Category Archives: Heroes of the Storm

Nazeebo Talent Guide

A while ago a wrote some tips for making the most of Nazeebo’s abilities. Now I’ll look into his talents.

The general build I use when playing Nazeebo is:

Nazzeebo talents

I find this a good balanced build that can do a lot of siege damage, but also great hero damage.

LEvel 1

Death Ritual is a good, stacking talent. With this you’ll be very tough by the end of the game. Make sure you get poison up on any many creeps as possible before they die.

Level 4

I find this the tier that has the most good options.

Spider Cluster is what you need for a spider build, giving you more spider spawns.

Gathering Power just got nerfed (though it also doesn’t completely go away when you die anymore) but it’s still okay. If you’re expecting to be in lots of hero fights, this can be good.

Envenom can be useful in some scenarios. If you’re trying to solo cap shrines in Dragon Shrine, it can give you an edge over an enemy hero.

Level 7

Gidbinn buffs the duration of your spiders and zombie wall. I find it more useful than the others.

Level 10

Gargantuan can do a lot of damage and doesn’t leave you vulnerable like the other talent. See my other guide for tips on how to use him.

Level 13

Thing of the Deep lets you attack from further away which makes things a bit safer. I really miss the dash talent that got removed from here though.

Level 16

Leaping Spiders is the way to go for a spider build.

However, if you took Gathering Power back at level 4, Specialized Toxin is a good choice here.

Level 20

Humongoid lets your gargantuan live until it’s killed rather than only for a certain amount of time. This will really come in handy for late game siege damage.

This is day 28 of Blaugust.

The Best and Worst HotS Heroes, according to Pam

This is for day 24 of Blaugust

Here are my highly detailed and scientific observations about how the different Heroes rank.

The Most OverPowered heroes

Criteria: These are heroes that make me sad when I see the opposing team has picked them.

Heroes of the Storm - Kael'thas

Jaina – Not so much her on her own, but once she gets that Water Elemental she’s a real pain the ass.

Kael’thas – His ability to blow up everyone makes up for his squishiness. Once he get to higher levels he does a ton of damage. Paired with Jaina? Oof.

Kharazim – He does way too much healing for a damage dealer. Or way to much damage for a healer. Likelihood of nerf in next patch? High.

Leoric – Does way too much damage for a tank. Undying the most annoying ability ever.

The Most Underpowered Heroes

Criteria: These are heroes that make me sad when I see the my team has picked them.

Heroes of the Storm - Tassadar

Gazlowe – Gaz is really clutch at interrupting people who are trying to collect a tribute or hand in dubloons. Otherwise… I’d prefer any other specialist.

Tassadar – He’s kind of half a support, and I’m always confused as to whether I should pick a real support when someone takes this guy. Doesn’t do much damage or healing. He’s good at finding Nova and, in my experience, yelling at the rest of the team for not utilizing his shields properly.

The Lost Vikings – Does anyone play these well? Though honestly, I think I’ve seen them in maaaaybe 1 ranked match. Ever.

Sgt. Hammer – I love you Hammer, but you’re bait in a ranked match.

The Heroes Most Dependent on Player Skill

These heroes are wildcards. It totally depends on who is playing them.

Heroes of the Storm - Nova

Murky – Some Murkys soak up XP like a mofo. Some Murkys leave their egg in the base the entire game.

Nova – A good Nova is likely to go 40-0. Let them get to level 20, and she’s going to kill you and your entire family. A bad Nova rides their pony around for the entire game OR spends a lot of time shooting creeps.

What do you think? What characters make you cringe when you see they’ve been picked?

Ranked

This is for day 22 of Blaugust.

Let’s talk about Heroes of the Storm. Again. I was happy for the season reset that just happened. I was experiencing a bit of a pattern in ranked games that was getting really annoying. I’d win my way up to Rank 20 or so, and then lose. And lose. And lose. I’d win maybe 1 in 8 games during my long plummet from rank 20 all the way down to rank 28-30. This happened twice. If rank 20 is my skill-cap right now, that’s fine. I can accept that. But I can think of less soul-sucking ways to keep me out of the 19+ bracket.

