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Old 06-09-2015, 07:44 PM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is online now
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Heroes of the Storm - Blizzard's MOBA

Heroes of the Storm was just released and is being called a casual MOBA - comparing it to DOTA 2 or LoL is somewhat like Hearthstone to M:TG. Or as one review compared, Super Smash Brothers to Street Fighter 4. It's geared towards being easier to pick up, less punishing, and more focused on team success than individual success. PC Gamer slideshow comparing the differences. Metacritic reviews page

No last hitting/denial, teams level up as a group, the maps available are very different and map objectives are a key part of the game, individual feeding and carrying are less of a factor, branching talent tree instead of items, a bigger emphasis on doing things as a team, games aimed for 15-30 minutes rather than 45-60.

I've not put much time into any MOBAs because of the generally toxic communities and the feeling that I'd have to dedicate too much time to even begin to get good at them - joining DOTA 2 or LoL now and not knowing what any of the 8000 heroes can do would make me feel lost for quite a long time - but I'm considering getting in on the ground floor of a new one where I wouldn't be massively behind everyone else.

It sounds like Blizzard is trying to breed a less toxic community with the mechanisms that are less individually rewarding/punishing and more team oriented - hard to say if it'll work, but since the traditional MOBA crowd would stab your mother in the face if you make a wrong move, I could buy that they'll engender a somewhat less toxic crowd as the people who get that into the games will flock to the "hardcore" MOBAs they're already on.

The monetization is more LoL than DOTA 2 unfortunately, having to buy heroes with free hero weeks on rotation as well as cosmetics. DOTA 2 monetization seems at first glance to me to be very generous and this won't be.

I like the emphasis on making the maps much more part of the dynamic flow of a game rather than just a plain checkerboard on which heroes fight each other. The different maps all play differently with differing objectives and dynamic events that affect the outcome of the game. That seems like more fun and more varied than traditional MOBA maps which are basically just the same generic static background you play on every time.

Anyway, if you want to play together, post your blizzard (and/or steam) ID to the thread. The game isn't on steam, but most gamers use steam as a chat client anyway, so it's more reliable to contact them there. I'm SenorBeef#1394 on Blizzard and SenorBeef on steam. I haven't actually tried it yet, so it may turn out I don't like it, in which case everyone can organize games amongst themselves.
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:12 PM
Kinthalis Kinthalis is offline
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I'm Kinthalis#1202, never got into DOTA2 mostly due to the whole crazy item builds you need to know, so this sounds intriguing!
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:28 PM
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I've been playing a bunch of it, and have been at Hero Level 40 for a while now (got in during the beta).

Having played an awful lot of DOTA, I can say that HotS has just enough depth to keep it interesting, and the various mechanisms that drive matches forward and keep them relatively short are a big plus.

Hit me up with a PM if you want my screen name. I play most evenings. Am also happy to field questions about maps or general strategy here.

edit: Getting into Hero League as quickly as possible is a big must for match quality. That means being level 30 and owning 10 heroes minimum. If you think there's any chance at all of you spending real money on a pack, look at the ones out there and make sure you don't purchase any of the bundle heroes with gold, otherwise you'll just waste some of your cash. There's a starter bundle that has three heroes in it that's a pretty good deal, I think.

Last edited by Johnny Bravo; 06-09-2015 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:37 PM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is online now
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Tying ranked mode to hero purchases seems pretty scummy. -1 point to this game.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:03 PM
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On the one hand, I agree with you. On the other hand, if you're playing fairly casually (and this is a fairly casual MOBA), then by the time you hit level 30 you'll likely have earned enough gold to have purchased 10 heroes or damn near close. A daily quest will net you 300-800 gold, and the heroes are 2/4/7/10k.

Your problem will come if you play too many games a day and earn experience faster than you can earn gold. You do get some for winning matches, but not much - the bulk comes from the quests.

I do prefer the DOTA model when it comes to MOBAs. Everyone gets all the heroes. But they're the exception to the unfortunate rule.

Last edited by Johnny Bravo; 06-09-2015 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:12 PM
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Okay, fair enough. I didn't realize that it's meant to take a long time to hit ranked mode rather than something they just want to put behind a paywall.

