right now, but I will bring this up to the team and see where we stand in this regard.

Has the suspension of HGC influenced the development team on the hero/map balancing?


I answered a similar question from Simsala91, so feel free to reference that as well for additional insight.

The short answer is that the change is still relatively new, though we are currently experimenting with being more liberal with our balance changes, and have been making more changes that in the past we would have seen as being too risky with a constant competitive league running. Our focus with our changes is still to make the most fun game possible, and while we will always look at high level play, we are looking to be more bold with our balance changes in the near future.

Please feel encouraged to give us feedback on whether or not you like this shift in our balance patches, as this is not something that we always have to do, even if it is what we want to experiment with for now.

Is there any plan to rework Kharazim's Transcendence and Insight builds? I can't but help feel that the requirement to land free punches in order to function as a strong healer is less about the player's skill and more about whether the opposition chooses to let you do it, either through negligence or lack of coordination or whatever.

We don't have any plans to drastically rework Transcendence or Insight. While we think there's some small changes we can make to his Talents to allow him to be a little more consistent with his ability to Basic Attack in general, statistically Insight and Transcendence have comparable winrates, and while Iron Fists is the most picked at high level, the other two are still close.

We try to walk the line with Kharazim between making Transcendence and Insight a meaningful portion of his power pie, without making the healer feel like he can't heal unless he can manage to punch people an entire fight.

Will Chen ever get to see a rework of some sort or balance? Can we have some spoilers?

I don't want to give away any specifics, but so far the results have been... Staggering.

With HGC ending, did the focus of the balance team change drastically? Are non official competitive games something you consider when you are balancing a hero?

Greetings Simsala91!

I wouldn’t say that the focus of the balance team has changed drastically, and we’re still a bit fresh with this change so I don’t want to speak for the entire team, but this is my perspective:

Personally, my main objective now and going forward is primarily to maintain the best balance possible while also making the game the most fun for the most amount of people. As you have probably seen with our recent balance patches, there has been a focus on having more viable builds, more fun talents, more viable heroes, and more cool hero interactions. I don’t think there will ever be a world where we aren’t looking at the top level of play, including competitive games, but right now my focus has been on making cool stuff, which I’ve been taking a lot of joy from in the last few months.

Is there any plan to rework malthael tormented souls and/or buffing "passive" build? Or maybe even reworking him again?

Good morning Tomo00!

We don’t have any plans to rework Malthael. However, while Tormented Souls is performing appropriately compared to Last Rites, I agree that it is a little simple and could use some love functionally to make it more interesting. I’ve made a note to see what we can do to spruce it up sometime soon ™.

Does the HotS team have any intention to support the 3rd parties that are trying to carry on HotS esports?

We saw the TeSPA games on the official HotS Twitch account; would you be willing to utilize the follower base of the HotS Twitch account to help supplement Heroes Lounge Division S? A "passing of the torch" would inevitably help the scene, even showing one Div S series on the official twitch account and then hosting the Heroes Lounge Stream would be amazing.

Hi, /u/pineconefire! Our team is closely watching the esports scene that’s been growing and we’re interested in finding ways we can help promote and nurture it. We also recognize that we don’t have all the answers or even visibility into the challenges and opportunities, so I encourage the organizers and community to be vocal about ways our team might be able to help.  I can’t make any promises as to what that our support will entail at this point, but the desire to help this scene is very strong. 

Hey Kaeo ❤️ everything you do for the team. 

One of the things that will really really help for community run tournaments is removing or rising the prize cap for them. I think 5.000 USD is the current cap and it doesn't really work for longer tournaments... why would you compete for months if you can't even pay the rent on the first month you're competing?

Let the community amass tens thousands of dollars in prize pools, at least, raise the cap to 25.000 USD which is a more meaningful prize for all players involved.

But to be honest, I can't fathom a reason why that prize pool cap even exists.

Thanks, /u/ExpertFudger! Some changes to the Community Tournament License giving more headroom for sponsorships and prizepools were made alongside the HGC announcement - please see the community tournaments site (click on the Heroes icon) for more details on the revised Heroes limitations: https://communitytournaments.blizzardesports.com/

How do you feel about the state of weirdest heroes Chogall, Murky, Lost Vikings, and Abathur? It looks to me like one of them is too popular and the others are too unfavored.

We meet again Senshado!

This is somewhat of a difficult question to answer, as I believe it is a complicated issue.

I really enjoy the weird, unique heroes that our game has to offer. I play the heroes that you listed a lot and enjoy them immensely (just ask any of the other Balance guys who are in this AMA). That being said, in my experience it’s extremely rare that these kinds of fringe characters exist in a space where they enjoy a lot of popularity while also being enjoyable to play with and against. I’ve found this to be true not only in our game, but in just about any game. While I’d love to live in a world where these characters are fun, balanced, feel good to play with and against, while also retaining their full flavor and unique space in the game, I think that it would require an unreasonable amount of work and would have a very high chance of failure. I also believe that, inevitably, most attempts to make these characters more mainstream would result in stripping away more and more of what makes them unique, as their special traits are directly at odds with what makes them unfun to play with or against in the first place.

My perspective now with these kinds of heroes is that am not eager to overhaul them, but I would instead massage and tweak them to be better versions of themselves over time. The recent changes to Cho’gall are an example of this, where I was looking to just make the hero more fun to play and have more interesting and competitive choices in their talents. I think we can make these heroes a little more mainstream and fun to use, but it’s important to me to keep their uniqueness as much as possible while doing so, unless they are a large problem at some level of play. If they are creating a huge amount of disruption for many players, then I think it’s more warranted to remove some of their uniqueness in the name of a better play experience for everyone.

I hope this adequately answers your question!

Actually a Design question: Will you rework your wording to allow less confusion of sub-roles?

Having a "Mage" is extremely confusing for new players since they think "Nova can't be a mage because she has a sniper rifle".

Also, you have a word (Mage) for Spell Damage Dealers (which doesn't discriminate between Melee Spell Damage or Ranged) but you don't have a word for Ranged Basic Attack Damage Dealers which is a gigantic mouthful. Why hasn't this been properly researched and implemented?

Thanks for the feedback! I'll bring this up to the designers before we rollout the UI for expanded roles role in an upcoming patch.

Assuming the ranked modes will eventually be combined as previously discussed, how will group matchmaking work? Using the MMR of the highest player? Using a team average-based MMR?

