We know broadly what Heroes of the Storm is: a MOBA set in a world where all of Blizzard’s IPs - Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo - exist together. Players take on a hero (or villain) from those universes and do battle in arenas. Yet for all that’s familiar about Heroes of the Storm, it’s also shaping up to be the most unique MOBA we’ve ever seen. Blizzard have released a developer interview that reveals shorter match times, multiple maps, and how to throw an Alliance Paladin in a Terran Medic armour suit.
The video shows discussion from Game Director Dustin Browder, Senior Game Producer Kaeo Milker, and Senior Art Director Samwise Didier. We learn from them that over the years of development, Blizzard decided to make Heroes of the Storm about swift, fun matches, lasting between 15-20 minutes, pretty much half the time of your average League of Legends match.
It’s also doing away with last hit bonuses, meaning that kill stealing won't be a point of argument in Heroes of the Storm. Kills also offer boosts to the whole team, so working together not only leads to a final victory, but also strengthens every unit.
The characters in Heroes of the Storm will be highly customisable in a way not seen in MOBAs before. Taking inspiration from MMO games, certain characters can be outfitted as healers, bringing a support role to the field for players who may not be excellent fighters, but offer excellent back-up skills. Heroes like Starcraft’s Abathur will stay out of combat almost entirely, spending time hidden but offering a commander role that helps direct the flow of battle.
Ultimate attacks are also seeing new elements, with what appears to be a choice of two for each character. Arthas for example can either summon an ice-breathing undead dragon to lay waste to lanes, or lead an army of skeletons towards his enemies.
Further stepping away from rival games, Heroes of the Storm offers not just a solitary map, but numerous battlegrounds, each with unique elements. Collecting treasure will help you bribe a ghost pirate captain to join your side for the battle on a bucaneer-inspired map, whilst gathering skulls in another will allow you to build a golem that can smash enemy structures with ease. It all leads to a much fresher-feeling game that seems to offer a great deal of fun as opposed to serious furrowed brows.
We can’t wait to get our hands on Heroes of the Storm. It’s likley you can’t either, so run on over to the website and sign up for that beta!