KillerGuides Heroes of the Storm Guide Review

Heroes of the Storm Warrior GuideHeroes of the Storm Assassin Guide

If you’re like most people who play Heroes of the Storm, you would like to win, Question is how can you possibly get your bearing on a game that has almost 40 different heroes to choose from, a wide variety of different maps with each of their own mechanics, and a design philosophy that’s based around finding the ideal talent build and team composition in order to win? What you need is a good guide that’s taken all of the hard earned experiences that professional gamers have received from researching the game since alpha and compiled them into one straightforward guide.

We’ve taken a look at the top guides available for the game and have found that the site “KillerGuides” offers a well balanced and exhaustive Heroes of the Storm guide for a reasonable price. They have the guide separated by role: warriors, specialists, support, and assassins, but offer a package deal that’ll get you all four for a good price.

It is a paid guide, so you’re going to want to know some specifics about exactly what you’re getting. We’ll take a closer look in this review at what the guide offers to players and address some common concerns that people have with paid guides in general to show you that it’s an overall great deal for the serious HotS player. Let’s get started with some frequently asked questions:

Why a Guide When I Can Just Research on My Own?

People not familiar with KillerGuides usually have one question that comes up immediately: why would anyone spend money on a guide when there is so much information for free available on the internet?

There are a number of answers to that question:

  • Editorial Control: A guide is one resource that’s been compiled together using information from vetted players and has been checked for accuracy numerous times. Going after information on the internet means you can easily run into trolls looking to spread disinformation or noobs talking about things they aren’t really familiar with.
  • Beginner content to Advanced: Lurking message boards will allow you to find information, but the answers to questions posted are generally highly specific and don’t really show you everything about how to play a certain map/hero/talent-spec from the bottom to the top. The guides here are totally exhaustive and will give you everything you need to know in one spot.
  • Less time: This is one of the best benefits. You don’t have to spend your time searching around for help when all of the answers have been compiled into one central location. It’s better to spend those hours actually playing the game.

What does the guide give you?

With the complete package, you are getting literally everything you need to know about the game. It’ll cover each of the heroes available in the game in depth, including a complete overview of abilities, talent builds, and individual tips and tricks that’ll give you the edge in a game, regardless of who you’re playing. You get a complete understanding of each map, its mechanics, and specifically how to use the terrain to your overall advantage. You’ll also get an exhaustive gold guide that’ll get you earning gold the right and most efficient way possible to get those heroes unlocked and really working for you.

Heroes of the Storm Specialist GuideHeroes of the Storm Support Guide

Only Noobs Need Guides!

Maybe you’ve been playing since the alpha and feel like the best way to get better is simply with more practice. While practice certainly helps make perfect, it doesn’t cover everything. Practice will definitely help you get down fundamentals but true professional-level play comes from analyzing a wide variety of angles in the game and understanding heroes beyond their abilities down to their underlying numbers. This is where deep theorycrafting comes in. This is a bit heady for a guide, but all of that information has been incorporated into a very straight forward and easy to understand way that’ll have you playing your best, even if you just bought the hero and are playing your first game with them.

Why Get a Guide When It Will Be Out of Date In The Next Patch?

One of the drawbacks of online games such as MOBAs or MMORPGs or anything else is that there are a ton of patches that sometimes completely change the game in large ways. You spend all this time learning the game under one patch just to have a wrench thrown in everything you’ve learned for the next. Luckily, the guides are updated quickly after a patch release to get you back playing in the most optimum capacity. I got a few guide updates already. This saves you the time and frustration that many players can experience when it comes to relearning how to dominate fights.

Is It Really Worth the Money?

Some people may be concerned about the price point, but to be completely honest, this HotS guide should be thought of more as an investment than as a purchase. Getting it and understanding it will not only lead you to covering much more ground when it comes to gold income and net experience, but you’ll also be getting a lot more enjoyment during the time you spend in the game itself, simply because you’ll be winning more often and will have a much deeper understanding of the finer points of the game.

The Drawbacks

While the guide is definitely a net positive for any serious Heroes of the Storm player, it is not perfect. You will have to spend some time out of the game reading the guide, which can be slightly bothersome to some. Luckily, doing this will set you to have much more fun later on once you’re able to win much more consistently. In addition to that, while KillerGuides are full of details about virtually every angle of the game, there’s no reason you have to read it cover to cover like a novel (although there’s nothing wrong with doing so!). Get the guide, focus on a single hero, and then see just how much better you’re playing while leaving the rest of it for another day.

Overall, we’d have to say that KillerGuide’s Heroes of the Storm guide is a great collection of all of the most important bits when it comes to the game and is a wise investment for any Heroes of the Storm player that’s ready to take their game play to the next level.

Heroes of the Storm Team Interview: 2ARC Gaming

For this issue in our interview series, we are proud to feature 2ARC Gaming, herein represented by the team’s shotcaller, Jacob “QuibsY” Martisek. One of the best professional teams there is in the competitive scene, it already has regularly placed top 5 in weekly tournaments, ranked 2nd in the first season of Heroes Premier League, and qualified as a top 4 team for ESL Major League Season 1 playoffs. Read on and see if you can pick up a few tips and tricks to amaze your friends and foes on your next games.

2ARC_3

HotSS: Tell us about your team.
QuibsY: 2ARC has been a team since August, when it was two different teams, and by October they were merged into one known as 2ARC Iliad. Since then, FuriousD, Chubbsz, and myself have been playing together and we have updated our roster by two members to pick up Pannucci and Traitorr. We achieved 2nd place in Heroes Premier League, took 3rd in ESL Major League Season 1, and have qualified as one of the top four teams in ESL Major League Season 2 to compete in the playoffs.

HotSS: Many teams have played MOBAs before, what were you guys playing before getting into Heroes?
QuibsY: Most of us came from a League of Legends background; myself, Chubbsz, Traitorr, and Pannucci all came from League, whereas FuriousD came from Heroes of Newerth.

