Heroes Technical Alpha Patch Notes -- Oct 7, 2014

A little over a week ago, we brought Heroes of the Storm offline in order to prepare for the final phase of Technical Alpha testing. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that the Calm Before the Storm has passed, and we’ve got a brand new patch available for you. The Heroes Technical Alpha is now back online and you can check out our complete patch notes below.

All Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha accounts have been reset with today’s patch.

Today’s patch marks our final planned Heroes of the Storm account wipe and monetary refund.

  • All purchases made using real-money prior to today’s account wipe have been reset and refunded to your Battle.net balance.
    • From now on, any real-money and Gold purchases made in the Heroes Shop are permanent and will not need to be reacquired in the future.
  • All in-game Gold earned, as well as any purchases made using Gold, have been wiped clean, along with all experience points, Hero and Player Level progression, Daily Quests, and rewards.
  • Future updates may still require adjustments or wipes for player progression, but there are no further plans to do so, and this will be avoided whenever possible.
  • Please see the Shop section below for more details on purchases using Battle.net Balance.

Welcome Anub’arak and Azmodan, our latest additions to the Heroes roster!   

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General

Double XP Week

  • For one week following today’s patch, games played in any matchmaking mode (Practice, Cooperative, and Versus) will award double the normal amount of experience points!

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Pre-Order Bonus

  • Valla, the Demon Hunter, is now unlocked and playable for all Technical Alpha testers who previously pre-ordered the Reaper of Souls expansion for Diablo III.
  • Please Note: This promotion did not grant Technical Alpha testing access. Players that pre-ordered Reaper of Souls, but have not yet been invited into the Tech Alpha, will receive Valla once they have Heroes of the Storm access in the future.

All Players Have Been Moved to Their Home Battle.net Region

  • Heroes of the Storm now utilizes the friends list that is shared across all other Blizzard games.
  • As mentioned previously, all friend lists built in the previous Technical Alpha phase have been lost.
  • Friends in other Blizzard games can now communicate with Heroes players and see that they are playing Heroes of the Storm.

Support for Additional Regions Coming Soon

  • We’re nearly ready to expand Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha testing in China, Korea, and Taiwan, and will soon bring servers online in those regions.
  • Once the patch becomes available in China, Korea, and Taiwan, invited players from those regions will be able to make real-money purchases using the Heroes in-game Shop.
  • Additionally, the Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha game client will soon feature full audio and text translations for the following languages:
    • Korean
    • Simplified Chinese
    • Traditional Chinese

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New Heroes

Anub’arak and Azmodan have been added to Heroes of the Storm and are now available for play! Read on for a brief overview of each new Hero’s Abilities.

Anub'arak

  • Abilities:
    • Impale (Q)
      • Shoot a line of spikes that damages and stuns enemies.
    • Harden Carapace (W)
      • Gain a Shield.
    • Burrow Charge (E)
      • Burrow underground and charge in a direction.
  • Trait:
    • Scarab Host (D)
      • Spawn a Beetle whenever an Ability is cast.
  • Heroic Abilities:
    • Locust Swarm (R)
      • Spawn a swarm of Locusts that damage enemies and heal you.
    • Web Blast (R)
      • Wraps an enemy in webbing. Enemies can attack the webbing to break their ally free.

Azmodan

  • Abilities:
    • Globe of Annihilation (Q)
      • Launch a long-range orb of destruction that deals area damage.
    • Summon Demon Warrior (W)
      • Summon a Demon Warrior.
    • All Shall Burn (E)
      • Channel a death beam on an enemy.
  • Trait:
    • General of Hell (D)
      • Azmodan summons a Demon Lieutenant to assist Minions, Mercenaries, and Summons.
  • Heroic Abilities:
    • Demonic Invasion (R)
      • Summons a rain of Demonic Grunts dealing damage on impact.
    • Black Pool (R)
      • Creates a pool that empowers Azmodan and his army.

