Beta Buy-In: Heroes Of The Storm Selling Founder’s Pack

A wizard did it.

For the low, low price of £29.99, you too can become a wizard this very day! Simple Paypal me £29.99 and I will send you detailed instructions on how to turn curtains into robes, coloured card into a pointy hat, chopsticks into wands, and socks into familiars, along with helpful tips on how to remove glitter from carpets.

I mean, you could take that 30 quid and buy a Founder’s Pack for Heroes of the Storm, getting instant access to the beta and some wizards and a special mount and jazz, but that won’t help me.

As will happen with wizard ’em ups, Blizzard are now selling beta access to their free-to-play-to-be game. Along with instant beta access, it includes permanent unlocks for three characters – Diablo, Raynor, and Tyrande – along with a bonus skin for each of ’em, a golden cyberwolf mount, and virtual cash to spend on microtransaction stuff (y’know, character unlocks, skins, and mounts etc.). It’s a fairly typical bundle for a F2P Dote ’em up beta thing.

Sure, you can wait and hope you receive a beta invitation for free, or wait until it’s finished and then play for free, but if you want to join the cool kids and see what Rich Stanton liked so much and see what your friends are going on about and discover why they’ve deserted you and why you don’t play games together any more and maybe answer if they’re just using HotS as an excuse to ditch you, well…


  1. Llewyn says:

    Dear Alice, I am most interested in your advice on turning socks into familiars. My existing familiar, a thirteen year old border collie, has over the years ensured that I have a bountiful supply of odd socks. Also partially eaten tennis balls. I feel that using these to make his replacement might prevent a repeat of this problem in future. Yours in anticipation, Llewyn.

  2. lowprices says:

    I’m hoping this is for MOBA’s what Hearthstone is for card games. I really want to get into MOBA’s, but just find I don’t have the time or inclination to learn the 10,000 hero/item combinations, and which perfectly counters which of the other the other 10,000 hero/item combinations.

    • davethejuggler says:

      You really don’t need to learn that much to start playing Dota 2. For starters there are now built in guides (from blizzard and usually better ones from the community, rated and ranked for your convenience) that suggest what order to level skills, what items are recommended. Often they have explanations of why they are good for that specific character. Also until you get to higher skill levels team compositions are very rarely ideal, and frankly they are usually awful. It doesn’t matter at that level. I’m regularly playing on or against teams with 4 carries and it goes fine.

      I’m looking forward to giving HOTS a try though. Looks like a decently fun game. The permanent character unlocked mentioned was a shock as i didn’t realise they were selling heroes and i’ve never enjoyed that monetisation strategy, but whatever.

    • Banyan says:

      As davethejuggler notes, just turn on a guide and follow the recommendations. For the first 50 games, you’ll be struggling to develop a basic game sense of when to lane and when to roam and when you’re about to get ganked, figure out last hitting, learn how vision works, the abilities of the most common heroes so you know how to counter, remember the map and when it’s best to teleport versus walk, etc, etc. Item choices will hardly figure into it.

      Fortunately, everyone else else in your bracket will be pretty much as ignorant and incompetent, so you will still be having fun matches.

  3. Horg says:

    ”along with helpful tips on how to remove glitter from carpets.”

    This is when I realised the Wizard Starter Pack was a scam. Nothing removes glitter from carpets.

    • Ross Angus says:

      The trick with glitter is learning to love it.

      • Horg says:

        You know the guy who founded ShipYourEnemiesGlitter? He made something like $20,000 in under two weeks and still sold his company because he couldn’t stand the glitter. You ask too much.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      But if something could, if someone could tell you… surely it’s worth £29.99 for even a chance of it being real.

  4. Siimon says:

    Howcome RPS article titles Use All Caps Even On A Word That Shouldn’t Have It? Is it a British thing?

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      I haven’t the foggiest! Someone at some point made a decision and I Guess We All Live With The Consequences Of It.

      • h4plo says:

        Alice, I logged in for the first time in a very long time to reply to this comment. You are my favorite of the new breed of RPS hivewrites. Don’t ever change a thing, except the calendar day. Wouldn’t want you getting stuck in the past.

