Heroes of the Storm is a multiplayer online battle arena game created by Blizzard Entertainment.
Heroes of the Storm is a free to play Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game which includes iconic characters from all of Blizzard universes, namely Diablo, StarCraft, WarCraft and even the Lost Vikings. It was originally announced at BlizzCon 2010, and was playable at the convention. It was built to showcase the modding power of the StarCraft II map editor.
Originally named "Blizzard DOTA", the game was renamed to "Blizzard All-Stars" as a result of a trademark dispute with Valve Software, before finally being given its current name, Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard prefers to abbreviate the game as 'Heroes' instead of 'HotS' in order to prevent confusion with the 'StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm' expansion pack, which is abbreviated as 'HotS'.
The game differs heavily from traditional MOBA games, as it removes many more complex features like items, last hitting, and individual levels, and instead introduces team levels, talents for customizing the gameplay of each individual hero according to map and team composition and unique objectives based on different maps that will help a team to push lanes. The games are also fast paced with an average of 20-25 minutes per game, unlike DotA2 or League of Legends games which generally last ~40 minutes per match. Heroes heavily depends on team fights without losing depth and variety.
Heroes also has some unique designs in the Genre like
- Cho'Gall (~ 2 players control 1 hero)
- The Lost Vikings (~ 1 player controls 3 individual heroes)
- Abathur (~ A hero stays mostly in base)
- Murky (~ low health pool, spawns back from its egg in short time that can be placed anywhere)
Heroes has a similar business model to that of League of Legends where players can buy heroes, skins and mounts. There are currently 7 heroes on each week that are free to play and are changed every week on Tuesdays. The in-game currency, gold, is earned through play, and can be used to purchase additional heroes, as well as some skins and mounts. Gold is awarded by daily quests (varying from 200g to 800g) and from each game played (20g/loss and 30g/win), as well as some one-time rewards upon reaching certain levels in either hero or player progression. Blizzard also introduced Stim Packs, which boost out-of-game XP and gold gains for the buyer, and can be purchased in 7-day or 30-day (real-time) increments.
Each hero played by the player has a hero progression system. With a maximum of level 20, for some levels, there are rewards for that hero such as skin and mount variations, talents, portraits and gold. Aside from hero levels, there is a player level which tracks the player progression and has rewards such as unlocking daily quests, golds, free rotation slots and ranked play modes such as Hero League and Team League.
The game entered an invite-only Technical Alpha on March 13, 2014, and Closed Beta on January 13, 2015. The game was released on June 2, 2015. During the Beta testing, Blizzard hosted the Heroes of the Dorm tournament which aired on ESPN2 as their first official Heroes of the Storm tournament. On November 7, 2015, Blizzard crowned the first World Champion of Heroes of the Storm at Blizzcon 2015.