Heroes of the Storm
No comments
heroes-ragnaros-sulfuras-smash-header

Heroes PTR updates with Ragnaros, Haunted Mines, and hero changes

Where do we even begin with a PTR patch like this? I guess we have to start with the elephant elemental lord in the room: Ragnaros has finally arrived. If you want give the firelord a try early, you have a week to test him out on the PTR before the patch goes live on December 13.

Beyond that, we have the return of the Haunted Mines map, the beginning of Winter Veil (and its 25% XP boost), and some interesting hero changes. Artanis, Dehaka, and Diablo are all getting major reworks with this patch, but we’re more excited about Chromie’s Timewalker trait giving her abilities two levels early and Leoric’s Wraith form finally working properly with camera follow.

But these are some pretty beefy patch notes, so check them out for yourself below.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

GENERAL

Celebrate Winter Veil 2016!

  • Our 2016 Winter Veil celebration has arrived! Ring in the holiday season this year with a 25% XP bonus, a new event quest, and of course, quest rewards.
    • 25% XP Bonus
      • The XP bonus begins at 10:00 a.m. PST on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 until 10:00 a.m. PST Tuesday, January 4, 2017.
    • Winter Veil Event Quest
      • Quest: Play 25 games in any matchmaking mode (Co-op vs. A.I., Quick Match, Unranked Draft, or Ranked)
      • Rewards: Special Snowflake Portrait and Festive Treasure Goblin Mount.
  • PTR Note: While elements of the Winter Veil event may appear on the Test Realm, players will not be able to make progress toward quests or rewards until the patch is released to the live version of Heroes of the Storm next week.

Ranked Season 3 Updates

  • Party Sizes in Ranked Play
    • The following party size adjustments for Hero and Team League have been made as a one-season experiment for Ranked Season 3.
    • Hero League
      • Players can no longer queue for Hero League games in parties.
    • Team League
      • 2, 3, and 5-player parties can now queue for Team League.
      • 2 and 3-player parties can only queue for Team League if all members are ranked within one league of one another.
      • 5-player parties can queue with any mixture of league rankings.
      • While players will need to have access to at least 14 Heroes in order to play Team League, there are still no minimum Hero level requirements in order to queue for Team League matches.
      • Team League will still utilize First Come, First Serve (FCFS) during Draft Mode, which means that parties of two and three players will need to coordinate effectively when drafting their Heroes.
      • Silenced players can no longer queue for Team League for the duration of their Silence Penalty.
  • Season 2 Rewards
    • Those who finished their placement matches during Ranked Season 2 will receive their rewards upon logging in after downloading today’s patch.
  • Matchmaking
    • The matchmaking system’s certainty level in all players’ skill ratings has once again been loosened in order to help ease movement up or down through the rankings.
  • Ranked League Adjustments
    • Silver and Gold league population sizes have been adjusted, and will now contain similar amounts of players.
    • Diamond league will now contain about half the number of players than the previous season.

 

NEW HERO: RAGNAROS

As the lord of Azeroth’s fire elementals, Ragnaros desires nothing more than to burn the world to ash. Banished to the Firelands eons ago, the Firelord now turns his rag toward the Nexus, intent on incinerating everything and everyone within it.

Trait

  • Molten Core (D)
    • Channel on an Allied or destroyed Fort or Keep to replace it with Ragnaros’ Ultimate Form, temporarily gaining new Abilities, and a significant amount of Health that burns away over 18 seconds.
    • Ragnaros returns to his normal form upon losing all Health during Molten Core.

Basic Abilities

  • Empower Sulfuras (Q)
    • Ragnaros’ next Basic Attack is instant, dealing Ability Damage in an area around the target, and Healing Ragnaros for 20% of the damage dealt. Healing is doubled for damage dealt to Heroes.
  • Living Meteor (W)
    • Summon a meteor at the target point that deals damage on impact, and then rolls in the target direction and deals additional damage every second for 1.75 seconds.
  • Blast Wave (E)
    • Ignite Ragnaros or target Ally, granting 25% bonus Movement Speed for 1.5 seconds before exploding, dealing damage to nearby enemies.

Molten Core Form Abilities

  • Molten Swing (Q)
    • Swing Sulfuras in a wide arc, dealing damage and stunning enemies for 1 second. Damage increased by 25% versus Minions and Mercenaries.
  • Meteor Shower (W)
    • Summon 3 meteors at the target point that fall in the target direction. Each meteor deals damage and slows enemies by 25% for 2 seconds. Damage increased by 25% versus Minions and Mercenaries.
  • Explosive Rune (E)
    • Create a rune that explodes after 1.5 seconds, dealing damage to non-Structure enemies in a circular area. Damage increased by 25% versus Minions and Mercenaries.

