Video Game Heroes of the Storm (PC) (2015)

20160218:
I recently heard my friends were into Heroes of the Storm, so I thought I would go ahead and give it a try.

First Impressions:
The closest thing I've played to HoTS is League of Legends. In any case, while some of the mechanics carry over, the attacking felt different, but perhaps something I could get used to. While I liked the layout of the game, the queue times (for Quick Match) were so long. In the end, I decided just to play Versus A.I.


Tomb of the Spider Queen
Sky Temple - Pretty fun.
Raynor - This hero feels solid. Interesting that he's ranged assassin though.

Infernal Shrines
Towers of Doom - So far I like this stage best
Muradin - Whoa, this guy's CC is off the hook! I like his E jump also.

Tomb of the Spider Queen - Perhaps my least favorite mode so far. Not as clear as the other ones.
Battlefield of Eternity - Fun!
Anub'arak - Hmm a bit difficult to play

Cursed Hollow - So-so
Sky Temple - Oh, actually this one might be as good as Towers of Doom
Zagara - Not so bad. Kind of fun. Still like Muradin more, but Zagara feels explosive. Yeah, quite fun. Have to keep distance.


Thoughts:
Pros:
+ Try feature: this type of mode with the cooldown option, the AI option, neutral camp option, and so on is something that I really wish were implemented in League. Imagine being able to go into a single-player mode where one could set Champion Level, etc.
+ Clarity with skins, clarity with skills
+ Randomization of game modes is interesting
+ Can set game options from Launcher/Client
+ Overall, all the features being implemented makes me stop and wonder, why doesn't Riot have any of this. Alternatively, it's almost like Blizzard made a list of everything Riot has done wrong or perhaps a list of everything the LoL community has asked for and implemented it.


Neutral:
~ Seemingly larger learning curve due to the skill choices. Although I'm guessing like Runes, Masteries, Itemization there are specific builds. I think I'll try to play around in Heroes of the Storm instead of using guides. Something I should be doing more with League.

Con:
- The gold rewards and reward system is much slower than that of League of Legends. Thus while LoL allows reasonable collection of champions through grinding, Heroes of the Storm seems to push and encourage the player to shell out some cash.

Blackheart's Bay - Sort of
Garden of Terror - Decently fun, though partially dependent on the player who becomes the monster.
Tyrael - Meh. Perhaps too dependent on allies. The second game was more fun than the first.

My first quest! Play 3 games as a specialty hero. Guess I'm playing 3 games as Zagara then.

Cursed Hollow - Pretty fun
Towers of Domb - So I like this mode, but when teammates don't gather for the objective, it's annoying
Dragon Shire - Being the Dragon Knight is so fun!
Zagara - The more I play Zagara the more I enjoy her damage

I resume the process of playing each of the free to play champions. By the way, I've been going in order of cheapest gold to most expensive gold.


Tomb of the Spider Queen - Steamrolling spiders is a good feeling.
Battlefield for Eternity
Falstad - Holy cow, this guy's pretty fun!

Towers of Doom - Hmm, I take it back. It might actually be a bit slow since so much damage comes from keeping control of the turrets.
Cursed Hollow - I find the cursed debuff not so interesting
Sonya - This character is pretty all in. I find her dependence is on her sustain off of E. Get damage down and then leave the fight.

Battlefield of Eternity
Garden of Terror
Kharazim - This champion is awesome. Pow pow pow pow.

That's all the free to play heroes and I would say I like Zagara best, followed by Kharazim, and then Muradin.

20160221:
Purchased Li Ming. She's OP.

20160223:
I begin leveling the new Free Rotation Heroes up to level 5.

20160227:
I finished the last of the new free to play champs up to level 5 (Total hero level 105: 5*21). This gets me to Level 28 (982156XP) and I have a bunch of gold (19645 gold, would have 29645 gold without Li Ming purchase). (168 games played)


Unfortunately I couldn't use the free Stimpack to its full potential cause I had some other business and travel, however I got a pretty good stretch out of it.

