Heroes of the Storm

Since the developers are clearly not posting patch notes, I decided to post my own.

For the last few months I wanted to try my hand at another Balance Patch wishlist, especially in these times where the developers are not able to push them out. So I decided to talk the talk and just post this here. I wanted to keep things sane and concise (relatively speaking – I am a crazy bastard), and for that to achieve that I put everything into a normal-ish balance patch, so I softcapped the number of heroes I was allowed to change to 20, give or take – I ended up with 22 heroes but 2 heroes are primarily bugfixes rather than actual balance changes, though especially one particular case affects significantly how the hero is played to the point it also affects how he is balanced. I also tried to limit the scope of the changes I would make to the individual heroes, yes, even on the heroes that seem to receive relatively major changes in the list below. Less is more, sometimes, and I need to restrict myself because otherwise I just go overboard, though one could argue I already did. You'll be the judge of that!

Heroes that just can't escape the full rework treatment in my opinion (examples would be Valeera and Lt. Morales) I have excluded from this list as a result; it is a balance patch wishlist, not a rework patch wishlist. This also means I also excluded Li Li; she has just received a minor rework which actually does nothing to solve her primary issue, so I would just crack down on her Trait leading to another set of major changes… and I was stretching the definition of 'balance patch' already more than enough at this point.

Still, I hope my changes would be relatively on point. I didn't want to butcher any hero too much with nerfs or create something hilariously broken, but well, I am not a developer, and there's only so much you can do without testing of course (which means that the suggestions should probably be taken with the necessary amount of salt).

Changed Heroes: 22

Tanks: 4

Anub'arak

E.T.C.

Johanna

Stitches

Bruisers: 5

D.Va

Imperius

Ragnaros

Rexxar

Sonya

Melee Assassins: 3

Illidan

Qhira

Samuro

Ranged Assassins: 8

Cassia

Chromie

Falstad

Jaina

Lunara

Mephisto

Orphea

Zagara

Healers: 2

Ana

Auriel

TANKS:

Anub'arak:

Talents:

Level 1:

Regeneration Master: Removed

New Talent: Kingsize Scales

Gathering Regeneration Globes will permanently increase Anub'arak's maximum health and regeneration effects 0.75%, up to 15%.

Reward: After gathering 20 Regeneration Globes, Anub'arak's healing received from all sources is increased by 15%.

My personal comments:

Anub'arak is in a decent spot, but Regeneration Master is not.

E.T.C.:

Rockstar (Trait):

Now has the area it affects marked on the ground when E.T.C. picks talents that do so (Prog Rock quest completion, Block Party and Speed Metal, and Hammer-On with its adjustment).

Clarification note added: Rockstar only triggers after E.T.C. comes out of Powerslide, not when this ability is cast.

Face Melt (W):

Radius increased from 4.0 to 5.0.

Talents:

Level 4:

Loud Speakers:

Radius increase reduced from 50% to 20%.

Level 7:

Hammer-on:

Additional functionality: Now also affects nearby allied Heroes.

Echo Pedal:

Damage increased from 15 to 20.

Level 13:

Encore: Removed

New Talent: Kawaii Metal

Activate to grant E.T.C. and all nearby allied Heroes (within 2 range) Unstoppable for 1 second and 25 Spell Armor for 2 seconds, while also healing them for 95 health (+4% per level). Kawaii Metal triggers Rockstar and its Spell Armor stacks with it.

Cooldown: 85 seconds.

New Talent: Doom Metal

Activate to reduce the Spell Power of a target enemy (9 range) by 70% for 4 seconds. Doom Metal triggers Rockstar. Cooldown: 40 seconds.

Level 16:

Imposing Presence: Removed

Show Stopper:

Armor increased from 35 to 45.

Face Smelt: Moved from level 13.

Additional functionality: Enemy Heroes hit by Face Melt now also have their Attack Speed reduced by 50% for 2,5 seconds.

Level 20:

Bolt of the Storm: Removed

Storm Shield: Removed

New Talent: Avant-garde Metal

Activate to teleport to a nearby location (4.8 range (60% of current Teleport)). E.T.C's Basic Attacks reduce this cooldown by 5 seconds. Cooldown: 90 seconds.

