Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: April 16th – News

Imperius was the last new Hero to enter the Nexus on January 8, so almost three months have passed since we last saw a new Hero introduced to the game.

UPDATE: Balance patches will now be released three weeks after a major patch.

Anduin Leaks

On February 6, we posted a leak related to Anduin Wrynn. The image depicts a skin pack called Neo President Anduin.

Two days after the Anduin leak, Production Director Kaeo Milker said that despite of some theories floating around, we’d still have to wait for Anduin to see the light of the day, possibly referring to the Chromie/Lucio rework patch of March 26.

Blizzard (Source)

We can’t talk about Heroes without talking about our awesome content. As you’ve seen so far this year, we released Imperius along with a flurry of impactful hero balance changes across the game. We also announced our Resistance themed event before bringing it to PTR this week, and we’re excited to deliver those fun skins for Hanzo, Deckard, and my BFF, Blaze, next week! While we have more balance changes coming at regular intervals, our next new hero is also right around the corner. There are some theories floating around as to who’s next, but we have a few more releases before they’ll be ready to see the light of day.
Speaking of our next few releases, you probably noticed that our Lunar New Year seasonal event hasn’t hit yet, but fear not – that’s just because we’ve reimagined it as our Spring Event. Last year we had a ton of fun with our unique seasonal events like Nexomania in Summer, The Fall of King’s Crest in Fall, and Toys in Winter, and we’d like to continue exploring fun new universes and themes to coincide with each season moving forward. Stay tuned for all the details on our Spring Event next month, and know that we’ll not only be bringing back our previous limited-time Lunar New Year content, but we’ll also unveil an exciting, all-new skin theme to round out this year’s event.

Now that the patch is live for a week, it’s possible we’ll see Anduin as part of the next content patch. But when? Here’s a list of all patches (with the exception of hotfixes) released this year:

March 26 // Live Patch

March 18 // PTR Patch

February 27 // Balance Update

February 12 // Live Patch

February 4 // PTR Patch

January 23 // Balance Update

January 8 // Live Patch

January 2 // PTR Patch

Balance Updates always go live in 15 days after a new content patch, so we can expect another Balance Update on April 10. The time gap between Balance Updates and PTR Patches is anywhere between 12-19 days, without the changes to cadence taken into consideration. Now it’s time for some wild guesses and possible dates for the Anduin Patch PTR!

If we get a Balance Update on April 10, we should see a new PTR Patch between April 22 and April 29, going live a week afterward, so either April 29 or May 6 are the dates when Anduin should go lhit live servers.

When Brack announced the HGC cancellation, it was clear that it’s not going to have an immediate effect on the pacing of updates for the game in the coming months, since patches are usually developed and planned months ahead.

Blizzard (Source)

Yesterday, we announced a difficult decision—the HGC will not be returning in 2019 and we’ll be transitioning some Heroes of the Storm developers to our other game teams. While our extended Blizzard family working on World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and our unannounced projects will be getting an influx of much-needed, extremely talented Heroes devs to help them achieve their goals, it also means that we’ll need to change the cadence of support for Heroes going forward.

Right now, it’s April and we’re likely going to hit that mark when the slowdown becomes noticeable in the coming months, possibly, resulting in less content updates for the game, eventually rendering the release dates above useless.

Anyway!  3 months have passed without a new Hero release, but should you really care? So long as there are Balance Updates and rework patches that keep the game & meta fresh, I don’t personally mind the lack of new Heroes, do you? Let us know what you think down in the comments!

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