Heroes Guru
  • Patch Notes Review - 9/10/2014

    I'm going to separate this into a couple sections for your convenience - click Section 1 for the TL;DR version where I summarize as much as possible and cover the essentials. Click Section 2 to go over the less important, but still significant, changes. Click Section 3 for the consequences section, where I detail what the patch notes mean in practical terms.

    The Important Stuff

    • Chen Stormstout, the Legendary Brewmaster, has been added to the game as a play
  • Heroes' Digest:

    Week 6: Tyrael

    Everyone knows Tyrael, arguably the most influential Archangel (Spoiler alert, now Aspect) in the Diablo Series. Tyrael is never a playable character, and is only ever seen fighting a few times in Archangel form. These fights are short-lived and do not really show off any "special" moves that Tyrael has. In his cinematics, he is seen using his "Wings" as tendril-esque weapons, but other than that all you can tell is that he can fly and he has a sword.

    As such, he had no iconic "skillset" to pull from, which leaves plenty of doors open for design.

    General Design:

    The first of these doors was his primary role, of which they chose Warrior (Or tank). I could have seen him as a Melee Assassin flying around, but I think making him a Warrior has some obvious parallels to his character - such as the fac

  • Heroes' Digest:

    Week 5: Illidan Stormrage

    Illidan is an extremely iconic character from Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft (even though his storyline got butchered once WoW came out so you could kill him as a raid boss), and as all iconic characters from WC3, he has things that veterans connect with to implement into Heroes'...Illidan in particular has a whole mess of things he's known for: his VA along with specific quotes, his old Demon Hunter kit from WC3, his more Arcane-oriented abilities, etc. Let's take a glance into his design...

    General Design:

    There are some oddities about Illidan's design that people have raised concern with. One is that he has unlimited mana; this is an interesting design decision considering Demon Hunters had mana in the past, and were in fact half-spell-users by way of Immolation/Mana Burn. The other is that his spell-or

  • Heroes' Digest:

    Week 4: Valla

    Valla makes perfect sense to implement into Heroes of the Storm as a sustained-DPS "carry" role, and I think Blizzard gave her kit, along with skills and runes, a pretty smooth transition from Diablo III...even down to that notorious red hood of hers. I like that they added in some flavor into her talents by giving her talents which are very similar to her runes in D3.

    General Design:

    So, they essentially changed Valla's Hatred/Discipline duo-resource into "Discipline" (Mana) being her only resource and Hatred being a stacking buff on her. This is a neat change as she more or less keeps a duo-resource (You want your Hatred up all the time) even though she's in a different genre of game.


  • Heroes' Digest:

    Week 3: Kerrigan

    Kerrigan is one of the more unique designs in Heroes of the Storm in that she does not largely mimic her abilities from StarCraft (In fact, 2 of her abilites were taken by Abathur). Looking back at her abilities, it makes a lot of sense why they decided to change her direction, as other heroes had taken similar abilities (Razor Storm/Detector taken by Tass, Deep Tunnels/Burrow by Abathur). This being said, I really like the direction they took her.

    In her kit, which is almost exclusively "new" abilities (aside from shields in general), lies a lot of self-synergy.

    General Design:

    Kerrigan has a very slick design that is mechanically demanding and changes on a case-by-case basis. Her W + E combo is challenging to land when you first pick her up, and it remains difficult to land until you've basically mastered h

  • A Short Story of How to Have Fun

    (Why so serious?)

    Hello fellow Heroes, I wanted to share a little story about how two friends of mine and myself came up with one of the most fun strategies ever. Once upon a time, 3 buddies were playing together and got owned by Matchmaking a couple times in a row. Out of spite to matchmaking, we went full yolo-mode and decided to just 3-man roam around the map as inseparable groupies (Originally a bit frustrated at how the previous games went).

    Initially planning to just have fun and forget winning games any more, we discovered that this new plan is pretty hilarious and tons of fun. Our Heroes were Zeratul, Kerrigan, and Arthas, and all we did was roam around the map killing people and taking camps. We ignored lane XP soak, and most of the time even ignored objectives (Unless that's where all the enemies were at).

    I'm not recommending that this is how you should play all the time, but once in a wh

  • Matchmaking in HotS

    Blizzard released an article on Friday that sheds some light on the match making within HotS. It comes as no surprise that they’re using the SC2 mmr system as the base. The SC2 system was well polished and deserving of reuse. That being said, match making has historically been a large problem with MOBAs. If Blizzard can get this right early, that will be a huge feather in their cap. Interesting to note as well that in their “future” section, they have something listed that I’ve been saying since this I got into the alpha – The level you’ve achieved on your individual hero should be factored into match making. That way people that are trying new heroes get matched with others that are trying new heroes. That would lend itself to people trying more heroes or even queuing the dreaded “Random Hero”. The Blizzard article can be found here: Read More...

  • Heroes' Digest:


    I'm going to do a two-sectioned article this time around, one for Talents and one for general design/implementation. I think Zeratul is very well designed base, but has many talents that are a waste.

    General Design:

    So, of course, this is why I love the idea of a Blizzard "All-Stars" game. In Heroes', you basically get to play your favorite characters with their kits from their original game in a MoBA. I think the design team did an excellent job with Zeratul, with the obvious Q to use his armblade, a neat idea with his W which is essentially throwing a Phase Mine, and an also obvious Blink and Permanent Cloak. He also has neat innovation on his Heroic Ability, Nerazim Fury, which he goes ham using psionic abilities to chase his opponent(s) down. Void Prison seemed to me like more of a "We have to put this in here from

  • Possible Replacement System for Artifacts

    Due to the abrupt and rather demanded removal of the new artifact system blizzard has expressed that they wish to “explore different ways to give you fun and compelling options for spending gold, while avoiding the problems that the initial artifact system created,” on their most recent blog post relating to the patch of August 1, 2014.

    What can substitute the subpar artifact system and not just replace it, but make it better? Well, there are a few options that can potentially do this with a supplemental effect on the game. For instance, instead of spending gold on obtaining new artifacts and augmenting them even further with more gold, why not implement a “battle panel,” concept which allows players to select the individual talents for their Heroes out of game to be selected and used in game.

    How would this work correctly seeing as how only one talent is

  • Artifacts removed and talent gating reduced

    Big announcements today from Blizzard regarding Heroes of the Storm. In a patch later today, Blizzard will be removing artifacts as well as making the time to level new heroes to level 4 more than three times faster. These drastic changes are to address the two largest issues in the community right now: artifacts being “required” for high level play and talent gating for new heroes.

    I personally didn’t hate artifacts. I thought that they brought some additional intricacies to the different heroes, although there was definitely a “right” way to do them as evidenced by all the math and theory craft out there. Even by going against the grain though, you could come up with some wonky combinations that were viable. My only complaint was that artifacts were way too expensive. As a level 40, I had 90,000 gold after the patch. After I finished unlocking the rest of the heroes, I bought th

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