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User Interface

Custom Games

  • Early implementation for Custom Games mode has been re-enabled, and can be accessed from the Play screen.
    • Click “Change Mode” on the Play screen, select Custom, and then choose a Battleground to open a Custom Game lobby.
    • Up to 10 player slots, and two observer slots, can be filled by human players. Click the plus icons to invite players to join the Custom Game lobby.
    • A.I. players can be added to fill empty player slots by pressing the Fill A.I. button on the right side of the lobby screen.
    • As the Lobby Host, click the wrench icon below an allied player’s Hero model, or right click an enemy player’s portrait on the right, to access a variety of options for that player.
      • These options include: Swap Team, Kick from Lobby, Set A.I. difficulty, and Promote to Host.
    • The lobby host can click Start Game to begin the match on the selected Battleground once all players have pressed the Ready button.
  • Please note that even though Custom Games have been re-enabled, this feature is not final and work is ongoing. Additional improvements and polish will be added with future game updates.
  • For more details, head over to our recent blog on Custom Games, Observer UI, and Replays.

Observer UI

  • Initial implementation for Observer UI has been added to both Custom Games and Replays.
    • Each team’s selected Heroes, number of Forts remaining, and total Takedowns earned are displayed in the upper-right and left corners of the screen.
    • The in-game timer, Core Health, team levels, and each team’s progress toward the next level are displayed at the top-center of the screen.
  • Please note that this initial iteration of the Observer UI is not final and work is ongoing. Additional improvements and polish will be added with future game updates.
  • For more details, head over to our recent blog on Custom Games, Observer UI, and Replays.

Replay System

  • Initial implementation for the Heroes of the Storm Replay System has been added.
    • Replays can be access by clicking the Watch button, which is now enabled on the menu navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.
    • Select a Replay from the list, and then click Watch Solo in the bottom left corner of the screen to launch the Replay.
    • After launching a Replay, use the controls in the lower left corner of the screen to Pause or Resume (P), speed up (=), or slow down (-) playback. Click anywhere on the Replay Timeline (T) to navigate to that point in the Replay.
  • Once again, please note that this iteration of the Replay System is not final and work is ongoing. Additional improvements and polish will be added with future game updates.
  • For more details, head over to our recent blog on Custom Games, Observer UI, and Replays.

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Art

Battlegrounds

  • Capturable Beacons have received updated art.
  • The Mage Knight Mercenary has received visual effect updates to match its new design.
  • Watchtowers have received updated art.
    • Additionally, Heroes can now stand on, as well as travel over, Watchtowers.

Heroes, Mounts, and Skins

  • Infested Tychus received massive updates, and has been re-released as the first Heroes of the Storm Legendary Skin.
    • Each of Tychus’ Basic, Heroic, and Odin-form Abilities have been “Infested” with brand new art, as well as updated models and visual effects, all inspired by the Zerg Swarm.
  • Dance, victory, and taunt animations have been added to many Heroes.
  • Many generic and Hero-specific Talents have received visual polish and clarity improvements.
  • The following Hero Abilities have received visual effect improvements:
    • Muradin’s Haymaker
    • Nova’s Holo Decoy
    • Tassadar’s Twilight Archon (Level 20 Archon Talent)
  • The following Hero Skins and Skin Variations have received visual improvements:
    • All Commander Raynor Variations
    • Gazlowe, Big Top Gazlowe, and all Variations
    • Master Muradin and all Variations
    • Nazeebo, Grimskull Nazeebo, and all Variations
  • The following Mounts and Mount Variations have received visual improvements:
    • Dire Wolf and all Variations
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Sound

General

  • The Infested Tychus Legendary Skin has received a veritable Swarm of new sound effects and voiceover updates.
  • New music has been added which will play while navigating among Heroes of the Storm menus.
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Shop

Please be advised that it is not currently possible to make partial payments when attempting to make real-money purchases using Battle.net Balance.

