You never know what the next big thing is going to be in the world of e-sports. But one that needs to be on your radar, if it isn’t already, is Heroes of the Storm. This MOBA is the best of so many worlds, with battlegrounds taken from Overwatch, Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo. Though if you ask Blizzard, the manufacturer of Heroes, they are billing the game as the Internet’s “Hero Brawler.”
What You Need To Know
Blizzard runs its own online gaming service, called Battle.net. They invite you to the site to engage in 20 minute matches between your team of five and another.
You and your teammates are tasked with conquering your opponent’s core while protecting yours at the same time. The battle to conquer their core starts with successfully destroying the other team’s fort. But you don’t have to fight your battles unarmed.
Each team can enlist battleground bosses and mercenary camps to help fight the good fight. You even get your own minions to help you conquer the enemy. Groups of minions can be spawned over the course of your gameplay.
As of this writing, you have a total of 15 battlegrounds to choose from. Each has its own objectives you have to complete on your quest for victory.
No matter what game mode you are in at any given time, there are 88 characters available for play. These make up the heroes that have put this game on the map. Each one has his or her own personalities and skills that make them different from all the others. This is where the game can get difficult since you have so many choices to make.
With so many heroes; they fall into the following six categories:
- Ranged Assassin
- Melee Assassin
Every week, the rotation of playable heroes is different. Using gold you accumulate or buy in the game, you can purchase the right to access the same hero for as long as you want.
When you choose a hero, you get their gameplay kit too. This is where you can see the skills and traits your character has that other characters don’t. Called an ability kit, it will tell you the character’s three most basic abilities, which are available to you from the first time you play the game with your chosen character.
When you work your way up to the tenth level of the game, you gain the ability to choose two heroic abilities for your character to possess. Heroics are among the most powerful weapons your characters will ever have. They are the aspects that really determine a hero’s style of fighting.
The key to success in this game is to be as close as possible to both the minions and the enemy heroes when they meet their untimely death. Your team will then gain experience points to share. More experience points are earned each time you destroy an enemy’s camp. Mercenary camps your team has captured also give you experience points.
Once your team has earned enough experience points each one of you is promoted to the next level. For every new level you achieve your power grows. After you have been promoted up the ranks, you get to choose a new talent that strengthens the skills your team already has.
Hitting levels 10 and 20 are milestone points in the game, with the top level you can reach being 30. At levels 10 and 20, the abilities you will suddenly have access to will make your character much more powerful.
The options you have when playing Heroes of the Storm are numerous. Multiple game modes give you an amazing amount of flexibility. If you are new to the game, don’t jump right in until you have finished the tutorial. This is a three level scripted version of the game that helps you get a real feel for it. By the time you are done the tutorial you will know how to move your character around the game and use his or her abilities to your advantage. It takes you through the game as a character that teleports directly from StarCraft. Instructional motivation is provided by Warcraft’s Uther Lightbringer.
To get your feet wet, complete the training mode next. You will be placed on a team with four computer players and will fight against a team of five computer players. You can even choose to face the five players by yourself or pit one computer player versus four.
One option for playing Heroes of the Storm is a quick match. Though you will have no idea in advance which of the maps you will be able to play, you get to choose the heroes you want.
You also have the option of playing unranked or ranked mode. In unranked mode, teams choose their heroes much like you would choose students in a gym class to be on one team or another.
Ranked mode is similar, but this time team members are chosen based on their level of experience. It’s referred to as Storm League. In this mode there are different divisions for players of different experience levels. They range from Bronze all the way up to Grand Master. You are given the option of playing in a team or on your own.
Note that you can’t even access the Storm League unless you have enough game experience to get 16 heroes that are no lower than level five. Their account level also has to be at least 50. The better your performance is the higher you will rank on the leaderboards.
Heroes of the Storm is often updated with new content, so it never gets stale. When it comes to esports, the game can hold its own against the industry’s giants.