HotSS: What are your reasons for playing HotS?
QuibsY: I enjoy the game profusely. It’s just a better version of a game I loved to play already (League of Legends). The community is better, the atmosphere in game is better, I like the art better, the hero design is awesome and wildly different from hero to hero, and I’ve always loved Blizzard games. There is no reason to not play Heroes.

HotSS: Unlike other MOBAs, where character builds depend on items in a hero’s inventory, HotS has introduced a talent system instead. Do you think it is better than buying items?
QuibsY: I think this system is indefinitely better than the item shop, it cuts out the middle man of “Hey guys, wait while I go back to the shop and get this really core item” and essentially just gives you that item. This is one of the reasons there is more action in Heroes than in any other MOBA in my opinion.

HotSS: Which battleground is the most challenging and why it will need a lot of tactics to win?
QuibsY: I think the most challenging battleground changes from team to team, some teams just have some strategies that are extremely strong on a certain map. In broad terms, I think Cursed Hollow is the most challenging map because there are very many options on the map, many avenues, it’s large enough to capitalize on your enemies mistakes. Out rotating someone on a map like Dragon Shire or Tomb of the Spider Queen has less value than it does on Cursed Hollow, for example.

image1430512883-1HotSS: Compared to other MOBAs, hero pool in Hots is more limited. Will there be a problem in finding a more varied plan?
QuibsY: Generating new and exciting compositions has always been a thing we at 2ARC have been pretty good about. Since we, in the competitive circle, pretty much define the meta with things we win with, it’s easy to find things, like the recently out in the open composition tankless compositions we have been running. The heroes are different enough from each other to create different team compositions. Having two ultimates per character also helps with this issue, as you can play most heroes in two different ways depending on what you need.

HotSS: What’s your favorite hero now? And what is its most impressive feature?
QuibsY: My favorite hero right now is Jaina, whose most impressive feature, to me, is the ability to permanently slow a target while also doing extra damage in the process. Her passive is just insanely fun to me.

HotSS: What is the most annoying hero you want to play with the least?
QuibsY: I never had fun playing with Murky. Killing him doesn’t matter and he’s just annoying while alive.

HotSS: At this time, do you think all heroes are balanced yet?
QuibsY: No, and they never will be. Once one set of heroes becomes “balanced”, we will move onto the next strongest and continue to do so. It’s like this in every MOBA, certain heroes are stronger than others at certain times, and remain that way until something new comes up. This is not a bad thing, it shows shifting the meta based on hero balance is possible, and it allows, when changes are made, innovation to occur.

HotSS: When you draft, do you like to pick heroes you prefer or do you like to pick the one that will counter opponents best?
QuibsY: It depends on the team we’re playing against and the pick number we are on. Early on in the draft, it’s always smart to try to take your strongest heroes and go after the most contested heroes.

HotSS: As we all know that map objective is important, do you sometimes choose to push instead of acquiring the goal? Is it worth trading?
QuibsY: Of course. You cannot always win the map objective. Sometimes the enemy team is just too ahead, easy example being the third tribute on Cursed Hollow. Often times at least one team is hitting level 10 by the third tribute, and if your team is not also hitting 10 then you cannot contest the tribute. Losing a team fight and the objective is always worse than only losing the objective. Sometimes the trade isn’t worth it, but usually that’s only when the trade is forced upon you by the enemy team instead of being a decision on your side.

HotSS: Between snow ball and turtle, which play style do you like more?
QuibsY: There are times that turtling is the correct play, but in general, I like to be the aggressor. Aggression wins games.

HotSS: What do you expect to see when the game goes live?
QuibsY: I expect to see a lot more LAN events once the game goes live, and that is already becoming true with tournaments like Blizzcon already announced.

HotSS: Is there any recommendations for readers who wants to improve their play?
QuibsY: The number one way to improve play is just to play the game. It’s also important to acknowledge and remember mistakes so that you do not make them again. I personally like to push my hero to its limits during casual games so that I can make better plays in competitive safely, knowing I can from that practice.

HotSS: Any shout-outs to our readers?
QuibsY: Huge shout-out to our sponsors, Gunnar, Quest Gaming, and RBG Design-Build, my teammates, my management team, Tsuki, our analyst, and an extra special shout-out to all our fans. Without you guys, none of this would even be possible.

Thank you QuibsY, and the rest of the HotS Team from 2ARC Gaming, for this privilege to have an interview with you. (FYI: This interview was made right on the day of Heroes of the Storm release, the 2nd of June 2015. And we are grateful for the team for taking time to answer amidst the chaos of the HotS release.)

Ranked Play According to Blizzard

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In this article, Blizzard provides some clarifications and feedbacks on ranked play – one of the most talked about topics in HotS communities.

Current Status

For different styles of play, there are several game play modes in Heroes of the Storm. Quick Match is comprised mainly of fast, casual games, while Hero League and Team League are mostly competitive ranked modes. Although Blizzard has made a lot of development, players would still like to know the future plans for Ranked Play, and how the system works over-all.

Ranking

First, it is good to know how a rank is presented and its meaning.

In a particular game mode, a rank is assigned to a player (or team) which is a visual representation of their skill. The current highest rank is 1, and the lowest is 50. With each rank accounting for roughly 20% of the population, and in comparison to the rest of the population, the approximate percentile rank you fit in is indicated by each number. For example, the top 2% of players in the game for their region is represented by rank 1. Only a handful of players can climb to the top rank. In order to climb the ranks and be able to beat better opponents, players will need to improve their skills.

However, a progression aspect is included in the current ranking system. The progression system is where players, starting initially at rank 50, climb through the ranks until they reach a plateau that precisely reflects their skill. If a player is still making progress, a player’s skill may not be truly reflected by his/her rank under the current system. This system has resulted to confusion around Ranked matchmaking modes. Blizzard doesn’t want progression and ranking up each season to come at the cost of an accurate ranking. Blizzard is planning to introduce a set of placement matches that players will need to complete before they receive an official rank, in order to improve the accuracy of a player’s rank. A player’s rank will not be assigned or displayed during this phase. The player will be seen by other players as being in his/her “Placement Phase” instead.

