Ril: Ladies and Gentlemen, Heroes of all ages, welcome back to the Heart of the Storm! This is episode number 23 of HotSCast, recorded 10pm on the right coast, 10th September, 2014.
HotSCast is the Heroes of the Storm podcast for the people, the players, the Heroes, often off-topic and always rail-free. I am your host Vincent, aka Rilandune. With me as always are my intrepid co-hosts
Kali, a.k.a. NerdiChar, a.k.a. [Ril’s crazy name]:
- Quick hello and witty something, 140 chars or less (twitter style) – I’ve decided I’m going to give a random video game quote each show, and the first person that can tweet me the right answer (hopefully without Google cheating) gets like, mad props or something. Okay, first one will be easy: “Nuclear launch detected.” (Starcraft, of course)
- What have you been playing this week? – I bought Nova, so I have been melting faces with her. She is quite fun to play.
Mike, a.k.a. Fimlys, a.k.a. [Ril’s crazy name]:
- Quick hello and witty something, 140 chars or less (twitter style) – Well, You’ve been dead a long time. So, you’re going see a lot of things you won’t understand..
- What have you been playing this week? – Heroes a bunch until Last night when I started playing Destiny!
Ril: And now, onto the news.
Ril: BlizzCon tickets have been emailed!
This Week in Heroes
Free Hero Rotation
Ril: Week of Tuesday, September 9th, 2014:
- Li Li (available at level 8)
- Abathur (available at level 10)
Ril: Heroes now has a 64 bit client, though at the moment Blizzard has warned that it may not be fully functional. Anyone with more than 4GB of RAM will be able to make use of the extra power. Blizzard says the 64-bit client will stop any “out-of-memory error” messages. Step-by-step instructions on how to use the new client can be found on the IncGamers article link we will have in the show notes.
Ril: We have an article to cover up first and then we’ll finish up with the huge patch that went out just hours ago and most importantly, Chen Stormstout Has Arrived!
Ril: Our friends over at Heroes Nexus put together an article about some key points from the Pax Prime 2014 interviews with Dustin “Rock” Browder, Game Director, and Phil Gonzales, Senior Artist. Five key areas were talked about. The first was regarding the playable Heroes:
- When asked about Lost Vikings, Browder said to “stay tuned”.
- Kali: I can’t wait to see those additions! Talk about nostalgia.
- They don’t know how many heroes they want to add to the game, but all the Blizzard lore certainly won’t [sic] let them run out of ideas.
- A good stopping point would be when they are repeating heroes too much. Heroes should all be unique.
- Kali: I agree with this completely, BUT – Blizzard needs to remember that some mechanics are going to repeat no matter what they do. Many champs in League have similar mechanic types but are still very unique. I don’t have a problem with that, personally.
- No plans for Deathwing as playable hero, he’s too big. Maybe a boss on a map instead.
- Kali: Forum poster “Restaron” said, “Can’t you put Deathwing in human form with dragon form as ultimate?” Not a bad point…
- Not all heroes are the same. It’s okay if some heroes have mounts and others do not.
- Chen has been tuned so that he is to drink his keg in the middle of a battle.
- Chen’s Ultimate may not be final. It currently splits him into 3 separate Chens, it’s been designed to give him a lot more survivability.
- Anub’Arak is a tank hero with a lot of maneuverability. He also has a line of spikes which stuns enemies. He excels at being in the enemy dps area and keeping them away.
- We should see a patch containing one of the new heroes (Chen, Anub’Arak, Azmodan) soon. One hero should be released with each patch, and we’ll see these hero releases every 4-6 weeks.
- Kali: They’re picking up steam! Too exciting!
Ril: Mike, why don’t you talk about Game Modes and eSports?
Mike: Absolutely. So with Game Modes:
- There wasn’t any discussion regarding a Free For All mode. They said that new modes are something to be looked at for next year.
- The team still needs to get Draft Mode and Ranked Mode out there.
- Draft Mode will allow you to see which map you are playing on so that you can pick the best composition for that map.
- Kali: Not sure if they were planning this all along, or listened to feedback, but thank you Blizzard. You guys will learn that in MOBAs, you can lose a match before it even begins with counter-picking.
Mike: I know we’re all excited for more information about eSports and HotS. Here’s what they had to tell us:
- The community should be able to do whatever they want with the game, we’re going to do all the same things we did with StarCraft;
- Replay system, observer mode, a “clean” game, and art that read well.
- Things that are good for eSports are also good for the game. They make a good game.
- Kali: This makes me so happy. Listen guys, I know you all think this is bad, but when the developers are focused on making the game good, we all benefit, even those that are “casuals.”
- If eSports takes off, the dev team will be watching and will help improve things where they can.
Ril: Awesome stuff! Now Kali, tell us about Battlegrounds and the Future of Heroes.
Kali: Sure thing. First up, with Battlegrounds:
- Ladder battleground rotation should be around 6-8 maps. Maps will be switched when new maps come out.
- The team is currently looking at the battleground rotation as being something done every ladder season, not every week like the heroes.
- Kali: I’m okay with this because I play 1 dang map in League, lol, but I know some people are going to gripe…
- Battleground seasons “every 3 to 4 months”.
Kali: And finally, they discussed the Future of Heroes as the tech alpha continues:
- They want the game to remain accessible to a large audience while keeping depth to the game. You should still be learning new things after sinking hundreds of hours into it.
- Kali: Fantastic point, Blizzard. Like I tell everyone that says, “I hated League, I played for 5 levels and then just stopped.” Umm, hello. It took me a year to feel comfortable enough to play ranked and not feel completely stupid. And at about 1.5 years, I’m still bad compared to many others. So what? When the game becomes easy, I’ll get bored. I have something to work toward right now and that keeps me playing it for hours and hours!
- Body block griefing hasn’t been a big problem yet. They still want players to be able to block out enemies, it adds an extra thing for people to think about when playing. Everything is not final though!
- Heroes is running on “very limited” hardware at the moment. Once the team is happy with the stability of the game, it will go into a Closed Beta and then an Open Beta.
- Kali: There you go, folks, confirmation of an open beta. Who just got excited? Everyone go do the Blizzard ice bucket challenge so they can afford more hardware…haha…
Topic #2 – The Patch and Chen Has Arrived!
These patch notes are HUGE! So follow the link below to the Heroes main page article –