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September 4th, 2018 Patch - 7 Days Later
7 Days Later
(banner courtesy of /u/Somber99)

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)" and focusing exclusively on Hero League data (with the exception of heroes like Cho'Gall, whose unique nature requires pulling data from Team League).  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).  It also contains a number of graphs showing how each hero is performing in both win rate and popularity.  If you'd prefer a summarized report, read on!



Here is a table showing the win rates, pick rates, ban rates, and overall popularity:
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.



Here is a table showing the composite and daily win rates as charts, as well as a chart comparing the previous and current pick/ban rates:
Win rates are shown as a bar indicating their relative distance from 50%.  Blue bars shown above the line are win rates that are above 50%, and orange bars below the line show win rates that are below 50%.  This gives a visual representation of how the win rate has changed each day.  The final column splits the pick rate and ban rate into blue and orange sections, respectively, to show their overall influence on the popularity.  The bar above is the original popularity, and the bar below represents the popularity after the designated period.



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) Mephisto has experienced steady growth throughout the week. Mephisto started out the week with a win rate below 50%, but has climbed in the days since release and now sits at a fairly comfortable 51.1% WR.  Based on the stats we can see on our end, it seems that his talents are mostly balanced, with a few possible exceptions.  His Static Barrier talent (82.0% PR, 51.6% WR) is out-performing other talents in its tier (+71.7 p.p. and +2.8 p.p. vs next highest talent), though it doesn't necessarily feel "broken" either.  This may be a case where we see some gentle tuning of all of his Lvl 4 choices.  There's also a noticeable difference in the numbers on Static Field (62.9% PR, 56.5% WR), which is beating the other Lvl 16 choices (+41.4 p.p. and +2.1 p.p. vs next highest talent).  I'd also personally like to see some small adjustments on Frost Storm, which feels like the most clunky of the Lvl 7 choices (and seems to be doing the worst of the three).  It seems a bit odd to place the effects of the slow around the shade itself since you're often using the shade to jump in, and this seems to imply that you're doing the opposite.  Perhaps it's just a matter of taste, but I find it the least effective choice in that tier.

And of course, there's a clear gap between Consume Souls (93.1% PR, 51.8% WR) and Durance of Hate (6.9% PR, 41.3% WR).  The big thing I'm seeing is that Consume Souls doesn't actually seem to be too terribly overpowering as many people thought it would be.  Rather, Durance of Hate is just kind of poor for Hero League play in its current form.  Maybe that'll change in pro play, but I'm a bit skeptical, myself.  Durance of Hate seems to require a few too many things to go right to be effective, whereas Consume Souls can be freely popped any time.  I'd like to see them tone down some of Durance of Hate's big drawbacks, such as the initial delay in firing and the slower speed at which it spreads, making it feel strictly inferior to a Malfurion root.  I think removing or adjusting some of these delays will definitely help improve the ability's feel enough to where it will take much less number tweaking to balance it out with Consume Souls.

2) Tyrande's rework did not, in fact, kill her as a hero....though it seems to have given her far too much base strength.  There is much debate about whether her play style is "fun", and in my own opinion it's plenty fun....but there can be no debate about whether or not it's strong.  Tyrande's win rate has surged to a 56% WR over the course of the week.  All indications at present suggest that she's got a little too much base power, as almost all of her talents are performing well (and none are below 53.1% in WR).  I would personally like to see her mana costs increased slightly.  As others have mentioned many times, her mana efficiency is probably one of the biggest issues she's got right now, and is probably the best place to start with fixes and tweaking.  I would like to see her healing costs increased slightly to see if that can level off her power a bit.

I said before that I think her new kit is fairly fun and pretty diverse, but I will admit to being disappointed in one particular aspect: I think that they removed too much of her owl build's fantasy.  I'm fine with the damage being reduced, but I feel that this was a missed opportunity to give her owl build some more creative and interesting talents.  For example, I would've liked to see an early-game owl talent which allows you to re-activate the owl mid-flight to cause it to explode in place, dealing area damage and revealing the area and all heroes in the blast radius for a longer period of time.  This would've allowed Tyrande even more scouting utility on the owl, letting her drop owls at key locations like a short-term ward.

Instead, it feels like the devs may have just settled for reducing owl build's damage without rethinking its talents.  For example, Harsh Moonlight provides damage reduction on the target hit by the owl....but uses for something like that from long-range will be few and far between.  It's one of those talents that's better suited for point-blank owl spam akin to her previous design, and no longer really fits what she does now.  And the few owl talents that did get any significant changes were adjusted in rather odd ways, like Ranger's new design that requires activating a secondary key to get target penetration with your owls.  This feels rather clunky in practice, at least from my experience, and I can't see any reason to bother with it.  I hope that, once Tyrande's win rate is back down to something more reasonable, her owl talents are revisited and given a bit more creative love to expand upon her utility options with that tool, and perhaps to shave some of these clunky aspects out.



Looking for more of my work?  My last HGC article focuses on the third ban's impact on competitive play.  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!
Comments
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Thanks as always!
I'll be honest, I disagree near entirely on the ideas for owl, but yeah, lots of personal ideas of course. Nice to see it worked out well numerically though!