Heroes of the Storm: Strategy for buying heroes without spending real money
Blizzard's new MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, is extremely casual friendly and technically free-to-play, but there are still thirty-six heroes in the game, and nowhere near enough easy gold to buy them all. You get gold rewards for leveling up and completing quests, but even if you play a lot, it will take you more or less forever to buy all of the heroes without shelling out some actual cash.
There's nothing wrong with that, but there's no reason to spend money when you don't have to. Here's some tips and tricks for making the most of your gold and staying free-to-play until you're ready to make the switch.
Get Your Free Gold
Heroes of the Storm doesn't start you out completely without resources -- in fact, just by playing the game you can easily earn enough in-game cash to buy several heroes, but if you spend all of your gold willy-nilly, you're liable to end up with a stable of heroes you don't necessarily like and a lot of wasted gold. So make sure you're being smart about saving gold and making purchases.
Make sure you're getting everything that's owed to you -- completing the tutorial gives you 1000 gold, as does reaching levels 2 and 4. Levels 8, 10, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 give you 2000 gold each. Leveling up your heroes (out of game) to level 5 gives you 500 gold, and completing daily quests can earn you 200 to 800 gold. You also get a little bit of gold for completing a match -- not much, but everything helps.
That might sound like a lot, but it's not if you blow it on the shiny new 15k hero as soon as it comes out. You don't have to sit on your pile of gold like Scrooge McDuck, but if you can hold out until you have 20k - 30k, you're probably in a position to make an informed decision about which heroes to buy.
Don't Spend it All in One Place
Most Heroes veterans recommend that you stick to free-to-play heroes for a while, definitely until you reach level 40, and see what you enjoy. Get all of the free heroes to level 5, and if you find yourself really missing a hero, go ahead and buy them. Don't go with an impulse buy, and don't play a hero you haven't tried -- you can always test them out in 'try' mode in the shop.
If you're trying to conserve your gold, it's also very important that you try to be patient when new heroes come out -- they launch at 15k, but after a week or two, they always drop down to 10k. You can save yourself a hefty chunk of change by waiting, so be content with what you have and you'll be able to make more of the gold you've got.
Older champions do get reduced in price from time-to-time, so keep your eyes on the forums and watch for announcements and you might save a bundle.
Getting Ready for Hero League
Even the most miserliest of players will have to shell out for champions sooner or later -- you can't stick with just the free heroes forever. Hero League requires that you own ten champions, so you should make sure that you're smart with your purchases, or else you'll end up well short of that number. You should absolutely buy the heroes you like and are good with, but if you're looking to round out your roster, here are some inexpensive and effective heroes that you might want to have for Hero League:
This is an easy category. Valla is only 2k gold and a top-tier hero. If you need a good assassin, you really don't need to look any further. Tychus and Illidan are both more than capable and a deal at 4k, but skip Raynor -- he's cheap, but not terribly strong at the moment.
Another fairly easy category, since two of the best tanks in the game -- E.T.C. and Muradin -- are only 2k. Anub'arak is very strong, and might be worth picking up at 4k if you've got the gold. You can easily build a roster of powerful tanks on a budget.
This is trickier -- Malfurion and Li Li are the cheapest, but somewhat tricky to play and not necessarily as strong as some of the other supports. Consider shelling out for Uther or Rehgar, who are more expensive, but much more versatile. Tassadar might be tempting, and has great utility, but he isn't a great choice if you don't have many other supports.
There are no cheap options here, so if you've saved up enough, you might as well shell out for Sylvanas, who is top-tier in the current meta. Otherwise, Zagara and Sgt. Hammer are good choices, but you don't need as many specialists as Warriors and Supports.
So there you have it! Hopefully, armed with this knowledge, you can get yourself the heroes you want and set yourself up to dominate Hero League without breaking the bank. Good luck!