Blizzard at PAX EAST 2014!

Blizzard Entertainment announced their schedule and plans for their exhibition at PAX East, an event celebrated in Boston.

Blizzard will be at Booth #848 showcasing a World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor demo, a hands-on playable version of the Hearthstone on iPad, a brand-new demo of Heroes of the Storm with new heroes not available yet in the Technical Alpha, and a panel to be presented at the Albatross Theatre on Friday, April 11 at 10:30a.m.

Calling all Heroes, we’ve got something new to show you, and we’re bringing it to PAX East! If you’re attending, be sure to grab your shield and sword and join us at BOOTH #848! Head over for your chance to play an all-new Heroes demo featuring brand-new Heroes (playable for the very first time only at PAX), live in-booth shoutcasts, and more! And don’t forget to arrive early and join Blizzard developers at the Albatross Theatre on Friday, April 11 at 10:30 a.m. EDT for Heroes of the Storm: The Ultimate Blizzard Mashup. If you’re not attending PAX East this year (or you’re already overloaded from all the epicness on display at the show), fear not— the entire panel will be streamed live on the official PAX Twitch channel. Source

For those who prefer their information in bullet format, here’s a big list of what all you can expect at this year’s Blizzard booth:

  • Warlords of Draenor hands-on demo featuring updated character models and the intro experience for the upcoming expansion.
  • Hands-on time with the in-development Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition™, playable on PlayStation 4.
  • A chance to find out what’s in the cards for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and play the mobile version on iPad.
  • A brand-new demo for Heroes of the Storm, featuring new Heroes playable for the first time anywhere outside of Blizzard.
  • Blizzard developers will be on-hand to chat about your favorite games.
  • Blizzard developers will also be giving a presentation at the Albatross Theatre on Friday, April 11 at 10:30 a.m. EDT titled Heroes of the Storm: The Ultimate Blizzard Mashup (streamed live on one of the official PAX Twitch channels for those not in attendance).
  • And did we mention there will be giveaways, prizes, and more? If not . . . there will be giveaways, prizes, and more!

 

Head on over to east.paxsite.com for panel schedules and hotel and travel information.

 

We hope to see you there!

 

Blizzplanet | Heroes of the Storm First Impressions

Heroes of the Storm is extremely fun and addictive. I-know-I-know … it is no surprise, it is a no-brainer, and it’s not rocket-science. It’s a Blizzard Entertainment video game.

I have never played a MOBA video game in my life. The Warcraft III DOTA doesn’t count, right? I think I played that about 10 times a decade ago. I thought I wouldn’t enjoy Heroes of the Storm as much as I have enjoyed other beta testings, but I find myself playing more than 5 hours straight.

What makes me queue again after finishing a game? Well, It’s possibly the fun factor, but it may also be that I want to try another Hero. Then another hero. This game is easy to play and difficult to master. I have won many battlegrounds and I still don’t know why my team hasn’t lost having a noob tagging along. Which means anyone can play this game.

You don’t need to be an Elitist jerk (not the guild, the real deal) to win a battleground match against other players for as long as other players and yourself are sticking to the objectives of the battleground.

I have met defeat, nevertheless. Usually playing a different role or when playing in the Cursed Hollow battleground — which is bonkers hard.

Even so, following the objectives of the battleground do not guarantee victory. It is difficult to comprehend how one can win without completely following the battleground objectives. There are specific elements that might turn the tide in a unexpected direction.

For example, I am still wondering how my team won after the enemy team kept taking most of the skulls in the Haunted Mines and attacked our base constantly with epic golems. Something unique happened here that drove us to victory at the edge of nigh defeat with zero communication and no organization.

This is the painful 34 minute match that I am still wondering how we won. I summoned a battlecruiser and it happened to go into the enemy altar’s trajectory to hammer the final nail on its coffin. How that altar was nigh destroyed is beyond me. Was it the creeps we defeated and joined our cause? Did they keep attacking the enemy base unattended and the enemy party didn’t defend their own base? That might be a unexpected factor. Every single time the enemy would summon a bigger golem than ours — as the scoreboard can confirm. The 34-minute match video can be found at the bottom of this page.

heroes-of-the-storm-haunted-mines-crazy-win

So far I find Jim Raynor and Abathur my favorites. Abathur is difficult, but fun. The hardest for me so far has been Illidan and Tyrael. Their talents can be a bit confusing. Just requires me to play them more often in Practice or Cooperative Mode to master — which is fine by me. As a noob into the MOBA scene, so far Blizzard has sold Heroes of the Storm to me as a fun and addictive game I want to play.

