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Heroes of the Storm Balance Update Patch Notes: October 15th

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The latest balance patch comes with new augmented Hero Rings, purchasable for 5,000 gold each, which are equivalent to the old Mastery Skins, Hero updates, and more.

Patch Highlights

General

  • After completing the Scarlet Heist Questline, a set of 3 new dailies will become available.
  • To show off your individual Heroes mastery, Blizzard has implemented augmented Hero Rings for any Hero over the levels of 15 (Level 1) and 25 (Level 2) which can be purchased for 5,000 gold each.

Hero Changes

  • Diablo's base health has been increased and the Mana cost of ApocalypseApocalypse has been reduced.
  • Artanis' Purifier BeamPurifier Beam speed has been increased.
  • Some of Rexxar's talents (Easy PreyEasy Prey, FlareFlare, Hunter-GathererHunter-Gatherer) have been nerfed.
  • Varian's Twin BladesTwin Blades have been nerfed and his TauntTaunt has been buffed to incentivize Varian players to try tanking for their teams more often.
  • Ana has been slightly buffed and they removed the awkwardness of the way Vampiric RoundsVampiric Rounds asked players to constantly target swap after 5 ShrikeShrike stacks.
  • Deckard Cain's potions now display their impact location before they land and the radius of Fortitude of the FaithfulFortitude of the Faithful has increased.
  • Li Li's Hindering WindsHindering Winds and Surging WindsSurging Winds talents swapped positions.
  • Lt. Morales has a new Medi-Drone talent which gives her limited multi-target healing.
  • Malfurion's Entangling RootsEntangling Roots & InnervateInnervate have been buffed.
  • Whitemane has some new baseline mechanics. Clemency and InquisitionInquisition now remove 1 stack of Desperation, ZealZeal can be activated to increase Spell Power by 25% and reduce Armor by 25 for 5 seconds on a 60 second cooldown. Saintly GreatstaffSaintly Greatstaff has a new functionality, and Whitemane has a new talent at level 20 which can be used to grant a target ally a permanent Zeal.
  • Qhira's Finishing TouchFinishing Touch has been buffed to help equalize the level 1 talent tier.
  • Junkrat's base health and regeneration have been increased and we have some follow-up changes to even out his talents (see below for details).
  • Li Ming received survivability buffs (Health + regen). Astral PresenceAstral Presence was removed and the functionality implemented into Force ArmorForce Armor.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Heroes of the Storm has just been updated with Hero balance changes and bug fixes! Read on for details.

General

  • The Scarlet Heist: Daily Quests
    • Mobsters are back! After completing the Scarlet Heist quest line, a set of three new daily special event quests will be available.
    • Using a Special Event dialog, you can choose one of those three quests and complete it for a Scarlet Heist Chest reward, once a day, until the event ends on December 3rd, 2019, PST.
  • New Feature: Hero Mastery Rings
    • A lot of you may remember the old 'Mastery Skins' and we are excited to bring back another way for players to show off their mastery of individual Heroes. With today's patch, players will be able to spend 5,000 gold to purchase augmented Hero Rings for any Hero over the levels of 15 (Level 1) and 25 (Level 2). These Mastery Rings are permanent when purchased and will be placed over the top of the normal Hero Ring, becoming visible to all players while in a match. We are extremely excited to know what you think about these and appreciate hearing any feedback you have on them!

Heroes

Tank

Diablo

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Base

  • Health increased from 2670 to 2825.
  • Black SoulstoneBlack Soulstone [Trait]
    • Bonus Health reduced from 0.4% to 0.3% per Soul.

Talents

  • Level 10
    • ApocalypseApocalypse [R1]
      • Mana cost reduced from 100 to 50.
Developer Comment: Diablo, surprisingly, is one of the lowest winning Heroes in the game. That doesn’t mean that he’s not extremely powerful at times or unpopular, so we don’t feel the need to make drastic changes right now. However, we are making a few small adjustments to make him better when he’s behind in a game by increasing his Health until he’s around 75 Souls. To allow Diablo to more commonly attempt to land his entire combo with ApocalypseApocalypse, we’re reducing the Mana cost. Interestingly, ApocalypseApocalypse is chosen a lot more often, but is actually a 5% lower win rate, so we want to make the Heroic win more without drastically shifting the perception of its power.

Bruiser

Artanis

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Talents

  • Level 10
    • Purifier BeamPurifier Beam [R2]
      • Movement Speed increased from 3 to 3.2.
Developer Comment: The Movement Speed changes hurt the ability for Purifier BeamPurifier Beam to stick to a target a little more than most abilities. When increasing Movement Speed of Heroes, we knew that Abilities would be more difficult to land which would require players to adjust, but Purifier BeamPurifier Beam doesn’t allow you to aim differently. That being said, Purifier BeamPurifier Beam is still very comparable to Suppression PulseSuppression Pulse in terms of pick rate and win rate, so we think a very small adjustment is in order.

Rexxar

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Base

  • Mend PetMend Pet [E]
    • Mana cost increased from 55 to 60.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Easy PreyEasy Prey [Passive]
      • Damage bonus against Mercenaries and Minions reduced from 200% to 150%.
    • FlareFlare [Active]
      • Cast range increased from 15 to 25.
  • Level 4
    • Hunter-GathererHunter-Gatherer [Passive]
      • Bonus Healing Regeneration reduced from 1.25 to 1 per second per Regeneration Globe.
      • Maximum stacks increased from 20 to 25.
Developer Comment: Rexxar, while a niche Hero, is overperforming compared to his competitors. We don’t think we need to nerf him too much (in spite of his 57%+ win rate), but he has room for another small nudge in the downward direction. We’re targeting a few of his Talents that are much more powerful than the other choices on the tier so encourage a variety of Talent selections too (though this is secondary to trying to provide an overall nerf to the Hero).

