Welcome to the Nexus, Garrosh!

Welcome to the Nexus, Garrosh!

Lok’tar Ogar (Victory or Death)

Unfortunately, Garrosh will likely experience death more than victory these first few weeks. He’s got all the right tools, they’re there. But his tools just aren’t quite sharpened enough to come together for that devastating impact you expect the former Horde Warchief to deliver. They’re also difficult to master. It’s strongly recommended playing him a few levels past 5 before entering ranked with him.

He’s a bruiser for sure and that sets up a risky proposition. Tanks either have weaker attacks and high health pools or lower health pools with hard hitting attacks. When your sustain is connected to damage dealt through an ability or his current health bar and damage received it becomes a precarious high wire act that’s one follow up stun away from a quick kill. Currently, he seems to be in a great spot as a bruiser. Some of his abilities are immensely strong that any tweaking makes him overpowered. I mean a warrior with a cleanse? Thank you, Blizzard. It’s an earned strength though. His abilities have a high skill floor and an even further ceiling.

Lok-Regar (Ready for Orders)

Garrosh is shaping up to have a primary build with some viable secondary talents. 

Level 1

Primary: Body Check seems to be the talent to take.

Secondary: Unrivaled Strength is possibly a good situational talent or while in the solo lane.

Level 4

Primary: Thirst for Battle can be a huge boon to his sustain.

Secondary: A self-cleanse!?! Whaaaat? Who needs supports anyway?

Level 7

Primary: Into the Fray. You all thought the self-cleanse was the cleanse! Nope! Actually, cleanse other heroes out of CC! 

A Hero League cleanse is like a cicada. It’ll happen once every 17 games.

Other options at 7 are the 40% Attack Speed reduction for targets hit by Groundbreaker and a 50% Healing Received reduction for 4 seconds for targets of Body Check.

Level 10

It’s like Sonya and Lunara had a melee Heroic Talent! No, no it’s nothing like that. One can dream though? Right?

Primary: Decimate is a bit too much damage to enemies to pass up. Currently, his solo Q role as a bruiser only leaves one option here. Those of you in Team League might be able to utilize Warlord’s Challenge.

Level 13

He becomes frustratingly difficult to kill as his health gets lower. The bait potential is high in this one.

Primary: Without Thirst or Battle (4) Double Up is the first real talent at survivability, take it. The enemy DPS power spikes only get more brutal from 13 and up. 

Secondary: Armor (preventing damage) is better than receiving healing after it’s dealt. The potential here is situations without heals, Quickmatch (hopefully),

Level 16

Primary: Earthshaker adds a stun to an already CC’ed target and then stuns additional targets. It’s hard to make a better argument.

Secondary: Mortal Combat obviously has benefits in the combo by reducing Wrecking Ball’s cooldown to 6 seconds.

Level 20


Primary: Maximizing targets with Decimate is going to open Garrosh up to back line damage. This lets him come out of the heroic swinging.

Lohn’goron (Hero’s Sojourn)

Garrosh has a bunch of awesome tools. They don’t quite mesh together seamlessly and he definitely has some talent flexibility. He even has a reset talent at Level 4, In for the Kill, that will certainly earn him a place on Infernal Shrine. The nature of his CC doesn’t quite have the same impact as most main tanks and his survivability really kicks in when he’s low on health. It makes for a high skill floor hero that doesn’t it all too well into the nature of random 5 man teams.

Let’s see how he plays out over the coming week though. Initial impressions are a bit mixed. He’s definitely useful in a more coordinated scenario like Team League. Off tanking, solo laning, and the bruiser slot finds him at his most impactful. He’s creatively and well designed packing the most unique CC ability yet released. It’ll be interesting to see how he develops as a part of the future meta.

Heroes Patch Notes Winners & Losers August 8th, 2017

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Here’s your Heroes Patch Notes Winners & Losers for August 8th, 2017. This week was a bit on the lighter side with Blizzard opting again for more tweaks. Initial changes that jumped out were the added 3% increased damage per hit Level 1 talent for Ragnaros (W) and mobility on D.Va’s Defense Matrix (W) level 7 talent. This week didn’t exactly have a loser though unless you count the map Hanamura. Much like feeding Leo’s in Quick Match, is it really a loss? Here’s to hoping its return isn’t as quick.

