Content of the article: "Nexus Anomalies: Why people are upset, and what can be done going forward"
Weather anomalies should be tied to the objective: A potential solution to this specific anomaly's most glaring issue of RNG
The objective is the number one thing that separates HotS, in my eyes, from other MOBAs. The fact that it varies from map to map adds layers of strategy to the game. This is one of the things that the weather anomaly could add to. (On the surface, it's a cool idea. I don't think many people have a problem with increased movement speed, although the stealth thing is potentially cheesable and adds further advantages to 5-stacks in Storm League. My point is,) it's not so much the weather effects themselves that people have been complaining about, but more the RNG that's inherent in when they come into play. If only there were a central gameplay mechanic that dictated the pace of the game, varied from map to map, and had predictable timers, that weather could be tied to…
I had this idea playing on the PTR when a Morales was saved by the snow despite the Punisher catching her with its jump. Making the weather trigger whenever the objective was claimed, and last for its duration, could have interesting ramifications for both pushing with, and defending against, an objective. (It could also make cool things happen particularly on Infernal Shrines, where for example the Arcane Punisher could bring the fog, Frozen could bring the snow, and Mortar could bring the storm. Or Volskaya could rotate between them based on which of the ABC nodes the Triglav spawned from.)
If it ain't broke, don't fix it: The more foundational issue with Nexus Anomalies in general
In a broader sense, though, I think the main problem people are having with these anomalies (besides the experience globes, which, in my opinion at least, ended up significantly improving the game once the kinks were ironed out,) is that each anomaly has felt more and more like change-for-the-sake-of-change than the last. As the saying goes: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
My most upvoted thread in all my years posting on this sub was titled: “Blizzard, there's no shame in admitting you made a mistake. You don't need to introduce sweeping gameplay changes every year if all they do is create problems that weren't there before.” This was in response to the changes in how structures gave experience, which were also dialed back, but also led to the permanent adoption of at least one positive thing, to me at least, in how killing a Fort would now cause a catapult to spawn in every third wave of its lane. Many of Blizzard's sweeping changes have been mixed bags like this, and despite them not being branded as such then, I see things like the removal of tower ammo, the sweeping rework to the stealth mechanic, and structural experience changes of the past to be largely the same thing as Nexus Anomalies.
Overall, I consider gameplay in a vacuum to be on the whole more fun in this game since its competitive scene got cancelled. The playerbase may have declined, and you can say what you will about the ladder system, but not being tied to a competitive circuit has allowed its developers to do some crazy stuff that wouldn't have flown before. This, I think, is largely a great thing! But the RNG aspect of weather, and generally the pattern of these Anomalies overreaching and having to be dialed back (even before they were labelled as such), is the bad side of it. Small map changes to camp or bush placements, or especially even a whole new map, would mean much more to me than these more universal attempts to gimmickally warp the fabric of the game itself.
Our developers are doing an amazing job, and I don't envy the task of pleasing an entire playerbase. (In fact, I really appreciate what they're going for here, in spirit! If anything, I'm the exact target demographic for these weather effects, as I'm a huge fan of the old Trial Grounds Brawl which was similarly zany, and am incredibly passionate about factoring the differences between maps into which hero I pick. It's why Dehaka and Brightwing are my favorite heroes, and why Dragon Shire is my favorite map. I like globals because they can interact with the map on its own terms. So I say this as someone who's actually hyped about the idea of weather in general.)
But on the whole, it just seems like these past two anomalies have been things that no one was really asking for. They stand to cause more problems than they solve. I appreciate attempts to shake up the meta—zooming the camera out, increasing the cast's movement speed, adding in Fort catapults, and experience globes in general, all turned out to make the game better-designed and more fun in the long run, once community feedback was implemented—but there's a difference between shaking something up and, if you'll excuse an analogy from a fighting game, forcing tournament Smash Bros. players to play with items on. I'll end this section as I started it by saying: If it ain't broke… don't fix it.
- Why are so many people asking for a timer to the weather anomaly?
- New Nexus Anomaly REALLY should’ve been a New Map Mechanic
- Weather effects are bad, but you shouldn’t quit because of it.
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