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

Hands-On with Fields of Eternity & the Butcher

 HOS_xEC_LOGO_MC31b_smp_r2

Hey everyone! Mistax here, and I am very excited to be bringing to you guys a hands-on preview of the upcoming content for Heroes of the Storm. A few weeks ago, I was able to visit Blizzard offices and have some hands-on with the Eternal Conflict content. This included a new map and two new heroes, one of which many of you will be able to play when my NDA is lifted, Johanna.

 

Battlefield of Eternity

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This new map is based around the Diablo theme of Good vs. Evil and will pit both teams against each other on a small two lane map. The objective of the map is very similar to haunted mines skull golem, where each team will be contesting for an Immortal to push their enemy’s lanes.

Mechanics of the map

On Battlefield of Eternity, the middle of the map will be where two Immortals periodically spawn for each team to fight over. Imagine the Immortals as a skull golem for each team and you’re racing against the clock to defeat the enemy’s immortal to summon your own, but only the winning team will receive an Immortal. Similar to the haunted mines skull collection mechanic, the more damage you deal to your enemy’s Immortal the weaker it will be. Once you have obtained an Immortal it will head to a lane and help your minions push and annihilate the other team.

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To have your Immortal assist you in pushing, you must defeat the enemy’s Immortal that will be spawning across from your Immortal in the middle of the map. Once the enemy’s Immortal is down to half-health they will swap to a different position on the battleground below. Once defeated, there will be a short cut scene and the Immortal will join you for battle.

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New Mercenary Camps

With the release of Battlefield of Eternity there will be an introduction of two new mercenary camps to the game, called the Fallen Shaman and Khazra.

The Fallen Shaman will be replacing your traditional bruiser camps on this map. These new bruisers are very similar to the webweavers from Tomb of the Spider Queen, in that the Fallen Shaman will repeatedly summon a pair of hounds to siege your enemy’s structures until he is killed. On paper, the Fallen Shaman seemed like they were really strong, but they are very fragile and  easy to clear out. Only when left unattended do they deal significant amounts of damage. There also seems to be a bit of a pathing issue when the camp is retrieved by the opposing team on the left side of the map, where the Shaman will spawn and when moving down towards the structure it moves a little bit too close to the top turret.

The Khazra will be replacing the trusty Siege Golem duo and will come in triplets. These new mercnaries will deal bonus damage to structures, and deal single-target damage, with no splash damage.

Heroes12_Press_TFu_10

Immortals

Unlike the skull golem which was a static melee unit with a slam ability and root. The immortals have a resource bar which enables them to either be a range or melee unit. When the resource bar is full the Immortal will be sieging at range on the enemy structures. Once the resource bar has been depleted after being attacked, the immortal will change to melee.

One of the big improvements over Haunted Mines is how the Immortal pushes your lane. Rather than the Skull Golem death pushing one lane and snowballing, the Immortals will spawn in either top or bottom lane, as long as there are structures in those lanes. This has allowed for some awesome comebacks from potential game ending pushes

Overview

Overall, after a few games on this map I felt that it was a huge improvement over Haunted Mines. Changes in how the objective is obtained and having the Immortal spawn in a lane with structure before pushing onto the Nexus seemed to be a good way to stop snowballing situations. I really enjoyed the pacing on this map as it’s very team fight focused when it comes to contesting the Immortals. There is also a lot of fog of war on this map similar to Tomb of the Spider Queen which should bring a lot of early game aggression. I personally can’t wait to see all the new strategies for this map on ladder and in competitive play at the end of this month.

 

“FRESH MEAT!”

Butcher

It’s here! With the upcoming Eternal Conflict event, the first hero to start off the Diablo themed launch will be none other than The Butcher himself.

The Butcher will be a melee assassin that will revolve around single target damage and crowd control.

Abilities

Q – Hamstring – 4s Cooldown – 50 Mana

Slams your axe down into the ground, dealing 40 damage and slowing units by 50%. This slow fades away over 2 seconds.

W – Butcher’s Brand – 14s Cooldown – 60 Mana

Deal 32 damage to an enemy and cause your basic attacks against them to heal you for 75% of the damage done for 5 seconds. Healing doubled versus heroes.

E – Ruthless Onslaught – 20s Cooldown – 75 Mana

Charge at an enemy, becoming unstoppable and gaining movement speed. If you reach the target, they are stunned for 1 second and take 110 damage.

R1 – Furnace Blast – 90s Cooldown – 75 Mana

After a 3 second delay, fire explodes around you dealing 685 damage to enemies. Can be casted while using Ruthless Onslaught.

R2 – Lamb for the Slaughter – 60s Cooldown – 75 Mana

Throw a hitching post that attaches to the nearest enemy hero after a 1 second delay. This deals 75 damage and causes the enemy to be chained to the post for 4 seconds.

Trait – Fresh Meat

Nearby minions drop 1 piece and heroes drop 3 pieces of fresh meat when they die, when picked up each meat grants you a 1% bonus damage stack (up to 25), all stacks are lost upon death.

