Similarities and differences: How to transition to HotS from LoL or Dota

Make an informed MOBA transition if you're a League of Legends or DoTA player thinking about picking up Heroes of the Storm!

For a while now, there has been a distinct rivalry between the top two MOBA leaders: League of Legends and Dota 2. 

Blizzard, however, the game developer responsible for powerhouses such as World of Warcraft and StarCraft, isn't one to take such success sitting down. After all, what's a game genre without a promising Blizzard contender?

What followed was Heroes of the Storm, a MOBA that is distinctly different than its counterparts, but still shared the general premise. 

While every MOBA has slightly diverse characteristics, Heroes of the Storm deviates a bit further than the rest, but the transition shouldn't be too hard to make if you adopt the following tips:

Heroes of the Storm Similarities

Since we're talking about two games in the same genre, they're going to have fundamental similarities. Each team begins on opposite ends of the map and must take down levels of structures until they reach the opponent's life source.

Team Composition and Towers

Each team has 5 members and will be randomly matched against opponents of similar skill level; you'll also see that the same premise of killing outer towers to reach inner towers, then the "nexus", also applies.

Top, Mid, Jungle, and Bot Lanes

There are lanes and a jungle, just like LoL, where each team member should be at a certain time. However, the number of lanes varies.

Single Player Experience

The experience system is also similar. If you're close enough to lane minions that are dying, you'll gain experience. Without this experience, you'll most likely find yourself behind the other team. 

Heroes of the Storm Differences

Map Variety

Unlike League of Legends, players who queue as a team of five will notice that there are 7 different maps that will be chosen at random. Because of this, the teams won't be playing the same map over and over again like Summoner's Rift in League of Legends.

Team Composition and Towers

Rather than the typical ADC and Support bottom lane, AP mid lane, tank/assassin/warrior jungle, and tank/warrior top lane, HoTS will require a much different setup depending on which map you're on. 

The general premise of 1 tank, 1 healer, and 3 damage dealers is the same, but they're going to be in different places based on the meta and the map you're playing. For more information about this, check out our HoTS Map Guides here. 

The other major difference is that, unlike the towers in League and Dota, each structure level in HoTS has a wall, 2 towers, a healing fountain, and a fort, each gaining global XP for your team.

Map Objectives

In Heroes of the Storm, map objectives are critical, unlike League of Legends where it's only a peripheral path to victory. Each map has a different objective and it's always the key to winning, as opposed simply to killing your opponents and pushing lanes. 

Global Experience

This is one of the major contrasts between the two - HoTS has team experience, not single player experience. This means that if a player is getting lane experience from minions dying, they're contributing to the team's experience and not just their own.

Your hero doesn't have its own level, so it's not as easy to carry a team singlehandedly. Either your whole team is doing well or it's not, meaning it's a much more team-oriented game than LoL.

No Items and Player Talents

The other major difference between the games is that there are no items in Heroes of the Storm, and all your damage comes from your player talents instead. 

Both games have player talents when you level up. In HoTS it's only at levels 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 20. 

Rather than building items like in League, you'll be building using your talents in Heroes. So different games will require different talent builds. Heroesfire is a great place to check out builds for your favorite Hero.

Balancing the Game Out and No Surrenders

Another major difference is that Blizzard is trying its hardest to prevent losing teams from giving up. This is exemplified by there being no way to surrender. At least not yet anyway.

Another aspect that Blizzard has implemented is that there are many ways to come back from what many players would refer to as a lost cause. There are many ways to level out the experience - including jungle camps, soaking XP from every lane at the same time, and basically communication and teamwork in general. 

Notably, killing members of the other team is generally not as effective of a strategy in Heroes of the StormKilling the other team is always a good thing, but it's not a matter of direct importance. It's usually the secondary objective, while the map objective is always number one.

Most of the time, you'll be killing your opponents in order to take map objectives.

To Sum It All Up...

It all boils down to four main factors that will be essential to transitioning from League of Legends or DoTA to Heroes of the Storm:

  1. Map objectives versus killing opponents
  2. Global experience instead of single player experience
  3. Using talents as a build Instead of Items
  4. Teamwork over trying to carry

By focusing on educating yourself on these main points, you'll be seeing the victory screen in no time! For more Heroes of the Storm related content, visit the landing GameSkinny page here. 

Featured Columnist

All I'm saying is, no one's ever seen me and Batman in the same room.

Published Jul. 25th 2015

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