Ep 26 – Snakes & Clowns & Spiders OH MY!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 | HotScast Episode #26 | Hosts: Vincent (Rilandune), Mike (Fimlys), & Kali (NerdiChar)
Special Guests: Adam (RandomGeek), Ben (StaksNPaks), and Josh (Pakkuan_AIE) from The Nexus Podcast!

HotSCast and The Nexus Talk about Blizzcon 2014

INTRODUCTION

Ril: Ladies and Gentlemen, Heroes of all ages, welcome back to the Heart of the Storm! This is episode number 26 of HotSCast, recorded 10pm on the right coast, 29th October, 2014.

Blizzcon Heroes of the Storm Predictions!

Ril:
1 – Starcraft inspired battleground
2 – Deckard Cain announced as a Diablo Support Hero
3 – Community contest to choose/influence the next hero to come out

Adam:
1 – Beta Info
2 – 4 Heroes to play (Sylvanas, Kael’thas, Fenix, Butcher)
3 – People asking about Lost Vikings and Blackthorne

Kali:
1 – Your mom
2 – Kali having a beard
3 – They will bring back the Artifact system and shock Ril into a heart attack
4 – If they are talking about rankeds, hopefully they will be showing new maps

Mike:
1 – People will love our HotSCast Shirts Because They are Awesome
2 – Big Spider Mount – Broodmother Araneae

Ben:
1 – Draft mode details
2 – noobsnoobs and more noobs(aka Ben)
3 – casuals complaining about the lack of pve content in a pvp game!! (for fim)<—

Josh:
1 – New Maps
2 – 5 new heroes
3 – More details about ranked play

Head to The Nexus site to hear their awesome cast!

Possible Show Titles:

Gollum Statham
I’m a Hot Nerdy Princess
Winion Wins
Dev Sugar Juices
Leave the Beard Off
Palm of Hand Turns Me White
Snakes and Clowns and Spiders, OH MY!  – WINNER!!!

Ep 24 – Willy Nilly Wonder Billy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 | HotScast Episode #24 | Hosts: Vincent (Rilandune), Mike (Fimlys), & Kali (NerdiChar)
Special Guests: none

HotSCast - Calm Before the Storm Heroes of the Storm Alpha End

INTRODUCTION

Ril: Ladies and Gentlemen, Heroes of all ages, welcome back to the Heart of the Storm! This is episode number 24 of HotSCast, recorded 10pm on the right coast, 1st October, 2014.

HotSCast is the Heroes of the Storm podcast for the people, the players, the Heroes, often off-topic and always rail-free. I am your host Vincent, aka Rilandune. With me as always are my intrepid co-hosts

Mike, a.k.a. Fimlys, a.k.a. [Ril’s crazy name]:

Mike: Quick hello and witty something, 140 chars or less (twitter style) – “This is your fault. I’m going to kill you. And all the cake is gone. You don’t even care, do you?” (Portal)

Ril: What have you been playing this week?

Mike: Destiny.. And Gauntlet. Not much Heroes though. :(

and Kali, a.k.a. NerdiChar, a.k.a. [Ril’s crazy name]:
Quick hello and witty something, 140 chars or less (twitter style) – Okay listeners, I was really bummed last show when no one tweeted me the answer to my video game quote! Don’t let me down this week! The quote is, “You were almost a Jill sandwich!” Name that game. (Resident Evil)

Ril: What have you been playing this week? – Tons of WoW, I am in the mad dash to get all my toons to 90 before the xpac hits. Also, on Monday, 9/22, I had a guest spot on Hearthcast, which was super fun! We talked about “what Blizzard knows about you,” and I promptly made a tin foil hat after we went over that information. You can listen to episode #236 at http://www.hearthcast.com/.

Ril: Quick BlizzCon update! Blizzard released the exclusive Heroes goodies for BlizzCon attendees and viewers, which include the Ethereal Nexus Charger mount and a Nexus Brawler portrait. Check out the show notes for a link to view the items.

Link to view the items: http://www.heroesnexus.com/news/1204-heroes-of-the-storms-blizzcon-goody-exclusive

And now, onto the news.

