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Heroes of the Storm PTR Patch Notes: April 6th

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The latest content patch comes with a new Nexus Anomaly, the long-awaited Tassadar rework, AI improvements, matchmaking changes for GM and Masters, and more. Check out the full patch notes for more details!

Patch Highlights

  • The new Nexus Anomaly revolves around Structures.
    • Structures will now focus on attacking offenders (enemy Heroes) instead of NPCs until they are dead or leave Tower range.
    • Cannon Towers, Forts, and Keeps reduce Hero Armor by 5/10.
    • Cores received new abilities unique to each Battlegrounds.
  • The AI has been updated to resolve conflicts between tactical and goal systems.
  • Tier 3 Mastery Rings have been added to the game.
  • Players can now create up to three favorite talent builds per Hero and share them via in-game links.
  • Master and Grand Master players are no longer restricted to queueing with only 1 player and players who are within 5,000 Ranked Points.
  • New Dark Nexus Skins will become available in the game.
  • Tassadar has been reworked into a Ranged Assassin.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (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 April 13, 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.

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Nexus Anomaly - A Call For Help

We’ve heard feedback over the years that a lot of you would like to feel more protected by nearby friendly structures. Currently, Minions, Summons, and non-Heroic units can hold a structure’s attention for so long that defending players feel that they’re offered no additional protection when taking refuge under their Cannon Towers, Forts, Keeps and Cores. In order to address this issue, we will be making the following changes to structures:

Cannon Towers, Forts, Keeps and Cores

  • A beam is now created from these structures to their targets, making it easier to see what is being attacked at a glance.
  • Allied Heroes of the structures who are being attacked by enemy Heroes will cause the structure to focus the offender until the offender is dead or leaves tower range.
  • A bright beam indicates that the structure is defending an ally Hero and is focusing on the beam target.
  • Structures reset targeting when the Call for Help target becomes invalid.
  • Structures reset targeting logic when they recover from being disabled.

Cannon Towers, Forts and Keeps

  • Damage to Heroes increased by 10%.
  • Attacks reduce Hero Armor by up to -40.
  • Cannon Tower attacks reduce enemy Hero Armor by 5.
  • Forts and Keeps attacks reduce enemy Hero Armor by 10.
  • Forts and Keeps no longer slow enemy Heroes.

New Core Abilities

  • We want fights around the Core to feel like exciting ends to cap off great games, and we feel like we can do more to deliver on that front. To that end, this Seasonal Nexus Anomaly will introduce themed abilities to non-ARAM Battleground Cores:
    • Battlefield of Eternity
      • Every 8 seconds, the Core will spawn 2 volleys of Frozen Orbs that explode, dealing 5% maximum Health as damage and Rooting enemy Heroes hit for 1.5 seconds.
    • Blackheart’s Bay
      • Every 4 seconds, the Core will shoot a cannonball at 2 nearby enemy Heroes, dealing 5% maximum Health as damage, slowing them by 70% for 1.5 seconds, and knocking them back.
    • Braxis Holdout
      • Every 4 seconds, the Core will shoot 5 missiles at a nearby enemy Hero, dealing 5% maximum Health as damage per missile.
    • Cursed Hollow
      • Every 3 seconds, the Core will spawn a Curse under a nearby enemy Hero. If they are Cursed, they take 5% maximum Health as damage and their Armor is reduced by 75 for 4 seconds.
    • Dragonshire
      • Every 6 seconds, the Core will throw 2 boulders at a nearby enemy Hero. Heroes hit are turned to stone, damaged for 5% of their maximum Health, and Stunned for 1.75 seconds.
    • Garden of Terror
      • Every 5 seconds, the Core shoots a seed under a nearby enemy Hero. When the seed explodes, Heroes inside are Polymorphed for 3 seconds.
    • Hanamura
      • Every 8 seconds, the Core fires 2 volleys of missiles around it, dealing 5% maximum Health to enemy Heroes and slowing them by 70% for 1.25 seconds.
    • Infernal Shrines
      • Every 8 seconds, the Core will spawn 2 volleys of Frozen Orbs that explode, dealing 5% maximum Health as damage and Rooting enemy Heroes hit for 1.5 seconds.
    • Sky Temple
      • Every 23 seconds, the Core will spawn 2 sets of 6 tornadoes which swirl around it, dealing 25 damage to enemy Heroes and knocking them back.
    • Tomb of the Spider Queen
      • Every 5 seconds, the Core will shoot a Death Wave, dealing 5% maximum Health as damage to enemy Heroes and slowing them by 70% for 1.25 seconds.
    • Volskaya
      • Every 6 seconds, the Core shoots 3 Rocket Fists at nearby enemy Heroes, dealing 150 damage and knocking them back.
    • Warhead Junction
      • Every 18 seconds, the Core launches a Nuke at a nearby enemy Hero, dealing 30% maximum health to enemy Heroes hit.

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General

Mastery Rings - Tier 3

  • Get ready to show off your dedication to your favorite Heroes with the next level of Hero Mastery Rings! These new rings become purchasable once a Hero reaches level 50 and you already own the first and second rings for that Hero.

A.I.

