I want to encourage fellow alpha players, as well as taking questions/concerns from people who are looking to play.
- I am a level 40, I do not submit my replays to HOTSlogs, I have so far tried to encourage my team to work together, and I don’t always do the obvious strategy at a given time.
- I have played Blizzard games since Diablo(100s), Starcraft(5k+), D2(1k+_, Warcraft 3(4k), 2 years of WoW, Dota(4k), Heroes of Newerth(100s), League of Legends(2k), D3(100s), and many many others. (in brackets is # of hours)
- I wanted to touch on Blizzard games as well as the MOBA genre to give the understanding that I have spent time in case anyone dare accuse me of a fan boy. I don’t want to turn this into a moba war fight, however I do want to emphasis what each map does right in this new evolution of the MOBA genre in terms of actual game play.In this case, the map discussion will be specifically Dragon Shire, because make no mistake each map has players who love it and who hate it based on their style and expectations.
Dragon Shire, against many people’s opinion, is my least favorite map.
Keep that in mind if you wish, but I will first analyze it then come back as to why this is.
Starting with Dragon Shire – Strategy Discussion to discuss map strategy, why?
First, I don’t have current access to HOTS logs, but if I recall (please correct me if I am wrong), but currently Dragon Shire has an estimated time of 20-21 minutes. This is close to what I believe Blizzard is looking for, and this is one if not their first map. Judging by most players loving it, and the duration being what they are looking for, I doubt it will see many major changes.
What this means is, it is the perfect map to start with for those reasons alone.
Not to bash League of Legends, but that is one thing I always hated about it. There was little room for strategy, especially in a public game. I haven’t played since 2011 March, but I feel I can safely say (I haven’t watched any videos either) that the meta/strategy for their main(and let’s be honest with ourselves, only map) is tank top, AP mid, jungle, AD w/ support bot.
The strategy in all games of Heroes of the Storm actually depends more on team composition of both your team and the opposing team than anything else. Always keep that in mind. I know a lot of new players especially think the strategy is to fight the enemy team in skirmishes all the time, and lane very little, but frankly the strategy to Heroes goes far more in-depth.
Game Started, Now what?
- As always, the first thing to do when starting a game of Heroes of the Storm for all maps is to hit TAB once you are in the game, and look at your team and their team. At this point, click the Show Talents button at the bottom because while there are pretty numbers under stats, stats aren’t what wins games, destroying the enemy core in all game modes/maps is the game winning objective.
- When you are first learning the game, you might want to skip this as you don’t want to be overwhelmed with information, but advanced players should/will do this at the start of the game against you and see what talents you pick on your hero. If this isn’t for you yet, just focus on the composition. Even if you are just starting out it shouldn’t take very long with ~30 heroes to figure out what role each hero fills.
Diablo\Tyrael tank, Gazlowe\Abathur specialist, Uther\Tassadar\Malfurion Support, Raynor\Valla Assassin.
- Hero balance aside (please take those discussions to another thread), the key here is to note what composition each team consists of and based on that determine what each teams strength is going to be. Sadly to some, but happy to any strategy enthusiast the map you are on actually matters a lot when taking this quick moment before the game begins to determine the “long term strategy” (LTS).
Before we expand on this, we first have to go over some Heroes of the Storm basic concepts for players that are new, if you’ve been playing for awhile please feel free to skim/skip my next post as that will emphasis the core concepts of the game. Which while I agree is not related directly to Dragon Shire, still matters a lot as they are the core mechanics of the game.
CORE Heroes of the Storm Strategy – Non-map Specific
- 1. Play as a team, if someone isn’t doing something you think they shouldn’t be doing, aren’t there helping you, relax and think. Don’t engage enemies. Don’t fight a losing battle. Sadly there isn’t very much incentive to do so compared to the risk.
- 2. Ultimately the easiest way to beat the other team isn’t to make objectives your priority, but instead to make out -leveling your opponents your priority. Once you out level them, especially by 3 levels, it is very easy to win. So what does this mean? This means,don’t skirmish just to skirmish. If you can’t win, don’t always fight. Sometimes, especially on Dragon Shire it makes sense to try todelay dragon, but dying can easily cause the enemy team to steamroll. Pick your battles wisely.
