Hey all,

We’re hearing your feedback about the state of the AI and we’re aware of the repeated hearthing/b-stepping issue. We’re currently planning to implement a fix to address this a little over week from now in an upcoming patch. We’re also working towards improvements that will help address AI decision making across all Battlegrounds, and we’ll have more information to share as we get closer to rolling out those adjustments.

I think what you're feeling here is caused by two distinct but related issues.

First, there was a period of time where our Support design was focused on trying to give each Support hero a very distinct niche so they'd have clear draft implications. Ultimately this led to a scenario where Supports were very powerful, but all had key weaknesses that you'd want to cover for - perhaps by bringing another complimentary Support.

Second, we'd gotten to a point where most Supports were so strong there was no drawback to bringing two of them to cover each other's weaknesses. You could bring in all that extra healing and utility and not have things like damage or waveclear suffer enough to matter. These two factors converged to make "Double Support" a very popular strategy for a period that I'm sure most of you remember well.

The power issue has since been addressed, but the changes required to make supports a little less niche are more involved, and have been happening over time. It's not that we want to eliminate strengths & weaknesses from our Supports, but in many cases they're simply too pointed and need to move to a place where they feel more versatile. Malfurion's rework is a reflection of this, as are the designs you've seen on Supports released within the last year or so.

Another goal we're focused on is ensuring each of our Supports has ways to show off their individual skill and don't feel like they're just playing whack-a-mole with Health bars. Play-making CC is the most obvious form this can take, but it can also be represented in things like skill-based buff & debuff management, making aggressive play feel rewarding, giving large benefits for strategic use of abilities and planning ahead... There are many possibilities, but the point is we want you to be able to demonstrate your skill as a Support in a very tangible way.

Supports are a work in progress for us and we plan to continue this forward trend of both releasing new Supports that feel interesting and powerful, as well as updating our existing roster so they feel every bit as competitive and satisfying to play.

A few quick additional thoughts-
  • I don't think the popularity situation is nearly as extreme as some posts here are making it out to be. With 15 Supports and idealized pick distribution, you'd expect each Support to have a pick rate of ~12-15%. I'm not sure exactly how LCD got those numbers out of Hotslogs, but even based on that most of our Supports are seeing a respectable (if not ideal) amount of play in high-level HL.
  • While I recognize that there's still room for improvement, I think that overall we've done a great job with our Support heroes, and they feel powerful and impactful in a way that's hard to find outside the Nexus. If you don't enjoy the Support role currently that's totally fair feedback, but keep in mind that there are also many people who do. Maybe you just haven't found a Support who's "clicked" for you yet.
  • As we continue to work on improvements to the game including Supports, we welcome feedback and constructive discussion from our players and are always reading posts like these even if we don't always respond. Keep it coming!
This thread doesn't have much rehgar-d for serious punwork, it seems.
07/13/2018 07:48 AMPosted by Lighthammer For those of you who don't know, Ted Parks was in the AMA this week.

He's a pretty big deal around Blizzard. If I'm not mistaken, this year is actually his 20th year at Blizzard. He often gets lent out to other teams to help. I'm wondering if this is a permanent posting or a temp one.

He's the guy who did the literal FIRST ART for Fenix:
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/starcraft/images/5/55/FenixDragoon_SC1_Cncpt1.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20160104061230

That was Fenix's Starcraft 1 Promo Art.

Glad to see such a heavy weight like him on the team. Didn't even realize he was on the Heroes team these days.


Lighthammer,

Ted Park has been on Heroes since day one! He was one of the incredible artists alongside Phill Gonzales and Samwise Didier (who is responsible for the art you linked), who spearheaded the Heroes of the Storm art development way back before we were even called Heroes of the Storm.

I passed this post on to Ted who was very appreciative and said 'he got my tenure just right!' He also modestly said 'I'm not a big deal' (but honestly, he's my hero).

Glad to hear you enjoyed the AMA.

