BlizzCon 2018 Heroes of the Storm Interview | Orphea

During our recent visit to BlizzCon 2018, Blizzplanet members Danny Perschonok and Handclaw interviewed the Heroes of the Storm developers: Alex Klontzas and Joe Piepiora, to discuss details of the newest hero: Orphea. We coverered questions spanning from her concept design stage to her Basic Abilities and Talents. What she is strong and weak against.

Heroes of the Storm 39.0 Mal’Ganis Patch Notes

Heroes of the Storm Patch 39.0 introduces the new warrior hero Mal’Ganis, and Windows 32-bit and DirectX 9 are now officially non-supported.

The Haunted Mines have been retired from the map rotation, but you can still access that map in the Custom Games tab.

Heroes of the Storm no longer supports DirectX 9 and the 32-bit version of the client.

  • The Battleground Rotation for all Unranked modes has been adjusted to the following:
    • Alterac Pass
    • Battlefield of Eternity
    • Blackheart's Bay
    • Braxis Holdout
    • Cursed Hollow
    • Dragon Shire
    • Garden of Terror
    • Hanamura Temple
    • Infernal Shrines
    • Sky Temple
    • Tomb of the Spider Queen
    • Towers of Doom
    • Volskaya Foundry
    • Warhead Junction
  • Haunted Mines:
    Haunted Mines has been removed from all gameplay modes. It will still be available to be played in Custom Games.
  • Mercenaries:
    Sappers can no longer have their charge attack interrupted by a Silence effect. Silencing Sappers will still prevent them from starting to channel this ability

Cunning and intelligent, Mal'Ganis was chosen to bring Arthas Menthil into the Lich King's service. After manipulating the prince into purging Stratholme of life, he finally fell to Frostmourne as Arthas's first act as the Lich King's champion... yet a demon does not die so easily.

Trait

  • Vampiric Touch
    • Mal'Ganis heals for 45% of damage dealt to enemy Heroes and 15% of damage dealt to non-Heroes.
Basic Abilities
  • Fel Claws (Q)
    • Violently slash in the chosen direction, dealing 78 damage to enemies.
    • Reactivate to slash up to 2 more times. The third slash Stuns enemies for 0.75 seconds.
  • Necrotic Embrace (W)
    • Desecrate the air, dealing 119 damage to nearby enemies and gaining 25 Armor for 3 seconds.
  • Night Rush (E)
    • After 0.75 seconds, gain 50% Movement Speed for 2 seconds. While active, Mal'Ganis can move through enemy Heroes and put them to Sleep for 2.5 seconds.
Heroic Abilities
  • Carrion Swarm (R)
    • After 1 second, disperse into an Invulnerable swarm of bats for 3 seconds, dealing 74 damage per second to enemies.
    • Vampiric Touch heals for 100% of Carrion Swarm's damage to Heroes.
  • Dark Conversion (R)
    • Channel on an enemy Hero for 0.75 seconds, then swap Health percentages with the target over 3 seconds.
Support Heroes
  • We've unified certain Support abilities to only work on Heroes (not minions or Mercenaries):
Alexstrasza
  • Gift of Life (Q)
  • Breath of Life (Q-Dragon Form)
Brightwing
  • Pixie Dust (E)
Li Li
  • Healing Brew (Q)
Rehgar
  • Healing Totem (Active - Level 4)
  • Earth Shield (W - Level 13)
Tyrande
  • Light of Elune (Q)
Uther
  • Holy Light (Q)
Developer Comment: We're unifying the vast majority of our heals for their intended purpose: healing allied Heroes.
We're maintaining the ability for a few heals to affected Minions still where we think it's an important part of their gameplay: Lt. Morales Healing Beam (so that she can heal herself), Rehgar's Chain Heal (to allow bounces travel across Minions), Tyrael's Righteousness (because shielding Minion waves is part of the lane interaction with the ability), and Uther's Holy Radiance (to unify expectations, since it can damage Minions).

ANA

Healing Dart (Q)

