Hi everyone. I think I mostly felt the need to share my relationship with this game over the years, to be able to get a lot of things off my system and to seek for similiar experiences, and get possibly answers out of it.
I left Hots mid 2017, after having played since the closed beta release. A lot. And really, I'm not kidding, a LOT. I have around 8000 games played. And I haven't played one since mid 2017, I played those in 2 and a half years. Not that I brag about it, nor am I ashamed of it, it's just how much I played this game. And I loved and hated it. And one day I decided to close the game never to launch it again. it was a decision that came out over multiple factors that I'm gonna explain, but that's something I had been thinking for a while. I played a lot, but it never impacted my life negatively, I always managed to have a balance and it never got out of hand.
Well, yesterday something happenned that decided me I needed to share all of this and made me question coming back. See I was just wandering on youtube and more or less randomly came across the Live Voices Heroes Of The Storm Acapella cover (
) and, wow, I had a tiny cry that caught me off guard I didn't even know why. I just missed the experience so much. It's just a game, but it's a game that took a cumulated over 5 months of my life. Of course I thought about playing again from time to time but I never felt such a desire to come back. It just never seemed appealing to come backafter what made me leave.
That leaves me to the reasons why I left.
-I'm gonna start with the most delicate part. The sooner it's said, the better. The ladder wasn't fair. Yes. I know how that sounds, really I do, and I know that most people who say that are just frustrated not to be in leagues they don't deserve. I'm not talking about my case, though, but my experience, including what I witnessed from other players. Looking back, I often wasn't happy with my rank but… it wasn't that bad? Was usually platinium, got close to diamonds. I also got a smurf to master pretty easily but… that's kinda part of the problem. The best way to get to master was to abuse the MMR algorythm with a new accounts. I didn't want to lose all my stuff though.
The truly main problem was the elo hell and elo heaven effects. Players tend to be matched against average players, that tend to be towards their leagues. I haven't seen many believe in that, but it was demonstrated very easily. Bronze players have an average winrate much lower than average diamonds. Despite being something that sounds absolutely logical, it's not when you think about who these players are supposed to match: other bronzes and other diamonds. The average winrate should be 50% in every league, yet it's not. It's because the matchmaking won't take the time to find perfectly matching opponents and instead pick something good enough. And won't compensate the rank difference with enough points. Of course I'm not trying to open a debate about the quality of the ladder, this is a 3 years old argument and there are good chances it's very much not valid anymore today. I have no clue. I wanted to develop this point a little bit, because, as someone who's been in all leagues, I didn't see much of a difference between gold and diamond leagues.
–It ate up my time. As I said, I managed to find a good balance between my life and Hots despite achieving an average of 4/5 hours a day for over 2 years, but that means I haven't played any other game in those years. Or barely. As someone who loves video games, it's kinda sad. I needed to see something else, and I knew playing less wasn't even close to be an option.
-What made mde actually take the final decision: The Infinite Ammo tower patch. Boy, this patch was NOT welcomed well. i didn't take me long to make the decision that if this patch was getting out of the RPT, I would just quit. It was such a terrible decision to render all push strategy worthless, to make so many heroes instantly trash tier. I remember most people were against it making it to live. But it went live. And honestly, it was such a relief. It gave me that exit door I needed to leave Hots. I probably could've trusted that they would later make changes to compensate all the consequences from such a core change, but I didn't want to, I needed to leave.
–I was beyond toxic. I think I climbed up to a 2 month ban from Hots, although I think I remember I was able appeal it with success, it doesn't change the fact that I climbed there for a reason. Well, to be fair to myself, the system that autobans whenever you reach a certain treshold of reports is dumb. And playing a lot does mean you're gonna get more reports. But I recognize, beyond that, I played a major role in getting those reports. Instead of accepting being matched with a bad player, I'd rather argue with him the whole game. And, looking back, it might have played a role in my winrate. Of course when you spend your game arguing and typing you're not spending it focused on your own performance. of course there is something frustrating about trying to win a game you'll likely lose, but winning those games is exactly what makes you climb a ladder. Even a bad ladder. The bad games are the important games you're supposed to win. It ended up, obviously, decreasing the pleasure I was getting from playing this game. The same thing happenned in Overwatch but I worked on it a lot and I think I'm at a point where I'm able to just let it go when things go the wrong way.
–The meta/community. I got very tired of something that came out of "the community"(Obviously doesn't mean nearly everyone is like that) "This hero is good because it has a good winrate", or "this talent is better because pros pick it". I rarely managed to have interesting discussions without falling on the same logical fallacies over and over again. I found that a lot of the meta was very misguided. I remember when Ragnaros Lava had to be nerfed because players couldn't possibly learn to move a little on the side. A lot of the times players avoided niche talents/ultimates at all costs even in the niche situations they're good with. Well, one viable solution would've been to just play the game and avoid Reddit/forums but man I just love discussing things.
Now, that was the negative part. It probably sounds like I fucking hate the game. But… Here's what makes me consider playing again:
–I loved the game. Love is never perfect and neither was that game. But man, it's good. I do believe it had the potential to take the place of Lol in competition, if it was handled properly by Blizzard. How can a team game, focused on the teamplay, not be the most popular MOBA out there?
–I enjoyed playing with other players. Especially on voice chat. It's just such a unique experience to make plans, suggest calls, succeed, fail, manage strong combos… Never experienced that on Overwatched or any other team game. I'd focus on my game and nothing else but Hots has that thing that makes it deeper than that.
–I enjoyed the competition. I probably cared a little too much about my rank. But I liked caring. It made the victories feel so much better, it made the games that more intense, it made the defeats more crushing, but that's good. Negative feelings are emotions as well, and sometimes they can be pleasant. I never enjoyed it in any other game. Even in Overwatch, I liked climbing but… if I didn't, eh. I cared more about the win in the moment than in the rank in the long term.
–I want to see what's new. How has the game changed? Is it mostly the same game I left with new heroes, maps and reworks? Has one core mechanic changed the whole aspect of the game, making it a whole different game? Are there 30 new heroes, following the rythm from 3 years ago? only 20? 10? What are they? Have they changed the meta? Are old trash heroes now god tier? Are old top tiers still on the top? It's just insane to think that I spend most of Hots existance, absent of it.
-I feel like all my knowledge of the game is completely intact and my muscle memory remembers exactly how to play each hero I used to play. If I went back in time and just played it again, I really feel like I wouldn't be lost at all. I haven't touched the game in so long but I feel like I wouldn't struggle with the core mechanics.
That's why I kinda consider the idea of coming back as enjoyable. But I still have reasons to question it.
–I might play as much as I Used to. I do have that time, but I'd rather not spend it that way.
–I might feel really lost. I did miss out over 3 years of content. Maybe core mechanics changed, probably all my old mains reworked, I'm probably not gonna be able to play the way I used to. And that's kinda scary.
–I might have to grind a LOT to unlock new content. I remember how many months it took me to earn enough golds to unlock all heroes. I'm scared I might want to have everything at once and be frustrated at the grinding. I'm actually wondering how welcoming can this game be from newcomers. I'm definitely gonna feel like a new player, with everything unlocked from before mid 2017 (Hanzo).
Well, I feel like I said enough. Probably more than I thought I would have to say about this game. I loved it. I feel like I want to give it a try but I'm not sure that's a good idea. I grew to hate Blizzard in some ways but, that game is just awesome in so many aspects. I just needed this off my chest. I don't know if a lot will read all of that (1 person would be enough honestly) and if I'll get answers, but it feels good to be able to share my experience regardless.
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