The short answer: Yes, you should buy a guide, if you’re the impatient and competitive type. I’m both those things, so I didn’t feel like I wasted my money on a paid Heroes of the Storm guide. (And if you’re curious about what guide I bought – it’s this bundled package from Killer Guides which covers all four roles.)
To make this post as useful for your decision-making dilemma, I’ve listed the pros and cons of buying a paid guide for the game based on my very recent experience.
Pros and Cons of Buying a HotS Guide
I didn’t have to Google search every little question I had about HotS. All the essential information is compiled in one place. In my case, Killer Guides let me download eBook files for Assassins, Supports and other roles.
- I can sneak in a quick read during game lulls. I play with a dual-screen computer, so I have the guide open in one screen and the game on the other. During screen loading times or whenever I’m just waiting to respawn, I read up on the abilities and talents of my hero which helps me not suck as much even though it’s my first time playing the hero.
- I learn cool insider tips. It tells you a lot of smaller, but still very useful things to know about HotS that are not covered by the in-game tutorial. These are the types of things you may find scattered in Reddit threads – such as how to abuse a certain hero ability – and it’s served in a platter.
- I get to comprehensive hero and map strategies. It’s great to see a different take on a hero or map, and this either confirms what I already know or convinces me otherwise. Engaging in forum discussions gives you the same effect, but we all know that some threads get derailed and opinions don’t get fleshed out that well. And it could not help you much when you are facing an unknow hero for the first time. A paid guide presents strategies on almost every aspect of the game and it’s interesting to see what the author has to say.
- You need to spend cash. If you buy the guide, you have less money to spend on a new hero. However, it compensates you with the gold section showing strategies to gain in-game gold effectively.
- You could be judged for it. Seriously. I had one friend complain that I only won because I was using a guide. It might make your friends insecure because you suddenly have a “cheat sheet” to help you to victory.
Do I Need A Guide? Here’s a 4-Point Checklist
- Am I tired of searching Google for information about the game?
- Am I willing to spend money to learn about the game?
- Do I want a cheat sheet for heroes compiled in one place?
- Do I lack a veteran player friend who can teach me the ropes?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, then by all means, grab this guide. You’ll save yourself from a lot of trouble and frustration.
What I Liked and Disliked About My Killer Guides
If you liked the pros I listed above, then you’ll want to find the best paid guide for your money’s worth. I can’t say much about the other guides out there, so I’ll just focus on what I liked and disliked about my purchase.
- Clearly written and organized. I found the guide to be a light read. It was also structured in a textbook format with table of contents, so I can quickly jump to the page I wanted.
Solid tips overall. The guide paid for itself with the tips I got on how to use champions to their best potential, which talents to prioritize and how to win matches through smart objective play. Reading the guide made me a better, smarter player.
- Good reference to have. Unless Blizzard drastically changes the game and significantly alters the design of heroes, the guide seems like I can keep on using it forever. The tips and tricks really work, and seem to have come from very experienced players.
- Free updates. Then there’s the fact that should there be new features, heroes and skills adjustment, I can just download a newly updated version.
- Not all the heroes are covered yet. Blizzard is quickly adding heroes and the guide does not seem to be completely updated. The current hero that is still missing is Kael’thas. They promise to update it for free, so I’m hoping to download those sooner than later.
- No screenshots or videos. If you’re the visual type who likes seeing screenshots or watching videos, then this might not be for you. But the guide text is pretty readable so there’s at least that consolation.
What You’ll Find In The Guide
As a friendly favor, I’m also going to give you a rundown of the major contents in the guide I bought. This should further help you decide if you’ll be as satisfied with the Killer Guides bundle as I was, or if you may want to look at other guides.
The first section gives you a summary of each hero in that role, how to use the abilites and heroic abilities, which talents are best chosen from level 1 to 20, situational builds, and great gameplay tips to make you play a lot smarter. This section alone improves my gameplay a lot.
2. HotS Features
This second section walks you through all the features in Heroes of the Storm. This was a great complement to the in-game tutorial. It explained some things more clearly, and gave a better perspective of everything in the game.
This third section gives an overview of all the battleground maps. I’ve played other base-destruction games before, but Heroes of the Storm probably has the most variety in maps. It’s great but can get a bit confusing due to the number of objectives you have to keep track of, so this section helps refresh your memory.
Probably one of the best sections in the guide is the discussion on early game, mid game and end game. And what you should do in each situation. I knew instinctively that the game evolves the longer it goes on, but the guide explained what I should be doing in certain portions of the match.
4. Gold Section
This final section drops hints on how you can quickly earn gold. Some are already common knowledge, but there are several suggestions that will make you think “Oh yeah, why’d I miss that?” Every bit of extra gold counts, and as long as the methods aren’t shady, it’s nice to have a guide that enlarge your pocket and makes you rich.
The way I see it, a paid HotS guide is not an absolute necessity. You can win games without having read a guide, or even spend sometimes to look at forums or wikis, for that matter. But if you want to have detailed strategies by your side that you could take a quick look at it everything you want, this Heroes of the Storm package is surely worth the investment. Of cause it won’t instantly make you a god-like player, but at least it will teach you the solid strategies of playing with each hero. It will also get you in the right mindset on how to win games and become a more valuable player for your team.