Heroes of the Storm – Blizzard Does it Again

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I’m a Huge Fan of Hearthstone & Overwatch

So when my friend suggested we try out Heroes of the Storm during a promotional event they had earlier this summer, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it out. Heroes of the Storm, or HotS for short, is a free to play MOBA game similar to Dota 2 and League of Legends. What sets it apart is that its much easier to learn with streamlined gameplay.

To be frank, I hate Dota and League. MOBA’s just aren’t my thing. There’s just something about the way you click to move, the ability cool down times, and relatively high complexity that just doesn’t work for me. When my friend suggested it, I was down to try HotS out, but was extremely skeptical that I would enjoy it at all.

To my surprise, I ended up really enjoying the game. It helped that the promotion gave me a ton of free heroes right at the start and that the Quick Play mode is fairly friendly to new players. I was able to experiment, have fun, and find what works for me with relative ease. For the most part, the community was very friendly and all this got my friend and I hooked. Oh, it helped that we are pretty dang good at the game too :p

The first thing this game did right for me was that it is super fast to learn how to play. Helps that the games are quick as well. In addition, letting me try anybody out, even if I didn’t own them made finding people I wanted to play easy. If there was one negative for my just starting experience, is that some of the maps and objectives are a little confusing. It was a bit tricky to figure out what sorts of things were affective with each map and each character.

Featuring a fairly large cast of colorful characters from World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, and Overwatch universe, Heroes of the Storm offers a character that will appeal and work for anyone. Fans of each respective series will enjoy this, and if you aren’t a big fan of these series, you’ll learn to love some of them anyway! Its diverse cast is one of the best aspects of HotS, they all feel different, and for the most part, all the heroes are competitive and viable in most team compositions.

A word of warning, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the game as much if I came into it now. Starting players get offered a choice of one of three heroes:  Jaina (probably the best pick), Tyrade, and Muradin but that’s it. You can unlock all of the other heroes by just playing the game with in game currency that is awarded daily from quests and from games played, but it can be a little bit of a grind. Alternatively, you can get lucky with random loot drops from crates gained at each level by getting a hero that way, but that is a bit more rare.

What makes this tolerable is boosters, which are fairly common item drops for new players. Take advantage and play when you have them, don’t just let them go to waste. The first few hero levels are very easy, but as a hero levels up, it can become a bit of a grind. I suggest the new player bundle for $4.99 if you don’t mind dropping some IRL cash since you get a random hero, some cool cosmetic stuff, and likely a booster.

If you are a new player looking to get into the game or have just recently gotten into it, here’s some advice:

  • Try a hero before you buy it with your gold because it sucks to get a dude that doesn’t feel good when you play them after you put in so much work to get them.
  • Great heroes for new players that are very good and you should try: 
    • Support:  Brightwing, Lt. Morales, Regar, and Uther
    • Warriors (Tanks/Bruisers):  Diablo, Rexxar, Johanna, and Varian (a bit more difficult than the others but well worth)
    • Assassins:  Cassia, Jaina, Li-Ming, Raynor, and Valla.
    • Specialists (weird category, kind of a catch-all):  Azmodon, Nazeebo, Sylvanas, and Xul
  • Use gems to purchase boosters, not heroes or cosmetics. While it may be alluring to buy a hero or a cool cosmetic item with the premium currency the game awards you (fairly often actually), it’s a BIG trap. Boosters are a better long term investment. They help you level heroes up faster for loot crates, get you more gold per match, and will improve your overall experience with the game.
  • Play with a friend or four! Having more members in your party for each game gets you more experience points and gold per match. It’s fine and fun to solo que, but games are better with friends after all!
  • Stay out of Ranked for a bit. Take time to learn the game in Quick Play at first because there really aren’t any consequences for trying stuff out. Move to Unranked Draft once you have a hang of a few characters and then when you feel ready move to Ranked mode. While rewards for Ranked are better, it is only a marginal increase. The end of season benefits are worthwhile, but seasons are long so there is no rush.
  • Lastly, just have fun! 🙂

HotS has fast become one of my favorite games. Blizzard has my attention right now since I’m pretty much exclusively playing their games. Between the newest Hearthstone expansion (I love that game anyway, as you may know), the occasional Overwatch game, and recently a ton of Heroes of the Storm I am having a blast!

What has your experience with HotS been, something you might enjoy if you haven’t played? Let me know in the comments below. If you enjoyed this article, let me know by leaving a like and consider checking out my recently launched Patreon page by pressing the button below. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews soon!

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