Overiew

The Butcher so far has been a really awesome character to play. During the brief presentation video of his kit before the hands-on, I was really interested in his W – Butcher’s Brand and ultimate Furnace Blast as they seem to be neat ways for the Butcher to be this monster of an assassin that just wants to chase down the fragile targets on your team and devour them.

Once we were over at the testing area my opinion on his kit changed dramatically, as scary as the Butcher can be when chasing your damage dealers with the Butcher’s Brand and furnace blast, he is very susceptible to any source of crowd control allowing him to be easily kited thus negating Butcher’s Brand completely and his E – Ruthless Onslaught has a very high cooldown to gap close and crowd control.

After playing a couple more games with The Butcher, I shifted away from the heavy damage build and transitioned more into a crowd control build focus on his second ultimate Lamb for the Slaughter and a mixed combination of utility talents for Q, W, and E. For his E, I took a talent at level 4 that reduced the cool down significantly on impact and on 13 there was a talent that gave W a speed boost. These talents allowed W and E to be a more reliable form of gap closing and crowd control.  When combined with R2 – Lamb for the Slaughter,  the Butcher could lock down a single target really well for his team to catch up and set up potential picks. Butcher’s Brand also works pretty well on Battlefield of Eternity when taking into consideration the fight for the Immortals, as the Butcher can just throw it on an Immortal or a boss even and it allows him to be very sturdy for the objective. I’m very interested in seeing a build in the future that can take advantage of Butcher’s Brand to allow the Butcher to solo the big objectives.

Wrapping Up

The Eternal Conflict event will be available for testing on June 23rd with the release of the Public Test Realms, and made available the following week on June 30th if all goes well. With the launch of the Eternal Conflict event, the upcoming months will be centered on the Diablo franchise and will also be bringing new heroes and maps from the Diablo universe.

 See everyone in the Nexus!

nexusphoto

 

Top 9 Ways to Improve Your Efficiency in the Nexus

Every split second counts in a fast-paced game like Heroes of the Storm. Here are some tips to squeeze every bit of efficiency out your time in the Nexus.

9. Hold Shift to queue up commands.

Try clicking on a fountain, and then shift clicking where you would like to go. Another common use is pressing Z to mount, and then shift clicking your next movement so you don’t waste a millisecond, or accidentally cancel your mount animation.

tap well

8. Make use of regen globes

This means more than just picking up every regen globe you see. Sometimes, you don’t want to grab regen orbs that will cost you more health than it will regain. On the other hand, if you see an enemy go out of position to grab a regen globe, make sure you punish them for it.

7. Use your abilities to kill two birds with one stone

You can see which targets will be hit if you hover the area indicator. This allows you to place aoe spells for maximum effectiveness, hitting as many targets as possible. You only need to touch the tip of a structure for it to take full damage, so there is no point in placing your entire Breath of Fire inside of a Fort.

aoePlacement

6. Play around with key bindings, see what works for you

The default settings are fine, but you may find yourself more in control if you try your own configurations. Try making use of those extra buttons on your mouse or keyboard.

5. Minimize your time spent travelling

You can save yourself a lot of time with intelligent use of movement abilities. This includes obvious ones like Zeratul Blinking over walls, as well as targetted abilities like Chen’s Flying Kick. Rehgar can also move very quickly with the Feral Lunge talent, as you can leap towards an enemy minion or structure, and then cancel the attack with a movement command.

jumpCombined

4. Tank mercenary hits if you’re going to be Hearthing afterwards

Say you and an ally are taking down a Bruiser camp, and you are low on mana. In this scenario, it is more efficient for your team if you to move into the middle of the camp to take the hits. This allows your ally to stay healthy and remain on the Battleground, as your health will be restored anyway when you Hearth back for mana.

3. Don’t overstay your welcome after Hearthing

A common mistake new players make is waiting until they are at 100% health and mana before leaving their base. It takes some time to reach your destination, so you can leave with about 90-95% of your lowest resource, and regen the rest of it on the way.

2. Use the informative minimap to plan out your movements

The minimap is full of useful information. If you just won a teamfight and are looking for objectives to take, check the minimap for available map mechanics. You can also mouse over mercenary camps to see how much time is left before they respawn, so you can decide where to go next without a moment’s hesitation.

1. Take advantage of the special properties of the Hall of Storms

If the front lines of the battle are far from your team’s Core, then the moment you resurrect, save some time by using movement abilities then mounting up again instantly. On the other hand, if your core is under attack, you can jump inside the Hall of Storms to become immune to enemy attacks, and instantly mount to make your counterattack that much more powerful.

blinkCombined2

Grubby’s One-Stop Guides

You may know Grubby from way back in his early Starcraft days, or more recently from casting Heroes of the Dorm. He has also put together some fantastic video guides for specific Heroes and Battlegrounds, with more planned in the future. Check them out!