  5. Sarracenae says:

    If your friends have got in and you haven’t, and you really want to get in then perhaps think about paying. If you are just curious and will mostly be playing solo que, i’d recommend waiting. It’s really not a game friendly to solo play, at the moment you get non english speakers regularly (really messes up a team game). Lots of people who don’t have a clue, and really screw over the team by not doing objectives etc etc.

    Edit. oh i forgot the hero selection for solo que also happens before the team is picked and at the moment the match maker seems awful at putting competitive teams together, and also mixes solo peeps with full 5 stacks regularly so it’s just stomp city alot.

    You can of course do the bot matches for leveling characters but that gets old really fast.

    • Bull0 says:

      I’ve had lots of fun being matched up with non-english-speakers in games, I guess it depends what you’re trying to get out of the game really.

    • Xocrates says:

      That is, perhaps, one of the most baffling things about HotS. It’s a “casual” moba that only makes sense when played competitively with a premade team.

  6. mtomto says:

    I bought it, and was disappointed. REALLY disappointed…

    no in-game items… shared XP/levels… lol wtf?!? Might be good as an entry game for 5-year-olds. Everything works, it’s pretty… but everything that makes moba games good isn’t there.

    Zero depth! Another failure from blizzard.

    • Bluestormzion says:

      All that stuff you complain about had been known for a year or more at this point. At this point, I think that the people interested in Heroes of the Storm know what it is, and people who aren’t interested won’t be paying to get in.

      Also, 5-year-olds? Really? To me, I think you sound like someone who gets his sense of self worth from being better than people at LOL or DOTA.

      • mtomto says:

        Well I didn’t know about these things. Guess I can’t really blame anyone – I didn’t really read a whole lot about it before getting it. I guess I just expected moba elements to be in a moba game. Like you want action in an action movie. Crazy how that works -.-

        Your personal attack on me is somewhat ironic :) But yes, I do enjoy competitive games – you know… those where you can be better or worse than others. You enjoy this game, fine. We can disagree without being dicks…..

    • Moraven says:

      No in game items – Great! One less then to worry about and needing to learn from guides for the current cookie cutter meta. Not a lot of depth if there is only 2-3 optimal choices.

      Shared XP – Whole team needs to contribute and now I don’t have to farm a lane for 10 minutes.

      Having access to all 3 skills from the start makes the early game fun. Talent selections replaces items and offers a variety of ways to customize yourself for the current game. No worry about items, gold, buying.

      • Xocrates says:

        Talent system: Only 1-2 optimal choices. No out of meta build paths, choices irreversible, made at specific points in a specific order, and many situational – meaning you’ll either pick them and not need them, or not pick them and need it.

        Shared team XP: One person falling behind means whole team falls behind. Reduced comeback possibilities exacerbated by levels causing massive strength differences (seriously, I once tried to 1v1 an identical champ with essentially identical talents that was 2 levels ahead, he would kill me with about 1/3 to 1/2 his life left).

        Though I do like the 3 skill start.

        Anyway, my point isn’t that HotS systems are better or worse, merely different. For whatever “problems” they fix they cause new ones.

        Yes, they do mean it’s easier to get into HotS, but it also means HotS is probably the most uneven game in the genre I’ve ever played.

    • fish99 says:

      £30 is a lot to spend for early access to a beta for a F2P game you don’t know much about.

  7. Bluestormzion says:

    Heroes of the Storm’s Beta Buy-in is suffering from the same malady as the WoW Store and the character skins within Heroes of the Storm itself. Too Damn Expensive. They’re just all too damn expensive. I don’t understand, charging 5, even 10 dollars for the beta buy-in, I’d have gotten it last night. At 15 I’d at least be considering it. When I saw that 40 dollar price point, my exact response was “Pff, fuck you.” Seriously! And some of the character skins in the game are 10 bucks? “Fuck you!” Charge me 2 dollars a costume, I’ll buy 20. Charge me 5 dollars a costume, I’ll buy two. Try to charge me 10? See previous “fuck you.” Then fuck yourselves, Blizz.

    • Baines says:

      They charge because people will pay.

      It isn’t even a new thing, as people have been paying to buy early access to f2p titles for years.

      As for the item prices, people have been willing to spend insane amounts of money once in-game as well. There are people who have individually spent more money inside a single game than I’ve spent in total buying games for probably the last five years.

    • Moraven says:

      If it was $5-$10, to many people would buy in and they would have server issues.

      DOTA 2 had an Early Access pass for $39.99. It came with 9 cosmetic items.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        Yeah, but DOTA2 also had tons and tons of beta invites and they gave players extra ones to give to their friends. There was no reasons to pay for the DOTA2 pack unless you wanted the items. It was easy to get into the beta. Many invites actually wound up on the Steam Marketplace where beta access could be bought for as little as $0.03.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      This is sadly nothing new for Blizzard. And they will continue doing so as long as they can get away with it. I always have to laugh at people saying how Hearthstone has such a good f2p model.. where if you buy cards they’re more expensive than real Magic the Gathering cards.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        I think the generous attitude towards Hearthstone is because it is fairly easy to earn enough gold to buy a pack for “free” by using your gold instead of real money.

        But, yeah, the amount of cards you get for what you pay is ridiculously small. IMO, paid packs should contain more cards while free gold packs are fine containing less. Or raise the amount of gold for a pack. Either way, the current system has card packs priced far too high.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      People need to realize the Blizzard of today isn’t the same company that made Warcraft 1 and 2, it’s not the same company that made Lost Vikings and Diablo 1 and 2. The Blizzard of today is a fundamentally different company and it shows in the blatant fleecing of their customer base. Not just this crap, either, but the entire Diablo3 RMAH was a disaster, just like everyone with two brain cells to rub together said it would be, and the result is a game where you can’t use mods and you can’t play offline because of a broken system that ruined the game and was later removed. GG, Blizzard. Well played.

      I have no doubt that this high pricing is intentional. Why? Whales. Blizzard has to know that there are going to be a lot of hardcore fanboys out there that will pay these prices for their favorite character(s) and alternate skins for them. The chance of HotS getting whales to pour money into their service is much higher than for HoN or SMITE solely because of Blizzard’s iconic history.

      Total Biscuit, on the Co-Optional podcast, talked about spending over $200 buying all the characters for the game. That does not even cover all the alternate skins and other goodies. Even he was saying that pricing was reidiculous.

      Thankfully, I have no dog in this fight. I enjoyed Warcraft 1 and 2, thought Starcraft was a boring Warcraft reskin with Space Marines that aren’t 40k, loved Lost Vikings, never played RnR Racing, only plated Diablo 1, and I think WoW is the most boring and terribly designed RPG ever made. So, I do have some fond memories of Blizzard’s games, but I never cared enough to get caught up into the brand of the company. And I’m glad. Because it appears that Blizzard would have simply used that branding power over me to financially exploit me as much as possible.

      I think it’s official. Blizzard is a terrible company that repeatedly fleeces its customers. They are no better than many other major publishers/developers that get heaps of hate, like EA or Activision or even Ubisoft. Always online DRM? Check. Outrageous monetization prices? Check. Putting real-world money microtransactions into singleplayer-oriented games? Check.

      Why do people keep giving BLizzard a pass? They’re a terrible company and they should be given the reputation as such. I mean, lately, they have been working very hard at ruining the good will that they had built up for decades. Why not give them the recognition that they deserve for this achievement?

  8. RedNick says:

    Three hero unlocks with the pack? Seriously? That isn’t a misprint? I’ll stick with Dota and it’s non money grabbing monetisation scheme (and SMITE with it’s sensible, but significantly less generous one)

    • Vandelay says:

      Was just about to say the same. A whole 3 heroes! So generous Blizzard.

      Smite definitely has the best way of doing this, with the very reasonably priced God pack that unlocks all heroes, including any unreleased ones. Dota is great too, but not really realistic for many companies outside of Valve. The only people I can think of being able to make money purely from cosmetics is… err… Blizzard.

  9. Dawngreeter says:

    So, here’s my problem. I just might be curious enough to pay, but…

    If I buy a founder’s pack, it says it’d be limited to either EU or the Americas. I’m in EU right now. I might be in North America at some point in the future. Why the hell would they do that?