The hardest problem for me at the moment is to find time to play Warlords of Draenor, Hearthstone, Diablo III and Heroes of the Storm. Can someone please stretch a day to be longer than 24-hours? Please?!

You Say Tomatoe, I say Tomato

So there is the term used often to describe League of Legends and DOTA 2: MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). Blizzard Entertainment has decided to stray away from calling Heroes of the Storm a MOBA video game. Blizzard calls Heroes of the Storm a Team Hero Brawler. I am going to offer my humble opinion on that.

Both, League of Legends and DOTA 2 are Free-to-Play games. I have heard wonders for years about both. I can care less. Not even for free. They have a missing ingredient, that Blizzard Entertainment focuses on. I have an emotional investment on the Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo lore (in terms of in-game quests, novels, short stories, mangas), their characters, races and locations.

When I set foot upon the Nexus, I was welcomed by freaking Uther the Lightbringer, and I was Jim Raynor. I could listen to Robert Clotworthy’s voice through [MY] Jim Raynor character.

As I shot my way through mobs, Jim Raynor made fun comments and references to things I have heard in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Uther even made a joke reference to Kael’thas’ “Death was just a setback.”

Whenever the Hero I play walks near a friendly Hero, the voice interacts with the random Hero standing next to me. When I am fighting an enemy Hero or kill that Hero, I get another voice over response to that.

It is fun. It is immersive. It is Awesome. It goes beyond a battle arena. I know these Heroes. I identify with them. DOTA 2 and League of Legends can be all what people on the internet say it to be, but I don’t know who those characters are, and I never cared to play them for Free.

If Blizzard asked me to pay $49.99 for Heroes of the Storm after playing Technical Alpha, I would gladly pay it. All they needed to convince me was the Developer Q&As and the gameplay videos at Twitch.tv/blizzheroes

That’s all it took long before Technical Alpha launched.

Heroes of the Storm – Gameplay Modes UI

After finishing the tutorial missions, you will find the Gameplay Modes option at the top-left corner on your screen … (Play).

There are three Gameplay Modes: Practice, Cooperative and Versus.

The Practice Mode is a single player (plus 3 AI allies) versus the AI. The Cooperative Mode queues the player to play with other players against the AI. The Versus Mode allows players to battle against other players.

The Cooperative Mode becomes unlocked after reaching level 2. Versus Mode is unlocked at level 3.

Note: I have never played a MOBA before, and make mistakes. Go easy on me. Simply enjoy the content. All you get to see in these videos are from the Technical Alpha and in no way represent what you will see in the final product. Graphic Settings’ Texture quality is set to Ultra on an EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST at 1920×1080. However, recorded using Xsplit at 1280×720. Choose 720HD after launching the videos. In addition, I have played all Blizzard betas beyond 2001. It’s possible Ultra settings’ art might be a placeholder in Technical Alpha.

Don’t forget to follow Blizzplanet on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube for the newest Heroes of the Storm videos.

 

Gameplay Mode UI

Practice Mode

After the tutorial, the player begins his first Practice Mode. It is basically a single-player with 3 AI allies versus 4 AI enemies. This video shows the Blackheart’s Bay battleground.

Heroes of the Storm – Tutorial Mission

When launching Heroes of the Storm for the first time, a tutorial kicks off right away to teach the player how to move and how to attack.

To move you right-click on the ground. To attack press A and left-click the target or the ground. Feels a lot like playing Warcraft III.

The tutorial can be pretty hilarious with the voice overs of Jim Raynor, Uther and Diablo. Raynor isn’t very impressed with Diablo’s lines about tasting his fear and tasting terror. Uther also throws another reference: “Death is merely a setback.”

Progress UI

Heroes of the Storm – Designer insights: Talkin’ ’bout Tychus

Heroes of the Storm Community Manager Trikslyr gave us more information on how they designed Tychus.

tycus

Designing a hero from the ground up is a fascinating subject, particularly with Blizzard characters that have a rich history in games, novels, and other media. To explore the subject, we invited Senior Game Designer Richard Khoo to chat about Tychus and how he came to fruition. Source

Trikslyr: Let’s talk about the design of Tychus; how was it decided to make him an assassin, and what makes him different from other heroes?

Richard: When we’re deciding what role a hero falls into and what makes them unique, we first think about the fantasy of the character and what they did in their universes. In Wings of Liberty, Tychus was a take-no-prisoners badass who rode around in a stolen Odin, used a chain gun and grenades to mow down the Zerg, and started a bar fight with Jimmy on the Hyperion. He’s clearly a rebel that let his fists do the talking. In this case, a hard hitting assassin just made sense.

T: Tychus’ Combat trait forces the marine to “Wind-up” his chain gun before attacking. In a game where constant fast action/battles are the focus of gameplay, why does a mechanic like Wind-up seem like a good fit?

Richard: We view the wind-up as a small cost to pay for the rapid attacks and higher overall damage. The sound and anticipation of Tychus about to gun something down also felt thematically appropriate. But, as you said, the game is very fast, so maybe it doesn’t work and we’d change the Combat trait in the future.

T: Heroes of the Storm supports a robust talent system that allows players to customize the feel and playstyles of their favorite heroes. What aspects of Tychus did the design team feel were a core part of his playstyle, and in what ways does your team intend for his talents and abilities to further flex what Tychus is capable of in-game?

Richard: Our goal with talents is to enhance the core hero’s design and sometimes offer new ways to play which feels like an extension of that hero. At his core, Tychus is designed to deal a great deal of burst damage with his Minigun, Overkill, and Frag Grenade combo. We have talents which make him deadly against other heroes with early talents like Dash (Increased Run and Gun Range) and Quarterback (Increased Grenade Range). Tychus is also very good at fighting minions in the lanes, and if you want to accentuate that part of Tychus, we have talents like Melting Point (Grenade deals extra DoT to minions) and Rapid Fire (After attacking three seconds, Tychus attacks faster).

T: When approaching hero powers, does the design team consider lore first or just create a concept and hope to find something in the lore that fits?

Richard: We always approach hero design with lore and fantasy first and foremost. We draw inspiration from our games if the hero was playable, and base their powers off of that. Generally speaking, there are too many powers and/or they don’t really work for Heroes, so we have to aggressively edit. An example of this – Tychus originally had a trait where when he would melee an enemy, and then stun them. Combined with a shoulder charge attack that could be targeted on an enemy, the same ability would give Tychus a shield if he targeted a minion. So you had to choose between targeting a hero and stunning them or a minion to get shield. We thought this created an interesting choice for gameplay purposes.

But, that kit didn’t quite work out. The gameplay was too complicated and didn’t make sense for a ranged assassin who had a massive chain gun that was most of his profile. So, we designed his kit around the mini-gun and we now have what you see today.

T: Here’s a fun question for you, Richard – if you were to pick four heroes to surround Tychus with, who would you pick?

I would play Tychus with Muradin, Illidan, Gazlowe, and Tassadar. We would all pick the heroes who have an ability to transform into something different.

A huge thank you to Richard for taking time out of his day and giving us some insight into what goes into designing a hero in Heroes of the Storm. We look forward to working with the design team more in the future as new content hits the public eye for Heroes of the storm.

Let us know what heroes you would pick to team up with Tychus, in the comment section below. If you have any questions for our design team, please feel free to ask in the comments below and we might pick yours to ask next time. As always, keep checking Heroesofthestorm.com for more content!

 

 

Heroes of the Storm – Alpha Access & Keys

Heroes of the Storm Community Manager Vaeflare has posted more information regarding Alpha Access & Keys.

REQUESTS FOR ALPHA ACCESS & KEYS – PLEASE READ! Source

The Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha is upon us!

At this time, there are no keys for Heroes of the Storm. So please be wary of any phishing sites or emails that claim to be offering alpha/beta keys, or access to the Technical Alpha. You can learn more about phishing here in this Battle.net support article.

If you are selected to participate in the Technical Alpha, you will receive an invite via email. Opt-in invites will always be sent to the email address associated with your Battle.net account.

To help avoid phishing attempts, if you believe you’ve received an invite, it’s best to refrain from clicking on any links in the email(s) you receive. If you received an opt-in invite, you can verify that your account has been granted a Technical Alpha license in your Battle.net Account Management.

While this is an exciting time, please note that we will be locking or removing any threads related to requesting access to the Technical Alpha or key requests.

