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Heroes of the Storm Balance Patch Notes: December 16th

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Here comes the latest Heroes of the Storm balance patch with changes to multiple Heroes, Experience Globes, the Toys 2 winter event, and more.

Patch Highlights

  • Toys 2 is now live and the winter event comes with new Toy Loot Chests that will be available until the week of March 3. The chests can also contain items from previous years' winter events, and most importantly, you can now buy the toy train mount!
  • Gaining Unstoppable now prevents and removes Blinds.
  • Experience Globes should now be easier to collect and Heroes that kill Minions with abilities or basic attacks will now automatically collect the experience from the Minions.
  • Cho'Gall received some love in this patch.
  • Johanna's Health has been decreased and the CondemnCondemn buff reverted.
  • Deathwing received significant nerfs, mainly CataclysmCataclysm and Burn Beneath My ShadowBurn Beneath My Shadow are affected.
  • Yrel's level 16 talents have been buffed.
  • Auriel's ResurrectResurrect has been reworked. She can now see her own ghost and if she presses R while dead, she will cast the ability on herself.
  • Uther's level 20 talents have been buffed to bring them on par with RedemptionRedemption.

More details are available in the full patch notes listed below.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

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

General

  • Toys 2 Event Quests
    • Toys 2 is the winter event for Heroes of the Storm running from the week of December 16 to the week of March 3, PST. Roll dice, complete quests, and join Tickle Mephisto on a board game adventure in the Nexus for awesome rewards... and sweet revenge!
  • Loot Chests
    • During the Toys 2 event, all Loot Chests you earn through progression, Heroes Brawl, or by spending gold will be New Toy Loot Chests. (Except Hero-specific Chests, which will remain unchanged.) Most limited-time items shown above have a chance to drop from New Toy Loot Chests only. You can also score Items from previous years’ winter events limited-time loot chests!
  • Balance
    • Gaining Unstoppable now prevents and removes Blinds.
    Developer Comment: We’ve read recent feedback that it is strange that Silences are removed by the Unstoppable behavior, but Blinds are not. While Unstoppable has traditionally been primarily intended to remove effects that cause a hero to not be able to control the movement of their character, this philosophy gets a little grey when it comes to Silences, as heroes can still freely move, but they lose their ability to use movement abilities. In the past we decided that it was better for Silences to be removed, but understand the argument that Blinds are effectively Silences for auto-attack based heroes. We’re trying this change to see how it pans out, as Blinds have traditionally been very powerful forms of soft CC in our game and this can help out heroes that are heavily shut down by them.
  • Experience Globes
    • Heroes who kill Minions with Abilities or Basic Attacks will automatically collect the experience from the Minions.
    • Experience Globes will no longer time out while travelling to a hero.
    • They will still expire if the hero moves out of range of the Experience Globe before it reaches them.
    • Removed a .5 second delay before Experience Globes can be collected.
    Developer Comment: While we’re excited for the experience globes and the increased clarity that they offer in regards to how experience is gained, we’ve read the feedback that it can be too difficult for many heroes to gain the globes. While we think there are some good reasons to keep them as a pick-up only mechanic, we overall agree with the sentiment, and are going to allow heroes who kill Minions to get the experience from them. We still believe that this change will allow for more interesting hero interactions overall, and are excited to see how it pans out over the course of the rest of the season. We’re also including some quality of life changes that should make Experience Globes feel generally better to collect.

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!)

  • Toys 2019 Bundle
  • Toys 2018 Bundle
  • Cosmonaut Qhira Bundle
  • Tickle Mephisto Bundle
  • Green Army Bundle
  • Train Bundle

New Skins

  • Tickle Mephisto
    • Grumpy Tickle Mephisto
    • Crazed Tickle Mephisto
    • Shocking Tickle Mephisto
    • Cuddly Tickle Mephisto
    • Unlucky Tickle Mephisto
  • Cosmonaut Qhira
    • Commander Cosmonaut Qhira
    • Blazing Cosmonaut Qhira
    • Explorer Cosmonaut Qhira
    • Eternal Cosmonaut Qhira
    • Super Cosmonaut Qhira
  • Green Army Deckard Pain
  • Green Army Commandant Varian
  • Green Army Raynor
  • Bitter Bear Stitches
  • Shabby Bear Stitches
  • Fuzzy Bear Stitches
  • Galactic Force Valeera
  • Proto Force Valeera
  • Ferocious Dehakasaurus Rex
  • X-Treme Dehakasaurus Rex

