The following is a list of all the Heroes of the Storm terminology.
AFK (Away From Keyboard) is a term used while you have to stop playing for a moment. It also has a derogatory meaning when one of the players simply stops playing.
If a player does not issue a game command for a some time during a match, that player will receive an inactivity warning via chat. If a player does not issue a game command after receiving a warning, that player will be dropped from the game. As with leaving or disconnecting from a game before it is finished, the A.I. will take over the dropped player’s hero until that player rejoins the game. Additionally, that player will earn no experience points, quest credit, or rewards if they do not rejoin the game before it concludes.
Minions and mercenaries on the lane attack you on sight. The related usages here are "aggro range" or "aggro radius" which is the distance at which the mob will attack. Most monsters and mercs in their camps however, will only attack after taking damage.
ARAM is an acronym for "All Random All Mid". It is a game mode in Heroes of the Storm.
Area of Effect
Area of Effect (short: AoE) abilities do damage in an area as opposed to just on one target. A target is hit by an AoE if the ability hits the circle beneath its model called Hitbox.
To Bait is to feign weakness in order to lure the enemy into a trap.
Bodyblocking is a technique for impeding an enemy's advance by positioning your controlled unit(s) on their path and forcing them to walk around you. The technique exploits the fact that two given entities can not simultaneously occupy the same physical space, and is generally performed by moving in a zigzag pattern while actively trying to stand in the way of one's intended target. Body blocking can be used to prevent the enemy from fleeing by positioning on their fastest route to safety or to peel for your allies by placing yourself between them and the enemy. Its offensive and defensive uses make it an important skill especially for tank and melee assassin players.
- Bot is used to refer to the bottom-most lane on the battleground.
- Bot is also occasionally a term for AI heroes.
In terms of gameplay Buff means a positive status effect and the act of applying one on a Hero. Buffs usually make the hero deal more damage or take less damage through various means. The opposite of 'buff' - a negative status effect that weakens a hero - is called 'debuff'.
Buff can also mean developers changing a Hero's Statistics or the function of their abilities and talents in order to make them stronger in terms of overall game balance. The opposite of 'buff' in this case is called 'nerf'.
Bushes are walkable areas on the map, usually indicated with long grass or steam, which prevent you from seeing inside them, unless you enter their area. Units inside bushes can, however, see outside of it, making them good spots for ganks. For this reason, it is recommended to use your abilities to scout bushes or at the very least let your sturdier Heroes to enter them first to minimise casualities.
Bullying means harassing an opposing Hero in a laning context. The term is usually employed when it is difficult for the bullied Hero to efficiently retaliate. The main goal of bullying is to force an opponent away from their lane so that they miss out on Experience, are unable to protect Structures, or can not regenerate their Health or Mana in a timely manner before fighting over a Map Objective. Zagara is often said to be a good Lane Bully.
Burst damage (also called Nuke) is a massive amount of damage in a short of time, used to kill someone outright. Chromie is an example of a hero with a high burst damage.
A carry is a term describing a Hero or player that largely influences the outcome of the game by either dealing high amounts of damage or by providing decisive utility in form of crowd control or peeling. In its most primitive definition, a carry is a player that contributes majorly to the win of the game for your entire team, and is as such mainly used to describe a Hero with immense damage, as crowd control and peeling are valued only by the more experienced players.
To pursue an enemy Hero as they're running away.
A Choke Point is a narrow passage which makes freely moving difficult for groups of Heroes. They generally force teams to adopt suboptimal formations, making them ideal ambush locations.
Clamping is a property of Point targeted Abilities that causes the Ability to be cast at its maximum range when the Ability is targeted beyond its maximum range. If the Ability does not have Clamping, the Hero will first move into a position, where the Ability can be cast on a targeted point, before casting it. If Clamping would cause the Ability to be cast on an invalid location, e.g. Tyrael's El'Druin's Might cannot be cast on unpathable terrain, it will not be cast.
A Combo (or Ability Chain) is consciously using two or more Abilities in quick succession, often in a synergistic manner.
