Heroic Deals: August 14 – August 21, 2018

  • Sonya — Sale Price: 250 gems
  • Maiev — Sale Price: 375 Gems

The following skins and mounts will be added to the featured item rotation and will become purchasable with gems until this round of Heroic Deals comes to an end:

Upcoming Featured Skins
  • Super Sonya
  • Hellwarden Maiev Skin Pack
  • Mad Martian Gazlowe
  • Deadly Lo’Gosh Varian
  • Warsong Hellblade Samuro
  • Toxic Emberlord Zul’jin

Upcoming Featured Mounts
  • Entropic Dark Nexus Manta
  • Citrine Cyber Wolf

Hey all,

We just released a patch in all regions that aims to fix this issue but please let us know if you continue to experience any loss of control.

Thanks for consolidating all the information into one thread, it was very helpful when trying to identify the root case.

Not everyone can look as majestic as Whitemane here. Only if they're bit by a specific type of bug in the nexus does this ever happen. I mean. If there were an infestation I imagine it could happen to more heroes but we try to keep our exterminators on those little guys. With that said. Anything is possible in the Nexus!

Heroic Deals: August 7-13
  • Uther — Sale Price: 250 gems
  • Alarak — Sale Price: 375 Gems

The following skins and mounts will be added to the featured item rotation and will become purchasable with gems until this round of Heroic Deals comes to an end:

Upcoming Featured Skins
  • Judgment Uther
  • Bone Herald of N'Zoth Alarak
  • Desert Watchdog Greymane
  • Cyborghawk Kael'thas
  • Cave Dweller Lurkablo
  • Crimson Cyb'Arak Anub'arak
  • Biohazard Raider Rexxar
  • Violet Tiger Kharazim

Upcoming Featured Mounts
  • Hoarfrost Road Chariot
  • Ivory Tyrael's Charger

Hey Parrot_on_ROIDS, thanks for the question and love the name 😊

Solo laners create an interesting dynamic that is influenced a lot by the battleground you’re playing on. For the most part, we think this is an interesting role for the team and as these are typically bruiser characters, they fit well into many team compositions providing a second frontline character. In general, we see a decent variety of viable solo laners, but there is a lack of ranged character involvement. This is mostly okay but seeing a wider variety of heroes involved would probably be an improvement and something we can chase on the design and balance side.

In terms of pocket pick characters, I think these are fine if they’re seen occasionally and in the right situation. We definitely don’t want to see the game become a “Murky meta”, but having the occasional Murky pick is fine. A general rule of thumb here would be that the more a hero forces the other 9 players in a match to drastically change their play, the more cautious we are about that hero being overly common. Murky of the old days typically meant he would split push the entire match, forcing his own team to fight in a lot of 4v5 situations which wasn’t fun for them. On the flip side, the 5-player team also had to babysit against Murky which also wasn’t fun. Assuming Murky is playing a bit more of a ‘standard’ game and participating with his teammates, then I think the situation is more enjoyable for everyone… sorry, bit of a tangent but hopefully still relevant 😊

This is something we've discussed internally. We think there is value in ensuring players can play with friends and make new ones in Hero League. There are complications, and many differing opinions, but it's something we're considering for next year.

We intend to display MMR to players as part of the Performance Based Matchmaking system. We have a new visualization of hero performance that helps reinforce the MMR means. I don't have a date for the release of this feature just yet. As we get nearer to its release we'll be sure to get a blog post up that describes the system, and the changes that will be coming along with it.

Hi AlexRain1, There’s two main reasons that we allow new heroes into ranked modes immediately.

  1. It’s actually really critical for our team to collect lots of data and make meaningful balance decisions quickly. We believe that our balance patches that come two weeks following a new hero release provides a really good update cadence for the game. For those balance patches, we are able to use about a week of data from live matches to inform our decisions internally, implement and validate our changes, etc. While we absolutely do look at QM and all data available, being able to utilize data from higher level HL matches is much more meaningful. Even the fact that ranked matches require a player to be level 5 on a character first helps to validate this data further, and of course seeing pick and ban rates, is useful data in itself.

  2. The other angle is from a perspective that new and updated content is the lifeblood of this game. From reworks and significant balance changes, to of course new heroes – these are all opportunities to shake up the meta and create new strategies. The game is constantly evolving, and this can help to even resurface older heroes that may now present new synergies or counters.

For Alterac Pass specifically, we discussed it quite a bit, but felt that having this new battleground enter ranked modes right at the end of the ranked season wasn’t the best experience. We instead wanted to create an interesting moment where the next ladder season would utilize this battleground for its entirety.

This is good feedback, and something that the design team had discussed leading up to Season 3. We're actively considering adding a "Season Quest" that players need to complete in order to obtain their season reward. This may take the form of a tiered system, as you suggest, or it could be a flat and simple objective. In either case, we agree that there is an opportunity here.

The two big features on the horizon for Hero League are Loss Forgiveness and Performance Based Matchmaking. Of those, Loss Forgiveness is the first in line for development, while Performance Based Matchmaking will follow shortly after. I can't commit to an exact timeline for these just yet.

Hi IAreNoMonkey,

Tassadar is someone the balance team has talked about. He could likely use some balance changes to address some of your concerns, but he may also need a larger update to better position him into a definitive role for the team. We do find that his role as an enabler for specific characters is pretty unique and can have a significant impact when paired with someone like Tracer. Whether he stays in this ‘enabler’ role or shifts to a more pure Assassin or Support is still up for debate.

As far as matching Tassadar in QM games, we do have some changes to QM coming this fall that will help ensure games have a Tank, Healer & Ranged Assassin. This means you may still run into Tassadar vs. Abathur scenarios, but each team should also have a healer to minimize any disadvantage Tassadar may have in this specific matchup.

