Odinn

Interview With 2ARC Gaming Heroes of the Storm Team

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To help players of all skill levels learn more about some of the ins and outs of playing Heroes of the Storm effectively as a team, Kevin 'Odinn' Hovdestad of Icy Veins sat down with 2ARC Gaming, a top tier competitive Heroes team. In the interview, they share their insights on designing team compositions, map strategy development, talent build planning, target priorities, and more.

 

2ARC finished second in the late 2014 Heroes Premier League NA Season 1, and recently placed third in the ESL Heroes Major League - Americas Season 1.

 

 

The team, players, and team members in this interview are as follows:

 

2ARC Gaming (Facebook, Twitter)

 

Management:

Alexi "MrNyxis" Barth (Twitter)

JT "Phakz" Rogers (Twitter)

 

Players:

Brendan "FuriousD" Oakley (Twitter)
Jacob "QuibsY" Martisek (Twitter)
Kevin "ChubbsZ" Yepez (Twitter)
Stuart "Traitorr" Dameri  (Twitter)
Stone "Pannucci" May (Twitter)

 

 

 

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Designing Team Compositions

 

Odinn – When you’re picking Heroes to build a team composition, whether it’s draft format or not, how do you design your team compositions? Do you tailor them based on the individual strengths of players? Do you worry about the requirements of the maps? Do you give any thought to the selections your opponents are making, or are there other variables that go in to designing a team composition?

 

FuriousD – Usually, in a casual setting, most of the time you’re going to want at least one tank and one healer. That doesn’t necessarily mean Warriors and Support – Tassadar usually doesn’t cut it on his own, neither does Tyrande as a healer. Certain Warriors don’t really cut it as a tank – Sonya doesn’t, Anub’arak is questionable. Most of the time, when you’re playing with a group, you want one tank and one healer. You can have more than that – you can have two healers or two tanks, but the baseline should be one tank and one healer most of the time.

 

QuibsY – I would agree with that. Blizzard even agreed with that – they released stats saying if your team doesn’t have a healer and the other team does, your win rate goes down from 50% to 42%*. I would say healer is more important than tank – you can get away with not having a tank more so than not having a designated healer.

 

* Per Blizzard, these numbers were 48.7%/52.62% for 1v2 or 1v3 supports, respectively, vs. 44.86%/43.43% for 0v1 or 0v2 supports.

 

Pannucci – Another thing is when you build a team composition, you want to have a general idea of, “Okay, we want to aim for this goal, and then we’ll expand from this goal to other, smaller goals, but this is our main focus.” Then you pick characters because they do something well. You create a central goal, and then build from that.

 

Odinn – When you say ‘goal’, what does that entail in the Heroes setting? In other Blizzard games, you’ll go into a StarCraft game with a ‘build order’, planning on working towards something, and adjust based on what counter-composition your opponent brings. You’ll go into a Hearthstone match with an explicit ‘win condition’ built into your deck. What does that look like in Heroes?

 

QuibsY – When you’re drafting your team, especially in a competitive setting, your first two to three picks are power picks, and then after that, you look at what you’re doing, what your opponents are doing, and the map. By that, I mean on certain maps you want two healers, or on certain maps you want two tanks, and if your opponents haven’t picked a tank and you want two of them, you want to put a higher priority on it, so you can get the higher priority tanks.

 

I also think that when Pannucci said ‘with a goal in mind’, he meant: Are we catering to the early game? Are we picking Heroes like Kerrigan that excel in the early game? Are we picking Heroes that excel once they hit 10, and we get our level 10 ultimates? Are we looking to team fight? Are we looking to split up and push? Are we looking for global presence? These are all things that you’re answering when you’re looking at the map, when you’re looking at what the enemy has and what you’re trying to put together. As an example, if we picked Zeratul here, Void Prison is awesome, but you probably need something to go with it – a Diablo Apocalypse, or something to couple with it, otherwise it’s kind of underwhelming.

 

FuriousD – Most games of Heroes come down to who has the better team fight. There are occasionally going to be games where you can win through other means, but that’s pretty rare. Usually the better team fight is going to win the game. You need to think about that when you’re picking your team – how is every team fight going to go? How do the fights start? Are we going to engage a certain way? Are we going to combo our ultimates in a certain way? If you’re in a draft, and it looks like your opponents have a better team fight, or they can blow one of you up really quick, are you going to try and kite and run away? Do you have an escape plan? That’s a very important part of picking a team – what does your team fight look like, and what is the ideal fight going to be with the Heroes you have?

 

A second thing is map objectives. A perfect example is Sky Temple – you just need to stand on the temples, and you will win the game that way. You don’t ever need to push into the base, which means Heroes that are good in team fights but don’t do lots of damage are perfectly fine. That would be a map where double support is good, because they’re not great at pushing bases, but they can stand on a temple just like anyone else. Team fighting is the main goal, and if you can build around map objectives, that’s good too.

 

Pannucci – Where you want to fight and what the map caters to – where are you going to fight on that map – and what’s the objective of the map, that’s how you win the game. You’re going to win the game off of the map objective, more likely than not. You probably win 9 out of 10 games off of map objectives. Team fights set up the map objective, but you need the objective to win.

 

 

 

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Map Specific Strategies

 

Odinn – How do strategies vary by map? There aren’t a huge number of maps yet, but on the existing map pool, do you plan on specific timings or styles of play – whether it’s playing to objectives, laning, or skipping objectives to go all in – specifically by map?

 

Pannucci – Yes, I’ll give a good example. On Sky Temple, the first spawn is middle and top. Generally speaking, every professional team tries to grab their Knights top around a minute and a half until the next spawn, because it’s a two minute timer, and the next spawn is always bottom. The Knights going top put a lot of extra pressure on the map. There’s downtime and uptime for these map objectives. We do the map objective, and then in the in-between time, we do merc camps, rotate to prevent pressure, etc. – you play for the map objective, and then when the map objective is down, you play the map. It’s a balancing act of playing two different styles, and figuring out what’s the most optimal way to deal with both of them. Winning one thing doesn’t win the game.

 

QuibsY – As the shot caller, I make a lot of those calls where an objective isn’t worth it anymore, and here’s why. I usually don’t give the why until after the fact with my team, because I don’t have time, but an example is when the curse spawns on Cursed Hollow, generally you want all five people there, because they’re valuable. However, there are many instances – they’re about to hit 10 and we’re not, our team fight is awful until we hit 10, etc. – so give up the first two team fights on the tribute, let them have it, just stall it as much as you can. Delay them so we can get to level 10 as fast as humanly possible. That way, when the third tribute comes around, we should be 10, and we should be able to force and win a fight, take the tribute, and possibly a boss or a fort.

 

The key to Heroes that a lot of newer players won’t understand is that it’s very similar to StarCraft, in that it’s a game of trades. Just because you’re not trading one to one doesn’t mean it’s not a good trade. An example of that is if you’re behind, a one to one trade is always good, but if you’re ahead, you need to keep grabbing ground on them, otherwise you’re going to let them catch up due to how Blizzard has experience set up. One kill if you’re two levels behind is worth almost triple, if not triple, what it is for the team that is ahead.

 

When you’re doing this give and take, e.g. if their team is doing the Grave Golem on Cursed Hollow, that means the entire bottom side of the map is completely exposed. We can take an experience lead if we take a fort and then transition. You have to make these trades based on the game state, which changes drastically based on the map and compositions. There are certain Heroes that are very good at making trades, such as Lost Vikings, or Abathur – you’ll never lose lane soak with them on your team. You can make more condensed plays and have more people show up to the same play with those characters on your team, because you’re not giving up as much. If you can get the objective without sacrificing that much, it’s always better to get the objective.

 

Traitorr – There are certain objectives that are very specific. Pannucci mentioned Sky Temple shrines, which spawn two minutes after the previous final shots of the prior shrines. There are other map objectives like the curse on Cursed Hollow, where it’s not an exact time and the locations can be variable. You want to be able to get mercs pressuring a certain part of the map where you know the enemy team won’t be at because of the map objective, but at the same time, you can’t just take 20 seconds to run from the top side of the map to the bottom side of the map to get a siege camp if people aren’t in the general area. If you can get the stuff at the right time, perfect – other times, you just can’t, because it’s a game where people need to be together doing things together.

 

 

 

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Talent Builds & Game Progression

 

Odinn – Do you go in as each Hero with a planned build order, based on individual preference, the team comp, or otherwise? Or do you make those choices based on the progression of the individual matchup?

 

Pannucci – This game is kind-of a hybrid between League, where you always go the same build, and DotA, where you almost always go with something different. You have a set tree that you’re going to go at 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 20 – but, generally speaking, there are multiple talents you can take at every tier that are good. There is no character that you can’t deviate and have it be good. Here’s a good example – ETC has a talent on 13 that makes Debut slow enemies by 80% for 2s. The ‘standard’ talent is whenever you use the ability, he gains 20% movement speed. In certain comps, where you’re trying to keep people spread out, you’re going to take that ability instead of the movement speed one, instead of a game plan where you’re going to chase after a Hero and blow them up where you’d take the movement speed.

 

FuriousD – It’s never 100% you’re always going to go the same thing. There are certain Heroes where you will, at the beginning of the game – or at least at the end of the draft – know what you’re going to do. Valla is one of those Heroes where there’s different things you can do, but you’re probably going to know which one you’re going to do at level 1. You can either go auto-attack Valla, you can go Q-build Valla, or you can go W-build Valla. You don’t want talents from the three different builds all at the same time, because you’re just not going to be effective.

