Heroes of the Storm Enters Final Alpha
Blizzard announced that it has brought the Heroes of the Storm client back online to ramp up the final Technical Alpha, which also comes with a whole new pile of patch notes for the testers and outsiders like myself to sift through to form a picture as to what the final play test will look like. While this is available today for North American players, European players can get their hands on the client tomorrow. That is, if you have one of those magical invites. All players, regardless of location, have had their accounts reset, and gold purchases refunded. Prepare to get your MOBA on from scratch, all over again. However, Blizzard has stated that this is their last planned wipe, keyword planned. Since this is still fairly early in the playtest cycle, it is fully possible that another wipe will be needed. Any purchases made in the store, whether with real cash or in-game currency, are permanent from here on out.
What this likely means is that that elusive club of alpha testers won't be able to play for a bit, as the client is brought down. During this downtime, we can expect Blizzard to add in some extra changes to Heroes of the Storm, like polish, gameplay fixes and other changes based on feedback. Sometime while the client is offline, we should also expect to hear when the game will be available for closed beta, and if we're extra super duper lucky, we'll even get a roadmap out of Blizzard. I know, I know. I'm probably reaching too hard with that one. I might not be too far off with that, though, considering how well put together these patch notes are, which also include future details, where applicable, like the details for Wonder Billie:
- Players will receive the Wonder Billie Mount for making any real-money purchase during Alpha and Closed Beta testing.
- Players who receive the Wonder Billie Mount will also receive an exclusive Wonder Billie portrait.
- The Wonder Billie Mount will no longer be awarded for purchases made once Open Beta testing begins.
Just in case you're wondering when Blizzard will finally send a sweet, sweet invite your way (GOSH BLIZZARD HOW CAN YOU DENY...that person), the Calm Before the Storm blog post has been updated with information saying that Blizzard is getting ready to make the switch from their current tech to production servers, which will mean that they'll have even more invites to be able to dole out to their community to bring more people into various testing stages. They say that this is a key step to transition into later stages of testing, so it is unclear as to whether or not moving to production servers will happen during this final alpha playtest. If I were to make a wild stab in the dark and guess here, I'd say it's safe to assume that this server migration won't happen until the final alpha is over and Blizzard takes Heroes of the Storm offline. At least, that's what makes the most sense to me, but my brain has been known to have its dumb moments from time to time.
One thing that I see mentioned not only in the Heroes of the Storm community, but others as well (lookin' at you, League of Legends players), is the addition of the Replay system. Yesterday, they put up a blog post detailing the Replay System, as well as the Observer UI and Custom Games. This initial system has been added in at its very first stage, which should be expected to change and tweak over the rest of the testing stages. Be sure to get in there and test the system, and don't forget to submit any relevant bugs and feedback! From the patch notes:
- Initial implementation for the Heroes of the Storm Replay System has been added.
- Replays can be access by clicking the Watch button, which is now enabled on the menu navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.
- Select a Replay from the list, and then click Watch Solo in the bottom left corner of the screen to launch the Replay.
- After launching a Replay, use the controls in the lower left corner of the screen to Pause or Resume (P), speed up (=), or slow down (-) playback. Click anywhere on the Replay Timeline (T) to navigate to that point in the Replay.
The the complete picture, head on over to the complete patch notes. If you don't have access to the client yet, it's probably not a good idea to let Blizzard know about it in the comments section. Maybe use that space to leave feedback based on the notes instead? Got anything about the patch notes or Heroes of the Storm in general you want to talk about? Let us know in the comments section below this article!