GLHF,

--Lana B
Hi everyone,

We've just rolled out a fix in order to address this issue. Please let us know if you continue to encounter very unusual team compositions during your Quick Match games.

Thank you!
Heroic Deals: July 10 – 16, 2018

Upcoming Hero Sales
  • Blaze — Sale Price: 375 gems
  • Ana — 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
  • Fel Reaver Blaze Skin Pack
  • Shrike
  • Ivory Demon Hunter Valeera
  • Devilish Fallen Junkrat
  • Covert Paramedic Morales

Upcoming Featured Mounts
  • Mutant Road Boar
  • Savage Butcher's Beast
BlizzLana commented on Zoom out
07/12/2018 12:01 PMPosted by C3PBR0
07/12/2018 08:55 AMPosted by BlizzLana Gameplay First!
Ahhahahahahahahaha!
The only thing in this game that isn't terrible anymore is the art. Gameplay first... Lol

I also love how blues only respond when someone compliments their art. No response on any of the glaring problems with HOTS. It is pretty though.


Hi C3PBR0!

I just responded to some similar feedback in another thread:

I agree there are posts with constructive criticism, and many folks are offering fantastic insight as players -- I assure you I am on the hunt for posts with constructive criticism within my field of expertise that I can comment on.

In the mean time, I'll do my best to respond to any art threads that I find! Thank you for caring so much about the game.

GLHF,
--Lana B
BlizzLana commented on Zoom out
07/10/2018 06:17 PMPosted by TheMechE The download though is that we see less details on hero models etc. :(

Kind of sad for the art team and those who enjoy the aesthetics.

Also, sprays are smaller :(


Gameplay First!
07/11/2018 06:34 PMPosted by Maximus Though I am kind of annoyed that this is the kind of thing you respond to instead of any of the other major issues we regularly point out.

I get where you're coming from, but keep in mind my responses are focused on areas of the game I'm closely involved with and comfortable talking about. Since I don't personally work on systems like matchmaking I don't have the expertise to drop in and provide meaningful answers there.

As a Hero Designer, I'm mainly going to be showing up in topics related to newly-released heroes and sometimes about existing heroes (like this one) if I feel like I have something of value to offer. And if I'm not super-busy trying to get something ready for an upcoming patch >_>

We *do* read everything that gets posted here and feedback/issues are passed along to the appropriate people, even if they often don't have time to write up a response.
07/10/2018 08:43 AMPosted by David
Yeah but c'mon who can notice the difference between .56 and .5625????

I mean I doubt ppl can notice the difference between .5 and .56

Turns out it actually is the difference between .5 and .5625. If you were to carefully examine every time-related value in all of our tooltips, you should find that every single one is a multiple of .0625 - and you might wonder "why the weird number?"

From a player perspective it feels like the game is constantly in motion, but under the hood it's actually happening in distinct "loops" of action each lasting a tiny fraction (1/16) of a second, much like the frame rate in a graphics engine. Art can move faster (ex: animations, UI), but any timing that directly affects gameplay has to obey this clock and operate in multiples of .0625.

Now you wouldn't think that a cast time going up or down by so little would matter, but sometimes it does. Most non-healing abilities in our game have a .125 second cast time and that feels pretty good, but if we increased it just one loop to .1825 many abilities would start to feel unresponsive. On the flipside when it's a longer cast time going from something like 1 to 1.0625 would probably never be noticed.

With the rework Azmo's Globe landed on .5625 because we made the cast time reduction talent baseline (.75 x .75), but the feedback here about it looking odd is totally fair. It's a long enough cast time that we could probably go to a cleaner number like .5, but we'll need to test to make sure there are no issues before we know for sure.

Thanks everyone!
BlizzLana commented on My Thanks Blizzard #2
07/10/2018 03:55 PMPosted by Kelsier Lana you know who did the Cassia little shield bash animation? It's adorable


Matt Parker!

07/10/2018 04:07 PMPosted by AlternateZ
Thanks for answering to this thread I may not be the OP but it really says a lot when a blue answers something.