Now, this is all just anecdotal. I have no idea how MMR works. Maybe it’s meant to make reaching your skill cap a miserable experience, maybe it’s not. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky. The worst part about the huge losing streaks is that I didn’t feel I was losing because the opposing team was really good. It felt like I was losing because my team was terrible. Now, I’m not amazing. I sometimes chase a little too far and die, or think I need to finish of a merc camp instead of doing something more useful. But my teams were full of people so bad I often questioned whether they were trolls. It started right from the draft. No one thought about comp at all. Malf and Li Li? Sure! Double tank? Okay! All melee? Sounds like fun! Then once we were off to a limping start, it got even worse. There were the people who wanted to team fight at level 2 and collected no XP (plus yelled at the people who didn’t join the fights). There were tanks off doing their own thing, smacking away at towers while the rest of the team went 4-5 against the enemy. The people who ignored objectives. The people who exclaimed “gg” and went afk if we were 2 levels down. The people who gave me the impression they had never played their hero before. It was pretty disheartening to run into some variation of this in every single match.

I feel like this is kinda backwards. I should be facing the challenge of better players as I rank up, not the challenge of being grouped with a bunch of potatoes.

I’m wondering what other people’s ranked experiences have been like?

Nazeebo Tips (Heroes of the Storm)

My favourite hero to play in HotS is Nazeebo. He’s a specialist meaning he’s very good at siege damage, and his basic attack drains health and mana, making him a top choice to solo lanes. His single target damage doesn’t rival that of an assassin, but he can do lots of area damage.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of Nazeebo’s abilities.

Nazeebo - Voodoo Ritual

Voodoo Ritual is a passive ability applied with Nazeebo’s basic attack. Getting this poison up on enemies is good,and you’re be able to see when the DoT with kill a creep on their health bar, allowing you to switch and attack something else. This DoT is also good for keeping stealthy opponents out of stealth.

Nazeebo - Corpse Spiders

Corpse Spiders will do initial damage where they land, then go after whatever enemy or structure is closest. The base ability summons 3 spiders that last 4 seconds. These are pretty good at chasing retreating enemies.

Nazeebo - Zombie Wall

Zombie Wall can clinch a team fight. Or completely screw your team over. There’s a delay after casting this, so it can be hard to trap the hero you’re targeting. Keep an eye out for stunned heroes which are easier to trap, or try to anticipate the movement of your target.

If you accidentally trap a teammate (or yourself), you can press W again in order to remove the wall.

Some other uses for Zombie Wall:

  • Aiding in escapes. If you’re on the run, cast the zombie wall in your current location so it traps, or at least blocks the heroes chasing you.
  • Blocking. Most maps have choke points where dropping a zombie wall can really screw over your opponents. You can trap them in small passages, allowing your team to kill them quickly. In maps like Dragon Shire, you can drop Zombie Wall at one of the entrances to the shrines to keep enemies out (or in). You can also drop the wall over an enemy gate to keep them in or out.
  • Soaking. When you’re laning and getting close to enemy structures you can place the zombie wall next to a turret, tower, or fort. The structure will then shoot at the zombies rather than you or your team’s minions. This tactic can also be used to soak ammo.
  • Merc camps. Drop this in the middle of a merc camp so the zombies are taking damage instead of you.

Nazeebo - Plague of Toads

Plague of Toads summons 5 toads from your location, which will hop a ways and explode when they reach an enemy or structure. The toads don’t move too quickly so they can be fairly easily avoided. In a team fight, try to aim them at heroes who are stunned, trapped, or just really close and won’t have a chance to get away.

