Yeah, it's clearly Nova. Though I will admit that the idea of Ghost Kerrigan vs Queen of Blades Kerrigan would be fucking epic. Though, the alternate skin design for Nova that popped up on MMO champion... I can't help but think they found some fan of Lollipop Chainsaw, 1950s Drive-Ins and Starcraft Ghost who'd made some weird fusion cosplay...
Looks interesting. It's going to be free IIRC, so I suppose I'll give it a play and see if I like it. With their line-up and the money and staff available to them, it's Blizzard's game to (unlikely) lose. But I'll reserve judgement until I've seen the finished product.
Also, dibs on Nova. Callin' her now as my main. No matter what her skill set is, though I can only hope she gets better alternate skins. Like a Kerrigan one. That would probably sell the game for me right there.
What's interesting about HotS is that there's no last hitting and that EXP is shared globally across the map. So there's no last hitting, and laning is more or less pointless - you'll get the same amount of exp and gold roaming to kill other players as you would sitting in lane killing creeps. You also start with all 3 of your abilities, and they progress on their own automatically as you level - you only get to "pick" an upgrade every 3 levels and at level 10, when you get to pick your ultimate (each hero has two to pick from).
There's also a bunch of little mini-objectives that help your team out, like going to an area where gold coins are spawning and taking them to this ghost captain guy so he can fire off artillery rounds to push towers and stuff. So basically you're in a constant teamfight over objectives. If you're familiar with DOTA, it's a lot like Diretide.
You know, that line gets brought up every now and again. 'Not very competitive' Why? Because you can't farm? If farm isn't the deciding factor, doesn't that mean that teamplay and skill would be the deciding factor? How is that not competitive?
It won't be a good game for competitions because of the shared xp mechanic and because ultimates are so powerful. The team that reaches lvl 10 first will pretty much teamwipe their opponents and snowball the game from there.
That's... A rather, um how you say overloaded statement? Premature is probably better. First up, we don't know how exactly it's going to go in this. Secondly, Ults are NOT that powerful even in the previews.
Honestly this reminds me more of Tides of Blood or AoS that are similar. ToB didn't really have any items in it, so snowballing never really happened fast. It was pretty damned fun anyway.
What I tend to mean by "not very competitive" is that, on the surface, at current, the game lacks the complexity that, say, DOTA does. (DOTA being the most "competitive" MOBA/ARTS, whatever you want to call it.) As complexity increases, there is more opportunity for decision making and skill becomes a greater factor. Removing skill builds, items, last hitting, denying, and other similar game mechanics reduces the complexity of the game, which means there are less opportunities for decision-making...and thus a lower skill threshold.
It's worth mentioning that being "competitive" has nothing to do with fun. Chess is more competitive than checkers, but I have more fun playing checkers than I do chess.
Edit: And of course, with HotS still in early beta, there's a lot of things that could change...but I don't see why they would. There's no reason to make the game into "LoL with Blizzard characters" instead of giving it its own flavor, which it appears to have.
You are falling into the trap that complexity equals skill. Item bulding and last hitting arent indicative of skill. Playing your hero, making proper decisions, and managing you cd/mana is skill.
Items are a snowball mechanic. And to be honest probably one of the biggest problems with the current games out there. A competitive game shouldn't be decided within the first ten minutes of a fourty minute game . LoL games have been. I dunno about dota ones.
In professional play for DOTA, games tend to end around the 25-30min mark, though some games do go for 40 minutes. I think the record was almost an hour and 40 minutes. Sometimes the game is basically decided at the 10 minute mark...and those games tend to end about 10 minutes later. Comebacks happen, of course. Some strategies are built around losing the early game and winning the "late" game (which begins at around the 22-25min mark for professional games). In pub games the games go on longer, but there's a lot more of a swing factor because teams are worse at pushing an advantage. It seems like a decent balance for me. Early game matters enough that it's worth working hard to get an advantage, but comebacks are possible if you didn't get your ass kicked too hard. I still wish DotA would introduce the surrender feature that LoL has.
With regards to complexity...by definition increased complexity does equal increased skill. Skill is defined as, "the ability, coming from one's knowledge, practice, aptitude, etc., to do something well" (dictionary.com) or "the learned ability to carry out a task with pre-determined results often within a given amount of time, energy, or both" (Wikipedia).
If you take the goal of a MOBA (destroy the enemy Nexus/Ancient/Whatever) as the purpose of the game, then it logically follows that the game that requires more player abilities in order to accomplish this goal requires more skill, or at least more skills. For example, LoL requires fewer skills than DOTA because various mechanics (denying, pulling, courier management, reliable/unreliable gold, high ground miss chance, etc) have been removed and their replacements (more skillshots, more opportunities to cast spells) don't add as much complexity.
More than that though, it's the philosophy of the developers. Riot wants their game to be fun, and that's one of the reasons that you have such massive changes to the game every season. Valve wants their game to be balanced, and after a hero receives any sort of substantial rework, the hero is removed from competitive mode for a month (or more). Neither approach is better or worse. They just tend to result in different types of games, and it has very little to do with whether or not a game is fun or enjoyable.
I've played some LoL. I had more fun than I did my first few games of DotA. Honestly, if my RL friends didn't play DOTA I'd probably be playing LoL with the TFFers. I had fun playing some DOTA with violinmana, but then he went back to LoL and I never saw him again D:
So I'm in the tech alpha, if anyone has questions. It's basically coffee-break LoL with no items, no escapes, a few closers, very small amounts of damage, and uberBaron map objectives.
It's basically a game of positioning and objective/map control, teamfights are more about jockying for resources than actually killing anyone- it's incredibly hard to get killed unless you fuck up your positioning.
Take twisted Treelines, remove Vilemaw from being fightable.
Make all the neutral minon camps Golem-level difficulty, with 2-4 golems per camp. Instead of getting a buff when you defeat them though, they run to your lane and start smashing the enemy.
Altars don't unlock at the same time, every few minutes one unlocks at random. If you get an altar, nothing happens.
If your team captures altars three times, Vilemaw descends on the map, curses the enemy team, and then retreats.
This curse drops enemy minion health to 1, prevents towers from firing, and drops towers/inhibs to half health.