What's the difference between the modes? It can't be like ranked vs casual in Hearthstone I'd imagine - I don't think they'd match you up against random people regardless of skill level - so is it just a matter of whether or not your games advance you on a seasonal ladder?
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:11 PM
storyteller0910 storyteller0910 is offline
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OK. I've heard a lot of really positive stuff about this game from people I respect. However, I am a total neophyte when it comes to this genre; I had to google what "MOBA" even stands for. Can somebody give me a quick-and-dirty summary of what the game is about? And tell me whether I'd be totally hopeless diving in as someone new to the game type?
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by storyteller0910 View Post
OK. I've heard a lot of really positive stuff about this game from people I respect. However, I am a total neophyte when it comes to this genre; I had to google what "MOBA" even stands for. Can somebody give me a quick-and-dirty summary of what the game is about? And tell me whether I'd be totally hopeless diving in as someone new to the game type?
It's a little difficult to get into because HotS has a lot of deviation from the standard MOBA model. A very quick and dirty rundown of this particular game:

You and four other dudes are in a tug-of-war against another five-man team. Each team has a "core" which, when destroyed, ends the game. The core is accessed by a series of lanes (two or three depending on the map) which are protected by a system of gates and towers. Periodic waves of computer-controlled minions spawn at the core and march down the lanes, engaging whatever they see. The players use these minions as cannon fodder against the towers, as well as for experience.

Your character has three skills, bound to q, w, and e. As you level your character, you can enhance those skills. You also unlock a fourth skill (called a "heroic") that is very powerful.

Left to their own devices, the minions will just bump into each other ad infinitum and nothing would ever happen. With players interacting, though, the lanes can be pushed, towers can be destroyed, and the core can eventually be taken down. That's the tug of war.

Over the course of the game, you and your teammates engage with the other team. The longer the game, the longer the respawn time, so in late game a few key deaths provides enough of an opening to make big pushes.

There's a lot more, but that's the overall gist of the game. I'd recommend downloading it and playing through the training. It will show you what's up.
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by storyteller0910 View Post
OK. I've heard a lot of really positive stuff about this game from people I respect. However, I am a total neophyte when it comes to this genre; I had to google what "MOBA" even stands for. Can somebody give me a quick-and-dirty summary of what the game is about? And tell me whether I'd be totally hopeless diving in as someone new to the game type?
Ok this is what happened as far as i can remember. Many years ago the RTS game Warcraft: orcs vs humans 2 came out and it had hero units. Some people found the whole idea of just controlling their hero units and leveling them up and choosing abilities fun, but that whole building bases and armies and sending them to fight each other tiresome. So they created a mod with pre built bases and automated army queueing and attacking so you could just play the hero units and nothing else. And the MOBA genre was born.
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Old 06-10-2015, 01:26 PM
HookerChemical HookerChemical is offline
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I started playing when it went open beta a week before the official launch and I enjoy it. I've tried some other MOBAs, and LoL was the only one that clicked. (I hated Smite for a plethora of reasons, and DoTA2 felt like a chore where I could be ranted at by teammates rather than a game.)

HotS definitely has a lower barrier to entry, and I'm happy with that. They've built in a learning curve in that you can't use all a hero's abilities until you've played them several times or have high enough hero rank that you're on the long tail of the learning curve. It plays fast, and there always seems to be an opportunity to make a comeback whereas other MOBAs feel like they snowball and make comebacks impossible. It also feels much more dynamic in that there are constant lane swaps/roams. Rather than knowing I'll spend the first ten minutes of LoL in top lane with Cass whittling away at Dr. Mundo in LoL, I can't bank on having a specific lane in HotS, and the maps are small enough that roaming to the next lane to assist a teammate isn't a major commitment. Map goals add to the dynamism, yet it never feels chaotic.

