TRACER! And interesting matchmaking changes - ramification to solo Valla players Spoiler: Patch Notes Quote from Blizzard We just released a new patch for Heroes of the Storm, which marks Tracer’s pre-release, and brings a number of balance changes, UI improvements, and bug fixes to the game. Check out the patch notes below. TRACER PRE-RELEASE Tracer, Agent of Overwatch, is now available to players who pre-purchased a digital copy of Overwatch: Origins Edition via Battle.net! Read below for a brief overview of her Abilities. Tracer will become available for purchase from the in-game Shop for all players starting Tuesday, April 26. Trait Reload (D) Your Basic Attacks can be fired while moving, and each shot costs ammo. After attacking 10 times, you will automatically Reload your ammo over 0.75 seconds. You can activate Reload to manually replenish your ammo at any time. Basic Abilities Blink (Q) Dash a short distance. Stores up to 3 charges. 6 second charge cooldown. Melee (W) Deal damage to an enemy at close range, prioritizing Heroes. Generates 5% of your Pulse Bomb charge when striking an enemy, and 10% when striking an enemy Hero. Recall (E) Bound backward in time, returning to the position you were in 3 seconds ago, instantly reloading your ammo, and removing all negative status effects. Heroic Abilities Pulse Bomb (R) Lob a short-range bomb that will adhere to the terrain or the first enemy it hits. The bomb explodes after 1.5 seconds, damaging heavy damage to an enemy caught at the center of the blast, and half-damage to enemies nearby. SYSTEM CHANGES Matchmaking Quick Match The matchmaking system will now account for each player’s Hero level in order to better define match quality and calculate win probabilities more accurately when attempting to create Quick Match games. As a result, players should now be matched with and against players of slightly lower skill when playing a Hero for the first time, and slightly higher skill when playing Heroes with which they have extensive experience. This will result in a higher percentage of evenly-matched games, in which each team has a 45% - 55% probability of victory, and should encourage more players to try out a greater variety of Heroes in Quick Match games. Additionally, this change will have minimal impact on Quick Match queue times, except for those at the extreme ends of the MMR spectrum. USER INTERFACE Draft Lobby Hovering the cursor over another player’s portrait after they have picked a Hero in the draft lobby will now display a tooltip that lists the name of the selected Hero Skin. The tooltip will also indicate the Hero’s role, and whether they use ranged or melee Basic Attacks. A warning icon will now appear on players’ Hero portraits in the draft lobby when pre-selecting a Hero that they are unable to lock-in. This icon will also be visible to all teammates in order to better indicate when a player is unable to lock-in the Hero they’ve pre-selected. Heroes that have already been picked or banned, do not meet Ranked Play’s level 5 requirement, or are otherwise ineligible for selection by that player will cause this icon to appear. In-Game UI Score Screen A “Mute Player Pings” button has been added to the in-game Score Screen (TAB) to the left of the “Mute Player Chat" button. Additionally, “Mute Pings” and “Mute All” options have been added to the player context menu, accessed by clicking the Cog button to the right of the “Mute Player Chat” button. Blocking a player will now automatically mute that player’s in-game pings so long as they remain on the Blocked Communication list. Hotkeys Hotkey settings have been added for the “/Taunt” and “/Dance” chat commands, which can now be used to issue these emotes at the press of a single button. The “/Taunt” and “/Dance” hotkey settings default to Numpad 1 and 2, respectively, and can be found under the Hero Management header on the Advanced Hotkeys settings pane. The Hold Position Hotkey (Default: H) now also functions as a Hold Fire command. Issuing a Hold Fire command (H) will now immediately stop the Hero from using Basic Attacks, cancel the current movement command, and prevent the Hero from acquiring a new target until another order is issued. SHOP Bundles New Bundles have been added, and will remain available for purchase until Tuesday, May 10! Elven Fates Bundle Ultimate Elven Fates Bundle Price Reductions The Butcher’s prices have been reduced to $8.49 USD and 7,000 Gold. Mounts The 2016 Spring Champion’s Mount has been added in honor of MVP Black, the 2016 Spring Global Champions. The Championship Banner’s third Mount Variation has been decorated with maroon and gold in honor of Real Dream Team’s Heroes of the Dorm 2016 victory. Skins Master Tracer Impressed by Real Dream Team’s Heroes of the Dorm 2016 victory, Azmodunk has donned a maroon and gold uniform as his third Skin Variation. BATTLEGROUNDS Infernal Shrines Punisher Punisher starting Health has been increased, and scaling Health has been reduced to compensate. Frozen Punisher Delay between ice trap spawn and detonation decreased from 2.5 to 2 seconds. Root duration while frozen decreased from 2 to 1.5 seconds. Developer Comments: Although we are very happy with the current tuning of Infernal Shrines, we have been noticing a tendency to under-value the first couple of Punishers. In order to help incentivize players into valuing them, we have boosted their starting Health and decreased their early scaling values to compensate. While early event Punishers should be a bit stronger, any event past the 15-minute mark should be identical to those from the previous patch. Frozen Punishers are great at zoning enemy teams but we felt they were a bit too easy to avoid without preliminary team initiation. These changes should increase the frequency in which players get rooted, while feeling a little less punishing when this occurs. Towers of Doom Events in which three Altars spawn at once will now only occur twice per game, during the