Heroes of the Storm or as my friends and I request play time, HotS?
First things first, I am not a traditional MOBA person, played League of Legends for a good five minutes never tried Dota, so when my gaming group of friends were all fanboying over this game, my thought was “oh geez another MOBA with an awful community where all you do is push lanes and deal with awful people on the internet. I am sorry Mr NoobSlayer73 that I did not move at the most opportune area for you, I have a job and a life that doesn’t revolve around this game…AHHHHHHHH REAVE SMASH!” However, much to not just write off a game I went to a LAN party where they were playing HotS, and a friend of mine let me try on his account and it was fun. We leveled together, and I had someone teaching me what to do. The game is in Beta right now and I didn’t have a beta key but in world of Blizzard enjoying money like any game company you could buy your way in which is exactly what I did.
I started playing with friends and eventually began to discover that I could actually play this game and even though I wasn’t a level 37 my player level didn’t matter it was character level for moves and then combined player experience per match for levels in-game. I played a lot of games where there were five of us which was great and I was shielded from the disgusting community that drove me away from LoL. Occasionally, when we would have one person added to our team they would get a little nasty and it was easy to ignore but for the most part the added on players were good teammates. Now as the Beta has been available for some time the community is getting nastier. It’s always someone else’s fault, and inevitably you will be cussed out by some 12-year-old with a keyboard. I will admit when I make mistakes and often when I am first playing a character just to get them to level 5 where I get in-game gold, I may be awful but I want that gold so deal with it. Other times you get yelled at because you don’t play it exactly how they want you to play. There are two ways to handle this get angry back, which often doesn’t help and while you are busy typing away the Valla in the bottom row is pushing your tower and you have a stupid panda parade stomping on your face. Or you can go troll. The troll option is fun when you have friends you are playing with to go troll with you. One of the most memorable troll moments to date is when our team just didn’t have the damage output to when fights, sometimes it just happens this way and our teammate just wanted to whine, “Where can I get some better teammates” and wow if the master of Trolls wasn’t my friend I would be jealous, but he is and that is amazing. His response was “I here Wal-Mart sells everything” the ragey whiney teammate then commented on child labor which my friendly neighborhood troll responded with “Well try target then”. By the end of the three trolls vs one douchebag he eventually shut up, and we lost like we knew we were going to because the other team just had a better makeup. I really hope the game doesn’t go into the rhelm where the community is so awful it pushes me away because I really do love the game, but so much negativity is just disgusting. People it is a game, if your life and self-esteem is tied to your win-loss ratio, I am a counselor call me.
So for the other components of the game there is a lot to love. I talked about the community which is good but turning sour but there are two other things that I really enjoy about this game; maps and characters.
Maps: This isn’t a simple lane pusher, there is definite benefit to pushing lanes but the objectives on each map, whether it be collecting seeds to grow a plant terror that a player becomes, controlling temples to shoot lasers at the enemy base, taking shrines and becoming a stone dragon, getting doubloons to turn into the pirate king to have a pirate ship shoot cannonballs at the enemy base, growing the strongest golem, or collecting tributes to make your enemy base not shoot at you anymore. If you don’t do the objectives you most likely won’t win, and if you go for only the objective the other team could push so hard that you are on the defensive endgame and they get their third tribute with two giant games and your base is destroyed. This game is a good balance between knowing when to fight for the objective or when to defend and gets some mercenary games to make them distracted. Usually teams who do only one of the paths lose, and as you play strategy comes out, good mash-ups happen and good times all around. Currently the map selection is random after start-up which can be frustrating because you could play four golem maps in a row and never get to play the dragon map. They have already announced one more map to come out soon and I am sure they will announce many more, I mean it is blizzard they are kind of known for their content expansion.
Characters: So in a very Smash Bros’ian style, Heroes of the Storm brings characters from all of its games into this world to fight side by side and against one another. Granted I have not played many Blizzard Games I will admit that so when people get really excited for certain characters I just look and see what they can do and get excited that way. However, even without playing those games the flavor and personality each character is given is amazing. When you read text for Murky and it is gibberish or when adorable Brightwing says “mmmm entrails”. There is enough character variation and while they working out some definitely balancing issues none of them are super unfun to play or play against. I for one like that the support classes range between healer to defense, to even someone who gives back mana but they are themselves not useless in a fight. I was never one to play a healer class in any game because I have a hard enough time keeping track of my own health but Lili the adorable healer panda auto heals the lowest health enemy. I definitely have my favorite characters from archer Valla to invisible zeratul and my least favorites; cough cough…Raynor you are useless I hate you. The game keeps getting more and it is interested to learn which combos work, like Uther and ETC the stuns how they hurt.
Miscellaneous Other upsides:
- They punish rage quitters. If you quit a game you can’t load another game while that is going on. It would automatically add you back in to the game you were already playing. If you play hero matches you have to then play a quick match before being eligible for a hero match. I think this is a good way to stop rage quitting, now only if they can stop horrible internet community they will be all set.
- There is a free rotation each week that allows you to try out the characters. I do recommend that you don’t judge a character until you get them to Level 4 because that is when all of their moves are unlocked. What I like about the rotation is that the level you got that character stays so when they come back up under free rotation you don’t have to re-level them
- Buying new characters is easy. Unlike other games that have character rotations where buying characters takes real money or forever getting new characters can be relatively easy for this game. There are daily quests you can do that include things like play as a starcraft hero or play as an assassin for three games. When you complete these quests you get gold. When you level a character to level 5 you get gold. When you play matches you get gold, when you win matches you get extra gold. Gold is used to buy characters and some mounts so you can advance and buy those you like.
Downsides to this game do exists however. First is the cost of the Beta entry is 40.00 dollars which is steep considering it will be free to play. However, seeing the game adjust and how quickly people become horrible creatures of the internet is an interesting social observation. Also you do get certain characters automatically as well as mounts so that is nice. I understand if people want to wait to play free-to-play I probably would have if it wasn’t what most of my friends are playing currently and I wanted to get in on the fun. Another Downside is that when your internet lags out which is its known to do if you have my lovely internet provider, the game doesn’t give you the experience for the map even if you were gone only for 30 seconds. I might be wrong here, but at least from my observation I did not gain any.
I really do like this game, even interrupted writing this blog to play a few rounds. Go try it out, try to get a free beta key, or play a match on someone elses account
– Creativity: haven’t got much to show been busy with awesome work opportunities