Varian

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Talents

  • Level 1
    • OverpowerOverpower [W]
      • Bonus damage increased from 30% to 40%.
  • Level 4
    • TauntTaunt [R1]
      • Health and Health Regeneration bonuses increased from 30% to 40%.
    • Twin Blades of FuryTwin Blades of Fury [R3]
      • Base Attack Damage reduction increased from 20% to 25%.
  • Level 7
    • LionheartLionheart [Q]
      • Healing bonus increased from 50% to 75%.
  • Level 16
    • Banner of StormwindBanner of Stormwind [Active]
      • Cooldown reduced from 45 to 25 seconds.
    • Banner of DalaranBanner of Dalaran [Active]
      • Cooldown reduced from 45 to 25 seconds.
  • Level 20
    • Glory to the AllianceGlory to the Alliance [Passive]
      • Banner cooldown reduction changed from 20 seconds to 50%.
Developer CommentTwin BladesTwin Blades is outperforming compared to other options, so we’re slightly reducing its power and increasing the power of TauntTaunt to incentivize Varian players to try tanking for their team more often. We’re also buffing a slew of under-used talents which should give Varian players more options to consider when deciding how to build the hero.

Healer

Ana

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Base

  • ShrikeShrike [Trait]
    • Healing from Shrike damage from 50 to 60%.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Vampiric RoundsVampiric Rounds [Trait]
      • Bonus Shrike Heal from stacking 5 Doses from 1.5% to .75%.
      • Added second reward:
        • Increase Shrike’s Heal by .25% for every Basic Attack against Heroes that have 5 Doses.
    • Slumber ShellsSlumber Shells [E]
      • Additional functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Sleep Dart by 4 seconds.
  • Level 7
    • Night TerrorsNight Terrors [E]
      • No longer reduces Sleep Dart cooldown.
      • Modified functionality: Gain 25% Movement for 2 seconds for every Hero hit by Sleeping Dart. When a Hero wakes, they take 10% of their maximum Health in damage.
Developer Comment: Ana was one of the Heroes most affected by the Movement Speed change a few patches ago. We have been waiting to see where she stabilized at and are ready to give her some buffs to help bring her back to where she should be. On top of a small baseline Healing increases, we wanted to remove the awkwardness of the way Vampiric RoundsVampiric Rounds asked players to constantly target swap after 5 ShrikeShrike stacks.

Deckard

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Base

  • Healing PotionHealing Potion [Q]
    • Now displays its impending AoE to allies while the missile is in flight.
  • Fortitude of the FaithfulFortitude of the Faithful [Trait]
    • Radius increased from 5.5 to 6.5.

Talents

  • Level 1/4/7
    • Gems [Active/W]
      • Added functionality: Increases the damage of the unleashing Horadric Cube by 100%.
  • Level 4
    • RubyRuby [Active/W]
      • Cooldown reduced from 30 to 20 seconds.
      • Trigger radius of Lesser Healing Potions increased from .5 to 1 (matching base potions).
  • Level 20
    • Perfect GemsPerfect Gems [Active/W]
      • Now reduces the cooldown of all Gem talents to 5 seconds, instead of a flat 25 second reduction.
Developer Comment: Our favorite old man is still lagging behind his healer friends, despite the suite of buffs he's seen in the past few patches. Rather than pushing his numbers even higher, we're giving him a boost to general usability by making his potions display their impact location before they land and increasing the area in which his trait will function. Additionally, we're giving the various gem talents a bit of damage to make them more attractive options overall.

Li Li

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Talents

  • Level 4
    • Hindering WindsHindering Winds [W]
      • Moved to level 13.
      • Slow duration increased from 1.5 to 2 seconds.
  • Level 13
    • Surging WindsSurging Winds [W]
      • Moved to level 4.
      • Cooldown reduction reduced from 3 to 2 seconds.
Developer CommentHindering WindsHindering Winds was a bit too effective compared to the other options available at level 4. Rather than nerfing it into oblivion, we're swapping its position with Surging WindsSurging Winds at level 13. This should open up her talent options a little bit and give us room to make further adjustments to the rest of her kit in the future.

Lt. Morales

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Talents

  • Level 7
    • Vanadium PlatingVanadium Plating [W]
      • New Functionality: Increases the duration of Safeguard by 1 second. While the target is Stunned or Rooted, Safeguard’s armor value is increased to 50.
    • Prolonged SafeguardProlonged Safeguard [W]
      • Removed.
    • New Talent - Medi-Drone [W]
      • Allies with Safeguard receive 50% of the healing done by Healing Beam on other targets.
Developer CommentProlonged SafeguardProlonged Safeguard was not a very exciting talent pick and its increased duration bonus was redundant against Vanadium PlatingVanadium Plating’s duration increasing mechanic. We decided to consolidate these mechanics onto one talent and explore offering an entirely new mechanic for the other. This new replacement, Medi-Drone, gives a limited amount of multi-target healing, something Lt. Morales was previously lacking and often requested in your feedback.

Malfurion

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Base

  • Entangling RootsEntangling Roots [E]
    • Cooldown reduced from 14 to 12 seconds.
    • Mana cost reduced from 75 to 65.
  • InnervateInnervate [Trait]
    • Cooldown reduced from 30 to 25 seconds.
Developer Comment: To help Malfurion be a little more competitive with other Healers, we’re giving him some small base buffs to parts of his kit that motivate teams to pick him over his alternatives.

Whitemane

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Base

  • Basic Attack
    • Damage increased from 55 to 62.
  • Clemency [Active]
    • Mana cost removed.
    • Additional functionality: Removes 1 stack of Desperation.
  • InquisitionInquisition [W]
    • Additional functionality: Removes 1 stack of Desperation.
  • ZealZeal [Trait]
    • Added functionality: Activate to increase your Spell Power by 25% and reduce your Armor by 25 for 5 seconds. 60 second cooldown.

Talents

  • Level 10
    • Scarlet AegisScarlet Aegis [R1]
      • Cooldown reduced from 90 to 70 seconds.
  • Level 13
    • Saintly GreatstaffSaintly Greatstaff [Trait]
      • New functionality: Hitting an enemy with Searing Lash marks them for 3 seconds. Basic Attacks against a marked target deal an additional 75 damage and consume the mark.
  • Level 20
    • New Talent – Guiding Light [Active]
      • Activate to grant target ally a permanent Zeal. Only one target can have this at a time.
Developer Comment: We have been actively listening to player feedback on the recent rework to Whitemane, and are making some changes to her to address them. Overall, her Talent Tree seems to be in a much healthier spot, and with the addition of some new baseline mechanics, we are hoping that she now feels closer to the Scarlet Inquisitor we all know and love!

