Pops and I got to try out Heroes of the Storm back in late April or so, when Blizzard opened the game by invitation-only to additional Beta testers. One of the core elements that sets Heroes of the Storm apart from other games is the appearance of Blizzard’s franchise characters from classics like Diablo, Starcraft, and Warcraft. If you’ve been a Blizzard fan since the beginning (like me), the nostalgic pull of the characters is all the reason you need to check out the game.
The economic system of Heroes is similar to other MOBA- type games where you have a basic Free-to-Play (F2P) model, then a freemium model in which you pay for skins, mounts, characters, and or XP/Gold boosts. Many games have gradually moved to this model, and from an economical standpoint, it makes sense. However, this begs the question: is this bottom line-focused model adversely affecting gameplay?
So there seems to be a large audience segment that Blizzard may be missing: those who refuse to pay.
There are other incentives you can use to help boost your earning power, like the stim packs, which speed up the process. Of course, you need to be playing a lot to leverage the stim packs. With new characters (The Butcher) now fetching as much as 15,000 gold pieces, the amount of time it takes to acquire a character can easily double (if not triple).
But let’s take a step back for a moment and focus on the core nucleus of the game. Heroes of the Storm is all about the multi-player action. With that in mind, we’ve included some suggestions that we’d love to see added from a multi-player standpoint, which should also help the core fundamentals of the game.
- Tier incentive (based on level – could be an item, boost, or even a character)
- Win Streak Bonus – (Winning “X” amount of games in row)
- W/L Ratio Bonus – Having a certain win-percentage ratio (i.e. >85%)
Team League Rewards / Bonuses
- If it costs 500 gold coins to create a team league, where’s the incentive?
Discipline system for Pickup Groups (Pugs)
- Enforce the discipline system!
Separate Tier Ranking System for Pugs
Online Scoreboards via Blizzard — ego goes a long way for some players!)
Reward Opponent Players
- It’s okay to lose graciously and reward opponents who play well! ;)
In-Game Spectator Mode
Skin-Editor (User submission contest)
- Allow certain skins to be published
Our hope is that Blizzard doesn’t lose sight of the consumer experience. With Heroes of the Storm, let’s hope the focus stays on multi-player interaction, and that those who don’t necessarily have the budget to pay for characters can still earn rewards.