To my surprise, I have gotten into the Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha.  I’ve heard great things about the game, but have never played it before.  (I was at Blizzcon 2013, but was all caught up in everything Diablo III while I was there).

I knew that Heroes of the Storm (HOTS) was a battleground type game that included playable characters from all of Blizzard Entertainment’s games (World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo III) but, that’s pretty much all I knew. This blog is my attempt to share my first impressions of the game.

My biggest concern about Heroes of the Storm was that I’d be dropped directly into a battleground, with players who were all much more experienced than me (and who were unwelcoming to “N00bz”). That did not happen. Instead, to my great relief, I ended up in a tutorial. I point this out because I figure that other gamers might have the same worries that I did, and would be hesitant about jumping into HOTS as a result. Don’t worry – the game teaches you how to play it.

I wanted to include some screenshots in this blog, but later learned that I hadn’t actually managed to take any. Discovering this took some work, research, and some helpful tips from a very kind and patient friend on Twitter. To make a long story short, I needed to translate the PC’s C:drive to the Mac equivalent, then do a little research to learn how to find that on my Mac. After digging around, I was able to locate stuff that matched what my friend was trying to guide me towards. There was, indeed, a folder called “screenshots” – but it was empty.

There is a very good chance that I lack screenshots because I was hitting the wrong key on the keyboard. To be honest, I was playing HOTS for the first time while on a Zyrtec and half a Benadryl. Allergies suck. I’m not actually frustrated about the lack of screenshots, despite the effort I put in to try and find them. Today, as a result of playing HOTS, I ended up learning how to find the “C:Drive” on my Mac. That’s a “win”!

Anyway, players start out as Raynor – Renegade Commander (from Starcraft). Well… sort of. Raynor is clearly the character that you use when you are learning how to play HOTS. The tutorial is a mix of playing as Raynor and listening to Raynor and Uther – The Lightbringer (from World of Warcraft) as they have an extended conversation. Personally, I feel like Blizzard made the “here’s what button to click next” portion of the game into something really entertaining. They talk to each other, and Uther explains what the Nexus is and how it functions to Raynor (and to the player).

Without giving away every little detail, the two eventually team up and fight against Diablo (from Diablo III) his minions, and his base. I’ve never played Starcraft, and knew very little about who Raynor was. He had some rather snarky things to say to Diablo, and I found that really amusing. Also, as a gamer who spends a lot of her free time playing Diablo III, it was nice to fight Diablo in the tutorial. That felt quite natural, despite being so far away from Sanctuary.

It is going to take me a while until I learn to connect the button I need to push to the action it produces. My muscle memory is set for Diablo III. I’m used to clicking, or holding down, the left mouse button to move my character across the screen. In HOTS, you are supposed to push the right mouse button to move. In Diablo III, you use the number line keys (1, 2, 3, and 4) to activate a spell. In HOTS, you use Q to do that, and W to do something else, and sometimes the left mouse button. Push C in HOTS to move your camera around the screen. There is no equivalent in Diablo III.

As such, I ended up repeatedly using the left mouse button and wondering why Raynor wasn’t moving. Then, I would remember, and push the right mouse button so he would move. You can also negate an attack by pushing the right mouse button. Poor Uther had to repeat himself, over and over again, as I continually got my buttons all confused.

Perhaps I should have expected this. When I play World of Warcraft, the first thing I want to do is click the screen. I become perplexed when my character doesn’t move… and eventually remember that you have to use the arrow keys to move in WoW. For me, the first boss I need to defeat in HOTS is the “button boss”. I’m hoping I can do the first part of the tutorial over again so that I can get more practice. If all else fails, I’m just gonna use the mouse with my left hand so the muscle memory will match up a bit more.

Anyway, that’s my initial impressions of Heroes of the Storm (Technical Alpha). I suspect that I will be put into the second part of the tutorial the next time I play. With luck, I will have learned how to take a screenshot by the time I am ready to blog about HOTS again.

Heroes of the Storm: Technical Alpha – First Impressions is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.

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