Ragnaros

Heroes Patch Notes Winners & Losers Aug 8th, 2017
Arrr! Rag is back and he’s better than — okay, sorry, no more songs. Just more Rag!

This week there are no losers! Only winners! First up is Ragnaros. Yes, folks, Rag is back and he’s better than ever, hey la dee-da! Now that that’s out of my system we can collectively groan. Rag’s glorious return is, naturally, in the name of talent diversity. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. He’ll still be lacking the kill potential from his heroic nerf and some sustain from Empower Sulfuras. The trade off though is for some potentially serious damage. He was a melee scrapper who needed sustain these tweaks change that a bit.

Heroes Patch Notes Winners & Losers Aug 8th 2017 Shifting Meteor added functionality of 3% damage for subsequent hits from the same Meteor
We need talent diversity! Stat! 3% damage increase per hit should do it. Do you concur?

Combined with the level 7 changes his kill potential is certified deadly.

Heroes Patch Notes Winners & Losers Aug 8th 2017 Level 7: Molten power (W) Damage increase change from 15% to 20% per enemy Hero hit.
It is rewarding skilled play by utilizing good poke. It’s also making for that second Living Meteor cast to be devastating in team fights.

Ragnaros is going to have some serious poke and when the fight finally pops off he’ll be delivering an even larger burst. While mages find themselves in more specialized ranged DPS roles, a melee unit with a strong poke and an even more devastating ranged attack will thrive. While seemingly small, these changes will have a profound impact on damage output. Together both talents empower Living Meteor as the skill to talent into. Individually they don’t create that shift, nor make him that impactful. Combined they make Rag a contending DPS pick in the meta.

We’re All Getting Trophies

The second winner this week is a special, albeit slightly cheesy choice. It’s you! The player! All of us! Everyone! Initially, Hanamura was the loser since it was removed from all game modes. It was difficult to truly categorize that as much of a negative. I think I can speak for most of us when I say no one is sad to see it go. In addition to “Bon Voyage Hanamura!” we see some simple quality of life changes, some of which were sorely needed.

Heroes Patch Notes Winners & Losers Aug 8th 2017 Quick match will now prefer not to make mirror matches.
No more mirrors in Quick Match? Pinch me, is this real life?

Others refreshing reminders the player isn’t far from the minds of the developers (told ya it was cheesy).

Heroes Patch Aug 8th 2017 Quality of Life Changes Armor Indicator and Cursor Cooldown Notiication
No sarcasm here, these are some cool quality of life changes. The cursor cooldown notification is activated by pressing the ability button while it’s on cooldown

Before you say it, Garrosh isn’t the loser this week. My Garrosh impression article will be up shortly though, and I’ll go over some of his redeeming qualities.

The Rest of ‘Em

The rest of the patch changes were all positive, contributing to this week’s lack of a true loser. Sonya’s cancel time on Whirlwind (E) is increased from .5 seconds to 1.0. In the middle the fray it gets easy to button mash a bit over enthusiastically on Sonya so this gets a nod of approval from more than a few of us. Next, Probius cannot cancel Worker Rush (Z) while it’s still active coming out of the Hall of Storms because apparently that was a thing. Auriel’s hope bar glows when maxed out. Huh, more glowing bars. D.va’s level 4 Diverting Power now adds a 50% slow rather than preventing her from moving during Defense Matrix (W).

Finally, we have some Butcher changes too. They’re overall not that impressive but will make it easier completing his Fresh Meat quest. Granted, time spent out of the lane at objectives is generally punished and certain maps make actually playing the map a detriment on Butcher. None of the changes make him better per se, but during a few test games I played his quest finished around level 7-9 which is significantly earlier than the ‘goal’ of level 13.

Better players will play better Butchers now, bad players may be a little less bad. It does feel a bit more in line with a ganking, aggressive hero rather than a PvE hero for ¾’s of the game. Stuns, CC, cleanse, and good peels still shut him down. In other words, his Bronze win rate is probably going up but that’s about it.

Heroes Patch Notes Winners & Losers Aug 8th 2017 Butcher Meat changes.
Butcher gains meat a bit differently. Ideally quicker and truer to a PvP hero. Will it help? A little bit.

