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Heroes of the Storm AMA Recap: July 19th

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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 ModeMech Mode will only suffer a Movement Speed reduction while Basic Attacking or channeling an ability, not at all times.
    • Defense MatrixDefense Matrix can be retargeted with a short cooldown while it's active.
    • Big ShotBig 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: MULECalldown: MULE).

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (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 - ClemencyClemency on her base kit is a great idea! ?

Have you thought about changing Ana's Vampiric RoundsVampiric 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 ModeMech Mode mode only suffering a movement speed reduction while Basic Attacking or channeling an ability, rather than at all times.

Defense MatrixDefense Matrix can be re-targeted (with a short cooldown) while it is active.

Big ShotBig 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-downRush-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 StormFury 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 ResurrectResurrect (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 BalanceBrewmaster'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 StrikeDeadly 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 BalanceBrewmaster'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 KickFlying Kick instead of only Keg SmashKeg Smash and Breath of FireBreath 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 KickFlying 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 DisappearanceDust 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 DisappearanceDust 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 FriendsInvisible 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 ShadowstalkShadowstalk 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 DisappearanceDust of Disappearance, which can only target one hero at once, and only stores two charges, which is more comparable to Brightwing's Invisible FriendsInvisible Friends.

Good point, I'll make a note to investigate Dust of DisappearanceDust 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 CaltropsCaltrops talent still cause incredible mana hunger, any plans on lower VaultVault 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 BeamPurifier Beam, Kel’Thuzad’s and Li-Ming’s Skillshots, and AoE abilities like BlizzardBlizzard and FlamestrikeFlamestrike, 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 CleanseCleanse, Calldown: MULEMULE, 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 Calldown: MULEMULE 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 HellgateHellgate 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 BladestormBladestorm’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 Calldown: MULEMULE? 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 ChosenElune's Chosen is a must pick, Lunar BlazeLunar Blaze is a must pick, Celestial AttunementCelestial 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 ChosenElune's Chosen and Celestial AttunementCelestial 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 ?!

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That D.va rework might be pretty good. Reduced movement speed only when firing, just like in Overwatch. I hope they can introduce micro-missiles in some form, perhaps as a talent. Oh, and would be nice if Zagara really got something else at level 20.

Edited by Arcling

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It's seriously about time with Samuro. His TF presence is insanely good if he's not on a map like Battlefield of Eternity and lol at Abathur getting the only mule

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2 hours ago, Varrick said:

(...)and lol at Abathur getting the only mule

Weird that he is the only one to keep it. At least they should change it to something "zergy", like Zerg drone or some type of modified locust.

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19 hours ago, Stan said:


Blackthorne's coming to the Nexus, but they don't know when.

finally!! Was about time they are adding some more classic heroes.

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On 7/20/2019 at 11:05 AM, Arcling said:

Weird that he is the only one to keep it. At least they should change it to something "zergy", like Zerg drone or some type of modified locust.

Yeah, specially considering that they tend to flavor generic talents to fit the character's fantasy, such as Diablo's HellgateHellgate and Brightwing's Phase OutPhase Out.

Edited by Valhalen
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Can't mule be changed to spawn a Drone potentially? 

I love the idea of making certain talents fit the hero more when it come down to style. 

A Zerg calling down a Terran mule just doesn't seem to fit for me.

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On 7/21/2019 at 5:13 PM, Morcalivan said:

Mule is dumb, I refuse to use it.

To be fair, given Abas playstyle, especially early, giving him access to a structure repair skill makes sense as it offsets early rush's & OBJ losses due to Abas limited influence pre-10.  I do agree it needs to be changed to something Zergy though.

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14 hours ago, gamerk2 said:

To be fair, given Abas playstyle, especially early, giving him access to a structure repair skill makes sense as it offsets early rush's & OBJ losses due to Abas limited influence pre-10.  I do agree it needs to be changed to something Zergy though.

If structure repair is to make up for his late game focus then it should be a base ability linked to his physical body. Maybe it would keep people from suiciding with Abba so much trying to soak.

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On 7/19/2019 at 6:55 PM, Stan said:

Blackthorne's coming to the Nexus, but they don't know when

YES! But sad they don't know when this would even happen :(.

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On 7/19/2019 at 11:55 PM, Stan said:

Samuro's clones will have a shorter duration, but they will last longer so long as Samuro hits an enemy.

I wish they'd stop removing all the PvE aspects of champions. Splitpushers are my favourite archetype in any moba and I loved old Sylvanas because of that. Taking camps, clearing waves and forcing two heroes to respond to a push and make room for my teammates to make plays was great fun. But! They changed her completely. And now, another anti-PvE change to a guy who's already been moved away from a splitpusher since the stealth rework.


How long before they remove Rexxar's PvE talents, I wonder...

