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Banshee Queens, Spider Queens, and Drama Queens

Banshee Queens, Spider Queens, and Drama Queens

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Last week, we guided you to the edge of the beach and gave you tips on how to dip your foot in the water… this week we’re going to throw you right in as we review some “do’s and don’ts” of Quick Match mode, along with some first impressions of the new patch.

So you’re feeling more confident after following our advice and now you want to engage in some honest-to-goodness PVP?  Well, pop that Divine Shield because there are going to be living, breathing human beings trying to destroy you… and that’s not even including your opponents.  Welcome to Quick Match.

Tychus

DO make sure that you are comfortable with the hero you’re playing before jumping in with others.

You don’t have to be an expert, but you should understand all of your abilities and be able to answer the following questions:

  • What is my role on the team?  If you’re playing Valla, you shouldn’t expect to last very long initiating a fight in close-range.  Don’t play Brightwing expecting to lead your team in damage.
  • What are the different map objectives?  As more maps are introduced this becomes more of a challenge for newer players, but it’s still absolutely necessary to understand how they work.  You don’t need to have a detailed plan on when to go for mercenaries or push the middle lane, but you shouldn’t be dumbfounded when a teammate says you’re going to skip the first tribute in Cursed Hollow.
  • Where should I be during a fight?  Warriors, such as ETC, should be in the middle of things, cracking heads and taking names.  Most melee assassins such as Illidan will be popping in and out of battle, picking their spots where they can finish off opponents or help the tank isolate the other team’s careless Heroes.  Ranged and support players will usually stay in the rear, also known as the backline, contributing heals and damage, and jumping in only when absolutely necessary to use a close-range ability.
  • What do I do to get out of trouble?  I personally prefer heroes with a good solid GTFO mechanic.  Valla’s Vault, Tychus’ Run and Gun, Muradin’s Dwarf Toss.  These abilities are great for the newer player who might find themselves alone and surrounded by the other team.  If your Hero doesn’t have a good escape, you will know to be extra careful when entering a teamfight.

DON’T let toxic behaviour get to you.

It’s rare that you see much chatting in a queued Co-op match as your team has to be composed of either the brand spanking new or the heavily intoxicated to possibly drop one of these.  Quick Match is completely different… advanced statistics have indicated that 50 percent of all teams in Quick Match lose, and you will probably at one point be blamed for it.  Some people are frustrated because they girlfriend dumped them that day, some are upset that you picked an unpopular hero.  Some people are just plain nasty.  It won’t feel like it at the time, but these people are the minority – you just don’t remember the Stitches who patiently called out every hook and finished off the core with a calm ‘gg’.  It’s not fair but some people are going to give you a hard time, even when it’s not your fault.

Diablo

DO remember that probably is your fault.

You’re new and you’re going to screw up.  A lot.  So if you have to deal with some malcontent inevitably questioning your mother’s virtue, keep an open mind that their core point may be right (about your play, not your mother).  I remember playing as Diablo early on and was puzzled as to why my teammates didn’t appreciate my Shadow Charge ability.  I was dealing damage and pushing them away; that’s what he does, right?  The issue was that I was pushing them away from my damage dealers and letting them escape, since I alone couldn’t finish them off.  Everyone reminded me in less than polite terms that that loss was my fault.  It stung, but you know what?  They were right, and it taught me more about positioning opponents as a tank than any guide I’ve read since.

DON’T freelance.

This is a hard piece of advice to follow, particular as you gain experience playing the game.  Running around getting merc camps worked perfectly for the Gazlowe who played with you last game.  Now you’re playing Gazlowe and the numbskulls you’re with right now are calling for your help in teamfights?  You’ll win this game on your own… you have to in order to make up for their bad strategy.  Well, no.  The Gazlowe in your last match may have gotten lucky and been up against a team who wasn’t fielding a Zeratul waiting cloaked nearby.  Remember the mantra in solo queue: One bad strategy is better than two good ones.  If everybody is rowing in different directions, you aren’t going to get anywhere.

DO learn about other Heroes (even if you don’t play them).

Alright, we got the guy with the guitar isolated, time to jump in with Kerrigan and… whoa, wait!  I’m dancing?  I’m still dancing?  I’m dying?  Would have been useful to know that ETC’s signature Heroic Ability is Mosh Pit and he wanted you to jump in.  Know thine enemy,  Queen of Blades.

DON’T worry too much about the numbers.

As an experienced player, I’m very thankful that Blizzard has given us the statistics tab.  I can keep track of the experience I helped the team obtain, the damage I did to the minions and heroes of the other team, how much healing I’ve done.  But this isn’t raiding in World of Warcraft and there is no set amount of damage that’s expected from you in a fight.  It can vary on factors as diverse as the length of the match, the type of Hero you’ve chosen and even the map that you’re playing on.  You will eventually gain enough experience to get a gauge on how you did, but right now? Just win, baby.

Sylvanas

SYLVANAS PATCH QUICK HITS

As this article was written right after the new patch hit, I have only first impressions, but I’ll be discussing Sylvanas, Tomb of the Spider Queen and other features in more detail next week.

  • Sylvanas has a very interesting kit.  Her escape mechanic, Haunting Wave is very different from any other hero’s and Wailing Arrow ability takes more skill than seems obvious on paper, both in positioning yourself to avoid stuns and the activation of the AOE silence itself.  There will be a debate for a while whether her Assassin or Specialist build is of more value, but she was well worth the wait.
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen is an absolute blast.  This mash-up of Blackheart’s Bay and Haunted Mines allows you to mine gems from minions to summon 3 Tolkien-esque arachnids to push each of the lanes.  This ‘knife fight in a closet’ that Blizzard describes is actually a bit bigger map than I anticipated but still gives you a sweet, sweet claustrophobic feeling.  Plus: a Harrison Jones cameo!
  • With Sylvanamania running rampant, you may see an uptick in the viability of the cloakies, Zeratul and Nova.  The key I’ve seen to solving the Dark Lady is to never let her feel completely safe.

 You can follow David on Twitter @DavidJasonToy.

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