I always get so excited for the new heroes that come out, but when I try them I suck. What's going on?
The Heroes Learning Process
But in all seriousness, new characters, though made exciting by the hype, rarely turn out to be powerhouses. The preview videos are designed to make them seem invincible, so the actual reality that they are balanced is soul crushing, causing many to abandon said Hero before they put in the effort needed to make the Hero a force to be reckoned with. If you need a few tips and tricks, here’s the scant wisdom I’ve accumulated over the past year or so in regards to taking on the task of learning new Heroes.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Silly
During your first few games in co-op, do what you want. Test out their limitations against towers. See how long it takes them to grab the different merc camps. Go at different enemy Heroes by yourself to see just how long you have before the situation becomes dire.
These first few games are where you gather critical information on how they move, their durability, their abilities, their heroics and more than you realize you’re learning. Don’t limit yourself to builds you find on the internet. Come up with your own based on talents that you personally have fun with to see if they work. No one’s judging anyone in co-op. It’s a safe place to practice walking, talking and murder.
Forgive Yourself for Dying
I personally can’t help myself from dying at record levels until I hit about Hero level 6. It’s just what happens because I’m still in my knowledge infancy.
And that’s okay.
This is why once I’m happy with co-op, QM is my next target. It’s not ranked, I end up playing with a lot of different Heroes and I am asked to play a lot of different roles depending on team comp. This inevitably means that for each new type of fight, I’ll be dying like it’s the next new fad. Why? Because I don’t have any frame of reference whatsoever for how much my Hero can sustain before needing to turn around. And since I’m more aggressive than not, I’ll run in deeper and stay longer than I should. Without this, though, I would never be able to learn my damage threshold on that Hero for each type of encounter.
While you should forgive yourself for dying in the beginning, be sure you’re learning from these different situations. Once you hit about Hero level 6 or 7, you should have your deaths down to about a maximum of five each game, especially if you’re winning.
Embrace QM’s Matchmaking System
QM’s matchmaking is, for lack of a better term, crappy. Even still, the team comp you are up against has become far more balanced, leading to incredibly interesting team comps and battlefield stories. Because of this, you’ll no doubt be forced into a role that your Hero technically wasn’t made for. The only melee assassin on a team without a tank is the default tank, for instance. While many might complain about this because they don’t get to play their “proper” role, let’s not pretend for an instant that all League games are typical. All too often weird comps happen, and if you can’t adapt, you all but lose the game for the teammates that can.
Where do you learn this adaptive ability? QM.
Practice Makes You a Bad*ss
Never underestimate the power of practice. If you only ever play 10 games with a Hero, you're not going to be wowing anyone anytime soon. When you decide you really want to become as good with the Hero as the previews make them out to be, you're going to have to work for it. There are no shortcuts.
People are not lying when they tell you success is 90% hard work, 10% harder work.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.