Heroes of The Storm's Pricing Structure is Unacceptable. Here's How to Fix it

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Heroes of The Storm's Pricing Structure is Unacceptable. Here's How to Fix it

Heroes of the Storm is an amazing MOBA with one caveat: It's just too damn expensive.

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Eh..."amazing" is pushing it. "Functional" would be the word I would use for it.

To start, I don't care for Heroes of the Storm. Despite playing carry-type heroes, I never felt like I could actually carry a game like I could in League of Legends. Blizzard is working under the mistaken assumption that a random group of five people is capable of working together to take objectives, so they made that aspect of the game their focus...and it suffers for it. It is much, much harder for one person to win the game by themselves, and I never felt as powerful in this game as I did in League or DotA. Also, I'm not sure why mounts exist when the bonus movement speed they grant is only a small step above walking.

But it was the pricing structure that made me leave. I already give Blizzard $15 a month for WoW, and several times that for booster packs in Hearthstone. They don't need to make their MOBA this expensive, because the game isn't that great to begin with. I expected way better than this from Blizzard when they decided to throw their hat in the MOBA ring, but if they go into this fight thinking they start off equal with the already established powerhouses (by pricing their items worse than their competitors), they are sadly mistaken.

How do they expect to break though the MOBA market when they're up against 2 vastly more popular games that are also cheaper to play?

I agree with everything. What I really love about this game is the real team mentality that drives it. You can not have one especially skilled player carry an entire team like in other MOBAs. A world champion could still lose every match if he isn't playing as a team. The extra PvE objectives on the map make for an incredibly refreshing escape from the usual MOBA style of sticking to your lane or jungling for 30mins while your carry gets strong enough to carry the rest of the team to victory.

With the pricing model, I don't mind grinding out dailies for gold for heroes, it gives me reason to keep logging on every other day to play. And the character levels give a sense of progression with some neat bonus rewards sprinkled on top. The real world price however, is absolutely ridiculous. I don't think I've spoken to a single person that was okay with their real world cash model.

Either cheapen your heroes or increase my gold rewards by, I don't know, 15-20%? Just make it viable for me to be able to unlock a hero every fortnight or so reliably. At the moment, seeing that 800G daily pop up fills me with excitement because it's just such a large amount that shows up so very rarely. I think I saw someone say the internal cooldown on that daily is 2.5 weeks.

The game is extremely fun and I'll keep playing it with my friends but I'll be damned if I'm going to ever spend a cent on it.

Well, maybe Blood Elf Tyrande when it's cheaper...

Denamic:
How do they expect to break though the MOBA market when they're up against 2 vastly more popular games that are also cheaper to play?

They all cost the same to play nothing. I've put hundreds of hours into multiple F2P games without spending a penny it's easy.

I actually got a beta key for HoTS from the Escapist... I still haven't downloaded the game. I'm not a huge MOBA fan to start with but when I went and looked over the different characters, and the pricing model it was just a flat out 'nope, not bothering'

Steven Bogos:
Of course, they could always just, you know, lower the prices. To something slightly more reasonable. Even around a 25% flat reduction from what they currently have on offer would be acceptable, considering it looks like Blizzard is going the LoL route by having weekly 50% off sales on Heroes and skins.

I've been playing the game since the Technical Alpha and the entire community agrees things are very expensive. The heroes are totally buyable if you go full F2P, but it takes a tad too long. Gold gain overall is a tad too low. The reason for all of this is that you can buy StimPacks, which are account xp/gold boosters. With a stimpack you get ~75g per win in ranked mode. It's roughly 3 times the amount of gold you make on average, and if you play regularly you'll feel like Smaug.

It's nice to give people options, but the end result is that to reach ranked play you need to either grind for a month or buy a booster. For people that don't have the time, the only options are spend real money or don't play ranked. I honestly prefer unranked play (as most of the MOBA toxicity stays in the dredges of ranked) but for many people leveling your account, your heroes, and buying the 10 needed to be eligible for Ranked is just way too grindy.

Even streamers agree that if Blizz doesn't adjust prices before Open Beta they're shooting themselves in the foot.

