Blizzard continue to acknowledge the issues that its new MOBA has, so Heroes of the Storm gets new reporting tools, a whole new chunk of them, that will help shape the community, in theory. The competition in the MOBA world has intensified over the years, especially with the growth of League of Legends and DotA 2, so people just want more, but do they want more from the appropriate place?
The thing about MOBAs, or hero brawlers, as Blizz likes to call this one, is that they offer players “the dream” of becoming a gamer superstar. Sounds great, right? Who wouldn’t want to play video games all day, get paid for it and become famous because of it? Teenagers love the idea, so they hop in the game, start learning and fight to become the best of the best. The only “problem” is that these are team games.
League of Legends has been around since 2009 and the company behind it, Riot Games, and its community have promoted solo play a lot. If you are good in League, you can win alone. It is true, to a certain extent. In League you have many variables that you can manipulate to your advantage: you can farm more and get better items, abuse one enemy’s weaknesses, do certain objectives and become stronger. If you are stronger, you have better impact.
Heroes of the Storm, however, introduced the concept of “team level”. This practically means that your entire team contributes to how strong you can be. If the enemy team contributed for a higher overall level, they will all be stronger and all your team will be weaker. There is no solo play in Heroes, you either team play or you increase your chances of losing.
And this is how toxicity appears. People play solo and two things can come out of it: either the solo player insults his entire team or the entire team insults the solo player. The team is dispersed, morale is low and people start leaving the game, they feed intentionally or they simply do not participate in fights, making the game a lot more difficult than it should be.
So Blizzard decided to add the new reporting features. Now you can report people for feeding, leaving the game, assisting the enemy team, spamming insults or nonsense and these players can either be silenced or be placed in long-time queues as punishment. The reporting features are practically copy-pasted form League of Legends, which has the same reporting tools, but it served the community pretty well during the years.
So right now we just have to wait and see if these features will help the Heroes of the Storm Community grow as well, but the waiting might have to occur for a few years. At least that happened with League of Legends.
Photo Credits flickr.com