Heroes of the Storm is Blizzard Entertainment’s take on multiplayer online battle arena video games. The company has produced the original Warcraft whose mode resulted in the first MOBA ever, Defense of the Ancients. The game produced and released by them in 2015 is inspired by them but brings new features and emphasizes the importance of playing as a team. The game can be played on computers powered by OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems.
Gameplay of Heroes of the Storm
The Heroes of the Storm gameplay involves two teams consisting of five players each who compete for supremacy over several maps. Immediately after the game was released, players were able to wage war on 8 maps, a significant improvement from other MOBA games. Dozens of heroes were made available and significantly more were added over the course of time, to provide players with a real choice. The game relies heavily on micro-transactions for funding, yet they don’t give players any advantage.
The fact that players compete on eight maps, each with its unique objectives, makes the Heroes of the Storm gameplay more complex. Compared to other video games belonging to the MOBA genre, this one focuses heavily on completing these targets. Heroes level up by killing enemy characters as well as AI controlled units but accumulate more XP points by securing objectives. On some maps they need to destroy roaming bosses, while on others the goal is to control fortified positions for some time.
A major difference between Heroes of the Storm and other multiplayer online battle arena games is that players level up as a team. Basically, there’s no possibility of experience gap between players, so everyone needs to contribute to team success. Blizzard has also envisioned a system in which the losing team can recuperate the distance separating it from the one leading. Destroying mercenary camps, special buildings as well as securing objectives in late game is rewarded with more points.
In every MOBA game players need to choose heroes based on what the team needs, to create the perfect setup. Heroes of the Storm makes this decision even more important, since all characters will have the same level throughout the game. The game also provides players with strong incentives to play tank and support heroes, since they play vital roles. In League of Legends and Dota 2 these positions are more difficult to fill, simply because damage dealers spend more time in the spotlight.
Heroes of the Storm Heroes and Abilities
While Heroes of the Storm has significantly more maps than most of its counterparts, it falls behind in terms of heroes provided. They begin with the limited selection of characters and can unlock more progressively as they play more games. All the heroes in game can be unlocked by using exclusively points earned at the end of individual matches. The winning team wins more points, but the losers don’t go home empty-handed.
The starting pack consists of a balanced selection of damage dealers, tank and support characters. To speed things up, players can purchase heroes with real money, so they don’t have to wait. The most competitive games are the ones played in draft mode, but these are only accessible to those who have secured level 30. Furthermore, Team League matches require players to level up all the way to 40 and also have a minimum number of heroes unlock.
Players can test new heroes in custom matches, or compete against the AI on their own. This is something that other popular multiplayer online battle arena games don’t offer. Blizzard had high expectations with Heroes of the Storm and allows players to watch the games without playing, as observers.
Heroes of the Storm Multiplayer and eSports Potential
Heroes of the Storm was in some regards late to the party and it is still trying to close the gap separating it from League of Legends and Dota 2. Blizzard is supporting the game online by hosting many events and also hosts land-based tournaments. However, in terms of guaranteed prize pools and active players, the game is still trailing behind the aforementioned MOBA.
Regular players can participate in ladder competitions and assemble teams that compete in ranked matches. This provides the game with a strong foundation to grow and in recent years has contributed to the fast growing community. The videogame developer is now paying even more attention to the MOBA then to its flagship real-time strategy games StarCraft II. Heroes of the Storm is making giant strides mostly because of its original gameplay and the fact that it rewards team play more than other games.
Popular and Critical Reception
Heroes of the Storm was released later than expected, as numerous delays prevented Blizzard from meeting the deadline. The game was well received by critics and players alike, with both highlighting the positive changes brought to the MOBA genre. Some of the complaints were in regard to the fact that the number of heroes was significantly smaller than in other multiplayer online battle arena games.
Visually, Heroes of the Storm borrows many elements from classic Blizzard games and brings together heroes from their flagship video games. The developer has created an eclectic mix of heroes that work well together and is praised for creating amazing synergy between different characters. The objective-based gameplay is also cited as one of the strongest selling points of HotS. There is no shortage of tournaments and their number is constantly growing, but the prize pools could use a boost.
Heroes of the Storm tournaments pale in comparison to Dota 2 and League of Legends events in regard to prizes and active players. Their number and prize pools are on the rise and the smooth learning curve encourages newcomers to aspire higher. The hero brawler elements make it popular among people who watch live games on streaming platforms.
Key Features of Heroes of the Storm
- Heroes of the Storm is a hero brawler, a successful hybrid between action-strategy and MOBA.
- The game has fewer heroes, but its characters are brought together from Blizzard popular games.
- Heroes of the Storm rewards team play and players who focus on completing objectives.
- This game has more maps than its counterparts and the unique leveling up system.
- Heroes of the Storm makes it easy for persistent players to stage incredible comeback.
The Bottom Line
Heroes of the Storm is a must play game for anyone who enjoyed several games developed by Blizzard Entertainment. It brings together the entire lineup of heroes from their most popular titles and creates the perfect synergy between characters. Its gameplay is truly original for the multiplayer online battle arena genre, while featuring many of the classic elements that have made the genre popular. The higher number of maps makes up for the smaller collection of heroes available and gives players plenty of choice. The game has been a hit right from the start and it continues to follow an upward trajectory of among MOBAs