BlizzCon 2015 LIVE: Heroes of the Storm: Battlegrounds

Heroes of the Storm

00:48: Question time!

Are we going to get a WoW map as a battleground? Absolutely, it’s just a matter of time. Intention to hit all of their franchises.

Oldschool Alterac Valley as a BG? Take that suggestion and discuss it!

Towers of Doom: There is a teleporter that arrives late into the game, what was thought process behind it? Gives a vehicle to use to contest altars in mid-late game.

Any additional maps that tie into the franchises, Starcraft to tie into LotV? Intend to… (How many questions are we going to have on the same topic?)

Lost Vikings, Abathur, Cho’gall in arena? Cho’gall is so far disabled.

Any major Warcraft characters soon? Khadgar? The hero team has a lot of ideas, doesn’t know when he’ll be coming.

More character interaction than “going to the healing well” or “I’ll fight you after this battle”? Nexus Lords are taunting each other during the battle itself, but they’d love to do it for heroes themselves as well.

Will you be able to do a Latin American theme on the Arenas? Love the suggestion, taking it back to the office!

Completely destructible maps? Really awesome idea where everything can blow up – art and development time would be phenomenal. But if the desire for it is high enough, they will do it.

More supports? (wrong panel buddy) More a question for the heroes team, but he will pass on the message.

00:46: The second map set is the Sky Temple set, with the desert bazaar with similar feelings in art of Sky Temple – there should be a lot of feeling of life within this map. The second map is a lot more jungle-like with a feeling of oases around the place. The final map is a more barren desolate sands where the only life is the spectators in the stands.

00:43: Night time Garden Arena map has a reduced amount of spectators in the stands, and NPCs will be sitting round campfires rounding down the night. It’s overall a lot more alive at night. The third map is an “underground” map that has a cavelike garden with crystals and incandescence littering the map. Stalactites and bats are in the ceiling to give players a claustrophobic feel.

00:38: Arena is best 2 out of 3. Artwise in the day Garden we have a renaissance theme with spectators, fighting pits and jousting competitions. The feel should be tournament grounds at a faire. Spectators in the stands will clap and cheer if you get a kill, multiple kills will bring bigger cheers from the crowd. If you get team wipes, everyone in the stands are jumping up and cheering you on. They even do a Mexican wave, linked to an Easter egg.

00:36: Hero respawn time is only 15 seconds, so deaths are less impactful – feels like an FPS in a MOBA. New Arena Battlegrounds are coming, new mechanics such as capture the flag or payload could come to it!

00:34: Arena mode will condense the main objectives of battlegrounds into a single objective in the middle of the map – Garden of Terror will have a single terror in the middle, for example. In Arena, talents are removed and people only have to pick their heroic. Players are also locked at level 10, so power levels will always be the same. Good for new players!

00:31: Teams are not guaranteed to have a Warrior or Support, but the MM will try to mirror match the archetypes against each other. Sometimes they’ll have a game mode to have 10 of the same hero – how do you build 5 Sgt. Hammers against another 5? 10 Johanna’s didn’t work very well as there wasn’t enough damage going out for over half an hour of Arena. Some heroes are removed from 10x mode. In the standard Arena mode, you can’t have more than 2 warriors or more than 2 supports.

00:28: They first tried with all random mode, where the game picks a hero for them. Players don’t know what they’ll play, but this was a problem. They found out that players need some control, and need room to make choices. Now players will be able to pick an archetype (assassin, warrior, etc) and the game will choose 3 random heroes for you to choose between. You can have multiples of the same hero if the random pickings is lucky enough for you.

00:27: This new game mode is something fun to exist out of QM and ranked. It focuses on fast-paced action around a single objective. It’s something quick and easy to jump into. They aim for more action, short games and creative strategies.

00:24: A short video of the Arena was just shown, and that looks absolutely awesome! Lots of different maps to go on, lots of craziness for different comps (all dem Murky’s!).

00:23: The town structures are all varied among the 6 different towns to give people a sense of which town to go to for objectives. There are two distinct themes going on: the raven and the reaper. A return of the Raven Lord from Cursed Hollow?

00:22: Necromancer towers explode and become part of your team, they had a bit of trouble to define how to show that a destroyed tower was blue or red, so they had a ghost tower form in its place.

00:20: Feedback early on in design was that is was a depressing map to play on. They ended up adding a bit more of a whimsical design into the map itself, so trees and buildings are wonky and whimsical to give it a bit of charm. Trees and Jack-o-lanterns have exaggerated faces on them.

00:17: They wanted the emotion of a dark city, one of the main ways they do this is with the colour – purples, blues, damp colours in general, but the buildings themselves are lit by warm tones. With design, they wanted dark iron, spikes, a real gothic and evil feel. Finally textures are used heavily to try and make a sense of history to an area. They tried to make the iron rusted to make it feel old and full of story.

00:15: I will admit, I’m still a little confused about this concept, I’ll have to see how it plays first! Next they talked about the art in ToD. What makes the art different, the process of creating the world, and concept art and 3D sculptures.

00:13: There is a strong sense of progression when the core goes down to see how you or the other team are doing. Shrines were placed in neutral positions that could be captured to stop the towns from shooting your structures.

00:12: The grave golem boss had to be changed into the Headless Horseman so that he could do different stuff. Upon defeating him he will now unleash a volley of projectiles at the enemy team… And then they added the core back after all of this.

00:09: There was an unfair advantage to the winners of the towns. There are now 3 lanes again with a reintroduction of forts. There were mercs on the BG, but with no core the mercs just went round in circles. Sapper camps replaced siege and knight camps – charge at buildings and explode.

00:07: Merc camps, 2 or 3 lanes, forts and keeps are all parts of maps generally. One question asked was “Do maps need a core?” In ToD there are 5 forts in the BG and NO CORE. The aim of the BG is to destroy the town, and they’d join your side. This was a failed attempt however.

00:05: In Towers of Doom, two Nexus lords are fighting it out. There are towns dotted around that are the main mechanic, with shrines that need to be captured to shoot weapons. With Towers, they wanted to create something different. They ask themselves who the best heroes and comps are for the BG.

00:03: Sky Temple creates a lot of opportunities for skirmishes as it’s a large battleground with isolated and multiple points to contend. Tomb of the Spider Queen on the other hand is small with the objectives between the lanes, so teamfights are more prevalent.

00:01: Their Battleground philosophy is to have a clean design. They want to make sure there’s lots of opportunities for conflict – small skirmishes and big teamfights. There also needs to be finality. There needs to be objectives and rewards from these objectives, such as a pirate to shoot cannonballs.

00:00: For the final panel that I’ll be covering tonight, it’s back over to the Heroes of the Storm for a deeper look at the new battleground we got spoiled with yesterday: Towers of Doom! Maybe some more about the Arena – with the lack of depth going into it for the previous panel on State of the Game, I’m hoping so!

This final panel competes only with eSports for SC2 and WoW (or Heroes, depending on the timing here), so it’ll be my final panel of the evening!

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