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Developers comment on Heroes of the Storm Support nerfs

2018-01-19 05:21 provenance:未知 sentiment: comments(0

Your team will have slower lane rotations and less ability to quickly take jungle camps while efficiently soak lanes

Should we be buffing a group of characters that we already feel are pound-for-pound more powerful than other characters?

In general, it so wave clear on Supports is worse. This should be an understood handicap for running multiple healers.

The recent additions of Ana and Alexstrasza exacerbate the problem. Ana cannot currently heal herself outside of her long-cooldown grenade. She has limited escape options. Shes vulnerable to dive and can be easily chipped out of a fight. However, pair her with another support, and her support buddy can take care of that problem. Alexstrasza spends her own health to heal others, meaning she needs to carefully manage her health to keep her team in a fight. She, too, is deeply vulnerable to having her health chipped away. However, pair her with another support character, and suddenly her health is no longer a concern.

Before dual support became as prominent as it is now, it was still common to pair Tassadar with a sustain-style healer such as Brightwing. Brightwing puts out great healing numbers, but struggles against burst damage. Tassadars shields both mitigate burst damage and contribute extra healing through its lifesteal effect especially with a Greymane or a Valla as your hyper carry assassin. The two are a natural pair and while Brightwings global presence and waveclear are contributors, its more than that: If Brightwing is all you have, theres little she can do about burst damage. If Tassadar is all you have, your only source of healing is the lifesteal on his shields. When you put them together, those glaring weaknesses are eliminated. Simply by being there, Tassadar makes Brightwing better.

Over the last several months weve seen double Support team compositions become more and more prevalent in all levels of play, including esports. While we think this is an okay strategy to see some of the time, we are currently seeing too much of it and will be some tuning and design changes going forward to address its over-prevalence.

Its good the developers recognize the problem of Ana and Alexstrasza, but the issue extends to the entire support roster. Anyone who raided inWorld of Warcraftin its early years can attest to the ct that when healers are too niche, the playerbases general solution is to simply bring more healers. Back in the day, when almost all of a Druids healing throughput was in the form of heal-over-time effects, you really wanted someone like a Paladin along for the ride to drop big, direct heals. And when all you had was a Paladin, things got awfully dicey for your tank when there were no heal-over-time effects to smooth out that gap between the Paladins monster burst heals. If you brought both (and maybe even a Priest for mitigation shields!), you were sitting pretty.

Individually, each of these changes are small. However, we feel the sum of these changes could have a meaningful impact on the meta. Well be reading your feedback, playing, and looking to data to see the results of this. We may be more changes in the future if this doesnt do enough.

Tackling game balance for healers is always difficult and I dont envy theHeroes of the Stormdevelopment team, nor any other development team who tackles this particular problem.Overwatchhas struggled with Symmetra and Mercy in the past. Mercy in particular received a redesign thatwent through multiple iterations.World of Warcrafthas revisited healer dynamics time and time again since the games launch. On one hand, players can find it rather dull if being a healer or support character literally means not having the ability to do anything but heal. Being a healer feels more satisfying when, if you need to, you can exert some control over a situation, such as clearing a wave or taking a mercenary camp as Rehgar. On the other hand, if healers can do too much, you erode the niche of other characters.

A bruiser or second Warrior as a secondary front line

Glory of the Argus Raider available with this weeks Antorus release

This leaves 2 spots on a team, and with one of those commonly being occupied by another healer or Support, it means we only see one Assassin. This also forces Assassin picks to be into a smaller subset of hyper carries such as Valla or Greymane. While these characters are cool, we really want to create some space for Mages and other characters to shine as well.

About a year ago we introduced a new Armor system. This system ultimately made a lot of Warriors more efficient heal targets, and we mentioned that we planned to go through and remove some healing from Supports when we first implemented the system. This is a change we never ended up doing, so were looking at taking care of it now.

Here is a general list of changes were to Support Heroes:

We are mostly trying to move away from the double healer team compositions that we are seeing so commonly. Like everything, double healer is okay in moderation, we just dont want this to be a common strategy that doesnt care about map, enemy team composition, etc.