New Talent: Power Metal

Activate to immediately heal all nearby allied Heroes for 10% of their lost health and grant them a Shield for 25% of their maximum Health for 3 seconds. Hitting enemy Heroes with Basic Abilities reduces this cooldown by 3 seconds. Cooldown: 70 seconds

My personal comments:

E.T.C. is a character that is in a good spot but just not quite, and that shows since he has fallen by the wayside after his (deserved) trait armour nerf. As a result, I decided to go after his must-pick talents and generic talents and sweep through them to give him a more modern outlook on heavy metal.

Johanna:

Punish (Q):

Slow is increased from 60% to 80%.

Additional functionality: When Punish is used against a Blinded enemy, they are Stunned for 0.25 seconds in addition to its Slow, and the duration of the Blind is increased by an additional 0.5 seconds.

Blessed Shield (R2):

Cooldown increased from 60 to 75 seconds.

Talents:

Level 1:

Laws of Hope:

Additional functionality: Gain an additional 10% Movement Speed while mounted.

Level 7:

Subdue:

Adjusted functionality: The Slow from Punish no longer decays over time.

(Note: This means the quest component is removed.)

Zealous Glare:

New functionality: Zealous Glare reduces the Spell Damage of all enemy Heroes hit by 30% for a duration of 3 seconds.

Blessed Momentum:

Additional functionality: Johanna's Basic Attacks heal Johanna for 0.75% of her maximum Health and grant her 0.75% of her maximum mana.

Level 13:

Holy Fury: Removed

New Talent: Holy Cause

While Iron Skin is active, Johanna has 15 Armor.

Passive: Increase the healing Johanna receives from all sources by 15%.

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Level 16:

Imposing Presence: Removed

New Talent: Righteous Zeal

Passive: Johanna's Basic Attacks deal bonus damage to enemy Heroes equal to 1.5% of their maximum Health. Johanna's first Basic Attack within 6 seconds after using an Heroic Ability deals an additional 80% damage, and additional bonus damage to enemy Heroes equal to 5.5% of their maximum Health.

My personal comments:

Power budget out of her R2, and into her Q. Her Q7 talent was adjusted by force, and with that it is obvious Blessed Momentum needs also a buff to keep matching it and that the currently very niche Zealous Glare cannot be left behind. Next, Holy Fury is a math test that traps new and experienced players alike and Imposing Presence is a superfluous generic talent that has no place on Johanna. I replaced those, and as such Johanna can now also talent into both survivability on 13 and damage on 16.

Stitches:

Hook (Q): Range increased from 12 to 13.5.

Talents:

Level 1:

Serrated Edge: Moved from level 4.

Level 4:

Chop Chop: Removed

Playtime!:

Adjusted functionality. Hitting a Hero with Slam grants 25% increased Attack Speed for 3 seconds and reduces the cooldown of Stitches' other Basic Abilities by 0.75 seconds. Double the Attack Speed bonus and duration as well as the cooldown reduction if they are hit by Slam's inner impact area.

Patchwork Creation: Moved from level 1.

Healing received bonus increased from 15% to 25%.

New Talent: Heavy Slam

Increase the damage of Slam by 75%, and the inner area of Slam now Stuns targets hit for 0.75 seconds in addition to the Slow. Hook range is reduced by 30%.

Level 7:

New Talent: Battering Ram

Using Slam increases the damage of the next Basic Attack within 3 seconds by 40% for each Hero hit.

Level 13:

Fishing Hook: Removed

New Talent: Indigestion

When using a Devour, summon a Retchling that lasts for 25 seconds. It has 593 (+4% per level) health, its Basic Attacks deal 48 damage (+4% per level) and apply Vile Gas to the target.

My personal comments:

The Stitches rework in late 2018 did a few good things, but also a few bad ones. The good was the baseline peel (kind-of) in the Slam slow, the bad was the loss of build and playstyle diversity.

I aimed to address that, taking away Fishing Hook to clear space in Stitches' power budget and creating a variant of Stitches that can deal a lot of damage (especially against tanks) and a variant of Stitches that is going to be nigh unkillable, as well as a few middle ground builds with more utility. Or damage.

BRUISER:

D.Va:

Torpedo Dash and Concussive Pulse are now available at level 1.

Talents:

Level 1:

Full Metal:

Bonus health reduced from 10% to 5%.

Pro Moves:

Additional functionality: Hitting enemies with Concussive Pulse reduces the cooldown of Torpedo Dash by 0.5 seconds per non-Hero hit and 1.5 seconds per Hero hit.

Liquid Cooling:

Additional functionality: While in Mech Mode, D.Va gains 50% more health from Regeneration Globes.

