One of the Pax East Panels I got to sit on Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm dev talk panel. Last year I missed Blizzard’s PAX panel, where they officially announced the launching of their new title, Hearthstone so this year I made sure not to miss a minute of this year’s announcements.
The panel went over a few things; first, there is no official release date on Heroes of the Storm and that there are no beta keys for the Heroes of the Storm. Two facts that everyone at the Heroes panel and booth were adamant about getting that point across to everyone at the convention. While Blizzard said that they are adding more people into the program each week, the only way to get in is opt in through their website and keep checking your Battlenet launcher to see if your gaming library has been updated.
After Blizzard’s PSA about not trusting any emails that claims to have Heroes of the Storm beta key, the Developers then moved on to reveal some of the new heroes and mechanics to soon be added to the game.
While we have some heroes like Zagara and LiLi the one that stood out to me was Murky, the baby murloc. When the devs started talking about the inspiration for this hero, they said they wanted a hero that was incredibly weak, but the mechanic is that Murky lays an egg somewhere on the map and while he will be dying a lot he’s purpose is do little waves of damage to the enemy’s health over a continue waves of recently hatched Murkys. Chipping away the enemy team until they either cave from exhaustion or another teammate comes in for the assistance for the kill or the capture of the map objective.
Between that and everything else I have heard and seen about this new game I can say it looks fun. I do not take that word lightly, remember I wrote an entire blog post about why the recent Mario game was fun (Be MOP #349).
What also caught my eye was Heroes of the Storm’s approach to heroes skins. While it is a free to play game and it will have cosmetic skins of the champions and mounts for sale on the online shop Heroes will also be providing free in-game cosmetic palette swapped skins for the champions as a reward for playing with that one hero for a set amount of time and there will also be an ultimate skin that you can unlock once you max out that hero.
While Blizzard has the iconic PC gaming characters at its disposal, I think the free unlockable skins and designs will provides as the more important tool for the Heroes of the Storm marketing team when trying to advertise and the game above the other competitors that are currently on the market.
Heroes reminds me a bit of Pokemon, the creative team goes to town making monsters and creations with unique gameplay and then the Pokemon Company threw the entire project at the player base and the fans are the ones who create the competitive gaming leagues and separate the heroes into various tiers of usefulness. Which is something that Blizzard have said from the beginning.
My only PAX East regret is I was not able to get into the League of Legends gamplay design panel to see the different approach Blizzard and Riot have designing the character’s roles and move-sets for their games.
Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays