You know, I don’t think I’ve ever covered a free to play game (usually cause they are crap designed to frustrate you into spending more money than you would for a full priced game). So I was playing one and realized, hey I could do a review on this. And one with a rather amusing history to it. So here is Blizzard DOTA… I mean Blizzard All-stars… I mean Heroes of the Storm.
So yeah, this game went through a few names as it was being developed. You see the DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) style game came about from a MOD of Blizzards Warcraft 3 game, but they failed to secure the name DOTA so changed it to All Stars, which turned out rather dull so it became Heroes of the Storm.
The game style is similar to other DOTAs. You have a team of heroes on both sides, a few lanes (usually 3) and several bases to destroy till you get to the enemy base and you destroy an object there to win. From your base spawns groups of minions whose main use honestly is to soak up fire from enemy canons so they don’t hit you while you destroy said cannons.
The change comes about from the heroes and battlegrounds. The heroes are drawn from all of Blizzard entertainments games. Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, Overwatch and even the Lost Vikings. Characters are arranged into different categories, ranged or melee to determine.. well if they are ranged or melee fighters. Support, Warrior (tank) Assassin (dps) and Specialist (all sorts of fun ). Each of the characters are all fun and animated even having some lines of interaction like D.Va commenting on people from Starcraft. To Quote one of the developers “it’s a game where Diablo, the lord of terror, can charge into battle on a magical unicorn only to be killed by a murloc”
Watch: Diablo Rework Spotlight
When you play a game with a character you gain experience for that character and when you level up you get a loot box. Originally you just leveled up the character to receive cosmetic rewards for them, unlocking base skin colours and then a master skin. Now I know what your thinking, I previously mentioned loot boxes were gambling and damaged games. Gaming Loot Boxes: Are They Gambling? Well this is one of the exceptions. Since you get a loot box whenever you level up a character, and there are a lot of characters, and regularly adding new ones that does mean I never felt pressured to buy anything, you can also use in-game currency you earn from completing quests to gain rerolls so its incentivising playing the game rather than spending money. In fact since they moved from just buying the skins to the earnable loot boxes I’ve seen far more variety on what people look like in battles, up to you if you think that’s better or worse but I feel this is one of the few examples it worked (note in most examples it doesn’t and instead they are used to manipulate people into spending money while also damaging the game’s progression)
Free characters are on a rotation that changes every week (leveling up will also unlock more free characters) but you can get them either from a loot box or more likely from buying them with the in-game currency. Though this at times may seem a lot the rotation of free heroes keeps that from being too much of an issue. I enjoyed working out different builds for the heroes as to my playstyles, be it a stun lock burst from Diablo (which I did while wearing the Naxxomania skin, it was a Mexican wrestling styled event, even got a special announcer) or finding Rracer was very good at chasing down heroes.
There are 2 main ways to play the game, against the computer or against players, I almost always go against the computer (also anyone who does badly and says oh it’s just bots as an excuse for not going to the objectives should be banned as those bots are playing better than them…. sorry about that, frustration over jerks). Each battle zone.. realm what ever has its own objectives that completing them will help you win. In the Sky Temple you can fight for control of the temples which fire ancient Egyptian laser beams to destroy enemy buildings (except when you lose those temples cause 2 people are on the bottom refusing to help… AAAAAHHHH) Or holding two beacons to make sure a Zerg rush happens to your enemy. Yes some of the realms are based on classic Blizzard games (well Starcraft, Overwatch and Diablo) but they are doing a Warcraft one soon.
I love this game for killing time, and I have been enjoying how in events, it’s not just the special loot boxes rewards but rewards from quests like that Mexican wrestler announcer. I enjoy it when a hero I haven’t used before pops up on the free rotation, part to try out the hero, part to get some easy level ups and rewards :).
Heroes of the Storm is a fun game I do recommend for DOTA fans and even more if you play Blizzard games.