Heroes of the Storm AMA Transcript – April 30, 2020

The Heroes of the Storm team held a public AMA over at the Reddit community to answer questions about the status of the game and things to look forward to.

Yes, there will be new heroes coming in 2020, and at least one is confirmed to be a tank. There aren’t any foreseeable plans for a support hero in 2020, but anything can happen.

It took me a considerable amount of time to curate and gather all the questions and answers from the Reddit AMA thread. Share your love via PayPal or Patreon.

HEROES OF THE STORM AMA

Right after all the spooky announcements, there were a bunch of wild patches. Sweeping balance changed for like 1/3rd of the roster. I personally thought it was fun to see these huge changes as it reinvigorated players to play heroes who are buffed. But they seem to have decreased in size and frequency.

Was this just not viable because of the work? Did you find it was actually scaring players off? Or will they continue? — Unbiased_Bob

I don’t think that the size of a patch correlates with the impact it will have on the game, I think our focus is solely on the quality of the changes and how exciting they are for the players vs. sheer amount of changes. However, as the amount of changes increase so does the amount of testing that is required. We try to be as “balanced” as possible. — Kevin Gu
 
I pushed to have the large balance patches at the beginning of last year, and I think it’s been fairly successful since then. As far as the size of the patches, from my point of view they’ve still been very large. There hasn’t been a specific reason that they got smaller then those first couple outside of the fact that it takes a lot of work to consistently find changes that have a high probability to be good for the game. The changes themselves do take a lot of time and work to implement and for QA to verify, but outside of that it also takes a significant amount of time to plan changes that have a higher likelihood of being good for the game. In the last few patches I’ve tried to focus on having a decent amount of functionality changes that are a little more exciting and make heroes feel fresh to play. Naturally, if more time and effort are being put into those kinds of more complex changes, it takes away from time that could be spent doing a higher volume of simple number changes. At the end of the day it’s a balancing act between these two ideals, and right now we’ve been leaning more towards changes that have more meat to them over volume. Oh, there’s also these Nexus Anomaly things that, ya know, take up a little of our time as well. — Adam Z. Jackson
 

What is your opinion on the current amount of slows, pushes, stuns, roots, stops and displacements in the game? Do you think it’s too much? Do you think that damage across the board needs to be nerfed also? — FloatingWatcher

I think the current amount of CC effects in the game is appropriate. Many heroes need at least one of these kinds of effects in their kit to be effective, and so that means that you will likely have at least 5 of these kinds of effects in every team composition. This has been the case since the game was released, and I think it’s worked out just fine. To help answer CC, we’ve also over time added a slew of effects that prevent or negate CC as well, which gives teams ways to answer these things. In regards to damage, I don’t believe it needs to be nerfed across the board. Time to kill hasn’t gotten out of control in a general sense, though burst management on an individual hero basis is something that we keep an eye on. — Adam Z. Jackson
 

With the Tass rework we lost one support hero. I actually love the support playstyle, just buffing/enabling others while doing some other things as well. Can we expect a new support hero to be added in the future? — Darak_

Unfortunately, I can’t really answer your main question as the kinds of heroes we want to bring in changes all the time. We are in a spot where the team can truly work on the features/Heroes they are most passionate about, and bringing the next Support to the Nexus requires the championing and drive towards it. The Heroes we are currently working on do not fit into the Support mold as of right now, but that can always change (and has many times in the past)! — Brett Crawford
 

What are currently your thoughts about the new Nexus Anomaly?
Where can we give our feedback?

Some thoughts:

  • Buildings should focus map objectives before heroes, maybe even summons (like Anub beetles) before heroes.
  • Poison dmg (like Lunara or Stitches) or dmg happening far away (Azmo demon or Gaz tower hitting hero on other side of map) should not trigger buildings to focus you.
  • Maybe just forts and keeps should focus and debuff, but not the gate towers, because on some maps this makes some lanes incredibly short. At least Towers could only focus, but not debuff.
  • The core changes are nice and add some fluff feeling to each map.

nakno3

Personally, I am greatly enjoying the new Nexus Anomaly (but I may be biased as I was directly involved with its creation). However, I will say that we are very actively reading feedback and discussing it internally (and have some changes coming in the next balance patch). Overall, knowing that my structures will ‘help me, help them’ allows players to feel more comfortable defending them but it is a very slippery slope as one of the original design pillars of the game was to always promote aggressive play (always be brawling!!!), and this arguably undermines that pillar to a certain extent. Thank you for your thoughts and feedback. The whole team monitors both battle.net and reddit forum boards and we always appreciate great discussions! — Brett Crawford
 

What happened to hero rotation? The featured heros changed but the rotation stayed the same. Weren’t they supposed to switch the free hero rotation 1-2 days ago? — zakos13

This was an error on my part as I failed to update the .XML file past the 21st. This should be fixed shortly 🙂 Thanks for the call-out and your patience!
 

Gasp! You guys don’t automate your rotation!? — Niipa

I know! I’m talking with one of our engineers today about that exact shame 🙂 — Brett Crawford
 

As usual I’m going to harass about lore.

