Heroes of the Storm was just released and is being called a casual MOBA - comparing it to DOTA 2 or LoL is somewhat like Hearthstone to M:TG. Or as one review compared, Super Smash Brothers to Street Fighter 4. It’s geared towards being easier to pick up, less punishing, and more focused on team success than individual success. PC Gamer slideshow comparing the differences. Metacritic reviews page
No last hitting/denial, teams level up as a group, the maps available are very different and map objectives are a key part of the game, individual feeding and carrying are less of a factor, branching talent tree instead of items, a bigger emphasis on doing things as a team, games aimed for 15-30 minutes rather than 45-60.
I’ve not put much time into any MOBAs because of the generally toxic communities and the feeling that I’d have to dedicate too much time to even begin to get good at them - joining DOTA 2 or LoL now and not knowing what any of the 8000 heroes can do would make me feel lost for quite a long time - but I’m considering getting in on the ground floor of a new one where I wouldn’t be massively behind everyone else.
It sounds like Blizzard is trying to breed a less toxic community with the mechanisms that are less individually rewarding/punishing and more team oriented - hard to say if it’ll work, but since the traditional MOBA crowd would stab your mother in the face if you make a wrong move, I could buy that they’ll engender a somewhat less toxic crowd as the people who get that into the games will flock to the “hardcore” MOBAs they’re already on.
The monetization is more LoL than DOTA 2 unfortunately, having to buy heroes with free hero weeks on rotation as well as cosmetics. DOTA 2 monetization seems at first glance to me to be very generous and this won’t be.
I like the emphasis on making the maps much more part of the dynamic flow of a game rather than just a plain checkerboard on which heroes fight each other. The different maps all play differently with differing objectives and dynamic events that affect the outcome of the game. That seems like more fun and more varied than traditional MOBA maps which are basically just the same generic static background you play on every time.
Anyway, if you want to play together, post your blizzard (and/or steam) ID to the thread. The game isn’t on steam, but most gamers use steam as a chat client anyway, so it’s more reliable to contact them there. I’m SenorBeef#1394 on Blizzard and SenorBeef on steam. I haven’t actually tried it yet, so it may turn out I don’t like it, in which case everyone can organize games amongst themselves.