  • If a player has insufficient funds in his or her Battle.net Balance to make the desired purchase, that player will be required to load additional Balance, or use an alternate payment method.
    • For example: A Heroes player wants to buy a Bundle Pack that costs $20 USD, but only has a Battle.net Balance of $10 USD. That player cannot use those funds toward the final purchase price unless an additional $10 is loaded onto the account (for a total balance of $20,) or an alternate payment method is selected.

Bundle Packs

  • The Azgul’dan Azmodan and Cyb’Arak Anub’Arak Bundles have been made available in the Shop for a limited time.
  • Second Chance Bundle Week!
    • All Bundle Packs that were made available at any point during Alpha testing thus far have been re-enabled, and can once again be purchased in the Heroes Shop for one week following today’s patch.
  • Head here for complete details on all Bundles currently in the Shop.

Heroes

  • Anub’Arak and Azmodan have been added to the Heroes of the Storm Shop!
  • Chen’s Gold price has been reduced from 15,000 to 10,000 Gold.
  • Prices for Li Li and ETC have been reduced to $3.99 USD or 2,000 Gold.

Mounts

  • Wonder Billie
    • Players will receive the Wonder Billie Mount for making any real-money purchase during Alpha and Closed Beta testing.
    • Players who receive the Wonder Billie Mount will also receive an exclusive Wonder Billie portrait.
    • The Wonder Billie Mount will no longer be awarded for purchases made once Open Beta testing begins.
  • Armored War Steed
    • Available only with purchase of the Starter Bundle.
  • Battle Beast
    • Freely available to all players when using Heroes that can ride Mounts.
    • Several Heroes, such as Stitches, Diablo, (and Murky!) will now use the Battle Beast by default.
  • Golden Cyber Wolf
    • Available only with purchase of the Battle Bundle.
  • Nazeebra
    • Available only with purchase of the Nexus Bundle.
  • Nexus Charger
    • Available only to BlizzCon 2014 attendees and Virtual Ticket holders.
  • Piggy Bank
    • Available for Gold purchase only.

Skins

  • New Skins
    • Az’guldan Azmodan and Cyb’arak Anub’arak have been added to the Shop.
  • Legendary Skins
    • Today’s patch introduces the very first Heroes of the Storm Legendary Skin: Infested Tychus!
      • This Skin has received all new ability, sound, and voiceover effects, and has been re-released in the Shop. Head into the Shop today to check out the revamped Infested Tychus, and be sure to give him a test drive in Try Me mode.
  • Master Skins
    • New Master Skins have been added for the following seven Heroes, and more will be added in future updates:
      • Anub’arak
      • Azmodan
      • Chen
      • Gazlowe
      • Murky
      • Nazeebo
      • Sgt. Hammer

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Design and Gameplay

General

  • Most Abilities can no longer be cast on the minimap. 
    • This is to prevent issues with unintended minimap clicks. 
    • Abilities with a global range, such as Nova’s Precision Strike, and Tyrande’s Sentinel, among others, can still be cast on the minimap.

Tutorial

  • A new Tutorial mission has been added which will introduce new players to Hero Talent selection and basic Battleground mechanics.
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Battlegrounds

General

  • Minimap icons for the underground Grave Golem on the Haunted Mines, and neutral Garden Terrors on the Garden of Terror, no longer blink when they are in combat
  • Minion damage dealt to opposing Minions has been reduced, allowing for stronger pushes with Minions in unattended lanes

Garden of Terror

  • Ready text on a summoned Garden Terror will now start blinking when the Terror is about to expire.

Mercenary Camps

  • Knight Mercenary Camp
    • The Healer Mercenary no longer heals other Mercenaries or Minions, and now casts a damaging Arcane Bolt on enemies instead.

Structures

  • The Core now regenerates Shields after it has not taken damage for 8 seconds, rather than 10 seconds.
  • Towers, Forts, and Keeps now regenerate Ammunition once every 15 seconds, rather than once every 10 seconds.

