As we continue to evolve Heroes of the Storm and sharpen its gameplay, we’ll run into scenarios where we think adjustments might be needed to make the overall playability of Heroes a stronger experience for all. As such, we’ve identified some potential areas of the game that can be tuned to help matches feel more even, clean up potential snowballing, and make individual players feel a bit stronger with their decision making. The changes are now available on the PTR, and will continue to be available to play in the Heroes of the Storm client on October 6th, 2015 for a limited time. Let’s dive into exactly what you can expect from this updated version of Heroes of the Storm. DEATH TIMERS We’ve 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. To help setup teams and players to make important strides in the games, while also increasing the importance of not dying in the early game, we’ve adjusted death timers for the first 10 levels. You can see the changes below: DEATH TIMER CHANGES As you can see above, the death timers heading into the mid to late game will mostly go unchanged. We believe these changes will set up players to take advantage of secured takedowns early with possible aggressive play on objectives, towers, or minion waves. Overall, this will allow players more choices on how they handle takedowns of their opponents while being able to progress the match in a quicker manner. SNOWBALL PREVENTION At the same time, we have seen, in many games, that an early level lead can create a snow-ball situation that could be difficult to comeback from. In the current version of Heroes, game levels 1-14 had a very large stat difference from one level to the next. 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. As an example, the difference between levels 17 and 19 is now very similar to the difference between level 7 and 9, when analyzing pure stats within the heroes themselves. 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. This does not, of course, change the danger of team fighting if you are behind by a talent level, which can be considered to still be very dangerous. 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. 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. HELP US TEST The updates mentioned above will need to be tested thoroughly; this is where you come in. A test map, labeled "Cursed Hollow - Scaling Test", will be available with the PTR immediately and in the regular Heroes client for a limited time, under the Custom Games section, on October 6th 2015, allowing players wishing to provide feedback to do so. Games played will also help our data analysts fine-tune any numbers we may need to make before going live with these changes in the future. While there will be inevitable bugs with providing access to the upcoming Test Map in its early infancy, ultimately we are seeking feedback on how the game progression feels with the changes to death timers and Hero Scaling throughout the match. We aim to address a majority of the bugs when we approach a more defined version of the Test Map. We’re excited to hear your thoughts on these alterations. As a reminder, The Test Map is available on PTR now, and will also be available to play on October 6th, 2015 for a limited time. Please give the new changes a whirl and let us know what you think in the coming days.