Heroic Abilities

  • Sulfuras Smash (R)
    • Hurl Sulfuras at the target area, landing after 0.75 seconds and dealing damage to enemies hit. Enemies caught in the center of the impact area take triple damage and are Stunned for 0.5 seconds.
  • Lava Wave (R)
    • Release a wave of lava from the allied Core that travels down the target lane, dealing massive damage every second to non-Structure enemies and instantly killing enemy Minions in its path. Damage doubled versus enemy Heroes.

 

BATTLEGROUND REWORK: HAUNTED MINES

After driving the Raven Lord out of the Haunted Mines and doing a little. . . redecorating. . . the Grave Keeper has re-opened the Mines to all who wish to summon powerful and destructive Grave Golems.

Haunted Mines Basics

  • Venture Underground
    • The Haunted Mines will periodically open with an Undead Army underneath.
  • Collect the Skulls
    • Destroy the Undead and collect their Skulls to summon a powerful Golem. The more Skulls each team collects, the stronger their Golems become.
  • Unleash the Golems
    • After the Undead have been defeated, a Golem will rise for each team and travel down lane in search of Structures to destroy.

Haunted Mines Updates

  • Grave Golems now spawn in fixed positions in each lane, and switch lanes each time they are summoned.
  • The layout of the Underground Mines has been reworked, and the Neutral Grave Golem can now be found at its center.
  • The upper level’s center area has been reworked.
    • Additional Mine Entrances have been placed to the East and West of the Battleground’s center area, for a total of 4.
    • A Mercenary Camp has been placed near each Mine Entrance, featuring Siege Giants at the East and West Entrances, and Sappers in the North and South.

ART

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • The following Heroes have received updated visual effects and talent icon color tints to coincide with their reworks:
    • Artanis
    • Dehaka
    • Diablo
  • The following Hero Abilities have received slight animation changes to coincide with timing changes:
    • Kael’thas: Pyroblast
    • Zarya: Particle Grenade

SHOP

The following changes will take place in the Shop once the Public Test Realm is brought offline and the patch is officially released to the live version of Heroes of the Storm next week.

Bundles

  • New Bundles
    • Lil’Ragnaros Bundle – Available until January 4, 2017
  • Removed Bundles
    • Druid of the Flame Malfurion Bundle

New Hero

  • Ragnaros has been added to the in-game Shop.

Mounts

  • New Mounts
    • 2016 Fall Champion’s Mount
  • Returning Mounts
    • Eye Pad
  • Removed Mounts
    • 2016 Summer Champion’s Mount
    • Blackheart’s Doubloon

Skins

  • Lil’ Ragnaros
  • Master Ragnaros

Price Reductions

  • Sylvanas’ prices reduced to $8.49 USD and 7,000 Gold.

 

USER INTERFACE

General

  • Click the Grand Master Leaderboards and Ranked Play Guide buttons on the Ranked Play screen to view these pages within the Heroes of the Storm game client.

Hero and Role Chat Links

  • Press SHIFT and click a Hero portrait or Hero Role icon during Hero Select or in a Draft Lobby to add a link to that Hero or Role in the chat.
    • Clicking a Hero or Role link in chat will automatically filter players’ Hero lists accordingly.
    • Alternatively, type a Hero name or Role in square brackets to create chat links.
      • For example: Typing “[Jaina]” into the chat box will create a link to Jaina in Hero Select. However, the spelling must be exact or the link will not work.
    • These Hero and Role links can be used to suggest picks and bans in Draft Lobbies.
    • Clicking a Hero or Role chat link while viewing the Shop will also filter the list of items accordingly.

Penalties for Leaving Games

  • Much like Hero League, players who repeatedly leave Unranked Draft and Team League games or draft lobbies will now be flagged to receive leaver penalties.
  • Players with active penalties for leaving games can no longer queue for Unranked Draft or Team League games.

MVP and Commendations

  • Press TAB at any point during the MVP and Commendations sequence to view the in-game Score Screen for that match.
  • A Skip button has replaced the Exit button on the MVP screen.
    • Clicking Skip will immediately take the player to the Commendations screen.
    • Players can still leave the Commendations screen normally by pressing the Exit button.

