Heroes of the Storm Q&A Round-Up

Welcome to Stormable’s round up of the first official Heroes of the Storm Q&A! This long awaited discussion answered many popular questions that people have been asking about Heroes of the Storm. Hopefully, there will be more of these to come as we approach the beta. The panel featured members of the Heroes development team:

  • Dustin Browder – Game Director
  • Phill Gonzalez – Senior 3D Artist
  • Kevin Johnson – Senior Manager, Community Development

Video link here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVQC7XOcAdQ

What have you been working on since Blizzcon?

  • Talent System: We plan to make it so that you potentially have 10 talents to choose from outside of the game but you only take 3 into the game to work with. This would change based on the map type.
  • Heroes: More specialists like Abathur. More creative work.
  • Art: Polish, more skins, more maps.
  • Expanding the Blizzcon build to have more endgame experience as well as a new user experience.

When is the beta?

As soon as possible, there’s a lot of work to be done but we want to get it out to you guys whenever we can.

Gameplay

How does Heroes of the Storm differ from your standard MOBA?

  • Use of map design to create objectives. Players will need to bring different team compositions/strategies/talents depending on the map. Much like in Starcraft to an extent.
  • Heroes from many different games, packed with years of lore. Trying to get a feel for what players would expect from these heroes when controlling them.
  • Shorter game length. With a smaller time investment, you’ll be happier if you win and less sad for wasting time if you lose.

Will there be environmental elements in the maps that increase hero movement of abilities?

Yes. The Dragon Shrine is a good example of this where a player gains huge buffs as the Dragon Knight which allows him to make different kinds of plays with his team and cause the enemy to also make plays.

Games like this have a reputation for being hostile to newbies. What are you planning for the new player experience?

  • Game designed to be shorter.
  • Team levels so that you can still have fun without falling behind due to inexperience.
  • Kill stealing won’t be a problem.
  • Trying to encourage players to do the obvious thing, such as killing enemies.
  • Having fun characters to play so losing isn’t a big deal.

With shared level and experience, are you worried that the team which hits level 10/20 first will have a larger advantage immediately?

Having breakpoints creates strategy and forces asymmetrical plays. So far, snowballing has not been a problem with the matchmaking system we have at the office. Regardless, proper strategic thinking can always turn the game around.

How to talents work? Are they different for each hero?

Initially, we had a shared talent tree but we found that this would cause imbalance. There are still certain generic talents that multiple heroes have but every hero has their own unique talents too. This way, there is lots or potential to make balance changes.

Could you explain the shared experience and gold income with your team?

There is no gold in Heroes of the Storm. Experience gained results in levels which gives talents and more power to your hero.

Anyone who is near a kill will get experience for their entire team. Therefore, more coverage over fights will equal more experience for your team. This is good for heroes like Abathur who don’t really have a place in teamfights or on the front line.

Shared experience allows for more strategizing and cross-lane movement. One player can hold a lane while others take objectives or help out other lanes. This makes for a more flexible playstyle and you don’t fall behind in levels if you leave your lane.

Other

Will you add older game heroes to the game? (I’d love to play with the Vikings)

Definitely yes. There is a lot of hype about it. Lost Vikings design in progress. No promises.

Can we expect emotes such as /taunt or /dance?

Yes.

What do you think about the people who say that this game is casual? Will it have a competitive scene?

This is ultimately up to the players. We have the tools to create something competitive. Lack of complexity does not mean it lacks competitiveness. You can go into a 20 minute game with a casual/competitive mindset. With players of close skill levels and knowledge of the game, it can get extremely competitive like it is in testing.

Will there be a spectator client when the beta goes live for those wanting to host events?

Since this game uses the Starcraft 2 engine, all of those tools are usable and more.

How will you deal with disconnected players?

Exploring possibilities right now. You will be able to reconnect. Disconnecting for the rest of the game will result in receiving no rewards. If you disconnect often, you will receive less rewards from other games. With a 20 minute game (even if it isn’t going in your favour), you will hopefully have less incentive to disconnect.

Are you going to introduce the Blizzard Map Editor?

This is planned. We are super passionate about mapmakers and modmakers getting access to the tools we use and seeing what the community can do with them.

Is Heroes of the Storm going to have a Mac client? Is it going to be free to play?

Yes for both.

Will Uther still walk away at launch? 😉

He is still very hard to kill, sometimes not even worth trying. Yes.

Are you taking a step to make HotS as exciting to watch as it is to play?

We are focusing on making it a great gameplay experience and working our way back. The environment is a large part of what makes viewing so fun. Destructible objects, ragdolling bodies, etc. are all part of this experience.

Let’s say I pick a Diablo hero, will I be able to wear a Starcraft suit?

We have lots of things planned for hero skins, spanning through all of our universes. You can expect to see more skins like Medic Uther.

We hope you enjoyed the livestream and our coverage of this Q&A!  We look to bring you more information in the future.

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