For more changes, read the full Patch Notes here

HGC Cheer’s Engaging Experience

I Already Added Cheerleader to My Resume

This weekend was the Western Clash. While NA wasn’t able to pull out a win, I was able to do my part cheering them on in hope of the upset (GFE almost made the finals! Yay, NA!). My HGC Cheering experience was a positive one. Sure, it’s an easy target for jokes and in some ways has increased spam in the chat with bright, moving emotes alongside numbers. I hear you. Maybe you even think chat is worse now, which is a pretty low bar to sink under. I never participated in chat either. This weekend though, I was right there, cheering along NA and, begrudgingly, dropping my accolades for the winners.

 100100100

Way More Than Just An Emote

Cheering for your favorite HGC teams during Western Clash isn’t just supporting them with an emote and some bits. Team-specific emotes add a bit of weight to your cheers. Using them last weekend added a collective sense that I wasn’t alone in supporting my team. It was a unique experience in Twitch chat where you rarely ‘converse’ with more than one line questions or chat commands in between a barrage of nonsense. My cheers, or cheermotes, stood out in the chaos of Twitch chat. Along with the rest of the NA hopefuls, cheering meant we were in this together. The cheers are backed up by bits which are backed up by cash. A ‘big cheer’ says something without the looming Kappa of insincerity, making Twitch chat actually something I wanted to be a part of. Seeing all the cheermotes for your team after a big wombo combo was an awesome feeling. A definitive sense of “We’re kicking ass, together!” 

SPAM100

It’s worth noting that the cheermotes do sort of create their own version of high visibility spam. If chat is saturated with cheermotes there’s that much money and support flowing to HGC players. A cheermote filled chat isn’t any different than our normal, beloved, spam filled Twitch chat except now it’s positively contributing to the HGC. Most importantly, it’s contributing to the players. We’re not alone at HeroesHype wondering if this is real life but it feels good (man) to be a part of it. The genius at Blizzard who figured out how to turn Twitch chat’s endless energy into a positive force definitely needs a raise.

Give it a Go

One Twitch user described buying the starter pack “to give it a go.” It’s pretty agreeable, despite Twitch being free, $10 that supports the team and players I love over the course of such a big weekend is a cheap price for admission. For the Conor McGregor/Mayweather fight, people will spend close to $100 for one night of boxing that, very likely, will be one sided. Twitch user Jonts18 said “Why not?…It supports my team and grows the game.” The only complaint I hear was from Oogalicious “It might be nicer if a slightly larger proportion went to the team (55/45).” Personally, I really enjoyed the experience. Watching the Western Clash was overall a better experience and for once, a day I never thought would come, Twitch chat was fun to participate in.

Don’t forget it’s a two-way street too. While just sending money to our favorite teams would be cool on its own, you, the viewer, are on the receiving end too. WrathV_ESG said “I love the HGC Cheers. I get cool Twitch emotes, in game loot, and I am helping support the teams and HGC.” So if there was any doubt left, spend the next $10 you set aside for a skin on some bits. And start dropping some of these!

 100001000010000

 

 

Heroes Hype Guide to HGC Cheering

It's the Tesla Model 3 of Cheer Mounts with a much shorter wait time.

Western Clash is Trial Run for HGC Cheers

You Cheer! I Cheer! We All Cheer for TS100(Tempo Storm, 100 bits)! That’s basically how it works, minus the bad rhyme. Cheering went live this weekend with the Western Clash and runs through the end of HGC 2017, including next weekend’s Eastern Clash. Through cheering, you earn in-game loot while the teams get one-half of one cent for every bit cheered for them. Don’t worry, it adds up. The in-game loot benefits are only available on the Heroes of the Storm (BlizzHeroes) Twitch channel.

To cheer, make sure your Battle.Net and Twitch accounts are linked. Click the Nexus icon (where the bit button was), at the bottom right of Twitch chat, select your team and a number of bits, hit enter. Watching HGC became that much more exciting.

There is a 100 bit minimum for cheers and they do have to be initially purchased, which you access through the same menu. This is the only place to cheer from and purchase bits as well.  So now that you have the basics let’s dive a little deeper into HGC Cheering.