New Mount

  • Toy Train
    • Speedy Toy Train
    • Blazing Toy Train
    • Cosmic Toy Train
    • Royal Toy Train
    • Grimrail Toy Train
  • Galactic Lion
  • Proto Lion
  • Gloomy Plush Unicorn
  • Shabby Plush Unicorn
  • Mellow Snowflake
  • Periwinkle Snowflake

New Content

  • New portraits, sprays and other items have been added to the collection!

Heroes

Tank

Anub'arak

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Talents

  • Level 10
    • Locust SwarmLocust Swarm [R1]
      • Damage increased from 62 to 68.
      • Healing increased from 21 to 24.
  • Level 16
    • DebilitationDebilitation [E]
      • Spellpower reduction duration increased from 4 to 5 seconds.
    • Beetle, JuicedBeetle, Juiced [Trait]
      • Additional functionality: Increase the Health of Beetles by 20%.
Developer Comment: These buffs are to some of Anub’arak’s talents that have been lagging behind their competitors for some time. Beetle, JuicedBeetle, Juiced in particular should now be more consistent in its benefit to round out a Beetle-oriented build, even if Anub’arak isn’t able to get a lot of Basic Attacks off on enemy Heroes.

Cho

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Base

  • Surging FistSurging Fist [Q]
    • Channel time to charge maximum distance reduced from 4 to 2 seconds.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Calloused HideCalloused Hide [Trait]
      • Additional functionality: While Ogre Hide is active, Cho gains 15% Movement Speed.
  • Level 7
    • Enraged RegenerationEnraged Regeneration [Trait]
      • Additional functionality: While Gall’s Ogre Rage is active, enemy Heroes who are hit by Gall’s Dread Orb have their Healing reduced by 35% for 4 seconds.
  • Level 13
    • Twilight VeilTwilight Veil [Active]
      • Armor bonus increased from 100% to 200%.
Developer Comment: It’s been awhile since our Old God worshipping Ogre has had some love, so we’re both buffing up some of Cho’s weaker talents as well as reducing the time that Surging FistSurging Fist needs to be channeled in order to get a significant charge. This should help make Cho’s Q build more viable as well as allow him to better reposition himself during teamfights.

Johanna

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Base

  • Health reduced from 2700 to 2625.
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 5.625 to 5.469.
  • CondemnCondemn [W]
    • Damage reduced from 58 to 55.
Developer Comment: Johanna’s become a dominant force in the tanking world, and is currently the #1 most picked hero at high level play. Because of this, we’re slightly reducing her Health, as well as reverting her previous CondemnCondemn buff.

Bruiser

Deathwing

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Base

  • Health reduced from 3200 to 2920.
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 6.67 to 6.08.
  • IncinerateIncinerate [W]
    • Damage reduced from 85 to 80.
  • OnslaughtOnslaught [E]
    • Damage reduced from 42 to 40.
    • Damage at the end of the lunge reduced from 80 to 75.
  • CataclysmCataclysm [R]
    • Periodic damage reduced from 12 to 11.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Draconic MightDraconic Might [Trait]
      • Healing reduced from 40% to 30%.
  • Level 7
    • SkyfallSkyfall [E]
      • Healing reduced from 5% to 3% maximum Health.
  • Level 10
    • Burn Beneath My ShadowBurn Beneath My Shadow [R1]
      • Bonus damage reduced from 150% to 100%.
  • Level 16
    • Elementium PlatingElementium Plating [Active]
      • Shield amount reduced from 35% to 30% missing Health.
Developer Comment: It turns out that Deathwing has lived up to his name, and has been destroying the Nexus since his release. CataclysmCataclysm and Burn Beneath My ShadowBurn Beneath My Shadow in particular have proven to be incredibly powerful, so we’re reducing their effectiveness by a fairly significant amount. In addition to these changes, we’re reducing the power of some overperforming talents as well as slightly nerfing his DestroyerDestroyer form. Even with these changes, we expect Deathwing to continue to be a powerful addition to any team that he’s on.

