Heroes of the Storm Overview

I was lucky enough to receive an invite to the Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha. I’ve played the game a bit so far and am looking forward to it going live. I normally don’t play much PvP gaming, preferring to take on the challenges of an AI rather than another person. There is allot of content in the game for players like me. Though most quests encourage PvP games, there is still a solid PvAI system in the game. So far I’ve played as Jim Raynor and Uther the most. Uther seems to be a fun style of play, especially when playing with other people. I’m not all that talented in the nuances of  MOBA style games like this one, so being able to support the players that know what they are doing seems to work out better for the team. Uther can easily handle the AI portions of the map, and can strengthen the deadliness of any other nearby player by keeping them alive longer and dropping stuns frequently.

Overall, this game style is clumsy to me. I do not like having to level-up my character at the start of every single game. I understand that is part of the challenge of this genre, but it seems to me that there could be some systems in place that better help with this constant re-leveling. A character building template system that lets you plan out your build prior to the game starting. This way you have time to evaluate what skill path you like outside of the throws of combat. On the fly skill selection is tedious and trying to read and evaluate a new class while another player is crushing your lane or your running for your life is daunting. The current on the fly building system heavily favors those more experienced with their toon. I would like to be able to review the skill tree of my character and pre-select my chosen path prior to starting the match. This allows me to put more though into the build and how to approach playing it. Leaving the option to build on the fly as well for those more seasoned and ready for that style of play. That’s my first take on the game and its  play style. I’ll post more as I consider it more.

4 comments to Heroes of the Storm Overview

  • Savius  says:

    As expected Blizzard has added the option to view a heroe’s talents on the character select screen before you enter the game. You are now able to plan your build before you queue up but there are still reasons to get familiar with the talents and get used to adjusting your build on the fly. That being said that is probably the only positive thing I can say about this patch so far as it is not a very popular one and for good reason in my opinion.

  • Savius  says:

    This is a problem perhaps best addressed with a more detailed tutorial mode maybe? Ultimately there is no real way to completely circumvent the learning curve and put everyone on an even playing field. Those with less experience with this type or game and even this game itself will still require a certain amount of time before they understand which is the best talent to take in a given situation. Even veterans of this genre of game will have to spend some time learning the nuances of their heroes, the enemy heroes, and the game modes before knowing what is best. It is a time investment even if you only intend on mastering one hero and there is unfortunately no way around that but I will reiterate that I do agree that there should be a way to view your talent tree outside of active games. The closest comparison I could make to the HoTS talent system would be the Rune/Mastery system of League of Legends and high ranked and pro players often have multiple rune/mastery pages and likely adjust them for various roles and matchups. This is done during champion select before the game actually begins, it is difficult to plan your runes/masteries in the “blind pick” mode of the game where you do not know who you will be facing but in the “draft pick” modes of the game you are allowed to see your opponents champion picks and even ban some champions you would rather not face and this allows for you to better prepare yourself for the game. My hope is that Blizzard will have something similar to this when they start planning for their ranked/ladder modes and as far as the current modes go, hopefully they will add a talent tree viewer in champ select similar to what they have currently for hero abilities.

  • papasol  says:

    I get the on-the-fly nature of changing your build depending on the situation, but again it’s something that generally only works well for players who are overly experienced with the game. Novices like myself spend additional time reading and analyzing the each skill point spent instead of simply playing the game at hand. This allows more skilled players to take advantage of their lagging behavior in addition to being already skilled. I know there is a match-making system to keep likely skilled players together, but those systems do not tell the whole story. Something along the nature of comprehending the ramifications of skill selection on the fly is very hard to measure. I would whole-heartedly agree that skill selection on the fly as you level is all in all better for the more skilled players. I would just like to see a pre-built category of game play where characters follow a specific progression line for those players who do not know the nuances of the character tool box. This allows them to focus on playing their preferred builds instead of making sure they build it correctly on the fly. Ideally, the system would allow you to disable pre-defined progression if you feel you need to change the character on the fly to adapt to a new situation.

  • Savius  says:

    The leveling system in Heroes of the Storm is rather unique in comparison to the one that exists in similar games. In most games of this kind the reason your character lvl resets each game is because each character has a different skillset and the way you skill your character up is usually based upon the situation at hand. Things like what role you’re playing, what opponent you’re facing and if you’re winning or losing are often considered when determining your build. Building in Heroes works much in the same way as certain talents that you gain when leveling up in game work better depending on the situation. I do agree though that you should be able to view your hero’s talent tree outside of an actual game so that you may plan ahead instead of simply having to memorize the talent tree of every character you play. We do have to remember though that this is just a tech alpha and we are likely to see some of these changes in later patches, especially if we actively suggest them. I will likely discuss the talent/leveling system further in a later post as I do find it rather interesting.

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