published at 09:30 CET, Friday March 17 2017

The TL;DR of the most recent Heroes developer AMA

The latest Reddit AMA gave the Heroes community some interesting insight on a variety of hot-button issues, including Probius design, Warrior Armor, and upcoming hero reworks.

The Team answering questions:
 


On Armor changes

The team knows that 'Rock-Paper-Scissors' is a bad move and that isn't what they are doing with armor. Soft hero counters already exist and armor on warriors amplify these counters and help make it more visible and rewarding.

Every warrior can't be good in every situation. All that leads to is picking the highest win-rate warrior every time. The goal is to let the "all-around" warriors exist, but not make them the best pick every time. They can do this by creating strong, niche counters that become "the best pick" when the situation arises.

This design philosophy allows for rapidly expanding rosters and new heroes to all have a role. When every hero is always viable, then unique design suffers.

The team agrees that permanent hard-counters are not healthy for the game. If they do exist, they are all mechanical ones that a skilled player makes happen.

On Hero reworks

Leoric- In the next few months, expect some Leoric tuning adjustments. They are experimenting with the community suggestions, but a full rework is not on the schedule for Leoric. He doesn't need a major overhaul and Blizzard likes his role in the game. Just some talents need love.

Uther - Rework is currently in process and an update is coming sooner, rather than later

Tyrande - Changes coming soon.

Lt. Morales - Changes coming soon

Alarak - Talents update scheduled, but not in the next month.

Abathur, The Lost Vikings, Medivh - Quality of life changes coming somewhere down the line.

Sylvanas- Possession and Unstable Poison could use some buffs and team is looking into it.

Rehgar - Team isn't looking to bring back self-Cleanse or self-Ancestral Healing

Li-Li - not on list of heroes to be changed.

 

On why Heroes were buffed / nerfed

Arthas -  Army of the Dead was buffed because players felt using the ghouls was unsatisfying. It had a low win rate and pick rate and the correct usage of it was just to sacrifice ghouls immediately. The buff was intended to make it nicer to pick and make ghouls mean something in combat.

Tyrael - Imposing Will was absurdly popular and powerful. It was impossible to play against and the slow was way too severe for how easy it was to accidentally proc it. Alternatives were considered to Imposing Will, but eventually the entire design was scrapped.

His Amplified Healing was removed (as well as from Johanna) because of their armor buffs. In general, Tyrael is a strong enough hero to still stay relevant despite nerfs.

Tychus - That's the Stuff! was never intended to allow Tychus to out heal all damage and 1 vs. 1 any hero in the game.

 

On changing the Warrior, Support, Specialist, Assassin labeling convention

The team does want to rework this naming at some point. They agree that only 4 categories is not enough, citing that Lt.Morales and Tassadar don't belong in the same categorization, for example.

 

On Probius design

It was a purposeful design to have Photon Cannons not prioritize Heroes. The team didn't want Probius to be a huge lane bully. Playtesting with a much stronger version of the cannon was oppressive and not very fun. They are open to changing Photon Cannon targeting but, for now,  the team thinks it is better suited as a defensive option against enemy heroes.

Blizzard is deciding whether Probius weakness is due to inherent design flaws or number tuning.

 

On the negative Probius reaction.

The balance team explained that builder heroes are always hard to balance. They always run the risk of being very strong and oppressive in uncoordinated games.

Despite the community's reactions, Blizzard designers think his design is correct. Here are some of their reasons why:

You can't just have a hero that summons nothing but Photon Cannons. It's too similar to Gazlowe and it immediately closes the book on future builder heroes.

Summoning buildings creates visual clutter and lots of health bars on the screen. The team already regrets a large number of heroes that summon a bunch of things and cause so much clutter and the conservative approach to Probius buildings reflects this.

Builder heroes struggle with how simple they are to master. There is little room for growth or skill when all of the power is placed in auto-targeting turrets. The team wanted him to be about more than just cannons and their design focuses more on zoning in areas around Pylons, which is more strategic than place cannons and forget.

Probius isn't supposed to work in every team comp. His low win-rate is likely due to so many people playing him in the wrong moments.

The team already has ideas on how to buff Probius.

On thematic oddities involving Scouting Drone, Iceblock etc.

The team agrees it is a cool idea to have thematic, lore-rich versions of these generic talents, but it's a matter of prioritization. The abilities are working and functional, so taking team resources to make all new art and design for them is logically near the bottom of the priority list. However, the team is aware that people want it and it is very much on their radar.

 

Trivia

Team thinks potential trap-based hero sounds fun.

Bronze Tiger Kharazim gloves looking weird is being fixed.

Team doesn't think double warrior should be countered by a double warrior draft of your own.

More warriors are lined up to enter the Nexus

The popularity of a hero isn't considered when looking at buffs or debuffs. Some heroes are popular just because.

Team has no plans on changing healing numbers to help supports. Updates for supports are around enhancing usefulness outside of healing.

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Nick “Dorazion” D'Orazio

I love games and love writing about them. Heroes of the Storm GosuCrew lead and foremost advocate of Jake Badlands entering the Nexus.