Thrall

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Talents

  • Level 1
    • Rolling ThunderRolling Thunder [Q]
      • New functionality: [Passive] Increase the number of Chain Lightning bounces by 1. For 8 seconds after hitting an enemy with Chain Lightning, Thrall’s next Basic Attack against them grants him a stack of Frostwolf Resilience. If the target is an enemy Hero, then he also deals damage to them equal to 2% of their maximum Health and healing for the same amount.
Developer CommentEcho of the ElementsEcho of the Elements and Crash LightningCrash Lightning are both fairly solid talents that have different use cases for when to pick them. Rolling ThunderRolling Thunder has been less successful, so we’re trying something new with the talent. We’re still keeping its theme of marking targets with Chain LightningChain Lightning and then hitting them for a bonus, but now this bonus will allow Thrall to deal bonus damage to enemy Heroes while also interacting with Frostwolf ResilienceFrostwolf Resilience.

Varian

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Talents

  • Level 20
    • FrenzyFrenzy [R3]
      • No longer increases Varian’s Attack Speed by 15%.
      • Additional functionality: Increase the damage of Heroic Strike by 25%.
Developer Comment: We weren’t super happy with the power of FrenzyFrenzy’s buff, as well as that it asked Varian players to learn a new Basic Attack cadence after being used to one speed the whole game. Instead, we’re turning the Attack Speed bonus into a bonus to his damage over time by buffing Heroic StrikeHeroic Strike instead.

Yrel

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Talents

  • Level 1
    • DauntlessDauntless [Passive]
      • Physical Armor duration increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds.
  • Level 7
    • Holy AvengerHoly Avenger [E]
      • Additional functionality: Hitting an enemy Hero with Avenging Wrath at maximum charge also increases its damage by 25%.
  • Level 16
    • Templar's VerdictTemplar's Verdict [W]
      • Damage increased from 6% to 7% maximum Health.
    • Divine FavorDivine Favor [Trait]
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 1.5 to 2 seconds.
    • Holy WrathHoly Wrath [Passive]
      • Bonus splash damage increased from 20% to 30%.
  • Level 20
    • Word of GloryWord of Glory [R1]
      • Additional functionality: Increase the amount that Yrel heals from damage received from 50% to 75%.
      • Range of allied healing increased from 8 to 12.
Developer Comment: These changes are mostly looking to buff Yrel’s late-game by adding more power to her Level 16 talents. We want her to be more relevant without dominating the solo lane too much, so we’re opting to make her Level 16 tier to be an exciting spike for her to hit in her games.

Healer

Auriel

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Talents

  • Level 10
    • ResurrectResurrect [R1]
      • Resurrected Hero’s Health increased from 50% to 100%.
      • Delay before resurrection reduced from 5 to 3 seconds.
      • Additional functionality: Auriel can now see her own ghost. If she presses R while dead, she will cast Resurrect on herself.
Developer Comment: We’re trying some fairly significant buffs to ResurrectResurrect in order to help it better compete with Crystal AegisCrystal Aegis. Auriel can now ResurrectResurrect herself, which should help if she is the focus of the enemy team, and her targets will now come back faster and with all of their Health.

Brightwing

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Talents

  • Level 1
    • Greater PolymorphGreater Polymorph [W]
      • Adjusted functionality: Increase Polymorph’s range by 30%. If Brightwing hits an enemy Hero with Arcane Flare’s center within 2 seconds of being Polymorphed, then reduce Polymorph’s cooldown by 7 seconds and gain 50 Mana.
Developer Comment: Our last changes to Brightwing have better rounded out her talents, however Greater PolymorphGreater Polymorph was a little too hard to consistently proc. Instead of requiring her to hit a PolymorphPolymorphed target, she now has a slightly larger window of time to get the cooldown reduction proc. We’re also increasing the cooldown reduction bonus from 6 to 7 seconds.

Uther

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Base

  • Health reduced from 2156 to 2075.
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 4.49 to 4.32.

