MOBA’s have been around for some time and considering that one of the original MOBA’s was a mod off a Blizzard’s Warcraft 3 game it only makes sense that they eventually get into it. I have played other MOBA games such as Heroes of Newerth, League of Legends and even DOTA 2. Most are very similar with each other but Heroes of the Storm brings something unique to it and I find myself really enjoying it.
First off for those that aren’t aware of what MOBA is it’s a game normally played with 2 teams of 5 players each. Some games have other modes with fewer players but all have the 5 man team mode. Each team has a base and the eventual objective is to destroy that base. In order to get to the base you must work your way past the defenses which are normally towers of some sort. You will have little minions that follow a path and met up with the enemy minions. You grind up those minions by killing them for XP. As your character levels during the match you can upgrade your hero with new abilities or increase the power of their current abilities. Some games you earn gold and purchase items to help boost your character even more.
There are multiple different hero types that have different attributes. In Heroes of the Storm you have Warriors, Assassins, Specialist and Support. Within those types of characters you then have a break down of melee or ranged heroes. So there can be a ranged assassin or a melee Assassin and same with supports and Specialist. Your Warriors are normally your tanks that take the damage, stun the enemy and allow the other heroes to kill off the enemy heroes while your support buff and heal the team. From my World of Warcraft days I lean more towards the healing roles or the specialist roles. I normally avoid the Assassin roles and leave those to the more pro players as they are high DPS characters but also normally harder than most.
What makes Heroes of the Storm different than most of the other MOBA’s are several things. For one there is no items to buy in game to buff up your hero. Instead the game uses talents to modify your characters abilities. In other MOBA’s the items can modify how your play your character such as making them more tank like with more health or some magic protection if there is a nasty magic damage dealer you want protection from or you can focus on more damage. In Heroes of the Storm the talents fill this role. Since there is no items there is no gold for killing the creeps. I have to say I don’t miss that part since in other MOBA’s I would accidently kill a creep that a teammate felt they needed and I would get harassed since they felt they needed the gold for items more than my character since normally I play a support role and really don’t need gold other than to purchase wards. In fact in other MOBA’s supports are pretty much stuck to lighting up the map for everyone to see. Fortunately Heroes of the Storms does not have wards either but instead have Watch towers in which you can capture to see what’s going on in certain parts of the map and some heroes have talents and abilities that can show parts of the map as well. The other thing that would create issues in other MOBA’s is that different characters would level up at different from their teammates. In those MOBA’s you hope your strong carry’s level up fast and become very powerful and your supports normally suffer with low levels and get picked off easily by the enemy team. You had to let your teammates farm the XP so they could level up quickly. In Heroes of the Storm you level up as a team. Since their is no kill steals the team can work together and level up together. The downside some will see if that they can’t carry their team since they can’t level up or jungle as other MOBA’s allow them to do.
The other part that makes Heroes of the Storm different and probably the most important is that the maps have objectives. Playing the objectives of the maps is what gives you the most chance of winning against the enemy team. One map has you collecting coins to turn into a boss and when you hit the max he wants he’ll attack your enemy’s base with cannons doing the dirty work for you while you are safe. Another map has something similar where you enter the mines and destroy undead and collect skulls. There are 100 skulls and after they are all gone golems spawn and attack the enemy base and their power is based upon how many skulls were collected. Your objective there is to obviously collect more skulls than the enemy so that your golem is more powerful. There are two maps that also allow you to take control of a creature and control it and destroy the structures. One has two shrines that you must control in order to seize control of a dragon knight while the other one you collect seeds by killing special creatures and once you collect 100 seeds your garden terror rises.
Heroes of the storm also introduced daily quests which is similar to their Hearthstone game. Those daily quests help you earn in game gold which allows you to later purchase heroes. You can also gain experience with a hero and open up more abilities for them. By the time you hit level 4 on those heroes you have unlocked all of their talents and at level 5 you unlock more gold. I’ve been making it a mission to hit level 5 on each character when they are free to play and have amassed enough to purchase a few heroes. You can also buy the heroes for real money as well or by bundles that will include heroes and skins. If your looking to start the MOBA style games then I think Heroes of the Storm will be a good starting game so you understand the mechanics of MOBA. The game is still currently in Alpha and by invite only by Blizzard so good luck.