A rank that more accurately reflects a player’s skill will be assigned to him/her, once he/she has completed placement matches. Blizzard is still to determine the exact number of placement matches required before players are assigned a rank. A larger number of placement matches will be required for players exploring a ranked mode for the first time to complete. The system will have a much better understanding of each player’s skill with each new season. And before new ranks are assigned, fewer placement matches will be required. Players will carry on as they do today after placing into a rank. Opponents of similar skill level will compete against players and to climb the ranks, earn Rank Points.

Rank Points

Players will gain or lose an amount of Rank Points after each ranked match. Match Points and Bonus Points will comprise the combination of total Rank Point earned at the end of a game.

Based on whether you won or lost the game, you will always gain or lose Match Points at the end of a ranked game. The skill difference between the teams will determine the amount of Match Points your team gains or loses. When in an equally matched game, the winning team earns 100 Match Points and the losing team loses the same number of point. If, skill-wise, the game is not evenly matched, 200 Match Points could be potentially earned by the winning team, and same amount could be lost by the defeated team. The same amount of Match Points for a game can be earned or lost by all players on a given team.

At the end of the game, players are also awarded Bonus Points. If a player’s personal skill rating (MMR) outruns their visible ranking on the winning team, he/she can be awarded Bonus Points. This can help get them closer to an accurate ranking and usually happens if a player wins several games in a row.

The Grandmaster Rank

Having each rank represent approximately 2% of the population is the current goal of the ranking system. Despite that, for those who have reached a high level of skill, rank 1 is currently an open ended rank. Blizzard is planning to add a Grandmaster-equivalent rank above rank 1 to acknowledge the best players in each region.

A Grandmaster rank will be assigned to players who are able to achieve an awe-inspiring level of play. This will show the exact position of where they place amongst their fellow Grandmasters. Blizzard will have a leaderboard available in-game and visible to all, and especially for those wanting to track the best players in their region,

Both Hero and Team Leagues will have a Grandmaster rank, according to Blizzard’s plans.

Seasons Explained

There will be regular seasons in all Ranked Play game modes for Heroes of the Storm, as previously mentioned. Each season will be about 3 months in duration, as being discussed by Blizzard. At the moment, we are in the Preseason of Ranked Play. Blizzard is planning not to hold the first official season until sometime after the launch of the game, and remain in Preseason. Players who were not in the Closed Beta phase will be able to meet the various Ranked Play requirements and get up to speed with the game. This way, Blizzard will also be able to make many of he improvements explained in this post done before the start of the first official season.

pPlayers will need to play through their placement matches, as described above, and all ranks will be reset when Blizzard finally holds the first official season. How well you played in your placement matches and your prior season’s performance will determine which appropriate rank that reflects your skill you will be placed on. To help ensure matches will be balanced and equal, Blizzard will carry over your internal skill rating (MMR) from the previous season.

Eventually, your efforts will be rewarded! The highest rank you attained for the season will determine how you’ll be awarded, so make sure to try your hardest. Blizzard will be adding a Ranked Trophy Page in your profile and it is there where your achievement will receive recognition. Tracking your Ranked progress from season to season can be done from this page too.

Team League

Team League is Blizzard’s newest addition to Nexus, and is where the most organized and competitive teams fight in a Ranked Play experience. Blizzard has collected feedback from the community and internally since the feature’s launch. Here are some of the them:

  • Grouping up with same friends with different schedules is not always easy.
  • Games can be harder to find in Team League since there are fewer teams.
  • The 1000 gold cost of a team is too much.

To address these issues, Blizzard will be making a few changes to Team League.

First, to avoid a high level of team creation churn, Blizzard has implemented the gold coast to create a team. This makes teams affordable, but has a lasting identity that span across multiple seasons. The devs have recently halved the team creation cost to 500 gold to help with this. Hopefully, a balance between cost and low team churn can be attained with this change.

Second, five-player parties will be removed from Hero League and moved to Team League. After this change is made, party size of one to four can queue up for Hero League. A full party of five (either as a pickup party, or a formal team with a name) can queue up for Team League.

Blizzard believes a number of benefits can be achieved from these changes:

  • Better quality matches can be created in less time by having all five-player parties in the same queue. Before, they were split between Hero and Team League.
  • The change guarantees that five-player teams will always face off against other five player teams. Although this is already mostly enforced by the matchmaker.
  • Rules that are more applicable to five-player parties and teams are now better able to be applied to Team League. This means hero bans and other potential draft improvements.

Ranking remains as they do today wherein each pre-made team would still have a team ranking. For those who play with pickup parties of five, Blizzard will have a separate Team League ranking for them.

Heroes of the Storm is Here. And so is Johanna The Crusader.

Johanna
Blizzard officially announced the launch of Johanna, a Crusader hero in full armor, at a Heroes of the Storm launch event. In her trailer, Johanna can be seen looking for an apprentice to join her in her righteous crusade. However, she goes on to show that maybe she didn’t really actually have to need one.

Watch below for the full trailer:

Those who are already into Heroes of the Storm as of release date, watch out for this formidable Hero.

Also, a new Diablo-themed “Heaven vs Hell” map has been hinted upon by Blizzard. Those who are lucky could see in when the content update has been launched.

Heroes of the Storm Team Interview: Team Dignitas

This time, on our interview series, we are proud to present Cris, Tomzey, Blooddragon, Nurok and Linked from Team Dignitas. The team, which was formed in September 2003, is one of the best and most professional gaming teams in the world. Read more about their MOBA gaming tips and tricks, which made them one of the most recognized players from across the globe.

Team Dignitas

HotSS: Tell us about your team.
Tomzey: We are actually handsome boys from all over Europe.

HotSS: Many guilds/teams have played MOBAs before, what were you guys playing before getting into Heroes?
Nurok: I’ve been playing League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, Dota2 & Infinite Crisis.
Linked: Before I started playing Heroes, I was playing League of Legends on a semi-professional and was one of the top Slovenian players.
Blooddragon: Well, I started with DotA long time ago, switched to LoL, played also Infinite Crisis, back to LoL and some DotA 2 for fun. Then I played Infinite Crisis again and that’s when I joined Dignitas.
Tomzey: Table tennis.
Cris: I played League of Legends for about 3 years and then switched over to Infinite Crisis and played that for over half a year.

