Heroes Of The Storm Release Date Open Beta

Crystal Maiden and Windrunner are, of course, the most delightful characters anyone could ever hope to play on the Doting fields. Who could ask for more? I suppose lots of folks are quite attached to Blizzard characters, though.

If you want to lock and lord as Kerrigan, Diablo, Nova, Illidan, and other Blizzard chappies without paying £30 to access the Heroes of the Storm [official site] beta, good news! Blizzard today announced that their free-to-play Dote ’em up will enter open beta on May 20th, then officially launch on June 2nd.

Heroes of the Storm is a fairly standard LoL-inspired Dote ’em up, with lords and lanes and levelling and pushing and murdering. It’s meant to be more accessible than many Dote ’em ups, and proved to be the one that helped Rich Stanton see the appeal of Lords Management games. I haven’t played it myself (because Crystal Maiden & Windrunner) so here, go read his words because he knows what he’s talking about and I’m just some kind of buffoon here to entertain you. Wakka wakka.

For those who are already in the beta, Blizzard explain, “We won’t be performing any further wipes, so any progress or purchases you’ve made during the closed beta will carry through to the open beta as well as post-launch.”

It’ll be free-to-play, making money by selling cosmetic items, character unlocks, and whatnot.

24 Comments

  1. F0NTAINE says:

    Anyone who paid money to access the beta via the founder’s pack isn’t very bright, as there are tons of free keys all over the place. I’ve had at least 8 free keys now from giveaways and emails from Blizzard. It takes a while to give them away, too, since there’s so many. There’s a subreddit where people give away keys and it constantly has new posts. And then there’s some (shady) places where you can buy keys for less than a quarter.

    Sure, you can say you get ingame stuff with the Founder’s Pack, but the Founder’s Pack is a horrible value (1 mount, 3 skins, 3 Heroes) compared to the Nexus Bundle (8 Heroes, 4 skins, 2 mounts) which is also $40.

    • Kitsunin says:

      There was a period of at least a few weeks during which keys didn’t exist, and the founder pack had come out. It’s true that right now and for almost the past couple months it’s pretty much been open season if you’re willing to put in a teensy bit of effort, though.

  2. draglikepull says:

    I wouldn’t say it’s a “standard LoL-inspired Dote ‘em up.” Many of the key features of LoL are absent from HotS (last hitting, individual character levels, gold and item shops, etc.) and the introduction of “objectives” on each map changes the gameplay quite a bit. It’s a game in which you attack a base by driving down lanes, but much of the actual gameplay diverges significantly from LoL or DotA2, in my opinion. Which is exactly why I like Heroes of the Storm so much.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Yeah, about same for me. I thought I’d just try it quickly to see what it is about… and I’ve been playing it since.

      I enjoy Dota 2 a lot, but I wish sometimes I could play in less than 45 minutes. Because in a post newborn ear, coming up with 1 hour of undisturbed dedicated play time is difficult (not to mention a bit selfish, depending on the moment). The longest game I had in HotS was 35 minutes, and it was because both teams stalled a bit, not sure how to finish it.

      Most games are around 20 minutes, and it’s intense, without really a passive farming phase where you play “ha!, I denied you the last hit gold!”. You just focus on fighting, taking objectives, map placement for the duration of the game.

      No last hitting, no wondering about gold, losing gold if you die, worrying about having more gold than your carry, as a support, no encyclopedia of items to remember. No awkward phase where your combo-rich hero doesn’t have all his main skills unlocked (all skill except the “ult” are available at level 1).

      All in all, it doesn’t have the depth of a Dota game, clearly, and it won’t replace it. But for a quick burst of fun moba game, it’s really good at what it does.

      My only reserve is about the Free to Play approach. Dota2 spoiled me with unlocking all heroes from the beginning and offering only cosmetic items to buy. It’s hard to come back to a system where you have to grind or pay a non negligible amount of real money to unlock characters. Granted, it’s better than LoL, you can actually preview heroes outside of the “free roster of the week”, and see how they feel.

      So all in all, maybe I’ll get tired of it, maybe the charm will pass when I’ll start reaching more “experienced” (read raging) players in the matchmaking, but so far, enjoying it and having fun.

      • Moraven says:

        I had my share of All Stars and LoL. There is something to the lane duels, items, etc. There is also something to what you mention in what HOTS does. Its great to have all the abilities right away. Laning does not last long as you right away get into team objectives and team battles over and over again. You get to focus on brawling, not who can hit minions best.

    • Gilmir says:

      I tried Dota 2 some time ago and bounced off it immediately.
      I’m too old to invest hundreds of hours into a game to even begin to “get it”. Tons of heroes, items, skill progressions etc. Also, the game is so established, by now that starting fresh feels like the best way to get really frustrated.
      In HotS, you can simply start to play and actually have fun without all this research. It still has depth, mind. It’s not really “casual”. But the focus lies much more on actual strategy, gameplay and fun and much less rather obscure micro management. There are some really helpful guides that you can get through in one evening to get started.
      The “free” to play model is the only turn off to me, at the moment.
      On the other hand, once you start playing, getting enough gold to buy one or two heroes you really like, is not so hard. I got my first 10k (and bought Jaina) after about five days of semi casual playing. So it’s bearable, too. Unless you have to “have them all” or if you’re a “skin fetishist” (that’s a nice one ;) )

    • salejemaster says:

      I definitelly agree that it’s not a “standard LoL-inspired Dote ‘em up”

    • salejemaster says:

      I definitely agree that it’s not a “standard LoL-inspired Dote ‘em up”

  3. shaydeeadi says:

    I got a key for free and didn’t make it past 2 games, the movement was sluggish, the skills were really underwhelming on the heroes I picked and didn’t look all that interesting on other players in game. The map I played just seemed to boil down to getting that dragon which made it incredibly repetitive and very linear objective wise (also punishing since my team had no interest in holding the game winning asset.) I probably didn’t give it enough of a chance, but Strife (S2 moba) by comparison held my attention much better to the point I’ve played maybe 20-30 games on it.