If I have a complaint, it's the monitization system. As mentioned, it's pretty brutal. I've stuck with the free rotation for now and won't invest my gold until I've played most to level 5 (where you can use all abilities and get a gold reward). As with LoL, it seems to be individual heroes that click with me rather than roles.
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Old 06-10-2015, 01:41 PM
HookerChemical HookerChemical is offline
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Originally Posted by storyteller0910 View Post
OK. I've heard a lot of really positive stuff about this game from people I respect. However, I am a total neophyte when it comes to this genre; I had to google what "MOBA" even stands for. Can somebody give me a quick-and-dirty summary of what the game is about? And tell me whether I'd be totally hopeless diving in as someone new to the game type?
I entered MOBAs less than a year ago after seeing them and saying "that doesn't interest me at all" several times. The idea is that the players have powerful heroes and are playing in an arena trying to destroy the enemy core. There are paths that weak computer-controlled minions (aka creeps or mobs) will march along trying to get to the core. In the absence of the heroes, the minions meet in these lanes and fight it out, generally to a standstill. The heroes speed up the killing of the enemy minions to march theirs along faster.

But that really oversimplifies it because the enemies are doing the same. And this brings them into conflict where they can kill one another. Each hero has a unique set of abilities that allow them to excel at certain tasks, from the ability to soak up damage and regain health (tank) to the ability to appear from nowhere and hit the enemy for a massive amount of damage (assassin), and others. The hero-on-her action is where the conflict is and is where the matches are won or lost.

Finally, as you kill minions and enemy heroes, you gain experience (and gold in most MOBAs, but not HotS). This advancement allows you to make your abilities better (and but items in non-HotS MOBAs).

The different MOBAs have different ways to spice up the battle as well. HotS (and DotA, IIRC) have neutral minions that you can recruit to fight for you, adding to your normal minions. HotS also has mini goals for it's maps. For example, the pirate one has treasure chests that spawn and heroes fight over. When you collect the gold from them, the pirate ship fires its cannons at enemy buildings, which is a major uptick in the damage your side can do to them.
  #12  
Old 06-09-2015, 10:39 PM
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What's the difference between the modes? It can't be like ranked vs casual in Hearthstone I'd imagine - I don't think they'd match you up against random people regardless of skill level - so is it just a matter of whether or not your games advance you on a seasonal ladder?
Quickmatch does seem to be random schlubs, yeah. As far as I can tell it doesn't take any ranking into account. You also don't know what your team comp will be like because you pick your character before you queue.

Hero League has a draft, and you can only use the heroes that you own. No free rotation. That's another reason for the ten heroes deal: if you had less than ten there would be a chance that you could get blanked out of a pick altogether. There's no banning like in DOTA, though I hope that will come once there's a bigger pool of heroes. So, overall, the quality of the matches are way higher in Hero League. Everybody in it has played a good number of games, nobody is dicking around on free rotation characters that they're unfamiliar with, and the draft ensures that your team comp will be reasonable (hopefully).
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:55 AM
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Quickmatch does seem to be random schlubs, yeah. As far as I can tell it doesn't take any ranking into account.
It does. There's a program called Hotslogs that uses people's game histories to assign its own match-making rank. The ranks it assigns are almost certainly not the same as those assigned by Blizzard (whose system is secret), but what the results do show is that people with higher rankings are consistently teamed with people with higher rankings, and people with lower ranking are consistently teamed with people with lower rankings.
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:42 PM
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The gist of MOBAs is that you control one hero unit from a top down perspective that looks like an RTS game. That's the origin of the genre - as a warcraft 3 mod. Your hero levels up as he kills enemy units and heroes, and gains skills and upgrades skills like an RPG. Some MOBAs also generate gold from getting the last hit on an enemy unit, which you then use to buy item upgrades, so timing your attacks to get the last hit on enemy units (and denying them to your enemies by killing your own unit) is a core mechanic in DOTA 2 at least, but not all MOBAs.

There are two bases on either side of the map A constant stream of NPC units is generated at each base, and heads down lanes towards the enemy base. Since each base is generating the same units, they'll meet in the middle and kill each other and cancel each other out. But if you move along with them to support your friendly NPC units with your own hero, your force will be be more effective than the enemy force - you will begin to push towards the enemy base, where various defenses lie. 5v5 with 3 lanes is the typical layout.