Level 4:

Get On The Point: Moved from level 7

Adjusted functionality: Casting Boosters grants nearby allies 20% Movement Speed for 2 seconds.

Passive: Increases the knockback range of Boosters by 100%.

New Talent:

Suppressive Fire:

Pilot Mode Basic Attacks have 20% increased range and Slow enemy Movement Speed by 20% for 1.5 seconds, and grant D.Va 0.125% Charge on her Mech's Self Destruct.

Level 7:

Rush-Down: Moved from level 4

Damage and healing against Heroic enemies increased from 2% to 3%.

Bonus damage against non-Heroic enemies removed.

New Talent: Coming Through

Boosters deal 75% more damage against non-Heroes.

Passive: After being out of combat for 3 seconds, Boosters' cooldown refreshes 100% faster.

Fusion Generator:

Additional functionality: Now also increases the damage reduction from Defense Matrix from 50 to 60%.

New Talent: Charged Blaster

After not using Basic Attacks for 5 seconds, the next Basic Attack deals an additional 150% damage and splashes around the target. Using Charged Blast grants D.Va an additional 5% charge to Self Destruct (Yes, that is 5.125% with Supression Fire).

Passive: The range of Torpedo Dash is increased by 50%.

Level 13:

Good To Go: Removed

Hit The Nitrous: Moved from level 7

New Talent: Nanoweave Suit

Active: Can be activated in Pilot mode to grant D.Va 30 Armor for a duration of 4 seconds. This has a 4 second coolup when exiting Mech Mode.

Cooldown: 45 seconds

Passive: For 4 seconds after ejecting from her Mech, D.Va gains 50 Armor.

My personal comments:

D.Va rework did wonders for her power level, but now the dust has settled it is clear she has absolutely garbage talent diversity (there is a talent on level 1, 4, 7 and 13 with over 70% pickrate), so I decided to make one baseline (Good To Go as we had this issue prior to her rework as well with the omnipresent Torpedo Dash) and nerf the other three, or split it up into two new talents in the case of Rush-Down.

D.Va gains another new benefit as well; I gave her a bunch of talents around her Pilot form – some of which she had pre-rework (though none of those remained the same), even to the point of enabling her to charge her Bomb as a pilot. Credit to Spazzo for Charged Blaster.

Imperius:

Talents:

Level 7:

Divine Rage: Moved from level 13.

Level 13:

New Talent: Bulwark of Flame

Hitting enemy Heroes with Solarion's Fire and Basic Attacks heal Imperius for an amount equal to 2% of his maximum health. Consuming a Solarion's Fire mark heals Imperius for an additional 5% of his maximum Health.

My personal comments:

Four talents on level 7 to help seperating the 4 theoretical Imperius builds from each other (Q, W, E and Trait/AA, with some builds taking the same talent (like both Q and Trait/AA builds liking Q16). However, moving a talent from 13 means there's an empty spot there, and with the four build paths outlined it is clear this missing spot needs to be filled by a talent that would be theoretically desirable for both the W- and Trait/AA builds. This is by no means perfect – one of those ideas that I like enough to post here, but would definately need to be implemented differently in the game than proposed here. (Feel free to discuss Imperius (or any other hero for that matter) in the comments; that is what this post is ultimately for!)

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Ragnaros:

Level 7:

Blistering Attacks:

Bugfix: Empower Sulfuras now also reduces the cooldown of Blistering Attacks when hitting non-Heroic targets.

Level 13:

Resilient Flame:

Adjusted functionality: Its armor now stacks with the armour provided by Catching Fire (up to 65) and Lava Ward (up to 90 Spell Armor).

My personal comments:

The fact that Resilient Flame doesn't stack with Ragnaros' level 4 talents has always been an eyesore. Or the fact that Blistering Attacks has had this bug probably since its introduction in 2017, for that matter.

Rexxar:

Talents:

Level 13: Aspect of the Hawk

Attack Speed bonus reduced from 125% to 100%.

My personal comments:

Rexxar, what is this talent? Please tell me why it is so strong?

Sonya:

Wrath of the Beserker (R2):

Damage bonus reduced from 40% to 35%.

Talents:

Level 1:

War Paint:

Healing increased from 30 to 40%.

Level 4:

Shattered Ground:

Damage bonus reduced from 125% to 110%.

Level 13:

No Escape:

Movement Speed bonus reduced from 20% to 15%.

Level 16:

Giant Slammer:

Adjusted functionality: Bonus damage reduced from 1.5% to 1.25%.

