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Blizzard is about to send out a lot more testing keys for Heroes of the Storm. The developer revealed on Monday that they're gearing up to launch the closed beta.
According to their new blog post, they expect the closed beta to launch on January 13th. If the BlizzCon 2014 on Heroes is to be believed, the beta will grow the tester pool to 15 times its current size. Perhaps the testers will get another round of friend invites?
"If you haven’t received an invitation to test Heroes of the Storm yet, it’s not too late! Make sure you’ve elected to participate in Heroes of the Storm testing by opting in on your Battle.net account’s Beta Profile Settings page. By doing so, you’ll give yourself the best chance at gaining testing access as we expand the pool of invited players in the weeks and months to come."
Evidence suggests that players will also be able to guarantee beta access by purchasing a Founders Pack. The Founders Pack will also allegedly include an exclusve mount. Blizzard has yet to confirm whether they're in fact going to be making this offer to gamers, though.
Heroes of the Storm is a MOBA based on Blizzard's various franchises. Players control characters from StarCraft, Warcraft and Diablo games in five-on-five battles. The game has a free-to-play business model, with players able to choose from a rotating set of characters at no charge. There are also optional cash purchases to permanently unlock characters or acquire cosmetic items like mounts or skins.
The alpha test for Heroes launched in March. Blizzard has revealed 32 Heroes, five Battlegrounds, 111 Skins and 12 Mounts thus far. Since the test's release, the developers have added a new Progression system, Replays, Custom Games and more.
Additional content will be introduced throughout the beta. For example, we could see the Lost Vikings and Overwatch characters confirmed at BlizzCon before the game's official launch. Blizzard has indicated that heroes and villains from novels or other tie-in products could also join the game.
Big feature changes are in the works as well. The Heroes of the Storm development team said at BlizzCon that key features will be updated in the future. Two leagues of Ranked Play will be introduced to allow players to find competition of equal skill. In all ranked modes, teams will alternate between drafting their characters.
"Our aim is to continue to build upon the fundamentals we’ve established in Heroes of the Storm, and shape it into something even more fun and compelling. Most of all, we want players to be excited about jumping in for a brawl with their favorite Heroes, whether you are playing alone, with friends, or if you crave the pulse-pounding thrills of a competitive team environment. Whatever your preferences, we want to make sure we’re there to support you all the way to victory!"