To Commit is to not retreat. To stay in a fight until the battle is over, or until your Hero is slain.
- Creep is a term often used for Minions and sometimes Monsters and Mercenaries.
- Can also refer to Zagara's purple goo created from her trait "Creep Tumor".
A Dive or Diving is to pursue a specific target (often a squishy Support or Assassin) into a highly dangerous area, typically behind the enemies Tanks or even Forts. It is a high risk, high reward maneuver.
Feeding is dying repeatedly to the other team, thereby assisting them. A player who does this is a feeder.
Feeders do not necessarily assist the enemy team intentionally. Players who are new to the game and thereby lack experience tend to die more often and more easily to skilled players. Feeding is also a vicious circle. Every time a feeder dies, the enemy team gets stronger and is thereby even harder to defeat next time.
Besides non-intentional feeders, there are also Griefers. Griefers are intentional feeders who die on purpose in order to actively feed the enemy team. They either do it in order to speed up the game's process if they do not see any chance to win anymore, or simply to ruin other player's games. Griefers usually lead their team to defeat, as the enemy team will be given a hefty advantage, and this behavior is reportable.
To Flank (or Flanking) is to try to bypass the enemy frontline and go directly to the enemy backline by going from an alternative route, mainly from behind. This strategy is useful for assassins, bruisers and divers, because they don't have enough tankyness to survive a barrage of CCs and direct damage, thus, trying to get past the frontline can mean death for them.
Dehaka and Zeratul are great heroes to use to explain flanking. Both heroes don't want to run straight towards their opponent; their goal is to use bushes and corners to get as close as possible to them without being seen. The moment they engage, their team will also engage. However, if your opponent reacts correctly or has a hard disengage hero, flanking can become a problem for your team. A Tassadar with Force Wall or Falstad with Mighty Gust can separate your teammates from each other. Your opponent can then use this to his advantage and turn the fight in their favor.
Focus (or Targeting) involves choosing the right target for your abilities. This means effectively healing/damaging and protecting targets that will most likely result in a won teamfight. You can usually work out who you should be focusing before the fight begins, but you should react to how the game is going.
Focus fire is concentrating the damage output of several Heroes upon a determinate target in order to quickly destroy it.
Ganking is moving around the battlefield with the specific intent of taking down one or more opposing Heroes. Generally seeks to exploit a numeric advantage or an element of surprise. If someone calls out for a Gank, it means they want someone to come in behind their enemies and kill them. Ganking, is a twist on the idea of Flanking. Having a third person come in from behind their enemies will trap them in a pincer maneuver hopefully allowing you to kill them quickly. Heroes with Crowd control, burst, Stealth, or mobility are often good Gankers.
An ability or spell that shortens the distance between the Hero and the enemy.
An ability that can be cast anywhere or almost anywhere on the map, often allowing Heroes quickly travel long distance.
Grand Masters are the highest scoring players of Storm League in their region. Grand Masters' portrait border and badge display the player's position in the leaderboards, updating daily to reflect the top 100 Master players, who have completed the Seasonal Questline. If you run into a player who is ranked #1 in the Grand Master tier, that is the best player in your region, so you better step up your game!
A Hybrid is an unofficial dual role and a middle ground for classes. Instead of committing into a pure one sided build, a hero can instead be a combination of two such as an assassin/warrior (also called Bruiser), an assassin/healer or an tank/healer. Tyrande can build into a support who secures kills, Tyrael can be secondary support tank and Kharazim go into a Hybrid DPS and Support Build.
An initiator is a hero you want to use to begin team fights, usually due to a high health pool or CC abilities. Not having an initiator can make it hard to set up kills and punish enemies for their mistakes.
The Jungle refers to the area of the map that surrounds the lanes. There are usually lot of bushes and the pathways are curving and seldom straigh, lowering the visibility. If someone says they are going Jungling or Roaming, it means they plan to kill the Heroes or Mercs in the jungle. Zeratul, Nova, Samuro and Valeera are heroes often roaming between lanes.
