Battleground Breakdown: Hanamura Temple Update
With the update to Hanamura Temple just now hitting the Nexus, we wanted to shine some light on why the Battleground design team decided to make the specific changes you’ve seen on the Public Test Realm and in the Battleground Spotlight video. Read on for a detailed breakdown of these changes and the designer’s thoughts and goals behind it:
Getting to the Core of the Battleground
One of the first things we really wanted to address on Hanamura was the core interaction. Simply put, attacking a Core feels good. Being able to get in to the enemy’s base and really finish the job is something that was sorely missing from the previous version of Hanamura. So, our priority was to open the Core area up to direct threats. This also helps to ensure that a team always has an idea of what they should (or at least could) be doing. Previously, if there were no payloads or mercenaries up, players kind of just stood around soaking and looking pretty. Now you always know that there’s something you could be doing to progress towards victory.
Taking a (Pay)load Off
With the cores opened, the next thing on our list was the payloads themselves. We really liked the payloads - escorting a moving point of conflict is a tried and true mechanic that has proven fun for decades across a plethora of games and game styles. That said, four at a time proved to be too much. With each team having up to two active at any time, our thought process was that there would be interesting and conflicting decisions to be made. Do we escort and protect ours, or do we try to prevent theirs? Which one do we protect? Which one do we attack? Our goal of having lots of interesting choices ended up either overloading players with decisions or causing players to fixate on only one aspect of the objective. Too often we’d see teams that just focused solely on escorting and trying to get their payload delivered faster, turning the game into a race rather than a battle. Or we saw people just sit on the enemy’s payloads and spend the whole game playing denial. Coupled with the cores being un-damageable, this put the defending team into a space where they felt like there was literally nothing they could do to progress towards victory.
We arrived at the conclusion that a single payload is sufficient for our goals here. It spawns in the dead center of the map, and both teams must fight over control and ownership of the payload. Additionally, the paths that the payload travels are team specific. The first payload you see on the Battleground will travel a relatively safe path in the center of the map, then head north or south to its destination. The path for your second payload is a bit more treacherous, taking you into enemy territory to score the capture. The third path is also dangerous and a bit longer to boot. This is akin to the mechanics we see on Tomb or Blackhearts, where each successive capture of the mechanic is slightly more difficult than the last. This should help teams defend, as well as give people a fighting chance if they are behind. Finally, once a payload is captured, it acts similar to Blackheart’s where it will attack structures in order of highest health with the Core as its final target.
Setting our Sights on Siege and Recon Mercenary Camps
Once we'd addressed the Cores and the payloads, we felt the Battleground needed something new and interesting. Enter the recon camps. These are a new Mercenary type, unlike anything we’ve done before. These Mercenaries do NOT travel down the lane. Instead, upon capturing the camp, they will spawn and act as area defenders working for your team. The camp itself acts as a watchtower, giving you extremely valuable vision and knowledge about what’s happening in the center of the map. We’ve found that these camps are hotly contested and generate a lot of conflict on the map. Don’t forget, they also award XP! Fighting for control and defending your camps is definitely worth your while!
We’ve also added some turret camps to the Battleground, along with a twist to the classic siege camp, which is now a single swordsman who will travel down the lane and fight for you. These powerful mercenaries can do some real damage to a lane if left uncontested, so try to time your capture for right before escorting the payload in the opposite direction. This can force your enemy to either split, giving you big time payload value, or to ignore the Swordsman and risk significant damage to their structures.
We hope you like these changes we’ve made to Hanamura (Temple). We’ll see you escorting Payloads in the Nexus soon!