HotSS: What are your reasons for playing HotS?
Nurok: I’ve grown up with Blizzard Games (Hello Warcraft 3 & World of Warcraft) and have been a fan since then. When they announced Heroes of the Storm, we instantly considered switching.
Linked: I am a big fan of all the Blizzard games especially the Warcraft series, so that got me kinda hyped up to play this game, since [I] can play all the characters that I grew up with. Another reason is that League got a bit boring, so I tried Heroes out to see how Blizzard’s take on the MOBA scene will be.
Blooddragon: First of all, I thought it is a pretty weird MOBA, if you want to call it that way. You can not buy items, you barely can carry solo, which I hated at the start. Including no reason to last hit and rarely can push your opponent out of the lane 1vs1. Further getting into the game, it’s pretty interesting, with all the different maps and objectives, you literally have to fight for, because if you give them up, you can not really get ahead of your opponents. There is always something to fight for which makes playing and watching HotS really interesting.
Tomzey: Started to play it because it was really fun, then it got competitive and I enjoy the competitive side of multiplayer games even more.
Cris: What makes HotS the most fun, is that HotS is really fast [paced] and you almost have non-stop action.

HotSS: Unlike other MOBAs, where character builds depend on items in a hero’s inventory, HotS has introduced a talent system instead. Do you think it is better than buying items?
Nurok: It’s different and has its advantages and disadvantages, many people say talents don’t provide a diversity like items. Of course you have less possible combinations, but the current system fits perfectly, in my opinion.
Linked: I would say yes and no, if I would look at [it] in a casual persons view, I would say it makes the game a lot easier to pickup and just play which is good and also makes the game a lot faster since you don’t have to waste your time buying items at the shop, but at the same time no items in the game makes the game a lot less deep for theorycrafting. I would personally prefer that there would be some items to make characters a lot more versatile (dps tanks, tanky bruisers etc.)
Blooddragon: Right now, I think it is a pretty interesting way to deal with the heroes. Overall my thoughts are, that there is barely room for changing up talents, because most likely, there is just one superior way to go with a hero.
Tomzey: It’s different, not better nor worse.
Cris: I don’t know if it’s better, but I like the approach. Talents still add a lot of diversity in builds and lets you react to your opponents.

HotSS: Which battleground is the most challenging and why it will need a lot of tactics to win?
Nurok: That would be Dragon Shire in my opinion. It’s a small map with roam possibilities where fast calls have to be made. A single wrong call can loose, a right one can win us a game, obviously.

Linked: I think [Cursed Hollow] since [a lot] of time it’s better to trade the tribute for some towers or a mercenary camp, and makes the whole objective fighting more of a mind game.
Blooddragon: I think most challenging battleground is probably Haunted Mines. No one really likes it and barely any team plays it, because it can be pretty much decided in the first or second mine. Cursed Hollow, Sky Temple and Dragon Shire are the most balanced maps in my eyes right now, which [can] also forgive some mistakes, which can be good or bad, depends on which side of the coin you are [on].
Tomzey: On Sky Temple, you can choose to not take fights, you can trade objectives depending on team-comps and stuff.
Cris: In my opinion, Sky Temple is the most challenging map. You have to make a lot of decisions, and 1 or 2 wrong decisions can snowball the entire map for your enemy. You need to know when you can fight for the temples or just give them up and trade them for other objectives.

HotSS: Compared to other MOBAs, hero pool in Hots is more limited. Will there be a problem in finding a more varied plan?
Nurok: No. Blizzard Universe is big enough to bring more characters than all current MOBAs combined, but I don’t believe that they’re planning to bring all of them. At the moment, it might be a little bit limited, but that will change with the time, I’m pretty sure about that.
Linked: I would say the hero pool is almost limitless since you have so many Blizzard Universes to work from.
Blooddragon: It is still in the Beta phase and I hope with the release, [will] pop up a lot of new heroes in a shorter period of time. I also think a second ban on each side, would make the game much more versatile right now. For the future, I hope there will be a draft system like in DotA2. It is by far the best system in my opinion.

Tomzey: No, it’ll be only for a short amount of time, because after release, they want to release a new hero every month.
Cris: Since the Blizzard Universe is so big, I don’t see them having problems adding new Heroes.

HotSS: What’s your favorite hero now?And what is its most impressive feature?
Nurok: Kael’thas is my current favorite hero. He is one of the characters who you can carry with, assumed you’re getting into late game. Additionally, I really like his kit, he’s kind of a ‘Combo-Mage’ with ridiculous burst and poke.
Linked: I would say before it was Brightwing, but right now, I like to Reghar a lot, most impressive feature to me is their mounts aren’t horses like other champs but that they have unique abilities Reghar(wolf form) Brightwing(teleport to a hero), and yeah, I guess the Reghar ultimate is fun to use since you can win a teamfight with a good clutch ultimate.
Blooddragon: Well, I don’t think there is a favorite hero right now, for me. I play warriors for my team, but overall I don’t like them that much. Tyrael would be the favorite warrior for me, because of his kit with escape and good engage. In Hero league I like to play Nova a lot, because you can pretty good abuse mistakes of single players of the opposite team.
Tomzey: Abathur, playing RTS in a MOBA is fun.
Cris: My favorite Heroes are Valla and Murky. Valla is a lot of fun to play, due to her high attack speed and mobility. Murky is just really fun overall, specially when you can one shot anyone at lvl 20.

Team Dignitas 1HotSS: What is the most annoying hero you want to play with the least?
Nurok: There is none if I’m playing with my own team. On the other hand, in solo Q that might be Gazlowe or any melee assassin, because most people don’t know how to play those.
Linked: I dislike playing vs Illidan and Kael’thas since they can single handedly carry the game if they don’t die fast in a teamfight.
Blooddragon: In Solo queue, it is Gazlowe. There are just barely players who can play him and his kit is overall not that good right now without proper team coordination. When I play with my team I don’t really care, which heroes we got, because it is all about winning and focus on the game. It is never annoying to play with a special hero in that regard.
Tomzey: Murky.
Cris: Having a Nova or Illidan in your team in Soloq can always scare me a bit.