My personal comments:

When an offlaner is so strong she gets played in every role except healer, there is a bit of a problem.

MELEE ASSASSIN:

Illidan:

Health reduced from 1725 to 1650

Health regeneration reduced from 3.59 to 3.44

Dive (Q):

Adjusted functionality: Illidan can now Dive to allies.

Bugfix: If the target ceases to exist before Dive lands, Illidan no longer experiences a brief inability to act.

The Hunt (R2):

Illidan is now also Unstoppable while casting The Hunt.

Talents:

Level 4:

Hunter's Onslaught:

Adjusted functionality: Now self-healing is triggered through all spell damage rather than just damage inflicted by Basic Abilities.

Level 7:

Friend or Foe: Removed

Rapid Chase: Removed

Nimble Defender: Moved from level 13.

New functionality: For each Basic Attack evaded by Evasion, increase Illidan's movement speed by 5% until that cast of Evasion ends, up to a maximum of 30%.

New Talent: Gripping Gauntlets

Dive can now target allied Structures and destroyed Forts and Keeps. Illidan deals no damage in doing so, but both dashes to the target and flips over it. After Diving a Structure, the cooldown of Dive is reduced by 1 second, regardless of whether it deals damage.

Passive: Increase the range of Dive by 20%.

Level 13:

New Talent: Power Transfer

Diving to an ally Hero gives them 20 mana and reduces all of their cooldowns by 1 second.

My personal comments:

I saw a rework proposal from someone and I agree entirely with the reasoning behind it, even if not with all the changes he made. However, some of the changes are an open door (Friend or Foe baseline), and others I also agree with, and I copied Power Transfer and Gripping Gauntlets from said rework proposal. However, I cut a lot of changes from what I originally wanted to do with Illidan because I want this to remain a 'balance patch wishlist' rather than a 'rework wishlist', and this is already stretching the meaning of a balance patch.

Qhira:

Talents:

Level 4:

Ensnaring Swing: Removed.

New Talent: Lingering Wounds

Damaging enemy Heroes with Revolving Sweep now Cripples enemies for 3 seconds, preventing them from using mobility-related abilities.

Upstage:

Adjusted functionality: Damaging at least 2 Heroes with Blood Rage grants Qhira 50 Physical Armor for 2 seconds.

Level 7:

Siphoning Link:

Additional functionality: Damaging enemy Heroes with Revolving Sweep refunds Qhira 5 mana and reduces the cooldowns of her Basic Abilities by 0.5 seconds.

Level 13:

Pulsing Pain:

Additional functionality: The primary target of Revolving Sweep is Slowed by 40% while Qhira is attached to them.

My personal comments:

Qhira's E build is garbage. So I buffed Siphoning Link and merged the primary functionality of Ensnaring Swing with Pulsing Pain, while making Upstage more consistent but also less strong.

Samuro:

Mirror Image (Q):

Adjusted functionality/bugfix: When entering the Hall of Storms through Hearthing, the clones are immediately removed.

My personal comments:

His hearthing trick has to go. Then we can have another look at how he should be tuned.

RANGED ASSASSIN:

Cassia:

Talents:

Level 7:

Surge of Light:

Adjusted functionality: Instead of requiring damage to trigger, Surge of Light now has a 25 second cooldown. Damaging Blinded enemy Heroes reduces this cooldown by 1 second.

My personal comments:

Cassia is too strong, and this talent has a 90% pickrate with 8% higher winrate than the other talents, so I adjusted its functionality.

It does not solve all of Cassia's issues; her other level 7 talents might just suck overall and she has a few more talents that deserve closer inspection and further adjustments across following patches.

Chromie:

Sand Blast (Q):

Damage reduced from 305 to 300.

Talents:

Level 11:

Timewalker's Pursuit:

Radius reduced from 10 to 7.

My personal comments:

I am sure she saw this coming.

Falstad:

Talents:

Level 1:

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Gathering Storm:

Bonus damage increased from 0.2% to 0.4%.

Dishonorable Discharge:

Cooldown no longer resets on takedowns.

Level 7:

Charged Up:

Range increase reduced from 25% to 15%.

My personal comments:

His recent changes put him in a much better spot. Q1 is grossly undertuned while W1 poses a big problem, so there is that. W1 is however the cause of both a bug with his W13, and receiving BOOMerang baseline has been a huge buff for the W-build overall (while for Q-build and AA-build nothing changed).

