- Aug 30, 2018
- Clan Rank
Why are there so many systems for damage multipliers in use, and what are the intended interactions?
Me and /u/zanzure have written multiple posts about this topic, and the current system seems to be very unintuitive
There are also many edge cases which seem to make no sense. There are currently three different variations on % multipliers.
- Differing CEffectDamages (e.g. Hanzo's [[Dragonstrike]])
- MultiplicativeModifierArray (e.g. Alarak's [[Sadism]] and Lightning Surge center bonus)
- AccumulatorArray (e.g. Ming's [[Arcane Orb]], Gul'dan's [[Rampant Hellfire]])
Hey lemindhawk and zanzure, we appreciate your passion and the time you've invested into discussing how damage multipliers work.
In general, our principle for percentage based bonuses is for them to be additive with one another. This allows us to tune them to feel like nice meaty benefit when taken on their own, without getting out of control when stacking several together.
There have been a few instances where the tooltips are not matching the effects in game -- we plan on fixing these soon. Vile Infection, Phoenix, and Lightning Serpent will have their tooltips changed to match their existing functionality (aka, they'll list a separate damage number instead of a percentage bonus). Rampant Hellfire, Dragonstrike, Zei's Vengeance, Arcane Orbit, and Buzzsaw will all see gameplay changes so that their percentage based bonuses stack additively with other percentage based bonuses.
This is an early look at what we're planning on changing, and there's a chance that when we start to fix these bugs that things may change slightly, so don't be alarmed if the course changes slightly. But I wanted to share what we are working on since you've put so much effort into compiling the list of exceptions. Thanks again!
What is the general consensus on Infinite Ammo vs Ammo for turrets. Infinite ammo has put the Solo Lane into a boring, stagnate state that revolves around high-sustain and waveclear with no incentive to push the structures (due to infinite ammo, 250 xp towers, risk of being ganked)?
Thanks for the question ZerglingHOTS!
We’ve been reading a lot of the discussion on the solo lane, and are still talking with each other internally about what the true causes and solutions are for the current state of the solo lane.
Here are some of my thoughts on the current state of the solo lane:
- I agree that there is an issue with there not being enough interaction between some heroes in the solo lane, and that at the highest levels it’s not great that the optimal play is to kill minions and largely ignore the enemy Hero.
- As a side note here, a constant struggle we have as developers is that we want to create a game where offensive play is generally the optimal strategy. It’s important that, most of the time, offensive play is optimal so that the game has exciting moments and is driven towards its inevitable conclusion. However, at the extreme top end of play, pros are actually encouraged to find any situation where the optimal play is to be safe so that they have a better chance to consistently win more often, as offensive play is generally also more risky, and therefore less desirable.
- I believe it’s a complicated problem. There are a lot of factors going on, and saying that the cause is purely something like infinite tower ammo is a bit scary to me as we could easily make a mistake and create system-level changes that don’t actually resolve the true issues, which could, at best, do nothing to solve the problem, and at worst create more issues with the flow of the game as a whole.
- From my perspective, we didn’t really see these issues so much after Tower Ammo specifically came out, and we saw it a lot more with the release of Blaze and Yrel, who are both heroes with incredibly high sustain, good waveclear, and who are difficult to gank. Because of this, we targeted the sustain of both of these heroes in our balance patch which is coming out today. I don’t think this will completely solve what’s going on, but it’s a step that we wanted to take in the short term and see how that works.
- I admit that this could be an incorrect observation, as it could have just taken this long to have other root issues of the solo lane experience come to light.
- We had many reasons for tower ammo being infinite, and we would like to explore other ways to make laning interactive outside of reverting that change. We’re totally open to feedback and suggestions here, and will be having discussions going forward about how to make this more interactive. One cool suggestion that I thought was neat was ChaosOS’s post about the mage minion having Sapper-like qualities to it.
- In regards to my view on the specific problems and where I’d like to see the solo-lane go, the two things I’d like to see are:
- More management of Health, Mana, and getting value in trades against the enemy hero. When heroes have too much sustain (ex. Blaze and Yrel), it’s a heavy de-motivator to interact with the opponent since that damage will quickly be undone.
- More reward for winning the lane. Right now I believe that the risk/reward for shoving the opposing hero out and pushing with the lane is not enough in favor of the player who is outplaying their opponent in the lane.
