Skill in Heroes of the Storm really isn’t about how fast you push buttons or do ‘mechanics’, it is mostly about working together as a team. It is also about not quitting.
Last night, I had a game where my team was behind four levels nearly throughout it. Our core got down to 5%. Then, we won. Looking at the profiles, my team were full of scrubs who had a dozen games or less. The enemy team were all up high in Hero league (Rank 5-20) and had played 500-900 games. We won because I had a conversation with the team about sticking together.
The game reminded me of this scene from Gladiator:
The more I play, the more I realize how the gameplay works. In Heroes, there is a belief that the game revolves around objectives and doing such things. This couldn’t be more wrong. You should never be split up from your team. The only exceptions to this is if you need to survive (dying is really, really bad as it turns your team battles into 4v5 and feeds xp to the enemy) or if you need to soak xp in lanes. Sometimes, it is to do objectives too.
Soaking xp in lanes is also quite different. You don’t actually have to kill the minions to get their xp. You just have to be NEAR them.
I watched Grubby do an interesting strategy with Lost Vikings that upholds the above view of how this game is supposed to be played. He split the vikings up to soak xp in two lanes while he told the team to group up as 4 in the very bottom lane. This meant the enemy had three choices:
1) Could counter the four player push at the bottom with four players of their own. However, Grubby’s team would be gaining more xp and going up faster in levels.
2) Could go after the vikings, but that would result in the bottom lane being pulverized.
3) Have four at the bottom but have one hero go back and forth between the two top lanes. Doable, but not easy.
The team went with choice one. The game was a slaughter as Grubby’s team had three levels or more and just steamrolled them.
The true objective in Heroes is really to kill the other heroes. The higher levels you are from the enemy, the easier this is. The ESL tournament games revolved around the high level teams isolating and picking off a team member or two turning the 5v5 into 5v4 or 5v3. And then they win.
Mercenaries and all matter, but it depends on the map. Blackheart’s Bay is extremely PvE dependent and mercenaries are too important. On other maps, this isn’t the case.
One thing no one in the Heroes community seems to realize yet is that they are going about the game all wrong in their tier lists. “This hero is Tier 1!” “This hero is Tier 2!” And so on.
“Are you saying the top players don’t know what they are talking about, Malstrom?”
Yes, I am. The heroes tier lists is a League of Legends or DOTA mentality. As players, it is easy to fall for it too because heroes are what we have control over to choose and to buy. Yet, we don’t control the maps. We don’t buy the maps.
The master variable is not the hero choice. The master variable is the map. It is the map that will determine who are the best heroes. This will become more prevalent soon as the Heroes community realizes it and as the maps become more varied and the heroes more specialized. The idea of Hero tier lists will go away. What will replace it are tier lists for each individual map.