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4 hours ago, Brutalis said:

I wish they'd stop removing all the PvE aspects of champions. Splitpushers are my favourite archetype in any moba and I loved old Sylvanas because of that. Taking camps, clearing waves and forcing two heroes to respond to a push and make room for my teammates to make plays was great fun. But! They changed her completely. And now, another anti-PvE change to a guy who's already been moved away from a splitpusher since the stealth rework.


How long before they remove Rexxar's PvE talents, I wonder...

The problem with heroes like Sylv especially is how much value they can get if a team can't counter them.  This is especially true on large maps with OBJs that can be stalled out (Cursed Hollow comes to mind); she forces a *lot* of decisions between structures and OBJs that honestly makes here very OP at lower levels if used right.  And to top it off, she has a very reliable escape that a single hero really can't stop, so she can often get that value for free.

And this highlights the problem: If you make a hero too strong in lane, you either need to weaken their PvP to the point where they become niche, or they end up so OP they're broken.  That's the real problem.

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On 8/4/2019 at 4:33 AM, gamerk2 said:

If you make a hero too strong in lane, you either need to weaken their PvP to the point where they become niche, or they end up so OP they're broken.  That's the real problem.

I'm well aware that she was problematic, but they "fixed" her by changing her into a sustain damage pseudo mage rather than altering the way she splitpushed. It's going to be the same with Samuro, changing him to focus on teamfights rather than what he's always been about. Blizz hate macro champs and they're genuinely removing splitpush heroes from the game which makes me sad.

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On 8/5/2019 at 11:10 AM, Brutalis said:

I'm well aware that she was problematic, but they "fixed" her by changing her into a sustain damage pseudo mage rather than altering the way she splitpushed. It's going to be the same with Samuro, changing him to focus on teamfights rather than what he's always been about. Blizz hate macro champs and they're genuinely removing splitpush heroes from the game which makes me sad.

The problem fundamentally is Blizzard want objectives, and the teamfights over them, to matter.  So when you get into a situation where it makes sense to give up an objective to push a lane in (Haunted Mines comes to mind here), when a hero becomes unstoppable 1v1 in a lane against most heroes (Samuro comes to mind here), or when a hero can get infinite value if a hero isn't in lane to deal with them at all times (old Sylvanas and Murky), then Blizzard feels the need to re-work in order to make objectives the focus.

Say what you will, but one of HotS's design parameters were built around objectives and teamfights, not solo-lane pushing like LoL or DotA.  And Blizzard finally seems to be doubling down on that aspect of gameplay.  I'm not saying push heroes shouldn't exist, but they need to be balanced around the core gameplay mechanics.