How do you feel your plans will affect:

a) Smurfs that currently frequent Team League

b) Groups of friends that have legitimately varying skill that wish to play ranked together

Hello Brinded04!

This is something we have talked about extensively during our work on combining the ranked queues. We want to make the queue welcoming and for everyone, but also make sure that smurfing is discouraged. With that in mind we are restricting the queue to people who have 16 or more heroes and are player account level 50. We are also enforcing restrictions on ranked spread in the queue. For parties of 2, 3, and 4, we are limiting the party to a 2 league spread between highest and lowest ranked player. For parties of 5 you can do what you like, but anyone that is more than 2 leagues lower than the highest ranked player will have their MMR and rank ignored for matchmaking purposes. This will also be true for anyone who is currently unplaced playing with anyone who is placed. We are hoping that this will mean that the matchmaking and game experience is the best that it can be. We will be closely monitoring the pre-season and will welcome any and all feedback for this as we head in to the first season.

As a question back to you (and anyone interested in this), what do you think other ways are that we could implement to both allow players to play without restrictions but also project players from facing smurfs and having a degraded matchmaking experience?

Rlly like the changes here. Thank you! But I think instead of limiting the party to a 2 league spread between the highest and lowest ranked player, I think the lowest ranked player should just play at the highest ranked player's rank. I think this would not restrict the players playing together and at the same time people can play with whoever they want but will face tougher opponents.

The reason why I am saying this is because, my team captain for heroes lounge is master and he plays the game quite frequently whereas I am gold. I am more than happy to play with players at master level but with the new implementation of the rank changes, I would not be able to play with my team because of the restrictions. In terms of accumulating the points, if I win or lose a match, it should just be the same if I was playing against gold players.I know you might argue that we should be a team of 5 but sometimes we are a team of 4 so this makes it a bit difficult. I am not sure if I am coming across clearly. :S

TLDR : I won't be able to play with my heroes lounge team to an extent as we have quite different ranks..

Thank you for the quick feedback on this, /u/AuntieLiLi!

Being unable to play with your masters friends when you're a party of 4 is a valid concern. This is also something we can definitely track: If the number of parties of 4 in our ranked queue goes down for example and is not filled back up with parties of 5, then we know that we're losing some players from the queue because of our change and we can very easily change this configuration. We're not about to say "Well just make more friends, el oh el", but we needed to start with a baseline of restrictions and we can use them as a basis for refining and getting to a point where everyone can play.

These restrictions seem to lack a minimum hero level cap to play.

I've noticed many players come to TL in a group of 2-3 and pick heroes under level 5. It seems they are using TL for its bonuses (XP/Gold/Draft/FastGames).

I understand wanting to make it welcoming, but doesn't this reduce skill in ranked and also make smurfing much easier?

I'd favor minimum hero level requirement over amount of heroes owned. This at least enforces a standard of experience on that hero. Account level is important too to ensure a standard of game/map knowledge.

Thanks for the quick feedback, /u/az4th!

So, yes, we have currently shifted the idea of having specific hero levels required to play to having a total account level. This more closely mirrors Team League than Hero League.

We need to have a 16 hero requirement as 6 bans + 10 heroes means that a player must be able to have every hero they own picked or banned and still be able to play.

As player level is a sum of all of the hero levels, we feel that having player level 50 would mean that if you had those 16 heroes, you would on average have them all at level 3.

We will be looking at how this plays out during pre-season. If people find that this allows too many smurfs in or means people end up playing heroes they don't know how to play too often then this is definitely something we can change. Now (and when the league is released) will be the time to tell us these things, because we can do whatever we need to make this as enjoyable and rewarding an experience as possible!

New class roles, are they still in the works and planned to be released ?

Starting with the new ranked season, you'll be able to use the new roles in game. Furthermore, we have added Preferred Role UI on the ranked screen where you can express your preferred roles to pick in the Ranked draft lobby. Please check out my answer here.

So with the coming merger of HL/TL, there is obviously some design reason why they are not working as standalone game modes. What have you guys learned are the problems with competitive modes and why do you believe merging the two queues will create an improvement?

Good morning hybrid_remix!

This is an incredible question and probably deserves a much longer and stronger answer than I have time for. The question is doubly-difficult as the modes have changed rules over time. Here is my best condensed answer:

These two modes were created due to looking at the game from a top-down perspective. Hero League was originally designed to allow one or two players to play together in a competitive atmosphere while Team League was made to be a ‘full-five-man-team’ group of friends to do the same. From the moment we decided to design the game around team-levels and not individual ones, we knew that the most fun way to play the game was going to be with a group of friends. However, the influx of other MOBA players had two major pieces of feedback we felt we needed to address:

  • Hero League should be about me and how I perform. Plus I don’t like trying to rank up by myself when I am facing duo-groups that often include ‘smurfs’.

  • Team League is too hard to find games because not enough five-man parties are queuing.

As we evolved, changes were made to address these pieces of feedback, which ended up with HL in an okay place but TL consistently suffered. This was disappointing to us because, again, the game offers the most engagement and fun when playing together with buddies. So the recent changes to TL were made to allow all party sizes to queue, and low and behold, after a few months the reverse had happened – TL was now thriving and HL was suffering.

At this point, we knew the dual-ranked-mode model for our game just wasn’t going to work. At the end of the day, most players just want a good match and to have some fun while competing to win. The new TL had created that for them and so our new combined mode is looking to embrace that philosophy while adding so much more!

Will it be possible to have fixed teams per seasons (with a Team MMR instead of a personal MMR and special rewards) in the future?

Hello Balbero!

It is definitely possible! In fact, the original launch of Team League was designed to do this exact thing. While we ultimately changed that design direction, we have very recently started early talks about potentially bringing it back in some form. We all know how incredible and rewarding the game is when played with a static group of friends and we are looking to prioritize the features that would most dramatically help players find and play with their buddies!

Do you plan on improving the party finder (specifically for TL)?

I would really like a system like overwatch's with at least the game mode and average rank of the party displayed. Add in roles (real role, not IG class) and TL would be that much better?

Hi 5kad000sh!

We've actually done some development on a Party Finder feature, and it is something I am personally very passionate about. While I cannot give you a date on when this will be delivered, I can share with you that the team is looking to see where we can fit this in! Our goal is to provide our players the ability to find other players of similar skill level, desired game mode, while communicating what role they wish to play.

