Budget Gaming: Heroes of the Storm

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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

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