NEWS

This Week in Heroes

Ril: The Tech Alpha is now officially down and will be back online October 7. Why, you ask? If you are part of the tech alpha, you saw this email on September 20:

“We’re gearing up to enter the final phase of Technical Alpha, and there are several items you’ll want to keep in mind as it approaches. This is an exciting milestone for Heroes of the Storm. Preparing for this phase includes an account wipe, and we’d like to give you a rundown of everything you’ll need to know.

All Heroes Temporarily Available

We’re shutting down the Heroes of the Storm Shop on September 22. At that time, you will be unable to make any purchases using Gold or real money. However, we don’t want that to put a damper on your latest matchmaking win-streak. We’re thrilled to let you know that while the Shop is offline, all 29 Heroes in the Technical Alpha lineup will be available for play in the free Hero rotation!”

Ril: Kali, why don’t you tell us what Blizzard had to say about starting fresh.

Kali: Starting Fresh

“The week after we shut down the shop, we’ll bring the Technical Alpha service offline for more than a week of extended maintenance. During this time, you’ll be unable to login or play Heroes of the Storm and we’ll reset everyone’s Heroes accounts. Once the Nexus is brought back online, it will be as though you’re starting fresh with a brand new account. This means that any leveling progression you’ve made, rewards you’ve unlocked, in-game Gold you’ve earned, and any purchases you’ve made with real-money or Gold prior to the wipe will be reset.

However, kindly keep in mind that following the account wipe, any real money you spent thus far during play testing has not been lost and will be refunded to your Battle.net Balance. Even though you’ll be starting fresh at level one, you’ll still be able to use the refunded money to pick up that shiny Bundle Pack, Mount, or Skin you might have had your eye on over the last few weeks. As an added bonus, anyone who made a real-money purchase during the Technical Alpha will receive an exclusive Wonder Billie Mount!

This is the final planned Heroes of the Storm account wipe and monetary refund. Our goal is to avoid future player and hero progression wipes after we come back online, but we may still need to adjust or wipe player progression with future updates. Don’t worry, though, because we’ll give you ample warning if that ever becomes necessary. What we do know is that from the moment we bring Heroes back online after this wipe, purchases you make in the Shop will be permanent. So get those Heroes, Bundles, Skins, and Mounts with the confidence that you won’t need to acquire them again.”

Ril: Good stuff! So, the Legend of Zelda originally taught us that it’s dangerous to go alone. Mike, tell us why Blizzard wants us to remember that important lesson:

Mike: It’s Dangerous to Go Alone.

“Once Heroes is back online, all current players will be moved to their home Battle.net region. When this occurs, a number of things will happen:

You will lose access to the friends list you built in the Heroes Technical Alpha thus far. But you will regain access to your normal Battle.net friends list that you share with all other Blizzard games, including Diablo® III, Hearthstone®, StarCraft® II, and World of Warcraft®.
Your friends in other Blizzard games will now see you as playing Heroes of the Storm and be able to communicate with you across games.
If you wish to remain in contact with friends you made to this point in the Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha, take down their BattleTags (both the account name and unique ID number) now, and add them to your friends list after the wipe. Please note however, that some of the friends you made in the Alpha may have a different home Battle.net region than you do, so it will not be possible to friend them unless you are in the same home region.

Though a lot of what’s happening is on the backend and not immediately visible to testers, all of the work we’re doing on this transition is a major step for Heroes of the Storm. For testers, we appreciate your patience through this process as we move forward in the development of the game. Until next time, we hope you’ll enjoy queuing up with our entire Hero lineup starting next Monday, and we’ll see you in the Nexus!

– Heroes of the Storm team”

Ril: We have two articles to cover this week.

Topic #1

Ril: Blizzard, via Vaeflare, introduced Battleground pages on August 27. These are interactive maps which include videos of key objectives, mercenary camps, points of interest, and more! Whether you’ve been out traversing the Nexus for months or are still eagerly waiting to jump into the fray, there’s always something new to discover.

Vaeflare says to look for fun details such as the notorious kraken, demonic pig, fisherman, drawbridge, outhouse, and sunken treasure chest.

