At BlizzCon 2013 last night Blizzard unveiled the first footage of Heroes of the Storm, the new name for the long-in-development title that was once known as Blizzard DotA and released as a mod for StarCraft II.
Heroes of the Storm is inspired by the original Defence of the Ancients: All-Stars modification for WarCraft III. The original mod went on to kickstart the genre that Dota 2 developer Valve now calls MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), and League of Legends developer Riot calls ARTS (action real-time strategy), but Blizzard instead opted to avoid calling their game a MOBA/ARTS and instead christen Heroes of the Storm a hero brawler.
Speaking to GameSpot, Heroes of the Storm game director Dustin Browder elaborated on that decision. "We fully feel like we're making something a little bit different and a little bit new," he said. Heroes of the Storm is "certainly based on a lot of the games we played in WarCraft 3 and even in Brood War that were made by our fans, but we're trying to create something that's very very quick, and can be played in about 20 minutes."
Other than a shorter duration for matches, what else sets Heroes of the Storm apart from League of Legends and Dota 2? "It's very much about map objectives," Browder explained. "It's about taking over the battleground and engaging with those objectives, and it's very much about playing with your team. It's about team leveling. We start you with all of your abilities, so you're using everything at once. It's a little bit more action-orientated in that sense, a little less about the RPG components. It's more about playing with these iconic heroes that you've seen over many many years inside our games."
"So we felt like the hero brawler was a better name for the game we were making, but whatever anybody wants to call the game is totally cool. We just feel that [hero brawler] made a lot more sense."
"Coming from a bunch of guys that made real-time strategy, action real-time strategy didn't make a lot of sense for this game," Browder concluded.
GameSpot sister site onGamers went hands-on with the "distinct" Heroes of the Storm yesterday, and detailed many of the core differences between Blizzard's game against Dota 2 and League of Legends. Notably, Heroes of the Storm will feature shared experience, no last-hitting, no item purchasing, and all skills unlocked at the start of a match.
Sign-ups for the Heroes of the Storm beta are now live.