 

Something else is, if you’re a tank – Imposing Presence, which is a level 16 talent and it means that attackers that hit you get slowed by 50% – at level 1 you’ll know how many of their Heroes are good at auto-attacking and whether or not you want Imposing Presence or a different defensive talent, or maybe an offensive talent.

 

Also, the team that you’re playing with and which Heroes you have can also be a factor in choosing your talents. Slows in this game don’t stack – it’s always the highest percentage slow that will be on them. If someone hits with a 20% slow and then Valla comes with her Frost Shot, which is a 40% slow, they do not get slowed by 60%, they only get slowed by 40%. I wouldn’t say it’s a hard and fast rule that you should never have two slows, but if you’re choosing between two talents, that might hedge you one way or the other.

 

QuibsY – I know exactly what I’m going to build during the game, because I figure out when we’re drafting. I feel like it’s the same way for most high-end players, because there are certain builds that you want to go, and certain builds that are more viable given what team you’re against and what team you’re with. Imposing Presence is probably the best example of a swing talent, where it’s really good when it’s good, but it’s awful if it’s not what you need.

 

I feel like the only thing that you might have to discuss with your team, depending on how the game’s going, is some of the swing ultimates, like Brightwing, Diablo, or Valla – Strafe is pretty typical, and you almost never go Rain, but there are certain situations where the Valla player makes the judgement call and says, “I’m not going to get a Strafe off – I need to take Rain of Vengeance, otherwise I’m not going to have an ultimate.” That’s a Valla player, and he’ll probably figure it out before 10, because he’s going to feel it out before then. For the most part, unless they have a swing ultimate, you’ll know which ultimate you’re going before the game, and you’ll know which build you want to go if the game goes well.

 

The last thing I’ll touch upon about talents is that there have been times and there will always be times when you ding a level that’s a talent and it can either save your life, or kill somebody. Let’s say you ding 4, and you don’t want to take Envenom, but it’ll get the kill – generally, that’s bad to do, because you don’t want it and that’s an early talent, but a talent like that will solidify a kill and maybe you get a map objective because of that, and then it’s good to take. Maybe you’re playing Brightwing and you want Phase Shield, but you can take Sprint or Ice Block and it’ll save your life right then and there, and it’s key to save your life. Sometimes you knee-jerk to those things, and I don’t think that’s necessarily wrong, because those talents are still strong talents. You don’t pigeon-hole yourself into a build prior to the game, unless you absolutely know it is the absolute talent that you need to make the comp work.

 

Odinn – That makes a lot of sense. Is that something that you decide individually, and then announce to your team after the fact so they know?

 

QuibsY – Yes. Generally, it’s like, “I had to take Sprint because of this.” It almost never should be an ultimate. If there’s an ultimate and you’re going to gimp your entire team because you needed to save yourself or kill somebody, that’s almost always wrong. The talents that are really knee-jerk that can swing a fight instantly, those are the talents that after the fight’s over, after the shot’s been called and you’re doing what you’re doing, then you just say, “Oh, by the way, I took this talent.” You don’t even have to justify why, because you should trust your teammates. Most of the time, people are like, “I took this talent, and it got this kill.” If it’s an ultimate, you’re probably wrong, unless it’s an acceptable ultimate like Strafe or Rain. It’s okay to instantly pick Rain of Vengeance and land a four man Rain of Vengeance, I’ll never be mad at you for that.

 

Pannucci – Also Lightning Breath on Diablo.

 

QuibsY – Yeah, the swing ultimates.

 

FuriousD – The last thing, which I remembered, is sometimes you can choose talents in reaction to what your opponents choose. A good example is if you’re playing Nazeebo, and there’s a Diablo on the enemy team. If he picks Apocalypse, he’s going to stun your Ravenous Spirit every single time you cast it, so you don’t want to take Ravenous Spirit – it’s not even an option for you any more, you just go Gargantuan. If he gets level 10 first and you see he takes Lightning Breath, and they don’t have a lot of good ways to stun you, now Ravenous Spirit is an option. There are certain situations where you’ll see your enemy team’s talents, and that will open up builds to you later in the game.

 

 

 

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Target Prioritization & Objective Assignments

 

Odinn – Once you actually know what map you’re playing on – for sake of argument, let’s say Sky Temple – how do you choose prioritization of targets on the fly on those maps? How do you handle making those decisions and assignments happen in real time?

 

QuibsY – That’s a good question. *laughs*

 

FuriousD – I have some input on this, but QuibsY is probably the best to answer, because he’s the shot caller.

