It’s finally here! Where do I even start?
HAPPY RELEASE!!! It’s been well over a year since the alpha took lucky nerds by storm. Finally, after much anticipation, Heroes of the Storm is officially open for business. Free-to-play for anyone willing to throw their hat into the contender’s circle, it’s understandable that the whole thing would be so overwhelming. Lucky for you, behind the flashing lights sits a relatively simple game.
So where do you begin?
Play the Tutorial
Seriously. Play this. It’s an introduction that has gone through a lot of changes over the past year. It’s the best introduction you’ll get for this MOBA. Uther voice acts you through what you’re supposed to do and otherwise spells out the basic rules.
Pick a Hero
If you don’t spend real money, earning enough gold to buy what you want is a big part of what you need to do next. However, this also limits your Hero choices since you’ll be limited to the free-to-play rotation. No sweat! This means you won’t be forced to stare at the Hero selection screen with 36 choices to sift through. It’s a great system for beginners! Plus, each Hero you get to level 5 rewards you with 500 gold—a very achievable task each week.
When you decide what Hero you want to play first, head to coop. Games against bots are rarely ever lost. Plus, everyone in there is practicing so there are no trolls. It’s the perfect setting to figure out each map, its objectives and how to use your Hero’s abilities synergistically. The relaxed pace also means you have more time to spend playing around with talent builds.
Aside from that, have fun! When you’re ready, head over to QM for more Hero practice. Once you own 10 Heroes, join Hero League for the best trolls around.
What are your thoughts on Johanna?
Johanna is the fabled Crusader from Diablo 3 lore and finally makes her debut as a tank that enjoys throwing her shield in celebration. Armed with flying hammers and not one, but two shield bashes, Johanna comes off as the female equivalent of Muradin—a true tank’s tank.
The Mirror ETC
While tanky like Muradin, Johanna plays somewhat the opposite of ETC. Instead of charging, she pushes out attacks with her shield. Instead of blasting enemies out in a radius, she pulls them to her. Instead of a buff, she can go full invincible. She even has Stage Dive at level 10, otherwise known as Falling Sword. This may or may not make her a challenge to those great ETC players out there.
Keep in mind, though, that this means she needs a dedicated healer. She is a tank that is designed to run into and make herself the middle of the fray by force. No matter how much of a tank she is, there’s no pulling off her true potential without consistent heals.
To Kill or To Live?
Like most tanks, Johanna comes with a damage build where all talents go to buffing her shield attacks or a survivability build where she won’t be able to dish out much damage but she’ll sure as heck be able to keep her team protected.
What you choose really depends on if there is a healer in your group as well as how many assassins you’re up against. It should also be based on how comfortable you are with her. When I first play a Hero, I always stick with survivabili-builds just so I can get away with stupid mistakes I’m going to make. As I become more comfortable, it’s extremely powerful to spec the opposite.
As for now, expect a lot of bad Johanna’s and one or two really good ones. She’ll be a popular pick for the next week or so because she’s new, but unless she becomes meta, only those that really like her will keep playing her.
Ask DrmDestryr is your weekly Q&A/advice column for Heroes of the Storm. Have a question for DrmDestryr? E-mail her your mental musings at email@example.com or send happy twoughts her way @DrmDestryr. Want to hang out? Check out the ITN PreShow with DrmDestryr! streamed weekly starting at 6 PM Eastern on Thursdays at twitch.tv/amovetv.