What is in the works to correct the issues in master/GM right now. queue times are getting worse, game quality continues to decline, and high profile streamers/pros that should be ambassadors for the game continue to be displeased.
What Matchmaking updates can we anticipate in the future to re-gate the top end and ensure better match quality.
I have been summoned.
Following the release of the matchmaking updates in H35, we've seen a dramatic overall increase in match quality as a result of our prediction rates tightening significantly. Since then, we've also seen longer queue times, particularly during off-peak hours. We've also seen some situations recently where players have had their MMR dramatically diverge from their rank. This makes it even harder for those players to find matches over time, as we're typically looking for matches that band them nearer to their rank in order for that player to more easily move into the appropriate league and division. If a bronze player with a high MMR keeps getting matches with platinum players, that doesn't help that player leave bronze, and the platinum players tend to get tilted because they don't think bronze players belong in their games.
First, we're working on adding dynamic matchmaking restrictions that scale based on the number of players in the queue. If you're playing during off-peak hours. you may end up with the occasional rainbow game--but you'll find games.
Second, we're looking into situations in which players are having a hard time finding games due to their MMR and rank points being too divergent. This is unacceptable and we're going to resolve the situation.
Lastly, we're taking a long, hard look at the entire ranked play system. Removing queue restrictions from Team League is a small step towards larger changes. We think it's time to take a step back and take a look at our existing ranked play framework and ensure that it's the right fit for Heroes of the Storm today.
Since Malthael's latest rework, Tormented Souls has become very redundant with his cleaving auto-attacks and is rarely ever picked (along with Last Rites' flaws also being addressed and making it feel a lot better). Are there any changes to Tormented Souls currently in the works to make it more viable in any way?
Hey maguszeal, thanks for the question.
It's true that the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction for Tormented Souls after the changes giving Malthael cleaving attacks. We've toyed around with the idea of making some changes to make sure that it's still an attractive pick that offers something useful (and unique), but we don't have anything ready to share right now. It's likely that whatever will be done would focus on dealing spread damage, as well as enhancing Reaper's Mark-focused gameplay.
Anecdotally, when we were working on Malthael's cleaving changes, we knew that there was a possibility that Tormented Souls would lose value so we experimented with a few changes to it then. One of them was trying to make it deal flat damage that was increased by enemies affected by Reaper's Mark, but we decided to shelve the idea because it felt pretty similar to Kerrigan's Maelstrom.
It's something that we might revisit soon, since we think having an AoE-focused Heroic for Malthael is good design space to explore.
You have recently reduced the amount of quests (Stukov, Tyrande), realizing that you went a bit overboard with them. Are you happy with the baseline quests of the Assassins I mentioned above (Alarak, Kel'Thuzad, Zul'jin, The Butcher)? Because I honestly don't feel very happy about those and wish for a way to not make them feel too feast-or-famine-like.
Good morning Lorhand - great question!
While we do read quite a bit of criticism about baseline quests, typically pointing at the feast-or-famine nature of them, there are also a lot of players that enjoy the thrill of chasing power. At the end of the day, a quest (be it baseline or a talent) is all about adding asymmetrical power spikes to an otherwise fairly static power curve.
The Heroes you listed above all bring a unique playstyle to the Nexus that I think is actually very fun for a large number of players. I personally love designing and playing with quests that are uncapped, because every game starts out with a chance to become 'infinitely' powerful. That said, the reality is that we know the average stacks that a player gains in a game, and at what time they are unlocking the rewards behind them. Ultimately, we still like these types of quests because they make for increased variability between games--sometimes a player feels like a God, and sometimes not so much. If you think about the 'carry' role in other mobas, it is very similar. Many of us love that feeling of a really good game - one where everything just clicks. This makes up for those games where maybe you're not playing at your best and can find areas to improve your game. While we don't want to push this philosophy towards ALL of our Heroes by any means, I think we definitely have room for a few of them.
Lastly, it is important to know that we are always actively looking at a lot of the quests in the game. We went through a period where we tried to add as many of them as possible, which actually ended up creating a lot instances where you needed to play less than optimally in order to stack quickly. Your example of Tyrande is actually perfect - I originally created the baseline Sentinel quest, and although a lot of players enjoyed it, when working on her recent rework, I knew I needed to remove it. We still have quite a few quests in the game that do this and we will continue to either remove them or change them in ways that reward you for using them correctly.
Is it a concern for you that the last tank releases (Both Blaze and Yrel were advertised as tanks in the spotlight) are only accepted as bruisers by most of the comunity?
