Heroes of the Storm

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

smackababy

Lifer
Oct 30, 2008
27,024
78
86
So do I need to go pull out all your rants to us about grinding in Forza 5 not being an issue and perfectly acceptable and how dare we say any differently?
That might be valid, except those are two entirely different type of games. And, grinding out every hero in LoL is going to take a 100 times longer than grinding every car in Forza 5.

A moba is a team game (and you can't pick duplicate heros! Hope you're quick or you get stuck with the leftovers). Hamstringing players with a very limited selection of heroes gives those with the better heroes unlocked a huge advantage. Forza doesn't have that, due to class restrictions. Nobody is going to have a unicorn supercar in a C class race.
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
32,539
260
126
Unlocking the Hero Within
A new blog went up on the official heroes site detailing some of the systems inside of the game. To summarize the post:

Each week there are six free to play hero slots. The rotation resets on Tuesdays.
Initially, only five are available. The sixth one will unlock at level 7.
Heroes can be unlocked with Gold or Real Money.
Starting at level 5, you are eligible to earn gold.
At level 6, you will unlock Daily Quests. Daily quests give you an objective to complete in-game and will reward you with gold.
Heroes can be tested out in a single player Try-Me mode before you buy them.
Skins are a form of hero customization. Each skin has different color variations (tints).
An original skin tint is initially available to you when purchasing a skin. Other variations are unlocked through hero quests.
Some skins can be purchased with real money, others will be given away as exclusives at events. Eventually you can get a skin by completely a hero's sixth Hero Quest.
A special mount will be given to players who make a real money purchase during the beta testing period.
Mounts, like Skins, have tints. Two tints are initially available for each skin and another two will unlock after completely a hero's fifth Hero Quest.
The experience earned for out-of-game progression is earned from what you do in-game, from bonuses for winning, and for playing with your Battle.net friends.
At level 10, you will unlock Hero Quests (1,2,3)
At level 20, you will unlock Epic Hero Quests (4,5,6)
 

BergeLSU

Senior member
Apr 6, 2011
475
0
76
Each week there are six free to play hero slots. The rotation resets on Tuesdays.
Initially, only five are available. The sixth one will unlock at level 7.
Heroes can be unlocked with Gold or Real Money.

I feel they are WAY too late into the game to try this model.
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
32,539
260
126
Will have to wait till beta to know for sure, but in hearthstone grinding a bit of gold for packs/arena not that bad. If it stays at about the same rate for this game, may not feel that bad when playing.
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
32,539
260
126
And they are being rather devious at it too!

opened my bnet launcher and had hots on it now...thought I had gotten an invite finally but looks like they added it to everyone giving an easy busy access button.....
 

Kev

Lifer
Dec 17, 2001
16,367
4
81
So they're CHARGING MONEY to play the BETA of a FREE game?

I've seen it all.
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
32,539
260
126
I wouldn't have minded so much if they didn't add it to the launcher as if you have been given free access. If you wanted to go to your account and buy fine, but the throwing it in front of you as if it was free trick rather bothersome.
 

robvp

Senior member
Aug 7, 2013
544
0
41
I thought they were selling you the 3 heroes/skins/mount with the bonus of getting beta access, i mean i can go buy them heroes and skins for that price at the in game store since i've had access for a couple of months already, they're not actually selling you the beta access, they are selling you a pack of in game content and sprinkling the beta access on top
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
32,539
260
126
That's a nice way if saying it, but in reality the beta access is the key item to the bundle, at a $40 price point.
 

artemicion

Golden Member
Jun 9, 2004
1,006
1
76
That's a nice way if saying it, but in reality the beta access is the key item to the bundle, at a $40 price point.
/shrug. If people are willing to pay for it, it'd be stupid not to sell it.

