I have only had Heroes of the Storm (which I’ll refer to as HotS from here on) for about a week or so and even with a few (very few) issues, and it is thoroughly entertaining. HotS is a Multiplayer Brawl game from Blizzard Entertainment, and is currently in Alpha. They refuse to describe it as a M.O.B.A. because it is a very different game than League of Legends (LoL) or Defense of the Ancients (DothA).
The most predominant things that split HotS from LoL and DotA is that the minions do not give gold to the player that kills them and the experience is given to the whole team instead of the individual. To me, this actually helps players cooperate more, instead of fighting amongst each other as to who is supposed to take the kill for gold and experience. Also, since there is no gold within the arenas, players do not have to make micro transactions to get their character gear during the fighting, and can focus on just the objectives. That’s right, this game is not just about taking down the core, but also about another secondary objective that also helps to take down the core as well. One such example is in the Haunted Mines, where players enter a subterranean mine to kill Undead minions, that give off skulls. Once a total of 100 skulls are claimed (split between both teams) the 2 teams gain a Grave Golem that has increased stats based on how many skulls were claimed by that team. This further allows the team of players to be able to cooperate more for higher efficiency and take advantage of the map. I have also noticed that games of DotA and LoL can last 3 or more hours due to their mechanics, where as the longest HotS battle I have been in was just about 25 minutes, and was even more exciting because the time was spent battling instead of some of it trying to buy better gear, or worse, arguing with team mates over who gets the last hit on a minion for the experience and gold.
However, as with all Alphas, there are those pesky bugs, which thankfully Blizzard likes to find and kill, as many as possible of, before they release a game. Some of the character abilities look great but sadly feel underwhelming. Diablo himself was hit by this tragedy, with his Flame Wave ability, which creates eight flames that travel away from himself, sadly dealing a very small amount of damage. Not only that, but he is a Tank class character and his Charge knocks enemies AWAY from himself. Why would a Tank ever want to do that? He then has to run after his target a second time! Also, Murky has an ability that is very overwhelming, allowing him to plant an egg, allowing himself to respawn after only 2 seconds instead of the normal waiting time (which can be anywhere from 5 secs to 1 minute, depending on level), and at the egg’s location no less. There are more issues but these are definitely the predominant ones.
The last thing that I will mention is the money aspect. As with all Free to Play games, I won’t ever spend money on them. I just don’t have the budget for it. But I do like that if players want to they may. In this case, they can buy characters earlier than they would normally be able to. However if you prefer to be frugal, you can get quests every day that will give you some in-game currency that you can use to purchase said Heroes, as well as Mounts and Skins for your Heroes. As I mentioned above, this is how I prefer to do it. because I don’t really know how much characters cost from other games, but to me, $7 seems pretty high for a virtual character. I wouldn’t even pay that much for action figures if I were younger. $2-$3 usually seems to be the zone for most games that allow in game purchases, but I’m sure Blizzard is just checking to see what people will or will not pay for HotS purchases.
All in all, I definitely look forward to this game being available for everyone to play. Also, if you happen to play this game in the future, remember, it is a game and is designed to have fun. Not to bully other players. There is a difference in being a Team Leader, and a Big Headed Jerk.