“Stop $%&#ing feeding.”
I’m sure anyone who has ever attempted to play a MOBA (successfully or not) has had this yelled at them via an in-game chat. “Feeding” is a nice(?) way of stating that you are sucking, and you’re giving away kills to the enemy players. Of course, that’s never my intention, but sometimes the opposition gets the better of you in a game and there’s no helping it. That’s what happens in a competitive activity.
Now, I’m no veteran pro-skill player either. I played the original DotA, when it was a Warcraft III mod before MOBAs were even a thing, but I was far from good. It was usually just a group of us playing online, having a fun time, whether we lost horrifically or not. Our interests eventually waned and went on to the next game for us to play together.
A few years after that, and we saw two spiritual successors to the genre join the fray, League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth. A few more years after that, we see an actual sequel from Valve, titled Dota 2, and we’re into the full-blown swing of things. MOBAs e’rywhere.
Now I’m not going to say that these communities were unwelcoming and horrible… but these communities were unwelcoming and horrible.
I don’t know how many times I had obscenities thrown at me. Some of it would make a sailor blush! DotA was rough, but HoN and LoL put a whole new spin on it. How could anyone new to the genre/game get a good foundation when every match they started was peppered with insults and people threatening to report them for poor play?
Fast-forward to today, and Blizzard’s take on a MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, has been out for just a little over a month. So far, the community has been the most accepting that I’ve seen. Don’t get me wrong, we still get a few guys complaining (you’re playing a game online, you can’t not expect some sore loser to show up), but it’s nowhere near as bad as many of the others.
I say that HotS is accepting, but I don’t mean by just the community either. It’s a lot more accepting to those that are unfamiliar with the MOBA world, as well. Yannick, of Kotaku, wrote about how, and why, Blizzard ditched in-game items for HotS. Not only does it make it easier as a newcomer to not have to manage in-match currencies and item build lists, but it allows individual characters within the game to act better as a team. No one is left to look after themselves, you’re supported by your team members whether you’re fighting beside them or not.
It may not be as technical as many of the other MOBAs out there (though you could argue that once you get familiar with the game you find the much more subtle strategies with each character), but it’s certainly the easiest to pick up and play. In terms of gameplay it’s forgiving, but the best part for me is that the community is forgiving (and often supportive). I’ve tried all sorts of different multiplayer online battle arena games, and although it’s been a welcoming experience, the biggest thing for me is that there aren’t players actively trying to drive me away.
Heroes of the Storm has been a really fun experience (I’ve even managed to get some friends and family to play with me… eventually our schedules will line up for all 5 of us to play at once, I swear), and I’d recommend it to everyone. Whether you’re new to MOBAs, or you’re familiar with the genre, HotS is a game you should try out.
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SupremeEvan is a fellow video game connoisseur (specializing in the Nintendo variety). He occasionally writes other articles and reviews that you can find here, and sometimes he tries to Twitter, at @EvanChambers.