One large difference in Heroes of the Storm to other MOBAs is that it doesn't have a dedicated Jungle in the sense that you have one hero dedicated to being in it all of the time, and then ganking lanes in between Jungle routes. Instead, Heroes of the Storm has some battlegrounds where you'll want to spend some time in the Jungle, but once you defeat a mercenary camp you can actually capture it, sending that camp to push a nearby lane. Some maps have a more dedicated Jungler depending on how many of these camps there are.
Kiting means retreating from pursuing enemy Heros while attacking in such a way that they are unable to effectively retaliate. Generally performed by ranged Heroes, particularly those with access to movement reduction effects, against melee Heroes.
Macro (short for "macromanagement") refers your ability to manipulate the battleground in your favour. This can mean, for example, timing Mercenary captures or manipulating Minion waves in such way that they continue to push Structures, during another point of interest, like Objectives. Heroes that rely on good macromanagement include Abathur, Azmodan and the Lost Vikings. Micro (or “micro-management”) refers your skill or capacity to control your Hero well on a small-scale level.
Successfully macromanaging means:
A mage is a ranged hero whose damage depends almost exclusively upon abilities. Their auto-attack is usually weak and they tend to be very dependent on mana. They often deal large amounts of AoE damage.
Micro (short for "micromanagement") refers to the level of granular and specific control a user has over their Hero and other units in their control. Macro (or “macro-management”) refers to a more global aspect of the game.
Successfully micromanaging means:
MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) - Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) is a game genre that included League of Legends, Dota and arguably Heroes of the Storm (genre of which is officially called a hero brawler). It's also known as 'action real-time strategy.' Unlike traditional RTS games, MOBAs don't include unit construction and you control a single character at once.
Mobile Heroes (or Heroes with mobility) are able to reposition themself to a different location faster than other Heroes. Some Heroes (like Lúcio) can increase their Movement Speed, others like Genji can use movement abilities, such as dashes and teleports, to quickly move to a different location.
Some Heroes are called High-Mobility Heroes due to having multiple abilitites that grant mobility and are able to reposition themselves very quickly and often.
The term Mobility Creep is used to describe the process in which newer Heroes being given more and more mobility.
In Heroes of the Storm, a nerf is a change to a Hero that reduces the power of his damage, his abilities, his health or other Statistics in order to maintain game balance. The term is also used as a verb for the act of making such a change. The opposite of nerf is buff (in one of that term's two usages).
Overextending is a highly detrimental behaviour, where a given Player is positioned out of the effective support range of other teammates, making them easy to take down by the enemy. It is often exhibited by new players, as they are often way too aggressive when it comes to engaging enemy players. Going too far into enemy territory to chase down weak opponents, recklessly diving into the middle of groups or not waiting for your team to arrive are examples of overextending mistakes, and each can result in quick deaths and even quicker losses.
To Peel or peeling is shorthand for "protect your allies" and means to keep an enemy off of your allies. When the enemy team dives into yours to try killing your Support, peeling would mean using some form of CC, like Stuns or Slows, or body blocking to force the enemy away from the ally.
Placement matches are a formality to display your rank when you first start Ranked Play and at the start of each new season. Placement matches used to have much more distinct functionality, but at the moment they are not any different from regular matches, except that your rank is momentarily hidden.
Note that players in placement matches can only queue together with other party members, who are also in their placement matches.
To Poke (or Poking) is using a long ranged ability to do damage to an enemy. Mostly happens before a team fight, you can often see Heroes with long ranged abilities poking the enemy, like Chromie or Li Ming.
Power Spike refers to talents, talent tiers or quests that significantly boost a Hero's power level. Almost all Heroes receive a significant power spike at level 10, as they unlock their Heroic Abilites.
As you gain familiarity with the Heroes, you'll learn the differences in when these spikes occur. For example, Nazeebo receives a spike at level 20 (Vile Infection), whereas Ragnaros gets a spike at level 16 (Giant Scorcher). Kel'Thuzad, on the other hand, becomes much more threatening after completing his baseline quest "Master of the Cold Dark".
