Heroes of the Storm PTR Patch Notes -- January 26, 2016

Our next major Heroes of the Storm patch has just arrived to the Public Test Realm and will be available for playtesting until February 1. During this time, we kindly request your assistance in trying out some of the new content and balance changes it contains before we officially release the patch to the live version of Heroes. Just like last time, if you encounter any bugs or other issues during your PTR play sessions, please stop by the PTR Bug Report forum to let us know about your experiences.

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General

New Portraits

  • New portrait rewards have been added! Unlock them by reaching Hero Level 10 with the following Heroes:
    • Cho’gall Combo – Cho, Gall
    • StarCraft II Protoss Heroes – Artanis, Tassadar, Zeratul

Replay Protocol Now Available

  • Hero Replay Protocol is now open source and available for use by players who wish to write or upgrade their own community-driven replay analysis tools.
  • Click here to learn more about Hero Replay Protocol, or follow this link to access our heroprotocol directly on GitHub.

Mysterious Creature

  • You may find a curious creature running wild at the start of your games on the PTR, but don't worry --You'll learn more about him very soon!

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New Hero

Li-Ming, Rebellious Wizard, has been added to Heroes of the Storm and is now available for play! Read on for a brief overview of her Abilities.

Trait

  • Critical Mass
    • Participating in a Takedown refreshes all of your Ability cooldowns.

Basic Abilities

  • Magic Missiles (Q)
    • Fire three missiles toward a location, each damaging the first enemy it hits.
  • Arcane Orb (W)
    • Fire an orb that powers up as it travels, damaging the first enemy it hits. The amount of damage dealt is increased the farther the orb travels, up to 300%
  • Teleport (E)
    • Instantly teleport a short distance.

Heroic Abilities

  • Disintegrate (R)
    • Channel a powerful beam of energy, dealing heavy damage over 2.5 seconds to all enemies in its path. The direction of the beam follows your cursor.
  • Wave of Force (R)
    • Damage and knock all enemies away from the targeted area.
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Art

Battlegrounds

  • Bell Towers on Towers of Doom have received updated art to better represent the area of terrain blocked by the base of the Structure.
  • Cores are now each surrounded by a set of floating shields to better indicate when they are invulnerable.

Hero Abilities and Talents

  • The icons for many Talents that exist on the same Talent tier, and modify the same Ability, have received new color tints to help players more easily tell them apart at a glance.
  • The Imposing Presence Talent’s broken sword visual effect will now appear whenever the player is affected by any Attack Speed slow.
  • Several Talents that modify Heroes’ Basic Attacks have received updated button art.
  • The following Heroes have received updated Ability button art:
    • Anub’arak
    • Arthas
    • Diablo
    • Gazlowe
    • Murky

Skins

  • All Arthas Skins and Skin Variations have received facial animations.
  • The following Hero Skins have received additional visual polish for certain Abilities, which more closely match that Skin’s theme:
    • Spectre Illidan – Dive (Q), Sweeping Strikes (W), Metamorphosis (R), The Hunt (R)
    • Shan’do Illidan – Dive (Q), Sweeping Strikes (W), Metamorphosis (R), The Hunt (R)
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Shop

Bundles

  • New Bundles have been added for a limited time!
    • Star Princess Li-Ming Bundle

Heroes

  • Li-Ming has been added to the in-game Shop

Mounts

  • New Mounts have been added for a limited time.
    • Star Chariot – Exclusively available through purchase of the Star Princess Li-Ming Bundle
  • Mount Removals
    • 2015 Champion’s Nexagon

Skins

  • New Skins
    • Star Princess Li-Ming
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Sound

General

  • Level-up sounds, and enemy death sound effects have been updated to improve clarity.

Battlegrounds

  • Towers of Doom has received updated music.

Heroes

  • Murky and Leoric have received unique death sound effects.
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User Interface

Custom Games

  • The lobby host may now choose Heroes for each A.I. player in Custom Game Lobbies using the new Pick Hero dropdown on the right side of each A.I. player slot. 

