For years HotS has had an imfamous reputation for being "simple" and lacking "depth" and "complexity." But the truth is that it is both!
I have made numerous comments in many other threads regarding this topic, and the arguments never really go anywhere. This is because those that perceive HotS as shallow and easy never take the time to dive into the ridiculous amount of possibilities that are available in HotS. And I think naturally once you take that position it becomes very hard to take the requisite time to pay attention to the details that are so easily glossed over. Moreover, many discussions on this subreddit are very hard to explain in detail the depth and complexity of seemingly simple concepts, which results in players feeling emboldened in thier shallow views.
I am hoping this post can be a starting point for these discussions by starting out with the following foundational analogy:
First, depth and complexity are not completely equivalent to difficulty, I think that is what a lot of people are failing to realize.
Take these classic board games for example: chess, checkers, and GO.
Chess is much more difficult to learn and play compared to checkers and go. Chess is also requires more tactics than the others. Chess in our moba analogy would be DotA2. It is complex in that there are more technical things a player can do and needs to consider fundamentally which is difficult to learn. (I.e. cs denial, terrain variation, item acquisition variability, etc.)
But checkers is much more strategic than chess because you have less options, thus making each move that much more important; and a player must adhere to thier strategy to be successful. I believe this is much more akin to LoL, the laning setups are very rigid and the team that has a clear strategy for thier win condition and executes that strategy wins. This mostly involves identifying which lanes have the biggest potential for carrying and making sure this chosen lane becomes more fed than the opponents most likely carry lane. This results in a straightforward and predictable playout of the game, which is why forfiets are a thing in LoL once the game direction is set the rotations are obvious and predictable leading to an inevitable feeling throughout the mid to late game.
Lastly, GO is the the most complex, the shear number of combinations and possibilties in that game are practically unfathomable, I think a good example would be trying to conceptualize the number of combinations a deck of playing cards has, I.e. 52! This is HotS to a tee, the early game is possibilties are an order of magnitude greater than LoL because teams are not "forced" into predefined lane setups, 10 heroes, 3 lanes, where each hero can be in each lane with a different combination of other heroes results in an appalling number of possibilties. But it doesnt stop there, because HotS has rotations that start within the first minute of the game. Add to this the unique objective on each map and the way they are acquired and we start to stumble on the realm of 52! Level of depth.
The reason most players don't see this depth is because it is so easy to think from a "copy pasta meta" mentality, couple that with the the solo/duo queue experience of no one really communicating much less even pinging properly and the "simple" aspect of the game becomes reinforced over and over such that "different" and "unique" strategies are overlooked or even worse frowned upon because it doesnt "fit the mold" of the other solo/duo queue players concept of the game.
Blizz has said time and time again that this game is meant to be played as 5 stack vs 5 stack. And I beg you all to make an effort to experience the game with a consistent 5 stack, because you will start to see the practically limitless things you can do with this game.
So please let me know what you think of this analogy; and hopefully we will have some players take the time to see HotS as the iceberg that it really is.
TLDR: So if we were to make a very rough analogy, I think it would be something like this:
DotA2 = Chess LoL = Checkers HotS = GO
Inevitable edits for typos to follow…
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© Post "The True Beauty of HotS: Simple on the surface, with unmatched depth." for game Heroes of the Storm.
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