After a brief bit of downtime, Heroes of the Storm servers are back live and you can check out the patch notes here. During this downtime, Blizzard has wiped player accounts and locked players to their respective battlenet regions so if you did not obtain the battlenet info of any friends you made in-game that happen to be from outside of your region then you may have to find another way to contact them and add them again. Players who spent real money on the game to make purchases have had their purchases refunded to their battle.net balance. Blizzard is hoping to avoid any future wipes but according to the patch notes all purchases via gold or real money are permanent from this point forward. To compensate for the account progression wipe, they have implemented a one week double experience event for any matchmaking mode, however it does not apply to custom games which have been re-enabled in this patch. Also added in this patch are an observer/spectator mode as well as an in-game replay system. Two new heroes have been added as well, Anub’Arak from the Warcraft Universe and Azmodan from the Diablo Universe, check patch notes for details about these heroes.
While the additions of a spectator mode and replay system are nice, I am however disappointed that Blizzard neglected to decided to permanently enable all heroes for free and only use mounts, exp boosts, and skins as micro-transactions. I feel this is a major oversight on their part as I have stated before and will make it difficult for their game to compete with League of Legends, Dota 2, and even some of the smaller ones like Strife, which like Dota 2 offers all heroes free forever. Again I will restate the fact that the game is still very early in the development stage as it is still in alpha testing, so there is time for them to change their minds, however unlikely that may be but we can only hope. It would be a shame for a game with such potential to move forward and fail due to one very poor decision. Only time will tell how this plays out and I will be watching closely as the game continues through the remaining development/testing phases.