Heroes of the Storm will offer players enough to differentiate it from League of Legends or Dota 2, Blizzard believes.
Speaking with CVG during BlizzCon 2013, the firm's Alan Dabiri said Heroes of the Storm will likely win over the MOBA audience with its mechanics, and the game's unique gamplay feature, Battlegrounds.
"I'm not concerned about other people in the industry and other people in this space," he said. We're just focused on making a fun, great game. Pretty much every game we've ever released has been in a space where other people have games of the same type. When we released StarCraft or Warcraft there were plenty of RTS games, World of Warcraft is the same and even Hearthstone, there's plenty of card games out there.
"We always take that experience and put a Blizzard flavor on it and I think that people have come to appreciate that. Personally, I think that it's shown through the years that we've been able to succeed at that, but there's a lot of other mechanics, we learned this from our other games, that we can have all these other cool gameplay elements built into the maps themselves to make the game more interesting."
Dabiri said the MOBA's Battleground feature will allow for different strategies and choices with each one, providing a "different experience."
During BlizzCon, the team showed four of the battlegrounds off, one of which was Blackheart’s Bay - a ghostly pirate ship taking up residence in the center of the arena.
According to the description, treasure chests of gold coins spawn periodically on either side of the battleground and players can either collect or steal them from enemy players to pay tribute to Blackheart. Once enough tribute is paid, he’ll train the ship’s cannons on enemy fortifications for damage.
More details about how the business model works will be discussed in the future, but players will be able to unlock heroes and other content just by playing the game. Cosmetic upgrades like skins, equipment, and mounts will be available. New heroes will also be released over time, along with new battlegrounds, though battlegrounds will probably be freely available to all players.
It's also possible that additional talent options for existing heroes could be available as unlockable content.
Specific plans for post-launch support will also be announced later along with a release date.
Heroes of the Storm beta sign ups are live, and you can sign up here through Battle.net.