Twitch acquista l’agenzia GoodGame

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L’importante sito di streaming Twitch, precedentemente acquistato da Amazon per circa 1 miliardo di Dollari, diventa a sua volta proprietario dell’agenzia GoodGame.
La GoodGame Agency è nota per essere la società che gestisce due importanti team internazionali: Evil Geniuses (attivo ultimamente e durante la Blizzcon su Heroes of the Storm) ed Alliance (team impegnato, tra gli altri, su League of Legends e Dota 2).
GoodGame, come dice il suo Ceo Alex Garfield nella sua “lettera per la community”, era ed è attiva non solo nell’organizzazione dei suoi due teams di punta ma anche nell’organizzazione dei tornei, nella promozione di vari talk show su Twitch e nel concreto aiuto nello sviluppo del mondo E-Sport negli ultimi 10 anni.

Sempre secondo Alex Garfield, questa acquisizione non muterà gli interessi ed il Business della GoodGame ma, anzi, ne gioverà sicuramente il lavoro.
Un nuovo piccolo passo in avanti da parte dell’E-sport (e dei suoi diretti interessati) verso il grande mondo dell’economia internazionale è stato quindi portato a termine con questo ulteriore, ed evidente, avvicinamento di Amazon verso una fetta di mercato che, fino a pochi anni fa, era bollata come poco importante o comunque minoritaria (ovviamente non stiamo parlando dei videogiochi in senso generale ma della competitività vissuta in senso sportivo da parte dei giocatori che li utilizzano).

Questa la lettera che il Ceo scrive alla sua community, promettendo che, pur non essendo ancora sicuro di ciò che sta facendo e di ciò che farà, il futuro della GoodGame e dell’E-sport sarà sicuramente positivo!

I was never much of a team sports kid. I grew up in Philadelphia (where it’s culturally impossible to not passionately support your local sports teams), but when it came to actually competing, team sports weren’t my thing. I was a math, science, and music kind of kid, which meant that aside from always being the first to finish my times tables – which is true, by the way – I had to fulfill my competitive drive as a spectator. And those of you who are familiar with American sports know that investing yourself in the success of Philadelphia sports teams hasn’t paid off much over the past twenty-five years (apologies to the ‘08 Phillies).

In the summer of 2002, I went to a LAN in the basement of my friend’s house. My rig was running a Pentium IV, and my monitor weighed approximately one thousand pounds. One of the guys at the LAN was an avid Counter-Strike player, so we all decided to try it out. I went 0-13 in my first game, and to say the least, I did not have fun. Guns with impossible-to-control hit patterns that become even more inaccurate if you’re moving in the slightest? I think my initial feedback was something along the lines of, “This game is dumb.”

Naturally, from that point on, I didn’t touch another game aside from Counter-Strike for about five years. I joined a team, played in amateur leagues and tournaments, and followed the professional scene closely. I bought a Steelpad S&S (SK Edition), and lost my mind when Sean “Bullseye” Morgan single-handedly brought 3D back from the brink of defeat in overtime against 4Kings. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Counter-Strike actually played an important role in my life: it put me in touch with a competitive drive that I didn’t even know I had. It gave that part of me a voice. My Counter-Strike team was so much a part of my high school life that my mom suggested I write my college essay about it. I didn’t – I told her that I couldn’t imagine any credible college understanding, let alone respecting, the value of esports. Now, universities offer esports scholarships and that same school I was afraid to tell about my hobby wrote an article about it in the college magazine. How far we’ve come.

While I originally picked up Counter-Strike in 2002, I didn’t actually have a role in the esports scene until 2004, when I volunteered to do coverage for a Canadian team called Evil Geniuses. They weren’t the best team in the world (or even in North America, where they were in the top four), but they were my favorite team, by far. They were all close friends, and to me they were the shining example of everything that was great about esports: being friends and having fun while still taking competition seriously. I wrote a couple of articles for them, but it wasn’t long before the players were faced with what was back then an all-too-common problem: their manager had disappeared along with the team’s sponsorship money, and they would have to disband unless new sponsors were found. I offered to help, and the players agreed to stay together if the support was there. It was, and we made it to CPL Summer ’05, where we finished second – the upper bracket finals match between EG.ca and SK.swe is still one of my best esports memories.


More than a decade later, here I am running a company called GoodGame, which most of you guys probably know best for being the backbone of EG and Alliance, but which also does a bunch of other things within esports. In addition to supporting our two flagship teams, we operate our own tournaments; we work with personalities and live streamers (both competitive and non-competitive); we produce talk shows and other kinds of esports content; and we also help support third-party teams, players, and tournaments – in some cases by funding them directly, and in other cases by helping them find sponsors and grow their businesses.

