Heroes of the Storm
Nate "Spyrian" Valenta Placement Seeding and Re-seeding Players who enter ranked play for the first time can no longer be seeded into placement matches higher than Gold 5. Players who return to Hero League after an extended break will no longer be re-seeded into placements based on their performance in other modes.
Ranked Matchmaking Improvements We are hardening Hero League matchmaking rules to enforce higher-quality matches over reducing queue times. Latest Articles Heroic Deals: Industrial District 6 days ago Heroic Deals: Snow Brawl a month ago Heroic Deals: All trademarks referenced herein are the properties of their respective owners.
An ideal metagame captures both, but balancing a game to reach both is difficult. By contrast, heroes like Tracer and Genji are very evidently skill-testing, as their win rate climbs significantly with higher player skill. Keeping this tension in mind is important when discussing balance changes, as any balance change should ideally serve both functions, and if not, should be cognizant of the other.
OP heroes Earlier this year, Maiev and Fenix dominated Hero League while significantly impacting HGC, causing massive community outcry not just about the state of those two heroes but also about every other issue. While Blizzard was unusually slow to seriously nerf both of these heroes, the community deserves its own fair share of the blame.
Expectations for emergency nerfs before the two week dev cycle for the balance patch are unreasonable, as the Blizzard development team does its best work when they can follow a routine. Keeping a consistent schedule of alternating between content and balance patches every two weeks gives the devs room to breathe and work on what they need to. Vague uneasiness about the state of balance is a legitimate feeling, but not one that leads to terribly productive discussion.
An important note here is that the HGC meta is its own beast, made by teams that are all on voice comms, practice for hours together to build trust and experience, and are playing at a very high level. Higher-skill players and coordinated teams can abuse abilities like Sanctification in ways that even diamond games could only dream of. There are legitimate balance concerns, but measuring every hero by HGC viability means you may be dismissing legitimate strategies for your skill level while overvaluing ones that require a team that practices for 8 hours a day to pull off.
Without doing a full analysis to examine the truth of this idea, Blizzard has moved forward with normalizing several of the outlier heroes, even if prominent community members continue to argue that not enough has been done. The problem here is one of design, as Blizzard in sought to make the game more competitive and esports-friendly. Pace of changes Disclaimer: The following section gives times based on US West coast, as that is where Blizzard is located.
Please mentally adjust for wherever in the world you are located.
HOTS Ranked Play & Matchmaking AMA summary
To cap this discussion of balance changes and design, there have been a number of complaints about the pace of balance changes. After a week, Blizzard pushes the PTR patch to the live servers on Tuesday morning with minimal balance changes, instead fixing whatever bugs appeared on the PTR plus occasionally a few more. Two weeks after this content patch, Blizzard releases a balance patch on Wednesday to tune whatever content was just released, plus some changes to adjust for the meta.
For three-week content cycles, this week also has a PTR patch on Monday; for four-week content cycles, the PTR patch comes the Monday following the Wednesday balance patch. While Heroes of the Storm is a video game, the developers are working modern software jobs. This entails that they receive benefits like time off, work as a team in development cycles, and are beholden to business interests. Furthermore, devs are people too citation needed , which means that they have feelings and care about their work product. More reasonably, any discussion about emergency patches must keep in mind software development cycles — pushing changes to the live server costs network engineer time and comes with service uptime risks.
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Matchmaking The meat and potatoes of the current arguments, matchmaking has been blamed for everything from that game someone lost two minutes ago to the German invasion of Poland in When matchmaking goes poorly, it makes you question why you even play the game. A more recent issue is Blizzard did tighten up matchmaking to favor longer queues for better games, but due to their small size, minor regions were not able to experience this tightening.
Hero swaps Another feature that would help is the ability to swap heroes at the end of the draft, enabling players to pick for each other. League of Legends figured this feature out 7 years ago, limiting swaps to heroes both players own, and requiring a confirmation on the end of the other player. From experience, this feature rarely leads to trolling or other issues. Playerbase knowledge One of the most common complaints within the community is the lack of strategic knowledge amongst the playerbase. Even bad luck eventually runs out, however demoralizing it may be. In-client resources A new feature that has been requested for a while is a proper in-client guide and content system.
Moving from just the Heroes of the Storm website or even the Battle. Yes, as a content creator, I have an obvious bias towards promoting my content to a wider audience , but I started writing because I felt this lack of community knowledge could be addressed by higher-quality content. Going further to in-game guides, the gold standard is the Dota 2 guide system, allowing anyone to publish guides while highlighting ones from prominent community members and professional players. Heroes of the Storm guides would not be nearly as involved, as you only pick 7 talents per game as opposed to complicated skill level-up patterns and item build orders, but this feature would still be appreciated.
Skipping over the high-level statistical discussion of why bell curves exist and their exact shape, in short, the vast majority of players are of a middling skill level. Furthermore, some community members complain that the master 1k cap is too high. Each of these statements manage to contradict each other and are wrong. If you assume the master ladder will be points-based rather than visible MMR, then there are three decisions to make.
Do you soft reset MMR like you reset points a hard reset, by contrast, would put everyone to the same MMR, a very very bad idea , do you cap point placement, and do you create personal rank adjustments? If you soft reset MMR to everyone being within master 1k, then game quality goes down, as low master players are more likely to play with GM players, leading to complaints.
Worse, to keep the compression even, you probably need to soft reset bronze to silver players upwards, giving them a tough experience as the system gradually pushes them back down. If we keep the current MMR distribution , the other two choices matter more. If we uncap point placements, there will be less of a glut of players at master 1k, and instead the system will distribute this top 0.