Of course the other team is also going to have people in those same lanes defending against your pushes and making their own pushes. You attempt to kill or force the enemy hero to go back to base to heal - there's a substantial experience/gold reward for killing an enemy hero. At opportune moments, some of your teammates will come from around the map to try to catch an enemy hero offguard and kill them before they can escape (called "ganking"), so situational awareness and communication is a key factor.

There are different types of hero archetypes. Some heroes tend to be good at supporting pushes and killing enemy defenses. Others are good at initiating ganks and surprising enemy heroes. Some are more oriented towards supporting teammates. Some heroes are "carry" heroes in that they start off weak but scale really well with skills and items so that they become powerhouses in the late game, some tend to start off strong and diminish in importance.

It's a fairly simple genre with a fairly high skill curve and is very punishing towards failure, which tends to breed a really elitist and abusive community. But it definitely scratches an itch for some people. Heroes of the Storm is trying to be more casual and less toxic about it and is taking a fairly different approach in terms of objectives and maps. Since I haven't played it, I can't say it's a better way to enter the genre than the established dominant franchises, but I suspect it probably is. At the very least you're not months or years behind the average player in terms of knowledge.
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Old 06-10-2015, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
The gist of MOBAs is that you control one hero unit from a top down perspective that looks like an RTS game. That's the origin of the genre - as a warcraft 3 mod.
Nitpick Starcraft 1 Map
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:42 AM
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Since I haven't played it, I can't say it's a better way to enter the genre than the established dominant franchises, but I suspect it probably is.
I think HotS does exactly what it set out to do, and I think it does those things very well.

The big question is whether you WANT those things in your MOBA.

This time last year, I was deep into DOTA. I bought the compendium for the tournament and watched a ton of matches. If HotS had come out at that point, I probably wouldn't have touched it.

But HotS came after I had burnt out on DOTA. I was tired of spending 60 minutes to play a match whose outcome was determined at the 20 minute mark.

All of the streamlining and simplifying that Blizzard has introduced into the formula really appeal to me right now. I like that the matches generally don't take much more than 20 minutes (and often less). I like that the maps have objectives that push the match forward. I like the shared experience and the lack of items.

So is it a better way to enter the genre? Maybe not, because I think it would be difficult to move to a more complex MOBA after getting used to the way HotS approaches things. But right now, for me, this is that way I want to play.
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Old 06-10-2015, 04:47 AM
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I stopped playing it after the fourth time I ran into graphics glitches. These ranged from a few blades of grass that extended halfway across the map, to complete graphics crashes that slowed the computer to a crawl even after I logged out - I had to reset the computer to recover.
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:52 AM
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The monetization is more LoL than DOTA 2 unfortunately, having to buy heroes with free hero weeks on rotation as well as cosmetics. DOTA 2 monetization seems at first glance to me to be very generous and this won't be.
FWIW I have twenty or thirty heroes and I never paid a dime. And I have a career and a large family so it's not like I spend hours a day on the game or anything. (Well... very many hours....)
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Old 06-10-2015, 08:07 PM
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I've been playing League of Legends for a long time and I'm kinda on the fence about HOTS.

There's definitely some aspects I like: 1) removing last hitting, 2) no zero-gold support, 3) multiple maps and (though this is just because the game is new) less heroes to know and lack of a set-in-stone positional meta. But I don't like the removal of items, nor how the game locks you out of certain hero traits until you've played a few games with them. The teamwork-centric gameplay is also as much of a burden as a benefit; games at my level often seem won or lost based on how much your teammates pay attention to the map and contest objectives. It's like taking every fight over dragon/baron in League and copying it tenfold across the game. Great when your teammates know what they're doing, immensely aggravating when they don't.

I'm also just not sure if I want to "give up" the time sunk into League (and all champions/runes/etc unlocked) and work from zero in HOTS. The time commitment to unlock some of the heroes (10,000 gold) seems really grindy, don't really want to do that again.

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Old 06-10-2015, 10:57 PM
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The time commitment to unlock some of the heroes (10,000 gold) seems really grindy, don't really want to do that again.
With quests, it's really not that bad.

