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

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Zato-1:
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.

Note that the 15k isn't a cost bracket; new characters are briefly 15k before dropping down to 10k(which is, I assume, how the 7800 IP characters work in LoL).

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.

Why would you do that, though? As Grumman suggests, for actual play purposes you'd want to put together a stable of half a dozen or so characters. If you're doing that, then your worst-case scenario is 240 hours for six 10k heroes vs. 340 hours for six 6300 IP champions.

If we assume a 10k hero is the equivalent of a 6300 IP champion, we get a conversion rate of approximately 1.5 gold per 1 IP. This conversion rate holds up fairly well climbing down the price brackets. At that rate, 250 gold per hour is way better than 110 IP for hour. LoL comes out ahead in the end because they have an additional bottom bracket; the 450 IP champions would be roughly equivalent to a 750 gold hero.

theNater:

Zato-1:
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.

Note that the 15k isn't a cost bracket; new characters are briefly 15k before dropping down to 10k(which is, I assume, how the 7800 IP characters work in LoL).

Yeah, I realized this while looking at all of the hero costs for HoTS when making my second post. 10k gold is the "highest" cost bracket for HoTS, in the same way that 6300 IP is the "highest" cost bracket for LoL. Whether by average cost or for the highest cost tier, HoTS heroes take less time to buy with in-game currency than LoL champions do. Though as you mentioned, LoL does have one tier of ultra-cheap champions which HoTS does not.

Grumman:

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.

I play HotS, haven't paid a dime and it's a good and accessible game. Builds and combo's and skillshots are a lot less obtuse than they are in LoL. You could "master" a hero in an afternoon, easily.

Also, you do get some gold at the start (it's even referenced in the OP: 6k very early on), buy one of the cheaper champions and "learn" that one, if you're so inclined. I think I'm up to 10k gold now, which is almost enough to buy any hero I want but thus far, I haven't really cared enough about any specific hero to invest in them.

The only thing I can think of where it'd be annoying, is if you play with a team of friends and you want to try very specific team builds. You'd be holding your friends back by not having heroes available, and I'm not knowledgeable enough about the meta to tell you how much of an impact that'd have in HotS. It *feels* like heroes are mostly interchangeable though, assassin heroes benefit from support, and it doesn't really matter which support hero that is.

And no matter how many rationalizations of "It's totally possible to pay nothing", fact of the matter remains that at the end of the day, I can still play DotA2 and every single hero is right there waiting for me.

animeprime:
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.

It's blizzard doing the balancing, friend. You'll never know from patch to patch whether the hero you've just grinded a week and a half for will still be playable or whether the heroes you previously laughed at will be godly.

viranimus:
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.

Bear in mind that the cost per each unit generally decreases in these games when you buy more lots of currency up front, much like it does with your comparison.

Waht I'd like to know is what they've been doing so far as far as wipes go. Did they wipe progress after alpha ended? Did they accept payment in alpha? Are they accepting payment in Beta? Have they stated anything about their plans for wiping at release?

Atmos Duality:
And no matter how many rationalizations of "It's totally possible to pay nothing", fact of the matter remains that at the end of the day, I can still play DotA2 and every single hero is right there waiting for me.

Yep, i have no clue why all dotalike games don't do this and just sell skins for money but whatever floats peoples boats. I even had a guy argue with me once how buying champions and having free rotations is good because you can slowly learn heroes and see what you like. How can that compete with having them all unlocked since day 1 is beyond me

SecondPrize:

Waht I'd like to know is what they've been doing so far as far as wipes go. Did they wipe progress after alpha ended? Did they accept payment in alpha? Are they accepting payment in Beta? Have they stated anything about their plans for wiping at release?

They accepted payment in Alpha and during Alpha there were wipes. Any purchase was refunded in gold (like with Hearthstone). During Beta Blizzard announced not doing anymore wipes.

SecondPrize:
Waht I'd like to know is what they've been doing so far as far as wipes go. Did they wipe progress after alpha ended? Did they accept payment in alpha? Are they accepting payment in Beta? Have they stated anything about their plans for wiping at release?

As I recall, they had one wipe back in September(within the alpha). They did and are accepting payment, and refunded all monies paid into the Battle.net Balance at the wipe. They have stated that they do not intend any more wipes, and that even if they do wipe at some point, real money purchases will not be reset again.

No fucking way. $120 is way too much. It's ridiculous how so many "free to play" games end up costing way more than a normal game to play properly.
I think you're being a little too generous to League. League has the additional problem that runes cost in-game currency, at least one additional rune page is important to hit your "ceiling," and each page costs around 55 hours of gameplay before you factor in the runes to actually fill it out. Also, most of the top-tier champions are either 4800 or 6300 ip, which means, again, a minimum of 40 hours per champion. You need at least 2 or 3 champions you can plausibly play for at least 3 of the 5 major roles, so that's almost 300 hours minimum just to earn the in-game currency required to be minimally competitive. Dota 2 does it best, but it has a steeper learning curve, albeit with a more helpful community than you'd see in LoL.

Blizzard overpricing things? How's that even news? Even their decades old prices aren't dropping that fast.

It is a fun game but getting any other characters is just crazy. You didn't mention that most of the skins can be purchased with ONLY money. Thus far I've gotten a character or two but only when they were on 'sale' for like $4 which felt more reasonable.

Hell, at least with HotS you buy a hero with money instead of buying more points than you need to buy a hero, so that is nice. (Not that I would spend money on something like that anyway)

As for the price of the heroes with gold, I haven't really encountered a problem. I got Nova (10,000 gold) within only a few hours of playtime, and she (with the exception of the Lost Vikings) is one of the most expensive heroes in the game.

