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Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm entered closed beta this week, which means that there's a whole lot of players trying out the MOBA. If you're trying to learn the ropes, here are a few tips to get you started.
How To Pick Your CharacterAfter completing Heroes of the Storm's training, the next step for advancing your skills is to play Co-op Mode. In these matches, you'll team up with players against a squad of A.I. opponents. For these matches, you'll have to make a crucial decision: your Hero. The playable characters are split into four classes. Here's a brief summary of each class and how they fit into the team's strategy.
It should be fairly easy to pick your first character because you'll only have five to pick from at first. Try to pick a character that has an Easy or Medium difficulty, as that usually means they have a very straightforward playstyle. I'd also recommend choosing a Ranged character, as it will make it easier for you to hang back and not get stuck in the middle of a pack of enemies.
What To Do In BattleWhile each map has different secondary objectives, the main mission is the same: destroy the enemy team's base. The A.I. minions spawning at your base will assault the enemy's fortifications and you will support them in taking down each wall and cannon before directly assaulting the "Core" in the heart of the enemy's base. Your job is also to beat back the enemy heroes and minions trying to do the same to your base.
The most important thing you can do, though, is not die. When you die, you help the other team level up and become more powerful. Furthermore, you'll be out for the fight for an extended period of time and unable to help your team. Stay behind your minions and let them take the brunt of damage from enemy towers. Only engage enemy heroes if you're not outnumbered and you're not next to their towers.
If you're low on health, go right-click the health spring behind your front forts to regenerate some health and mana. Or use your hearthstone (B) to go back to base and quickly restore your character. Hearthing and then running back to the frontlines takes you out of the fight for much less time than a death and doesn't help the other team grow in power.
Play The ObjectivesHeroes of the Storm varies from a lot of other MOBAs by having multiple Battlegrounds, each with their own objectives. These objectives are vital to your team's success and can turn the tide of the match:
Your team might also want to attack mercenary camps through the map. By killing these A.I. minions and then standing on the nearby circle, you'll spawn a set of powerful friendly minions for your team. This can help your team a lot in controlling the map's lanes and knocking down enemy forts. It's hard for most heroes to kill these mercenary camps on their own, though, so be sure to help players that want to kill them (they'll usually ping the map) or ask for assistance if you want to do it. The game has its share of douchebags but most are willing to help you out.
How To Get Gold And Unlock More HeroesNew players are restricted to playing five heroes that rotate every week. You'll gain two more rotating slots once you level up your account. If you want to permanently unlock a character, you'll need to pay gold (or real-world money). You can get gold in three different ways:
In your earliest hours of Heroes of the Storm, I'd recommend trying a range of characters. By hitting level 5 with the set of free characters each week, you'll earn a bunch of gold that you can eventually spend on unlocking a hero. Exploring the full range of classes will also help you determine what kind of characters you want to permanently unlock and play in matches against other players.
One thing I'd recommend against, though, is spending gold on characters you've never played. Even if they sound great on paper, you might not be happy with their playstyle. If a character isn't part of the free rotation that week, you can test them out by pressing the "Try" button on the character's page in the in-game store. This will put you in a one-lane match against the A.I. where you can give the character a whirl and see whether they feel like a fit.
Unlocking all of the current characters will take awhile just by earning gold. The task will be made even harder by Blizzard continually adding new heroes. However, should you run out of new characters to add to your collection, you can always spend your gold on alternate skins for your existing heroes.
Once you've leveled up your account to 30 and unlocked 10 characters, you'll be able to jump into the ranked Hero League. At this point, you should have a few characters you know inside and out. Experience with a broad set of heroes will be valuable because these matches use a draft for selecting characters. You may not be able to get your preferred hero as a result. This is all a long ways away, but prepare now by trying out very Warrior, Assassin, Support and Specialist the game has to offer. You never know what you'll end up gravitating towards.