Demagogue:
I actually got a beta key for HoTS from the Escapist... I still haven't downloaded the game. I'm not a huge MOBA fan to start with but when I went and looked over the different characters, and the pricing model it was just a flat out 'nope, not bothering'

As a fellow non-MOBA fan, I can say for certain that if you don't like other MOBAs then HotS might actually be a good fit for you. It is 100% possible to play the game and enjoy it to its fullest without paying a cent. Failing that, I have a friend that I'd love to get into the game so if you still have that key I could organize a trade with you or something.

Demagogue:
I actually got a beta key for HoTS from the Escapist... I still haven't downloaded the game. I'm not a huge MOBA fan to start with but when I went and looked over the different characters, and the pricing model it was just a flat out 'nope, not bothering'

It's not nearly as bad is it sounds, unless you expect to jump straight into the Ranked ladder. As a new player you probably won't want to, but I recommend try it out. There's several modes, so not owning every character doesn't matter much (again unless you're going for ranked).

Can't knock it until you tried it! It's 'free' after all.

P-89 Scorpion:

Denamic:
How do they expect to break though the MOBA market when they're up against 2 vastly more popular games that are also cheaper to play?

They all cost the same to play nothing. I've put hundreds of hours into multiple F2P games without spending a penny it's easy.

Sure, but there's a pay/grind wall blocking you from enjoying all of the game. Lol has it too, but it's way, way cheaper both in terms of money and effort. Dota 2 is just straight up free. Going up against that with this pricing structure is like stabbing yourself in the throat before you even start the race.

Steven Bogos:
Heroes of The Storm's Pricing Structure is Unacceptable. Here's How to Fix it

Heroes of the Storm is an amazing MOBA with one caveat: It's just too damn expensive.

Read Full Article

I'm going to quibble with how this post was put up. It's not news. This is opinion, but its not being flagged as such. I generally agree with the authors stance and opinions. While the title is clearly positing an opinion, I think this type of thing needs a better distinction between opinion and news.

"It's really disheartening to see Blizzard take this route. Blizzard has always been about making its games as fun and accessible to as many players as possible..."

This is wrong. Blizzard hasn't cared about making games "fun" they have cared about getting as many people to play them to make as much money as humanly possible. This is underhanded? What about the Real Money auction in Diablo 3? Hell, what about Diablo 3's launch as a whole? How about them last few WoW expansions?

Blizzard does not care about you anymore. Stop giving them money.

shadowmagus:
"It's really disheartening to see Blizzard take this route. Blizzard has always been about making its games as fun and accessible to as many players as possible..."

This is wrong. Blizzard hasn't cared about making games "fun" they have cared about getting as many people to play them to make as much money as humanly possible. This is underhanded? What about the Real Money auction in Diablo 3? Hell, what about Diablo 3's launch as a whole? How about them last few WoW expansions?

Blizzard does not care about you anymore. Stop giving them money.

Hell, look at Hearthstone which similarly has a significant real money or time drain when compared with it's competitors.

Or you can just switch to the game that has all its heroes for free and brings much more satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment when you learn it.

I did actually give the game a try, i played 3 games and it just feels so watered down, it might appeal to some people but i dont think this game will be a hit or come even close to competing with lol and dota

Mazinger-Z:

Steven Bogos:
Heroes of The Storm's Pricing Structure is Unacceptable. Here's How to Fix it

Heroes of the Storm is an amazing MOBA with one caveat: It's just too damn expensive.

Read Full Article

I'm going to quibble with how this post was put up. It's not news. This is opinion, but its not being flagged as such. I generally agree with the authors stance and opinions. While the title is clearly positing an opinion, I think this type of thing needs a better distinction between opinion and news.

Yeah you raise a good point. The only distinction I can see between this and a news article is that it's posted in Featured Content instead of the News Room. Its presence on the front page does not reflect this.

As a free-2-player, I hadn't really noticed. Some quick math tells me that a month of playing casually will yield enough currency to unlock one of the top cost champs, and that's on par with League. The pricing structure on cosmetics also seems pretty comparable. Mounts aside, you're getting something that roughly equivocates to a 1350 RP skin at (roughly) the same price, and you get two palette swaps for free.
I admit that the game play is less intense than League, but I'd say that's a good thing. As a comparison, I like Magic: the Gathering, but sometimes I don't want to deal with all those fiddly rules, so I also play Cardfight: Vanguard. It's nice to have a game where I can just turn off my brain and turn dudes sideways. HoS fills that role just fine. Plus, being made more recently, everything looks prettier. I like shiny things...

