Hanamura was released with a lot of excitement, but even Blizzard was aware of the possible problems the Battleground might run into. The biggest concerns were about “potential complexity”, but during a Reddit AMA, the design team assured the community that the battleground was designed to be “easy to learn, difficult to master.”
But things didn’t exactly turn out that way. Rather than challenge a team's ability to think on their feet and out-maneuver the enemy, split pushing strategies have become the easiest and most efficient way to win. The battleground has too many different objectives, so the easiest choice is almost always to immediately push the payload while a specialist pushes lanes.
Games on Hanamura have a tendency to end quickly due to how easy it is to destroy enemy forts, gain extra payload shots, and trade escorts with the enemy until you win. Keeps are rarely destroyed and, if they are, make it virtually impossible for a comeback to happen. Payloads may work in Overwatch, but it’s clear that the transition to Heroes has hit some rough spots.
Mercs that don’t matter
One of these rough spots are the new mercenary types. They are placed in inconvenient locations, don’t have much of an affect on winning the game and don’t pressure the opponent because they don’t push lanes. The Sentry and Turret camps are seldom worth capturing, as players have to spend time away from pushing payloads or destroying forts to acquire them. The payload is the most vital part of the battleground, turning all mercenaries (including the center boss camp that usually sits around uncontested) into simple distractions.
On the other hand, The Healing Pulse camp is possibly too powerful, considering how easy it is to capture with a single stack of any bribe talent as well. Late game team fights can be heavily influenced by which team has access to Healing Pulse and uses it most efficiently.
How to Fix it
Lately, criticism for the new battleground has reached an all time high. Team Liquid released a takedown of the battleground this week, calling it “an experiment gone awry” as they outlined what is wrong and possible solutions. The most vocal community members shouldn’t be surprised, as they have been complaining about bad experiences and short matches for weeks now.
However, the most concise and comprehensive take on how to fix Hanamura comes from Dignitas team captain, James “Bakery” Bakery. The star support player has released his thoughts on the maps current state as well as a list of proposed changes. He explains that the map doesn’t reward “intelligent macro play and teamfighting” and instead boils down to quick games won or lost by split pushing strategies.
Here are Bakery’s proposed changes:
- Core HP increased from 7 to 14.
- Payload base shots increased from 1 to 2.
- Boss shots increased from 1 to 3.
- Bonus shots from taking down Forts still at 1.
- Bonus shots from taking down Keeps increased to 2.
These changes aim to increase game length, make the reward for capturing the center Boss worth the risk, and shift the importance of split pushing and PvE objectives back to team fighting and out-rotating opponents.
You can read the explanation for his following changes on the original blog post here.
What do you think?
Do you enjoy Hanamura as is, or agree with Bakery’s changes? Is Hanamura really an experiment gone awry? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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