Is there any plan to push them into the main tank role?
As the main balance designer on Blaze, I was a but surprised that he ended up in the solo-lane as an offtank. We gave him a lot of tools to be a main tank, and I still believe that while he’s not quite there, especially for pro play, he is closer than most to being viable in that role, similar to how Arthas can fulfill both the main and offtank role in a composition.
I’ve worked on many Warriors over the last few years, and can confidently say that it’s hard to quantify what exactly makes a main tank, off tank, and bruiser, especially before they are released. I remember a time when ETC and Muradin were dominating the meta and community sentiment strongly saying that every tank needed mobility and a hard engage tool to ever be viable. However, during Alpha and even during recent times, we’ve seen tanks without these tools like Stitches and Arthas be successful for periods of time.
Currently I think we’d like to see Blaze be better in the role of a main tank, whereas Yrel would require a larger rework of her abilities to work in that role, which is something we’re more resistant to do as her gameplay is fairly unique and we wouldn’t want to ruin what’s special about her to fit her into that role.
- Ana’s Detachable box magazine has been left untouched after quick emergency change. Does the team has any play on this talent?
- Will Ana receive her update to make her basic kit interact like Overwatch too? i.e. heal pass through full health.
- Does the dev have plans on updating Eye of Horus to increase its attractiveness as well as aim down sight and custom optic?
Good morning Boom0128!
I will try to answer all three questions for you - I think the fantasy and reward for Detachable Box Magazine are awesome and would like to keep these. However, the way it is unlocked could probably be tweaked in the future.
Ana's Healing Dart will indeed be gaining the functionality to pass through full life Heroes in a future patch!
As for updating Eye of Horus and Aim Down Sights - these will most likely be addressed when we get ready to do a full pass on her talent tree (potentially a rework).
I have a question about the state of Mana:
New heroes normally dont have mana issues if they have mana at all (Genji, Hanzo, Tracer,Maiev,Deckard, Yrel, Whitemane,Fenix,Junkrat). Older heroes like Rehgar or Uther are out of mana after the first mid lane brawl.
Is this discepancy intentional or do you want to close this Mana cost gap?
Thank you for the question Kallesin.
This is actually a very hot topic right now among us. We have an hour long meeting this week to align ourselves with what Mana means to our game and what direction we want to move towards.
While it is a very powerful tool from a balance design perspective, it is not really 'fun' to run out of Mana. Since our game is fast paced and 'brawly', I think we need to be a little on the forgiving side when it comes to Mana tension.
Are there any plans to continue to release "quirky" heroes in the future? (Similar to Abathur, Cho'gall, Murky) I always felt like that was HotS' niche was that they weren't afraid to create heroes that were very unique in their play. Lately it seems the development team has focused on more traditional playstyles rather than quirky ones.
The short answer is "yes, we'd like to", but I also want to share some of our philosophy.
The biggest hurdle to making heroes that break fundamental game rules is that it's not good enough to just make them fun to play -- they also have to be fun to play alongside and against. If a hero is extremely fun, but your teammates groan when you lock them in, it's fair to say that's not a satisfactory place for that hero to be in. I think it's cool to have heroes that are a little more niche and don't show up as often, and do unique things because it makes the games where they do show up more special. They're awesome when they work out.
Currently I'd say Abathur is a great example of what we want to see from these types of heroes. He's relatively rare, but shows up in games often enough that players are familiar with who he is and what he does. Players generally recognize what a good Abathur is capable of and how to adapt their play when he's on their team. Most importantly of all, our game is very much about team fights, and despite his weirdness Abathur has a clear and reliable way to contribute that doesn't leave his team feeling like they're fighting 5v4.
We want to make more heroes that fit in that space and continue to explore ideas. We originally wanted to do Ragnaros as a "core replacement" hero who would sit in your base in all his raid boss glory and command fiery minions on the battlefield. We ultimately decided not to do this for fantasy reasons (it just didn't feel like Ragnaros if you couldn't smite insects with your own two fiery hands), but the gameplay is still promising and we want to revisit it at some point with a more appropriate hero.
We also try varying levels of wacky ideas on almost every new hero we make. There were points in development where Stukov could revive dead heroes as Zerg constructs with unique abilities, Alexstrasza could heal enemies, Mephisto could make enemy heroes hostile to each other... We have good reasons for why we didn't end up implementing those examples, but the point is we're not afraid to try new things and look for ways to surprise our players that are both fun and make sense within the context of our game.
