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!
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.
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.
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).
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!
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.
Certain game visuals now appear smoother, such as Channel/Duration progress bars and Fog of War.
Dynamic Spell Power Updating
Ability Damage is now calculated while abilities are in flight instead of only at the time of cast.
Hanamura has been renamed to Hanamura Temple and has received a significant gameplay update.
Hanamura Temple has been added to the Battleground Rotation.
Towers of Doom
Dul’Mephistos, the Lord of Hatred, is said to the be most cunning among his brethren. Even while imprisoned in a soulstone, his vile influence corrupted the Zakarum and manipulated them into breaking the seal, giving him free reign to reunite the Prime Evils and enslave humanity.
Skull Missile and Shade of Mephisto grant 1.5 seconds of cooldown reduction per Hero hit, and Lightning Nova grants 0.3 seconds per Hero hit.
Skull Missile (Q)
Conjure a skull that travels in the target direction after 0.75 seconds, dealing 127 damage to enemies hit and Slowing Heroes hit by 25% for 2 seconds.
Lightning Nova (W)
A ring of lightning appears around Mephisto for 2.5 seconds. Enemies within the ring take 48 damage every 0.25 seconds.
Each time a cast of Lightning Nova hits a Hero, its damage is increased by 4%, up to 40%.
Shade of Mephisto (E)
Teleport to a location, dealing 78 damage to nearby enemies and leaving behind a Shade of Mephisto at Mephisto's original location. After 2.5 seconds, Mephisto is teleported back to the Shade's location.
Consume Souls (R)
Channel for 2.5 seconds, revealing all enemy Heroes. After the Channel completes, all enemy Heroes take 357 damage and are Slowed by 40% for 2.5 seconds.
Durance of Hate (R)
After 1 second, unleash a wave of evil spirits that Root the first enemy Hero hit for 2 seconds and deal 160 damage to them over the same duration.
Durance of Hate spreads outwards from its initial target, Rooting and damaging additional nearby enemy Heroes.
Jaina has received updated UI elements for her baseline Frostbite quest
Basic Attack damage reduced from 82 to 55
Basic Attack range increased from 5.5 to 6
Light of Elune (Q)
Heal increased from 270 to 275
Cooldown increased from 11 to 15 seconds
Mana cost reduced from 30 to 10
Now has two charges that refresh simultaneously.
The cooldown is lowered by 1.5 seconds every time you Basic Attack.
The cooldown is lowered by 1.5 seconds every time you damage an enemy Hero with an ability.
There is a one second cooldown between charge uses.
Mana cost reduced from 70 to 50
Cooldown reduced from 18 to 15 seconds
Damage reduced from 165 to 120
The Sentinel baseline quest has been removed.
Lunar Flare (E)
Damage reduced from 195 to 150
Hunter’s Mark (D)
Armor reduction decreased from 25 to 15
Range increased from 5.5 to 6
Cooldown increased from 60 to 80 seconds
Grant Stealth to all Allied Heroes and heal them for 400 Health over 10 seconds.
Moonlit Arrows (Q)
Moved from Level 4
Celestial Attunement (Q)
Moved from Level 4
Light of Elune now removes all Stuns and Slows from its target
Kaldorei Resistance (Q)
Moved from Level 4
Duration of Spell Armor decreased from 6 to 3 seconds
Maximum stacks of Spell Armor decreased from 3 to 2
Moved from Level 1
Bonus travel damage increased from 75 to 150%
Activate to have your next Sentinel pierce all targets. 30 second cooldown.
Lunar Blaze (E)
Moved from Level 1
Increase the range of Lunar Flare by 50%
Quest: Hitting a Hero increases the damage of Lunar Flare by 5% up to a maximum of 100%
Activate - Instantly reset Hunter’s Mark and grant nearby allies 20% additional Basic Attack damage for 5 seconds. 60 second cooldown.
Mark of Mending (D)
Moved from Level 16
Elune’s Chosen (Active)
Moved from Level 16
Duration increased from 5 to 10 seconds
Your Basic Attacks heal your target for 200% of the damage they deal. 30 second Cooldown.
New Talent: Everlasting Light (Q)
The healing granted by the second charge of Light of Elune is increased by 40% if used on a different target.