  • A.I. trees have been refactored in order to reduce conflicts between the tactical and goal systems.
  • Agents will attempt to stage and wait for backup around objectives before attempting to contest.
  • Disconnected players will have their A.I. return to base and remain there unless they are pinged to follow.
    • Follow behavior is the same for disconnected player A.I. and normal A.I.
    • While following, the agent will attempt to fight while remaining close to their follow target, leashing back if they wander too far away.
    • While following, the agent will mount or use their Hearthstone if their follow target uses their mount or Hearthstone.
  • Adjusting A.I. Healing Well goal health threshold from 75% to 60%.
  • Bringing an A.I. who is on follow close enough to Doubloon turn-in on Blackheart's Bay, Soul Gem turn-in on Tomb of the Spider Queen, or a healing fountain will cause the A.I. to interact with them appropriately if they are able.

Favorite Talents

  • Create your favorite talent builds
    • Players can pick their favorite talents on the talent panel from Hero select or draft screen.
    • In order to favorite a talent, simply click the talent. Once it's selected, you can click the talent again to unselect it.
    • Players can create up to 3 builds per each Hero and can activate one build at a time.
    • To switch to a different build, click the build buttons shown on the top of the talent panel.
    • If any significant change happens to a talent tier due to a balance patch, the selection for the tier will be reset.
  • Share your favorite builds
    • You can generate a hyperlink for a talent build by clicking the cog menu next to talent build buttons on the Hero select screen.
    • If you paste this link on the chat, it shows as a hyperlink in the chat history.
    • If you left click the link, it shows the preview of the talent build.
    • By right clicking the link, you can copy the link to your clipboard or directly save it to your Hero's corresponding build slots.
    • The format of the talent hyperlink is as follows. [T1231231,Lucio]
  • In-Game & End of the match screen
    • A favorited talent will display a favorite icon on top of it.
    • You can switch the build in the middle of the game based on your strategy.
    • For the future tiers, you can adjust your favorites by clicking the talent button in the same way you would do in the Hero select screen.
    • All changes made in game are saved.
    • After game ends, you can use the cog menu on the talent tab to copy other players' talent builds.

Storm League

  • Matchmaking Changes for GM & Masters
    • Master and Grand Master players are no longer restricted to queuing with only one other player.
    • Master and Grand Master players are no longer restricted to queuing with players who are within 5000 ranked points.
    • Made some changes to matchmaking rules that should improve the quality of matches for Master and Grand Master players.

Developer Comment: We have been actively monitoring matchmaking throughout the season and are going to be making some changes which will help the player experience. Firstly, we found that our party size restrictions for Masters players didn’t give the experience that we had envisioned, so we are reverting these changes. The limit for queueing as a party will require players to be within 2 leagues of each other, with Diamond players being able to queue up with Master and Grand Master players. Additionally, we have made some changes to all regions so that players who are Masters and above should find games being made with as many high level players as possible, which should result in better matches.

Experience

  • Floating Combat Text for experience earned from killing blows now has a unique purple color and displays at the position of the killed unit. Floating Combat Text from experience earned from Experience Globes remains unchanged.

Experience Globes

  • Pickup Radius increased from 1.5 to 1.75.
  • Experience Globes that are actively travelling to a Hero will attempt to follow more closely.

Developer Comment: We're making some small improvements to Experience Globes to make them more readable and to improve how they feel to pick up by adding a unique purple text that displays where they are killed. With these changes, players should more clearly see when they gained experience via a killing blow. We also found that sometimes picking up experience globes while mounted could be a bit of a hassle due to the pickup radius of the globes as well as how quickly they travel to players, so we are slightly buffing both of these aspects to make them a little easier to collect in these instances.

US Region Selection

  • After looking at the causes for North American players' longer wait times and instances of not queuing together, we are bundling matchmaking for our US regions together. This will only happen for players if they have good pings to both sites, and our simulations have shown that we can create better games faster this way. If you don't experience this, please let us know!

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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!)

  • Fragments of the Dark Nexus Bundle
  • Dark Nexus Harbingers Bundle
  • Dark Nexus Deathwing Bundle
  • Dark Nexus Fenix Bundle
  • Dark Nexus Tassadar Bundle
  • Dark Nexus Beast Pack
  • Caldeum Complex Bundle

New Skins

  • The following skins will be available for a limited time:
    • Dark Nexus Deathwing
      • Shattered Dark Nexus Deathwing
      • Forgotten Dark Nexus Deathwing
      • Awakened Dark Nexus Deathwing
      • Astral Dark Nexus Deathwing
    • Dark Nexus Fenix
      • Imperial Dark Nexus Fenix
      • Awakened Dark Nexus Fenix
      • Eldritch Dark Nexus Fenix
      • Astral Dark Nexus Fenix
    • Dark Nexus Tassadar
      • Forgotten Dark Nexus Tassadar
      • Awakened Dark Nexus Tassadar
      • Eldritch Dark Nexus Tassadar
      • Astral Dark Nexus Tassadar
    • Dark Nexus Gul’dan
      • Entropic Dark Nexus Gul’dan
      • Sadistic Dark Nexus Gul’dan
    • Dark Nexus Alarak
      • Astral Dark Nexus Alarak
      • Awakened Dark Nexus Alarak

New Mounts

  • The following mounts will be available for a limited time:
    • Dark Nexus Beast
      • Shattered Dark Nexus Beast
      • Forgotten Dark Nexus Beast
      • Wild Dark Nexus Beast
      • Awakened Dark Nexus Beast
      • Astral Dark Nexus Beast
    • Astral Dark Nexus Hound
    • Awakened Dark Nexus Hound
    • Astral Dark Nexus Manta
    • Awakened Dark Nexus Manta

New Content

  • Several new portraits, sprays and other items have been added to the collection for a limited time!

