Update on Artifacts and Talent Unlocks

As we’ve mentioned previously, the Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha is the earliest in a development cycle that we've ever invited the community to test one of our games. It's an opportunity for us to try new ideas in their infancy, and work with all of you to help us make a better game. We're fortunate to have so many passionate people taking part in testing, and we’d like to take a moment to address your feedback on the artifact and per-hero talent unlocking systems.

Artifacts

Artifacts were designed to provide you with a meaningful way to spend gold, while also providing additional options to customize your heroes. We wanted to test artifacts in the Alpha to find out if the system fulfilled those goals. As testing began, many of you voiced concerns around fairness issues, “correct build” issues, balance, new player tension, and other issues that made it clear that artifacts weren’t working as intended. We agree—those issues started to outweigh the benefits of the system.

As a result, we have decided to remove the artifact system from Heroes of the Storm with a patch scheduled for later today. We will explore different ways to give you fun and compelling options for spending gold, while avoiding the problems that the initial artifact system created. We don't have any updates on what our future systems may be, but we'll be sure to keep you informed and look forward to getting your feedback on alternate systems.

Per-Hero Talent Unlocks

We’ve also seen a lot of feedback about changes we made to the talent unlocking system with our most recent patch. Our intention was to gradually expose new players to heroes and their talents, with meaningful progression that could be obtained relatively quickly on a per-hero basis.  Since making this change, many of you have shared your frustration with the time it takes to unlock a hero’s talents.

Beginning with today’s scheduled patch, reaching hero level 4 will be more than three times faster than the original implementation. Unlocking all talents on a hero can be done in as few as three games with friends in versus mode. We hope this will achieve our goals for maintaining gradual talent exposure while lowering the barrier to entry substantially enough to be acceptable to the average player.

Additional feedback revealed that initial talents did not feel as powerful or optimal as later choices. We want all of a hero’s starting talent choices to be useful and viable. We’ll continue striving to meet this goal throughout the alpha, beta, and beyond, and we’d love to hear from you if you’ve got specific feedback on a hero’s starting talents.

Thanks to your feedback and testing efforts, we've arrived at changes that will make Heroes of the Storm a better game. We hope you’ll continue to share your feedback with us throughout this phase of testing, and beyond.

GL HF, and we’ll see you in the Nexus!

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