I would love to know what's still coming. The role rework is nearly complete, right? What's next after that?

Any plans to expose player MMR?

Any plans to add all of the ARAM maps to the custom games map list?

  • Is in-game clan support still a possibility?
  • Any hope for an in-game tournament mode?
  • Will I ever be able to spectate a friend's match?
  • Is the public API still in the works? Will we ever be able to read 'official' stats instead of relying on incomplete data collected by fan sites like Hotslogs?

I just want to know what to look forward to next ?

Good morning Vambaqe!

  • We are discussing the pros and cons of exposing MMR and have asked for the communities thoughts about it ?
  • There are no current plans to add the ARAM maps to custom games, but we do have some plans for ARAM in general that are under development.
  • Clans are still a very real possibility. It's all a matter of passion and prioritizing, and I know this is very high for both the community and us as developers.
  • Tournament Mode is something we have always wanted and we have discussed finding a way to make it a reality. The infrastructure for creating teams (what Team League originally was) is still around, and could be the starting point to automating tournaments. That said, there are so many questions to answer and development time costs to examine.
  • The ability to spectate has been explored and is not impossible, although there are some significant technical hurdles that would have to be solved. Pat talks about that a bit more in depth in another post.
  • A public API is something I would love to get to the players but I don't have any current information on it to share.

You mentioned that you intend to make MMR visible in game. Is this something you are planning to expose in replay files as well?

In regards to showing MMR, see our other answer here.

Since we haven't made any hard decisions yet on whether or not to show MMR, I don't think anyone has considered whether or not to add it to the replays but it's definitely something we will keep in mind!

Is there any chance for a Tassadar rework? I hate being flamed for playing my favorite hero on QM.

Absolutely! While we're not ready to share specific details yet, I can say that we're steering him towards the spell caster fantasy and play-style you would expect of a High Templar.

Man this is the most exciting thing I’ve read in here. I love tassadar but I wish you’d just remove the shield ability, it doesn’t fit his fantasy whatsoever. Also his trait is just weird and isn’t a high Templar ability. Put power into his damage and make him the mage he should have been for years now.

I will say that we've drawn a lot of inspiration from the Legacy of the Void opening cinematic and hope to capture the fantasy it invokes.

Do you think this will go live by April 21 (Tespa spring finals)? This could have a major impact on the competition.

We don't have a final release date yet, but it won't be that soon. ?

(Ranked Play) Would you consider giving ranked rewards for certain amounts of won games in a season as opposed to giving them for achieving ranks?

I feel like, it would encourage people to queue more, as opposed to just do their placements and sit on their rank, because many people feel like there is nothing more to achieve as soon as they hit master. What if the epic ranked mounts were given to those with 100+ ranked wins, or something of the kind?

(Balance) How do you feel about Nova's place in the game? Are there any plans to change her once again?

At the moment, she is massively outclassed by the other mages, due to her lack of proper escape tools and waveclear. Is it due to her stealth abilities occupying most of her power budget? If so, would you consider weakening her stealth, in order to let her have waveclear or an escape. She does play into the fantasy of a stealthy sniper girl, but in reality there is no logical reason to ever pick her over Li Ming, Hanzo or Zeratul, since those do everything she does, but better. Can she possibly bring something, that the others can't?

Hi Haetred!

I can answer some of this!

With the new single ranked queue, we are looking to change the rewards structure for the first full ranked season, which will add an emphasis to continually playing/winning vs simply placing and going AFK for the rest of the season (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE). We are hoping that the single queue with rewards for continual engagement will improve the experience for everyone.

What would you like to see as rewards for this? We have an idea of what we will be rewarding for, but we're also interested in what you would think on this as well!

What are your thoughts about a role queue for ranked play?

Queuing as a role in Heroes of the Storm is something we have thought about for a number of reasons:

  • Potentially better matchmaking experience
  • Potentially less work for the matchmaker
  • More chance for players to specialise

In MOBAs where lanes/roles matter, it is much easier to get away with doing this. Heroes doesn't always have that luxury: Some compositions are map specific, some teams/heroes work better with certain combinations, and we have the ability with talents to nudge how a hero down a different path.  By allowing queuing as role, we can restrict some of these freedoms and the matchmaker must decide how many of each role is allowed into a game (this is then similar to our Call of the Nexus situation in Quick Match, see Zues' answer on the matter). We then have the question of:

  • Do we only allow people to pick from heroes they have selected as their roles? (This effectively sets the meta and I don't think it's up to us to set the meta! - See Call of the Nexus again)
  • Do we allow people to select from any hero? As this is not really a "preferred role" thing, but a statement "I will totally play as this kind of hero, honest guvnor". If we do, does this reduce the impact of doing this?

In the end, our current feeling is that we don't want to get in the way of you making up your own strategies, metas, and play styles. If that means you all decide that 3 healers and 2 specialists is your jam then you can do that. I'm not your Dad.

What we are looking to do is a "preferred role" system (Juno has commented on this here. This will allow you to set some roles that you would prefer to play, which we hope will go some way to allowing people to more easily specialise when they play ranked.

We are very much interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter for this one, though. What do you think?

Education seems like a major bottle neck. We have a steep learning curve between QM and draft modes, with teams conditioned to playing in QM comps not understanding the more strategic elements of maps and comps.

In particular QM mostly assassin comps encourage:

  • Playstyles that do not require as much teamwork with the front-liners landing CC that the backliners follow up on.
  • Completely ignoring map control. Teams tend to tunnel vision and avoid camps/soak.

From one perspective this is just fine. People play what they want and QM is fantastic for casual play against real people.

From another perspective this creates an issue in ranked that limits effective strategies to the high ELO population.

In my opinion, it is a bottleneck like this that creates two separate player bases. When the pro-game is so different from the casual game, what incentive is there for casual players to watch pro-games? In my opinion mitigating this bottleneck directly increases the number of people interested in high level play, because it is closer to what they play and not as distant.

The QM role enforcement change was a great attempt at addressing this. Obviously it had population issues. Any chance we can get a check-box to "Wait longer for a more balanced composition."?

I am curious if there are other ideas for addressing this education gap.

Performance Based MMR was raised as something that might be only used to educate players. This seems to have great potential but may also be something so highly detailed it takes too much time to debug.

Any other ideas?


