Heroes of the Storm First Impression
After my friend mentioned Heroes of the Storm (HOTS) to me, I started doing research on this game. My friend sold it as an easy to play version of League of Legends (LOL), with a lot of game mechanism taken out.
I have played League of Legends for about three years now. And I believe that I am a very good player, if not high elo, who understand the game mechanism and trade offs. I play well in all game modes: Summoner's Rift, Dominion, Howling Abyss, and the old and new versions of Twisted Treeline. I am also quite competitive in various temporary game modes.
When my friend told me about HOTS being easy, I immediately thought of my two toddlers, who like LOL, but is really too advanced for them. As I dug into research on the Internet, HOTS was being portrayed as being less skilled-based and more arcade-ish entertainment.
That brings to my mind of arcade racing. In arcade racing, the computer automatically adjusts the handicap artificially; basically pulls the #1 car back and pushed the rear car forward. Basically a little kid can be me at it even though I have a real time-trial license and I know all of the racing techniques. If that is the case for HOTS, it would be perfect for my toddlers.
So, last night, I installed four copies onto my kid's computers and my computers. I loaded it up to give it a try and here are my first impression of HOTS.
1) There are a lot of champions from Blizzard games. Very cool to see characters from other games show up. It's like a gamer's wet dream.
2) There are only five free characters to choose from. I'm very picky player. In LOL, I only play something like 5 champions out of the 30 or so I own. LOL provides 10 free champions in a rotation. Out of the five free HOTS champions, I am only willing to play Tychus.
3) There are no "cute" champions. When I say "cute", I'm talking about Japenese cute; basically anime "cute". My son will probably like this game, but good luck getting my daughter to like this game. This game is targeting boys, way off mark for girls. Although many people think HOTS will knock off LOL, it's not going to happen by only targeting boys. LOL has a huge female following. Honestly, I don't even enjoy looking at HOTS characters, because I'm an Asian and I like "cute". And that can be demonstrated by my love for "Tristana" in LOL.
4) The in-game graphics look good. It looks as you'd expect from Blizzard, a high-quality modern game.
5) The sound is balanced well, adjusting the master sound volume is sufficient for me to get the correct volume output across the board. This is something that LOL couldn't get right in 5 year. I painstakingly adjust the volume of each item, but can't reach perfection. Every game, I have to manually change the speak volume knob as I go in and out of a game.
6) The game is very very easy to play. There is hardly much you need to do. Just creep slain and poke at the enemy often. There is really no need to time your abilities. Just unleash them as soon as they are ready. I thought Tychus would be a squishy because he is a ranged damage dealer. But I have found that he is tanky enough to get into the middle of a team fight! If that's the case, where's the skill? In vs. AI mode, we have won the game without Tychus ever have to go back to the fountain for healing. Team level was 16 vs. 11 at one point. So maybe HOTS doesn't automatically adjust handicap? By second game, I have been utterly bored at playing AI. Compared to LOL, I have played AI for years, even now, just for fun.
7) By third game, I decided that it's time for PVP. The AI game pretty much told me my ability is way beyond the skill level needed for HOTS. I thought I can easily take on PVP. I did a quick match, which put me in the Haunted Mine map. Similarly, I didn't feel any tension in the game. No matter how the other human team performed, I was able to get into the thick of things and get out... something I didn't think could happen with a ranged damage dealer. I probably only died two or three times in this game, something that should not be possible for a "new" player. Similar to the AI games, using simple strategy, ganking, and just mashing buttons, I was able to help my team dominate the game.
I didn't see a point to continue playing after the third game. I may play this game with my kids or with friends, but there is no real reason to play it. Next is to get my kids to try it. I will enjoy watching them play or get in with them once in a while for the pure enjoyment. But that's only if there is something in this game that would draw them. If so, it could be a good confidence builder.
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Title: Heroes of the Storm Second Impression
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