In this year’s Blizzcon, teaser trailers for the upcoming MOBA under development by Blizzard has finally been shown, and it is creating a good bit of excitement. This is Blizzard’s entry into the MOBA/ARTS market, wherein all the well-known characters from all of their popular games are about to clash.
For those who had been following the MOBA/ARTS scene closely, they would remember that Blizzard Entertainment had seen the game that originated from their game WarCraft III become a property of Valve Corporation and garnered groundbreaking success with it. DOTA 2 became one of the two MOBA giants in the scene, and The International has had three grand global tournaments with record-breaking prize pools featuring the sequel to the innovative WarCraft III mod.
It was first codenamed “Blizzard DOTA” as a custom map for the arcade feature of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. It then became “Blizzard All-Stars”, alluding to the most famous iteration of the Defense of the Ancients mod. This year though, they have settled with the name “Heroes of the Storm”, which is a lot like the subtitle for the currently beta trading card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. The name was given to the game officially on October 17, 2013.
Heroes of the Storm will be going up against other MOBA/ARTS games like League of Legends, DOTA 2, and Heroes of Newerth, as well as new upcoming titles like Infinite Crisis.
Gameplay Sneak Peak
The main appeal of the game is in being able to play as one of the many characters from all the popular Blizzard titles, namely WarCraft, StarCraft, and Diablo. Players can choose to be Arthas, Illidan, Jim Raynor, Kerrigan, Tassadar, Tyrael, Diablo, and so on. Each hero will have their own strengths and abilities to play with, and the roster will be populated with different types of heroes to suit various roles and play styles. Of course, it will be a team-oriented game that will focus on players cooperating to defeat an opposing team.
While it’s in the MOBA/ARTS genre, it has been stated by Blizzard president Mike Morhaime that they’re looking to put their own spin to the gameplay. Perhaps detractors would say that Blizzard is way too late in the game as the genre is starting to get saturated with many other developers now trying to break into the market with their own titles, but Blizzard has always been known as that one company that breaks the rules with the quality and polish of their games.
When Project Titan was rebooted and its team got downsized, resources were reallocated to Heroes of the Storm. This game is now seeing developers from all the other Blizzard titles coming in to help. As always, Blizzard did not give a definite release date just yet, as per their usual practice. However, signups for public beta are now up in the game’s official website, so those who are lucky enough to be chosen will get to play the game early.
As a little bonus for those who have not seen it yet, here is an excellent animation for the game made by Carbot Animations, known for his StarCrafts shorts series.