Put simply, we want to make heroes that are unique, AND that players are still excited to play and play with 3, 6, and 12+ months after they come out. This is a very difficult standard to achieve when it comes to truly rule-breaking heroes, but it's something we're excited to keep chasing.
As more heroes enter the Nexus, knock backs and displacements in the game are increasing. Will dazes/knock backs ever become keywords and have talents that interact with them?
For example, supports have ways to give armor or interact with stuns/silences/slows, but the only way to deal with knock backs is Cleanse, or other Unstoppable effects. Will this continue as is, or will there be other ways to counter play?
Hey USSKorolev, thanks for the question.
Just to clarify for some readers, we have a number of displacement abilities that also have stuns tied to them. For example, Johanna’s Condemn, Garrosh’s Wreckling Ball, or Junkrat’s Concussion Mine. One of the key reasons to have these stuns is to break moving channeled abilities such as a Li Li’s Jug of 1,000 Cups. Another core reason is that the stun can help to add “weight” to the ability and make it feel a lot better to use. Without the stun on Condemn, heroes would immediately start moving following the initial displacement, often due to previously queued up move orders, and the ability just wouldn’t feel right. That pause helps players to recognize the impact and allows Johanna a small opportunity to capitalize on this ability.
There are of course a number of displacement abilities that do not have this stun which we refer to as “dazes”, including ETC’s Face Melt and Falstad’s Mighty Gust. I’m not sure we have discussed adding a new keyword to interact with these abilities specifically, although it’s an interesting thought.
We’re always interested in giving players counterplay options, so it is something we will talk about internally. I do think there are a few issues though which I’ll go through:
First off, most knockbacks happen extremely quickly, too quickly for you to react once they occur in many cases. Take the ETC Face Melt example, you’d basically have to preemptively use your counter to avoid the displacement – which gets into the territory of pre-cleansing and Unstoppable effects, which we already have. If we said this new counter was always on and waited for a displacement effect to hit you (i.e. Spell Shield), then I’m not sure how fun that would be to play against. If you see someone with Spell Shield, you can often try to poke this off with a weaker ability, but you may not have a secondary displacement effect that you can use to remove this new buff.
Another thought is, we must be careful about how niche we make talents or abilities. Pointing a talent towards a very specific use case will often go unpicked and we will end up adding secondary effects to the talent for it to become an attractive option. In a lot of cases, those secondary effects can overshadow the original design and that becomes why you pick the talent. As an example, take Ana’s level 13 talents, one is for Stuns while the other is to counter Slows and Roots. We ended up having to put secondary effects on these talents to make them useful in more cases, and now those secondary effects have become the primary reason to pick these talents in a lot of cases (i.e. more healing vs. armor).
General: What does the process for building a balance patch look like? How do you decide what issues to tackle, how do you test ideas in terms of doing what you want them to do, and when are things locked in for implementation and bugtesting?
Every week the members of the balance team meet to talk about the state of the game. One of the things we do during this meeting we all bring up individual changes/heroes/issues that we would like to see addressed in the upcoming balance patch.
In regards to how we decide what issues to tackle, there isn’t a single method, as our decisions can come from various sources. Some of these are:
- We have a lot of data that we can look through to find anomalies. We can see hero and talent win/play rates across various filters to see if something is over/underperforming.
- We watch pro play and have discussions about what is happening there.
- We all play the game regularly, and use our personal experience to see where we can make improvements for the average player.
- We look at heroes who haven’t been tweaked in awhile to see if there’s any room to make changes.
Sometimes for larger balance changes, for example Artanis’s changes that came out in a balance patch, we will test the changes for weeks/months in advance and merge them into the next balance patch once we’re confident in the design.
What's the great plan for illidan? Why not just buff his 10.
Any insight on that? He does not need a rework just specific 10 buffs, Hunt back to 60~75 sec CD and moving some 20 demonic form buffs to 10 IMO.
Hey TheGameOn, thanks for your question about The Betrayer. He's one of my personal favorite Heroes.
Right now Illidan primarily takes The Hunt because it offers unique and fun gameplay, so we aren't all that upset that it's the more commonly picked Heroic ability. That being said, Metamorphosis is being chosen 40% of the time in higher level Hero League, though it doesn't always feel like it. It isn't winning nearly as much though, so there might be room for improvement.
