BCrawford-21494 submitted 2019 Gameplay Update Retrospective 2 days ago

Hello Heroes!

Over the past couple of months, we have been hard at work preparing our combined league structure and are excited to bring Storm League’s Preseason to the Nexus in the next major patch! We will go into more detail about that in the near future, but in the meantime, in our most recent Reddit AMA, we got some questions about the 2019 Gameplay Updates and wanted to share some insight into our thinking behind them. We’d like to discuss our goals and share some data to show what has been happening since we rolled out these changes.

There was a recent post on www.Heroeshearth.com that went through some in-depth analysis of Hotslogs data and plugged it into some machine learning algorithms. The author, Ghostdunk, did an incredible job putting together the data and graphs in an easy to read format - we highly recommend you take a look at it! While Ghostdunk was working with data from Hotslogs, we’ve got the benefit of having access to much more data and wanted to share some additional context. While end-of-game level differences is a useful datapoint, it does not tell the story of everything else that led up to that point; addressing or changing that wasn’t a focus for our 2019 Gameplay Updates. That said, we have been analyzing the data from the last couple patches compared to the past and are excited to share some of that information with you!

Our high-level goal for the 2019 Gameplay Updates was to make matches more competitive, especially in the early-to-mid game. To do this we were expecting the following outcomes:

  • Reductions in the time that teams spent on differing talent tiers
  • A push back of the time that ‘snowballs’ tended to begin occurring

We spent months working on different designs and number changes to accomplish that goal, and each iteration pulled us closer to the major culprit – burst experience advantages in taking early game structures. Teams that won the first objective would often focus on getting front walls of each town down before ever attempting a Town. At these early levels of the game, there was so much experience in these structures that teams that won the first major objective were often able to put the losing team into a massive disadvantage as they gained a two to three level lead heading into Heroics. At this point, the team with the level advantage could control the map and force uneven fights on future events, effectively putting the enemy team into a chokehold that too often limited choices for the lagging team and often dictated the outcome of the map.

The MOBA genre revolves around these types of power advantages, but in ours, it felt doubly bad to be down since it wasn’t a single Hero or two on a team taking over, but the whole enemy team having both statistical and talent-tier advantages. As most players know, it is extremely difficult to team fight in our game unless you are at least on the same talent-tier as your opponent. This greatly limits the options for the team that is behind. We figured we could combat this disadvantage by taking some of the raw statistical advantages away from teams that were winning early, and give them an instant strategic advantage, plus a long-term experience investment. This led us to our final changes:

  • Less experience in all structures (removing the instant statistical advantage)
  • Periodic Catapult rewards for killing Forts (strategic advantage)
  • Increased trickle experience for killing Forts and Keeps (long-term statistical advantage)

Stas, our wonderful technical director has been crunching our data in order to see if our goals were being met or if we fell short, and here is the high-level bulleted findings and some graphs to help players interpret them.

  • The average experience differential between teams is down about 13% in minutes 5 through 20. Reaching a peak difference of 19% at the 9 mark. This shows us that teams are much closer in levels throughout the entire game, but most importantly during the critical mid-game phases.

  • As you would expect, if teams are closer in experience levels throughout the game, they should also spend less amounts of time at talent-tier disadvantages. The data very effectively backs that assumption up as well. Again, we see an average of around 13% less time spent with talent disparities, with a peak difference of 23% at level 13.
  • Another interesting thing we learned from this is that the win-percentage of a team with any kind of level gap has slightly increased. While this may seem counter-productive to what we would actually want, it is an expected occurrence; since it is more difficult to gain a level lead now, the performance requirement for gaining that lead is higher. Meaning that teams that can start creating these larger gaps are highly out-performing their opposition. Since the focus of our changes was making sure that early game leads didn’t lead to late game ones, we’re okay with teams that have earned a lead in the later stages of the game winning more often. We think this is a good reflection that the better team is still winning most of the time.

Overall, the most important thing to take away from all of this, is that even when losing, the game should still feel close. You can still compete, fight the enemy team, and not be at too great of a statistical disadvantage. If the enemy team still beats you, it’s because they’re actually the better team, and not because early game mistakes lead to unsurmountable level advantages that don’t feel fun to play against.

Fizivix commented on PTR Chromie obsolete Time Trap arrow indicator 3 days ago
Hey Panzish, Thanks for the report! The indicator only appears to popup when the target that is affected is not onscreen/nearby. It does not popup if the hero is Time Trapped while onscreen. Thanks, ~ Fizivix
Fizivix commented on PTR Chromie Bronze Talons missing vfx 3 days ago
Hey Panzish, Thanks for the report! We have this issue tracked and hope to have it fixed as soon as we can. Thank you, ~ Fizivix
Hey NSANE, Thanks for the feedback! I’ve forwarded this over to the team for discussion. Thank you, ~ Fizivix
Fizivix commented on Is PTR US only? 3 days ago
Hey 夜蜘蛛, Thanks for the report! The ‘Preferred Game Server’ option shouldn’t be grayed out on PTR to my knowledge. We will investigate! Thanks, ~ Fizivix
KaeoMilker commented on Just watched some of the old trailer vids and found ... 3 days ago

Yeah! That's actually one of his Fidget animations that he plays when he stands idle. It's randomized among several Fidgets, so you'd have to leave him idle for a while and watch him closely to see it.