 

QuibsY – I know the initial game plan. Literally every game, before the draft, I’m trying to analyze how the team fights are going down, because as FuriousD said in the prior question, it’s probably one of the biggest things about this game, so I’m trying to figure out the team fights. Once the game loads, I realize it’s time to tell people where they’re going in lane, so I hit tab and think, “Where is the enemy going with their lanes? Where can I subject the enemy to a loss in a lane?” If I know they’re going to put ETC in the top lane, and I know Nazeebo beats ETC 90% of the time, I’m going to put my Nazeebo in that lane with him.

 

With the specific example of Sky Temple – and I’m willing to reveal this strategy, because we do it time and time again, and it’s in replays – I like to stack three in the middle lane, and one and one on top and bottom. It’s pretty much universally accepted. The reason why is that the middle temple shoots four more times, and kills a tower instead of a moon well on the first shots if you get them all, so it’s actually more experience if you get the middle one than the top one. You’ll find more teams competing over that one and then competing over the top one. The alternative to that is if I hit tab and their lane phase is way better than ours – we’re probably going to lose the lane phase – I’ll put three in top lane and try to get away from them as far as possible.

 

The section of, “Where do I put the people and why?” is really game to game, but generally I’ll go into it with at least one strategy of how I want to go in. As far as taking mercenary camps – Pannucci brought up the point that Knights push top, and second temple is bottom, so a lot of teams will go with the knight camp. That’s one of the calls I’ll make. I’ll also make the call to get Siege Giants early so that maybe we can contest theirs if I know they’re at Knights.

 

I would say in general, it’s just exposure to the map – where were we when we team fought, who won the team fight, and what are they taking? If we’re in top lane and we kill everybody and we can do the boss, the travel time between us going top lane to the boss is very high, so that becomes less of a great play, because we’re wasting the 10 seconds to get down there. However, if we fought in the bottom lane, and we won in the bottom lane, then we can get the boss, the Siege Giants, and a fort, because we’re there already and we’re ready to do it, and the boss is going to push a lane we’re already in. It’s by proximity and by priority. I will always take a keep over taking a fort. I will always take a core over taking a second keep. Things that end the game are what I am interested in taking.

 

Odinn – So how do you handle giving out those assignments? You said you’re going to send three people mid on Sky Temple. Are you sending your tank, healer, and a specialist? How are you making sure that the right people get the right jobs when you make those calls?

 

QuibsY – When you tri-lane, you want three people, one of them being a healer – it doesn’t really matter what the other two are, as long as they can do some sort of damage. You either tri-lane to defend their tri-line, or you can tri-lane to actually aggress. If you’re trying to aggress and put structure damage on, you want as many ranged as you can get, while still having a healer. For the solo lane people, it’s just people who aren’t susceptible to being ganked – a good example being a tank player like ETC, or a support like Rehgar, but not necessarily all supports or all tanks. If they have an escape, they become a better person to put in a solo lane. It also matters if they’re good at dueling in their solo lane – examples being Valla, Sylvanas, or Tychus are exceptional duelists. They’ll win the lane just based on doing more damage than the other person and out-trading them.

 

As far as who I put where, I tell them specifically – you’re going to this lane, you’re leaving that lane when this happens. If I don’t tell them, it’s generally already known – an example being on Cursed Hollow, my general rule of thumb is everyone is coming to the tribute unless I tell you not to. That way there’s no hesitation – when that happens, as a team, everyone knows what they’re doing unless I say otherwise. It’s also true for Sky Temple – the people in the top and bottom lane, I’ll tell them specifically when to come if we’re going to fight on the mid temple, or whatever the case may be. I’m looking at the mini-map constantly. That’s how I make those calls.

 

FuriousD – Everything he said is spot on. The only thing I would say is generally each map you know how the beginning of the game is going to go, and based on how the beginning goes is how you have to play the rest of it. Either you press your advantage, or you play from behind, especially when you’re a talent tier above or below the enemy. Besides that, each map, as Pannucci said, a lot of the times you’re going to win with the objective, and on certain maps you’ll often win through a certain lane.

 

Dragon Shire, for example, you used to always win through bottom, because there were so many Giants there – now it’s bottom or mid, but you still pretty much never win through top. I would say 98 or 99 games out of 100 on Dragon Shire, the top keep is still alive when you win. That’s the kind of thing you want to have in mind all game – later on, when we need to win, where are we going to go through? Let’s set that up now, so that when we want to team fight late, we’ll have that option when we need it.

 

QuibsY – Yeah, that’s a good point. That’s one thing I didn’t bring up – pressing the same lane is really strong. Having catapults in lane will definitely give you a push.

 

FuriousD – …and Haunted Mines, everyone understands your golem lane is where you should push, because your golem’s going to help you hit the core eventually. That’s true to a lesser degree on every map.