Above I said I have 20 or 30 heroes without having spent any money, over the course of I think four months of play, but I later remembered I did spend I think $10 to get a single stim pack early on (the one that lasts seven days). This did greatly accelerate my early acquisition rate. But many people are totally happy with the pace just relying on quests. (And since that week, I've been happy with the no-stim-pack pace as well.)
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:48 PM
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Quoth Johnny Bravo:

So is it a better way to enter the genre? Maybe not, because I think it would be difficult to move to a more complex MOBA after getting used to the way HotS approaches things.
This presupposes that you want to move to other MOBAs afterwards. But I think that there are a lot of gamers (and potential gamers) out there for whom one game in any given genre is plenty.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:37 PM
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This presupposes that you want to move to other MOBAs afterwards. But I think that there are a lot of gamers (and potential gamers) out there for whom one game in any given genre is plenty.
I was responding directly to SenorBeef's comment about it being an entry to the genre.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:02 PM
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Played through the tutorials and yeah, this is definitely a game for me. I just hope I can find folks who are either similarly inexperienced or supernaturally patient for the first couple of games until I figure it out.
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Old 06-11-2015, 01:03 PM
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Alright, so I like it. I like the way the maps are designed, the dynamic events system works pretty well and makes an interesting effect on game flow. I'm still not sure if it's too casual on a tactical level, I need to play more of it. The general fast pace and flow of the battle is pretty satisfying. I like that there (so far) don't seem to be abilities that you can directly use to target a hero, but you have to aim and hit. The stun hammer for Muradin, for example, in other games might just be a "click this hero and stun them", but you have to actually aim and make sure it crosses their path - and you can get a talent to make it stun two, making aiming even more important. I like that sort of mechanic to re-insert some of the tactical skill into player vs player fights that's lacking in terms of creep mechanics.

I would recommend the $5 starter bundle they have going right now, I'm not sure when that sale ends. But you get Muradin, the Keeper of the Grove guy, and Raynor, a mount, and a one week booster pack for $5. Muradin is my favorite hero so far and the keeper of the grove guy seems like a much better healing hero than the farseer shaman guy. Raynor is kinda boring, but his attack speed bonus is one of the better pushing buffs in the game.
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Old 06-11-2015, 05:19 PM
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I like that there (so far) don't seem to be abilities that you can directly use to target a hero, but you have to aim and hit.
Those are called skillshots. In HotS, some attacks are and some aren't skillshots.
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:20 PM
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I just played through the tutorial and one training game.

Yeah, there are so many heroes to choose from. I'm lost. I'll probably play a training round with each of the free ones and see not just who I like but which role calls to me.

Any general tips? What's the best way to get experience?
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:36 PM
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Any general tips? What's the best way to get experience?
The entire team gets experience as long as at least one of their heroes is closeby when an enemy dies, so it's best not to go roaming unless you've got an objective in mind.
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:21 PM
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But you get Muradin, the Keeper of the Grove guy, and Raynor, a mount, and a one week booster pack for $5.
Eats, shoots, and leaves. It sounds like you're saying that the Keeper of the Grove guy is named Muradin, and the mount is named Raynor.
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:53 PM
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Yeah, I phrased that badly. Muradin, Malfurion, and Raynor are the heroes. You also get an armored horse mount and a 7 day experience booster, all for $5. The game in general is way overpriced, but that seems like a pretty reasonable value.

It would appear you never get a discount for the gold value of heroes, right? So even if a $10 hero is featured that week and is 50% off, it's still 10,000 gold. Seems like the most efficient use of money in that case, if you're willing to spend a little, is to buy your 2000-4000 gold priced heroes with gold and wait for featured sales on your $10 heroes. Also, play the free heroes that week over the ones you've bought at least while you're starting out - getting higher levels with heroes gives you gold, so get the gold on the freebie heroes first, then use that to purchase more heroes.

The monetization isn't awful but it does seem greedy to me. It seems like with all the cosmetics they've got on there they could do a DOTA 2 style model. $10 is kind of ridiculous for a hero - you buy 5 (of the 25 and growing) heroes and that's the full price of a game.

