Hots v League of Legends
Like a lot of gamers out there I have spent A LOT of time with League of Legends.
And why not? it’s the most popular MOBA! so it must be the best one, right?
Well, I’m here to convince you that it may not be the case.
In fact, I believe that most people would enjoy Hots more than League if they would just try it.
As a long time Blizzard fan, I thought it worth trying out Heroes of the Storm. Even though it had a bad stigma among the League of Legends community. It didn’t take Hots a long time to suck me in, and I have never look back.
There is A LOT of myths and bad stigmas surrounding Hots. So let’s start out with taking a look at the 3 most common myths about Heroes of the storm.
In this article we will look at the following:
- 3 Common myths about Heroes of the Storm
- 5 ways Hots is the better MOBA
- 5 ways League is the better MOBA
- Other noteworthy differences between Hots and League
3 Most Common Heroes of the Storm Myths
1. It’s for noobs!
This is probably the most common argument, you hear from LoL players when talking about Hots. So is it true? Well, that depends if you really find last hitting minions and soaking lanes for 20 minutes to be a challenging and engaging experience. If yes, then sure.
Due to the objective based maps of Hots, you don’t spend a lot of time in your lane. Instead, the team fighting usually starts a few minutes into the game. So if you think soaking and last hitting is a real challenge compared to team fighting, then LoL is truly challenging. However team fighting is the biggest test of skills in a MOBA, so this myth is far from the truth.
I will give League of Legends this though. Since it’s been out for so long, it has an enormous pool of champions. This also means that there are more champions with a higher skill cap that in Hots. This is temporary though since the Hots developer team is dedicated to bringing a new hero into the nexus, every 3-4 weeks.
It is worth noting that Hots has 11 completely different maps to offer. Which means that due to the huge difference and importance of objectives, there is a lot of skills in learning to play the maps correctly.
2. You cannot carry
This myth is partly true. Because of the shared XP and huge reliance on your teammates, it is A LOT harder to carry in Hots. But it is also far from impossible.
The way you carry in the 2 games is just so vastly different. Where in League, you gotta get some early kills so that you can out gear your opponents. In Hots you gotta take leadership of your team, carry the team fights and play the map correctly.
It really comes down to personal preferences, which kind of carrying you enjoy more. Carrying in League is more of a peak since you can really be outrageously overpowered. However, if you learn to carry in Hots it is very consistent and more reliable.
3. You cannot carry a bad team
Obviously a follow-up to the second myth, but important to talk about nonetheless.
This myth can be true. If your team are truly insanely horrible. But is it very different in LoL?
If you have a team-mate in LoL that keeps feeding your opponent’s AD Carry, It is pretty much GG. Unless the other team has 1 or more feeding as well.
The big difference is though: It is considerably easier to make a comeback in Hots, which means early feeding etc. Doesn’t necessarily mean it’s over.
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5 Ways Heroes is Better
1. Talent System
League of Legends uses the same system as the original DotA in Warcraft 3. You earn money from last hitting minions and kills. This causes an endless stream of problems.
First of all, it screws up balancing. When Riot has to balance the meta in LoL, they cannot ignore items as a part of it. This means that tweaking an item may completely ruin 1 hero, just so that another hero isn’t broken anymore. This problem is completely absent in Hots because items are replaced by hero specific talents.
It also makes your power gap in between games feel unbearable. When a game is finished, you’re used to having a full set of items and all abilities, and generally just feel really powerful. This means that starting over at Lvl 1 in a new is a horrible feeling. You suddenly find yourself without any attack speed, movement speed, abilities etc.
It is not because the power gap isn’t significant in Hots between early and late game. It’s just less noteworthy. This is because you start off with all your abilities and talents doesn’t alter your heroes base power (atk speed etc.) in the same way items does.
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2. Team Fighting vs last hitting
Teamfighting is fun, the last hitting is not. I’d even argue that the reason most people enjoy Moba’s are because of team fights. So why wait 20-30 minutes when you could get straight into the team fights?
In league is it crucial that you last hit minions to gain that precious gold for your items. However, since Hots maps are all objective based you are forced into team fighting after only a few minutes.
It is also worth noting that last hitting actively makes your teammates into competitors. Which is probably one of the reasons League is known for having the most toxic community in all of the gaming.
A lot of League players argue that last hitting is one of the reasons LoL are more skill based than Hots. Which can be true, if you think it’s hard to last hit that is.
3. Innovative Hero Design
Blizzard has endless lore rich characters to choose from when making new heroes. The Warcraft, Starcraft, Overwatch and Diablo universes, all have a rich lore and fantastic characters. This mean that most heroes have a deep background story, and Blizzard fans are excited whenever a fan favorite is announced.
