The Calm Before the Storm has Passed
Update (Tuesday, Oct. 07):
The Calm Before the Storm has passed and the Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha is now back online with a brand new patch. Head here for complete patch notes.
If you’re currently in the Technical Alpha, we hope you’re enjoying a week where all Heroes are available in our free rotation. If you’re not yet part of testing, we have some great news: we will soon be transitioning to production hardware so even more players can join us in the Nexus. This is a key step for us to transition to later stages of testing.
Thank You! (No, Really!)
First off, we wanted to take a moment to thank the community for all of your testing and continued feedback. Your participation has helped us improve the game immensely, and it has given us improved insight as to what players enjoy about Heroes, and what you would like to see from the game going forward. We have a lot of plans in store, and this is just the beginning.
The Calm Before the Storm…
We mentioned last week that the transition to the final phase of the Technical Alpha would involve an account-wide wipe to all Heroes of the Storm accounts. This will take place on September 29. At that time, we will reset all player and hero progression made, gold earned, and shop purchases made in the Technical Alpha, and all real money purchases will be refunded as Battle.net balance.
We will also shut down the Technical Alpha for more than one week starting on September 29 in order to transition to production hardware. During this time Heroes of the Storm will be unavailable for play.
After we fully transition to production hardware, the final phase of the Technical Alpha for Heroes of the Storm will commence, and we will invite even more players from around the world to test the game. At this time we are targeting the game to be patched and playable again in North America, Latin America, South East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand on October 7, and in Europe on October 9. We anticipate that Korea, Taiwan, and China will be available again for play in the weeks thereafter, and as always, we will ensure we keep players informed of any updates on this extended downtime.
Once the next major patch launches, we will no longer wipe real money or gold purchases. All purchases from that point on are considered final. Those who purchase a product in the Technical Alpha shop using real-money, or have made real-money purchases in the past will also receive an in-game reward for helping us test the shop. This special edition mount, Wonder Billie, will help get you where you need to go in the Nexus. Shiny!
Find Your Friends
In preparing for the upcoming patch, we also wanted to let you know that we will be moving all testers to their home Battle.net regions for the upcoming patch. You will gain access to the friends list you use in other Blizzard games (Diablo III, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, World of Warcraft) but you will lose your current Technical Alpha friends list. This will mean that any friends you made in Heroes Technical Alpha up until now will be lost. We want to help you stay connected with these steadfast allies using the methods we’ve outlined in this handy forum post.
What to Expect from the Upcoming Patch
We have a number of exciting new features that will be a part of this upcoming patch, too! We are planning to re-enable custom games and will also allow players to watch and review replays of their matches. Two new Heroes will also make their way onto the Battlegrounds of the Nexus in this upcoming patch: Anub’arak, the Traitor King and Azmodan, the Lord of Sin. We’ll have more details for you to dig into concerning each of them in the coming weeks as well.
The matchmaking rating that we use to match players against equally skilled players will also be reset. As a result, there will be a short period of time initially where the new system will need to learn the skill of the players actively playing games, and since everyone will be starting fresh, matches could be a little less than optimal at first. Never fear: the new matchmaking system will quickly learn the skill of the players actively playing games and we’ll soon return to a period of harmony and balance where players will again be matched against players of similar skill.
There’s More Ahead in the Nexus!
If you haven’t received an invitation to test Heroes of the Storm yet, it’s not too late! Make sure you’ve elected to participate in Heroes of the Storm testing by opting in on your Battle.net account’s Beta Profile Settings page. By doing so, you’ll give yourself the best chance at gaining testing access as we expand the pool of invited players in the weeks and months to come.
Please keep in mind that this phase of testing is extremely valuable for us, and feedback from this phase continues to help us fine-tune the game’s features and balance prior to transitioning into later stages of testing. As always, if you’re part of the ongoing testing for Heroes, we encourage you to jump in for some games, and leave us your constructive feedback in the following discussion forums:
- Technical Alpha General Feedback forum
- Technical Alpha Hero Feedback forum
- Technical Alpha Battleground Feedback forum
- Technical Alpha UI and Features Feedback forum
The transition onto production hardware is a big step forward in the development of Heroes of the Storm. While a lot of the changes are on the back-end, it will allow us to expand our pool of testers and move into later stages of testing. We appreciate your patience through this process and look forward to your continued feedback.
We still have a lot of plans in store, and there are new Heroes, announcements, and a host of exciting new features ahead, including updates on Ranked Play, Draft Mode, updated Social Systems on the horizon, so make sure to keep an eye on HeroesoftheStorm.com, follow @BlizzHeroes on Twitter, Like Heroes of the Storm on Facebook, and subscribe to @BlizzHeroes on YouTube to keep up with all the latest news as soon as it’s announced.
Stay tuned for more updates, and we hope to see you in the Nexus soon!