first and fifth Altar events. Developer Comments: We wanted to remove the triple Altar spawns when they are more likely to be game ending events. We still feel that triple Altar events offer interesting gameplay moments that ask teams to fight over 3 locations at the same time, but we don’t feel it’s a good experience when a team's Core Health is low and they don’t think they can contest the Altars to prevent a loss. ASSASSIN GREYMANE Gilnean Cocktail(Q) (D) Incendiary Elixir (Talent) has been redesigned as a Quest Talent that reads as follows: Every time you damage an enemy Hero with the splash damage from Gilnean Cocktail, increase the impact damage by 2 and the splash damage by 6 (stacks up to 20 times). Once you’ve hit 20 Heroes, also reduce Gilnean Cocktail’s cooldown by 2 seconds. Developer Comments: The idea behind Gilnean Cocktail is that it can do a lot of damage, but the downside is that the primary target takes a lot less. It’s designed to be a poking tool to kill the backline. The old version of Incendiary Elixir completely blew out that concept, and instead made the ability a simple area of effect nuke that wasn’t special anymore. We’ve replaced it with this new Incendiary Elixir that rewards players who can show mastery of this skill shot’s unique aspects, while preserving the skill cap of the ability. WARRIOR ARTANIS Health reduced from 2335 (+4% per level) to 2245 (+4% per level). Health Regeneration reduced from approximately 4.86 (+4% per level) to 4.67 (+4% per level). Twin Blades (W) Artanis’ next Basic Attack now also causes him to charge forward a short distance, equal to approximately half the distance provided by the previous iteration of the Zealot Charge Talent. Zealot Charge (Talent) Now increases charge distance by 100%. Developer Comments: Artanis’ survivability directly scales with how much uptime he has, which made a Talent like Zealot Charge incredibly powerful. The effect brought his entire kit together so well, that we’ve decided to provide part of its former benefit into baseline Twin Blades. Whereas sometimes we feel the need to cut Talents to fill a hole in a Hero’s kit, in this case we think that this is a hole that Artanis’ should be able to partially circumvent from the start. Since this is a substantial increase in his power at the start of the game, we’ve decided to revert the Health increase that Artanis received recently. BUG FIXES General Corrected several typos and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game. Issuing a “/dance” chat command while a Hero is moving will now properly pause the Hero’s movement, play the dance animation, and then resume the movement command. Art Crimson Count Arthas’ Health bar will now appear much closer to his Hero model while in bat form. Battlegrounds Side Gate Health is now consistent across Tomb of the Spider Queen. Fixed an issue in which a Punisher that leaps to a Hero as that Hero activates Hearthstone could cause it to leap to the opposing Hall of Storms. Fixed an issue in which the Reset Talents button in Try Mode would not remove existing stacks of Dehaka’s Essence or Nova’s Snipe Master. Re-issuing an attack order on a Structure in the Fog of War will no longer cause Basic Attack animations to repeat without applying damage. Heroes and Talents Stacks of Block granted by Artanis’ Reactive Parry and Cho’s Blazing Bulwark Talents now properly reduce incoming damage from enemy Basic Attacks by 50%. Dehaka’s Brushstalker will no longer be placed on cooldown if the target location is blocked by other units. The graphic effects for Dehaka’s Isolation will no longer visually persist on the Battleground if it deals the killing blow to one of Nova’s Holo Decoys. Gall can now properly cast Runic Blast while channeling Shadow Bolt Volley. Illidan’s Betrayer’s Thirst Trait will no longer provide cooldown reduction for Basic Attacks that miss due to Blind or Evasion effects. Sylvanas’ Mind Control will now properly cancel Abilities that are being channeled by the target, such as E.T.C.’s Mosh Pit and Li Li’s Jug of 1,000 Cups. Fixed an issue that could cause Mind Contol’s graphic effects to persist until death when two Sylvanas players simultaneously cast Mind Control on one another. Fixed an issue that could remove Mind Control’s graphic effects when cast on another Sylvanas that was already using Mind Control on an enemy Hero. Fixed a rare issue that could permanently prevent the player from issuing further commands to Lt. Morales if she was killed after casting Medivac Dropship before loading into the Medivac. Players will no longer occasionally become locked out of issuing further commands to their Hero after being hit by Muradin’s Haymaker with the Grand Slam Talent. Tychus’ Overkill will now be properly interrupted upon activating Hearthstone. Sound Fixed an issue with sound channel limitation that was causing certain sounds not to play. Illidan’s voiceover for The Hunt is no longer audible for players who are not near the target. Hero voiceover that instructs others to visit a Healing Fountain will now play less frequently. User Interface The list of requirements on the Ranked Play screen now state that Cho’gall does not count toward the 14 Hero minimum. Fixed an issue that could cause players to unintentionally disconnect from draft lobbies under certain circumstances. Heroes that have not reached level 5 or higher will no longer appear available for selection during ranked drafts. Fixed an issue causing Hero portraits in Draft Lobbies to display the selected Hero’s default Skin, even if a non-default Skin had been selected for that Hero during a previous game. Fixed an issue that prevented Favorite Heroes from appearing properly during Quick Match Hero Selection and in draft lobbies. Rapidly switching among Skins after selecting a Hero in a draft lobby will no longer cause that Hero’s voiceover to play excessively. Fixed an issue that could cause Death Recaps to visually persist on-screen for Observers.