While were still actively debating the best solves, we wanted to take a crack at this, so we have a number of changes hitting the Nexus soon.

Cutting a handful of talents such as Lightning Bond on Rehgar

Before diving into the specific changes and reasoning, wed like to provide some context on double Support and our current stance:

Speaking of Ana, and more recently Alexstrasza, healers that have a hard time healing themselves push players into double Support strategies more often. Moving forward, this is also something well be looking at. For Ana specifically, were exploring adding a self-healing mechanic to her trait, Shrike. While these updates wont be a part of this initial release, it is something were working hard towards.

We know characters like Tassadar, Tyrande, and Medivh cannot be played as a solo Support. They need to be paired alongside a healer. This is totally fine! We are perfectly okay with these characters showing up in double Support comps (because otherwise they wouldnt have a team composition they fit in).

Along with the above, we wanted to touch on why we think were seeing double Support more now than in the past:

This will also help reduce wave clear slightly.

We feel that adding interesting mini-games for characters to play can create rewarding and challenging gameplay moments. If youve had a chance to play Ana, she can have very high highs, and very low lows. While were not going to suddenly make a bunch of our healers skillshot based, we have learned a lot from Ana and will be iterating on things moving forward.

Certain Supports are unusually tanky for being ranged backline characters. Also ctor in that they can heal themselves, and they end up being very difficult for the enemy teams to focus fire down.

If we buff healing numbers, can you make due with a single Support, and potentially see less double Support?

Bringing two healers will mean your team is giving up more damage, hence having less kill potential.

This will help address the addition of Armor and will simply pull a little bit of healing out of the game.

Weve also been going through all our characters and trying to focus them with specific strengths and weaknesses. While this goal is important to make sure that all characters feel and play in a unique way, its also likely made double Support more powerful. Uther, for example, has the weakness of being an inefficient long-term healer, but can prevent tons of burst and keep allies alive during critical moments. If you pair him with someone like Lcio or Auriel (healers with high efficiency) then you get the best of both worlds; you can prevent burst and out sustain the enemy team. Essentially these healers have more powerful strengths and complement each others weaknesses.

Most team compositions right now are setup as the following:

So, with all of that in mind, over the last several months the Live Design team has been debating how to address this:

If we nerf healing numbers, do we just see teams bringing two Supports more often to have enough healing?

Is each support character a jack-of-all-trades with no weaknesses the solution to the problem? Probably not, but easing off of each healers weaknesses (while not eliminating them outright) might be a start.

We will continue to do talent reworks and Hero updates to all characters, including Supports.

In a vacuum, our Supports are pound-for-pound more powerful than our other Heroes. They are designed to provide enough healing for a team of five, while still bringing things like wave clear, crowd control effects, or decent damage. Its possible that double Support has always been the best way to play, and the community has been trending in this direction for a while.

With slightly reduced health pools, we want to put some emphasis back on focusing these healers.

Originally Posted byBlizzard Entertainment(Official Post)

In this particular case, however, Im not sure the strength and versatility of support characters is necessarily causing the rise of double support camps. It very well could be a contributor, but it seems more likely theyre on the right track when discussing heroes like Ana and Alexstrasza. Most healers inHeroes of the Stormhave distinct strengths and weaknesses. Malfurion, for example, is an efficient sustain healer with strong utility, but is limited in his ability to deal with burst damage. Uthers direct heals can handle burst damage and apply damage mitigation, but his mana efficiency is dreadful. He has a hard time keeping up if his team is continuously being poked. Where Malfurion struggles, Uther excels, and vice versa.

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Thanks for taking the time to read this and hopefully this has provided some context for the massive number of tweaks we are . As always, we look forward to reading your discussions and seeing you all play with this in the live game.

Before closing, we wanted to take a few moments to provide some context around sure our Healers still feel awesome:

Yesterday,Heroes of the Stormblindsided most of its playerbase by announcing nerfs tonearly every support characterin the game. The only support hero to dodge the nerfbat was Li Li, who received buffs as a result of a lackluster rework last week. Hours after unveiling the patch notes, the developers sharedtheir reasoning behind the nerfs. In short, they want to move players away from double support team composition. For the long version, you can read their post below.

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