Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 20, 2014

Email: Blizzard Q/A on Heroes of the Storm

You can watch it here on twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/blizzheroes/b/512482071

I think there will be a youtube video in the next few days.
The main reason why I link it is because of the question they answer starting at 34:30. The question asks about Heroes of the Storm being dumbed down compared to the other games in the genre. Dustin Browder quickly points to Hearthstone, then comes with this quote.
“If you look at our games, if we’re doing it correctly, they should look simple. They should look like, “Oh what? There is nothing!” That’s the way it should look. And then when you look into it you go, “Woah, woah, this looks nuts.””

The MOBA scene is dominated by younger gamers. They all think that since they play MOBAs a ton that they understand how one should be made.

Blizzard can really screw this all up by listening to the hardcore. Basing Starcraft 2’s multiplayer around ‘the hardcore’ ended up with that disaster. Basing World of Warcraft around ‘the hardcore’ gave us Cataclysm and massive drops in subscriptions. Basing Diablo 3 around ‘the hardcore’ gave us the hated Inferno mode.

If you asked your best customers of horses and wagons what they want, they would say better horses and wagons. But it was the worse customers were the ones that wanted cars.

If you asked your best customers of 1970s computers what they want, they would ask for better of more of the same. But it was the casuals that started the PC revolution. The big companies at the time saw no need for the PC.

If you asked Everquest gamers what they wanted, they would have said more stuff of the current paradigm. But it was the simplicity of World of Warcraft that unlocked a phenomenon.

I’m really worried Blizzard will give in to these people as they did in Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, and modern WoW. When those games blew up, the hardcore walks away as if they had no participation in it. “Blizzard just sucks now…” they fume. In all my days of life on this Earth, the hardcore gamer has never been blamed for any video game disaster even though we know they are the common cause for most video game disasters.

I worry that Blizzard will ‘speed up’ the game which will create a stressful experience due to APM becoming more dominant than strategy.

Look how far Heroes had come than when it was ‘Blizzard DOTA’. During that time period, Blizzard wasn’t listening to the ‘hardcore gamers’. This is why so much progress was done. Now that the hardcore are volunteering their suggestions at a disproportionate rate to the rest of gamers (because hardcore think they know everything while normal gamers don’t), I fear Heroes will go backwards.


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