Mike: [response]

Kali: These are such a great idea! For you min-maxers that don’t have game access, I would suggest to go read over these pages and get ready for the game when it goes live for you. We have played a few games that were close and we were able to secure the win by getting a merc camp or other objective. Think of these pages as the first of many strategy guides to come.

Link to the article: http://us.battle.net/heroes/en/blog/15487815

Topic #2

Ril: We briefly mentioned on the last show that Heroes now has an official league. We need to correct that because there are now at least 3 leagues that have already started to host tournaments. The ESV Champions League is a tournament of 8 North American teams. Playoffs begin October 1st.

Mike: Gosu gamers said, “The league promises to provide insight on the competitive side of Heroes of the Storm, a game still in alpha, making its first steps into eSports. The teams themselves are those occupying the highest MMR peaks in the game and are comprised of popular Heroes streamers and eSports figures from different games.” For those of you that aren’t familiar with the term MMR, it stands for “Match Making Rating.” In games, this is the internal, typically hidden rating that is used to match you with other players in ranked games.

Kali: There are some famous StarCraft II players on the ESV Champions League teams. Gosu Gamers made a good point, “I just find it fascinating that these players are coming from a game that requires incredible micro [managing] to be superior, to something that focuses on one unit alone.” That is kind of how I feel changing from last hitting in League to the team objectives in Heroes.

Ril: There is also the Heroes Premier League, which has 20 teams between North America and Europe. Their playoffs begin on December 1st.

Mike: And last but not least, the mYinsanity-VersaSphere North American Invitational currently has 4 teams. Those matches began on September 17th.

Kali: Make sure to check out the links in the show notes for access to the match videos. I’ve watched a few and they are so intense! And Ril, now you can start practicing your shout casting! :)

Link to the articles: http://www.lazygamer.net/general-news/heroes-of-the-storm-gets-its-first-league/

http://www.gosugamers.net/heroesofthestorm/news/28410-the-first-heroes-of-the-storm-league-starts-next-week-follow-it-on-gosugamers

HEROES 101

Ril: It’s been a while since we included this segment in the show, and we apologize for that guys. There has just been so much news to talk about lately that we haven’t had time for much else! I guess that’s actually quite a good thing, when you think about it.
So for this Heroes 101 segment, we’re going to talk about the concept of “counter-picking.” Kali, since you are the resident League of Legends expert, why don’t you tell us more about this concept within LoL for a comparison.
Kali: We are finally getting to see some competitive play in HotS, so hopefully a “meta,” possibly with “laning,” will emerge. While we await those details, let’s talk about how counter-picking works in League and relate it to what we currently know about HotS.
With counter-picking, you try to choose heroes that are strong against their matched competitor. So, for example, if I was playing AP Carry in mid lane on League (think magic damage assassin), and the other team chose Veiger, I would choose Syndra. The reason is that Syndra’s range is much longer than Veiger’s, so she can poke him all day long and prevent him from farming. This negatively affects him throughout the laning phase and puts him behind on gold for the entire match.
How does that translate in Heroes? Well, let’s pretend the meta is that mid lane always has a solo Assassin. If I see the other team choose Kerrigan, I might choose Nova so that I can poke Kerrigan from a distance. If I keep Kerrigan’s health low, she will have to hearth or run away, reducing the XP for her team in that lane and removing her from team fights while she is back at base.

Mike: [response] – maybe you could tell us about this concept in DOTA 2 or HoN?

Ril: [response]

WRAP UP

You can follow the show on twitter @HotSCast, I am @Rilandune, Kali is @NerdiChar, and @Fimlys for Mike. Head to the shows homepage at hotscast.com for links to our Facebook, Google +, YouTube pages, show notes, videos, and more.

You can email the show at HotSCast@gmail.com

For all the services you could think of that relate to a podcast we can be found as HotSCast.

blizzcon party..

Find our parent show hosted by our own Fimlys and his faithful co-hort Hydra at TwistedNether.net

You can hear myself and Nevik from Shattered Soulstone talk about all manner of Geeky things on Heroically Random, find that at heroicallyrandom.com

[edit: the first episode is airing Saturday, Oct 4 @ 10:00p Eastern!] Soon you’ll be able to hear Kali and close-friend of the show @GeekofRandom, or Adam from The Nexus as he sometimes is called, on the forth-coming internet dating show Charred Hearts.

