Earlier this weekend, the Heroes of the Storm development team did a Reddit AMA to cover questions from the community ranging from inquiries about balance, design direction, and what it’s like to work on the team. The developers explained their thought processes, including their vision of “future-proofing” the game via armor changes and how they approach hero reworks.
The major topics that received the most attention were the new hero Probius, the interplay between armor, healing, and Cleanse, and how armor would affect drafting in the long run.
The hot-button subject of the AMA was definitely armor changes and their effect on drafting. In a recent podcast, DunkTrain gave his opinion on the implementation of armor and the dangers of polarizing the draft with hard counters, a view that many community members sympathized with during the AMA. The developers gave several detailed responses with the general consensus that armor was a way of encouraging diversity. This view was continually underscored by the idea that hard counters are not healthy for the game, and that drafting should never outright decide the winner of any game.
Cleanse has always been an issue for balance design as well. Often times, the lack of Cleanse on heroes like Auriel, Tyrande, and Tassadar has led to hard counters which outright win in draft. The developers stated that they didn’t want to make Cleanse mandatory for supports, but they’re looking into different ways to design around the ability, such as new talents like Kharazim’s Cleansing Dash or compensating heroes in other areas as they did with Lucio.
On the subject of Probius, the developers were clear that they were satisfied with their iteration of the Protoss probe but a bit underwhelmed by his win rate. They explained that the “builder” archetype is often messy and dangerous in a MOBA, especially in such an action-packed brawler like Heroes of the Storm.
The Blizz developers also gave a few blunt answers to common questions: Imposing Will on Tyrael was not a healthy ability, Rehgar is not getting self-cast Ancestral again, and healing will not be reduced with the implementation of armor.
Many heroes are on the docket for reworks or tweaks, but according to the devs, the most imminent changes will be coming to Uther, Alarak, Tyrande, and Morales in an upcoming patch.
You can read the full Reddit thread here.