It was just an idea…
Joke aside, games need regular updates. Bigger ones for new content and smaller ones to freshen things up. The yearly gameplay changes (and in-betweens, like smaller hitboxes) were happening consistently even though "no one asked for them": ammo changes, stealth rework, different scaling etc. No one asked for talents or healing wells in Dota and yet… I still remember how people complained about slower mounts and how it would break the game. And it sort of did for a while, when globals became meta in HGC but things settled down later. I bet if Blizzard instead reverted that mount change today, now others would complain – you can't please everyone after all.
To put it another way – what if the game speed was decreased by 10%? Now another group of people would complain. "So let's just keep it as it is!" The reason the current speed is "normal" is not because it's some golden constant, it's because it simply was like that for a long time. Probably after you get used to it, going back to old speed will seem too slow – just like the old camera seems way too low. I'm sure the indirect nerfs to Artanis' laser or Nazeebo's spirit will be addressed later on.
So it's not as much "why" speed the game up, as it's "why not?" The main reason would be camera height increase. When it was raised by about 10%, it's as if the game slowed down by the same amount. Because while heroes cover the same distance in the same time, that distance is now visually shorter, making model move slower across the screen. And yes, that made hitboxes smaller but the point still stands.
Second reason would be the skill gap increase. The thing is, HotS' micro was already pretty slow compared to classic MOBAs – and that's ok, but bear with me. While in the early game smaller maps and mounts make things faster, lack of boots make the late game HotS pretty slow in comparison. I'm not saying the game needs to mimic Dota/League, I'm saying there's a big window for experimentation.
Hanzo/Ana have low winrates at low leagues but are Tier S at high ones. You could nerf their skillshot impact but now the heroes simply become weak even when played well, and you're essentially punishing good players for being good. You could compensate by buffing their health/AA but now heroes lose their flavor. Speed change will probably nerf them across the board too but it maintains the impact of their abilities when they are still landed by the capable players. This makes the heroes less popular but keeps them useful (in the right hands).
People also nowadays complain that leagues merged somewhat, that ranks (especially at masters) became less meaningful. As it is, the higher the league, the faster fights happen, the faster the mistakes are punished etc. Speed change only exaggerates that, weeding out people who can't keep up.
In the end, it is possible that this change will manage to piss off many people who even may leave the game but if you don't change anything, stagnation sets in and then people leave for that reason instead. I personally don't even notice the change.
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© Post "I did not expect the speed change to be implemented so soon" for game Heroes of the Storm.
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