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Old 06-11-2015, 11:06 PM
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The real-money prices are ridiculous. They'll put out a new costume or mount and it'll be 15 bucks. Then I remember that this is Blizzard, and people regularly drop 25 dollars for WoW mounts. I guess you can't blame them for knowing their customer base.

I would spend real money on DOTA costumes from time to time, but that's because you could buy them for just a few cents on the steam market. There's no chance in hell Blizzard will do that for heroes, so I'll stick to the free stuff.
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:57 AM
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So, is it just me, or do the bot AIs suck? I've only played training matches so far, and I'm facestomping through them, because the bots don't ever seem to use any of their abilities. Are those just easy-difficulty bots, or is that the best the game can throw at me? I can't see any option to increase their difficulty.

And it doesn't seem too tough to get enough gold to buy a few heroes-- It looks like the way to go is to spend a few weeks sampling free-rotation heroes, and then buy one or two that you like. Of course, you don't even need to buy them until they go off of the rotation.

Raynor seems to have been in the free rotation two weeks in a row, now, and he's also the hero used in the tutorial. Does he ever go off rotation? If not, is there any reason to buy him?

The skillshot mechanic takes some getting used to: When I use an ability and click on the ground, I expect my character to move close enough to that point to reach it, and then use the ability. Instead, the character just shoots in that direction from where he or she is standing. This isn't too much of a nuisance for Raynor's penetrating round, which usually has a long enough range anyway, but it's a pain for Jaina's cone of cold, which is fairly short. On the other hand, all of Malfurion's abilities seem to work like I expect.
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:16 PM
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So, is it just me, or do the bot AIs suck? I've only played training matches so far, and I'm facestomping through them, because the bots don't ever seem to use any of their abilities. Are those just easy-difficulty bots, or is that the best the game can throw at me? I can't see any option to increase their difficulty.

And it doesn't seem too tough to get enough gold to buy a few heroes-- It looks like the way to go is to spend a few weeks sampling free-rotation heroes, and then buy one or two that you like. Of course, you don't even need to buy them until they go off of the rotation.

Raynor seems to have been in the free rotation two weeks in a row, now, and he's also the hero used in the tutorial. Does he ever go off rotation? If not, is there any reason to buy him?

The skillshot mechanic takes some getting used to: When I use an ability and click on the ground, I expect my character to move close enough to that point to reach it, and then use the ability. Instead, the character just shoots in that direction from where he or she is standing. This isn't too much of a nuisance for Raynor's penetrating round, which usually has a long enough range anyway, but it's a pain for Jaina's cone of cold, which is fairly short. On the other hand, all of Malfurion's abilities seem to work like I expect.
Yes, the bots can be truly idiotic. They're for farming dailies or getting the hang of a new hero and not much more.

Raynor does come off free rotation. He wasn't available two weeks ago.

Some skillshots work like that (you fire in the direction of the cursor) and some you run up to. It depends on the type of skillshot. Raynor's shotgun and Jaina's cone are both directional (that is, not targeted at a location or creep/hero). Malfurion's root is the other type (location targeted) and he'll run into range to get it off on the location you selected.
  #33  
Old 06-16-2015, 12:06 PM
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The bot AI is terrible, yes. A lot of people grind daily quests by playing co-op bot matches because they rarely take much more than ten minutes.

Last edited by Johnny Bravo; 06-16-2015 at 12:06 PM.
  #34  
Old 06-16-2015, 01:10 PM
storyteller0910 storyteller0910 is offline
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Yeah, playing against the AI became not fun very, very quickly. I'm crappy at this game - I love it but I'm terrible at it - and I've never once been in even distant danger of losing in any of the training games I've played against the AI. I guess I'm going to have to dive in to the PVP world... but I'm going to be absolute garbage at first, because the computer is not training me for anything more challenging than click-to-win.
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storyteller0910 View Post
Yeah, playing against the AI became not fun very, very quickly. I'm crappy at this game - I love it but I'm terrible at it - and I've never once been in even distant danger of losing in any of the training games I've played against the AI. I guess I'm going to have to dive in to the PVP world... but I'm going to be absolute garbage at first, because the computer is not training me for anything more challenging than click-to-win.
You can find me under my screen name above+#1224 if you have any questions. We can play a cool if youd like, or team up.
  #36  
Old 06-16-2015, 02:40 PM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is online now
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Raynor isn't free this week. Maybe you own him? The little HOTS icon over the portrait indicates it's on the free rotation.