You're right, the education is a very complex problem that cannot be solved just by enforcing some rules. Still, having a balanced match would be very beneficial in understanding how the roles, team comps, and map strategies work.

Speaking about the Quick Match (QM); in ideal world, players pre-pick whatever they want, and the matchmaker finds a perfect match for them in terms of skill and team composition. Everybody would enjoy playing the game the way they want, or exploring new heroes without worrying about counterpicking or team synergy. All the team compatibility heavylifting is done by the matchmaker. In the real world, there's just too many things in the way of that, such as a limited player pool, and the fact that the tanks/healers/others ratio is far from 20%/20%/60%. Increased wait time is the cost of having proper comps in QM.

Giving people a choice of matchmaking speed (with role mirroring) vs match quality (with enforced team comp) in QM, like you mentioned, sounds like a good idea. We're exploring some options there, but there are some questions that need answering, such as:

  • Do we want to segregate QM population into two separate queues, one with enforced comps, the other would keep the current role mirroring rules?
  • Should we move people from enforced-comp queue to role-mirroring queue if their wait time is too high?

We see the Draft lobby as a preferred way of starting a match. The downside is, even Unranked Draft puts a lot of pressure on new players, forcing them out of the comfort zone of QM's pre-picked heroes. One potential solution could be some kind of Light Draft mode, such as Blind Pick, which will allow players to customize their own team knowing the map they got and whatever their teammates choose to play. This could be an easier ramp-up between QM and Draft mode, and would allow players to get better at building compositions and learning how to play correctly.

Performance-based Matchmaking is probably not something that will return in the near future. There's definitely a nice educational aspect there though! We're exploring some other related ideas, such as a "Personal scorecard", a kind of post-match report summarizing your in-game performance, emphasizing your key stats and giving out a total numerical score, and maybe some advice on how to improve it.

Will the next update finally let us not lose ranked points in games where someone disconnected at the beginning of the game?

Hi haunted_tree:)
The Loss Forgiveness feature is not slated to come out in the next update, however it has undergone significant development and still requires a bit more polish before it's ready for our players.

Now that there's no competitive scene to worry about, does the balance team have more creative freedom than they used to? Are we going to see reworks or even new heroes that push the meta boundaries again like Abathur and Cho'Gall?

Hey Darkshark9!

It’s still a bit early to say, as there are people out there who are playing Heroes of the Storm competitively.

What I can say that right now we have been exploring being more liberal and less scared to make bolder changes in our balance patches, which you’ve seen over the last couple of months. I personally feel that these changes make the game feel more fresh and fun, and would love to continue doing more of these kinds of changes going forward.

I would like to pose the question you all since you own the game just as much as us. Do you like the direction that we have been going recently with larger balance patches that include more functionality changes and influence more heroes compared to what we have in the past?

In the last balance update it was joked that "we're going to make you want to pick Aether Walker". Why not make it so that the mana reduction part of it is always active and only the CD reduction is based on when you last took damage?

I like the way you think.

Are there are plans to change how rank decay functions? It seems silly to me that your rank only starts decaying after finishing placements. If you took two players who were the same rank side-by-side going into a new season, and one of them played fifteen matches, while the other played zero, the one who played zero after two months would be considered a higher rank by the game. Does this make sense to your team?

Hey double0nothing!

In the new ranked league, we are actually considering applying decay to all players regardless of whether or not they play. There would likely be some measures taken to avoid causing undue stress to players such as a grace period at the beginning of every season. That said, there are some technical challenges we still need to solve so we don't expect these changes to be ready for the initial launch of the new ranked mode.

Are there any balance changes coming for valeera? As a long time valeera main I love her to pieces but I feel forced to pick a similar build every game (sinister strike + ambush build), and she feels like she could use some tweaking.

Blade Flurry especially feels like a waste of energy in fights, and using it almost always reduces my effectiveness. 40 energy is very steep for an ability that doesn't deal all that much damage, and doesn't help you stick to your target like sinister strike does.

I would also like her scope of usefulness to be expanded a little. I very rarely get to pick her in draft as she's so niche, and even in those situations where she can work, i feel a nagging feeling that I could be having a higher impact on other heroes (Like varian in the anti dive role, or most other melee assassins if you're drafting her in a stitches comp or something to blow someone up). In my experience the most uniquely powerful thing she can really do is shut a hero like butcher or artanis down almost permanently with the insane blind uptime from level 13 onward.

Ambush build is her best right now, because it allows her to actually secure kills, and because the CDR on vanish is so important. She basically just has to spend her time waiting for imperius to land a Q or kerrigan to land a combo or something like that, then jump on the target and delete them with the team. Easily the most effective way to play her. But not really something exclusive to valeera. Death from above's CDR means you can swap targets more effectively, run away sooner if you need to, and even ambush a second time for even more damage. Unfortunately, this doesn't work with CC so you feel kind of forced into ambushing. Not because it is most effective, but because it gives you CDR on vanish which is just that important. Valeera really misses nightslayer. I'll say that much.

The seal fate + sinister strike build basically relies on hunting down people who are wandering around alone late game which won't happen if your opponents have brains, so it really falls off. The teamfight power of this isn't strong enough. She is very bad at diving the enemy team as her damage isn't hard to heal off, she has mediocre escape tools, and she isn't good at switching targets mid fight. She's more like "jump on someone, dump everything on them, and hope they die" which she again isn't really good enough at to play her in that role. Her stun is not long enough to set up kills like other heroes can unfortunately. Being teleported BEHIND the target is often more of a curse than a blessing, as it means you'll be in the middle of the enemy team and easy to punish (another reason why death from above's cooldown reduction is so important, without it you can't even attempt to make a play like this safely, but with it you can do it once in a while). Because of this, she really cannot be the one to initiate on the target, and when your tank is isolating someone you'll get the most out of ambush build to maximize your damage.

Her anti-dive power is really limited to shutting down a single diver. Illidan, butcher, genji, and so on can be shut down, but you can only shut down one at a time. She can peel reasonably well against one hero, and that's really it. A coordinated dive with anub, etc, genji, kara, and so on will leave you unable to really do much. She's more of "anti one diver" than anti dive.

Hey ridleyfire, thanks for your question!

