Star-Fired Beef

The HotS experience (Blaugust Day 5)


So Pam wonders what people’s experience is of the F2P models of Blizzard’s games, the CCG Hearthstone and the MOBA Heroes of the Storm. Today I give my thoughts.

Let’s start with HotS. I gave League of Legends a try a couple of years ago, didn’t get into it, dipped back in a few times but gave up pretty quickly. Part of it was not really liking the last hit mechanic or the item system, part of it was the single, unchanging map, and part of it was the community behaviour. But by far the biggest barrier to me was the sheer number of heroes on offer. I realise that the more heroes there are, the more dynamic and deep the game becomes, and I appreciated that aspect of it. But it also put me off, as a beginning player, for three major reasons. 

  1. I wanted to become a decent player. But becoming a decent player means you have to have at least passing familiarity with the capabilities of your teammates and opposition. With over 100 heroes that I’d have to learn. it was a huge learning cliff.
  2. Where do I start? Is it really worth my while spending time with even half the heroes in order to figure out which ones I like enough to purchase? There is a free rotation, sure, but if you don’t like any of those, it can take a lot of very uninspiring games to sit through weeks of random choices, only to find you aren’t all that interested in the ones you’ve played.
  3. New heroes are added with (to a new player) dismaying frequency. This exacerbates the previous two problems as it feels like you are eternally trying to play catch-up.


So I was eager to get in at the ground level in HotS, with a very reasonable number of heroes to learn and choose from. I think Blizzard does a much better job at explaining what roles a hero is suited for than LoL, which makes it easier to cull your potential choices when deciding what to play and what to buy. As the comments in Pam’s post indicate, there will be a point when HotS has scores of heroes to choose from, so it will – eventually – suffer from the same barrier to new players that LoL has for me. But that is a long way off, since I don’t expect Blizzard to add more than one new hero per month.

So, with regards to the sheer numbers, HotS is in a good place for players new to the MOBA scene. It helps immensely that you are given a fairly substantial amount of gold in the beginning – from easily achievable player and hero leveling – with which to buy your first few heroes.

The main thing I would criticise Blizzard for is in striking the balance in prices between real money options and gold currency options. I don’t think they have done it very well at all at the moment. Every hero can be bought for gold. That is good, that is the minimum I would expect from a F2P MOBA. I think the RMT prices for the most expensive heroes is too high, I think they would do better to cap out at USD$10. I think it’s a bad idea to have so many skins and mounts locked behind RMT only (plus I think those prices are waaay too high). They should put a high gold price on those, say 20k, so that people have to spread their earnings between more options and thus have more of an incentive to impatiently slap down a credit card. As it is, people like me, who aren’t likely to pay RMT for skins or mounts anyway, are going to simply ignore those options and be slightly shirty at Blizz.

The F2P model for HotS is pretty good, imo, just not as good as that of LoL. It is more generous with the currency at the start, but I don’t think LoL gates any skins behind RMT-only, at least not permanently? I find it generous enough to not feel like I have to pay RMT, and although the coolest skins are RMT-only, which annoys me, I can enjoy the game well enough without them.

Blink-182 – All The Small Things

8 thoughts on “The HotS experience (Blaugust Day 5)

  1. I find it really strange that many skins cost more than the hero who will be wearing them. But, since I don’t really care about them, I’m not too bothered. I’d rather they keep pumping out skins and mounts for RMT than add so many heroes. I do think the level 10 skin that you can buy for gold on each character costs too much though. I can’t imagine spending 10k gold on a skin unless I owned every hero already.

    • Indeed! It feels silly that the skins cost more than the heroes themselves.

      I am fairly okay with the master skins costing 10k, because there is only one that I actually like (ETC). There are several that are okay, but the majority I won’t bother because I find them terrible. Especially when compared to the RMT skins.

      Also, I will never own all the heroes. I don’t want to play some of them, no matter how powerful they are (Lost Vikings, Abathur), and others I just don’t like the playstyles (Kerrigan) or there are others in that role I like better (Malf, Arthas, Sgt. Hammer). I am doing my best to resist impulse purchasing the latest heroes too, until they are discounted to 10k a few weeks after release.

  2. My big issue is gold gain from a year from now, after we’ve all maxed out our accounts and worked through most of the bonuses. I think level gain on heroes needs a big boost and I’d love to see experience post-40 go toward a reoccurring bonus of gold. Otherwise, we’re all going to be hurting for gold!

    • I actually think I’m afraid of the opposite problem, of everyone (who is playing now and continues to play regularly) having plenty of gold and being able to buy whatever they want, not having to make hard decisions about what to save for. If you do all your dailies with maximum efficiency (i.e. not letting any go to waste by having a break) then you average – conservatively, imo – around 350g per day, including the gold for playing/winning. That adds up!

      • In a week, that means 2450 gold. I have already purchased all of the 2000 gold heroes. It will take a month to get someone more expensive!

        • True, but that is on top of all the gold you earn through leveling up. Your concern was about when that source had dried up, but I think the dailies will provide more than enough to allow players to keep buying heroes as they are released. I’ve got all the 2k heroes, and all but one of the 4k heroes, plus a few 7k-10k ones, and I am still sitting on 15k in the bank, plus at least 10 more heroes to level up to 5 (for 500g each).

          I just don’t ever see myself hurting for it unless they start releasing skins and mounts for gold.

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