HotSS: At this time, do you think all heroes are balanced yet?
Nurok: Overall, yes.
Linked: I don’t think all the heroes are balanced but at the same time I don’t think many heroes are on another level where they could carry the game all by themselves. I would say right now, there’s about 5 heroes that are maybe a bit stronger then the others.
Blooddragon: I think there is never a “perfect balance” in MOBA games. Just because of the competitive scene and the casual scene. Nova might be broken in casual games and even in better Hero league matches, but right now, she is never picked in competitive matches. If you nerf her, she would be unplayable in competitive scene. Right now, there are a few heroes in every category, which are just stronger than the other ones.
Tomzey: Hmm, almost yes.
Cris: It’s hard to say, when heroes are actually balanced. A hero can be a firstpick every game, but can still be balanced. It might also ruin the game a bit, if every hero is balanced. Finding counters or new strategies against overpowered heroes can be fun.

HotSS: When you draft, do you like to pick heroes you prefer or do you like to pick the one that will counter opponents best?
Nurok: This is pretty hard to answer, it always depends on the enemy team and the map which will be played in my opinion.
Linked: We try to do both not let the enemy team get a certain setup but at the same time we try to pick off all the best champs that work well together and also depends on which map we play.
Blooddragon: During the draft, you always go with an idea into the game how your teamcomp should look like and what you want to deny from your opponents. “Blackscorp” from “Team Liquid” is known for his Zeratul and you have to think, whether you want to ban it versus them or not. But on the other hand, can not only play one hero and you should think about your team first, before you care about the opponents.
Tomzey: Try to build a comp that’s good, in itself, and can counter the enemy.
Cris: Mostly, we just try to form a solid comp for ourselves, but in some situations, we pick heroes away from the enemy’s composition.

HotSS: As we all know that map objective is important, do you sometimes choose to push instead of acquiring the goal? Is it worth trading?
Nurok: Depends on the map, for example, on Cursed Hollow, it might be worth giving up a tribute or even the whole curse. Also, on Sky Temple you might go for Pushing instead of going for a temple, for instance if you play with Sylvanas.
Linked: It depends on the map, but it depends what you lose and gain from the trade, if you get a fort or even a keep for lets say a pay-in or a shrine on temple I would say you most of the time win the trade.
Blooddragon: Most likely not. Especially with Sylvanas there are some options to push instead, but most of the time it is not worth it. If you “traded” the map objectives already pretty even, you can decide to go for the push, of course, and don’t have to go for the last skulls on mines or seeds on garden.
Tomzey: Yes, depends on comps and situation.
Cris: Yes it’s worth trading sometimes, but it depends. Trading a curse for one fort might not be worth it, but giving up a temple for a fort is a good trade.

HotSS: Between snow ball and turtle, which play style do you like more?
Nurok: Depends on our team-setup and the map. If our setup allows to play aggressively in the early-game, we surely will do so! On the other side, if we’re playing a late game composition, we try to make sure that we get there safely (by not taking any risks).
Linked: I’m an aggressive player so I like snowballing the game.
Blooddragon: Of course, snow ball, especially if we are on the winning side. I think it is hard to turtle in Heroes of the Storm, because of the map objectives. If you lose, it is not half an hour pain and you can go into the next game after ten minutes.
Tomzey: Snow Ball.
Cris: None, turtling is really boring to play and to play against, while snowballing puts a big pressure on you in the early game.

HotSS: What do you expect to see when the game goes live?
Nurok: More content and a fast-growing competitive scene. I’m really excited for the eSports part of this game.
Linked: More heroes hopefully blade master and some new supports and I guess some nice balance changes and a reworked ranked system ohhh… and a reworked reconnect system, where I don’t have to wait 5 minutes to comeback into the game 😀
Blooddragon: More heroes, more balances and which I would love most is a new “ranked system”. The system right now is pretty bad. The matchmaking is rarely balanced. I would like a ranked system with ELO, where the highest ELO gets the first pick and so on.
Tomzey: Naked girls.
Cris: Hopefully, a better Ranking System with a ladder.

HotSS: Is there any recommendations for readers who wants to improve their play?
Nurok: Go and watch my stream, haha! Nah, just kidding. But if you want to improve you should theorycraft a lot, plus learn by watching streams (not necessarily mine). On a side note, the link to my stream is www.twitch.tv/Nuroklol 🙂
Linked: Be a teamplayer, watch some streams from tournament games and try to do objectives over chasing a kill.
Blooddragon: Even if its tough sometimes and people in your team fu*k up pretty hard, always think about your mistakes in the game and what you can improve or do better to get your team ahead. In any MOBA, that’s the best attitude.
Tomzey: Watch my stream, www.twitch.tv/tomzeyja.
Cris: Just play a lot and watch tournaments.

HotSS: Any shout-outs to our readers?
Nurok: A shoutout to Team Dignitas and our Sponsors (especially Alienware & Corsair) and my girlfriend (sorry honey :p)
Linked: Shoutout to team Dignitas and the incredibly edgy meme team 😀
Blooddragon: I want to thank Team Dignitas for the trust in our abilities to play for them and. of course, our sponsors, e.g. Corsair Gaming, Alienware and much more!
Tomzey: Please help!
Cris: Shoutout to Team Dignitas and our sponsors, as well as to my role model Kungen from Nihilum Gaming.

So there you go! We hope you have enjoyed this interview with the HotS team from Team Dignitas. We hope you have a learned a sleek move or two, from this article filled with juicy details on how to play like a pro.

Interview with a Heroes of the Storm Fansite: Blizzplanet.com

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In this feature, we give you Medievaldragon from Blizzplanet.com, an all-encompassing Blizzard fansite that features all-time favorites such as WoW, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Starcraft, and more. Read on as he discusses why it is important to give new games a chance, and why you should always try something first before deciding whether it’s worth a second go, or it should be tossed at the bin. And he has some pretty suave game moves to share as well!

