As far as balancing goes, I consider Heroes of the Storm to be one of the best examples of how to get things just right. Very seldom do I blame a lost team fight on an opposing hero being too strong, or my hero being too weak. No, Blizzard know a thing or two about making things fair for everybody, and they’ve done a pretty damn good job with their MOBA. Still, as is the case with the genre, there’s always room for some kind of tuning and improvement.
Blizzard are looking to tweak things even further. They’re focusing on ‘Death Timers’ and ‘Snowball Prevention’ in particular.
We’ve identified that there may be a difficulty in achieving objectives in the early game due to our death timers and how quickly players can get back into a fight. To help setup teams and players to make important strides in the games, while also increasing the importance of not dying in the early game, we’ve adjusted death timers for the first 10 levels.
Though it’s a small change, I actually feel it will make a world of difference. Too often has it happened that my team destroys the opponent in the early stages of the game, yet before we know it, they’ve respawned and returned to have their vengeance. The numbers above feel much better overall.
When it comes to snowballing, I’ve always felt that Heroes of the Storm was the most balanced compared to other MOBAs on the market. Even in those landslide games, it’s almost always possible for a losing team to pull back some momentum and swing things around.
Blizzard however (as usual), want to tighten everything up even more.
We have seen, in many games, that an early level lead can create a snow-ball situation that could be difficult to comeback from. In the current version of Heroes, game levels 1-14 had a very large stat difference from one level to the next.
We identified later levels had less of a stat difference and power levels are more noticeable with talent picks instead of level gains. In an attempt to mirror the late game, we are flattening out the earlier levels to be more in line with how Heroes operates towards the late game. As an example, the difference between levels 17 and 19 is now very similar to the difference between level 7 and 9, when analyzing pure stats within the heroes themselves.
This change means that even if you have lost mercenaries, tributes or towns, you can still afford to try to team fight early in the game when you and your team find yourself behind. This does not, of course, change the danger of team fighting if you are behind by a talent level, which can be considered to still be very dangerous.
The above changes will be available in the PTR, and for a limited time in the main game client itself (only on October the 6th). Blizzard will decide whether the changes are worth keeping based on user feedback.
Personally, I think they should stay. I quite like the focus on balancing out the early game, even though as I’ve said, I feel Heroes is quite well balanced overall already. Who am I to say no to further fine tuning though?
Last Updated: October 2, 2015