Apparently emboldened by Diablo 3‘s game-redefining 2.0 update, as well as various wild changes introduced to Overwatch in recent months, Blizzard Entertainment have announced their hero-brawler MOBA Heroes of the Storm is getting a 2.0 rework of its own. Where HotS 2.0 differs from Diablo 3 2.0 is that, at this stage, it doesn’t seem the actual gameplay is changing much at all just yet.
Heroes of the Storm game director Alan Dabiri has spoken directly to the player base via the game’s official Twitter account on the new update in a manner similar to that of Jeff Kaplan’s Overwatch developer updates.
Included in the update are changes like a revised progression system, the removal of hero level caps in their entirety and an XP curve that has been rebalanced for lesser grind. Further, overall player levels have also been tweaked to, according to Dabiri, better reflect the “sum of all hero levels you’ve obtained.” Previously, once a player hit Level 40 it wasn’t especially clear how much time they’d sunk into the game. Now that should be much clearer.
In addition to making the game’s progression feel like it actually means something beyond a bunch of numbers going up. Persuant to this, rewards have also been reworked and this, in particular, is where Overwatch‘s influence can be felt (the quirk of circumstance in which a shooter that incorporates several MOBA tropes going on to inform the design of an actual MOBA has not gone unnoticed).
From now on, whenever you level up one of your heroes, you’ll be given a loot chest as a reward. These chests can produce “nearly any item” in the game according to Dabiri. These can range from cosmetics to skins and other, actual heroes. Previously the only way to get these sorts of unlocks was to either pay cash money or grind for in-game gold.
— Heroes of the Storm (@BlizzHeroes) March 29, 2017
The update also brings the total of in-game currencies to a total of three. There are now shards, which are generated whenever you pull a duplicate item out of a loot chest and are used to buy cosmetics. Gold still remains and real money transactions are now considered Gems, which can be purchased in the Heroes of the Storm store.
Dabri goes on to promise further changes down the line, saying “(w)e’re going to continue to support and expand it with balance adjustments, gameplay improvements and more.”
The Heroes of the Storm 2.0 update is now in beta for those who want to try it early. Blizzard says the complete update will arrive on April 25.