Gaming Insights: Heroes of the Storm

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Heroes of the Storm is an up and coming ‘Hero Brawler’ or as others are more familiar with, a multiplayer online battle arena video game. The game uses heroes from Blizzard’s previously released games including Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, and recently Lost Vikings. Players compete against each other in 5v5 matches and instead of purchasing items, they can unlock abilities as the team levels up together. Matches are much shorter than most traditional MOBA games and players have the option of mounting steads to increase their movement speed. If you want to know our take on Heroes of the Storm, we have put together these reviews for you to read:

“I’ve been playing Heroes of the Storm since March 2014, when I received Alpha access from Blizzard. I started streaming it right around then. I’m involved with promoting and supporting the competitive scene and fellow streamers, so I’m really excited to talk about the game with you!

For starters, I super enjoy the game! I play every day, full team-solo-duo-tri Q, and I never lack for fun! Being on the same game and often in front of a camera should seem draining, but it never has been. With that said, I’m trying not to fangirl too hard and instead, present you with objective problems in the game.

Heroes is still in development, so there have been bugs. The worst of them were usually hotfixed quickly (Anub/Abathur, anyone?), but it was sad watching bad eggs exploit known bugs. Abathur, a specialist hero from Starcraft, hive minds through Heroes and infects them. He’s very interesting.

Before playing Heroes, I did play League, so I draw my MOBA comparisons from there. The pay model of Heroes is similar to LoL (free heroes on weekly rotation, weekly sales, in game currency or cash to purchase heroes). In game, Heroes has tons of differences from League. For example, there is no last hitting, we have talent abilities instead of purchasing of items, team levels instead of individual leveling up and specific map objectives. The focus is very much on teamwork rather than on individual play, which you frequently see in League.

I’m not sure what aspects I would change. The game is in early closed Beta and it is in fairly constant flux. It’s exciting to see the balance changes and new heroes being added almost monthly! Maybe someday, I’ll get my wish and Blizzard will add Imperious as a Hero!

Currently, you can buy a Founder’s Pack to gain early access to the game. It comes with 3 Heroes, 3 skins, amount and some in game gold. If you don’t want to spend the money, you can opt in for the game in your beta profile settings in your account. The best part is that Blizzard is still giving out access. Personally, I like Founder’s Packs! You get stuff!

I would rate Heroes of the Storm 10 Murky Eggs out of 10 Diablo Apocalypses!! Seriously, it’s a great game. :)”

-Kiye Berries aka @KiyeBerries

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“Have I enjoyed the game? Most definitely. It’s more of a brawler than a MOBA, but there’s still very big team fighting elements that you have to employ in order to solidfy your win. This is NOT a game you can just solo farm for half an hour, not interacting with your teammates, and expect to win based upon your late game potential. This aspect is both a blessing and a curse – the best feeling in the world is when a team comes together, but it’s the pits when you get crushed. I highly recommend playing with friends, because games are always better with friends!

Now, as we have spent the majority of the last year in Technical Alpha, there were definitely its fair share of problems – technical implementations, bugs, UI, the reconnect feature and of course, game balance, but every patch puts us in a new state of mind. We’ve seen the rise of cheese comps, double tank, triple support, specialists now getting bigger and bigger…the game is ever changing, but as it’s now in beta, be warned, you WILL encounter bugs.

The game itself doesn’t really lend real comparisons to other MOBAs, as it took the formula and created a brand new one. None of the MOBAs out currently have maps of different objectives; it’s all played out on the same one. This is really new and refreshing for Heroes of the Storm, because now, you focus less on grinding mechanics and item theory, and focus more on in-game performance and team drafting.

I’ve made a lot of new friends and connections in Heroes of the Storm – it has definitely been a great experience getting so involved in the tournament and eSports scene. The only way to establish this scene is to grow it, and it’s been really fulfilling! The best time to be in the game is right after the major patches – you don’t know what you’re going to see!

It’s hard to recommend buying into the beta, because the prices aren’t quite as low as you might find in other games. Given the option, I’m not sure if I would buy a Founder’s pack myself. I highly suspect the game will be publicly available to play in it’s current Free to Play model by November (BlizzCon), and there are lots of beta key giveaways occurring daily on Twitch and various websites.

I find myself in love with Heroes of the Storm, and plan to help grow it for a good while yet. Blizzard games are always well received in the community, and it’s very gratifying and rewarding to help build up this Alpha/Beta/Release!”

-Shaun @FourCourtJester Delaney

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“My name is Kevin “SchAmToo” Pearson and I’m a commentator for Heroes of the Storm. I formerly commentated StarCraft 2 but fell in love with Heroes so much, I just had to transition over. The game itself is a step above other MOBAs in terms of ease to get into, but has an absolutely surprising high skill-cap for the competitive. I ran a tournament in February where one team decided to push-to-end the game and the opposing team thought “we can do this faster”. It was quite the race! One team sent a teammate back to stall just long enough to make it a super close and exciting game!! Competitive Heroes is one of the most amped-up, energetic, and crazy fun things to watch. I watch as often as I can and play even more often. In fact, it’s so fun that I would recommend getting in via the Founder’s Pack on Blizzard’s website if you don’t have a key already. It gives you heroes, skins, and a cool amount of variation to start off with! One of those heroes in the pack is also my favorite; I love being able to play as Diablo, the Lord of Terror! Who would have thought that down the line, Blizzard would let people play as Diablo? He’s in the game and super fun. If you’re interested in checking out more Heroes content, go check out my Youtube: ( or my stream (”

-Kevin Pearson aka @SchAmToo

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“So far, I’ve played about 50 or so Heroes of the Storm games and I have enjoyed it a lot. At first, it was a bit overwhelming to learn a new character, get myself out of the laning and farming mindset and learn all of the objectives in the game. Once I played 20+ games, I was able to focus on just enjoying the game. I find the game is FAR more pleasant with friends instead of solo queueing, but that’s generally true with most multiplayer games.

