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Friday, November 27, 2015

Heroes of the Storm Guide - How to use Elite AI to improve your gameplay by GetEquipped

Alright, so I haven't wrote too much of a constructive/helpful post in a while, and until the meta settles a bit, I really can't make any guides.

I've been trying to get back into this game, but the feast and famine nature of QM (Stomped or get stomped) is just discouraging, and I don't feel like I'm getting better playing, just frustrated.

So, I started to use the Elite AI option to complete quests, and I'll tell you right now, it is no joke.

They enemy AI will group 4-5 deep from go. Chain CC properly, body block, rotate for objectives, and even cheat as they ignore stealth and fog of war.

Not only that, but your teammates will follow your cues and orders. If you ping for Boss, or ping on an enemy hero, they will do their best to rotate or focus. You can also force them to follow by just pinging on your allies.

So here are a few things in specific to watch out for, and what you can learn.
  • Never roam alone without vision.
As I said, the Enemy AI will roll deep from the start. Meaning as soon as you're spotted, you're pretty much dead meat. This teaches you to pay closer attention to the map, and use better judgment/predictions. If a merc camp was just taken top, then you're free to push out bot, but if you don't have vision, you'll very quickly learn not to stick around.
  • Teamfighting 201: For tanks, how to engage, for assassins, how to teamfight, Support, Priorities.
Since the AI loves to teamfight, knowing how to win a 5v5 is really important. And you will learn the hard way.

As a tank, because of the AI loves to chain CC to completely lock you down, it teaches you when to use what abilities, what cooldowns, what do I need to be active, how close should the team be to be effective, and most importantly, when the hell to pull out.

For Assassins, it's all about positioning and staying safe. Knowing which target is the best to attack. And the AI rarely misses skillshots. So, over extending a bit, just means you're going to a Muradin Stun or Stitches hook.

For Supports/Healers, You will learn how to target swap. When to focus on healing the tank, peeling for the assassin, debuffing, vision, and mana management. Thankfully there's a lot less babysitting, so you can focus on your own gameplay.
  • Rotations and Objective control
Every now and then, on Spider Tomb, I'll notice that the AI, times the Mercs and turn in to the point where Knights, Siege, and the objective all crash at the wall at the same time, then rotate and shove another lane, creating two points of pressure.

Looking at the replays, despite a bit of derpiness, you can see that it was very calculated. They funneled one person to have the gems, usually the with tankiest one or the one with the most mobility. The AI kept bottom shoved, so the roamer can swing bot and take that siege camp. Allies had no vision past the gate, so we were caught unawares. and before we know it, we were pinned in.

This shit is nearly critical to learn and pick up. Noticing those opportunities to use objectives for pressure instead of just taking them because you think you can.

They are also very aware of timers, meaning if a camp is about to respawn, they're either going to posture to push you off, or may be in the vicinity hoping to make a pick.
  • AI Teammates; showing you what you're doing wrong!
Your teammates are no slouches either. They will move out of the bosses slams and stun, rotate on objectives, switch out boss aggro. Even stuff that really can't be taught, like how to disengage and fan out after a bad fight to minimize causalities, or just when they back, despite being half health and mana. (Hint: It's because an objective is spawning soon.

Even just looking at their play, you can see the difference, pretty quickly. They save hard engages for when they have all cooldowns and the team, they CC the back line, and peel if an assassin dives on a high value target.
  • Shotcalling and Reposibility
This is pretty much two teams of the same skill level going at it. Only difference is you. And you need to make the most of it.

Your teammates won't argue with you, your teammates aren't trolling, they will comply to their best ability, and you can ping them for fervent loyalty, dying along side you.

So, when you ping a camp, and the team starts rotating down, but the enemy AI spots you and dies, then, who do you have to blame?
When you ping all4 to follow, and start a fight 2-3 levels downs, and get wiped, then who's fault is it?

This is two fold. First off, it helps you think about the "macro" game. You can ping to have all 4 to follow, but be prepared for a massive counter push on the other side of the map. But you can delegate. You can ping one person to follow, ping "Defend" or "Push" and the two closest will comply.

Granted, they will won't always follow your direction or carry out to your exact intentions, but it teaches you to communicate without words, pings only.

And lastly, responsibility. Now as soon as there's a deficit, the blaming starts. Who did what wrong, why this person picked this talent, why did no one peel for you. But when you're in an AI game... it's just you. You need to take that look inside and ask "How did I fuck up?" Did you pick a fight at the wrong time, did you use the wrong abilities on the wrong target, did you not give a clear ping on who to focus.

Remember, two equal teams, you're the deciding factor.
  • Conclusion
If you're looking to brush up on a few things, polish the fundementals such as positioning, focus, or rotation, or are just tired of QM being a crapshoot; how about knocking out a daily quest or two in 
VS AI against the elites. You may realize how much room you have to grow as a player.

Feel free to leave comments, feedback, suggestions below.

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