BlizzCon: Heroes Of The Storm Revealed
I don’t understand the MOBA genre, although it’s not for lack of trying. I’ve watched numerous streams trying to figure out League of Legends and DOTA2, but alas I just sit there confused. I could just start playing and try and figure it out, however the community within said games isn’t known for being very beginner friendly. There’s also the fact that I don’t know any of the story or the characters. All of this though, has now become moot. Thanks to Blizzard.
Heroes of the Storm is a free-to-play online team brawler, starring your favorite Blizzard characters. Build and customize heroes from across every Blizzard universe to suit your play style. Team up with your friends and engage in fast-paced mayhem across varied battlegrounds that impact strategy and change the way you play the game.
In each match you can select from an array of Blizzard heroes and join a team to battle against enemy players, with the ultimate goal of destroying the enemy base. You’ll have the opportunity to stage classic showdowns such as Raynor vs. Kerrigan, or mix and match heroes from different games to fight together and against each other.
Each hero starts the game with a set of powerful abilities and traits, and over the course of the battle you’ll have the ability to customize your hero with unique talents and heroic abilities. While each hero has certain core strengths, the talents you select can greatly change the way your hero fights. Support heroes like Uther for example, can be played as almost a pure healer, or can take on more of a damage dealing role.
Some of you MOBA vets might be wondering how this is in any way different from the games you have sunk an inhuman amount of hours into. Well…
Heroes offers a uniquely Blizzard take on the genre. You’ll choose from an array of different Blizzard heroes, each of whom is customizable through a versatile talent system. One of these talent options is a selection between different ultimate heroic abilities. Arthas, as an example, can choose the ability to call Sindragosa, a giant frost wyrm, to do a strafing run. Or he can raise an army of the undead to swarm the enemy. Which one is better? Well, that’s like asking if dragons or zombies are more awesome—that’s up to you. Cool choices like these exist in each hero’s unique talent array.
The game also offers a selection of different battlegrounds to fight on. Each battleground has a special secret that can affect the overall strategy of the match. In Blackheart’s Bay for example, a ghostly pirate ship has taken up residence in the center. Treasure chests of gold coins spawn periodically on either side of the battleground. You can collect these coins or steal them from enemy players to pay tribute to Blackheart. Pay enough bounty and he’ll train the ship’s cannons on enemy fortifications for terrible, terrible damage. The Cursed Hollow battleground offers a different challenge. Here, the fickle Raven Lord holds sway. During the fight, tribute totems will spawn periodically — collect enough of them and the Raven Lord will curse the opposing team, disabling their towers and weakening their minions for a period of time.
Many of the battlegrounds share environmental features, like forts, which are sprinkled along the pathways between each team’s base. Each fort includes structures such as gates to prevent enemy movement and healing fountains for health and mana regeneration, in addition to a protective guard tower. Capturable watchtowers also mark important positions on many battlegrounds, offering vision on key areas.
It’s all sounding pretty good on paper. Unfortunately I was only watching BlizzCon, so I wasn’t there to try it myself. A beta has been announced though and we should be seeing that in the new year at some point. If you want to opt in to it, you can do that here. I will freely admit that I am hugely psyched for this game. Heroes that I can relate to and being that Blizz games are generally very polished and user friendly, I think this could be my way in to the genre.
We can only hope the community will be much more civil with each other.