Gold is an in-game currency granted to players of Blizzard's MOBA Heroes of the Storm (HotS). It is attainable in a number of ways, but most of the gold generated will be through repeatable daily quests. There are other ways to gain gold, such as by simply playing games. Gold is used by players to unlock various things, like heroes, skins, and mounts. Many of these things can be purchased by real money, but not all of them. It is important for players to obtain gold quickly, as it allows them to enter the high level ranked mode, Hero League, which requires at least 10 heroes to enter.
One-Time Gold Gain
On each HotS account, players can earn gold from various one-time sources. It is recommended that players do these as soon as possible to get large amount of gold on a brand new account. Quickly earning gold allows players to unlock more heroes, allowing for easier daily quests completions and hero level gold rewards to recoup their investments. The following list contains all one-time gold gain sources.
- Account Based (17,000g)
- Tutorial (1,000g)
- Account Level 2, 4 (2 x 1,000g = 2,000g)
- Account Level 8, 10, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 (7 x 2,000g = 14,000g)
- Hero Level Based (4,250g per hero)
- Hero Level 5 (500g)
- Hero Level 9 (750g)
- Hero Level 15 (1,000g)
- Hero Level 20 (2,000g)
Until account level 40, it is quite easy to make a large sum of gold. The bulk of a newer player's account will come from these sources. A player will naturally level their account through playing, and have access to many weekly free-to-play heroes which will provide the Hero Level 5 bonus. However, the amount of time it takes to raise a hero to levels 9, 15, and 20 are much more time consuming, and are generally not recommended.
Repeatable Gold Gain
Repeatable gold gain is gold which can be earned multiple times. Players can start earning this gold from the moment they open their account. They vary in effectiveness, but this will be discussed later. Generally, daily quests and seasonal events will make up the majority of gold a player earns after reaching level 40.
Match Based Gold
- Versus A.I. Win (10g)
- Quick Match or Hero League win (30g)
- Quick Match of Hero League loss (20g)
Match based is the worst form of gold gain in HotS by far. It is possible to complete a versus A.I. game in about 10 minutes, resulting in 60g per hour. Quick match and Hero League matches are a bit better: the average length of one of these matches is roughly 22 minutes, resulting in about 68g per hour, assuming no queue time, loading time, and a 50% win rate. Overall, match based gold gain is not very impressive.
- Play 2 Games as a (Diablo/Starcraft/Warcraft) Hero (200g)
- Play 3 Games as an (Assassin/Specialist/Support/Warrior) Hero (300g)
- Win 3 Games (600g)
- Play 8 Games (800g)
Daily quest gold is the primary source of gold generation for a level 40 player. One quest is given daily, and is randomly selected from the 9 possible quests listed above. These will provide, on average, 355g per day. Due to the random nature of daily quests, it is not possible to predict which quest you will get on any given day. Each daily quest can award 200-800g depending on which quest it is. A player can store up to three daily quests at one time, and cannot receive the same quest again. Daily quests can be done in versus A.I. for a quick completion. However, there is a way to turn the odds in your favor, which will be explained in the daily quest optimization methods section.
- Daily Seasonal Event (100g)
Seasonal events are special events which occur at various times throughout the year. So far, these events reward up to a maximum of 100g per day and are similar to daily quests, but will always re-appear every day during the event. They can be completed only once every day. Some examples of seasonal events include killing a treasure goblin, or catching a lunar festival monkey. These events often have a random chance of appearing. It is possible to do these in versus A.I. matches, and to instantly leave the game and try again if the event doesn't appear. It is advised to check the Blizzard website or news page for more information about current and upcoming seasonal events.
Daily Quest Optimization Methods
Now that we have a clear understanding of how to generate gold for ourselves, it's time discuss how we can game the system to optimize our earnings. There are two methods to optimize your gold gain. You should follow the system which best matches your intentions. This is done by careful manipulation of the quest log and its rules. However, should these methods prevent you from enjoying the game, it is highly advised to simply play for fun and disregard any attempts to optimize.