In-Game UI

  • General
    • Killstreak Flames have been removed to improve clarity during gameplay.
    • Battleground objective UI for Blackheart’s Bay and Tomb of the Spider Queen will now indicate the total number of Doubloons and Gems each team currently has in its possession.
    • Health bars above Cores will now clearly indicate when that Core is invulnerable.
  • Floating Combat Text
    • Floating combat text has been visually reworked so that damage, healing, and other important numbers are easier to differentiate during battle.
      • Floating combat text numbers now fire away from the target in staggered directions, rather than stacking on top of one another.
      • Critical strikes have received updated art to make them more visually apparent.
    • Floating combat text numbers are now color coded to better indicate their sources:
      • Basic Attacks – Orange
      • Ability damage – Purple
      • Healing – Green
      • Shield – White
      • Mana Restored – Blue
      • XP – Gold
  • New Default Observer Interface
    • The new Replay and Observer Interface that was recently made available for testing has received additional improvements, and will now function as the default interface for all players while viewing Replays or observing live games.
    • Read our recent blog post to learn more about the new interface.
  • Ping Spam Reduction
    • Reduced the frequency at which players can issue pings before they become unable to issue additional pings for a period of time.
    • The duration that ping-spamming players will be prevented from issuing additional pings has been increased.

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Design & Gameplay

General

  • Abilities or Talents that apply Invulnerability or Stasis will now also display a timer to indicate the duration of these effects.
  • Damage dealt by splash and cleave attacks will no longer trigger effects that would otherwise require a direct attack to trigger (ex: Block, Spell Shield, Imposing Presence, etc.)

Battleground Monsters

  • Battleground-specific creatures are now universally defined as Monsters (ex: Neutral Garden Terrors, Sky Temple Guardians, etc.)
  • Several Talents and Abilities have been changed to reflect this new categorization, and the following no longer affect Monsters:
    • Mercenary Lord
    • Johanna's Knight Takes Pawn
    • Lunara's Cruel Bloom
    • Rexxar's Easy Prey and Bird of Prey
    • The Butcher's Chop Meat
  • The following now affect Monsters:
    • Anub'arak's Beetle, Juiced
    • Azmodan's Demonic Smite
  • Several Talents that could previously trigger against both captured Mercenaries and Minions will now only affect Minions (ex: Seasoned Marksman, Black Soulstone, etc.)
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Battlegrounds

Structures

  • Towers, Forts, and Keeps now deal 50% bonus damage to Heroes
  • Cores will now display an “Invulnerable” message if attacked by an enemy when no allied Keeps have been destroyed.
  • Structures can no longer be made Vulnerable

Dragon Shire

  • Dragon Knight
    • Damage reduction from Structures increased from 50% to 60%
    • Savage Charge (W)
      • Channel time reduced from 1.125 to 0.75 seconds
      • Cooldown increased from 8 to 10 seconds

Infernal Shrines

  • The minimap now more clearly indicates when a Shrine is ready to activate
  • Arcane Punisher
    • Arcane Sentry damage reduced by 20%

Towers of Doom

  • Ownership of nearby Bell Towers will no longer determine which lane Sapper Mercenaries will travel down. The two southern Sapper camps will now always travel down the bottom lane.
  • Text has been added to the Tunnels to help clarify their one-way use.

Try Mode

  • A new Healing Dummy has been added above the existing Target Dummy, that calculates healing and healing over time.
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Talents

Block

  • Block charges are now tracked in the buff bar next to the Hero portrait, and a timer has been added to show the time remaining until a new charge is generated.

