Heroes of the Storm AMA Transcript – April 30, 2020

Are you ever going to fix the Hanamura Samurai’s Slash? It’s still broken. — Pscythic

Thanks for the detailed report Pscythic. I appreciate the effort of including a video, it makes my job much easier. I’ve entered an issue to help move this closer to being resolved. — Joshua Kofalt

semi related: It’s hitbox display gets bugged when targeted on a unit “knocked up” into the air, stretching the semicircle and it actuallys gets cut off. — Riokaii

video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obNFq7KxYo0

Ooh, thanks! That looks like a separate issue, will research! — Joshua Kofalt

I’d like to know, what’s the roadmap looking like for our favourite game?
We know there’s nowhere near the resources as in the beginning, but that absolutely doesn’t mean development is dead (as was proven by you all!). Is there any room for new hero/new map, or is it straight-up tweaking & reworking from here on out? — Klaagzang

We’ve received feedback on the desire for a roadmap previously and have discussed it a few times since our last AMA. We’re aligned that it sounds awesome to give players commitments on things to look forward to, but we still wrestle with how deep we should be going on that. So while we obviously have an internal roadmap for Heroes that usually looks over a year out, we like to give ourselves flexibility to add to, change, remove, or move things around as needed and a publicly facing roadmap ties our hands in ways we’re not always comfortable with. What are we comfortable saying? We have new heroes in development and will be sharing info on the next one soon. We have a huge lineup of hero reworks that we’re excited about and want to continue breathing new life into old favorites regularly. We have features coming that will make the game better while also improving our ability to support it. We have some of the coolest skins in the history of the game yet to come. And we want to be building toward a world where we can add more content to the game year-over-year. Stay tuned! — Kaeo Milker

The question of a Battle Pass or Season Pass has been brought up a couple days ago in this subreddit. With the success of Battle Passes in games like Fortnite, or more recently in one of your company’s parter’s Call of Duty Modern Ware, how do you feel about adding a Battle Pass to Heroes of the Storm? Season Passes seem to be popular amongst both players and developers, and appear to bring in lots of money.

Do you think this would be a good idea, and if yes, do you have the ressources to make one? Or could you propose this idea to whoever distributes resources to get them? — Dsingis

We’ve explored designs for a Battle Pass-like feature for Heroes in the past and still think that’s a cool idea for the game with its combination of a clear roadmap of unlockable content and what’s required of players to get it. Ultimately the feature requires a lot of engineering and UI work that we’d rather focus on game content and other features currently, but I wouldn’t rule it out in time. Thanks! — Kaeo Milker

Are there any plans to provide players who want to play solo ranked only against & with other solo players a form of play?

When Storm League was first introduced, I recall there being plans, but that’s a long while ago now. — Spazzo965

This sounds like good idea, and in ideal world it would be! Now the thing is that matchmaking is not all about the team average raw MMR comparison for soloes vs premades. There are many factors affecting match winrates: MMR average, spread, and party sizes just to name a few. The matchmaker tries to take it all into account, and the winrate prediction is extremely complex. So in ideal world we would just grab all the parties in queue and create 50/50 winrate maches. In theory, it’s doable, and according to our data it is actually doing exactly that in the majority of games. However, it starts to struggle when the number of available parties in outlier MMR ranges is low. The win prediction itself seems to be pretty reliable across all rank brackets, but sometimes there just isn’t a ‘good match’ that can be found. Furthermore, putting hard restrictions on party sizes could potentially cause even more problems, we just tried that out, and in the end, it didn’t end up working out the way we had hoped. If we added an optional “solo only” opt-in checkbox: it would split the queue population and lead us right back into the world of 2 separate ranked play queues, which ended up hurting the matchmaking even further. If you remember old times with Hero and Team Leagues: the latter just wasn’t viable in some regions. Consolidating the leagues has made a dramatic improvement to matchmaking across the board. Unfortunately, there just isn’t an easy-win option when it comes to competitive 5v5 matchmaking. Nevertheless, we will be trying out new things, that’s for sure! — Sergey Morozov

Any updates on the gifting system? — twinklesunnysun

We do currently have some hero bundles available for gifting in the battle.net shop, and we also have seasonal chests available during the winter. We’re looking into adding more content to the shop in the future! — Taylor Hankins

I thought for a long time how I knew the name “Joshua Kofalt”, and then years of Heroes esports broadcasted before my eyes, and I remembered. Congrats with joining the team, RealRawrJar! It’s really nice to see a skilled player and Heroes pro coach as a test analyst.

