Battlegrounds are the various arenas of Heroes of the Storm. Each battleground match is designed to last roughly 20 minutes. This is to cut down on 'losing times' (as in, to minimize the time that a team is fighting a losing battle before being defeated if one side holds a clear advantage) and to allow shorter games to be played when a player only has a limited amount of time for one.
Each battleground is set within the Nexus, and has mechanics and individuals unique to it. It is intended that battlegrounds feel more akin to a "World of Warcraft experience" rather than a StarCraft one. The current intention for ranked games are that a battleground is known beforehand before heroes are picked.
Maps are rotated for Hero League and Team League in order to make it easier for new players to get into the game. Each rotation holds nine battlegrounds. New players always start in Cursed Hollow, then move into a pool of six maps, and then nine. Maps out of rotation will make it easier to improve on them. Battlegrounds will rotate roughly three times per Ranked Play season.
List of Battlegrounds
- Alterac Pass
- Battlefield of Eternity*
- Blackheart's Bay
- Braxis Holdout*
- Cursed Hollow*
- Dragon Shire*
- Garden of Terror
- Hanamura (custom games only)
- Haunted Mines
- Infernal Shrines*
- Raven Court (tutorial/training only)
- Sky Temple*
- Tomb of the Spider Queen*
- Towers of Doom*
- Volskaya Foundry*
- Warhead Junction
*These maps are part of the current Ranked map rotation. Updated 2/6/2018
- Arathi Basin
- Heavy Watch Tower Jungle
- Kings Crest
- Lane Strength
- Tiny Tim City Arena
The idea for battlegrounds came from the singleplayer of StarCraft II, where many missions had a unique mechanic to them that affected gameplay (e.g. rising lava). These mechanics were not present in multiplayer (bar some custom or unique maps) due to balance reasons. For Heroes of the Storm, the team looked back at these mechanics, and the feedback for them. Thus it was decided to take the StarCraft II concept and put it in a multiplayer-orientated game.
The idea of creating battlegrounds based on Blizzard settings existed by 2014. It was here that retiring battlegrounds was first suggested. As of BlizzCon 2015, the intent moving forward is to provide more battlegrounds that relate to the other Blizzard franchises, including those already included in World of Warcraft. 6-8 maps were intended for a ladder pool.
- (Patch February 6, 2018) Note: All Battlegrounds with turn-in mechanics (Blackheart’s Bay, Tomb of the Spider Queen, Booty Coffers Heroes Brawl) will now show a visual indicator when a team’s gathered objective count is high enough to complete a turn-in.
- (Patch December 12, 2017) Note: Rotation updated.
- (Patch June 13, 2017) Note: All 13 Battlegrounds available for play in Versus A.I., Quick Match, and Unranked modes.; Hero League and Team League are now the only game modes that will feature a Map Rotation.
- (Patch May 16, 2017) Note: The pool of Battlegrounds available in matchmaking game modes has increased from 6 to 9; Battleground rotation added.
- (Patch February 8, 2017) Note: Targeting indicators will no longer disappear after minimizing the client during Battleground loading while also running the game using DirectX9 in Fullscreen mode.
- (Patch September 13, 2016) Note: Several Battlegrounds have received additional optimization to help improve performance.
- (Patch July 12, 2016) Note: Try Mode: The Mana bonus applied by Arthas’ Eternal Hunger Talent will no longer persist after clicking Reset Talents. The effects of Li’Ming’s Aether Walker Talent will now be properly reset after clicking Reset Talents. Brightwing’s Phase Shift cooldown is now properly reset after clicking Toggle Cooldowns.
- (Patch April 19, 2016) Note: Fixed an issue in which the Reset Talents button in Try Mode would not remove existing stacks of Dehaka’s Essence or Nova’s Snipe Master.; Re-issuing an attack order on a Structure in the Fog of War will no longer cause Basic Attack animations to repeat without applying damage.
- (Patch February 10, 2016) Note: Dying will no longer cause the player’s Healing Well cooldown to reset.
- (Patch February 2, 2016) Note: Battleground-specific creatures are now universally defined as Monsters (ex: Neutral Garden Terrors, Sky Temple Guardians, etc.).
- (Patch June 30, 2015) Note: Various Battleground assets have received additional visual polish.; Various Battleground assets have received additional optimization to help improve performance.
- 2013-12-11, BlizzCon 2013 – Heroes of the Storm Overview Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-04-27
- 2014-05-30, Blizzard Says Heroes of the Storm Is "Much Closer to a World of Warcraft Experience". Gamespot, accessed on 2014-05-31
- 2014-30-08, PAX Prime 2014 Day 1, ESV Championship Series Week 1, Into the Nexus #18. Heroes Nexus, accessed on 2014-09-01
- 2015-01-30, Blizzard will add Heroes of the Storm characters 'forever until we get sick of it'. Polygon, accessed on 2015-02-01
- 2015-06-07, Press Event Q&A Recap, Eternal Conflicts Concept Art. Heroes Nexus, accessed on 2015-06-22
- 2015-03-06, PAX East 2015 Blizzard Panel | Blizzplanet (1/2). YouTube, accessed on 2015-03-22
- 2017-05-14, THE NEXUS IS SHIFTING! — BATTLEGROUND ROTATIONS. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2017-05-14
- 2014-07-01, Dustin Browder Confirms Lost Vikings!. Stormcraft, accessed on 2014-07-08
- BlizzCon 2015 Battlegrounds Panel