F2PMeter: Is Heroes of the Storm Truly Free to Play?
The game consists of a variety of different maps with their own unique objective to controlling the map and trying to destroy the enemies’ core, fighting past minions, towers and players with their own special abilities and playstyle. Blizzard have always been good at making a few extra dollars from the huge fan-base, but as a free to play title we’ll see just how free the game is after we put it through our test.
Does the game require an initial purchase?
The game can be downloaded, installed and played for free.
Does the game require have any continued paid subscription?
The game has no available subscription model.
Does the game require spending money on DLC packs or expansions?
Currently the only DLC comes in the form of free patches that adds new maps, characters, skins and mounts, though the maps are instantly accessible the new characters and accompaniments are optional to players and do not alter the core gameplay.
Does the game support micro-transactions? Can anything be purchased in-game using real world money?
'Yes' takes away 5%
The previously mentioned characters, mounts and skins all require purchasing from day one, but players can do so using in game currency and do not need to spend any real cash if they do not wish. Anything available with in-game currency can also be purchased with money and some unique skins can only be purchased using real cash.
Do any of the micro-transactions give players an advantages?
For the most part micro-transactions fall into two categories: new characters and new aesthetics. The aesthetics provide no mechanical advantage whatsoever and just make a players’ character stand out. Purchasing new characters gives players more choice when it comes down to who they play as, but there are no benefits to playing one character over another based on anything other than a players skill at using them. XP/Gold Stimpacks can be purchased to help level up heroes (and in turn your account) faster, as well as providing more in game gold from matches and quests, but again there are no outright mechanical long term advantages to quick advancement.
Is the user interface customization restricted to paid options?
The UI cannot be customized at all.
Does the game give access to all available classes, characters or races?
'No (but...)' takes away 10%
When starting out all the characters are locked and players can only play in matches with them if they have purchased them, either with in game gold or real cash, however, players can play the free heroes on rotation that change each week, with 3, 4 or 5 free heroes available depending on what level the players’ account is.
Does the game require have limitations to how the 'Auction House' /Market/Trade system is accessed?
The game does not support any trading and all players have access to the shop.
Are personal inventory and/or bank slots limited at all?
Players can unlock and own all the available characters without restriction.
Are all dungeons and zones accessible without purchases?
All maps and modes can be played for free and whilst some features are restricted this is based off character level and cannot be bypassed with money.
Does the game restrict high endgame content (PVE, Raids or PvP)?
The only “high endgame content” would be the ranked Hero League matches, which are restricted based off account level (XP is gained through playing matches), which needs level 30, and having at least 10 characters purchased. Whilst characters do require purchasing in general the time it takes to reach level 30 players can be very close to having an available ten character roster (as the game is a 5v5 players in Hero League take it in turns to pick characters and the same character cannot be used by more than one person, so ten characters ensures you always have someone to play). Gameplay wise Hero League is no different to Quick Match other than Hero League is ranked, but Quick Match is accessible from level 1.
Can the game be fully enjoyed without ever having to spend a ‘penny’?
'Yes' adds 10%
The primary features of the game are all accessible, including the many different maps with their own unique game modes. There is a decent selection of characters constantly on rotation and many of the Heroes are relatively cheap and can be purchased easy enough to give players a wider selection of characters to choose from.