Been thinking about Bleed Portal and how it operates on GH, as well as a problem I’ve seen on GH spectator games where a snowballing team becomes nigh on unstoppable once they get too much of a kill lead. So I thought I’d see if I could come up with an idea that made BP an integral part of the map instead of a vaguely broken artefact problem, as well as give a losing team a ‘roll the dice’ chance to turn the tide and fight back. And it all starts with the Orbital Cannon impacts…
A bit like Superman Prime’s ult, the orbital cannon drops look spectacular but they don’t actually do anything significant to change the game. They look like they damage the map but for all visual impact they have they don’t do anything besides the AOE damage they do as they land. Buildings are destroyed but the way you move around the map doesn’t actually change.
My idea is this – after each OC impact a small tear is opened up in the Bleed, much like the final impact that destroys the centre of the map, just a lot smaller. From the second OC drop onwards, each of these tears (like on GD) spawns a mini-leviathan who ‘guards’ the entrance. At any point a team can destroy a mini-leviathan which leaves a Bleed Portal key ‘orb’ like the cameras etc you get on a GD map in base. One team member picks up the orb and enters the BP tear which spits you out on the direct opposite side of the map and opens up a Bleed Portal exit. Then your team mates can all pour through and do their thing.
But keeping the Bleed Portal open sucks a lot of power from your power core. In fact it sucks so much power that you can only score points from a maximum of 2 towers while the Bleed Portal is up. You can capture towers as usual but you wont earn any extra points until the Bleed Portal expires, power is restored and your power core is able to reconnect with all your towers at once.
I’ve designed the Bleed Portal to become a factor in the mid-game. If you’ve lost the game before then, well…. your team just wasn’t good enough. But if you’ve made it to mid game and are struggling then the chance is that you’ve done okay on objectives but you’re lagging behind on the power curve and struggling to kill that pesky snowballing Flash or stretch the oppositions tanky team out of place so you can get them off tower and pick them off 2 vs 1 or 3 vs 2 etc. You need something to break up the game and change the status quo. You need a Bleed Portal.
But at the same time you don’t want that snowballing team getting yet another simple attack buff objective so they can snowball even further. You also don’t want to be behind, come up with the big plays and win an awesome OC team fight, only for the snowballing team to then get an easy buff that lets them snatch back your towers straight away.
By making the BP portals opened by OC impacts you’re not only using an already present mechanic of the game but also locating the BP entryways on the side of the map of the team who lost the OC (the more you lose the more impacts you have on your side of the map). For this reason the order of the impacts might need to be changed so that the second impact (the first to open up a Bleed Portal entry point) lands close to the front of base, therefore making a quick entry point for those coming out of base. Subsequent impacts would land in different locations with each having a different exit point on the direct opposite side of the map, giving a team options as to where they emerge to attack (safest would be Waynes Tower, the first impact entry point, but then you might want the option of attacking the oppositions top or bottom tower if that’s too obvious). Three impact entry-points would see 3 options of attack which should be plenty.
The ‘drain’ on the power core so that only 2 towers can score points at any time while a Bleed Portal is open is to discourage a team with tower dominance to use a Bleed Portal. Why would you if it means you can’t score points the whole time? Theoretically you could use the Bleed Portal to win 4 points, thus giving you 2 – 1 tower advantage but it would be a big risk that will probably overextend your line. Instead it would be a tactic used by teams who have less than 3 towers who wont care if they can’t score points initially, because they’re not scoring points anyway. They just need to win the tower and hold on until the Bleed Portal collapses so they can regain tower dominance and start scoring points again.
Another option is for a team in the lead to destroy the mini-leviathan before their opposition can do the job. This would deny the ability to use a Bleed Portal but also set up another opportunity for team fights and drag the leading team into the jungle and away from protecting their towers. Do they turtle up on towers and wait for the BP to open or do they jump into the jungle on the opposition’s side of the map and destroy the mini-leviathan before it can become a problem? Does the other team try to go for the leviathan and set themselves up for an ambush, do they wait for their opposition to attack it then try to finish them off, or do they disregard it altogether and not take the option at all?
The entry points would be just inside the jungle and therefore wont be as extreme as the current BPs opening up in base which allows for immediate return to battle (the ‘crisis of infinite teleports’), and the portals should all shut down after the final OC impact that destroys the middle of the map – if the game has gone on that long then the scoreline is very close and the final stage of the game is intense enough without BPs. There should also be a way to destroy a Bleed Portal you’ve opened yourself to start scoring points again, or ‘waste’ the orb once you’ve destroyed the leviathan to deny the other team. The leviathans may also retreat when the OC opens up so that you don’t have people denying OC wins with BP, maintaining the importance of the OC.
Hopefully I’ve explained it all clearly. It would complicate each match a bit more for noob players but for competitive players it may increase the tactical decisions and therefore the engagement with the map type. The real challenge would be balancing out the delay times for leviathan respawns and the positioning of entries and exits etc but I think it would be a fun addition to the format.