Nazeebo - Gargantuan

Gargantuan is a level 10 talent (spoiler: this is the one I’m going to recommend in my upcoming talent guide). This big guy hits hard, but you can’t specifically tell him what to attack. He does huge damage to minions and structures, making him great for laning or defending against mercs.

  • Stomp. Once he’s been summoned, Gargantuan has an AoE Stomp attack that can be triggered every few seconds by pressing R.
  • Merc camps. Nazeebo excels at taking merc camps to start out with but with this guy, they are a breeze. Stomp, stomp, stomp.
  • He will avenge you. Gargantuan doesn’t die when Nazeebo does. So keep your eye on him as you’re waiting to respawn and continue making use of Stomp.

This is day 17 of Blaugust.

Five Tips for Heroes of the Storm

I’ve been playing a lot of Heroes of the Storm lately. A lot. Too much, even. It seems people are still getting into the game so I thought I’d write some tips, things I wish I had known, or paid more attention to, when I started.

Heroes of the Storm

1. Don’t Die

This would should be fairly obvious, but it can be difficult to teach yourself to play safely. It’s very tempting to try to kill as much as you can with little regard for your own health, but in general it’s best to play cautiously. Deaths near the end of the game mean being useless to your team as you wait on long rez timers. But early deaths suck too. Even though you may only have to wait 10 seconds to rez, it’ll take you another 10 seconds to get back to your lane and that’s 20 seconds of zero XP contribution, plus the XP the enemy team got from killing you. A couple early deaths can really set your team back in terms of levels and make the rest of the match an uphill battle. Some deaths are not avoidable, but these kinds in particular can be avoided:

  • Don’t get killed by enemy structures. These are the worst deaths and people will probably laugh at you. Towers and keeps will shoot at whatever is closest to them – this shouldn’t be you. Wait for a group of creeps to get close enough before you attack a structure so they are taking damage rather than you, and don’t chase an enemy hero into the danger zone.
  • Don’t get killed because you’re deep in enemy territory, alone. In general the closer you are to your own towers, creeps, and the rest of your team, the safer you are. Don’t go running off by yourself especially if you can’t see the enemy heroes on the mini-map.

When in doubt, run away. Run back to your towers so you have that extra firepower alongside you, maybe hit the moonwell.

2. Objectives Win Games

This game is not just a fighting arena. Team fights will become important, but objectives are how you win (or lose) the game. This means your whole team should be going for objectives. Don’t be that jerk in the bottom lane fighting creeps while your team is engaging in a team fight 4 on 5 to get the tribute that just spawned. Go for the big capture objectives as a team. For the collection objectives be sure to hand in fairly frequently and join your teammates if they’re encountering opposition at the hand-in point.

You get a timer counting down to when objectives will spawn, so make sure you’re full on health and mana, then make your way over.

3. Ping!

I was pretty bad about pinging early on since I was so focused on other things, but it can be very helpful. You can press G and click (the map or the ground) for a general ping, but that’s not overly helpful. Instead press G then hold down the left mouse button and drag over to one of the options. Let your teammates know you’re on your way, or need help. If you ping directly on an enemy hero, merc camp, or fort, it lets your team know you want to attack that.

4. Disable chat if you need to

People in online games can be dicks. HotS is no exception. If someone on your team is subjecting you to toxic nonsense you don’t want to see, toggle allied chat off. Once in a blue moon, a critical teammate will have some actual useful information for you, but if they can’t communicate it to you without resorting to ableist and homophobic slurs, then fuck’em. Turn chat off and communicate with pings (and don’t forget to report).

5. Don’t give up

Just because your team is behind, doesn’t mean you’ve lost. One thing I like about this game is that comebacks are always possible. All it takes is a bit more XP, maybe some clever merc camp caps, or catching an enemy by themselves and you can be right back in it.

This is my 10th post for Blaugust.

Blizzard and Free to Play

This is my 3rd post for Blaugust.

