By Joemotycki 13 Comments
I should start this blog off by saying I really enjoyed my time with Dota 2. I have about 200 hours in that game and for the most part, I love it. However, there's just a handful of things about Dota 2 that kept it far away from being a video game that I would put into the 'elite tier' and instead was settled into the middle of my 2013 game of the year list. In Dota 2, the matches take too long, I was never really sure what I should be doing in the endgame, I had trouble understanding situational items, there were way too many heroes that I didn't enjoy playing, often times I would pick up a new hero and just have zero idea of what I should be doing and it was way too easy for one person to significantly sway the outcome of a match of Dota 2. As I'm starting to get the hang of Heroes of the Storm I'm coming to the realization that this game might (for me personally) fix every single one of the issues that I had with Dota. I'm having an incredible amount of fun with it.
Now I'm not going to go super in depth about what a MOBA is (I'm sure you know someone who has told you all about it) but I probably should explain what makes HOTS different and why it is that I like the changes they've made. First of all, you level as a team and not as individuals. This makes it so that everyone on your team 'potentially' has the same output and puts less pressure on you as an individual to perform your duties and not die. I have way more enthusiasm to play this game with friends since its more of a team focused game and I also there are less times that I feel like I ruined the game because of my poor play (Boy, those feelings in Dota are THE WORST!) Thankfully, less matches of HOTS end up in one hero one side becoming ridiculously overpowered and just steamrolling through the other team. The times when that happened in Dota were always super frustrating because when one guy started to snowball, it was often too hard to stop it and you just had to endure 20 more minutes of dying over and over until eventually they beat you. The team aspect in also present in the way you use your lanes. Often times you will be moving around between lanes depending on what situation your team is in. The maps are a lot smaller and there you can ride mounts, which means that navigating the battlefield is a lot easier.
There are multiple maps in Heroes of the Storm... MULTIPLE MAPS! Each map has its own specific and unique objective, and often times therein lies the key to victory. From collecting doubloons to pay a pirate who bombards the enemy keep with cannons to collecting 'tributes' that curse the enemy team, each map is different in what its objective is. It does a good job of having vastly different goals that require you to think differently about each map. A strategy or build that works well on one map may not be very well suited for another. This was a cool addition to the game that sometimes shifts your priority from killing heroes or pushing lanes to actually focusing your attention on something else, be it capturing an objective or map control of a specific area. Games are often A LOT quicker compared to Dota 2, thankfully. There's way less time spend being on the defensive, waiting for your opponents to attack, which i really hated in dota. Instead of spending time behind your tower chipping away at your enemies, you can often spend your time capturing objectives or roaming to different lanes to kill enemies. Its a lot more active and frankly, its a lot more fun.
There are zero items in the game and you don't level up your skills. In place of those two things they have talents, which you gain every few team levels. Talents let you pick various ways of upgrading your character, be it upgrading skills to have new effects/damage etc, giving you new abilities to use, or just giving you passive buffs that help in various situations. This makes it so that there is still depth to each hero, but its never particularly overwhelming. In addition, I found the heroes to be way easier to use than in Dota 2. Obviously there are still numerous heroes who are quite complicated but you can usually tell what a hero is supposed to do by reading his/her skills, instead of looking up a FAQ or cookie-cutter build.
Overall, Heroes of the storm is a game that has picked up steam over time until as of right now, its basically the only game I want to play. Whereas Dota 2 was a game I could only play one match, maybe two per sitting, I often find myself playing 3-6 matches of HOTS in a row, sometimes even with multiple sittings a day. There's way less things that frustrate me about Heroes of the Storm and while I can't speak to anything having to do with 'high level play', I can say that I feel like there is still a large amount of nuance to the gameplay. All of changes that were made to the MOBA seem like positive things and that's why I feel like for me personally, Heroes of the Storm is better than Dota 2.