That being said, each to their own. I have a lot of time on my hands, and I am not overly bothered about getting new heroes often as I tend to stick with a single hero for a while, but I can certainly see why it would be frustrating for a player with very little time on their hands if it takes them hours upon hours to grind for the gold.

Still though, DotA 2's option of "all heroes are available now and forever" trumps all other options. So I guess that wins overall anyway, no contest.

Blizz gives you enough gold early on to pick up a main. A rotating roster of free characters gives you variety. Daily quests let you spice things up anyway. What exactly is the problem here?

Yeah, it'd be nice if it were cheaper, but there's nothing you can't say that about. I'm not seeing any real evidence that HotS characters are too expensive. (Skins... on the other hand...)

Travis Fischer:
Blizz gives you enough gold early on to pick up a main. A rotating roster of free characters gives you variety. Daily quests let you spice things up anyway. What exactly is the problem here?

Yeah, it'd be nice if it were cheaper, but there's nothing you can't say that about. I'm not seeing any real evidence that HotS characters are too expensive. (Skins... on the other hand...)

I wouldn't really say that skins are expensive, either. Hell, look at LoL, they just released a skin that costs £18 (or $30), yet the most expensive skin in HotS is £10. Even so, HotS at least gives you some variety with how your hero looks without dropping a dime. You get 3 colour variations with every skin, including the basic skin, and then there is a master skin that you can purchase with in-game currency. There is less of a reason to buy a skin in HotS than there is in any other MOBA, and I appreciate that.

Not that I am saying they shouldn't be cheaper, I like spending less money, but with the competition, I would say that HotS is actually quite generous.

"Heck, even $120 for all Heroes included in the game at launch wouldn't be too bad of a deal."

Who thinks this? $120 is enough for two full-price games, it's absolutely outrageous to charge this much from people for what is effectively a set of playable characters.

Bogos is right in saying that a free to play system with cosmetic purchases would be the best, and its one of the reasons DOTA2 is so popular. Charging for each individual character effectively makes the game pay to win and is downright criminal if you're going to charge what Blizzard is charging.

HoTS is going to have much less champions than LoL has. What does it really matter if it takes a couple of hours more to unlock one? It's probably going to take less time to unlock the whole cast compared to LoL anyway. Not that I am defending HoTS, I think if you played one Moba you played them all - I'm not interested in HoTS. It's just that the criticism doesn't seem really fair here.

Zato-1:

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.

Hey there. Thanks for taking the time to try and help me out with this. I could have sworn by 27 hr figure for LoL was correct, so I went back and double checked all my numbers. It seems that my math was flawed... but not in the way you thought!

The error I made was in ip gain/hour. The 110 number is incorrect - that is my figure for base IP gain without any modifiers. For the record: For a win: 18 IP + 2.312 per minute IP. For a loss: 16 IP + 1.405 per minute IP. Average between the two is 2.312 + 1.405 = 1.8585. 60 minutes * 1.8585 = 111.51IP an hour.

However, considering that average game time is 35 minutes, and the first win of the day bonus is 150, you'd get 17 IP X 1.71 times an hour for an average of 29.14 IP an hour. 111.51 + 29.14 = 140.51IP an hour.

With a 50% win rate playing 2 hours (3.5 games) we get: 140.51 * 2 = 281.02 + 150 = 215.51 IP per hour. Just like in HOTS, the IP gain per hour drops quite a bit after you have exhausted your first win of the day bonus, but we are assuming that the majority of players don't really play more than 2 hrs a day.

TL;DR the error was in the 110 IP/hr figure I had posted, which I have amended in the main article. Thanks!

Steven Bogos:
TL;DR the error was in the 110 IP/hr figure I had posted, which I have amended in the main article. Thanks!

Your amendment is a bit confusing, because the "aside from a "first win of the day" bonus" seems to suggest your per hour number isn't including the win of the day bonus.

Of course, given that both games have a daily bonus, calculating per hour is...odd. Your hourly rate changes as the day goes on. How about we analyze daily income, assuming players are trying to be most efficient(that is, gain the daily bonus every day, then sign off). You can work your way through your quest log in Heroes reliably by playing 3 games a day. The quest gives an average of 355, and a 50% win rate gives an additional 25 per game, for 75 more; a daily total of 430 gold. On the other hand, LoL's daily bonus is 150, and with our 50% win rate, we'll assume two games to get that. If LoL games average 35 minutes, then you get about 150 from your two games, plus the 150 for the first win bonus; a daily total of 300 IP.

Add in the average costs Zato-1 provides, and we get that it takes just shy of 16 days for a Hero of the Storm, and just shy of 13 days for a LoL champion. If you want a highest-tier character, it's just over 23 days for the Hero and 22 for the champion. That's really comparable.

Steven Bogos:
Blizzard has always been about making its games as fun and accessible to as many players as possible, and as it stands right now, it's just not possible for the average player who can't sink a whole lot of cash and time into the game to fully enjoy it.

Haha nope. Blizzard are all about gouging their customers and getting away with it because they're the biggest and most popular fish in the pond.

Look at WoW, to my knowledge the ONLY standard MMO (i.e not Eve Online which is ANYTHING but standard) still charging a monthly subscription fee AS WELL as requiring you to pay for it upfront.

Look at Hearthstone, the ONLY online CCG where you get absolutely nothing for losing and very, VERY little for winning to make it harder to grind for packs without paying, as well as using a disingenous and dishonest rarity system to sell you the stingiest boosters in existence (4 commons and an uncommon, which they call a "rare").

Blizzard are going to keep the prices of HotS heroes at an asininely high price and people are going to lap it up and give them their money anyway because it's Blizzard.

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