Perhaps I will use the remaining hours to level up to level 30? Dunno.

too exhausted. Stop afer last free to play champ as mentioend above. 5:11AM EST

Woke up at 9:05AM EST. No more Stimpack :( hahaha

20160307:
Hours remain before the end of the current week's free rotation, also my third round of free rotation.

Here's a recap:
FW#1) Started playing the game with the following heroes available (Feb 16-22): Anub'arak, Falstad, Kharazim, Muradin, Raynor, and Zagara. With my first 10,000 I purchase Li-Ming. Before the free rotation is over I've unlocked the 10th Hero Slot and level the entire free rotation plus Li-Ming to level 5. The remaining free rotation (in order of slots) are Tyrael, Sonya, Tyrande, and Greymane. Of these 11, Li-Ming was my favorite followed by Zagara. Excluding Li-Ming, I would choose Zagara followed by Muradin.
FW#2) The next free rotation is available and I'm still on the Stimpack. I rush to make use of the Stimpack to level the entire free rotation as close to level 5 as possible before I have to go on a trip. The rotation is Diablo, Kerrigan, Malfurion, Nazeebo, Sylvanas, and Valla plus Tassadar, Lunara, Stiches, and Leoric. Of these 10, Diablo was my favorite followed by Kerrigan.
FW#3) When the next free rotation comes around I go through the struggle of leveling the heroes without a Stimpack. The rotation consisted of Artanis, E.T.C., Gazlowe, Jaina, Li Li, and The Butcher plus Uther, Thrall, Azmodan, and Nova. Having accidentally bought Jaina, I didn't bother to level her (but I would have eventually bought her anyways, so its a happy accident). In addition, I managed to achieve Gazlowe's level 5 in the nick of the time, having returned to the Hero Select Screen after to find the week's free rotation blacked out.


Stats:
Li-Ming 37 Games, Zagara 17 Games, Falstad 12 Games
Player Level 36, Total Hero Level 153
Warrior 76 Assassin 117 Support 45 Specialist 51
289 Total Games Played

Li-Ming 8, Jaina 1, All other free rotation mentioned above are 5

17 Quick Match Games:
20160302-3 (Thursday): E.T.C. ST Loss, Li-Ming TotSQ Win, Li-Ming ToD Win,
20160303-4 (Friday): Li-Ming CH Win, Li-Ming BoE Loss, Li-Ming ST Win, Li-Ming GoT Loss, Uther IS Loss
20160307-8 (Monday): Li-Ming TotSQ Win, Li-Ming ToD Win, Li-Ming CH Win, Li-Ming IS Win, Li Li GoT Loss, Li Li ToD Loss, Li Li DS Win, Gazlowe BB Loss

Double-check date of games by going to I:\Users\XXXXXXX\Documents\Heroes of the Storm\Accounts\300729426\1-Hero-1-6290233\Replays\Multiplayer

In any case, the burden of leveling 10 heroes to level 5 is lightened by the fact that this free rotation has some overlap with the first: Kael'thas, (Kharazim), Lt. Morales, (Muradin), (Raynor), and (Zagara) plus Johanna, Illidan, Arthas, and Rexxar.

20160314:
4) I leveled all of the week's free rotation to 5, Jaina to 5, Raynor to 6, and Zagara to 6. My initial thoughts find Kael'thas fun, but squishy and Illidan was also fun. Initially Lt. Morales was fun but I feel like out of the various heroes, she would benefit from more coordinated team play. Among the 10, I would still pick Zagara followed by Muradin, though either Raynor or Kael'thas in third. Overall, I would continue to main Li-Ming, eventually play more Jaina, and perhaps pick up a tank like Diablo or E.T.C.