Focused Attack

  • Basic Attack damage bonus reduced from 75% to 60%
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Heroes

Assassin Specialist Support Warrior
Gall Abathur Malfurion Cho
Illidan Azmodan Rehgar Sonya
Jaina Gazlowe Tyrande
Lunara Uther
Nova
The Butcher
Tychus
Zeratul
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Assassin

 

Gall

  • Shove (Talent) moved from Level 16 to Level 1
    • Cooldown increased from 15 to 40 seconds
    • Can no longer be used while Cho is mounted
  • Eye of Kilrogg (Talent)
    • Cast range increased by 33%
    • Maximum charge count increased from 2 to 4
  • Psychotic Break (Talent)
    • Cooldowns for Shadowflame (Q), Dread Orb (W), and Gall’s Heroic Abilities are now cleared and can be cast immediately upon death
    • Now provides a passive, permanent 5% Ability Power bonus
  • Hurry Up, Oaf! (Z)
    • Spurred Onward (Talent)
      • Now also increases the initial Movement Speed bonus to 70%
  • Shadowflame (Q)
    • Double Trouble (Talent)
      • The functionality of this Talent has changed
      • Shadowflame’s cooldown is reduced by 1 second if it hits an enemy Hero affected by Cho's Consuming Blaze
    • Shadowflare (Talent) moved from Level 1 to Level 16
      • Enemies hit are now slowed by 25% for 1 second
  • Runic Blast (E)
    • Siphoning Runes (Talent) removed
    • New Talent (Level 4): Runic Persistence
      • Runic Blast no longer destroys Cho’s Rune Bomb
  • Twisting Nether (R)
    • Damage increased from 342 (+4% per level) to 415 (+5% per level)
    • Slow amount increased from 40% to 50%

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Illidan

  • Basic Attack damage increased from 74 (+4% per level) to 78(+4% per level)

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Jaina

  • Ring of Frost (R)
    • Ring of Frost’s inner-area radius now properly matches the Ability’s visual effects

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Lunara

  • Lunara's Basic Attack has received responsiveness improvements
  • Ranged Basic Attack animation speed increased by 50%.
  • Melee Basic Attack animation speed increased by 300% to match the ranged animation’s new speed
  • Wisp (E)
    • Mana cost reduced from 50 to 30
    • Cooldown decreased from 45 to 30 seconds, but its duration has not been changed

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Nova

  • Conjurer's Pursuit (Talent) removed
  • Gathering Power (Talent) removed
  • Envenom (Talent) removed
  • Headshot (Talent) removed
  • Spell Shield (Talent) removed
  • Overdrive (Talent) removed
  • Bolt of the Storm (Talent) removed
  • Permanent Cloak, Sniper (Trait)
    • Advanced Cloaking (Talent) redesigned and moved from Level 13 to Level 1
      • Now increases Nova's Movement Speed by 30% while Cloaked
    • New Talent (Level 1): Tactical Espionage
      • Regenerate 4 Mana per second while Stealthed
    • New Talent (Level 20): Ghost Protocol
      • Activate to gain Stealth for 2 seconds. Taking damage, attacking, or using Abilities will not break Stealth during this time
  • Snipe (Q)
    • Damage reduced from 335 (+4% per level) to 268(+4% per level)
    • Cost reduced from 65 to 60 Mana
    • Cooldown reduced from 10 to 8 seconds
    • Psi-Op Rangefinder (Talent) removed
    • Ambush Snipe (Talent) removed
    • Railgun (Talent) removed
    • Explosive Round (Talent) moved from Level 7 to Level 13
      • Area of effect radius increased by 75%
    • Perfect Shot (Talent) redesigned and moved from Level 4 to Level 16
      • Hitting an enemy Hero with Snipe reduces its cooldown by 4 seconds
    • New Talent (Level 7): Snipe Master
      • Hitting an enemy Hero with Snipe increases subsequent Snipe damage by 5%. Stacks up to 10 times. All stacks are lost if Snipe misses an enemy Hero
    • New Talent (Level 13): Psionic Efficiency
      • Increases Snipe range by 10% and removes its Mana cost
  • Pinning Shot (W)
    • Range increased by approximately 18% in order to match Nova’s Basic Attack range
    • Tazer Rounds (Talent) removed
    • Covert Ops (Talent) moved from Level 7 to Level 1
      • Bonus to Pinning Shot’s Movement Speed slow increased from 1% to 2% per second
    • New Talent (Level 1): Longshot
      • Pinning Shot range increased by 30%
      • Pinning Shot also increases the range of the next Basic Attack by 30%
    • New Talent (Level 13): Double Tap
      • Pinning Shot now stores up to two charges
  • Holo Decoy (E)
    • Double Fake (Talent) removed
    • Remote Delivery (Talent) has been changed
      • No longer reduces Holo Decoy's cooldown
      • In addition to providing 100% increased cast range, now also grants a 50% vision range bonus to Holo Decoys
    • Lethal Decoy (Talent) moved from Level 13 to Level 16
      • Holo Decoy damage increased from 25% to 40%
    • New Talent (Level 4): Rapid Projection
      • Reduces Holo Decoy's cooldown and Mana cost by 40%
    • New Talent (Level 4): Holo Stability
      • Increases the duration of Holo Decoys from 5 to 12 seconds

