If you’re a long time fan of Blizzard games it should have been no surprise when they expanded their already amazing and broad franchises by adding a MOBA, HOTS and now a shooter, Overwatch. I’m not here to talk about Overwatch just yet, but if you haven’t already looked it up you should do so now. But with more established MOBAs in the running, why should you be playing Heroes of the Storm apart from the fact that its totally free?
1. It is extremely easy to play.
Like most MOBAS things can get pretty complicated very quickly. However with heroes the learning curve is gentle. Blizzard eases you into the game with easy to play heroes such as Raynor and LiLi. Each character is given a difficulty rating and each one is garnered to give you a unique playing style. For example Raynor has damage and durability so you are less likely to need a healer and to die while still being essential to the team dynamic in relation to your damage output. You can inspire your minions to help push lanes solo or jump into a team fight quickly to help out on securing objectives.
On the other hand you have more difficult characters like Abathur. He never actually enter the playing field physically. Instead you have to watch your team, map and positioning and can either use your locust ability’s to push lanes or use what is referred to as a top hat to place over your team mates heads, helping them heal, do damage or giving them buffs.
As you can tell, this takes quite allot of skill and attention which can either make or break a team. Whats handy is that you can opt for training on your own or with people to establish how to play and work maps which can be quite beneficial for learning characters and if you want to join as a team then it’s easy to be able to establish each persons role quickly.
2. The co-operative play is very enjoyable and also essential.
Hots also has a recruit a friend option which allows you to reap rewards while grouped up with people you enjoy playing with. Leveling with a friends is also better as you get an experience bonus. This applies to not just your personal level but to your characters’ as well. If you are going to play as a team communication with them is vital for the occasional gank, boss/mercinary steal or split pushing objectives. You can ping for assistance, defense or danger to help team mates out. If you are quick on the draw, typing to them also works but is not advised.
They will be bringing in a chat function option eventually. It hasn’t been confirmed for a specific date, this will add to an already enjoyable co-op game. Of course, like with all games of this type you do get the odd troll. Luckily, there is a mute and block button so you wont get teamed up with them again which is great.
3. It’s rich in lore and characters.
Ever since I started playing wow a few years ago I have always tried to transmog my look on Sylvanas and now in the nexus I get to play her. The same goes for the other heroes in the game. Playing Valla and Johanna got me into Diablo recently. A game I would never have thought to play. I just needed to know their story and what better way to do that than by playing them myself. While I haven’t gotten the itch to play Starcraft just yet, a friend of my is tempted to start because she enjoys playing Zagarra an Kerrigan so much.
Blizzard are always looking to break the mold when it comes to characters and play style and with the introduction of Cho Gall to the nexus just before Christmas that is exactly what they did. One player plays Cho the warrior and the other plays Gall the assassin. Cho moves while Gall does all of the dmg so working together is essential to playing this character. I also loved that you couldn’t buy Cho Gall outright to begin with. To obtain the characters you have to actively play with people who either bought a ticket to Blizzcon or bought a virtual ticket. It helped to grow the community and the gold rewards where worth it. The custom skin and mount variations just add to an already artistically beautiful game and characters and they are definitely one to keep and eye on. There are so many to bail down an actual favorite but I would have to say Pirate Falstad and Billy the Goat mount are top of my lists.
It is always super exciting to see who will come into the nexus next and Blizzard always does a fantastic job interacting with their community which just adds to an overall awesome experience.
4. The classes and consistent balance reviews are great.
There are four distinctive roles in HOTS which then branch off into sub genres. There is your standard tank, healer and damage class which can be found in just about every Blizzard game and beyond. Then you have the specialists.
Specialists are good for a variety of things. Some can lane solo like Zagara. Others excel at taking mercenary camps at really low levels. Others, like the Banshee Queen Sylvanas can eat ammo on towers with her trait alone. So these four classes combined plus one extra class dependent on your team composition can be quite deadly to the opposing team.
Constant review and patch updates allow blizzard to make sure that each hero is fair and balanced. They even fix environments and maps and, again, always listen to their community in that respect, which is awesome. This makes the game more enjoyable overall.
5. Maps galore!
There are currently ten maps or battlegrounds as they are known in Heroes of the Storm. They tend to rotate in and out maps as the patches and new characters come and go which is a great way to keep things current. What I love about the maps and environments is that each one is unique and Blizzard are always looking to go beyond those games already dominating the MOBA genra.
For instance Black Hearts Bay (a World of Warcraft themed Map) has you collect and turn in gold coins to earn bombardments against your other teams structures. The Infernal Shrines (a Diablo map) has you kill shrine minions to gain favor with a punisher who will target heroes and who each has their own special ability’s. The Garden of Terror and The Dragon Shire maps allow you to secure avatars which will help you deal extensive siege damage to an enemy’s structures. The recent addition Towers of Doom has you team fight to gain shrine control to bombard the other teams core. Each maps objective is unique and valuable to each team so doing them is important and generally fun/frustrating.
The artwork and detail that goes into each map is exceptional and they wouldn’t be Blizzard I they didn’t leave little hidden references in each one. For instance in the Tomb of the Spider Queen map if you click on a specific gem for long enough Harrison Jones will climb down and claim it. In the Towers of Doom you can find the ghost of resurrection near your core and if clicked she will repeat what she tells you in Warcraft before you resurrect. The only map they haven’t done yet which I am extremely looking forward to is a Starcraft themed or Overwatch themed one. Space Lord Leoric was recently released and I think they may have given a glimpse of a spaceship themed map which would be awesome.
So there you have it, my five reasons to play Heroes of the Storm. I you enjoyed this article and wish to play the game I recommend checking out MFPallytime’s how to videos as they can be quite beneficial and it eases you into the game a little bit more. Anyway thanks for reading, don’t forget to subscribe and I look forward to seeing you all in the Nexus.