I have never seen a company deliberately try to kill its own creation as fervently as Blizzard has tried to kill HotS. I actually spoke with numerous Blizzard employees at Blizzcon 2018 and the badmouthing of HotS was constant and seemingly detached from the game I know and love. I dismissed this until the infamous December post which basically told players that Blizzard itself doesn’t think this is a good game. Maybe a fun one, but not a good one worthy of competitive play. So I waited to see if the game was just going to be killed off but now that its still as fun to play as ever (Anduins great btw!), I decided to write this post to get it off my chest to fellow HotS fans, but also as a plea to Blizzard— even if you don’t like this game anymore, many many people do, so please do the bare minimum to keep the competitive scene alive, namely:
Have an open tournament where any full squad can enter and have no prizes other than the top 8 get a stage at Blizzcon.
Give HotS a stage at Blizzcon where the top 8 compete down to one winner.
Give that winner a trophy that they can lift.
You will be amazed what an encouraged community can do. You don’t need casters or prizes, just pride. People will play, people will watch, a community will grow.
Blizzards actions these past few months have sent the message that this is not a game worth being serious about. It’s infuriating frankly for someone who loves not only playing this game, but getting better at it. Years into its existence it is still so hard to get reliable in-depth statistics. Would it kill you to encourage third party statisticians? Would it break the budget to enable us to see more than KDA, takedowns and winrate? You HAVE statistics already that for no apparent reason we cannot see. I would be very interested to know something as simple as my hero, siege, healing, tanking, and xp versus the average player of that character. Or how many times players shot/landed a certain ability on average in a game. Or how talent selections impact winrate on avg, or how characters winrates are affected by chars being present on their team or the other team. Some of this can be found online, but this is simple information; you should be erring on the side of sharing too much info with the players, not the woeful amount we have to work with now.
And finally, please please change your attitude towards HotS. It is more than a fun time or a “love letter” as the CEO condescendingly called it at Blizzcon. HotS is an amazing game that is far more accessible and aesthetically polished than its competitors. I think it was a stroke of genius to remove tedious aspects like last-hit mechanics or item shops and let players focus on the fundamentals while still preserving ample variety through talents, maps, and chars. So take pride in that you’ve made a better game than your competitors and focus on fostering growth and game balance. Honestly I think fewer hero releases and more balance patches will do wonders for this game. I’ve loved how lesser played or weaker characters (or even talents!) are being reworked. Better maps have been a godsend! I’ve loved the revamped Hanamura. You’re doing such great work, stop sending messaging that players should go elsewhere for competitive MOBA play. Do the bare essentials: encourage and empower the casual/competitive community and watch it grow organically.
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