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The Butcher

  • Lamb to the Slaughter (R)
    • Invulnerability and Unstoppable now suppress the chain effect, rather than remove it
    • Stasis effects no longer remove the chain
    • Enemy Heroes affected by Lamb to the Slaughter can no longer enter the Dragon Knight, Garden Terror, or Lt. Morales’ Medivac, and Tyrael can no longer cast Judgment

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Tychus

  • Overkill (Q)
    • A range indicator will now display while Overkill is active, and when hovering the cursor over the Ability icon. This is only visible to Tychus

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Zeratul

  • Cleave (Q)
    • Damage increased from 189 (+4% per level) to 200 (+4% per level)
  • Shadow Assault (R)
    • Range increased by approximately 37%
    • A range indicator will now display while Shadow Assault is active, and when hovering the cursor over the Ability icon
    • Duration reduced from 6 to 4 seconds
    • Mana cost reduced from 100 to 50
    • Cooldown decreased from 100 to 45 seconds

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Specialist

 

Abathur

  • Symbiote (Q)
    • Stab (Q)
      • Damage increased from 108 (+4% per level) to 113 (+4% per level) 
    • Spike Burst (W)
      • Damage increased from 106 (+4% per level) to 111 (+4% per level) 

     Return

 

Azmodan

  • General of Hell (Trait)
    • Will no longer dismount Azmodan on use

     Return

 

Gazlowe

  • Salvager (Trait)
    • Will now dismount Gazlowe on activation
  • Rock-It! Turret (Q)
    • Clockwerk Steam Fists (Talent)
      • Duration bonus for active Rock-It! Turrets increased from 1 to 1.5 seconds per Basic Attack
  • Deth Lazor (W)
    • Goblin Fusion (Talent)
      • Additional charge level damage bonus increased from 25% to 50%
  • Xplodium Charge (E)
    • Mana cost reduced from 70 to 60

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Support

 

Malfurion

  • Innervate (Trait) (D)
    • Mana return increased from 15% to 20% of the target’s maximum Mana
    • Versatile (Talent)
      • Bonus to Innervate’s Mana return increased from 25% to 30% of the target’s maximum Mana

