Sherpa of the Storms! Quest for the Vulture Mount

Once in a blue moon, I'll throw my weight around to get people play a game I enjoy. Most of the time it's because I think it's something they'll enjoy based on what I know about them. This time however, it was out of greed. In particular, I managed to get a group of four newbies into HOTS. Since they played Overwatch, I figured some of them would want a cool skin for Genji, thanks to the Nexus Challenge. I saw it as a way for me to get my recruit-a-friend mount, refer 4 friends and have them reach account level 10. They also were looking for a new (free) game to play as a group. GGEZ, right? I think it's because of the people I surround myself with but I didn't expect my group of newbies to have little to no experience with MOBAs or RTS games. The concept of classes and different roles were not foreign to them, thankfully, as they've played a lot of "Hero Shooters" like Paladins and Overwatch. Luckily, one person in that group played a bit of SMITE. I relied on this individual when my experience clouded my reasoning behind doing things. When everyone was free,we spend the night as a group "gittin' gud" as we got ready for the chase for Oni Genji.

From the Top

With my cute little newbies on hand, I had them run through the tutorial to get used to Heroes of the Storm's mechanics. We had rough start in the beginning. I wanted them hit the ground running, so I advised the group to run through the tutorial on "Veteran Difficulty". All but one chose to do Veteran, that one accidentally picked beginner and we couldn't figure out how to switch to the other tutorial. It worked out for us in the end because the rest of the group were having a hard time with the last scenario in the veteran tutorial. The last scenario has you playing Zeratul, a stealth assassin hero, with the task of reaching level 10 before the enemy team without dying. To do this, you have to set up ganks or 2v1 scenarios with your other lanes, with you playing as the initiator. Zeratul is permanently stealthed when not in combat but as a trade-off is fragile, so you have to be careful when you engage. It wasn't until after we completed this scenario that I remembered some of my friends experienced in MOBAs had a hard time with this. Overcoming that, they grouped up to tackle some beginner level bots. What came as news to me, you are limited to playing on one map until a number of matches before you are queued into other maps. This was a good move on Blizzard's part. I recall back when I was starting out, the concept of unique maps with unique objectives was hard to get used to. I hovered around until they unlocked more maps to play on before I jumped into the fray.

Unlike my friend who helped get me into HOTS, I'm not that great at the game. In short, I don't have confidence in my ability to rally my team for objective control. I can't correctly judge when to get mercenary camps or who should stay in lane in favor of soaking XP versus everyone scrambling to secure the objective. Not to mention, I have the tendency to get hard on myself and others if mistakes happen. Though, I've been trying to go from a "Play to win" mentality to a "Play for fun". If we win, that's great. If we lose, that's okay too... as long as we aren't trying to sabotage the team. Took the playing for fun mentality to heart as I queued up with these guys. We played on slightly higher leveled bots and everyone had a good time. I made a secondary account to play with these guys just so I could put myself in their shoes. Also took this as a moment to buy/try heroes I've never played before, like Murky or Xul. Our objective control wasn't that great but we were slowly getting better with judgement calls as time went on and did alright in team fights. By this time, everyone had a character they really enjoyed and wanted to get to see how high they could get their character to by the end of the night. If I recall correctly,everyone received the portrait reward for their character at night's end.

Now we're ready for some real games?

Before we ended the night, the group wanted to try quick match games against actual people. Before then, we played a few games with veteran difficult bots to work on our coordination. Other than me directing one or two people to mercenary camps, these group of newbies were doing quite well. I was happy at how well they picked up the game. We played about 4 or 5 quick match games and they were all very close. A fondly remember playing on Braxis Holdout where one of the newbies were playing on Tyrarel and they were left uncontested in bot lane for most of the game. When we were pushed back to our Nexus,the Tyrael stayed with our zerg swarm and pushed to victory while we were under siege with < 20%  Nexus health remaining.

In conclusion, I was surprised everyone enjoyed themselves as much as they did. It made me happy that they enjoyed a game I recommended. At first, it was about getting my recruit-a-friend mount no matter what but it quickly turned into making sure they enjoyed the game as much as possible. The mount was just bonus in this instance.

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