Blizzard Gets a Fan to Create Teaser Video for Their MOBA, Heroes of the Storm

Blizzard DOTA/Blizzard All Stars is now titled Heroes of the Storm, and I am still waiting to hear anything to indicate this will bring anything new to the MOBA genre other than a bunch of WoW subscribers.

Blizzard has been teasing its fans for months now with the hint of the MOBA they are planning to release.  Originally under the name Blizzard DOTA and then Blizzard All Stars, they have finally released a new teaser trailer made by a long-time fan and YouTube animator to announce... the name is now Heroes of the Storm.

And that's all, folks!

The animation is kinda cute, and the appeal to fans of Blizzard's three main franchises is obvious (particularly where the logo is first revealed with World of Warcraft's soundtrack playing) but the actual information given by the teaser is even less than one would expect in most teaser trailers.  We have no date to even guess when we will get more information.

More to the point from my perspective, however, is the same problem I have expressed before with previous newcomers to the MOBA genre: there is still no indicator that Heroes of the Storm will be bringing anything even remotely new to the genre.  They have shown us the idea of siege heroes, but that actually seems contrary to a lot of what is enjoyable in watching games.

People do not enjoy watching someone sit around and hit a tower from outside its range, they enjoy seeing teams tearing into each other, picking away and trying to grab individuals while wearing down towers for the final push.  Backdooring is a viable strategy, but these siege heroes don't even seem particularly good at that.  They mostly just appear to be heroes you cannot leave alone in a lane for long periods of time, which as a hero concept sounds like something that looks much better in concept than it will in-game.

Hopefully we will see more on this game at Blizzcon this year.  It would be ironic if Blizzard's entry onto the MOBA scene ended up populated almost exclusively by World of Warcraft subscribers, but such is looking more and more like a definite possibility.

Published Oct. 18th 2013
View Comments
  • hotsb
    "They have shown us the idea of siege heroes, but that actually seems contrary to a lot of what is enjoyable in watching games."

    Yeah, maybe, but shouldn't the focus be on what is enjoyable in PLAYING games?
  • Wokendreamer
    Featured Columnist
    And in my personal opinion, it is not especially enjoyable to play a character whose entire basis is hitting structures. It is an inherently static playstyle. Having longer range is one thing, as much of MOBA gameplay is about positioning. Having your entire point being that you hit from farther away means you cannot possibly be as capable against an opponent who is able to get within their own closer range.

    In an RTS with dozens of units on each side, one side having a few that attack from well behind the frontlines is less of an issue because an enemy cannot get through the frontline before they are able to apply their damage. In a MOBA there are (generally) characters designed for that express purpose.

    If you enjoy sieging a tower, that's cool. What does a siege hero bring to a teamfight other than range? The teamfights or instances of individual players out-maneuvering multiple enemies are what regularly gets the crowd excited, and it is something that feels very good to do yourself.

    What skill is involved when your entire point is "I have longer range than the towers"?
  • Ste Grainer
    Featured Correspondent
    I'd also point out that Blizzard's IP is a pretty huge advantage for a new MOBA. I don't currently play any as they don't really seem like my type of game, but a Blizzard MOBA intrigues me mostly from the standpoint of playing characters I'm actually familiar with and have some affinity for.

    I also don't typically care for fighting games, but have played Smash Brothers specifically because of Nintendo's IP. Hmm, what if Nintendo had a MOBA? :)
  • Wokendreamer
    Featured Columnist
    The main problem is that so far it looks as if the IP is the main thing Blizzard will be bringing to the MOBA genre. That's a pretty cool novelty, but it is hardly going to unseat any of the currently-reigning champions of the genre.

    It is also a bit late for them to try and play things close to the chest. Saving details for Blizzcon, I can understand. There's no need for them to worry about doing more than that. Their two biggest competitors will be League of Legends and Dota 2, both of which are already well established.

    Unless they make an announcement and then take another two years to release, it is highly unlikely either of those will really even both trying to rush to outdo them when they already effectively control the market share. It would have to be something pretty incredible to really upset the current balance of MOBA power.
  • Ste Grainer
    Featured Correspondent
    You may be correct on Dota2 and LoL being established enough not to feel the need to rush and outdo any major new features.

    I'm curious, though, if there's a possible comparison that could be made between pre-World of Warcraft MMO contenders (EverQuest, UO, maybe FFXI?) and their market domination. As a genre, MOBAs are still relatively young. Sure, a few major players dominate now and have very loyal fans, but the same could be said of EverQuest pre-WoW. :)

    Not that it's a wholly logical comparison - you could probably fit nearly all of the major MMO subscriber numbers into just the number of LoL/Dota2 subscribers. But still ... :)
  • Wokendreamer
    Featured Columnist
    World of Warcraft made MMOs more accessible. It was a different kind of MMO when it came out from what people were used to.

    We're also talking about a different sized market-share. League of Legends was listed as the second-most profitable video game in the world at the start of their second season, and the player base has only grown since then.

    Conveniently, World of Warcraft was the game that beat them, but that's a free to play game versus a subscription-based game.

    This is also why I keep wondering if Blizzard is planning on trying to revolutionize the MOBA genre or just throw in its own cash-grab. I would be thrilled to see the former, the world always needs more good games and good ideas, but given the trend of their more recent projects I am more inclined to think it will be the latter with a couple unique (but not necessarily good) ideas.

    It's a safe bet for Blizzard, since they already have the playerbase to get playing it for at least the novelty. The biggest announcement they could make for Heroes of the Storm is the pricing system. Will it be free to play? Will it be free to play after a purchase? Will it require a subscription like WoW?
  • Ste Grainer
    Featured Correspondent
    "We have no date to even guess when we will get more information."

    Releasing the teaser only a few weeks before Blizzcon is priming the hype train for a great deal more info then. Sharing any significant details or "new" concepts too early would give existing competition a chance to trump them before they even release.

    I'd be willing to bet that even their Blizzcon info will mostly be of the standard "What would Blizzard bring to a MOBA" fare to keep the real heavy hitting details close to the vest until it's ready for release.

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