Q: Tell us about your team.
A: Blizzplanet is composed of volunteers who love Blizzard games. Anthony Armenio and TheRedShirtGuy write about Warcraft lore, and the lore in PTR like patch 6.2, and WankyuLee who writes Hearthstone articles.

Lugia writes general news for World of Warcraft and Heroes. Vitani and Stroughnecks are our resident cosplayers. Then we have the correspondents: Naka, Mark Loftus, Handclaww, Montoya, and Lugia. They do the video interviews and record the panels at BlizzCon, GamesCom, PAX East, and San Diego Comic Con.

Some joined about 2-3 years ago. The fansite has been around since 2003.

Q: Many guilds/teams have played MOBAs before, what were you guys playing before getting into Heroes?
A: Heroes of the Storm is my first MOBA. I got to play a bit of Warcraft III MOBA, but I wasn’t that good at it. I started playing during technical alpha, and loved it. I have eleven heroes level 10. Before playing Heroes, I have played World of Warcraft since closed beta 2004. Over the past 10 years I have played various games on and off. Among them: Hearthstone, StarCraft: Brood War, StarCraft II, Warcraft III, Diablo II and III. I have over 5000 hours of Half-Life 2: Deathmatch gameplay. Crysis, Crysis 2, Far Cry, The Walking Dead, and many other games.

Q: What are your reasons for playing HotS?
A: When it comes to Blizzard games, even if I didn’t like MOBAs, I have a rule that before I reject something, I have to give it a try first. Some people complain without even giving it a try. It turned out I couldn’t stop playing. I played hours and hours nonstop and it’s addictive and fun.

Q: Unlike other MOBAs, where character builds depend on items in a hero’s inventory, HotS has introduced a talent system instead. Do you think it is better than buying items?
A: At first I disliked that this feature wasn’t present in Heroes of the Storm. I had played Warcraft III and it is very item focused: potions, amulets, and other stuff you either loot from creep or buy from the goblin vendor. However, as I kept playing HotS, I can now see the need for streamlining gameplay without an inventory. It is all about the hero and its unique and iconic abilities. Easy to learn. Adding inventory and multiple items probably takes away the fun factor. You just want to play right away.

Q: Which battleground is the most challenging and why it will need a lot of tactics to win?
A: I find the Sky Temple the most challenging. The map is big, and it has so many access points, and hidden spots where you can get ambushed, then you have to control the shrines and contest them to cause constant damage to the enemy base.

Q: Compared to other MOBAs, hero pool in Hots is more limited. Will there be a problem in finding a more varied plan?
A: Blizzard Entertainment has a huge pool of heroes across the Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo and Classic Arcade games. They just wanted to ship the game with what we have now, and they have commented in various interviews the past few years that they plan to keep updating and expanding Heroes of the Storms. New skins, new battlegrounds, new heroes, even new talents.

So I am not worried at all about the current pool. Blizzard now has Overwatch heroes to pool from and I am not even counting heroes and characters we have only seen in the novels, mangas and comic books which are part of the canon.

Q: What’s your favorite hero now?And what is its most impressive feature?
A: I have around eleven level 10 heroes and I love them all. Among my favorites are Thrall, Jaina, Li Li, Sonya, and Tassadar. Really hard to just mention ONE favorite hero. Thrall for example can facemelt from afar with a lightning bolt. I can stun or block the escaping way. Jaina is another awesome assassin that can defend a shrine, popping her water elemental, and both casting frostbolt and cone of cold simultaneously is a GG. Li Li is pretty good as a healer, and some talents help her regenerate mana constantly to keep the team up. Lots of survivability, if you know how to run for it.

Tassadar has gotten a few nerfs over the past months, but I like to assist my team with shields, go archon mode and phase away if I get in trouble. It is difficult to kill Tassadar with the proper talent spec.

Q: What is the most annoying hero you want to play with the least?
A: Personally, I’m not so fond of playing as Falstad. Compared with other heroes’ survivability specs, he feels slow and easy prey. Maybe I just don’t know how to play him, but that’s how I feel. I avoid playing as him altogether.

Q: At this time, do you think all heroes are balanced yet?
A: It feels pretty balanced, and there are many ways to counter strong heroes. Murky, Zagara, Uther, for example, can neutralize Diablo’s flame either stunning him, burying him or bitch-slapping him with a trout while immobilized. It’s all in how you play the hero, and how you time your abilities.

Q: When you draft, do you like to pick heroes you prefer or do you like to pick the one that will counter opponents best?
A: I sorta stopped playing around the time they introduced the draft feature. I played many Sky Temple games in the normal matching mode before I focused on Hearthstone and Warlords of Draenor. Heroes is very very addictive, and I had not played Warlords of Draenor until February. When a new hero is introduced, I play it for a bit though.

Q: As we all know, that map objective is important, do you sometimes choose to push instead of acquiring the goal? Is it worth trading?
A: Trading is probably best a tactic when the opponent’s defenses are down and their base is ripe for the taking. While they are busy doing their goal objectives, you can push. Pushing early can be a double-edge sword. You can win or you can lose. Pushing at the end, and retreating if things go south – you can easily comeback. I have leadered some randomly joined teams to push even when our own base is nigh gone, and we have won by pushing when the opponents are busy gathering skulls or other stuff. They didn’t see it coming. You must know when to push and when to focus on your map objectives.

Q: What do you expect to see when the game goes live?
A: I expect a lot of updates on a monthly basis. New skins, new heroes, new battlegrounds, some of the current battlegrounds might be retired from the matching system to let new ones shine. Probably new store services we haven’t even heard Blizzard acknowledge working on.

Q: Is there any recommendations for readers who wants to improve their play?
A: There are many websites out there with guides. Some pretty good ones. Try the talent specs, and if you feel comfortable with them compared to how you have been playing it in the past – go with it. You can also ask developers what their favorite specs are. A developer told me a killer spec for Tassadar and I rarely die.

Check out the eSports / pro Gamer livestreams and check out which talents they are picking. You might be surprised how your gameplay changes radically by observing.