Max Gold in Minimum Real Time
This method will discuss how to gain the maximum amount of gold in the minimum amount of real life time. Due to the nature of the daily quest system, you cannot receive two of the same quest. Also, a player can hold up to three quests at the same time. Average gold generated per day is roughly 355g, however, we can increase this number by smart usage of the daily quest system. By leaving low reward quests (200g) in our quest log and not completing them, we can reduce the chance of receiving a low gold quest from 3/9 (33.3%) to 1/7 (14.3%). By doing this, we also increases our chances of getting the 800g and 600g daily quests to 1/7 rather than 1/9. By following this method, we can generate an average of 400g per day per daily quest, an increase of 45g per day. The downsides of this method, is that we are limiting ourselves to only play one franchise, Starcraft, Diablo, or Warcraft, since the only 200g quests are franchise hero quests. It is recommended to leave the Starcraft and Diablo quests in your log, as these have the lowest count of heroes available. Therefore, the majority of your quests will be done using Warcraft heroes. After dailies are completed, the player should continue playing quick match games to obtain match based gold, and level heroes to at least level 5.
Max Gold in Minimum Game Time
This method will explain how to gain the maximum amount of gold in the minimum amount of in-game time. Rather than trying to maximize the gold per day, in this method we are trying to maximize the gold per hour ratio. Because we can store up to three daily quests at a time, it is possible to be in a situation where you can progress on multiple quests simultaneously within a single match. For example, a player with the quests "Play 2 games as a specialist (200g)," "Play 3 games as a Warcraft hero (300g)," and "Win 3 games (600g)," can complete all three quests by playing versus A.I. as Sylvanas, a Warcraft Specialist. This will take at most, 30 minutes, resulting in the following equation: daily quest gold (600g + 300g + 200g = 1,100g) + match win gold (30g) = 1,130g. With an average A.I. match taking 10 minutes, this comes to 2,260g per hour. Of course, this is an ideal scenario, and will not always workout like this due to the random nature of daily quests. There are a couple downsides with this method. First, it has a large reliance on random chance for which quests will appear. It also requires that the player has access to many heroes, to ensure that they have the necessary combination of franchise and character class. The biggest issue with this method is that the player should only complete quests every 3 days, often preventing them from playing a single match during the interval.
General Gold Making Tips
While the bulk of your gold generation will come from account leveling, character leveling, and dailies, there are a few other things you can do to help boost your earnings a bit. Generally, these are mentioned in the previous optimization section, but they can actually be applied in addition to the above mentioned methods.
Level as many heroes as you can to level 5. Remember, level 5 grants 500g per hero. Free-to-play heroes will rotate every week, giving you access to a couple more one-time gold sources every week. As of March 2016, there are 49 heroes, resulting in a potential 24,500g for leveling them all to 5. Don't worry about level 9, 15, or 20, as those take an absurd amount of time to reach and it's generally not worth it. But just for completion sake, leveling all 49 heroes to level 20 will net you a grand total of 208,250g.
Play with friends to receive +50% experience. Experience points are used to level heroes and your account level. Playing with people on your friends list, or asking in general chat to form a party, will lower the amount of time needed to level both your player account and your individual heroes. Combine this with free-to-play heroes and hero-level one time rewards.
Play versus beginner A.I. to quickly finish quests if you are short on time. These matches can be completed extremely quickly, between 6 to 11 minutes depending on the map and character choice. Do this if you are short on time, or do not want to play the required heroes against players. You can also complete seasonal events during these matches. If the event doesn't appear, quickly leave the match and queue for another.
Try to win every time you play. This is probably really obvious, but a single win is worth 30g, while a loss is worth only 20g. There is also an additional experience reward for winning a game. Always try to win your games (unless you are certain mounting a comeback will increase the game length by 50%, but these chances are very slim).
Do NOT purchase a stim pack for unlocking heroes unless you plan on playing a lot of matches consistently. Stim packs increase your experience gain by 100%, and gold gain by an additional 150%. However, for these calculations, we are only looking at gold. A win against players with a stim pack is now worth 75g, and a loss is worth 50g. Average gold per match with a 50% win rate results in 62.5g per game. To unlock a 10,000g ($9.99) hero, you would need to play 160 games to break even, or 240 games to unlock a 15,000g ($9.99) hero. This equates to 5.33 games or 8 games, or 2 to 3 hours per day respectively over a 30-day period just to break even. However, if you can play more than the required games, a stim pack does become more efficient than just buying a hero with cash, without even considering the experience point benefit.
Now armed with a better understanding of gold in Heroes of the Storm, you should be able to develop a plan to increase your gold earnings. With only daily quest completion, it takes roughly 28 days of dailies to unlock a 10,000g hero. In order to play Hero League, a player must own at least 10 heroes. But remember, that many heroes are cheaper than 10,000g: many cost 2,000g, 4,000g, or 7,000g. Always try to build a balanced team composition and learn to fill all roles when you decide to enter the fray. Good luck, and see you on the Nexus!