- 3. Outer towers are close, too close in my opinion. Sometimes you just aren’t getting things to go your way. If you have a lane partner, try swapping taking turns to heal at the well/fountain. Your goal even if you aren’t getting kills is always to get experience.
- 4. Experience. All of the 3 main points all come down to team level \ experience. This is the way you ultimately win or lose. Even if the other team gets an objective, if you are higher level, it usually doesn’t amount to much in the long term for the other team. Don’t fight to the death if you don’t have to. Avoid risky play.
Play as team, and the easiest way to do that is to get experience for your team.
Team composition – Dragon Shire
Now that we’ve touched on overall Heroes of the Storm mechanics, let’s get back to Dragon Shire.
You’ve started the game, you’ve seen the team composition and now you have to start pre-planning as to what your mid term objectives are.
Before you say, well, we just go 2 top, 1 mid, and 2 bot always, right? That answer is not a given. Specialists like Abathur aside. The goal is to get solid lanes, and have a plan to try to get the Dragon Shrine.
Looking at the google map link. You can easily see the locations where the shrines are. Take a minute or two and actually look closely at the map. There are a few things to note. The bottom visually looks easier to get to from middle. Top also requires you to walk around. Something else to keep in the back of your mind is the minion camp at the bottom of the map as well.
At this point, you have to figure out. Are you a pusher comp, a skirmish comp, a team comp. Do you have an extra support, lack a support, have an extra tank.
You have to figure out your strengths and your weaknesses.
Okay – we should be good at ____ – time to Implement
Once you identify what what your team is good at, and what the opposing team is good at, it is time to focus on implementation.
So you have someone, usually a specialist, who is good at quickly getting camps solo, or pushing a lane solo. Dragon Shrines are about to activate, what do you do?
The goal of this composition is to focus on these things.
- Prevent the opposing team from capturing both shrines andactivating the dragon knight.
- Exert press from minions/promoted minions/camps on lane(s).
- Once the lanes have to be dealt with, capture dragon knight and push separately/with them.
So you are winning your lanes, maybe getting some kills/ganks, mid might/might not have helped. You might be ahead or behind, but you don’t have a good matchup in a team fight. Perhaps you don’t have a tank? Luckily for you, the Dragon Knight is that and much much more.
- Your goal here is to force the enemy team to split. Try to keep themseparate at all costs. Usually this means breaking up into groups that you know will beat what they are throwing at their shrine.
- They are sending their whole team, what do we do? Back up, wait for their numbers to leave. Shift towards the other Shrine if needed.
- Focus on shrine control, and getting hero kills. However don’t overextend.
- Try to exert your control to get more experience to get ahead, control the lanes.
Team Composition – good team work
You aren’t particularly able to win your lane, things might be looking bad, but you feel if you group up you should be able to win. This is the most risky composition on Dragon Knight. It can also be the most rewarding.
- Primary goal here is to do whatever it takes to maintain control over at least one shrine. It might require all 5 heroes if necessary.
- Biggest risks are losing experience, overexerting yourself and losing a long drawn out fight, or losing sight of controlling one shrine and giving up the dragon knight.
- With grouping up, you have to focus on quickly achieving whatever it is you are trying to achieve. If you aren’t able to do so, you have to quickly adapt.
- This composition usually has to heal up before shrines activate, and try to force the enemy team into a team fight. Unfortunately without having any pushers / camps to help it might be difficult. They might have assassins, etc, might be ahead on levels. You might have to duo camps, or try to group push if you aren’t able to force a team fight at a shrine. If bouncing around to each shrine together isn’t working don’t be afraid to switch it up.
Least favorite map, why???
- Very straight forward objective, new players catch on quick, and give it their all.
- Dragon Knight can cover up a team compositions weaknesses by giving a tank/extra tank.
- Teamwork wins the day
- Very little room for error, if a team executes a dragon knight effectively, they get a sizable advantage.
- Party must properly identify their party strengths and execute as such. Unfortunately if you lack good communication it can quickly spell your doom
- Favors skirmish compositions heavily early game, and team compositions heavily late game. Push compositions aren’t particularly strong.