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      Basic Attack damage reduced from 100 to 95. Spectral Scythe [Q] Damage reduced from 210 to 200. Raise Skeleton [Trait] Damage done when Skeletal Warriors die reduced from 50 to 46. Talents
      Level 4 Jailors [Trait] Movement and Attack Speed bonuses reduced from 40% to 30%. Level 13 Echoes of Death [Q] Damage from additional scythes reduced from 60% to 40%. Level 16 Decrepify [Q] Slow amount reduced from 40% to 30%. Return to Top
      Level 4 Holy Reach [E] New functionality: Increase the Root duration of Chastise from 1.25 to 1.5 seconds. After hitting an enemy with Chastise, Anduin’s next Basic Attack deals 75% more damage and heals allied Heroes near him for 100. Level 13 Speed of the Pious [W] Additional functionality: Each allied Hero healed by Divine Star on its return to Anduin reduces its cooldown by 1 second. Enchant Boots - Lion's Speed [Trait] Additional functionality: Allies pulled by Leap of Faith are healed for 280 over 4 seconds. Push Forward! [Passive] Now labelled as a Chastise talent [E] Additional functionality: While gaining 20% bonus Movement Speed, Chastise’s cooldown recharges 25% faster. Level 20 Desperate Prayer [Active] No longer places Flash Heal on a 10-second cooldown. Return to Top
      Polymorph [W] Slow amount increased from 25% to 30%. Pixie Dust [E] Spell Armor amount increased from 25 to 30. Phase Shift [Z] Cooldown reduced from 60 to 50 seconds. Healing increased from 20% to 25% maximum Health. Talents
      Level 1 Hyper Shift [Z] Cooldown reduction reduced from 2 to 1.5 seconds. Level 4 Magic Spit [Passive] Cooldown reduction increased from 5 to 6 seconds. Level 7 Critical Mist [Trait] Healing increased from 150 to 165. Return to Top
      Health increased from 1700 to 1780. Health Regeneration increased from 3.54 to 3.71. Talents
      Level 1 Scroll of Identify [E] Quest requirement reduced from 16 to 14 enemy Heroes hit. Level 4 Ruby [Active] Cooldown reduced from 20 to 10 seconds. Level 10 Lorenado [R2] Cooldown reduced from 40 to 30 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 40 to 35. Return to Top
      Melee Assassin
      Level 1 Sustaining Power [E] Removed. New Talent: Overwhelming Power [Q] After hitting an enemy Hero with Discord Strike, Alarak gains 40% Attack Speed and his Basic Attacks heal him for 50% of the damage dealt for 4 seconds. Level 7 Hindered Motion [W] Slow amount increased from 25% to 30%. Return to Top
      Ranged Assassin
      Dragon's Breath [W] Damage increased from 204 to 215. Talents
      Level 5 Bronze Talons [Q] Damage bonus increased from 40% to 50%. Mobius Loop [W] Cooldown reduction increased from 1.75 to 2 seconds. Level 8 Slowing Sands [R1] Slow amount increased from 5% to 7% per stack. Maximum Slow amount is still 70%. Level 14 Quantum Overdrive [Active] Spell Power bonus increased from 25% to 30%. Level 20 Blessing of the Bronze [Active] Cooldown reduced from 90 to 30 seconds. Cooldown reduction when hitting enemy Heroes with Sand Blast reduced from 8 to 1 second. Return to Top
      Level 16 Snowstorm [W] Damage bonuses increased from 30%/70% to 50%/100%. Return to Top
      Level 10 Disintegrate [R1] Cooldown reduced from 30 to 20 seconds. Wave of Force [R2] Cooldown increased from 20 to 30 seconds. Return to Top
      Shadow Waltz [Q] Cooldown reduced from 6 to 5 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 40 to 35. Chomp [W] Damage increased from 285 to 305. Dread [E] Additional functionality: Enemies hit by Dread’s wave are Slowed by 25% for 2 seconds. Talents
      Level 1 Growing Nightmare [E] New functionality: Increase Dread’s eruption damage by 40%. Quest: Hit 3 enemy Heroes with a single cast of Dread’s eruption. Reward: Permanently increase Dread’s eruption damage by an additional 25% and increase the Slow amount of Dread’s eruption by 15%. Level 4 Chaotic Assault [Trait] Bonus damage increased from 50% to 75%. Level 13 Abyssal Symbiosis [W] Additional functionality: Hitting an enemy Hero with Chomp grants Orphea a 180 Shield for 3 seconds. Level 16 Dead Magic [Trait] Damage reduced from 115 to 95. Now also does damage to the primary target. Lurking Terror [Active] Slow duration increased from 1 to 1.5 seconds. Return to Top
      Level 1 Warp Resonance [W] Quest requirement reduced from 10/20 enemy Heroes hit with Warp Rift explosions to 8/16. Level 4 Photon Barrier [E] Spell Armor bonus increased from 30 to 40. Level 7 Particle Accelerator [Q] Damage increased from 10% to 15% per stack. Level 10 Null Gate [R2] Cooldown reduced from 30 to 25 seconds. Level 20 Gate Keeper [R2] No longer has a restriction allowing 1 Null Gate at a time. Return to Top
      Health increased from 1550 to 1650. Health Regeneration increased from 3.23 to 3.44. Shock Ray [Q] Slow amount increased from 25% to 30%. Force Wall [E] Cooldown reduced from 21 to 18 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 70 to 65. Cast time reduced from .1 seconds to .0625 seconds. Birth time reduced from .5675 seconds to .5 seconds. Resonance Beam [Trait] Slow amount increased from 10% to 15%. Talents
      Level 1 Static Charge [Q] Bonus damage per stack increased from 4 to 5. Maximum bonus damage increased from 200 to 250. Khaydarin Amulet [Trait] Damage to additional targets increased from 50% to 75%. Level 4 Induction [Q] Movement Speed bonus when casting Shock Ray increased from 15% to 20%. Movement Speed bonus when hitting an enemy Hero increased from 25% to 30%. Level 16 Executor's Will [Active] Spell Power bonus increased from 15% to 20%. Return to Top
      Bug Fixes
      Fixed an issue where locked talents could appear to be able to be selected in game, causing confusion. Heroes
      Cho'gall Disconnected player replacement A.I. for Gall will no longer become passive. Deathwing Disconnected player replacement Deathwing A.I. will no longer becomes stuck in the air during Dragonflight. He will land in Destroyer form once he reaches full health. Disconnected player replacement Deathwing A.I. will use Dragonflight in place of Hearthstone to heal, unless Dragonflight is on cooldown. Murky Fixed an issue that caused Murky A.I. to continually attempt to place an egg outside of follow leash range. Nova Nova Holo Decoys no longer incorrectly take triple damage. They now correctly take double damage. Tassadar Shadow Walk now has proper fat finger protection. Zagara Fixed an issue with Zagara A.I. becoming stuck in the Nydus Worm if the player disconnects. Cassia and Tracer have been reworked in the latest Heroes patch.
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