Hey folks, congrats to all you newbies getting into the Alpha. I thought I would make a post to give you a few morsels of info so we can avoid a stream of posts with FAQ.

Important Note About Pings

Hold down ALT+Left Mouse Button, then drag in a direction. This will bring up a selection of four commands that allow you to “ping” the map. Just pull in a direction and let it go. This helps you communicate with your team and is very important.

Pressing “V” will ping a “retreat” signal to your team mates.

Pressing spacebar will reset the view to your hero. Holding it will keep the view centred on him/her.

“C” will unhook the view from your hero, press it again to replace it.

“Tab” will bring up the score screen where you can also see what talents and heroic skill players have taken.

Answers to FAQ.

  • There is currently no way to redifine keys. I’m sure it will be added at some point, but as for now, you will have to make do.
  • If you come across what you would consider to be a bug, please report it on the correct Blizzard forum so that they can get a fix in place. Posting it here won’t guarantee they see it.
  • There is intermittent lag and interface delay in the game for some. Being in the EU I get 0.5 second delay, depending on whom I play. It seems there are EU servers up, but it can vary which servers you get put on. Some games may seem fine, others may not.
  • Some people have reported that the icon for HotS disappears from the launcher. Supposedly, changing your BNet password fixes this.
  • The hero rotation changes every week on a Tuesday. You will get at least six free heroes to play, sometimes seven as Raynor is always free. The servers usually go down for maintenance around 11AM PDT (approx) and come back up an hour or so later.
  • If you’re not sure about which hero to buy with gold/money, use the “Try Me” feature in game. Simply go into the Shop, click on a hero, and the “Try Me” button is at the bottom left.
  • The performance of the game may vary greatly depending on your system, but remember that this is Alpha and the game is nowhere near as optimised as it could be at release.
  • To report a player, either right click on his name in chat or you can click on his character after the game has finished. You can also mute people by using the score screen in game (Tab).
  • You can skip the XP gain screen by clicking the “Leave” button at the bottom, it will be slightly dimmed due to the overlay, but it can still be clicked. Note that this will also skip the score screen.
  • Gold can be acquired by doing daily quests and levelling up. Daily quests will be given to you when you log in, you can also check them by clicking your profile pic in the top right of the screen. Similarly, you can check your quests by right clicking your hero and selecting “View Profile” whilst you’re in queue. Gold from levelling up will increase the higher level you get.
  • Hero quests can also be viewed by checking your profile. You will get extra XP for completing a certain number of games with each hero. This is also how you later unlock tints. Hero quests unlock at lvl 10, daily quests at lvl 6.
  • All daily quests MUST be completed in Versus mode (PvP).
  • As well as the LFG tool in-game, you can also use this website to find groups. Please don’t keep making threads about groups, with the amount of people joining the game, it will become very cluttered.

Specific Map Tips.

Blackheart Bay

  • Most teams rush 4 or 5 to the top observer point and have a prolonged teamfight there. Make sure you send at least one person to the bottom lane to soak up the minion XP there.
  • Chests are not the only source of gold. Mercenary camps provide 2 gold each, and 4 special merc camps marked with green circles (or a green X if the camp is dead) provide 2 gold as well. These smaller camps are easy to solo for any champion, and respawn after 2 minutes.
  • Deny the enemy team’s turn-in. Hit tab to see how many coins your opponents has; if they have a lot and aren’t on your map, chances are they’re trying to turn in. Pop an AoE spell there to interrupt them and you’ll make them waste a lot of time.
  • The key here is the coins (doubloons), you can win on this map without ever entering their inner base, this is the only map you can currently do this on, so be aware that sitting back will likely speed up their victory.

