Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 24, 2015

Email: Heroes of the Storm

Note: this email did some odd things with the formatting on this page. I’ve tried to eliminate most of it. Much of the blame goes to WordPress itself.

I too have Heroes of the Storm! I saw an email to buy a Founder’s Pack, and bought into the game. I had been on the fence about the purchase but was overwhelmingly satisfied, especially when I received four beta keys, and now have a full team. I played 6 hours of HotS with my friends and cousins, and was probably one of the funnest experiences I’ve ever had.
Some background on me as a player:

I played DotA All-Stars as early as ver. 5.84b around 2004-5. You’re right; I liked the game since it was easier than the base game. In order to get through the story of Reign of Chaos and Frozen Throne, I had to use cheats.

In 2008, I was given a Beta Key for Heroes of Newerth, I played this almost exclusively until 2012. I associate that time with some of the lowest points of my life, in the same way as you’ve said about your time in WoW.

A couple years ago, my team split into different games. For some reason we played Strife for about a year. S2 games made it to “be casual” while HoN would “appease the Hardcore audiences.” Every good idea they had was littered with bad ones, and the game is a hideous attempt to cash in on LoL. It has been an abysmal failure, the only cool thing was me and my team were among the top players. I didn’t really like the game, but it was where my friends were. That’s how these games work.

Heroes of the Storm has been jaw-dropping. I hadn’t really enjoyed many Bllizard games recently, and I felt like I was back at home, back to the Warcraft III days. I agree with you about what you just said: this game is the other branch, going one way while LoL, HoN, and DOTA 2 go the other. Pretty much everything I didn’t like in those game is fixed here. The music is magnificent. There’s nothing quite like staging a massive comeback, fending off your opponents team push as this music kicks in:

The only thing I would really want in HotS from the other games is a Map without an overpowering objective. Objectives dominate the game, which can make it harder to execute pushes on your terms. I’d love a map without that, making team choices more varied, but realistically I know it won’t happen for one very good reason: The objectives massively improve the game as a spectator sport, and with helping to learn the game faster. Without an objective spawning at 2 minutes, the game would just be people soaking in their lanes for the first 10 levels, with one or two ganks. The constant spawning of objectives gives the game more structure. It’s that certain something that the MOBAs have been missing. DOTA 2 recently had a 200 minute long game: . That’s what happens without grave golems, without tower ammo, and without blackheart blasting forts away. I’ve played 60+ minute games. They are tense and can be very exciting, but more often are just drawn out forgone conclusions.

Heroes of the Storm is definitely filled with some pre-WoW Warcraft goodness. I can’t say for WCII, never player, but for WCIII definitely. I was also pleased, however, that they have Tassadar in it. Hearing him refer to you as Executor makes me forgot all the mediocrity of SCII.

I would definitely recommend playing this in a team. You can coordinate better, and you often know what they’re going to be doing. Hopefully Blizzard sends you beta keys like they did for me.

When I get a little burnt out from HotS, I switch to Diablo III. I had bought Reaper of Souls recently. You didn’t really talk on it much. I felt the part 5 writing was much better, not so much in being an epic quest, but in being less annoying, and feeding plenty of world building through journals and the minor characters. Makes me interested in the next sequel for sure.

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My experience has been that Heroes is determined by victors of team fights, not doing objectives. Objectives seem to be the determining point when the team battles keep ending in stalemates, or it is too even. Obviously, this varies on the map.
.
I haven’t played Diablo 3 in a long while. I am currently re-downloading it on the computer. After facing some crappy players in Heroes, I think a visit to Sanctuary might do me some good. Strangely enough, some of the Diablo 3 mechanics are similar to Heroes. In many ways, Heroes feels like a combination of Diablo 3 and MOBA.
.
I know Blizzard has plans for clans and other ways to get friends and teams together in Heroes. Really, the idea isn’t so much to get teammates but to make friends who also play the game. Bnet 2.0 really… isn’t the best environment for this.
.
Question: Why was it easier to make communities back in the 1990s with Kali and Bnet 1.0 than with Bnet 2.0 and all this other ‘social media’?
.
My answer is that men use social status as making friends. If you notice, you will see people who are friends only within their own social status. The President of the United States would rather be friends with Castro than with the man on the street. Benjamin franklin was friends with other famous authors and scientists before friends with the average man. If you notice with the top players, they are friends only with other top players. Famous shout casters tend to be friends with one another.
.
One huge, huge difference in gaming then and now is the unified profile. You’d just meat someone online, be like “Hey, let us play a game together!” Then you go out and play. It is as innocent as children playing. Today, it is “You must be at Rank # for me to even consider talking to you.” There is a ton of E-Peen out there. Before, I would go and get more E-Peen then them and see how they responded. Then, I would be worthy to be considered to have a ‘conversation’ with them.
Hardcore gamers are E-peeners. There are so many level bars in Heroes. You have a bar for your profile, a bar for each hero (34!?), a bar for Hero league, and an upcoming bar for Team League. Nay, probably be three bars for Team League. You have bars all over the place.
.
This is where I think so much of the toxicity of Heroes comes in is because these players focus so much on the E-peen, got so many bars filled up, that while their profile says ‘experienced player’, their games are not going the way for an experienced player. Those 1000 games in co-op don’t really help when the person goes to Quick League.The use of social status in video games is creating toxicity. It turns the video game into a validation tool. It also makes the video game very unhealthy. Former WoW players will say how playing the game was filling a void in their life for their lack of achievement.
.
Heroes of the Storm is like diet yogurt next to non-diet yogurts like DOTA 2 and LoL. Diet yogurt has as much sugar as in a candy bar (look at the back of the label next time you are in a grocery store, and you will see). People eat the diet yogurt, and they think they are ‘healthy’, but they keep getting obese. The ‘diet’ of Heroes is the smaller game session time. The ‘sugar’ of Heroes is the social status of these gazillion experience bars all over the place. I wonder why the options menu doesn’t have an experience bar as well? Perhaps that bar can fill up as I keep changing settings.
.
You know what this blog post needs? An experience bar!
.
.
There you go, reader. You are currently level 48 with 57% of the bar filled. You need to re-read this blog post again and again until it fills up. You don’t want the other readers to have a higher level than you, do you? Of course not!
.You see, readers, I have learned from the Modern Game Industry. I am going to put XP bars all over the place now. In fact, I should place them in my home too. I should place an XP bar on the toaster.
.