Melee Assassin

Qhira

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Talents

  • Level 1
    • Finishing TouchFinishing Touch [Passive]
      • Modified functionality: Gain 15% Basic Attack damage. When you Basic Attack a Hero below 50% Health, gain an additional 15% Basic Attack damage and 35% Attack Speed for 3 seconds.
Developer Comment: Qhira continues to sit in a really Healthy spot overall, but Finishing TouchFinishing Touch was well being well out-performed by her other Level 1 Talents. We are hoping that this buff helps equalize the Talent Tier!

Ranged Assassin

Junkrat

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Base

  • Vitals
    • Health increased from 1350 to 1425.
    • Health Regeneration increased from 2.813 to 2.969.

Talents

  • Level 4
    • BOOM POWBOOM POW [W]
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 8 to 9 seconds.
  • Level 7
    • Big AsBig As [E]
      • Armor reduction increased from 10 to 15.
  • Level 10
    • Rocket RideRocket Ride [R2]
      • Damage increased from 815 to 890.
Developer Comment: From a balance perspective Junkrat’s recent changes have been fairly successful. His talent pick and win rates are in a much healthier spot, and these follow-up changes are meant to even out his talents and slightly increase his power level.

Li-Ming

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Base

  • Vitals
    • Health from 1232 to 1270.
    • Health regen from 2.57 to 2.65

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Astral PresenceAstral Presence [Passive]
      • Removed.
    • Force ArmorForce Armor [Q]
      • Additional functionality: Mana regeneration is increased by 100% while below 35% maximum Mana.
  • Level 4
    • TriumvirateTriumvirate [W]
      • Additional functionality: Max range Arcane Orbs also refund 40 Mana.
Developer Comment: Li-Ming continues to be slightly lower performing than we would like, so these changes are directed at giving her a small survivability buff as well as a couple tweaks to under-performing Talents.

Bug Fixes

General

  • Many abilities that were incorrectly incrementing Healing or Self Healing scores have been fixed.
  • Protected now contributes to Healing or Self Healing Score.
  • A.I. should no longer become stuck in a logic loop while attempting to capture Merc camps that have enemy structures nearby.

User Interface

  • Fixed additional issues that caused Gem purchase dialog show blank screen.
  • Fixed typos in Boost tooltips.
  • Fixed an issue where player names are cut off when they have a Boost active.

MAC

  • Fixed an issue that would cause mouse hover outlines for some objects to render solid black.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause area of effect circles to render with an incorrect color.