I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past ten years. We’ve had the privilege of signing some incredible players and teams, and we’ve also had a lot of fun making those announcements (and announcements of announcements); we’ve brought home championships in just about every major esports title; and in the past five years alone (since esports really started to pick up), we’ve been responsible for funneling more than $10 million toward players, teams, tournaments, and other parts of the esports ecosystem.

If there’s one thing I’d ask you guys let me brag about unapologetically, it’d be that we’ve done all of these things without the help of any kind of investment, venture capital, or other outside nonsense. We’ve gotten to where we are by working hard, and by prioritizing growth, player support, and the health of the ecosystem over our own, personal gain. Our company’s profits have never gone into our management’s pockets – we’ve always re-invested everything back into our teams, players, tournaments, and other projects – and there hasn’t been a single moment in our ten-year history at which a player wasn’t the highest-paid person in the company.

That’s the truth. No hidden management bonuses, no Swiss bank accounts, no bullshit. On a certain level, it’s kind of funny that we’ve developed a reputation in the community for, uh, rolling in money. Granted, we probably didn’t help set the record straight by doing this kind of stuff, but we figured that if the community liked us (or liked to hate us) in that role, we might as well run with it and have fun. We work in an industry built around playing video games – if you take yourself too seriously, you’re doing it wrong.


What’s motivated us all these years, if not money? It’s pretty simple: we love esports. Video game tournaments, held in arenas filled with thousands of screaming fans, and millions more watching online? There’s nothing cooler than that. I’ve been hooked since 2002, when we used to “watch” Counter-Strike matches on mIRC via text-based scorebots. I can say with confidence that the esports spectator experience has improved since then.

I’ve always believed that if the cool thing to do also feels like the right thing to do, then it’s probably worth doing. That philosophy has been the foundation for just about everything we’ve done – from our big-name player acquisitions, to us being one of the first tournament organizers to offer travel and hotel stipends, to the – ahem – generous player salaries we’re known for, to my very first task back in 2004: finding enough sponsorship money to afford five plane tickets and keep the team alive.

Now, this is the part of the blog where I acknowledge the fact that we’re two pages in, and I still haven’t said a single thing about the acquisition. I hope you’ve found what you’ve read so far to be useful and relevant – I wanted to first provide some backstory and context, because I think it’d be really silly to try and explain why we’re aligning with Twitch (and why I think you guys should view it as a good thing) without first explaining what GoodGame is, and who’s behind it.

Now that you guys have that context, let me explain why I sold the company.


Esports has never been bigger than it is today. It seems like every other day, we see a new article in a major publication, or a new media company taking a shot at producing or hosting esports content. There’s never been more mainstream interest in our industry – which is a good thing – but while it’s exciting, we need to make sure that interest is focused and channeled in the right ways if we want to keep growing our industry without breaking it. That’s why, now more than ever, it’s necessary for us to all work together.

I’d like to think that GoodGame could play a role in helping get everyone on the same page. We understand things from the team’s perspective; the player’s perspective; the tournament’s perspective. We’ve run many different kinds of esports projects, and we know what it takes to make them successful and sustainable. But at the same time, up until now our company’s been just as consumed as everyone else by the day-to-day demands of running a business in a very competitive industry – and it’s limited our ability to look out for everyone and think as altruistically as we’d like.

That’s why I decided to align us with Twitch.


This isn’t going to be one of those post-acquisition blogs in which the fact that there’s money involved in the transaction is conveniently glossed over. There’s no doubt that being bought by Twitch means all of our employees will be taken care of very well. But at the same time, we’re talking about a group of people who’ve dedicated most – if not all – of their adult lives to esports and to growing this industry. It’s a deserving bunch. On top of that, we’ve reserved a portion of the transaction for a player pool, which means that every player currently contracted with GoodGame will receive a small portion of the company’s sale. And as an Amazon subsidiary, we’ll also be able to offer our players other additional benefits to which they didn’t previously have access.

TL;DR – it’s a good deal for everyone involved. And while I’d be lying to you guys if I said that the level of support didn’t factor into my decision, I’d be lying just as much if I told you that the support alone would’ve been enough. Don’t get me wrong, the financial security doesn’t hurt. But I didn’t put ten years of my life into this company – and this industry – only to sell my soul in public for a couple of bucks.