Illidan isn't seen all that often partly due to this being an unfavorable metagame for him. With a bruiser-heavy meta, not only is there a lot of crowd control to deal with him, but also fewer squishy targets for him to chase down. Just a year ago Illidan was very meta, and hasn't seen many changes since, so we're confident that maybe small tuning changes combined with a more favorable meta will allow him to fulfill his niche in the game again.
Why do you prefer slower, larger scale reworks over smaller, more abandunt changes?
We see time and time again heroes get ignored for months/years and they slowly devolve into a critical state requiring a full on rework like raynor, kerrigan, vikings, chen.
We have other heroes that are at a decent winrate with low use/unused talents that havent been changed for a while, making for a 1-dimensional talent builds and overall less compelling interactivity and gameplay, yet these issues go seemingly ignored for an incredible amount of time.
We don't prefer to do slower, larger scale reworks over small changes--they both have their uses. We've released balance patches regularly with many changes to multiple heroes over time, and generally save large reworks for heroes who need more sweeping changes.
There are advantages and disadvantages to smaller balance tweaks and large rework changes. I went over many of these specifics in our last AMA, but some things we think about are:
- The larger the rework, the greater the risk of hurting the hero's core identity. Even if you make a slam dunk design, it will not have as great a chance of being widely accepted if it significantly alters the hero's fantasy.
- As you mentioned, more abundant changes means that the game is fresher for more people, and fewer heroes are left alone for less time.
- Small number or functionality tweaks can make talent builds feel fresh, which in turn makes the hero feel new and exciting without the need for a major rework.
- That said, large reworks are sometimes necessary. Some examples of why this happens are:
- To update older heroes and bring them in line with current design philosophies.
- To carve out a role for heroes who have fallen out of use relative to other heroes currently favored in the game.
- To solve fundamental design issues with their kits.
Thoughts on heroes who almost always only has a single talent in certain tiers? examples being garrosh picking into the fray, dehaka picking feeding frenzy, ana picking sleep dart quest
We put a lot of work into building out talent tiers and trying to offer players interesting choices, so when a single talent ends up dominating a tier it's pretty disappointing.
The Hero Design team does the initial work of designing talent trees for all new heroes, and most of the time we can recognize and prevent these cases early so that the Live Design team never has to worry about it. This is something I feel we're getting even better at as we learn from previous talents like Into the Fray or Glacial Spike, and even from Heroic abilities like Cleansing Flame that end up as one-sided choices.
When lopsided talent tiers do make it out the door, it forces us to think very carefully about how we want to bring them back in line. Usually the reason these talents are so popular is that they're very fun to use or provide key utility a hero doesn't otherwise have - so simply removing or weakening them may not be the way to go. In that case we can either-
A: Make the effect baseline (as with Glacial Spike on Kel'thuzad) and reshuffle other talents accordingly
B: Revisit the talents on that tier and try to make the other two choices feel just as impactful (as with Holy Ground on Tyrael)
Which of these options is preferable varies case-by-case, but the most important value is not to undermine what's cool and enjoyable about a hero with whatever changes we decide to make. Given the choice between having uneven talent picks, or making a hero less fun overall, we'd prefer to wait on changing the talents until we're confident that our changes will have the desired effect.
How are you guys reacting to the pushback against the mobility Overwatch heroes have brought into HotS? By that I mean, is this feedback you've listened to and found yourselves agreeing with, which you will apply for future hero releases or do you feel different, and if so how/what?
Hey Mozerath, thanks for your question! Mobility in Heroes is something that we've been watching for a long time.
To start with, we've always pushed the boundaries with Hero Design in HotS; we think that it's one of the things that makes Heroes of the Storm special. We have characters like Cho'gall, Abathur, or The Lost Vikings that really "break the rules" of traditional character design. The key to these characters is adjusting their power the appropriate amount while keeping these unique traits in mind.
The great mobility offered by Tracer and Genji is another one of these unique traits, though not as flashy as a two-headed ogre. We knew that during development they would need to be balanced around it (in fact at one point Tracer had so little Health that she was being one-shot by Nova). We didn't anticipate how much we would need to tune them down though, so unfortunately they've been steadily nerfed (for the most part) since their release. We think they're much healthier than they started in terms of balance at this point, though we're always looking to make further tuning adjustments when we think the time is right.