 

DESIGN & GAMEPLAY

Unrevealable Heroes

  • For periods of time when a hero is considered unrevealable, they will no longer show a shimmer like other stealthed heroes.
  • After the unrevealable period ends, they will show a shimmer again.

 

BATTLEGROUNDS

Heroes Brawl – Blackheart’s Revenge, Garden Arena, Punisher Arena, Temple Arena

  • Healing Fountains
    • Healing Fountains will now be Invulnerable when these Brawls next return to the Nexus

Braxis Holdout

  • Zerg Rush
    • Initial Zergling spawn increased from 3 to 6 Zerglings

Warhead Junction

  • Warheads
    • Base damage reduced from 2750 to 2300.
    • Warhead damage now scales by a flat 70 every minute, and no longer has a large jump at 18 minutes.
    • Inner Warhead damage is still a 50% bonus.

Developer Comments:  We didn’t like the gameplay of holding off on using a Warhead for a sudden unintuitive damage spike, so we’ve smoothed out their damage curve over a longer period. This should end up playing mostly the same across the game, with only about 10% differences in damage at various points in the match.

HEROES

CHROMIE

Abilities

  • Timewalker (Trait)
    • Increased the level reduction for getting Talents from 1 to 2 levels

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Timewalker’s Pursuit (Active)
      • Added Functionality:
        • You can now also activate this Talent to reveal an area for 2 seconds.  Enemies seen are revealed for 4 seconds.
    • Peer Into the Future (Active)
      • Removed

Developer Comments:  We’re looking to add more power to Chromie that fits the flavor of the character, without increasing her burst potential across the entirety of the game. We’re also combining the effects of Timewalker’s Pursuit and Peer Into the Future to create an enticing option at Level 1.

KAEL’THAS

Abilities

  • Pyroblast (R)
    • Cast time reduced from 2 to 1.5 seconds
    • Cast range increased by roughly 30%

Developer Comments:  Pyroblast has been underperforming compared to Phoenix. We like where its damage is at, and that a lot of Heroes have ways to negate or mitigate it. Instead, we’re buffing the consistency of the Heroic to make it more competitive.

 

AURIEL

Abilities

  • Bestow Hope (Trait)
    • Crown visual effects can now be seen by Allies

REHGAR

Stats

  • Increased Basic Attack damage from 99 to 120

Abilities

  • Lightning Shield (W)
    • Increased damage from 64 to 70 per second
  • Bloodlust (R)
    • Added functionality:
      • All affected allies now heal for 30% of Basic Attack damage dealt during Bloodlust

Talents

  • Level 4
    • Stormcaller (W)
      • Now returns Mana from hitting all enemies, not just Heroes
  • Level 7
    • Totemic Projection (E)
      • Added Functionality:
        • Now also increases the duration of Earthbind Totem from 8 to 12 seconds
  • Level 20
    • Farseer’s Blessing (R)
      • Secondary healing effect increased from 25% to 50% of Ancestral Healing’s full amount
    • Gladiator’s War Shout (R)
      • Now increases Bloodlust healing from 30% to 60% of Basic Attack damage

Developer Comments:  It’s been a while since Rehgar was a major dominant force, and his performance is now low enough that we can safely increase the rewards for his aggressive playstyle without pushing his winrate too high. For Bloodlust, we wanted to reduce the loss of healing for picking the Heroic, but only for Basic Attack teams that really benefit from it.

 

ARTANIS

Abilities

  • Blade Dash (Q)
    • Added functionality:
      • Now reduces the cooldown of Shield Overload by 1 second per enemy hit, and 2 seconds per Hero hit.
  • Twin Blades (W)
    • Charge range is now checked against the edge of target units, instead of their center. This increases the effective range of Twin Blades and should generally create more consistent behavior.
  • Phase Prism (E)
    • Added functionality:
      • You can now cast Phase Prism during Blade Dash
    • Cooldown increased from 14 to 16 seconds
  • Shield Overload (Trait)
    • Cooldown increased from 20 to 24 seconds
    • Activation threshold increased from 50 to 75% Health
    • Shield value reduced from 449 to 360

