Paul Fakir looks at Heroes of the Storm and how Blizzard’s other games, Diablo, Overwatch and World of Warcraft tie together to give a great experience.
The majority of the PC gaming universe are all agreed on one thing. If you tend to play a game published by Blizzard, then you are dedicated to that game for at least a minimum of a gazillion years. World of Warcraft, for example, has been keeping millions of MMO players happy for over a decade now, with it’s multi-racial saga of good versus evil amongst a sprawling landscape. They even destroyed half of it’s world to keep players entertained with revised content so it didn’t strike them with the same old repetitive grind of picking up ten moose antlers for the lazy swine who refuses to leave his wooden stump. Diablo III is another life stealer, with the player tackling legions of dungeon dwelling beasts for essentially the sole purpose of exquisite loot drops to become bigger, badder and more bling. The harder the challenge, the better the loot. This showed how easy it is to bring out the greedy side of humanity.
Blizzard’s outing into the first person shooter genre arrived in the form of Overwatch last year, to an astounding ovation. Boasting a colourful cast of characters to select from with their own individual abilities, it became in instant classic and a quick entry into the e-sports community where it would be played in huge tournaments for ridiculous cash prizes. Again, this was another game that featured a unique loot system that with every level gained or challenge achieved, earned you a box with a mixture of skins, sprays, emotes and other goodies. Fans became rabid in acquiring that perfect cosmetic look, and becoming even more deranged when the seasonal updates provided new themed loots such as Christmas and Halloween. I would know, near two hundred hours of playtime has made me slightly unhinged and frothy at the mouth.
So, that theme of loot is popping up a lot here isn’t it? Of course it is, as Blizzard are pulling out a smart strategy to get you playing other games and becoming the tiny bit of an online socialite you know you could be, without being insulted by a raging European because your DPS is lower than an average Fury Warrior build. What? I don’t know either, mate. Carry on. Two years ago saw the launch of Heroes Of The Storm, a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) featuring characters from all of Blizzard’s franchises in a strategic topdown brawl to weaken the enemies’ defenses and obliterate their base. Last month, the game received a radical overhaul, with a new levelling system, generous gifts for both returning and new players and the most overused word in this article, loot. Adopting Overwatch’s system, again levelling and challenges score you riches and customizations galore for the avid collector.
But how does the mighty Blizzard keep players invested in Heroes or even interested in picking it up? They offer great incentives if you manage to play both this and Overwatch. The Nexus Challenge 2.0 is now offering a new four week challenge window, with the rewards changing every seven days. Week one gives you items and skins for each game for the Genji character, week two offers an amazing D.V.A police mech skin for OW, and a special mount for Heroes, week three has random in game items to grab and the final week drops a dirty amount of loot boxes for each game. All a player has to do is play Heroes five times a week and then all the gifts are thrust into their inventories. The other important stipulation is that you have to do it with a friend so you can claim together. Don’t worry if you miss a week’s rewards though, all are obtainable in order of your own play. As long as you can muster playing twenty games before the end of May, you won’t miss out in the slightest. It also doesn’t matter if you win or lose, as long as you get involved, you’ll be rewarded. This is a great way of getting involved with another title you might not have given a look in to begin with. This also means that there are a lot of specially suited ninjas in Overwatch games. Yes it’s annoying, but it’s also damn clever.
You can read up about Heroes Of The Storm and the Nexus Challenge on the official Blizzard website. Oh and you can also do this if you play Overwatch on a console, so you don’t have to miss out either. Did I say Heroes was also free to play?