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Initial thoughts on Heroes of the Storm

With a twenty minute play test under our belts onGamers can chime in on the relevant eSports features from Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm alpha.

Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm is available for play testing in it's alpha form at this year's BlizzCon. I had the opportunity to play a Pudge or Blitzcrank clone called Stiches for thirty minutes on one of the games three maps.

The game was polished visually, and the look is distinct. It does not look like either Dota 2 or League of Legends. The skills were snappy and responsive, and I was happy that everything felt so fluid. The only part of the experience I found underwhelming was that your performance doesn't give personal benefits. After a killing spree being the same level as all of your teammates will take some getting used to.

Below are all the features relevant to competitive play:

Experience is shared between all players on your team. If you kill a creep, a player, or a tower everyone on your team gets the experience.

There is no gold and there are no purchasable items.

You start with all of your skills, and with each level they increase in strength. It is not like Dota 2 or League of Legends where you choose between skills to level as the game proceeds.

Every few levels you can choose between a few talents. This, in a way, makes up for the lack of items in the game. This is where players make reactive decisions based on how the game is playing out. In some cases it's better to have one talent than it would be to another. On the character I played all my talents, save for my ultimate, were passive.

You get your ultimate at level ten.

You get experience while you're dead.

At the moment there is no benefit to last hitting. You get no extra experience.

Aimed abilities have a League of Legends like crosshair to indicate where your skill will go.

On the map I played it was possible to collect items on the map that give buffs to your team or debuffs for the other team.

Jungle creeps can be captured and used to push your lanes.

You have a spell that sends you back to spawn similar to the mechanic you see in League of Legends.

There are no teleportation scrolls. You use a mount to travel around the map quickly.

Both my character and my mount had a variety of custom skins to choose from.