We're working on a Loss Forgiveness feature right now that addresses these very concerns. In situations where a player deserts their team they will be punished appropriately, while their teammates will have no points deducted for that loss. If the undermanned team wins with an AI in-tow (it does happen occasionally!) they will still earn points for their grit.

The Season 3 patch included a ton of changes to Hero League, though not all of them are player-facing. We're still planning on making improvements to matchmaking rules, but right now, we're focused on fixing bugs, and improving our matchmaking data collection. For example, while investigating reports of rainbow matches in Hero League, we uncovered an issue where players will very rarely incorrectly ping lower to a region outside their own when they have "best site" selected in their options menu. When this issue occurs, a player will make matches on that server, which may have different matchmaking rules that allow for rainbow matches to occur. We're currently in the process of resolving this issue, which takes priority over feature development.

For Season 4, 2018 we plan to continue examining the quality of matches as well as the end of season impact of Rank Decay. Our feature development efforts have primarily been focused on hardening the Quickmatch matchmaking experience. We're also deep into development on a Loss Forgiveness feature that will prevent point/MMR loss for players who were stuck with a leaver while also punishing frequent leavers.

Here's a quick list of some of the changes we're considering for the future:

  • Preventing returning ranked players from placing higher than Diamond 3 each season-roll after placements.
  • Reducing the number of placement games required for returning ranked players.
  • Separating out the regional GM ladders to allow players to rank up within their local playerbase and matchmaking rulesets.
  • Adding draft swaps for Hero League.
  • Further extending the Rank Point Decay to affect additional leagues.
  • Creating more incentive for Team League a topic that U/BlizzCooper is posting about separately in a moment.

Hey, thanks for the question Lorhand.

We do spend time discussing all of our game modes, identifying what is working well and where we can make improvements. For Team League specifically, we don’t have any immediate answers. I can provide you with some of the ideas we’ve been brainstorming that would end up being a significant overhaul to TL. Bear in mind that all of this is very much still a work in progress and in an early discussion stage. We would love to hear the community’s feedback on any of this, so please let us know what you think or if you have any other ideas:

• Team League becomes a mode that is only available during specific windows of time for a limited duration. In this version, Team League wouldn’t always be available, but we would be creating a moment and celebrating the mode during these windows, encouraging players to play in it. This could mean the mode is only available on weekends, or something rarer like specific weeks out of a month block, or a handful of times throughout an entire ladder season.

• Team League is updated to allow all group sizes, including solos and 4-player parties.

• Combine TL and HL into a single queue. This has some obvious issues – we want to make sure that our dedicated HL players still feel like they can have that ‘pure’ experience. Maybe having multiple ladders based off your group size (specifically a solo queue ladder) would alleviate concerns here. At least then, solo queue players would be ranked only against other solo queue players.

•Turn TL into a more structured experience that embraced players forming permanent or semi-permanent teams. Essentially, players would create a team name, have a limited roster of players available, potentially customize something visual to represent their team, etc. In this version, teams would likely last an entire season, or this could be combined with something like the first option where this is your team for a limited window of time.

Ultimately, we do want to increase participation in Team League. However, as I know this will come up as a suggestion and we’ve seen it before, we don’t want to ‘force’ players into this competitive mode if they aren’t looking for this competitive experience. We want players to be happy engaging in whatever game mode(s) they enjoy, so increasing the number of games to unlock TL rewards from 10->30, or adding more rewards is not something we’re excited about.

I tend to agree. I feel that moving between divisions shouldn't require this an additional layer of ladder anxiety. We intend to remove promotion/demotion games between divisions in the future, keeping these higher-pressure matches limited to moving between leagues. We don't have that on the schedule at the moment so I don't want to promise a timeline for delivery.

Hero swaps are one of the most commonly requested features from the Heroes community for ranked play. We discussed this in our April AMA as well which you can find here: https://www.reddit.com/r/heroesofthestorm/comments/8bzsup/ama_with_heroes_developers_april_13_2018/dxb89jk/

Since then, we've continued looking at the roadmap for ranked play. We do have plans to include hero swaps into draft phases for ranked play, but we don't have a timeline for when we'd expect that to come online. When we do decide to include it, I think it's very likely that we'll introduce it through Unranked Draft first, and message it well in advance. There are pros and cons with hero swaps, particularly for less experienced players that may be pressured to select heroes they are unfamiliar with for the promise of swapping later. When a player is only comfortable with a handful of heroes, it's difficult to want to hand control of your pick choice over to someone else. We've considered a few options:

-Adding Hero Swaps but disabling them below a certain league

-Allow players to lock-in their hero selection in the order they choose

I'd be interested in hearing some of your feedback on these ideas, as well as any suggestions for this feature.

Greetings, Heroes!

As mentioned in our recent blog post, we’re going to host a Ranked Play and Matchmaking AMA right here on /r/heroesofthestorm today, August 9! The Heroes devs will join the thread and answer your questions starting around 10:00 a.m. PDT (7:00 p.m. CEST) until 12:00 p.m. PDT (9:00 p.m. CEST).

Here's who will be joining us today from the dev team:

When posting multiple AMA questions: Please make an effort to post one question per comment. This will make it easier for others to read through the thread, and will help the devs focus on one question at a time. However, please feel free comment as many times as you'd like in order to get your questions posted.

You might also see Blizzard Community Managers posting questions on behalf of players in our non-English speaking communities during the AMA. Feel free to upvote those questions if you’d like to see answers to them.

You can start posting your questions right now, and we'll see you in about an hour.