What we need from Blizzcon - Group Editorial
In the five months since Heroes of the Storm's public release, a lot of new content was added to the game. We have received new heroes, new battlefields and a number of matchmaking reworks. But some areas as still lacking, and need to be implemented to keep the growth of the playerbase going. The GosuCrew shares their opinions on what features need to get announced at BlizzCon to keep the growth of the game going.
I’m interested in more specialists that change the way the game is played. Heroes like The Lost Vikings and Abathur offer unique strategies with alternate win conditions. Heroes like Murky, Zagara and Gazlowe all have strong split push potential that I think should be further explored.
These type of heroes create a natural tension on the battleground that make winning about more than just big team fights. If split pushers and unique specialist are strong, then it allows niche heroes another opportunity to see tournament play, as they may synergize with or counter them. Abathur has consistently been a top-tier contender since his inception and I want to see more heroes like that. All it takes for Leoric or Jaina to fall out of favor is someone who can do more damage, but no one can do what Abathur can do.
When I think about what the game needs to get bigger, I think it should start with simple quality of life improvements. A detailed player profile, so I can review my hero stats in full. Better matchmaking and bans for Hero League. Revised Hero League, where Rank 1 is not the limit and there’s more opportunities to push and develop. And of course, expanded esports support: It’s not 1995 anymore, Blizzard, look at what your colleagues have accomplished and learn!
For the game to gain more success, Blizzard really need to step up their game and finally resolve all those issues that pull it back. Unranked draft mode can’t be such a hard thing to implement. Furthermore an adequate draft is a must. One with bans and swaps so we can finally focus on priority picks. It goes without say that queuing as a rank 1 player and getting rank 10 players in your game is ridiculous and should be put an end to. The similar MMR excuse is not valid, since most of those rank 10 players aren’t on their way to the top, they are just stuck there, have at least 1000 MMR less than you and were granted to you to carry them as a personal potato sack. Lastly an MVP system could be implemented.
At the end of the game players should be able to vote for a person from their team to be the MVP. This person should get some good motivating bonus (1k gold? Too greedy?). This way you battle toxicity since even though a player acknowledges he plays with apes, he needs the apes to vote for him so he doesn’t say anything and just tries his best. An MVP system will definitely promote cooperation and lower all those annoying people who enter a HoTS game to use it as a chat room.
The aspect of Heroes that I want to see improve the most, is the competitive esports side of it. While Heroes of the Storm is an amazing game that really focuses on teamplay, individual players should also be able to prove their individual skill. Currently, the ranking system is less than ideal. Because climbing to rank 1 is purely a grind, there is a very big difference in skill levels of rank 1 players. As such the really good players, the ones who play this game professionally, will never be able to find games in HL/QM that mimic the high level of play from tournament matches. This in turn keeps the players from actually playing the game outside of tournament matches and preparation.
If Heroes of the Storm wants to attract more quality players, and keep the ones they have now, we need to get the promised Grandmaster Rank. A portion of the ranking ladder that has limited capacity, Grandmaster Rank would allow a final distinction for each region between the, say, top 100 players and the rest of rank 1.
One of the biggest things holding HoTS back right now is the incentive to not only play (which is there in form of quests) but to play well. The Heroes team could learn a lot from the in game tournaments that the Legacy of the Void beta unveiled. This is a periodic tournament style game mode that doesn't have much on the line, but is competitive enough to attract players who want to improve or test their skills against others.
Ask any top player if Hero League or Team League is good practice and you'll likely hear the same thing: the only good practice comes from scrims. Both EU and NA have a separate, custom league for the top end players which is a great community driven way for good players to improve, but it's very exclusive. In order for the competitive scene to grow, we need an easy in-game way to gauge a person's competitive experience.
For me, the thing that is holding HotS back in terms of success is the small hero pool - we desperately need more heroes! This includes standard, meat and potatoes, not-too-flashy heroes. Don’t get me wrong, I love unique heroes, and I think it’s one of the key things that separates this game from other MOBAs. But our character list is so small right now! Getting a larger roster of heroes to select from is paramount, both for casual and ranked play.
As awesome as the development team is, I don’t think they can come up with so many unique hero ideas and still push a new one every 3-4 weeks. Map selection is wonderful right now, and while it would be cool to see a Starcraft themed map, I don’t believe it should be the highest priority. We need more diversity in terms of characters in each role - dps, tank, and healer. Compare the hero roster (we have a total of 43 heroes) to League of Legends (127 champions) or DotA 2 (110 heroes).
In order for Heroes to become even more popular and on par with Dota 2 and LoL, Heroes will need a couple features. The community comes up with great ideas which I think Blizzard should implement. This includes a key to show the cooldown of your Heroic, an actual draft system like HeroesDraft in-game, more ping options and like others said, more heroes. I would also be interested in seeing a hero that could build structures or a full time MULE hero of some sort.
There also needs to be more variety in the hero pool. At the moment everyone is stuck with a selected couple of heroes which makes games monotonous and tedious. There should be room for healing and damage tanked for every character, sometimes we want to see how much an assassin tanked or how much Tyrael healed with his shields.
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