My Personal Thoughts on Heroes of the Storm as an Avid LoL Gamer
Guest Post By TheShadeBlade
Presented By HeroesOfTheStormBuildGuide.com
I’m known as TheShadeBlade in Heroes of the Storm and Katrian in League of Legends. Currently, I am ranked Platinum and ended last season as Platinum 1 after being dropped out of Diamond for inactivity during the last couple of months of the ranked season in League. I have been an avid MOBA player for the past 4 years and have experience in some of the most popular MOBAs to hit the gaming community. In my personal opinion, Heroes of the Storm has put its own unique twist on the MOBA scene and will be a big breakthrough for the casual player.
HotS Battlegrounds: A New Experience With Every Map
Stepping into Heroes of the Storm, the biggest change that has set this game apart from League of Legends and other similar MOBAs is the fact that they offer quite a few different maps to play on. League of Legends only offers a single 5v5 map, and then two less competitive maps that are hardly played. Heroes of the Storm randomizes the map that players are thrown into, which requires adaptability and strategy to achieve victory as each map has a unique set of objectives. This keeps the game interesting, and will be a big factor in professional play once Heroes of the Storm finally hits release and is able to make their mark in eSports.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We took a few weeks to get this published. Apologies.. Heroes Of The Storm is now officially out as a full release and the Eternal Conflict Diablo-themed content will be part of the ongoing efforts to draw in new players. We’re very excited about what Blizzard is doing here! ~Yogizilla
Heroes Of The Storm Talent Trees & Customization
Customization is an important part of gaming that mixes things up a little from time to time, and it’s sadly something that has been hammered down in popular MOBA games for balancing reasons. With the introduction of talent trees, Heroes of the Storm may be the most customizable MOBA game on the market.
You’ll see a lot more comebacks in Heroes of the Storm due to this system, and that’s something that I like to see in a MOBA so that the game isn’t entirely reliant on snowballing past the early game.
Talents also seem to play an important role in strategy and can really be useful against counter-picks. You are able to alter your playstyle within game, which can be used to counter the enemy’s strategy. For example, if you’re a squishy ranged hero up against a team of assassins you’re usually going to have a bad time. In League of Legends, you’d basically be useless since you’d be obliterated every fight without much hope of surviving unless you team has a bunch of crowd control from champ selection. In Heroes of the Storm, you can put talents into survivability to counter this type of strategy which gives you a fighting chance. You’ll see a lot more comebacks in Heroes of the Storm due to this system, and that’s something that I like to see in a MOBA so that the game isn’t entirely reliant on snowballing past the early game.
A Casual Player Friendly MOBA Alternative
It took a long time to achieve Diamond in League of Legends, much more time than most people are willing to invest into a video game. There’s so much micromanagement going on, such as being able to last hit 10 minions a minute, that it makes the game really difficult and take years of practice to reach higher levels of gameplay.
Heroes of the Storm is quite a bit more casual friendly in the fact that gold is more evenly distributed and team levels are shared, preventing a single player from being camped and beaten down because they can’t farm. A lot of the micromanagement isn’t present in Heroes of the Storm that you’ll see in the prominent MOBAs of today, which puts a lot more emphasis on the PvP and strategy elements of the game. With less to focus on, casual players will be able to achieve higher ranks of skill easier if their good rather than having to practice all the little factors of gameplay.
EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s very important to point out that Blizzard has been adamant about distinguishing accessibility and depth because casual or accessible games are often seen as shallow or “too easy”. This MOBA/ARTS is every bit as competitive, deep, challenging, and hardcore as a comparable PvP game but it is easier to pick up and play. I would say that it has complexity in places most would not expect it and even seasoned players that came in early on in the beta or technical alpha may miss some of the deeper layers of strategy, team dynamics, and tactics.
Heroes Of The Storm Community & Toxicity
If you’ve ever played League of Legends, you should be quite familiar with the tough community. About half the players rage at every mistake you make, while the other half thing they’re some sort of demigod that is ten times better than you are. The attitude in Heroes of the Storm is a lot different, and there’s probably a few good reasons for that.
Players are less critical of mistakes because the game is less dependent on individual player skill and more on the skill of the team.
First off, players are less critical of mistakes because the game is less dependent on individual player skill and more on the skill of the team. If a single player feeds 10 kills before 20 minutes, that doesn’t mean the game is lost and your team still has a fighting chance. Granted, there will always be the occasional rager that will call you out for mis-clicking and dying, but it’s far less frequent in this game.
You also rarely see AFKers in Heroes of the Storm because it’s overall a laid-back MOBA with less pressure. Being camped by the enemy team and getting crap by your own team makes players want to just disconnect. With less emphasis placed on individual play and safer defense structures you’re less likely to die over and over again or have your personal deaths result in a bad game for the team. This leads to less afk rates, along with Blizzard’s strong policy against AFK players.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Blizzard has deliberately eliminated global chat in-game, too. This greatly reduces toxicity. There are talks about a griefer jail, which will queue toxic players, AFKers, and repeat offenders thereof in their own independent queue until they restore their reputation or play a set amount of games in an escalating fashion. We think this makes this the most accessible, community-focused, and fun MOBA currently available to the public (we’ll see if Gigantic and Battle Born can deliver on those ends).
Conclusion: HotS Is A Strong MOBA Contendor
As a long time MOBA player, I have to say that I was impressed by Heroes of the Storm and am happy to see a more casual choice out there for players who don’t have 6+ hours a day to invest in a game. It’s hard enough to keep it interesting, while being easy enough so that any player can step in and pick it up. This is something that Blizzard has been good at building with each of their games. Personally, I’m excited to see where the professional level of this game goes and if it will make a real impact in eSports. Several North American teams have already started preparing teams, such as TSM (Team Solo Mid) and Team Curse, so I have no doubt in my mind that HotS is going to peak at some point in the near future.
Many thanks to TheShadeBlade and Craft of HeroesOfTheStormBuildGuide.com – that was a concise yet thorough look at HotS from a “newbie” perspective! If you enjoyed this op/ed piece, show some love to Craft and gang over on their site. I recommend the Sylvanas Assassin Build Guide, though I would make some tweaks the build myself and note that, in HotS, builds and strategies are all about adapting. No cookie-cutter gameplay here, folks!