Heroes of the Storm has historically lagged behind its largest competitors. So what do you when you can't really compete head-to-head? Try something different.
In today's Heroes of the Storm at PAX East, its developers talked about how they want to build up the Nexus as a setting in its own right. The idea is to build on the lore of the Blizzardverse and explore some of the more interesting opportunities that it offers.
"[Fleshing out the Nexus] unlocks a broader story: How did these realms come to be? How are they are connected? And why," production director Kaeo Milker said.
This will be accomplished in a variety of ways. Blizzard is preparing a comic called Rise of the Raven Lord, which will reveal the story of the force behind the Cursed Hollow map. In-game events will reveal more of the narrative. Even skins will be used to highlight what factions the heroes favor.
As part of the discussion, Blizzard revealed some new concept art, including another look at "Neo-Stormwind," a futuristic version of the familiar Alliance city that was originally teased back in January. These sorts of twists will be the norm in a setting where basically anything goes.
This moves comes as Heroes of the Storm continues to try to find its niche within the Blizzard family. While reasonably successful in its own right, it's largely failed to gain traction as an eSport that can compete with the likes of Dota 2.
I wrote a year ago that Heroes of the Storm has finally turned a corner from a gameplay perspective, but most of the momentum from its big 2017 reboot seems to have dissipated. Blizzard's new narrative push is indicative of a competitive game that's still trying to find itself.
In the meantime, Blizzard revealed that Deckard Cain will be joining the Heroes of the Stom roster. Look for Heroes of the Storm to introduce both Deckard Cain and the new narrative elements later this month.