Heroes Of The Storm Unlocks All Heroes This Weekend


Every character in Blizzard’s free-to-play MOBA Heroes of the Storm [official site] will be available to play free of charge this weekend. Normally HotS has the usual MOBA deal of only making a small, rotating lineup of ten wizards free at any one time, wanting people to pay up (real or fake money) to unlock wizards permanently. But with the grand finals of their Heroes of the Dorm college team tournament this weekend, Blizzard are celebrating and welcoming folks in with an unlocked roster and bonus XP.

As Blizzard explain, all fifty wizards/summoners/heroes/champions/gods will be unlocked from 10am PDT today (that’s 6pm UK time) until Monday at 10am PDT (6pm again!). If you wanna give a wizard a whirl, knock yourself out. Heart of the Swarm does offer short sandbox trials for all wizards, but it’s hardly as good as playing with them in proper matches for a few days.

Blizzard are also giving 50% bonus XP for games played.

I don’t play Heroes of Warcraft myself, as I only have enough room in my heart and muscle memory for one MOBA, but I’m sure Pip would be disappointed if I didn’t post this. She’s sending me texts from Rezzed, so this is the least I can do.

As I’m sure Blizzard say all the time, get yr wiz on.


  1. Xocrates says:

    I’d be curious to know what numbers of players HotS is pulling. Last time I’ve played I got the distinct impression that the queue times were longer than what I got in the (closed) alpha and beta, and often matched not only people with large level discrepancies, but often 5 man premades versus solo players.

    Them unlocking all heroes for the weekend is interesting in that regard, because it suggests people are not actually buying them to begin with, so the retention rate may be low.

    Of course, I may be completely wrong, and I’m sure HotS is still pulling in fairly large numbers, but it makes me wonder if the numbers are what Blizz expected.

    • Senethro says:

      It is difficult to say. It feels as if there has been a steady migration of players from the Quick Match queue to the ranked modes as more people met the 10 (now 14) heroes limit but there are other splits in the playerbase. Blizzard’s matchmaker tries to put pre-made groups against other premades, and solos against solos but tries to describe them both using an invisible skill ranking.

      So when I play QM solo I get 4 fragile DPS teammates all screeching at each other to group up while running solo, but close to me in mechanical skill. Queuing as a pair will get you other pairs that are used to co-operating. But queuing as a three or a four will leave the matchmaker churning away for 5 minutes before dealing you opponents from all over the deck because it mid-size groups are rare.

    • maximus says:

      i tend to get wait time of of about 2-3 mins playing with friends, and has been like this since launch, worth bearing in mind though there a lot of factors that can effect que times as the game tries to match teams as fairly as possible (obviously this doesn’t always work) its not just how many players are on.

      personally out of all the mobas i have played (lol, dota ect) i find hots the most fun. short games, loads of maps and variety ect.

    • Freud says:

      They’ve altered matchmaking a bit so games will be closer. Queue times are fine for me. Generally around a minute for QM and less for HL.

    • Ansob says:

      They’ve changed a bunch of stuff since launch that has had the result of driving queue times up in exchange for (in theory) better match-ups – stuff like restricting the size of parties matched against each other so that you can’t have a five-stack on one side and 2+1+1+1 on the other, or disabling matching the matching of parties without Warriors against parties that have one.

      The game is still active enough that I’ve never struggled to find a game, but their idiotic insistence on having completely segregated matchmaking regions (with absolutely no account progress being carried across when you switch) probably isn’t helping.

      • that_guy_strife says:

        It’s actually a really good move, and I’d like further segregation. Being in NA, I’d rather not play with CA or SA people, purely because of ping (well also language a bit).

        You didn’t know that if you log out of the battle.net app, you can switch regions before logging in again ?

    • sobaka770 says:

      The queue times became much longer after they changed the matchmaker. In a nutshell it no longer tries to start the games fast, but to assemble a balanced team.

      I think the population is rather healthy, and you will find a game reasonably fast unless you play a newly-released hero in Quick Match.

  2. TWChristine says:

    I gave the game a whirl a good while ago just for the heck of it (not really into MOBAs, but I like Warcraft). I have a thing for Tyrande, so decided I’d buy that character, but I wasn’t going to plop real monies on a game I wasn’t even going to really bother with. In the end, I just did practice matches vs AI, where I started the game and then sat on the couch while the rest of my team fought (and always won against..) the AI. I can’t remember exactly how long it took, maybe a night or two, and then I had enough in game monies to buy her.

  3. SaintAn says:

    Pass. After they shut down Nos this week, and censored a character last week, and pay Kotaku to do damage control and manipulate their readers into playing Blizz games, I’m not touching this trash. Especially since they are known homophobes.

    • Kolbex says:

      Censored…a character? Are you referring to the Tracer thing? Being frothy over that while ALSO being frothy about the (exceedingly overblown) claim of their being “known homophobes” is a little incoherent.

      • Xocrates says:

        Not to mention that the Tracer replacement pose ended up being an actual Pin-up pose (though more fitting to the character), which makes the censorship claim doubly silly.

    • mouton says:

      Oh noes, evil offended people took away your games.

    • Cerzi says:

      This site’s comment section is starting to feel really tabloidy.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    Hey Alice – the “official site” link seems to link to the Overwatch site!