Playing Around Patches

by Alebeard on

Heroes of the Storm is an ever evolving game due to the introduction of new Heroes and regular balance updates. While this can sometimes make it hard to keep up with the Meta, it also provides a valuable information that you can use to your advantage. Even if you don’t play draft modes you can still use your knowledge of how the game is evolving to improve your chances for success. In this case, success refers not only to your chances of winning, but also your chances of having an enjoyable experience. There is an element of randomness to Quick Match which can at times lead to some… interesting… compositions. Taking a few moments to consider recent changes and how they affect which Heroes people choose to play can go a long way to improving your odds of avoiding a less than ideal comp. Most people intuitively understand that Heroes who have


If you have been watching any of the games from HGC Korea you may have noticed something different. No, I am not talking about the crisp rotations or remarkable mechanical skills. I am talking about the appearance of the game itself. This is because the stream is being broadcast in Color Blind Mode. As you can see, the blues are a little bit lighter and the reds are more towards the yellow end of the spectrum.* This change is not only reflected in things like Hero name plates, Structures, and the Mini-Map, but it is also affects how various Abilities are displayed. There are also other subtle differences, like how the neutral Mercenary Camps are displayed on the Mini-Map. Rather than the familiar yellow color, they show up as white in Color Blind Mode. While broadcasting competitive Heroes in this mode is something new, there has long been a subset of players


Ten Thousand Kicks

by Alebeard on

I was fortunate enough to be a guest recently on the Nexus Trolls podcast. I had a great time doing it and one of the topics we discussed really stuck with me. The show features a weekly strategy segment entitled Mystic’s Shakedown. In this particular episode the topic of discussion was One-Trick Ponies, or players who specialize in one particular Hero. It was inspired by the following quote from Bruce Lee. The point is clear. It is better to be a master of one thing than to be mediocre at many. While this makes perfect sense in the real world, does it hold true in the Nexus? Is it better to be great at one Hero or to be average at many Heroes? I don’t think the answer is quite as obvious. On the show, Mystic gave his thoughts which you can hear in the video below (there is also an awesome

Taaaaz’Dingo! A battle cry that strikes fear into enemies and teammates alike. Used properly, this mighty exclamation heralds a potential mega kill. Used improperly, it is the opening note in a Zul’jin funeral dirge. What determines which type of Taz’Dingo you get? Commitment and timing. Here is what the great Troll warrior Ale’jin had to say about how to Taz’Dingo. “Proper Taz’Dingo requires courage. To truly be one with Taz’Dingo you must embrace death. If you wish to live you must be willing to die. It is only thru conquering your fear of death that you can cause your enemies to fear theirs. To show fear in the face of Taz’Dingo is to invite death. Once Taz’Dingo has been declared you must stand your ground and bravely strike down your enemies. Running away after proclaiming Taz’Dingo will not only earn the scorn of your Troll ancestors, but it will also

The Nexus Challenge, and the marketing push that accompanied it, has brought a large influx of new players into the Nexus. For many of these players, their Heroes experience has been limited to Versus AI games. This is understandable since playing against bots is a common choice for new players in general, and it also the most efficient way to complete the challenge and reap the benefits. Fortunately, many of the players who were drawn into the Nexus by the lure of Overwatch rewards have discovered that they actually enjoy Heroes of the Storm. As these players continue to play the game it is natural that they will consider expanding to other modes of play. For some, making the jump from computer opponents to real opponents can be an intimidating one. Given the dramatic difference between the style of play in AI and Quick Match games, I thought it would be


Pay It Forward

by Alebeard on

I love Heroes of the Storm, but let’s be honest; it can be a frustrating game at times. Whether it is the ups and downs of the Hero League grind, the team that just won’t cooperate, or that toxic guy who has died ten times but still wants to complain about how bad everyone else is, there are times when this game can really try your patience. Blizzard has taken steps to increase the positive reinforcement and fun factor of the game by adding features like the MVP system and Heroes Brawl, but it isn’t just the game designer’s responsibility to ensure that a game is enjoyable to play. It is also on us as players to find a way to make the game fun for both ourselves and our fellow players. That is where the wisdom of Haley Joel Osment* comes in. While there are times that the game


Things The Joes Do: Defend

by Alebeard on

If there is one thing that I have learned during my years playing Heroes of the Storm it is that people like to defend. I mean, they really like to defend. For many average players, defending is their go to action regardless of the situation. Capture an Objective, go defend. Win a team fight, go defend. Take a Boss, better go defend! Haunted Mines used to be the perfect example of this. It was a common sight to see a team get an 80 skull Golem and end up with multiple people on their team who would decide to hearth back and defend against the other team’s 20 skull Golem. The fact that this Golem posed no threat, and would likely be half dead by the time they reached it, didn’t prevent players from making this same mistake over and over, game after game. It also doesn’t prevent them from doing


We Could All Use More Structure

by Alebeard on

Heroes has long been a game of comebacks, despite what you may have read in that IGN review. It is one of the things that makes the game fun to play and exciting to watch. No matter how badly a team is being dominated, one late game team fight can completely change the completion of the game. There are even mechanics built into the game to help teams that fall behind in experience to catch up, which in turn makes it easier to win said team fights. However, times change and comebacks in Heroes are no longer as easy as they once were. As a result of changes in the Guldan patch, getting your team back into the game is no longer as simple as winning a late game team fight. While it is still possible for teams to close the experience gap, it is not nearly as easy to close


Things the Joes Do: Hearthing

by Alebeard on

For the past few months I have written a series of recurring articles entitled, “Things the Pros Do”. The premise of these articles is simple. There are certain things that highly skilled players do that other players don’t. These things are usually more the result of knowledge than skill. More often than not, the reason the average player doesn’t do these things isn’t because they don’t have the ability to do them, but rather because it has simply never occurred to them to do them. As an Average Joe who plays with other Average Joes, I have realized that the opposite also holds true. Joe’s often do things that are wrong because it simply never occurs to them that it might not be right. With that in mind, I present to you, “Things the Joes Do”, a new series about mistakes that players make without realizing them. In this first article


Not All Fingers Are Thumbs

by Alebeard on

All thumbs are fingers, but not all fingers are thumbs. This little nugget of wisdom comes to you courtesy of the Big Bang Theory. In the episode they were discussing the difference between a Jacuzzi and a hot tub, but it could just as easily apply to the difference between pushing and laning. All pushing is laning, but not all laning is pushing. These two things are similar, but they are not the same. Many players confuse the two, and end up doing one when they intend to do the other. What makes these two things different is what you are trying to accomplish by doing them. When you are laning, your objective is to soak experience. When you are pushing, your objective is to advance the lane. You cannot advance a lane without also soaking experience, but you can soak experience without advancing a lane. This subtle difference is lost

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