 

 

 

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Self-Improvement In Heroes

 

Odinn – As an individual player, what are the best things that someone can do to improve at playing Heroes? How do you get better at the game on your own time?

 

ChubbsZ – As a support player, my main thing that I have to focus on is always keeping a good eye on your position. If you’re out of position, you could get caught and damaged, and if you get damaged your heal will have to go to yourself instead of your allies. What I do to practice and become better as an individual player is I watch my team’s position – for example, QuibsY is a very aggressive player, so I’m always near him, making sure he has the heals when he needs them. The team is very aggressive, so with their aggressive playstyle, I always have to be as aggressive with them. I’m like a shadow – you have to shadow your teammates and always have to be near them.

 

To improve myself I always watch my allies positioning and their playstyles, and I also improve my timing. As a support player, that split second that you have to walk to your ally is the split second he’s dead, and you could have saved him. Timing, for me, is everything.

 

FuriousD – Things that I’ve done, and what’s helped me make the biggest jumps in getting better the fastest, are noticing certain interactions and memorizing them. I remember one time – this must have been nine months ago – I was playing Valla, and Stitches hooks me, gorges me, and walks into the team, and this was post level 20. I was like, “Man, I’m screwed, I’m just going to die and we’re going to lose the team fight and the game.” As I pop out, I’m mashing all my buttons, trying to get away, and what I did was even though I was almost dead, I Blood For Blood-ed the Stitches, got a big chunk of my life back, and vaulted away. Back then I wasn’t so good, and I was like, “Wow, that worked perfectly.” From then on, I know any time I get gorged I have Blood For Blood ready.

 

If Sylvanas throws out her Banshees and you try to stun where she is, and she teleports to her Banshees and you miss, memorize that. Every time you make a mistake or make a good play, memorize it and do it again – or, just as importantly, if someone does it to you.

 

Pannucci – The thing I would say help me improve the most is learning to position. There are three things I have to keep in mind in every team fight – how do I get out if I get collapsed on and a team fight goes badly? Where is my support in relation to me so that if I need heals, I can get heals? And how do I cause the most disruption between their team and prevent people from getting away or getting to where they want to go?

 

Every team fight, I go in with that mentality of, “Okay, I need to think of these three things.” Those are the most important things. There are other things, like when am I going to ult, but that’s more from experience. I think to actually improve, though, the most important thing is just knowing where to position and how to be in relation to your team and their team.

 

QuibsY – I would like to add for me personally, the biggest way I got better, by far, is when I’m playing by myself and I’m not playing with a team, and I’m just practicing and trying to get better at the game, I try to make these really greedy, really garbage plays. The reason I say they’re garbage is because they’re so greedy that they shouldn’t work. Depending on how close it was to working, or whether it did or did not work, I know later that I can make that play again and again and again, because I’m pushing the limit in a place that I’m not caring whether or not it actually succeeds.

 

A lot of players get stuck in this mindset where they purely just need to rank up. Well, if you get better, you’ll probably rank up by proxy. I just make these really greedy, really aggressive plays, and hope it works, and if it works, I’ll do it again time and time again. If it doesn’t work, I know I can’t do that anymore – like FuriousD said, remember what you did and what did and didn’t work, that’s really key.

 

The second thing that I really just want to stress is there are replays. StarCraft players know this, it’s one of the best ways to get better quickly – just watch the replay. If you get crushed in a team fight, and you think you should have won, you should probably watch the replay and figure out exactly what happened. Sometimes it’s unpreventable – maybe they just landed a really good Falstad laser, and you just lost the fight because of that. If you don’t know why you lost, you’re not going to get better.

 

Traitorr – Generally, really simple – play the game as much as possible. If you know the ins and outs of the game, you’ll be amazingly better a month after playing than the first couple of days. Know your cooldowns, know your matchups in lane, and know the timings of map mechanics so you can go push your lane and you’re going to be there before your opponent. Small little things really add up a lot.

 

QuibsY – Yeah, it’s a game of inches.

 

FuriousD – The last thing I would say, and it goes in perfectly with what Traitorr was saying, is if you want to get good at a Hero that takes a little bit more skill – Kerrigan is a good example, because she’s fantastic when she can land all of her skills, and so sub-par if you miss everything, so if you want to be good at Kerrigan you have to play a lot of Kerrigan. You have to be good at landing your combo, and then you have to be good at reading your opponents and when they’re going to try to dodge your combo. On certain high-skill Heroes you just have to play it over and over again.

 

 

 

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Favourite Heroes

 

Odinn – What is everybody’s current favourite Hero in the game?

 

Pannucci – I think it’s pretty well known, but I love Tyrael. I’m currently writing a guide on him as well. He’s my favourite because of his versatility. He can engage well, he’s tanky, he’s mobile. His laning is his downside, but I still enjoy his laning, because if you actually do well in lane with him, he just snowballs that much harder. Going into most matchups expecting to try to hit even, it’s more rewarding when you do really well with him. I think his kit’s really well designed. The only flaw I really see to his kit is his Q can be unresponsive, but I think he’s one of the better designed characters in Heroes at the moment.