VanQ:
The extra PvE objectives on the map make for an incredibly refreshing escape from the usual MOBA style of sticking to your lane or jungling for 30mins while your carry gets strong enough to carry the rest of the team to victory.

If that's all you're doing in Dota then of course it's gonna be boring, but early game aggression, roaming for kills, and tower pushing are really important. It's not just about who can farm their hard carry faster.

I'm playing HotS a bit and enjoying it, but ultimately the high prices of everything (even more so because I'm Canadian and have to deal with a nigh-worthless loonie right now) are going to keep me from investing in it. I'll stick to Mechwarrior Online where I can actually earn significant amounts of money through play or Smite for my MOBA fix since I already own every God forever.

I only spent real money on a mount(cyberwolf-$9.99). But I agree the pricing in Hots is awful for heroes and I would never buy them with real money.
The gold problem though is annoying, in alpha you had a better income of gold... till the point you had nothing to do with them once you got the heroes you wanted.
So they needed a gold sink but the artifact system failed miserably, I hope they're gonna raise the gold income again and find a good gold sink... cause the game doesn't feel to satisfying...

Hmm I didn't find it that bad, I've unlocked about 6-7 characters I've wanted i'll try out others when they go free on rotation. Honestly unless you have to have every toon you can get one of each spec pretty much right off the bat.

You want to know what games are a complete and utter joke? Games that sell gameplay affecting features to you and try to pretend they're a competitive game.

You know what would still be bad? Charging people $120 for all of the heroes. Anyone that willingly rolls over and spends double the going rate for a new game has lost their fucking mind. If Blizzard wants to make extra cash in the future to support continuing updates then sell skins to the dipshits willing to blow all of their money on cosmetic items (note that I'm not talking about individuals occasionally buying a skin here and there over the life of the game, but the small percentage of people with no impulse control that these games not only feed on, but deliberately target and make a concerted effort to separate from as much of their money as possible).

Why do people think you have to have all the heroes? I've been playing the free rotations and concluded there are several like Reghar, Uther and Jaina that I'd never want to play and I'll never buy. So assuming you have four or five heroes you find you really like and switch between, even if they are the expensive ones you've still only paid $50 for the game. Which is what a full price game is to start with. The price for skins is kind of ridiculous though.

I still can't figure out how the pricing is figured out with in-game currency. Some heroes cost as little as 2k gold, which is semi-easily achieved, but others cost as much as 10k and the newest ones cost 15k to unlock. But what's the difference between that 2k and that 10k hero? Why is Uther 7k while Muradin is 2k? For what reason is one more than twice as expensive as the other? It's not their release time since Uther has been in the game since launch, so what makes him so much more expensive? Utility? Skill level?

It's a stupidly arbitrary and needlessly grindy and over-expensive system that seems to have gotten its numbers made up at random for reasons unknown.

Still the pricing is pretty much by biggest complaint with the game, in terms of presentation and gameplay everything is top-notch. Don't think Hots will ever because a big e-sports success story with competition as strong as lol and dota 2 due to its more simplified nature, but even so it's pretty damned fun to play and will almost certainly be a success otherwise once properly released. Just hopefully Blizz will have adjusted and fixed up their pricing system a bit by then.

Do people really not get the junkie/dealer dynamic?

Know why the price is too high? Because we have come to tolerate the JvsD microtrans model for so long that it has become socially accepted. (I mean if its been lampooned on southpark, thats indication that it has to be pretty pervasive)

So Now that all the good little junkies are hooked, then it moves to stage two and thus.. Profit!

Dont like it? Should have listened to people when they complained about it. Instead people clucked their tongues in disdain claiming things like "thats a slippery slope argument. What difference does it make if I want to pay a dollar for a vanity microtransaction that enhances my enjoyment of the game?"

So now that they know they can get you to give them a dollar for functionally nothing, why shouldnt they try to see if they can get you to give them 10? Assureadly someone will and in fact already has.

