I realise Blizz have said anomalies won't be done as frequently anymore, but I wanted to get my suggestion in before the idea was lost to time. I'm not here claiming I'm confident that this will 100% make the game better, but I'd love to see it considered and tested.
A small increase in minion movement speed and minion wave spawn frequency.
What I hope this will achieve:
Shorter games and increased focus on lanes.
Why I think this is desirable:
I like that HotS has a relatively short average game length. I think it's fine how it is, but it wouldn't hurt to be a tiny bit shorter. I also like that HotS has a greater focus on rotations and teamfights compared to other MOBAs with more dedicated laning, but I think it might be nice to increase the the focus on lanes just a little bit.
How the change would achieve the effect:
If minion waves spawn more frequently and clash faster, the overall effect would be that for a larger percent of game time there would be minions fighting in lanes. This would increase the importance of laning as players would need to spend a larger percent of time in the lane collecting the experience they drop. This would increase the rate of experience gained overall, making the games end slightly sooner as well. Minion pressure on structures in an uneven lane would also go up, which also increases the importance of having players in (or at least rotating into) the lanes.
Balance/magnitude of the effect:
Obviously the balance of this and the exact numbers needs to be tuned with testing, but my suggestion would be to aim for a quite subtle effect, so I would not expect a large increase in numbers at all. If it was tuned such that we only saw, say, a 15-30 second increase in how soon players reached a given level, my intuition is that that would be fine. My experience is certainly that as players we respond badly to drastic or obvious changes, but maybe the community could get behind something quite subtle?
I realise that simply increasing the XP granted by minion waves could achieve a very similar effect, but actually having more minions to work with and against theoretically creates more interesting gameplay. Heroes may have to consider new challenges to do with rotations, or perhaps mana management when using abilities to clear waves. Someone once argued to me that the last-hitting mechanic of other MOBAs create small "subgames" on which player skill is tested. Wave-clearing and XP-globe-collecting are the HotS equivalent of this, but it was argued that it's a less skill-intensive activity than last-hitting. Increasing the frequency this challenge occurs would increase its skill requirement a bit.
I also realise that if minions battle more often and no one clears it may be that very large waves/battles build up in the center of lanes. This could create a really cool effect but, if it turned out to be undesirable, minion damage could be increased to make the waves clear each other faster in absence of players. Repercussions of minion damage w.r.t. structures would also have to be considered. We could increase minion damage to other minions only, for example.
Please let me know what you think in the comments!
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© Post "Suggestion for a future Nexus Anomaly" for game Heroes of the Storm.
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