Our second topic will be experience and other advantages gained from destroying structures.
Why are structures important?
The ultimate goal and the only win condition in a normal HotS game is to destroy the opposing team’s core. The core, however, is protected until at least one lane’s Fort and Keep have been destroyed (on Towers of Doom different mechanics are in play).Every structure has what I like to call ‘’ hidden value ‘’ – something you won’t see on the xp tables, keep reading to understand what the different structures can provide for your team.
1. Fort towers
Worth 125 xp each — it’s a really small number, and it’s a fixed one. You can get the amount same xp for collecting a couple of experience globes from minions. The hidden value when it comes to towers is that they help you defend against camps, objectives and dives from enemy heroes because of their considerable damage and range. Very common technique used in all levels of play is to pull the minion wave to your towers while holding aggro with your hero – that results in towers helping you to clear, while you tank the damage for them.
We can see minions are hitting the hero, while tower is shooting at them. In this example I’m choosing to use only one of the towers as help – there is a specific reason for this and I will go more in depth about wave management, freezing lanes and how to win through good macro fundamentals in the third part of this series.
2. Keep towers
Worth 400 xp each – still a small number, considering a minion wave at the start of the game is worth more. Keep towers do more damage than fort towers, which makes sense from a design perspective – they will be helping you to defend during the later stages of the game, so scaling is taken under account.
3. Forts and Keeps
They don’t give a fixed amount of xp when destroyed, but instead they provide a stacking 20% passive xp bonus as mentioned in our first article. When a team destroys a Fort or a Keep , they start gaining a catapult in every 3rd minion wave – this usually results in a lot of pressure in that lane, because if the catapults are not cleared they do considerable amount of splash damage to minion waves.
There is a lot of ‘’hidden’’ value when it comes to destroying a fort or a keep. Casters often say it ‘’opens the map ‘’ — that’s because forts have true sight (which reveals enemy invisible heroes), they also do considerable damage via their shots and apply a 40% attack and move speed debuff which makes it extremely hard to dive under them, unless heroes like Sylvanas, Anub’Arak, Chromie (there are many more examples) who practically ‘’ disable ‘’ forts in different ways. On some maps, notably Infernal Shrines and Volskaya Foundry, if you don’t have a fort on the lane where objective has spawned it’s extremely hard to contest it, because you are vulnerable to flanks and being chased if you end up on the bad side of a fight – not having a fort also means no place to retreat to. Losing a keep is a lot worse – it means if you ever lose a late game team fight badly your opponents have the option to end the game before you even have the chance to respawn and defend.
4. Gates, walls and healing fountains
They don’t give xp when destroyed but they provide a lot of utility for the enemy team – direct (fountains) and hidden (gates and walls).
Healing fountains (also known as wells) provide a very important buff when used – they cause the hero to regenerate 40% of their maximum health and 30% of their maximum mana over a period of 20 seconds. Once a player ‘’taps’’ the well, it can’t be used by the same player for the next 120 seconds. Sometimes a player being able to drink from the fountain and an enemy not being able to, because they already did, can decide the outcome of a team fight and even the game itself.
Gates block enemy vision (only if enemies are in front of the gate, and not behind it) and prevent enemy movement. This makes it possible to safely soak xp while behind them and out of enemy vision. Gates are usually the first structure that gets destroyed, because most of the time minions end up hitting them.
Walls have interesting interactions with some hero abilities and also provide vision in a small radius. Minions don’t attack walls, which sometimes results in gate, towers, fountain and fort getting destroyed, but walls surviving until the end of the game.
If you can destroy a fort during the early game, that might give you very significant advantage over your opponents. Most first objectives don’t secure a full fort, so don’t be disappointed if you only get gate, towers and well.
6. Common mistakes that you should avoid – some of this advice will singlehandedly win you games that you previously would’ve lost.
A very costly mistake that often happens in uncoordinated games is ‘’ staying to destroy one last tower ‘’ – some members of the team believe that a tower or two can be destroyed for free, others have no mana or health because of the fight that just ended, or they used all of it to win the objective, so they are hearthstoning. If there are enough enemies alive and they understand the situation – a fight is forced and the 125 or 400 xp that was gained can’t make up for the casualties that our team suffers. The risk/reward ratio of trying to destroy a tower is very bad. You can gain a small amount of xp, but you can throw away the lead that you gained just as easily. I would suggest making sure your team is on the same page by typing something like ‘’ destroy gate and towers, then back ‘’ in team chat or using ‘’ retreat ‘’ pings once you see something could go wrong.
Another mistake some players make is sacrificing themselves to finish off a fort or a keep solo, especially late game when death timers are longer and experience for kills is significant. Usually there is a way to impact the wave on that lane to force enemies to defend or lose the structure. That results in your team seeing the enemy hero that is defending on the minimap and having the option to gain advantages elsewhere in a 5v4 situation. Eventually if they always have to be reactive you will find an opening or if they don’t react – they will lose the building without you having to die in order to destroy it.
I would like to mention that the ‘’ sacrificing ‘’ mistake is connected to another very common one – not focusing forts while pushing with objective. It often happens that players focus all of their damage on heroes instead of focusing the structures. One of my favorite concepts is ‘’ unhealable damage ‘’ – it exists in many moba games. The only hero left In HotS that is able to heal structures is Abathur with his ‘’Mule’’ talent. Usually the damage you do to structures can’t be healed, but the damage you do to heroes – can and will be, unless they die. So if for example during a push you do 3999 damage to a hero with 4000 health, he/she didn’t die and zoning him away or forcing a back doesn’t help you kill the fort – then you made a huge mistake. As long as enemy heroes are not threatening you or blocking you from doing damage to the buildings, it’s often best to ignore them and just stay out of their range.
— Sasho Andreev — player of «Sharks» and captain «Hype Pew Pew» (Heroes Lounge: Division 1).
P.S. If you are interested in coaching , you can contact me on discord, first hour is free. Good luck on the battlefield!