Initial Questions, Where’s that Button?

Over at the Heroes Hype Discord and on stream we’ve had a lot of people asking about the new cheering. I think, mostly, we all get the gist of it. Some of us may even be familiar with the regular cheering use of bits already. Yet, Blizzard elevates the standard cheer into a much more engaging interaction with HGC cheering. 

Collecting all of the team rewards would be pretty unfaithful, wouldn't it?
Team specific cheering progress. 6-tiered progression with team specific portraits sprays, emotes, and banners as some of the rewards.

Setting out to write this article it didn’t take me very long to understand why the questions about cheering were being asked. HGC Cheering is implemented on a much wider scope than normal cheers, leading the focus on the progress system rather than specific how-to’s. Without clicking the initial Nexus icon at the bottom of Twitch chat there’s no other accessibility. This probably led to any initial confusion. Admittedly, even the author had some initial trouble discovering the access due to this. You can read about my full experience cheering later this week. It’s a forgivable oversight considering how extensive the HGC Cheering reward system is.

The best bits, he's got the best bits ever. Just really great bits.
This is everything for HGC Cheering. After a long weekend of enthusiastic cheering, it looks like I need to re-up on bits! My cousin said he knows a guy, great guy, does ’em cheap.

 

 

Next weekend is likely to have similar cheer totals and would unlock the Arcane Chaos Lizard. That’s two mounts for a single, 100 bit ($1.40) cheer.

It’s All Progress

The added scope and progression systems toward personal, team rewards, and global rewards certainly create an unfamiliar landscape to navigate regarding cheering. Blizzard definitely created a new experience for both Heroes players and Twitch viewers. The new systems lay out an extensive, and exciting, path ahead. Blizzard took no chances underestimating Twitch chat. The interactivity and final reward caps clearly compensate long time viewership.

100 bits is $1.40...10,000 bits...divide, multiply...that's the Ferrari of HotS mounts!
Personal progression system. Relax, you don’t need to unlock it all by the end of next weekend. If you did though, that would be one exclusive mount.

 Additionally, when looked at in totality cheering can seem expensive. Of course, in reality, it isn’t (no one has to cheer). Anything new in video game culture will never be met with universal praise. So, perhaps, initial reactions revolted at the higher ‘total’ prices. Unless taken to the extreme the prices are rather reasonable.  

It's the Tesla Model 3 of Cheer Mounts with a much shorter wait time.
The chaos lizard has already been unlocked as a part o the global reward progression system. Even cheering once makes you eligible.

COT – Cheering Over Time

Sure, to collect all the team items you would need to spend 1500 bits per team x 32 teams culminating in a total of 48,000 bits. The personal progress bar reaches 75,000 bits. In total, it would be upwards of ‘a tonnnnn of money’ as one user put it. These totals are so high because they’re totals for the next few seasons.  Realistically, everything is a lot more accessible. Even a minimum cheer of 100 bits earned you a Chaos Lizard by the end of Western Clash. Next weekend is likely to have similar cheer totals and would unlock the Arcane Chaos Lizard. That’s two mounts for a single, 100 bit ($1.40) cheer. The 100-bit cheer also gives you a Team Portrait. For $20 you can either unlock all the team items for one team or multiple items across several teams. Most importantly, this isn’t supposed to be unlocked over one or two weekends. It absolutely needs to be approached over a whole year of HGC. While a one-time $1.40 for a 100-bit cheer potentially opens up several rewards, a 100-bit cheer each week contributes significantly toward multiple progress tiers. 

There’s no intention to throw shade here, just a desire for clarification. So cheer away! And you better! The new cheers earn the cheered teams one-half of one cent. Blizzard also receives one-half of one cent as the tournament organizer. That leaves a small fraction for Twitch. In total,  more than $80,626 has been donated to players and teams. At the time of this writing, Fnatic has earned an extra 15k for their players this weekend alone. Over a whole season, ideally, every team will have additional revenue topping several thousand dollars. Finally, embrace cheering as it’s fun and great for the community.