.
My toaster is leveling up! Is YOUR toaster leveling up? I doubt it. You probably just have a level 1 toaster. You’re such a noob. But I have a level two toaster! Since the toaster is an extension of myself, connected to a single profile of Malstrom, that means my self-worth is defined by the toaster.
.
“LOL Malstrom! People don’t define themselves by an electrical box!”Wanna bet? I’m sure if such a toaster was made, the hardcore would be popping toast all day to level up their toaster. It’s madness.
My experience has been that Heroes is determined by victors of team fights, not doing objectives. Objectives seem to be the determining point when the team battles keep ending in stalemates, or it is too even. Obviously, this varies on the map.
I haven’t played Diablo 3 in a long while. I am currently re-downloading it on the computer. After facing some crappy players in Heroes, I think a visit to Sanctuary might do me some good. Strangely enough, some of the Diablo 3 mechanics are similar to Heroes. In many ways, Heroes feels like a combination of Diablo 3 and MOBA.
.
I know Blizzard has plans for clans and other ways to get friends and teams together in Heroes. Really, the idea isn’t so much to get teammates but to make friends who also play the game. Bnet 2.0 really… isn’t the best environment for this.
.
Question: Why was it easier to make communities back in the 1990s with Kali and Bnet 1.0 than with Bnet 2.0 and all this other ‘social media’?
.
My answer is that men use social status as making friends. If you notice, you will see people who are friends only within their own social status. The President of the United States would rather be friends with Castro than with the man on the street. Benjamin franklin was friends with other famous authors and scientists before friends with the average man. If you notice with the top players, they are friends only with other top players. Famous shout casters tend to be friends with one another.
.
One huge, huge difference in gaming then and now is the unified profile. You’d just meat someone online, be like “Hey, let us play a game together!” Then you go out and play. It is as innocent as children playing. Today, it is “You must be at Rank # for me to even consider talking to you.” There is a ton of E-Peen out there. Before, I would go and get more E-Peen then them and see how they responded. Then, I would be worthy to be considered to have a ‘conversation’ with them.
Hardcore gamers are E-peeners. There are so many level bars in Heroes. You have a bar for your profile, a bar for each hero (34!?), a bar for Hero league, and an upcoming bar for Team League. Nay, probably be three bars for Team League. You have bars all over the place.
.
This is where I think so much of the toxicity of Heroes comes in is because these players focus so much on the E-peen, got so many bars filled up, that while their profile says ‘experienced player’, their games are not going the way for an experienced player. Those 1000 games in co-op don’t really help when the person goes to Quick League.
.
The use of social status in video games is creating toxicity. It turns the video game into a validation tool. It also makes the video game very unhealthy. Former WoW players will say how playing the game was filling a void in their life for their lack of achievement.
.
Heroes of the Storm is like diet yogurt next to non-diet yogurts like DOTA 2 and LoL. Diet yogurt has as much sugar as in a candy bar (look at the back of the label next time you are in a grocery store, and you will see). People eat the diet yogurt, and they think they are ‘healthy’, but they keep getting obese. The ‘diet’ of Heroes is the smaller game session time. The ‘sugar’ of Heroes is the social status of these gazillion experience bars all over the place. I wonder why the options menu doesn’t have an experience bar as well? Perhaps that bar can fill up as I keep changing settings.
.
You know what this blog post needs? An experience bar!
.
.
There you go, reader. You are currently level 48 with 57% of the bar filled. You need to re-read this blog post again and again until it fills up. You don’t want the other readers to have a higher level than you, do you? Of course not!
.
You see, readers, I have learned from the Modern Game Industry. I am going to put XP bars all over the place now. In fact, I should place them in my home too. I should place an XP bar on the toaster.
.
.
My toaster is leveling up! Is YOUR toaster leveling up? I doubt it. You probably just have a level 1 toaster. You’re such a noob. But I have a level two toaster! Since the toaster is an extension of myself, connected to a single profile of Malstrom, that means my self-worth is defined by the toaster.
“LOL Malstrom! People don’t define themselves by an electrical box!”
.
Wanna bet? I’m sure if such a toaster was made, the hardcore would be popping toast all day to level up their toaster. It’s madness.

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