Hanamura changes up the Heroes of the Storm formula, bringing us something we've never really seen before.
What really sets Blizzard's hero brawler Heroes of the Storm aside from all of the other MOBAs out there is its myriad of maps. Usually MOBAs rely on having a single, competitive map that is used for every single game, but HoTS has eleven maps - each with a completely different objective that shakes up the game. The newest map, Hanamura, is set to be the most innovative of the bunch, introducing a whole new way to play.
Hanamura takes a popular Overwatch game mode, Payload, and translates it into HoTS. Fundamentally, it works the same way - you either push your own payload or stop the enemy payload by standing next to it. But its a bit more complicated than that. In Overwatch, there is only one Payload, and one team pushing while another defends. In HoTS' Hanamura, both teams will simultaneously be pushing and defending payloads.
Furthermore, simply pushing the payload to its destination wont win you the game. Just like in Towers of Doom, the cores of Hanamura are immune from conventional attacks, and can only be damaged by delivering a payload. Each core has seven health, so, you'd need to deliver seven payloads to win. Capturing enemy forts increases the damage of your payload, and a boss camp in the middle of the map will also deal a single point of damage to the enemy core.
Speaking of the boss camp, mercenaries in Hanamura are completely different from any other map. Usually, capturing a mercenary camp will cause the said mercenaries to charge down the closest lane, fighting for your team until death. In Hanamura, capturing a mercanary camp instead gives you a special item, depending on the camp. One camp will let you plop down a Torbjorn turret, another will let you unleash a trio of dragons that track down hidden enemies, and the last will give you and nearby allies a burst of healing regeneration.
All of these things lead to a very fast-based, Overwatch style of play. Beta players are reporting that games on Hanamura usually finish up by the 15 minute mark, making them quite a bit shorter than your average HoTS game.
The new map, along with two new heroes including Overwatch's Genji, are due out on April 25.