My question/comment is largely toward the theming of ability and talent names. Recently Tassadar’s rework brought a bit of it into the spotlight. Some talent names were great (props for Shadow Walk), but the Q ability Shock Ray seemed oddly off theme for a protoss ability, when there’s stuff like his auto attack, Psi Assault. What was the reasoning behind the name? Was the more established abilities too close to psionic storm in terms of being easy to say, or did is it striking a balance between what the ability does and fitting with the lore?

Similarly, I was curious about the name of Raynor’s reworked talents, the famous “Acquire Weak Spot vs Give ’em Some Pepper” was the big one, but the rework also stripped most of the references to his character from his kit. I wasn’t sure the reasoning when other reworks like Nova and Hammer (and Tassadar) have been hyper flavorful in their talent names. — Subsourian

I’d say it’s complicated, because our Heroes generally represent not only a specific character, but a larger mish-mash of relevant gameplay mechanics and lore from their respective universes. Personally, there’s three things I would say I draw upon when designing/naming things: Obvious established fantasy hits that directly represent the character or archetype that character falls in to. Things like Archon, Khaydarin Amulet, Psionic Storm are all things you would expect Tassadar to have if you’ve played either of the Starcrafts. Expanded universe fantasy hits like Thermal Lance, Shadow Walk, or Khala’s Gift which speak to a broader category of Protoss technology/magic or specific lore moments from that character’s history, but had no established mechanical implications. Literal mechanical translations like Shock Ray or Black Hole. These can definitely be the weakest, but I think there’s a certain value in being straightforward sometimes, especially when it comes to helping players develop heuristics. In Shock Ray’s case, I didn’t want to double up on the “psionic” nomenclature for abilities and talents. Pushing it to be more “electrically oriented” means I don’t have to figure out 10 different ways to describe “psi damage” between two different abilities. It also helps makes it more obvious to players which ability a given talent is going to affect by name alone. — David P Warner
 

What do you think about the rework Tassadar now that you got some data? Do you regret / wish some additional changes? — Cydra01

He’s currently trending a little lower than we’d like, but nothing some balance changes can’t fix. 🙂 The removal of Dimensional Shift had a huge impact on how you need to think about positioning and I think some players are struggling in that regard. It’s going to take a bit of time for players to relearn both playing as or with a Tassadar. I’ve seen dozens of different opinions about which build is best or when Tass is a viable pick, but no real dominant consensus has emerged yet. I feel there’s still a lot of community mind-share going on, which is a good thing! We’ve had great success with Tass internally over the past few months, so I have no doubt about his viability long-term. While he is considered a mage along the lines of Kael’thas or Gul’dan, a lot of his power comes from the utility or “intangibles” he brings. I think JHow’s analysis (check out his Youtube!) that Tassadar should be thought of as a complementary pick instead of a carry pick is pretty accurate. All that being said, I do think there’s room for improvement with his AA build. It’s a bit too pointed towards utility at the expense of damage. I have some ideas I want to try once we see how our balance changes settle.– David P Warner
 

Some people say Deathwing was the last new hero we will ever get. Is that true? Please tell me we are getting Cairne Bloodhoof! — blacktiger226

Nope to first question. And anything is possible in Nexus! — Dorothy Sheng
 

Is there anywhere we can send ideas for skins?

My family keeps making it a game to come up with ideas. So far we have Goldshire farmer murky. Lord of the high tide Ragnaros. His weapon is a surfboard. His Q would be a water effect similar to a splash. W would be a beach ball. His lava wave could use a tidal wave effect similar to the surfboard mounts

You can post it in the Heroes Reddit and Heroes Forum. We are actively checking fan art/ skin ideas from these places. — Dorothy Sheng
 

Could Murky’s Egg health scale at a percentage per level please?

Right now it scales at 30 per level, which as far as I’m aware, is unique in the game. Kind of seems a bit odd. currently going as far as 5.25% wouldn’t make it better until level 22, so if done, would probably need to make it have a higher starting value.

BTW, Tychus’ health regen scales at 4.5% per level, while his health scales at 4%

Speaking of, is it known that the scaling values aren’t exact percentages? like 4% is 4.0038%, 4.75% is 4.7607%, 2.5% is 2.4902% — Spazzo965

I’ll check out Murky’s Egg scaling and Tychus’s Health regen. Not sure why the egg scaling is not a percentage. In regards to weird scaling values, there are sometimes limitations in the editor when it comes to very specific percentages that results in this. I remember being frustrated when trying to tune some Lucio healing talents back in the day because they tick every second and some of them were fractions of those ticks, which I wasn’t able to get exactly where I wanted them to be. — Adam Z. Jackson
 
Those scaling values not being exact are most likely because Heroes uses a fixed-point float, rather than a real floating point value. This is primarily to support parity when transferring information over the network and is common in games that use lockstep networking like we do and have to have perfect synchronization between clients. Essentially, in our implementation the number %2.5 doesn’t exist, so %2.4902 is as close as we can get. — Jeff Beaudoin
 

Since the usage is per-level scaling, I guess the number in question is really 1.025, not 2.5. The fixed-point math that I’ve seen can handle 2.5 just fine. And of course the number 4 can be represented, but 1.04 might not fit. — Senshado

I will add the % in there to make it more clear! — Jeff Beaudoin
 

HEROES OF THE STORM AMA
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