As far as any issues with the game that I wished I could change, the matchmaking system can be better. I wish that when solo queueing, it would attempt to put a healer and tank on the same team with bruisers and other heavy hitters because once matchmaking finds your opponents, you are unable to change your character selection. This can be frustrating because the teams end up being unbalanced. More times than not, I’m often stuck on a team with no tank at all, which almost always results in a loss. This is especially true if the team does not communicate and work around the disadvantage. The game is still in BETA so there’s still plenty of time for that to be changed, and I’m sure it’s something Blizzard intends to change in the future.

Compared to other games in its genre, HotS is heavily focused on objectives which encourage teamwork. This is good if you have a team that is good at communicating. If you don’t, the game progresses very poorly very quickly. It’s not impossible, but it’s very difficult for a skilled player to carry a team to victory if the team is constantly losing their objectives. The team also levels together instead of individually, which means there is less blaming for someone being under-leveled. However, I just noticed that more people go from “You suck” to “WE suck” and blame the entire team when everyone is behind. Because the focus is on objectives instead of laning, farming and killing, it’s very easy to make a comeback in games when there is good teamwork. In comparison to League of Legends, where it is easy for a team to snowball if they get an early head start (first blood, good farming and a fed ADC), a HotS team would be able to make a comeback if they cooperate together. By destroying a boss and grabbing some bruiser camps, a losing team can catch up, which makes the games far more interesting. Often times when playing other non LoL MOBAs, I noticed players would quit early if they felt like there was no hope or if the other team got too big of a lead. With HotS, I have yet to get a player DCing for this reason, and have always had full 5v5 games that can go either way. Another really nice aspect of HotS is the removal of cross team chat. This definitely cuts down on the amount of toxicity in the game. While there are still some players who are toxic to their teammates, I do like that you don’t have people harassing opponents in the game.

This was not really a “funny” moment but I did have a match that was pretty epic where both my team and the opposing team were base rushing. We were literally one hit away from winning when the opponents destroyed our base. I remember cheering on my teammate as he rushed over to the enemy base to finish it off while watching our bases drop in health. At the time, I was dead and I couldn’t do anything to help. It was a pretty hype moment because I hadn’t experienced any matches THAT close before.

As of right now, I would not recommend buying the Founder’s Pack unless you REALLY REALLY want to play HotS right now. Otherwise, I’d honestly wait until you’re able to get free access to the BETA or until the game is officially released. The only reason I say that is because for $40, you’re only getting a few characters, some unnecessary skins and 2,500 gold towards purchasing another character (which isn’t even enough to buy most characters). The characters you get (Raynor, Diablo, and Tyrande) could end up being ones you don’t even like playing so you’re basically paying $40 for early access. While I do enjoy the game so far, I can say that I don’t think it’s $40 good. Perhaps if the $40 unlocked any 3 characters or skins of my choice, then it might be a good deal but even then, I’m not a fan of the price point considering how long it takes to get gold in the game. The system emphasizes on playing just enough games to complete objectives so you can get your gold for the day. If the game offered more gold for wins, I would say that it would make the initial investment of the $40 more worth it.

I guess if I were to rate this game on a scale of 1-10, I’d rate it a solid 8 as a free to play game. If I had to rate it as a $40 game, it’d be lower. Considering I got into the BETA for free, I’m pretty happy with most aspects of the game. The characters seem balanced, the maps are fun, the objectives add a new element that make the game more interesting and help prevent the game from snowballing, and many other features of the game help prevent or keep toxicity to a minimum. If you’re a fan of MOBAs, I can say this game is worth trying out, and definitely worth investing some time in if you get early BETA access.”

-Ciji Thornton aka @StarSlay3r

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“I really enjoy Heroes of the Storm, especially when compared to League of Legends. The game mechanics are simpler but still quite competitive. HotS is based on map objectives instead of having players focused on taking down towers, which adds a nice change to its genre. As a Beta, which in recent times are pretty much alphas, the game runs fairly well and I have yet to run into any problems (aside from the rage I occasionally get from pub matches). I would recommend the game to any of my friends who enjoy the MOBA genre and want something new. On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 7/10 and will definitely be spending an obscene amount of hours playing it in the future.”

-Alex aka @RealmBrewmaster

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Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to review Heroes of the Storm. This game was developed by Blizzard Entertainment and is currently in Closed Beta. It’s confirmed platforms include PC and OSX. If you want to stay updated on more Gamer Compatible reviews, you can follow us on Twitter: @gamercompatible or on Facebook: @gamercompatible.

Game on! And signing out.

All images were taken from the Heroes of the Storm website.

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