Heroes of the Storm's Early Game Adjustments Coming for Death Timers, Stats

Proposed changes now being tested that could have a big effect on the way matches play out.


Whether or not you're doing well in the early part of a Heroes of the Storm match, things can get frustrating for one reason or another. Blizzard is now testing out some changes to the early part of matches that may help to alleviate that frustration for everyone involved.

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First up, Blizzard is adjusting death timers, albeit only for the first ten levels. Some of these changes are subtle--dying at level 10 will now see you wait 24 seconds rather than 23--while others are more dramatic, such as the 15-second wait at level 1 (as opposed to the existing nine seconds). The chart below outlines the timers for all 20 levels.

In a blog post, Blizzard says it's doing this because it's "identified that there may be a difficulty in achieving objectives in the early game due to our death timers and how quickly players can get back into a fight." These changes should "help set up teams and players to make important strides in the games, while also increasing the importance of not dying in the early game."

At the same time, the penalty for falling behind in the early match is also being addressed--what Blizzard refers to as "snowball prevention."

"In the current version of Heroes, game levels 1-14 had a very large stat difference from one level to the next," Blizzard explains. "We identified later levels had less of a stat difference and power levels are more noticeable with talent picks instead of level gains. In an attempt to mirror the late game, we are flattening out the earlier levels to be more in line with how heroes operates towards the late game."

Now, the stat differences between players at level 7 and 9 will be similar to the difference between players at level 17 and 19.

According to Blizzard, "This change means that even if you have lost mercenaries, tributes, or towns, you can still afford to try to team fight early in the game when you and your team find yourself behind."

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This sounds like a positive change, as falling behind on experience often means you have to run away from all potential encounters until you can find a way to catch up. However, one thing that won't change is the advantage a team gets for reaching one of the levels where they're allowed to select a new talent (thus empowering them over their opponents until they also reach that level).

"Alongside the overall stat changes, we've taken the additional stats you'd earn from leveling and directly ingrained the numbers straight into the heroes themselves," Blizzard continues. "These changes will go a long way in helping heroes feel more appropriate in the roles they were designed for. Assassins, for example, output much more damage but are easier to pick off with their low health pools."

These changes have not yet been made, as they first need to be tested. This will happen on a test map, listed in the game as Cursed Hollow - Scaling Test. You can test these out on the public test realm now or in the live game's Custom Games section for a limited time beginning on October 6.

Alongside these changes, new skins are on the way to Heroes of the Storm, as well as new characters. This includes StarCraft's Medic, known in HotS as Lt. Morales, and Artanis.

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