Blizzard Entertainment’s gameplay changes for its PC multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) Heroes of the Storm are now available on the game’s PTR (public test realm), meaning that anyone can try them out while not hurting their stats or progression in the actual game.
Heroes of the Storm is free-to-play. It depends on new content and updates to keeps its players engaged. This often means new heroes, but it’s also important for Blizzard to keep fans happy by adjusting mechanics — and innovate to help stand out from League of Legends and Dota 2, the leading MOBAs in gaming.
Blizzard announced these gameplay changes earlier in the month at BlizzCon. Notably, the update pulls the camera back, making it easier to see more of the action. It is also adjusting towers, structures that attack enemy heroes. Blizzard is removing standalone towers, while the ones attached to garrisons no longer have ammo, meaning they won’t have reloading downtime.
Heroes of the Storm is also hoping to change the earlier parts of matches. Objective events will now start later, making the initial laning phase more important. Laning refers to the early portions of a match where teams are split across the different paths of a level, so smaller engagements are more likely instead of big team fights.
Fans have been complaining that Heroes of the Storm’s camera was too low to the ground — especially when compared to other MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota 2 — since it launched in 2015, so this change should please fans. The tower changes are more bold, as standalone turrets are a standard in the genre.