Many games today allow some sort of access before an official release. The benefit is that gamers get to play the game and give their feedback which developers then use to improve the overall game experience. Very recently, Blizzard added Artifacts to Heroes of the Storm. Feedback from the community has led them to scrapping the system.
Simply put, Artifacts were a way for players to customise their heroes, kind of like the League of Legends rune system. For example, I could choose to spend gold on an artifact which would reduce the cooldown times of my abilities. It’s clearly something the community didn’t want, and Blizzard have detailed their response over at Battle.net:
Artifacts were designed to provide you with a meaningful way to spend gold, while also providing additional options to customize your heroes. We wanted to test artifacts in the Alpha to find out if the system fulfilled those goals. As testing began, many of you voiced concerns around fairness issues, “correct build” issues, balance, new player tension, and other issues that made it clear that artifacts weren’t working as intended. We agree—those issues started to outweigh the benefits of the system. As a result, we have decided to remove the artifact system from Heroes of the Storm
I can understand why the system got such a negative response. Heroes of the Storm is easily the most beginner friendly MOBA I have played. Adding such a system may scare away newcomers, not to mention giving those with higher levels a slight advantage in actual gameplay. In terms of gold, I hated the idea. I already have to save up to unlock heroes. Spending on anything else would just be a nuisance.
Another recent system is also getting a slight change. When I started playing the game, you could pretty much choose whatever talent you wanted. The last significant update removed this freedom, only allowing complete talent selection after a person had played a hero a good few times. The community have also found this unnecessary, leading to Blizzard changing the rate of unlocking talents.
We’ve also seen a lot of feedback about changes we made to the talent unlocking system with our most recent patch. Our intention was to gradually expose new players to heroes and their talents, with meaningful progression that could be obtained relatively quickly on a per-hero basis. Since making this change, many of you have shared your frustration with the time it takes to unlock a hero’s talents. Beginning with today’s scheduled patch, reaching hero level 4 will be more than three times faster than the original implementation
This change doesn’t really make sense to me. It was ideal for newcomers, easing them into the more complicated talent builds a hero may have. Regardless, I’m happy to see that Blizzard are serious about their community, implementing changes according to the feedback they receive.