No word-mincing. No bullshit. That’s not what this is.


I don’t know if any of us who’ve been in esports for the long haul had any idea what we were doing when we first started out, but I’d be the first to admit that I didn’t have a clue. I wanted to help out a group of friends that I liked and respected – that’s what I was doing back in ‘04. That’s why, when my Counter-Strike team was drafted into the Championship Gaming Series in the summer of ‘07, my initial reaction was that it was time to move on. I didn’t really see a point in continuing if my players didn’t need my help anymore. I stayed, obviously – thanks in large part to my mom, who insisted that I’d built something valuable that would outlive the loss of five players. I still remember her lecturing me in the kitchen of her house (thanks, mom). Apparently, she was right.

Ten years later, I’m still not sure I know exactly what I’m doing, but it seems to be going okay. My experience in building GoodGame, Evil Geniuses, and Alliance over the past years has been one of hard work and pleasant surprises. It’s actually really hard to tell if what you’re doing is working when you’re not on the outside, and so we’ve gone through many cycles of deciding to do something we think is cool; working hard to make it happen; and then releasing it to the public with our fingers crossed. Usually, what we’ve done has been well-received. Hopefully today is another example of that.

I believe in Twitch – I really do. They’re great at what they do, they understand esports, and they genuinely care about making sure the community grows in the right way. To use an industry meme: they get it. What’s kind of interesting about this acquisition is that it doesn’t really change our business at all – our players were already streaming on Twitch because we felt it was the best platform to be on (not a hard argument to make these days). We had many offers over the years to leave for other platforms – some of them for silly amounts of money – but we always turned them down and stayed with Twitch because Twitch was the only option we could tell people with a straight face was good for players and good for sponsors. We built our company’s economy on Twitch viewership metrics, and it’s not a coincidence that 2011 (when Twitch started to focus on esports) was also when our business really started to take off. So it’s only fitting that, as a part of Twitch going forward, we’ll be working with players, teams, tournaments, and content creators to help them grow their careers and businesses.

Three pages of text later, I’m not really sure how you guys feel about all of this. I hope that you like it, and that you believe it’ll result in a lot of good work being done for players, teams, and tournaments. But I understand if you’re skeptical, and I’d only ask that you keep an open mind and pay attention to what we do next. I’ll be doing an AMA tomorrow (exact time and subreddit TBD) for those of you who have questions or who’re interested in learning more.

I’d like to conclude by thanking all of the players, fans, sponsors, family, and friends who’ve helped us over the past decade. It’s crazy that we’ve ended up here. I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished.

Sincerely,

Alex
CEO, GoodGame
@ottersareneat on Twitter

bobby kotick

Microsoft/Activision Blizzard: il CEO Bobby Kotick resterà al comando fino al 2023

Profilo di Stak
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Nel corso della giornata di ieri l’intero settore dei videogiochi è rimasto “folgorato” dalla notizia dell’acquisizione di Activision Blizzard da parte di Microsoft.

Quasi come un fulmine a ciel sereno, i canali social del mondo Xbox hanno iniziato a pubblicare post nei quali annunciavano il raggiungimento dell’accordo tra i consigli d’amministrazione dei due giganteschi gruppi, il tutto per una cifra spaventosa: quasi 70 miliardi di Dollari (sono 68.7 per l’esattezza, 90 Dollari per azione di Activision Blizzard).

Come facilmente prevedibile, la notizia ha avuto l’effetto di un terremoto all’interno del mondo del gaming, tra personalità e giocatori assolutamente entusiasti della notizia (ne parleremo più dettagliatamente nel corso del pomeriggio), e tanti altri che hanno invece manifestato preoccupazione sul fronte delle esclusive, e dei giochi che POTREBBE perdere la console Sony nei prossimi anni (COD e Overwatch su tutti).

Al netto delle speculazioni, delle ipotesi o delle varie possibili strade che potrebbe prendere tutta questa situazione, sappiamo comunque che Activision Blizzard continuerà ad avere una (quasi) totale autonomia sul suo operato, almeno fino alla metà del prossimo anno.

Per far si che l’acquisizione inizi a tutti gli effetti, molto probabilmente con l’inserimento di personalità del mondo Microsoft nei ruoli chiave di Activision Blizzard e dei suoi studi associati, bisognerà infatti attendere il 30 Giugno del 2023, prima data utile per permettere all’intero accordo di raggiungere tutti gli standard richiesti in questo tipo di operazioni.

