Hello all! As an active WoW player since vanilla and a Heroes of the Storm veteran I was happy to see a cross promotion between two of my favorite Blizzard games with an awesome mount reward I’ll be working to unlock myself. I just wanted to offer some bits of advice if you've never played HotS or have limited experience with Mobas in general. If you are just looking for basic info about the event itself or people to team up with there is a LFG thread on r/wow and a thread on the Heroes of the Storm subreddit with more info. Also, this is probably a longer post than it should be but I had trouble deciding when to cut it off, so apologies and feel free to skip around to sections that of use or interest to you! 🙂
Advice if you have no interest in HotS/MOBAS and just want the mount as fast as possible: The mount can be obtained by playing vs AI only. Watch chat for people saying something like "LFM Mount Farming". If you join a farming group, friend one or more players in the group, they will then set the AI to the lowest difficulty and try to rush down one lane as fast as possible to kill the core. One key WoW hero you’ll want in your group is Sylvannas because she disables towers and forts allowing you to push safer and faster. She is also available for free from the recruit a friend promotion (See more info on that in the HotS Subreddit post above.)
That being said HotS is primarily a PvP focused game and stomping easy AI is not much fun. As someone who has sped through other Blizzard cross promotions, if you want to get your mount as fast as possible, I totally understand that. You can stop reading here and good luck farming as fast as possible! 🙂 However if you have interest in giving HotS a real shot or just want to play more interesting game modes while earning your mount, read on!
Why WoW Players Might Enjoy HotS: At its best HotS heavily evokes the feeling I get during my best moments of WoW PvP. Comboing abilities with your allies, being countered by another player but then popping a powerful, long CD ability that turns the tides of the fight, experiencing crazy comebacks and nail biting wins after escaping with a sliver of health.
Aside from the gameplay, this game is essentially Super Smash Brothers for Blizzard. It evokes a ton of great memories of WoW and other Blizzard games for me. It also "settles" some of those fun/silly debates many of us have had with friends, ex: “Hey, who would win in a fight Arthas or Thrall?” Several heroes have skins based on iconic WoW armor sets. Heroes also have unique voice lines about each other that can play at the start of the match or after killing each other. Jaina and Arthas have some pretty great interactions for example given their… ehem… unique history. Basically, the game is full of WoW/Blizzard lore, inside jokes, and nods I enjoy as a fan.
The Basics of HotS if you’ve never played a MOBA: You and four other teammates face off against another team of five in an attack/defend style game. Your goal is to push down one or more "lanes" (paths that lead to the enemy base) while the other team tries to stop you and do the same to you. You must destroy several layers of enemy defenses on the way until you reach and destroy the enemies core, a powerful building that deals a large amount of damage to your team and will take awhile to kill. To help you, AI minions will spawn down each lane periodically which will clash in a stalemate with the enemy teams minions. You can help them by killing the other teams minions, earning XP to level up and allowing your minions to advance, deal damage to defenses, and absorb damage for you. The enemy team will try to stop you and destroy your defenses instead. Objectives spawn on the map periodically that provide your team with a huge advantage if you secure them. Killing members of the enemy teams gives you XP and time to take down their defenses as they can take awhile to respawn. Destroy the enemies core before they can destroy yours and you win.
How HotS is different, if you’ve played other MOBAS: I was going to type out a section on this, but aside from a few unfortunate marketing phrases, this Blizzard video does the job of laying out how HotS is different faster and better than I could. https://youtu.be/wPk004vsjuE
First Steps, Play some AI games: “Wait what, you just said those aren’t as fun!” Good catch reader! I did say that, but in my opinion there is a value to playing a handful of AI games if you are a new player. They are extremely low stress and a good place to learn as you play your first few games. Test out heroes and learn to play on different battlegrounds until you find a hero you like and are comfortable with their abilities. Try to bump up the difficulty of the AI slightly as you go. If you hover your mouse over a hero on the selection screen you will see a difficulty rating, stick to heroes rated Easy or Medium when you start out.
Next Steps, Finding Groups and Jumping Into PvP: When you join the game you will be placed in New Player chat. Right now New Player chat should be a reasonably pleasant place full of other people looking to earn their WoW mount. Once you level up your account some you’ll also be placed in General chat. The quality of discussion in General chat is roughly akin to that of Trade chat in WoW. AKA its often full of spam, memes, racist BS, political shouting matches, etc. (But at least theres no gold farming spam!) My advice and what I do personally is to leave general chat and join a few alternatives. Type “/join Reddit” and “/join MFPT”. The former is the chat channel of the HotS subreddit, the later is a channel populated by fans of a popular HotS Youtuber, MFPallytime (I believe he made his name doing stuff in WoW, so you may know of him). You don’t need to be a member of those communities in any way to join, they are just two of the largest, more positive channels to chat and find groups in.
In the chat channel of your choosing, try finding mount groups that are willing to test out slightly higher AI difficulty or who are doing Quick Match (QM). QM is the only PvP mode available to you early on. Don’t be afraid to state that you’re a new player, I and many other vets will be happy to play with you, and offer advice if you want it. 🙂
You want to go deeper: You’ve enjoyed your time with the game in AI and QM? Awesome! From here you can start thinking about expanding your pool of heroes and getting into Draft and Ranked modes. HotS uses a League of Legends style free hero rotation. Every week new heroes will become available to be played for free and last weeks will become unavailable. You will need a larger selection of heroes to play Draft and Ranked game modes. You can unlock a hero permanently with real money or by using Gold you earn by playing the game. Before purchasing any hero, make sure you try a hero while they are on free rotation or at least click “Try” on the heroes shop page to see if you like them in Try Mode. Heroes have wildly different play styles and abilities, you probably wont be a fan of every Hero, find your favorites and unlock those permanently.
Make sure you’re maximizing your gold earnings by completing your daily quests and playing 3 Brawl games per week. (If you’ve played Hearthstone or Overwatch you probably know that Brawls are unique weekly game modes that provide a “twist” on the games typical gameplay). Just know that you only need to PARTICIPATE in 3 Brawls per week to earn a whopping 1000 gold. You should do so as soon as you have some basic comfort with the game, losing Brawls has no consequences. Heroes range in price from 10,000 gold down to 2000 gold, buying cheaper heroes first is my advice. Cheaper heroes aren’t any “worse” than expensive ones. Some of the top tier heroes in the game are 4000 or 2000 gold, find ones you like and use your gold unlocking them!
Places to ask questions or learn more about the game: I’ve generally found the HotS Subreddit to be a much more friendly and welcoming place than the official forums. If you have questions about the game, feel free to ask them there! Also feel free to ask questions in replies to this post and I’ll do my best to answer any I can 🙂
Have fun earning your mounts!