Blizzard has released Heroes of the Storm that introduces Artifacts, the relics and trinkets you'll be using to tweak your chosen hero to your exact specifications.for its cross-IP MOBA title
Interestingly, this item shopping for minor statistical bonuses is also the bit in most MOBA games where I lose interest and wander off to see what's in the fridge.
"Your first Artifact slot, the Gem Artifact Slot, unlocks at Player Level 15," explains Blizzard, "and there are two additional Artifact Slots that you can unlock thereafter by paying Gold. These additional Artifact Slots are known as the Relic and Trinket Artifact Slots. They cost 2,000 Gold each to unlock, and can be purchased in any order."
You can fill out each of these three categories with various different Artifacts that all offer slightly different bonuses - better basic attack damage, speedier cool-downs, more health and so on. Once you've decided on your loadout you can spend money won in battles to level them up, increasing the potency of the buff.
"Purchasing the first level of an Artifact will cost you 100 Gold,"
"Purchasing the first level of an Artifact will cost you 100 Gold,"say Blizzard, "and each further upgrade will cost you an additional 100 gold. For example, upgrading an Artifact’s rank from Artifact Level 1 to Artifact Level 2 will cost you 200 Gold, and upgrading an Artifact’s rank from Artifact Level 2 to Artifact Level 3 will cost you 300 Gold, and so on up to Artifact Level 9, which will cost 1,000 Gold to upgrade to Artifact Level 10."
Heroes of the Storm is sticking pretty close to accepted MOBA conventions here, which is a little bit of a shame. The item system described is not much different from the one first introduced in League of Legends way back in 2009. Is it enough to simply hope people's fondness for Blizzard characters and worlds will edge Heroes of the Storm into contention in the notoriously sewn-up MOBA market? I'm not so sure.
Since the game is still in alpha testing however, there's always the chance Blizzard will jazz things up a bit before the game's ready to be released in full.