Stats:
Li-Ming 47 Games, Zagara 21 Games, Raynor 18 Games
Player Level 40, Total Hero Level 190
Warrior 108 Assassin 167 Support 54 Specialist 55
384 Total Games Played

The upcoming rotation will be as follows: (Anub'arak), (Malfurion), (Sylvanas), Tychus, (Tyrael), and (Valla) plus Rehgar, Sgt. Hammer, Chen, and Li-Ming. (By the way, free rotation in NA happens at 3AM PST)

20160315:
I decided to purchase Rehgar and Muradin with in-game gold.

20160321:
5) I leveled all of the week's free rotation to 5, Gall to 4, Jaina to 6, Cho to 7, and Li-Ming is 108K away from level 9. Among the free rotation, I would of course pick Li-Ming as my favorite. She'd be followed by Sylvanas and then Rehgar. While Chen can be tanky and annoying, I don't think I would enjoy playing him long-term. As for Sgt. Hammer, she's fun to play, but she's not quite my play style. Finally, among the free rotation that I've already seen, Sylvanas is the only one I revisited.

Stats:
Li-Ming 55 Games, Zagara 21 Games, Raynor 18 Games*
Player Level 40, Total Hero Level 222
Warrior 139 Assassin 190 Support 64 Specialist 67
460 Total Games Played

*While the stats list the number of games played, apparently the champions which appear are by the number of wins. Since I mainly played Zagara and Raynor vs. AI, I have 21 and 16 wins for them, respectively. I have, however, played more games with Cho than either. Cho: W L L W L L L; L W W W W W L L W W; W W L; Gall: W W L; Cho: W L. tl;dr: 12 in 22 on Cho.

The upcoming rotation will be as follows: (E.T.C.), (Falstad), (Greymane), (Li Li), (Nazeebo), (Tassadar) plus (Sonya), (Kerrigan), Cho, and Gall.



20160325:
Purchased E.T.C. (I've been having a lot of fun and success with him) and Diablo.

20160328:
Basically having already leveled all the free rotation to 5 already, I went through and leveled some to 6. Besides enjoying Cho and Gall, I would say E.T.C. is my favorite among the Free Rotation followed by Greymane. Li Li has a strong late game, but by then I find I'm already losing. Furthermore, I think her Cloud Serpent is not visible enough (so the player you cast it on might not know). Falstad is fun - though I didn't realize he's a ranged assassin. One problem though is I've started to get in the habit of mounting and his mount doesn't work that way. Perhaps I'd rather play as Kerrigan over Falstad.

Towards the end of the free rotation, I had a better understanding of Li Li and consider playing her more. I might even pick E.T.C. to Cho'Gall to Li Li.

6) I leveled all of the week's free rotation to 5, Diablo to 6, Greymane to 6, Kerrigan to 6, Li Li to 6, Muradin to 6, Nazeebo to 6, E.T.C. to 8, and Li-Ming to 9.

The upcoming rotation will be as follows: (Azmodan), (Diablo), (Jaina), (Muradin), (Raynor), (Uther) plus (Zagara), (Thrall), (Lunara), and Brightwing.

20160402:
While I made the effort to level Lunara to 6, it never clicked with me how she needs to be played and I'd probably never play her again. At least for a long time. Similarly. I'm not huge on Azmodan.

20160404:
While playing this past week I started to feel a growing likeness for Melee Warriors: Diablo, E.T.C., and Muradin. Although I still like Li-Ming's burst, playing as a Melee Warrior can be fun too. I should also add that playing as a support is difficult when playing with strangers, because making use of the healer generally requires a coordinated team effort: healer and damage dealers in the back of a front line, attacking together and kiting together.


7) I leveled almost all of the week's free rotation to 6 (excluding Thrall and Azmodan).

Stats:
Li-Ming 76 Games, E.T.C. 29 Games, Zagara 25 Games
Player Level 40, Total Hero Level 241
Warrior 169 Assassin 230 Support 87 Specialist 77
563 Total Games Played

The upcoming rotation will be as follows: (Artanis), (Gazlowe), (Illidan), (Malfurion), (Tyrande), (Valla) plus (Stitches), (The Butcher), (Lt. Morales), and Xul.