People paid to beta test Google Glass, didn't they? And now the product isn't even being released.
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
32,539
260
126
Well if you don't like my opinion then don't listen to the ITN podcast this week, at least the first couple minutes of it :)
 

VashHT

Platinum Member
Feb 1, 2007
2,880
580
136
If it was 20$ I'd probably bite, but really it would be nice to see them just open up the beta more, it's not like Blizzard is hurting for money and really needs to charge for early access.
 

smackababy

Lifer
Oct 30, 2008
27,024
78
86
I'd like to try the beta, but unless I get a key, I won't be. I am skeptical of it being as good as Dota (WC3 mod, not Dota 2), but I'm willing to try it out.
 

robvp

Senior member
Aug 7, 2013
544
0
41
I'd like to try the beta, but unless I get a key, I won't be. I am skeptical of it being as good as Dota (WC3 mod, not Dota 2), but I'm willing to try it out.
From people who are into DoTA and LoL i heard they didn't like it because it's too simple and casual friendly, I personally like that aspect since i don't have time to sit through 30-45 min games, HoTS is pretty casual friendly, but that seems to be a bad thing
 

turn_pike

Senior member
Mar 4, 2012
316
0
71
Can we get some impressions from those who actually have played it for a while ?

I've heard from some sources that they dont like it that much. There are those who simply say "boring" while others complain at length how everything is about objectives and outplaying your opponents in the laning phase doesnt yield much reward.
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
32,539
260
126
only thing I can say, from those I've listened to that have played dota & lol but don't devote themselves to just those games thinks the blizz polish & simplifying have made the game type much easier to find fun.
 

robvp

Senior member
Aug 7, 2013
544
0
41
I find it very easy to get into and pretty fun so far, the objective game style really encourages teamwork and cooperation, solo playing will make it very hard for your team to win. I also love the blizzard heroes so i might be biased in that aspect, i already bought a starter pack and i'm planning to get zeratul, nova and greenjesus once i'm less of a newb
 
Last edited:

Wardawg1001

Senior member
Sep 4, 2008
653
1
81
I wouldn't have minded so much if they didn't add it to the launcher as if you have been given free access. If you wanted to go to your account and buy fine, but the throwing it in front of you as if it was free trick rather bothersome.
Jesus the overreaction in this thread is bordering on absurd.

The game is FTP (or will be on release) but like every FTP game, you have the choice of unlocking content over time through playing in game or just buying it outright with real money.

Blizzards way of monetizing this game is by selling heroes, skins, and custom mounts. All heroes are required to be bought (and all can be bought with gold earned in game), but they do provide a selection of heroes that anyone can play that rotates every week. Initially there are only 4 free heroes, but as you level up it increases to a total of 6 free heroes every week. Within a week or two of playing you should accumulate enough gold to buy at least 4-5 more heroes (if you go for the cheaper ones).

Anyway, they aren't selling beta access. They are selling 3 heroes (permanently unlocked for you), 3 hero skins (1 for each of the heroes you bought), and a custom mount (which as of this time isn't even for sale individually). The price of these items individually (excluding the mount, which of course I can't see a price for since its not available in the store) comes to $48.44 (without tax). Mounts currently in the store range from $7.50 - $20.00. So even assuming the lowest price, thats a roughly $56 value in game, PLUS you get beta access. For the price of $40.

I wouldn't have minded so much if they didn't add it to the launcher as if you have been given free access. If you wanted to go to your account and buy fine, but the throwing it in front of you as if it was free trick rather bothersome.
There is nothing devious or misleading about it. The announcement in the bnet launcher reads "FOUNDERS PACK NOW AVAILABLE - Unlock 3 heroes, 3 bonus skins, beta access, and more". This is clearly an indication that there is a purchase-able content pack available now which grants beta access. Nothing at all about that announcement suggest you've been granted beta access.

And this is why invite keys are so hard to come by. Really lame, especially for a mediocre version of LoL/DotA.
Invite keys have been hard to come by because until a few weeks ago they were still in technical alpha. For Blizzard in particular, opening alpha testing to the general public is pretty rare (and by general public, I mean anyone outside of their internal testing teams or contracted testing teams). Heroes of the Storm went into CLOSED BETA on 1/13/2015, and this founders pack only became available three days ago.

So, can we please keep the nonsensical, unfounded whining at a minimum?


Lets discuss the real issue here - the prices for buying heroes/skins/mounts with real money is absurd in my opinion. All heroes can be bought with gold, but some of them cost a LOT of gold and there are very few ways to earn gold at this time (maybe that will change in the future). On top of that, skins can't be bought with in game gold - only real money (though every hero has a few alternate skins that unlock as you level them up as well, but I believe these are different than the skins offered in the shop).