Dei “tempi tecnici” obbligatori quindi, durante i quali l’attuale CEO di Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick (tra le persone coinvolte nello scandalo abusi sessuali della scorsa estate – troverete qui altri dettagli) resterà alla guida dell’azienda, con la stessa che opererà in totale autonomia.

Non sappiamo esattamente in cosa consisterà questa “totale autonomia“, ma in ogni caso dubitiamo fortemente che Microsoft si “disinteressi” completamente di questo suo nuovo, importante, asset societario per i prossimi 18 mesi.

A dare la conferma rispetto a queste tempistiche è stato lo stesso Bobby Kotick, che ha inviato la seguente lettera a tutti i dipendenti nel corso della giornata di ieri:

“[…] Transazioni come queste richiedono molto tempo per essere completate. Fino a quando non avremo tutte le approvazioni necessarie, e fin quando le altre consuete condizioni di chiusura non saranno soddisfatte, che prevediamo avvenga nell’anno fiscale 2023 di Microsoft (termina il 30 giugno 2023), continueremo a operare in modo completamente autonomo.

Continuerò come nostro CEO con la stessa passione ed entusiasmo che avevo quando ho iniziato questo fantastico viaggio nel 1991. Naturalmente, questo annuncio susciterà tante domande. Organizzeremo numerosi forum ed eventi per assicurarci di rispondere alle tue preoccupazioni […]” (fonte).

Microsoft acquista Activision: cosa potrebbe cambiare in futuro?

Da inizio Luglio 2023 dovrebbe a quel punto subentrare Microsoft, Bobby Kotick e altri nomi dell’azienda lasceranno Activision Blizzard (si è parlato esplicitamente di “lievi modifiche al personale”, quindi non dovrebbe essere qualcosa che riguarda i dipendenti e gli impiegati delle software house), con il subentro al comando dell’Amministratore Delegato di Microsoft Satya Nadella e delle nuove personalità che andranno a ricoprire ruoli di vertice nella struttura organizzativa del gigantesco publisher.

L’argomento Activision Blizzard/Microsoft continuerà ad essere analizzato ed approfondito su nuovi speciali che usciranno in seguito. Restate sintonizzati con noi per non perdervi neanche una novità sulla questione.

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Microsoft ha acquistato Activision Blizzard! Quale fine per Call of Duty su PlayStation?

Profilo di Stak
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Una vera e propria “bomba” quella sganciata pochi minuti fa dai canali ufficiali di Xbox…la gigantesca Microsoft ha infatti acquistato, per intero, Activision Blizzard!

Dopo mesi burrascosi (quando non drammatici, ndr) dovuti allo scandalo, ed alle successive inchieste dovute alle molestie ed agli abusi sessuali che si sono consumati all’interno dell’azienda, termina cosi un lungo ciclo per Activision Blizzard, e se ne apre uno totalmente nuovo all’orizzonte.

Pur non essendoci ancora conferme ufficiali da parte dei diretti interessati, sembra che dietro l’accordo vi sia una cifra davvero astronomica: ben 70 miliardi di Dollari (la fonte è il noto ed autorevole Wall Street Journal, ndr)…addirittura 20 miliardi di Dollari in più rispetto a quella che era la “stima” del valore di mercato dell’azienda.

La cosa avrà una portata incredibilmente pesante. Vi basti pensare a come si andrà a sviluppare l’attuale presenza su PlayStation di titoli che a questo punto si apprestano a diventare “esclusive” per Xbox e PC. Oltre a giochi come Overwatch, la questione potrebbe riguardare direttamente anche Call of Duty, storico titolo da sempre presente sulle console di Sony.

Al momento queste restano speculazioni, dato che non vi è stato ancora nessun chiarimento ufficiale da parte di Microsoft. Sembra però abbastanza ovvio pensare che i titoli futuri di questi franchise, fino ad oggi sempre “multi platform”, potrebbero presto diventare un’esclusiva interdetta ai giocatori PlayStation.

Microsoft, attraverso il noto big Phil Spencer, si è al momento limitata a commentare la cosa su Xbox Wire con il seguente intervento: “Siamo molto contenti di poter lavorare con le incredibili, talentuose, ed appassionate persone di Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, Treyarch e tutti i team di Activision Blizzard“.

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Non appena disponibili, provvederemo a pubblicare nuove e più dettagliate informazioni sull’argomento.

Clamoroso sul Wall Street Journal: il CEO di Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick sapeva tutto! “Minacce e molestie ai suoi dipendenti”

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Al via la Season 1 della Storm League 2022: ecco le note della patch!

