Webweavers vs Terrors | Why garden of terror change is bad


#1

So I felt that the last (probably) of my posts this year should be constructive and productive criticism of how badly designed is the redesign of Garden of Terror map.
To explain how dumb it is, I’ll first explain why it’s bad, and then go into hard to miss stuff.

First things first, the developers thought that Tomb of the Spider Queen map was a great base to use for a redesign of a map with a different type of objectives.
It was not a good base, and it was reused on Alterac Valley, although the objectives there are better designed and serve a more pushy purpose, Garden of Terrors is simply bad.

Lets take a look at Tomb of the Spider Queen objectives and results.
-Players gather GEMS and pay them to the altars
-Webweavers engage lane and push
-Webweavers have a limited time of life and have fairly little HP
-Webweavers lose/sacrifice own HP to create Minions (this is a fantastic mechanic btw)
-Webweavers summon a wave of force in a straight short line that deals massive damage
-Webweavers have NO CROWD CONTROL ABILITIES
-Webweavers start from furthest most point controlled on lane. THIS IS IMPORTANT!

Now how this falls against terrors in the Garden of Terrors ?
Well
Lets take a look
-Terrors require 3 seeds (Cursed Hollow)
-Terrors get summoned at nearest enemy structure
-Terrors ignore minions
-Terrors have a LOT of HP
-Terrors disable structures
-Terrors have CC AOE (2 CC abilities)
-Terrors don’t have limited time, they are up until they are killed.

The biggest issue with this map is that the Terrors have a LOT of HP and they disable structures. Webweavers don’t have such a huge advantage, and this is huge.

Imagine standing between first and second fort and kill minions, Webweavers will die eventually on their own, by time limit expiring, using up their own HP to summon the last of minions or simply forts kill them off.

If you do the same with Terrors, they will simply obliterate the buildings without a care in the world, they have no time limit, they don’t sacrifice own HP, unopposed by minions they will simply keep going, this is maddening, whoever thought this was good when designing it is a complete fool.

Now, how much does it take to fix it ? not much.
Fixing the Terrors:
-Add a time limit
-Summoning the Sprout costs HP
-Sprout has half the time limit of what it has now
-Fort/Keep will attack Sprout (only) while affected by it
-Lower Terrors HP by 33%
-Make them engage minions
-Change their AOE Slam to something else, maybe a line or shockwave ?

Now how do you know a map is bonkers ?
I knew that map was bonkers but to realize how much bonkers is bonkers you gotta appreciate children.
I played this game with my 12 years old niece, she wanted to try it out so I said fine, I installed it on a second computer and gave her my alt account access for a bit, so we could play any hero.
We played Custom Games first @Braxis Holdout, she didn’t like how silly the map is because you have to control the beacons instead of controlling the map, 12 year old tells me about map control, dang.
Next we went to least loved map like Blackhearts Bay, she loved it, she says she can see why people hate this map but at the same time it’s one of the best maps there is because of such an insane push to control the map, and that is true. I like this map as well, it forces people to control the map or lose the game.

Then we went Dragon Shire, she said this is similar to Braxis Holdout except there is more map control here, she said she liked the nukes map as well because it also emphasizes the map control.

Do you guys see a pattern here ? a 12 year old lectures me that you need a map control to win the game, something we come up with after several games, she caught on at first time. Something Blizzard obviously misses when making maps or redesigning them.

Eventually we landed on Tomb of the Spider Queen and she enjoyed that map for the same reasons as Blackhearts Bay, focus on map control, you send mercs, gather gems, pay them and faceroll enemy lanes.

And then we went to Garden of Terrors.
Half the match she was like “Uncle, why is this map so dumb? who designed this ?” and I had nothing to say except “I know right ?”

It’s obvious to us that the redesign was based on Tomb of the Spider Queen, the devs said so. But it’s so obviously wrong.

She said there should be a single terror and it should go to a random lane and push it, 3 terrors are too much to defend against efficiently.
A kid says “Efficiently!”.
God damn you Blizzard, you make a child angry at how dumb your idea was!

We all knew this map is bonkers, but the scale eluded us.
Now, my fellow players, we see the scale of it.

Btw she loved Alterac Valely as well, she said it was crazy how silly the objectives are, but she says there should be more mercs. That said the map is too narrow and should have a spot for another campsite. Honestly I feel the same way.
She says the bosses should be more on the top left and bottom right and make room for another merc camp on the opposite side. When I looked at the map I said she’s right. But her favourite maps are Nukes and Pirates, she had so much fun with the Blackhearts Bay. Sadly we played with AI but still it was fun to see how a 12 year old sees a game and her perspective is actually important to me.
She’s pretty talented in the arts and math.

Conclusion: The old Garden of Terror was the correct one, this is bonkers.


#2

I feel you are putting too much value on the words of a 12y old. The part about Blackhearts Bay shows a clear misunderstanding. There are two types of map control, the one granted by team composition during draft and the one granted through skilled play during the game. Blackhearts Bay rewards the former too much, at the cost of players having a chance to outplay their opponents.

Braxis Holdout is a map where map control directly translates to objective control, so its very weird to use that as an example of a bad map. Warhead Junction on the other hand allows multiple nukes to be lost despite having map control. There’s no minions to prevent single players from picking up nukes. Objectives are won very fast giving teams with poor map control still a chance to contest nukes and return to their pushed lanes to defend. Compare this to Battlefield of Eternity or Eternal Shrines, where map control from pushing mercs can force a team to forfeit an objective, or at least to send someone to clear it.

To come back to the different types of map control, while draft should give an advantage, teams need to feel like they have a decent shot at winning during a game, or else its just unfun. Because of this, map control granted ingame should be more valuable than map control from draft.
With ingame map control i mean vision from watch towers, pushed lanes, mercs and the safety that all of these provide. You can move between lanes safer if your minions provide vision, and even if giving up an objective, you can stall the enemy while your mercs push down structures in another lane.

Draft map control comes for example from an enemy Butcher, Diablo or Garrosh who punishes anyone trying to move from mid to bot on Blackhearts Bay without their entire team present. Or a Thrall, Zeratul, Sonya or Greymane who can 1v1 most heroes, getting basically free nukes unless you send multiple heroes against them, costing you other nukes on the map. But this is mostly rock-paper-scissors. Genji can take on Li-Ming, but Genji does poorly against Gazlowe, who then struggles against Zul’jin.
Blackhearts Bay has a large open area, and these small rock-paper-scissors matchups can prevent large parts of some teams from roaming between mid, bot and the turn-in point. There are no mercs, minions or watch towers to provide vision there, meaning even with map control over the rest of the map, you can still be at a disadvantage with the actual objective. Sending too big a group to turn in costs you exp, mercs and the coins/map control they grant.

And im not defending Garden of Terror as a great map, but thats for an entirely different reason. Positioning is one of the least developed skills among the playerbase IMO, and this map requires a ton of it. Not just for your own hero, but as the entire team. So many ways to get flanked, zoned or split up that i find it requires too much from most players.

Next to that, Overgrowth disables structures but loses health on its own while being attackable. This makes it very hard to tell whether its the right choice to attack the Overgrowth to enable the structure to shoot for a bit until another Overgrowth is cast.