Talents

  • Level 20
    • Bulwark of LightBulwark of Light [R1]
      • New functionality: Divine Shield is also applied to an allied Hero with the lowest Health near its initial target, and its duration is increased by 1 second.
    • Divine HurricaneDivine Hurricane [R2]
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 20 to 40 seconds.
    • Divine ProtectionDivine Protection [Trait]
      • New functionality: Increase Devotion’s Armor to 40, and its duration by .5 seconds.
Developer Comment: Uther is in a bit of a strange spot at the moment, as he has recently had a spike in his win rate, and at higher level play we’ve been seeing him flexed into the main tank role. We think it’s pretty cool that heroes can sometimes splash into other roles, but in general Uther is overperforming, so we’re lowering his Health a bit. On an unrelated note, similar to Greymane, Uther’s Level 20 talents have long been dominated by one choice, in this case RedemptionRedemption. We’re giving the other talents on the tier some significant buffs so that they can better compete. We hope that this won’t increase his win rate significantly as RedemptionRedemption has always been a fairly powerful talent, and are prepared to make adjustments if this ends up not being the case.

Melee Assassin

Illidan

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Base

  • Health increased from 1650 to 1725.
  • Health regeneration increased from 3.44 to 3.59.

Talents

  • Level 16
    • Fiery BrandFiery Brand [Passive]
      • Damage increased from 8% to 9% maximum Health.
Developer Comment: It’s just a little more Health on Illidan. What could go wrong?

Samuro

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Base

  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 110 to 102.
  • Mirror ImageMirror Image [Q]
    • Cooldown reduced from 18 to 14 seconds.
    • Duration reduced from 18 to 8 seconds.
    • Images now have their duration increased by 1 second each time they or Samuro use a Basic Attack against an enemy Hero.
    • Mirror Image Basic Attack damage increased from 9 to 11.
  • Wind WalkWind Walk [E]
    • Additional functionality: Samuro is healed for 1% of his maximum Health every second that he has Wind Walk active.
  • Image TransmissionImage Transmission [Trait]
    • Cooldown reduced from 25 to 14 seconds.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Way of the BladeWay of the Blade [W]
      • Physical Armor reduction reduced from 10 to 5, stacking up to 3 times.
      • Physical Armor debuff duration increased from 2 to 2.25 seconds.
      • Additional functionality: Mirror Images now also apply the Physical Armor reduction.
    • Way of the WindWay of the Wind [E]
      • No longer grants cooldown reduction to Wind Walk when attacking enemy Heroes.
      • Additional functionality: Casting Windwalk heals Samuro for 5% of his maximum Health.
  • Level 7
    • Burning BladeBurning Blade [W]
      • Fixed an issue where Illusions did not deal bonus splash damage with Burning Blade when Illusion Master was picked.
    • Phantom PainPhantom Pain [W]
      • Bonus damage reduced from 45% to 35%.
      • Additional functionality: Now also reduces the cooldown of Image Transmission by 10% when Samuro Critical Strikes an enemy Hero.
    • Crushing BlowsCrushing Blows [W]
      • No longer gives Critical Strike 2 charges.
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 1.75 to 2 seconds.
      • Additional functionality: Critical Strikes against enemy Heroes increase Samuro's Basic Attack damage by 15% for 4 seconds, stacking up to 3 times.
  • Level 10
    • BladestormBladestorm [R1]
      • Cooldown reduced from 110 to 25 seconds.
      • Damage reduced from 47 to 36.
      • Duration reduced from 4 to 3 seconds.
      • Removed functionality: Bladestorm no longer grants Unstoppable.
      • Additional functionality: Bladestorm now also grants Samuro 25 Armor for its duration.
    • Illusion MasterIllusion Master [R2]
      • Cooldown reduced from 10 to 8 seconds.
  • Level 13
    • Mirrored SteelMirrored Steel [Q]
      • Cooldown reduction reduced from 1 to .75 seconds.
  • Level 20
    • SymbioteSymbiote [R1]
      • Damage increased from 25% to 30%.
      • Additional functionality: If Samuro hits enemy Heroes at least 25 times with Bladestorm, then reset its cooldown.
    • Three Blade StyleThree Blade Style [R2]
      • Mirror Image duration reduced from 36 to 16 seconds.
Developer Comment: These changes are intended to limit Samuro’s split-pushing capabilities, particularly with Illusion MasterIllusion Master, as well as increase his presence in teamfights. A good Samuro player can be a bit of a pain to deal with, particularly when he’s spending most of his time macroing and not engaging with the enemy team except to swap to a far away clone. These changes should make this scenario happen less often, while also giving Samuro more rewarding tools for engaging and fighting the enemy team.