We do have other characters in the game with high amounts of mobility (as has been pointed out in this thread). Illidan, Zeratul, and Lucio are good examples. The biggest difference between them and Tracer or Genji is that their mobility has more conditions. These include target selection (Illidan's Dive), range limitations (Zeratul's Blink), or inability to travel over terrain (Lucio's Movement Speed). These added forms of counterplay make these abilities feel better to play against than they would otherwise, and allow us to really push the envelope with them.
At this point, we think that the low-condition mobility from Tracer and Genji makes them special, and we likely won't add more characters with this level of mobility without conditions. But we do think that mobility is a great way to allow players to make flashy plays and has a high skill cap, so you'll likely see more forms of it with added counterplay in the future.
Are there any plans to do a huge tooltip update?
Tooltips are very inconsistent.
[[Archon]] states its splash radius. [[Fury of the Swarm]] doesn't say what the splash radius is.
[[Water Dragon]] lists the range in which it summons. [[Divine Reckoning]] doesn't list its radius.
[[Maelstrom]] says "per second" while dealing damage every 0.25s, while [[Fend]] states its tick rate (every 0.25s).
[[Varian/Charge]] can target structures. [[Colossus Smash]] can not. It's impossible to know cases like these from the tooltip.
Generally, information seems to be extremely lacking in tooltips.
Also, summon descriptions are nearly always extremely lacking. They sometimes state health, sometimes state attack speed and usually damage. Why are they not always mentioned? For example:
[[Abathur/trait]] lists the Locust's health, but most others don't (say, [[Ultralisk]]). Right now on the PTR Ultralisk now doesn't even state its attack damage (only the skillshot's damage, and that it splashes for 50% when attacking). [[Gargantuan]] doesn't even mention the stomp's damage, or the fact that it slows!
Writing good tooltips is a really important and often underappreciated skill in game design. It becomes particularly challenging when you have a really big game being made by many people, and a ton of heroes made over several years alongside and evolving design philosophy.
You're totally on the mark that our tooltip consistency could be better and it's something we've been gradually working to improve. I don't think we'll do one "huge" update in a single patch per se, but we regularly revisit our tooltips (especially during hero reworks) and plan to continue those efforts going forward. If you see anything that looks particularly off, bringing it to our attention as you've done here is also great.
That said, one thing I'll add is that consistency is only one of many values we employ when writing tooltips. Technically most abilities in the game have a 0.125 second cast time, but we don't actually put that in the tooltip for the sake of readability. It may not seem like a big deal for one tooltip, but every hero in the game has dozens and dozens of tooltips, so readability ends up driving many of the decisions we make around how to present information. However this is something we're very open to feedback on as there may be places where something is off (like your Varian example), and we greatly appreciate players bringing cases like this to our attention. Thanks!
I feel like there's a lot of controversy around Garden of Terror and a lot of people saying it lost it's identity mainly (including myself unfortunately). That said, what are your guys plans for other maps like Blackhearts Bay? I think it would be good if the team communicated more with the community before putting so much effort into a map redesign.
The Garden of Terror rework was done in response to years of consistent player feedback (in community discussion and in our own user experience research) saying Garden was among the least-loved maps in the game. Our goals for the rework were to preserve the map's thematic elements (seeds, shamblers, terrors, weather effects) while removing the elements that made so many players sigh when they saw the loading screen (chasing a vehicle around, eternal night phase, zero sum double vehicle phases, vehicle time-out).
We iterated on the Garden rework several times internally. First we tried small changes like repositioning/renumbering shambler camps, changing timers, and changing the vehicle's abilities and spawn point, but none of those changes made the map notably more fun or interesting. The map still had the same problems it did on live servers. Then we went wild for a bit with experimentation - at one point we had a completely new layout and a "siege vehicle" objective reward that could dig in, spawn bushes around it, spawn shamblers to push in a direction, and shoot out burrowing seed bombs that detonated for aoe damage. We tried a "gauntlet" type design where we spawned a series of seeds, one at a time, all over the map, and the first team to gather three won the objective. Those were interesting experiments, but they each had their own fatal problems. Ultimately, we found that the version on PTR right now provided the most fun we've ever had on Garden. The story might not be over, though. We're confident that this version of Garden will do much better than its original version, but if we're wrong, we'll do what we need to do.
As for Blackheart's Bay, we do plan on adjusting the map, but we currently do not expect a complete mechanical overhaul like the Garden rework.
Thank you for your support. I tried to condense the post and put the Q&A on here for easier reading.