Heroes of the Storm Patch 2 Introduces New UI Experience
The latest patch has introduced a different UI experience simplifying how players access features.
Previously, you could check out daily quests by clicking the yellow exclamation mark at the top-right when in the main lobby. Now these can be found by clicking your level icon located at that same spot. Clicking your level opens up your profile hub.
In this new Profile Hub you can now see four tabs: Profile Summary, Hero Quests, Daily Quests and Match History.
Profile Summary and Match History are not currently available in the Technical Alpha. The Match History sounds interesting. Makes you wonder what Blizzard is planning to do with that type of data.
Play Lobby: Heroes Menu Overhaul
The Heroes menu which allowed you to pick which hero to play as, used to be a horizontal row of tall Hero portraits. You used left or right arrows to browse through available heroes not displayed in the front. Only 17 Heroes fit onscreen.
After the patch, the hero selection UI has been simplified showing only the face of the Hero inside an hexagonal shape. Now 28 Heroes fit onscreen without having to scroll left or right.
Battlegrounds: Custom Games
Before the new patch, players would go to the Play-> Standard tab – where they could pick one of three gameplay modes: Practice, Coop, and Versus. In this new patch, Blizzard opened up the second tab: Custom Games.
Essentially, Custom Games allows a player to choose which Battleground in specific they wish to play in.
You can invite friends as allies still, but the curious thing about this new feature is that you can also choose who the enemy players can be. You can either invite friends to play as enemies, or you can fill all slots with enemy AI. Note: The 5 Enemy Slots (with the “+” sign) can be seen on the right-side of the screen by the edge.
If you choose to fill all enemy slots with AI, then you can hover over the enemy slots and right click to open a sub-menu which allows you to choose difficulty: Beginner, Recruit, Adept, Veteran, Elite. You can also kick an enemy from that slot within that submenu. You also have the option to choose the difficulty for each individual enemy slot and combine. For example:
Enemy 1: Beginner
Enemy 2: Beginner
Enemy 3: Elite
Enemy 4: Veteran
Enemy 5: Adept
Alternatively, after you fill all 5 enemy slots with AI, you can kick one or more AI to invite friends in the enemy slots. That means you could play against 2 enemy players and 3 enemy AI if you wished to.
Skins, Mounts, Abilities UI
Before the patch, to change your skin, and mounts didn’t look so user-friendly. You had to click a right or left arrow to navigate your options.
After the patch, now you get a visual representation of the choices available to change your skin and mount before you queue to a game.
Skins UI Change
There was a slight change in the Skins UI. Before the patch, the Skin navigation UI only showed the face area. Now you see the model from head to hip to visualize better your options. That comes handy when Blizzard keeps adding more skins.
One of the most welcomed changes to the Shop is the Talents page. Before the patch, the player had all the talents displayed as icons. You had to hover your mouse over each individual icon to read a pop up tooltip. After the patch, you have to click the level 1, level 4, level 7 icons to see all the talents available for that specific level. All talents are displayed without the need to hover. It is really appreciated to be able to read all the talents per level in one go in order to compare and choose.
I will post about the Shop Bundles in another article found here, which allows you to buy Heroes with real money by Franchise (Diablo, Warcraft, StarCraft). One can save with these bundles which include skin variations and mounts.