Heroes of the Storm's roster can see retirement looming


Heroes of the Storm is winding down. Blizzard is moving staff from Heroes of the Storm onto other projects. While the studio assures fans that they will continue to support the game by adding new heroes, and staging community events, the “cadence will change” from this point onward. Presumably, that operational pace will not be getting faster.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2018/12/14/heroes-of-the-storms-roster-can-see-retirement-looming/


I liked a lot of the changes it made to the MOBA formula: getting rid of gold and items, mitigating the roles of “hard carry”, fun varied map special objectives.

The problem was it amplified the typical MOBA problem of one bad player disproportionately dragging down your team. In other MOBAs, it was possibly to work around one terrible teammate. In Heroes, you automatically lost if your team had even one dummy who kept pushing lanes all game (thinking it was a typical MOBA with lane farming) and never showed up to team objective fights. The problem with mitigating the possibility of hard carries also meant you were limited in carrying terrible teammates. It was just impossible to win a 4on5.

It got to be too much to be fun anymore.


Cancellation of the Pro scene and the reduction in dev team size is a clear signal to all present and future players that the game is winding down. There’s literally no reason to pick up this game now if you haven’t so far, there’s no future in it for the really good players, and for “normal” playerbase it’s a signal that the game is on a death spiral.
Activision has mandated this change, and they want to squeze every last dollar out of the game, before they finally announce they are stopping all new content. I give it 1 year until that. Maybe 1 or 2 years more untill they shut down the servers completely.


Isn’t the whole genre winding down though? One of the prominent HotS YouTubers was noting that there was a down ward trend for all the MOBAs. Like RTS games as a whole.

I wonder if Fortnite and other games of the sort of taking over.


League of Legends is still growing and the competitive scene in Europe and the US has gone fully franchised. Not sure how DotA is doing, but not badly, I think. That said, I haven’t seen any other games get really big since.



Google searches show a general downward trend. Very unscientific.

You do see League of Legends trending a bit up before it’s dip.


I can’t imagine how League of Legends is growing. I tried to get back into it last week after a two year absence, and holy CRAP is it pointlessly obtuse and hard to get into now. It used to be the casual, easy to get into MOBA. Now it’s much harder to learn than even DOTA 2. They’ve introduced a ton of new items, heroes, and hero reworks chasing a “complexity for complexity’s sake” theme.

“Grant (0)10 Attack damage or (0)25 AP or 10 adaptive damage, with a +(0)1% bonus based off of the missing health of the target starting at 50% growing up to 20% at 0%. Upon activation, slow the target by 40%, gradually regaining it over the duration. Any enemy ally who crossed the target’s path becomes marked. Any allied unit traveling towards a marked target gains +25 movespeed and a +25-75 (based on level) health regeneration. Upon ending, Brittle is applied to all marked targets and all allies gain 200% of total health healed to be applied as adaptive damage over 10 seconds.”

^the above really isn’t much of an exaggeration to how most new items and abilities are handled now.

And that’s not even mentioning the new rune system that makes strategizing impossible because it has a significant impact and you don’t know what your opponent is packing. It feels like having 30 new summoner spells that are hidden.

So in addition to the genre as a whole dying down, I can’t imagine that LoL of all games is picking up new players. I’ve been playing the genre for over 2000 hours over 9 years. If it’s too complex for me to get into, I can’t imagine how a newbie would. It’s completely geared towards hanging onto longtime, entrenched players now. (funny how it switched roles with DOTA 2 in the casual/complex areas)

Yeah I think the Battle Royale genre ate into MOBAs. Overwatch was already doing that. The genre has already been moving away from the RPG elements (getting rid of last hitting, and eventually gold and items altogether). The main frustration of the genre (and even Overwatch) is having just one bad player on your team ruins the whole experience (MOBAs moreso than Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm moreso than other MOBAs). People were sick of it and the Battle Royale genre offered them a break by returning to solo deathmatch roots where you didn’t have to rely on anyone else.

I can’t imagine Battle Royale remaining popular though. It’s just too long and slow, where all your progress is instantly undone by an unseen sniper. It’s going to have to be streamlined and shortened to stay around. Hell, Player Unknown seemed like an unstoppable juggernaut just 8 months ago. Now it’s been completely buried by Fortnite. That’s insane turnover.


The rune system is a big improvement and is much more new player (not necessarily pure newbie though) friendly than the old system where you had to grind forever and spend endless in-game currency to complete your mastery pages. And those didn’t feel that interesting.

It allows you to tweak the gameplay by making a few choices and offers more visual feedback to the opposing team.


That said, I wouldn’t argue that the learning curve for LoL isn’t more like a sheer wall. There is so much to understand and learn. But you can go a long way just following build guides and slowly deviating as you learn / watch more and grasp the concepts.

I’d recommend watching some competitive play when the new season starts in 10 days. Should do a lot to bring new/returning players up to date.

HotS was definitely much easier to pick up and play though. I think its gradual retirement leaves a gap.