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Heroes of the Storm removes bonus trickle XP in favor of new 'Underdog' bonus

Heroes of the Storm Screenshot - 1166021

Heroes of the Storm, despite its polish, is still technically in alpha. As such, the developers over at Blizzard are continuously tweaking the games and implemented/disabling systems to see what works and what doesn't for the upcoming MOBA. After weeks of testing the in-game bonus trickle experience system, Blizzard has decided to put it on hold and try out an alternate system: an "Underdog Bonus".

"While we felt that bonus trickle XP satisfied our goals for allowing teams to bridge level gaps, and make comebacks through the use of focused teamwork, we also think there are alternate solutions that are worth exploring. That said, we’d like to place bonus trickle XP on the backburner while we try out an “Underdog Bonus” in the next patch," Blizzard said in an update today.

In the next patch, the team that is behind in levels -- the "underdog" -- will earn bonus XP when an enemy hero is killed. The team that is ahead in levels will earn fewer experience points for takedowns.

"As a result of replacing bonus trickle XP with the new Underdog Bonus, you will likely start to see four and five level gaps crop up between teams from time to time," Blizzard explained. "This will occasionally happen when teams of varying skill are matched together due to the limited Tech Alpha population. Please keep in mind, however, that the amount of mismatched games will dramatically diminish as more and more players are invited to test the game.

"You can also expect larger level gaps to occur in part because the Underdog Bonus places more control into the hands of your team, and offers additional opportunities to eke out a comeback over the course of a game. If you’re ahead in levels, you’ll need to remain focused, and give up as few takedowns as possible to maintain the lead while you work toward the enemy Core. If your team finds itself behind, you’ll have to decide how best to close up that level gap. Do you take an enemy Fort, split up to soak XP in-lane, or dig in your heels and make life as difficult as possible for your opponents in hopes of scoring a few takedowns?"

Below are the more specific patch notes regarding the new Underdog bonus.

  • Bonus trickle experience gains have been removed.
    • Trickle XP will no longer be increased for a team that's three or more levels behind in a game.
    • Baseline trickle XP, which is the small amount of experience earned at the same rate by both teams over the course of a game, is still present.
  • A team that is behind in levels – the “underdog” – now earns bonus XP when an enemy hero is killed.
    • Starting at a one-level difference, each hero takedown secured by the lower-level team will grant a little more XP than it would at even levels.
    • The amount of bonus XP earned per takedown will scale significantly based on how many levels apart the teams are, and caps off at a four-level difference.
    • Bonus XP will be granted for each takedown until team levels become even.
  • A team that is ahead in levels now earns fewer experience points for takedowns.
    • This reduction in XP gains per takedown similarly begins at a one-level difference, scales significantly based on the level gap between teams, and caps at a four-level difference.
    • Likewise, takedowns will continue to grant reduced XP until team levels even out.

Blizzard warns that this is an early implementation for the Underdog Bonus, and assures they are already working on a "more refined" version of the system.

"We realize there are pros and cons to the bonus trickle XP and Underdog Bonus systems alike, and we’d like to remind you that none of this is final. We’re ultimately not yet sure which we’ll wind up using, or if there’s a third option worth trying in the future, but we are trying to find the best solution we can. We’ll continue to review playtest data, as well as your feedback, and make any additional changes as needed while we work toward this goal," Blizzard said.

[Battle.net]

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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