Free heroes are Kael'Thalas, Sgt. Hammer, Valla, Kerrigan, Brightwing, Chen, and Malfurion.

I like malfurion quite a bit, his innervate trait is extremely useful to a mana-heavy team, especially if you take the talent that lets it be used every 20 seconds. Haven't played any of the others.

I'm considering purchasing Jaina with gold. I'd generally rather get a bunch of cheaper heroes than one expensive one, but I'm really good with her.

I noticed the bundles and sales didn't change. I had assumed they changed every week with the heroes. When do they change, and how often?

Last edited by SenorBeef; 06-16-2015 at 02:41 PM.
  #37  
Old 06-16-2015, 09:38 PM
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OK, that's odd. Apparently Raynor's on free rotation, but only for practice matches, not for any other mode. Maybe that is just because he's the tutorial character, after all?
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Old 06-17-2015, 12:32 AM
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Free double XP this week
  #39  
Old 06-17-2015, 12:12 PM
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And it also turns out that I was actually playing against the easy bots. Training mode is apparently different than versus AI mode, even though superficially they look identical: The versus AI mode bots are still pretty weak (I can usually win against them, despite being a complete newb to this game and not too great at Dota 2 either), but they at least have the basics down (like, they actually use their abilities).
  #40  
Old 06-17-2015, 01:15 PM
sachertorte sachertorte is offline
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I tried this game, and I like it, but the UI is very confusing. I'm sure it will make sense eventually, but at first I'm just lost lost lost.

Can you play an AI game just by yourself? I tried to play an AI game, and I thought it would be just me, but I ended up playing with a bunch of other live players. It turned out fine, but I'm still learning how to play the game.

The mass of characters is overwhelming for my teeny tiny brain. I was playing a healer and having to click on teammates was frustrating. Either they would scamper away or they would be all on top of each other so I didn't know who I was clicking on. Is there a better way that I don't know about?
  #41  
Old 06-17-2015, 02:34 PM
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I don't think you can play a pure one-on-one, that is, a game with just you versus just one opponent (AI or otherwise). It's always a team. But you can play a game of you plus four bots versus five bots, by selecting "Versus AI". I think you might also need to check off a box that says something like "fill empty slots on my team with bots".

To heal others, you do have to click on them, just like you usually need to click on enemies to do things to them. Usually, though, an ally who's starting to get hurt significantly is either pushing far forward to pursue an even more injured enemy, or starting to pull back from the front lines, and in either case will be away from the big mass of characters.

What's annoying me is that there are a lot of numbers the game doesn't want to give you. What's the range of an ability? How many HP does a tower or a core have? How much damage do they do? If something does 20 damage to minions, should I expect that to destroy them, soften them up, or just scratch them?

On another note, is there any use for gold besides unlocking heroes and cosmetic items? If not, I'll just go ahead and start buying heroes once one I like goes off rotation.
  #42  
Old 06-17-2015, 09:54 PM
sachertorte sachertorte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
I don't think you can play a pure one-on-one, that is, a game with just you versus just one opponent (AI or otherwise). It's always a team. But you can play a game of you plus four bots versus five bots, by selecting "Versus AI". I think you might also need to check off a box that says something like "fill empty slots on my team with bots".
Well I feel dumb. You are correct there is a checkbox. It says "A.I. Teammates," which i took to mean that's what an AI game was. In my defense the checkbox itself isn't all that visible.
  #43  
Old 06-17-2015, 11:57 PM
Tom Scud Tom Scud is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
On another note, is there any use for gold besides unlocking heroes and cosmetic items? If not, I'll just go ahead and start buying heroes once one I like goes off rotation.
Pretty much just heroes and cosmetic features. (I have no idea if they have anything different planned for the future, but I doubt it.) I ended up buying enough guys so I have a familiar go-to dude for any given quest (one each specialist-warrior-assassin-support spread out across starcraft-warcraft-diablo - actually come to think I'm not sure I have a diablo hero in my collection). Have mainly been playing Li Li when I don't have another daily to complete.
  #44  
Old 06-18-2015, 06:23 AM
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DOTA2 is much better.. Blizzard is not Blizzard anymore. At least not the same Blizzard company that made games like StarCraft and Diablo and even world of warcraft (when it first launched)

