#229 - Into the Nexus: “AMA my champion!”
• Garrett • Kyle
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Intro: Welcome to Into the Nexus! The Heroes of the Storm podcast!
- Blizzard cannibalized its own audience abit this week with BFA lead up and Boomsday Project. Queues have been long!
- Fought against Method’s BadBenny, one of the top tanks and got completely destroyed.
Whitemane is out!
Quick Match : 54.2% (13% popularity)
Hero League : 51.1% (23.5% popularity)
Best on team fight objectives maps.
Struggles on split objectives like Dragon Shire and Braxis Holdout
- Clemency is most popular at 54% - 47% win rate
- Martyrdom at 24.7% popularity has a 61% win rate
- Heroics are dead even winrate, with Scarlet Aegis being more popular
Hero League : 32.7% (Down 14.4%)
Hero League : 46.1% (Down 1.7%)
August 7th Balance Patch
Summon Water Elemental (R)
- Damage reduced from 78 to 62
- Damage now benefits from Frostbite
- Damage now counts towards Frostbite’s quest
When are we getting an Elsa Jaina skin? AKA: BFA Jaina
While we’re on the subject Jaina is the topic of today’s Hero Discussion on the Heroes subreddit and folks are really stoked on her. Top comment refers to her as “ the gold standard of hots mages”. I think they’re right. She’s so damn solid and a great poster child for talent design.
1 pm Eastern / 10 am Pacific on the Heroes subreddit
- /u/BlizzCooper – Matt Cooper (Lead Content Designer)
- /u/Blizz_Stas – Stas Spivakov (Technical Director)
- /u/Blizz_Zues – Zues Rawji (Lead Software Engineer)
- /u/Blizz_Joe – Joe Piepiora (Lead Systems Designer)
- /u/KaeoMilker – Kaeo Milker (Production Director)
- /u/Blizz_JunoK – Juno Kwak (Lead Software Engineer)
- /u/Blizz_DGower– David Gower (Senior Software Engineer)
Do you have any ideas in mind to make Team League a more attractive mode?
- TL could become a mode that is only available during specific windows of time.
- TL wouldn’t always be available
- They would be creating a moment and celebrating the mode during these windows, encouraging players to play in it.
- This could mean the mode is only available on weekends, or something rarer like specific weeks out of a month block, or a handful of times throughout an entire ladder season.
- >>>Team League is updated to allow all group sizes, including solos and 4-player parties.
- Combine TL and HL into a single queue.
- But they want to make sure dedicated HL players still feel like they can have a ‘pure’ experience.
- Possibly multiple ladders based off your group size (specifically a solo queue ladder) would alleviate concerns here. At least then, solo queue players would be ranked only against other solo queue players.
- Turn TL into a more structured experience that embraced players forming permanent or semi-permanent teams.
- players would create a team name
- limited roster of players available
- potentially customize something visual to represent their team, etc.
- In this version, teams would likely last an entire season, or this could be combined with something like the first option where this is your team for a limited window of time.
What they DON’T want to do
- They don’t want to ‘force’ players into this competitive mode if they aren’t looking for a competitive experience.
- They want players to be happy engaging in whatever game mode(s) they enjoy
- Iincreasing the number of games to unlock TL rewards from 10->30, or adding more rewards is not something we’re excited about.
When do you plan to introduce hero swapping to ranked play, if at all?
Blizz_Joe: Hero swaps are one of the most commonly requested features from the Heroes community for ranked play. We discussed this in our April AMA...
- They’re still looking at the roadmap for ranked play.
- They do have plans to include hero swaps into draft phases for ranked play
- But no timeline
- When it is launched they’ll most likely introduce it into Unranked Draft first.
There are pros and cons with hero swaps, particularly for less experienced players that may be pressured to select heroes they are unfamiliar with for the promise of swapping later. When a player is only comfortable with a handful of heroes, it's difficult to want to hand control of your pick choice over to someone else. We've considered a few options:
- Adding Hero Swaps but disabling them below a certain league
- Allow players to lock-in their hero selection in the order they choose
Performance Based Matchmaking / Loss Forgiveness
- Joe: 2 biggest features on the horizon for HL are Loss Forgiveness and PBM
- Loss Forgiveness is first in line.
- PBM to follow shortly.
- No exact timeline. SoonTM
- “Disconnecting” in game yields (-200) points and ‘x’ games of quick match.
“Disconnecting”in draft yields (-600) points and same number of quick match games.
The new trend is to load into a game and “disconnect” to avoid the additional (-400) points.
Having an AI teammate is a significant disadvantage.
What (if any) plans can you share about loss forgiveness for those 4 people who stuck it out?”
- The leaver will be punished. The players that stay will not lose points.
- If the team with the leaver wins they WILL gain points.
Joe’s list of future changes:
- Preventing returning ranked players from placing higher than Diamond 3 each season-roll after placements.
- Reducing the number of placement games required for returning ranked players.
- Separating out the regional GM ladders to allow players to rank up within their local playerbase and matchmaking rulesets.
- Adding draft swaps for Hero League.
- Further extending the Rank Point Decay to affect additional leagues.
- Creating more incentive for Team League a topic that U/BlizzCooper is posting about separately in a moment.
- API is still a long way away. But they have spent time “defining” their API plans.
- Joe: We intend to remove promotion/demotion games between divisions in the future, keeping these higher-pressure matches limited to moving between leagues.
- Stas: We will only use another queue’s information to seed a player in new season if they have never played enough HL games in any of the previous seasons to place into a definitive rank
- if they did - we will ignore other queues for seeding purposes. In other words, the issue described in the post you have linked should be resolved.