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Rehgar

  • Forward Momentum (Talent) removed
  • Spell Shield (Talent) removed
  • Healing Totem (Talent) moved from Level 1 to Level 4
    • Cooldown reduced from 60 to 30 seconds
  • The following activated Talents will now dismount Rehgar when used in Ghost Wolf form:
    • Blood for Blood
    • Cleanse
    • Healing Totem
    • Rewind
  • Ghost Wolf (Z)
    • Basic Attacks while in Ghost Wolf form now gain the effects of Feral Lunge, causing Rehgar to lunge toward the target, dealing 100% bonus damage
    • Casting Bloodlust no longer causes Rehgar to leave Ghost Wolf form
    • Feral Lunge (Talent) removed
    • Shadow Wolf (Talent) removed
    • Healing Surge (Talent) removed
    • New Talent (Level 1): Wolf Run
      • Increases Ghost Wolf Movement Speed bonus from 30% to 40%
    • New Talent (Level 7): Blood and Thunder
      • Basic Attacks while in Ghost Wolf form reduce Basic Ability cooldowns by 2 seconds
    • New Talent (Level 16): Hunger of the Wolf
      • Basic Attacks while in Ghost Wolf form also deal 5% of target's maximum Health as damage and heal Rehgar for 5% of his maximum Health
  • Chain Heal (Q)
    • Primary target Healing increased from 297 (+4% per level) to 372 (+4% per level) Health
    • Mana cost reduced from 70 to 65
    • Chain Reaction (Talent) removed
    • Spiritwalker's Grace (Talent) moved from Level 1 to Level 4
      • Mana cost reduction decreased from 25 to 20
    • Tidal Waves (Talent) redesigned and moved from Level 16 to Level 13
      • Now reduces Chain Heal’s cooldown by 1 second for every Hero hit
    • New Talent (Level 13): Earthliving Enchant
      • When Chain Heal heals an allied Hero that is below 50% Health, they are also healed for an additional 200 (+4% per level) Health over 5 seconds
  • Lightning Shield (W)
    • Damage increased from 31 (+4% per level) to 36 (+4% per level) per tick
    • Empowering Charge (Talent) removed
    • Reactive Spark (Talent) removed
    • Lightning Bond (Talent) moved from Level 16 to Level 1
      • The Lightning Shield automatically granted to Rehgar no longer benefits from Talents
    • Earth Shield (Talent) moved from Level 7 to Level 13
      • Target now gains a Shield equal to 15% of their maximum Health, instead of a flat value
    • New Talent (Level 1): Electric Charge
      • Increases Lightning Shield radius by 33%
    • New Talent (Level 16): Rising Storm
      • Lightning Shield's next damage effect is increased by 20% every time it damages an enemy Hero. Stacks up to 10 times
  • Earthbind Totem (E)
    • Area of effect radius increased by approximately 16%
    • Mana cost reduced from 60 to 50
    • Earth Shield (Talent) moved from Level 7 to Level 13
      • Now targets gain a Shield equal to 15% of their maximum Health, instead of a flat value
    • Earthgrasp Totem (Talent)
      • Increases the initial Slow duration from 1 to 1.5 seconds
    • New Talent (Level 7): Totemic Projection
      • Reactivate Earthbind Totem to relocate it. The totem maintains its current Health and duration
  • Ancestral Healing (R)
    • Cooldown increased from 70 to 80 seconds
  • Bloodlust (R)
    • Gladiator's War Shout (Talent) redesigned
      • Each ally affected by Bloodlust now heals for 30% of their Basic Attack damage dealt to their primary target

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Tyrande

  • Searing Arrows (Talent)
    • Will now dismount Tyrande on activation

     Return

 

Uther

  • Hammer of Justice (E)
    • Can no longer be cast on Structures

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Warrior

 

Cho

  • I AM Hurrying! (Talent) moved from Level 13 to Level 7
    • Duration of Gall’s Hurry Up, Oaf! (Z) increased from 1 to 1.5 seconds
  • Surging Fist (Q)
    • Frenzied Fists (Talent) moved from Level 7 to Level 16
      • Attack Speed bonus increased from 50% to 100%
      • Now lasts for 4 seconds instead of the next two Basic Attacks
    • Surge of Stamina (Talent) redesigned and moved from Level 16 to Level 13
      • Surging Fist now grants 50% Relentless for 5 seconds
  • Consuming Blaze (W)
    • Seared Flesh (Talent) redesigned and no longer tied to Consuming Blaze
      • Every third consecutive Basic Attack against the same target deals 75% bonus damage

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Sonya

  • Seismic Slam (W)
    • Primary target damage reduced from 192 (+4% per level) to 176 (+4% per level)
    • Splash damage decreased from 48 (+4% per level) to 44 (+4% per level)

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Bug Fixes

General

  • Resolved an issue that could cause players using Windows 10 machines to experience high CPU and disk usage when launching the Heroes client.
  • AI-piloted Dragon Knights and Garden Terrors can now properly follow the player when pinged.
  • Sounds will no longer continue to play on Mac machines while the Heroes client is in the background if the Play in Background setting is disabled.
  • Mouse clicks should now more accurately reflect the target model’s shape on Low graphic settings.
  • Corrected several typos and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game. 

