• Hey ghostdunk, thanks for the questions!

    The balance and design of the game has definitely changed since we first created it. Honestly, even before Heroes was officially released there were multiple, dramatically different versions of the game. I think the game is coalescing into a more defined form, but we definitely still have a lot to learn and improve on.

    In regards to the volatility of our changes down the road, this is a really hard question to answer. One of our core values is that we don't want our design to ever be restricted to the point that we don't take risks that could potentially improve the game. Because of this, it's hard to say that we will ever be at a spot where we wash our hands and say "yep, game looks good now!"

    I think we want to be in a place where we aren't making as many huge, sweeping changes as we are now, but if we really think something will be best for the health of the game I don't see a time where we wouldn't make that change in the name of keeping the game the same.

    Are there any plans to rework / replace Garden Of Terror? What are the current thoughts on the map?

    Our current focus is on Haunted Mines, but Garden is next on our list to hit when we have time for another rework. We haven't determined yet if we would handle it in the same manner as Haunted Mines (taking it offline to work on).

    Do you think Murky is in a good place right now?

    He's pretty close ya. Some of his talent pick rates need a bit of work, specifically Octo-grab, which we're looking to add more enemy counterplay to.

    Have you ever considered adding attribute points to the game, where at each talent tier the player would choose to allocate these points to health/AA/mana etc.. ?

    We don't have any current intentions to add this. We think it is more important to add gameplay mechanic choices instead of stat based choices. In a time long ago I think a version of our game at BlizzCon that had Tomes that you would select on level up that would give hit points, ability power, attack damage, etc, but we've since moved away from that system (that was before we had the talent system, which we much prefer).

    Howdy HotSBalance team!
    Big fan of the game and I've been playing for a while,

    1. What types of professional work do you recommend for getting the type of experience you view is valuable to join the dev team? Are other types of non-moba design transferable in your opinions?

    2. When you design a talent or gameplay element really well, it highlights a key choice the player needs to make (Survivability or wave clear, burst or poke, global presence or heals, etc). Most of the time, base abilities feel 'underwhelming by design' which gives them good room to grow with talents. For example - Tassadar's shift feels really underwhelming most of the time, but it feels meaningful with talents. Sometimes, that healthy design is good enough to be added to the base ability. We've seen you add range to Kerrigan's E, give Kael's Living Bomb baseline spreading, Nazeebo's Level 1 Ritual (a discussed future candidate), Tassadar's Khala's Embrace (a requested candidate) etc. How do you pick the right moments to add talent to baseline abilities?

    3. Is there a shared sentiment of an easy way to make characters good is to improve their wave clear? The tank meta of Joh/Leoric was driven by tanks with waveclear (Diablo, Anub and Chen start filling this role nowadays). Kael, Kerrigan, Greymane and several other characters have a lot of strength in their wave clear. Is that something you actively design around - "We can't give Chromie/Medivh too much wave clear"-type statements? 

    3b. Do you think it would be possible to make a character that can't deal damage to minions at all or is it too unhealthy from a design perspective?

    4. Is there a chance that Lili, the 'simple support' could get some Piano Uther-esq talents to raise her skill ceiling in addition to the low skill floor - Example: 'Extend the range of healing Brew by 30% and allow it to be targeted manually'.

    5. How do you feel about the 'X attacks or X sources of damage' mechanics scattered across the game (Block, Murky's puffer, Blackheart's chest VS Rehgar's Totem, Zagara's Creep, Chromie's Traps)? Do you feel that characters like Tychus, TLV, Vikings can invalidate this. Is there a reason why Blackheart's chest doesn't get a scaling health value to reward more burst oriented characters who are giving up far more to break the chest than TLV/Rehgar/Nazeebo/Tracer?

    6. How do you feel about the state of mages - they have strong 1v1 potential most of the time (Kael's stun, Li-Ming's resets), poke, zoning and wave clear. How do you feel they trade off for those myriad of abilities? Survivability? Burst? Longer cooldowns?

    7. Do you feel that benefit on takedowns make the game more individual skill focused and degrade the team oriented nature of the game (Dehaka's Passive, Li-Ming, Greymane's Go for the Throat and others)?

    8. Not a question - Thank you for quests. I adore the mechanics of them. I always feel the best gameplay exists when players must choose between short term benefits and long term benefits while considering risks. Quests perfectly bring this to center stage in player logic. I'd love to see a Quest-centric hero who's kit is heavily based around quest talents (Hero name: Questing Adventurer, representing a WoW player leveling up, skin variations would feature gear, cute idea imo)

    9 Do you feel balance wise it's possible to make and balance Core Replacement Heroes like C'Thun, Yogg'Saron, Kil'Jaedan, Overmind or the other suggested ideas. A character who doesn't have a killable presence in the main field? Do you feel characters like Abathur, TLV (on certain maps), Cho'Gall and others can have too much of a defining impact on matches they're in? (Example: Matches with Malfurion or Lili aren't nearly as defined by them as Stealthies or TLV shape games)

    10. Favorite design of any single talent in the game. Why? Is there anywhere else in the game you'd wish to expand that design.

    11. As a support main - thank you for Kharazim, Uther and other Support balancing. They're really coming together more than 'Top Tier uther/rehgar/tyrande autopick vs everything'

    Thank you very much for answering my questions if you get to them

    Hey Vantharion! There are a ton of really great questions here, I'll try to get to them all.

