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Average User Score: 6.6Jun 7, 2015It's not perfect, but it will redefine the genre. Obviously there are going to be the comparisons to games like DOTA and LoL, there certainlyIt's not perfect, but it will redefine the genre. Obviously there are going to be the comparisons to games like DOTA and LoL, there certainly are similarities, but in many respects they aren't justified. By differentiating itself so drastically, Heroes of the Storm is bringing in an entirely different player base all together, there will obviously be unhappy players from other MOBA's move across, but ultimately it will do more to introduce more players to the genre, than to kill off either of the other two big dogs. Die hard players of any of the 3 games will remain so, but casual players, or those looking to get into the genre will almost certainly gravitate towards Heroes of the Storm because it successfully manages to draw a player in, and then keep them playing for longer, by making it about teamwork, minimizing in-match grinding, an maximizing variety through team fighting, hero types, and maps with key objectives.
Currently the matchmaking system is something of a shambles, but having sat through various incarnations of release, Alpha, Closed Beta, Open Beta, Launch, the matchmaking is always a bit of a shambles out of the gate before settling into a fairly competitive (player to player) system, it's not in-depth enough to match based on skill or win percentage with a particular hero, or even class, so you may get a great player using a hero and role the are unfamiliar with, which may translate to a train smash; but you will frequently square off against, or beside, familiar players, which is great, especially if you're carrying a grudge.
Matches are ~20 mins in length, which always seems to feel longer, but each game settles into a good pace, and keeps the action coming thick and fast. By and large the maps are great, with a variety of objectives that can quickly change the landscape of a match and play to individual players strengths or weaknesses. The only real gripe as far as maps go would be the Garden of Terror, where games on average seem to take 5 minutes longer, part of it is due to the volume of contestable objectives, the other part seems to be that the Garden Terror unit itself needs a bit of a buff, as even in the late game it can be cut down quickly without making much of an impact on the enemy defenses.
Team experience is shared, and while you occasionally get games where one team jumps out to a lead, and compounds upon it through a combination of player kills, fort kills and objective catches, there is always a sense that winning one decisive team fight lat in the game can change the dynamic of the match. It is something of an artificial mechanic, but one that rewards great teamwork, can punish selfishness, and allow a team that may not have initially been cohesive, to remain in the match if they can form some kind of degree of cohesion.
the lack of will always be a contentious issue, but the use of talents at various levels throughout the match is a solid system, with each adding a layer of diversity, and adaptability throughout a match, without making them unbeatable (or unplayable) depending on whether you choose the right or wrong talent at any given level. It's not only a forgiving decision, it encourages experimentation to find a build that suits an individual players play style, without needing extensive knowledge, or theory crafting.
The basic marketplace structure seems fair, where cosmetics like mounts and skins cost real money, while heroes can be purchased with real money, or in-game currency earned by playing matches, or completing daily quests. However, the actual pricing seems to be about double what it reasonably should, particularly for the cosmetic aspects. What people generally forget is that while the game is "free-to-play" it costs to be made available. Servers cost money, development teams cost money, so while it's free to play, it's not free to make. That said, most players can justify $10 a month for a new hero, but throw in 2 per month (as we will see in June), and skins at the same price, and devoted players (and completionists alike) can quickly spend upwards of $50 in a single purchase. Given the massive player base at launch, chopping 25% (or even 50%) across the board could be achieved, without compromising the overall quality of the game. Alternatively, you can buy all the heroes, and their master skins, by playing your behind off and accumulating the in-game currency, just don't expect any of the cosmetic options.
The graphics are slick, sounds, animations, and collisions are all Triple A level as you would expect, each hero feels unique, and has been given the love and attention that you would expect for one that pulls together some of the most beloved characters in the Blizzard universe (if not, all gaming), across the board they are well balanced, but you feel they will be in a constant state of re-balancing as new heroes are added, players develop (and exploit) various metas and so on.
It's a great game, well worth your time.… Expand