Profilo di Stak
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Da poche ore è stato ufficialmente rilasciato un nuovo imponente aggiornamento per Heroes of the Storm, che lancia sul celebre moba Blizzard la prima stagione della Storm League 2022 ed una lunghissima lista di fix/cambiamenti.

Tra questi segnaliamo ad esempio l’imponente rework che gli sviluppatori hanno scelto per Rehgar, o i vari buff/nerf che riguardano Auriel, Brightwing, Falstad, Imperius, Dehaka e tanti altri. Andiamo a vedere tutti i dettagli:

General

Building Changes

  • Healing Wells
    • Additional Functionality: Healing Wells are now invulnerable, and are destroyed when their nearby Fort or Keep are destroyed. Stand alone Healing Wells on Battlefield of Eternity and Braxis Holdout are destroyed when both Keeps are destroyed.
  • Forts
    • Health increased from 12900 to 15450.
  • Keeps
    • Health increased from 17000 to 20050.

Developer Comment: We’re happy with how Healing Wells function in our ARAM game mode, so we’re giving it a try everywhere. Additionally, Forts and Keeps now have additional health as they’ve absorbed the health of their nearby Healing Wells.

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Heroes Rework: Rehgar

Base

  • Attack Damage increased from 106 to 115.
  • Attack speed reduced from 1.25 to 1.1.
  • Lightning Shield [W]
    • Additional Functionality: Each enemy hit by Lightning Shield restores 2 Mana to Rehgar.
    • Mana cost reduced from 60 to 50.
  • Earthbind Totem [E]
    • Totem Health increased from 217 to 326.
  • Trait
    • All Ghost Wolf information has been moved to the Z key.
    • (New) Purge:
      • Activate to make an ally Unstoppable for .5 seconds or slow an enemy Hero by 80%, decaying over 2 seconds. Cannot be used on Self.
      • Cooldown: 45 Seconds.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Stormcaller [W]
      • Moved from Level 4.
      • New functionality: Increase Lightning Shield’s radius by 25%.
      • Quest: Each time Lightning Shield hits an enemy Hero, permanently increase Rehgar’s Health by 2 and Mana by 1, to a maximum of 300 stacks.
    • Grounded Totem [E]
      • Moved from Level 7.
      • No longer grants additional Earthbind Totem Health.
      • Additional Functionality:
        • Heroes affected by Earthbind Totem also have their Spellpower reduced by 20%.
        • Increases range of Earthbind Totem by 50%.
    • Feral Heart [Z]
      • New Functionality:
        • Entering or Exiting Ghost Wolf form grants 20 Armor for 2 seconds.
        • Increase Ghost Wolf’s Movement Speed bonus to 40% for the first second, then fade to 30%.
    • Wolf Run [Z]
      • Removed.
  • Level 4
    • Earthliving Enchant [Q]
      • Moved from Level 13.
      • Healing increased from 45 to 50.
    • Electric Charge [W]
      • Moved from Level 1.
      • New Functionality:
        • Lightning Shield heals its bearer for 20% of the damage dealt to enemy Heroes. This healing amount is doubled for Rehgar.
        • While damaging an enemy, Lightning Shield increases its bearer’s Movement Speed by 10%.
    • Healing Totem [E/Active]
      • Healing Totem health increased from 50 to 175.
      • Healing Totem health now scales at 4% per Level.
      • Healing Totem healing increased from 2% to 2.5% maximum Health/second.
      • Healing Totem duration reduced from 10 to 7 seconds.
  • Level 7
    • Cleanse [Active]
      • Removed.
    • Colossal Totem [E]
      • Moved from Level 1.
      • No longer increases Earthbind Totem Range.
    • Blood and Thunder [Z]
      • Cooldown reduction reduced from 2 to 1.5 seconds.
      • Additional Functionality: Ghost Wolf attacks restore 5% of Rehgar’s maximum Mana.
    • (New) Purification [Trait D]
      • Removing a Slow, Stun, Root or Silence from an Ally heals them for 260 and refunds 40% of Purge’s cooldown.
      • Using Purge on an enemy deals up to 330 damage to shields and reduces Healing received by 40% for 3 seconds.
  • Level 13
    • Tidal Waves [Q]
      • Heroic target cooldown reduction increased from .75 seconds to 1 second.
      • Mana cost reduction increased from 15 to 20.
    • Earth Shield [W]
      • Shield amount increased from 12 to 14% maximum health.
    • (New) Wellspring [E]
      • Every 2 seconds, Earthbind Totem will cast an untalented Chain Heal at a nearby ally that heals for 35% of its normal value.
  • Level 16
    • Rising Storm [W]
      • Changed Functionality:
        • No longer grants Rehgar an untalented Lightning Shield.
        • Increase the duration of Lightning Shield by 3 seconds.
    • Earthgrasp Totem [E]
      • Additional Functionality: Earthbind Totem deals 145 damage when first placed.
    • Hunger of the Wolf [Z]
      • Damage and healing increased to 6%.
  • Level 20
    • Rewind [Active]
      • Removed.
    • Stormshield [Active]
      • Removed.
    • Elemental Conduit [Active]
      • Activate to gain Lightning Shield and grant all nearby allied Heroes a Shield for 10% of their maximum Health for 5 seconds.
      • Each time this Lightning Shield hits an enemy Hero, grant nearby allies a Shield equal to 1.5% of their maximum Health.
      • 70 Second cooldown.
    • Pit Fighter [Passive]
      • Gain 10% Attack damage and 4% Spell Power for yourself and each nearby ally Hero, stacking up to 5 times. At 2 or more stacks, Purge’s cooldown refreshes 50% faster.