Q: Any shout-outs to our readers?
A: I have never played any of the MOBAs out there: League of Legends or DOTA 2. I don’t even like World of Warcraft PvP. Not my style. However, I never say no for the sake of it. When Blizzard introduces a new game, I will play it 8-10 hours a day for weeks. My verdict after playing Heroes of the Storm for the first time — it is so damn addictive and enjoyable. Simple to understand and learn, hard to master. Practice makes you better. Reading guides out there and testing those different specs until you feel comfortable makes your gameplay more spicy.

Blizzard Entertainment has done a great job with Heroes of the Storm; and stripping all the item and inventory stuff that newcomers see as plain jargon that makes gameplay complicated was a smart move.

Blizzard wants you to focus on quick gameplay and not in complicating your existence with unnecessary stuff, like what I have heard exist in the other MOBA games. Gameplay first.

The game is free to download. So go download the game and play it. Have fun, and don’t worry too much about buying heroes or skins with real money. Complete the daily quests, reach level 10 on each hero and eventually you will be able to buy new heroes with gold. I currently own 23 heroes. Almost all my hero collection came from gold except Jaina, Thrall, Murky and Azmodan.

Give it a try. You will love playing Heroes of the Storm.

Now, that’s some really earnest words for advice from an earnest gamer. We hope you have enjoyed and learned something from this interview with Medievaldragon. And we’d like to see you pull that move of bitch-slapping Diablo with a trout too!

Heroes of the Storm Patch Update in May

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Spyrian, Blizzard’s community manager, has posted the latest HotS patch notes. The patch has fixed problems with Rehgar, Sonya, and Kael’thas, as well as UI issues and few crashes that have affected players.

According to Spyrian, “We’ve just released a hotfix for the Heroes of the Storm Open Beta in the Americas region of Battle.net, in order to squash a few bugs that made their way into the game following our latest patch on May 12. We will release the update for all regions worldwide throughout the rest of the day.”

Read more of these patch notes here.

Why Tychus’ Cigar Was Removed in Heroes of the Storm

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If you’re a long time Blizzard fan and you have recently played Heroes of the Storm, you might be one of those who noticed that Starcraft’s Tychus Findlay is missing his signature cigar hanging out from the side of his mouth. Recently, Blizzard has explained to Reddit, that this has something to do with the rating of the game.

Blizzard has a number of guidelines to adhere to since HotS is published with a teen rating in multiple regions. Findlay couldn’t both keep the teen rating and smoke at the same time at some regions. Therefore, Blizzard can either remove the cigar, or make 2 versions of the character – the smoking and non-smoking one.

According to Blizzard, “Making 2 versions means more data management, multiple duplicates of the asset (if we update an animation, it has to propagate to all versions) such as the the death ragdoll model, The facial animations, his morph into the Odin, and apply that process to every skin as well. This mountain of work affects multiple departments and has to be addressed every time we’d adjust Tychus.”

This is not the first time that Blizzard, in order to conform to rules in different regions, had to alter a Heroes of the Storm character’s appearance. In some regions, Blizzard has to remove or change skeletal or bloody elements from a character.

A developer in Blizzard says, “It is a full time job managing those exceptions, and the less we have to manage, the more time we can spend making more game!”

Kael’thas Joins Heroes of the Storm

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Blizzard has announced Kael’thas Sunstrider as its next hero in its first ever MOBA: Heroes of the Storm.
Heroes of the Storm has taken its characters as well as settings from Blizzard’s franchises such as Starcraft, Diablo and Warcraft. Kael’thas comes from the last of those franchises, and has a background story that spans through World of Warcraft and Warcraft 3.

Kael’thas Sunstrider, also known as the Sun King, has his role as an assassin hero in the Warcraft franchise as well as Jaina. Prince Kael’thas, like all other Blood Elves, was transformed when Quel’thalas fell apart. The Sun King domineers over Tempest Keep after teaming up with Burning Legion when desperation to save his nation from being ravaged by their magical obsession.

Prince Kael’thas is a mage with the abilities to empower his talents and capabilities in unique ways as well as dealing area-of-effect destruction.
The Sun King can only be adorned in the finest of armor and robes. His brilliance and his majesty must shine into the world, just like the sun.

On some worlds, magic and technology are not different in any way. Now Lord Kael’thas has mastered both. Surely, you don’t expect anything less than the creation of terrors and wonders that are beyond your imagination!

Kael’thas Abilities

  • Flame Strike : creating a fire pillar in a place after a short holdup. Kael has the Verdant Spheres trait which greatly empowers and improves area and damage.
  • Living Bomb : Prince Kael can deal damage to an enemy over time, and transform it into a bombshell that will explode after a holdup. The trait Verdant Spheres empowers the Living Bomb and removes mana and cooldown cost.
  • Gravity Lapse : This skillshot stuns one enemy, and when empowered by Verdant Spheres, it is capable of stunning 3 enemies as the crow flies.

Heroic abilities

  • Phoenix : The Sun King is able to summon Phoenix to particular location, and deal damage along the travel path. It subsequently acts like turret having rapid AOE devastation and can be repositioned at once.
  • Pryoblast : the ability to unleash a fireball which deals massive destruction after a channeling duration. The fireball may be slow, but it will track the primary target.

Heroes of the Storm has an official release date slated for June 2nd. You can still check the game as it is open to public play before the official launch as Blizzard seeks feedback from the game players. If you are a fan of blood elves as well as mage characters, Kael’thas will definitely wow you!

Interview with a Heroes of the Storm Team: Heroeszone.cz

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For this second in our interview series, we are proud to present one of the more prominent HotS fan sites in Czech Republic, the Heroeszone.cz. Malf and his team comprised of Grep, Neocar, Shaggyn, and Zhack, tell us why it is important to always feedback what we think of the gaming experience to gamer’s developers, and how they make sure to provide viable information by taking time to play the game on a first-hand experience. Read on!