I think we've mentioned this in past AMAs, which unfortunately reminds me that we haven't been able to get changes for Valeera out to you all in a timely manor. I'll try to give you what our current opinion of Valeera is (at least right now):

  • Having a bunch of Talents that focus on only 1 opener isn't ideal, since it discourages you from ever using the other openers
  • She's always towed the line between viable and frustrating, mainly due to having burst and CC on the same kit.
  • One of our original goals for the Hero was to be the "anti-carry", being able to really shut down the throughput of 1 particular character. Obviously there are challenges to make this dream come true without being frustrating if you're the chosen prey of Valeera, so we'll have to see how that goes as we refine her place in the Nexus.

Avoid Teammate? A button you can click when you dislike a guy but not enough to get him banned. A soft avoid that doesn't make matchmaking harder.

Hello Senshado!

We don’t have any plans at this time to implement an Avoid Teammate feature. There are a host of potential issues with this kind of functionality, and no matter what kind of implementation is used, it will impact matchmaking in some capacity, particularly at the highest and lowest MMR's. I don’t think such a feature is completely off the table forever, but it’s not one of our priorities at this time.

Do you guys have any plans to convert Brawl Mode into a fix Aram mode?

Hi Listar!
For the foreseeable future, our Brawl maps will cycle the ARAM map pool. A full ARAM queue is being discussed, but no concrete plans on what we will do with that as yet. We are aware that some of our Brawl maps were very well received and some missed the mark. What are your thoughts on this? If we made Brawl into an ARAM queue, would you miss some of the other brawl maps?

We haven't heard about PBMM in a long time. Is the team still running it in the background for data collection? If so, what are you guys learning from the data? Any interesting trends you can publicly share? Is it proving successful at determining good play vs. bad play?

Hey hybrid_remix!

The underlying system does continue to run in the background; however, we currently have no plans on using the resulting data to inform MMR or Rank. We do still want to use that information to help inform players on areas where they are performing well or what they can focus on to improve.

Our designers have jammed on a design for this but we don't have an ETA on when it would land.

When you do placements it is now only possible to place in gold for new players. Do you cap MMR also? Or does MMR start at 0 and just increase or decrease over time independent of league/placements

There is no hard cap on the rank that is possible for new players the first time they place; however, there is a limit to the MMR that a player can start with. When a player first queues up for a ranked mode, the system attempts to give them a fair rating based on what it knows from their history in unranked modes. This translation will never be completely accurate due to the many differences between game modes, thus there is a limit on how high of an MMR they will be assigned. The limit placed on MMR does mean that in reality, there is a limit on what rank someone can achieve after completing their first placements.

So, to directly answer your question, the only hard cap that is applied is when the player is first assigned an MMR.

( Balance ) Why is block based on the number of times attacked instead of a timed amount such as a magic defense buff. I feel the talents that utilize block are easily negated by rapid attacking heroes such as lucio, Dva, and Genji. Am I missing something here, or would this not be a better way to go to make block a more useful talent?

On a side note, I would personally like to see more cross universe skins, like the butcherlisk, goblin junk rat, and death wing dva. Just my opinion.

Thanks for your continued dedication and support for this amazing game!

Thanks for your question YeojSeyah.

We've traditionally made Block and similar Talents use charge based effects so that they were especially useful when trading. The idea behind them originally was that you could feel free to go in when your Block charges were available, and then back away when they were gone. There's also something visceral about getting a high block value on a few attacks, as opposed to spreading it out over a duration. And if we were to try and create a really short duration high value Physical Armor, it would be noodley since it's much more difficult to anticipate exactly when your opponent is going to Basic Attack you.

It's true that it's less powerful against fast Basic Attacks like Tracer or Tychus, but in general we think there are already plenty of counters to Basic Attacks so having Block only be effective sometimes is a positive.

In most redesigns and recent heroes, you've gone for the "apples to apples" philosophy which basically means that we no longer get to pick the direction of our heroes. Will that be changed?

To give an example with Zagara, before her remake she had a viable creep build but that was killed off entirely and now there's basically no build at all for her. You can pretty much random the talents now as they end up doing basically the same thing in slightly different ways.

  • Level 1: You now do a bit more damage in PvE, regardless of what you actually need or want.
  • Level 4: Your auto attacks now do a bit more damage, regardless of what you actually need or want.
  • Level 7: You now have slightly better poke, regardless of what you actually need or want.
  • Level 13: You now gain a slight bit of survivability, regardless of what you actually need or want.
  • Level 16: Your Hydras are a bit more effective, regardless of what you actually need or want.
  • Level 20: Don't even get me started, she has no level 20 unless you picked Nydus.

There's basically no point in even having a talent selection system with a tree design like Zagaras, there's no choice of direction at all apart from her lvl 10. The same theme can be seen in hero after hero, especially after being remake. Like Rexxar for example.

Will you revert the "apples to apples" philosophy as it basically means no choice of direction at all for the player?

Hey Paladia, thanks for your question.

Short answer: One of the core tenets of design is that by creating limitations, you gain greater freedom in all the areas where you don't limit yourself, and can focus on making these areas awesome. We think the "apples to apples" actually allows us to make more interesting Talents and push the limits of what Talents provide as a whole.

Now the long answer:

Let's start with the major goals of the Talent system, just so we have a common language.

  • To give a sense of growth to your Hero over the course of the game
  • To add replayability to a Hero by giving you multiple interesting choices that changes the way you play them from game to game
  • To add customization and ownership to your Hero that fits your preferred playstyle

Now, over time, we've played with a lot different styles of Talent trees all trying to fulfill these goals, and we've learned a few things.

  • 95% of the time, if a large majority of the Talent tiers offer vastly different choices (aka apples to oranges), one of them becomes dominant. Healers want healing. Damage dealers want damage. While in a perfect world these would all be really compelling and awesome choices, it rarely works out that way even after considerable efforts at tuning post ship. In order for tanky Talents on Valla to be attractive one-off choices, we need to make them really powerful. And if those choices are on almost every tier, then there's the option of Valla building almost exclusively tanky options, which would deviate from how we think the Hero should play.
  • Offering this much variance typically means we need to dilute the effective power of the Talents or remove synergies within them, because if Jaina could choose 6 Talent tiers that all augmented her damage in a synergistic way, there is a huge jump in the power that a Jaina can deal by the end game. So instead we try to concentrate the coolness of the Talents into less choices that can be really synergistic and awesome and BIG COOL WOW MOMENTS.
  • There are a few cases where "apples to oranges" does work, though we usually only do it on a few tiers. Continuing the Jaina example, at level 13 she can choose to take Ice Barrier (survivability), Icy Veins (damage), or Storm Front (something in-between). Now, we can make Ice Barrier a really powerful defensive Talent for Jaina that you can splash into your regular build, and have it feel like a meaningful change to the way you play your character. The most common place you'll see these hybrid tiers are on our Bruisers, as they are hybrid characters to begin with, and often survivabilty = damage for melee characters (staying in the fight means more damage). But we try to only do these 1 or 2 times on a Hero, for the reasons stated prior.

