10 Heroes, 1 Lane In Heroes Of The Storm’s Latest Map

Blizzard’s take on the lane-pusher genre had maps of various shapes and sizes, but it was missing a one-laner until now. With their latest, the Lost Cavern, Heroes of the Storm [official site] wants to give the community something they were apparently already trying to make on their own: a map with no objectives, no lane pushing, and just one unending teamfight in the middle.

Predictably, it won’t be part of the competitive side of the game. More surprisingly, it won’t have its own dedicated queue: people will have to personally invite their friends to enjoy it. And it won’t be quite an ARAM map. Just an AM, without the random.

ARAM stands for All Random All Mid and it’s a consolidated practice in the MOBA genre: all players are assigned a random champion and they cannot heal back up at their base. All they can do is head down the middle lane and fight to their death. It’s a great way to play some low-pressure games without having to think about strategy or objectives, and maybe learn the basics of a new hero in the process.

Of course, it’s never very balanced: some heroes just aren’t made for it whereas others become oppressively strong, and some skills are rendered useless without a map to play with. But it doesn’t really matter: the randomness ensures the overpowered champions cannot be exploited systematically, and while it’s never entered the competitive realm, it has remained very popular as a fun mode to wind down – or warm up – without the stakes of a real game.

Heroes of the Storm didn’t have a one-lane map or an ARAM option before, but a meaningful number of players were using the existing maps to play ARAM anyway. Blizzard decided to make their life easier by giving them Lost Cavern, a proper one-lane map designed with this sole use in mind.

However, Lost Cavern will only be available in custom games, with no dedicated queue and matchmaking, meaning that players will not be automatically paired with strangers of their own skill level: they will have to manually invite other players to join their own game, or fill the ranks with bots. Also, unlike ARAM, hero selection will not be random, which could make some heroes oppressive and discourage the use of others.

Still, choosing to cater to a niche in their community is very nice of them, even with all these limitations in mind, and there’s no reason why they couldn’t follow up on it and make some adjustments in the future. The map should become available with the next patch.


  1. Cinek says:

    How about this for an innovative idea, something MOBAs somehow cannot live without: A map with no lanes?

    • Asurmen says:

      What would be the point of that?

    • Arkayjiya says:

      They’re kind of already going to do that. They’re working on an arena mode.

    • SyCo_Venom says:

      I believe Roit decided not to do modes like that for league because their was not enough support from the fans. They recently decided to axe dominion completely because the amount of the dev team it used to balance it and less than 5% of the player base played it and they didnt want to have a half ass product.

      Smites arena, “Pure PVP” is terribly balanced and doesnt look like they have any intention to balance it around that and if the devs are fine with that, cool. I actually enjoy the arena mode in smite but dont really care for the summoner rift mode. Conversely I only like summoners rift in league.

      Ive never had that 1v1 me bro mentality for games that are built for team play. Which is fine if that is what you like but i think it is a bit much to expect developers to support that for such a small % of the players and id rather not see them waste time that they half ass do either…

  2. NyuBomber says:

    Note that Random Select is a part of every player’s options when deciding on a character in HotS, so ARAM remains an option.

    Or All Warriors, All Assassins, etc.

  3. DrDigby says:

    The map is custom mode only. No it doesn’t enforce the R in ARAM for you, but there is no reason the person who made the lobby can’t enforce it. This: “Also, unlike ARAM, hero selection will not be random, which could make some heroes oppressive and discourage the use of others.” is just silly. Of course it will be random in the majority of games played on this map.

    This is a stopgap to keep people happy until the release of Arena mode, which they teased some time ago but still only has a vague release date of “before the end of the year.”