Monthly Archive: May 2016

I love playing games, but I also love saving money. So obviously, I like playing “Free2Play” games. Last time, I talked about Blizzard’s Hearthstone, but now I’d like to talk about my favorite of Blizzard’s free games and share my tips for Heroes of the Storm for free.

Heroes of the Storm is a top down competitive game where you pick an iconic character from one of Blizzard’s franchises. So whether you’re a fan of Warcraft, Diablo, or Star Craft, they’ve got you covered. You are teamed up with 4 other characters and are facing off with 5 more. Your goal is to destroy the structure on the opposite side of the map called the “Core” while making sure the enemies don’t destroy your Core. Minions from both teams spawn periodically at their respective Core and march across the map towards the opposite Core. Killing these minions and the towers and structures on the way to the Core earns experience for your team allowing you to level up and gain more power.

Unlike Hearthstone, you can be on even footing with other players the instant you log in. Blizzard tries to keep the cast of Heroes pretty balanced. Each week, you will be able to play 10 heroes for free. The free heroes typically span across all 3 major franchises and cover the 4 major roles in the game: Warrior, Assassin, Support, and Specialist

Warriors are the tanks. They have a lot of health and survival. They also tend to have control oriented abilities like stuns to create opportunities for the higher damage characters to secure a kill. For example, Diablo can lift an enemy up and slam them on the other side of him dealing damage and stunning the target.

Assassins, as you would expect, excel at killing other heroes. To make up for their talent in dealing damage, they typically have lower health. Zeratul is an excellent assassin who can traverse the map unseen and deliver big damage when you’re least expecting it.

Support heroes are everyone’s best friend. These heroes typically have heals, shields, and/or buffs to keep their teammates in the battle. For example, Uther has 2 healing skills for keeping his team alive.

Specialists are typically best at handling the non-player characters and structures. For instance, Anub’Arak summons beetles to help push forward. Sgt. Hammer can attack towers from outside of their firing range, and Sylvanas can disable towers and minions so that they do not fire back at all.

If you really like a hero, you’ll want to buy them so you can use them even when they’re not in the free hero rotation. This (and cosmetic skins) is where Blizzard makes money on this game, however, you can use in game gold to buy heroes as well. You earn gold a number of different ways, so if you want to buy your favorite heroes, just follow some of these tips:

1. Level up your free heroes. After every game, you’ll gain experience for the hero you played (this is different from the in match experience that adds power to your team). At level 5, you’ll earn 500 gold. This means in any week, if none of the free heroes are level 5, you have the potential to earn 5000 gold.

2. Play games against A.I. opponents. Unlike Hearthstone, you can complete gold rewarding daily quests by playing against A.I. opponents, as long as your team mates are real players. This will also get you comfortable with how a hero plays before you take them into a more competitive match.

3. Spend gold on low cost heroes from each hero type. If you have a Warrior, Assassin, Support, and Specialist you’ll have more variety for completing multiple daily quests at once. The daily quests are as follows:

Play 8 games – 800 Gold
Win 3 games – 600 Gold
Play 3 games as a specific Hero type (i.e. Warrior) – 300 Gold
Play 2 games as a Hero from a specific franchise (i.e. Warcraft) – 200 Gold

You can complete 3 quests in 3 games if you have the right hero and the right quests. This is great if you can’t play a lot during the week.

4. Just keep playing. Your account also levels up, and there are gold rewards for specific levels. (See Bottom of Post)

5. Make sure you have a lot of time to play before your account hits level 10. At level 10, you will be given a free 7-day stimpack. Stim packs increase the experience you gain by 100% and gold by 150%, this only applies to the rewards given at the end of a match. This 7 day period will start the instant you hit level 10. I unfortunately ended up going on vacation right after hitting level 10 and ended up wasting my free stimpack.

6. Pay attention to special events. There are occasionally special events like the Diablo event and the Lunar festival where there is a mini-objective at the start of each match which will give you an extra 100 gold. You can get these once per day during the event.

