Heroes of the Storm Skins

No Gifts for You! Why Heroes Doesn’t Have Gifting

Dec 19, 2016

Last week I wrote an article on China’s new laws about regulating randomized chests. Since then I’ve been looking into various MOBAs and their buying and trading systems. One game that stood out to me was Heroes of the Storm and their lack of in-game trading. Whenever I think of Blizzard and trading I think of the crazy Diablo III marketplace. Flashbacks aside, why doesn’t Heroes have a gifting function?

Blizzard Trading Features in game

One MOBA to rule them all

There was a good discussion on Reddit regarding this issue and many of the users concluded that the lack of trading was due to how new the game is. Heroes of the Storm is one of the newest MOBAs and has been playing catch up with games like League, Dota 2 and Smite. This just feels like an excuse that the community is buying. Blizzard’s Diablo III had an online market feature that was broken but at least they attempted the feature.

Loss of Profit

It’s a valid thought to consider that perhaps the developer’s have more on their plate than programming such a feature. The reality is that installing a feature that lets players trade items will lose Blizzard money. Players will end up trading skins or mounts to eachother instead of physically purchasing the items themselves. While this would not account for a monumental loss of income, there would be a decline in online purchases.

Trading or betting?

From an objective standpoint, I understand Blizzard’s current decision. You can see what happens when you institute trading or gifting in-game from games like Dota 2. Valve currently has lawsuits against them for allowing illegal gambling because their gifting/trading system is being used for betting. It’s the same situation with CS:GO. I don’t think Blizzard wants another Diablo III situation nor do they want the gambling issue that Valve currently has. Is there a happy medium? Can we find a way to allow players to send their coolest mount to their friends without the gambling?

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I personally think email codes would be a happy medium between simply gifting items to friends and not having trading at all. Ideally, if I was the developer, I would create a way for players to send an item in-game to a friend. This would be sent through email to the receiver with a 20 digit code in the email. A lot of games have codes for the Beta’s or for exclusive mounts and it would allow players to easily receive items.

Codes for Items in Heroes of the Storm

What do you think? Is there a way to have gifting or trading in Heroes of the Storm without breaking the game? Can Blizzard find a happy medium between the game-breaking Diablo 3 marketplace and Valve’s gambling issues?

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As the quintessential nerd, Gillian comes from a childhood of band camps, video games and fandoms. It wasn't until being introduced to Dota 2 that she realized how passionate she was about MOBA’s and eSports. If she’s not watching Twitch or writing about the latest MOBA community drama, she can be found making lattes or supporting the carry in Dota 2.
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