Actually this is a case where personally I have to applaud blizzard for doing their capitalistic duty of exploiting and gouging their customers. The fault does not lie with them doing what they are supposed to do. The fault lies with those who have financially allowed them to push the envelope to this level.

gamerguyal:

VanQ:
The extra PvE objectives on the map make for an incredibly refreshing escape from the usual MOBA style of sticking to your lane or jungling for 30mins while your carry gets strong enough to carry the rest of the team to victory.

If that's all you're doing in Dota then of course it's gonna be boring, but early game aggression, roaming for kills, and tower pushing are really important. It's not just about who can farm their hard carry faster.

All stuff that is in HotS too. I'm saying the additional objectives on the map on top of the already typically MOBA stuff is refreshing. Just because I didn't specifically list pushing towers or harrassing the other team (which I consider a normal part of laning) specifically, doesn't mean I don't do that.

Denamic:
How do they expect to break though the MOBA market when they're up against 2 vastly more popular games that are also cheaper to play?

'Because they are Blizzard'

would be my guess. they are backing on getting popular by 'divine right' because of WoW.

cept WoW, at the time of release, was a marked improvement to MMOs.

*Poster had to pause writing this post to rinse mount out with gasoline and fire for giving WoW praise*

HotS? not so much, there's as you said, others doing better MOBAs better, cheap and with more interesting character concepts else where.

I mean we got a choice between being The Litch King or being Odin The All Father.

"Be a King? Think not, why be a King, when you can be a God" - Eminem; end of Rap God

Yes, it is slow to unlock characters and grinding games for in-game gold takes a long time... for people playing dozens of games a day, I'm sure it would be extremely frustrating. I think Blizzard is targeting the less hardcore player, the one who just completes their daily quest or quests, then stops playing, to come back the next day for the next quest.

I know personal experiences aren't proof, but I'm enjoying the game a lot, and I think that stems mostly from the fact that I didn't go in expecting it to be League or DOTA. It's a different game, and it plays differently, you need to adapt to an alternate style of play, one where sacrificing personal glory for the sake of the team is the road to victory.

This is just a MOBA noob talking here, so take my words with a grain of salt, but I have been playing a lot of Heroes over the last month, and I've been unlocking characters constantly without difficulty.

The microtransaction system as predicted has gotten worse and more greedy over the last 10+ years as predicted, just as DLC has. It's disgusting sight to see after experiencing the golden age of gaming.

The Madman:
I still can't figure out how the pricing is figured out with in-game currency. Some heroes cost as little as 2k gold, which is semi-easily achieved, but others cost as much as 10k and the newest ones cost 15k to unlock. But what's the difference between that 2k and that 10k hero? Why is Uther 7k while Muradin is 2k? For what reason is one more than twice as expensive as the other? It's not their release time since Uther has been in the game since launch, so what makes him so much more expensive? Utility? Skill level?

It's a stupidly arbitrary and needlessly grindy and over-expensive system that seems to have gotten its numbers made up at random for reasons unknown.

Still the pricing is pretty much by biggest complaint with the game, in terms of presentation and gameplay everything is top-notch. Don't think Hots will ever because a big e-sports success story with competition as strong as lol and dota 2 due to its more simplified nature, but even so it's pretty damned fun to play and will almost certainly be a success otherwise once properly released. Just hopefully Blizz will have adjusted and fixed up their pricing system a bit by then.

I believe that easier-to-use heroes are cheaper. It means that new players can pick up some easy heroes fairly cheaply.

Steven Bogos:
I believe that easier-to-use heroes are cheaper. It means that new players can pick up some easy heroes fairly cheaply.

I thought that too, but Uther is 7k (And has been in the game since the start) and rated as Easy while E.T.C (Also since start) is 2k and rated Normal. Tassadar and Illidan are rated Very Hard and are only 4k, while Azmodan is rated easy and is the full 10k while the Normal difficulty category is all over the place in pricing. It goes on and on. Zeratul meanwhile is another character who's been in the game from the start and yet is the full 10k price, same with Nova, so release date doesn't seem to make much difference on pricing once the initial 15k hurdle has expired.