Other Cheering Sources

Twitch

Blizzard

HGC Cheer Event Page

Pre-Finals Interview: Vestige from Firm Handshake

Consistency is key in a 5-week amateur Heroes of the Storm series, especially when every point counts toward qualifying for the Series Finals. Firm Handshake’s consistency can easily be seen by the number of points they earned each week, securing the first place seed for the Finals. We recently reached out to their team captain Vestige to learn more about their team synergy and mentality in games. Thank you to Vestige for taking the time to answer these questions!

Be sure to catch Vestige and the rest of Firm Handshake compete in the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2 Finals! The Finals are this Wednesday, August 2nd at 6 PM PDT and will be streamed on https://www.twitch.tv/heroeshype.   


 

Halorin (H): How’s it going Vestige? Congratulations on making it into the Finals for Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2. You guys are in first place. How’s that feel?

Vestige (V): It feels really good. We’ve worked pretty hard in order to try and do really well so far in Heroes Hype and I’m glad it’s paid off, and I’m glad it’s showing in the rankings.

 

H: One thing that I think is really cool with you team is that like I consider you guys to be the workhorses of Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series, while we haven’t been able to speak with you at the end of the night during season, you’ve shown up almost every week and you’re always in the top three of four and that’s what’s led to you guys being in first place. Just consistently ranking high each week. In that I think you guys are dark horses in a lot of ways. We haven’t had a chance to interview you. So some players or some people that watch each week might not know who you guys are. Would you like to give an introduction to those viewers that may not know who you guys are? How long you’ve been together as a team? What do you feel some of your strengths are?    

V: Yeah for sure. So, we’re team Firm Handshake. It’s not the most creative name in the world but we do love it. We’ve been a team for a couple of months now, though when I say team I mean mostly the core roster. Dsteves, Necro and I have been playing for months. Hayyoo was a more recent addition. He is our Support player. He’s an excellent player and he does a very good job and he fits in really well. We’ve also had a very recent roster change. We wound up picking up Grizz on our roster now since LexUther sadly had leave us. So essentially lots of our strength we believe falls in our team fighting. We tend to fall a little short when it comes to macro playing we’ve kind of discovered. So we’re rather happy to try and take team fights whenever we can. We usually approach games in that sense. We try to play to our strengths and we try to play to get those team fights. And it doesn’t always happen but when it does we usually get positive results. Which is good.

 

H: And from the games I’ve been able to see of you guys I’d definitely agree the team fighting tends to be one of your strongest suits. So you’ve had the core 3 person part of the roster, you said Heyo came on short time after. Grizz is now the latest addition to your team. I think there’s always an interesting period of transition when a new player joins a roster because there’s something of a set chemistry with the existing players and then there’s this new element and you want to try and bring in their ideas and they also want to try in turn to meet you guys halfway and then just become part of the team. How has Grizz fit in so far? And you guys in this short amount of time will be ready for the finals?  

V: So Grizz has fit in really nicely actually and the point you brought up about having that core groups and that kind  of relationship and chemistry already set up has I think helped get Grizz onto a similar page as us but it also really helps that Hayyoo and Grizz are actually, really, rather close. They’ve been playing with each other for a while, they know each other quite well so there is that connection that is there already for them. So it’s kind of right now just make it all blend together and it’s so far going really well. We’ll have to see how it pans out particularly in tournaments because it does add a different level of stress and also like desire in order to perform well and at the level  we want to. So we’ll have to see how well it goes but so far it’s definitely looking really solid.  

 

H: Awesome, Heroes Hype and now HHTS Series has been a long standing tradition in the amateur scene. Heroes Hype has been around since the Alpha days at the very beginning. How would it feel to come away the winners of Series 2 and what do you think that would mean for yourself as far as your Heroes career?   

V: Coming away being the winner of Series 2 would be just so huge I feel for us. I know personally that it would probably be the biggest victory in my amateur career thus far. And Heroes Hype is such an amazing tournament and it does have very good  quality of play. And it always is competitive and it always makes you work for the reward which makes it all the better. Definitely as a team it would give us the confidence boost that we need because right now the Amateur scene is rather condensed with quite a few teams that seem to be neck and neck in terms of ranking. And so if we get that confidence boost it might just be enough to boost us over the top.