At Blizzcon, make sure to come to our party on Friday night. The Twisted Nether Party.. Also go to the World of Podcasts party on thursday night.

You can find this show, Twisted Nether Blogcast, Heroically Random, and Charred Hearts on iTunes, Stitcher, and any podcatcher app of your choosing.

Help out the show! Leave us a review on Stitcher and iTunes, and we’ll read your name out on the show! That is absolutely one of the best ways to help the show grow and we truly appreciate it!

Until next time folks, never stop asking yourself the question – Who is YOUR Hero?!

POTENTIAL SHOW TITLES!!!

1) I Can Poke Kerrigan
2) Warm Beer and a Cold Chicken Sammich
3) #BecauseDraenor
4) Where’s My Frikkin Monolith?
5) Willy Nilly Wonder Billy – WINNER!!! :)

Episode 22 – Hipster Yuengling!

This is Episode 22 of HotSCast, Hipster Yuengling!!

Frost Wyrm Arthas Heroes of the Storm HotSCast

I decided to do things a little differently this week with the notes here. Kali has so graciously offered to take care of the show notes each week and is doing such an incredible job that I thought, why keep that from the world? So from here out I’ll be posting our working show notes right here on the blog with the episode posts! Let us know what you think of this at HotSCast@gmail.com!

Enjoy the show, and our new approach to the show notes on the site!

—————

Ril:  Ladies and Gentlemen, Heroes of all ages, welcome back to the Heart of the Storm!  This is episode number 22 of HotSCast, recorded 10pm on the right coast, 27th August, 2014.

HotSCast is the Heroes of the Storm podcast for the people, the players, the Heroes, often off-topic and always rail-free.  I am your host Vincent, aka Rilandune.  With me as always are my intrepid co-hosts –

Mike, a.k.a. Fimlys, a.k.a. [Ril’s crazy name]:

  • Quick hello and witty something, 140 chars or less (twitter style) – [response]
  • What have you been playing this week? – Valla, Malfurion, Diablo, Witch Doctor (liking)

and Kali, a.k.a. NerdiChar, a.k.a. [Ril’s crazy name]:

  • Quick hello and witty something, 140 chars or less (twitter style) – I went to my cousin’s wedding this past weekend and danced like a fool, I am so glad no one recorded that and put it on social media! Speaking of which, I did the ice bucket challenge on Saturday, that was so cold.
  • What have you been playing this week? – I might have a slight obsession with Zeratul and Malfurion, as everyone saw last week during the stream…I can’t stop playing them! I did just buy Nova though, so I might break away to play her a bit.

Ril: And now, onto the news.

NEWS

This Week in Heroes

Free Hero Rotation

Week of Tuesday, August 26th, 2014:

  • ETC
  • Raynor
  • Tyrael
  • Uther
  • Zagara
  • Tychus (level 8+)
  • Rehgar (level 10+)

New Skins

This information was released by Blizzard back on July 23, but we are just getting around to mentioning it. Sorry about that! Frost Worm Arthas and Big Top Gazlowe are now available for purchase in the shop.

Link to YouTube video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PlfokJFpE8

Ril:  We have 3 news topics to discuss.

Topic #1

Ril:  SteelSeries announced they are going to release a HotS-themed mouse and mousepad.

In a press release, Tino Soelberg, SteelSeries CTO said,

Heroes of the Storm has been such a highly anticipated title that we were excited to create a product exclusively for the game. We knew that Blizzard and players would want a mouse designed for versatility and  that would evoke the aesthetics from within the game. The SteelSeries Engine is such an important component of this mouse in that players can save an unlimited number of profiles and settings for each that would reflect the type of character you’re playing; assigning illumination settings to each of your profiles to differentiate between characters is another way the mouse can enhance gameplay.

