Heroes of the Storm – A fleeting tempest?

Blizzard’s recent-ish attempt at a MOBA (Multi-player Online Battle Arena) has become the newest craze and has given the likes of its biggest competitors, DOTA 2 and League of Legends, a run for their money.

I have put some 200 hours in DOTA 2 but never really got on with the competitive element; mostly because you tend to get matched up with Russians and they’re all dicks. Sadly, there was no room for error in DOTA 2. One mistake got you flamed in chat from both teams and reported for ‘feeding’ (the act of bolstering enemy EXP and gold by purposefully getting yourself killed), and I really truly disliked that. The alternative was playing with bots, who would wander around the map as a death-ball and murder you and your colleagues with pin-point precision; but at least they didn’t call your mother a whore.

Blizzard has taken team play and morale very seriously with this little gem with numerous details. First and foremost is that only allied team chat exists. There is absolutely no communication with the other team as, more often than not, this leads to sledging. The problem with your own team still persists though. These will likely be the people to cut you down for not taking every opportunity with perfection. Well don’t you worry your pretty little head, casual scum, Blizzard have got your back on that too. You can just turn off allied chat and play in a blissful, non-communicado environment where the only form of strategy is pinging the map with various suggestions. God bless you Blizzard. Thank you for making it so I can play online with people and pretend they’re not there.

The gameplay is fast paced and interesting where every map has the same overall object, destroy the enemy team’s base, but offers different ways to get there. This could be collecting a certain number of coins on the map to have a pirate captain bombard the enemy structures for you or collecting tributes for a phantom crow that will curse the enemy team, causing the creeps to have 1 HP and the towers to have no ammo. There is always something to do! This gives the game a lot of life and always wants to make you play again, seeing what weird ways you can backhand the enemy team. I have been playing as Zeratul, a permanently cloaked assassin class (read damage dealer) with an excellent 1-2-3 combo in the early game to shag your opponents in their lanes and later on during team fights the ability to slip in the back and rape the squishier, ranged classes on your own. Glorious.

Rape the squishier, ranged classes

I have to say that I’m disappointed in their business model for the game though. Playable characters are bought from the in game store with either gold, which is earnt in drips and drabs through playing the game, or real money. Each week there is a rotation of 5+ heroes that are free to play as a trial period. I suppose that’s a fairly decent way to do it but why not just let people play what they want and Blizzard earn purely from aesthetic upgrades. It’s bollocks in my opinion. It gives the impression that the starting characters are bad in comparison to the ones you can buy. Mr horse said it best.

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Still love the game though…

.Thunder


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