Jaina:

Level 4:

Frost Armor:

New functionality: Activate to grant Jaina a shield equal to 20% of her maximum Health for up to 4 seconds. While this Shield is active, Jaina has 60 Physical Armor and heals herself and nearby allies (radius: 4) for 10 (+4% per level) every 0.25 seconds. Cooldown: 45 seconds

Passive: Enemies attacking Jaina are now Chilled.

My personal comments:

There are some issues with her Q build and with Frost Armor, but for only one of those I know a safe way out.

Lunara:

Talents:

Level 4:

Blossom Swell:

Radius increase from 20% to 25%.

My personal comments:

An underpicked and underperforming talent gets a probably insignificant buff. Nothing to see here.

Mephisto:

Consume Souls (R1):

Adjusted functionality:

Channel for 2.5 seconds, revealing all enemy Heroes for the first 2 seconds of this channel. After the Channel completes, all enemy Heroes that are still visible take 357 damage and are Slowed by 25% for 2.5 seconds.

My personal comments:

Adding counterplay enables us to look at where this ultimate truly stands, before buffing it to a spot where it can properly compete with Durance of Hate.

Orphea:

Overflowing Chaos (D):

Basic Attacks that Consume Chaos now Slow Enemy Heroes hit by 20%.

Talents:

Ancestral Strength:

Removed functionality: No longer Slows its target.

Level 1:

New Talent: Friendly Shadows

Quest: Gathering a Regeneration Globe increases your maximum Health by 15.

Reward: After gathering 8 Regeneration Globes, Orphea's Movement Speed while Mounted is increased by 10%.

Reward: After gathering 16 Regeneration Globes, Orphea heals nearby allies (radius: 3) for 25% of the amount she heals herself with. This radius is marked on the ground for friendly heroes.

Level 4:

Backbiter:

Additional functionality: Now also increases regeneration effects and healing received from all sources by 15%.

Level 7:

Insatiable:

Cooldown increased from 2 seconds to 2.5 seconds.

Level 13:

Determination:

New functionality: Activate to grant Orphea 75 Spell Armor and increase her Physical damage by 15% for 3 seconds. Hitting enemy Heroes with Shadow Waltz reduces the cooldown by 7 seconds. Cooldown: 70 seconds.

Abyssal Symbiosis:

Shield reduced from 170 to 153.

My personal comments:

These changes are similar to D.Va in that she gets an important piece of her kit (Slows on trait AA) baseline and pays for it by having her dominant talents nerfed. And just like D.Va, I decided to not stick to the old 3 talents per tier rule for the sake of adding a new toy.

Zagara:

Banelings (Q):

Zagara can now hold Q to release them all as soon as possible.

Talents:

Level 16:

Jagged Barbs:

Adjusted functionality: While on Creep, Zagara gains 40% more Basic Attack damage.

Passive: Zagara's Attack Range is increased by 1.1.

Level 20:

Fury of the Storm: Removed.

New Talent: Fury of the Swarm:

The first Basic Attack after using Baneling Drop or Hydralisk (/Mutalisk) has its damage multiplied by 1.5 (stacking multiplicatively with Zagara's level 4 talents).

The first attack of a newly summoned Hydralisk, Mutalisk or Roachling deals 50% more damage as well.

My personal comments:

Blizzard passed up on this chance, but I did not.

Also, QoL buffs.

HEALERS:

Ana:

Biotic Grenade (W):

Healing reduction reduced from 100% to 75%.

My personal comments:

I still think Ana needs a healing grenade nerf. 100% is just too obnoxious, and I think 75% (or maybe even 50%) makes it a lot easier to tune her in the future.

Her sleep is commonly considered too powerful as well, especially at high level play, but I did not want to nerf both at once.

Auriel:

Talents:

Level 1:

Righteous Assault: Removed

Increasing Clarity:

Additional functionality: Hitting enemy Heroes with Q now reduces the cooldown of Sacred Sweep by 2 seconds.

My personal comments:

Two talents with less than 10% pickrate, of which one has a 35% winrate, show that adjustments are needed.

Well, that is it, guys. I hope you enjoyed reading this, even with the lack of official patch notes from the Developer. I also have to admit I made larger changes than I originally intended even when leaving the big troublemakers out, but ultimately trying to keep the changes relatively limited was a soft challenge for myself. As such, none of those ideas should break things too much if a (drunk?) Blizzard developer decided to implement this on a Friday night, but since I did make some relatively large changes to certain heroes one never knows where things might end up after the dust settles.

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