Heroes of the Storm had a big update to the PTR today. While the new Warchrome Waste skins (as seen above) are rightfully grabbing the spotlight, huge changes to the games ranked mode will also begin testing on the PTR.
For one, a third ban was introduced to all draft modes of the game. This extra ban is part of the initial ban phase with teams alternating until each side has two banned heroes. This change has been requested and talked about for years among the most competitive players and is more justifiable than ever now that the game has 80 playable heroes.
Rank Point Decay.
In addition to a third ban, Diamond, Master and Grand Master Hero league players will receive a "small amount" of rank and MMR decay each day until they complete a Hero League match. This penalty only applies after 20, 15, and 10 days of not playing for Diamond, Master, and Grand Master players respectively
Stricter Match Making
Master and Grand Master players will now always be matched with players who are within 1 division of their own ranks. Per the official description on the Patch Notes page, these changes mean the following:
- Master players can be matched with players who are either ranked Diamond 1 or Grand Master, but never both.
- Grand Master players will not be matched with players below Masters.
- This restriction will not loosen for players in Europe and North America. However, it can loosen for players in other regions after they have waited in queue for 1 hour.
One hour queue? Hopefully, it should never get that bad when trying to find an even match at the higher MMR brackets. That being said, these changes seem to be a response to the growing sentiment that players would rather wait longer for quality matches then wait less time for imbalanced pairings of skill and experience.
The PTR is live now and will end on July 9th. This PTR patch also introduces the Raynor and Azmodan reworks that were covered extensively in our Interview with Lead Balance Designer Brett Crawford.
Related: McIntyre on the Azmodan rework
Related: POILK on the Raynor rework
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