Kali:  I actually use a SteelSeries mouse and keyboard, and my other half uses their mousepad. We’ve really enjoyed their products. Here are the highlights of the mouse:

  • LED illuminated lights that feature the Heroes of the Storm graphic design…ooh, glowy!
  • Tournament-grade buttons
  • Pro-grade laser sensor
  • CPI range from 1-5.700
  • Rubberized surface with “hand-sweat resistant coating”

Mike:  The Heroes of the Storm Mouse and QcK Mousepad will be available later this year for $69.99 for the mouse and $14.99 for the Mousepad. [Additional thoughts]

Link to article:  http://www.sidequesting.com/2014/08/steelseries-gets-heroes-of-the-storm/

Topic #2

Ril:  Lazygamer.net had an interview at Gamescon with Senior Producer Kaeo Milker. You can watch the entire interview by checking out the link that will be posted in the show notes. One of the questions asked was:

“I did ask after the interview if there was any kind of indication as to when the game will hit an open beta. I was told that there are still several stages of the alpha before it can even hit closed beta.”

Mike:  [response]

Kali:  Uh oh, I don’t think the listeners are going to like that news. Keep your chin up guys and keep watching our stream on Twitch! We love to take your requests for what to play and what talents to choose.

Link to the article:  http://www.lazygamer.net/general-news/we-talk-heroes-of-the-storm-at-gamescom/

Topic #3

Ril:  Fimlys found an article on Reddit that explains step-by-step how to watch replays of games you have played in the tech alpha.

Kali:  Probably in the beta and definitely in the official release, there will be a way to spectate and/or watch replays, but for now this is a great way to watch matches.

Mike:  The tutorial is fairly simple and can be found in the article we will post in the show notes. A few good tips to note:

  • The hotkeys are similar to the ones in StarCraft 2. For example, Ctrl+W hides the bottom UI area.
  • You can view the selected talents of the other players.
  • You can use F10 to toggle the menu which will allow you to stop watching the replay.

Link to the article:  http://www.reddit.com/r/heroesofthestorm/comments/26nelb/how_to_watch_a_replay/

—————

Don’t forget to follow the show in Twitter, @HotSCast, email us with any questions for feedback at HotSCast@gmail.com and especially let us know what you think about the new show notes set up!

Enjoy!

Many Games, One Genre – Can’t We All Just Get Along?

hots3.jpgBlizzard has said from day 1 that they wanted to set themselves apart from the MOBA (multi-player online battle arena) genre. They have gone so far as to call Heroes of the Storm a “team brawler” instead of classifying it as a MOBA. For those who have not had the chance to play the technical alpha, you may be asking, “Is this just hype? Is the game really any different than Heroes of Newerth, League of Legends, or DOTA 2?”

The answer, friends, is a definitive YES. First of all, the games are much shorter. Blizzard made this goal no secret; indeed, games typically last for about 20-25 minutes when playing against other humans. This is much shorter than MOBAs, which can last 45-60 minutes in many cases. There isn’t always time to play a game for that duration. Let’s face it – many of us have work, kids, and other obligations that eat up our free time for gaming.

A second difference that is very noticeable is the game play. In MOBAs, you have to focus on last-hitting, itemization, runes, skill shots, etc. There is still a lot of fun, tactical play in Heroes, but without all of the bloat. Instead, players can focus on choosing talents that benefit the team in that moment, fun map objectives, daily quests, and skillfully pushing lanes to drain turrets of ammo. This style of game play has a much shallower learning curve and allows players to start having fun with the game immediately.

The third difference that I will mention is how disconnected players are handled. Nothing is more frustrating, especially in ranked matches, than having a player DC. Unless your team is really fantastic and the other team is not playing so well, you will almost always lose a 4v5. In Heroes, disconnected players are transformed into AI players. While an AI player is never going to do as well as a human, it is certainly more helpful than having nothing at all. Unfortunately, at this point, AFK players are not dealt with in the same fashion. Hopefully, Blizzard will incorporate this into the game as the alpha and beta testing continues!