Talents

  • Level 4
    • Shield Surge (Trait)
      • Moved from Level 16
      • New functionality:
        • Shield Overload’s shield amount is increased by 80% while you are below 25% Health
    • Lethal Alacrity (Q)
      • Removed
    • Shield Battery (Trait)
      • Redesigned:
        • Shield Overload’s cooldown recharges 50% faster while its shield is active, and increases the duration of Shield Overload from 5 to 6 seconds
    • Psionic Synergy (Q)
      • Moved from Level 7
      • Now increases the cooldown reduction of hitting Heroes with Blade Dash from 2 to 4 seconds
  • Level 7
    • Chrono Surge (E)
      • Moved from Level 4
      • Attack Speed bonus increased from 40 to 50%
  • Level 13
    • Templar’s Zeal (Q)
      • Moved from Level 4
    • Phase Bulwark (Trait)
      • Ability damage mitigation reduced from 50 to 40%
  • Level 16
    • Burning Rage (Passive)
      • Moved from Level 13
      • Replaced with Plasma Burn (Trait):
        • While your Shield is active, you deal 50 damage a second to nearby enemies

Developer Comments:  The goals with this Artanis update were twofold: Increase his playmaking (swapping enemies during Blade Dash), and increase his solo lane capabilities (Blade Dash reduces Shield Overload cooldown, Shield Overload triggers at higher Health). We think that with these changes, Artanis will be a strong choice on a lot more Battlegrounds and with more team compositions.

DEHAKA

Abilities

  • Brushstalker (Trait)
    • Cooldown increased from 40 to 50 seconds
    • Functionality added:
      • Dehaka gains 15% Movement Speed while in a Bush and for 1 second after exiting a Bush
  • Burrow (E)
    • Functionality added:
      • Burrow can now be cancelled early by pressing the hotkey again
  • Adaptation (R)
    • Heal amount increased from 60 to 100% of incoming damage

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Enduring Swarm (W)
      • New functionality:
        • Dehaka takes 40% less damage from Abilities while Dark Swarm is active
    • Enhanced Agility (Trait)
      • New functionality:
        • Quest: For every 50 Essence you collect, increase your Brushstalker Movement Speed bonus by 1%. This can stack 10 times.
  • Level 4
    • Lurker Strain (E)
      • Functionality added:
        • Emerging from Burrow knocks away enemies and slows their Movement Speed by 30% for 2 seconds
    • Numbing Eruption (E)
      • Removed
  • Level 13
    • Swift Pursuit (Z)
      • New Functionality:
        • Brushstalker’s Movement Speed duration after leaving a Bush is increased from 1 to 3 seconds
    • Ferocious Stalker (Z)
      • New Functionality:
        • After using Brushstalker, increase all damage Dehaka deals by 25% for 10 seconds
    • Whirling Dervish (W)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Primal Swarm (E)
      • Enemies affected by Dark Swarm take 15% increased damage from all sources
  • Level 16
    • Rapid Regeneration (E)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Tunneling Claws (E)
      • Dehaka can now move while Burrowed
  • Level 20
    • Change is Survival (R)
      • Heal amount increased from 125 to 200% of incoming damage
    • Hardened Shield (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Essence Claws (Passive)
      • Basic Attacks slow enemies by 20% for 1 second
      • Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes grant Dehaka 5 Essence

Developer Comments:  We started doing some small changes to Dehaka’s talent tree in order to increase diversity and fix some talent pick issues. As is par for the course, this opened a rabbit-hole of design opportunities that we ended up falling into. While Dehaka’s changes were mostly complete before the BlizzCon Finals, his resurgence as a dark horse of competitive play helped us narrow down and finalize the rework. Base movement speed on Brushstalker helps meld his design while some brand new talents should open up some fun new ways to hunt your prey.

DIABLO

Abilities

  • Shadow Charge (Q)
    • Base damage from 94 to 75
      • New Functionality:
        • Diablo gains 25% resistance for 2 seconds after charging
        • If Diablo’s target collides with terrain they take an additional 150 damage
  • Fire Stomp (W)
    • Base damage from 106 to 60
      • Added Functionality:
        • Fire Stomp fireballs return to Diablo, dealing 90 damage
  • Black Soulstone (Trait)
    • Bonus max Health per Soulstone stack from .2 to .4%