Ranged Assassin

Gall

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Talents

  • Level 1
    • Keep Moving!Keep Moving! [Z]
      • Additional functionality: Increase the Movement Speed bonus of Shove from 25% to 35%.
    • We See You!We See You! [Passive]
      • Additional functionality: Increase the number of Basic Attacks required to kill Eye of Kilrogg by 1.
  • Level 7
    • Edge of MadnessEdge of Madness [Q]
      • Bonus damage increased from 8% to 12% per stack.
  • Level 13
    • Twilight NovaTwilight Nova [W]
      • Additional functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Dread Orb by 1 second.
  • Level 16
    • Leaden OrbLeaden Orb [W]
      • Stun duration increased from .75 seconds to 1 second.
    • ShadowsnareShadowsnare [Passive]
      • New functionality: All of Gall’s Basic Abilities Slow enemy Heroes by 15% for 4 seconds. This effect can stack up to 2 times.
Developer Comment: Similar to Cho, we took a look at Gall and we’re giving him some talent love. The buffs to Leaden OrbLeaden Orb and ShadowsnareShadowsnare should hopefully cascade into other talents in his tree becoming more powerful as well.

Greymane

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Talents

  • Level 7
    • Incendiary ElixirIncendiary Elixir [Q]
      • Adjusted functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Gilnean Cocktail by 2 seconds. Upon quest completion, reduce the cooldown of Gilnean Cocktail by an additional 2 seconds.
  • Level 20
    • UnleashedUnleashed [R1]
      • New functionality: Increase the damage of Go for the Throat by 25%. If Go for the Throat kills an enemy Hero, reset the cooldown of all of Greymane’s abilities.
    • Gilnean RouletteGilnean Roulette [R2]
      • New functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Cursed Bullet by 20 seconds and its damage to 30% of the enemy Hero’s current Health.
    • Tooth and ClawTooth and Claw [Trait]
      • Additional functionality: Increase the damage of Razor Swipe by 100%.
Developer Comment: For Greymane, we’re giving part of Incendiary ElixirIncendiary Elixir’s cooldown reduction bonus baseline so that the talent gives him some baseline power, as well as making it easier for him to complete the quest. In addition to this change, we’re addressing his Level 20 talent diversity, which has not been the best. We’re giving 3 of his talents significant buffs so that they can compete with Hunter's BlunderbussHunter's Blunderbuss, which has traditionally been the go-to option. UnleashedUnleashed now makes it easier to proc Go for the ThroatGo for the Throat, as well as causing those procs to give him significantly more mobility and damage due to resetting his cooldowns. For Gilnean RouletteGilnean Roulette, we’re trying the idea of the talent changing Cursed BulletCursed Bullet to be more like a 4th Basic Ability that can be used multiple times in a teamfight or as a potent poke tool. Finally, Tooth and ClawTooth and Claw is now also turning Razor SwipeRazor Swipe into a significant source of damage.

Nazeebo

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Talents

  • Level 1
    • Thing of the DeepThing of the Deep [Passive]
      • Spell Power bonus reduced from 10% to 5% for each quest completion.
Developer Comment: We went a little overboard with Thing of the Deep, so we’re pulling back on the Spell power bonus that it provides.

Zagara

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Talents

  • Level 16
    • Jagged BarbsJagged Barbs [Trait]
      • Attack damage bonus increased from 30% to 40%.
Developer Comment: Yay buffs.

 

Bug Fixes

General

  • Fixed an issue where enemy XP Globes could be visible through fog of war.
  • Fixed an issue where placed and unplaced accounts could not queue together in Unranked games.
  • Current Ranked Season has been renamed to 2020 Season 1.
  • Seasonal reward portraits for 2019 Season 3 now have the year 2019 (rather than 2020) on them.

Heroes

  • Samuro
    • Critical StrikeCritical Strikes' bonus is now properly applied for 50% increased damage when cast with Merciless Strikes.
  • Whitemane
    • Casting ZealZeal no longer interrupts channeled effects.

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Not that big nerfs IMO to DW.

I am more interested in the heroic changes for Uther, Auriel, Greymane and Yrel.