Now, if you haven't noticed, we're always working on Talent trees. We can basically tinker with them forever to try and get them right, and we've learned so much over time from iterating on them. Some of the examples you bring up of Zagara and Rexxar have traditionally been difficult trees to get right, and I wouldn't be surprised if you don't see some more work done on them as we continue (you could say that about any Talent tree to be honest).

We are trying to add interesting ways to play that are different. We just don't want to take the easy way out and say that simply because Valla can get tanky, it's a fun way to be different. We instead try to focus on more nuanced gameplay, like Hungering Arrow or Hatred Builds, and making sure that there are reasons to take each of these.

Very good design philosophy.

Has there been any consideration for talents designed to 'soften' a hard counter?

Example: a talent for Butcher that gives him move speed or other small buff when blinded. (You could even call it Blind Rage!) Talents that depolarize the matchup without removing the counter entirely. These can be placed in 'important' talent tiers so you must give something up to avoid the hard counter. Depolarizing these matchups seems a very desirable goal and I feel the talent system is uniquely suited to it.

We've talked about it in the past, but it's an area we tread lightly. We like the cleanliness of having Physical Armor or Blind be the counter to Basic Attackers. Then saying you could take Talents that say "oh but wait it's not", creates a sort of arms race that isn't something we're excited to pursue.

Matchmaking: Will you ever stop taking Rank into account when creating a match? MMR is what matters.

Hi Elitesparkle!

This is an area where we have been discussing changes. Using two different parameters that can potentially conflict to create matches can be problematic. These conversations are still early though and we don't have anything to share quite yet.

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Not that much useful info though. The formula "the next major patch" doesn't really mean anything, does it? Also, clans in 2019? I mean, come on, guys.

My biggest problem with HotS is not even hero balance (sure, some heroes are way overpowered and have no weaknesses, like Zul'jin, and some have no particular use whatsoever, like Rexxar, but you can still get some use out of any hero pretty much).

The problem is the playerbase. As it shrinks I have less and less chance of getting in a good enjoyable game. If it would've been bigger every player would have the fun he wants, whether it's a couple of relaxing matches after work, or it's tryharding as a Murky main.

As of right now, all my team league loses deduct much more than they give in points. There is never a balanced +200/-200 game. While I've been playing since alpha and have a lot of hours played I still get matched with fresh players with less than 150 total games and the game still thinks that 90+10 and 50+50 is the same in terms of a team game. This is the first result of a shrinking playerbase, there is no one to play with to have fun.

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5 hours ago, Kuarinofu said:

(...) some heroes are way overpowered and have no weaknesses, like Zul'jin, and some have no particular use whatsoever, like Rexxar, but you can still get some use out of any hero pretty much).

What? Zul'jin is not overpowered. He has a ton of weaknesses; in fact, I'd say he has more cons than pros: his trait itself is his biggest weakness, as he is a high risk high reward character that deals more damage the lower his health is. He also has no mobility at all, making him extremely vulnerable to dives. In pro play it is really easy to play around Zul'jin and prevent him from completing his main portion of his trait quest.

Rexxar is indeed in a tricky spot, because a lot of Heroes can do what he does, but way better. He currently sits between a Tank and a Bruiser, but doesn't excel at any. Still, he is one of the few Heroes that can solo bosses, and he is excellent at split-push.

5 hours ago, Kuarinofu said:

The problem is the playerbase. As it shrinks I have less and less chance of getting in a good enjoyable game. If it would've been bigger every player would have the fun he wants, whether it's a couple of relaxing matches after work, or it's tryharding as a Murky main.

As of right now, all my team league loses deduct much more than they give in points. There is never a balanced +200/-200 game. While I've been playing since alpha and have a lot of hours played I still get matched with fresh players with less than 150 total games and the game still thinks that 90+10 and 50+50 is the same in terms of a team game. This is the first result of a shrinking playerbase, there is no one to play with to have fun.

My suggestion is to play TL only on closed groups; don't PUG, or you'll have a bad time.

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13 hours ago, Valhalen said:

What? Zul'jin is not overpowered. He has a ton of weaknesses; in fact, I'd say he has more cons than pros: his trait itself is his biggest weakness, as he is a high risk high reward character that deals more damage the lower his health is. He also has no mobility at all, making him extremely vulnerable to dives. In pro play it is really easy to play around Zul'jin and prevent him from completing his main portion of his trait quest.

Rexxar is indeed in a tricky spot, because a lot of Heroes can do what he does, but way better. He currently sits between a Tank and a Bruiser, but doesn't excel at any. Still, he is one of the few Heroes that can solo bosses, and he is excellent at split-push.

Lol Rexxar is now a Zuljin with a bear now after the recent changes. If you think Zuljin is OP, then you should try Rexxar. 😛

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Uncommon Patron

The summary is one of the best things of icy-veins.

While they fix Tormented Souls maybe they will also fix Rain of Where's The Distruction and its level 20 (up ?)grade Still No Impact.

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On ‎3‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 7:09 PM, Valhalen said:

What? Zul'jin is not overpowered. He has a ton of weaknesses; in fact, I'd say he has more cons than pros: his trait itself is his biggest weakness, as he is a high risk high reward character that deals more damage the lower his health is. He also has no mobility at all, making him extremely vulnerable to dives. In pro play it is really easy to play around Zul'jin and prevent him from completing his main portion of his trait quest.

Rexxar is indeed in a tricky spot, because a lot of Heroes can do what he does, but way better. He currently sits between a Tank and a Bruiser, but doesn't excel at any. Still, he is one of the few Heroes that can solo bosses, and he is excellent at split-push.


Zul'jin deals very very high amounts of damage, can have dps and burst, has a lifesaver(Taz'dingo), a slow/root/30% movement speed, self-sustain. Whatever his weakness are he more than ofsets those with his aa range and damage.