Q: Tell us about your team.
A: At first, I would like to say that from the beginning, we wanted to have a website about Heroes of the Storm. So, we play sometimes but we are not pro gamers. Our team consists of former Diablo players and fans and we worked together on previous project focused on that game. After the announcement of Heroes of the Storm, we decided to create a website about Heroes. We wanted to write about all things concerning the game. There is a big potential in Heroes to become an eSport and that was a big advantage over Diablo, for example. And we were not wrong. We can always find many interesting topics about Heroes of the Storm and it is not boring work, I have to say.

Q: Many guilds/teams have played MOBAs before, what were you guys playing before getting into Heroes?
A: As fans of almost all MOBAs, we have played DOTA, DOTA 2 and LOL. Some of us are regular DOTA/LOL players and we enjoy it, of course. But in my opinion, it is not mandatory to have experience with other MOBA games. You can play Heroes of the Storm even when you don’t know what MOBA means. Heroes of the Storm is from Blizzard and so the game is as always easy to learn and hard to master. So I suggest everybody to try it, even if he/she has no experience with MOBA.

Q: What are your reasons for playing HotS?
A: We focus on our website www.heroeszone.cz. Of course, it is not possible to write about a game you don’t play. So before we had an access to the game we had to believe that articles we translate are correct and, above all, we could not write our own articles. After we gained closed beta, it was a different story. We can create our own content like Youtube videos or articles based on experience gained directly by playing Heroes. So this is the first reason why access to the game is so important. The second and more relevant reason is the entertainment we feel when we can spend some time with friends fighting side by side for the victory in the world of Nexus.

Q: Unlike other MOBAs, where character builds depend on items in a hero’s inventory, HotS has introduced a talent system instead. Do you think it is better than buying items?
A: In fact, both systems have their own advantages and disadvantages. DOTA for example is a far more complex game than Heroes of the Storm. The complexity itself is the reason why some players refuse to play such difficult game. So DOTA, in comparison with Heroes, has different target group of players. We will see how Heroes of the Storm will be successful, but I can imagine that many players would prefer Heroes because of the ability to play a game without any further knowledge of its mechanics. It is easy to just choose a talent and see what will be next. And for a while, it can be good. But if you want to play smoothly, you have to understand what is behind it. You must understand why, for this build, some talent is perfect and the others are not.

Q: Which battleground is the most challenging and why it will need a lot of tactics to win?
A: All battlegrounds represent a challenge. But if I have to pick one of them, it would be Sky Temple. It is a never ending struggle and you have to bear in mind that the game is extremely intense and you can’t stop even for a few seconds otherwise, you can lose the game. You have to conquer the temples, defeat the mercenaries, watch your opponents and as always, stay calm and vigilant. It is a constant rush and you must not think about the pressure and do your best. I think multitasking is the most challenging on this map and no other battleground can be compared with this one.

Q: Compared to other MOBAs, hero pool in Hots is more limited. Will there be a problem in finding a more varied plan?
A: There were some articles about this topic. For some people, there are not many heroes in the game. But the development process continues and we can look forward to see many new heroes that have not yet been announced. For now, I think 30+ heroes are enough almost for everybody and you can choose the hero by your own taste.

Q: What’s your favorite hero now?And what is its most impressive feature?
A: I choose the hero/heroine not only because of his/her talents but also because of the look, lore and feeling I have when I play him/her. So it is difficult to pick just one hero. But if I have to, it would be Sylvanas. She is the best. She looks fantastic, she has powerful heroic abilities and her play style is wonderful. Wailing Arrow is a perfect ability and with Deafening Blast, it is nice heroic that can easily turn the course of a battle.

Q: What is the most annoying hero you want to play with the least?
A: That would be Murky. I don’t know what more to say, because Murky is just for trolls. No decent player would choose Murky in Hero league match, for example. He is not balanced and even in hands of a good player, Murky just can not help his own team to win the game.

Q: At this time, do you think all heroes are balanced yet?
A: Well, for all gamers that know Blizzard, it is obvious that heroes are not balanced yet. After open Beta, there will be some changes of course and developers do their best. But without more players in the game, we will not see proper balance between heroes. And more changes will come after the game will be out for a while. Because of the fact that if more players give their feedback, the more changes will come due to balancing process.

Q: When you draft, do you like to pick heroes you prefer or do you like to pick the one that will counter opponents best?
A: It depends on the mode. If I play Hero league, I do the best for the victory. But when I just want to relax and play some casual games, I prefer to choose according to my mood.

Q: As we all know that map objective is important, do you sometimes choose to push instead of acquiring the goal? Is it worth trading?
A: I wrote about Sky Temple before and I think it is a good example of the map where you can not just push without thinking. Heroes of the Storm is a game where you can not just do what you are used to do in other MOBAs. Map objectives are extremely important as well as mercenaries. And when you underestimate their power to change the course of a battle, you will probably loose.

Q: Between snow ball and turtle, which play style do you like more?
A: Snow ball is part of the game. I don’t think any of them is the right one, but snow ball is in every MOBA. All heroes in one line destroying everything in their way to the core – that is perfect for audience who watch the replay or the match online. You can feel victory in the air and the opponent team is experiencing very rough time. That is what we like on MOBA!

Q: What do you expect to see when the game goes live?
A: Constant improvement process, that is what I expect. The game can look good but after professional players enter the lobby, that will be the time when the real balancing process will start. And it will be very good for the game, although the first months will be rough.

Q: Is there any recommendations for readers who wants to improve their play?
A: There is one big advantage of Heroes of the Storm – it will be eSport. Other MOBAs are eSport too, but not so many games are suitable for it. eSport entice professional players and all of you can watch those professionals playing the game. You can try their builds, tactics, team composition and you can easily improve your play.

Q: Any shout-outs to our readers?
A: Feedback is very important for developers so if you don’t agree with something or want to improve something else, don’t hesitate. Official forum is the right place and for now you have great opportunity to actually change the game. Play all heroes you can, try different modes and be active. If you don’t like something just don’t keep it to yourselves, developers need to hear it!

An open communication between players and devs – just the way we like it too, Malf! We hope you have enjoyed our small chat with Heroeszone.cz. Tune in again next time, for more on team and fansite interview.