Samuro's mini rework seems cool at first, needs some more testing.

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All I saw was 25 SECOND cd BLADESTORM, WOOOOOOO SPIN 2 WIN

*gets stunned*

*dies*

Edited by TyZone

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3 hours ago, Arcling said:

Some serious nerfs here for Deathwing, which is reasonable. He wrecked many QM games.

Hasn't moved the needle; being CC immune leaves him OP if a team doesn't have a hard counter.  He's still oppressive.

EDIT

I'm pretty much nearing the point where if DW isn't outright removed from the game, I'm done.  I play CC heavy heroes, and if someone exists that hard counters me to this extent, then I'm not going to bother.

Edited by gamerk2

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After seeing this patch, I am convinced the dev team has no idea what to do with this game anymore. As a long time Samuro player I’ve always felt any small changes they did were just to keep players from picking illusion master and go for a build that promotes burst from Stealth instead. As this build won’t make new players feel overwhelmed. These changes are too much imo and totally remove Samuro’s identity as a character with no cc but is very difficult to cc. Even what is the point of this 25 sec bladestorm that gets rooted? Also minimizes his merc / boss soloing ability as he will have to tank them himself when clones expire. 
   All of the changes to this game seem to be just to dumb it down(look at deathwing). Except for these horribly designed regen globes. If I pick a ranged hero and play with random players... they constantly push the lanes far too deep into the opponent’s side without doing significant damage to towers.  Now with regen globes, this can be a huge problem if you can’t ever get globes cuz some guy pushed the lane into range of their towers for literally no reason whatsoever. The new change where range still gets xp for last hit is a step in the right direction but I never thought I’d see last hit in hots.  I’m sure new players won’t understand the important of this as well.

Dumbing down heros for new players and adding mechanics that those same players will never grasp seems to be the current direction of this game. RIP.

Edited by deftmonk

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11 hours ago, gamerk2 said:

Hasn't moved the needle; being CC immune leaves him OP if a team doesn't have a hard counter.  He's still oppressive.

EDIT

I'm pretty much nearing the point where if DW isn't outright removed from the game, I'm done.  I play CC heavy heroes, and if someone exists that hard counters me to this extent, then I'm not going to bother.

Indeed, if there is no hard counter for him on your team, then he is very strong and annoying. Usually having hero with %hp damage ability/talent may be enough to counter him, same weakness as other high hp heroes, like Cho'Gall, Muradin and so on. That is, if enemy's team isn't cc-heavy, which with how messy matchmaking is, can quite often be an issue, then it's hard to get near him as assassin for long enough to deal enough damage.

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55 minutes ago, Morcalivan said:

That train turned out to be not so fun. No one can apparently afford it so you get it and you can't use it. 😕

I was not able to test it yet (neither afford it), but you are saying that both players need to have the train active to be able to attach to each other?

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20 hours ago, lChronosl said:

I was not able to test it yet (neither afford it), but you are saying that both players need to have the train active to be able to attach to each other?

I thought so, but some say you just right click on someone with a train.

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      The app will automatically suggest talent recommendations based on the build you have chosen.