I'm looking at the shop right now - they have a bundle deal for 68% off (normal price is $126.86, sale price is $40). This bundle includes 8 heroes, 4 skins, and 2 mounts. This isn't even a fraction of the total number of heroes, skins, and mounts available, and I've heard rumors (supposedly a statement from Blizzard, but the person who gave me this info never provided a source) that Blizz is planning to have roughly 200 heroes in the game by official launch. At these rates, we're talking literally THOUSANDS of dollars to purchase every piece of content with real money even if you buy it all at massive discounts.
 

Wardawg1001

Senior member
Sep 4, 2008
653
1
81
Can we get some impressions from those who actually have played it for a while ?

I've heard from some sources that they dont like it that much. There are those who simply say "boring" while others complain at length how everything is about objectives and outplaying your opponents in the laning phase doesnt yield much reward.
I've played a decent amount, and I'll say this much is for certain - if you are just expecting a DotA/LoL style MOBA with Blizzard characters and that classic Blizzard polish, you will be disappointed. While it shares a lot of the same concepts as any other MOBA, it actually plays quite a bit differently.

You pick a single hero to control, he has a specific set of abilities, you gain levels via experience, and the ultimate goal of course is to destroy the opponents main base tower.

One of the key differences is that experience is shared amongst the entire team. So everyone on your team levels at the same rate, regardless of what they are doing or where they are on the map. This has a major effect on the standard roles you normally see on MOBAs of carry/semi-carry/support/jungler. These roles still exist to an extent since the skills each hero has generally limits them to certain roles, but there is essentially no 'laning phase' since there is no need for the carry to farm gold/exp or anything like that.

Also, leveling abilities is quite different. You start with all of your primary skills unlocked from level 1, and you don't simply add points to them to improve their effectiveness each level. Instead, every few levels (I think its every 4 levels) you are given a choice of a 'talent' to choose from (total of 5 at most levels, and you can choose only 1). These talents can do anything from provide some sort of passive ability for your hero, add a completely new skill you can use, or modify your basic/ultimate skills in various ways. In many ways these talents replace the concept of items (there is no gold and no items in HotS). Some argue that the talent system allows for greater variation in character builds since the talents are specific to each hero, you can create very unique talents that modify hero skills in interesting and unique ways that just aren't possible in a system where every hero is buying items from the same pool of available items. I share this opinion to some extent, but I also think that without frequent changes to the hero talent pools, individual heroes will become very stale to play over and over again very quickly. I think there is a middle ground to be reached here, but I'm sure Blizzard has their own ideas and they haven't shared them as of yet.

In terms of accessibility, it has all the hallmarks of a Blizzard product. Theres a very simple and easy to grasp tutorial that explains the basics, skill descriptions are very clear, and there are very few bugs or other quirks. The lack of the laning phase (more specifically the need to understand how it works and the importance of it) lowers the initial learning curve a lot compared to other MOBAs, and the talent system is much easier to grasp than the item buying system you see in other MOBAs.

The game play is probably the biggest differentiation compared to other MOBAs, and the reasons for that are really a combination of everything above. Since there is no laning, no farming, no jungling, etc, there is basically nothing to do but run around and kill the other heroes, so most of the match is just a constant series of engagements with the other team. Each map though has a specific set of objectives to enable some sort of 'super power' that gives you a large temporary advantage (one map for instance you have to collect and turn in coins to a pirate dude and he will launch a barrage of cannonballs at the enemy base, destroying their defenses and eventually their primary defense tower, while another map you have to control multiple objective points simultaneously and it will grant you temporary access to a powerful controllable dragon monster thingy). Each map has different objective types that provide different types of bonuses. Most of the fighting is generally centered around these objectives, and well coordinated teams will have clear advantages over other teams.

The end result is that the game plays very fast and furious, the pvp begins right at the get-go and never lets up through the whole match.

That said, the game is still in beta for good reason, there is a pretty limited hero selection at the moment, and there is a lot of balance work to be done still.
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
32,539
260
126
Jesus the overreaction in this thread is bordering on absurd.

The game is FTP (or will be on release) but like every FTP game, you have the choice of unlocking content over time through playing in game or just buying it outright with real money.

