Heroes of the Storm
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Heroes of the Storm PTR patch notes for August 10

The latest patch for Heroes of the Storm is live on the PTR right now, featuring the new Monk Kharazim — as in Diablo 3 Monk, not World of Warcraft Monk — for testing. Though Kharazim is a support hero, he has a very hybrid feel, with the ability to spec him towards damage or healing. This patch will also include the new Infernal Shrines map and much-anticipated dynamic bundles (though they aren’t yet available on the PTR).

That’s all stuff we knew was coming to the PTR from last week’s Gamescom announcements — but the patch also has a few surprises. Diablo 3 players will be getting some new rewards, with Reaper of Souls owners getting Diablo for free if they log in within three weeks of the patch’s release and players who reach level 70 in Diablo 3‘s upcoming Season 4 getting a Malthael’s Phantom mount. We’re also seeing the return of Demonic Tyrael and Blood Elf Tyrande, both of whom have received updates.

Of course, this isn’t everything, so read the full patch notes below, alongside notes from Game Designer Matt Cooper (a nice touch that we’d love to see on WoW patch notes).

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

GENERAL

Public Test Realm

  • Items may now be purchased from the PTR Shop using real money.
    • Items purchased on the PTR using real money will transfer to the live version of Heroes of the Storm.
      • Prior to making a transaction on the PTR, players may select which region they’d like their items to transfer to using the new PTR Purchase Region dropdown that has been added to the Language and Region tab in the Options menu.
      • The PTR Purchase Region dropdown will default to each player’s home Battle.net login region. Players may choose a different region if the default selection does not match the region that they normally log into for play.
    • Before a real-money transaction can be completed on the PTR, players will be required to confirm which Battle.net login region they’d like that item to transfer to.
    • New items that are only purchasable in the PTR Shop will not be available for play outside of the PTR until they are added to the live version of Heroes with the impending patch.
    • Please Note: Gold purchases are not supported on the PTR.
  • Battleground Pool
    • Infernal Shrines will be the only playable Battleground on the PTR in all modes except Custom Games during this phase of PTR playtesting.
    • Please note: Infernal Shrines is available for playtesting on the Public Test Realm, but will not be added to the live version of Heroes of the Storm immediately on patch day.

Diablo III Rewards

  • Add Diablo to Your Hero Collection
    • Diablo III and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls players who log in to Heroes during the three weeks following the release of the upcoming patch will permanently receive Diablo in Heroes of the Storm.
  • Malthael’s Phantom
    • Starting with Season 4, Diablo III players who reach level 70 with a Seasonal character will receive Malthael’s Phantom in Heroes of the Storm.
  • Portrait Border & Pennant
    • Diablo III players who reach Player Level 12 in Heroes of the Storm will receive a new Heroes-themed Portrait Border and Pennant in Diablo III.

Kill 50 Treasure Goblins!

  • A new Special Event Quest has been added: Kill 50 Treasure Goblins
    • Any player who manages to rid the Nexus of 50 pesky Treasure Goblins during the Eternal Conflict event will receive a special portrait reward for their heroism!
    • Treasure Goblins killed on the PTR will only count toward Special Event Quest progress on the PTR. Progress for this Quest will start from zero in the live version of Heroes once the patch is officially released.

New Portrait Rewards

  • Many new portrait rewards have been added! Unlock them by reaching Hero Level 10 with the following Heroes:
    • Diablo Villain Collection – Diablo, Leoric, The Butcher
    • Diablo Heroes Collection Series 1 – Nazeebo, Sonya, Valla
    • Diablo Heroes Collection Series 2 – Johanna, Kharazim
    • StarCraft Rebels Collection – Kerrigan, Raynor, Tychus
    • Swarm Evolution Collection – Abathur, Zagara
    • Night Elf Betrayer Collection – Illidan, Malfurion, Tyrande
    • Reign of Chaos Collection – Arthas, Jaina, Thrall, Uther
    • Stormstout Collection – Chen, Li Li
    • Undercity Collection – Stitches, Sylvanas

NEW BATTLEGROUND

Infernal Shrines

  • This three-lane Battleground features three Infernal Shrines that will periodically gather power. Only one Shrine will gather power at any given time, and either team can activate it to unleash its might.
  • Once activated, the Shrine’s Guardians will pour forth in waves to defend it. The first team to kill 30 Guardians will summon a devastating Punisher to fight for their cause.
  • A Punisher is a powerful boss that will attack down the lane that corresponds with the Shrine it was summoned from. Punishers will hunt down any nearby enemy Heroes that cross its path, and can spawn with one of three deadly affixes:
    • Arcane – The Punisher summons beams of arcane energy which rotate in a circular motion, and deal massive damage to enemy targets they pass through.
    • Frozen – The Punisher calls forth frigid ice shards, which explode after a short delay, dealing damage and freezing enemies in place for a short time.
    • Mortar – The Punisher launches a stream of firebombs high into the air, which explode and deal damage to any enemies they strike upon landing.

 

NEW HEROES

Kharazim has been added to Heroes of the Storm and is now available for play! Read on for a brief overview of this new Support Hero’s Abilities.

Trait

  • Pick Your Trait
    • Learn Transcendence, Iron Fists, or Insight using the Talents panel to select your Trait.
      • Transcendence
        • Every third Basic Attack heals the lowest nearby allied Hero.
      • Iron Fists
        • Every third Basic Attack deals 100% bonus damage.
      • Insight
        • Every third Basic Attack restores Mana.

Basic Abilities

  • Radiant Dash (Q)
    • Jump to an ally or enemy. Enemies are immediately hit with a Basic Attack. Stores up to two charges. 12 second cooldown per charge.
  • Breath of Heaven (W)
    • Heal nearby allied Heroes, granting them a 10% Movement Speed bonus for 3 seconds.
  • Deadly Reach (E)
    • Your next Basic Attack increases your Attack Speed and Attack Range by 100% for 2 seconds.

Heroic Abilities

  • Seven-Sided Strike (R)
    • Become Invulnerable, striking 7 times over 2 seconds in a large area. Each strike deals 7% of the target’s maximum Health as damage, and prioritizes the Hero with the highest remaining Health.
  • Divine Palm (R)
    • Protect an allied Hero from death. The next source of fatal damage within 3 seconds is prevented, and the target is instead healed for a large amount.

ART

General

  • Several Heroes and Skins in the Shop have received additional visual polish.

Heroes

  • Ancients rejoice! Sonya has received a dance animation.
  • The following Heroes and Skins have received visual improvements:
    • Tychus, Master Tychus Skin, and all Skin Variations
    • Murky, all Murky Skins, and all Skin Variations
  • The following Heroes have received updated facial animations:
    • Sgt. Hammer
    • The Butcher
    • Tychus

Hero Abilities

  • Various Hero Abilities have received additional optimization.
  • The following Hero Abilities and Talents have received new art or additional visual polish:
    • Brightwing – Revitalizing Mists (Talent), Spell Block (Talent), Unstable Anomaly (Talent)
    • Illidan – Sweeping Strike (W), Metamorphosis (R)
    • Tyrael – Judgment (R), Sanctification (R)

Skins

  • The Demonic Tyrael Skin has returned to the Nexus!
    • After visiting the top smith that the Burning Hells have to offer, Demonic Tyrael has strapped into an intimidating new set of armor, imbued El’Druin with corruption, sprouted two wicked pairs of horns, and donned a crown worthy of his title as the Lord of Pride.
    • Demonic Tyrael now also features updated Ability art, which much more closely matches his theme.
  • Blood Elf Tyrande has also returned to the Nexus, and now sports updated Ability art, which much more closely matches her theme.
  • War World Sgt. Hammer has received updated Ability art for Napalm Strike, which more closely matches her theme.

 

SHOP

Bundles

  • Dynamic Bundles have arrived to the Heroes of the Storm in-game Shop! Learn more about Dynamic Bundles by reading the User Interface section of the patch notes.
    • Please note: Dynamic Bundles are not currently available on the PTR.
  • New Bundles
    • Jade Dragon Kharazim Bundle – Available for a limited time.
    • Prisoner Tychus Bundle – Available for a limited time.
    • Conquest Bundle
    • Domination Bundle
  • Bundle Removals
    • The Nexus Bundle will be removed from the Shop one week following patch day, but will remain purchasable as a Dynamic Bundle until that time.

Heroes

  • Kharazim has been added to the in-game Shop!

Mounts

  • New Mounts
    • The Treasure Goblin Mount has been added for a limited time, and is exclusively available for purchase using Gold.
    • Malthael’s Phantom has been added and will become available exclusively to Diablo III players who reach level 70 with a Season Character, starting with Diablo III Season 4.
  • Mount Removals
    • The Nazeebra Mount, which is exclusive to the Nexus Bundle, will be removed from the Shop one week following patch day. During that time, players will still be able to purchase the Nexus Bundle to obtain the Nazeebra Mount.

Price Changes

  • Brightwing’s prices have been reduced to 7,000 Gold and $8.49 USD.

Skins

  • New Skins
    • Jade Dragon Kharazim
    • Kharazim Master Skin
    • Prisoner Tychus
  • Returning Skins
    • Demonic Tyrael
    • Blood Elf Tyrande

 

SOUND

Battlegrounds

  • Additional new music tracks have been added for the Infernal Shrines Battleground.

Heroes and Skins

  • Tyrael’s Sanctification and Judgment Heroic Abilities have received updated sound effects.

 

USER INTERFACE

Dynamic Bundles

Become a Watcher
  • Please note: Dynamic Bundles are not currently available on the PTR.
  • Bundles that contain three or more items are now listed as Dynamic Bundles in the Shop.
    • A Dynamic Bundle’s price will be automatically reduced if the player already owns one or more of the items that are part of that Bundle.
    • Two-item Bundles are not dynamic, and players will be unable to purchase a two-item Bundle if they already own one of the items it contains.
  • Check out our recent blog on Dynamic Bundles to learn more about this new feature.

In-Game UI

  • Ability & Activated Talent Hotbars
    • The Ability Hotbar has received new art, and is now more visually compact.
    • The Activated Talent Hotbar has received new art, and its buttons are now slightly larger.
  • Nameplates & Status Bars
    • Hero nameplates will now display the following status effects: Polymorphed, and Stasis
    • Hero Status Bars have received additional polish and improvements.
      • The color of allied Health bars has been changed from green to blue.
      • Hero Health bars now more clearly denote 1,000 and 250 Health segments.
      • Shields will now appear white, rather than blue, on Hero Health bars.
      • Damage, damage over time, and quick Healing effects are now much easier to distinguish on Health bars.

Game Server Selection

  • Players may now select which game server they’d like to play on by selecting it from the Preferred Game Server dropdown on the Language and Region options menu.
    • This setting will default to Best Match, but players may wish to change this if they notice connection issues when playing on a specific server.
      • Please note: As we continue to improve and expand our game sites, Best Match will provide the best play experience for most players.  If you are not experiencing issues, it is highly recommend that you leave this set to Best Match.
    • If players in a party have conflicting server preferences, the server that is most commonly selected among the party’s members will be used.

Player Reporting

  • New Report Categories
    • Reporting Options have been reworked, and now include categories for Abusive Chat, AFK/Non-Participation, and Intentional Feeding.

Ranked Play

  • Hero and Team League are no longer separated in the out-of-game menus, and can now be found using the new Ranked page on the Play screen.
  • Placement Rank
    • All players’ Hero and Team League ranks have been reset with today’s update.
      • Please Note: Matchmaking ratings have not been reset.
    • A new placement system has been added
      • All players must now play 20 placement matches in order to receive an initial ranking for Hero League or Team League.
    • Read our recent blog on Ranked Play Updates to learn more about Placement Matches.
  • Hero League
    • Hero League is now limited to a maximum party size of four players.
  • Team League
    • Five-player parties will now be automatically queued for Team League when attempting to find a Ranked match.
    • The ability to create a named team has been removed, while this feature undergoes additional review.
      • Players who have spent Gold to create named teams in the past will have that amount of Gold returned to them in the days to come.
    • Team League draft lobbies will still use the First Come First Served draft format.
    • Team League will still use a separate matchmaking rating (MMR) from Hero League.
      • However, because Team League parties do not have static rosters, Team League MMR will now functions much like it does for Hero League. This means that each player’s Team League MMR is based on their own individual performance in Team League matches.
  • Read our recent blog on Ranked Play Updates to learn more about Placement Matches, as well as Hero and Team League updates.