Learning when each of the characters see their spikes, will in turn help you gain confidence in making the most appropriate decision depending on how the battle is unfolding.
Player versus environment, or PvE, is a term used to refer to fighting computer-controlled enemies — in contrast to PvP (player versus player).
Escape From Braxis is the first Heroes of the Storm PvE Brawl without any PvP content.
Roaming is continually traveling between lanes in order to catch players that are isolated, low on resources, or otherwise positioned in such a way that they are easy to take down. Zeratul, Nova, Samuro and Valeera are heroes often roaming between lanes.
Using your abilities or Hero to gain information on enemy whereabouts and movements or to secure an area, like a bush.
Season is on average a three month long period, during which players compete for glory and rewards in Ranked Play.
At the start of a season, players are faced with a formality of completing three Placement Matches to display their Rank. Players will then have a Seasonal Questline to complete, which requires winning certain amount of matches in Storm League to gain end of season rewards. The rewards include Loot Chests, a unique seasonal Mount and a seasonal Rank Portrait based on the highest league achieved that season. Completing the Seasonal Questline is also a requirement from being eligible for Grand Master leaderboards.
After the season finishes, leaderboards are reset and players will continue to the Placement Matches from their current Rank at the end of the season.
Self-sustain is a given Hero's aptitude to reliably refill their own Health pool over a short period of time.
Focusing on damaging structures from safe distance as a team without commiting to a fight with defending Heroes. Usually done accompanied by Mercenaries, Boss or allied Map objective, like Webweavers.
A Skillshot Ability is a Point targeted ability that fires a projectile from the Hero casting the ability towards a chosen point. A unit is hit by the Ability if their Hitboxes collide. Skillhots usually only hit the first enemy they come in contact with. Skillshots cannot be self-casted, with the exception of Johanna's heroic ability, "Blessed Shield". Due to their projectile-like nature, skillshots are susceptible to miss moving targets.
Split-Pushing involves a single Hero in a pushing on at least one lane while the rest of their team is contesting an Objective or otherwise distracting the opposition. The goal of split pushing is generally to simultaneously threaten two strategic points at once, forcing opponents to make brash decisions. Summoners and Heroes with global Abilities, like Zagara or Abathur, are often good Split-Pusher.
Squishy refers to Heroes that have relatively low Health pool and little damage mitigation options. These Heroes often rely on long range or mobility to keep them safe, and can be taken out quickly once they lose these advantages.
Stomp or Stomping is the act of destroying/owning another Hero or Team.
A pubstomper refers to a Hero that is quite good against uncoordinated, less skilled players (ie: in Quick Match), but a even halfway decently organized/smart group will shut them down. The Butcher is often called a Pubstomper.
Stutter-stepping (also known as "orb walking") is a technique that involves rapidly moving during the short time window between consecutive Basic Attacks. Typically done to maximise Basic Attack and movement uptime by eliminating inactivity. This also makes enemy skillshots harder to land and can even confuse your enemy. Stutter-stepping is an important (often overlooked) factor in all MOBA games and Heroes of the Storm is no exception.
A Summoner is a Hero whose damage and battleground presence depends largely on their summons. Summons are useful for dealing damage from a safer distance, blocking skillshots, scouting and tanking Minion, Mercenary and Structure attacks.
Sustain is a heroes ability to heal themselves without relying on Regeneration Globes, healers, the Hall of Storms, or a Healing Fountain. Having a good sustain allows you to stay in a lane for a long time. Thrall, Dehaka and Raynor have good sustain.
Trading is a broad concept involving the forceful exchange of one thing for another. Two Heroes damaging eachother, two team destroying eachother's Structures, or Heroic Abilities being used by both sides are all examples of trades.
Unaccompanied Minions can quickly overwhelm Structures, and Heroes with strong push potential can further put pressure to the enemy team. Teams that lack proper wave clear, or ignore the threat that Minions present, may quickly find themselves overwhelmed during late game.
Taking out the whole team in a fight.
Zoning or Area Denial means preventing an opposing Hero from performing certain activities in a given area through highly aggresive behaviour.
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