  4. Xocrates says:

    The game is more accessible… so long as you’re on a 5 man premade on voice chat.

    This is far of being my only, and probably not even the major, complaint I have about the game, but it’s probably the one that prevents me of playing regularly. Team synergy wins games – both between players and heroes -, not individual skill, which makes any pub game a complete crapshoot that you have little control over, compounded by the fact that the game, bizarrely, does not like to tell you how your team is doing.

    It’s a decent enough game if you go in with that in mind, but I do find it an extremely frustrating game in solo mode for what’s supposed to be an “accessible” entry in the genre.

    • Gnoupi says:

      To be fair, they have a quite good ping system to communicate during pubs. But not everyone is receptive to that, especially in the early matchmaking levels.

    • Moraven says:

      I mostly do Quick Match solo. The majority of games people seem to do fine and focus on team objectives.

      • Xocrates says:

        Focusing on the Objectives is not the same as synergizing well. You can individually all be playing amazing, but if the team isn’t synergizing well you’ll still lose. This is particularly evident in large maps or which require the team to split up (and one of the reasons I hate the pirate map).

        I’m not saying it’s all games, it might not even be the majority, but it does mean that a lot of losses are due to stuff you have no clear control over. Which essentially translates to the game simply not providing you enough feedback on how to improve.

  5. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I was going to say “I wish these games had singleplayer campaigns”, but then those would just be APRGs and… erm…

  6. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    It’s decent. It’s not too complicated and is fairly fun to play. It isn’t really engaging for me, though. It somehow lacks something that I do not miss in League of Legends (which is the dota-like I do play). It’s not last-hitting, I know that much (on account of me being terrible at it).

    The reward system is awful, though and the monetisation is absurd.

    • Moraven says:

      You do get 2200+ in gold from dailies. 500g for hitting Hero Level 5. Stimepack at player level 10. Various gold rewards at player levels. They added gold rewards at hero level 15 and 20 (which take a long time to obtain).

      LIke LoL, its best to put down for the $20-$30 bundle to start, then from there you have decent access of heroes. At least you don’t have to waste currency on Runes (which they tried to do and the feedback was immediately negative just on the announcement). I feel you gain free currency a lot quicker than what it takes to unlock LoL champions.

      • Xocrates says:

        2200 gold from dailies? On what time scale? Unless they revamped the system recently, a daily was netting me 500-600 gold on average, and require 3+ games.

        While Hots has a lot of gold gaining mechanisms, a lot of that gold is frontloaded, and you need to specifically grind them to get a good consistent income. And once you level up the champs and your character all your gold is coming from dailies, which actually net you rewards much slower than LoL.

        Also, the stimpack doesn’t increase gold from dailies or other rewards, just games, which give pitiful amounts of gold.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          I would like to echo that. 2200?! I got about 200 from my last daily.

          • Kitsunin says:

            I believe the average value of a daily is 350, and if you manipulate them (finish the ~8 games for a 600/800 gold quest as soon as you get them, and keep two 200 gold quests unfinished so they aren’t in the pool of possibilities) it goes up to 400.

            Not great, but still, with a pretty meager daily playtime and ignoring all one-time gold gains (which are quite significant, worth well over 30,000 in total) you’ll reliably get one of the most expensive heroes each month with a small amount extra, which is much better than you can expect for a similar amount of time in LoL, at least.

          • Xocrates says:

            @Kitsunin: A daily quest in Hots takes 1 hour+, assuming you’re actually farming it as opposed to playing whatever else you may have wanted to play. You can farm the first win in LoL in about 20-30 minutes and get ~200 IP. This will also reliably get you one of the most expensive heroes per month assuming you play a couple more games beyond that.

            The only way you can argue that Hots gives you more in-game currency than LoL is if you account for the lack of any other money sinks than champs.

  7. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    It’s my “shooting the breeze” SAUSAGES game I play with friends where we can laugh and lark about, as opposed to LoL, which is SRS BSNSS that requires game face

  8. kiwi12 says:

    ~2005 – Fan(s) create a new type of gameplay with a map editor that got popular

    2015 – blizz copy&paste it, throws all old franchises in it, minor changes – voilá: new game

    ohhh boy, those are dark times for innovations today

    • GHudston says:

      Yes. And every FPS is just a copy & paste of Wolfenstein 3D with “minor changes.”

      You can’t make a genre game that doesn’t share similarities to other games in the genre, the differences are what makes your game stand out. HotS has more than enough differences to stand out.

  9. c0rethebastard says:

    I don’t really believe this is going to make out. Dota 2 and LoL today are bigger than Blizzard and what I see is a company wasting resources only by pride. They are sooo late, they lost the race even before they realized it existed, years passed and still they haven’t realized they lost.
    Quoting: “HotS is a MOBA for people who don’t like MOBAs.”