Thoughts on Balance Changes

by Korlane on         follow @KorlaneBP

Blizzard recently made some balance changes and we posted the patch notes earlier this week, but we feel it’s worth taking a deeper look at them and what they mean for the game.

Mercenaries

Knights

  • Knight Health reduced by 20%
  • Time between Knight and Sorcerer attacks increased from 1.0 to 1.25

This here is quite interesting. Knights will now be able to be defeated earlier in the game, which you couldn’t do before without having at least a full team, or a healer and a tanky character. It will definitely be interesting to see if this makes people go for knights earlier, possibly some new meta rush strategies?

General

  • Focused Attack talent bonus to Basic Attack damage increased from +30% to 50%

Straight up, the buff to Focused Attack was needed. As most people, myself included, found the other options far superior in comparison to this talent.

Raynor

  • Hyperion duration reduced from 15 to 12 seconds
  • Hyperion volley damage gain per level decreased from 24 to 20

The Hyperion nerf was needed as it was by far the superior pick for Raynor. It did way too much damage. It could burst down towers, forts and entire enemy teams. It could even take out the palace if it wasn’t at full health. While the Hyperion will still be strong, we should start to see more Banshee’s hovering about!

Sgt. Hammer

  • Base vision radius increased by 2

This change was incredibly necessary as prior to it, Sgt. Hammer had real problems if caught out in siege mode. Zeratul in specific caused Sgt. Hammer a lot of grief.

Uther

  • Divine Storm cooldown increased from 45 to 70 seconds

Hurricane talent

  • Bonus stun duration removed
  • Now decreases Divine Storm cooldown from 70 to 50 seconds

As you’ve probably already seen, the nerf to Uther’s Divine Storm was necessary as it had an incredibly short cooldown for such an amazing AoE stun. Anyone playing Uther could just walk in to a team fight and keep enemies stunned for three seconds. In three seconds an entire team can get killed. With Divine Storm receiving a downgrade Divine Shield might actually make an appearance in matches.

Eternal Devotion

  • Base duration increased from 7 to 10 seconds
  • Holy Devotion talent no longer increases Eternal Devotion duration

Uther’s spirit form was also incredibly powerful if specced into. Even after dying he could stun and sometimes kill his enemies, all while healing up his allies.

  • Hammer of Justice damage gain per level decreased from 14 to 10

Here is where I start to have my doubts and wonder if Uther has been hit to hard by the nerfbat. The other changes were needed, and I completely agree with them, but I feel this change is unnecessary. Blizzard has already nerfed the skills that were too strong and now I wonder if they’re trying to make Uther a more passive support instead of the aggressive one he was before. Even prior to the changes Hammer of Justice did not hit that hard, even if it was prioritized.

Witch Doctor

Gargantuan

  • Health increased from 1000 + 100 per level to 1400 +140 per level

Gargantuan, oh Gargantuan.. This ultimate was never picked unless a Witch Doctor was going for a super hardcore push strategy. I like the health buff, but I feel it should’ve received a damage buff as well. While extra health is useful, Gargantuan still does not compare to Ravenous Spirit’s mobility and AoE damage.

A number of heroes were tweaked this time around but some heroes surprisingly remained unchanged. Tassadar and Arthas are prime examples of heroes that the community seemed to agree needing changes. The fact that they were left unchanged suggests that the developers believe we haven’t played them to their full potential. We’ll have to see how they fare in future balance patches.