It makes no sense! I swear blizz just have a dart board somewhere in their offices to decide pricing. It's not determined by release date nor by difficulty, so it's gotta be just blind luck of the dart as far as I can figure.

Alternatively, play the heroes in the rotation and stop giving a crap about skins. Hey presto, free game!

PH3NOmenon:
Alternatively, play the heroes in the rotation...

That is a terrible suggestion. I don't play HotS but I do play LoL, and champions get easier to play once you've had time to practice their last hitting, their builds and their combos and skillshots. Starting over every week is going to make the game harder than if you can find half a dozen champions you like and stick with them.

Steven Bogos:
In LoL, players earn "Influence Points" through normal play. Aside from a "first win of the day" bonus, the rate of IP gain is fairly consistent, with an average of around 110 IP per hour of play. In HoTS, you earn just 20-30 gold per match, with "daily quests" netting you an additional 200-800 gold per day. When you crunch the numbers, you're looking at around 250 gold per hour (although that number does drop off considerably once you've finished your daily quest).

Additionally, heroes in HoTS are still considerably more expensive than their LoL counterparts in their respective free currencies. They range from 2,000-15,000 gold, whereas LoL champions will set you back somewhere between 450-7,800 IP. If we average the champion/hero costs, we can estimate that it will take a whopping 26 hours to unlock a new hero in HoTS through pure playtime, compared to just 17 in LoL.

Um. Sorry to say this Steven, but you really should've checked your math. At your stated 110 IP/hour gain, it would take 57 hours of LoL playtime to earn the 6300 IP required to buy champions in the "highest" cost bracket (7800 IP is only for 1 champion at any given time).

Earning your stated 250 gold per hour, it would take 60 hours of HoTS playtime to get the 15k gold required to buy a character of the highest cost bracket.

So how, exactly, is it true that "heroes in HoTS are still considerably more expensive than their LoL counterparts in their respective free currencies"? It feels to me like you're singling HoTS out here, when their business model is pretty much copy-pasted from LoL.

Zato-1:

Steven Bogos:
In LoL, players earn "Influence Points" through normal play. Aside from a "first win of the day" bonus, the rate of IP gain is fairly consistent, with an average of around 110 IP per hour of play. In HoTS, you earn just 20-30 gold per match, with "daily quests" netting you an additional 200-800 gold per day. When you crunch the numbers, you're looking at around 250 gold per hour (although that number does drop off considerably once you've finished your daily quest).

Additionally, heroes in HoTS are still considerably more expensive than their LoL counterparts in their respective free currencies. They range from 2,000-15,000 gold, whereas LoL champions will set you back somewhere between 450-7,800 IP. If we average the champion/hero costs, we can estimate that it will take a whopping 26 hours to unlock a new hero in HoTS through pure playtime, compared to just 17 in LoL.

Um. Sorry to say this Steven, but you really should've checked your math. At your stated 110 IP/hour gain, it would take 57 hours of LoL playtime to earn the 6300 IP required to buy champions in the "highest" cost bracket (7800 IP is only for 1 champion at any given time).

Earning your stated 250 gold per hour, it would take 60 hours of HoTS playtime to get the 15k gold required to buy a character of the highest cost bracket.

So how, exactly, is it true that "heroes in HoTS are still considerably more expensive than their LoL counterparts in their respective free currencies"? It feels to me like you're singling HoTS out here, when their business model is pretty much copy-pasted from LoL.

I never said "highest" cost bracket, I very clearly said "average" IE: if you added all the champions together and averaged out their costs.

Steven Bogos:
I never said "highest" cost bracket, I very clearly said "average" IE: if you added all the champions together and averaged out their costs.

A'ight then, let's do it by average cost. There's 34 HoTS heroes, which cost a combined total of 229,000 gold; this averages out to 6,735 gold per hero, or 27 hours per hero of average cost for HoTS.

It would take 7800 + 6300*32 + 4800*34 + 3150*24 + 1350*21 + 450*12 = 481,950 IP to buy every LoL champion; 481,950 / 124 = 3886 IP to buy a LoL champion of average cost, which at 110 IP an hour, would take 35 hours. HoTS heroes actually take less time to buy, on average.

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