7. Start with some help. If you click this link, you’ll get Jim Raynor (normally costs 2,000 gold) for free and a 5-day stimpack to get a head start on leveling up. Once you reach level 10, you’ll get Sylvanas for free too! Syvanas is an amazing hero and normally costs 10,000 gold, and you’re getting her for free, so you’re welcome :)

Heroes of the Storm is one of the most rewarding games you can play for free while not being at a disadvantage against paying players. The more you play, the more gold you’ll get to unlock your favorite heroes. Here’s a breakdown of the rewards you’ll earn while leveling up your account:

Level 2: 1,000 gold
Level 4: 1,000 gold
Level 5: Hero Rotation Slot
Level 6: Daily Quests unlocked
Level 7: Hero Rotation Slot
Level 8: 2,000 gold
Level 10: 2,000 gold, 7-day stimpack
Level 12: Hero Rotation Slot
Level 15: Hero Rotation Slot
Level 20: 2,000 gold
Level 25: 2,000 gold
Level 30: Ranked Play unlocked, 2,000 gold
Level 35: 2,000 gold
Level 40: 2,000 gold

Today’s topic is a little lighter. If you’re looking for a game to try out without hurting your budget, there are many “Free2Play” games out there. Since I am a Blizzard fan, I thought I’d post my thoughts on their free games Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm. I’d also like to share some tips and tricks I’ve found to get the most out of the games without spending any real money. First, I’ll cover Hearthstone.

If you don’t know, Hearthstone is an online card game that pits iconic Warcraft characters against each other. You can cast spells and summon minions to reduce your opponent’s health to 0. Winning games earns you in game gold that can be spent on card packs to strengthen your deck. So, I’d like to share my tips for playing Hearthstone for free.

I tried getting into Hearthstone when the game first released, but had some trouble. The main issue was that players that had gotten into the beta had a significant advantage over new players. The beta players had months to earn in game gold and buy card packs, so new players were competing on a completely uneven playing field. This was made worse by the fact that the only way to earn gold was from actually WINNING a game against another player.

I tried again a few months ago, and still found that it was too difficult to compete with players that had been collecting cards since the game’s launch.

This all changed when the new Whispers of the Old Gods expansion came out in April. First, Blizzard decided to give away 3 packs of the new cards to all players that logged in after the launch. Second, All players received the C’Thun legendary card and 2 cards that support it, between the free packs and these cards, any player could build a deck that was capable of winning on some lucky draws. Finally, they also introduced the “Standard” game mode, that only allowed use of the most recent cards, so new players no longer had to worry about cards collected by people who have been playing through every expansion to come out.

My initial attempts for some wins in standard mode did not work out well, I had been using my old decks which really didn’t hold up. So, I instead decided to just scrap my old decks and start from scratch focusing on the new C’Thun related cards. This allowed me to get the 2 wins I needed in standard mode to get 5 more free WotOG packs. The cards in those packs propelled my decks even further and I started to feel like I had a fighting chance in a game I had always gotten crushed in.

Blizzard obviously wants to get you hooked so you’ll pay real money for packs. However, if you want to try playing for free, here are some tips:

1. Complete the Tutorial and play against the AI to level each hero to 10. Doing this will get you a good deal of packs and gold to build your collection.

2. Build a C’Thun Deck. You can do this easily with the free cards you’ve acquired up to this point, this is your best shot at getting wins as a fresh player. Those wins (in Standard mode) will get you more packs and gold to build a more robust deck. I still am using C’Thun in all of my decks because I don’t have any other legendary cards.

3. Play “Ranked” instead of “Casual.” This is completely counter-intuitive, but for some reason, the players in Casual have way better cards than the players you’ll battle in the early ranks of Ranked play. I’m not sure if it’s a match making issue, or if the really high ranked players just hop in Casual for some easy wins.

4. Try the weekly Tavern Brawls. I just found out about this today, but each week you can get a single free pack by winning a Tavern Brawl. These matches are completely different, and in some cases, you may not be at that big of a disadvantage for having a smaller card collection than the other players.

5. When you get 100 gold, save up another 50 and try the Arena Mode instead of simply buying a pack. In the Arena you construct a deck with random cards that you might not even own. There are 2 reasons for this: 1. Your card collection has no affect on the deck you build, so you have a better chance of completing your daily quests. 2. You will always get a card pack at the end, but if you get enough wins (and refer back to the first point here) you will also get some bonus gold and goodies.

Next, I’ll tell you all about my favorite of these 2 free games: Heroes of the Storm!

I think it’s important to celebrate wins on the path to your ultimate goal, no matter how small. Sharing my dividend income results with you readers gives you some insight to what is possible as you begin your journey.
My ultimate goal is to be able to live off of the passive dividend income from my investments, so I can just stay at home and play video games. Here is the money I made in April 2016 without lifting a finger.

KO- $9.04
WMT- $6.17

Total: $15.21

Compared to last year, I earned $14.13 in April, so I’ve made an extra $1.08. In January of this year, I only earned $6.00 because of when the KO dividend pays out. So, WMT paid out $0.17 more in that time, which I believe is because of dividend raise of $0.01 per share.

Apple stock recently took a dip after an unimpressive earnings statement. I took the opportunity to buy 10 more shares of AAPL.