Heroes of the Storm [official site] is one of those games that I enjoy when I do boot it up but I tend to forget it even exists until I get an email about it. For me it's fun to dip into, but it doesn't stick beyond that. Today's reminder was the info that the game is getting Heroes Brawl mode as a kind of evolution of the arena mode which I... don't remember playing.
So what is Heroes Brawl, other than a reminder of how HotS is definitely a hero brawler and not a MOBA?
As a UK resident, the music In The Hall Of The Mountain King is irrevocably tied to adverts for the theme park Alton Towers so Blizzard's trailer just makes me wonder whether Alton Towers now has a Warcraft/Starcraft/Overwatch mashup rollercoaster.
"Heroes Brawl evolved from what was Arena Mode, and now delivers an experience where players battle on unique battlegrounds with surreal twists and with custom rulesets that turn everything you thought you knew about the game on its head."
The missive goes on to clarify that this means:
The rules of Heroes Brawl change every week. One week you may be playing a brawl where everyone is Nova and Snipe instakills heroes; the next week you may be playing as normal teams but on a map that only has one lane; your picks may be restricted only to spellcaster heroes to see who is the best spellslinger of all time... There are many, many Heroes Brawl variations, each one more unhinged than the last. Here are a few examples:
Hover tanks for everyone! All players on each team are Sgt. Hammers – with thrusters are permanently engaged! The cores are invulnerable so it's all about capturing towers to win!
Rack up points by killing enemy heroes and Punishers. The first team to score 100 points wins!
A standard map, except there is only one lane. How will you fare when the enemy is in your face at all times?
What I'm getting from this is that Blizzard is bringing HotS in line with its other competitive games which each have a "Brawl" in the form of a weekly event that changes the parameters of the game and provides novelty without being a full game mode and introducing problems like fragmenting the player base or weird queue times or whatever else. I'm guessing they just want a consistent brand experience for players (YES I KNOW), hence the naming following the concept around from game to game.
The mode will have dedicated battlegrounds, some new and some with modifiers added and some which have been changed to be single-lane maps. Blizzard are incentivising players to keep coming back to the mode via the medium of collectible portraits and gold (1,000g if you complete three brawls of that week's flavour).
Brawl will arrive on the public test realm on 10 October and move to the main client during the week of 17 October.
CONSISTENT BRAND EXPERIENCES FOR ALL!