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What was once known as “Blizzard DOTA” is now taking shape as Heroes of the Storm, which is their valiant attempt at breaking into this mega-popular genre. The game has now entered the Technical Alpha stage, and more players have received access recently. But even now, there are a lot of things that can be said about this game which should be applicable even at its release. They are general concepts and ideas that are in its core gameplay.
Heroes of the Storm is being pushed as a more casual experience than established titles like League of Legends and Dota 2. While Blizzard is still changing things up, the core gameplay has now been established and we can now look deeper into how this game works, which will feel a bit different for MOBA veterans.
The following tips are meant to make the transition a bit easier, whether you’ve been playing MOBAs for years or just getting into it for the first time.
Even though it is Blizzard’s entry into the MOBA genre, this game doesn’t play out exactly like the others. Its design attempts to encourage more team-oriented play through ways that make it different from its counterparts. This is done through different core gameplay mechanics made for this purpose.
First of all is shared experience gain, which means that no matter how many creeps you last-hit, it’s not going to make you level up any faster. As long as you stay close to a kill, you can get experience points off of that. This means that there’s no incentive in focusing on just killing while your teammates are doing something else. You can also find merceneries and beat them in a fight to make them join your side for a while, which can be helpful as well.
All of your hero’s skills except for the ultimate are available at level 1, so you have full range of capabilities with Q, W, and E skills right off the bat. This makes for a more dynamic early game, so you can expect heroes ganking each other right at the first minute. It also helps beginners learn how to play their heroes as soon as they get into a game.
There are also no items to speak of. Instead, you get Traits, which are inherent with each hero. You get to pick between 3-5 Traits with every 3 levels, which then modify your hero’s stats and/or skills. You don’t have to keep going home to buy new items; you can just pick the Trait that you want and keep fighting.
These features help make games in Heroes of the Storm much faster than those of most other MOBAs, since there’s little to no downtime and eliminates distractions that may keep players from wanting to cooperate with their teammates.
Despite best intentions in its design, it’s still very easy to lose in this game due to a wayward team member who goes off to get kills on his own instead of focusing on the objectives. Not only is this in-game behavior toxic in the long run, but it also the closest thing to an auto-lose that you’ll get in the game.
This has to be the single most important element in this game, no matter what map you’re in or whoever you’re playing with. Cooperation isn’t optional, but an absolute necessity in this game, so don’t go off being a hero on your own, especially since you gain no extra gold or experience from killing all on your own.
The only real benefit to killing enemy creeps and heroes so is to make things easier for your team, so go forth into fights as one. If you’re able to maintain team cohesion, then you should be alright for the most part.
Team cohesion is very important here, and having your teammates present on voice chat or in person gives your team a decisive advantage. But if you only have text chat, then get used to typing status updates, instructions, and suggestions through it in the middle of a game.
Staying quiet makes you a liability on the team, so get used to making yourself heard whenever you can during the game. Not only does this game help you become a better gamer, but also better at communication skills, which is something that MOBAs encourage.
Heroes of the Storm is no different in its emphasis on team dynamics and communication. It’s also at least 90% part of having fun with other players; it’s not a singleplayer game.
Unlike most other MOBAs, this game has different maps to choose from, with each having its own objectives and unique features. This means that for each map, different strategies and play styles apply. This is very different from the norm in MOBAs, which is a specific set of strategies are applicable since most players usually play only one map (like Summoner’s Rift in LoL).
Knowing the maps you’re going to play in is crucial since you have to know immediately where to go at any given situation, as well as be able to reach your teammates quickly when you need to. You also get to coordinate strategies better with your team if you understand the lay of the land.
As always with any MOBA with a whole roster of different heroes, you can try out just about every one of them and hone in on who is the best among them for you. Every player has a different preference and play style, and certain heroes would fit that better than others.
It’s good to have a staple hero or two under your belt, based on the type of role that you tend to play frequently. Being able to have fun in exploring the possibilities within the game in your own way usually precedes the process of optimizing your play and finding what works best for you.
This process is a big part of enjoying this game, and there’s a whole community of people who can help you and have fun with along the way.
This may sound like some cheesy way to end a guide like this, but it seems that it’s easy to forget this one thing that should be done with any kind of game. Playing is all about having fun and sharing it with others, but you see people raging and stressing out in MOBAs all the time. It’s good to win, but it’s no good if you’re just berating teammates and trashtalking opponents when you’re supposed to be having fun.
The good thing about Heroes of the Storm is that Blizzard is doing their best to make it more of a casual experience that doesn’t need as much energy and seriousness in order to have fun. If you’re someone who has been apprehensive about getting into the MOBA genre, then perhaps you could start here and see if it’s any better for you.