Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 3, 2015

GameTrailers becomes a believer in Heroes of the Storm

The video is legit. There is definitely a passionate customer base within Heroes. The more you play it, the more you like it.

“We thought it would be like… da casual… but it is actually fun… really fun…” Derp, derp, derp. This is why I hate the hardcore mentality. They’re always on the losing side of gaming history. Always!

Anyway, the comparisons of HOTS to a MOBA makes no sense. There is no such thing as a MOBA. It is just a term Riot made up to legitimize LoL to make it appear not a blatant DOTA clone.

The issue is the arrogance of amateur modders. Much has been made of Aeon of Strife (I remember playing it back in the day), but NO ONE PLAYED IT. The reason why is that Starcraft did not overshoot its audience. Why would someone want to play Aeon of Strife in that time period? Also, Starcraft engine wasn’t hero focused. I have been a modder for many many years, and I am familiar with the modder arrogance. Every modder thinks they are brilliant, yet they cannot overcome the game engine they are modding. This is why they are modders and not professional game developers.

The secret sauce for DOTA’s design has nothing to do with Icefrog, other modders, or the Warcraft community. The secret sauce of DOTA was Blizzard. The difference between Aeon of Strife and DOTA really showcases this. It was Blizzard, not the Warcraft community, who made the concept of items, heroes leveling up, and the hero art and personalities. It was Blizzard, not the Warcraft community, that created the RPG/RTS that was Warcraft 3. If the Warcraft community was in charge, they would have made Warcraft 3 be a supercharged version of Warcraft 2. I know. I was there.

The DOTA hardcore players have built up an imaginary narrative of ‘history’ and ‘what DOTA is’… Heroes of the Storm is like it is coming from an alternate dimension. They have no idea how to digest it. Every MOBA has to use items. Every MOBA has to have the X,Y,Z things… right?

The reason why the mindset of ‘hardcore vs casual’ exists is because the hardcore create a Tower of Babel type narrative of history and ‘how proper gaming is’. Yet, none of it is rooted in actual history or truth. This site became famous for detailing Nintendo’s Wii success.. before that success occurred. All you had to do was look at the Atari 2600’s dominance… or the NES’s dominance. It was back in the time when game consoles focused more on market growth than on market competition. This is why the Wii did what it did. Yet, if you were a hardcore gamer, the Atari 2600 and NES were from the Land Before Time and were successful only for ‘hardcore’ games like Bezerk, not Space Invaders, for Metroid, not Super Mario Brothers. So when the success occurs, they do not have the historical tools to digest it. Therefore, they put it in a void called ‘casual’ where they do not have to compute or understand its success. “It’s those filthy casuals!” Is it? Command and Conquer and Warcraft were ‘filthy strategy casuals’ to the ‘hardcore turn based war games’ enthusiasts. World of Warcraft was ‘filthy casuals’ compared to Everquest (who was ‘filthy casuals’ to Ultima Online and they were ‘filthy casuals’ to the classic Ultima games and so on and so forth).

What I find most interesting about Heroes of the Storm is the Blizzard factor. Blizzard supports their games practically forever. You can still play Diablo 2 on Battlenet for example. You can still play Starcraft 1 on Battlenet too. Look at WoW. That MMORPG is over 10 years old, and it is still going. I asked a Blizzard developer how long it will go. “As long as it can…” hahahaha

I think Heroes of the Storm will be going on beyond 10 years. Will it have a gazillion heroes and many maps by then? Maybe. But I think they will make new types of game modes around the team based gameplay. Arena mode is on the way. A dungeon crawling mode will one day make it.

DOTA has made stars on many people involved with it except one…. Blizzard itself. What if Blizzard didn’t support Warcraft 3 as long as it did? What if Blizzard never made the map editor? What if Blizzard didn’t put in all those extra art assets in the game that DOTA used?

As a modder for decades, I know my place. It is the game company that creates and defines the engine. I might do some neat tricks in it, and I might even get hired as an entry developer for that company. However, I am small cheese. To say that I made something original using their game and their engine is incredibly arrogant. No one used to think this way. Quake modders didn’t think that id were idiots, and John Carmack should bow to their genius. So what happened to make modders think they are brilliant geniuses? What was the variable in our gaming history that changed this?

The Valve Corporation.

It is the Valve Corporation who takes these modders, whispers sweet nothings in their ears that they are ‘oh so brilliant’ and ‘genius’, while Valve Corporation takes their “game” and sells it for themselves. However, none of this matters. All that matters is that the company ‘sells hats’ and their desks have wheels that go ’round and round’… all… day… long…


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