Cursed Hollow

  • This map is fairly basic, the only thing you need do here is collect tributes. They will spawn at intervals at random points across the map. Note that there are only a certain number of points it can spawn at.
  • There is also a capture point (like Xel’naga Towers from SC2) each side of the map to give your team vision.
  • Capturing these tributes is done simply by clicking and channelling one when it appears. Whilst that may sound simple, this is where the majority of team fighting will be done. Notice I said team fighting. it is imperative that you go to help capture these tributes with your team, not doing so will leave them short handed, which in turn may lead to 4 dead team mates.
  • There are also 3 merc camps per side. An Ogre, Knight and Grave Golem camp respectively.
  • Once you have collected 3 tributes, the opposing team will be cursed. This means their towers and forts will not fire, their minions will only have 1HP, and their buildings will also have reduced health. Use this time to push their lanes hard with your team mates. Capturing merc camps at the same time can be effective to force the opposing team to defend on several fronts.
  • Don’t worry about being cursed, the amount of tributes you captured will be saved, meaning that if you had two before the opposing team got their third, you will still have two after their curse is done.

Dragon Shire

  • A three laned map with two capture points at the top and bottom respectively. At around five minutes or so, the shrines will become active for you to capture. Stand in the yellow circle until the bar fills with your teams colour.
  • Once both shrines are captured you can stand at the Dragon Shrine (middle lane), click and channel to morph into a powerful siege unit.
  • You should generally gather around the person on your team who has control of the DK. if you’re controlling it, attack the towers and gates as the DK does HUGE damage to them. Your Q will allow you to breath fire in a cone in front of you and your W will allow you to punt (never gets old) enemy heroes.
  • Should they capture the DK, gather with your team mates to defend your lanes.
  • the DK has a health bar and is also on a timer, both are located in the bottom right of the screen. The time that the Dk is up for increases the further into the game you get.
  • The map also has four merc camps, a Knight camp and Ogre camp each side.

The Haunted Mines

  • This is a two laned map with another underground part to it. The entrance to the mines is located half way along the top and bottom lane.
  • There are also two capture points that give your team vision.
  • The mine will open up around five minutes in to the game.
  • Killing the minions below as well as the large Grave Golem will gift you with skulls (cannot be dropped after being collected). Depending on how many you collect (out of 100), you will then summon a large or small Grave Golem that starts in your base.
  • The Golem will keep moving and fighting until it is killed, the next time it is summoned it will start from where it was killed.

Most Importantly

  • The strength of the Golem will get stronger as time passes on the map. So a 100 skull Golem in the first five minutes will be much weaker than a 100 skull Golem at twenty minutes in.
  • It can be wise to stay up top the first time the mines open and just capture all the merc camps.
  • There are two sets of Ogres each side and one Knight camp in the middle.

If I can think of more to add to this, I will amend the post. Please let me know if you think of anything.

Some General Gameplay Tips.

  • Don’t overextend. This is the biggest giveaway for a new player. It’s great to get kills, but don’t put yourself in a bad position to do it. Play safe and don’t give them an easy kill. Think about your position in lane, be aware that other players can come from nearly anywhere on the map.
  • if you’re low on health, use the glowing pool near your forts. You can use it once every 100 seconds. Failing that, use your Hearthstone and port back to the safe area. It’s better to go heal up than give them an easy target.
  • Know your role. There are four types of hero; assassins, warriors, support and specialist. They each have different strengths and weaknesses. Take a few minutes to look at their skills and talents, by viewing them in the Shop. Simply click the tab at the top (that wasn’t supposed to rhyme).

Most characters can be built a few different ways; depending on the class, they can fulfil a couple of different roles. Make sure to use the talents that you think will fit the role you wish to fill.

Be extra careful playing specialists, they tend to have a very niche role and can be difficult to learn. A good hero to start with is Raynor.

  • Help your team. I can’t stress this enough, HotS is a team game and you need to work as one. When people ping the map, respond. If there is a team fight, go and help. Don’t leave them fighting 4v5.

There are obviously exceptions to this, but to begin with, it’s just best to go and help.

  • PLAY THE OBJECTIVE. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people don’t do it. This is an objective based game, ignoring them will more than likely mean that you lose.
  • Watch the mini map. This is another thing that new players don’t seem to do. You should be looking at the mini map a lot. nearly as much as you look at the main screen, possibly even more. All the info you need is right there. It can help you see if ganks are coming, or maybe if team mates need help. Always be looking to help your team.

And finally, please be nice to one another. There’s no need to rage when losing, it’s just a game. This isn’t ranked play and your stats won’t look bad for any reason (because you don’t have any). Just relax and have fun. If someone starts to grief you, report and block them.

Have fun and welcome to the HotS Alpha.



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