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.
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.
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.