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      Base
      Vitals Uses Scrap instead of Mana, max of 10 Scrap. Base Health increased from 1826 to 2275. Health regen increased from 3.8046 to 4.74. Basic Attack Damage from 95 to 100. Trait Renamed to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. New Functionality: Regenerate 1 Scrap every 4 seconds. Destroyed Rock-It! Turrets drop 1 Scrap, pick up dropped Scrap to regain it. Activate to destroy a target Rock-It! Turret. Scrap Scrap pick up range increased from 1.25 to 1.5. Spawn pick up delay reduced from 0.45 to 0.0 seconds. Rock-It! Turrets [Q] Costs 4 Scrap. Base damage decreased from 62 to 36. Base Health reduced from 593 to 510. Health scaling increased from 4% to 5%. Duration decreased from 30 to 15 seconds. GCD decreased from 2 to 0.5 seconds. Placement range increased from 2 to 3. Adjusted weapon range icons to be less noisy. Prioritizes nearest enemy Hero when first created. Deth Lazor [W] No longer has a cost. Cooldown decreased from 12 to 8 seconds. Damage increased from 137 to 174. Range increase from 6 to 10. Width increased from 2 to 2.5. Adjusted Functionality: After 0.65 seconds, deal 208 damage to enemies in a line. Heal 25% of damage dealt, this effect is increased to 75% against Heroes. Xplodium Charge [E] No longer has a cost. Cooldown decreased from 20 to 12 seconds. Damage reduced from 233 to 155. Missile travel speed increased substantially. Search area reduced from 3 to 2.85. Range decreased from 9.5 to 7. Explosion delay decreased from 2.5 to 1.25 seconds. Stun duration decreased from 1.75 to 1 second. Talents
      Level 1 Extra TNT [E] Removed. Scrap-o-matic Smelter [Trait] Removed. Break it down [Trait] Removed. Goblin Repairs [Passive] Removed. (New) Rocket Boots [E] Increase the cast range of Xplodium Charge by 30% and its damage by 20%. Hitting a Hero increases movement speed by 20% for 3 seconds. (New) One Man Wrecking Crew [Passive] Casting Basic Abilities cause Gazlowe’s next Basic Attack within 6 seconds to deal 45% more damage. Stores up to 2 charges. (New) Big Game Hunter [Passive] Dealing damage with Basic Attacks to Heroes, Mercs or Monsters reduces the cooldown of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by 2 seconds. Increase maximum Scrap by 2. Level 4 Clockwerk Steam Fists [Q] Removed. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle [Trait] Removed. Hired Goons [Passive] Removed. (New) Rock It Sock It [Q] Placing a Rock-It! Turret grants Gazlowe a 215 point Shield for 2.5 seconds. Hyperfocus Coils [W/E] Moved from level 7. Adjusted Functionality: Heroes hit by Deth Lazor and Xplodium Charge take an additional 2% of their maximum Health in damage. Gazlowe is healed for 150% the amount. Crit kicker added. EZ-PZ Dimensional Ripper [Active] Moved from level 13. New Functionality: Cooldown: 40 seconds. Activate to gain 35 Armor for 3 seconds, reducing damage taken by 35%, and reduce damage dealt of all nearby Heroes and Summons by 50% for 3 seconds. Level 7 Rock-It! Turret XL [Q] Removed. Engine Gunk [Q] Removed. Goblin Fusion Moved from level 13. Adjusted Functionality: Generate 3 Scrap for each Hero hit by Deth Lazor. (New) Overload [W] Deth Lazor can now store up to 2 charges. Each enemy Hero hit by Deth Lazor reduces the cooldown of Deth Lazor by 0.5 seconds. (New) Master Blaster [E] Deth Lazor and Xplodium Charge Slow by 35% for 2.5 seconds. Rock-It! Turret Basic Attacks extend the duration by 0.25 seconds. Level 10 Robo-Goblin [R1] New Functionality: Activate to become Unstoppable for 1.5 seconds. Passive: Basic Attacks deal 80 bonus damage over 5 seconds, stacks up to 3 times. Grav-O-Bomb 3000 [R2] Cooldown decreased from 90 to 60 seconds. Damage reduced from 251 to 220. Added Functionality: Basic Abilities deal 30% more damage for 5 seconds after casting Grav-O-Bomb 3000. Level 13 X-Tra Large Bombs [E] Removed. (New) Positive Reinforcement [Q] Primary Turret attacks against Heroes increase Gazlowe’s Attack Speed by 40% for 3 seconds. (New) Superior Schematics [Q] Moved from level 16. Adjusted Functionality: Rock-It! Turrets attack up to 2 additional target for 75% damage and have 50% increased range. (New) Overcharged Capacitors [Q] Gazlowe gains 5% Spell Power for each active turret, up to a maximum of 15%. Dealing Basic Attack damage extends the duration of Rock-It! Turrets by 1.5 seconds. Level 16 Turret Storage [Q] Removed. Kwik Release Charge [E] Removed. Firin’ Mah Lazorz [W] Moved from level 20. Damage increased from 102 to 125. Ark Reaktor [E] Moved from level 4. Adjusted Functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Xplodium Charge by 3 seconds. Using Xplodium Charge creates 3 Rock-It! Turrets that last for 3 seconds. These Turrets do not drop Scrap or benefit from other Talents. (New) Overklock [Passive] Hitting enemy Heroes grants 15% bonus Movement Speed for 2 seconds. Hitting enemy Heroes with Basic Attacks causes them to take an additional 2.5% of their maximum Health in damage. Level 20 Mecha-Lord [R1] Adjusted Functionality: Basic Attacks increase Gazlowe’s Armor by 10 for 10 seconds, up to a maximum of 30. Basic Attacks deal 50% more damage to Stunned or Slowed targets. Miniature Black Hole [R2] Added Functionality: Each enemy Hero hit reduces the cooldown of Grav-O-Bomb by 12 seconds. It’s Raining Scrap [Q] Adjusted Functionality: Reduce the Scrap cost of Rock-It! Turrets by 1. Regain 2 Scrap for each Scrap pickup. (New) Bomb Toss [E] Xplodium Charge launches 2 more bombs when it detonates. Return to Top
      Heroes
      Alarak
      Base
      Health increased from 1900 to 1950. Health Regeneration increased from 3.96 to 4.06. Talents
      Level 4 Negatively Charged [E] Initial damage bonus increased from 150% to 175%. Cassia
      Talents
      Level 7 Surge of Light [Active] Damage reduced from 250 to 240. Damage taken amount required to activate increased from 500 to 650. Chromie
      Talents
      Level 1 Deep Breathing [W] Damage bonus reduced from 1.5% to 1% per stack. Cooldown reduction upon quest completion reduced from 5 seconds to 4 seconds. Mana cost upon quest completion changed from 30 to 40. Level 5 Mobius Loop [W] Damage bonus reduced from 50% to 30%. Slow duration reduced from 1 second to .75 seconds. Deckard
      Talents
      Level 4 Ruby [Active] Cooldown increased from 10 to 20 seconds. E.T.C.
      Talents
      Level 13 Encore [W] Heroic cooldown reduction reduced from 8% to 6%. Imperius
      Talents
      Level 7 Flash of Anger [Q] Damage reduced from 180 to 165. Shield amount reduced from 300 to 275. Orphea
      Talents
      Level 1 Ancestral Strength [Trait] Bonus damage reduced from 20% to 15%. Level 7 Mind Devourer [E] Damage per enemy Hero hit increased from 4 to 5. Maximum bonus damage reduced from 160 to 150. Heroes hit required for quest completion reduced from 40 to 30. Level 13 Abyssal Symbiosis [W] Shield amount reduced from 180 to 170. Level 16 Dead Magic [Trait] Damage reduced from 95 to 90. Stitches
      Base
      Slam [W] Bonus damage to Minions and Mercenaries increased from 50% to 60%. Tassadar
      Talents
      Level 1 Static Charge [Q] Maximum damage bonus reduced from 250 to 200. Level 10 Archon [R1] Shield amount reduced from 30% to 25% maximum Health. Basic Attack damage reduced from 150 to 140. Basic Attack splash damage reduced from 75 to 70. Yrel
      Talents
      Level 1 Dauntless [Passive] Physical Armor amount reduced from 40 to 35. Return to Top
      Bug Fixes
      Fixed an issue where Mercenaries would not be Stunned by Haunting Wave when the Mercenary Queen and Festering Wounds talents were taken. Fixed an issue where Executor's Will did not have a buff bar. Fixed an issue where Trauma Trigger did not have a button. Toy Train Mount - Metamorphosis Illidan, Dragonqueen Alexstrasza, Odin Tychus, and Archon Tassadar can no longer mount as a caboose on the Toy Train. Return to Top
      The latest content patch with D.Va & Gazlowe reworks, ARAM Mode, and a brand new Nexus Anomaly is live.
    • By Stan
      Blizzard Press Center has been recently updated with new skins coming in the latest patch, Enforcer tints, and the Tamed Ravasaur mount which will be rewarded from winning 35 games in Ranked Play in the new Season.
      The CraftWars and Hero Reworks entry in the Press Center requires a login, but Redditor Gnueless found out that you can simply scroll down the page and see everything.
      Anduin

      Rexxar/Misha

      Artanis

      Arthas

      Blaze + Bunker

      D.Va Micro Missiles

      Gazlowe

      Illidan

      Invincilisk Mount

      Kul Tiras Iron Kite Mount

      Mei

      Murky

      Uther

      Most of the new skins will arrive with the latest patch, but there are also three interesting Enforcer tints for the existing skins, these include:
      Bionic Enforcer Johanna

      Russet Watchdog Greymane

      Neon Paramedic Morales

      Tamed Ravasaur Mount
      You can get the following mount as a reward in the upcoming Season.



