Heroes of the Storm might seem similar to competitors like Dota 2 and League of Legends but it's actually quite different. The changes that Blizzard made to the standard MOBA formula are bound to make fans of the genre other love or hate the game.
Here are five of the most polarizing features in Heroes. They're worth knowing before you decide to buy that Founder's Pack.
Team ExperienceIn Heroes of the Storm, players don't level on their own. Instead, all of the experience they earn goes into a team-wide pool. It doesn't matter if you're back at base or even dead. If your team levels up, so do you. The upside to this feature is that if you're new or struggling, you're not going to be left behind by your teammates. You'll still have the stats to compete by the end of the match.
On the other hand, a better player might be annoyed by this arrangement. They're carrying their teammates to some degree. The collective leveling of their opponents, meanwhile, means that there are no grossly under-level enemies to farm for kills.
No Last-Hitting Or DenialsThe shared experience means that killing blows don't matter. Whether you kill a hero or a teammate does, you get the same amount of experience. You also can't land killing blows on your own allies to deny your opponents the rewards.
This is great news for players who think that racking up killing blows or denials can be tedious. It also makes Heroes an easier game to MOBA newbies to learn. If players really want to worry about last hits, they can always pick one of the heroes that have abilities that benefit from killing blows.
The hardcore crowd that learned over time how to time their shots aren't as appreciative of this change, though. They're right in saying that the lack of last-hitting makes the game much easier to master.
Objectives Are KingHeroes of the Storm has the same core challenge as other MOBAs: players push through lanes of defensive towers and A.I. enemies before finally laying waste to the enemy's base. However, each map in Heroes has secondary objectives that can completely turn the tide. For example, the pirate ship at the center of Blackheart's Bay will fire on your opponent's fortifications if you turn in enough coins.
Each map is a very different experience requiring its own strategies. These objectives reinforce the importance of teamwork. It's nearly impossible for one player to accomplish them on their own, especially if the other team is pursuing them as well.
That said, MOBA purists might not appreciate the fact that these objectives' benefits are so powerful. To some degree, they minimize the importance of being good at more traditional activities like pushing lanes or group-fights. The team that's better at completing objectives is more than likely going to win.
Shorter MatchesHeroes matches have a much quicker ramp-up time than other games in the genre. Players have three of their main abilities unlocked right off the bat. Towers are fragile and run out of ammunition. The huge perks provided by map objectives also help speed up your team's loss or win. The result is that many matches are over in just 20 minutes. Dota 2 and League of Legends matches, by comparison, last around 40 minutes.
While some players like the faster pace, others feel it's too quick. If the enemy team captures an objective and takes full advantage of it, they can deal a crippling blow to your chances at victory. Matches can feel like they're over before they start.
No ItemsAs your character levels up in Heroes of the Storm, you're asked to choose between talents that modify their abilities or boost their stats. This can seem a little dumbed-down compared to other MOBAs, which ask you to spend points in your abilities and also buy equipment.
On the bright side, you can upgrade your character instantly anywhere on the battlefield. There's also no need to keep track of currency or any inventory. It's a very convenient system that still gives players a lot of options for customizing their character.