It has been said that if you ever want to learn to swear in every language known to man (especially Russian), you merely have to play a few rounds of Dota 2 without disabling voice chat. Knowing this, Blizzard’s decision to include this as the latest standard feature of their softer, milder take on the MOBA genre comes as a bit of a surprise.
As of today’s patch, Heroes of The Storm now allows your team to share their exact and unfiltered thoughts on your performance without having to go through the trouble of typing them.
Looking at the full details of the voice comms addition, it’s not quite as bad as you might fear. Upon entering each match, non-partied players will be asked whether they want to join a team chat channel, and particularly foolhardy players can opt to auto-join in every match. If you are in a party and already playing with friends, you’ll be automatically added to voice chat, and there are on-screen indicators showing you who’s speaking at any given moment.
Blizzard have at least made basic efforts to prevent this being abused, as well. While relatively easy to mute and unmute individual voices, they’ve also added a new category of abuse complaint to their list of grumbles you can make about players. If an individual finds themselves tagged frequently for being abusive via voice chat, they may find their speaking privileges revoked while still allowing them to keep playing.
All in all, it doesn’t sound like too bad an implementation, but I can’t help but wonder whether this will raise the overall blood pressure of Heroes of The Storm’s playerbase just that little bit further. It’d be a shame, considering how easygoing it is compared to a lot of other games in the genre.
Also yes, I know the header art is from another Warcraft universe entirely, but I needed a picture of Thrall screaming.