As for Rexxar, isn't his niche spamming aoe stuns and solo laning. Plus, now he has a way stronger early game.

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I really hate QM matchmaking.  I cannot make any sense of it.  If it finds 10 players to match up, none partied, why does it put 3 mages on one side and 3 specs on the other?  Or you end up with 3 mages vs nova, valeera, tracer and they just roll the mages.  Matchmaking needs to be more intelligent with the actual hero types. Right now, games are SO worthless in QM you basically cannot even practice your skills on a hero there because the game is unplayable.   I really only play QM now in a party.  Otherwise you cannot test a hero in a real game scenario. 

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Also the range on players in ranked games is crazy.  In TL with all solo players, I am getting Bronze 5 players on my team in silver 3 (yes, I am silver 3, dropped 5 divisions in qualifying with a noob friend).  They are complete junk of course.  

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18 hours ago, ArtVandelay said:

I really hate QM matchmaking.  I cannot make any sense of it.  If it finds 10 players to match up, none partied, why does it put 3 mages on one side and 3 specs on the other?  Or you end up with 3 mages vs nova, valeera, tracer and they just roll the mages.  Matchmaking needs to be more intelligent with the actual hero types. Right now, games are SO worthless in QM you basically cannot even practice your skills on a hero there because the game is unplayable.   I really only play QM now in a party.  Otherwise you cannot test a hero in a real game scenario. 

I get decent games in QM usually.

Yes, some matchups are really bad like the one you mentioned, but you'd be surprised at how often they get overcome.

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16 hours ago, Aasgier said:

I get decent games in QM usually.

Yes, some matchups are really bad like the one you mentioned, but you'd be surprised at how often they get overcome.

The point isn't who wins.  I don't care in QM.  I have won with 3 specs in ranked before.

But when I am learning KTZ and we have no tanks, that makes practice really hard.  And it in no way prepares someone for ranked.

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On 3/7/2019 at 10:15 PM, Stan said:

There is no hard cap on the rank that is possible for new players the first time they place; however, there is a limit to the MMR that a player can start with. When a player first queues up for a ranked mode, the system attempts to give them a fair rating based on what it knows from their history in unranked modes. This translation will never be completely accurate due to the many differences between game modes, thus there is a limit on how high of an MMR they will be assigned. The limit placed on MMR does mean that in reality, there is a limit on what rank someone can achieve after completing their first placements.

So, to directly answer your question, the only hard cap that is applied is when the player is first assigned an MMR

I thought that there was a cap on how high you could place regardless of QM/UD MMR, and it was Plat 5? Source: https://heroesofthestorm.com/en-us/blog/21771817/