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Heroes

Tassadar Rework

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Trait

  • Resonance Beam
    • Tassadar’s Basic Attack is a long range channeled beam that deals 14 damage every .25 seconds and Slows its target for 10%. While channeling, your Basic Attack damage and Mana Regeneration increase by 25% a second, to a maximum of 100% bonus. While fully charged, gain an additional 3 mana per second. This bonus is lost after 6 seconds of not channeling.

Basic Abilities

  • Shock Ray [Q]
    • After a .375 second cast, channel a fast moving electric beam that deals 280 damage and slows all enemies in a line by 25% for 2 seconds.
    • Mana: 55 Mana.
    • Cooldown: 7 seconds.
  • Psionic StormPsionic Storm [W]
    • Create a storm of psionic energy at the targeted location, dealing 38 damage every .5 seconds to enemies within its area for 3 seconds. This damage increases by 10% for each consecutive hit, to a maximum of 50% increased damage.
    • Mana: 60 Mana.
    • Cooldown: 8 seconds.
  • Force WallForce Wall [E]
    • After a .5 second delay, create a wall that blocks all units from moving through it for 2 seconds.
    • Mana: 70 Mana.
    • Cooldown: 21 seconds.

Heroic Abilities

  • ArchonArchon [R1]
    • Transform into a powerful Archon, gaining 40% of your maximum health as a shield and empowering Basic Attacks for 12 seconds. Empowered Basic Attacks deal more damage, splash in a small area, and reduce the Spell Armor of Heroes by 20 for 2 seconds. While in Archon form, Resonance Beam is fully charged.
    • Mana: 100 Mana.
    • Cooldown: 90 seconds.
  • Black Hole [R2]
    • After a .5 second cast, launch a Black Hole that travels in a long line. While travelling, the Black Hole quickly pulls enemy Heroes towards its center. Touching the center deals 310 damage and stuns for 1.25 seconds.
    • Mana: 80 Mana.
    • Cooldown: 70 seconds.

Talent

  • Level 1
    • Static Charge [Q]
      • Quest: Heroes hit by Shock Ray permanently increase its damage by 4 and grant 33% Resonance Beam charge.
      • Maximum of 200 additional damage.
    • Psi-Infusion [W]
      • Increase Psionic Storm’s range by 33%. Each non-structure enemy hit by Psionic Storm restores .5 mana, increased to 5 against Heroes.
    • Khaydarin Amulet [Trait]
      • Quest: Resonance Beam charges 50% faster.
      • Reward: After remaining at full charge for 80 seconds, Resonance Beam bounces to hit 1 additional target for 50% damage.
      • Reward: After remaining at full charge for 160 seconds, Resonance Beam bounces to hit 2 additional targets for 50% damage.
  • Level 4
    • Induction [Q]
      • Casting Shock Ray increases Tassadar’s move speed by 15% for 3 seconds. If an enemy Hero is hit, increase this bonus by 10%.
    • Electric Fence [E]
      • Enemies near Force Wall take 46 damage every .5 seconds and are slowed by 35%.
    • Plasma Shield [Trait]
      • While Resonance Beam is fully charged, gain a shield equal to 3% of max health every second. Stacking up to 15% maximum health.
  • Level 7
    • Beam Alignment [Q]
      • When Resonance Beam is fully charged, your Basic Attack range is increased by 1 and the cooldown of Shock Ray refreshes 100% faster.
    • Psionic Echo [Q/E]
      • Casting Psionic Storm causes your next Shock Ray within 3 seconds to cost 30 mana and create a Psionic Storm on the first Hero it hits.
    • Arc Discharge [Trait]
      • After reaching full charge, the next instance of Resonance Beam damage creates a Psionic Storm at the target’s location. This effect has a 20 second cooldown that decays twice as fast while Resonance Beam is at full charge.
  • Level 13
    • Feedback [W/Trait]
      • On targets afflicted with Psionic Storm, Resonance Beam’s slow is increased to 60% and it also reduces Physical Armor by 25.
    • Shadow Walk [Active]
      • Activate to gain unrevealable Stealth, 40% movement speed and 25 Armor for 1.5 seconds. 60 second cooldown. Can be cast while channeling Shock Ray or Black Hole.
    • Oracle [Active]
      • While stationary, gain 30 Spell Armor for .75 seconds and heal for 12 health each second. Activate to channel for up to 4 seconds, revealing a gradually increasing area anywhere on the map. 45 second cooldown.
  • Level 16
    • Thermal Lance [Q]
      • The first enemy Hero hit by Shock Ray takes 8% of their maximum health as damage.
    • Psychic Shock [W]
      • Psionic Storm deals damage 25% faster.
    • Executor’s Will [Active]
      • Activate to gain full Resonance Beam charge, 15 Spell Power, and cause Ability cooldowns to refresh 25% faster. This effect lasts as long as Resonance Beam is fully charged. 60 sec cooldown.
  • Level 20
    • Twilight Archon [R1]
      • Basic Attacks while in Archon form increase its duration by 2 seconds.
    • Kugelblitz [R2]
      • Each Hero hit by Black Hole creates a Psionic Storm at their location.
    • Force Barrier [E]
      • Increases the range of Force Wall by 50%, its duration by .5 seconds, and reduces its cooldown by 10 seconds.
    • Khala’s Gift [Passive]
      • Gain 4 spell power for yourself and each nearby ally Hero, up to 20. Your total bonus is shared with all contributing allies.

