Heroes of the Storm

Can i just vent my biggest complaints about the game — the things that drove me to put it down even before HotS “died”?

HeroesoftheStorm 2 - Can i just vent my biggest complaints about the game -- the things that drove me to put it down even before HotS "died"?
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Background – Transitioned from SC2 to HotS right around Jan2017. Playing tons of games, basically all modes except Brawl, between then and Nov2018, so a little shy of 2 years. Right around last Blizzcon i was feeling really down about the game, and was hoping for something to get excited about. But Blizzcon was underwhelming and I basically quit.

In the month or so I've resumed playing 1-2 games a week, not taking it very seriously, just goofing off with my friends who still play. But I want to list some things that bothered me, especially since I never saw them getting mentioned on here a lot, and some people even think they are positives.

  • Easy heroes too powerful. – Especially assassins. I started to get really bored with a meta dominated by very basic heroes like Raynor, Fenix etc. It felt silly that they were so much more powerful in almost all scenarios compared to harder heroes like Genji, Kel'Thuzad, or even squishy medium-mobility heroes like Valla. It felt a lot like certain low skill heroes were buffed due to constant meme-ing and whining, while high-skill heroes were getting nerfed for the same reason. Maybe this is less the case now, I'm not as up on the meta or not sure if there even is a meta anymore.

  • Overbalancing heroes. – At some point, maybe last year, they started releasing tons of extremely incremental changes to hero balance with increasing frequency. I liked it better before when the changes were bolder but less frequent per hero. It allowed a meta to establish itself and strategies to form even though some heroes were a little OP. I think established metas lend themselves more to strategic drafting and thinking, whereas now it feels a lot more wild west (and it started feeling that way to me even before HGC collapsed).

  • Support nerfs. – Yes i know it was a long time ago but it still bothers me. I never liked the decision to gut waveclear/dps. I understand why they felt the need to do it, but frankly it made support suck to play in solo-queue settings IMO. I only like Auriel these days, maybe Kharazim and Rehgar if I have to. What they did was just the quick way to zap double support but it wasn't IMO the best way. To me, they should have explored the relationship between tank/healer/assassin and ask themselves if they are pigeon-holing too much or if the WoW "trinity" style gameplay even belongs in a MOBA.

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  • Themed tiers – This one gets talked about a fair amount actually. In fact someone brought it up in the AMA. The developer responded by saying basically if you have unrelated talents on a tier then whatever is most conventional for the hero (healing for healers, damage for assassins, etc) becomes an autopick, unless you load up the power on these alternative talent paths. But they derided this as bad, not because they would be OP but because it would lead to playstyles they don't think should be there (they used the example of Tank Valla). Personally I don't see what's wrong with alternate styles, in fact the phasing out of the few trees with multiple distinct styles is a big part of what soured me on the game.

  • PBMM abandoned – I thought it was a neat idea. No I'm not some goldie who was like "I will be master once we have pbmm". I thought if nothing else, it could make those frustrating losses where you played very well and your team went full potato or when you had a bot, a little less frustrating. It would also make people standing there and typing shit while you're losing, or even doing a little bit of feeding towards the end, a little less likely to happen. Also, I felt like they committed themselves to at least trying it for a season or so (when it wasn't completely broken) – it wasn't just some footnote, it was the main announcement at Blizzcon.

  • "Game is what it is" attitude – There is very much a sense that the design team viewed the core game mechanics as basically immutable, and that all there was left was refinement and ancillary features. The lack of anything approaching bold changes to game mechanics disappointed me. Item shop is an easy example. DotA2 added Hots-style talents to supplement its item system to the game years after its release. HotS could have easily experimented with a supplementary item shop. Didn't need to be as powerful as LoL/DotA2 items, but I find it hard to believe the design team couldn't have made the game more fun and complex, with very acceptable risk, by adding at least some consumables to a shop. Maybe even some wearables with small buffs. And yes i hate last-hitting too, but you don't have to have last hitting to have items.

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