 

H: So speaking of that I do think that going into Phase 2 of HGC and Open Division that the NA scene is pretty competitive as far as high quality teams. What are you guys saying to yourselves when you go against these teams to keep yourselves focused and make sure you’re playing your best game possible? 

V: It really does depend on our mentality going into the day. Usually we are very sharp and focused and so there’s not very much that needs to be said. Sometimes when we face a team like “Hold it Down” which is in the Amateur scene but has some very big names on it we take a moment to remind ourselves that hey you know, Khroen and Mcintyre are amazing players but they can make mistakes too. They can make those errors we just need to capitalize against a team of such stature. Lots of times it’s just reinforcing are already solid mental state and going the extra mile saying okay these guys we can beat them. They are beatable. They aren’t indestructible and that can really help  make sure we approach the game with the best mindset possible.

 

H: I gotta say man, I really like that response. And I already respected you guys as a team and for you to have that mindset because a lesser team will say ‘You know, this is “Hold It Down” you know their reputation and name kind of precede them so a lesser team wouldn’t go into feeling like victory was even possible. But for you guys to say like these guys are notable names but they’re still human beings we just need to find the mistakes and capitalize on them. That to me,  says the most about your potential. As a team in anything we’ve seen. That’s really cool man.

V: Thank you.

 

H: Do you have anything you’d want to say to your fans that will be cheering you on at the finals?

V: To the fans out there, first of all, thank you so much  for following us in the first place. We really do appreciate it. We really do try to perform to a certain standard whenever we’re playing in a tournament, whenever we’re being streamed especially in order to try and make sure we don’t disappoint. Definitely just a shout out to the fans, stuff might get possibly rocky with this new roster but I have faith we will continue and strive for a standard I believe we’ve set so far and that will continue to grow high and higher as well as our team.  

  

H: Cool man, those are all the questions I have for you. Like I said, you guys have been the workhorses of the season, showing up putting out a consistent effort throughout. I know Grizz is a very strong player, can only be an asset to the team. So I’m really excited to see this newest lineup from you guys and I’m sure you will show up and really put yourselves out there.  

V: Thank you.

H: Flagg might have some questions for you, I believe.

V: Oh, pleased to meet you.  

 

Flagg: Do you have a favorite memory or game since the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2?

V: Hmmm, ooo, that is a very, very solid question. Give me a second to dig through the good old memory banks here. I will have to say, so. I think particularly when it comes to probably some of the, one of the best memories I have from HH in particular is I believe we were in the finals against Flame Is Lame  and we wound up pulling out this extremely solid set against them actually. Comms were on point and we seemed to make very on point calls together and we wound up playing what I thought was one of our better games and it happened to be in the finals against a team such as Flame Is Lame which is extremely strong, very solid team and we respect them very much and we love facing off against them. And it just felt really nice to walk away with that victory just like that was a very good performance and we seemed to do pretty well there. So I think that would probably be it, my best memory from Heroes Hype.

Flagg: Do you have any advice for players who want to put together an amateur Heroes of the Storm team? 

V: Yeah, I do actually. This has been said a lot, by many people in the scene. I think Dreadnaught said something similar at one point, in like a Twitlonger or something like that. But it is very, very important that if you want to make a team or break into an amateur scene or the competitive scene that you really keep on trying. I’ve been on quite a few teams. I love and respect all of my team members that I’ve had. And I’ve had some pretty heartbreaking goodbyes with them but sometimes it can be hard to take the first step to find a team. Sometimes the best thing you can do is find some people who aren’t necessarily the best, the best at the game or aren’t grandmasters but ones that share a similar drive that you do and work with them and play with them and forge bonds with them and that will eventually work you into the scene. You might not realize it at first but forming a team with people who share your drive to just improve and try to be better than you already are can really help in helping starting those original teams and then moving upward ever so slowly. I haven’t made it all the way to the top just yet but I do definitely love the roster I’m on and i do really feel like that we have a shot at finally breaking into the competitive scene. That’s pretty much the advice I have, to really work at it and find those people who think like you do because you’re certainly not alone in that aspect. There’s so many people that want to show their talent and drive and I think you can definitely find them if you look hard enough.


Be on the lookout for another interview this week from SLICEBLADE of the 101st North Umberland Fusiliers!