Blizzard Entertainment has decided to rename their upcoming MOBA game again. Blizzard All-Stars, formerly known as Blizzard DOTA, is now called Heroes of the Storm.
The Heroes of the Storm title was announced with a trailer crafted by Jon Burton of Carbot Animations. The trailer shows a brief scuffle between a Warcraft orc, a Diablo 3 demon hunter and Starcraft space marine. Buildings from all three franchises - a crumbling cathedral, an orc fortress and Terran command center - are visible in the background. The object they're fighting next to is a Summoning Stone from World of Warcraft.
Heroes, like the trailer, is a mash-up of Blizzard's game universes. Players take on the role of heroes and villains from StarCraft, Warcraft and Diablo in five-on-five matches. Each team must try to destroy the other team's base to win the match. They work toward that goal by killing enemies controlled by the A.I. and the opposing team and destroying enemy towers. By doing so, they earn XP and money that can be used toward new abilities and equipment for their character.
As the initial Blizzard DOTA title suggested, Heroes is inspired by the Warcraft 3 mod Defense of the Ancients. Other games influenced by the mod include League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth and Valve's Dota 2. Like these established competitors, Heroes of the Storm will be a free-to-play title with eSports aspirations.
The Blizzard DOTA title was changed to Blizzard All-Stars after a legal dispute between Valve and Blizzard. The two companies agreed that Valve could use the phrase "Dota" for commercial products such as Dota 2. Blizzard, meanwhile, can still use the phrase when referring to the fan-made WC3 and StarCraft 2 maps.
It's not clear Blizzard changed All-Stars to Heroes of the Storm. The new title seems a little too similar for my tastes to Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, the other free-to-play game in development at Blizzard. Maybe the company's making a deliberate effort to tie these two F2P games together, though.
Blizzard says that they're going to share more details about Heroes of the Storm at BlizzCon 2013 next month. Perhaps we'll find out when the planned beta test will be launching.