Heroes of the Storm: What We Know
Heroes of the Storm is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated games of the year. Its opening trailer took away everyone's breath during
the opening ceremony
. But everyone has questions about this game and what kind of MOBA it will be. In a landscape dominated by Dota 2 and League of Legends, can Blizzard make a game unique enough to be worth playing?
The answer Blizzard is betting on is yes.
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The game is about getting the heroes into the game and creating an evironment that facilitates this.
Battlegrounds should innovate the world of MOBAs.
A lot of talk about how art was created for Warcraft III and how the fans took it over, creating the original DotA.
The prototype for Heroes of the Storm was shown at BlizzCon back in 2008, but it was very barebones and completely put into the StarCraft II game. It was literally a mod. It was hard for them to decide what universe to set it in.
To them, Hearthstone really captured what it should be about--and it's what they're aspiring to do.
This isn't just another MOBA. This is a challenge to the genre.
It was a challenge to make these heroes--take for example the years of concept material for Arthas. Prince Arthas can be a skin for Arthas, they can just come up with unlimited options.
Syndragosa, Army of the Dead--you can summon and change it up.
Elite Tauren Chieftan has a heroic ability (ultimate) where he jumps anywhere and lands, inflicting. He can go everywhere on the battlefield. He's high damage, high mobility, and can even heal himself.
Abathur can't fight, he's a support hero. But he can infest a friendly hero and make them stronger by helping them out; he can also tunnel across the map to rapidly find heroes to jump into. He jumps into Nova and gives her a shield.
Skins are shown in our gallery below, but they will be really wide and varied. Medic Uther, Uther with Judgement Armor.
The goal is 20 minute games.
Team levels: you're not leveling on your own, support heroes won't have to worry about leveling since their team levels them.
The map modes want to make the game interact with players differently. This is going to have a lot of StarCraft II's campaign styles put into it--because they couldn't do it into multiplayer from SC2, they can do it here.
They will be retiring map modes as they get boring.
: you have to find skeletons and kill them, you need to collect treasure, and all of this earns you doubloons. A cursed pirate, Blackheart, wants these. Enemy players will randomly get bounties on them that increase their doubloon drops. Once you collect enough coins, he helps you out and you do damage to the enemy.
: you are put into a PvE PvP environment. You have to collect skulls and kill a boss, but you also try to just kill each other. Once all the skulls are picked up, a grave golem spawns for each team; the golems vary in power by number of skulls collected. So you have to protect the golem or help it kill things.
: you capture two obelisks, once they are captured you control an alter. Your heroes transform into the dragon knight and annihilate everyone.
You get mounts in the game so you can be way more mobile (sort of like boots in other MOBAs).
Towns/towers have ammunition.
There is no shop. There are no boots.
You get ultimates at level 10.
What are you doing to protect snowballing since there is no farming like other MOBAs?
Team levels change this a lot. Our experience hasn't had much snowballing; if a team falls behind, they will take an objective and recover a lot. We're not sure how to answer it, we're still testing extensively.
The mechanics seem very complicated--how will players communicate for strategy? It seems like going underneath the mine and these maps can be very complex.
This is totally something we're concerned about. We have some ideas. The best way to play this game is on voice chat with friends. Keep in mind, all the maps won't unlock at once, you won't be thrown into the deep end. The maps will be pretty straight forward and you can always default to just pushing on the enemy if you're confused.
What's up with Kerrigan on a wolf?
There are mounts in the game. They serve as hyper mobility for out of combat situations. We're thinking of making different mounts for different heroes so you can have a lot of different awesome and unique mounts to ride on.
With everything being shared, how do you have individual skill and carry?
We put in mechanics like the dragon knight--the quality of the player who gets the dragon knights matters. But for this game, they really want to make it about the unit. It's not about you getting super fed and carrying alone, it's about supporting and carrying your team.
What's your core audience?
We don't worry about it. We make things that are cool, we have faith and confidence that someone will want to play it if it's good. It is easier to play than other games in the genre, but it can be harder in its own way too.
How will you balance it? In most MOBAs there's hard counters and things like that. This is an objective based MOBA, would you be against though making it more traditional of MOBAs?
We haven't seen much like that, with mounts and fast mobility you aren't alone. You're always leveling with your team, so if someone is being shut down, people WILL help out. But mobility is making this not a concern.
We did the regular traditional map. We played it for years. But once we made these new battlegrounds, the old traditional map got completely abandoned. No one cared about it. So we're innovating, not rehashing. This is what we need and want.
Much like how Starcraft 2 has an arcade, players may be able to make their own map someday in the future. Probably not at release.
Skins, custom ultimates--for sure. Lots of abilities to make the talent system crazy and wild. Looking for other ways. When you're dealing with Arthas, he could have twenty powers. How do we get it into a five button combo? We want you to be able to select them, but probably not for the first iteration.
Where does Heroes fit in for eSports and competitive, ranked play?
Yes, we think there's competitive play. Look at Hearthstone. Let's see what the community does, give them the ammo to do whatever they want, and if it becomes competitive, let's make it happen and make it supported.
Boots are basically gone. Some talent trees have it. But having no shop means that it's very different.
Heroes & Skins
Heroes of the Storm Fact Sheet
Heroes of the Storm draws from more than 20 years of Blizzard gaming history, with instantly recognizable characters, like Kerrigan, Raynor, Thrall, Arthas, and Diablo, who enter battle with built-in grudges and room in their hearts for the fires of new rivalries to grow.