I feel like it would be a lot easier and more straightforward to just have mmr show if you're master and have top 200 mmr's be the GMs. This would fix all of the silly personal rank and grindmaster stuff that's going on right now. I find it really silly that someone can be like GM #8, never ban over anyone ever, have a sub 50% winrate, but still be high points because they play an obscene amount of games
Blizz_DGower: Showing MMR for players over ranking is something we have talked about before. We are still working on steps to roll this out in a way that is as organic as possible. Rank and rating generally go hand in hand, but there are cases where they can diverge and the posts we sometimes see on here (and we do read them!) about playing games where high masters/GM players are playing with placement people that haven’t played for a while are usually symptomatic of this (as an aside, our MMR decay system should stop this happening in future, as these players will decay out of being eligible for those games). Having a matchmaker work solely on MMR is one approach we have considered for helping with the quality of the games our players are in so we can show exactly why our matchmaker gave the games that it did. As Rating is a measurement of player skill and Ranking places players in an order, we must be careful when switching from one to the other when it comes to broadcasting this information to players, but it is something we definitely want to do!
I feel like one of the issues in ranked play is that some players only play for the minimal amount for the seasonal rewards. What's your take on increasing the amount of games required for the rewards, making a tiered system or other incentives to encourage these people to play more?
BlizzJoe : We're actively considering adding a "Season Quest" that players need to complete in order to obtain their season reward. This may take the form of a tiered system, as you suggest, or it could be a flat and simple objective. In either case, we agree that there is an opportunity here.
Promo and Demotion Games
I kind of find promotion and demotion games in the same league annoying. Going from Plat 2 to Plat 1 and vice versa, they don't make much of a difference to me.
My question is, are you so far happy with this, or do you plan to change anything here? Like only making promo and demo games between leagues.
Blizzjoe: I tend to agree. I feel that moving between divisions shouldn't require this an additional layer of ladder anxiety. We intend to remove promotion/demotion games between divisions in the future, keeping these higher-pressure matches limited to moving between leagues. We don't have that on the schedule at the moment so I don't want to promise a timeline for delivery.
- Focus was on other things this year
- The tighter you want match making, the more queue times will go up.
- Quick Match Comps (required Healer and Tank per team)
- Rejoin feature improvements?
- That was part of this last patch yo!
More BlizzCon Tickets
New wing done in Anaheim? It’s coming up fast. Any speculation? Diablo announced announcements yesterday.
League Pro Wunder Interview
An interview with League of Legends Pro Martin ‘Wunder’ Hansen points out some the areas in which Heroes succeeds and where it’s lacking.
- Recoverable bad early games
- Objectives that finish games
- Balance and fewer “troll picks”
- Better games when playing with similar skilled players
- Less toxicity
- More depth
- Too many maps for pro investments
- Blizzard is known to caters to casuals
- No last hitting (League players assume you can't carry without it)
- Harder to carry 1v9 if your in the wrong league
- No role select or swapping
- Low skill cap
Patreon Mention: Patreon.com/ITN
Thanks to our Patreon producers Declan H, CheezyBob, and Pythagos.
Patron Thanks Doc for keeping track
- Yury Shikunov
- Conrad L
- Marc Levy
Master the Basics
Blizzard put a cap on their recent Midgame Moves articles, wrapping up the series. According to the pros, these are your Need to Knows.
Camp Timings and Map Pressure
- Learn the importance of map pressure and how a properly-timed Mercenary Camp can help you create a lead.
What You Should Know About the “Throw Pit”
- Understand the situations in which you should and should not be attempting to take the Boss.
How to Recover from a Lost Team Fight
- Return to even footing by making safe rotations and trade pushing when you can.
How to Push Your Advantage to the Max
- How taking everything in immediate proximity and pushing structures can set you up for success after winning a fight.
No Worries, We’re Scaling
- Game sense and staying informed throughout a game can help you navigate your way to victory.
I’ve grinded up hero league from Silver 5 to Plat 4 and seem to have the most success with the playmakers. I play a lot of ETC, Anub’arak, GM, and Varian.
I see a lot of games decided by that perfectly landed Mosh Pit or Cocoon / Burrow, a pro Alarak combo, a ring of frost, etc.
What are some plays we can practice in solo que that have that one-shot game-winning effect?
- These are hard to come up with. I guess thats what makes Heroes a team game.
- Nazeebo - Place a zombie wall over the gate the enemy is trying to escape through
- Jaina - Ice Block chills on breaking. Use it early to dodge opening spells, then Cone of Cold right as you get out. Blizzard on the slowed targets.
- Kerrigan - Her entire existence is a combo.
- Sonya - Landing Spear into anything else.
My question is about drafting. I play mostly Unranked to be able to get better team comps and I find myself overwhelmed with trying to think about everything when drafting. How do you keep it all straight or prioritize different things?
- Do we have enough waveclear?
- Are we an early or late game team?
- Who's in which lane?
- Do we have a good person/people to take mercs?
- What map are we on/how does our team work with that objective?
- Who counters their team and who on their team counters us?
There're a lot of questions to answer that changes throughout the draft as more picks come in. What's the best way to make a good team comp without leaving big holes? Thanks again for doing the show!
I’d like to mention HotSdraft again because it has really helped me think about the draft differently. It tends to put a pretty heavy emphasis on synergizing with your own tank(s) and countering enemy picks. The only thing I think it really needs is a mid-ban suggestion.
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