Heroes of the Storm March 29th update brings with it many changes

While Blizzard's Hearthstone team seems very content with leaving balance issues to hopefully sort themselves out, the Heroes of the Storm crew is much more proactive, not to mention effective, as is apparent with the massive upcoming patch which is currently going through public testing.

The as of yet unnamed update brings with it a new hero, a single-lane map, multiple hero reworks, numerous balance changes and bug fixes, and most importantly for the competitive scene - the ability to ban heroes. Here are the patch notes and a quick overview of the changes:

I would usually list out the patch notes in their entirety and highlight the important parts, but this update is so massive and all-inclusive there is no way of doing so without having half of the text highlighted and this article appearing as if its a college freshman's notebook. Instead, I'd recommend you head over to the neatly organized patch notes Blizzard has posted up.

Here are the cliff-notes instead:

• Lost Cavern is the new battleground and it features just one lane, and a whole lot of madness. There are no mercenaries, you cannot hearthstone and the only way to heal is to claim neutral Regeneration Globes located at the sides of the map. In other words, prepare for a fight to the death, from minute one to the very end.

• Dahaka from Starcraft 2 is the newest hero to join the roster, and just by reading his spells I can already tell you are going to hate him. He's ultra mobile, capable of escaping harm and rather tanky, but pays for that with what appears to a limited offensive kit. Still, if you thought chasing around Abathur gets tiresome, you haven't seen anything yet.

• All ranked games from this patch onward will feature the "Mid Ban" method during drafts, which means each team has two ban rounds, one before hero picks even begin, and the other halfway through the draft. While this might increase the time you spend in the lobby by a couple of minutes, I'm sure everyone will agree this is a much needed change for the competitive future of HOTS.

• You no longer need level 30 to access ranked games, instead "all" you need is access to at least 14 heroes who have reached Level 5 or higher in order to participate. I'm pretty sure this is going to end up taking longer than simply gaining level 30, but its a necessary evil given the banning system.

• AFK detection should now react quicker to a player simply sitting in base, twiddling their thumbs

• Numerous balance changes, hero reworks, and bug fixes I cannot even hope to cover, so you'll have to check those out in the patch notes

This update will most likely be available on March 29th, but don't be surprised if some of the changes get reversed, adjusted, or even expanded on as its all currently undergoing testing.

Heroes of the Storm Dahaka hero

How can you not just trust such a smile