Discovering Heroes of the Storm at Gamescom
While we were at Gamescom, Blizzard invited us to come over to a Q&A with Kaeo Milker, Senior Game Producer for Heroes of the Storm, and we got ask about what’s coming up and how the development process is going.
Kaeo took us into a room with Heroes of the Storm playing on a big screen, and talked to us about the game, how it’s a twist of the current MOBA genre, taking the bits people don’t like and converting it into something they like, while also adding their own touch on some mechanics and features.
For starters they removed the first minutes of a match where players were farming gold and experience to start right into the action, so it’s 15-20 minutes of packed action per match instead of 40-60 with half of it being interesting, which is the current MOBA standard.
Then they took the complexity and nonsense of buying items and having an animail bringing it to you, to a talent system, every time you level up you get to specialize into a role, by picking between different options, that is much easier and keeps you focused on combat.
Lastly they implemented unique mechanics on each battleground (map) which brings a new layer of strategy and gameplay, they try to keep it as an option, something to do, so killing enemies and doing things across the map are all means to an end; winning the match, and players can choose what they want to go for.
The monetization model Blizzard is going for is very open, all content will be available to players without spending a dime, although there will be free heroes rotating each week, so you will get to play the heroes you like once in a while, and if you enjoy playing them a lot, you can just buy them with the gold you earn by playing. Also there are cosmetic items, pets, mounts, skins, and new models for the heroes; some of them are unlockable and others you can buy using gold.
So it’s the best approach a free-to-play title can go for, you can get stuff by playing and earning gold or just pay and get it right away, still there are some cosmetic stuff locked for one of these two ways, because they want to keep them for heroes progression or for the shop to feel unique, which is totally fine as long as it doesn’t affect gameplay.
In the long run, they will release new battlegrounds, heroes and pretty much increasing the content and options available so players find always something new, and of course it will be at no cost.
The Senior Game Producer also told us they were planning to get into e-sports as they have done with WoW Arenas, Starcraft II and Hearthstone, they have an e-sport department at Blizzard Entertainment so they will be working on it and we’ll be seeing tournaments and matches when the game launches.