    • By Stan
      Heroes of the Storm Senior Game Designer David Warner talks about the D.Va rework coming in the next patch.
      (Source)
      What do you get when you mix a professional gamer from the future, energy drinks, a huge mech, and tabletop roleplaying game archetypes? According to David Warner, senior game designer on the Heroes of the Storm team, the outcome of this amalgamation is the brand-new D.Va rework, releasing with Heroes of the Storm’s upcoming patch.
      We caught up with Warner to hear more about everyone’s favorite MEKA pilot and what it’s like to rework heroes.
      For Warner, game design is like a constantly-changing jigsaw puzzle with an unknown number of parts. Trying to suss out the best direction to take a design is a point of frustration, but when all of the pieces seamlessly connect, it brings him an unparalleled feeling of fulfillment.
      “Personally,” Warner says, “the best feeling is when you finally get all the segments of a particular build in place and you start getting feedback about how fun and cool it is from people that don’t normally play that character. Nothing means more than getting an email after a rework talking about how cool X and Y were and how they can’t wait to try Z next game!”
      The team carefully considers each piece of the hero rework puzzle as they flesh out a character to have more diversity and synergy while preserving their core gameplay. After they decide which hero to revamp, the team digs in to identify which areas need the most TLC. While it’s easy enough to look at the pick-win rates of heroes’ talents and their success with various matchups to pinpoint issues, what is and isn’t working about a hero’s fulfillment of player fantasies and their identity as a unique character is harder to recognize and define than the ones and zeros of statistical game data.
      “While I consider both data and hero identity for a rework, I usually start by digging into lore, which almost always yields some gameplay angles to pursue,” says Warner. “For example: with D.Va it was obvious there needed to be a talent that involved shooting your pistol at your Mech with Big Shot because that was an unforgettable moment from her Overwatch cinematic. This cool lore moment became the Nuclear Option talent at level 4, which drastically changed the availability of Self-Destruct, effectively creating a whole new build path by itself.”

      Warner also looks at what he calls the memetic identity of the game’s heroes, looking at how they’re perceived by the community to see what sorts of reactions they elicit and memes they generate. “D.Va is a pro gamer, but she’s also got this over-the-top ‘gremlin’ meme identity that took on a life of its own where she’s hopped up on energy drinks and Doritos,” says Warner. “It might sound stupid, but all of the ridiculous memes I saw led to the Liquid Cooling and Timing Attack talents and levels 1 and 20 respectively because I thought to myself, ‘If this meme were a talent, what would it look like?’”
      While exploring the memes D.Va spawned provided valuable insight and aided the team in reworking her identity and skills to give them unique flavor, the extreme gamer energy and empty drink cans comprise only a part of who she is. To figure out other aspects of her character and gameplay, Warner swapped his perspective to that of a Dungeon Master.
      “Pen-and-paper game archetypes have been explored and iterated upon for decades, and I find them tried and true,” says Warner. “I view D.Va as an amalgam of the Berserker and Knight archetype. She wants to get in your face and expend health for bursts of offensive power like a Berserker while also being a defensively oriented anchor point for your team, like an archetypical Knight would. So how does that translate, gameplay-wise? An example is the Full Metal talent at level 1 being more of a Berserker option, since it expands and rewards your ability to get in close melee, while Pro Moves is more of a Knight option because it encourages you to stick close to the team and soak damage. That line of thought continues throughout the talent tree, allowing D.Va to flex or sharpen either of these roles as she sees fit.”
      The team approached D.Va’s rework with three main goals in mind: to make her talent choices more compelling and meaningful, to help her become a traditional ‘bruiser’ and give her more of an edge against solo laners, and to avoid pigeonholing players into having to choose either a Mech or Pilot Heroic. Some of the goals proved more difficult than others to accomplish, leading to rounds of tinkering and design iteration that made D.Va a bigger project than most other hero reworks.
      “The hardest part was balancing the relationship between her offensive strength and defensive strength,” says Warner. “It’s very easy for D.Va to hit the ‘salt wall’ and make other players angry because of the combination of being highly mobile, having massive damage reduction, and having multiple regenerating health bars. All of these things are easy to exploit by D.Va players and have low potential for counter-play by many other Heroes in the roster. It took a lot of tinkering to balance these vectors.”
      Now, with her rework complete, D.Va emerges from her Dorito-dusted chrysalis and takes flight once more in her refurbished Mech, ready to mow down enemies and flaunt her KDA in style.
      As one of the least played Heroes in the roster, Warner hopes that her rework will change players’ perceptions of her being a “wasted” pick. “She’s got a unique playstyle and has more versatility talentwise, so I hope she’ll find a permanent place in the meta,” says Warner. “I think die-hard D.va fans are going to enjoy finally having multiple builds to choose from as well as new tools that increase her skill ceiling.”
    • By Stan
      In the latest patch, Blizzard has reworked D.Va and Gazlowe. A new Nexus Anomaly allows everyone (except for Deathwing and Gall) to become Unstoppable for 1 second on a 5-minute cooldown, and new "Worlds Collide" skins were added.
      The patch will be available for testing for one week. Check out the full patch notes for more details.
      (Source)
      Our next Heroes of the Storm patch has just hit the Public Test Realm and will be available for playtesting until the week of September 7, PDT. As always, if you encounter any bugs during your PTR play sessions, please stop by the PTR Bug Report forum to let us know about your experiences.
      Quick Navigation:
      Nexus Anomaly General Collection Storm League Heroes Rework: D.Va Heroes Rework: Gazlowe Heroes Bug Fixes Nexus Anomaly
      New Nexus Anomaly - Gladiator's Medallion Heroes now start the game with a new item on their action bar, the Gladiator's Medallion. The Gladiator's Medallion can be activated to become Unstoppable for 1 second. The cooldown is 300 seconds (5 minutes). Deathwing and Gall do not start with a Gladiator's Medallion. All 3 of The Lost Vikings gain the effect of the Medallion when activated. Return to Top
      General
      Introducing ARAM Mode With the Patch H.52, we're replacing Heroes Brawl mode with the new ARAM - All Random All Mid mode. ARAM mode key features: The map pool for ARAM mode consists of four one-lane maps. There are no additional objectives on the ARAM maps: destroy the enemy's Core to win. As match starts, every player must pick one out of three randomly selected heroes. Think fast: you have only 30 seconds! Hearthstones are disabled, and starting area does not regenerate health. Unlike Heroes Brawl, there's no dedicated Weekly Quest exclusive to this mode. Instead, ARAM games contribute to Daily Quests and Special Event Quests progress. Return to Top
      Collection
      Many seasonal items will be returning to the collection, and will be available for crafting and in Loot Chests for a limited time!
      New Bundles (Limited Time Only!) Worlds Collide Bundle Interdimensional Fusion Bundle Terran Alliance Bundle Draenei Executor Artanis Skin Pack King of Blades Arthas Skin Pack Mineral Harvester Gazlowe Skin Pack Necrotoplogist Mei Skin Pack Invincilisk Bundle Returning Bundles (Limited Time Only!) Baby-Face Orphea Bundle Big Shot Sgt. Hammer Bundle Getaway Sidecar Bundle Raccoon Bundle Showstopper Whitemane Bundle Wiseguy Junkrat Bundle New Skins King of Blades Arthas Venomous King of Blades Arthas Lavawrought King of Blades Arthas Draenei Executor Artanis Royal Draenei Executor Artanis Darksteel Draenei Executor Artanis Emperor of the Dominion Anduin Glorious Emperor of the Dominion Anduin Studious Emperor of the Dominion Anduin Necrotopologist Mei Frostbitten Necrotopologist Mei Devilish Necrotopologist Mei Mineral Harvester Gazlowe Firebat Mineral Harvester Gazlowe Rich Mineral Harvester Gazlowe Galvanic Fel Reaver Blaze Angelic Medic Uther Angelic Raider Rexxar Acid Apothecary Morales Earthy Grunty Murky Scorch Spectre Illidan Shining D.Va New Mounts Invincilisk Slimeheart Invincilisk Sulphurous Invincilisk Iron Kite Stormgarde Iron Kite Kul Tiras Iron Kite New Content Several new Portraits, Sprays and other items have been added to the Collection! Return to Top
      Storm League
      Seasonal Quest Line win requirements have been reduced in Season 4.
      Steps and Rewards in Season 4 of 2020 5 Wins: Craft Wars Chest 10 Wins: Rare Craft Wars Chest 20 Wins: Epic Craft Wars Chest 35 Wins: Tamed Ravasaur Mount 35 Wins: Eligibility for End of Season 4 Rewards and Grand Master Leaderboards Storm League Reward Mounts The final reward of the 2020 Season 4 Questline will be the Tamed Ravasaur Mount, which will be awarded after winning 35 games in Ranked Play. Return to Top
      Heroes Rework: D.Va
      Base
      Mech Mode Health increased from 2150 to 2250. Health Regeneration increased from 4.48 to 4.69. Base damage reduced from 26 to 23. Added functionality: Enemies close to D.Va’s Mech take 50% bonus damage. Pilot Mode - Big Shot Ability now available baseline. Cooldown increased from 4 to 6 seconds. Call Mech cooldown reduction reduced from 8 to 5 seconds. Damage reduced from 200 to 150. Added Functionality: Enemy Heroes hit are slowed by 25% for 1.5 seconds. Mechanized Walker [Z] New Functionality: D.Va’s Mech can move while attacking. While attacking or channeling an ability, the Mech’s speed is quickly reduced by 25%. Boosters [Q] Cooldown increased from 9 to 10 seconds. Duration decreased from 2 to 1.75 seconds. Speed bonus decreased from 125% to 115%. Area reduced from 1.5 to 1.375. Defense Matrix [W] Damage reduction reduced from 75% to 50%. Added Functionality: Can now be retargeted while active. Self-Destruct/Call Mech [E] Charge earned per 100% maximum life damage taken reduced from 33% to 25%. Maximum damage reduced from 1,200 to 1,100. Talents
      Level 1 Rush-Down [Q] Moved to level 4. New Functionality: Boosters steals 4% of maximum health from enemy Heroes and deals 100% increased damage to non-heroic enemies. Hit the Nitrous [Q] Moved to level 7. New Functionality: The initial speed bonus of Boosters is increased to 300%, decaying to normal speed over .5 seconds. During this time, Boosters stuns for .5 seconds. Crash Course [Q] Removed. Pro Moves [Trait] New Functionality: Each time D.Va’s Mech takes damage, its movement speed is increased by 2% and gains 2 Armor, stacking up to 10 times. A stack of this effect decays every .5 seconds. Basic Attacks in Pilot Mode against enemy Heroes reduce the cooldown of Call Mech by 1 additional second. (New) Liquid Cooling [Active] When used in Mech Mode, the cooldown of Healing Fountain is decreased to 50 seconds and it lasts 25% longer. Activate to gain Healing Fountains effects and incur the reduced cooldown. 50 second cooldown. Level 4 Diverting Power [W] Moved to level 16. New Functionality: Drastically increases Defense Matrix’s area and each time it reduces damage D.Va’s mech is healed for 35. Fusion Generator [W] Moved to level 7. Maximum Self-Destruct charge gained per cast increased from 15 to 20. Added Functionality: While at full Self-Destruct charge, Fusion Cannons’ bonus damage is increased to 75%. Bring It On [E] Removed. Level 7 Coming Through [Q] Removed. (New) Get On The Point! [Q] Casting Boosters grants nearby allies 20% movement speed for 2 seconds. After being out of combat for 3 seconds, Boosters’ cooldown refreshes 100% faster. Aggression Matrix [W] Moved to level 4. New Functionality: Basic Attacks against Heroes reduces the cooldown of Defense Matrix by .125 seconds. Enemy Heroes in your Defense Matrix receive 30% less healing. Dazer Zone [W] Removed. Nuclear Option [E] Moved to level 4. New Functionality: [Passive] Each time Fusion Cannons deals bonus damage to a Hero, gain .25 Self-Destruct Charge. Hitting your self-destructing Mech with Big Shot causes it to self-destruct 40% faster. Level 10 Bunny Hop [R1] Cooldown reduced from 100 to 80 seconds. Damage reduced from 60 to 52. Radius reduced from 5 to 4.5. New Functionality: Every 4th consecutive hit deals 100% increased damage and stuns for .5 seconds. (New) Micro Missiles [R2] After .375 seconds fire a stream of 12 missiles in a target direction. Upon impact, each missile deals a small amount of damage and slows in an area. Missiles deal 35 Damage and apply a 35% slow for 2 seconds. 12 range. Holds 2 Charges. 20 second charge cooldown with a 5 second cooldown between charge uses. Level 13 Ablative Armor [Passive] Moved to level 20. New Functionality: 45% of Ability damage taken by D.Va’s Mech is returned as Health over 4 seconds. Emergency Shielding [Trait] Moved to level 16. Cooldown increased from 15 to 30 seconds. Shield increased from 210 to 280. Duration reduced from 6 to 4 seconds. Expensive Plating [Passive] Moved to level 1. Renamed to “Full Metal”. No longer increases the cooldown for Call Mech. Bonus Mech Health reduced from 20% to 10%. Added Functionality: Fusion Cannon bonus damage heals for 20% of the damage dealt. (New) Target Locked [W] Enemy heroes that remain in Defense Matrix for 1.5 seconds have their armor reduced by 15 and are slowed by 25% for 3 seconds. (New) Good To Go [Pilot Active] Unlock the Torpedo Dash and Concussive Pulse abilities while in Pilot Mode. Torpedo Dash [Pilot Mode Q] Travel distance decreased from 6.75 to 4.5. Travel speed reduced from 17.5 to 14. Now has a .75 second coolup when exiting Mech Mode. Cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds. Concussive Pulse [Active] Cooldown increased from 7 to 10 seconds. Damage reduced from 141 to 120. Knockback distance reduced by 40%. Level 16 GG, WP [Trait] Removed. Nanoweave Suit [Trait] Removed. Suppressing Fire [Trait] Removed. (New) In For The Kill [Q] Casting Boosters grants a shield equal to 10% maximum health for 2.5 seconds. Each enemy Hero hit by Boosters increases your Basic Attack damage by 10% for 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. Level 20 Stop And Pop [R1] New functionality: While D.Va is stationary, Bunny Hop’s duration is paused. Pew! Pew! Pew! [R2] Moved to Level 13. Damage per shot increased from 50% to 75%. MEKA Fall [Trait] Removed. (New) Timing Attack [R2] Micro Missiles gains an additional charge. Each time Micro Missiles deals damage to a Hero, reduce its cooldown by .5 seconds and its charge cooldown by .25 seconds. (New) Headshot! [R2] Big Shot’s damage is increased by 75% and its cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds. Return to Top
      Heroes Rework: Gazlowe
      Base
      Vitals Uses Scrap instead of Mana, max of 10 Scrap. Base Health increased from 1826 to 2275. Health regen increased from 3.8046 to 4.74. Basic Attack Damage from 95 to 100. Trait Renamed to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. New Functionality: Regenerate 1 Scrap every 4 seconds. Destroyed Rock-It! Turrets drop 1 Scrap, pick up dropped Scrap to regain it. Activate to destroy a target Rock-It! Turret. Scrap Scrap pick up range increased from 1.25 to 1.5. Spawn pick up delay reduced from 0.45 to 0.0 seconds. Rock-It! Turrets [Q] Costs 4 Scrap. Base damage decreased from 62 to 36. Base Health reduced from 593 to 510. Health scaling increased from 4% to 5%. Duration decreased from 30 to 15 seconds. GCD decreased from 2 to 0.5 seconds. Placement range increased from 2 to 3. Adjusted weapon range icons to be less noisy. Prioritizes nearest enemy Hero when first created. Deth Lazor [W] No longer has a cost. Cooldown decreased from 12 to 8 seconds. Damage increased from 137 to 174. Range increase from 6 to 10. Width increased from 2 to 2.5. Adjusted Functionality: After 0.65 seconds, deal 208 damage to enemies in a line. Heal 25% of damage dealt, this effect is increased to 75% against Heroes. Xplodium Charge [E] No longer has a cost. Cooldown decreased from 20 to 12 seconds. Damage reduced from 233 to 155. Missile travel speed increased substantially. Search area reduced from 3 to 2.85. Range decreased from 9.5 to 7. Explosion delay decreased from 2.5 to 1.25 seconds. Stun duration decreased from 1.75 to 1 second. Talents
