Heroes of the Storm Changes Coming – Underdog XP Bonus

Blizzard Entertainment plans to introduce new changes to how players gain XP (Experience) to prevent teams to be too far ahead or behind in levels, to even teams. They call it the Underdog Bonus. Find out how it works.

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Over the past couple of weeks, quite a few discussions have sprung up surrounding recent changes we made to the in-game bonus trickle experience system. In that time, we’ve seen a lot of positive feedback from players who like this system, but we’ve also read through quite a few comments from players who would like to see this mechanic implemented a little differently. While we felt that bonus trickle XP satisfied our goals for allowing teams to bridge level gaps, and make comebacks through the use of focused teamwork, we also think there are alternate solutions that are worth exploring. That said, we’d like to place bonus trickle XP on the backburner while we try out an “Underdog Bonus” in the next patch.

How Will the Underdog Bonus Work?

1. Bonus trickle experience gains have been removed.

  • Trickle XP will no longer be increased for a team that’s three or more levels behind in a game.
  • Baseline trickle XP, which is the small amount of experience earned at the same rate by both teams over the course of a game, is still present.

2. A team that is behind in levels – the “underdog” – now earns bonus XP when an enemy hero is killed.

  • Starting at a one-level difference, each hero takedown secured by the lower-level team will grant a little more XP than it would at even levels.
  • The amount of bonus XP earned per takedown will scale significantly based on how many levels apart the teams are, and caps off at a four-level difference.
  • Bonus XP will be granted for each takedown until team levels become even.
  • 3. A team that is ahead in levels now earns fewer experience points for takedowns.

    • This reduction in XP gains per takedown similarly begins at a one-level difference, scales significantly based on the level gap between teams, and caps at a four-level difference.
    • Likewise, takedowns will continue to grant reduced XP until team levels even out.

    How Will this Affect My Games?

    As a result of replacing bonus trickle XP with the new Underdog Bonus, you will likely start to see four and five level gaps crop up between teams from time to time. This will occasionally happen when teams of varying skill are matched together due to the limited Tech Alpha population. Please keep in mind, however, that the amount of mismatched games will dramatically diminish as more and more players are invited to test the game.

    You can also expect larger level gaps to occur in part because the Underdog Bonus places more control into the hands of your team, and offers additional opportunities to eke out a comeback over the course of a game. If you’re ahead in levels, you’ll need to remain focused, and give up as few takedowns as possible to maintain the lead while you work toward the enemy Core. If your team finds itself behind, you’ll have to decide how best to close up that level gap. Do you take an enemy Fort, split up to soak XP in-lane, or dig in your heels and make life as difficult as possible for your opponents in hopes of scoring a few takedowns?

    What’s Next?

    Please keep in mind that this is an early implementation for the Underdog Bonus. We wanted to get this system into your hands as soon as possible, because we can’t be entirely sure how it will affect gameplay on a broad scale with the limited number of matches we could squeeze into our internal playtests. Additionally, we’re already working on a more refined version of the system, which we’re hoping to release with another patch a little further down the road.

    We realize there are pros and cons to the bonus trickle XP and Underdog Bonus systems alike, and we’d like to remind you that none of this is final. We’re ultimately not yet sure which we’ll wind up using, or if there’s a third option worth trying in the future, but we are trying to find the best solution we can. We’ll continue to review playtest data, as well as your feedback, and make any additional changes as needed while we work toward this goal.

    As always, thank you for your continued feedback for Heroes of the Storm. We hope that you’ll send your thoughts on the new Underdog Bonus our way after you get a chance to play a few games following the patch. Until then, good luck in your next match!

     

    Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003 posting news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, the Next-Gen MMO, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft movie.

    Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews of Blizzard licensed products. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

    I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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