This is all great, but not what is really important. What really matters is the actual hero design, and this is where the Blizzard developer team really shows off their creative capabilities.
Most champions in League has a tendency to be quite similar. Most Champs has 1 gap closer, 1 AoE and 1 single target burst etc. This doesn’t mean that they are all the same, it just makes them a bit similar.
The developers behind Heroes of the Storm have time and time again proven they aren’t afraid to mix it up. Here are a few examples of innovative hero design in Hots:
Cho’gall: 1 huge hero, being controlled by 2 people. 1 person is the caster/DPS type, while the other one controls the movement and functions as a tank.
Abathur: The fan favorite Abathur, never have to leave his base. Instead of directly fighting his opponents he instead manipulates his team and the battlegrounds to his team’s advantage.
The Lost Vikings: Brought in from one of the first Blizzard franchises ‘The Lost Vikings’. These 3 heroes are all controlled by 1 person, and roam together or are split apart to soak up all lanes.
And these a just a few examples of the creativity and love, that goes into Heroes of the Storm development.
This was the big selling point for me. As much as I enjoyed League of Legends back in the day, after a couple of games, it quickly started to feel very repetitive. Same map, incredibly weak early game etc.
The talent, wacky heroes and map system in Hots keeps it fresh for endless hours. Not only is the early game engaging and filled with intense team fights. But all 11 maps are hugely different and forces you to change up your play style. And Blizzard is far from done with adding in more new and interesting maps. I would admittedly like the option to opt out a few maps though.
On top of this, there is also weekly brawls. This is a game type which varies each week, one week it’s all mid with a couple of preselected heroes that all start with their ultimates and are just straight out team fighting from start to finish. Next week it’s a map where 1 team defends and other team attacks etc. This means that every week there is a unique map with unique rules that you have never tried before.
5. Dedicated Developers
If you play Hots for just a little while it becomes clear that the developers really put a lot of love into it. The game is ever-changing and has minor hotfixes every 1-2 weeks while bringing in a new hero each 3-4 weeks. This again helps to keep the game constantly fresh and interesting.
If you take a look at the Heroes Subreddit it is also clear that they really want to listen to the community. Endless ideas that have ended up in the game, actually came from Subreddits and forums where the developers actively talk to the community.
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5 Ways League is Better
1. Bigger Esports Scene
Whether you talk about viewers, the casters or the prize pool, League of Legends are difficult to compete with as an Esport. League has some of the best casters in all of Esports, if not the best. They have an absolutely insane amount of viewers and crazy prize pools.
You could argue that it is because League has been around for so long, which is true. I don’t think it’s just age though, I believe that it is because it has been so popular throughout its entire lifespan.
No matter how you look at it, League is the superior Esports MOBA right now.
2. Huge Player Base
More players bring a lot of great things to the game. More players, mean more money, which means that Riot can spend that much more money on the tournaments, promotion, and Esports in general.
It also means that there most likely will be an endless amount of players at your exact skill level.
Lastly, it means that rising to the top is that much harder and thus, more prestigious.
3. More Champions/Heroes
League has been around for so long now that they hardly need to produce any more champions. The champion pool is currently at 130+, which is insane compared to Heroes of the storms mere 50 or so heroes. So even though ‘Heroes’ does a fantastic job at bringing a new hero every 3-4 weeks, they still have a long way to go.
More champions obviously mean more choice, which is always great in any game.
4. Great Streamers
In the MOBA genre, Twitch and streaming are a big deal. So it is a big plus that there are so many great League streamers, whereas Heroes only have a handful of talented ones.
5. Easier to Carry
The most common argument against Hots is that you cannot carry. While I really don’t think that is true, I cannot argue against that it is easier to carry in League. If you are a great player and learn how to get an early lead, you’ll have a pretty easy time carrying. The power spike you gain from an early lvl/gold lead is just insane, but also pretty damn fun if you are the one who is fed.
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Other Noteworthy Differences
Let us finish up with a couple of core game differences that wasn’t mentioned in the article.
Mounts: In heroes, everyone has a mount on the z button. This is to further increase the intensity and decrease downtime.
Jungle/Camps: Instead of jungling for gold, in heroes, you actually gain control of the camps once they are defeated. This causes them to push down the nearest lane and put pressure on the opposing team. In addition, this causes camps to become a major tactical element, and further add depth.
Start with all abilities: Except your ultimate, you start off with all core abilities.
Supports: Supports in Heroes doesn’t just provide a few buffs, but actively heal and mitigate dmg.
If this has peaked your interest for Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard very recently made an introduction video to the game.