It’s been a year now since I quit World of Warcraft. For a while I thought I was done with Blizzard games forever, but apparently not quite. First there was Hearthstone, with which I’ve had a bit of a love-hate relationship ever since the alpha. And now there’s my new go-to game, Heroes of the Storm. In the 9 years I played WoW – between monthly subs, expansion costs, server transfers, and race changes – I’ve put quite a bit of money in Blizzard’s pocket. So, since I quit, I decided I was done giving them money. I would only play for free.

What I’ve noticed is that the FTP experience is completely different in HotS than it is in Hearthstone.  Last week, there were two good articles on Hearthstone that touched on the FTP aspects. On Polygon, the thought was that Hearthstone, now multiple expansions in, is becoming less friendly to new players. Steve at Multiball! is of the opinion that being a non-paying Hearthstone player and earning cards slowly isn’t the worst thing in the world, and is actually making him a better player. As someone who played Hearthstone quite a bit in Beta (and spent some money on packs at that time), then stopped playing until after 2 expansions had come out, I found the huge increase of new cards a bit overwhelming. While Naxx only introduced 30 new cards (along with a bunch of solo content), the Goblin xpac introduced 143 new cards. Going up against all these cards I had never seen before, never had a chance to play, made games difficult. The only decks I had luck with were budget, rush-type decks (which, incidentally, a lot of people look down their noses at). I got to work doing my dailies for gold and I think I was able to get the first 2 wings of Naxx, along with the cards that came with them. I was also able to craft some cards with dust, but I definitely still felt at a disadvantage. Plus, having to make the choice between spending my meager gold on the Naxx content vs. packs that would net me more cards and options, wasn’t really fun. Even arena mode, which doesn’t rely on crafted decks costs at least 2-3 dailies worth of gold. I got tired of it, and uninstalled. Again. Now that The Grand Tournament is coming out, with another 132+ new cards, it’s pretty much guaranteed I won’t be going back to Hearthstone. While the slow and steady approach to card collecting is certainly viable for some, I don’t find the rewards for the time and effort put in are enough for me.

Heroes of the Storm shop

So what about Heroes of the Storm? This is another FTP game that’s full of things you can spend money on, but you don’t really have to. Heroes need to be purchased, for either in-game gold, or real money, though there is a free rotation that you can play each week. There are also many ridiculously overpriced skins and mounts that can be purchased for real money only (for the most part), but since these have zero effect on gameplay I don’t consider these something I’m missing out on by not spending any money. Heroes is nice in that there are a few ways to earn gold. First, just completing the tutorial gives you 1000g, to help get you on your way. You also get a nominal amount of gold for each game completed (more if you win). There are also daily quests, which give between 200-800g each, when you reach level 5 on any hero you get 500g, and as you level up from 1-40 there’s another 16k gold to be had. So it’s much easier to gain currency, especially in the beginning, in HotS than it is in Hearthstone. There’s really only one type of content that is gated, which can be overcome with money or gold, and that’s ranked mode. You need to own 10 heroes before you can play that. The reason why I don’t mind this gating is that it makes sense. Due to the drafting process, you need 10 heroes in case the worst happens and every hero you like gets taken before you get to pick. It really makes sense that you need to own the heroes because then, ostensibly, you should know how to play them. This being a team game, you don’t want people trying out new characters in ranked mode.

Heroes of the Storm is a game I feel satisfied about not spending any money on. I don’t feel like it’s holding me back, or that the people who throw money at the game are having more fun or outperforming me because they spent money. My one concern, for the future of HotS, is that too many heroes get added. Right now there are 39 heroes which seems like a reasonable number. What I don’t want to see is over 100 heroes in the game, like LoL has. One of the strengths of HotS is the low barrier to entry, and adding dozens more heroes would negate this. In order to be really good at the game, you need to not only know how to play your own hero, but have at least an idea of the abilities of the heroes you’re up against, or playing with. 

What do you think? Do you play either of these games? How do you feel spending real money impacts them?