First things first
- Join the Giant Bomb channel (/join giantbomb) and click auto-connect on the top right.
- Ask for an invite to the Giant Bomb Community clan [GB0]. (I'm working on actually forming the clan, message me if you want to help / join)
- Play the tutorial. It's the open book icon near the center of the screen. Go on, I'll wait.
Your first games
- Let everyone in the #Giantbomb channel know that you are new and ask if there's any friendly games you can join.
- Listen to the other players' advice and apply it as best as you can, but here's the short version: it's a team game; don't die.
- Go into Matchmaking right off the bat, casual mode is recommended because it is more forgiving. Stay away from public games as it is very likely that you will be stomped by a coordinated 5-man team.
- Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Until you get a feel for the game and a have a few favorite heroes.
Choose to get better
- Watch Nigma's Basic Tutorial Part 1 and Part 2 .
- Watch Nigma's Guide to Being a Better Player .
- Use the Yet another Big Hero Guide! wisely. Print out guides for your favorite heroes if you can't alt-tab mid-game.
- Read From 1400 to 1780: how a non-Dota player climbed his way to mediocrity (pub allstardom) to keep you in the right mind-set.
- Don't be a jerk . Cussing out other players is not ok! But feel free to tell them they suck and why.
- Don't play public games, they are a deranged version of what the game is supposed to be and the home of pubstompers. Also, you won't get any Goblin Coins here. Public games are for when you just want to dick around with your friends and also the only option if there's 6 or more people who want to play together.
- Don't resort to cheap tricks like Ninja-hosting to bump your PSR, you'll just get pushed back down again, hard!
- More to come!
Why Losing is OKThe thing about Heroes of Newerth is that the learning curve is huge and, while you are still learning to crawl, you will be pitted against some very experienced players. The Match Making Ranking (MMR) system is the game's attempt to balance things out. You start with 1500 MMR, this rating goes higher or lower when you win or lose a match. If you are new, don't be afraid to lose a few matches and drop into the 1200-1300 MMR range, in fact, I recommend it! There you will be among equals, people still new or trying to learn, providing you a fair challenge.
Winning and LosingYou will lose and you will win. There is no middle ground. You must accept this. In fact, winning generates MMR, pitting you against stronger players, which will in turn kick your butt, making you lose MMR, pitting you against weaker players. This never-ending alternation between victory and defeat is to be expected. After a while, you will stabilize in an MMR range that best describes your skill level.
Well, that sounds kind of dumb" I hear you say, "what's the point, then? If I can't steadily climb up the ladder? What's the point of winning if it brings with it an inevitable defeat?" If you are indeed getting better, you will very slowly over many weeks start to notice an increase in your MMR. In a way, it reflects your true skill, pushing you back down if you had 4 lucky wins, but letting you hang around if you are deserving. The point is, you get better MMR from learning about the game, reading guides and practicing, not trying to steal a few meaningless wins. The other point is it's not a competition ! It's there to help you identify people's skill and keep your games balanced and that's all, the top 100 don't get any special treatment or recognition, the tournament winners do.
Crossroads"So I have stabilized in the 1300's, I am happy here, this is where I belong. Opponents are hard but not too hard, I win half the time and there's not as many morons here." Now you have to make your most important decision in Heroes of Newerth, here's your 2 choices:
- Play. You know the basics of the game. You have a populated friends list and a cool little group with whom you enjoy playing. Gather enough Goblin Coins to buy that cool skin for your favorite hero or your country's flag. But most importantly, learn to have fun in a competitive environment.
- Get better. Study the game. Watch the video tutorials. Ask your friends for advice. Strive for a higher MMR where you will find the mediocre players. It might take months, but you will eventually stabilize once more, this time in the 1500's. Suddenly your heart beats faster, your hands move on their own and you are pulling off double-kills against pretty good players!
Crossroads 2.0 (for +1700MMR players)Of course, the choice will present itself again, but this time the stakes will be higher: play around in the 1700's or join a clan? Look, at this point, you have my permission to relax. You know everything there is to know about the mechanics of the game, you are experienced with a multitude of heroes, familiar with almost all the items and, generally, the only thing holding you back is your natural skill level. If you haven't realized it yet, Heroes of Newerth is a game built specifically for competitive play. Unlike other games, there's never more players in one team than the other, you cannot join a match mid-game and there are pause and remake options. In other games, these conditions only replicate themselves in "tournament mode" or something close to that. In HoN, they are always there.
ShoutcastsWatching the pros play can really help your game. I'm just going to quote Jayrod here: watching shoutcasts is "especially useful for learning item counters, checking out item builds and learning the macro aspects of the game (when to push, why you should always be ready to teleport somewhere, the importance of towers and map control, etc.)"
laning , jungling , hero roles , items , etc.