The Nexus Challenge: To Play or Not to Play

Week 3 of the second Nexus Challenge is in full swing, so if you were playing exclusively to score the sweet new DVa skin, now is the time to decide if you’re going to cut and run or keep grinding those games to get ten Overwatch loot boxes next week. An easy enough question for MOBA fans who enjoy the Heroes of the Storm gameplay, but personally I haven’t found it really singing to me, mostly because I have no appetite for MOBAs. This article is for people like me who want to make the HotS experience as manageable as possible.

First thing, I cannot support the current market strategy of throwing matches in order to make them end super quickly. That’s just a dick move, no reason to ruin 9 other people’s fun just because you aren’t a MOBA fan. Actually play to win, HotS has so many heroes that you’ve got to be able to find at least one that gels with you. Me, I had been diligently trying to make the healers work for me, since I play healer in everything, but I didn’t start having fun until I tried a ranged DPS class. So my first piece of advice is to pick a ranged DPS (or ‘assassin’, to use in-game parlance) class because their team role is easily understandable and they don’t carry the same close-range risks as the melee assassins. My personal recommendation is Raynor for being a bog-standard point-and-shoot guy. With his assault rifle, decent out-of-combat healing and airstrike ultimate, Raynor is an extremely straightforward space marine for any shooter fan to wrap her head around.

Though I may be biased because my first loot box dropped a rare skin for him that turns him into a cowboy.

Alternately, if you want a more MOBA-esque hero, Azmodan is one of the easiest and most effective tanks in the game since he specializes in summoning minions and dealing ranged area-of-effect damage. He can’t heal himself as easily as Raynor, but he compensates by being a tanky mofo who can summon his own reinforcements to aid his escape.

So for the most part, if you’re on the fence regarding trying HotS but the 10 lootboxes sound like something you might want, I recommend to stifle your reservations and give it a try. I’ve played LoL and Dota 2 and felt completely clueless about what was going on, and while that feeling was still present as I played horribly and embarrassed myself in front of my teammates, in HotS the devs have gone out of their way to simplify and streamline the gameplay to a degree that it’s impossible to not at least do okay. This is a Blizzard game we’re talking about, after all. Plus there’s literally no voice chat, so you don’t have to feel bad about not having a microphone, and text chat only goes to your teammates, most of whom are as new as you thanks to the Nexus event. There’s never going to be a better, completely stress-free opportunity to play Heroes of the Storm. Until Nexus 3, of course.

Wonder which Overwatch character they’ll add next? Still no defense heroes, so I’m keeping my chips on Torbjörn.

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