The first major part of the Heroes of the Storm What’s Next panel talked a lot about development transparency. This transparency is something the team tries to exemplify as they discuss the ideas, features, and changes they considered for Heroes‘ future.
They opened the talk with the idea that they don’t always do what everyone is thinking about. They talked about things like a custom map editor in 2014. The team thought it was a really cool idea, but realized it was a giant project that wasn’t very feasible.
Another thing they brought up is social systems like a party finder and clans. They expressed a lot of excitement and want fans to know that they’re still working on these kinds of advancements and they definitely aren’t on the backburner.
They also discussed performance-based matchmaking, which was announced last year. While it was fully implemented, it didn’t perform the way they thought it would and so it was removed. The positive takeaway is that while it didn’t work out, the team learned a ton. They’re committed to communicate new ideas they want to work and encourage input from fans.
While it’s been a great year for content, including the announcement of Orphea and other work throughout recent months, the team stressed that prioritization isn’t as simple as some players expect, such as working on hero reworks over clans. The reality is that different people are concurrently working on different things, and it’s not an all-or-nothing situation.
Heroes that were released this year end with Orphea, but that doesn’t stop their work on existing heroes. Hero reworks are in progress going back to the earliest heroes. They also got a lot of feedback on maps like Alterac, and other maps that they reworked like Hanamura and Garden of Terror. Iteration is a constant process and feedback is essential to ongoing efforts working on existing content.
The team also discussed the themed events in 2018 like Mecha Storm, and how they wanted some of the cosmetics to really get their own time in the sun rather than get randomly dropped into the game. The team really enjoyed working on these various events and bringing these mini events to the Nexus.
Lore is another newer issue the team is working on. It really started with Fall of King’s Crest, which was released alongside Deckard, and continues with the fourth comic issue of Orphea. We’re starting to see more Nexus-specific lore that isn’t taken directly from other franchises, with developments like Orphea’s relationship to her father. Moving onto the lore of the game which was something the team hadn’t attempted before. Starting with Fall of King’s Crest that was released alongside Deckard and talks about the 4th issue of the comic called Orphea.
In all, the game needs to evolve to stay fresh and exciting. Many different changes, including new content, updating old content, balancing, and lore, are all in the works. From voice chat to bans and the never-ending tweaks to matchmaking, the team is in it for the long haul and committed to supporting Heroes in the future.