    1. There are a lot of things that can help getting a job on a dev team: Working in the computer/console industry (even non-dev jobs). Making creative stuff on your own, like mobile or board games. Becoming involved in the gaming scene, either competitively (eSports/casting/websites/streaming) or providing support (tool creators, web site developers, written content creators. Any work experience that involves collaborating with lots of people, making deadlines, and being organized.

    2. We ask ourselves when the right time to add Talents to a baseline Ability is all the time. Typically, we only do it when we view it as absolutely necessary to balance out pick and win rates on a Talent tier. Our Hero Designers create base kits a certain way on purpose, and continuing to introduce more and more mechanics can start to overly complicate what the core design of an Ability is. We usually ask ourselves: Does this Talent now define the Hero? Is it why they brought to a team? Is it healthy for the game? Can we create viable alternatives at the same tier that are just as compelling, without trying to do the same thing 4 different ways or offering a giant range of tools that the Hero shouldn't have in the large scheme of things? Is cutting the Talent a viable option? Every situation is different, but I'll just reiterate for u/Centaurik's sake that we don't do it lightly!

    3. Yes, we absolutely consider wave clear when both designing and making tuning changes to a Hero. We didn't want Heroes like Medivh and Chromie to have lots of wave clear, so when we buffed them we made sure that they didn't gain any. It would be an easy way to make a lot of Heroes more viable, but after a while every Hero in the game would have tons of wave clear. Which would mean that any Hero that didn't (either live or future) would be non-viable. We also think that any Hero with wave clear should feel special, and to do that we can't give it to everyone. I think that our Hero designers could answer the question of a Hero that doesn't do any damage to Minions better than I could, but I think it could be done! You'd just have to compensate them in other ways, and be sure that they have active things to do.

    4. I don't know that adding "piano Li Li" options really fits what we want from that Hero. We're okay with 1 or 2 options so that someone who loves Li Li and has played a ton of games on her has the ability to begin to opt-in to more complexity, but we view her as one of the easier Heroes to play that doesn't need to have the same skill-cap as others.

    5. We like to use the "X attacks" mechanics occasionally, because it puts some Heroes that have similar attack speed but very different damage amounts on the same footing. For instance, now Brightwing and Raynor can kill a chest in about the same time. We're okay with things like Treasure Chests dying more quickly to people like Tychus, as long as it doesn't break the game (and killing a Treasure Chest a few seconds faster than other Heroes doesn't break the game).

    6. Every mage in our game should have downsides, especially when compared to our Basic Attackers. We think we have room to improve here, both in terms of improving Basic Attackers and providing more obvious weaknesses to our mages. We've also noted that the game has more Basic Attack counters than Ability Damage counters, and this is making things worse.

    7. We think the occasional takedown mechanic is okay for the health of the game. We like it when the players that really want to chase individual skill have a few Heroes that they can gravitate towards.

    8. Thanks, we like them too!

    9. Maybe we could make Core replacment Heroes? They sound cool don't they? And we've balanced crazier things in the game, like Cho'gall or Abathur. There are definitely a ton of challenges there, but I'd there's potential there.

    10. Some of the 20s are really fun, but those break the rules :) I've always really enjoy Chromie's Past and Future Me talent, but I'm not sure that you can really expand that onto a lot of other Heroes.

    11. Glad you're enjoying it! The whole team loves those Heroes too, and we hope that we can continue to provide a wide range of choices in terms of top tier Supports!

    Thanks! I tried my best to answer it all, but there was a lot here!

    Question from Tdlkjas, Koreacow KR: Greymane got buffed with the latest patch, but it seems The Butcher is not getting much love these days; do you have any plans on buffing The Butcher? I’d like to see some changes that can help mitigating The Butcher’s reliance on Meat stacks, such as making Butcher’s Brand to also affect enemies nearby the target, giving a bonus attack speed for The Butcher when attacking an enemy affected by Butcher’s Brand, or increasing the base length of Hamstring equal to Hamstring with Flail Axe Talent.

    We are looking at improvements to Butcher and giving him a more unique role. I think Greymane was overbuffed a bit so we're looking if we need to scale back those changes a bit.

    Do you have any plans to work Dehaka on larger scale?

    First, Drag has too short than Stitch's Hook. And It is so hard to use for blocking. Second, The Damage to minions/structures of Dark Swarm is so weak. For this reason, Though he has Brushstalker global teleport skill, This alternative isn't effective as much as The Mounts. Above all things, Both his ult are seriously vague! Especially, Adaptation is excellent ult when it's ONLY IN THEORY. Finally, His Talents is completely inflexible unlike your intends.

    Natually, My Opinion could be wrong, but his condition is bad beyond your imagination.

    We feel like Dehaka is in a good spot right now. In the future we may look to making changes that allow him to solo tank better.

    How hard is it to hold back if you see the community bitching about something you know will be changed soon™ but you are not yet allowed to talk about the change inbound?
    Have you ever read read a post on a forum that you found so incredibly stupid that you had to show it all around the office?
    Which balance change and/or idea for a mechanic did you blatantly steal from reddit?

    Hi Don_Elmo,

    • It used to be hard but after a couple years you get used to it. For what it is worth, if you see a lot of posts about something on the forums, chances are very high that we are heavily evaluating the feedback.

    • Nope. For every bad idea that we read, we have pitched a worse one internally. Design is all about trial and error; the hardest part is not being afraid to take chances.

    • Stitches: Helping Hand baseline. There is no way I can take credit for that one :)