Heroes of the Storm: No Country for Old Heroes

Courtesy of Imgur.

Courtesy of Imgur.

Have you ever been sitting there with your lane buddy waiting for the enemy to come around the corner and then boom, you get completely melted by the hero of the week? You wonder, “What just happened?” It’s simple, let go of the old heroes and start playing the latest releases.

Blizzard’s most recent hero releases include Kael’Thas, Karazim, Johanna, and The Butcher. Many of these heroes are far more powerful than they should be. Johanna has a ridiculous tank, and can come almost fully back to life from critical condition. Karazim can heal himself or others back to full health from half.

In this world of superpowered heroes, there’s no need to play the originals, now-a-days if you launch up a ranked game and try to play Murky or Sergeant Hammer, the other players on your team will slam you all game about how you chose a ‘useless’ hero. In fact, the old warriors are in such bad shape that this next patch is focusing primarily on rebalancing and rebuffing the original heroes.

So, what makes the old heroes useless? None of the earlier heroes have unavoidable powers, none of them can instantly annihilate you without micro, and most of them require a little bit of skill to be used effectively.  Kael’Thas can take a hero down to 0 in less than 3 seconds, while Illidan, one of the early assassins, still needs roughly 10.  Even The Butcher has the unintended side effect of being nearly unstoppable as pointed out on the game’s subreddit by mizzimage.

A patch is coming, won’t that fix the issue? In short, No. Blizzard has demonstrated that they can’t handle an agile workflow, balancing the old while they release the new. That would mean having a dedication to play-testing the latest heroes with the former on the new maps, having a small beta crew that the company actively communicates with to discuss any issues. The early heroes would need to be rebalanced as part of the new hero design and creation process.

Blizzard has been focused on building this game as an eSports platform since its inception. But, considering the lack of focus in balancing these new heroes, I don’t see how it will ever be taken seriously. They are even falling behind the newcomers such as Valve, who awarded over 6 million dollars to the 1st place team in their “The International” championship.  Will it ever get better?  Comment and tell me what you think.