  • Healing Dart will now pierce targets at full Health.
New Bundles
  • The following new bundles are available for a limited time!
    • Mal'Ganis Heroic Bundle
    • Death & Undeath Bundle
    • Meat Wagon Bundle
New Announcer
  • Mal'Ganis
New Mount
  • Meat Wagon
    • Northrend Meat Wagon
    • Blackrock Meat Wagon
    • Deathguard Meat Wagon
New Skins
  • Mal'Ganis
    • Dreadmachine Mal'Ganis
    • Neocarbon Dreadmachine Mal'Ganis
    • Master Deadmachine Mal'Ganis
    • Infernal Mal'Ganis
    • Northrend Mal'Ganis
New Portraits, Sprays, and Emojis
  • Several new emoji packs and portraits have also been added to the game.
General
  • AI Heroes:
    Fixed multiple cases of AI-controlled Heroes incorrectly using their abilities.
  • Spell Power:
    Fixed an issue where Spell Power would no longer affect a Hero’s abilities after they died. (For example: Jaina’s Blizzard will now continue to deal bonus damage if she received increased Spell Power but died before the second and third waves.)
  • Statis/Time Stop:
    Fixed an issue where player created terrain could move Heroes affected by Stasis or Time Stop.
Battlegrounds
  • Garden of Terror:
    Fixed an issue where all three Garden Terrors could spawn in a single lane.
  • Minions/Mercenaries:
    Fixed an issue where Heroes could block the movement of Catapults, preventing them from passing through intact gates.
User Interface
  • Fixed an issue where a space would appear before the player’s name in a Whisper.
Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
  • Ana: Fixed an issue where Ana’s Shrike healing was not accurately reflecting her damage done (via Spell Power or her target’s Armor).
  • Chromie: Fixed an issue where Temporal Loop’s return location would appear incorrect if a movement ability was used by the target.
  • Diablo: Fixed an issue where Diablo would not be displaced by knockback and similar effects while casting Overpower.
  • Gall: Fixed an issue where not all cases of Damage Reduction would work on Gall.
  • Gul’dan: Fixed an issue where Darkness Within’s bonus Spell Power would not increase the healing of Drain Life.
  • Kharazim: Can now Radiant Dash to all allied units, including Mercenaries, Creep Tumors, and Toxic Nests.
  • Li-Ming: Fixed an issue where Tal’Rasha’s Elements would grant bonus damage to Calamity after being twice in a row.
  • Murky: Egg Hunt’s Slime no longer benefits from Slime talents.
  • Sylvanas: Targets of Mind Control will now clear their move orders when affected by the ability.
  • Uther: Fixed an issue where Holy Fire’s damage was affected by Spell Power.

Alan Dabiri Departing as Heroes of the Storm Game Director

Alan Dabiri announced in the official forums that he is stepping down as Heroes of the Storm game director. Kaeo Milker will take that position to continue the evolution of the game.

Alan Dabiri is not leaving Blizzard Entertainment, however. He is going to transition to another game project within the company.

In my 20-plus years at Blizzard, I’ve had the privilege of working on many awesome Blizzard games in roles ranging from software engineer to technical director to game director. Across my many roles and games, my experience working on Heroes of the Storm ranks among the best of my development career. I’ve witnessed Heroes’ evolution from a StarCraft II mod to the amazing game you see today. Heroes’ development has been fueled by the shared excitement of our team and all of you in the community, and the game we’ve built together is the game I play almost every night.

One of the best things about developing Heroes is the fact that this team is not afraid to try new things while always striving to learn and grow. It’s been part of our DNA from the very beginning, and it’s through years of experimentation that we’ve hit our stride both as a development team, and as a game. This is possible because Heroes has an exceptional development team of both Blizzard veterans and fresh faces who are all highly engaged with the game we’re making, and the players we’re making it for.

It’s in this spirit of trying new things that I want to let everyone know that a few months ago, I accepted an opportunity to transition off my role as Heroes’ game director to heed Blizzard’s call and begin a new adventure elsewhere within the company. The game director has always been one part of the overall leadership team that drives Heroes forward and it’s been a privilege to work among some of the best game developers at every level on the team all the way up to our production director, Kaéo Milker. Leaving a team and game that I love is incredibly difficult, but seeing the steady strength, creativity, and commitment that Kaéo and the design, engineering, and art leadership teams consistently bring to Heroes has given me more than enough confidence to make this decision. I trust that the game is in the very best hands and their work these past few months has only reinforced my belief.

They’ve released awesome new heroes like Yrel, Whitemane, Mephisto, and now Mal’Ganis, while building on the themed content drops that let the team do fun things that only Heroes can do. They brought the smackdown (plus my favorite mount, the Luchihuahua!) with Nexomania, finally brought an epic slice of Azeroth into the Nexus with the Alterac Pass Battleground, and joined the Raven Lord’s forces with the Fall of King’s Crest. On top of that, the team has also released awesome reworks like Raynor and Brightwing while adding exciting updates like third ban and Team League improvements. With so many awesome content and feature updates, you can see why I believe that the team has brought us the best year of Heroes of the Storm so far.

And they’re not done yet. Heroes has one of the most passionate and dedicated development teams I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and they have a ton of exciting new content in development. I can’t wait for you all to see what they have in store for the rest of this year and beyond. You can bet that I’ll be right there enjoying it with you as it’s released, too. I’m sure you’ll agree when I say that Heroes is in a great place and I promise that it’s in the hands of the best possible people to continue driving it forward. Kaéo and the Heroes team are people who play almost every night who also happen to get to work on making the game what it is today. With our continued input and support, they’ll keep doing what they do best by making Heroes of the Storm the most awesome game it can possibly be.

