New Game Diaries: Heroes of the Storm

VI- Uther: The Good Old Man


I´ve been a D&D (Dehydrated Dancers) player for many years, I think I started playing around the age of 13. Since I discovered that geeky, imaginative world, I´ve been extremely attracted to  it. For the uninitiated, D&D is a role-playing game in which a group of people, probably tired of receiving so many party invitations, come together to create different characters. These alter egos seek to venture into a story run by another player who plays the role of Narrator, Game Master and Bloodthirsty Despot. The game has a gigantic list of very detailed, important and interesting rules to understand. However, the main point of interest is the character development and the multiple fights against an infinity of creatures that exist in the game world. I think the fight dynamics are one of the most attractive aspects for future Dungeons and Dragons devotees. During my personal experience in D&D groups, I´ve always noticed a strong rejection against healer. Which makes sense, most players expect to make spectacular moves, achieve the most risky kills or handle the most colorful spells. Being the Nanny of the group, although totally necessary, doesn´t help your sex appeal as the other roles.

Well, before playing any MOBA (Manly Owls Bowling Alley) I assumed that healers would be victims of the same rejection in that type of games. It seems like I was kind of right.

In the specific case of HOTS (Having Offensive Thoughts Suddenly), the healer role is fulfilled by the Support heroes. However, Blizzard understanding this Nanny trauma, created a certain variety for Support characters allowing them to be something more than healers. HOTS’ Support can, for example, control the battlefield (Tassadar, Stukov, Malfurion), generate soaring amounts of damage (Tyrande, Tassadar), or have a constant presence on the battlefield due to their movement skills (Lucio, Kharazim). Within this great range of healers present in the game, some of them did fell in the Nanny category (Morales, Brightwing and Uther).  

Being a big fan of Hearthstone and Gentle Characters, I decided to venture and learn how to play as Uther. Also, my particular attachment to this smiling old man comes  from a character I created for one of our D&D adventures. Tholl was a venerable Dwarf Shaman, cheerful and father figure for the party.

As a HOTS hero, good old Uther has a certain variety of talents, suitable for different situations in each game. But, from my point of view, whatever the build is, Uther is above all a courageous Nurse willing to get hit to help his team if necessary. After many games, the great majority being victories (Uther is my top win rate character for now) I think I understand his flaws and advantages quite well.

Imagine hiking with a fairly old man with good attitude. He´s a nice companion and will usually have something to contribute and/or teach you. Well, Uther works very similar to this imaginary old man. Most of his abilities have very manageable cooldowns that will keep his teammates happy and healed. Every time the party journeys through the lanes, looking to control them or confront the enemy, they will feel much safer and stable with the Paladin’s presence. Full of wisdom, Uther knows that it is possible to use what heals friends as a weapon against enemies. Or, remembering our analogy, the good old man is only nice to people he likes. He will flood with exasperation those that he dislikes. This attitude isn´t really dangerous, but it´s extremely annoying …. As our fictitious old man, Uther has a certain weakness as far as his stamina is concerned. This translates into HOTS with a constant thirst for mana after any prolonged walk through the lanes.

Uther doesn´t have a lot of moments to shine and, when he does, I believe only advanced players really appreciate them. Do not expect glory, highlights or constant flattery as an Uther player. Heroes like the old man go unnoticed but, after playing with one on your team, you will feel his absence…. Believe me….

Let’s go back to our hiking analogy to understand this idea. Perhaps, the good old man is not so talkative and he´s likely to go slower than the younger lads. He will probably stay at the end of the line appreciating things only he can see (I’m not saying he has some kind of mental disorder … but maybe…) or taking his time due to his limited stamina. He will talk a couple of times and it will surely be something that the rest of the group will remember (in a positive or negative way).

A week later another hike takes place. This time, the Pensioner has a hip problem, the group will notice his absence. There is no longer someone at the end of the line enjoying the view, there is no story teller that entertains them. Or, in a negative case, there is no one slowing them, there is no senseless complaints and very old lame jokes.

You can also imagine Uther´s as a friendly store owner. The type of owner that has always been very nice to you and gives you free stuffs from time to time. If anyone needs him, Uther will be ready to heal them. If he can´t, I assure you, he will try to do something else to help you with a smile on his face.

Don’t you worry, Uther is old, but  he doesn´t suffer from incontinence, memory loss or senility yet. Maybe with him you will understand, as I did, that being the Nanny is not a bad thing.


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