Heroes of the Storm is struggling. Not in the sense of it being a complete and utter failure, but in order to continue poking jabs at Riot Games and League of Legends, Blizzard needs to continuously update its MOBA competitor to add new features and content. This is exactly what version 2.0 has done. We've taken the new release for a spin and it feels great.
Chests, chests, chests!
The immediate change noticed upon logging in is the revamped user interface for the store and collection. The company has moved a few things around, which should make access various locations that little bit more convenient. And this needed to be done with the new loot system that has been deployed.
After reaching a new level with any given hero, a chest is awarded to the player. These chests play into RNG (randomized number generation) to unlock cool new gear, be it the new emojis, booster packs, skins, heroes, and more. There's a new currency system too. Gone are the days of seeing real-world currency, which helps allow Blizzard to reward players with more valuable loot from said chests.
It's a massive change for the game and now makes the whole experience feel more rewarding, even if you happen to be on a losing spree. "I just lost my tenth game in a row, but did manage to unlock this badass-looking Diablo skin." I actually do not mind losing games as much as before, and any duplicate items you receive will be broken down into shards for other gear.
Free MEGA bundle
To get everyone started with this new update, Blizzard even went as far as to offer limited time hero bundles for free. Until May 22, logging into Heroes of the Storm will reward players with 100 gems that can be used to permanently unlock one of four mega bundles (with 20 heroes). This is perfect should you be focused on a style of play and not have any other heroes unlocked, but wish to give them a go.
- Assasin bundle
- Flex bundle
- Support & specialist bundle
- Tank & bruiser bundle
If you have yet to try out Heroes of the Storm as awhole, this is also a great time to get started and take advantage of this free offer.
2.0 and beyond
To make our lives easier when it comes to switching between heroes, Blizzard has developed a new loadout system where you can save up to three loadouts per hero. Everything including mounts, banners, announcer voice, and skins can be configured. It's well-implemented. How one gains new levels has also been tweaked. Instead of earning XP for both heroes and your main account, Blizzard has made it so your account level is now a total of all your hero levels combined.
Here are some other new additions that made it in 2.0:
- 73 new skins.
- A new map called Hanamura.
- New Overwatch hero called Genji.
- New sprays and banners.
- New voice lines.
- New portraits.
- Match history and other stats.
- Read the full version 2.0 release notes
Has this addressed some of the issues we all had with the game when it came out of beta? A fair few points have been fixed, but time will tell if this is enough to draw in not only new players but urge veterans to re-install the game and get involved. Blizzard has accomplished one thing with 2.0 and that is preventing me from firing up League of Legends. I'm excited to see what the company has planned for future updates and how a stronger push into eSports can help grow the community.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.