I just want to sign off by saying thank you to all of you. I’ve had an incredible time working on this game and seeing you bring the battlegrounds to life every day. I’m so grateful for the enthusiasm you’ve brought to Heroes and all the changes you’ve encouraged us to make. I know the team deeply appreciates the feedback you share, so please keep it coming—and as always, I’ll see you in the Nexus!

-Alan

 

Is Mal’ganis coming to the Nexus?

The past few days, Blizzard Entertainment has been posting a few teaser images of Nexus minions, then another one with green swirling magic attacking the minions, and now we have the hero shocking a heal globe minion in full scope… a dreadlord of the Burning Legion.

I resized the image, and the green hues in the shoulders, chest piece, and legs… that’s also a visual queue that this is Mal’ganis.

 

Heroes of the Storm 38.0 Patch Notes: Kerrigan & Brightwing Rework

The Patch 38.0 is now live introducing new rework changes to Kerrigan and Brightwing. The Garden of Terror 2.0 can be played today. Garden of Terror now is a merge between Cursed Hollow and Alterac Pass mechanics.

A few days ago, I posted video of the Kerrigan & Brightwing Rework versus AI.

You can also check out their new Ability and Talent changes for Kerrigan and Brightwing.

PTR 38.0: Kerrigan and Brightwing Talent Rework

The Heroes of the Storm: Fall of King’s Crest (Patch 38.0) is now on the PTR servers. Kerrigan and Brightwing now have talent reworks. Some of them are brand-new. Their level 20 Heroic Abilities have been changed too. You can check their new talents changes by following these links: Kerrigan and Brightwing.

The Gardens of Terror map rework is also available in the PTR. The videos below take place in the new Gardens of Terror. Let me tell you… forget what you knew about the map the past 2-3 years. It has been changed completely.

When the seeds spawn, there is no longer a Terror boss on the north and south of the map. As a matter of fact, there is no longer two spots to secure simultaneously.

Instead, there is only one spot that spawns in only one of four random locations. Think of Gardens of Terror now as a combination between Cursed Hollow and Alterac Pass. Once the sole tribute spot is dominated by either team, vines dig their way to each of the three lanes and three Terror bosses spawn in the same fashion as Alterac Pass.

Below you can watch a video per hero, playing against the AI (due to long queue time).

Heroes of the Storm: Fall of King’s Crest

Blizzard Entertainment will introduce the next chapter in the Heroes of the Storm lore following the attack of Alterac Pass. The Raven Lord is preparing to invade King’s Rest in retaliation. He has called forth a squad of evil heroes from distant corners of the Nexus to fight.

Enter the new Fall of King’s Crest legendary skins: Spectral Wyrm Alexstrasza, Cursed Witch Whitemane, Spider Warden Maiev, and Phantom Knight Zarya. Learn more about the next event at the official website.

There is no launch date for this event, but from the skins and sprays it feels obvious this is meant to be the Halloween event, which means it might launch early in October. The next comic is slated for September 24th.

 

I uploaded a video showing all the new Fall of King’s Crest content available now on the PTR.

Will you stand with the Lady of Thorns in defiance of the Raven Lord? The fate of a Realm may rest on your shoulders, Hero. Unlocking with our next major update, the Fall of King’s Crest event brings event quests, skins, mounts, portraits, and much more. We’ll see you in the Nexus!

 

Tyrande 3.0 Rework in PTR 37.0

The recent Heroes of the Storm PTR 37.0 introduced Mephisto, Hanamura 2.0, and you might have missed it during a GamesCom 2018 livestream, but this patch also introduced Tyrande 3.0. In this third rework, Tyrande is a healing beast.

Light of Elune now has two charges, and with the Moonlit Arrows talent you can further reduce its cooldown.

In the video below, you can see me as Tyrande, taking damage from the core and a few minions while trying to solo the core. The Basic Attacks and the two charges turned Light of Elune into healing spam.

Light of Elune: Heal target ally for 706 Health (level 24). Stores up to 2 charges. Light of Elune’s cooldown replenishes all charges at the same time.

Passive: Basic Attacks lower the cooldown of this Ability by 1.5 sec. Damaging Heroes with Abilities lowers the cooldown of this Ability by 1.5 sec.

TALENT level 1: Moonlit Arrows (Basic Attacks decrease the cooldown of Light of Elune by an additional 0.25 sec.).

TALENT Level 20: Iceblade Arrows (Increase Attack Speed by 25%. Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes reduce their damage dealt by 8% for 2 sec. This effect stacks up to 5 times.)

I updated Tyrande’s Basic Abilities and Talents as found in Patch 37. Check it out here.

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