Developer Comment: We’ve been teasing the Tassadar rework for a long time and it’s finally here! Tassadar was previously considered a support Hero, but we felt there was a disconnect between his kit/playstyle and the core fantasy of a High Templar or the other Protoss magic users. Because of this, we’ve re-imagined Tassadar from the ground up as an ability based Ranged Assassin, similar to characters like Kael’thas and Gul’dan. He retains his Psionic Storm, Force Wall and Archon abilities and has gained two new abilities: Shock Ray and Black Hole. His talent tree has also been radically transformed, giving him a slew of powerful new ways to play. We’re very excited to finally get Tassadar into your hands and hope you all enjoy the rework as much as we have!

Xul

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Base

  • Health reduced from 2200 to 2080.
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 4.58 to 4.33.

Developer Comment: We’re happy with how Xul’s rework has gone overall in improving his gameplay and talent diversity. He is, however, overperforming, so while we wait for more data, we’re doing a reduction in the Health he gained to bring him more in line.

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Bug Fixes

General

  • Toy Train Mount
    • Worgen Greymane, Metamorphosis Illidan, Dragonqueen Alexstrasza, Odin Tychus, and Archon Tassadar can no longer mount as a caboose on the Toy Train.

Heroes

  • Fixed an issue where various Physical Armor buffs were not appropriately reducing damage from non-Heroic targets.
  • Arthas
    • Army of the DeadArmy of the Dead Ghouls no longer stop following Arthas when affected by certain abilities.
  • Deathwing
    • Deathwing's Energy tooltip while in DragonflightDragonflight now is correctly called Energy instead of Mana.
  • Garrosh
    • Fixed an issue where Garrosh would fail to throw moving targets.
  • Imperius
    • Imperius' Flash of AngerFlash of Anger will now properly trigger if it kills a target.
    • Clarified Flash of AngerFlash of Anger's tooltip to reflect that it deals damage to the target as well as all targets around them.
    • Fixed an issue where players were unable to issue attack commands while using Celestial ChargeCelestial Charge, causing them to auto-acquire nearby targets.
  • Nazeebo
    • Crowd Control effects on Nazeebo's Zombie WallZombie Wall with Dead RushDead Rush no longer causes Zombie WallZombie Wall to become unresponsive.
  • Stukov
    • Fixed an issue where Weighted PustuleWeighted Pustule was removed by Unstoppable.
  • Tracer
    • Fixed an issue where Tracer's A.I. would sometimes stop using her weapons to auto-attack targets.
  • Xul
    • Fixed an issue where Corpse ExplosionCorpse Explosion did not link to an ability in the Death Recap.
  • Zarya
    • Zarya's To the LimitTo the Limit no longer causes Zarya's weapon beam to appear shorter at certain energy levels.

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1 hour ago, Stan said:

Toy Train Mount

  • Worgen Greymane, Metamorphosis Illidan, Dragonqueen Alexstrasza, Odin Tychus, and Archon Tassadar can no longer mount as a caboose on the Toy Train.

I had no idea this was even possible. I need to see that.

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2 hours ago, Cammykins said:

I hope that the Tassadar rework has him stay competent in between ccs and damage.

He gets an 11 second Force Wall with 92 damage per second and a 35% slow to nearby targets.

That doesn't even count his Psionic Storm and Beam slow, damage, % health and -armour. So I think he'll be fine.

Those numbers are going to be pretty painful on release.

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So, I've trying out Tass, and his Archon sometimes has lifesteal (and you heal a LOT hitting minions with the AoE), and can't find out why he has it.

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I really like the look of the new Tass skins, and his reworks looks like fun. Looking forward to this

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2 hours ago, kurdi said:

So, I've trying out Tass, and his Archon sometimes has lifesteal (and you heal a LOT hitting minions with the AoE), and can't find out why he has it.

Maybe because of this?

5 hours ago, Stan said:

Oracle [Active]

  • While stationary, gain 30 Spell Armor for .75 seconds and heal for 12 health each second. Activate to channel for up to 4 seconds, revealing a gradually increasing area anywhere on the map. 45 second cooldown.

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32 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

Maybe because of this?

Nope, it doesn't seem to be related to any talent, (and set my lvl to 10 to check it wasn't that talent in particular) and I'm 100% sure is lifesteal, no hp regen. But can't find exactly what makes it happen. Tomorrow I'll test it more thoughroughly.

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OMG, this might be my favourite patch so far. The skins look amazing, those gameplay changes were completely unexpected but sound awesome, and Tass rework is finally here! Can't wait to test them up on PTR (as soon as it finishes loading...).

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For some time I wanted to play Tassadar because I really liked the beam and the archon form but damn his skins were not my taste. The new skins are really good and the rework is phenomenal. Gonna need some Gems for all the skins so WP HotS team, WP.

