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Heroes of the Storm features three maps, shared experience, and lacks items

Blizzard's lane-pushing title features three maps, shared experience between players, and is missing purchasable in game items.

Blizzard's Dustin Browder explained during the BlizzCon opening ceremony that their game designers "challenge the genre" with Heroes of the Storm. He made sure to point out that games of this type were first created using the map editors that were shipped their games StarCraft and WarCraft.

Heroes of the Storm features three maps, shared experience, and is notably lacking purchasable items in game. No Shadow Blades, no Blink Daggers, no Infinity Edges. The games pace feels faster and more casual than its counterparts Dota 2 or League of Legends. This is congruent with design philosophy we've seen recently in Hearthstone.

Browder never used the words MOBA or ARTS during his presentation, using phrases like "brawler" instead.

Travis Gafford and myself will be doing another play test and will release a video on our intial thoughts on Heroes of the Storm later in the day.

4 Comments Refresh
Posted by hebble

Doesn't seem like a good esport title. They've paired simplified player mechanics with more complicated map mechanics. Not sure how it plays, but it looks like it's trying to take MOBA/ARTS to a PvE place. That doesn't seem like an esport. Maybe be a super fun game though.

Edited by zekimar

People said that about Hearthstone, but from what i've heard it is quite competitive already; Artosis even streams King of the Hill style best-of-sevens for it.

Also, as long as the game actually requires some amount of skill, and the game is fun to watch, it could be an esport. Additionally, people will always want to see the best strategies from the best players. Hell, CoD even has a competitive scene.

Edited by hebble

@zekimar Indeed, we'll see. I guess I think about LoL's multiple maps. They haven't helped it as an esport and are mostly ignored. Dota doesn't feature a bunch of different modes/maps either.

I would argue it focuses and clarifies the strategy when the rule set is consistent and simple. Go and Chess being good examples of very static games. LoL and Dota have one mode, effectively.

Hearthstone is a different issue. It's very casual in presentation, but the competitive environment is strong. It's a CCG, very straightforward. Now imagine that each board, instead of simply being decorations, had actual strategic impact. Like on the Orgrimmar board you could do something would load the catapult and do damage to your opponent. Would that make it better? It might make it more fun, but I would argue it makes it worse as an esport.

From a practical stand point, the map will determine the strategy, and therefore you will need to know the map before you go through champ select. No other esport works that way right now.

I'm not saying it's dead in the water, just that more maps and pve elements don't seem like a good sign for it's success as an esport.

Posted by Ashelia

Actually really excited for this. I have faith that they will be able to make the battlegrounds something people want to play unlike League of Legends' alternate modes.