Basic Attack

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Basic Attacks (also called AA - Auto Attack) are the attacks that a hero, minion, mercenary, monster, or structure will perform automatically if they are capable of hitting the target. Players can cause their heroes to perform a basic attack by pressing the Right Mouse Button on a target. All Basic Attacks deal Physical Damage almost exclusively except in some circumstances. Floating damage text will display the damage dealt by physical attacks as orange numbers above the target's head. Physical Armor reduces the damage dealt by Basic Attacks, Blinded heroes miss their Basic Attacks for a set period of time, and heroes with Evasion cannot be hit by basic attacks.

Some Heroes are designed around their ability to do damage through Basic Attacks so have higher base damage or attack speeds. Heroes like Raynor or Sgt Hammer utilize their basic attacks for the majority of their damage, and heroes like Illidan or the Butcher require their basic attacks to survive due to their heavy reliance on attack lifesteal. Other Heroes (typically mages or supports) do very little auto attack damage because their kit may provide utility elsewhere, or their damage might simply be based on their abilities instead.

Attack Damage[edit | edit source]

The damage statistic determines the damage a unit does when they attack an enemy with their basic attack. All heroes start with a base attack damage value that increases with Scaling, and certain abilities or talents (such as Follow Through) can also increase attack damage under certain circumstances. A couple heroes such as Li-Ming, Kel'thuzad, and Kael'thas can make their basic attacks deal ability damage instead through certain talent selections.

Attack Speed[edit | edit source]

Main article: Attack Speed

Attack speed is the rate at which a unit can use their basic attack. Attack speed is measured in attack per second, so higher attack speed values mean more attacks per second and lower attack speed values mean the opposite. The combination of attack speed and attack damage multiply together to show a heroes' damage per second (dps), and many heroes utilize having a high dps to kill their enemies. Some talents and abilities can increase attack speed, while other talents like Imposing Presence can greatly reduce attack speed.

Stutter-stepping is a technique that involves rapidly moving between each attack to maximize damage and mobility, and is heavily reliant on the attack speed of the hero. It is a vital mechanic for many heroes, but some heroes with really high basic attack speed have no time between attacks to move, so their only choice is to stop attacking and reposition. This is an issue for heroes like Zarya or Tychus, but is a non-issue for heroes who can attack and move like Tracer Lucio or D.Va, or heroes with a really slow attack speed like Leoric.

Attack Range[edit | edit source]

Main article: Range

Each unit has a certain range that targets must be within to hit, and is judged from the edge of the unit's hitbox to the edge of the target's hitbox. If a hero wishes to attack someone outside of their range they will move closer to hit them. The attack range of a hero also determines whether they are melee or ranged, with ranged heroes having longer range but generally utilizing projectiles, and melee heroes having short range but their hits landing instantly.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Blizzard tried multiple times (with Probius and Junkrat) to create a Hero without Basic Attacks:

We've tried doing Heroes with no BA a couple of times now, and it always ends up feeling awkward. You can't kill Scouting Drones, Blackheart's treasure chests become exceptionally difficult to open... But most importantly, it feels bad when you need to do that last little bit of damage (ex: Minion with a sliver of HP) to something and have to waste an ability CD/resource to do it. This holds true even for Heroes with relatively short CDs and few or no resource constraints.
For Junkrat, we stuck with the Melee BA for a while, but the rate at which we had to let him spam his Q in order for that to feel OK made him exhausting to play against - Grenade dodging fatigue was a real thing when he could shoot them almost constantly. His Q being so spammy also took away most of the decision making from using it. Increasing the CD on Q charges and filling the gap with a Ranged BA made him more engaging to play both as and against.[1]

References[edit | edit source]