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11 hours ago, kurdi said:

Nope, it doesn't seem to be related to any talent, (and set my lvl to 10 to check it wasn't that talent in particular) and I'm 100% sure is lifesteal, no hp regen. But can't find exactly what makes it happen. Tomorrow I'll test it more thoughroughly.

Were you using his lvl 4 shield talent? It's suppose to only give a shield based on max health and not a heal but maybe they messed up?

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Those skins are looking good, especially Fenix. Thought for a moment that mount from art was Dehaka's skin. 😅 Expected him to be in next batch. Btw, now support category is going to have only 4 heroes, and it's unlikely we will see any more of them. Perhaps they should remove it? Wonder for how long we have to wait now for that "Greek Gods" event.

 

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24 minutes ago, Arcling said:

Those skins are looking good, especially Fenix. Thought for a moment that mount from art was Dehaka's skin. 😅 Expected him to be in next batch. Btw, now support category is going to have only 4 heroes, and it's unlikely we will see any more of them. Perhaps they should remove it? Wonder for how long we have to wait now for that "Greek Gods" event.

 

Yeah, they should make Abathur a melee assassin already. We all know he's basically already there.

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14 hours ago, Arcling said:

Those skins are looking good, especially Fenix. Thought for a moment that mount from art was Dehaka's skin. 😅 Expected him to be in next batch. Btw, now support category is going to have only 4 heroes, and it's unlikely we will see any more of them. Perhaps they should remove it? Wonder for how long we have to wait now for that "Greek Gods" event.

 

They could really cut to the chase and reduce everything to two categories: "assassins" and "everything else"

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After some testing with Tass, his talents are probably the most confusing of any character on which to pick barring 10, 13, and 20. It just seems like you can't really harness everything for Shock Ray, Resonance Beam, or Psionic Storm without gaining a reliance on one of the others. Building him seems a lot more difficult than before.

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7 hours ago, Twych said:

After some testing with Tass, his talents are probably the most confusing of any character on which to pick barring 10, 13, and 20. It just seems like you can't really harness everything for Shock Ray, Resonance Beam, or Psionic Storm without gaining a reliance on one of the others. Building him seems a lot more difficult than before.

I feel like that is how they want the heroes to be designed now, so you use there whole kit instead of overpowering just one part of it. They did that in the Xul rework also with mixing the skeleton build with the scythe build. And having a good hybrid W build with scythe build. They tried to do it with Azmodan, but everyone just takes the Q talents and forgets the interactions with his laser and minions. Also i noticed that pretty much every "mage" has an AA build that nobody uses. So Tass is an AA mage. I wonder how that is going to go over.  

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      Then something interesting happened. Once we had removed the system, we started getting feedback from across the team that this was the wrong decision, and that the Tower aggro changes, although they had some issues, made the game, overall, feel much better. We ourselves also noticed that the games just felt better with the system on, which caused us to go back and ask ourselves: “are we making the right decision by taking this away?”
      After lots of debate, we’re still torn on the how we want to proceed. We need to make a call soon, so we’re asking for some feedback from you to help us decide. In the next and final section of this post, we’re going to outline what we like about the current system, what we don’t like, and some proposed changes to improve the system if we decide to keep it.
      What We Like
      We believe we succeeded in Towers feeling smarter as a defending player. They “feel” like they’re doing what they should be
      We believe we’ve created cool, high-tension moments when enemy Heroes dive under a Tower. We also like how attackers have some ability to manipulate who gets the Tower aggro to make intelligent, coordinated plays. We believe this can be even better with improvements in the future
      The combination on our end of being able to manipulate Tower damage and the stacking Armor debuff gives us a lot of room to manipulate exactly how we want these interactions to feel going forward, and gives us good tuning knobs to decide how much defensive power is from the Tower itself or from the nearby enemy Heroes who are there to defend it
      Issues With The Current System
      We believe Towers are currently too punishing to consistently create the cool, high-tension moments we described above. They currently hit too hard to make those moments happen as often or as long as we’d like them to
      Many players don’t like how much they have to change their behavior when near enemy Towers, particularly the ones near the Gates, mainly due to splash damage inadvertently causing Towers to attack them
      A lot of the map is now more dangerous than before, making it less possible to fight enemy Heroes, particularly in the early game. This exacerbates issues we already have with our desire to make the laning phase of the game more interesting
      When too powerful (which we believe it currently is), it disincentivizes players from pushing with their map objectives, which can make those moments feel less awesome
      Some players just like the way things have been for years, and don’t want such a large change to a fundamental aspect of the game. While not a commanding reason to never make changes, it is something we always try to keep in mind, and why we think the bar needs to be high in order to keep these kinds of fundamental changes to game systems
      Now that we’ve covered where we’re at, here are some potential ideas that we have been debating to help make things better if we decide to keep the changes. We could end up doing none of these or all of them, and we’re open to other ideas from you!
      Change all structures to prioritize Map Objectives before anything else Pros
      It would fix players not wanting to push with Map Objectives Cons
      It adds another rule that can be unintuitive for the defending players since they will not always be defended by their Towers, only most of the time, which can be confusing and goes against the primary goal of Towers “feeling” smart in how they work
      Towers don’t defend their teammates in the moments of the game when they need them most
      Change Tower aggro so that the front Towers prioritize Minions, but the Forts, Keeps, and Kings Core prioritize Heroes who attack other Heroes Pros
      The early game would better reward aggression and pushing, and less of the map would be as dangerous as it currently is with the new system Players could attack gates without feeling like their splash damage could get them into trouble Cons
      It adds complexity to the game with two different Aggro rules depending on the Structure
      Lower the damage that Structures do to Heroes Pros
      Towers won’t be as directly threatening themselves, which mitigates the issue of them being too punishing in the early game Players will have more time to be aggressive with Tower diving and less immediately punished when Towers initially start to shoot them It puts the onus of properly defending towns more on the defending team, which incentivizes interaction between heroes Cons
      It makes Towers weaker, which could result in Tower diving being too prevalent.
      These are our thoughts on the current Anomaly. Thanks again for taking the time to read through our ideas. We’re now looking for feedback on how you feel about the current system, whether or not you would like to go back to the old system and why, or other ideas on how to improve the current one. We want to make a choice in the near future about what to do, so please be a Hero and give us your feedback – it will greatly help us in our tireless pursuit of constantly improving this game that we all love playing together.
    • By Stan
      While there are no plans to bring back Haunted Mines at this time, reddit user RockNerd33 did a drum cover of the original Haunted Mines soundrack for everyone to enjoy.
      For illustration, here's the original Haunted Mines Soundtrack if you haven't heard it yet.
      (Source)
    • By Oxygen
      Our twenty-ninth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the month of December is here!
      The latest meta tier list for December 2019 is here!
      Welcome to another Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the December 3 patch. The goal of this list is to try and detail game's current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame).
      Using the list
       