In Heroes of the Storm, players are distinguished through the accomplishments and overall success of their team. Every role is valuable and viable over the course of each match, and every player benefits from each hero takedown and each epic victory they contribute to.
Whether players are battling for supremacy, bragging rights, or just the hell of it, the battlegrounds in Heroes of the Storm mix up the experience with a variety of maps and unlockable advantages—including powerful allies, friendly towns, and valuable vantage points—that offer multiple paths to victory and reward teamwork, strategy, and creativity.
Q: What is Heroes of the Storm?
A: Heroes of the Storm is a free-to-play online team brawler, starring your favorite Blizzard characters. Build and customize heroes from across every Blizzard universe to suit your play style. Team up with your friends and engage in fast-paced mayhem across varied battlegrounds that impact strategy and change the way you play the game.
In each match you can select from an array of Blizzard heroes and join a team to battle against enemy players, with the ultimate goal of destroying the enemy base. You'll have the opportunity to stage classic showdowns such as Raynor vs. Kerrigan, or mix and match heroes from different games to fight together and against each other.
Each hero starts the game with a set of powerful abilities and traits, and over the course of the battle you'll have the ability to customize your hero with unique talents and heroic abilities. While each hero has certain core strengths, the talents you select can greatly change the way your hero fights. Support heroes like Uther for example, can be played as almost a pure healer, or can take on more of a damage dealing role.
Q: What makes Heroes of the Storm different?
A: Heroes offers a uniquely Blizzard take on the genre. You'll choose from an array of different Blizzard heroes, each of whom is customizable through a versatile talent system. One of these talent options is a selection between different ultimate heroic abilities. Arthas, as an example, can choose the ability to call Sindragosa, a giant frost wyrm, to do a strafing run. Or he can raise an army of the undead to swarm the enemy. Which one is better? Well, that's like asking if dragons or zombies are more awesome—that's up to you. Cool choices like these exist in each hero's unique talent array.
The game also offers a selection of different battlegrounds to fight on. Each battleground has a special secret that can affect the overall strategy of the match. In Blackheart's Bay for example, a ghostly pirate ship has taken up residence in the center. Treasure chests of gold coins spawn periodically on either side of the battleground. You can collect these coins or steal them from enemy players to pay tribute to Blackheart. Pay enough bounty and he'll train the ship's cannons on enemy fortifications for terrible, terrible damage. The Cursed Hollow battleground offers a different challenge. Here, the fickle Raven Lord holds sway. During the fight, tribute totems will spawn periodically -- collect enough of them and the Raven Lord will curse the opposing team, disabling their towers and weakening their minions for a period of time.
Many of the battlegrounds share environmental features, like forts, which are sprinkled along the pathways between each team's base. Each fort includes structures such as gates to prevent enemy movement and healing fountains for health and mana regeneration, in addition to a protective guard tower. Capturable watchtowers also mark important positions on many battlegrounds, offering vision on key areas.
Another differentiator with the game is match length. With a target game time of 20 min, Heroes of the Storm concentrates the intense battles and back-and-forth gameplay of online brawlers into fun, quick, action-packed matches, the perfect length to knock out a few games on your lunch break.
Q: Which heroes are in the game, and what roles do they play?
A: 18 heroes are available for battle in the BlizzCon demo of Heroes of the Storm, but this is just the first group of characters that have been sucked into the Nexus. Many more heroes will join the battle over time from Azeroth, Sanctuary, and the Koprulu Sector. But who knows? The Nexus may draw from other dimensions in the future as well.
Each hero offers different strengths and weaknesses depending on their role. Warriors such as Diablo can dive right into a melee, soaking up damage and dealing it back. Assassins like Kerrigan deal tremendous damage and can pick off unsuspecting enemies, but must choose their battles carefully, as they can dish more than they can take. Support heroes like Uther can swing the tide of battle, assisting with healing, buffs, or other abilities to manipulate the battle in the favor of allies. Other types include the siege and commander heroes, which are more specialized roles that bring different strengths as you build a team.
Q: Heroes of the Storm is free-to-play—what is available for sale and what can be earned in game?
A: We'll discuss more details about how the business model works in the future. What we can say is that you will be able to unlock heroes and other content just by playing the game. Cosmetic upgrades like skins, equipment, and mounts will be available. New heroes will also be released over time, along with new battlegrounds, though battlegrounds will probably be freely available to all players. It's also possible that additional talent options for existing heroes could be available as unlockable content.
Q: What kind of post-launch support is planned?
A: We will announce specific plans for post-launch support at a later date. But we can say that the Nexus is quite a powerful dimensional storm—new heroes are arriving all the time. That being the case, you can expect to see regular drops of new content throughout testing, as well as after the launch of the game.
Q: Is it required to have StarCraft II to play?
A: No. Heroes of the Storm will be a standalone game, separate from StarCraft II.
Q: On which platforms will Heroes be playable?
A: Heroes is being developed for PC and Mac.
Q: Will there be a beta test? When will it start? How can I apply for the beta?
A: Yes we do intend to run a beta test for Heroes of the Storm in the first half of 2014. We'll announce more details at a later date. Now is a great time to visit the Heroes of the Storm website and sign up for the closed beta as we begin preparations.
Q: When will Heroes of the Storm be released?
A: We don't have a release date we can share at this time. We'll have a better idea for a release window after we start beta testing.
Q: Is there something else you can tell me about the game?
A: Not right now.
A: Yes, really.
A: Keep eye on the official Heroes website at http:/
for updates. You can also follow the game on Twitter @BlizzHeroes, and on the official Facebook page at
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