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Talents

Protective Shield

  • Shield value changed from 300 (+30 per level) to 185 (+35 per level)
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Heroes

            Assassin Support Warrior
             Nova Li Li Arthas
             Valla Malfurion Diablo
             Rehgar Sonya
           

            
            
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Background

  • Rune Tap (Talent)
    • Healing amount reduced from 6% to 4% of maximum Health

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Background

  • Black Soulstone (Trait)
    • Devil’s Due (Talent)
      • Now reduces resurrection cost to 60 Souls, down from 75
    • Endless Death (Talent)
      • Maximum soul amount decreased from 200 to 150
  • Overpower (E)
    • Demonic Strength (Talent)
      • Damage bonus increased from +25% to +50%
    • Soul Steal (Talent)
      • Using Overpower now grants 5 Souls, up from 3.
    • Scaling per level increased from 8 to 9
  • Lightning Breath (R)
    • Duration reduced from 5 to 4 seconds
    • Total number of damage ticks decreased from 11 to 9
    • Scaling damage per tick increased from +8 per level to +9 per level

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Background

  • Healing Brew (Q)
    • No longer provides allies with Mana regeneration

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Background

  • Entangling Roots (E)
    • Vengeful Roots (Talent)
      • Treant scaling damage reduced from +8 per level to +6 per level

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Background

  • Nova has received a significant update in this patch
  • The following talents have been removed:
    • Battle Momentum
    • Extended Projection
      • Replaced by Remote Delivery, and improved functionality
    • Focused Attacks
    • Follow Through
      • Replaced by One in the Chamber, and improved functionality
    • FN92 Sniper
    • Remote Access
    • Vampiric Assault
  • Basic Attack
    • Basic Attacks per second decreased from 1.25 to 1.0
    • Damage increased from 35 to 40
    • New Talent (Level 7):  One in the Chamber
      • Nova’s next Basic Attack deals an additional 50% damage after using an Ability.
    • New Talent (Level 7):  Hot Shots
      • Nova now attacks three times slower, but deals 330% damage per Basic Attack.
  • Cloak (Trait)
    • Advanced Cloaking (Talent)
      • Health Regeneration while Cloaked has been removed
      • Basic Abilities now also cooldown 25% faster in addition to the 25% Movement Speed bonus granted while Cloaked.
  • Snipe (Q)
    • Cooldown reduced from 12 seconds to 10 seconds
    • Damage increased from 100 to 120
    • Scaling damage per level decreased from +35 to +34
    • Mana cost reduced from 75 to 65
    • Psi-Op Rangefinder (Talent)
      • Now also reduces the cooldown of Snipe by 2 seconds in addition to increasing Snipe range by 20%.
    • New Talent (Level 4):  Booster Shot
      • Hitting an enemy Hero with Snipe now refunds 50% of the Mana cost. Killing an enemy Hero with Snipe will refund 100% of its Mana cost.
    • Rail Gun (Talent)
      • Now also reduces the cooldown of Snipe by 1 second for each enemy hit in addition to allowing Snipe to penetrate enemies.
  • Pinning Shot (W)
    • Cooldown reduced from 15 seconds to 12 seconds
    • Damage reduced from 50 to 40
    • Mana cost reduced from 80 to 65
    • Scaling damage per level decreased from +18 to +10
    • New Talent (Level 4):  Focused Fire
      • Reduces the cooldown of Pinning Shot by 1 second every time Nova deals any damage to the enemy slowed by Pinning Shot.
    • New Talent (Level 7):  Covert Ops
      • Reduces the Mana cost of Pinning Shot by 5 for every second Nova is Cloaked (to a minimum of 0.)
    • Crippling Shot (Talent)
      • Now makes enemies Vulnerable, causing the enemy struck by Pinning Shot to take 25% increased damage for the duration of the slow.
  • Holo Decoy (E)
    • Holo Decoy now attacks and casts Abilities on enemies by default
    • Holo Decoy now matches Nova’s Cloak state upon cast
    • Digital Shrapnel (Talent)
      • Explosion radius increased by 30%
      • Now also reduces the cooldown of Holo Decoy by 2 seconds in addition to allowing Holo Decoy to explode for damage.
    • Extended Projection (Talent) renamed to Remote Delivery
      • Now also increases the vision range of Holo Decoy by 100%
    • New Talent (Level 16):  Double Fake
      • Casting Holo Decoy now creates an additional Decoy at Nova’s current location. Decoys now also gain movement AI.