 

QuibsY – My favourite, by far, is Jaina. I’m pretty not soft-spoken about that, either. She fits my playstyle, she can be hyper-aggressive, and the reason I find her enjoyable is that positionally, she can be punished easily, but if you play her right, she’s just devastating.

 

Traitorr – My favourite Hero is Abathur, with Lost Vikings taking a very close second, mostly because I like the uniqueness to them. There’s no other Heroes in the game anywhere close to their mechanics and playstyle. That’s why I like them.

 

FuriousD – I actually also have the most fun playing Tyrael. I think the way he moves around, it’s just a lot of fun to play him. He does everything you want him to do, and there’s always a play to make with him – you always have options, and I love that. Also lately I’ve really been liking Kerrigan a lot – she just feels really strong, and when you land that combo on a bunch of people at once, it just feels so good.

 

ChubbsZ – My favourite Hero is Lili, mainly because I can play her to her max potential. She’s not a very easy Hero to play – her and Rehgar are probably the hardest supports to play – but I can play her to her max potential, so that’s why I really enjoy her.

 

 

 

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Final Thoughts

 

Pannucci – I know this is more geared towards newer players, but the biggest thing I’ve noticed between a good player improving and not is how they respond to when stuff goes badly. If you’re down three levels or something, this game allows you to come back from that. It’s not like League of Legends or DotA where if you’re just that far behind you can’t come back. I think it’s really rewarding to come back, and being able to bounce back when you’re in the deep end and being able to weather through the storm is something to not take lightly and strive to be able to do so.

 

MrNyxis – As a member of the team that is not in the higher MMR ranks, one of the biggest obstacles as a casual player of the game is the toxicity and just the general approach that some of the players have to the game, which is if in the first five minutes we’re losing by a level and we’re four kills down, or whatever, a lot of people are very quick to give up. It can really negatively affect your overall experience with the game. This game is infamous for the fact that the very last team fight 20 minutes into the game can decide which direction it takes, even if you’re three levels apart. Don’t give up – the comebacks are real all across Heroes eSports. Encouraging people to realize that matches don’t last 45 minutes to an hour and it’s worth putting in 20 minutes of constant encouragement with teammates and working hard rather than just giving up 5 minutes in and just being negative overall.

 

Pannucci – I just want to add to that, there can be that toxicity, especially in things like quick match where things aren’t going well or someone’s mad at another person, and they may refuse to play or still play but spend more of their time complaining about said player than actually playing. It can be helpful if you just take it upon yourself to maybe mediate. Half the time, you can win the next team fight if they just stop being toxic, and then you win the game with just one quick switch. Be helpful with your teammates, and don’t give up.

 

QuibsY – You mean, “Get good, scrub!” isn’t good advice?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading the interview! We wish 2ARC continued success in their competitive endeavours.

 

Let us know what you thought of the interview, and what kinds of additional content you would like to see in this vein in the future.

 

Pro Heroes of the Storm team 2ARC Gaming chats with Odinn about how to, in their words, "Get good, scrub!" ;)