Quickening Blessing (Q)
Movement Speed decreased from 30 to 20%
Tyrande permanently gains 10% Movement Speed
Ranger’s Mark (D)
Moved from Level 1
Basic Attacks lower the cooldown of Hunter’s Mark by 1 second. Tyrande’s Basic Attacks against marked targets extend the duration of Hunter’s Mark by .5 seconds
Harsh Moonlight (W)
The first Hero hit with Sentinel is slowed by 40% and deals 40% less damage for 4 seconds.
Overflowing Light (Q)
Huntress’ Fury (D)
Moved from Level 7
Basic Attacks now splash to all nearby targets
Range increase reduced from 50 to 25%
Increases the duration of Hunter’s Mark by 1 second
Moved from Level 13
Reduce the cooldown of Sentinel by 3 seconds. The first enemy hit takes an additional 7% of their Maximum Health in damage.
Darnassian Archery (Passive)
Moved from Level 7
Damage bonus per attack increased from 5 to 10%
Duration increased from 4 to 8 seconds
Eyes of the Huntress (R)
Enemy reveal duration reduced from 3 to 2 seconds
Increase Shadowstalk’s heal by 50% for allies who are under 50% of their Maximum Health
Shooting Star (Passive)
Attacks needed reduced from 10 to 8
No longer requires Heroic targets to gain stacks
No longer only targets Heroic units (but does prefer them)
Developer Comment: While we enjoy the flexibility of Tyrande's kit, she has struggled to find a home in the current meta. As we started looking at broadening our Hero roles, we felt like we had an opportunity to make some simple yet very substantial changes to our Night Elf Priestess. This rework pulls her slightly away from her hybrid status, reducing her damage output potential while introducing a lot more healing potential. While she keeps the vast majority of her older talents, they have been updated and shuffled to better coincide with her changes. We have enjoyed playing her internally and are excited to see what our players can do with her!
The following new bundles are available for a limited time! Be sure to check out the latest In-Development blog for more details.
Mephisto Heroic Bundle
Hellforged Heroes Bundle
Star Wraith Mephisto
Cybernetic Star Wraith Mephisto
Eternal Star Wraith Mephisto
New Portraits, Sprays, and Emojis
Several new emoji packs and portraits have also been added to the game. You can get a look in our most recent In-Development blog.
Loading Screen: Fixed an issue that could cause a vertical black line to appear on loading screens in certain resolutions.
Custom Games: Fixed an issue that could cause game stalls when launching custom games with more than 8 players.
Fixed an issue that could cause Heroes to appear to walk on their mounts if certain abilities were cast immediately after mounting.
Volskaya Foundry: Fixed an issue that caused Time Stop effects to fail to cancel channels on the Volskaya Protector.
The Unstoppable effect now has a status duration bar underneath nameplates.
Alarak: Alarak's Deadly Charge now has an icon in the death recap screen.
Ana: Ana's abilities amplified by Nano Boost's Spell Power buff now display critical effects.
Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
Cassia: Fixed an issue that could cause the stun effect from Valkyrie to end early if the target collided with terrain.
Diablo: Fixed an issue that prevented Diablo from being thrown by Garrosh’s Wrecking Ball if Diablo was casting Overpower.
Johanna & Li-Ming: Fixed an issue that prevented some “marked” effects from being consumed if the target was Shielded or Protected.
Lunara & Stitches: Fixed an issue that could cause permanent screen shaking if Lunara was hooked by Stitches under certain conditions.
Fixed an issue that caused responsiveness degradation when using the middle-mouse button on fullscreen settings.
Watch our GamesCom 2018 Heroes of the Storm showcase panel video where game developer Matthew Cooper brought two teams to showcase Mephisto gameplay. Thanks and props to correspondent @Handclaw for recording it on short notice for lack of livestreams. Some portions are in german and english languages.
Recently, Blizzard teased a new hero and according to a fan the German BlizzHeroes Twitter leaked in the HTML code’s Image Alt the words: “teaser for Mephisto.” At least a second fan confirmed to have seen that too.
In addition, the official GamesCom 2018 Blizzard App (Android/iOS) shows a peculiar AR Guided Tour under the Heroes of the Storm icon titled “Declare Your Allegiance” – Find and scan the Heroes of the Storm wall to pick your side and swear Allegiance.