      Level 1 Extra TNT [E] Removed. Scrap-o-matic Smelter [Trait] Removed. Break it down [Trait] Removed. Goblin Repairs [Passive] Removed. (New) Rocket Boots [E] Increase the cast range of Xplodium Charge by 30% and its damage by 20%. Hitting a Hero increases movement speed by 20% for 3 seconds. (New) One Man Wrecking Crew [Passive] Casting Basic Abilities cause Gazlowe’s next Basic Attack within 6 seconds to deal 45% more damage. Stores up to 2 charges. (New) Big Game Hunter [Passive] Dealing damage with Basic Attacks to Heroes, Mercs or Monsters reduces the cooldown of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by 2 seconds. Increase maximum Scrap by 2. Level 4 Clockwerk Steam Fists [Q] Removed. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle [Trait] Removed. Hired Goons [Passive] Removed. (New) Rock It Sock It [Q] Placing a Rock-It! Turret grants Gazlowe a 215 point Shield for 2.5 seconds. Hyperfocus Coils [W/E] Moved from level 7. Adjusted Functionality: Heroes hit by Deth Lazor and Xplodium Charge take an additional 2% of their maximum Health in damage. Gazlowe is healed for 150% the amount. Crit kicker added. EZ-PZ Dimensional Ripper [Active] Moved from level 13. New Functionality: Cooldown: 40 seconds. Activate to gain 35 Armor for 3 seconds, reducing damage taken by 35%, and reduce damage dealt of all nearby Heroes and Summons by 50% for 3 seconds. Level 7 Rock-It! Turret XL [Q] Removed. Engine Gunk [Q] Removed. Goblin Fusion Moved from level 13. Adjusted Functionality: Generate 3 Scrap for each Hero hit by Deth Lazor. (New) Overload [W] Deth Lazor can now store up to 2 charges. Each enemy Hero hit by Deth Lazor reduces the cooldown of Deth Lazor by 0.5 seconds. (New) Master Blaster [E] Deth Lazor and Xplodium Charge Slow by 35% for 2.5 seconds. Rock-It! Turret Basic Attacks extend the duration by 0.25 seconds. Level 10 Robo-Goblin [R1] New Functionality: Activate to become Unstoppable for 1.5 seconds. Passive: Basic Attacks deal 80 bonus damage over 5 seconds, stacks up to 3 times. Grav-O-Bomb 3000 [R2] Cooldown decreased from 90 to 60 seconds. Damage reduced from 251 to 220. Added Functionality: Basic Abilities deal 30% more damage for 5 seconds after casting Grav-O-Bomb 3000. Level 13 X-Tra Large Bombs [E] Removed. (New) Positive Reinforcement [Q] Primary Turret attacks against Heroes increase Gazlowe’s Attack Speed by 40% for 3 seconds. (New) Superior Schematics [Q] Moved from level 16. Adjusted Functionality: Rock-It! Turrets attack up to 2 additional target for 75% damage and have 50% increased range. (New) Overcharged Capacitors [Q] Gazlowe gains 5% Spell Power for each active turret, up to a maximum of 15%. Dealing Basic Attack damage extends the duration of Rock-It! Turrets by 1.5 seconds. Level 16 Turret Storage [Q] Removed. Kwik Release Charge [E] Removed. Firin’ Mah Lazorz [W] Moved from level 20. Damage increased from 102 to 125. Ark Reaktor [E] Moved from level 4. Adjusted Functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Xplodium Charge by 3 seconds. Using Xplodium Charge creates 3 Rock-It! Turrets that last for 3 seconds. These Turrets do not drop Scrap or benefit from other Talents. (New) Overklock [Passive] Hitting enemy Heroes grants 15% bonus Movement Speed for 2 seconds. Hitting enemy Heroes with Basic Attacks causes them to take an additional 2.5% of their maximum Health in damage. Level 20 Mecha-Lord [R1] Adjusted Functionality: Basic Attacks increase Gazlowe’s Armor by 10 for 10 seconds, up to a maximum of 30. Basic Attacks deal 50% more damage to Stunned or Slowed targets. Miniature Black Hole [R2] Added Functionality: Each enemy Hero hit reduces the cooldown of Grav-O-Bomb by 12 seconds. It’s Raining Scrap [Q] Adjusted Functionality: Reduce the Scrap cost of Rock-It! Turrets by 1. Regain 2 Scrap for each Scrap pickup. (New) Bomb Toss [E] Xplodium Charge launches 2 more bombs when it detonates. Return to Top
      Heroes
      Alarak
      Base
      Health increased from 1900 to 1950. Health Regeneration increased from 3.96 to 4.06. Talents
      Level 4 Negatively Charged [E] Initial damage bonus increased from 150% to 175%. Cassia
      Talents
      Level 7 Surge of Light [Active] Damage reduced from 250 to 240. Damage taken amount required to activate increased from 500 to 650. Chromie
      Talents
      Level 1 Deep Breathing [W] Damage bonus reduced from 1.5% to 1% per stack. Cooldown reduction upon quest completion reduced from 5 seconds to 4 seconds. Mana cost upon quest completion changed from 30 to 40. Level 5 Mobius Loop [W] Damage bonus reduced from 50% to 30%. Slow duration reduced from 1 second to .75 seconds. Deckard
      Talents
      Level 4 Ruby [Active] Cooldown increased from 10 to 20 seconds. E.T.C.
      Talents
      Level 13 Encore [W] Heroic cooldown reduction reduced from 8% to 6%. Imperius
      Talents
      Level 7 Flash of Anger [Q] Damage reduced from 180 to 165. Shield amount reduced from 300 to 275. Orphea
      Talents
      Level 1 Ancestral Strength [Trait] Bonus damage reduced from 20% to 15%. Level 7 Mind Devourer [E] Damage per enemy Hero hit increased from 4 to 5. Maximum bonus damage reduced from 160 to 150. Heroes hit required for quest completion reduced from 40 to 30. Level 13 Abyssal Symbiosis [W] Shield amount reduced from 180 to 170. Level 16 Dead Magic [Trait] Damage reduced from 95 to 90. Stitches
      Base
      Slam [W] Bonus damage to Minions and Mercenaries increased from 50% to 60%. Tassadar
      Talents
      Level 1 Static Charge [Q] Maximum damage bonus reduced from 250 to 200. Level 10 Archon [R1] Shield amount reduced from 30% to 25% maximum Health. Basic Attack damage reduced from 150 to 140. Basic Attack splash damage reduced from 75 to 70. Yrel
      Talents
      Level 1 Dauntless [Passive] Physical Armor amount reduced from 40 to 35. Return to Top
      Bug Fixes
      Fixed an issue where Mercenaries would not be Stunned by Haunting Wave when the Mercenary Queen and Festering Wounds talents were taken. Fixed an issue where Executor's Will did not have a buff bar. Fixed an issue where Trauma Trigger did not have a button. Toy Train Mount - Metamorphosis Illidan, Dragonqueen Alexstrasza, Odin Tychus, and Archon Tassadar can no longer mount as a caboose on the Toy Train. Return to Top
      D.Va and Gazlowe have been reworked in the latest Heroes of the Storm content update.
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