Versus A.I.

  • A difficulty dropdown has been added to the Versus A.I. screen, which can be used to switch among five different A.I. difficulty settings: Beginner, Recruit, Adept, Veteran, and Elite.
    • Please note: Elite A.I. development is not yet complete, and improvements are slated to arrive with a future game update.
    • A.I. teammates will mirror the difficulty selected for A.I. opponents.
    • When playing in a party, only the party leader may change the A.I. difficulty setting.
  • When attempting to find a Versus A.I. game with human allies, the matchmaker will work to find other players who have selected the same A.I. difficulty level.
    • If it takes too long to find a suitable match, the matchmaker will expand its search to include difficulty levels above and below the player’s selection.
    • If the human players on a team had selected a variety of A.I. difficulties, an A.I. opponent of each selected difficulty will be used for that game.
      • For example: If two players selected Adept A.I. and three selected Veteran, the game will be filled with two adept and three veteran A.I. opponents.

DESIGN & GAMEPLAY

Ability Power Gains

Developer Comments: This change was aimed at removing odd gameplay where an Abathur player may actually want to sacrifice his Monstrosity or a Gargantuan for a more powerful one. This occurred if players kept summons alive for a very long time and gained several levels, as these levels were not reflected in the Summon’s Ability Power. For short term Summons, players will rarely gain a level or more while that Summon is alive, so we made these snapshot instead. With snapshotting, players can use a temporary power boost, such as Overdrive or Arcande Power, to create a more powerful summon.

  • To clarify the rules for temporary Ability Power gains, the following rules have been added:
    • For permanent or very long duration pets or persistent effects, their damage and maximum Health will now update dynamically when Ability Power or Hero levels are modified.  This includes:
      • Abathur’s Monstrosity
      • Nazeebo’s Gargantuan (with the Humongoid Talent)
    • For short duration pets or persistent effects, their damage and maximum Health should snapshot based upon the Ability Power/level of the character when they are cast.  This includes:
      • Jaina’s Water Elemental
      • Sgt. Hammer’s Blunt Force Gun
      • Tychus’ Drakken Laser Drill

Bonus Effects from Kills

Developer Comments: This change will not have a major impact on today’s gameplay and was mostly done for consistency  on how these type of talents worked. In the future, it may allow us to develop Battlegrounds with many small minions (think Haunted Mines) and not have to worry about special casing Seasoned Marksman so it doesn’t get out of control.

  • Talents and Abilities that gain bonus effects from kills will now only trigger from Minions and Mercenaries, and will no longer gain benefit from killing neutral Mercenaries, map event creatures, summoned units, etc.

 

BATTLEGROUNDS

Battlefield of Eternity

  • When Immortals that are battling at the center of the Battleground swap locations for the first time, the Heaven Immortal will now always travel to right, and the Hell Immortal will always travel to the left.

Tomb of the Spider Queen

Developer Comments: A small number of Tomb games tend to run significantly longer than intended, so we altered the scaling of the Spider mechanic to prevent drawn out stalemates in the late game. Our hope is to see shorter matches overall.

  • Increased the damage and Health scaling of Webweavers and their minions by 50% past the 15 minute mark.

TALENTS

Bolt of the Storm

Developer Comments: We love this talent and think it can create a lot of really interesting moments, but the cooldown was just too short. At 70 seconds we think this talent is still a great level 20 pick, but now players will have to be more strategic with how they use it. Forcing someone to use their Bolt to avoid a gank can now be a meaningful moment with this increased cooldown. We hope this also entices players towards choosing their Heroic upgrades instead of Bolt when the situation calls for it.