*hint hint Blizzard*

So why does all of this matter? There has been a lot of talk about Heroes being “the League/DOTA 2 killer.” My argument is: Does Heroes have to be a MOBA killer? Can’t it just be a fantastic, stand-alone game option, as Blizzard seems to have intended by differentiating the genre to team brawler? Heroes provides a fast-paced and fun experience for gamers on a time crunch, avid Blizzard fans, and/or MOBA novices that want to learn the play style without feeling overwhelmed. The game play is simpler in many cases and allows anyone to step in and enjoy, whereas traditional MOBAs have a very steep learning curve. For those that want to keep with the more technical aspects of creep farming and specialized item builds, you can always jump on a MOBA and have that experience. Each game has its own cult following and there is no reason Heroes of the Storm has to end that. Can’t we all just get along? :)

Don’t forget to tune in to our live podcast or Heroes live stream matches each Monday night at 10pm EST!

~ NerdiChar

Episode 8 – User Interface Comparison! (Audio)

HotSCast Audio ThumbnailThis is the edited audio podcast of this weeks show, as opposed to the video edition posted earlier in the week which is the raw feed from our live recording. I do apologize for this being posted so late, I like to have these up by Wednesday, but a few things on my end – not the least of which was the 22″ of snow we had fall in the last 36 hours – prevented me from finishing up the edits until just now.

This week we discussed and compared the User Interface of Heroes of the Storm, League of Legends, DotA 2, and HoN. We talked about what we’d love to see in the Heroes UI at launch and what we don’t. This weeks’ Heroes 101 segment covered the Warrior Hero Type as well as the common MOBA term – KDA.

Hit the break for the embedded audio!
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Episode 8 – User Interface Comparison! (Video)

HotSCast Video Thumbnail
Episode 8 – User Interface Comparison (Video)

This is the video from the live recording we do every other Monday, audio will be posted either later today or tomorrow.

This week we discussed and compared the User Interface of Heroes of the Storm, League of Legends, DotA 2, and HoN.  We talked about what we’d love to see in the Heroes UI at launch and what we don’t.  This weeks’ Heroes 101 segment covered the Warrior Hero Type as well as the common MOBA term – KDA.

Hit the break for the embedded video!
Continue reading

Episode 6 – What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor (Video)

HotSCast Video Thumbnail
It is hard to put into words just how outlandish and random the show was this week. Since Ril, Fimlys, and Char had no Heroes of the Storm news what-so-ever to speak on, they instead talked comparisons with League of Legends, DotA 2, about the ideal Hero team make-up; answered questions from the chat room as they recorded live.

Hit the break for the embedded video and more!

Continue reading

Episode 6 – What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor (Audio)

HotSCast Audio ThumbnailGreetings folks!

It is hard to put into words just how outlandish and random the show was this week. Since Ril, Fimlys, and Char had no Heroes of the Storm news what-so-ever to speak on, they instead talked comparisons with League of Legends, DotA 2, about the ideal Hero team make-up; answered questions from the chat room as they recorded live.

Hit the break for more!

Continue reading

Episode 4 – Heroes Is LFTM, Looking For Team Members (Audio)

HotSCast Audio Thumbnail

This week the your HotSCast hosts dive back into the universe of Heroes of the Storm.  Sadly there wasn’t much information to talk about as of the time of recording other than a job posting Blizzard put up on LinkedIn for a Senior Software Engineer for both the Heroes of the Storm and Starcraft 2 teams.

More after the break!

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Waiting For Heroes

Opening Villains

When rumors of a game cycling between the names “Blizzard DotA” and “Blizzard All-Stars” were surfacing around 2010-2011, I was just about done with the whole MOBA genre of games. For me, personally, the days of classic DotA All-Stars were more or less over with. The new generation consisting of Heroes of Newerth, League of Legends and Dota 2 was on the rise and I did not intend to spend more time on MOBAs. I just started playing a lot of competitive StarCraft II so there was virtually no time for me to simultaneously juggle school, my social life, a few games, and most importantly, sleep.

However, prior to the growing hype of a standalone Blizzard DotA-like game, I played DotA All-Stars religiously. I never really jumped into professional DotA tournaments or fixed team games since I enjoyed playing with random people every single game. (To be honest, I just liked carrying pubbies). I believed that was a very essential element in making DotA All-Stars, a WarCraft III map made by fans for fans, a fun experience.

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