Heroes of the Storm

Discussion about why the current balance ethos is what it is.

HeroesoftheStorm 2 - Discussion about why the current balance ethos is what it is.

Let me preface this by stating that yes, balancing a game is not an easy task where you know exactly what the outcome for any change will be. I'm not claiming to know the answers or what is best, but simply asking for insight on why this is the new hots balancing ethos. I'm asking for more insight into the topic instead of just, "please nerf/buff X," or. "The game could be so much better if it was balanced in Y way."

While I couldn't say exactly when this sort of balancing started, it came around the time we started getting a lot of hero reworks. While retooling a whole hero's kit and expecting them to be balanced is unreasonable, it seems that every reworked hero is either quite powerful on launch, or buffed shortly after to be quite powerful, and then very slowly brought down into a more reasonable power level over the next few months. While this system has its own pros and cons, it makes me wonder why this is the balance approach being taken, as it's clearly an intentional approach given this is true for I believe every hero rework (not counting talent reworks like MalGanis, RIP).

While I do enjoy playing heroes that feel fresh in an otherwise stagnant hero pool (that's not an insult, simply we don't get a lot of new heroes), I feel like the power-levels these heroes sit at lasts for much longer than it really should. Gazlower is the current hero filling this slot. Reworked on Sept 8th, he was underperforming to a degree with around a 48% win rate after a month. On Oct 7th, he was given a lot of buffs shooting him up to around a 60% win rate. After a month of sitting consistently at 60%, he was given the stat nerf of 2 damage on his Q and 4 damage on his W, and slightly nerfing only 4 talents. As it stands Gazlowe is sitting at 58% and likely will for the next 3-4 weeks.


While looking solely at winrate isn't how a game is balanced, I don't think it's controversial to call Gazlowe overturned at the moment. While I certainly get that the dev team doesn't want to just roll back buffs or nerf too heavily to undo any of the work they've done, why are nerfs so conservatively? Certainly they can't expect 6 less damage and nerfing only a few talents to reduce him by very much at all, especially went the talents nerfed is more than offset but all the buffs given to other talents.

While I can't say what is or isn't a "good" balance philosophy, is a hero at 60% win rate for months on end something that with more pros than cons? Do other people actually enjoy this sort of design philosophy over others? I do like HotS regardless of this fact and while personally not my taste, I do wonder why it is done this way over possibly others. Sure nerfing isn't fun and the team can't exactly get patches out every week, but how does this factor into the balance patches? I hope someone from Blizz could maybe get back but I would like to hear what others think of this regardless. No matter how it is balanced, HotS is a game I love to play and it's always great to have new content of any form.

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