Heroes is a game that is constantly evolving. Everyone sees the big changes, like new Hero releases and balance updates, but there are also more subtle improvements regularly happening to the game as well. Blizzard is continually improving the UI and adding additional quality of life features with each and every patch. It is often easy to overlook these smaller, less visible changes, and miss out on something great. One such example involves Quick Casting.
Quick Casting is a feature that has been in the game for quite some time. I even covered it in an article last year. At this point, you might be wondering why I am bringing it up again if it has been around for so long and I have already written about it. The reason is because this feature received dramatic improvements in the Dehaka patch. If you are someone who is unaware of Quick Casting, or maybe someone who tried it in the past but didn’t like it, you might be missing out on a tremendous opportunity to improve your game. I spoke to several players over the weekend at Heroes of the Dorm, and I was surprised by the number who had either never tried Quick Cast or didn’t know that it had been improved.
In this article, we are going to focus on the improvements that have been made to Quick Casting and how you can benefit from them. If you are not familiar with Quick Casting or how it works, I would urge you to read the article I mentioned earlier to learn the basics. It is fairly short and all of the information is still relevant, with the exception of how to access the Quick Cast options. To do so now, just click the menu button in the bottom right corner of the screen and look for the Hotkeys button. That will open a window for Hotkey options and you will see a button for Quick Cast Settings on the left side.
The main change to Quick Cast is that the settings are now completely customizable. The main drawback to the previous version was that it was a one size fits all type of setting. You picked between On, Off, or On Release and then every Hero and ability used that same setting. Some players learned to live with the limitations that arose from this, but others simply chose not use Quick Cast. In the latest version, you now have the option to mix and match your settings. Want to use Quick Cast on some Heroes but not others? No problem. Want to use Quick Cast on some abilities but not others on the same Hero? No problem. Want to use On Release for some abilities, On for others, and Off for your Heroics. No problem!
The second major change is that instant abilities are now instant regardless of your Quick Cast setting. Previously, instant abilities were actually slower if you chose On Release as your Quick Cast setting, since they would not activate until you released the ability key. You also couldn’t hold down the ability key to spam abilities like Healing Brew (Q) on Li Li or Withering Fire (Q) on Sylvanas.
These are great quality of life improvements and I feel like they make Quick Cast something that everyone should be using. Regardless of your skill level, you should be able to easily learn and benefit from Quick Casting.
For the average player, I would recommend going with On Release as your Global Quick Cast Setting (see red circle). This will speed up the rate at which you are able to use your abilities (less clicks needed), but it will still give you the targeting display as long as you hold down the ability key. At first, you might miscast a few spells by releasing early, but it only takes a few games to get used to this new way of doing things, and you will be better for it in the long run.
Once you have gotten used to On Release you can consider using some of the customization options if you feel like there is something that isn’t working the way you would like. To change settings on a specific Hero simply click drop down menu labeled Per Ability Quick Cast Settings (see blue circle) and select the name of the Hero you would like to adjust. This menu includes all of the Heroes, as well as player controlled creatures such as the Dragon Knight and Garden Terror. Once you have the proper Hero selected, you can modify specific abilities by using the drop-down menus to the right of the ability names (see purple circle).
Just a word of advice, don’t get too carried away trying to micromanage this. Most players will be better off just by switching to On Release and using it for all Heroes and abilities. However, it is nice to know the option to customize is there if you truly need it. Just make sure that you have played enough games to know that something isn’t working before you start changing things.
The best way to improve once you understand the basic mechanics and strategy of a game is to become more efficient.
Using Quick Cast, and specifically On Release, is a great way for most players to improve their efficiency with a minimal amount of effort. It may feel awkward initially, that feeling quickly goes away and it becomes second nature. The learning curve for this is very short, and the benefits are immediate.
As always, though, there isn’t a “best” way to play. It is all about what feels right to you. If you try Quick Cast and it doesn’t click, then by all means, go back to Off, or only use it for certain abilities. On the other hand, if you are especially comfortable with your skill shots and targeting you might decide that stepping up to On is right for you. Regardless of which setting you choose, or how you decide to customize it, you will be better off for knowing that this feature exists and for trying it.