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      And two, It's not aggressive enough for how short our seasons are. Playing one extra match every 20 days is nothing when the seasons are only a few months long to begin with.
      One of HL's biggest issues over the years has been that the "bare minimum" of matches you can play to keep your rank is just too low, and this doesn't really solve that problem.
      Thank you for your question. Generally when you begin playing HL in a new season, there are 2 cases. In the first scenario, a player has played HL in previous season, in which case we will use your rating from that season. In the second scenario, the player has not played in the last season. Previously when confronted with the second situation, the game would look at other queues to try and use more recent information to estimate the player’s skill. The order in which we would look at the queues is: TL is seeded from HL, HL is seeded from UD, UD is seeded from QM. We changed the algorithm with the last season roll. Going forward, we will only use another queue’s information to seed a player in new season if they have never played enough HL games in any of the previous seasons to place into a definitive rank, and if they did - we will ignore other queues for seeding purposes. In other words, the issue described in the post you have linked should be resolved.
      Do you plan to make the term of MMR & RANK Decay shorter? The decay standard now seems to be a bit long.
      Hello! We are always looking to iterate on changes we make to Rating and Ranked Decay. We are monitoring the impact Ranked Decay is having on Hero League. The decay timers may be adjusted as a result. However, we won't be making any changes to the decay timers in the middle of a season as we want to ensure all players are aware of such changes before they play their placement matches (which is when the decay timers get initialized).
      Are there any plans to add a an AFK check to the start of drafts like many other MOBAs? Losing a game because one player is AFK and gets randomly assigned a hero that’s bad in the map/team comp is incredibly frustrating and honestly it feels like it could be easily avoidable.
      Hello Ankoria! This suggestion is actually something we have been considering for some time now. You can find an answer to a similar question here: 
      Have You guys considered to cover the AMA online in the future? Like Ion & Josh from WoW?
      Hi, ErothTV! We’ve approached answering questions about Heroes development many different ways over the years – from livestream or video Q&A’s with our team leaders, to reddit, forum, and social media posts by individual team members - and we will continue to try different things moving forward. We’re currently focusing our reddit AMAs on this format where we pick a specific area of the game and bring in the developers who work on that area to answer questions directly. I’ve been enjoying the way these have been going and think the individual developers being involved leads to more in-depth discussion, but please let us know if you have feedback on it or ideas on other ways we can continue improving our communication with the Heroes community. Thanks!!
      The biggest problems that occur with matchmaking seem the be around the "failure mode"s, where the matchmaker fails to find an appropriate match in the required time, and makes a wildly inappropriate match right now. Is there work on the way in degrading that more gracefully?
      Previously, the matchmaker search criteria would degrade gracefully to a cutoff point (for the party/player with the longest wait time), and then make the best match it can at that cutoff point. This would result in sometimes you being pulled into these matches being made at another players cutoff point. That is probably what you were experiencing, and we agree that this wasn't the best experience for the player. As a result we have made some improvements to it this season for Hero League. Each player now has their own search criteria. The players search criteria will degrade gracefully and only when players fit each others search criteria will they be placed together into a game—whereas previously it was based purely on the party/player search criteria who had the longest wait time. However, there is still a maximum cutoff of 15 minutes before the matchmaker makes the best possible match it can. This is currently live in Hero League and we are monitoring the experience.
      1. Replay system is so uncomfortable. Advance of replay system will make Ranked players more skillful. I heard in past interviews that the system is being improved, how long has it been?
      2.And the reconnecting system so! The reconnecting time so boring. ? 
      Hi 6igbear, thank you for your question. We think improving actual gameplay experience is higher priority than upgrading replay system. We have talked about these issues before: 
      Since then, we’ve been doing research in how networking model implementation affects player experience. While some of the improvements stemming from this research are still in progress, we have made a few fixes which are already live. Most recently, with the Whitemane patch, we were able to improve efficiency of how the game is sending user input over the network. This resulted in ~2x-3x reduction of bandwidth consumption, improving gameplay experience for players with challenging network conditions as well as speeding up ‘rejoin in progress’ for cases when network was a limiting factor. A nice by-product of that is that replay files are smaller in size as well.
      With voice comms it feels like the main disadvantage of duo queue has been eliminated. Have you considered adding duo queue back to HL?
      This is something we've discussed internally. We think there is value in ensuring players can play with friends and make new ones in Hero League. There are complications, and many differing opinions, but it's something we're considering for next year.
      Why are new heroes allowed in ranked as soon as they come out? When Alterac Pass was introduced it was delayed from rank for a week or two so people could get used to it. Shouldn't heroes be treated the same?
      Allowing new heroes in day of forces people to misuse bans because they might think someone is OP or they are afraid they're UP and a teammate with instalock them. Theres also people who go straight into ranked and mandate they have to play a hero regardless of skill/team comp. Seems like waiting a little bit is a good fix.
      Hi AlexRain1, There’s two main reasons that we allow new heroes into ranked modes immediately.
      1. It’s actually really critical for our team to collect lots of data and make meaningful balance decisions quickly. We believe that our balance patches that come two weeks following a new hero release provides a really good update cadence for the game. For those balance patches, we are able to use about a week of data from live matches to inform our decisions internally, implement and validate our changes, etc. While we absolutely do look at QM and all data available, being able to utilize data from higher level HL matches is much more meaningful. Even the fact that ranked matches require a player to be level 5 on a character first helps to validate this data further, and of course seeing pick and ban rates, is useful data in itself.