Could you please tell a brief story of how you became a member of the Heroes team, and what tasks are you responsible for? Are there any interesting stories about the recent playtests? — ToH_Cheshire

Sure! Blizzard games have played a focal point of the games I’ve played my whole life. I had been playing the genre for many years when I was lucky enough to be invited to the Heroes Technical Alpha, and I dug in deep. Several of the great friends I made during this early period ended up being members of the Heroes team. I had an incredibly memorable experience with competitive Heroes, but when an opportunity arose, my friends thought my experience would be useful and encouraged me to apply. As part of Heroes QA team, I help provide end to end test coverage. On a day to day basis, this includes attending design syncs, building out test case libraries, playtesting/providing feedback, researching player reports, and testing! Besides playtesting, something I love about my role on Heroes is the amount of individual responsibility on a specific feature. For example, I was QA’s Deathwing ‘owner’ – I led all of his testing efforts, and was the QA point of contact for all the things. I had a blast at BlizzCon watching players get their hands on something we had spent hours and hours helping polish. Before Deathwing’s release, I, hypothetically, may have used Skyfall to prevent a Cursed Hollow Tribute from being captured for several minutes. If this happened, the enemy may have not been very happy about it. Thankfully Skyfall has had changes to limit this behavior since this incident, if it even did occur. Often we find it important to use abilities in the ‘worst case scenario’ so we can see possible ways talents/abilities can be exploited. A common phrase we use is “we play against it so the players don’t have to.” — Joshua Kofalt
He likes to pick Falstad and fly into bushes to gank me when i’m 1v1ing someone else. No respect for the sanctity of a duel. I’m totally not mad :3 — Adam Z. Jackson

Heroes community has a lot of talented artists, and there are a lot of amazing skins concepts. Could you tell us more about the implementation of Janitor Leoric into the game? What is the process of interaction with the author of the original concept? And is there any chance we will see some more fan ideas in the game? — ToH_Cheshire

Hunman360 did the art for a competition. There was talks to creating that skin as far back as the moment we were aware of it. Our schedules are written out for us at least a year in advance and there wasn’t good place to put it. By time we decided to do it the concept had been around for quite some time. Community sentiment was the biggest for any community skin we had ever seen. It was a really strong concept as well. We reached out to the artist and asked them if they would like to see it in Heroes. Thankfully the answer was yes and we did it. Our community has some really great artists and we definitely want to put more community skins in the game. We like to put skins out with pair well with other skins. Theme the packs. This is mostly why Janitor Leoric took as long as it did. We decided it would be cool to pair it with the RCHS Orphea’s Slacker skin and RCHS cheer leader Kerrigan. Sometimes it takes awhile to figure out where we can schedule something like that in. — Andrew Kinabrew

In 2019 we’ve seen 4 new heroes: Deathwing, Qhira, Anduin Imperius. Can we expect more new heroes for 2020? — Cydra01

Yes. — Jeff Beaudoin

Are there any changes planned regarding the recent Nexus Anomaly with all the feedback you had? Will it be cancelled, modified, improved, not touched at all? — Cydra01

Yes, we already have changes coming in the pipe for the Nexus Anomaly. You can expect for any Anomaly that we will iterate on and improve them after they’ve been released if there are things that can be made better. — Adam Z. Jackson

KT has a bug where his L7 and L1 D talents do not work properly together. The SP increase from the L7 talent doesn’t increase the L1 heal. Can we get this fixed? — Anarchil

Thanks for the report – I’ve entered an issue for tracking. — Joshua Kofalt

There are a series of interactions that we are unsure of in regards to them being bugs or intended features. It would be real slick if we could get a definitive answer. The interactions are:
Brightwing – banned from entering vehicles on Dragon Shire and Volskaya Foundry;
(is she supposed to heal while in vehicles? )

Garrosh is prohibited from using his level 7 “Into the Fray” to throw turrets;
(Turrets are generally immobile through any other means so Garrosh throwing them seems a little weird)
Tyrande level 1 “Elune’s Chosen” – globally banned while playing with Leoric on the same team.
(It continues to heal even after he is dead, reducing his death timer even further than normal. That seems a little odd.)

Not only that, is there someone that organizations can contact within Blizzard? After all, we are all working for the same things.

Thanks for clearing it up! — NexusGamingSeries

Brightwing’s Soothing Mist passively healing while inside vehicles – this is a bug. Garrosh’s Into the Fray able to be cast on allied Turrets – this is a bug. Tyrande’s Elune’s Chosen healing Leoric while he is Undying – this is a bug. I’ve entered reports for each issue now. Our official bug report forums is the best place to report bugs or potential bugs: https://us.forums.blizzard.com/en/heroes/c/bug-report — Joshua Kofalt

Will the Invisible Horse return?

Yes! — Brett Crawford

There is some plans to make more skins for ChoGall?

Im still holding my gems to the day I see a legendary skin for my favorite Heroe. — VirtualTwin

Anything is possible in the Nexus! — Dorothy Sheng

More cross-game promotions with WoW, Overwatch, Hearthstone etc came up at the last AMA, and were actioned as something to look into. Do you have any cool stuff to report in this area? — jjp3

We are indeed discussing how we can cross-promote with our other games, as the past events were extremely awesome! That said, there is a lot of differing opinions on how to set them up and when they should occur. While I don’t have anything concrete to share right now, we are definitely discussing it and are always looking for new opportunities to make it happen. — Brett Crawford


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Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film. Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. 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) ***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet’s patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donatives will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round.

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