Last edited by perc'; 06-18-2015 at 06:24 AM.
  #45  
Old 06-18-2015, 08:41 AM
RandMcnally RandMcnally is offline
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DOTA2 is much better.. Blizzard is not Blizzard anymore. At least not the same Blizzard company that made games like StarCraft and Diablo and even world of warcraft (when it first launched)
It might be. I'm sticking with HOTS for a few reasons I'm at the ground floor. There isn't years and years of meta-game I need to concern myself with. Also, from what I've seen, the HOTS community is making a concerted effort to prevent toxicity. DOTA and League are notorious for their horrid community. Even my friends who do play will say that it is an awful group of people. I'd rather not deal with that in my scarce game playing time.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:38 PM
RandMcnally RandMcnally is offline
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Murky 4 lyfe!

I'll probably give Brightwing a try tomorrow for the remaining of the rotation. It looks fun.
  #47  
Old 06-18-2015, 09:31 AM
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I played a shitload of DOTA and will confirm that it is a horrifically toxic community, especially towards newbies.

HotS seems to have the same sorts of players, but not being able to interact with the other team has cut down on a lot of the potential toxicity.
  #48  
Old 06-18-2015, 09:56 AM
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I can already see a number of ways in which HotS is better than DotA. First and most importantly, the flaws in the game that DotA embraced, HotS actually fixed. When it's to your advantage to kill your own minions, for instance, something is broken. The fix is not to give you new ways to kill your minions, and to track your progress at killing your own minions and to congratulate you when you do it. The fix is to make it not to your advantage to kill your own minions.

Second, HotS has maps. When I first started playing DotA, I asked whether the advice I was getting was relevant for all maps, or whether I might need to vary my tactics for some of them. Then I discovered that there's only one map that's used every time for every game. Where's the interest in that? They couldn't even make sprite-shifted variations? With HotS, though, the maps not only change in aesthetic, but also in topology (some have only two lanes instead of three, one has two different relevant zones), and all have their own additional gameplay effects. Much better.
  #49  
Old 06-18-2015, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
can already see a number of ways in which HotS is better than DotA. First and most importantly, the flaws in the game that DotA embraced, HotS actually fixed. When it's to your advantage to kill your own minions, for instance, something is broken. The fix is not to give you new ways to kill your minions, and to track your progress at killing your own minions and to congratulate you when you do it. The fix is to make it not to your advantage to kill your own minions.
I disagree. The denial of creeps and creep aggro characteristics in Dota adds another layer of strategy to the game. It doesn't just deny your enemy the chance to last hit and deny experience, it also allows the better player to choose where engagements will occur.

I'm up to about five games in HotS now and I find it fun, but I wouldn't compare the two. They are technically the same genre, but it would be like comparing Rising Storm and COD and trying to declare a better game.
  #50  
Old 06-19-2015, 12:14 AM
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They may add another layer of strategy, but it's a layer of strategy that simply doesn't belong in the game. If all you wanted was layers of strategy, then you could put a big Hex board in each of the bases, and instead of fighting on the front line, you could instead choose to play Hex, and the winner of each Hex game would get an extra creep in each wave until the next game finished. That would indeed add another layer of strategy, but it'd be silly. It'd be even sillier if it turned out that playing Hex was so much more beneficial than laneing that everyone did it, and new players got mocked for wasting their time trying to lane. Except that still doesn't get to how silly denying is, because at least that Hex board would be something that was put in deliberately. Fratricidal denies are something that emerged as a valid tactic, when people realized that doing things that weren't intended at all in the first place worked better than things that were intended.
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