But please don't be an AFK Nazeebo just to see it...


Fizivix commented on Lucio's New Ultimate 4 days ago

Hey Curivity,

Thanks for the report! Lucio does currently have a sound effect for High Five (it is very subtle); however, there is also a known issue in which the sound effect will fail to play if both players are issuing movement commands in opposite directions. We hope to have it fixed as soon as we can.

Thank you,

~ Fizivix

Hey Quazer,

Thanks for the report! The targeting indicator for Subwoofer when the quest completes is currently not displaying correctly; however the knock-back range appears to be working correctly despite this. We have this issue tracked and hope to have it fixed as soon as we can.

Thank you,

BlizzNeyman commented on 18 months, 3 reworks, 1 Chromie: a patch notes story 5 days ago

That Heroic was already made, but Chromie had to go back in time and remove it.

BlizzNeyman commented on 18 months, 3 reworks, 1 Chromie: a patch notes story 5 days ago

Chromie saw this coming the whole time.

Blizz_Daybringer commented on Loss forgiveness follow up posted in AMA 6 days ago

We should have something very soon!

Hi hollisjamison. Currently we are planning to launch with the Storm League GM leaderboard having 100 players.

Blizz_Daybringer commented on Blizzard please do not use TL MMR to seed the new Storm League. 6 days ago

We have talked about this internally and think it's a great idea. We also bounced-around the idea of each player having two visible MMR's as well (solo and group).

The chance of it shipping with the first season is very small though, as we still have a huge amount of work to finish the current scope.

Blizz_Daybringer commented on PTR Patch Notes 6 days ago


I have a fixed bug for this issue that made this patch. It looks like the patch notes may have missed a few bug fixes. Much like Rexxar, I will track them down!

Blizz_Daybringer commented on Blizzard please do not use TL MMR to seed the new Storm League. 6 days ago

For both - but again, that is still subject to change as we continue fleshing out the full feature.

Blizz_Daybringer commented on Blizzard please do not use TL MMR to seed the new Storm League. 6 days ago

Good afternoon Reddit friends,

We have been hearing this feedback loud and clear, and have talked about it internally a lot. We understand your feelings about this and are working very hard to make sure that Storm League is fun, competitive, and inviting to all players interested in it.

The major reason we are okay with taking the highest between both current Leagues is because we plan to 'clamp' the high-end of the player base. The exact clamp position is still subject to change, but we are currently targeting an MMR equivalent of Diamond 5. This means that even players that were previously 'boosted' in TL games, will have to fight their way back into higher rankings. 'Boosted' players that don't actually deserve their current MMR should fall to where they belong over time, and with the incoming decay changes, will not be able to place high and then just quit.

We are still very hard at work on a lot of this stuff, so please continue to give your feedback and discuss all of the stuff you are looking forward to, as well as the things you would like to see changed!

Have a wonderful PTR day!

Hey folks,

I'd like to bring some clarity to the second point that was intentionally left vague as we are working around some of the edge cases that impact the release of this feature.

The Loss Forgiveness feature is designed to help soften the impact of a team with a player missing a significant portion of a match which contributes to a potential loss. Ideas that that we've considered and are still polishing up are:

  • The amount of time a player needs to be absent for before they significantly lessen the chance for their team to win.
  • If the team who experienced the absent player wins - still award the win.
  • If the team who experienced the absent player loses - forgive the loss.
  • If the offending player has a frequent history of being absent for significant portions of a match, apply a stricter penalty that impacts their rank. The duration of time the player will be flagged as a frequent deserter will be for the remainder of the season.

The tricky situation around the polish of Loss Forgiveness is determining if a player truly disconnected or is experiencing (potentially widespread) connectivity issues outside of their control. In the event the player is experiencing connectivity issues, we feel it may be unfair to apply a stricter penalty that impacts their rank. On the other hand, for players who are intentionally frequently absent from a game, the stricter penalty needs to be applied otherwise the system can be exploited.

I hope this brings some additional clarity around some of the misunderstandings,

Huginncord commented on Alarak's Last Laugh does not remove Nazeebo's DoT 11 days ago

Hey Grey!

Sorry to hear about that. In my preliminary testing around this, I am seeing the DoT removed. Is it possible you were hit by another Nazeebo Auto-attack after using Last Laugh?

Either way, if you could be so kind as to forward that replay, along with a time stamp, to us following the steps on this post, I will be more than happy to look into that!

Huginncord, Heroes QA Extraordinaire

BlizzAZJackson commented on Your Highlord demands the return of Quick Mind. 11 days ago

It's supposed to go through terrain. I've reported this to QA as a bug. Thanks for the report!

BlizzAZJackson commented on Your Highlord demands the return of Quick Mind. 11 days ago

I was just going over how Alarak's Blade of the Highlord change has been performing when I came upon this thread. Mocking Strikes isn't really filling the CDR niche as well as I would have liked when developing it, so I agree that it's a good place to explore a better CDR mechanic for Alarak, and to create something that's more competitive with Lightning Barrage. I think there are some good ideas in this thread, though the Discord Strike > CDR on Telekinesis idea doesn't really hit what the OP wants in regards to being able to feeling more freely able to use Telekinesis in various ways outside of the normal combo, like peeling for allies or running away.


I can't guarantee that anything will immediately happen in this regard, but i'll think on it!

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