Blizzards way of monetizing this game is by selling heroes, skins, and custom mounts. All heroes are required to be bought (and all can be bought with gold earned in game), but they do provide a selection of heroes that anyone can play that rotates every week. Initially there are only 4 free heroes, but as you level up it increases to a total of 6 free heroes every week. Within a week or two of playing you should accumulate enough gold to buy at least 4-5 more heroes (if you go for the cheaper ones).

Anyway, they aren't selling beta access. They are selling 3 heroes (permanently unlocked for you), 3 hero skins (1 for each of the heroes you bought), and a custom mount (which as of this time isn't even for sale individually). The price of these items individually (excluding the mount, which of course I can't see a price for since its not available in the store) comes to $48.44 (without tax). Mounts currently in the store range from $7.50 - $20.00. So even assuming the lowest price, thats a roughly $56 value in game, PLUS you get beta access. For the price of $40.



There is nothing devious or misleading about it. The announcement in the bnet launcher reads "FOUNDERS PACK NOW AVAILABLE - Unlock 3 heroes, 3 bonus skins, beta access, and more". This is clearly an indication that there is a purchase-able content pack available now which grants beta access. Nothing at all about that announcement suggest you've been granted beta access.



Invite keys have been hard to come by because until a few weeks ago they were still in technical alpha. For Blizzard in particular, opening alpha testing to the general public is pretty rare (and by general public, I mean anyone outside of their internal testing teams or contracted testing teams). Heroes of the Storm went into CLOSED BETA on 1/13/2015, and this founders pack only became available three days ago.

So, can we please keep the nonsensical, unfounded whining at a minimum?


Lets discuss the real issue here - the prices for buying heroes/skins/mounts with real money is absurd in my opinion. All heroes can be bought with gold, but some of them cost a LOT of gold and there are very few ways to earn gold at this time (maybe that will change in the future). On top of that, skins can't be bought with in game gold - only real money (though every hero has a few alternate skins that unlock as you level them up as well, but I believe these are different than the skins offered in the shop).

I'm looking at the shop right now - they have a bundle deal for 68% off (normal price is $126.86, sale price is $40). This bundle includes 8 heroes, 4 skins, and 2 mounts. This isn't even a fraction of the total number of heroes, skins, and mounts available, and I've heard rumors (supposedly a statement from Blizzard, but the person who gave me this info never provided a source) that Blizz is planning to have roughly 200 heroes in the game by official launch. At these rates, we're talking literally THOUSANDS of dollars to purchase every piece of content with real money even if you buy it all at massive discounts.
and there has been a steady stream of items and sales going on, yet until they started selling beta access I never had the icon for the game appear in my launcher because when it did show up it meant you were in the beta.
 

Wardawg1001

Senior member
Sep 4, 2008
653
1
81
and there has been a steady stream of items and sales going on, yet until they started selling beta access I never had the icon for the game appear in my launcher because when it did show up it meant you were in the beta.
Yes, sales have been going on in game for a long time. They didn't give you a launcher icon before because beta access was not a part of those sales. Why would they try to sell you in-game items for a game that you don't have access to? THAT would be devious.

You call it devious and claim they are trying to trick people into thinking that they suddenly got an invite to the beta just because the HotS icon appears in the launcher. The much more obvious reason is that because they are bundling beta access in with this sale, everyone now technically has access to the game, and therefore its simply common sense that they would add the icon to everyones launcher window.

You can call it paying for beta access if you want, and I'm sure that there are more than a few people out there who consider the beta access to be the most valuable part of that sale. But the bottom line is that the individual price of the items included in the sale is MORE than the total cost, so for anyone who was planning to spend some cash to on the game anyways (which I assure is a large number of people), then this is a steal - they get a pack of heroes/skins at a discount and they get instant access to the beta. One could even argue that most people willing to spend money on the game while its still in beta are likely to play more extensively (and with a wider range of heroes) than your average player, and thus are more likely to contribute useful data towards furthering the development of the game.

Anyone who wants to treat it as a true F2P game can just keep waiting - they are still sending out closed beta invites, and eventually there will be an open beta and of course the full release. Whats the problem here?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY