Heroes of the Storm has been in technical alpha testing for several months now, and I’ve drawn many conclusions from what I’ve seen. One is, of course, that the game is really fun, and the dialogue/nods to old lore and so on is well done. But what has stuck out the most for me is the tutorial.
For those who cannot watch at the time, the above videos feature voice acting, multiple characters and even a (this one is not present in the video however) StarCraft II campaign style cutscene. While the story is deliberately silly and over the top, I still found it engaging to see Raynor, Uther, Stitches and Diablo interact and battle each other in the Nexus. For example, the argument between Raynor, Diablo and Stitches over whether its possible to “feast on terror” is great, and I would love to see more scenes like this.
Now as a multiplayer, DotA type game, one may argue that outside of the tutorial there is no place for a story. I would have agreed until Blizzard’s announcement of “Adventure Mode” in the similarly free-to-play, multiplayer focused Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. They found a way to add a somewhat story based, PvE experience to their cardgame, and the fan response has been an overall positive one so far. Thus I say, can Heroes of the Storm not also have an Adventure Mode?
Imagine, that maybe once or twice a year (or however often Blizzard plans to make adventures for Hearthstone), they would release a short collection of PvE objectives that continue the adventures of Blizzard’s characters in the Nexus. They would be light-hearted, sure, but Blizzard has always done humor and in-jokes well. Adventure Mode could even possess an ongoing storyline, revealing more information about what the Nexus is, or it could just be explorations of “how would such and such characters interact with each other? Wouldn’t it be cool/funny/epic depending on the combo?”.
Of course, one may argue that incentives for playing alone in a game designed around team battles would be contradictory. In that case, the adventures could also be co-op enabled, or even co-op entirely. With the removal of the ability to complete quests in co-op games, they are sorely in need of a purpose. Training is already covered by the similar practice mode, so adventure could be where can co-op really shine.
Hearthstone‘s Adventure Mode also provides rewards for those not interesting in PvE and funny interactions with Naxxramas bosses. An Adventure Mode for Heroes of the Storm would need the same sort of bonus incentives. Such rewards could range from unlocking skins or color variants for heroes, unique mounts, or perhaps even giving an alternate way of unlocking heroes besides gold or real money. If this latter option were to be the case, Adventure Mode would likely need to be bought in to with in game gold or real money, like Hearthstone‘s will be.
Now, am I suggesting Blizzard immediately begin planning/working on an Adventure Mode for Heroes of the Storm? No, not at all. Right now Blizzard should focus on balance, finishing their roster of heroes for launch (which seems to include far more than the ones currently playable in the alpha) and ensuring this is the best Blizzard characters Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game they could possibly make. But once Heroes of the Storm has officially launched, and Blizzard must decide what next to do with it, I think an Adventure Mode would be the perfect step forward.
One of the first things, it might even be the first thing come to think of it, I do when I join a Dota2 match is mute everyone on the other team. They’ve never said anything I needed to hear anyway. Any potential for humor, meaningful exchanges, friendly asides has already been destroyed by playing this game. What they’re going to say probably cruel, racist, sexist, homophobic, insulting, angry, demeaning, and pointless. So I mute them. It helps. Sometimes I mute my teammates if they’re especially vitriolic or crude but not always. They might say something useful, organize a gank, or talk about a useful push strat.
I love that I can’t communicate with the enemy team in Heroes. Love it. I don’t want to talk to them. If I want to, I can friend them and chat that way but the freedom to scream via a keyboard at a stranger on the internet is gone, and I don’t miss it.
The Lost Vikings and Rock’N Roll Racing are now free-to-play as a digital download. Go to your Battle.net account, and visit the Download Client page (USA) | (EU).
A few months ago, Blizzard Entertainment also released Blackthorne. It seems Blizzard might want newer fans to experience and know this characters. During the PAX East 2014, a fan asked if we would ever see Blackthrone and other Blizzard classic games characters in Heroes of the Storm, to which Dustin Browder the developers will discuss that.
Imagine fighting in Heroes of the Storm as Blackthorne with his shotgun, and explosive devices. Running away, and turning around his arm to shoot those behind him while running.
How about playing as any of the three Lost Vikings? Or even as all of three of them at the same time? (Could that even be possible? Well, look at Abathur — yes, it can.)
How about one of the Rock’N Roll Racing vehicles? Seeing how Blizzard added the Siege Tank, and it has its own set of unique talents, it might be possible. Imagine shooting oil on the ground to make Heroes slide and fall, or to slow them down? Machine gunning down Heroes too, or knocking them back with a sudden burst of speed. All that sounds fun.
Nova is a nasty little hero – a ranged assassin. She’s a predator, a ganker, pure and simple. She can lane and pick up a few talents that boost her laning potential, but Nova shines when she’s cloaked, stalking, and punishing heroes low on life. Or not low on life. With a single ally nearby, Nova can bring almost anyone down. She’s fragile though, and a few hits from enemies is enough to kill her. Used correctly, Nova is brutal and terrifying. Used poorly, she’s free food.
We’re in the process of releasing a new patch for the Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha. Complete patch notes can be found below, and keep your eye on the April 29 Maintenance thread to find out when the Nexus is back online.
Custom Games have been disabled.
Attempting to create a Custom Game will now cause the following error message to display: “Error: Custom Games are not allowed.”
The Art of War slow search radius decreased from 8 to 5.
Bug Fixes General
A bundle’s individual components can no longer be purchased separately if that bundle is already owned.
Blur effects no longer cause game screens to appear solid red when Shaders are set above Low on a Mac.
Fixed an issue which incorrectly awarded 2000 Gold upon reaching both levels 4 and 5. Gold is no longer awarded at level 4, though level 5 still grants 2000 Gold.
Hero Quests were granting fewer experience points than intended, and now award the following XP amounts:
Quest 1: 150,000 XP
Quest 2: 300,000 XP
Quest 3: 750,000 XP
Quest 4: 1,125,000 XP
Quest 5: 2,250,000 XP
Quest 6: 3,000,000 XP
(Please note: Neither of these progression system fixes are retroactive. If you earned 2000 gold by reaching level 4 before today’s patch, it’s yours to keep. Further, you will not receive additional XP to compensate for Hero Quest completed prior to today’s patch, but completing a Hero Quests from now on should reward the XP values above.)
Heroes and Talents
Tassadar’s Force Wall now correctly blocks pathing.
Li Li’s Blinding Wind can no longer affect Grave Golems.
Corrected an issue which caused Sgt. Hammer to deal less attack damage in Siege Mode than intended.
Several abilities and talents are now properly usable between the upper and lower levels of Haunted Mines.
I’ve played about twenty games of Heroes since I was inducted into the Alpha about a week back. The first few were against bots, with bots, but once versus opened up I jumped in and went to town. I don’t know what my record is and I don’t care much to know – what I do know is that collecting and using the environmental boons is the most fun I’ve had as a support player in a long, long time.
Creep stacking is boring. It get tedious quickly, you never reap the rewards from it directly, and you spend most of your time dodging enemies, watching a clock, and trying to ensure the ancients are piled high enough for your AM to butcher.Sure, there’s some quirky fun to be had pulling creeps, stacking neutrals, XP denying by raiding camps, but it’s an empty sort of fun. I’m working for someone else. My decisions have been made for me. I want to help and that means creep stacking and babysitting.
Heroes of the Storm has freed me from that routine. I still babysit the assassins and warriors; but it feels less obligatory. They’re capable and nasty from the get go. My presence with a shield or HoT just amplifies their threat. I can wander and collect tributes, help control or contest shrines, hoard doubloons to buy artillery bombardments. I like that. The maps are small enough to give me room to work, to hit merc camps and wittle them down, but to slide back into a fight and shield Kerrigan before she dies. I’m out of the fighting, but not entirely. I get to help my team but I’m not stuck stacking creeps.
Instead, my tributes weaken minions and towers. My doubloons get cannon fire. I’m useful in an active sense, not a passive one. I got twenty skulls and made our golem even better. I like helping my team. I love contributing to fights with heals and buffs, stuns, and crowd control. I can do that, and I can power us up with a rampaging Dragon Knight who breathes fire and kicks enemies.
Purchasing a new Hero is a big deal. You earn gold when you level up, and when you complete certain daily quests which reward gold in addition to XP (experience).
The shop allows you to purchase new heroes with this gold, or you also have the option to buy with real money. Whenever you buy a new Hero, that hero plays a short animation celebrating that you have unlocked him/her.
Below is a short video showing Brightwing, Li Li Stormstout, Naziba the Witch Doctor, Malfurion Stormrage and Muradin Bronzebeard.
A wonderful Heroes of the Storm Community Creation.
“I AM THE SWARM!” – KERRIGAN, QUEEN OF BLADES
The inhabitants of the Nexus and their visitors come in all shapes and sizes. From the smallest baby murloc up through the looming presence of the Lord of Terror, there are an impressive assortment of personalities that crave to test their skills on the many Battlegrounds scattered about the Nexus.
Illustrating Blizzard heroes vying for dominance is no easy task, but artist Xuezhi Wang, Magiclefty has created a number of impressive pieces of art featuring familiar heroes from the farthest reaches of Azeroth, Sanctuary, and the Koprulu Sector doing just that. In this Community Showcase, we wanted to share with you a small sample of this artist’s impressive body of work. Source