      Current ranked mode map rotation
       
      Current anomaly
      Experience Globes. For more information about this Anomaly, simply refer to our Anomaly guide.
       
      Meta picks
      Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer — Deathwing (new) (ban) — — — — — —  
      High-tier generalists
      Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer E.T.C. (ban) — Alarak (ban) Zeratul — Jaina Abathur (ban) Ana↓ (ban) Diablo (ban)   Qhira      Kael'thas (ban)   Anduin (ban) Garrosh (ban)         Sylvanas   Uther↑ (ban) Johanna (ban)                
      Mid-tier generalists
      Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer Anub'arak↓ Artanis Kerrigan Tracer Cassia Azmodan  Medivh Alexstrasza Arthas Chen↓ Maiev   Falstad Chromie Zarya Auriel Blaze Dehaka Malthael   Fenix Gul'dan   Brightwing↓ Mal'Ganis Imperius↓ Ragnaros   Greymane Junkrat    Deckard↓ Muradin Sonya Thrall   Hanzo Kel'Thuzad   Kharazim Stitches Yrel Varian   Lunara Li-Ming   Li Li Varian   Varian   Raynor Mephisto   Lt. Morales         Tychus Nazeebo   Lúcio         Valla Orphea   Malfurion         Zul'jin Zagara   Rehgar                 Stukov               Tyrande               Whitemane↑  
      Low-tier generalists
      Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer — D.Va Gazlowe Genji↓ Sgt.Hammer↓ Probius — —     Murky Valeera             The Butcher            
      Situational picks (map, team composition, or counterpick)
      Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer Cho'gall Leoric Illidan Nova — Cho'gall Tassadar — Tyrael Rexxar Xul Samuro     The Lost Vikings    
      Meta heroes define the metagame. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most drafts and matches.
      Generalists form the core of your team and are generally picked after Meta picks have been distributed. They tend to work on most maps, and as part of and against most team compositions. Since this group includes most heroes, I elected to split it into three tiers. High-tier rankings are a result of performance (i.e. win rates) and popularity (i.e. pick and ban rates). This means that heroes with high win rates can be set in low tier; the opposite may also be true.
      Situational picks shine on specific maps or as part of specific team compositions.
       
    • By Stan
      Blizzard released two new skins for Cassia and Tracer yesterday, but that did not stop community members from submitting their own skin concepts that are very well worth checking out! Here's Messenger Kharazim and Hades Ragnaros.

      Messenger Kharazim by Yasemin Baran (Source)