Developer Comment: Its been a while since we’ve made any major changes to Rehgar and while his win rates are not worrisome, his identity as a flexible generalist healer has suffered as of late. With this rework, we’re making a number of quality-of-life changes by baselining some of the talents that felt mandatory as well as introducing new talents to sharpen his build identities. Just to prove that old dogs can learn new tricks, we’ve also given Rehgar a new activated trait, Purge, which allows him to micro-cleanse an ally or momentarily snare a distant enemy.

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Heroes

Auriel

Base

  • Sacred Sweep [Q]
    • Cast speed increased by 50%.
    • Cast finish time increased from 0 to .0625 seconds.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Swift Sweep [Q]
      • Removed.
  • Level 4
    • Heavy Burden [E]
      • Additional Functionality: Increase Detainment Strike’s Stun duration by .25 seconds.
  • Level 16
    • Will of Heaven [D]
      • Additional Functionality: Increase Auriel’s Basic Attack damage by 10%.
    • Wrath of Heaven [D]
      • Additional Functionality: Enemy Heroes hit by the center area of Sacred Sweep or the terrain collision of Detainment Strike have their Spell Armor reduced by 10 for 3 seconds.

Developer Comment: Auriel’s Q talents have fallen off in both popularity and win rates, so we’re baking in the Swift Sweep talent functionality to help the abilities’ overall efficacy. We’re also bumping up some other talents that aren’t performing well. Similar to Zarya, Auriel’s power dynamics can change dramatically with even small number tweaks, so we’re keeping these changes relatively light this time around.

Brightwing

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Hyper Shift [Z]
      • Maximum Health healing bonus decreased from 8% to 6%.
  • Level 4
    • Magic Spit [Passive]
      • Cooldown reduction reduced from 6 to 4 seconds.
  • Level 20
    • Invisible Friends [R1]
      • Duration reduced from infinite to 9 seconds.
      • Heal increased from 20 to 25.

Developer Comment: Brightwing remains strong at all levels of play, and is also terrorizing her foes at higher levels. While this is a substantial nerf to Invisible Friends on paper, we feel Brightwing still has compelling reasons to take the talent.

Dehaka

Base

  • Vitals
    • Health reduced from 2434 to 2385.
    • Health regeneration reduced from 5.07 to 4.97.
  • Basic Attack
    • Damage reduced from 100 to 95.

Talents

  • Level 4
    • Lurker Strain [E]
      • Burrow cooldown reduction reduced from 6 to 3 seconds.
  • Level 7
    • Feeding Frenzy [Q]
      • Cooldown reduction reduced from 1.75 to 1.5 seconds.

Developer Comment: Dehaka has been collecting essence very successfully after his last update increased his attack speed, so we’re reining him in a smidge.

Falstad

Base

  • Tailwind [Trait]
    • Cooldown reduced from 6 to 5 seconds.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Dishonorable Discharge [W]
      • Lightning Rod damage bonus per stack increased from .75% to 1%, maximum bonus remains 75%.

Developer Comment: Falstad has landed quite well after his recent tuning, and we think a mild buff to Dishonorable Discharge causes all his talent builds to pass with flying colors.

Imperius

Base

  • Celestial Charge [Q]
    • Final damage increased from 70 to 80.

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Blaze of Glory [W]
      • Damage increased from 185 to 205.
      • Changed Functionality: Blaze of Glory deals additional damage with Valorous Brand marks, but no longer consumes them.

