Heroes of the Storm has always been a fun game to watch in eSports because of how often there tends to be a shift in control throughout the game. Teams that are doing quite well at the start of a match are not guaranteed to win, because there are multiple ways for another team to turn the match around.Now, Blizzard is looking to implement even more changes to the game’s leveling system and death timers in order to change how the early game of a match plays.
In a recent blog post to Battle.net, it seems that Blizzard is trying to address some early game issues that they have been noticing in matches. Firstly, the developers are looking to lessen the margin of difference in skills and stats that each experience level grants a team when they level up. As the game stands, there are drastic differences between teams that are one or two levels apart early on in the game, compared to how little difference there is between the same kind of level-gap later on. Take a look at how Blizzard explains it in their post.
“In the current version of Heroes, game levels 1-14 had a very large stat difference from one level to the next. We identified later levels had less of a stat difference and power levels are more noticeable with talent picks instead of level gains. In an attempt to mirror the late game, we are flattening out the earlier levels to be more in line with how heroes operates towards the late game.”
They go on to explain that this change in leveling is meant to make it less of a danger to engage in team fights early in the game as a method of catching up when behind, but also stresses that any team that has a talent level above the other team is still quite dangerous to attack. The adjustments will also be making the stats that change with each level much more individualized in order to better fit stats to character roles. Assassin may gain more damage, but not a lot of health, while warriors will do the opposite. This is to help build a better understanding of playing roles in a team.
This does not, however, mean that players should always be going out of their way to engage the other team when they can. Blizzard’s second change will be to the death timer used in the game. It seems the amount of time a player must wait to come back from being dead has been causing some issue in the early game when teams are trying to gain an advantage. In order to fix this, Blizzard will be increasing the amount of time dead players will have to wait to rejoin a game after they have died. The original wait times, and their altered times, are depicted in the following image.
By increasing the death timer in the first half of the game, Blizzard hopes to make players a bit more cautious about dying early, in order for teams to see a greater reward and better chance to advantage when killing their opponent. This will especially play out in maps where teams are forced to engage in team fights in order to capture objectives, such as the new Infernal Shrines battleground.
Ultimately, Blizzard’s changes are looking to gives players a chance to build an advantage, while not allowing that advantage to be so catastrophic that a losing team has no chance of coming back. They hope to promote more team play, communication, and strategy, and a lot less mindless mid-field battling just to gain levels and shame opponents. It seems each change is balancing elements in a way to make sure the true nature of the game is not changed drastically.
Players on the PTR server (Public Test Realm) can already help Blizzard test these changes on the Cursed Hallow–Scaling Test map, or by using the same map in a custom game they play with friends. Check out Blizzard’s post to get the full lowdown of their changes, and be sure to comment on them in the section below!
HT – Gamespot
The featured image credit belongs to Blizzard Entertainment’s Press Center