Champions that I have yet to encounter through Free Rotation are Abathur, Dehaka, Murky, The Lost Vikings, and Zeratul. With Dehaka almost certainly to be in the Free Rotation 3 to 5 weeks from now, I'm curious when the others will show. From most recently released to oldest released: Dehaka, The Lost Vikings, Murky, Abathur (original), Zeratul (original).

I should note that both Zeratul and The Lost Vikings were in the Free Rotation prior to the one available when I started playing. Abathur and Murky have both been in the Free Rotation once since Post-Release.

20160405:
Apparently all heroes will be available to play this weekend (plus 50% more XP) as a way to celebrate the Heroes of the Dorm tournament.

20160407:
So Xul is pretty good, but he's not really my style. There is, however, a good chance I could build him differently or that I'm playing him wrong.



20160408:
First up is Zeratul. Pretty fun.
Second a little Abathur. Well, the terrible team comp resulted in me playing only one game as Abathur.
I decide to pick Dehaka to make a stronger impact. My allies were newer players. I stop playing with the newer players since they kept playing the harder AI but were inexperienced and it was hard to organize. I finished up Dehaka and he's kind of cool, but for the most part I'm not good at using his kit.
Next up, The Lost Vikings. Thoughts: too much to think about. Or perhaps there's a secret to what you should think about. If so, I don't know it. Actually, by the time I got to level 5, I was beginning to get the hang of it. I'd say a major ingredient is to get the hang of which character is #1, #2, and #3. And then occasionally using #4 or selecting for greater unit control.
After getting The Lost Vikings to level 5, I decided to play Murky. Murky is pretty fun and he doesn't actually die that often when a player plays him.
Finally, back to Abathur. Slowly, one by one I get some tips and learn how to play him.
: First there's soaking XP with the body.
: Then there's soaking XP with the Symbiote on a minion.
: Try to do both when the team doesn't need Symbiote at an objective.

20160409:
Then I begin leveling up various characters to 6 (many were already close):
AI: 3 Zeratul, 1 The Lost Vikings, 2 Murky, 2 Gall,
QM: 2 Muradin to 7, 1 Stitches
AI: 2 Sylvanas, 4 Nova, 4 Abathur, 1 Sylvanas, 1 Tychus

20160410:
AI: 1 Tychus, 3 Illidan, 4 Kael'thas, 1 Tychus, 2 Kharazim
: I was told about a Kael'thas bug in my second game, read about it and tried to understand how to use it in my third game, and used it fully in my fourth game. It was a fun bug, but not one I would exploit.
: Basically you use Verdant Sphere and then die. Then don't use Verdant Sphere again and you will be able to spam Living Bombs.
QM: 1 Kharazim, 1 Falstad, 2 Johanna (incomplete)
: Incredibly hard to make plays or impact as Johanna. I will not get her to six, at least not today.
AI: 4 Sonya, 3 Thrall, 3 Valla, 3 Tyrael
: I don't like Sonya's kit. I like Thrall's kit. Out of Valla's Rancor/Multishot/Hunger Builds, I like Multishot most. Finally, Tyrael is decently fun.



20160426:
8) The only free hero I hadn't played from this week was Xul, but he wasn't my style. This week, however, also consisted of free heroes during the weekened and I leveled all the missing heroes to 5 and started leveling some to 6. In any case, among just the 10 free rotation heroes, I'd say Lt. Morales is best, while Valla and Illidan are runner-ups.

9) (E.T.C.), (Kael'thas), (Leoric), (Li Li), (Sylvanas), (Tychus) plus (Rehgar), (Sgt. Hammer), (Johanna), and Zeratul. While I have notated that this would be the first time I could play Zeratul from the free rotation, I have already leveled him up via last week's all heroes weekend. Among this selection, E.T.C. would be my favorite, followed by Li Li, and then Sylvanas. Actually, Sylvanas is awesome, but I haven't taken the time to play her.

