Thank you. The kind words mean a lot. :)
I also think it's worth noting that while the above post is largely a defense of why we made the changes we did, I was on the fence about those changes while putting them in, and I don't really consider them a success after the patch due to them not living up to one of my design philosophies.
One of my guiding philosophies with the balance patches is that I want my changes to always have a net positive effect on the total amount of "fun" that is added/removed from the game.
In this case, while I am confident that the right choices were made statistically, I don't think the needle was moved enough in Worldbreaker's direction for enough players to feel like a cool, new way to play Deathwing was now viable, and instead more players only felt the pain of Worldbreaker nerfs. This is why balancing games is hard, since community sentiment matters just as much as statistics.
If you could all do me a huge favor and just destroy enemy Deathwing players about 5-10% more often in your matches, then you'd make my job really easy and I could give you some meaty Worldbreaker buffs with no compensating nerfs :P
I'll try to explain this in as simple of a way as I can, but there are a few reasons why we changed him the way that we did.
Firstly, the general community assertion that i've seen going into making the last round of changes was that Deathwing isn't that strong and would have been fine had we just buffed Worldbreaker form. This is statistically untrue and would have likely ended up moving him back into overpowered status. When making changes to heroes in more nuanced situations where their actual performance and community sentiment are different (or even more difficult situations such as them having vastly different performances and perceptions in low level, high level, pro play, and/or Quick Match vs. Ranked), I have to take how good the hero actually is into account when making these kinds of changes. Some facts:
Before the patch, he was sitting at a 53.3% win rate. He's not super commonly seen anymore, but I think we can all remember how strong he has shown to be in the past. I would assert that, while his popularity and the perception of his power level have fallen off since his days of being must-pick/ban material, he is still a strong hero.
Since the last patch, which many viewed as an overall nerf to him due to nerfing Destroyer form, his win rate has climbed to 55.4%, so he very likely would have moved into clearly OP territory had I not nerfed some part of his kit to compensate his Worldbreaker buffs.
To add some extra complication, when making these kinds of changes I have to heavily consider how to move the needle enough to change community sentiment so that I hit the goals that I want with these kinds of more nuanced changes. I initially approached this knowing that the general sentiment is that Worldbreaker form is behind Destroyer form, so to change that perception there had to be a good amount of movement on the needle to get people to try out the other form. Had Deathwing been a sub 50% hero, or a hero who hasn't recently been a large part of the meta, this change would have been easy. I would have gladly only buffed Worldbreaker form and called it a day. However, due to the desire to open more people up to the fact that Worldbreaker form has a lot to offer him and the fact that he is in fact powerful despite some community sentiment, I decided that the best way to move the needle was to both nerf Destroyer form a little bit while also buffing Worldbreaker form.
Of course, we could have tried other methods of fixing this as well, such as largely buffing Worldbreaker talents or changing how his form swap works (though this has many limitations and may not be feasible due to how its animation/FX work), but this was the initial route that we ended up going with.
We're not done with making changes to Deathwing, and this was a preliminary change to his playstyles be more balanced. I hope that this gives you some insight into our thought processes. :)
Just wanted to say that I had a bit of a chuckle reading this title. Across the entire game, Leap and Wrath of the Berserker have almost perfect parity in regards to how often they're picked, with Leap at 49.4% and Wrath at 50.6% :P
This is intended. Summons are their own separate category, and should be listed as such in any tooltip that does extra effects to them (most commonly they simply fit into the Non-Hero category which naturally would include them).
Here fixed it for you. https://imgur.com/a/sbJwfwb
In all seriousness. We know it is frustrating to see this but the other option is to not post at all when there is something that any part of the community takes issue with.
This is Beautiful.
Heroes of the Storm has just been updated with Hero balance changes! Read on for details.
I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
A day may come when the courage of tier lists fail,
when we forsake our meta
and break all bonds of fellowship,
but it is not this day.
An hour of nerfs and buffs,
when the age of D.Va comes crashing down,
but it is not this day!
I feel baited lol.
Also to clarify, I was not the designer in charge of Deathwing (though we all had a hand in helping out with him), that was Kyle, who also did heroes such as Zul’jin, Kel’Thuzad, and Orphea.
For what it’s worth, I read these forums pretty much every day, so there’s very little that happens here that I don’t see.
This is exciting. I look forward to seeing what the teams end up being.
Also I never realized Nazeebo had such an affinity for Turk.
Oh you. Actually made me check on this in our internal build. Bravo sir.
I like Kiwi fruit. <3 Fun idea!
Very cool! Fun model.
We're aware of this one. Thanks for the report!
On every map or a specific one?
This meme gets me every time. I love it.
As of the introduction of the Storm League Quest Line, the end of season rewards, in this case Portraits, are only awarded to those that have completed the 50 wins. I went back and verified this was consistent with previous seasons with the Ranked quest line.
The good news is 2020 Season 4 only requires 35 wins this time, which might make it a little easier next time!