      Hades Ragnaros by Evangelos Callow (Source)
      Latest Heroes of the Storm News
      Heroes of the Storm Balance Patch: May 6th Mythic Pantheon Skins Now Live
    • By Stan
      A new balance patch has just hit the Nexus. Cassia and Tracer have been reworked and we have some changes to the latest Nexus Anomaly, Tassadar buffs, and more. Read on for more details!
      Earlier today, Blizzard released new skins for Cassia and Tracer. They went live before this patch.
      (Source)
      Heroes of the Storm has just been updated with Hero balance changes! Read on for details.
      Quick Navigation:
      General Collection Battlegrounds Heroes Rework Heroes Bug Fixes General
      Nexus Anomaly - A Call For Help Tower, Fort, and Keep structure damage reduced by 10%. Structures will only focus their attacks on enemy Heroes if they attack an allied Hero who is also in their range. Self-damage from Heroes will no longer cause structures to focus them. Periodic damage over time will no longer cause structures to focus Heroes. Return to Top
      Collection
      Awakened Dark Nexus Manta is now called Astral Dark Nexus Manta and vice versa, to better reflect their appearance. Return to Top
      Battlegrounds
      Hanamura Objective Missile damage increased from 1800 to 1900. Samurai Camp Laner version Health reduced from 8,000 to 7,200. Laner version Health scaling reduced by ~10%. Return to Top
      Heroes Rework
      Cassia
      Base
      Vitals Health reduced from 1840 to 1510. Health Regeneration reduced from 3.83 to 3.15. Basic Attack Attack range increased from 4 to 4.5. Weapon period increased from .75 to 1. Attacks per second reduced from 1.33 to 1. Damage reduced from 130 to 122. Lightning Fury [Q] Damage reduced from 175 to 150. Cooldown increased from 4 to 5 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 30 to 25. Additional functionality: Holds 2 charges. Blinding Light [W] Mana cost reduced from 70 to 50. Fend [E] Damage reduced from 39 to 34. Cast range increased from 5 to 6. Cooldown increased from 8 to 10 seconds. Mana cost increased from 40 to 50. Additional functionality: Avoidance remains active while Fend is channeling. Avoidance [Trait] Duration increased from .5 to .625. New functionality: While moving unmounted, gradually gain 30 Armor of the course of 3 seconds. Talents
      Level 1 Thunderstroke New functionality: Increase the damage of Lightning Fury by 25 and casting it grants 5 stacks of Avoidance. Quest: Every Hero hit increases the damage of Lightning Fury by 1. Impale Moved from Level 7. Additional functionality: Increases the cast range and AoE of Fend by 25%. It deals 50% more damage to enemies below 50% Health. Charged Strikes New functionality: Gain 20% Attack Speed. Every 3rd Basic attack deals 20% bonus damage to the target and bounces to nearby enemy Heroes. Level 4 Inner Light New functionality: Activate to heal for 25% of your maximum Health over 5 seconds. Heroes hit with Lightning Fury lower this cooldown by 10 seconds (70 second cooldown). Ring of the Leech New functionality: Basic Attacks against heal Cassia for 15% of the damage they deal. If an enemy is Blinded this affects Lightning Fury and Fend. Plate of the Whale New functionality: Gain 7 HPS while Avoidance is active. Increase this to 21 HPS while Avoidance is fully charged. Avoidance is active while Mounted. Level 7 Seraph's Hymn New functionality: Increase the passive damage bonus of Blinding Light to 30%. Basic Attacks that hit enemy Heroes lower the cooldown of Blinding Light by 1.5 seconds and grant 10 Mana. Surge of Light Activation Damage increased from 210 to 300. Plate of the Whale New functionality: Gain 7 HPS while Avoidance is active. Increase this to 21 HPS while Avoidance is fully charged. Avoidance is active while Mounted. New Talent: Debilitating Thrusts Enemies hit by Fend are slowed by 30% for 3 seconds. Level 13 Grounding Bolt Removed. Thundergod's Vigor Removed. Lunging Strike Removed. New Talent: Gloves of Alacrity Basic Attack range is increased by 1. Increase this to 2 while Avoidance is fully charged. War Traveler Moved from Level 7. New functionality: Gain 5% Movement Speed and if Avoidance is maxed gain an additional 10% Movement Speed and your Mount time becomes instant. New Talent: War Matron Cassia is Protected while channeling Fend and for an additional 1 second if the channel is completed. Level 16 Pierce Removed. Penetrate Removed. New Talent: Power Strike Lightning Fury pierces. Hitting an enemy Hero with Lightning Fury marks them for 15 seconds. Once a player has 3 marks, cast a free Blinding Light at their feet. New Talent: Static Electricity Gain 2 more charges of Lightning Fury. Fend launches a Lightning Bolt at nearby Heroes upon arrival. Level 20 Infinite Lightning Cooldown refund per bounce from 3 to 5 seconds. Imprisoning Light The main target is Blinded for 5 seconds. Enemies knocked back take damage and are Rooted and Silenced for 3 seconds. Titan's Revenge New functionality: Basic Attacks ignore Armor and while Avoidance is fully charged, deal 20% bonus Attack Damage. New Talent: Rockstopper Activate: Instantly fully charge Avoidance and increase the Armor bonus to 60 for 4 seconds (30 second cooldown). Return to Top
      Tracer
      Base
      Weapon Range reduced from 5.5 to 5. Damage reduced from 26 to 24. Pulse Bomb charge gained from Basic Attacks increased by 25%. Max Health increased from 1280 to 1330. Health Regen reduced from 5.3 to 2.71. Melee [W] Pulse Bomb charge increased from 5/10% to 6/12%. Recall [E] Cooldown reduced from 30 to 20 seconds. Amount of time to Recall reduced from 3 to 2 seconds. Duration of Recall increased from .75 to 1.25 seconds. Pulse Bomb [R] Target damage reduced from 360 to 288. AoE damage reduced from 180 to 144. Reload [Trait] Added functionality: Tracer gains 15% life steal on her Basic Attacks. Talents