Edited by FitzChivalry

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      Here's a recap of the latest Reddit AMA with Heroes devs about the Movement Speed changes. We also got hints of a potential D.Va rework, and more! Check out our recap for details!
      AMA Highlights
      Tab-screen statistics will soon see improvements. The entire team would like to increase the amount of information and stats shown to players. Whitemane will undergo "pretty significant changes" soon. D.Va will be reworked soon. Her Mech Mode will only suffer a Movement Speed reduction while Basic Attacking or channeling an ability, not at all times. Defense Matrix can be retargeted with a short cooldown while it's active. Big Shot is now baseline in Pilot mode. The team has been internally playing with the Movement Speed increase for a while now and whenever they switched back to the live version of the game, it felt slow. Gall has always been intended to be super simple and approachable by pretty much anyone. Chen's rework is still fairly fresh and they want to wait a bit before making further adjustments. Tassadar is supposed to be slow. Giving him longer cast times and periods of immobility complements his High Templar fantasy. With the next Season roll, they might increase the account level, needed in order to play Storm League. Blackthorne's coming to the Nexus, but they don't know when. They want to implement Performance-based matchmaking in the future. The Movement Speed change will make a lot of skillshots harder to hit. They  currently like where Kharazim is sitting, especially for being a bit of a hybrid style Hero. Heroes devs are currently testing some changes to ARAM, but they're somewhat conservative to make substantial changes to ARAM, because everyone has a different expectation of what ARAM should be. They don't want to add a shield to Cores in ARAM, because it may be difficult to stomp the opponent, unless you're team's leading. Samuro's clones will have a shorter duration, but they will last longer so long as Samuro hits an enemy. They're fine with Abathur being the only Hero to have access to repairing Structures (Calldown: MULE). Blizzard (Source)
      Can we make XP much more visible?
      The fact that the majority of the player-base doesn’t understand how the game’s most important mechanic works is a problem. If XP on minions was as obvious as gold drop was in LOL, then maybe people would start to appreciate that XP is the most important currency in this game (only currency btw). Like LARGE BOLD BRIGHT FONT.
      If you are worried about crowding the screen, maybe if you kill multiple minions instead of seeing + 6XP 7x times. XP can be summative. For example: +6XP turns into +12XP turns into +18XP, etc.
      The best games are those in which you learn the game by playing. If we can figure out a way to make important game mechanics more obvious via gameplay it will benefit everyone.
      Funny you should mention this, as we are currently testing some very cool changes internally that will greatly help people realize the importance of XP collection. We are not quite ready to announce exactly what they are, but we are extremely passionate about helping educate the player base as much as possible!
      Could we see more stats see in the target info panel? I'd personally love to see the XP given for killing the target unit.
      I think the entire design team would like to increase the amount of information and stats we are showing players. Finding the best way to do that without causing too much clutter (or analysis paralysis) can get a little bit challenging. We do have some changes coming to the tab-screen statistics soon and look forward to hearing your feedback!
      About Whitemane,
      She's very insteresting to play, but she needs more versatility in her talents. Clemency at lvl1 is a must have every game cause you need it to manage your mana (clemency has 0 mana cost and can generate mana with lvl4). Do you consider to give her as a baseline ? You already did this for stitches' ally hook and I'd really apreciate this for whitemane.
      Another point, she needs more balance between her ultimate abilities 100 sec cd on divine reckoning is too long I feel for something which has nearly the same impact than Scarlet Aegis (which gives armor and free zeals)
      I love playing Whitemane and agree with your assessments here! We have been testing some pretty significant changes to her internally, and they should be hitting the Nexus very soon!
      PS - Clemency on her base kit is a great idea! ?
      Have you thought about changing Ana's Vampiric Rounds at level 1? Maybe it would be better to count the seconds you maintain 5 doses on someone. Right now you have to let the stacks drop to get them to 5 again for the bonus.
      This is a good suggestion - there is definitely some awkwardness having to wait for the stacks to fall off in order to reapply and continue stacking. We will look into it!
      Quality of life: Can you make switching between vikings faster and allow switching the order?
      Just off the top of my head, I think there are technical reasons why this has to be this way, but I think it's something worth looking in to. We've made a number of engine improvements since the original design was implemented, so it's possible that we can tighten things up a bit. No promises though!
      Any planned changes for DVA? She feels weird and very clunky to play, especially after this patch. Would settle for missiles...
      Yes! We're currently iterating on a D.Va rework that I'm personally very excited about. We can't spoil too much, but we would like to call out that we've heard a lot of feedback about D.Va's nebulous identity. In the rework's current state, I would say she can opt into a solo-laner bruiser build, a team-support front-liner build and a pretty ridiculous self-destruct/pilot build, with lots of interactions between these options. In addition to the typical talent shuffles/improvements, there's a host of QOL changes across many parts of her kit including, but not limited to:
      D.Va's Mech Mode mode only suffering a movement speed reduction while Basic Attacking or channeling an ability, rather than at all times.
      Defense Matrix can be re-targeted (with a short cooldown) while it is active.
      Big Shot (Heroic 2) is now baseline in Pilot mode with re-adjusted stats to compensate. Yes this means there's a new heroic! You'll never guess what it is! It's Micro Missiles.
      Is D.Va's Rush-down talent going to survive the rework? It is my favorite talent in the game and it more than makes up for whatever clunkiness is present in her kit. It transforms D.Va from one of least mobile heroes in the game to one of the most mobile, at least when it comes to map rotations. I love how fast she can travel around the map, and using it multiple times per fight (by toggling it on and off between taking damage) for quick bursts of speed is a ton of fun.
      The live functionality doesn't exist (shame cause it can be really fun), but similar CDR bonuses can be found elsewhere from two talents. The rework offers much more potential power for Q than she currently has so having a super short CD would be fairly game-breaking.
      While I'm not against the new movement speed change, I felt that the reasoning for it was brief and vague, given such a huge change. Could you tell us more to why you came to the conclusion that this was a needed change and if there's further plans to balance hero's (skillshots and mobility) around it?
      Ever since we pulled the camera out, the game has felt a little bit slower. We had actually begun testing it right after making that change and have been playing with it internally ever since.
      All of our design and balance playtests were being played at this speed and every time we would swap back to live, the game just felt a bit...well, slow. Since we were actively balancing Heroes and Reworks with the new speed, we needed to make a call to either slow back down the testing branch or bring the speed increase to live. The team felt like the increased speed made the game more fun overall, so we pulled the trigger and shipped it.
      All this said, we are also very aware that there will be some balance fallout from it. We are keeping a close eye on any significant changes in all the Heroes performances, and will definitely make changes as needed!
      To clarify my initial statement - the Movement Speed increase has been turned on and off in our Development Branches since we moved the Camera out (hence why I said when we would swap back to live's speed). We are constantly simultaneously testing many different things, and just like any of them it was done in cycles. My comment was meant to show the community that we have had a lot of testing with the change over the past 18 months and were extremely confident in shipping it, not that we were balancing and/or designing the game around it. Large system changes like this require a lot of time and data analysis by the team in order to instill confidence. My apologies for any confusion my original comment may have caused - have a great day!
      A recent post here revealed that some heroes' specific speed modificators tied to their unique mounts or movement particularities, were not adjusted to the global 10% increase resulting them in relatively losing speed compared to other heroes. Among them, Lucio's wallride bonus, Lunara hopping mechanism, or Erik's base speed. Only D.Va who would have gained speed because of the malus not being adjusted, has been tweaked accordingly.
      So it raises this question :
      Were these heroes nerfed/ignored on purpose, to avoid extreme speeds, hence why only D.Va got adjusted because it would have the adverse result on her ? And then why was it not mentionned in the patch note ?
      Or on the contrary, are these unfortunate overlooks, and so when can we expect a fix ?
      These Heroes all have unique Movement Speed Modifiers tied to their abilities, we are aware that a few of these Heroes were missed in the recent updates and have plans to update their speeds as well.
      Is (was?) there any discussion about the lvl 20 talents of Zagara ? She only has her ultimates upgrades and one generic talent (Fury of the Storm)
      I like the way you think!
      I’ve had an idea that I really want to get in. The talent’s called Broodlust, and it’s an activated button that, when pressed, calls down 2-3 Bile Drops around Zagara and then she and the Roaches get an Attack Speed/Movement Speed buff.
      If I (or you all…?) can convince Brett to let me make this happen, I can promise it’ll at least make it to the testing phase. ?
      How happy are you with the state of Auriel?
      Have you considered the oft-suggested change to allow her to spawn with full Hope after death/start of game? Are you considering any changes to Resurrect (e.g. moving ghost, or Auriel self-cast while dead)?
      I love Auriel's design and find her healing mechanic to be super interesting and engaging. That said, it has been a long while since we dove into her kit and she is definitely due for some love. Maybe I can get some time to do that in the next couple of weeks ?
      Thanks for your suggestions!
      Why does Gall have combat abilities that are simpler than other heroes, on top of not needing to think about walking or attacking?
      (I count Gall's ability difficulty like this: no mana/energy cost on any, Q is super-easy to aim, W is so hard to aim that you may as well click and pray, E has Cho do the hard part, and D has Cho do half of it)
      Gall’s design has always been intended to be super simple and approachable by pretty much anyone. We wanted the bulk of Cho’gall’s difficulty to come from the cool interactions that both players have with each other, and not from high mechanical skill. Since he requires 2 people to play, which is already a high barrier to entry, having both players required to be highly skilled would really push people away from playing as the hero.
      Essentially, we want Gall to be a hero that you can play as someone who has never played Heroes of the Storm before and still have a good time.
      Many people have suggested changing Chen's Brewmaster's Balance so that you can get the regen bonus at 40 Brew or more and the movespeed bonus at 60 Brew or less, rather than requiring you to be at exactly 50 to get both. If you take Deadly Strike at 4, there is no easy way to fully take advantage of the talent. Are there any plans to enact this change? If not, are there any other solutions to the talent's newfound awkwardness that you're willing to consider?
      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.
      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
      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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