Heroes Of The Storm: The Future of MOBA

All-Stars logo

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Blizzard All Stars: The Future of MOBA

Blizzard is planning to enter the MOBA scene, and they are going to do it with a bang. Their intent is to create a fast-paced game with an average game-length of about 20 minutes. You will be able to play your favorite characters from your favorite Blizzard franchises. So far, only limited game development information has been released, and everything is subject to change, but this is a game that you will want to play from Beta. The game is called Blizzard All-stars. And it looks amazing.

What am I familiar with?
If you’ve played DOTA or League of Legends, then you’ll be familiar with the standard map setup: three lanes with towers, jungle creeps, five per team, and a neutral boss encounter. But this is where the similarities end.

So what’s new?

A lot.

 

Kills and Assists:

Say goodbye to both of these age-old mechanics. These are being replaced with Takedowns. Blizzard wants to encourage early team-based aggression, which means that if three of your teammates damage an enemy and you get the killing blow, four members of your team would be granted 200 gold. This means that your total team gold for one kill is +800. In League of Legends math, a standard kill (no killing spree), even if all five members of the team participate, is 450 gold. 300 of this goes to the person who gets the final blow, and the other 150 is split between four members of the team. If the hero that has all of the kills is shut down, no one on your team can answer an equally-itemized enemy team. With the Takedown change, there is a huge incentive for your team to work together and not just try to win by feeding yourself.
On a related note, instead of showing each team’s kills on the scoreboard, it will show everyone in game how much gold each team has. This will re-enforce the team-oriented feel of the game.

All-Stars Nova

“Skins:”

In League of Legends, you can buy a champion, and buy their skin, and the skin has nothing to do with your skill or experience with the champion. In Blizzard All Stars, you can unlock customizable cosmetic changes to your Hero, based on number of games, wins, and takedowns. Some of these cosmetics might be lore-related. Nova might be able to deck herself out in zergling skull armor, but only if you have won 300 games with her. This is much more gratifying than buying a skin, and you can flaunt your achievements in-game. In addition to this cosmetic change, you can choose from 16 different champion colors which are available to everyone. (Might be divided 8 for blue side and 8 for red)

Neutral Camps:

If you look at the jungle in League of Legends, you get gold and experience for killing the neutral monsters. The monsters respawn 50 seconds later to be killed again. In Blizzard All Stars, the jungle camps are NPC’s that, when defeated, replace one ranged and one melee creep in each of your lanes. In a Blizzard-released video, a captured ogre camp sends a ranged ogre that deals Area of Effect (AoE) damage on hit. This will push your lanes incredibly hard, meaning earlier towers. This also applies to the Neutral Boss Encounter. When the boss is defeated, he leaves his camp and goes to push your lane. The boss outranges the tower, similar to the Pushing characters (which will be touched on later), and deals AoE damage to the enemy creeps.

Towers:

Towers in Blizzard All Stars will have a limited number of shells to fire at a time, the shells are generated a few seconds slower than they are fired, and towers will acquire targets the same way as LoL does: Any NPC in range, and any enemy player who makes an aggressive action in the tower’s range. This gives a huge incentive to push lanes. Once the ammo of the tower is spent, you will be able to dive an enemy for five seconds while only suffering one or two tower hits. Once a tower is destroyed, it doesn’t come back.

All-Stars tower


Last
Hitting:

Or “lack of” last hitting. One of the way that Blizzard intends to shorten the games is by removing the last hitting of minions for gold. This will encourage early aggression, and the ability capture objectives without putting yourself behind in gold, while still leaving plenty of room counter-play and counter-aggression. What Blizzard is using to replace this mechanic is just as innovative. In every minion wave there will be a ranged creep carrying a banner. When that minion is killed, it will drop a sort of regeneration globe that restores health and mana. The globes effectively keep the usual zoning and denying techniques while sticking with the game’s fast-paced early aggression goals. You will effectively be able to zone your opponent from their globe while also taking control of yours, giving you much more lane sustain and lane pressure.

Boots:

When Blizzard was looking at other MOBAs, they noticed an incredibly annoying theme. One of your inventory slots almost always goes to boots. In All Stars, they are going to use a mount system. That’s all they’ve said about it so far. But if we look at World of Warcraft, we might be able to see what they’re plans are. You might not get a mount until level 6, and the mount might increase in speed after levels 12 and 18. This is all speculation, but it would add a hug incentive to gain levels faster than your opponents.

Blizzard All-Stars mount


Classes:

The only major twist here is that in addition to the standard rolls of Tank, Support, and Damage Dealers, there will be the addition of the “Pusher” class. In the quintessential example of a Pusher in All Stars is that General Warfield from Starcraft II can out-range turrets with his autoattack. This is a huge deal, especially since the only other character who can out-range turrets with auto-attacks  is Twitch from League of Legends, and only while his ultimate ability is active. This new class will definitely put a twist on the standard Meta that we’re used to in other MOBAs.

All-Stars champs

Character Stats:

What Blizzard All Stars is doing differently than any other game here is limiting the number of upgradable stats to 3: Health, Damage, and Mastery. The first two are self-evident, and Mastery will grant Cooldown Reduction and Mana. You can upgrade each of these from the in-game store.

A screenshot of the All Stars shop, released by Blizzard


Items:

Each item you purchase can be upgraded to level three buy purchasing it two more times, meaning you can get to your highest bonus power relatively quickly. (Keep in mind that the games are supposed to last about 20 minutes) Stat boosts are passive upgrades that don’t take up inventory slots, and are upgradable like items, but there is no definite cap on the passive upgrades (yet). The other type of purchasable items are Artifacts. The only released artifact is called the Cloak of Flames. If this item works the same way it did in Diablo III,  it would deal fire damage to enemies around you when activated. In the Screenshot there are only Five artifact and Four inventory slots. I expect that a fw more artifacts will be added, but four slots means that strategy will ultimately be more important than how many items you have.

