This is a short guide for F2P players on gold acquisition in Heroes of the Storm. It sets out how much gold you can earn as well as a short list of your potential first 10 Heroes for Hero League.
It is important to note, Blizzard incentives you to pay, not play. They want you to login daily, not play hours on end, and the rewards are structured as such. What this means for F2P players is you cannot really grind your way to more heroes like other MOBAs but if you play casually every few days it will be better for you then other MOBA reward setups. The guide is setup as follows:
- Tutorial Gold
- Profile Leveling Gold
- Free Hero Leveling
- Gold for Playing Games
- Daily Quest Gold
- First 10 Heroes
- After Level 40
Tutorial Gold (1,000g)
The Tutorial is straightforward and I highly doubt you will miss this gold. Still makes for a good reason to complete the Tutorial.
Profile Leveling Gold (16,000g)
This is going to be your primary income and after it is complete you will likely “hit a wall” in your gold acquisition. It is worth 16,000g when you hit Level 40. It is interesting to note thatat Level 10 you get a free Stim Pack meaning for 7 days you get 150% gold/100% XP on games. Play with a friend for an additional 50% bonus and the leveling can be done quite quickly.
Free Hero Leveling (0-3,500g/week)
One of the most important lessons is to always level each hero to Level 5. This is very doable and worth 500g. Depending on your level, you can have 5-7 free heroes to try out each week and get the 500g. Which means if you play to Level 15 your first week, you can expect this to net you 3,500g. However, as you buy heroes, this is likely worth less each concurrent week. For example, this week I owned 5/7 of the F2P heroes meaning it was only worth 1,000g. And as time goes on, and your collection grows, it will be worth less and less.
Level 15 and Level 20 look amazing and would make the game much better for F2P but take an inordinate amount of time and I haven’t even seen streamers with a Level 15 hero (though I’m sure there are some). Basically, don’t count on ever getting Level 15 and Level 20 for a very, very, long time.
Gold for Playing Games (73.42g/hour)
Playing a match will net you 30g if you win and 20g if you lose. With the average game length being 20.43 min, this means you can earn about 73.42 gold/hour. With a stimpack, this becomes 183.55 gold/hour. As mentioned above, your daily gold quests will likely surpass you just playing a large number of games.
Daily Quest Gold (355.5g/day)
This is going to be your largest reliable gold income. There are 9 different daily quests right now and the average gold value is going to be 355.5g/quest. So, you would have to play ~4.8 hours each day in order to equal the daily gold amount. This is just another reminder that Blizzard doesn’t want you playing their games a lot, just logging in daily.
You can “game” this system because you don’t get duplicate quests. So if you hold on to two 200g quests, it removes them as possibilities for the 3rd quest and increases the average value. Likewise, you would immediately complete high value quests to increase the odds of getting them again. The gains, however, are minimal and probably not worth logging in every day and being unable to play certain heroes.
|200g||Play 2 games as a Diablo hero|
|200g||Play 2 games as a Warcraft hero|
|200g||Play 2 games as a Starcraft hero|
|300g||Play 3 games as a Support|
|300g||Play 3 games as a Warrior|
|300g||Play 3 games as a Assasin|
|300g||Play 3 games as a Specialist|
|600g||Win 3 games|
|800g||Play 8 games|
First 10 Heroes (Overall Cost: 42,000g)
As a preface, this is a general outline, and you can wait longer for better heroes, but I think this will be sufficient for playing Hero League. I’m a casual player (Rank 9) but I’m using my experience and hard stats (HOTSLOGS) to justify my choices.
When I started out I used to go to Heroes Fire for the top rated guides on heroes (and the guides can be useful depending on author) but I found the better solution was HOTSLOGS. HOTSLOGS is a collection of user uploaded game that then collects and displays the stats and builds used. This virtually real time data will let you see the builds and heroes that are working this week and what heroes/builds are best for each map. As a general rule, look up the builds that are a tier above where you are and see what works. (Note: Master tier has a lower sample size so it may reflect individually strong players unique playstyle and not one that will work universally.)
Unfortunately, there is a strong correlation between hero price and win rate so you have to make several “budget” choices.