Btw may I ask if there is a possibility to update Hearthing animations to some older heroes like Malfurion? Giving him some sort of WoW Dreamway or Tyrande.

Seeing great Hearthing animations such as Cain's makes me wish older heroes could get similar ones


I just wrote a similar reply to this somewhere else --

With so much upcoming content, it can be challenging to go back and plus some of our veteran characters but not impossible. I had the chance to animate a new hearth for ETC years after he was originally released, and Matt Parker recently had the chance to go back in and create an incredible new hearth for Valla. This stuff is definitely on our radar, and our backlog, to sneak in when we have the bandwidth to do so.

From Asmodeo in Spain:

First of all, I would like to thank the Heroes team for their work, the game is growing and it's partly because of them, so thank you!

I would like to become a concept artist and I would like to know if you take in consideration community fan art and creations to include them in the game? How do you contact the artists, how do you usually get them and what is the currently process for this?

From Zethrimon in Spain:

Will there be more summer skins in the future or will we have similar theme/event changes like with Nexomania?

From McFadyen in Spain:

Will the Novazon Nova skin (the one with blond hair) be available again?

Greetings, Heroes!

As mentioned in our recent blog post, we’re going to host an Art and Animation AMA right here on /r/heroesofthestorm today, July 11! **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:

* /u/Blizz_TedP – Ted Park (Lead Character Artist)

* /u/Blizz_CKingdom – Careena Kingdom (Lead Animator)

* /u/Blizz_BShih - Billy Shih (Principal Technical Artist)

* /u/Blizz_LanaB – Lana Bachynski (Animator)

* /u/KaeoMilker - Kaeo Milker (Production Director)

___

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.

BlizzLana commented on Zoom out
07/10/2018 04:57 PMPosted by BlackWatch Picked up HotS after a long hiatus and just wanted to let Bliz know that the zoom out update from back in December is great!

The lack of field of vision was the hardest thing for me to get over, it is much, much better now. In my humble opinion. Thanks!!


Happy to hear you appreciate it -- and glad to have you back! Let us know what you think of the other updates, too.

GLHF,

--Lana B
We are aware of an issue causing unintended and unusual team compositions and are currently investigating. We will post any additional updates in this thread.

Thank you for your patience as we figure this out.
BlizzLana commented on My Thanks Blizzard #2
07/09/2018 06:15 PMPosted by Tazrizen
07/09/2018 06:08 PMPosted by BlizzLana

I'm so glad you share our love for details! The team puts a lot of time into those auto attacks knowing full well the melee versions may never be seen -- it's all worth it when someone notices the little things.

Thank you so much for sharing!

--Lana B


Any chance that some of the similar ranged heroes can get similar animations?
I mean jimmy has that big old sword at the end of his gun but always prefers to shoot. (I know it's a bayonette but look at that thing, ITS MASSIVE!)


That’s a really fun idea!

With so much upcoming content, it can be challenging to go back and plus-up some of our veteran characters -- but not impossible! I had the chance to animate a new hearth for ETC years after he was originally released, and Matt Parker recently had the chance to go back in and create an incredible new hearth for Valla. I think this is something we could definitely add to the backlog for a rainy day. Great suggestion!

07/10/2018 04:05 AMPosted by GuardWizard

Holy Mackerel I didn't think someone who worked at Blizzard would actually comment on this!

it is an honor to have your presence on this post.


I'm honoured to be here. :)
BlizzLana commented on Why I love Hots!
07/10/2018 03:12 AMPosted by Streber
Same, my favorite is 5 healers team. We just compete to see who can heal the most, and it is fun even if we lose. Though must say nowadays running such team is much harder than before due to support nerfs.


You gotta rock 4 Support and 1 tank -- something with a knockback like an ETC or Yrel. Keep'm off your squishes and barge down mid to VICTORY ..or maybe death. Really depends on how clever the enemy team is.