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Background

  • Lightning Shield (W)
    • Earth Shield (Talent)
      • Shield amount changed from 200 (+17 per level) to 100 (+21 per level)

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Background

  • Seismic Slam (W)
    • Furious Blow (Talent)
      • Damage bonus reduced from 50% to 30%

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Background

  • Hatred (Trait)
    • Punishment (Talent)
      • Hatred stacks granted upon use increased from 2 to 3
    • Rancor (Talent)
      • Attack speed bonus per Hatred stack reduced from 2% to 1.5%
  • Strafe (R)
    • Cooldown increased from 50 seconds to 60 seconds

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Bug Fixes

General

  • Several typos and tooltip errors have been corrected across various aspects of the game.

Art

  • Black placement indicators should now appear correctly when attempting to place Zagara’s Creep Tumor or Nydus Network with graphics set to Low. 

Battlegrounds

  • Attacking a Mercenary Camp at the moment it spawns will no longer cause the defending Mercenaries’ Health to reset mid-fight.
  • The Garden Terror is now properly immune to the effects of an opposing Garden Terror’s Spore Queen’s Curse Ability. 

Heroes and Talents

  • Abathur can now properly channel Cursed Hollow Tributes, as well as enter and exit the Haunted Mines after Ultimate Evolution expires.
  • Abathur will now inherit the skin and color variations of allies he copies with Ultimate Evolution
  • Brightwing’s Polymorph no longer occasionally causes the target to become invisible while polymorphed.
  • Chen can now properly enter the Haunted Mines while using his Storm, Earth, Fire Heroic Ability.
  • Chen's Flying Kick will no longer stop working after Stitches’ Hook pulls him to an impassable object.
  • Dealing fatal damage to the Dragon Knight or Garden Terror with Falstad's Stormhammer Talent no longer causes the player that was inside to permanently lose control of their hero.
  • Fixed a rare issue in which stunning Heroes just before they finish channeling certain Heroic Abilities could place the Ability on reduced cooldown without interrupting the cast.
  • E.T.C.'s Guitar Solo Ability will no longer cause a slight delay before his next Basic Attack after learning the Guitar Hero Talent.
  • E.T.C.'s Dance Your Pants Off! Talent can no longer stun Grave Golems.
  • Gazlowe’s Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Talent will no longer cause summoned units to drop Scrap on death.
  • Ghouls summoned by Arthas’ Army of the Dead will no longer instantly die when Arthas is caught by Zagara’s Devouring Maw.
  • Kerrigan can no longer become invulnerable for the duration of her Assimilation Shield buff after landing the killing blow on an enemy Tyrael or Uther.
  • Murky no longer benefits from the Zagara’s Creep Tumor Movement Speed bonus.
  • If Murky’s Egg is destroyed at the exact time he would have respawned, he will now respawn at the Egg’s former location.
  • Bonuses provided by Nova’s Advanced Cloaking Talent are now appropriately lost upon breaking Cloak.
  • Raynor's Bullseye Talent no longer allows Penetrating Round to stun Structures or Grave Golems.
  • Tassadar’s Second Strike Talent no longer allows Psionic Storm to be cast repeatedly for free.
  • Heal over time effects on Tychus are now properly transferred to the Odin upon activating Commandeer Odin.
  • Tyrande's Purging Arrow Talent no longer allows Basic Attacks from Minions, Mercenaries, and Summons to deplete ammo when a Structure is targeted by Hunter’s Mark. 

User Interface

  • Hero Portraits in the Player Profile no longer extend beyond the portrait container.
  • Fixed an issue in which players could access locked Skin Variations when queuing for a match with a party.
  • Players can now appropriately swap among the Skins and Mounts they’ve unlocked while searching for a game in the matchmaking queue.

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