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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Heroes of the Storm - Party Size Changes for Hero League Coming Soon

We made a few big changes to Ranked play with our latest Heroes of the Storm patch and, in the days that followed, saw quite a bit of discussion around the new maximum party size rule for Hero League. After reading through player feedback, we examined internal data in order to determine how additional party size limits might affect Ranked play, and have decided to further restrict Hero League to players who queue alone, or in parties of two.

When we look at the data for parties of three and four players in Hero League, we often see large skill gaps among party members. This is fine for players in a party of four, for example, who have agreed to queue together despite any differences in skill that may exist. However, the matchmaker needs to complete the team by pulling in a fifth player who queued up alone, and did not necessarily want to play with teammates of varying skill levels.

This can also create situations in which party members will discuss strategy with each other, but don’t end up communicating the game plan to their fifth teammate. On the other end of the spectrum, solo players may disagree with the party’s decisions, or show unwillingness to help the team. This can result in a friction for both sides if communication doesn’t improve.

What’s more, parties of three and four players appear in Hero League queues far less often than solo players and parties of two. As such we feel that large parties represent a small enough portion of Ranked games that we’re comfortable removing them from Hero League in order to improve overall match quality.

This change to restrict Hero League to solo and duo queuing players will arrive with our next game update. As always, we’re going to monitor how the new rule affects the Hero League experience, and will make further adjustments as necessary. Play a few Hero League games once the change has gone live, and let us know what you think in the official Heroes forums. Until next time, we’ll see you in the Nexus!

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