Heroes of the Storm

Why I’ve stopped playing Heroes of the Storm.

HeroesoftheStorm 7 - Why I've stopped playing Heroes of the Storm.

I want to preface this with a few things. I still enjoy the game. I don't regret my time with it. I'm one of the more vocal of the former Whitemane players, and the rework is part of the reason, but it's not the entire reason.

I started with Blizzard games back as a little kid with Warcraft 2 and Diablo 2. Never did play Warcraft 1 and Diablo 1 was only fleeting on an old burned CD that didn't really work. Got back to it much later, but by then it was so dated that it might as well have been ancient history. After that, I moved on to Starcraft as I'm sure most did, and Warcraft 3 custom games all but consumed my waking hours.

Blizzard's games and content has been in many ways a formative part of me growing up. I remember long hours in World of Warcraft through Classic and TBC. Ended up quitting in WotLK though. Long stretches of WC3, Starcraft. Even Overwatch and a bit of SC2. I loved the games, and I still love the older ones. Not so much Overwatch though.

In a lot of ways, as I started moving away from Blizzard's stuff, Heroes of the Storm has been my anchor to them. In a lot of ways, I can't help but feel it's been the last vestiges of Old Blizzard. The feel and tone and expressiveness of things like Warcraft 3 and its myriad custom games living on through it. It's been silly, fun, whimsical, and yet extremely deep and compelling. And I can't help but feel the company as a whole has lost sight of why people loved it. Unsurprising really, and we can probably blame Activision for it, as well as all of the staff upsets.

I'm sure we all remember the great Brackening and the "new cadence" that followed. Even still, it's had good content, and it's been fun. Or rather, it was at first. The core game certainly still is. But then people got siphoned off to other roles. People left. And things just generally don't feel like they're going well.

Whitemane's Rework was met with near universal revulsion, to the point where I ended up getting some friends and we made a pretty good recording of how dumb the PTR AA build was. More than that though, it felt like it was tossing aside a lot of the character to make them easier. But looking at everything that's happened, and everything that happened with Deathwing, with the Samuro rework. With the general path of the game, I think it's something else. I think the Whitemane rework, the Deathwing release, and the Samuro rework were all rushed, and that as a result, they simply didn't have the time to do it right. The sheer level of post-rework fixes to Whitemane (including readding entire core abilities) really does suggest as much.


Quite frankly, I don't think Heroes of the Storm has a sustainable development team and cycle anymore. And while I don't doubt the passion of the people developing it still, nor their skill, I feel the dev team is being shortchanged and cheated. People were pulled off of HotS to rush a game out the door that clearly was not ready, and it hurt both games. The great Brackening destroyed a lot of the game's development team to begin with, and broke a great many hearts.

And I can't help but feel we're going to get a similar story again and again. And I don't even think it's the dev team's fault. They're trying their hardest, and doing the best they can. Quite frankly, I think given all that's happened, they're doing an excellent job with what they have.

But I don't think Activision cares anymore, and I think they just want to wash their hands of it without actually admitting failure, and slowly starve the game until it makes sense to close it. And if they're going to do that, I don't want to be a part of it.

To the Heroes of the Storm Development Team, both current and former: Thank you for the years of happiness and fun. For the character designs, map designs, art and voicework. And just for the game in general really. You did an amazing job, all of you, and I truly wish we could get the whole team back together and go back to how it used to be.

The game you made is awesome, and I can't help but feel that it's the closest thing we've gotten to the original spirit of games like Warcraft 2, 3 and Starcraft since they released. I laughed, I cried, I raged, and I spent entirely too many hours farming fake internet points. And I don't regret a second of it.

But Activision's done you guys and girls dirty. And barring any significant changes, I think I'm just done with the game. Might poke my head in here and there, but the passion's gone, and you can blame your boss for it, because not a single one of you did anything wrong.

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