Developer Comment: Celestial Charge needling enemies a bit more will help Imperius out, especially when taking Impaling Light. We’re happy with the gameplay of the Solarian’s Fire build, but we’d rather Imperius continue onward rather than go out in a Blaze of Glory.

Jaina

Base

  • Improved Ice Block [1]
    • Damage to unlock reduced from 15,000 to 12,000.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Winter’s Reach [Q]
      • Additional Functionality: Increase the missile speed of Frostbolt by 30%.

Developer Comment: In games where Jaina’s team falls behind, we think it’s harder than it should be to unlock Improved Ice Block, especially when Jaina is focused on clearing enemy Minion waves. This should even that out, as well as provide a boon for Jaina players that blast away their opponents. Blizzard and Cone of Cold talents are competing nicely, so we thought we’d provide some quality of life to a Frostbolt talent.

Johanna

Base

  • Iron Skin [D]
    • Cooldown reduced from 25 to 22 seconds.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Divine Fortress [Passive]
      • Physical Armor per Basic Attack increased from 8 to 10.
      • Duration increased from 2.5 to 4 seconds.
      • Changed Functionality: Basic Attacks against any target grants Physical Armor.
    • Zealous Glare [E]
      • Additional Functionality: Shield Glare deals 125% additional damage.
  • Level 4
    • Hold Your Ground [D]
      • Cooldown reduction reduced from 5 to 2 seconds.
  • Level 7
    • Sins Exposed [Q]
      • Duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds.
    • Steed Charge [Active]
      • Bonus Iron Skin duration increased from 1 to 2 seconds.
  • Level 13
    • Roar [Q]
      • Passive Punish damage bonus increased from 25% to 50%.
  • Level 20
    • Heaven’s Fury [R1]
      • Damaged reduced from 75 to 68.
      • Healing reduced from 75 to 68.

Developer Comment: Competing against strong Shield Glare talents, Divine Fortress’ Physical Armor wasn’t super appealing. We hope this change provides a comparable option for dealing with Physical damage while feeling and playing differently. While we’re here, we continue to drag part of Hold Your Ground’s benefit baseline in our endless journey to make the tier more competitive. Other than that, we have mild buffs for weak talents, and a whisper of a nerf to Heaven’s Fury.

Junkrat

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Big As [E]
      • Moved to Level 13.
  • Level 20
    • Puckish Scamp [R2]
      • Additional Functionality: Reduce both Heroic cooldowns by 20 seconds.

Developer Comment: Junkrat has caused more than enough mayhem for now – we believe that Big As was making Steel Traps an issue too frequently when combined with Gotta Trap ‘Em All! We think the decision between traps that demand a Hero’s intervention versus many traps is still interesting, but we’ll be keeping an eye on him.

Lunara

Base

  • Nature’s Toxin [Trait]
    • Damage dealt reduced from 36 to 33.

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Choking Pollen [Q]
      • Damage bonus against enemies with 3 stacks of Nature’s Toxin decreased from 200% to 175%.

Developer Comment: Lunara has hopped a little higher than we expected, so we’re diluting her poison.

Probius

Base

  • Warp Rift [W]
    • Duration reduced from 9 to 3 seconds.
    • Additional Functionality: Warp Rifts explode on expiration.
  • Photon Cannon [E]
    • Attack period reduced from 1 to 1.4.
    • Additional Functionality:
      • No longer requires Pylons to be placed or be activated.
      • While in a Pylon’s Power Field, gain 40% attack speed over 4 seconds and reveal nearby enemies.
      • Now prefers to acquire Heroic enemies.

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Echo Pulse [Q]
      • Increased returning Disruption Pulse damage from 75% to 100%.
    • Gather Minerals [E]
      • Removed Functionality: Quest reward no longer reveals nearby enemies.
  • Level 7
    • Particle Accelerator [Q]
      • New Functionality:
        • After hitting 4 Heroes with Disruption Pulse, the next Warp Rift detonated by Disruption Pulse fires 4 pulses for 71 damage.
        • Reduce Disruption Pulse’s cooldown by .5 seconds.
    • Rift Shock [W]
      • New Functionality: Exploding a Warp Rift within 1 second of its arming deals 90 damage over 3 seconds.
  • Level 10
    • Pylon Overcharge [R1]
      • Duration reduced from 10 to 8 seconds.
      • Changed Functionality: Can only target enemy Heroes.
      • Additionality Functionality: Pylons are Invulnerable for the duration.
  • Level 20
    • Shoot ‘Em Up [Q]
      • New Functionality:
        • Disruption Pulse deals 2.5% of enemy Heroes maximum health as damage.
        • Reduce Disruption Pulse’s cooldown by .5 seconds.