Maps and Map Modding:
One of the coolest features in Starcraft, and something that Blizzard has had success with–even in WoW arena–is the wide variety of maps, and the ability to create your own variations of maps. Considering the immense amount of lore behind each of the Blizzard franchises, for Blizzard All Stars, they’re taking this a bit further. Imagine being able to play on an ‘Onyxia’s Lair’ themed map, and the Neutral Boss was Onyxia, or in a Starcraft themed map with a massive Ultralisk? That would be the Blizzard Fan-boys dream. Even if Blizzard decides to use the same map layout, just with new cosmetics, this sounds amazing. There will also be the option to create custom maps/games for All-Stars. There will most likely be one (maybe more…) standard 5v5 map for competitive play, but with the success of ARAM (All Random All Middle) in League of Legends, Blizzard wants the community to be able to play and practice what they want to.

So why should I play this game?

Everyone has played one or two Blizzard games, and the lore behind them is incredible. (Personally, I would love to STOMP a Lady Vashj in lane, and take revenge on the countless wipes I had during that fight because that one stupid rogue kept getting feared under the stalkers) In this game, you will be able to play Arthas, Nova, or even Kyle Blackthorn. The games will be short. You can play casually for twenty minutes, or play more games in the time that you have, and improve that much faster.

The layout of the game encourages early team-based aggression. If all five of your teammates go for the Neutral Boss early enough, or capture their jungle camps, there is no way that the enemy will be able to counter-push their lanes. And because of how fast the game moves, strategy will be incredibly important. You will need to match their lane pushing and always trade good objectives, or you’ll fall behind very quickly. This means that smart play in Solo Queue will be able to carry games, just as easily as solid communication and cooperation will in ranked team play.

Rapid fire:

  • The themed maps will look incredible.
  • The achievement-based cosmetic changes are MUCH more rewarding than purchasing skins.
  • Playing custom games with friends and playing 5000000 health upgrades vs 5000000 damage upgrades
  • Fast-paced team-oriented games
  • Having a neutral boss fight with you
  • No more Teemo
  • Playing your favorite heroes from Blizzard
  • It’s new, it’s innovative, and it’s the future
  • Really cool art:

All-Stars dps
All-Stars pushers
All-Stars Tanks
All-Stars support

This game will be a very welcome addition to the MOBA scene, and has incredible potential to be the main competitor for League of Legends. I’ll be keeping my eye open for the Alpha and Beta launches, and I hope to see you there.

Aydin

Aydin has been following competetive League of Legends since before Season 1. He loves playing support, and longs for the day when Heimerdinger will make his LCS debut.

  • Would feel slightly silly to play with a tank.

  • All of my yes for this. Cannot wait to see this in action.

  • Pete

    “… the only other character who can out-range turrets with auto-attacks is Twitch from League of Legends, and only while his ultimate ability is active.”

    Sniper from DotA (and DOTA 2), and Flint Beastwood from HoN both outrange towers with their passive.

  • SFK

    I would like to see almost all of the heroes and bosses in Warcraft which will really inspire me to play this game.

  • The Truth

    After what they did to diablo 3 and by the looks of Dota 2 .. I’m pretty certain this won’t work ..

    I really want it .. but I think I’ll still play dota 2 couple of years from now and not this ..

    • Its totally different game from Dota 2, give it a shot 🙂

  • i sense a fail in the air

  • EbTox

    Again with these sort-of-robotic units we see in Starcraft.
    Okay, you’re trying out something new by creating a MOBA genre game. Why don’t you just change the f@ck!ng units for once.
    I’m really tired of this “future theme” where every unit has to be a robot and even some of the heroes have a robot-like design.
    It’s too annoying for me and probably the main reason i won’t be trying the game out.

  • Umaru

    I hate the futurist theme too, it can be there, but only on heroes from future (like starcraft), heroes from warcraft should stay as they are.

  • Aidan

    this looks awful.

  • Chris

    So…. It’s a MOBA for babies? Removing the harder to master mechanics and making the already established ones easier?

    Pass.

    • Well i think it will have mechanics which make it competitive. Just because few elements are taking away doesn’t make game easier or harder.

    • Anonymous

      No its taking away the tedious parts of the game and focusing more on efficient teamwork. Put it this way we could over complicate any game and make it harder, does it make it better though?

      • Anonymous

        If “over complicate” is another word for complex, then yes, it does.

  • JimmyRustle

    Probably won’t end up playing it.

  • only frustrated noobs will play this!!! wahahah at least i will not see them anymore

  • Anonymous

    This sounds like a nice mix of the old Hero Wars game from ROC and Dota. Finally understanding the concept of focusing the game towards teamwork. Everything I read about this game just makes sense I hope they release it.

  • Anonymous

    I think this game is gonna turn out to be great. All that time they are spending is gonna make this the best moba. Just you wait!

  • Anonymous

    How do LoL fanboys feel seeing this game is even more steamlined than LoL with the removal of “archaic mechanics” like last hitting and boots? Will they jump ship or be blinded by loyalty to LoL despite Bliz Allstars removing “unnecessary mechanics”?

  • Anonymous

    LOL this guys gets payed from blizzard? he really suck blizzards balls.

    • Nope he doesn’t get paid by blizz, what are you talking about?

    • Myst

      Maybe he gets payed by Riot, I just arrived on this site and though its named Moba Monster, it only talks about LoL or Blizzard Allstar.
      Why not name the site LoL-Monster, or something like that?
      I awaited some wise comments but the only knowledge the author seems to have is on LoL, that’s a bummer.

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