Zagara

Tassadar

Nova

 Sky Temple

Sgt. Hammer

Zeratul

Muradin

Uther

On the horizon, there are guides planned for Chen (ETA: 1st week of May), Rehgar (ETA: 1st week of May), Blackheart’s Bay (ETA: 3rd week of May), The Lost Vikings (ETA: 4th week of May), and Murky (ETA: June). Subscribe to Grubby’s Youtube channel so you can stay up to date!

  • One-Stop Chen Guide (ETA: 1st week of May)
  • One-Stop Rehgar Guide (ETA: 1st week of May)
  • One-Stop Blackheart Bay Guide (ETA: 3rd week of May)
  • One-Stop The Lost Vikings Guide (ETA: 4th week of May)
  • One-Stop Murky Guide (ETA: June)

 

Top 7 Habits from Other MOBAs You Have To Break

7. Stacking one kind of defense over the other

armorsource

You can still choose defensive options that affect either Basic Attacks or Abilities, but you can’t stack them to extreme levels.

6. Laning for too long

golfFarmsource

You don’t want to daydream about your CS instead of grouping up and grabbing objectives (you should probably do this sooner than you think).

5. Playing Whack-A-Mole with the minions’ health bars

lasthitsource

Sometimes the instinct to wait for the killing blow takes over, you have to fight it! You only have to be closeby when a minion dies to gain experience for your team.

4. Worrying about “Killstealing”

kssource

Your team gains the same amount of experience from an enemy kill no matter what the killing blow is, be it Nova’s Snipe, Malfurion’s Moonfire, or an attack from a mercenary somewhere across the map. This is especially important for support players, do not be afraid to secure the kill!

3. Running everywhere instead of mounting

bothMountssource

With so much of the gameplay based around movement and positioning, remember to press Z if you’re going to be moving undamaged for longer than a few seconds. This can make the difference when making your great escape or chasing down an unmounted Hero.

2. Expecting certain heroes to take over the game

bothFarmed

source & source

Team-wide levels mean that a single player cannot carry the entire team to victory. It is a team effort to win, from start to finish.

1. Expecting your tower to save you when enemy minions are in range

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Structures will not change targets just because a Hero moves in range or deals damage. They will only attack Heroes if there are no minions in range. Be aware of the amount of ammo left on towers, as an ammo-less structure can create a great opportunity to dive in for the kill.

Top 5 Skills to Carry Over from Other MOBAs

5. Tailoring your hero according to how you want to play the game, and how your team/the opponents are playing

Lots of heroes have multiple ways of performing multiple roles. These roles will be familiar (tank, healer, ranged/melee damage), and there will be some familiar effects. For example, if you keep getting bursted down, you can pick up Ice Block. Ice Block is essentially Zhonya’s Hourglass, but it’s more simplified because you automatically gain stats whenever you level up. You also don’t have to go back to base to gain a Talent, so you can feel the impact of your choices immediately.

 zhonyashourglass

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4. Communicating with your team

Communication is key to victory. Everyone has to be on the same page, this is even more important than in other MOBAs.  It is better to move as a team and take a suboptimal objective than to split up to different objectives, lose some teammates in one teamfight, and then lose an outnumbered teamfight shortly after. In order to prevent this, be sure to communicate your intentions to your team with the correct ping.

Use communication tools as a benefit, not a hindrance. If you end up making the wrong call, it’s not the end of the world! If a teammate does something wrong, don’t rage at them, because this will cause your team to spend more time typing than actually playing. This game is still new; everyone is still learning. When things don’t go as planned, use your respawn time as an opportunity to learn, rather than time to vent your frustration.

2559734-smart+ping+wheel+on+my+way

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3. Good map awareness

There are always lots of things happening around the map, so you have to spend some time with the camera away from your hero. This gives you valuable information to make more informed decisions. The minimap will also show “map mechanic” scores and other relevant information, and you can mouseover mercenary camps to see how much time is left before they respawn. There are watchtowers instead of vision wards, so be wary of enemy positions. Be conscious of capturing mercenary camps, as this reveals your position to the enemy team, and vice versa.

hots minimap

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2. Creating and discovering new and interesting builds

Most heroes average around 4 choices at levels 1, 4, 7, 13, 16, and 20, with a choice between two Heroics at level 10. That is a whopping 12,288 different combinations, although admittedly not every single one of them will be “competitively viable”, or even make sense. The advantages this has over other MOBAs, it is both easier to understand and easier to balance. Instead of having access to an entire shop with hundreds of items, which raises the number of ways to build a Dota or LoL hero exponentially, HotS heroes will have access only to their own talents, which can be fine tuned with balance patches.

valla build 4 valla build 3 valla build 2

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1. Knowing that to succeed, you must work as a team to outplay (not outfarm) your opponents, by turning the small advantages you get into big ones

Assuming you have experience with other MOBAs, for the most part you will know what to do once a teamfight breaks out. It may take some time to get comfortable with your hero’s kit, but you will know what you would like to accomplish in the engagement. These instincts of knowing where to position your hero, when to retreat from a lost teamfight, when you can turn on an overextended enemy, and other such scenarios will serve you well.

Keep an open mind, have a willingness to improve, and most importantly, have fun!

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