Heroes of the Storm: 2019 Gameplay Updates
The only thing that’s constant in the Nexus is change. As mentioned at BlizzCon 2018, in the coming months we’re bringing you gameplay and matchmaking changes, feature updates, and a whole new way to earn experience with Boosts! Read on for more information.
Experience a New Experience… Experience:
One of our major goals with the 2019 updates is to implement gameplay changes that encourage closer matches and avoid the dreaded “snowball” effect. After careful design, implementation, and iteration, we felt that this best way to accomplish this goal was to slow down the “snowball effect” just as it starts to come into play. In short, we’re changing the way we reward players who prioritize push strategies to gain experience and power advantages. While we still want to reward players for pushing, we’re focused on removing the direct power advantage we give to these teams and will instead reward them with a strategic advantage. To accomplish this, we’re making the following changes:
Previously, we granted a great deal of experience to players for destroying structures. In order to help us accomplish the goals we described above, we’ve redistributed how Experience is earned across a few parts of a match, as detailed here:
- Removed all Experience earned from destroying a Fort or Keep
- Decreased Experience earned from destroying Towers by 50%
- Passive Experience gain increased by 15%
- Increased Experience gained by defeating defending Mercenaries by 100%
- Defeating Laning Mercenaries will now grant 100% of Defending Mercenaries Experience
To ensure that teams were still rewarded and encouraged to take down key structures, we are also changing how catapults (and their Battleground-specific equivalents) are awarded. Here’s how:
Catapulting Heroes into 2019:
When a team destroys a Fort, they’ll now gain a Catapult in every 3rd Minion wave. This allows consistent (but not constant) pressure in a lane that enemies will have a hard time ignoring. This change also introduces a secondary form of snowball prevention that is not as obvious—a team that’s ahead will have more pressure in lanes, pushing Minions (and Experience) towards their opponents, allowing them easier and safer ways to regain a foothold in the match. As a note, killing a Keep will result in Catapults with every wave, which is identical to the current live functionality.
- NOTE: In order to keep early-game Catapults from being too devastating to defending teams, you will also notice some new scaling changes that will gradually increase the size of their area attack, attack range, and damage/health as the game progresses.
In addition to updating Experience and Catapult mechanics, we’re also unifying the Armor system. Gone are the days of bringing multiple Heroes that grant Armor and stacking them to absurd levels. Our live design team has been watching those strategies rise in competitive play and is taking the opportunity now to make proactive changes for the health of the game at all levels of play. Now, just like Movement Speed modifiers, the game will apply only the highest (or lowest) amount of Armor to a Hero at any given time. To cap it off, we’ve created a new user interface element that will give on-the-fly information to players about how much (and what kind) of Armor Heroes have.
Know Your Role:
To create a more consistent Quick Match experience, the matchmaker will now prioritize including a Tank, Healer, and ranged Assassin on each Quick Match team—unless you’re in a group of five, in which case, no restrictions will apply!
Call of the Nexus:
Players who queue for roles that are in short supply will receive bonus experience for being team players. Just look for the Bonus Experience icon located above each Hero when viewing the Hero Selection screen.
Move over Stimpacks, Here come Boosts:
What was once called a Stimpack is now a Boost, and in addition to buffing your XP and Gold gains, all players on a team will receive 5% bump in experience for each active Boost at the end of each match. That mean players can receive up to a 45% XP bonus if all 10 players in game have a Boost active! In addition to these stacking Boost XP buffs, you’ll also be able to retroactively Boost your Gold and XP gains at the end of a match by applying a Boost from the Score Screen.
It’s shaping up to be anther exciting year for Heroes of the Storm. We’ll see you in the Nexus, Heroes!