Heroes of the Storm...
I tabbed over to my email last night and saw I had received an invitation to the technical alpha for Blizzard Entertainments new MOBA, Heroes of the Storm. For those who are unaware, this is a game that combines the many characters across Blizzard's multiple universes into a moba-style game similar to League of Legends or Dota 2.
Well, after playing several games and reading up on their plans for the future I have very mixed feelings about the entire thing.
Ignoring optimization issues and bugs, these are the things about the game that I dislike:
- Lack of UI scaling. It's obnoxiously large by default, I don't click and don't need or want something taking up that much screen space.
- Skins are priced pretty high, with $7.50 and $9.99 being the average ones from what I can see. I assume they thought that by having a few skins available for purchase with in-game currency it would balance out, but I would much rather have no skins available for purchase with in-game currency and have them be cheaper overall.
- Lack of spell effects and environmental effects. I see this being addressed soon, but if it's not this could potentially become a problem. For example, currently when you walk into a bush and are made invisible to the enemy team, the only indicator you have of this is a small, dull-colored eye floating above your character. For a MOBA, this is just another unnecessary distraction. Show me as much information as possible without making me look away from what's going on.
- Blizzard has announced plans for an "Artifact System" which would closely resemble the rune system from League of Legends. Blizzard, WHY? I've played nearly a couple thousand games in League of Legends, and this is one of the most hated features for anyone that wants to bring a friend into the game. This also deters players from switching to Heroes of the Storm from say LoL or Dota, because even if they are highly skilled they may still lose to less skilled players due to the fact they have less stats.
Things that are going well for the game:
- The mechanic of the Mine and how it impacts the game. Very cool and interesting.
- Hero concepts thus far all seem to work very well.
- Extremely fast paced games, which is mostly due to the next point..
- Shared exp system. Your team levels up together, and there is no gold or anything like you're used to in other mobas. You'll never two shot someone on the enemy team because of this, everything stays fairly even. In my opinion, this increases the skill factor for the game quite a bit as you have to be consistently good and cannot win off nothing but an early game advantage.
- Well made and looking pretty polished already, which is pretty typical of Blizzard alpha/beta in my experience.
- A lot of fresh ideas on a genre that has been getting a little stale lately.
- The core concepts and game mechanics work.
Right now I still think the game could go either way. They have the ability to extend whats there into something great, or push it into the ground. Either way, it will have a massive player base and will not likely be leaving the field for awhile. It is a Blizzard game after all.