Over the past few weeks, I’ve been plugging in a lot of time into Blizzard’s MOBA, Heroes of the Storm. Now that I’ve hit level 30, I’m giving the more competitive side of the game, Hero League and Team League, some proper loving. They’re both the same thing really, except Team League is designed to be played with a full group of 5. Hero League, till now, could be played with up to 4 people in a party. Blizzard have now gone and chopped that number down.
Their reasoning is the following (via the HotS Blog):
When we look at the data for parties of three and four players in Hero League, we often see large skill gaps among party members. This is fine for players in a party of four, for example, who have agreed to queue together despite any differences in skill that may exist. However, the matchmaker needs to complete the team by pulling in a fifth player who queued up alone, and did not necessarily want to play with teammates of varying skill levels.
This can also create situations in which party members will discuss strategy with each other, but don’t end up communicating the game plan to their fifth teammate. On the other end of the spectrum, solo players may disagree with the party’s decisions, or show unwillingness to help the team. This can result in a friction for both sides if communication doesn’t improve.
I can kind of understand that. I mean, I get that yes, if there are 4 people playing together, they tend to make all the decisions together as a group, and ignore whatever suggestions the solo player may have.
The problem I foresee now however, in a team made up of solo players and pairs, is that communication and decision making will now be a free-for-all. Is that really the better option?
Personally, I would much rather be a solo player and get lumped with another group of 4 randoms (who are more likely to work together if they’re friends), as opposed to being placed in a team with too many people making the calls. This is the problem with MOBAs in general though I suppose. The best way to play, no matter which game is being played (whether it be Dota 2, LoL, or HotS), is in a full team of five.
This may not be a permanent change to Heroes of the Storm. It is Blizzard – if they find that the system isn’t working, they’ll revert it back to what it was before. Maybe I’m completely wrong… perhaps this change will make HotS a better game overall.
What do you think? A great change, or an annoying one? I’ve had many situations where my friends and I only make up a group of 4. I guess we’ll have to settle for general matchmaking until a 5th mate appears, at least if we want to play competitively
Last Updated: September 3, 2015