10) (Kerrigan), (Muradin), (Nazeebo), (Raynor), (Tyrael), (Uther) plus (Sonya), (Arthas), (Tassadar), and (Li-Ming). I'm a bit surprised to see Li-Ming back in the free rotation already. In any case, I think I've mostly reached the point where I've found who I like to play and don't really worry about the free rotation. In particular, I've purchased Li Li and Zagara. Among the free rotation I dislike Sonya, my favorite would be Muradin, and would follow that up with Nazeebo. Kerrigan is fun, but not my style, and Tassadar might be a reasonable third pick.

Stats:
Li-Ming 86 Games, E.T.C. 38 Games, Zagara 26 Games
Player Level 40, Total Hero Level 299
Warrior 222 Assassin 280 Support 108 Specialist 124
734 Total Games Played

That brings us to the current week's free rotation: (Chen), (Falstad), (Kharazim), (Malfurion), (Valla), (Zagara) plus (Azmodan), (Thrall), (Rexxar), and (Nova).



20160503:
11) Leveled Azmodan, Chen, and Malfurion to 6. Leveled Rexxar to 6 at the last possible match. Also clutch choice to move the difficulty to Veteran for the last game.

20160512:
Previous free rotation: E.T.C., Gazlowe, Jaina, Li Li, Lt. Morales, The Butcher plus Diablo, Illidan, Greymane, and Dehaka
12) Leveled Gazlowe, Lt. Morales, and The Butcher to 6. My favorites are definitely Li Li, then E.T.C., then Jaina. Diablo depends a lot more on team comp due to lower damage output, Lt. Morales does actually require some skill to be good, Gazlowe is definitely not my style, and neither is Dehaka.

Stats:
Li-Ming 89 Games, E.T.C. 42 Games, Zagara 26 Games
Player Level 40, Total Hero Level 307
Warrior 246 Assassin 293 Support 123 Specialist 134
796 Total Games Played

My first time playing Hero League!

20160513:
By the end of tonight I played 6 Hero League matches, winning the first five and losing the sixth.

In the fifth match my team was a 9, a 9, a 4 [MMR: 2460], a 4 [MMR: 2452], and myself (?) - I banned. Supposedly, banning means my MMR was highest. That's some volatile MMR.

On the opponent's team was a 14, an 8, a 7, a 7, and a 7. In the sixth match my team was an 8, a 5, myself (?), a 1 [MMR: 2902, Diamond *], and a 1 [MMR: 3409, Master 673]. I didn't ban, so my MMR wasn't highest, but I used the previous game as an estimate. On the opponent's team was a 14, a 9, a 3, a 1 [MMR: 3231, Diamond 532], and a 1 [MMR: 3391, Diamond *]. While I didn't play my best Li Ming game in the sixth match, I would first point to some weird early game deaths (Johanna, the rank 8, died before the creeps even met in lane). I would assume that the lost would be a big hit to my MMR, as by MMR, we were more likely to win (lost 307!).


HotsLogs made the following estimates: 1700 -afterM1> 2075 -afterM2> 2478 -afterM3> 2676 -afterM4> 2843 -afterM5> 3059 > 2752. While I know the initial MMR is extremely volatile and can drop, it was fun to shoot up to the top and play a match with rank 1 players before dropping back down. We'll see how far down it goes.

Current free rotation: Johanna, Kael'thas, Muradin, Raynor, Rehgar, Xul plus Anub'arak, Tyrande, Lunara, and Abathur.
13) Leveled Anub'arak and Tyrande to 6. Now I only have Sgt. Hammer at level 5 and Tracer at level 1.

Heroes of the Storm

Relevant Links:
Heroes of the Storm Website
Heroes of the Storm (Wikipedia.org)

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