      2. The other angle is from a perspective that new and updated content is the lifeblood of this game. From reworks and significant balance changes, to of course new heroes – these are all opportunities to shake up the meta and create new strategies. The game is constantly evolving, and this can help to even resurface older heroes that may now present new synergies or counters.
      For Alterac Pass specifically, we discussed it quite a bit, but felt that having this new battleground enter ranked modes right at the end of the ranked season wasn’t the best experience. We instead wanted to create an interesting moment where the next ladder season would utilize this battleground for its entirety.
      Why Matchmaking changes are taking forever to be done ? We see new events and skins very often, are you investing more resources to make the game "prettier" instead of better ?
      We do have separate, dedicated teams focusing on each area of the game, so releasing a new Hero or a new skin does not take away attention from matchmaking or other feature work. It's critical that we continue making content while also making the game better - these things are equally important to us, and our team structure reflects that. The sensation that we move faster on content is really speaking to a different thing - content changes are more visible and tangible.
      Matchmaking is an area of game development that is incredibly challenging and perpetually evolving, not just for Heroes of the Storm, but for all games. There is no perfect matchmaking; it's always a series of trade-offs where we're striving to get the highest quality matches for the largest percentage of players in the most reasonable timeframes, all while attempting to balance an ever-increasing number of extremely impactful variables.
      Over the past 5 years, we've invested heavily in the ongoing quest to improve the Heroes matchmaking experience across the game and have made great strides along the way with changes that have been behind the scenes as well as public-facing. We've also developed tools that strengthen our ability to predict and understand the far-reaching implications of the changes that we want to make. Through all of this, we've been able to consistently improve the matchmaking experience for the vast majority of Heroes players. And while we've had setbacks, bugs, and fringe cases negatively impact some players as we've evolved the system, we believe matchmaking is one of the cornerstones of our game and will continue to dedicate a significant amount of time and resources to improving it forevermore. Speaking of which - we're always looking to hire talented Server Engineers to join the Heroes team and help support matchmaking as well as other feature development. Please apply!
      Hi, when can we expect some “balance” changes for Tassadar? He has been dangling at the bottom for months, and he is in a really akward and near unplayable spot. In Quickmatch you get matched against Global healing and splitpushing Slugs 99% of the time (why is this seen as a fair match up?). In draft you get reported for even hovering him, or if you are luckily you are not reported.. but solo supporting. I would love to play some Tassadar without trolling my team or getting split push stomped ❤️ Thanks for your time
      Hi IAreNoMonkey,
      Tassadar is someone the balance team has talked about. He could likely use some balance changes to address some of your concerns, but he may also need a larger update to better position him into a definitive role for the team. We do find that his role as an enabler for specific characters is pretty unique and can have a significant impact when paired with someone like Tracer. Whether he stays in this ‘enabler’ role or shifts to a more pure Assassin or Support is still up for debate.
      As far as matching Tassadar in QM games, we do have some changes to QM coming this fall that will help ensure games have a Tank, Healer & Ranged Assassin. This means you may still run into Tassadar vs. Abathur scenarios, but each team should also have a healer to minimize any disadvantage Tassadar may have in this specific matchup.
    • By Stan
      Twitch drops are back! Blizzard's giving away a Rare Loot Chest to all viewers who watch one of the clashes for a total of three or more hours. They're also randomly awarding 500 Common Loot Chests per hour and Heroic Account Unlock codes, which unlock every Hero exluding Whitemane on each broadcast day! Don't forget to link your Battle.net & Twitch accounts!
      Blizzard (Source)
      After your outpouring of enthusiasm during the Mid-Season Brawl for the ability to earn loot in Heroes of the Storm by watching HGC, we're bringing it back for the upcoming Western and Eastern Clashes!
      Guaranteed Drops
      All viewers who watch the Western Clash from Aug. 10 through 12 and/or the Eastern Clash from Aug. 16 through 19 on Twitch for a total of three or more hours will receive one Rare Loot Chest in Heroes of the Storm.
      Random Drops
      While the broadcast is live for both events, we’ll be randomly awarding 500 Common Loot Chests per hour. On top of that, three Heroic Account Unlock codes—which unlock every Hero excluding Whitemane—will be given away on each broadcast day. Tune in for at least one hour of the Western or Eastern Clash competition every day on any of the following channels to be entered to win one of these Heroic Account Unlocks at the end of each day.
      Eligible Channels:
      http://www.twitch.tv/blizzheroes http://www.twitch.tv/blizzheroesfr http://www.twitch.tv/blizzheroesde http://www.twitch.tv/blizzheroesru http://www.twitch.tv/blizzheroeskr Eligible Broadcast Times (PDT):
      Aug. 10 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Aug. 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Aug. 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. From 6:00 p.m. on Aug. 16 to 3:00 a.m. on Aug. 17 From 6:00 p.m. on Aug. 17 to 3:00 a.m. on Aug. 18 From 6:00 p.m. on Aug. 18 to 4:00 a.m. on Aug. 19 For more details, read the official rules here.
      Link Your Account
      To receive these legendary rewards, you must link your Twitch.tv and Blizzard accounts. Here’s how:
      Log in or create an account on Twitch.tv. Navigate to the Settings menu by clicking your account name in the top-right corner of the home screen. Navigate to the Connections tab of the Settings menu. Find the Battle.net section, then follow the given instructions after selecting a region and clicking Connect. When connecting accounts, be sure that you’re currently logged into the Blizzard account on which you’d like to receive your rewards. Click here to go straight to the Twitch settings page