Topics eligible for moderation include (but are not limited to):

  • I want access to the Technical Alpha!
  • I want an alpha key!
  • [Player A] should get a key!
  • I’ve played for [X] hours. Why didn’t I get a key?
  • [Player B] is awesome! Why didn’t [he/she] get a key?
  • [Player C] sucks! Why did [he/she] get a key?
  • I want to buy an alpha key.

If you’re interested in participating in the Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha, make sure you’ve opted-in for testing by opting in on your Battle.net account’s Beta Profile Settings page. By doing so, you’ll give yourself the best chance at gaining testing access as our needs evolve and we expand the pool of invited players in the weeks and months to come.

Please note that opting in to the Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha will not guarantee you access (especially since invites to our Technical Alpha will be extremely limited), but it will at least give you a chance at joining our upcoming testing phases.

If you’d like to know more about the Technical Alpha, our goals during this very early stage of testing, or how we’ll be rolling out invites, you can head here or check out our FAQ to get all the details.

 

Heroes of the Storm – FREE HERO ROTATION – WEEK OF MAR. 14, 2014

Heroes of the Storm Community Manager Spyrian has posted this week’s Free Hero Rotation.

Hello everyone!

With the advent of Heroes Technical Alpha testing, we’re also kicking off our weekly free hero rotation. This means that six heroes have been made free-to-play in any game mode (Practice, Co-op, Versus), and we’ll refresh the pool with a new set of free heroes each week.  Source

You’ll start with five free hero slots. Upon reaching level seven with the experience and progression system, you’ll unlock a sixth free-to-play hero slot. Now that we’ve covered the essentials, let’s take a look at your free hero rotation for this week!

Week of Mar. 14, 2014:

  • Falstad
  • Gazlowe
  • Raynor
  • Tyrael
  • Uther
  • Abathur

Kindly note that because we launched the Tech Alpha on Thursday, March 14, and the free rotation will be updated on Tuesdays, this week’s rotation will be a little shorter than those to come. Starting Tuesday, March 18, you can look forward to a full week to try out the heroes in each free rotation.

This post will be updated each week during the Tech Alpha whenever we update the free hero rotation — so be sure to check back here often! If you’d like to see hero rotations from previous weeks, we’ll be posting them as replies to this thread.

 

Heroes of the Storm – Store Prices List

The Heroes of the Storm store displays how much gold each hero can be purchased with, and that is a very clever way to display the pricing. By listing the heroes as purchasable with gold, the player doesn’t get slapped in the face with a real-money price tag as if it is an obligation.

Buying with real-money is optional. You decide to skip the time-consuming gold farming and pay cash. It’s a commodity. In the practical way, however, amassing large quantities of gold might take quite a while — like it does in Hearthstone, but more the challenging and rewarding the gameplay experience.

$9.99


Abathur
Kerrigan
Nova
Stitches
Witch Doctor

$7.49


Arthas
Barbarian
Diablo
ETC
Falstad
Gazlowe
Illidan
Sgt. Hammer
Tassadar
Tychus
Tyrael
Tyrande
Uther
Zeratul

$3.99


Demon Hunter
Malfurion
Muradin
Raynor

Note that these prices are merely Alpha prices and do not reflect what the final product’s prices might be. All Technical Alpha testers will get their real-money investment reimbursed into their Battle.net Account after Alpha and Beta come to an end.

Gold Cost

View the images below to see what each heroe’s gold price is.

Screenshot2014-03-14 00_12_56

Screenshot2014-03-14 00_13_02

Heroes of the Storm Installation Issues

If you are one of the lucky few who received an invitation to take part in Tech Alpha and have trouble installing. Please read:

We’ve identified some possible issues you may run into when trying to play Heroes, and some workarounds that can help. by Velnrak Source

Error: “Something went wrong while opening a file. If your internet connection is fine, you may need to download this game from Battle.net”:

  • Restart the Battle.net Desktop App
  • Click on Heroes of the Storm.
  • Click on “Install”.

Failed to install or patching issues:

  • Close your Battle.net App completely.
  • Wait for about 1 minute.
  • Start up the Battle.net App again.
  • Try to Install or Play Heroes.

If it continues to fail after the restart:

  • Collect your Battle.net Logs using the process listed here.
  • Please make a post summarizing your issue and email your zip file to[email protected].
  • Please use the following subject line for the thread [Username] [Thread Title] [Thread ID].

Good Luck, Have Fun, and see you in game!

 
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