It’s been a while since the launch of Heroes of the Storm now, so I feel like it’s pretty fair to finally give my conclusive opinion on it as it stands right now. I’ve played around five hundred matches of this game, and over that time it’s been an incredibly painful experience with very few redeeming factors and matches. I’ll go over some of my main issues with the game in this post, as you can probably tell from the way I’m introducing it that I’m not in a very good mood with the game in general.
The main issue with the game is the playerbase. (inb4 git gud) The majority of the playerbase for this game literally does not know what they’re doing. I’d make a safe bet that 4/5 of the matches I’ve played have involved at least one player who literally works against the interests of the team and more often than not ruins the match. Matchmaking does not exist. Not in any meaningful form anyway. The main match option of the game which most people take part in is quick match. Quick match has no ranking, and doesn’t even attempt to match players based on skill or who has queued up. It just gathers the next people in the queue and fills ten slots.
You might not think that’s a bad thing on the surface, but believe me, it is. I usually play with two other friends, so two random players usually get on the team. We’re usually given two people who have the reactions of Farmville who just feed deaths to the enemy team, the kinds of players who don’t turn up for teamfights and think everyone but themselves are the problem. You then have the enemy team. We’ve came across plenty of matches where a five stack of highly skilled and co-ordinated players jump in and we get completely decimated, how do you even fight back against that kind of thing when you have nothing but text chat with certain members of your team? It’s impossible for three players, or most of the time even four players, to carry a team in this game. It just can’t be done.
A much larger issue with this game is the fact of once you start losing, that’s it. Blizzard claim “g-guys, the c-comebacks are r-real in this game!!” but it’s complete bullshit. These concepts may exist within the game, but the issue is that the enemy team also has these concepts, giving them even more power over a losing team. A level difference of one or two in this game can be absolutely crippling in the early game, and once you lose the advantage you pretty much lose any team fight and the match as a whole. It’s very often blatantly clear within the first three minutes of a match as to whether it’s going to be a wash or not. There is no middle ground. There might have been ten in my five hundred matches that were fair and balanced matches up until the very end, and both teams had an equal chance of winning.
That shouldn’t be a problem though should it? If you’re losing too badly your team just concedes right? Wrong. Heroes of the Storm hasn’t got a concede option, and Blizzard don’t want to add one. This means you’re locked into a match for over twenty minutes just waiting for it to end because your team has absolutely no chance. This kills my motivation to play the game. You jump in, and in the first two minutes two of your team have died twice and the enemy has a level lead on you. Game over. G-fucking-g. If you alt tab, you get punished. If you alt+f4, you get punished. (The punishment is an “abandon” queue, and to be honest some of my best matches of the game have literally came from this queue, because other good players who can’t stand their completely incompetent team abandon as well)
Okay, so quick match is absolute bull. What about ranked play? Yes, there is a ranked play mode and I should probably mention this before getting a comment about it. Does it make much of a difference? No, not really. You can still get put against five man stacks as a solo or two to three man stack, it doesn’t matter. There is a team ranked match mode, which is what the five stacks should be forced to play in my opinion. Either way, my experience with ranked play is pretty much the same as quick match regardless of what rank you are. You would think it would get better after the very first ranks, but I got to forty and we were still getting tons of players who were costing us games because they didn’t know how to play. I don’t even know if ranked matches place you with similar ranks or not, they could just be the same as quick match and whether you win or not just increases or decreases your points. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was the lazy case.
The game has a myriad of other things which bother me as well, but I’m not going to spiral on huge rants on those as well, they’re mostly just passing mentions. The pathfinding is a huge issue, I’ve died so many times because the character literally doesn’t move where I’m clicking, AoE circles don’t indicate the damage areas correctly and even where my character will just start attacking a completely different target to what I clicked. The skins in the game are also absolutely appalling, not even closely warranting their asking price for the most part, the only time they’re really worth thinking about are when they’re on sale and even then the price is a bit too much. The framerate and lag are also really bad, with the game slowing down to single digits when a few heroes are casting things on screen and sometimes even when a single effect is going on.
I’m not even sure how Blizzard could really fix the game at this point, I think in the eyes of most people it’s pretty much beyond repair. The population the game gained in the open beta and around launch seems to have dropped significantly, going from around twenty seconds to find a match to a solid sixty at around peak times and around midnight in Europe. A start would be implementing some filtering and ranking system for quick match, so it’s actually bearable. If you refuse to put in a concede button, it needs to be one or the other. The game also needs more content, desperately. The “it’s too much work” mentality Blizzard has right now is crippling their games, since games like Dota 2 and League of Legends have huge rosters where Heroes of the Storm has a measly number of heroes. With the money and manpower Blizzard has behind them, I would expect three new heroes a month from Blizzard, not one new one every so often. You see the same heroes time and time and time and time and time again because the roster is so tiny.
Yes, there was a lot of salt behind this post. Do I care though? No. These are issues because of the attitude current Blizzard holds. If they don’t want to change, the population of the game is going to continue to drop. It doesn’t matter how many new heroes or maps you put in if the matches themselves are so hard to sit through because of the average player. I’ve inspected some of these people’s profiles as well, somehow some of these people who account for over half of your team’s deaths and have a quarter of the highest siege/hero damage sometimes have rank ten heroes, master skins or unthinkably high ranks in ranked play. It’s embarrassing.
I don’t think I can drive myself to play much more of this game. I feel like I’ve seen far beyond what it and the playerbase have to offer, and no amount of new content is going to change that. It’s the same way I felt about Payday 2 in the end, with lazy and money grubbing decisions leading the development of the game instead of the actual drive to make something enjoyable and worth investing hundreds of hours in. I’m sure most of the good players who are left in Heroes of the Storm will follow me out the door given a few more weeks or months at most.