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Block (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Devil’s Due (Passive)
      • New functionality:
        • Regeneration Globes and Healing Fountains are 2% more effective for every stack of Black Soulstone
    • Overwhelming Force (Q)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Bulwark (Q)
      • Increase the duration of Shadow Charge’s Resistance effect from 2 to 5 seconds
    • Life Leech (Passive)
      • Moved from Level 13
  • Level 4
    • Demonic Strength (E)
      • Slow duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds
      • Slow amount increased from 25 to 30%
    • Soul Catcher (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Essence of the Slain (Passive)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Speed Demon (Passive)
      • Diablo gains 30% Movement Speed for 5 seconds after being Stunned or Rooted
    • From the Shadows (Q)
      • Moved from Level 7
        • Functionality added:
          • Also increases Shadow Charge range by 33%
  • Level 7
    • Diabolical Momentum (Q)
      • Functionality changed:
        • Basic Attacks lower the cooldown of Shadow Charge and Overpower by 1.5 seconds
    • Soul Steal (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Devastating Charge (Q)
      • Moved from Level 7 to Level 13
        • Functionality changed:
          • Shadow Charging an enemy into unpathable terrain deals an additional 5% of that targets max Health in damage
          • Quest: Every time you charge an enemy into unpathable terrain, increase the bonus damage by 2%, stacking up to a 10% bonus (15% max health possible)
    • New Talent: Soul Shield (Trait)
      • Each Black Soulstone stack Diablo has grants him 0.35% Resistance to enemy Abilities
    • Soul Feast (Passive)
      • Moved from Level 1
      • New functionality:
        • Each Soulstone stack grants 0.4 Health Regeneration per second
  • Level 13
    • Firestorm (W)
      • Removed
    • Spell Shield (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Siphon the Dead (Active)
      • Removed
    • Hellfire (W)
      • Each enemy Hero hit by Fire Stomp increases the damage of the next Fire Stomp by 10%, stacking up to 100%.
    • Fire Devil (W)
      • Moved from Level 4
      • Aura damage increased from 17 to 22
      • Added functionality:
        • Also increases Diablo’s Basic Attack damage by 25% for 6 seconds
  • Level 16
    • Rampage (W)
      • Removed
    • Continuous Overpower (E)
      • Removed
    • Domination (E)
      • New Functionality:
        • Lower the Cooldown of Overpower by 4 seconds
        • Using Overpower refreshes the Cooldown of Shadow Charge
    • Imposing Presence (Passive)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Fearful Presence (Passive/Active)
      • Passive: Heroes and Summons that attack Diablo have their Attack Speed slowed by 20% for 2.5 seconds
      • Active: Activate to reduce the damage dealt by nearby Heroes by 30% for 3 seconds
  • Level 20
    • Bolt of the Storm (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Hellgate (Active)
      • Activate to teleport a short distance and place a Demonic Rune at that location. After 1.75 seconds the rune explodes dealing 137 damage and stuns enemies for 1.75 seconds

Developer Comments:  The Lord of Terror has been under the knife for a couple months and has finally collected enough souls to resurrect himself. He reenters the Nexus with an updated talent tree focusing on maintaining and amplifying his identity. He should still excel as a gank-oriented Warrior, punishing out-of-position enemies, but also brings along some new survivability options. While we had to lower his damage slightly, the baseline addition of Firestorm and larger payoff for Shadow Charging enemies into collision should heavily reward opportunistic Diablo players.

ZARYA

Abilities

  • Particle Grenade (Q)
    • This ability has received improvements to its cast animation
    • The time between casting Particle Grenade and performing another action has been reduced by .25 seconds

Developer Comments:  Casting Zarya’s Particle Grenade would force her to be locked in place for a short period of time. We don’t do this on other Heroes, and we felt like this exception broke the fluidity of the character.

 

BUG FIXES

Battlegrounds

  • Braxis Holdout: XP awarded for destroying the Archangel now correctly scales over the course of the game.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Chen: Fixed an issue that prevented Chen from regenerating Health while using Wandering Keg.
  • Illidan: Quest progress icons will no longer continue to appear after completing the Unbound Talent quest.
  • Leoric: The Camera will now properly follow Leoric’s Wraith form during Wraith Walk while Camera Follow is enabled.
  • Lt. Morales: Fixed a rare issue that could cause Lt. Morales players to lose control of the Hero.
  • Nazeebo: The Camera will now properly follow Ravenous Spirit while Camera Follow is enabled.
  • Samuro: The tooltip for Mirror Image now properly mentions that activating the Ability will remove certain negative status effects.
  • Thrall: Earthquake now correctly slows enemy Minions and Mercenaries in addition to Heroes.
  • Zagara: Infest will now properly grant bonus Attack Damage to Minions for Siege Damage dealt.

User Interface

  • In-Game: Fixed an issue which caused certain Heroes’ Trait UI to block players from clicking to view Talent Tiers 10 through 20.

Join the Discussion

Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our  commenting and community guidelines.