Heroes of the Storm/Battlegrounds Panel

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November 7, 2015: Battlegrounds Panel[edit | edit source]

Battlegrounds Panel[edit | edit source]

The Battlegrounds panel for Heroes of the Storm is happening right now, and we're going to recap it live. Check it out below!

Core Goals[edit | edit source]

  • Clean Design
  • Conflicts
  • Finality

Battleground Gameplay[edit | edit source]

  • Complete objectives
  • Get rewarded for those

Layout[edit | edit source]

  • They like to avoid specific Map Rules and layouts.
  • Determine the Map Mechanics first, and then do a design to support that.
  • Sky Temple: the objective already creates that "teamfight" scenario for the developers.
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen: objectives in lanes, split players. The map layout being really small incentivizes the teamfights.
  • Mercenaries: they cause small conflicts in specific places of the map - make them interesting. Cause big impact by pushing lanes.

Towers of Doom[edit | edit source]

  • Battleground where two Nexus Lords are fighting for control - tug of war and area control type of map.
  • They wanted to create something really unique - all previous maps still have 2/3 lanes, mercenaries and a core.
  • Devs asked themselves "do maps really need a core?"
  • First layout of Towers of Doom did not have a Core - there were 5 forts, sort of circular float to it. The towns themselves were the map's mechanics. Whoever owned more towns first would get more points.
  • It was a failed experiment - it was kinda anti-climatic. Intense at first, but with mostly non dramatic endings. Current maps have that epic feeling!
  • They went back to a more standard design - Towers of Doom has unique mercenaries however!
  • Grave Golem - replaced by the Headless Horseman from World of Warcraft. Completely different mechanic - when you cap this mercenary, it shoots volleys of spirit energy towards the enemy bases.
  • Altars - places on neutral positions along the battleground, a hybrid control territory on the map.

The Art of Towers of Doom[edit | edit source]

  • They feel it's kinda boring playing on the same battleground over and over again, so it's all about creating unique and varied gameplay experiences.
  • They wanted it to have the mood of a Dark City. Color is very important for that.
  • Inside the structures they want "warm" colors to make the outside feel cold.
  • Victorian like architecture, lots of dark iron and foreboding structures.
  • Lots of textures in this map (ancient stones, dilapidated wood, rusty stuff). Ancient town feeling.
  • Dark... but not depressing!
  • Bell Towers (of Doom) > Necromancer Tower. When destroyed it will explode but will rebuild belonging to the opposite team.
  • Town Structures - Armory Town / Farm Town / Blacksmith Town. Personality to each town.

Arena Design[edit | edit source]

  • Devs are always trying to find new ways of making the game mode challenging and fun for players.
  • Lots of them were super excited about a fighting arena mode for a while now.
  • Great for players who want something completely different from Quick Match and Hero League.
  • Random hero selection (from a pool of 3 - based on an archetype). Focus on fast-paced action around a single objective.
  • Quick and easy to jump into.
  • They wanted the mode to be even more action packed than the standard Heroes match, and even shorter.
  • They wanted players to be able to form new creative strategies.
  • They tried "all random" at first, but it didn't work. Players need some control and choice.
  • 10x Hero Mode - randomly chosen by the matchmaker; gives everyone the same hero choice.
  • A game with 10 Johannas in internal playtesting took 30~ minutes. That's why they added some rules to their team compositions.
  • Heroes with very little damage cannot be chosen in this 10x mode (Medic, Johanna, Abathur).
  • In other Arena matches, cannot roll more than 2 warriors or more than 2 supports.
  • Players start at level 10 and do not level up. No talents as well, all they choose is the Heroics.
  • Benefits: low learning curve when playing new Heroes (since they are all available). Focus on moment-to-moment action. No falling behind in power.
  • Hero respawn timer is 15 seconds.
  • Behind the scenes they're already adding new Arena battlegrounds, and expanding mechanics. Breaking even more rules.

Art of Arena[edit | edit source]

  • Garden Arena (daylight version) > Tournament grounds, to make it feel like a renaissance fair. Jousting arena with knights fighting each other.
  • Spectators behave differently depending on how much action is happening. In a multi-kill they all cheer for you!
  • Garden Arena (night version) > population winding down, sitting around a campfire.
  • Garden Arena (underground) > glowing plants! Really claustrophobic, not man-made like the Haunted Mines.
  • Temple Arenas (bizarre, oasis, desert).

Q&A[edit | edit source]

  • They absolutely want a WoW based battleground. It's just a matter of time and they're aware of what players want.
  • Teleporter in Towers of Doom is meant to give players a quick-travel tool to contest points on the other side of the map. It's meant to fight snowballing.
  • They want to release maps for all franchises (like the Diablo one for Eternal Conflict), they just want to make sure they nail it.
  • They allow Lost Vikings in Arena mode, but are still trying to figure out how to allow Cho'Gall.
  • Is it possible to make completely destructible maps? The idea is awesome, but they don't know if that's feasible. The more feedback they receive on this end, the more likely it is to happen in the future.