Bringing back the Dead: HotS 2.0 - Armchair Empire

Bringing back the Dead: HotS 2.0

Many of us got hyped when Blizzard announced changes into their MOBA – Heroes of the Storm. Overhauled progression system, improved interface, a new map and A LOT of freebies. The last one is especially exciting – All who log into HotS before 22nd of May get to claim a 20 hero bundle for free.

Buying these heroes with real money would cost you at least 80$, making this a perfect deal for both new players, wanting to try different heroes without spending countless hours grinding gems, the in-game currency, and old veterans who want to complete their collections or try something fresh. For now, you can choose between four bundles – Assasin, Flex, Support & Specialist and Tank & Bruiser bundle. Even if you don’t plan to play HotS a lot, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. You never know when you will use them.

Coming straight out of Overwatch, loot boxes are now a part of Heroes of the Storm. As you level up your heroes, you will open loot boxes containing random new emojis, booster packs, skins and even heroes!

With this system loss streaks and bad games are now much more bearable, as even if you happen to be on a losing spree, the game still rewards you for playing. Duplicate items are broken down, adding shards (used to buy more chests or heroes) to your account.

It is not hard to notice that this is a desperate effort to bring dying HotS back to life. Despite being pushed and promoted almost everywhere, HotS did not become a hit Blizzard wanted to. Seen as a “dumbed down” MOBA by both League and Dota players, it never managed to build a huge player base. Even today, one of the biggest group of HotS players are those who play a game or two in-between other MOBAs to calm down and relax after hard & demanding matches. Seeing declining player base of the game they have so heavily invested in, Blizzard will do anything to avoid the grim end.

It wasn’t supposed to end up like that.

In Blizzard’s original idea, Heroes of the Storm was supposed to be a game changer. A MOBA without a steep learning curve and toxic community, yet complex and enjoyable for the viewers. By removing mechanics common in other games of the genre, such as last hitting or denying, the game hopes to resolve the issue of having less mechanically skilled players drag the team down after tough early game. Focus on team fights and brawling was supposed to give these players a chance to shine and be relevant while improving everyone’s experience. All while keeping a high skill ceiling, allowing the game to grow into a successful eSport.

Perhaps Blizzard overlooked the fact things they call “issues” are actually what makes these games interesting?