Developer Comment: Probius has always had high requirements for successfully utilizing his abilities. The theme of this update is to turn those requirements into benefits, making Probius more approachable while still rewarding mastery. While the baseline changes to Warp Rift and Photon Cannon affect the identity of these abilities, we hope long time Probius players are still able to punish enemy Heroes that underestimate our favorite Probe.

Raynor

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Ace In The Hole [Passive]
      • Damage bonus increased from 10% to 12%.
  • Level 7
    • Heavy Slugs [Q]
      • Duration bonus increased from 1.5 to 2 seconds.
  • Level 20
    • Cavalry’s Arrived [R1]
      • Mark duration increased from 2.5 to 6 seconds.
    • Dusk Wing [R2]
      • Armor reduction increased from 2.5 to 3.
      • Maximum Armor reduction increased from 25 to 30.

Developer Comment: Jimmy was never one to quit a fight.

Stukov

Base

  • Vitals
    • Health reduced from 1850 to 1835.
    • Health regeneration reduced from 3.85 to 3.82.
  • Bio-Kill Switch [Q]
    • Healing reduced from 450 to 435.

Developer Comment: Stukov’s level 1 talents have seen an influx of strength over the last couple months, and everything has a cost.

Tyrande

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Lunar Blaze [E]
      • Maximum bonus increased from 100% to 150%.
    • Trueshot Aura [Active]
      • Allied Attack Damage bonus increased from 30% to 40%.
  • Level 4
    • Mark of Mending [D]
      • Range increased from 6 to 8.5.
      • Changed Functionality: Now looks to heal allies near the attacked target, rather than near Tyrande.
  • Level 13
    • Harsh Moonlight [W]
      • Duration reduced from 4 to 3 seconds.
  • Level 16
    • Empower [W]
      • Damage decreased from 7% to 6% to targets maximum health.
  • Level 20
    • Eyes of the Huntress [R1]
      • Healing bonus increased from 50% to 75%.
    • Celestial Wrath [R2]
      • Slow increased from 40% to 60%.

Developer Comment: Ranger causing Sentinel to hit two Heroes has become the dominant style for playing Tyrande, so we’re reducing the power of Harsh Moonlight and Empower and raising up her weaker talents.

Zarya

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Together We Are Strong [E]
      • Changed Functionality: Talent effects now last 3 seconds, instead of for the duration of the Shield.
  • Level 7
    • Deep Burn [Q]
      • Energy gains increased from 1 to 2.

Developer Comment: The last round of Zarya changes didn’t blow her overall power out of proportion, so we’re touching up a few more underperforming talents.

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Bug Fixes

Heroes

  • General
    • Resolved issues when the attacker is Blinded or the enemy is Evading with:
      • Uther’s Hammer of the Lightbringer
      • Valeera’s Slice and Dice and Rupture
      • Varian’s Heroic Strike
      • Whitemane’s Saintly Greatstaff and Scarlet Wrath
      • Zeratul’s Master Warp-Blade, Psionic Strength, Shadow Hunter, and Unwavering Pressure
      • Zul’jin’s Grievous Throw , Eye of Zul’jin, and Let the Killing Begin
  • Lunara
    • Accelerated Contamination can no longer grant CDR from dead Heroes.
  • Valla
    • Corrected Death Dealer damage bonus.
  • Varian
    • Corrected Varian’s Physical Damage against Shielded Heroes with Shattering Throw and Twin Blades.
  • Whitemane
    • Radiance no longer reduces Whitemane’s Armor.
  • Xul
    • Corpse Explosion damage is now ignored by the Call for Help.
  • Yrel
    • Bubble Hearth’s cast is now interrupted by Stuns.
  • Zagara
    • Devouring Maw now more consistently displays captured Heroes.
    • Corrected Medusa Blades’ damage to Monsters.
  • Zeratul
    • Shroud of Adun now contributes to Zeratul’s Self-Healing scoreboard stat.
    • Shadow Stride now contributes to Zeratul’s Self-Healing scoreboard stat.
  • Zul’jin
    • Amani Rage can now have its cooldown announced to your team.
    • Ensnare can now have its cooldown announced to your team.

 

Cosa ne pensate di tutte queste interessanti novità? La discussione, come sempre, è aperta!

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