  • Cooldown increased from 40 to 70 seconds

Cleanse

Developer Comments: We didn’t like the gameplay of casting Cleanse preemptively on a target that is about to be CC’ed. For example, you see Butcher charging your Valla, and right before impact you use Cleanse on Valla, allowing her to immediately Vault away. The change also prevents healers from cleansing themselves preemptively, providing a guaranteed target if the opposing team has only secured one Cleanse. As a side note, the original reason the Unstoppable functionality was available in the first place, was to help alleviate some persistent CC effects like Putrid Bile. We didn’t want you to cleanse a Putrid Bile only to have the slow immediately reapply.

  • No longer makes the target Unstoppable for 1 second
  • Now adds Relentless to the target for 2 seconds (50% shorter CC duration)

Focused Attacks

Developer Comments: This could be viewed as a buff or nerf depending on how players perceive it. You can still reduce the cooldown by attacking Minions, but won’t accidently waste a burst of damage on an unintended target. This talent will no longer be as effective at sieging, but it should be significantly better at harassing in lane. We will continue to monitor the talent, and tune as necessary.

  • The increased damage effect will now only trigger when hitting Heroes

Gathering Power

Developer Comments: Gathering Power was simply too good and was considered, by many, a mandatory pick on certain characters, which often lead to snowballing. We liked the ‘quest’ aspect of this talent, but it was far too easy to reach the cap and the quest didn’t feel meaningful to complete. Now, choosing this talent should no longer be mandatory, and the quest is much longer. Player’s will keep half of their stacks upon dying, which will help act as a ‘check point’.

  • The 5% starting Ability Power has been removed
  • Percentage gain from killing a Hero reduced from 2% to 1%
  • Instead of losing all stacks on death, players will now only lose half their stacks (rounding up)

Imposing Presence

Developer Comments: Statistically, it was almost never wrong to choose Imposing Presence. With this nerf, it’s still a great counter in the right situation, and as a result, we’re hoping we’ll see more play from our Basic Attack assassins.

  • Attack Speed slow reduced from 50% to 40%
  • The Attack Speed slow will now be removed when attacking a target that has not learned the Imposing Presence Talent

Mercenary Lord

Developer Comments: We’ve combined the talent Superiority into Mercenary Lord, and removed the damage reduction from structures to prevent degenerative backdoor strategies. The combination of the damage reduction vs. Mercenaries and the ability to empower these Mercenaries felt like a logical pairing. We hope incorporating the two talents into one will make this level 4 choice an enticing one, as the two talents separated had a low pick rate.

  • The functionality of the Superiority Talent has been rolled into Mercenary Lord, which is now available to the following Heroes at Level 4:
    • Anub’arak, Arthas, Azmodan, Gazlowe, Nazeebo, Sonya, Stitches, and The Lost Vikings
  • New combined functionality reads:  Non-Boss Mercenaries near your Hero deal 50% more damage. Reduces damage taken from Minions and Mercenaries by 50%.

Seasoned Marksman

Developer Comments: Overall, we like the way Seasoned Marksman is playing but wanted to tune up its effectiveness to reward those able to secure a healthy number of takedowns, while simultaneously tuning the talent up due to prior changes. Ideally, this will become a great talent pick when facing The Lost Vikings or Murky players.

  • Stacks earned by killing enemy Heroes increased from 2 to 3
  • Only Minions, captured enemy Mercenaries, and Heroes will grant stacks upon death

Spell Shield

Developer Comments: We’ve been seeing Kael’thas and Jaina as dominate damage dealers for teams. We feel like part of this is because the only real counter to their damage is Spell Shield, and currently, Spell Shield is under tuned. Increasing the duration from 2 to 3 seconds is a small and conservative change, but we want to see how the adjustment plays out. Ideally when you are against a couple heavy burst damage characters such as Nova, Jaina, or Kael; Spell Shield becomes a great counter pick. This is similar to our philosophy with Imposing Presence.

  • Duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds

Superiority

  • This Talent has been removed, and its functionality has been rolled into the revamped Mercenary Lord Talent

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