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View the previous post on HeroesHearth here.
View all of my previous blog posts here.
Hello again! After each balance patch, I've taken it upon myself to track how the balance changes have affected the Nexus. It's become something of a habit for me, and I thought it might be fun to share my data with the community.
In case you've forgotten what changed in the last patch, here's a link.
Disclaimer (please read!):
All data provided in this post was collected from Hotslogs, which is a database of player-submitted games. Data was collected between 3:30 PM and 4:30 PM EST each day, using the special filter "Last 7 Days (Current Build)". As usual, keep in mind that my numbers may differ slightly from Hotslogs's "official" figures as the site regularly updates older information as more games are added. Therefore, our data may not match up perfectly, but it should give a generally accurate view of how the week progressed.
Here is a link to the spreadsheet with the data I've collected. The spreadsheet contains all of my original data, split into two categories: "Composite" (which represents all data across the entire week) and "Daily" (which represents data from each individual day). If you'd prefer a summarized report, read on!
Here is a table showing the win rates, pick rates, ban rates, and overall popularity of each hero in Hero League and Team League:
Remember, only the heroes whose win rates are highlighted blue/orange with white text have exceeded their margin of error. Heroes which do not exceed the margin of error are considered to have too little data to confirm that they have changed in any significant way. Note that the error column assumes a 95% confidence interval. To put it simply, a 95% confidence interval is a numerical way to measure whether the win rate has changed in any significant way. If the change to a win rate exceeds the error, then we can assume that there is approximately a 95% chance that the win rate has changed.
The seven-day analysis is below. Please note that while I try to cover all heroes, not all heroes are in need of in-depth analysis of their changes, so some heroes may have short summaries or may even be omitted entirely. Also, be aware that the contents of this section are primarily my own opinion of the changes, albeit backed with data. If you disagree, feel free to explain why in the comments below.
1) Orphea's buffs seem to have made a clear impact on her performance. In both Hero and Team League, Orphea's climb exceeds the margin of error. The 10% increase to her base attack damage doubles as a boost to her self-sustain, making it the most likely culprit of this change. All indications suggest that the change to Lurking Terror was likely more of a buff than a nerf due to the much shorter cooldown to fire off ranged Chomps now, meaning the talent may not need that "sprucing up" after all.
2) Mal'ganis took a pretty big hit to his win rate, as seemingly small changes made a big difference. Much like with Orphea, losing damage means losing sustain, and Mal'ganis lost about 4% of his auto-attack damage in this patch. That said, the larger factors are likely to be the reduced sustain from Carrion Swarm (the more popular heroic pick) and the slight cooldown increase on Fel Claws, which reduces the number of stuns he can dish out on a regular basis just marginally. While these changes seem small, together they make a picture of a hero with reduced sustain and less frequent stun chains, which are both big on a tank. It remains to be seen how this will change pro play, of course, as we never got to see him in his "OP" form in the HGC.
3) It is somewhat unclear how much the change to Whitemane truly impacted her. The lack of significant change in Team League means that the Hero League shift could well be a fluke or false positive. It's also somewhat questionable what the change is. The slight increase in CD would ordinarily be a nerf, but given that Whitemane's cooldown on Q was already very small and this only marginally increased it (0.3 to 0.5), it's just as possible that this has helped limit the number of "fat finger" double presses on the keyboard, making her more effective for players that might have accidentally been overusing her Q healing before. This change will need further monitoring.
4) Hanzo's changes result in another spike in win rate, possibly due to the increased power of his AA build for lower tier players. Most of the upper echelon of players seem to agree that Never Outmatched is still the play despite its reduced strength for mercenary farming or immortals on Battlefield of Eternity, but the increase to his auto-attack may well have renewed people's interest in his AA build as an option and possibly gave him a marginal bump in success this week. Of course, without similar confirmation from Team League's numbers, it's hard to be sure if he actually shifted all that much at all, so this may be speculation on my part.
5) Deckard's increased potion timers and costs seem to have had much more influence than the corresponding buff to their healing. Despite a 10% buff to healing strength, his win rate in Team League has trended downwards and fallen below the "balanced" threshold of 45-55% that the devs typically aim for. While a 1s increase in CD and 5 extra mana doesn't seem like much, it can pile up quickly. Previously, a Deckard could use potions as many as 15 times in the course of 30 seconds (as his 3s CD is reduced to 2s with his trait), healing for 3285 HP baseline for a total cost of 300 mana. Now, he's limited to 11 potions in that same span, healing 2640 HP at a cost of 275 mana. This is a massive decrease in his mana efficiency (12%) and healing output (18%) in general.
6) Abathur's win rate change is likely a false positive. There is no matching data in Team League to support this climb, and his only change was a clear nerf, so it's very possible this is just a false reading. Of course, there's also the outside chance that this change is pushing more players to try his other builds and realizing that Abathur is not as one-dimensional as the HGC might make him seem. But again, there's too little data available to support this hypothesis.
Looking for more of my work? My last HGC article focuses on Kerrigan, the revamped Queen of Blades, and her performance at Blizzcon. That article is located here. Feel free to let me know your thoughts to this article in the comments section below, or on Twitter at my handle @CriticKitten. I look forward to your replies!
Hope to see you again next time!