Art

  • The sand-themed visual effects for Bikini Stitches’s Devour are no longer being used by other Stitches skin variations.
  • The tree ornament visual effects for Greatfather Winter Stitches’ Putrid Bile are no longer being used by other Stitches skin variations. 

Battlegrounds

  • Missiles will now travel at one consistent speed on Towers of Doom.
  • AI players on Towers of Doom will no longer path through the opposing team’s invulnerable defenses when traveling from the enemy’s side of the Battleground to an active Altar.
  • Diagonally placed shrubs will now properly hide Heroes within them.
  • Pinging the Tunnel Entrance on Towers of Doom in a French game client will now display the proper message in French.  
  • Players punted out of an enemy Hall of Storms will no longer be persistently stunned if an enemy unit blocked the path of the punt.
  • The Toggle Cooldowns button in Try Mode will now properly reset the cooldowns for Azmodan’s Sin’s Grasp and Uther’s Benediction Talents. 

Heroes and Talents

  • Abathur players will no longer become stuck in Symbiote mode if the Symbiote target is displaced by a respawning Bell Tower on Towers of Doom.
  • Silences will no longer prevent Heroes from entering a Dragon Knight or Garden Terror.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented Chen from traveling through the intended target using Flying Kick.
  • Chen’s Abilities will no longer grant him 3 extra Brew when using an Ability while channeling Fortifying Brew.
  • Fixed a bug that could prevent Gall from receiving the Will of Gall activated Talent if Cho selected the Talent while channeling to enter Lt. Morales’ Medivac.
  • The activation timer for Gall’s Runic Blast now increases appropriately after taking the Bomb’s Away Talent.
  • Jaina’s Ring of Frost now properly affects enemies that overlap the inner-edge of the Ability’s targeting ring.
  • Muradin’s Dwarf Toss will no longer cause him to become stuck inside of Gates.
  • Murky’s Pufferfish should now be easier to click when attempting to destroy it with Basic Attacks
  • Murky’s Egg will no longer briefly display on the minimap if he is killed by Nova’s Pinning Shot.
  • Nova’s Crippling Shot Talent will no longer allow Holo Decoys’ Pinning Shots to make the target Vulnerable without the Lethal Decoy Talent.
  • Malfurion’s Innervate can no longer be cast on Misha.
  • Fixed an issue that could allow additional Mishas to spawn if Rexxar was killed by immolation damage.
  • Sgt. Hammer’s Siege Mode will no longer visually persist if she is interrupted while casting Siege Mode.
  • Players can no longer accidentally queue Abilities or Activated Talents while Gorged by Stitches.
  • Lethal damage will no longer improperly trigger the cooldown for Tassadar’s Prescience Talent.
  • Tychus can now properly use a Healing Fountain while in Odin form.
  • Fixed an issue that caused Tyrande’s Sentinel to deal reduced damage against targets at close range after learning the Ranger Talent.
  • Tooltips for Zagara’s Hunter Killer now list the proper cooldown duration.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause floating combat text numbers to display if a timed-life unit’s duration expired.
  • The tooltip for Zeratul’s Permanent Cloak Trait now properly indicates that using Abilities will reveal him. 

Sound

  • The Spider Queen’s voiceover will now play appropriately when triggering objectives on Tomb of the Spider Queen. 

User Interface

  • Fixed an issue that could allow the Team League portrait border and ranking to be displayed during Hero League loading screens, and vice versa.
  • The Friend Bonus icon will no longer appear inactive after adding a new friend while both players were in a party.  
  • Skins and Skin Variations in the Most Played this Season section of the Player Profile will no longer disappear after mousing over them.
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