I personally had ~45,000g when I hit Level 40 so I will use that as a rough guide. While I spammed games during the first week of my stim pack, I also did this in ~5 days so the daily quests should compensate for more Casual players.
|E.T.C||Warrior||2,000g||I’ve seen a lot of people play him incorrectly and he has a lower winrate then other Warriors. But at 2,000g, he is just too hard to pass up.|
|Li Li||Support||2,000g||Highest raw healing at Level 20, no skill shots, and hard to lock down. Low cooldowns and mana cost mean you can spam your spells and blind can shut down carry assassins like Nova, Illidan, and Zeratul. Unfortunately, no way to break stealth though.|
|Muradin||Warrior||2,000g||If Anub’arak wasn’t dominating this guy would be on top. Plenty of CC and mobility but must be played correctly.|
|Raynor||Assassin||2,000g||Takes a really good player with smart positioning. His team buff is overlooked but very strong in the right comps. Also, useful when Valla/Illidan are taken or make no sense.|
|Valla||Assassin||2,000g||Really good in the right hands with high burst. Not too difficult to learn and good wave clear|
|Anub’arak||Warrior||4,000g||Really high damage, sustain, and mobility. Can easily overcommit and die but this comes with experience. Strongest heroe right now means a nerf is likely.|
|Illidan||Assassin||4,000g||Really hard to master but the bane of teams without crowd control or burst damage. Also great at soloing Merc camps on maps like Blackhearts Bay.|
|Uther||Support||7,000g||Labeled as easy but I think one of the more difficult supports to play correctly. It is likely you will have 3-4 active abilities on top of your standard 4 meaning reaction time and skill requirements are greatly increased. Great abilities plus high cooldowns means decision making is very important.|
|Zagara||Specialist||7,000g||Great sustained damage and map control with creep. I think vision is underated because it allows your teammates to make better decisions or avoid dying.|
|Sylvanas||Specialist||10,000g||This is really a value pick because no one can do what she does. On maps like Haunted Mines, she can snowball a lead into wins. You can really only afford one 10,000g hero but if you were to wait longer andupgrade on of these choices I would consider Brightwing or Jaina.|
The choices aren’t absolute and there are plenty of variations you could make like Rhegar for Uther or Jaina for Slyvanas. Brightwing is also exceptionally good but she is so expensive (and you have access to decent supports) it doesn’t work on a budget. If the budget wasn’t a concern I would strongly consider:
- Assassins: Zeratul, Illidan, Jaina (or Kael’thas)
- Specialists: The Lost Vikings, Sylvanas
- Support: Brightwing, Uther
- Warrior: Anub’arak, Johanna
After Level 40
After Level 40 your gold income will shrivel up. It is pretty much unfeasible to keep up with their heroe release schedule as a F2P player and this is assuming you don’t even consider buying Master Skins at 10,000g a purchase.
For instance, all the Heroes in the game cost 258,000g right now and all the ‘free’ gold amounts to 35,500 assuming you level each hero to Level 5. (This will take multiple F2P Rotation Weeks) In order to afford the new hero that comes out every 3 weeks (assuming you wait for the 10k price reduction) you would have to complete all the daily quests (~7,465g), level it during its F2P rotation, (500g), and play for ~9.2 hours per week to break even. Since we know Blizzard doesn’t reward grinding the gold gains will be minimal after this point and every hour over 9.2/week will net you 73.42g.
Some people will say you don’t need to collect every hero to enjoy the game, and this is true, but I like to know if I dedicate several years to a game or franchise if I will actually be unlocking more content or having to pay more in order to keep up. Additionally, I like the ability to make fun builds or have access to heroesthat were buffed after each patch. Or my heroe pool might become drastically weaker after Blizzard re-balances so having more heroes lets me enjoy the game after nerfs as well.
On the brighter side, you will have access to Hero League and start being able to play Ranked which avoids the many problems of Quick Matches. You know what map you are playing and can make a balanced team instead of relying on Blizzard’s AI to do it for you. You also have the ability to counter the enemy team instead of letting an Illidan run wild because no one has crowd control. Personally, I find it much more enjoyable.