      Level 1 Pulse Strike [W] Removed. Parting Gift [E] Moved from Level 4. Damage increased from 240 to 250. Added functionality: Each Hero hit by Parting Gift bombs grants 5% Pulse Bomb charge. Slipstream [E] Removed. Tracer Rounds [Passive] New functionality: Increase Tracer’s Basic Attack range by 10% (.5). Attacks against Heroes reveal a small area around them for 3 seconds. New Talent: One-Two Punch [W] Lower the cooldown of Melee by 1 second. It gains an additional charge with a 2 second cooldown between casts. Level 4 New Talent: Pulse Generator [R1] Sticking a Hero with Pulse Bomb regenerates 25% of max HP over 1.5 seconds and refunds a charge of Blink. Is That a Health Pack?! [Passive] Added functionality: Collecting a regen globe reduces the cooldown of Healing Fountain by 10 seconds. Leeching Rounds Moved from Level 13. New functionality: Increase the Life Leech on your Basic Attacks by 5% for each Blink charge you currently have. Level 7 Sleight of Hand [Trait] Moved from Level 16. Focus Fire [Trait] Moved from Level 16. Locked and Loaded [Trait] Moved from Level 16. Leeching Rounds Removed. Level 10 Quantum Spike [R] New Functionality: Deals an extra 6% of maximum health as damage to Heroes. Level 13 Jumper [Q] New functionality: Blink grants a shield equal to 6% of maximum health for 3 seconds. This shield stacks up to 3 times. While Blink has no charges remaining, its cooldown recharges 125% faster. Bullet Time [Q] Removed. Untouchable [Q/Passive] Moved from Level 4. New functionality: Passively increases the distance of Blink by 33%. Takedowns grant 5% increased Basic Attack damage, up to 30%. Stacks are lost on death. New Talent: Telefrag [E] Basic Attacks reduce the cooldown of Recall by .1875 seconds. After arriving at the recall destination, Tracer deals 160 damage and knocks back any nearby enemies. Level 16 Bullet Spray [W] Moved from Level 13. New Talent: Heavy-Handed [W] W reduces hero armor by 15 for 4 seconds. Ricochet Moved from Level 13. Bounce chance increased from 50 to 60%. Level 20 New Talent: Chrono Triggers [Q] Casting Blink causes Basic Attacks to consume no ammo for 1 second. Get Stuffed! [W] New functionality: Increase Melee’s Pulse Bomb generation against Heroes from 12% to 24%. Hitting a Hero with Melee while they have a Pulse Bomb attached causes it to explode instantly and knock them away. Total Recall [E] No longer increases the cooldown of Recall. Return to Top
      Heroes
      BRUISER HEALER MELEE RANGED Artanis Anduin Alarak Chromie Deathwing Brightwing   Jaina Dehaka Deckard   Li-Ming Imperius     Orphea Ragnaros     Probius Xul     Tassadar Return to Top
      Bruiser
      Artanis
      Base
      Health increased from 2470 to 2525. Health Regeneration increased from 5.14 to 5.26. Shield Overload [Trait] Shield amount increased from 375 to 385. Talents
      Level 1 Seasoned Marksman [Passive] Removed. Reactive Parry [W] New functionality: Damaging enemies with the first slash of Twin Blades grants Artanis 75 Physical Armor against the next enemy Hero Basic Attack. If the target is an enemy Hero, then the second slash grants Artanis an additional stack. Stores up to 2 charges. New Talent: Protector of Aiur [Passive] Quest: Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes increase Artanis’s Attack Damage by .1%. Takedowns grant 1% bonus damage. Level 7 Warp Sicknesss [E] Removed. Chrono Surge [E] Attack Speed bonus reduced from 75% to 40%. Additional functionality: Phase Prism Slows the enemy’s Movement Speed by 30% for 4 seconds. Return to Top
      Deathwing
      Base
      Health reduced from 2850 to 2750. Health Regeneration reduced from 5.94 to 5.73. Cataclysm [R1] Periodic damage reduced from 10 to 9. Talents
      Level 4 Heat Wave [W] Damage after using Incinerate reduced from 14 to 12 per second. Level 7 Firestorm [Z] Additional functionality: Reduce Deathwing’s landing cooldowns by 2 seconds. Skyfall [E] No longer reduces Deathwing’s landing cooldowns when hitting enemy Heroes. Healing increased from 2.5% to 3% maximum Health. Return to Top
      Dehaka
      Base
      Dark Swarm [W] Damage increased from 47 to 49. Talents
      Level 7 Constriction [Q] Removed. Paralyzing Enzymes [Q] Moved from Level 16. Adjusted functionality: Increase Drag duration by .5 seconds. After it ends, enemies hit are Slowed by 30% for 2.5 seconds. Level 16 New talent: Pack Leader [Z] While Dehaka is in a bush and for 5 seconds after leaving, he gains 20 Armor. Return to Top
      Imperius
      Talents
      Level 13 Pathetic Mortals [Q] Additional functionality: Reduce the Movement Speed of enemy Heroes hit by Celestial Charge by 25% for 4 seconds. Return to Top
      Ragnaros
      Talents
      Level 10 Sulfuras Smash [R1] Cooldown reduced from 80 to 60 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 75 to 70. Damage to enemies hit by its outer area increased from 198 to 250. Return to Top
      Xul
      Base
      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
      Healer
      Anduin
      Talents
      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
      Brightwing
      Base
      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
      Deckard
      Base
      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
      Alarak
      Talents
      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
      Chromie
      Base
      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
      Jaina
      Talents
      Level 16 Snowstorm [W] Damage bonuses increased from 30%/70% to 50%/100%. Return to Top
      Li-Ming
      Talents
      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
      Orphea
      Base
      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
      Probius
      Talents
      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
      Tassadar
      Base
      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
      General
      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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