      You can bring up the app at any time or make it disappear by pressing Alt+F.
      Note that the app is still in beta, and we're looking forward to your feedback and suggestions!
      Download Icy Heroes Now
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      We present to you Icy Heroes, the Heroes of the Storm helper app.
    • By Stan
      The free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of February 25.
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: Week of February 25, 2020
      Alexstrasza Deathwing Greymane Jaina Leoric Muradin Nazeebo Qhira Raynor Sonya Tassadar Uther Varian Yrel Latest Heroes of the Storm News
      Internal Data Usage and Balance Patches Heroes of the Storm Balance Update Patch Notes: February 12th Weekly Brawl - Lost Cavern: Week of February 21st
    • By Stan
      Heroes' Live Designer Adam Jackson explains how the team uses internal data for balancing decisions to give players more insight into all the different areas that affect the decision-making process when making changes to a specific Hero.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Dear developers & testers,
      In your balance patches you often write notes that refer to internal data gathered by you when explaining a balance change or talents change.
      I would appreciate it if you provided an example of how the data are organized of a talent or a hero and how different categories of data are given weight to push into a change decision.
      For example if we chose illidan’s “Friend or foe” talent , and I am going to assume that data is collected from all game modes, do you have a system of point allocation depending on the rating of the player ? , Is team’s composition are taken into consideration ? Or is it just simple statistics of pick & win rates over all game modes & ranks ?
      Your answer and example will help us to better understand how you evaluate a talent or a hero before changing something & perhaps lower the ranting rates against every balance change and lower the differences in opinions between players a bit about heroes and talents balance wise.
      Thank you for your time & effort.
      I’m not going to give away everything, but I can answer this question.
      We get raw data on basically everything that’s happening in the game across all modes based on win/pick rate, as well as things like damage dealt/taken etc.
      We are able to parse through this data to look at it through many lenses. This is where raw statistics become less useful and the skill and experience of a designer come into play more so that we can draw meaningful conclusions from the data, and decide what changes we want to make based on the results.
      To get a full picture of what’s going on in the game, for example, I can and do look at things like win/loss data that’s filtered by different leagues and game modes. I can also see hero pick and ban popularity with this kind of granularity, which lets me see, for example, what the meta is looking like in the Bronze - Silver range as well as the Diamond - GM range.
      While incredibly useful, I want to emphasize that it’s not just the raw data that’s important, but also having the game knowledge and experience to make correct conclusions based on the knowledge. This is something that’s a lot more esoteric, and there are often multiple right and wrong answers, which can and often does lead to a lot of debate within the design team and with the playerbase at large.
      As an example, let’s say that you’re the designer and your job is to evaluate Samuro in the next balance patch with these facts (I made these up in my head right now because i’m at home, they are not what’s actually happening though there are truths in these statements):
      He’s currently at a 55% win rate
      He has a very low pick rate, let’s say he’s the 5th lowest pick hero in the game.
      He’s considered a highly skilled but highly rewarding hero by the bulk of the community who argues that he should deserve a relatively high win rate as a reward for being hard to play. They argue that if you nerf or remove what’s unique about him, then why would anyone play a hard hero when they can pick someone like Raynor or Lili every game and just win more often?
      Others feel he’s frustrating to play against and a different section of the community thinks he’s obviously way too strong and needs nerfs. They can and do show you videos of crazy things that he does that look and feel unfair.
      The people that play him love the unique things he can do, like swapping to clones and tricking his opponents, which is what his entire design is based on. If you decide to change these things, the likelihood of having an extremely vocal and negative and reaction from his community is very high.
      Do you make changes? If so, what do you do?
      I can guarantee you not everyone will agree with your proposed changes, which is fine and normal. A large part of being a designer is having the courage to make these kinds of calls and dealing with the fallout, even if your ideas are not always perfect. Even so, there are many cases like this and there are many times where changes need to be made. That’s essentially what we spent the bulk of our time figuring out and doing.
      Also as a side note, finding out community sentiment doesn’t come from data, and community sentiment is often a large part of the picture as well, so if you only rely on data to make changes, you’ll end up making a lot of weird changes that no one will agree with.
      As an example, Probius has always had an extremely high win rate and statistically deserves heavy nerfs. I don’t think that’d go over too well with the community ?.
      Latest Heroes of the Storm News
      Heroes of the Storm Balance Update Patch Notes: February 12th Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: Week of February 18th Heroic Deals: Week of February 18th Weekly Brawl - Lost Cavern: Week of February 21st
    • By Stan
      This week's brawl is Lost Cavern and comes with the usual ARAM rules that include shuffle pick, standard play, and no Hearthstones at spawn. A game is won by destroying the enemy Core. Play three games to earn a New Toy Chest.
      Blizzard (Source)
      This week’s brawl is Lost Cavern! It’s all-out mayhem on our single-lane battleground – Lost Cavern. Queue up, choose your Hero, and try to best to bring down the enemy Core!

      Rules:
      Shuffle pick - Choose from one of three Heroes before entering the battle. Standard play - no talent or level restrictions. The first team to destroy the enemy Core wins! Rewards:
      Complete three matches of Lost Cavern to earn a New Toy Chest! Find out more about the Heroes Brawl game mode on our Heroes Brawl site; and as always, you can find more information on this week’s Brawl by clicking the Brawl Info button at the bottom of the play screen when preparing to queue for the Brawl game mode.
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