Developer Insights: Garden Of Terror
With this episode of Developer Insights, we’re shifting our focus to a brand new battleground called Garden of Terror. Senior Technical Designer Meng Song gives us an overview.
Trikslyr: Garden of Terror is our brand new, 3-lane battleground featuring a day and night sequence. Can you tell us what changes occur when the night sequence begins?
Meng: When night falls, the night horrors will come out in the garden area of the Battleground and all normal mercenary camps will disappear. The minimap displays the location of all the night horrors with purple indicators, similar to the Haunted Mines display of skulls. This should make locating the Night Terrors easier to pinpoint.
Garden of Terror provides us with the opportunity to feature our dynamic lighting. During the night, we turn down the brightness of your hero’s vision, so the map becomes much darker. We recommend players to stay alert and keep your allies close, night is the perfect time for enemies to strike and take advantage of your reduced visibility.
As a side note, the night sequence will not end until all the night horrors are killed. Since the nature of the map changes and the day/night cycle is controlled by the players, it becomes part of the strategy whether to try and keep the map on the night cycle or try and shift it back to daytime.
T: One of the objectives on the map is for each team to grab seeds. This is done by killing the small, but deadly Infested Servants scattered throughout the garden, and the massive plant called the Flowering Shambler. What's the purpose of collecting the seeds?
Meng: After collecting 100 seeds, any player on the team can right click on the Fertile Soil inside their base to summon the almighty Garden Terror. That player will become the Terror and will be free to use the Garden Terror’s power to their advantage. However, use your time wisely, as the summoned Terror has a time limit that will expire.
T: Besides a massive amount of health and power, what kind of cool abilities can players look forward to obtaining once they become the Garden Terror?
Meng: The Garden Terror has two abilities. Plant Horror Overgrowth disables and damages all enemy buildings around the casted area. Be careful, as the Overgrowth can be destroyed by the opposing team. This creates a good risk-reward scenario and opens up gameplay choices. Players can use the ability as bait, place it in areas away from heroes, or just go for the all-in play. Plant Horror Overgrowth will be on top of the priority list for enemies, so players will have to think on their feet with how, where, and when to use such a powerful ability.
If you're sick of the enemy team clumping up and pulling off a wombo-combo on your team, Spore Queen's Curse lets you turn them into slow, weak Plant Zombies! This is an area of effect polymorph ability that can definitely turn the tide of a fight, when used correctly.It’s wise to keep the ability off cooldown, so the ability can be used as a follow up tactic right after an Overgrowth.
T: Are there any Heroes in particular that excel well on Garden of Terror?
Meng: We believe some of the choices below fit well on this unique battleground:
- Heroes that have summons and/or can jungle well such as Gazlowe and Zagara
- Heroes that have good AoE and/or are difficult to ambush like Stitches, Brightwing, and Falstad
- Heroes or talents that allow you to scout, such as Tassadar and Clairvoyance
Trikslyr: We like to end our Designer Insights with a fun anecdote. Mind sharing a terrifying moment that occurred while testing the new battleground?
Meng: There were a few hilarious moments that occurred during the development playtest.
At one time, the Garden Terror was balanced to be so strong that we just couldn't kill it. So you would get these weird moments where each team would summon a Terror, all the other four heroes would be forced to chase the enemy Terror in an attempt to slow it down. The game eventually turned into a base race scenario in which the Terror who could kill the enemy's core faster won.
In another test phase, the Garden Terror's Spore Queen's Curse ability could be casted on the enemy’s Garden Terror. So when two separate Garden Terrors were summoned, it was all about which Terror could cast the ability on the enemy Terror first, and it was pretty hilarious to watch teams beating up on a tiny Garden Terror.
A huge thank you Meng Song and the design team for taking time out of their day to chat with us about Garden of Terror. If you missed any of our previous Developer Insights, check out the list below, and keep an eye on HeroesoftheStorm.com for more news from the Nexus.